Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nail Art Wednesday: Movember Moustache Nails with a Gaming Geek Twist

With November coming to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to end it donning moustachioed nails in support of Movember, the annual fund raising event for men's health and prostate cancer research. Mr. J participated unofficially (in all honesty I think this was about the only time he felt it was justified to sport any sort of facial hair) so I'm beyond ecstatic to have his face back. Now, I wanted to put my own twist to it and didn't want it to be just like any other moustachioed nails. I thought about doing different types of moustaches on each nail but wanted to take it a step further: why not sport famous moustaches based on video game characters? I love me some video games (in fact, Mr. J and I met while playing a video game but that's a story to tell on another day) so what better way to incorporate that with Movember?

Can you guess who's who? Three are easily recognizable but the villains aren't as easy to place.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Truckload Tuesdays: Sally Beauty Steals and a Mini Review

No, I did not steal from Sally Beauty but for the price of the polishes that I got, it sure felt like I did! I did a quick run last weekend and ended up going home with five new pretties.

Gift set that I got for $8.99 + taxes.

Back of the box set.

L-R: Fowl Play, Sweet Peacock and Lucky Duck

This boxed set was such a no-brainer. Three full-sized Orly polishes and a pretty faux suede wristlet with feather accents for only $8.99 (with a Sally Beauty Club card)? Yes, please! I've been wanting to get my hands on Fowl Play since it came out but I waited, thinking that I'd rather get Cult Nails Unicorn Puke/Clairvoyant over it. Good thing I did and scored a great deal with this set! Better still that the two other polishes that came with it were the exact same colors I also wanted from the collection. I guess this is one of those few, few moments where delaying and waiting till the last minute makes it worth it?

Impulse buys: China Glaze Lighthouse and Glittering Garland, and a hand cream

I saw that China Glaze was also on sale and $1 off if you purchase 2 so I figured it was a good time to get Glittering Garland. I've been looking for Emerald Sparkle and have never seen it anywhere so when Glittering Garland came out, I was pretty excited that it would make a good substitute for now. Plus, it was a flakie. You know I had to have a flakie. Lighthouse was the hubby's pick since he says I don't have enough yellow. (As a matter of fact I only have a single yellow in my stash. Well, unless you count a color changing polish that changes from yellow to orange, then that would make it two.)

As for the hand cream, the cheapie/discount sucker in me couldn't pass up a 99 cent deal at the counter. *sigh* You can never have enough hand cream, can you?

Yuletide Vanilla by Beyond Belief (strange name for a brand)

Ingredient list at the back.

A dollop of the hand cream on skin.

I wish I can say that this is the best 99 cents I've ever spent on a hand cream but really, you get what you paid for. I do like that it's not particularly greasy feeling but I don't feel it's very moisturizing to begin with. It'll work for those my-hands-are-parched-beyond-belief-and-I'll-take-even-bacon-drippings-to-moisturize moments (that might explain the brand name..?), otherwise, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. As for the Yuletide Vanilla scent, it really doesn't smell particularly yultide-y or vanilla-y. I find the bergamot overpowers any sweetness from the vanilla that it actually smells like a perfume you'd expect an older lady to wear. No, don't get me wrong. It doesn't smell bad. But it's such a strong smell and you know what they say about too much of a good thing..? That.

The moral of this story is to never pick up anything from the counter, no matter how tempting or cheap that something might be. Put the blinders on, pay for your purchases and leave with quality products that you wanted in the first place. Don't make the same mistake I did.

Hammie asks: Are you an impulse shopper? Do you delay purchases till the last minute to score a better deal or do you jump on the bandwagon as soon as the next big beauty thing comes along?

Monday, November 28, 2011

NYC In A New York Minute Scenestealer Grey can gladly steal any scene

You know when something's so bad, it's good? Think stinky tofu (it's not called stinky for nothing but I heard it tastes awesome) or Rick Astley (I apologize in advance to any Rick Astley fans who might be reading this). I suppose the same can be said for Zoolander, the satirical comedy that poked fun at the fashion industry and the models that everyone wanted to be like. I particularly thought Ben Stiller as the slow but well meaning male model, Derek Zoolander, was a riot. And one of his "signature looks" is what immediately came to mind when I saw today's polish:

Blue Steel: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is." (Image Credits)

Steel blue shimmery awesomeness.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pam's Girly Bits: Stormy Skies and Street Magic helps you Sea's the Day

I'm really excited to show you a couple polishes from the Pam's first Girly Bits collection: Sea's the Day today! Pam, a fellow Canadian blogger, has really exceeded expectations with these lovelies. Really, not much intro is needed when these two can speak for themselves. First up, the packaging and after the jump, the polishes themselves!

The packaging it comes in. Very Girly (Bits)!

I love the personalized touches. Really shows the love put into these.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Indulge without the Splurge: US Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

First off, a big Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends! Apart from all the yummy noms you'll most likely be gorging yourselves with tonight, Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are another thing to be excited about. If you're not crossing the border to partake in deeply discounted deals (oooh, alliteration love!), we do have some Canadian versions of the deals that may be worth looking into this weekend. Don't expect the best discounts though, as I think Boxing Day sales are still among the best deals you'll ever encounter up north.

***There are a lot of deals available for the weekend, but I'm limiting it to the ones that I think are of the best value.

