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February 2015 Empties

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February 2015 Empties

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Soothing Lotion in honey

Full review here.

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser foaming formula

I absolutely love this facial cleanser and have been using it for over a year. Look out for a full review coming soon!

The Body Shop Almond Conditioning Hand Wash

I originally used this a couple years ago when my eczema was really bad, and then stopped using it for unknown reasons. I’ve since rediscovered it and love it again. Look for a full review on this coming soon as well.

Lancôme Génefique Eye Youth Activating Eye Concentrate

I received this as part of a gift with purchase from The Bay. It lasted me quite a while (almost a month!) and definitely kept my eye area nicely hydrated, but I haven’t really noticed any anti-aging changes. I don’t have any eye wrinkles to begin with, so perhaps it’s more of a preventative measure. I like it, but I don’t think I can justify the price on this one when there are other hydrating eye creams out there that work for me.

Softlips Lip Moisturizer SPF20 in watermelon

Softlips s one of my favourite lip products so I’ll pick up a couple here and there. I like that there’s multiple scents to choose from, but they all go on clear so it’s perfect for night time use. I’ve got another 3 backups to go through.

Colab Dry Shampoo in London and Rio

I will save the rave review for an upcoming post but in short, I am loving this dry shampoo and can’t wait to get my hands on another canister!

Written by Jessica

March 13th, 2015 at 9:15 am

Lancôme Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl

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Lancôme Genifique Yeux - box and bottle
Deluxe sample of Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl

I got this as part of a winter skin care kit Lancôme put out near the end of 2013 from The Bay. Now that I’ve finished it up, I can write up a full review. Lancôme claims this to be an eye-illuminating serum for use above and below the eyes. A consumer test on their website reports that 78% of women thought their eye contour was improved after 4 weeks of use.

 

The Packaging

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - bottle
Mini bottle – perfect for traveling with

Being a deluxe sample size, there was 5ml worth of product in here. For my eyes, both day and night, I managed to get 2 weeks worth of use.

 

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - tear drop
Cooling metal tear drop

The idea behind the metal tear drop is that it’s cool temperature helps to soothe puffiness around eyes and to help bring down any swelling. Although it certainly feels nice and cool against the skin, I find that I still need to work the product in with my ring fingers. My only issue with this is that it touches the skin, and then you’re placing it back into the bottle, which could potentially contaminate the rest of the product. I wasn’t too worried as this was a pretty small bottle to begin with, being a deluxe sample size, but if this was the full size bottle, you’d be dipping and redipping this tear drop in for months until you finish.

 

The Product

Lancôme Genifique Yeux - swatch
Swatch

It comes out almost gel-like, but thinner. It absorbs readily into the skin, although I needed to use my ring fingers to fully work the product in.

 

The Verdict

While it certainly hydrates the skin around my eyes, I can’t comment on the anti-aging properties as I currently don’t have any fine lines or crows feet. Now I can either take that as I don’t have them yet, or in using this product, I’ve kept them at bay. In any case, it is certainly hydrating. However, for the price tag, I’m likely going to use something else that hydrates just as well but for significantly less.

 

Where to Buy – $88 CDN

Written by Jessica

January 25th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in Beauty,eyes,skincare

L’Oréal Warehouse Sale for Fall 2014

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L'Oreal Fall Warehouse Sale 2014
Lots of goodies this haul around!

The L’Oréal Fall warehouse sale is ongoing right now and thanks to the Mr, I snagged a ticket to go. Every time I go, the layout is a little different or there’s some different rules being applied. The most noticeable difference this sale in comparison to the past is that there were no shopping baskets you could carry around – you either carried it in your hands or you had to get a little shopping cart. The other noticeable change is that they no longer accept cash.

Here’s what I picked up from the sale:

  • Maybelline Baby Lips – $2.75 each (orig. $5.49)
  • Lancôme Bienfait gift set – $39.75 (orig. $60)
  • Lancôme Liner Design in Uptown Brown – $6.75 (orig. $30)
  • Vichy Homme Normactiv Cg – $17.50 (not made anymore but orig. $29)
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel – $28.25 (orig. $47)
  • Matrix Biolage Full-Kift Volumizing Shampoo – $7.50 (old formulation but orig. $30 I think)
  • Matrix Biolage Full-Kift Volumizing Conditioner – $7.00 (old formulation but orig. $30 I think)
  • Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Soothing Lotion – $2.00 (orig. $7.79)
  • La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP – $15 (orig. $35)
  • Lancôme Genifique – $93 (old formulation but orig. $155)

Total value = $440.26
Total paid = $225! (with taxes, it came to $254.25)

I love going to these sales because I can always stock up on skincare goodies that I know I’m guaranteed to use, whether it’s old goodies or new ones to try. And of course, the Mr gets to benefit from the sale too.

