Lots of samples in these two months’ empties. Lots of samples used because I brought a ton of them with me during winter vacation. We all spent baby’s first Christmas in Vancouver!
Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner
I think this came from an old Luxe Box but I’ve finally dug it out to use. I like that it has a pleasant mild fragrance as opposed to some hair products whose smell just hits you in the face. It doesn’t give you a crazy lather when wet, but just enough for you to think “it’s working”. I used this twice a week because I felt it gave my hair a better clean than my current shampoo and conditioner combo. I like this, but can’t bring myself to spend so much on shampoo and conditioner.
Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 High Potency Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Full review of the cream version here. The lotion is lighter and is a great daily moisturizer. Bonus points for not smelling like sunscreen and no greasy feeling either.
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturizer
Full review of both here. These little deluxe samples are awesome for traveling. They also last a long time too! I love the Ibuki line.
Laneige Light Power Essential Skin Refiner
Full review here.
Lancôme Génifique and Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Full review here. There’s a difference between Génifique and Advanced Génifique which I explained in the review, and I used to prefer the former over the latter. Now, I like the Advanced Génifique and continue to use it to this day. Faithful user since 2011!
Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer
Full review here. I’ve had this sitting in my makeup bin forever and had completely forgotten it. I’m pretty sure I finished it before I gave birth so… this empty has been sitting around for a year. Oops.
Shiseido Facial Cotton
This stuff is like angel fluff on your face. Which is probably why I’m so stingy when it comes to using it. I actually save it to use with Shiseido softening products. Everything else (especially nail polish remover!), I use regular cotton pads. I don’t buy these often, but it’s more of a treat once in a while.
Naisture 15minutes: Mask Pack – Sweet Honey and Fresh Aloe
I’ve been trying to get through these face masks for the last few months when baby’s sleeping, but I keep getting side tracked with other things! These masks are pretty good, and make my face feel fresh and nicely hydrated. It won’t make your super dry skin suddenly supple and soft, but it does give your skin a nice dose of hydration.
Neutrogena Make-Up Removing Cleansing Wipes
These are a must for traveling. Everything comes off. Even waterproof eyeliner.
Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Ébène
Full review here. This took me so long to finish because I kept on saving it for special occasions. It was my first Chanel purchase and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go through it too quickly. Also, it helped that black eyeliner is not my everyday colour. I wanted to love it, but it doesn’t stay put on my eyelids, even if I used an eyelid primer. Probably will not repurchase this.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Demolition
This was my every day liner for work. Not too bold, but just enough for definition. Have a few more 24/7 pencils to get through. There’s a little bit of transfer to upper eyelids but they don’t come down and give me racoon eyes. +1 for me.
Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector and Advanced Multi-Correcting Cream
These samples were so small that I can’t really form a full opinion on it. Fragrance is pleasant but as for its claims to battle wrinkles, pores, and evenness, I couldn’t see any effect. The samples lasted me 2 days.
Shiseido Ibuki Softening Concentrate and Refining Moisturizer
See above review.
Lancôme DreamTone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector in 1 – Fair Skin Tone
This is obviously the wrong skin tone for me (fair? Hah!) but it was a sample from Sephora that was randomly added in so I figured I would try it. Again, sample was too small for me to see any effect. The floral fragrance was nice and not too heavy. For the price point, I would need a lot of people vouching for it before I could bring myself to purchase it.
**On a side note, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to work through my stash rather than buy new things to try. This will likely translate into more empties. Wish me luck!
Thanks to Influenster, I received a package of Huggies Little Movers, size 3, last month to test out.
This wouldn’t be the first time I tried Huggies before. When my little guy was just born, I had a package of size 1 Huggies Snugglers. I figured they would fit the same as Pampers and eagerly awaited for when he outgrew newborn size. Boy was I wrong. Huggies Snugglers was a terrible fit for my baby. The leg loops were much too loose which ended up in constant leaks down the leg. I figured I’d be safe around the waist as I could pull the tabs tighter to be a better fit. It loosened up too quickly and I ended up with constant blow outs. After 3 huge clean ups, I decided Huggies Snugglers were not for us and went back to trusty Pampers.
