I am new in the world of subscription boxes. I haven’t heard of them until I arrived in Canada and Sephora become my beauty playground. I like looking at beauty products, their packaging tantalizes me but their price also amazes me. How could beauty products be so pricey? Mind you I am not into beauty products until I had breakouts after I arrived here (blaming it on the weather). I started getting self-conscious so I developed beauty routine then read reviews from time to time of what beauty product would best suit me. I’ve spent so much on beauty products only to find out the product I am using is not compatible for my skin type or irritates my skin. I am not the person who waste product so before I throw it out I make sure I finish it or use at least half of it. While I was browsing Sephora website for beauty products,  I’ve noticed that they also offer Play by Sephora, a monthly beauty box subscription offering 5-6 beauty products in deluxe sample size for $10 USD. I got really interested so I started reading about it and watched unboxing videos. I was convinced that this is good for me so I could at least try the product first if it suits me before I buy full sizes. I was in the process of setting it up when I realized that Play by Sephora is not offered in Canada but in US only. I checked for other popular beauty subscription box and I stumbled upon Birchbox, the pioneering box in the world of subscription boxes and got disappointed when I found out they don’t ship to Canada. The third option is Ipsy which is also the same price as Play by Sephora and Birchbox but it has a $4.95 shipping fee to Canada. I want to give it a try because it has good reviews and the price is amazing. I would get to try the product and get free make-up bag on top of it, which Play by Sephora and Birchbox doesn’t offer.

Name of the Box: IPSY

Theme: Like a Boss

Cost: $10 USD (free shipping in the US and $4.95 in Canada)

What you will get: Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with 5 deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products.

 

Unlike other beauty boxes, when you subscribe to Ipsy you will answer a questionnaire about your preferences. I remembered being asked if I am comfortable with make-up, slightly comfortable or not comfortable at all. I chose the latter because I don’t want to receive make-up products. What I need are skin care products. It is not that I don’t like make-up, in fact I do, but I don’t hoard make-ups. I only have what I need because I don’t use them that often unless if I am doing fashion shoot. My daily make-up routine is composed of lipstick, brow pencil and brow gel. I sometimes use powder or foundation, blush on, eye shadow and eye liner if I feel like it but most of the time I am bare faced with just moisturizer, lipstick and nicely shaped brows. So basically, they are not necessities and I don’t want them to expire without being used.

 

Four days ago, I received my first Ipsy box for the month of September and today I will show you what I got and what I think about the products I received.

01 ipsy

The package arrived in this metallic pink pouch.

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This month, Ipsy collaborated with Soko Glam to introduce Ipsters to Korean beauty products. On the card is Charlotte Cho, the founder of Soko Glam, a licensed esthetician who helped curate this month Ipsy bag.

 

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Message from Charlotte, the #ipsyboss of the month.

 

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Each month Ipsy includes a make-up bag to store the products. I’ve read previous review of Ipsy bags and I loved all previous design.

 

05 ipsy glambag

The bag spiked leather in black and gold and blue interior is very classic and the quality is nice too.

 

Here comes the products!

 

06 M·A·C Strobe Cream in Pinklite 6ml

M·A·C Strobe Cream in Pinklite 6ml – $3.96

A moisturizer that boosts the look of dull skin and luminizes with iridescent particles.

 

This deluxe sample is so small I could finish it less than a week. True to its word, after application my face feels dewy and hydrated and glowing because of the iridescent particles. They advertised that it can be mixed with foundation, but I decided to use it on its own.

 

07 Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Cleanser

Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Cleanser 1g x 5 packets – $7.14

A unique, water-activated formula that gently removes impurities while leaving your face bright and soft.

 

This is the first time that I used a powder cleanser. I didn’t even know this formulation exist. I poured the powder into my palm, added water and lathered and it feels like soap on my face. I love that it leaves my skin soft and smooth after washing but I don’t think it is something that I will use in the future. Powder as a cleanser is not my thing, it’s messy and too much work for me.

 

08 Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner 30ml – $4.25

Balances the skin’s pH level and improves the effectiveness of your entire skincare regime, helping you to achieve your best skin yet! 

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The only Korean beauty product in my bag, which I am so excited to use because I love Korean products. This toner has a moisturizing power which I like. It feels sticky after applying but after few minutes it gets absorbed by the skin. The only thing I don’t like is the scent, it smells like medicine.

 

10 ColourPop Cosmetics Brow Boss in Dark Brown

ColourPop Cosmetics Brow Boss in Dark Brown (Full Size) – $5.00

11 ColourPop Cosmetics Brow Boss in Dark Brown 12 ColourPop Cosmetics Brow Boss in Dark Brown

I got a bit worried when I received a Dark Brown brow liner because I keep on dying my hair light blonde and I am worried it will not match, but when I used it, it looks perfect, I don’t need to use my blonde colored brow gel with this and it is easy to apply. I don’t use the spoolie though so it’s a waste.

