Friday, November 29, 2013

Cyber Monday at Sigma

Hey everyone! I'm in the middle of exam-time craziness AND moving craziness, so blogging will be infrequent for the next month. BUT I'm definitely going to post the second half of my Christmas wishlist! This time it'll include non-beauty goodness :)

For now I just wanted to share some information about the Sigma Cyber Monday sale happening on December 2nd. They're offering 20% select items using the code CM2013. Here's a list of what your savings might look like (the sale prices are in brackets)!

Brush Care
My personal recommendations are the E11 or E17 - a good liner brush will seriously make you love gel liner, E47 - a really precise shadow brush can help add extra dimension to your eye makeup, P82 - the density of this brush would be perfect for cream shadow or bases, and the Mrs. Bunny Essential Kit - if you're new to makeup and building your brush collection, this is a great addition!

All the links in this post are affiliate links! You don't have to use them if you don't want to, but feel free - there is no extra charge/it does not change your order. Happy shopping!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas Wishlist 2013: Beauty

I'll just go ahead and say it: I have an irrationally long Christmas list this year. We can just regard this list as a compilation of things I wanted to buy this year but was too poor to afford. Here it goes!

The eyeshadow palette I bought for myself this year is the Urban Decay Vice Palette, but I've also been lusting after Urban Decay Naked3, the Lorac Pro Palette, and the Laura Mercier Artist Eyes Palette. All neutral, but all extra lovely.

My blush pick for this year's list is Mac "Gingerly" because I've been searching for that perfect orange-coral shade. My concealer/foundation pick is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. My highlighter pick is the Hourglass "Ambient Light" Palette - because all the online reviews have successfully convinced me that I need this.

I've singlehandedly decided that I need a YSL lipstick in my life, so I'm going for a classic red called "Red Muse". My MAC lipstick pick for this list is "Fixed on Drama", a rich wine retromatte. For good measure, I'm throwing in the elf lip exfoliator, because why not?

For the sheer fact that I've never owned a "high-end" mascara that wasn't a sample, I've included: Benefit "They're Real" (all-time best mascara that I have like 3 used samples of), Tarte "Lights, Camera, Flashes", and Clinique "Bottom Lash" mascara, simply because "bottom lash mascara" seems like a superfluous purchase, but works great as a gift.

Ideally I would like one of every type of the Sephora Formula X nail polishes, but I've included "Boom" for list purposes. Zoya "Payton" looks sooo nice. Want. I'm in need of a good matte top coat so I've chosen the OPI one.

FINALLY, Pharmaprix has begun to stock the Sugar Crush line of Soap & Glory products, so naturally I'm after the Body Buttercream and the Body Scrub. Lush "Lovely Jubblies" (a "breast firming cream" has been on my wishlist for forever, so it's about time I get my hands on it.

Every year I like to refresh my brush collection in some way or another, so this year I'm asking for the MAC 138 which I'll use for highlighter, the Real Techniques eyeshadow brush set, and the Sigma E65 which I'll use for gel liner.

And, surprise, this is not the end of my list! I'll have a part 2 coming up which will feature my non-beauty items :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Essie Nail Strips in "Love To Love You"

Hey everyone! I got these Essie nail strips at the L'Oreal sale on Sunday and just couldn't wait to try them on. Here's what I think!

I'm not yet very good at applying these things (bumpy edges, ugh), but I love the way they look! You can't really read the writing, but they still make for a very cool manicure. The kit comes with a little nail file to help you shave off the excess bits!

I sealed these in with a top coat but for some reason it didn't stick and ended up peeling off in the end. The size selection is alright, but could be better - I have small nails and found myself running out of strips that were small enough. My only suggestion is to apply these slowly and carefully - rough edges will get caught in places they shouldn't, like in my dog's fur when I'm petting him (sorry Einstein).

I definitely suggest picking these up if you find them on sale. They're too expensive at regular price.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall/Winter L'Oreal Sale & Marcelle Sale Haul

Hey everyone! Looks like I accidentally did a bit (read: a lot) of shopping... Oops! Doing hauls of the L'Oreal sale is always a good idea because people who've never been before can get an idea of what they might expect. I also went to the Marcelle/Annabelle sale this time which was fabulous. Everything was extremely reduced in price, even moreso than the L'Oreal sale!

Despite the 45-minute wait to get in, the L'Oreal sale proved to be quite fruitful. Having the knowledge of what I did/did not use from the previous sale really helped me decide what to choose. My only complaint is the sheer mass of people that were present at this sale... If you're intimidated by crowds, maybe opt not to go on a weekend.