Other things I noticed that was not there last year was the presence of Shu Uemura cleansing oil hair products. They had shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, and hydrating oils. I was tempted to try but couldn’t justify $40 on a bottle, even if it was the sale price.

Did you go to the sale? If so, what did you get?

 

Written by Jessica

October 3rd, 2014 at 5:02 pm

June 2014 Empties

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Only two empties this month. And they’re two favourites too!

 

June 2014 Empties

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover

I’ve lost track of how many bottles I’ve gone through. It is my favourite eye makeup remover and will continue to be! Last I checked, I still have 2 backup bottles in my stash in addition to the mega bottle I opened up recently. If you have any stubborn waterproof makeup with everlasting staying power, this stuff is magical and takes it right off!

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Formula

After trying multiple facial cleansers, this one is the one that I find works best with my Clarisonic Mia. Almost every other cleanser I’ve used stings the eyes, but this stuff doesn’t sting at all. And non-stinging formulas are key when using cleansers with any type of Clarisonic. No matter how you manoeuvre it, your cleanser WILL run and it WILL get into your eyes. I’ll write another post about my Clarisonic later, but for the purposes of this post, I love this facial cleanser and highly recommend it. I also have a backup in my stash in addition to the one I just opened.

Written by Jessica

July 13th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Posted in Beauty,empties,eyes,face

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream

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Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream - packaging
Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream

Today I’ll be telling you about Laneige’s Eye Gel Cream from their Water Bank line. From the hydration line, this claims to soothe tired eyes and provide 24hr of moisture relief.

 

The Packaging

From the above picture, it comes in a glossy box, a small pot containing 25ml of product, and small white paddle for scooping product out.

 

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream - inner lid
Inner lid and seal

Like with the Water Bank Gel Cream, after you unscrew the lid, there is an inner lid and seal to ensure no tampering has occurred with the product.

 

The Product

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel Cream - product
Gel cream 

The consistency of the eye gel cream is thicker than that of the Water Bank Gel Cream, but still has a cooling, soothing element. A little bit goes a long way, and this 25ml pot will last you a very long time. It has been 3 months and I am almost halfway through. I like to use it under the eyes in the morning, and then under the eyes again as well as on the eyelids at night before bed. I have not had any issues with dry skin around the eyes ever since using this product.

There is a fragrance to the eye gel cream that is very similar to that of the Water Bank Gel Cream, but not as strong. I like the fragrance so it doesn’t bother me.

 

The Verdict

Given how long this pot is lasting me, I definitely recommend it. I’ll admit, sometimes I will dab a little bit under my nose on the days when my nose is runny, for that extra bit of hydration to keep it from drying out and cracking. It works quite well!

 

Where to Buy – $39 CAD

Written by Jessica

April 13th, 2014 at 10:13 am

Posted in Beauty,eyes,skincare

February 2014 Empties

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Sorry for being so quiet everyone. I had a couple of vacation getaways with friends, then family. Now that I’m fully recharged, I’m ready to get back into this. So let’s go!

First up is my long overdue February empties. Let’s take a look at what I went through the past month.

 

February 2014 Empties

Too Faced  Shadow Insurance

This stuff is like a magnet for eyeshadows and eyeliners. Once primed, both eyeliner and eyeshadow stay put! Even on my oily lids and watery eyes, this stuff works really well. Unfortunately, I’m nowhere near finishing this tube and the contents are separating. I’m sad to toss this one out, but on the other hand, it’s given me the chance to open another eyeshadow primer I’ve been hoarding – the Urban Decay Primer Potion!

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

For those with a larger budget, this baume is really really amazing. The dryness goes away and it lasts. I mostly used it on my hands at night, but the few times I used it during the day, it’s kept my hands nice and soft all day. I got this little sample tube from my doctor but will definitely purchase a full size.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

I used this on my really bad eczema spots and the results were amazing for me. The dryness was significantly reduced, it helped heal the open skin and cracked areas, and the formula is gentle enough that it didn’t sting or further irritate the area. It’s too bad this little sample tube was so small. I would have loved to use it longer!

Eucerin Complete Repair Moisturizing Lotion

This stuff is fantastic for really dry skin. The winter has been really harsh on my skin and this brings back moisture right away. I found that it soaks in dry, scaly skin (even on my eczema spots), but for areas that aren’t dry, it left a bit of a greasy feeling. This is great for those on a budget as they are readily available at any drugstores or big box stores.