  • Receive a free sample of Purity Made Simple One Step Cleanser by Philosophy at the Bay counters with this printable coupon. Valid till November 27, 2011.
  • Crocs Canada has a buy 1 (sale item), get 1 free on any sale item on November 24 (TODAY) only. Note that these sale items are already discounted up to 60% off. Choose from a variety of shoes for men, women and kids. Valid only online and shipping is a flat rate of $9.99.
  • Banana Republic has a great Black Friday deal available in store only. Get 40% off  before 1pm, and a discount of 25% off after 1pm on November 25, 2011 only. Note that the discount does not apply to bags, shoes, Monogram, Heritage Collection, 100% cashmere and third party merchandise.
  • Get 25% off and free shipping on any regular priced dress at French Connection with coupon code: HOLIDAYDRESS. This code is valid till December 4, 2011. To receive 30% off regular priced coats and jackets until November 30, 2011, use coupon code: COLDOUTSIDE. Note that you can only use one coupon code at a time and both deals are only available online.
  • Square One in Mississauga has a whole bunch of deals from a lot of its stores! Express, the US clothing retailer, just opened a new store and are bring Black Friday to Canada. Today, November 24th till noon on Friday, November 25th, enjoy 40% off the entire store. After 12pm on Friday, enjoy 30% for the rest of the day. Click here for more info on all the other deals be had at Square One.
  • For a limited time, all items in store and online are 30% off at Jacob, including previously marked down items. For online shoppers, remember that shipping is free on orders over $25!
  • Sephora has some great value sets for $12 available online and in store this Friday only. The fine print reads: Limit of two (2) of each Exclusive Beauty Deals product per client. Exclusive Beauty Deals skus retail for $12 CAD. Valid through 11/25/11 11:59pm PST or while supplies last. Exclusive Beauty Deals products not available at Sephora inside jcpenney stores.
    Sephora reserves the right to end or change this promotion at any time. Get a preview of the deals on their Facebook page.
  • H&M is hosting a sale available in stores only this Friday. Some of the deals to be had includes: Tops starting at $5, Dresses starting at $10, Knitwear starting at $15, Men’s shirts starting at $15, Kids denim starting at $7.
  • For Black Friday, Club Monaco Canada is offering an additional 30% off already reduced merchandise both in store and online. Deal is valid from November 25-27, 2011.
  • American Eagle Outfitters/Aerie/77 Kids Canada is wants you to save an additional 40% off your entire purchase.  Use the promo code  72429831 at the checkout to receive your discount. No code or coupon needed for shopping in store. Promo runs from November 23-26, 2011.

    Hammie says: Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Nail Art Wednesday: Calgary Flames Nails

    After I did the Toronto Maple Leafs nail art in honor of Mr. J's birthday, I've had a nagging feeling that kept telling me that I needed to be fair and do one for the Calgary Flames, too. It could very well just have been Hammie with his subliminal messages, but wherever the thought came from, I knew it had to be done. See, I'm not originally from Toronto. I lived on the opposite end of the country, closer to the gorgeous Rockies in Calgary before moving here and that was where I first learned to appreciate hockey. I have a theory that wherever you first fall in love with the sport is where your loyalties will lie, no matter where you move in the future. So even if I now count Toronto as home, I still root for the Flames (Sorry, Leafs..). What better way to show your support even without a jersey or face paint on than to wear them proudly on your nails?

    Go Flames!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Nuance by Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad in Neutral 80

    Earlier this month, we looked at Salma Hayek's lip quad that I got from a CVS trip when I was last down south. It was the unique pod-like packaging that drew me in, as well as the promise of natural and organic products. If the lip quad wasn't to your liking, I actually did get an eye quad (Nuance by Salma Hayek Beautiful Blends Eye Quad in Neutral 80 to be exact), too, that looks exactly the same on the outside. In fact, if you threw both of these in a makeup bag, expect to mix them up at least 80% of the time. 100% of the time if you're anything like me. Now, I skipped the photos on how these can be opened as it works exactly the same as the lip quad so I'll forgo the packaging commentary and go directly into product photos and swatches after the jump.

    Disclaimer: Now, I won't pretend to know what exactly I'm talking about as I'm no makeup artist. What I do know is more out of necessity and if you're looking to see eye looks, you'll be disappointed. My skills need some leveling up before I go public with that so this will be more about my personal experience with the product, apart from the token product photos and color swatches.

    Not to be confused with the lip quad.

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Zoya Ibiza makes pre-winter blues a good thing

    After all is said and done, the one color I'll always go back to is blue. While I was reviewing my most recent posts, I've realized that I've all but cast aside my favorite. Something had to be done with this injustice! To make up for my straying eyes (no, Blue, it's always been you!), I've resolved to showcase my all-time favorite vampy blue also in an effort to see the good in these pre-winter blues.

    Doesn't that just blue you away?

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Butter London No More Waity Katie fuses girly glitter with a moody purple

    Butter London polishes may not hail from London, but they still have the character to back the name up. Born from an actual nail salon in the US that branched out into creating their own product line, Butter London nail lacquers have won many a nailphile over with amazing formulas and highly coveted shades. Easily, I'm one of their newest fans. If you recall from this previous Truckload Tuesday post, I had three new lovelies join my collection. It was hard to decide which one to wear first but eventually the glitter won out.

    No More Waity Katie: chic and edgy all at once.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Indulge without the Splurge: November 17, 2011

