I Love Sparkles / Home

My little place to show the world how badly obsessed I am with anything sparkly.

NOTD: Quo by Orly Super Cute

The first shade I tried from Quo by Orly Spring 2013 collection is Super Cute (Limited Edition).
I am not a fan of soft or medium pinks on my nails, you don't see many of these on my NOTD posts. But Super Cute is, well, really cute on :) It is a iridescent dusty mauve-y pink with hot pink fine shimmers. The colour IRL is a little darker than this and it grew on me on day 2 and 3.
I was happy to see those shimmers transferred well on my nails. They made the mauve base shine more pink under strong light or sunlight, so I kinda get two looks in one polish alternatively.
You could definitely get away with two coats with Super Cute but I wanted to add more pink (and more shimmers) to the look so I did three here.
The accent finger is a glitter sandwich of a coat of China Glaze Hang-Ten Toes, a coat of Wet n Wild School of Pyrotechnics and a coat of Quo by Orly Super Cute. I just wanted to see how well Super Cute works in layering over chunky glitters and I was happy with the result.
See the shimmers glow through the glass in the bottle here? That's what got me :)
Super Cute reminds me of rose petals - very delicate and sophisticated. Not the young kind of pink (not that there's anything wrong with being young or pink) but the more mature, more calm and deep pink, like my age lol.
The fact that it is semi sheer kinda works in my advantage too. See how it added the pink shimmers to Hang-Ten Toes here? Next time, I'll try it on a different colour family, it's gonna be interesting.
Hope those of you who got a day off yesterday enjoyed it. We had wind warning in the morning, blowing snow was not fun at all. The wind is still blowing strong today. Stay warm folks!...

Read more

Quo by Orly Spring 2013

This Spring, Quo by Orly has 17 exciting new shades (permanent and LE)I, arriving in a brand new (and huge) floor display at Shoppers.
Here are the 5 new shades to add to Quo's core line. They will join the regular wall shelf when the special display is gone. Yes, I know where your eyes are drawn to, see my haul below for better looks at a few of them :) Click the pic (as usual) to enlarge.

Now pay close attention to the 12 Limited Edition shades below, as they won't be around forever. There are cream, glitters, metallic finishes, light and dark colours, a bit for everyone.

Below is part of my BOGO 3-hour sale haul from Shoppers more than a week ago.
First row, from L-R: Wild Child (permanent) and Perfectly Polished (LE).
Wild Child is a black with random glitters in different colours and sizes. Perfectly Polished looks duochrome/ metallic, quite complicated. I'll know more when I swatch them.
Second row: Beyond the Sea (LE), Prepster (permanent) and Super Cute (LE).
These all have gorgeous shimmers in the same colour family as the base but a tad darker or lighter. Please enlarge the pic to see the shimmers better.
Quo by Orly nail polish retails $10 each, all these new shades are on special B2G1F until the end of February. Keep an eye on those LE colours since there are only 4 bottles of each. I'll have swatches of the ones I have soon....

Read more

NOTD: Candy Lacquer City Girl

I hope everyone has a great start of the day celebrating Love (or the lack of it, in my case). No pink or hearts on here today, just black and glitters of countless shapes, sizes and colours. More me!
This is Candy Lacquer City Girl. The name is perfect, since this is one crazy polish.
The glitters are very dense in the clear base, perfect for layering. I didn't have to fish for anything, just swirled my brush before pulling it out of the bottle, then dabbed on the nails.
I can see white, red, pink, blue, green in round, hex, square and bar forms. Big glitters, small glitters, you name it! Click the pic to see the glitters in full size, and you'll believe me.
The base colour is Orly Goth, a black with some subtle silver shimmers.
I figured with that many colours of glitters, a black base is appropriate to feature them all and none gets lost in the base. And I couldn't be happier with the result. City Girl looks amazing and so much fun on the nails.
To add to all this prettiness, the name City Girl is very nostalgic to me. I used to be one, had lots of friends to hang out with and lots of fun stuff to do almost every night. All that was gone the day I left home :( Not that I don't like the life I have right now, it's just different and I can't help but feel isolated sometimes.
Maybe that's what life with a kid is supposed to be like, especially when your friends have kids too lol. The good thing is you don't feel alone on days like Valentine's. She is my +1, and she's there with me to take advantage of those 2-for-1 deals that restaurants put out today. Gotta love that!
Enough with that sentimental stuff. Here's a bonus pic of City Girl in the sun, with, again, snow in the background. Not the smooth new snow, but the messy melted snow that we have a little too much of lately :) Been wearing my rainboots 3 days straight because of the slushy sidewalks and curbs!
And a close-up is a must with this beautiful polish. I love City Girl for the colours (yes there's pink glitters in there), shapes (yay for no heart-shaped ones) and the emotion associated with its name. See, love can be nontraditional but picky :)
I was talking to a guy friend, and he said today is a day of disappointment to men. They never feel like they have done enough, and it has to be better than what they did last year. I just laughed it off, but maybe women feel disappointed too for the same reason lol. Unless you are one of those rare cases that your other half surprises you every day with how much he/ she loves you.
Anyway, have a great day today and don't buy too much chocolate (50% off) tomorrow :)...

