Back-To-School Supply Haul

back to school 2016Good afternoon all!!!

Today is my first day of my fourth year of university. One of my favourite parts about getting ready to head back to school is shopping for supplies. I don’t know why, but I am weirdly at peace in stationary and office supplies stores. I think it has something to do with how all the products are nicely stacked on shelves according to size and colour, appealing to my need to have everything just so.

Something that I learned about myself while shopping for school supplies is just how picky I can be. For instance, if someone hands me a pen, I write with it, regardless of the brand, ink colour, ink type, or grip configuration, but when it comes to picking out pens for my exclusive personal use, I know exactly what I want and cast aside all other pens as inferior writing utensils.

While perusing my school supplies drawer, I noticed that some of my favourites were dwindling, so I hit up a Walmart to replenish my stock, and I wanted to share the supplies that I love using.

school supplies 2016 pencilsMy writing utensil of choice is a Dixon HB pencil. Yes, it must be a Dixon brand pencil. They are easy to distinguish from other pencils because the eraser islight pink, as opposed to white or dark pink both of which smudge the pencil when erasing. I do use mechanical pencils on occasion though, particularly during a multiple-choice exam where the professor uses those Scantron sheets that necessitate a completely filled-in bubble to recognize the correct answer. Each have their own pros and cons: regular pencils require sharpening and the shavings can be messy; mechanical pencils need to be refilled with graphite of a certain size. Personally, I like to stick to regular pencils as much as possible.

school supplies 2016 pensLast year I strayed from my classic pen choice (Pentel R.S.V.P. medium line) and gave erasable pens a try Well I fell in love. The only trouble is that they run out of ink so quickly, so I picked up the ones that come with a refill. They write really smoothly and evenly, and have that gel pen quality to the lines. However, the ink does not always dry instantly and, for a left-hander like me, this means that I may end up smearing the ink with the side of my hand. The savings on white out tape though neutralize that con, and the smears can easily be erased away.

school supplies 2016 splurgeEach year I treat myself to one splurge purchase and this year it was the Bic Marking Permanent Ultra Fine 8 pack. I love using permanent markers for labelling and all through concept maps, and these colours are just so lovely and diverse. I hope they don’t bleed through to the other side of paper too much but I am really looking forward to using these. I didn’t notice until I got home but my package contains two green pens, so I wonder if it is just a coincidence or if all packages come with two greens.

school supplies 2016 highlightersAlso, I picked up a ton of highlighters because I go through them like nobody’s business. I have a strict system: yellow for words that are defined, pink for headings, blue for information, green for names, orange for processes, and purple for stats. The purple rarely gets used but the blue is always out halfway through teterm so I am planning ahead. These are also great for sectioning parts of concept maps into related topics.

school supplies 2016All the school supply goodies:

  •  Pilot FriXion Point 0.5mm Extra-Fine needle point Erasable Gel Ink Pens in blue and black
  • Bic Brite Liner Grip highlighters 
  • Post-it Notes in Rio de Janeiro colours (3 in x 3in) and Miami colours
  • Post-it Notes Cube (1 7/8 in x 1 7/8 in) in pink, blue, and sea foam green
  • Bic Marking Permanent Ultra Fine 8 pack (pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, black)
  • Bic Gel-osity Retractable Gel Pens 
  • PaperMate Replay PREMIUM Vibrant Gel Ink Pens (Pink, turquoise, orange, purple)
  • Bic Wite-Out Correction Tape 
  • Dixon HB/2 Pencils 
  • Bic Extra Precision Mechanical Pencils

What school supplies are you using this year???


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Summer Wool Haul


The last major shopping spree I went on for knitting supplies was way back in December during Blogmas. Since then, I have been working on several knitting projects and found myself in need of some more wool to add to my now dwindling collection.