    Last weekend had some early Friends and Family Sales from various shops. This week, the deals don't stop. A really good thing for everyone who's trying to get a head start on their Christmas shopping or looking to winterize their wardrobe. I've also quite a bit of warehouse sales that you might want to hit up. If you decide to and want to maximize the experience, I've got some tips from this week's Truckload Tuesday. Anyway, on with the deals!
    • Aeropostale Canada is offering 40% off your entire purchase in store and online.  Use the promo code AEROFRIENDS at the checkout to receive your discount or print off this coupon to use in store. Excludes fragrances. Valid from November 17-20, 2011.
    • COACH Factory Outlet is offering an extra 30% off till November 20th 2011. No coupon necessary but if you feel more comfortable having it by all means go ahead and do so.
    • Mark's Work Wearhouse Canada is offering a free $20 gift card when you purchase $100 worth of gift cards. Gift cards must be purchased between November 16-27, 2011.  Bonus gift card valid December 1, 2011 - April 1, 2012. The bonus gift card cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards or for online orders. Mark's is also holding a Friends and Family Event on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from 5PM-11PM local time. Save 20% off all regular and sale priced merchandise!
    • Save 20% off your entire purchase at Bath & Body Works. Valid November 17, 2011 only. But fear not if you miss today's event! They're also having a home fragrance event this Saturday November 19th from 10am to 3pm.  They are giving away a FREE gift (approximate $20 value) with any home fragrance purchase. Other awesome promos they have on going are the following:
      • Signature Collection body care 3 for $25 or 2 for $18
      • FREE Merry Mistletoe lip gloss with the purchase of a 14.5oz Merry Mistletoe candle.
      • Anti-bacterial pocketbacs 3 for $5
      • Anti-bacterial Hand soaps 5 for $20
      • Anti-bacterial moisturizing hand lotion 2 for $5
      • New minis to go 3 for $10
    • GTA-based Civello Spas has a Gift Card offer running TODAY ONLY: purchase a Gift Card with a value between $200-$500 and get another card of the same value for free! The complimentary gift cards can be redeemed for spa or services starting January 1, 2012. They can't be used for hair services or product purchases. Civellos Spas has four GTA locations. This offer is only valid online, but keep in mind that the second, complimentary, gift card will not appear in your cart, although it will be shipped with your order. I've never actually tried this spa so I can't vouch for how good the services will be. I have to admit, that's one heck of a deal tho!
    • Bootlegger Canada is offering 25% off everything in store and online for Bootlegger Cardholders. The discount will automatically be applied online when a valid Bootlegger card is on account or added in your cart for purchase.  Promo runs from November 18-20, 2011. No Bootlegger Club Card?  Purchase one online for $10. It'll come in handy if you frequent the store.
    • Dynamite Canada is offering 20% off your entire purchase during their Ladies Night on November 17, 2011 from 5PM-9PM local time. A free gift bag (value: $50) will be given for every purchase of $40 or more, while quantities last.
    • Ebeauty is offering a 15% off discount with the code: Paris15. The offer expires on November 30th, 2011 and cannot be combined with any other offer or towards the purchase of gift-cards. Free shipping to Canada is also being offered for a limited time.Also, free gifts are included with certain purchases, while quantities last.
    • My Top Drawer (lingerie, swimwear, shapewear, sleepwear) is having a huge sale to celebrate their 10th anniversary until November 20, 2011. The sale includes 10%, 25%, 40% up to 70% off the original retail price in all four of the stores locations. They are also offering BOGO on select matching panties.
    • For a limited time Ricki's is having a big ol' sweater sale: Buy 1 Get One for $25 in store or Buy 2 Get 25% off online.
    • Macs Canada Freebie Alert! Till November 21, 2011, get a FREE small Tazo tea with this coupon at participating Macs locations in Ontario. Just what you need to warm up in this brrr...cold weather!
    • Save 25% off all dresses at Addition Elle. Valid online and in store. Sale starts November 16, 2011.
    • Cake Beauty Canada is offering 30% off your entire online purchase.  Use the promo code: give at the checkout to receive your discount.  Offer includes limited edition holiday gift sets.  Free shipping on all orders $75 or more.  Valid until November 18, 2011.
    • Soft Moc has some discounted boots by up to 50% off with lots of styles to choose from. Their wide selection of handbags is also on sale for up to 50% off, so it's a good time for matchy-matchy outfits. Note that shipping to your local Soft Moc for in store pick up is free.
    • From Starbucks for all you coffee lovers out there: Buy one, get one free on Starbucks Holiday Drinks! This offer is valid for purchases between 2-5pm on November 17th - 20th. 
    •  There are two great sale events starting at The Body Shop this week. Buy a bag for $5 and save 30% off everything that fits inside + receive 6 weeks of FREE gifts in store. Save 30% off everything online. Both promotions exclude 750mL jumbo shower gels, prepackaged gifts, gift cards, Love Your Body memberships and charitable items. Sales start November 16, 2011.
    • Winterizing your shoe wardrobe has never been so easy! Head over at Naturalizer where all boots are on sale! Use the coupon code NATCA10 to save an additional 10% when checking out. Shipping is $5 for your first item and $2 for each additional item in your order.
    • Save up to 50% off on all outerwear (coats, jackets, vests) for a limited time at Forever21. No promo code necessary.
    • For four hours today, 5pm-9pm, save 40% off the entire store (regular priced merchandise only) both in store and online at Suzy Shier. Prestige members enjoy additional 10% off on top of the promotional discount! All down puffers are also 50% off.
    • I know this isn't strictly fashion or beauty related for humans, but it sure is for pets! Petcetera has some awesome deals for your furry friends:                                   Full selection of rawhide 50% off.
      Holiday dog toys 50% off starting at $2.49.
      50% off full assortment of Holiday fashions and fall/winter fashions.
      Holiday cat toys 50% off starting at $2.49.
      50% off complete assortment of plush toys.
      60% off complete assortment of pet beds
      75% off assorted leashes and collars.
      50% off complete assortment of exercise pens and pet crates.
      75% off complete assortment of Petcetra cat trees.
      *Holiday grooming special: receive a free bag of Royal Canin dry cat food 1.57kg or dry dog food 1.98kg (up to $28.99 value) FREE with a full service groom.*
    The round up of warehouse sales happening over the weekend:
    • West 49 is holding a warehouse closing sale in Burlington, Ontario. Note that all sales are final and no exchanges or returns allowed. 
              November 16-20, 2011
               Millcroft Plaza, Burlington, ON (click here to see map)
    • American Apparel is bringing their Warehouse Sale tour to Edmonton! Expect tens of thousands of American Apparel garments at up to 90% off. Inventory will be constantly replenished throughout the sale but be sure to get there early! RSVP to the Facebook event page to receive updates, tips, and be the first to know when new styles arrive. Cash, credit and debit accepted; all items final sale.
             November 18-21, 2011
             9AM - 9PM

            SHAW Conference Centre
            Assembly Level Hall C
            9797 Jasper Avenue Northwest
            Edmonton, AB T5J 1N9
    •  Winter Designer Sample Sale: For 4 days only, save up to 80% on a wide variety of apparel for men and women from brands such as: True Religion, Rock and Republic, New Monarchy Collection, J Brand, Paige, Seven for all Mankind, Sand, Pure, and G-Star just to name a few.
             November 24-27, 2011
             Thu-Fri 11AM-12AM
             Sat-Sun 11AM-10PM
             Sheraton Hotel
             600 Hwy 7 E & Leslie
             Richmond Hill, Ontario
    • Siga International is hosting this year's Nautica Sportswear Warehouse Sale featuring discounts of up to 80% off retail on brands such as Nautica, Bugatti, Pure, Mouse Ji, and Bruun Stengade just to name a few!