Fast forward to now with this package of Huggies Little Movers. We’re now on solid foods so the danger of blow outs isn’t as great as before. Maybe Little Movers will fit differently from Snugglers. So I figured I might as well try it out.
My little pack of Little Movers came in the standard soft plastic wrap with perforation marks on one side for easy openings. They also come in larger cardboard boxes as well.
The front of the diapers features Mickey and Minnie Mouse. My baby doesn’t recognize them yet, but the colourful designs are cute. Notice at the top of the diaper, there’s “HUGGIES” printed across the top. It’s not as bright and is a bit difficult to see at first.
The back of the diapers has a colourful pattern. Note that the top of the diaper has the stretchy pleats.
Not pictured are these purple patches on the front of the diaper. These purple patches allow for the tabs to adhere very strongly to them, to keep the tabs from slipping off. The extra grip is pretty strong, so once those tabs are on, they’re not coming off without a bit of a pull!
This pack of 14 lasted me for 3 days, which was just enough time for me to decide if I liked them or not. I had a few issues with Huggies Little Movers, and I’ll explain them all here.
First of all, I found it difficult to align the tabs on the front of the diaper when I was putting them on my little guy. Yes, I can see that “Huggies” is printed along the top but it’s not very bright and I have to look really hard to make out the letters so that I can align it properly. This makes overnight diaper changes a challenge for me as I like to change the diapers in a dim light. If my sight is decreased and I can’t see those “Huggies” letters, I’m left squinting really hard to find them, and I definitely didn’t have that problem with Pampers.
Second of all, I find that the diaper sags. I am usually changing a diaper every 4 hours, and with Huggies, the diaper is sagging after there’s been a big pee. A little bit of sagging I don’t mind (and I obviously will go change the diaper). However, it is the sagging that enlarges the leg loops that I don’t like. The leg loops loosen up and there’s a gap between diaper and skin, which left me with leaks again. I didn’t have any issues with blow outs, however that is likely due to the fact that my little guy has solid poops instead of liquid ones now.
I have some friends who have great successes with Huggies, however, it just doesn’t work for my baby. We will not be purchasing this brand.
Where to Buy
- big box stores (Wal-Mart)
- pharmacies (Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall)
- grocery stores
Whoops! The pictures I originally took got erased by accident (Mr reformatted the memory card without making sure everything was offloaded) so this post will be text heavy. I will indicate what was full size and what was sample size.
[Edit: Jan 9th, 2016 – Pictures have been found!! Post updated to include pictures and remove sample count in text.]
Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX
Full review here. I love this stuff. I use this mini jar for traveling hence why it took so long to get through. Still going through the regular size jar, plus I now have 2 more mini jars thanks to my good friend G!
Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo
I got this in a Luxebox and was immediately disappointed it didn’t come with the accompanying conditioner. The shampoo itself was pretty good – I felt it really washed all the grease and grime away leaving me with squeaky clean hair. I used it twice a week just to make sure my hair was super clean. Would I purchase a full size? Probably not as I don’t usually indulge in hair treatments. I’m a shampoo and conditioner only kind of gal.
Lancôme Tonique Radiance
Full review here. Still have two more backups (or was that three?).
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for normal to dry skin
The best part of getting multiple samples is the chance to really use a product. This sample was only 0.18oz, which is barely enough to moisturize my arms. Since I had 5 of them, I had no problem moisturizing my entire body (arms, torso, legs). There is an ever so slightly sticky feeling immediately after applying, however it goes away fairly quickly. Skin is left smooth and soft. Very little scent, if any. Great for those who want a great budget moisturizer with sensitivities to fragrances.
Softlips Lip Moisturizer SPF 20 in Watermelon
This is my absolute favourite lip moisturizer. I don’t know why I never did a full review on the blog about this. Watermelon is one of my favourite scents for this. The small and thin size make it perfect to toss into any bag (or pocket!) and it works so well when my lips are dry and chapped. I’ve got 2 more backups.
