The best Black Friday beauty sales (+ shopping guide) *Updated 11:07 AM Nov 27th

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Wait! Before you get started… don’t forget to shop using Ebates for up to 10% cash back on your orders at Sephora, Amazon, The Body Shop, and more! Sign up using my referral links here: Ebates/

Beauty deals

AHAVA (US) – Nov 24th-28th: BOGO free, plus free shipping over $50 & free samples on all orders. See my favourites from AHAVA here!

ANNABELLE COSMETICS – Nov 27th-30th: 40% off + free shipping over $40 CAD! See my product recommendations

⇒ Current favourites: Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Ebony (review), Blushon Powder Blushes (review), Smokey Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (review), and the Glitterama Liquid Eyeliners.

BIRCHBOX – Nov 27th-Dec 1st: 25% off all subscriptions and all orders over $35. Free shipping over $25. Use code BIGDEAL. See my product recommendations

⇒ The 25% off also applies-Birchbox’s full-sized products, so here are some of my must-haves: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (review), everything Clinique Chubby, Klorane Dry Shampoo, and the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color. The Charmed Life gift set looks really cool, too — it would make an amazing already-done gift box for your best friend!

CLARINS CANADA – Nov 23rd-27th: 15% off of five full-sized sets

CULT BEAUTY – Nov 27th-30th: Use code MERRY10 for £10 off £60, MERRY20 for £20 off £100, MERRY45 for £45 off £200, or MERRY75 for £75 off £300. 


DECIEM – Nov 27th-Dec 1st: Save up to 60% on DECIEM bundles! (That’s a savings of up to $199!) Bundles start at $21 CAD, down from $53.

FOREO – Nov 27th-30th: 25% off on all devices + Free Shipping! This is Foreo’s biggest discount of the year, so if you were holding out for the best deal possible, this is it! 

⇒ Don’t miss my FOREO LUNA Mini review (& giveaway!) here.

INGLOT – Nov 26th-Dec 2nd: 20% off all products; 10% off Freedom System palettes. Free US shipping over $50.

JURLIQUE – Nov 23rd-29th: Up to 50% off sitewide. 

L’OCCITANE (CA) – Nov 26th-29th: Exclusive gift sets at marked down up to 65%! Use code NOIR for $16 sets with any $45 purchase or NOIRPLUS for $35 deluxe git sets with any $55 purchase. / Buy any 3 stocking stuffers and get a 4th one free! / Deluxe gift sets up to $85 off for a limited time. / Nov 4th-Dec 25th: Get a Magic Key for $5 with any 150ml Shea Cream with code MAGICKEY. / Nov 26th-29th: Use code DELUXE for a free deluxe holiday essentials kit with all orders over $145. / Nov 23rd-Dec 1st: Free shipping on all orders over $25, no code needed. 


MAC – Nov 27th-30th: Get a whopping 25% off all MAC holiday kits and pre-made palettes at, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bloomingdales! This is the best deal that I have EVER seen for MAC, so don’t miss it! Palettes start at $30 for 9 shades.

MARC JACOBS – Nov 30th: Limited edition Blacquer and brush sets; free shipping on all orders with code SHIP / Free shipping over $50 / Four free mini makeup products with code MARCDAY.

Keep reading! »

Give the GiftofGOLD with Kérastase

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kerastase Gift of Gold

I like to get all of my holiday shopping done before, if possible, the second week of December. It’s a great setup: you start planning in July, finish up in November, and then you have all of December to bake cookies, hang tinsel, and pick a tree.

That being said, “like to” and “actually do” are two very, very different things. So, if you’re just starting your holiday gift acquisition right now, here’s a little something to help you get started!

Kerastase Bain Densité shampoo review

Kérastase PARIS is running a great promotion in all Kérastase PARIS salons and on the website right now: buy a styling product and conditioner and get the corresponding shampoo free!

They’re calling it the Gift of Gold promo, and it’s a haircare lover’s dream. The gift sets start at $83 CAD, and there are eleven sets available, including:

Kerastase Densifique Masque Densite review

There aren’t a ton of silicone-free Kérastase PARIS products, but I’ve been testing some of the Chronologiste and Densifique ranges this month.

Densifique comes packaged in simple, pretty, champagne-beige packaging, and the Mousse Densimorphose, Bain Densité (shampoo), and Masque Densité (conditioner) are all ‘cone-free. I’d like more hydration for my already-dry prairie hair, but a little goes a long way with this range! I use about 1/3 of my normal amount of shampoo with Kérastase, and it’s still more than enough.