      November 17-20, 24-26, 2011
      Thu-Fri 10AM-6PM
      Sat-Sun 11AM-4PM
      81 St. Regis Crescent
      Toronto, Ontario
    • Get huge savings on your favorite brands such as Bench, Mavi, Silver, Buffalo, YDE, Guess, Lucky 7 and much more at the Jean Machine Warehouse Sale. Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Interac, and cash all accepted.

      November 17-20, 2011
      Thu-Fri 11AM-8PM
      Sat 11AM-7PM
      Sun 11AM-6PM
      4069 Gordon Baker Road
      Scarborough, Ontario
    • Save up to 75% on men, women, and kids apparel and footwear at this year's Geox Warehouse Sale in Vaughan.

      November 10-20, 2011
      Mon-Wed 11AM-7PM
      Sat-Sun 9AM-5PM
      361 Applewood Crescent
      Concord, Ontario  
    • Enjoy savings of up to 80% off on a huge collection of cosmetics and fragrances from brands such as Elizabeth Arden, Red Earth Cosmetics, Britney Spears, Armani, Baby Phat, Burberry, CK, Gucci, Guess, and Givenchy just to name a few at Lisa's Cosmetics and Fragrances Warehouse Sale!

      November 19-22, 25-28
      December 2-5, 2011
      1380 Rodick Road
      Markham, Ontario   
    Whew! That's a lot of deals and sales! I think I've got my work cut out for me as I doubt it'll lessen the closer to the Christmas holidays we get.

      Wednesday, November 16, 2011

      Nail Art Wednesday: Rainbow Zebra Patterned Nails

      Whenever I see these pretty colorful nail art, I can't help but rave about them. It looks like so much fun! But you wouldn't catch me sporting them on my own nails. I guess I'm more of a "subtle nail art" kinda girl where I prefer tone on tone color combinations as compared to high contrast ones. I recently had a hankering for some rainbow goodness to combat the grey, dreary fall days and decided to go with high shine instead of high color saturation. I was thinking of layering it with a black crackle to tie it all together but remembered I've been meaning to play a bit more with the makeshift black stamping polish I discovered (thanks to stamper extraordinaire, Marta!). This is what I came up with:

      Subtle but with enough oomph to pack a punch.

      Tuesday, November 15, 2011

      Truckload Tuesdays: Shiseido Warehouse Sale Madness

      I'm a huge sucker for deep discount sales. But when it's high end brands that have products going at fairly affordable prices, I'm a goner. Needless to say, I went more than a little crazy at the Shiseido Warehouse Sale last Saturday. I learned a lot from my first foray last year so this year's was relatively painless, even though my wallet disagrees. First up, loot photos!

      The lot of it (not all mine though). I forgot to include a boxed gift set so that's the only one missing.

      The part that's mine. (I know, still A LOT.)

      Joico K-PAK Reconstructive Conditioners and Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

      NARS Skin Toners and Nail Polish

      Shiseido Skincare Products (my stash for a whole year)

      Shiseido Cosmetics

      I was really looking forward to getting a NARS Multiple something but most of what they had were bronzers and I don't really use bronzers so I passed. I also wanted to pick up some of the Shiseido sunscreen products but it was the first item to sell out. It was ridiculous. I saw women taking 4 bottles at a time! Lucky that Mr. J found those Sun Protection foundation sticks. He actually braved the rabid horde of women at the skincare section to grab a couple for me while I was checking out the cosmetics area. So proud of him! In case you were wondering, they also had the whole spectrum of liquid foundations from both Shiseido and NARS, as well as eyeshadow, primers, lipstick and lip gloss, blushes, bronzers, highlighters...everything! I just didn't get eyeshadow because I need another like I do a hole in the head. I might have gone crazy but not so crazy that I even limited my nail polish purchases to only 3. My biggest regret is that I didn't grab more when I found out how amazingly cheap they were selling for. Oh, well. There's always next year. Or next May.

      Brand new, just not in the box.

      Definitely unused!

      Perfectly intact.

      Sealed! (The blue one I tampered with. :P)

      If you're hesitant about purchasing products from a warehouse sale, don't be. They provide testers so that the products you do purchase are intact and even sealed, albeit without a box. The NARS toners I got were still sealed in boxes though, but I think they're the exception to the rule. These aren't close to expiry either. All of the skincare products I purchased had their expiry pegged at 2013. That's a good leeway. If I had to make a guess, these are products that were over-ordered and are taking up too much space in the warehouse. Some of the cosmetics shades are from relatively current collections, too. One of the NARS nail polishes I got is Desperado from the Spring 2011 collection. Whereas there are others that are from older releases like another NARS polish I got: Midnight Express. But what about prices? Was it worth the hassle of waiting for at least an hour to get inside and then having to deal with little old ladies who surprisingly shove pretty hard?

      ***The retail prices above were gleaned from various websites including, and and are mostly in USD so the savings in CDN might even be significantly larger than shown. 