In the centre are Drops Design circular knitting needles in sizes 5.5mm, 6mm, and 6.5mm. They are all 40cm long and are absolutely adorable and coloured pastel pink, green, and blue, respectively. Plus they were 50% off so I couldn’t resist adding them to my needle collection. Besides, small circular needles can come in handy.

The Patons Decor in Oceanside Variegated 100g was a bit of a treat to myself because I loved the blend of dark blue, light blue, and gray but then, lo and behold, a girl I work with is having a baby, and this will make the perfect baby sweater of blanket (not sure what to make out of it yet).

The Filatura Di Crosa Charly Print Melange 50g balls were also on sale and with autumn just around the corner (yikes!!!) I wanted to infuse some rich dark colours into my wool selection. They are a little on the small size, but I am hoping to use three of them to make an infinity scarf or some mittens.

reversible cable knit scarf
shameless picture to show off my most recently completed project
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Just look at how cozy and soft this wool scarf looks!!!

Finally, I purchased the Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky 100g in the colour 7245, which is one of my favourite wools to work with. I love how thick it is yet it is also easy to work with. I have made toques, mittens and, most recently, a scarf out of this wool and I am so happy with how my projects turned out. This wool works equally well with small and big needles, and the final product is a cozy and luscious garment. One day I would love to knit a sweater out of it but then I wouldn’t want to wear anything else during the winter because it would keep me all warm.

What have you been knitting lately???

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Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Unboxing 

Happy August all!!!

On Sunday, I popped into the post office and picked up a giant package that I had been expecting. If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen my tweet about ordering the new Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera. I have wanted to get into photography for years now and, after comparing lots of different cameras and saving up money, I finally took the plunge and ordered one (plus it was $100 off!!!). This DSLR package came with an 18-55mm lens, a UV filter, and a tripod.  I am so excited to start taking pictures with this, and perhaps even filming some videos (still not enough courage to put anything up on YouTube yet). My mother and I are planning a mini getaway at the end of August so this will be a lovely way to document the trip. I have wanted one of these for so long and I am elated that I now have a camera that can do so much more than my little old faithful Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. I still love the little camera though because it has been everywhere with me, is much more transportable than this new Canon, and still takes a great picture.  Blog logo

July Sephora Haul Unboxing

Sephora July Haul Good evening everyone!!!

The title of this blog post is a bit of a cheat since I only purchased two different shades of the same product and then scored a whole bunch of free samples, but I still wanted to do a little unboxing haul to show how nicely Sephora ships out their products and how adorable and incredible some of the samples are. 

Make Up For Ever multi-use powder foundationSo the two products I purchased were the Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation in shades 110 Pink Porcelain and 113 Nude Porcelain. 113 is available in Sephora stores and I have been using and loving it ever since I first tried it way back in June 2015, and reviewed it here on my blog. However, I have been wondering if maybe it is a bit too yellowish for my skin tone and I wanted to try out the lightest shade, 110, but 110 is only available online, or maybe in some stores but not in the Sephora near me. I couldn’t judge the shades very well online so I ordered both, thinking I would immediately be able to tell which shade would be best for me when they arrived. Well, no such luck because I unpacked them only to find I could see a difference but still couldn’t decide which would be best. 

Just a little shout-out to Sephora here because I love their product return policy because you can actually try out the product and then return it if it doesn’t work for you. So, I tried out both shades and I have decided to stick with the nude porcelain, partly for ease of purchasing because I don’t necessarily want to order online all the time and partly because the pink tones would be nice for a summery pink look but might not be as versatile as the nude porcelain in the autumn and winter. 

