Review: hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Kusabi Brush

I thought I’d review this brush sooner rather than later since it is a limited edition item, and on Sephora’s site, it shows a couple of the styles (including this one) as “only a few left”.  So if anyone was interested in buying one of these, now is the time!

As you may recall, I purchased mine on complete impulse upon seeing the display at the front of the store in Sephora’s “Hot Now” section.  There are 5 brushes in this collection (ranging in price between $38 – $68) which are described in detail on Sephora’s site so I won’t rehash it here.
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I’m focusing on the Wedge Sloping Powder (Kusabi) Brush which is described on Sephora as: A large angled powder brush with a brand-new shape developed by the Sephora Pro team for the self-application of powder, bronzer, or for neck shading.
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The first thing you’ll notice about the brush is the packaging, each individual brush is housed it a distinctive red textured cardboard box, very reminiscent of how Asian calligraphy brushes are stored.
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Since this is a collaboration between famed Japanese brush brand Hakuhodo (side note: not sure why Sephora hyphenated “Hakuho-do”? Hakuhodo themselves don’t hyphenate) and Sephora, the styling pays homage to the source.

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Best of bright blushes

Bright blushes are perfect for summertime – they look especially gorgeous against tanned skin.  But fair skinned gals, don’t let bright blushes scare you – they add a flush of colour when dusted on lightly at the apple of the cheeks.  Put your sunglasses on – here are some of my favourite bright blushes from my stash:
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I do have to say though, no photograph can truly capture the BRIGHTNESS of these blushes – you have to see them in person to appreciate them!

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International Lipstick Day

There’s literally a day for everything.  Last week it was Hot Dog Day, and today apparently it is International Lipstick Day! 😀

So in honour of today, here are a few posts on the topic of lipsticks (and lipglosses and lip balms – can’t leave those out!) that I’ve made:
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Lip Stash

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The Lipstick Tag

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Favourite MLBB Tag

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Breathless vs Breathless

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eos lip balm collection

How are you commemorating International Lipstick Day? Link me to some of your favourite posts on lip products! 🙂

Sample: Nivea In-shower Body Milk

I’ve recently been receiving samples of the Nivea In-shower Body Milk enclosed in magazines.  I’ve never tried an in-shower moisturizer before, so I decided to give them a try.  The packages come with $1.50 off coupons so I figured that if liked the product, I could redeem the coupons before they expire (I am cursed with coupons, I always only remember about them the day after they expire! Anyone else?)

This is what I received in the magazines:
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The Beauty Blogger Award

I haven’t done a tag / award in ages!  I’m so backlogged but I’m going to do one of the more recent ones I’ve been nominated for by StyledWithJoy, the Beauty Blogger Award.  Thanks girl, told you I’d do it soon. 😉
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The Beauty Blogger Award Rules:
1) State the name of the blogger that nominated you.
2) Answer the questions you were given.
3) Nominate 10 people whose blog is about beauty or fashion.
4) Make 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
5) Let the bloggers know that you nominated them.

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At-home gel polish removal

I’ve never attempted get polish removal by myself before – I’ve always gone back to the salon where I had the gel polish applied and paid the $10 to have someone else to soak off them for me.  I was curious in trying to remove them myself and found this wikihow article – it doesn’t seem that difficult!

First, this is what my gel nails look like exactly 2 weeks after I had them applied:
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Not bad huh! I only had a tiny little chip on the tip of my right thumb where I caught it on a zipper accidentally.  I do have quite a bit of nail growth though. The method I’m showing you will also work for stubborn glitter nail polishes too!

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Stashmatters Canadian Makeup Swap!

Now go check out what I sent to Nicola of Beauty As I Know It! 😀

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So for a very long time I have been thinking about doing a makeup swap outside of the UK but I needed to wait until I had found someone who I vaguely knew before I “popped” the question, mainly for their own peace of mind. For some some months on my blog the lovely Stashmatters has been one of my most active followers I always receive lovely comments & I truly appreciate not only what she has to say but interacting with someone so far away from me, for those who may not be aware of Stashmatters she is Canadian 🙂 https://stashmatters.wordpress.com

So I finally plucked up the courage to ask if she would like to do a swap with me & trust that I was a genuine person who wouldn’t let her down & I was so chuffed when she said yes – wow I really do feel like…

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It’s my birthday and I’ll buy if I want to

I went to Sephora with the intention of picking up my “free” birthday present. And maybe if they had the Surratt Relevée Lash Curler, I would pick it up, cause, you know:
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The Surratt curler wasn’t in stock but the “Hot Now” display was screaming out at me – they were featuring the new hakuho-do + Sephora Pro brushes with the red lacquered handles:
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The Face Shop: The Therapy Deluxe Kit

For the road trip, I brought along 2 of the items from this 3-pc kit, which I got for $5 as a purchase with purchase last year when I bought some skincare at The Face Shop.
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The kit includes:

THE THERAPY Essential Formula Emulsion – $40 for 130ml (Deluxe sample is 32ml, worth $9.85)
THE THERAPY Secret-Made Anti-Aging Cream – $45 for 50ml (Deluxe sample is 10ml, worth $9.00)
THE THERAPY Essential tonic treatment – $35 for 150ml (Deluxe sample is 32ml, worth $7.47)

The total value of the kit is $26.31, which is definitely worth the $5 I paid for it.

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UK / Canada swap!

Let me get back into beauty blogging with a bang – I got new makeup!  Huh?  But aren’t I on a No-Buy? Allow me explain.  Nicola of Beauty As I Know It contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in doing a swap – she’s in the UK, and I’m in Canada.  I contemplated this: was this a violation of my No-Buy?

Let’s weigh the facts:
• I’m not buying makeup for myself, but rather, buying makeup for someone else, like a gift
• I’m receiving makeup in return – but I didn’t pay for them!

My friends are 80/20 split in their opinion that I’m an horrible dirty cheater vs I might have found a loophole in my No-Buy. 😛

Regardless, I went ahead with the swap because, hell, what’s the fun of having a blog if I can’t connect with amazing people from all over the world?  Nicola and I set out some parameters for the swap:
• focus on makeup / skincare from drugstore
• target total of £30 / $55 CAD

I also sent out a little questionnaire to help each other narrow down our preference, here are my answers to the questions:

1) Are there any brands that may not be available in your country that you’re interested in?
Natural Collection (Boots), Sleek, Makeup Revolution, Soap & Glory (we have the skincare but not the makeup), MUA, Barry M

2) Skin type / skin tone / eye colour / hair colour / allergies?
Combination / NC25 I’m usually in the shade range light/medium or “Buff” shade / brown / brown / no allergies

3) What are your top 3 favourite makeup / skincare categories?
eye shadows, blush, concealer (I’m particularly interested in the Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer [I would be in Warm Medium] hint hint!)

4) Do you like sweet or savoury snacks? Any candies / chocolate that’s not available in your country that you would like to try?
I love sweets! I know there are loads of UK sweets – most of them are available in Canada as well in specialty British shops.

Here’s the parcel I received!
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She included a lovely handwritten card and put little star stickers on the items to indicate her personal favourites!

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