Marcelle Nutrilux Supreme Comfort Body Cream

You can read about my review here. It offers immediate dryness relief but unfortunately, it’s not lasting. Not on my repurchase list, but if it ever comes back reformulated, I might give it a try.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel and Recovery Night Cream

While in San Francisco last year, I wandered into the Jurlique store and walked out with a couple of samples. I only recently noticed an expiry date printed on the back of them so I hurried to use them up! The scent is pretty strong for both this and the night cream but I found it’s really good at hydrating my skin and keeping the dryness away. Amazingly enough, both packets (one for day, one for night application) lasted me 4 days! I love samples that last! I’m not sure if I’d repurchase this particular line because I do have skincare that I feel works equally as well, if not better than this one. I don’t think I’ll purchase this.

Written by Jessica

March 20th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

January 2014 Empties

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Went through quite a few products for the month of January, many of which I had started in Nov/Dec and finally finishing now. Enjoy!

 

January 2014 Empties part 1

Vidal Sassoon Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

I bought this on a whim because I had run out of shampoo and conditioner. I vaguely remember when Vidal Sassoon’s products were in tall, skinny pink bottles. I haven’t tried it since. Anyways, these were on sale at my local Shoppers so I figured why not give it a try? I was pleasantly surprised to find that it works quite well with my hair, giving me quite a bit of boost after showering and especially after blow drying. It kept the oil from my scalp at bay and I had nice hair for a longer period of time than my other shampoos and conditioners. My only complaint is that it might have worked too well. My scalp got really dry about two weeks into using this and left me with a dry, flaky scalp! Yikes! My fear is that if I keep using it, it might dry my scalp out to the point that hair might fall out. So because of that, I won’t be repurchasing this again. I don’t know if maybe using a hair treatment might help, but for the time being, this is it Vidal Sassoon.

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion W

I have a review on this here. The price is a bit hefty and I have tried other products that moisturize just as well. However, the brightening effect is pretty good so it’ll depend on just how much you want that brightening effect.

Lancôme Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate

My holy grail serum. I’ve been using this for the last 3 years and love it. Luckily, I’ve done some travels to the US so I’m able to purchase the huge travel exclusive (if I remember correctly, I only paid $110 for the 100ml bottle). There’s a newer version out now (Advanced Genifique) and I’ve tried samples of it before, but I can’t remember how it compares. Anyways, would definitely repurchase again, and already have a bottle of Advanced Genifique in the backup box.

Vichy Purete Thermale Purifying Foaming Water 

Got this as a sample from Shoppers Drug Mart when they were having a Vichy event last year. One pump gives a rich foam that you can slowly massage into your skin. It cleans pretty well, but doesn’t give me that clean sort of feeling afterwards. It’s formulated for sensitive skin, so that could be why I don’t have the same feeling as some of my other cleansers. Personally, I’m not a fan so I won’t be purchasing this.

 

January 2014 Empties part 2

Shiseido Ibuki Starter Kit

You can read my full review here. Would definitely repurchase this again.

Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover

And another bottle complete! I already have the next bottle opened and another on backup. Once you find something that works, you can never have too many of them. Does anyone else have this problem?

Maybelline Volum’ Express Mega Plush Mascara

This is a gel-mousse type mascara that I picked up from the L’Oreal Warehouse sale. I’ve used it a couple of times, and like the feathery effect it gives my lashes. There is no clumping, and some lengthening, but not too much in the volume department. I’d have liked to use it a little more often, but the tube has dried out and I can’t get any more out. Would consider trying this again but my backup stash of mascara is staggering.

Lancôme Ôscillation Power Foundation 

Whoa, I actually finished a powder foundation!! It only took me 2 years but still, this is a pretty big milestone. I used the colour Beige 40. I never really used this on its own, but more as a setting powder and colour corrector for my liquid foundations that are a touch too light for my skin. Initially, I used the oscillator but found that it was much faster just to swirl a powder brush and sweep it across my skin. It’s really too bad that it’s discontinued and no longer available to purchase.

Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment

This was part of Sephora’s birthday gift for Beauty Insiders that I finally got around to using. I quite liked this, as it was really moisturizing while giving just a hint of colour. The only I didn’t like was that it’s extremely soft, and prone to warping and breaking from the tube if you’re not careful. Although I like the formula, I find it doesn’t work well in a tube format. Likely won’t purchase this.