And now for all the samples:

Fresh deluxe samples
From left to right: Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, Sugar Face Polish, Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil

At the time that I placed my order, Sephora was offering a promotion where I could pick three deluxe samples of Fresh products for free. I love the brand Fresh, so I went with an old favourite and two products I have been dying to try. My favourite Fresh product is the Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment. I started using this way back in high school and it is the most hydrating and sweet-smelling lip balm I have ever used. I get very chapped lips in the winter and this just makes my lips kissably soft. The two new products are the Sugar Face Polish (125 g $62), which is a nourishing natural exfoliant made with real strawberries (including the seeds!!!) and brown sugar that polishes away dry, dull skin, and the Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil (full size 50mL $52) that contains omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9 and pure oils to preserve youthful skin. Because of how expensive Fresh products are, I am so happy I was able to get some deluxe size samples so I can try them out and see if they are worth purchasing.  

Then, as my three free samples that come with every Sephora order, I selected Benefit’s Goof Proof Brow Pencil, NARS Orgasm Blush, and Tatcha Balanced pore perfecting water gel moisturizer.    

Benefit Goof Proof Brow PencilThe Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil (full size $30) is a product I have been hearing a lot about recently, and something that I am in desperate need of. My brows do not have that sought-after arch, which is fine, but when I get all dolled up for a night out or something, they just look a little bit sad. The nice thing about this product is that it has a wide tip to fill in brows and a pointed end to define the tail of your brows. This has made my brows stand out so much more and have given them the little helping hand they needed. I was sent shade 03 Medium. 

NARS Orgasm BlushThe NARS Orgasm blush (full size $38) is a product people have been raving about for years now, and I have actually never tried it. I love blush palettes more than getting just one shade in a pan, but this is a shade has been hailed as a cult beauty product so I felt I should give it a go. It is a gorgeous warm pink shade with golden shimmer highlights. What I really like about it is that it is really hard to over-apply it because the pink hue does not build up but the shimmer does, leaving a nice golden glow.

Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer    Tatcha is a brand I had not heard of before but I am always game to try international beauty brands. This japanese skin care and beauty brand combines the ancient wisdom of geisha beauty with the modern skin care regimen. The Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer (full size 50mL $68) offers oil-balancing hydration, making it great for oily skin, a rare find. Also, this moisturizer includes a dust of 23k gold. That’s right, gold, delivering a shine-free glow. After trying this, I found that my pores looked a lot smaller and tighter, and it wore really well under my makeup. 

What beauty products have you purchased lately???

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Coach Summer 2016 Order Unboxing 

Happy sunny Sunday!!! coach sale banner

A few weeks ago, a lovely package from Coach arrived on my doorstep. Coach is one of my favourite brands because of the quality materials and workmanship, and the New York style designs, but lately it has been hit or miss whether I will find 5 styles I love at once, or whether I will go a year or so without finding anything I like. But two purses caught my eye online, and the summer sale with up to 50% off enticed me to order them. Since Coach always has such lovely packaging for their online orders, I wanted to share the unboxing here on the blog.     Both of these handbags are the same style, the Crosstown Crossbody in Pebble Leather, style number 53083. The colours are silver/seaglass and silver/iris, beautiful colour names for beautiful purses. Originally priced, these purses were $195 each, but I was able to purchase them on sale for $97.50 each, which in my opinion is a steal for purses that I had been eyeing for quite some time and know I will use plenty. I love the plated iconic Coach turnlock on the front of these bags, allowing for easy opening/closing. Also, the Minimalist interior means that I can only pack the essentials with me (no more not cleaning out my purse for months at a time), but there is an interior pocket and a rear exterior pocket for slipping things in like movie tickets, or mints from restaurants. I just want to note though that, due to the chain detail on the shoulder strap, it is not adjustable. Luckily, it is the perfect length for me. Also, I do not see a way to remove the strap, but this purse could still be used as a clutch I suppose if the strap were tucked into the purse. This style also comes in the colours light gold/navy, which is a classy pairing that could easily be worn day or night, and silver/canary, a gorgeous vibrant yellow that would add a pop to any outfit, any season.  

What brands and handbags have you been loving this summer??? 

Clinique Winter 2016 Haul and Bonus Time

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Good morning everyone!!!