Read more

Pur Minerals promotion

Hi guys, I just came across a good sale and already placed my order. Since it'd take a while for the stuff to get here, this post will serve as a haul/ sale alert, not review :) All links included are non affiliated.
Pur Minerals is having a promo code "FEBSAVE20" to save $20 off any orders of $60 or more, now until February 17. On top of that, Pur Mineral has 10% rebate on both ebates and ebates Canada (my links are on the left side bar), and because I had some items in mind, I could not resist this deal.
I have wanted to check out Pur Minerals' (Limited Edition) Beautiful Creatures collection, inspired by the movie, since Makemeover Ande posted about it.
8 eyeshadows, an eyeliner, a lip gloss and a small brush for $39 online or CAD46 at Shoppers, I had to juggle between this and a UD Oz palette. I was going to redeem for it at Shoppers to soften the little blow to the wallet, then this promotion came along :)
I am going to read the book first, but if you are curious, Pur Minerals even has a Beautiful Creatures page for trailer, inspired looks, videos, even a US-only contest. The movie is out tomorrow, on Valentine's Day :)
Another item I got was the All That Pops 4-pc Gloss Stick collection for $24. Considering these sticks retail $15 a piece, this set values $60 right there. I like the colours in the set, and the tubes are the twistable kind. We'll see how Pur Minerals performs on this product.
So for 3 items online, I paid about the same as if I bought only the first item in store, with no tax. Pur Mineral ship free within US and Canada with orders of $50+, you savvy? Aye aye Capt. Jack Sparrow :)
P.S. ebates Canada will have a shopping party on their FB tomorrow, 9am - 5pm EST with exclusive offers, giveaways, etc. It might not be a bad time to party and shop at the same time :)...

Read more

FOTD: Maybelline Vivids

This is my Lunar New Year FOTD. Since Chinese aren't the only people who celebrate the switch of lunar calendar, I found the "Happy Chinese New Year" cheer is exclusive, but I digress.
In honour of the Year of the Snake, I tried this little evil look, channeling lots of reds and a crazy blush. Good thing I didn't have anywhere to go with this makeup on :)
Products used on the face:
- Sunscreen: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL cream SPF60
- Serum: Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 - review coming soon
- Moisturizer: L'Occitane Immortelle Precious cream
- Foundation: Avon Ideal Flawless foundation in Medium Beige
- Concealer: Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Medium
- Blush: The Body Shop blush trio in Warm Sunset (the darkest shade in the trio)
- Brow liner: Annabelle Skinny brow liner in Universal Medium
- Lipstick: Color Sensational Vivid lipsticks in On Fire Red all over, with Vivid Rose dabbed in the middle (a tip by Grace Lee, again).
Red is considered good luck on the first day of the new year, I hope it works :) Gotta say On Fire Red is an awesome red, the blue tone in it works in my teeth's favour too.
For the eyes:
- Eyeshadow base: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink
- Eyeshadows: Elf Brightening quad in Glam (all 3 shades except the sparkly black), topped with Annabelle Glitterama liquid eyeliner in Atomic Red for some evil sparkles, muahahaha
- Eye liners: Annabelle Smoothie eyeshadow pencil in Mokamirage in the inner corner, Annabelle Smudgeliner in Chichi Girl in the outer corner and upper lash line
- Mascara: L'Oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator mascara in Black Quartz.
This is one of those rare occasions that I could wear pink eyeliner, a red eyeliner would vamp up the look even more. Do they make red eyeliners?
This angle shows you the blush craziness. I did use a heavier hand with a darker blush colour. This proves that it's not hard to go overboard with your blush lol.
How did your weekend go? Because of the blizzard, Squirt and I couldn't go anywhere until Monday. People had to dig through the snowdrifts that covered their car, driveway, even main door. So much for New Year celebration. Then the snow started to melt, the whole town is a slushy and slippery mess today.
It was a miracle that I only made one online order while staying in. No brands wanted to offer a Lunar New Year sale, so my wallet was safe. But I just found an awesome online deal, will tell you all tomorrow :)
What did you wear, makeup wise, on Lunar New Year, if you celebrate it? If not, any fun look you did for the weekend?...

