Friday, March 29, 2013

Jet Set Birchbox with product reviews

Birchbox was the first and remains up there with the best. There's variety, consistency, and quality- all for a low $10 a month! This particular box was jam packed with absolutely wonderful stuff. One of my fave parts about Birchbox is that you get points every time you review a product. Review 10 products, get $10 in Birchbox store credit! Sweet!

 This is a cool deal I found on Amazon, they're selling not only the Cynthia Rowley Band Aids, but also the Cynthia Rowley designed makeup bag that came with the last sampler!  Not only pretty, but also real actual Band Aid brand Band Aids! I am a total klutz and am constantly injuring myself so I like to buy cute adhesive bandages. Sadly, a lot of them are adorable but completely useless. These are good old fashioned, hard working, long lasting Band Aids, so you get the best of both worlds. I have been hoarding these like a squirrel, I've got something like 10 boxes in my medicine cabinet.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner Black 0.07 oz
    When I first got this, Birchbox had an exclusive on the British Eyeko brand, but now you can pick one up at Sephora for $16. This eyeliner has my undying love. I received a similar pen from Marbella in an Ipsy shipment, and this is what they wish they were but stumbled. I just saw that they have a purple and an olive one! OOOOHHHH! You can make super skinny lines or big old fat cat eyes with ease. This stuff doesn't smudge or flake and is ridiculously easy to apply. The nub is flexible and leaves a beautiful even clean line. Love love love. If you're an eyeliner kinda gal, you owe it to yourself to try this one out.

  • I found a great deal on this! has the 3.4 oz for less than most places sell the 1 oz! This was included to promote the then new Birchbox men. In the tube I thought it smelled too much like Polo (high school flashbacks to my gay boyfriend) but after the hubband put some on and it warmed into his skin, I found myself really digging it! It's woodsy but with a really sexy amberish drydown. also gives you 20% off your first purchase on top of the discounted price. 

     Oh mama.... this stuff is absolutely DIVINE. Extracted by distillation of organic rosa damascena petals and naturally rich in active principles, rose water is often recommended for delicate skin. Astringent, it helps regulate sebum secretion and tends to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Natural and Organic Cosmetics certified by ECOCERT FRANCE according to ECOCERT's Standards, 100% of the total ingredients from natural origin, 99,91% of the total ingredients from Organic Farming. It makes a refreshing and uplifting toner and if you use it on your skin when you're overheated or tired you perk up like a wilted flower that's been given some water. The smell is to die for- a true rose scent- no fake perfumey roses here. I carried this around in my purse as a midday refresher.

Thebalm Lip Care, 8.5g/0.3oz Stainiac (Cheek & Lip Stain) - # Beauty Queen for Women
Thebalm Lip Care, 8.5g/0.3oz Stainiac (Cheek & Lip Stain) - # Beauty Queen for Women
I was surprised- I didn't think anyone could match the quality of Benefit's Benetint. I like that this has a sponge applicator for the lips so you don't have to worry about pouring out too much liquid and it's more gel like in it's consistency so it doesn't run everywhere. The consistency makes it easier to apply to the lips than Benetint, but harder to apply to the cheeks since it doesn't blend in as easily. I love how companies are doing these multipurpose products so much lately! Saves tons of time and makes packing for trips much easier.

Yu-Be - Moisturizing Skin Cream (Tube)

This stuff is DA BOMB. I have gone through 3 tubes of this stuff since I first got the sample. They do sell it in a larger jar, but I prefer the tube because I can carry it easily in my purse to use throughout the day. Because I wash my hands so much at work, I can apply layer after layer of regular lotion and my hands still feel dry. When I massage this in, I can practically hear my hands whispering "thank you!" on chapped lips, it feels amazing. It has a really thick consistency, but it actually absorbs into the skin with no trace of a greasy feel at all and leaves behind nothing but baby soft, hydrated, grateful skin. In the summertime when I spend a lot of time outdoors getting bug bites, this stuff is a lifesaver. It's so soothing and makes the itches go away immediately. An all around miracle cream, it's no surprise that it has a cult following. Yes, it has a camphor smell at first, but the scent fades within a minute or two.

The #1 Selling Medicated, Vitamin-Enriched Skin Care Cream in Japan.
Yu-Be has been manufactured in Japan since 1957 making it one of Japan's longest-selling moisturizers
Yu-Be's Glycerin-and-vitamin-based formula was invented by Japanese pharmacist Yoshikiyo Nowatari as a product the entire family could use
A special manufacturing process gives Yu-Be's concentrated, Glycerin-based moisturizer a rich, creamy texture that absorbs into your skin instantly and stays locked in for hours.
Concentrated glycerin moisturizer helps hydrate, soothe and smooth dry skin on the whole family (kids too!)
Glycerin - Natural "Humectant" attracts and retains moisture in the skin, making it softer.
Vitamin E - Natural anti-oxidant and skin protector.
Vitamin B2 - Helps to smooth rough or damaged skin - also gives Yu-Be it's natural yellow color.
Camphor - Helps soothe minor skin irritations and improves blood circulation - mild scent dissapears in minutes leaving skin feeling healthy.
Use Yu-Be anywhere on the body - even the face and lips.
Helps heal split cuticles and smooth rough, dry skin on hands, elbows, knees and feet.
Helps protect and moisturize skin exposed to cold, wind and water.
Non-greasy formula absorbs instantly and locks in for hours. Good for all day or all night.
Contains no artificial colors or fragrances.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo (aka, Flower by Kenzo )

I really really wanted to like this. You're gonna laugh at me, but here's the reason why. I LOVE the bottle. I know right? So sue me. (Please don't)

Flower by Kenzo

Supposedly, this is how it smells. 