      As you can see from the chart above, you can easily get as much as 50% off your total purchase price. Notice though how much different the discount rates are for the various products. The Shiseido skincare products are some of the lower discount rates. But the NARS Skin toners are among some of the deeper discounts. In fact, I'll make a sweeping generalization and say that the NARS products have better discounts than the Shiseido ones. Now, if you're wondering if it's just all about NARS and Shiseido, fear not! If you're an Orlane fan, they also had their skin care products available, as well as hair care products from salon brands like Evolve, Bain de Terre and Joico that are all also heavily discounted. A perfume section is also present with brands like Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier with fragrances for both men and women. They even had gift sets with prices that range from $35-$50 that would make for great Christmas presents for any perfume enthusiast.

      Now that I have you convinced that hitting up these warehouse sales are definitely worth the effort, how exactly does one go about it without going bankrupt and/or getting the most out of it? Here are a few things I've had to learn the hard way from last year's first foray and this year's better experience.
      • Do your research. I cannot stress this enough. First, know when and where the warehouse sales will be. Find out if there's ample parking or if it would be better to either carpool with a friend or be dropped off by the hubby. That's one less thing to stress about. Second, find out what brands/products will be available and which of them you definitely want. Know the retail prices of each so you can decide if the prices at the warehouse sale make them worth getting. Go to the product counters at your local mall so you can swatch products in advance and consult what products would be best for your skin care needs.
      • Draw out a plan of attack. Mr. J and I are all about efficiency. He holds the bags and stands to the side while I work through the crowds to get the products. I also brief him prior to going to the sale so that he knows what to look out for if I miss them. Photos are especially helpful.
      • Come early. "The early bird gets the worm." If you really want something that is liable to sell out fast, be prepared to arrive at least half an hour earlier than the warehouse sale start time. It might mean an extra half hour of queuing but it might guarantee you getting the product you want. (I learned this from missing out on the sunscreen.)
      • Dress appropriately. Expect to be on your feet, in line, for at least an hour or so. Be kind to your feet (and legs) and leave the heels at home. Dress warmly if you're coming to the November sale. You'll be standing around in the cold in an open space near an airport so when the wind blows, it blows COLD.
      • Bring snacks and/or drinks in case of hunger/thirst pangs. If you come closer to lunch (10-11am), chances are you won't be having lunch till 2pm. I'd hope you had a huge breakfast or you might be cranky and rushing through when you finally get inside that you won't be able to maximize haulage.
      • Bring a buddy along. Waiting for a while with friends makes the waiting go much better. Just make sure you don't bring whiners along (that's counterproductive!). If you can't find anyone, make sure to bring a book or some form of entertainment to keep the waiting game from getting to you. At worst, start chatting up the person next in line to make a new friend.
      • Please, please, please don't bring your kids. I always feel bad for these little cuties waiting with their moms in the cold. I've seen a few full-blown tantrums, especially when the moms don't make provisions for the comfort of their children. If you must bring them, bring a stroller or folding chairs so they won't have to stand with you. Bring something to keep them occupied as well, like toys or books as well as food and drink to keep them happy. But in the rush of the crowd inside, know that having a child with you will make it harder for you to navigate inside, as well as not give you enough time to test different cosmetics.
      • Be patient, play nice but expect some shoving. Women go the craziest in the skincare section. I've been shoved, elbowed and pushed around by these little old Asian ladies that are rabid about their skincare. It's insane. But it works in my favor than I can reach over them (while saying "excuse my reach", of course) and just grab from open boxes the products I want. This is where my research comes into play as I already know what I want and have no need to ask the lady watching the counter what would work best with my skin needs.
       From last year's queue where we came later and had to wait in line for 2 hours. I forgot to take a photo this year since we waited for only about 30-40mins. FYI, the entrance is on the top far right where the people with the reflective vests are standing.

      After all is said and done, you don't really have to follow all the tips I've outlined above to get the most out of a warehouse sale experience. I've even seen husbands or boyfriends by themselves walking around with lists and giving them to the ladies who man the counters, asking them to get the items on the list for them. So really, what might work for me, may not work for you.

      Have you been to any warehouse sale? Would you be interested to hit one up after reading this post? Is there any product shown above that you'd be more interested to see an in-depth review on?

      Monday, November 14, 2011

      Soulstice Spa Manchester wants you to embrace gray, gloomy days.

      One of the few things I'm not too happy about leaving Daylight Savings Time is the early sunsets that prolong the dark of night. After a short day of gloomy, grey weather (much like today's) cut short only by more darkness, not much light does the soul no good. It really is not much wonder that depression hits people the most during the winter months. But grey doesn't always have to be bad.

      Grey came back with a splash this fall season. It was considered one of the trendier shades. Mind you, we're talking full on grey and none of that "greige" (a grey/beige hybrid) or "grerple" (purple leaning greys and yes, I made that up) or any other grey with a splash of ____ hybrid. I've long been on the hunt for a light grey that doesn't make me think wet cement and I think I've finally found it.

      soulstice spa manchester nail polish
      Don't you a-grey?

      Friday, November 11, 2011

      OPI Warm and Fozzie on a Special Day

      Happy 11.11.11! Next year will bring us 12.12.12 and then it'll be a century before we go back to 01.01.01. Needless to say, today is pretty special. Not just because of the date numbers or because it's Remembrance Day but most importantly, because the man who loved me first was born today 64 years ago. That's right, it's my Dad's birthday today! :D I'm a huge Daddy's Girl so to celebrate, I picked an extra special polish to feature. I was floored when I first saw it; it was so much better in person! It reminds me of a warm hug or a hot mug of cocoa with marshmallows swimming in it on a gray, gloomy day. It screams Autumn but with all the happy, warm thoughts that come with it. Whoever named it was a genius. I present to you, OPI Warm and Fozzie:

      opi warm and fozzie from muppets collection
      A warm hug on your fingertips.