Kerastase Chronologiste Scalp Exfoliator

The coolest product that I tested from the gift sets, however, was definitely the Chronologiste Revitalizing Exfoliating Care Rinse-Out Pre-Shampoo treatment. The Chronologiste line is gorgeously packaged to begin with (that black! That gold!), and the treatment is silicone-free.

To use, you take a large dollop of the Revitalizing Exfoliating Care, work it through your hair in sections, and massage it onto the scalp for five minutes before rinsing out. It’s a little hard on the arms, but quite unique overall: the product is flecked with gold and red for a great sensory experience, and it does a great job of exfoliating away any little scalp-flakies that the winter has “gifted” upon you!

Kérastase Chronologiste review scalp and hair exfoliator (more…)

Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers review, swatches, photos | THE GIFT GUIDE

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fresh Sugar rose, advanced lip therapy, scrub review

The product: Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers set

I get pretty excited about the Fresh gift sets each holiday season, but this year was a good year for the brand. Their Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers set ($45 USD/$55 CAD) contains minis of one of my favourite Fresh products (the Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15), plus four other products that I was dying to try.

Fresh Sugar Rose tinted lip balm review

Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50 USD/$26 CAD)

The Sugar Lip Lovers set contains one of my favourites, the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50 USD/$26 CAD). But, while I think it’s great to include a bestseller in your sets every now and again, Rosé is becoming the MAC Carbon or NARS Laguna of the Fresh brand — beloved, but in way too many things

So, while I think Rosé is a great inclusion for a gift set, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for a different shade in 2016. Rosé is far from their only wearable colour, and I can’t be the only beauty junkie out there who now has three of them kicking around!

Fresh Sugar Rose Shine Lip Treatment review gloss

Fresh Sugar Rosé Shine Lip Treatment ($18.50 USD/$22 CAD)

Now, being a longtime fan of the original Tinted Lip Treatments, I’ve been meaning to try the Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatments ($18.50 USD/$22 CAD) since they launched. And, I am happy to report, I really like them, too!

Fresh Sugar Rose lip gloss swatch review

Fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Shine Treatment swatches

They’re not as hydrating as, say, the new Estee Lauder Lip Volumizer, but then, almost nothing is. They are, however, scented with the same sugar lemon scent as Fresh’s other tinted lip products, and they have a great shine and comfortable texture to accompany their sheer pigmentation. 

I’m not chomping at the bit to buy a full-sized tube of any of these, but the mini size has been in my handbag for the last two weeks and I’m still pulling it out daily!

Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers swatches review

Swatched L-R: Fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Shine (gloss), Fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment (stick), Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy (stick), Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy (cream)

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy lip balm review

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($25 USD/$29 CAD)

And now the good stuff: Fresh’s Advanced Therapy line. These products are entirely new to me (I know; I’m late to the game), but, sadly, they didn’t quite live up to my expectations. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad that I finally tried them, but the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($25 USD/$29 CAD) lip balm didn’t do any more for my lips than the regular one. I tested it for a few days at a time on three or four occasions, because I figured hey, I must just be confounding my testing somehow, but… nope.

If you get great results with this one, I would love to hear about it in the comments, because it’s just not working for me!

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum review

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Serum ($35 USD/$41 CAD)

The Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Serum ($35 USD/$41 CAD) was the biggest appeal of the Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers set for me, and I hate to keep you in suspense, but… I want to take a little more time to go over it on the blog.

Come back tomorrow for a full review of this one! ;)

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish review

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50 USD/$26 CAD)

And, finally, we have the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50 USD/$26 CAD). I was the least excited about this one (I mean, $26? For a lip scrub?) but I was surprised to find that it was actually one of my favourites of the bunch!

The Fresh Sugar Lip Polish tastes, smells, and looks like brown sugar creamed with butter, and it leaves my lips feeling super soft and extremely hydrated. It’s very scrubby, so I have to remember to apply it with a light hand, but a little goes a very long way — you barely need half a pea-sized amount for each use. 

Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers review holiday gift set

The verdict?

As someone who never finishes products, I am always very reluctant to buy Fresh products at full price. Come the holidays, however, I am always sure to stock up!

The Fresh Sugar Lip Lovers set is a great way to try out a whole bunch of Fresh products at a pretty reasonable price (especially if you use Ebates/, and it would make a fantastic holiday gift for a lucky loved one in your life. This one gets two big thumbs up from me!

Availability: $45 USD/$55 CAD at Sephora.