Live Clean (Baby) moisturizing baby lotion
I know, it’s supposed to be for baby but I used it on myself instead. Although it moisturized well, the smell was atrocious. I can’t imagine using this on my baby. Never. Ever. Not until they get rid of that horrible smell.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
Only one little sample so can’t say much about how it did for stretch marks. It did, however, smell too strongly of cocoa and the smell lingered too long for my liking. Will not be purchasing this.
Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream
I’m trying to remember if I got this in a beauty box or a Sephora order. Regardless, it is the best damn sample I have ever received. This eye cream is amazingly and I love it. The fact that it’s a 7ml sample that lasted me over 2 months of use (usually at night) was already a winner. Add in the fact that when looking at how much it costs in regular size, this little deluxe sample is actually worth $50!
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
Full review here. Again, I love sample sizes specifically for travel.
I’ve received news of the upcoming Shiseido/Nars warehouse sale! Here are the deets:
When: Sat, Nov 7, 2015 – 9am to 5pm | Sun, Nov 8, 2015 – 9am to 3pm
Where: 303 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, L3R 5P9
They accept Visa, MasterCard, debit, and cash.
They also state that strollers and children under 12 are not allowed. I’ve been to a sale before and believe me, you don’t want to have either there. It can get so crowded.
This sale is open to the public so no tickets are necessary! Aside from Shiseido and Nars being there, I do recall there was Clé de Peau there a few years ago. I’m hoping to go this time around. Will you go?
One of my favourite places to eat in Disney World isn’t actually in the park itself, but in Downtown Disney! In the Marketplace area, there’s Wolfgang Puck Express. What’s awesome is that you can use the Disney Dining Plan here, and a meal here counts as a quick service meal. That means you get an entrée, a dessert, and a drink.
The place is very casual, but there are waitresses and servers present. When you first walk in, you turn left towards the cashier. It is there that you make your order. From there, they give you a cardholder with a number, and you go seat yourself at one of the many tables available in the dining area. If the drink you ordered isn’t bottled, you take your cup to the soda fountain and fill it up! After you’re seated, your food will come out to you by means of one of the servers available. What’s nice is that even though it’s a quick service location, they will still come by and check on you and ask if there is anything else needed. Service is great and everyone is very nice. One thing to remember is that despite it being a quick service, it’s nice to leave a tip for the servers and waitresses.
Rotisserie Turkey Cobb Salad – $14
For my entrée, I picked the rotisserie turkey cobb salad. This is quite a large salad and very hearty. It consists of a mixture of romaine and arugula, lots of chunks of rotisserie turkey, topped with bacon, green beans, avocado, tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. I liked this salad a lot and would order it again in a heartbeat. The use of green beans in this salad was super creative in my opinion, and gave the salad that solid crunch texture.
Mr. Pixelbunny ordered oven roasted salmon. The salmon was cooked perfectly, with that moist and juicy interior. Just perfect. It sits on a bed of mixed fennel and arugula, some roasted potatoes, topped with a tomato vinaigrette, onions, and horseradish cream on the side. The salmon is good on its own, but it also tastes awesome with the horseradish cream. The salad is fresh and crunchy, and the potatoes are seasoned just right. This is another dish I also wouldn’t hesitate to reorder.
If you’re going to be visiting Disney World, then you must eat here! Not only is it very affordable, the quality of food you receive for the price point is amazing. I’ve come to eat here on two separate Disney World visits and you can bet that I’ll be back again.
Wolfgang Puck Express
Downtown Disney Marketplace
1780 E Buena Vista Drive Lake
Buena Visa, FL
I had a major craving for sushi one night but didn’t want to make the long trek out to Richmond Hill/Markham. Having already tried Sushi-Ya, Mr and I decided to try Sushi Dragon, which was right across the street.
There’s lots of table space inside so you feel comfortable, not cramped. When we went (around 6:30pm on a weeknight), there was only 2 other tables with patrons there dining. Good thing or bad thing? We were promptly seated with tea brought to our table.
