Friday, November 5, 2010

Warm Holiday Collections (and Wishes!)

Thus far, the least wonky self-portraits tend to happen in my car :)

I actually have more than ONE post worth of content, and under the threat  encouragement of several of my favourite girls online, I'm going to try to post more than once this month... we'll see how it goes. I tend to have grand plans about blogging and then I get distracted and end up tweeting everything and never posting. It's a vicious cycle.

In any case: I usually don't post 'haul' posts since I don't find my own purchases to be all that interesting after I gush about them (or at least they don't seem interesting enough to talk about) but after a hellish two weeks at work, not only did I end up with a LOT of new makeup - but I didn't have any chance to play with any of it! Two weeks ago was the beginning of my awful stretch of shifts (partly my own fault, partly the scheduler's) and on the minimal days (3 in 14... bearing in mind I do 12 hour day/night shifts) I wasn't at work I apparently had to maximize my time and buy as much of the collections as I wanted as possible.

Before you have a heart attack: part of this was truly spending, and the other part was all free thanks to the Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum program.

So what did I end up with?

First, the Holt Renfrew haul. I get mailers from a lot of the Holt Renfrew counters (I possibly spend too much time there) and one of them was advertising the new Armani Luminous Silk foundations... with a GWP. I whine that Canada NEVER gets good GWP, but I've come to the conclusion that I almost never use them so... I no longer purchase JUST to get the gift. That being said, this gift was pretty awesome (!) and since I'd been eyeing the Armani-skin products lately I thought I'd at least check it out...

My Armani SA is awesome and was lovely and I did end up purchasing to get the gift but I'm happy with what I got. :D

I'd actually received a really large sample of the Radiant Face Fabric at some point last summer, and while I loved both my colour match and the coverage (it was medium coverage - enough to even out my skintone but not heavy at all), the included shimmer made me look oily super fast. Plus at 46$ CAD it seemed expensive (yes you are talking to the girl with a massive Dior eyeshadow collection - somehow I can't bear to spend as much on foundation). The promotion was meant for the 65$ CAD Luminous Silk Foundation but that was MUCH heavier and the SA and I both agreed that (thankfully!) my skin was good enough that I didn't need such heavy coverage. Happily I got re-matched to the regular Face Fabric line (I think I am actually a shade lighter now though :P) and finally purchased it! If you're wondering about my change of heart: you had to buy two skin products (either skincare or base makeup) to get the free GWP, and I'd wanted this foundation for so long... besides, it is now my 'special occasion' foundation - I love the finish, but also have a cheaper HG in use right now.

Second purchase was a setting/finishing powder. Right now I am using the MUFE HD powder, which I don't love, but feel I should finish - thus it is a 'daily' item for me - but it's VERY mattifying. It's also not very portable (I hate bringing loose powder with me) and I wanted something that I could use to set my makeup and also bring on the go (I rarely do this, but you never know) if I needed to touch up my foundation. Because I don't wear a lot of foundation as it is the SA and I settled on a tinted finishing powder :) I think this was also 46$ CAD

So having met the requirements, I got my free GWP, which was a full-sized blending brush - this is the most well known Armani makeup brush (at least according to my SA) and it's SO soft - I can't wait to use it with my liquid foundations! The brush sells for 54$ CAD so I thought the GWP was a good value. I'd rather have a tool I can use regularly vs. samples. I never really use samples unless they are products I already know - I'm afraid they'll break me out! This is the best GWP I've received in a while :D

Next part of the haul was almost COMPLETELY free (I think, in the end, I paid about 6$ for my stuff) thanks to the Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum (Plus!) program. Basically, you get points for every dollar you spend at the store, and can redeem for certain cash levels. The maximum redemption is 95,000 points for 170$ of merchandise from the store (obviously no gift cards allowed). I maximize the points program by only shopping on bonus weekends (at least 10x-20x the number of points per dollar) and buying almost ALL of my really high-end makeup at SDM stores. It helps that SDM also owns Murale, which is almost a Canadian version of Sephora! Between the two stores I can purchase any of these brands: Dior, Guerlain, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique, Lancome, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, NARS, Shiseido, YSL, Bare Escentuals, and probably more that I'm forgetting. It's awesome. I've had over the max number of redemption points for a while, but since I passed on the fall collections I was determined to wait for the Christmas ones... and then they took FOREVER to be unpacked in Calgary. I was so impatient (since they had been spotted in other Canadian cities) that the day they came out I called to reserve my 'purchase'... and then found out the day AFTER I was going to pick them up was going to be a bonus Redemption weekend (so 95,000 points for 200$ - an extra 30$ of free stuff!)

Being quite a cheap person in general, despite what my makeup collection says, of course I waited to redeem. XD;

Both Dior quints this year! I was actually racking my brain a few weeks ago trying to figure out if I'd purchased anything from the fall Dior collection (answer: just lipsticks) and hadn't been too in love with Holiday 2010... until I saw it in person! I still love bright colours but I LOVED the neutral golds of both Holiday quints, and after swatching them in person, decided to get both! It helped that I knew I wasn't paying for either of them :) Felt less guilty indulging, LOL!

The FOTD at the beginning of the post actually uses my SDM haul (shocking, I know. Five Golds is GORGEOUS. Given that it's called a 'Gold Edition' I wonder if there will be more? I really hope so. Dior quints, overall, are still my favourite thing to play with and purchase. Someday I will do a collection post, and you can all gawk at the sheer number of them I have. Keep in mind that about 40% of my quints I got like I purchased these two... for free :D

Lastly I purchased my first Guerlain Meteorites! What sold me (other than that the Minaudiere wasn't available at SDM) was that the case, for the first time, was actually metal! I've always thought that the Meteorites LOOKED beautiful every holiday collection, but the cardboard cases seemed really cheap for the amount you paid for them. Packaging isn't everything to me, but it's certainly a consideration when spending 50 or 60$+ on a product! I love these - they seem to give a more 'polished' look to my FOTDs (I'm wearing them in the first pic) and help combat the mattifying nature of the MUFE HD powder.

The last thing I bought (and paid money for) was the holiday item I'd been drooling over since I saw it 3 months ago on BBB - the Dior Minaudiere. I had talked myself in and out of buying the palette several times (you can just ask Sheila) and finally gave in after seeing the swatches - I do think it's something I will use at least a few times. And it was SO gorgeous in person. The Dior SA at the Bay downtown was lovely, and let me actually handle the palette instead of a tester so I could feel the weight of it. This is probably my favourite 'star item' Dior's released since I got into makeup!

Enough babbling. Honestly I like haul posts and even makeup sales because I just like pictures of pretty things... so you can ignore all my rambling and just enjoy the pictures! Still playing with my new camera - but I think these pictures are OK!


  1. This is an uber high class haul and I LOVE IT! I want please? That should test your new camera!!

    I love the sound of these point cards that you have. I have about £40 on my Boots card and i am still pondering on what I ought to splash them on.

    Let us know how that brush applies with your foundation?

  2. i never paid attention to dior releases until we became friends XD and lately i got my mother in law addicted to them! the husband bought her one for christmas on my advice and now she's requesting new ones for her bday and this year's christmas hahahahah will be gettin her the 5 golds one!