Benefit the POREfessional

I got this as a sample from a Sephora order. I like that it has a slight beige colour to it and has a very smooth, velvety texture to it. I only got one use out of the sample and liked it quite a bit, but would love to try it a few more times before judgement. Would definitely get a smaller tube to test out.

Written by Jessica

February 2nd, 2014 at 10:06 pm

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss and Big Bold Curl Mascara

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Some more goodies I received from my Influenster #MapleVoxBox were these two from NYC New York Color. I’d never tried anything from this line before so I was pretty excited to try it out. Let’s start with the Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - tube
Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss – $4.99

The Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss that received was in the colour 468 – Big City Blush. It’s a beautiful peachy pink with tiny rainbow shimmer in it. The first thing that caught my eye was how big the tube was. It’s fairly thick and has a good weight in your hand. In total, it holds 11ml of product inside.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - applicator
Rounded slant applicator

It has a rounded slant applicator which allows for quick and easy application. I did find that I needed to scrape some against the edge of the tube when I pulled the applicator out. Otherwise, a big dollop of lip gloss would come out – too much for one application.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss - swatch
Swatch

The swatch is really pretty and is quite nice on the lips too. It does have that sticky lip gloss feel to it so be wary of your hair blowing onto your lips on windy days. I do like the colour and how it looks on my lips and after applying it, there’s a slight tingle to my lips. The adverts boasts a 50% fuller looking lips with a high gloss shine. I can’t comment on it’s lip plumping properties as my lips are quite full already. Something else to note: the smell. It has a very strong plastic, fake berry kind of smell to it. I can’t help but also smell a little bit of vaseline in there? It might not bother some people but for me, the smell is very off-putting, and I don’t think I can bring myself to use it. It’s too bad, since I do like the colour a lot.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - package
Big Bold Curl Mascara – $4.99 

Next is the Big Bold Curl Mascara.

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - tube
Tube

The tube is also a fairly large size, but a really small base. You can stand it upright but it will tip over pretty easily.

 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara - wand bristles
Wand applicator

You can see in the above picture how the wand applicator is like. It’s huge and it’s curved, almost like a smile (or a frown, depending on how you hold it). This is supposed to allow for a more even coat of your lashes in a single stroke. The adverts boast of one stroke giving 12x more volume and 99% more lift. On my lashes, one stroke certainly did no such thing. It did take many strokes to get the desired look. It definitely gave my lashes a more boosted and lifted look compared to without mascara. There was a tiny bit of clumping but overall, my lashes had a really nice fluttery, feathery look to them. I was hoping there would be a waterproof version but alas, they do not. So those with runny eyes, this may not work for you.

 

voxbox-blogimage-popup2*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I was not compensated in any way. My opinions are entirely my own.

Written by Jessica

January 13th, 2014 at 12:46 am

Winter 2013 Luxe Box Review

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Winter 2013 Luxebox - box
It’s Luxebox time!

Surprisingly, I received some mail today! That’s right, mail delivery on a sunday? Maybe because it’s getting closer to holidays? In any case, I received my Winter Luxebox today! So what could I do but anxiously open it up?

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - contents
The contents

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with this season’s box. Most of what I received were small samples and not considered a deluxe size at all. Here’s the breakdown.

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo
EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

Never heard of this brand but am open to trying it. However, I would have appreciated it if they included the matching conditioner. I’m a shampoo and conditioner kind of gal, so only having shampoo in the box perplexes me. Now I need to use a conditioner that’s from an entirely different brand that might not even work well with this shampoo.

Full size: 250ml for $24
Sample size: 75ml for $7.20

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - Keratase Elixer Ultime
Keratase Elixer Ultime

I’m pretty sure I received something really similar in a previous box, though not exactly the same. This is a hair oil that’s meant for colour-treated hair. This is something I’m positive I had indicated in my personal profile that I do NOT have. This is a completely useless product for me.

Full size: 250ml for $42
Sample size: 3ml for $0.50

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - the Balm Stainiac
theBalm Stainiac

I was only introduced to theBalm from the last Luxebox so this is something I’m willing to try out. I wonder how it is compared to Benefit’s Benetint?

Full size: 0.3 oz for $17
Sample size: $2.27

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - Essie nail polish - No More Film
Essie No More Film

I’m very disappointed with this as No More Film was part of Essie’s 2012 Resort Collection, which means the collection has been out for over a year now. To have this in the box now is pretty late.

Full size: 13.6ml for $11.99
Sample size: This is the full size.