This is the first Clinique bonus time of 2016, and I could not be more excited. Clinique has a bunch of new products out, such as the Clinique Pop Glaze Sheer Lip Color + Primer, Lid Pop eyeshadows, Pep-Start Eye Cream, Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Color + Primer, Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm, and so many more. I wish I could try them all out right now, but my bank balance and I can’t agree on how many are “appropriate,” so we compromised and I picked up two new little goodies to try and qualified for the bonus gift of essential travel-size products.

After much deliberation, I picked out two of Clinique’s newly released Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balms. They are all such lovely colours, but Sweet Rose looks like such a soft pink, and Citron is the ideal clear lip balm that we all want sometimes when we are going with a plain lip look. I have yet to try them, but look out for a review post of these in the next little while because I already know I will be sharing my thoughts on them with you.

And now for the little cosmetic bag of goodies:

img_0406Clinique always has such vibrant cosmetic bags, and this one definitely lives up to that reputation. This one was designed by Kapitza, an East London design studio run by German sisters Nicole and Petra Kapitza. This studio actually conducts experimental research investigating geometric shapes and mathematical formulas. I was never a huge fan of math class, but this is one nifty application of it.

img_0402The qualifier price for this bonus is $31, but it is valued at $85, making it a great reason to wait half the year to stock up on your Clinique favourites. Like many Clinique bonuses, there is a choice involved, which can either be really great or really troubling if, like me, you struggle to make small decisions like what to eat for dinner or, in this case, what lipstick and eyeshadow trio I would like to try this season. I did a review post on Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks last year, featuring the two shades available for this bonus, which you can read here if you’d like.  Picture 15 This bonus also comes with:

  • Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer, 15 ml
  • Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, 30 ml
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, 30 ml
  • High Impact Mascara in Black (a personal favourite of mine)

This gift is also paired with a spend more, get more type deal, where you receive a deluxe size of your choice of Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief or Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator with a purchase of $75 or more. I didn’t go for this offer this go around because I am pretty stocked up on moisturizers and I am really trying to use up all of my sample sizes before I start collecting more.

What bonus times are happening right now where you live???

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Blogmas Day 21: Giant Wool Haul

blogmasbannerHello all and happy 21st day of Blogmas!!!

As of 4pm this afternoon, I am officially finished my fall term of university!!! I wrote my final exam for my Cognitive Neuroscience class, and now I am free!!!

To celebrate my newfound freedom and warmly re-welcomed social life, I popped into a local wool shop to scoop up some wool bundles for a bunch of projects I am hoping to start soon, and to get working on a few last-minute Christmas presents.

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Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted 100g in 100% Acrylic in vibrant pink

Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted 100g in 100% Acrylic in pale yellow

Hayfield Baby Chunky 100g 70% Acrylic 30% Nylon in pale pink

Hayfield Baby Chunky 100g 70% Acrylic 30% Nylon in purple

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Red/Green/White

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Red

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Green

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in White

Drops Design 10.0mm Needles in purple

Aero 5.0mm Crochet Hook

I kind of got a little carried away as you can see . . . but everything was on sale; how could I not??? It will all be used eventually, and I like having a wide selection of colours to pick from.

What are some of your recent knitting projects???

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette giveaway here!!! This giveaway ends December 24th at 11:59pm PST, and there are chances to have up to 3 entries!!!

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A Few Birthday Beauty Treats

Good morning everyone!!!

With my birthday now 9 days behind us, I wanted to share with you what I received for my birthday, focusing in on a few beauty treats.