Read more

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids

I'm late on the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids train, but since some of you asked for swatches, I am more than happy to oblige :)
Marketed as hydrating lipsticks with rich coverage and brighter, bolder and true-to-the-tube colours, the Vivids are right up my alley. According to Maybelline, the colour particle in the formula is what gives the line saturated coverage and good colour payoff. The creamy texture helps the lips look fuller and the nourishing honey nectar hydrates the lips, reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Nice to know what are in my lipsticks so I can stop wondering whey they are great!
Maybelline Canada website shows 8 colours - Pink Pop, Fuchsia Flash, Vivid Rose, Shocking Coral, Electric Orange, Vibrant Mandarin, On Fire Red and Brazen Berry. However, store displays and PR information show Hot Plum instead of Brazen Berry. So compared to the US, we are missing Neon Red and Brazen Berry.
I have bought Fuchsia Flash, Vivid Rose and Hot Plum about two weeks ago and received Shocking Coral and On Fire Red for review, so I have 5 to swatch for you.
I couldn't get colour accuracy with this picture, the shades have a bit more blue IRL, please note.
Swatches with flash. Absolutely love the colours, if I haven't said that so far :)
Fuchsia Flash (far left) turns out to be a hot pink, in comparison with Hot Plum (in the middle) which has more blue tone.
Vivid Rose (second from left) is just a tad more pink than On Fire Red (far right).
Shocking Coral (second from right) is an awesome coral, different colour tone from the rest. Besides my love for fuchsias and purples, this one is my next favorite.
Swatches, with natural light. Just as lovely.
The Vivids do have the typical scent of Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks, if you are wondering. I get about a few hours of wear out of these, which is not bad. For this line, the lid colour is red, does not give a hint of the shades inside though.
For the love of colours (literally), I adore this line. It's a shame we don't get Brazen Berry, so it is still on my wish list.
The Vivids retail around $10 a piece at drugstores but are on sale quite often. A FOTD will follow tomorrow :)...

Read more


I have a quick skin care review today, we are back to basics. There are days I want an extreme good-smelling, fancy-looking body lotion before bed, but there are others that I only want something quick and easy that works.
The latter is the case  with Eucerin Daily Replenishing moisturizing lotion with Sunflower extract.
The formula is light, absorbs quickly and keeps skin moisturized through out the night (or day if you put it on in the morning) without the greasy feeling. And it is fragrance free, for those who are scent sensitive.
So no bells, no whistles, no crazy promises with this lotion. Just know that it works and it's there when you need it :)
Ingredients: Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Octyldodecanol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, BHT.
This huge bottle (13.5oz/ 400ml) retails around $7-10 at most drugstores.
I had crazy long commute home last night due to a 5-car accident happened on the bridge at rush hour. You know what that meant - bus was late, I was waiting almost an hour for it in the cold (below -15C/ 5F). I'm just glad I still have all my toes in tact. And more snow dump expected this weekend too. So forgive me if I'm not extremely chatty today....