 

13 Pretty Woman Nail Polish in Girl Boss

Pretty Woman Nail Polish in Girl Boss 10ml (Full Size) – $7.99

A nail polish for everyone. 5-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalates-free, petrochemical-free, GMO free, Triclosan-free and Vegan.

 

This is the first time that get to use a 100% vegan and cruelty-free nail polish. That means there were no furry friends that were harmed in the making of this polish which will make PETA very happy. I tried it on my nails after I received it, 2 coats for full coverage and until now 4 days later, it still looks good, it did not chap even without top coat. This is my favorite for my September bag. I was reluctant to use it at first because this pale lavender color is not something that I would use if I paint my nails. I always go for bright red, pink, light orange and anything attention grabbing. I am glad this is the color I received coz I realized it looks good on me and made me feel mature. Lol. The color is the same as my iPhone case so it looks nice when I am using my phone. And oh, it’s fast drying too. I waited less than 10 minutes and its totally dry.

 

Total Product Value: $28.34 US/ $34.54 CAD

Amount paid for this subscription: $19.53 CAD excluding make-up bag

How much I saved: $15.01 CAD

 

They say $28.34 box value is too low for Ipsy since most subscribers get the value of their box for more than $40. My conclusion for this is because Ipsy is sending me more skin care products based on my profile which costs lower than make-ups while other subs have more make up than skin care product. I am still happy with what I got because those are the products that I need right now so for sure none of it will go to waste.

 

Want to give Ipsy a try? Click on this link and set up your profile to get the beauty product based on your needs.

 

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The year 2016 is my first blogging hiatus since I started blogging on 2013. Half of the year I was in the Philippines and blogging constantly and at the same time attending events. Half of the year I am already here in Canada and that’s when blogging stopped. Trying to be familiar with different season outfit and changing my style from my usual girly feminine dresses to jeans and pull over is not a welcoming thought for me. I didn’t like the style, too boring and simple and too much clothes for my small framed body. I still feel the same way, so now that Fall is about to start, I am having separation anxiety to my dresses. But anyway, it’s gonna be fine, I survived last year so I probably will this year. I’ve got enough coats, parkas and jackets for me to use for the season. I will do my best to blog Fall and Winter season outfits, so stay tuned.

 

Every January, I do Fashion, Travel, Events and Book Recap but I did not do it this year because I was on hiatus from January to April. My style for 2016 are mostly corporate office wear and casual light dresses for travel. Ideal clothes for Asian countries which is what I love. I know this recap is already late but I will post it anyway, so check out my 2016 Fashion Recap.

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“Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated”

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As I turned 28th I decided to make my dream birthday theme come true. I’ve never really had a themed birthday party before. I was contented in celebrating it with my loved ones with good food and good conversation, but for this year, I want to have both and more. High Tea is something that I want to try so, I promised myself that when I go to London one day, I will  try the Afternoon Tea at the Berkley. But going to London to experience it with probably just the person I will be going with, who I am not even sure would enjoy a high tea sounds challenging, so I decided to do it here in Montreal on my birthday with the closest friends I have.

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I also requested for my visitors to wear pastel or floral printed dress (no dark colored clothes allowed). I know there has been too much pressure with the dress code because not all girls are like me who likes cute, pretty, feminine stuff but I appreciate that they arrived looking gorgeous and fabulous. As for my own dress, it is not something that I just found in my closet and decided to wear. A month before my birthday, I’ve been looking for a nice pretty dress that would go well with the high tea themed party. I found the perfect dress from Light in the Box. The moment I saw it, I fell in love with it. The 3D design and floral embroidery made me look like a flower that just bloomed. Thank you Christine from Light in the Box for helping me get this dress which easily gets sold out due to high demand.

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The process in finding an Afternoon Tea place requires effort in research. I remembered listing 10 prospect tea houses then I narrowed it down to 5 before I decided to visit each place. My criteria in choosing the place are as follows. It must have:
1. A colorful, well lighted, instagrammable setting.
2. Tea wares must be ceramic, not stainless steel.
3. Spacious and private.
4. Good food choices but not pricey.
5. Location must be accessible to all attendees.

 

After much deliberation, Bar a Beurre won me over. It is the cute tea, cafe and pastry place in Old Port. When I went there to inquire about birthday party, they offered me their curated birthday package with a private room that I can rent for 4 hours. 2 weeks before my birthday, I was in constant communication with Vanessa of Bar a Beurre who helped me with my food choices and the person I’ve been bugging with so many questions. All because I want to have the best birthday ever.

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Table set up. I made the table tags myself that I am glad matches the tea set and table napkin.

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Everything went well as planned, I was over the moon, euphoric, elated when my birthday party ended. I’m so happy all my friends made it to my party. There were 11 of us and all of them are the closest friends I have here.

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Outfit Details:
Dress: Light in the Box
Shoes: Le Chateau
Earrings: Forever 21
Bracelet: Franck Herval Bijoux

 

Special thanks to Christine from Light in the Box for providing me my Birthday dress and Vanessa from Bar a Beurre for the beautiful Birthday set up.

 

Photo credits to Claire.

 

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