Beauty Treats: img_6234 I was fortunate to receive from my mother something I had been eyeing for quite some time: Esteé Lauder’s Colour Portfolio Palette. This set includes 30 Pure Colour Eyeshadows, two Pure Colour Glosses, and a Pure Colour Intense Kajal Eyeliner pencil. I absolutely love the range of colours in this portfolio, and each palette section actually pops out. Plus, there is a built-in mirror, making this portfolio perfect to take on a trip with all your eyeshadows in one place, complete with an applicator brush. img_6236When my mother purchased this for me, apparently she did so on the one day that Hudson’s Bay was giving away a free full size of  Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Cream, a $100 value. I love when things like that happen. img_6240.jpg And finally, I was able to pick up my birthday gift from Sephora: a set of two mini NARS Velvet Matte and Satin Lip Pencils in the shades Cruella and Rikugien. The former is a classic red shade, while the latter is a more muted pink shade. I just tried out Rikugien this morning, and it goes on so smoothly!!! Now to test its lasting power. img_6204 And now for the presents from my grandparents. For as long as I can remember, every birthday my grandmother gives me a 200 sheet package of ruled paper, a $50 bill, and a pair of gloves.

Paper: The most recent package of paper I have received to date was purchased back in the 90s. How do I know, you ask??? Well, each package has a page of coupons on the front, or a promotion. On one package in particular, the coupon for purchasing three Crispy Crunch chocolate bars and getting the fourth one free expired in 1992 . . . meaning the paper was purchased at least the year before. Then another package had a promotion for getting a Batman comic book for $1.29. That promotion ended back in the late 80s. But I love getting this paper every year. As a student, I find I am always running out of paper in binders, and it is so nice to always have a stash of more. Plus, since the paper is older, it has a slight yellow hue to it, which I love. So much better than the stark white of brand new paper with the overly defined red margin line. Ha, my paper is always so different that, back in high school, all my teachers knew which work was mine without looking at the name because the paper stood out in their marking pile. Ah, youth.

$50: My grandmother claims every year that she doesn’t know what to get people, so including some money in a card is her way of making sure she doesn’t give people anything they don’t want or wouldn’t use. I think she expects me to buy myself a little present with it, but I always end up depositing it into my savings account. Got to pay for school somehow.

The pair of gloves: Now this one I find so adorable. Each year, my grandmother goes on a weekend getaway with her childhood friend. They stay in a hotel, go out for dinner, and, of course, hit up the dollar store in the big shopping mall on the drive home. This is where her hoard of gloves comes from and, every year, I am given a pair of gloves. At this point, I have at least 19 pairs, but I think I have even more because sometimes I get a pair for Christmas too. You would think this would be more pairs of gloves than anyone could ever need, but they are actually really handy (ha, so punny). They are super compact, so I keep a pair in the car, in my backpack, in jacket pockets, in purses, and anywhere else I can think of so that, come winter, my hands will never be cold.

Finally, for my birthday I asked for a goat. Not one for myself, but one that would be donated to an organization like Free the Children or OxFam, who would give the goat to a family in a developing country. It is amazing to see how a single goat can change the economic status of a family, and how much it means to them. And it is always important to give to others.

I had such a wonderful birthday celebration with my family, and I am so thankful for these thoughtful presents.

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Mini Autumn Book Haul

imageOk, it’s official: I have a problem.

I don’t know what it is about me and buying books. It’s like I think that if I don’t own it, I’ll never read it. Helloooo, that is what libraries are for. They even have the hold system to make sure you always have a book to read. And the renew feature so you can finish books at your own pace.

So maybe I buy books because otherwise I won’t remember that I wanted to read them. Well, I’m pretty sure that is a top feature of GoodReads for many people, keeping track of books on your shelves, what you’re reading, what you want to read, and even adding books to such lists without having to buy them and then completely rearrange your bookshelf to get them to fit.