Read more

FOTD: Maybelline tricks

This is the FOTD I mentioned in yesterday's post, inspired by the pro makeup tricks I came across over on the Beauty Editor blog.
I'm not very adventurous in how I do my makeup, so I thought I should give these tricks a try. And since the tips are from Grace Lee (Maybelline's key makeup artist), I think it would be fun to include some Maybelline products that I love.
First trick: Use a dark/ black eyeliner on the lips before a dark lipstick (plum, dark cherry, red, etc.) to make it stay put and maintain the colour. Why didn't I think of this before? It's not easy to find a dark waterproof lip liner but we have tons of dark long wearing eyeliners in our stash.
Second trick: Clear lip balm on the cheeks as a highlighter. Can you see it on my cheeks?
Last one: Double colourful lines on the upper lash line. Since Grace said brown eyes didn't really have to coordinate with any liner colours (because brown is not on the colour wheel), I just randomly grabbed two colours. Ta da! :)
Maybelline products I used:
- Foundation: Fit Me foundation in 235 Pure Beige
- Eye liners - upper lash line: Color Tattoos in Electric Blue and Tenacious Teal (applied above Electric Blue)
- Highlight: Baby Lips in Energizing Orange (clear, Asia version)
- Lipstick: Color Sensational lipstick in Fifth Ave. Fuchsia - a brighter fuchsia pink with some blue undertone.
Other products:
- Primer: 100% Pure Luminous primer
- Blush: tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in Charisma
- Brow bone highlight: the icy pink in Revlon PhotoReady palette in Metropolitan
- Brow liner: Yves Rocher eyebrow pencil in Brown
- Mascara: Annabelle Le Big Show in Black
- Eyeliners - lower lash line: Annabelle Smudge liners in Electric Sapphire and Foxy Grey.
And the EcoTools Spring 2013 brushes - Foam applicator and Face & Body Sculting brush - were definitely used for this look.
I am kinda shocked at the result on my lips, I finally got the dark purple fuchsia I always wanted. Can you guess what I used, as Fifth Avenue Fuchsia does not look anywhere near this?
It was my beloved Annabelle Smudge liner in Electric Sapphire, a dark navy blue. I figured blue is not too intensely dark, brings out the blue undertone in fuchsia even more, and it makes my teeth look more white :) The lip colour faded nicely during the day too, no strange post effect. Yay!
The double liners didn't look too bad, though I still need practice. Setting the Color Tattoos with powder eyeshadows (which I didn't do) would help the colours last longer on the lid, or switching to colourful gel liners instead.
The clear balm highlighter? It worked, but again, I'd suggest setting it with a finishing powder to avoid the light stickiness of the balm. My foundation did not crease because of the balm though.
So there you have it, makeup tricks in a pinch. I can't wait to play with more dark eyeliners on the lips, I'm obsessed now :)...

Read more

New EcoTools brushes

Guys, I finally get my hands on two of the new EcoTools Spring 2013 brushes from Farleyco, and they are as awesome!
New makeup brushes are always exciting to play with, but these are not only new but also very different, from the design and shape to the usage.
The brushes I tried are the Foam applicator (on the right), and the Face & Body Sculpting brush (on the left).
EcoTools' brushes are known for good quality and their green status - bamboo handles, cruelty-free bristles, recycled aluminum ferrules. Sponges are made of certified recycled plastic. Brush sets are housed in reusable pouches with labels printed with plant-based ink. Plastic packaging is made from recyclable PET & post-consumer recycled paper. EcoTools makeup brushes have won a Proggy Award from PETA. Make you feel good using them.
So what special about the two new brush? :)
This interesting-looking brush is EcoTools Foam applicator, with a firm, 2-in-1 tip (more on this design below).
To simply put, it is a tiny "beauty blender" on a stick, only it is more firm and does not expand when wet. The pointed tip helps with application in hard to reach areas like under the eyes and around the nose.
What sets this brush apart from its predecessors (like Elizabeth Arden Foundation blender brush) is the flat side of it.
One side of the sponge is cut flat while the rest is round and still maintains the pointed tip.
I personally enjoy this flat side a lot to pat in and blend out under eye concealer. The rounded side and the tip work great with spot concealer or liquid foundation for certain areas on the face.
The smaller size of the sponge means it would take more time if you use it for the whole face, and I won't call this a dupe of the beauty blender for that reason. But it is a fun brush to play around with.
The brush comes with a pouch (with a snap closure), is easy to travel with. This retails for $8.99.
On to EcoTools Face & Body Sculpting brush, one of the most bizarre looking brushes I have seen.
The brush head is huge and thick (1.5"/ 4.5cm thick, almost 3.5"/ 9cm wide), meant for contouring your decolletage, shoulders, neck and face. Don't let that scare you though, cause the bristles are really soft and give the most natural look of your foundation and bronzer (liquid or powder).
I don't know about contouring, since I think the size is a little too big for that (unless you squeeze the size of the bristles to make thinner strokes).
I have tried this brush with various liquid foundations and BB creams on my face, and it delivered every time. I use the side to side motions to buff in the product (little force needed), and because of the size, it cuts down my foundation time in half. For the nose and temple areas, and from my jawline down to my neck, I use up and down motions. Overall a flawless finish, I'm loving it.
Size comparison with MAC 190 Foundation brush, to show you how big these two brushes are.
To answer my own question, EcoTools Face & Body Sculpting brush is not a dupe of Rae Morris' Radiance brush (#27), I don't think. The Radiance brush, by the look in the demo video, is smaller and mainly designed for contouring. I would love to confirm this, but the Radiance brush is AUD85/ USD89 (and the EcoTools is $15.99). I think I am happy with the version I have, my foundation brush of choice :)
One down side is that the brush does not come with a case, so I need to keep the plastic packaging to travel with it. Also, keeping the brush in shape after multiple washes might be a little harder, since I don't know if anybody makes a brush guard big enough for its size.
Here is a sneak peek of the look I did using these brushes to great success. Full FOTD post to follow.
To summary, I am loving these two EcoTools brushes with their nontraditional application and the result they give. They are unique in my brush stash, for sure.
In my radar next from this Spring release are the Deluxe Fan brush and the 6-pc Day to Night brush set.
Farleyco is the distributor of EcoTools (and some other brands) in Canada and offers online shopping on their site as well. Shipping (Canada only) is $8.50 flat rate or free with orders over $50.
I expect the Spring collection will arrive in stores soon. And when it does, make sure to give these a look....