      Thursday, November 10, 2011

      Indulge without the Splurge: November 10, 2011

      I was debating whether I should put up a list today as my eyes itch like mad, I sneeze at least 4 times in a row and my nose is like a dripping faucet. I'd rather not mix meds but I did take Reactine already and so far, these cursed allergies are still going strong. Oh, well. Hammie says writing this will invariably give me something to be busy with and (hopefully) forget about feeling like crap for a bit. Also, we have some amazing deals and warehouse sales you HAVE to know about!
      • Today only, save 40% off women's clearance priced items at The Bay. Use promo code: EXTRA40. Note that the 24 hours is based on the EST time zone and this deal is only available online. If you own a HBC Mastercard or HBC Credit Card use it to get free shipping if you spend $45 or more.
      • Gap Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory Store are having the Friends and Family Sale this weekend! Get additional 35% off your entire purchase.  Not valid at regular Gap, Gapkids, Gapbaby, Banana Republic stores or online. One coupon per customer. Valid only on  Nov 12 & 13, 2011.
      • Gap also offers 30% off online purchases with codes: GAPFAMILY or GAP30. Use this printable invitation for in store purchases.
      • Danier Leather Factory Outlet is having its Clearance Savings Event! Extra Savings for a limited time. Take an extra discount off the lowest ticketed price from 40%, 25% or 15% off. Sale ends November 13th.
      • "Like" American Apparel Canada on Facebook and get $20 off $75+ purchase. Promo ends at midnight. If you don't have a Facebook account, use promo code: LIKEUS11 at checkout for purchases made online.
      • Sirens has a Grand Opening Sale (Buy 1, Get 1 50% off storewide) at its two new stores in Alberta: Chinook Centre and Bower Place Shopping Centre until November 15.
      • The Bay Canada is offering a six-piece gift with any Biotherm purchase of $30 or more.  The gift includes: Skin-Ergetic Night Care, 5ml; Skin-Ergetic Day Care, 30ml; Biocils Lash Optimizer, 30ml; Biosource Cleanser, 20ml; Biosource Toning Water, 30ml; Exclusive Biotherm Pouch. This offer is valid in store and online. If you spend $75 or more, you get an additional three items: Biomains, 20ml; Aquasource Lips, 5ml; Lait corporel, 30ml. This offer is valid in store only until November 29, 2011. Don't forget to use your HBC Mastercard for extra savings!
      • To commemorate Kiehl's Day, pay no tax on purchases made from November 10th - 13th. If your online purchase is $60+, receive free standard shipping. And don't forget your free samples with every purchase!
      • Urban Behavior Canada and Costa Blanca are holding their Friends & Family Event from November 10-13, 2011. Simply present your invitation (click here for Urban Behavior and here for Costa Blanca) to receive a 50% discount off the original retail price. This cannot be used towards gift cards.
      • Who wouldn't want a new Coach bag on a discount? Get the new Coach Patchwork Tote with a 30% off coupon at any of the Coach Factory Stores. Offer is valid till November 13, 2011 at stores in US, Canada and Puerto Rico only. Cannot be combined with any other offer. One time use only. Not valid on previous purchases.
      • American Eagle and Aerie are having a Family & Friends Event this Sunday, November 13.  Save 30% on your entire purchase in store and online.  To get the discount online use coupon code 28422531 at checkout and to get the discount in store sign up here to have the invite email to you.
      • Looking to winterize your wardrobe? Save 25% off all regular priced items at RW & Co. Valid November 12, 2011 only. Excludes items ending in $0.95.
      • Lemming something from the Body Shop? Now is the best time to grab it! Save 30% off your entire purchase at The Body Shop. Plus, free shipping on orders of $75 or more! Valid online only, from November 10-13, 2011.
      • Save 40% off all bras at Aerie. Excludes clearance.
      • Save 25% off your entire purchase at Abercrombie & Fitch. Valid online and in store. If you plan to shop online, enter promo code 10109 at checkout to get your discount.
      • SportChek is having some great outerwear & footwear sales right now. Save 25% off winter jackets, pants & accessories. Save 50% off any Junior winter pant when you buy a Junior winter jacket. Buy one, get one 50% off all men’s & women’s footwear
      • Receive a free sample of Juicy Couture fragrance with this printable coupon. Bring your coupon to the Juicy Couture fragrance counter at The Bay to receive your freebie. Valid until November 13, 2011.
      • With coupon code RFD50, all sale items from will be Buy One, Get One 50% off. Items in the sale section are already reduced by up to 60%, so there are some pretty good deals to be had!
      • Jacob Canada has online shopping available now with free shipping on orders over $25. If that isn't enough, take an extra 30% off Sale Items. I've been wanting to try their nail polish for a while now and might jump on the chance!
      • Skin79 North America is having a sale online only till November 30, 2011! Get 15-20% off selected products (prices as marked). Great time to buy if you've been wanting to jump on the BB Cream bandwagon.
      • Reebok/Rockport Friends and Family Sale is also happening this weekend! Come in from today till Sunday, November 13, 2011 to receive an extra 40% off your entire bill! Promo excludes all Realflex footwear. Click here for which stores will be holding the sale. Also, feel free to print the image to bring in store, just in case.
      The Warehouse Sales are ridiculous this weekend! Pick from these (or go to all!) to get some awesome Christmas shopping done for a fraction of the cost:
      • Save up to 70% on men's, women's, and kids' apparel from brands such as Point Zero, N. Benisti, Blend, and Big It Up at the Point Zero Sample Sale!
          When: November 11-12, 2011
          Fri 10AM-8PM
          Sat 10AM-5PM
          Where: 160 Tycos Drive, Toronto, Ontario
      • The Shiseido Warehouse Sale is a good place to find high-end cosmetics at bargain basement prices in the Toronto area. I'll be hitting this one up so if you're there, come say hi! I'll be the one with a hamster on her shoulder. (Oh, but Hammie says he refuses to queue in the cold so he's staying in my pocket. *pouts*)
          When: November 12-13, 2011
          Sat 9AM-5PM
          Sun 9AM-3PM
          Where: 303 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario
      • Save up to 75% on men, women, and kids apparel and footwear at this year's Geox Warehouse Sale in Vaughan.
          When: November 10-20, 2011
          Mon-Wed 11AM-7PM
          Sat-Sun 9AM-5PM
          Where: 361 Applewood Crescent, Concord, Ontario
      • Get jewellery for as low as $3 at Vivah Jewellery Outlet Sale.
          When: November 11-26, 2011
          Mon-Fri 10AM-7PM
          Sat 11AM-5PM
          Where: 995 Finch Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario
      • The Premium Retail Group Guess Warehouse Sale is another good sale if you're in the west end of the city.
          When: November 9-13, 2011
          Wed 10AM-8PM
          Thu-Fri 11AM-9PM
          Sat-Sun 11AM-7PM
          Where: International Centre, Hall 4. 6900 Airport Road. Mississauga, Ontario
      • Tom's Place is holding a sale with unbelievable prices on men's and women's business attire. I have a buddy who's been talking about this for the longest time. He scored some awesome designer suits last year from brands like Ben Sherman, etc. Great time to grab a tux for any formal event you might have in the calendar!
          When: November 10-13, 2011
          Thu-Fri 11AM-8PM
          Sat 10AM-6PM
          Sun 11AM-6PM
          Where: 750 Spadina Avenue. Toronto, Ontario. 416-596-0297