But still, I see the need to shop for books every few weeks. The books in this little haul are the result of me pity-shopping. My logic: Self, you stressed over a test; you deserve the sanctuary of a bookstore. I think this is just one way of helping me be stressed about money, but hey, if the worst thing I binge buy is literature, I think we’re good.

imageThe first book I picked up was Margaret Atwood’s latest novel The Heart Goes Last. On promotion for $15 in hardcover, I didn’t think I could go wrong. I started reading it a few days ago, and I am hooked. Mini series, it’s set in a future America where a giant economic crisis has left hundreds of thousands of people without work, living in their vehicles, and forming gangs for protection. And then comes the chance to move to the Twin City of Consilience/Positron: a new project designed to solve both unemployment and organized crime. Participants in this project are given a nice home to live in, with three meals per day, and a job in the community. . . but only for six months out of the year. Every second month, they are sent to the Positron prison to serve out a month-long term as a prisoner, while Alternates move into their home. And so the process repeats. This is all I really know about the book, but it is such an addictive read, and when I finish it, I will most likely be doing a review post, so keep a lookout for that.

imageThe second book is Juliet Was a Mistake by Bill Gaston. This collection of short stories focuses in on the lives of people who are often at the periphery of society’s spotlight: a tree surgeon, a schizophrenic, a pizza delivery guy. From the few stories I have read so far, this collection seems to focus on the consequences of misinterpretation. You know, like when you think that guy likes you, but really, he likes your best friend. I haven’t read any of Gaston’s work before, but I have heard that he is most well-known for his short stories, so I have high hopes for this book.

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The last book is All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson. It was so weird stumbling upon this book because not a week ago, I reviewed Gregson’s first book Chasers of the Light. I didn’t even know a new book had been released, but when I saw it, I had to scoop it up. I am reading a few of the haikus each day because as much as I want to binge read them, I want to savour them.

Have you read any of these books before??? What did you think of them???

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Another Autumn 2015 Clinique Haul Bonus Gift!!!

IMG_6193Good morning all!!!

I know I did a post on a Clinique haul and bonus a few weeks back, but lo and behold, I have another!!! This time, I headed down to Sears to see what was new, and I am so happy that I did.

This go-around, I picked up some essentials and a few new products:

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Clinique’s Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes, and Lips
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Clinique’s Cheek Pop blusher in the shade pink pop
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Clinique’s Quickliner for Lips Intense. Top: Intense Punch Bottom: Intense Cosmos

I first tried the Take The Day Off Makeup Remover when it came in a sample size in a previous bonus gift, and I love it. It takes eye and lip makeup off in one clean swoosh, and it is fragrance-free so it won’t irritate skin. As for the Cheek Pop blusher, I did a review of them earlier this year, but I was on the hunt for a lighter pink shade that I could wear with my autumnal berry lips and sultry tawny reds without having my cheeks clashing with my lips. This is a beautiful, soft pink, adding just the right amount of colour. And finally, the lip liners. The last time I used lip liner, I think I was maybe 13 years old and, long story short, I completely misunderstood the purpose and royally mucked it up. So, hoping I’ve matured, I am looking forward to trying these out. I’ve heard that they apply super smoothly, and really help lipstick last longer.

With these purchases, I qualified for Sears’ Clinique bonus, and I thought I would share with you all the goodies that came inside:

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All of the beauty treats and, of course, the adorable cosmetic bag
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Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
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Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser
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Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer
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Long Last Glosswear in Clearly Pink
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Calyx Fragrance

This bonus gift also came with Clinique’s High Impact mascara, but if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you have probably been subjected to your fair share of me raving about how great it is.

I am really looking forward to trying out the Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent, as I have been committing the cardinal makeup sin of sleeping in my mascara lately due to some late night study sessions. Hopefully this eye makeup remover is as good as I have heard, so I can leave it on the edge of my desk and at least spare my eyelashes from the effects of midnight review.

I am also really excited about the Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer. I reviewed the Turnaround Daytime Revitalizing Moisturizer, but I’m interested to see how the overnight moisturizer compares to the other products in the Turnaround range.

So, now, what about you??? Any beauty bonuses to share, or thoughts on these products??? So many of these ones are new to me, so I would love to know what you think of them!!!

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