The best part of the L'Oreal sale this year, hands down, was the Essie section. The nail polishes were reduced to $4.75 each, whereas they were $6 previous years. They cost, on average, $9 at Canadian drugstores. They also had nail wraps at $4.75, which was great, because I've been wanting to try them for a while but it just never seemed worth it in-store. They also had a deal where you could buy 5 and get one free, which I definitely made use of. I got two nail polishes: "Stylenomics" and "Fishnet Stockings", and three slick stick nail wrap kits: "Love to love you", "Glam it on", and "Show me your stuff".

I also got the L'Oreal Go 360 Clean facial cleanser, two new Maybelline Super Stay 10 Stain Glosses in "Refreshing Red" and "Cool Coral", and this amazing little perfume kit from Kiehl's that cost $25.

From the Marcelle sale I got a pack of four Annabelle glitter eyeliners ($1.50!), 2 for $5 Marcelle makeup wipes, the Annabelle Custom Look Kohl Kit containing 4 eyeliners for hazel eyes ($4), a Marcelle blush in "Blossom", two Marcelle Hydra-C Foundations, an Annabelle concealer set, Annabelle lip pencil in "Concord", Annabelle eyeliner in "Honey", Annabelle liquid liner, and Annabelle "Le Big Show" mascara.

All of the makeup at the Marcelle sale was $2.25, with the exception of the items noted above (in brackets). I was so happy they had the Hydra-C foundation because it's discontinued, but it was (and remains) one of the best drugstore foundations I've ever tried.

I hope this haul was helpful to those who are debating attending these sales! Overall I spent $75 at the L'Oreal sale (a good chunk of that - $25 - is attributed to the Kiehl's perfume set), and $35 at the Marcelle sale. If you can only attend one I definitely recommend the Marcelle sale. They have great quality products and the location isn't as tight/packed as the L'Oreal sale.

PS. I also might have picked up a few more items for my holiday giveaway! Don't forget to enter! :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

OPI "Germanicure"

Hey everyone! As promised, I'll be posting NOTDs whenever I try out a new polish from the Take Ten  10pc set from OPI. The polish that took my fancy today is "Germanicure". In my previous post I had mentioned that it went on a little sheer and streaky, but my outlook has definitely changed.

I used about three coats (which is what I tend to do for every nail polish regardless of opacity) and what resulted was this gorgeous brown-red metallic shade. I thought it might have a purple tinge to it sometimes, but nope, Germanicure is more on the reddish-brown side of the spectrum.

Application was smooth, the only difficulties (if any) can be attributed to the short brush of the mini size bottle. I think this is an amazing fall shade and even though it's getting colder and more winter-y here, I'll probably wear it again at least a couple times throughout the next season.

Is anyone inspired to go pick up the Take Ten set?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara REVIEW

CoverGirl Flamed Out is not what I tend to prefer in a mascara. I like liquidier formulas, this is not that. I like skinnier wands, this does not have that. Alas, I picked this mascara up without reading reviews or looking at pictures and what I was left with was an extra-thick mascara with a fat wand a waxy formula... I didn't expect to, but I actually really, really like it.

If you want something long-lasting, but not waterproof, this is your pick. The formulation is waxy which allows it to withstand the test of time. I've worn this for hours straight (like, 10-12 hour-days) and it's really durable - no flaking or transferring. It also enables your lashes to hold their curl. At the end of the day, removal is fuss-free.

The product is meant to "fan out" your lashes (hence, "Flamed Out") and I think it achieves that quite nicely. If you look at the second eye photo, you can see what I mean. The mascara clearly separated and lengthened each lash.

I only put on 1-2 coats daily, but if you're someone who likes a clumpier look, 3-4 coats would be good for you. I personally find my lashes too long and sparse to achieve the spider-y look in picture #3, but if you have a thick, short lashes you can definitely pull it off.

I've seen mixed reviews of this mascara, but I think it's silly to dismiss it quickly. If you put a little effort into the application and work your way into each lash, you can achieve a really pretty effect!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

OPI Take Ten 10pc Mini Set: Swatches & First Impressions

Hey everyone! So if you've seen my last Nail Polish Canada wishlist, you will know that I've been lusting after this set... And yes, I caved and bought it. It was just too good to pass up! I also went real fancy and ordered a nail wheel to swatch everything on, but I'll still post NOTDs as usual.

The set comes with 10 mini formats of popular OPI shades, including Pirouette My Whistle, Alpine Snow, Bubble Bath, Tickle My France-y, You Don't Know Jacques, Cajun Shrimp, Big Apple Red, German-icure, Malaga Wine, and Lincoln Park After Dark. The cost of the set is CAD$30.