Read more

NOTD: Essence Style Me Holo

And... it's Monday again. We had crazy snowfall yesterday and since it was Sunday, not much snow removal was done. School kids have Snow Day today but not for adults :)
I wanted to wear a dark shade to disguise my nubs (had to trim them all down because of a split) and pulled out Style Me Holo from Essence Nails in Style collection (Europe exclusive, Summer 2011).
Note this bottle shape, not the typical Essence design, and the lovely pink feathery pattern on the silver cap. The brush was great, not too wide nor narrow.
I did two coats here for full opacity.
Not as the name suggested, Style Me Holo is a duochrome that flashes teal, blue and purple at different lightings and angles. Exactly what I wanted on my nails, based on last night's mood :) I couldn't help but staring at my nails at times, especially when I am reading.
It's a shame that Essence hinted this colour to be a holo, but it's not a big deal since it is an awesome shade. It's also a shame that it was not available in North America. It was an LE too.
See the crazy colour flash here? Most of the time, my nails look teal and dark blue but when the light hits, that green comes out so strong. We need more colours like this in the world!
That's all I have for today, yeah, I'm slow on Mondays :) If you weren't on the blog yesterday, check out Shoppers' BOGO offers for this week, plus the Benefit's free lipstick promotion, also at Shoppers. Looks like we are going to have some good time at our favorite drugstore for a while.
Hope your week starts on a good positive note. If you take advantage of the sales, come back and let me know what you get :)...

Read more

SDM's BOGO promotions

Hi guys,
A quick Sunday pot for you. Shoppers is offering BOGO 3-hour deals again, starting tomorrow. If you remember my previous BOGO haul, you would realize how great this type of promotion is. Don't miss it!
Monday, 6-9pm: When you buy a qualifying lipstick or lip gloss at regular price, you receive the second qualifying lipstick or lip gloss of equivalent or less value for free.
Exclude lip liners, lip balms, prestige brands. Coupon is required.
Wednesday, 6-9pm: When you buy a qualifying nail polish at regular price, you receive the second qualifying nail polish of equivalent or less value for free.
Exclude nail accessories, gel accessories/ starter kits, nail polish remover and prestige brands. And don't forget to bring the coupon with you.
The only thing that is worth noting is the "regular price" part. Last time I got the deal on even on sale products, it might be more strict this time. Check with the cashier.
On Tuesday, the deal is not cosmetic related (vitamins and natural health products), but I also note it here in case you need some.
EDIT to add: Benefit just announced a promotion at Shoppers also. When you buy a creaseless cream eyeshadow, you can get a lipstick or gloss for free, valued $23. Timeline is not known at this point....

Read more

Back to top