      That's a lot of shopping to do this weekend, eh? Well, go ahead and indulge! Happy shopping!

      Wednesday, November 9, 2011

      Nail Art Wednesday: Poppy Nails for Remembrance Day

      Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
      I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
      - Invictus, William Ernest Henley

      One thing about me that always surprises people is when they find out I underwent a bit of military training. Nothing fancy as it was required in university, just marching about, really, and learning basic survival skills. Even then, my job throughout the whole experience was mostly administrative: took tally of attendance, processed the required paperwork and coordinated with the different platoons to make sure everyone was on the same page. I was lucky. Most of my friends had to endure hours under the hot sun perfecting their marching cadence and carrying heavy rifles. See, the people in the administrative team are those considered physically unfit. I just so happened to be the first casualty of the year when I hyperventilated after a hard run of exercises that were supposed to "loosen the muscles" on the first day. It was the first year that females were required to take the course, too, so everyone was skittish. I guess I looked pretty terrible with no ability to talk, gasping for air like a beached fish, that the instructors immediately moved me to the administrative team after I was rushed to the infirmary. All I really needed then was a paper bag, but that incident ensured I had one of the easiest jobs.

      Suffice to say that Remembrance Day is one of those holidays that's close to home. I imagine, the horrors of war is more than a hundredfold of the hardships of military training. No one really wins until the fighting is ended. It's senseless violence that should be condemned. So to commemorate the sacrifices of all those who have fought in armed conflict both past and present, I proudly wear my poppy nails.

      poppy nail art
      Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died.

      Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      Truckload Tuesdays: Mail Happiness and Luck

      *Defensive mode: On* Before anything, let me just say that this post does not in any way or form violate my currently imposed "No Buy". All the items below were purchased or ordered online prior to its imposition so I haven't broken any rules with what I'm going to show you today. *Defensive mode: Off*

      Now that we have that out of the way, I recently got some mail love that I've been anxiously waiting for: Skin79 BB Creams! My heritage is Asian and as anyone who follows beauty products in Asia will know, BB cream (BB stands for beauty balm) is a must try/have product. It got so popular that they've started opening stores (both physical and online) in North America in an effort to garner a niche in the beauty market. Sephora just recently introduced Dr. Jart BB cream from Korea and Clinique and Boscia have come out with their own take. I wanted to try one of the more popular brands from Korea so when I found out that Skin79 ships to Canada, I HAD to try some!

      I got the Oriental Gold BB Cream that came with a free gift: Oriental Gold Shimmering BB Cream! 
      I got the EOS lip balm because of Mary. ;)

      Out of the box: These were so reflective, it was a pain to photograph!

      The BB cream cap comes with a lip and cheek tint while the shimmering kind works with a click brush mechanism similar to the Stila lip glosses, only much bigger.

      I'm excited to do a review on these soon, but I want to keep using these for a longer time to see if my skin does improve as the claims suggest. Suffice to say that so far, I've really been enjoying these! I was also lucky enough to win one of the free Milani eyeliner packs that G at Nouveau Cheap gave away last month in partnership with Milani. I was beyond ecstatic; it was the first time I've ever won any giveaway! Hammie even did a little dance when we found out.

      Couldn't have come at a better time. Been wanting to try these for the longest time!

      If you see anything you're most interested to know more about, do let us know in the comments so we can prioritize them accordingly. Happy Tuesday!

      Hammie says: Have you tried BB creams before? Don't forget to wear your poppy till Friday!

      Monday, November 7, 2011

      Suncoat Sienna: An Experiment with Waterbased Nail Polish

      Water is good for you. My mom always reminds me to drink at least 8 tall glasses of it. Even our bodies are comprised of about 60-70% of the stuff. So I turn to water when seemingly out of nowhere, I started experiencing some major nail peeling that I'm thankful is all but gone now thanks mostly to NailTek. But at the height of my nail dilemma, I was looking for nail polish options that can hide the peeling without aggravating the sorry situation my nails were in. I'd heard about water based nail polish so I was keen to try some. The easiest to get a hold of was from Suncoat. Add to my purchasing confidence that all the reviews on the website gave it no lower than 4 stars (out of 5). With just a few clickity clicks on (love that they have free shipping with no minimum purchase price!) and my water based polish was well on it's way!

      Water you thinking about this?

      Friday, November 4, 2011

      China Glaze Cross Iron 360

      Pumpkins. Falling leaves. The one fruit Mr. J can eat boxes and boxes of. What do they have in common? You guessed it right: Orange! This is one funny color. Funny in a weird kind of way. When I think "orange" it usually brings to mind both summer AND fall which I find strange because those two almost feel like polar opposites. But maybe it's because of how one transitions into the other that allows orange to straddle both seasons.