Keep reading! »

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Wet/Dry Eyeshadow, Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick review, swatches, photos

Friday, November 13, 2015

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick Commanding review swatches

The products: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy collection

↳ Lip Volumizer, Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding, Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury

Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD)

I love a good pH-adjusting lip product, so I wanted to start off today’s post with the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer ($28 USD/$32 CAD), a plumping gloss that adjusts to a sheer pink once applied.

Estee Lauder Lip Volumizer review swatches

The Estée Lauder fall launches this year mainly consist of two collections: the New Dimensions range, which I talked about on Monday, and the Pure Color Envy line, which is an extension of the brand’s colour cosmetics range.

All of the Pure Color Envy products are just gorgeously packaged (especially the lipsticks), and this volumizing gloss is no exception. I don’t really see plumping results with this one, but it definitely delivers on sheer colour (nothing like the hot pink applicator!) and an extremely moisturizing, shiny, minty finish. 

I think that $32 is a lot to pay for a gloss, but if price was no object, I’d be recommending it to everyone! It’s crazy hydrating, super-smooth, and smells delicious — definitely one of the most comfortable glosses that I own.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer review

Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD)

I also tried out the brand new Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD), which comes in just the most exquisite, weighty, magnetic packaging.

Commanding is too bold for my tastes (all 12 of the Matte Sculpting Lipstick shades are “statement” shades), but the formula of these is fantastic — even a shade this dark feels creamy and smooth as it’s applied, and the finish is as velvety and comfortable as it is opaque.

Estee Lauder Commanding swatches review Matte Sculpting lipstick

I couldn’t wear Commanding for a full evening without topping up with lip balm, but I’m not kidding, you guys: the Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick formula is the #1 most comfortable matte that I own. I’m just a serious dryness wimp!

(Note: these are not, however, a “hard matte” the way that MAC Ruby Woo & co. are. Rather, they’re fairly matte, but have a slight creme sheen to them.)

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews swatches

Swatched L-R: Estee Lauder Commanding Matte Lipstick, Lip Volumizer, and Blue Fury Wet/Dry Eyeshadow (dry, then wet)

Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD)

And, finally, my least favourite Pure Color Envy product: the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Defining Eye Shadow Wet/Dry in Blue Fury ($25 USD/$28 CAD).

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Blue Fury swatches review

I can’t speak for the rest of the Pure Color Envy eyeshadows (Ominous, for instance, looks absolutely stunning ), but Blue Fury is just kind of underwhelming. Like every single other dark blue eyeshadow out there, it applies as a sheer, patchy charcoal with blue shimmer when used dry, and shines only when used wet: it’s luminous, pigmented, and even, with a lovely dark blue glow.

Estée promises a “tri-brid” formula with these, though, combining “the best properties of a cream, powder and gel,” but all I really see here are the old Estée Lauder eyeshadows, rebranded with a made-up word.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy reviews

Would you ever buy a “tri-brid” product? Or would you just angrily yell “THE WORD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS HYBRID” while shaking your fist at the sky?

Check out these other Pure Color Envy reviews:

  • Temptalia – wet/dry eyeshadow reviews by shade (not all of them are great, and not all are terrible!)
  • Writing Whimsy – wet/dry eyeshadow and matte lipstick reviews
  • A Beautiful Zen – featuring Joan Smalls’ matte violet lipstick and one of the matte wet/dry eyeshadows
  • Fun Size Beauty – a rave for the wet/dry eyeshadows!

My EPIC 2015 Sephora VIB sale & holiday recommendations list | Weekend hauling

Saturday, November 7, 2015

If you’ve been living under a rock recently, have I ever got a surprise for you: it’s the Sephora annual holiday sale again, and that sale starts with 20% off your entire order for all VIB Rouge members.

I’ve broken down my top picks into three simple categories: things I bought, things I want, and things that would make super badass Christmas gifts!

Not a VIB Rouge? Try these other weekend sales! 25% off at Jurlique until the 12th, L’Occitane pre-holiday sale, $10 off at DHC on all orders over $40!

Sephora haul

What I picked up (and you totally should, too!)

  • B. Balenciaga ($20 USD on sale), whose fleeting celery top notes I completely fell in love with this summer (I was a good girl and only picked up the rollerball), and
  • The much-loved Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer ($38.40 USD on sale), which I’ve been mixing with my moisturizers and serums to make just the most gorgeous tinted moisturizers in the morning. My current favourite blend? Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX02 + Hylamide SubQ Serum ($38 CAD) + Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré ($12.80 USD on sale), for a fuller finish that I can get throw on and head out the door with.

Sephora FF wishlist

Things I’m coveting

Make Up For Ever Nudes You Need palette

Sephora VIB sale picks

Things that would make super badass Christmas gifts »

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