The salad came in a chilled bowl, which meant one of two things: a) the bowl is pre-chilled and they added salad to it to keep it nice and cold, or, b) salad bowls are pre-made and sitting in the fridge waiting to be served. There was nothing special about the salad, as it is strikingly similar to the bagged salads you can purchase at Costco. Iceberg lettuce tossed with slivers of carrot and red cabbage. The miso soup was mildly better, with lots of little cubed tofu and seaweed.
For our appetizer, we ordered the Japanese style chicken wings. According to our waiter, it is a special and many customers love it, so we decided to try it out. Skip this – it’s not worth it. It’s basically fried chicken wings that are smothered in sweet chilli sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds and parsley flakes.
This was what I was waiting for – Love Boat. I didn’t care much for the maki, but all I wanted was loads of sashimi and some sushi. After scouring the menu, this was the best option without breaking the bank. It’s supposed to come with 14 pieces of maki (I know, there’s only 12 in the picture but I didn’t noticed it until I double checked their menu online), 14 pieces of sushi, and 14 pieces of sashimi. The sashimi and sushi are pretty decent with fairly thick cuts and small amounts of rice. The maki was california roll (not bad) and spicy tuna maki (too much spicy mayo).
It’s not the best place to go to but if you’re desperate for a sushi craving, it’s ok. Skip the appetizers and just go for sashimi and sushi. If you’re a stickler for high quality sushi, you’re better off making the trek out to Richmond Hill/Markham.
634 Dixon Rd
I finally went to L’Oréal’s warehouse sale for fall and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in what I found. Most things that I had intended to repurchase from the spring sale had increased significantly in price, rendering it not worth repurchasing. In particular was the Garnier body lotions. In previous sales, I could pick up a smaller bottle for $2 and the larger bottle for $5. This time around, the smaller bottles were $4.75!! No big bottles around either. Definitely not worth it and pretty much the same price as what you can buy it from Walmart when it’s on sale.
Some newer things that were drool worthy was the presence of Giorgio Armani makeup, Shu Uemura makeup, and YSL makeup. I had never seen them at the warehouse sales before. Being new, the stuff there is the more recent offerings such as Shu Uemura’s Shupette eyeshadows (I believe they were $26?). A great deal considering they are $45 on their website.
My haul was limited to La Roche Posay’s Lipikar as it’s the only body lotion that helped my poor baby’s eczema. So I stocked up on it and bought some for my cousin as her baby also has eczema. I had to look closely at expiry dates. Some expire early 2016 so I tried to find ones that expired later.
The Mr picked up a Garnier Fructose Style Power Hairspray for Men to try out.
So the haul this time was:
- La Roche Posay’s Lipikar Baume AP (3 regular, 3 children’s) – $19.75 each (reg $30)
- Garnier Fructus Style Power Hairspray For Men – $2 (reg $6)
Total spent = $120.50 + tax = $136.16
Total if regular priced = $186 + tax = $210.18
Total saved = $74.02!
Did you go to the sale? What did you haul?
Now that baby is here, I’ve been much more diligent at hand washing prior to handling him. Obviously, the best choice is soap and warm water, but there are instances when going out where hand washing may be tricky. In those cases, I use a combination of baby wipes and hand sanitizers. Let’s face it, baby wipes can remove all the dirt and grime from your hands and fingers, but not the germs. That’s where the hand sanitizer comes in handy. I was introduced to X3:Clean by FarleyCo, and it’s been a wonderful staple to my diaper bag.
X3:Clean is an alcohol-free hand sanitizer. In addition to being alcohol-free, it is also non-flammable, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. Thus, it is considered safe for kids! I’m not about to use it on my baby’s hands, but it’s good to have a product in mind for when he gets older.
I have two products here: the foaming hand sanitizer and the pocket-sized hand sanitizer.
The foaming hand sanitizer holds 75ml of product in a pump bottle. A clear cap covers the nozzle to prevent it from being accidentally pressed down.