You can separate the neutrals from the reds and have two really great stocking stuffers for Christmas. I think the intention behind this set is to present these polishes as testers. The idea is definitely to go out and buy full-sized versions of your favorites. The reason I say this is because the mini handle and brush are not the most comfortable. It's difficult to be precise with them, and some of these need many coats, meaning they will finish up quickly. That said, I personally like the idea of trying out some of the most popular OPI polishes without having to commit to a full size.

Click this photo to enlarge.
Pirouette My Whistle: I definitely suggest enlarging the above photo to get a good look at this one. It's a clear base with silver glitter and a few chunky white pieces throughout. Maybe it's the mini-ness of the polish, but you definitely have to fish for the white glitters if you want them, which is my only criticism. I think this will be really nice atop of Alpine Snow in the Winter months.

Alpine Snow: I can definitely see why this is a classic favorite for nail artists. It's a thick white polish that goes on opaque and is easy to smooth out. It's not dull-looking like some white polishes - I can detect a slight shimmer, which is definitely appreciated because it brings the white to life quite nicely. I foresee this being a contender to my favorite white polish, Julep "Kate".

Bubble Bath: Bubble Bath is a sheer nude-pink shade that takes about 3-4 coats to become opaque. This is one that, if you end up loving, will need to buy a full size asap because it will run out quickly. I've used it once, and my mom has also used it once, and it's already more than half empty. I can see why this shade is so beloved, though, because it's a very complimentary color if you have a light skintone.

Tickle My France-y: This pinky brown nude is one of the polishes that I am more iffy about. The formulation is a little more transparent than I'd like. The swatch you see above is three coats. I'm sure on an actual nail the application will be smoother. This would look amazing on you if you have a deeper complexion.

You Don't Know Jacques: This taupe brown shade is one of the most popular OPI polishes. I'm personally struggling to figure out why because it's a little on the sheer side, and the color is a bit dull for me. Maybe once I actually put it on I'll find out why! Crossing my fingers on that one.

Cajun Shrimp: Cajun Shrimp is a bright coral-red shade that's going to look great in the spring and summer. I had intended on buying Models Own "Hedonist" for the longest time, but I feel like this one might satisfy my need for a bright coral!

Big Apple Red: Believe it or not, I didn't have a rich red creme in my collection prior to buying this set. The application on this is amazing - it has its own way of smoothing itself out and is opaque in just two coats. If you're looking for that quintessential winter red, this is your pick.

German-icure: The only metallic in the collection, German-icure is a red-purple-brown cross. It was the one that I was most looking forward to, but when I swatched it, it was a little more sheer than I'd hoped. Maybe when I wear it my outlook will change. It's still a very beautiful shade.

Malaga Wine: This dark red shade will be amazing when it starts to get cold. For some reason dark reds are really comforting and cozy when the weather starts to change. This is also one of the polishes that applies really nicely. Two coats is all you'll need!

Lincoln Park After Dark: Another infamous OPI shade, Lincoln Park After Dark is an extra-dark plum colour. Personally, I would have loved this polish if it was one shade lighter. Two coats is not enough, but three coats makes it so dark it's almost black. It's still a gorgeous alternative to boring black, but the color gets lost when you apply too many coats.

What do you think? Is this set worth it?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Holiday Goodie Bag GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

Hey everyone! I've been wanting to do a surprise goodie bag type of giveaway for a while, and I thought now would be a good time since the holidays are beginning to roll 'round! The concept is simple: I won't be telling you what goodies will be added to the bag, but I will tell you the brand. You will only find out what exactly you've won when the prize arrives at your door!

I know it's a little early for holiday giveaways, but I wanted everyone to get a chance to enter and I also wanted the prize to be delivered in-time for Christmas in case the winner celebrates it!


As of yet, the goodie bag will include the following brands: Benefit, Covergirl, Burts Bees, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Essie, OPI, Tarte, Julep, Ardell and Annabelle. The items from these brands have already been purchased, so they are finalized! I will update here and on Twitter in case more brands are added (highlighted in yellow). I will also throw in some bonuses that I may not even list here!


1) Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY
2) Must be 18+ years of age or have your parent's permission to enter
3) Must fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter
4) Must be willing to provide a shipping address if won
5) The winner will announced in a separate blog post and will be emailed
6) You are only eligible to win if you have not won a previous giveaway on Abundance of Erica
7) If the winner does not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be contacted
8) All prizes will be shipped in pristine condition (none have been removed from their original packaging), but I cannot be held responsible for damages that occur in transit
9) Entering via accounts dedicated solely to giveaways will be eliminated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck & happy entering!