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Ultra Volume mascara
Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Ultra Volume mascara

A mini tube of mascara. I’m not too interested in mascara since I can only wear it when I wear my contacts. I’m still willing to try it out though.

Full size: 9ml for $19
Sample size: $5.28

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - L'Occitane 20 percent Shea hand cream
L’Occitane 20% Shea Hand Cream

The one thing I’m really really excited to try. I’ve heard so many good things about L’Occitane’s hand creams, especially this one in particular. I can’t wait to try it out!

Full size: 150ml for $30
Sample size: $2

 

Winter 2013 Luxebox - Loose Button lip brush
Loose Button lip brush

I feel like these Loose Button branded brushes shouldn’t be counted as part of the 6-7 deluxe samples that each box is supposed to contain. For consumers that are as like-minded as I am, I am paying for these quarterly boxes to receive up-to-date deluxe samples that are on trend with the current season. A lip brush is not what I consider something that is “on trend”. I am treating this as a freebie throw in and not counting it in the value of the box.

Full size: No price, but I’m going to guess around $6.
Sample size: This would be considered full size.

 

To sum it all up…

# of sample size products = 5
# of full size products = 1
Total value of this season’s Luxe Box = $29.24

Wow Loose Button. This box was pretty much a fail. To put out a box that costs only marginally more than what I paid for when all of your other boxes have had much greater value? This is enough to seriously make me consider cancelling my subscription altogether. Even though you’re providing consumers with the option to “upgrade” their boxes by paying extra, I feel like it’s just an extra cash grab to gain more money. Part of the fun is not knowing what you’re going to get and the surprise that comes with it. However, if you’re advertising 6-7 deluxe beauty samples, then that’s what you should be providing. Never mind. Their website now says 7-8 trial sized beauty and lifestyle items. I’m remember when they made the change from monthly to seasonal, they said the extra time would allow them to curate better deluxe sized samples.

I’ll be taking some time deciding if I want to continue with my subscription or not. Hopefully all of your boxes were much better than what I received.

Written by Jessica

December 16th, 2013 at 12:29 am

Clinique All About Eyes

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This is something I’ve been using for a few years now, and I quite like it. I never used to give much though to eye cream because I thought it was more for older ladies. When I had my first trial bridal makeup appointment, the makeup artist suggested I use some eye cream because my eyelids were pretty dry. At that time, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as eye cream. Lucky for me, my mom (who is a life time fan of Clinique by the way), had a mini sample of Clinique’s All About Eyes which she gave to me. Clinique is also hypoallergenic and 100% fragrance free, so I know that it’s good for sensitive skin. Since then, I’ve been using it and love the way it feels on my skin.

 

The Packaging

Clinique All About Eyes - jar
The smaller jar offering

The jar itself is made from sturdy clear plastic with a peach tinge to it. The cap is made of white plastic with a mirrored cover, and twists close for a tight seal. The brand is printed with a very sturdy foil-like material and the rest of the text is printed in white. I can’t scratch off either despite trying so you know it’s on there for good. When you run your finger over it, you can feel the white print.

 

Clinique All About Eyes - inside jar
Open lid

When I opened my jar, I didn’t notice an additional inner lid to keep the product inside. There was some product that was on the inside of my lid which will be very likely due to the consistency of the product. If you have the jar on its side or if you jostled it a little, the product will move around fairly easily.

 

The Product

Clinique All About Eyes - swatch
Swatch

It’s a light peach shade and opaque.  It’s cross somewhere between a cream and a gel. The product claims to reduce the appearance of dark circles and minimize puffiness. I can’t comment on the effects on dark circles as I don’t really have them, but I can say it does a pretty good job at minimizing puffiness. When I don’t get enough sleep, my eyes get pretty puffy. After waking up and applying this to my under eye and eyelid area, I find that the puffiness is significantly decreased within an hour of putting it on. I look more awake! I also found it to be really hydrating so during the summer months, I only use it at night. During the winter however, I use it both morning and night.

 

The Verdict

I love this eye cream and I keep coming back to it! Given the frequency of cross border shopping, that’s when I like to stock up. If you have dry skin around your eyes or even if you have some puffiness, I recommend this for you!

 

Where to Buy

  • Beauty counters at department stores, Sephora (Canadian)
    • $37 CAD for 0.5 oz | $62 CAD for 1 oz
  • Sephora (US)
    • $30 US for 0.5 oz | $50 US for 1 oz
  • Duty Free Shops (when crossing the border from US to Canada)
    • $24 US for 0.5 oz
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Written by Jessica

December 12th, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Beauty,eyes