The pocket-sized hand sanitizer is literally pocket-sized. It holds 8ml of product in a small test tube-like container. The bottom is rounded so it won’t dig into you should you decide to keep it in your pocket. The nozzle is activated by a twisting motion, so when you’re finished using it, you can twist it back to lock it from being pressed down.
The foaming hand sanitizer comes out as a light, airy, bubbly foam. Leave it in your hand too long and the bubbles start to pop and liquify. One pump is enough for both hands. I’ll let you in on a secret – it took multiple attempts to get a picture of the foam before it started breaking down. I pumped 5 times to get the shot I liked and didn’t wash my hands between takes. My hands did NOT get sticky or flaky. Other hand sanitizers leave a strange sticky sensation and/or your skin starts to flake off. This one did neither. I’m impressed.
The pocket-sized hand sanitizer isn’t foamy, rather it comes out as a spray. One spray is all you need and the neat thing is, this formula is moisturizing. That’s right! A moisturizing hand sanitizer!
I love it. This stuff is awesome. It has a permanent spot in my diaper bag. I’m also taking it with me when I travel in December. The foaming spray will be great to have in my suitcase whereas the pocket spray will be on me at all times.
Where to Buy
Foaming Hand Sanitizer – $4.99 for 75ml | $5.99 for 250ml | $16.99 for 1L
Pocket spray (3-pack) – $5.99
- Shoppers Drug Mart
- Value Drug Mart
* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.
Garnier Body Hydra Express 24H Hydrating Gel-Cream
Finally, I’ve finished off the last of the bottles of gel-cream formulation! As expressed in my previous empties post, I am not a fan of the gel-cream and am quite excited to be finally done with them. Am definitely not repurchasing this version.
Pur-Lisse Pur-Moist Hydra-Balance Moisturizer
A sample I received in a Luxebox, this moisturizer was ok. Though it was hydrating, it did have a bit of a greasy feeling afterwards. Will not be purchasing this.
** This post was updated on Oct 1, 2015 since Laneige is now available in Canada. I bought the asian version but for the Canadian version, I received it complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**
Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream – asian version
I’ve been a fan of Laneige products ever since I was introduced to it a couple years ago. A Korean brand under the Amore umbrella, this line is now available at Target and Sephora stores in the US. For us Canadians, it’s now available at Sephora! Woo hoo!
The Water Bank line is ideal for hydration, something my dry, parched skin craved during our cold, Canadian winter. The gel cream is good for those with normal and combination skin, which is great for my oily t-zone and dry cheeks. It’s also light which is perfect for the summer months.
Laneige is known for using Himalayan snow water as one of its ingredients. It also contains 6 minerals: magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium, and sodium. When I was first introduced to Laneige, I was told it is targeted for those in their 20s and early 30s.
As you can see in the top picture, there is an illustration on the box. This is to indicate the collection is part of the 2013 Waterful Sharing Campaign. Laneige had partnered up with Save the Children where part of the proceeds from the sales of the Water Bank line are donated to them. This is true for sales that occur in Korea, but I’m not sure if that is the case for sales outside of that country. There is no difference to the product itself, except for a cute little water pump illustration on the cap or pot.
There is also a small white paddle that is included so that you can scrape every last bit out of the pot. Sanitary point!
The North American version has a slightly different jar design, but it also comes with a little paddle (this one is clear).
Another bonus sanitary point is for the inner seal. After unscrewing the cap, you see an inner lid with a tab, but that tab is sealed tight to the pot. This ensures that the product has not been tampered with after production.
The North American version is exactly the same as its asian counterpart.
My pot contained 50ml of product. The cream itself has a gel-like consistency, with an opaque whiteness to it. It’s cool and refreshing, and absorbs easily. It’s difficult to discern the fragrance, but it is light and very pleasant with some floral notes.
Yup, still the same.
I absolutely love this gel cream and would definitely purchase it again. I have used two jars of the asian version, and now have a jar of the North American version (courtesy of Influenster for testing purposes). My skin is well hydrated and I haven’t seen any dry skin ever since I started using the line. I highly recommend it!
Where to Buy – $42 CAD