      When I got the China Glaze Haunting Collection, I have to admit that it was primarily for It's Alive. The swatches I've seen of the entire collection had me hoping they'd include one of the vampier shades in the 4pc set. So when I saw the orange shimmer alongside It's Alive...I'll be honest. It was a bit of a let down. However, on the nail, not so much.

      How could I stay unhappy wearing this?

      Thursday, November 3, 2011

      Indulge without the Splurge: November 3, 2011

      If you're following me on Twitter, you'd know that I've been having some internet problems this week. More like, we're switching providers because of a great deal Mr. J is getting with an employee discount and pretty awesome bundle (including tv and phone) but the new service provider screwed up the installation schedule so we're in limbo right now. Hopefully, it'll all be resolved by Saturday. *crosses fingers* I've been tethering on my phone for internet access which is pretty handy but I don't want to stay on too long lest my bill skyrockets. You know how it is. Anyway, enough rambling and on with the deals!

      • Another awesome warehouse sale going soon! Save up to 75% on men, women, and kids apparel and footwear at this year's Geox Warehouse Sale in Vaughan.
        November 10-20, 2011
        Mon-Wed 11am-7pm
        Sat-Sun 9am-5pm
        361 Applewood Crescent
        Concord, Ontario
      • Esprit: 40% off everything till November 6, 2011! Use this coupon in store or code: FRIENDS12 for shopping online.
      • 40% off regular priced pants at Cleo excluding jeans. No code required, for a limited time only.
      • Friends and Family Sale is on at the Bay again! Save 20% off when you use your HBC credit card on regular, sale and clearance priced merchandise. Save 15% off without an HBC credit card on regular, sale and clearance priced merchandise. Save 10% off on regular, sale and clearance priced furniture, mattresses, vacuums, electronics, major & small appliances. Use this coupon in store to avail of the discounts above till November 6, 2011.
      • For a limited time only, get 30% off pants at Ricki's valid in store. Selected styles only.
      • Get a free Signature Collection travel size item (up to a $5.50 value) with any $10 purchase till November 25, 2011 with this coupon at Bath and Body Works.
      • Get 20x the points at Shoppers Drug Mart with any cosmetics and fragrance purchase $75 or more from today till November 11, 2011! Lots of awesome holiday gift sets have landed and it's always nice to get points for some early Christmas shopping. Also, Revlon Colorburst, Matte, Mood Drops or Super Lustrous Lip Color lip products are on sale at $3.99 each on selected types; limit of 4 and on November 6-7 only.
      • Danier Canada is offering a printable coupon for an extra 25% off the lowest ticketed price.  May not be combined with any other coupons or promotions and valid from November 4-6, 2011.
      • COACH Factory Outlet is offering another 30% off  with this coupon until November 13th at closing that may be used on top of any other discounts and offers in store.
      • Mark's Work Wearhouse is now online! Enjoy free shipping till December 31, 2011.
      • Save 15% off special occasion shoes for the whole family with this coupon from The Shoe Company for use in store.  Coupon not valid with any other offers or any other coupon.  One coupon per customer per transaction.  Use code PARTYTIME for shopping online. Valid November 1st to November 8th 2011.
      • Elizabeth Arden gift with purchase of $38 or more at the Bay. The set includes a great bag, Prevage anti-aging serum, Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules, Full Size lipstick, Plump Perfect lift & firm moisturizer, line smoothing exfoliator and an eye & lip make up remover. Deal is available in store and online. As a little added bonus, from November 2-6 if you purchase $75 or more on Elizabeth Arden products and pay with your HBC credit card or HBC Mastercard, you will get a $25 savings card for your next purchase of $100 at The Bay.  The savings card purchase must also be made on an HBC credit card.
      • With any purchase of $34 or more at Lancome Canada online, get a 6 piece gift valued at $109 which includes:
        Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara in Black
        Color Design Sensational Effects Lip Colour in Edgy
        Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
        Renergie Lift Volumetry Volumetric Lifting and Reshaping Cram Firming - 15g
        Creme Radiance Clarifying Cream-to-Foam Cleanser - 60ml
        Exclusive Lancome Makeup Bag
        Use promo code: HOLIDAY11 at the checkout to receive your gift.
      • Save up to $75 on down jackets at Eddie Bauer in store and for a limited time only.
      • H&M has select knitwear buy one, get one free. Valid in store only and for a limited time.
      • La Senza has a free shipping event going on this weekend till November 7 on all Canadian and US ground orders with no minimum purchase required! To give you ideas, Perfectly Me Bras are 2 for $29.50 for a limited time.
      Hammie says: Go ahead, Indulge!

      Wednesday, November 2, 2011

      Nail Art Wednesday: Halloween Nails! Ghost, Skull, Frankenstein's Monster, Jack o' Lantern and Mummy

      The title is a mouthful, I know. But because I only do nail art posts once a week and with the October Birthdays series, I couldn't do Halloween themed nail art leading up to it. Oh no! There was so much I wanted to try! I wasn't going to make it for Halloween! The solution: cram them all in one post on the first Wednesday in November and call it Halloween Nails. *toothy grin*

      Beware the Claw!!!

      Tuesday, November 1, 2011

      Nuance by Salma Hayek Perfect Lips Lip Quad in Warm

      No Truckload Tuesday today (Yay, I've kept to my "No Buy"!) so instead, I'll be doing my first beauty product review.

      I'm not generally a fan of Salma Hayek but when I heard about the makeup line she launched in partnership with CVS based on organic and natural ingredients, I can't say I wasn't intrigued. A lot of celebrities have lent their name and image to cosmetic lines (just look at the numerous collaborations with MAC and OPI) but to actually come up with your own line just isn't heard of. What makes Salma's effort unique (along with it being the first complete beauty line from a collaboration between a retailer and an actress) is that this line is a realization of her grandmother's legacy, a cosmetologist who formulated her own beauty remedies. Her dedication to the development of an affordable line using her grandma's own ingredients and knowledge resulted in a beauty line that will definitely make her grandma proud.

      How unique and different is that?

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