Wild Hawthorne, Bulgarian Rose, Parma Violet, Cassia, Hedione, Cyclosal, Opoponax, White Musk, Vanilla. 

You wanna know what I smell? Baby powder. With notes of baby powder. And a hint of baby powder. While completely inoffensive, it's also completely boring as all hell. Cause it smells like baby powder. Luckily I got a sample of this to try and I even gave it numerous shots, in case I was having an off body chemistry or olfactory day, but nope. I asked a co-worker today what i smelled like and he said "um, baby powder?" So caveat emptor- try a sample before you buy it based on it's tons of rave reviews because if you like some adventure in your scents, this ain't gonna cut it. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sephora Haul with full product reviews (including Urban Decay and Nails Inc.)

Color of the Year

I so miss last year's Pantone Color Of The Year. Sigh...... These orange tipped brushes have been delightful. Top of the line quality, no shedding, excellent application, and I love the roll for easy travel. These guys go with me everywhere. I particularly love the fan brush for removing any debris from mineral shadows. So light and delicate! Of course, you can still get Sephora brushes, just not my pretty orange ones. Jealous?

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE - Color Contour Face Brush Set The Pantone set for the Emerald color of the year is quite lovely too.
Color of the Year

Sephora Hot Hues Mini Train Case is another staple in my travel arsenal. The perfect size for all of the necessities without being too big and bulky. I love that it locks so I can take it on a plane or the bus without worrying about it getting monkeyed with. The inner dividers are removable, so I took mine out to have room for longer items. Incredibly sturdy and the aluminum is lightweight and not at all bulky. Seriously one of the best investments I ever made.
Sephora Collection luggage
I don't see that they have the minis like this currently, but if you're looking for a bigger one, this one is totally groovy. 

I am one of the happiest girls in the world that someone invented nail wraps. They are the easiest thing on the planet to use and always elicit oohs and ahs. My husband likes that I can do my nails in the car on the way somewhere without possibly killing us both with noxious fumes. So awesome that OPI makes these! There are some out there in the drugstores that start to veer way off into cheap topless bar dancer land and these are unique and interesting while still retaining a bit of modish style. I can make these last for about 10 days, usually.

Givenchy Mister Light 
I was really impressed with what a wonderful concealer this is. It takes just the eensiest tinest bit for amazing and natural looking coverage. I put this under my eyes when I had shadows worthy of a horror movie and actually had someone at work comment on how refreshed I look! You seriously can't tell that you're wearing a concealer. 

Nails Inc Magnetic polish in Kensington Palace is the best magnetic polish I've used thus far. It's super easy to use- it has a double cap so you remove the part with the magnet before painting your nails. There's a lip on it so you can rest it on your finger directly over your nail with no worries about trying to hold it steady or accidentally touching the polish. Some I've used barely even showed a ripple, but this gave perfect results the first time. I wore this polish last weekend and got tons of compliments. One girl asked me if it was "an optical illusion". She just couldn't believe that polish could do that so easily. Of course, she was also drunk, but hey, a compliment's a compliment :-)

Nails Inc. Islington Crackle Topcoat is super purty. Pictured is the top coat used over SpaRitual's I feel The Earth Move. This look so fabulous over a dark color. I had previously been perfectly happy with Sally Hansen's crackle coats, but now I'm spoiled. It applies really well and does a perfect crackle no matter how thick or thin you apply the polish. It dries quickly and lasts forever. I just love the color- the first pink one I'd seen. 

UD Super Saturated Lip Color Adrenaline is just insane. Seriously, it's so freakin pigmented that your lips can be seen from other planets. I love how easily and perfectly it applies, and despite being absolutely insanely glittery, it's quite smooth and doesn't have that glitter grit feel at all. Don't know how they do it, but Urban Decay seemingly has magical elves working for them or something. I also adore how the pencil barrel is the same color as the pencil itself, so if you have multiple colors it's easy to grab the right one. It also lasts FOREVER. I can go pretty much all day without reapplying unless I eat lunch, and even then it sticks around quite a bit. I got some mad love for this stuff. I probably wear this about once a week, because even if you're in a hurry, you look like you put a bit of effort into things with such an insane lipstick color. 

Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Woodstock is a natural companion piece to the Adrenaline lippie. Well, if you're into bright colors like I am, that is. It's totally waterproof (love!) and has a super skinny applicator so you can do really thin lines or you can do layers for a thicker look. It's sparkly so with a razor thin line it looks subtly fabulous. Best part- despite being glittery there's absolutely no fall out. YAY! Again with the matching tube. In a dream world they'd all do it that way.

Sephora Full Action Extreme Effect mascara is okay, but not the absolute best. It's what I call a "daytime mascara". It defines your lashes and does a great job of separating and not clumping, but I am not sure why they refer to it as 'Extreme Effect" or "Full Action". It doesn't do much for me as far as thickening and I don't really see anything too dramatic in the results department. Like I said, it's okay, but if you want something at all dramatic, you should look elsewhere. This one is perfect for a workday when you want something a bit subtle. 

Make Up Forever Smoky Lash Extra Black however is FOR SURE dramatic. It makes your lashes look both extra thick AND extra long.  Even without a curler you get sky high lashes. I wore this over the weekend and had to actually wear my glasses lower on my nose because my lashes were rubbing on the lens. Since discovering this brand, I am a huge devotee. 

Boscia BB Cream SPF 27 is one of the highest rated BBs out there, and I love that it's a natural alternative to traditional BB creams. It actually has a pretty good coverage- it's slightly thicker than some other BBs I've used. I recommend rubbing your hands together with it to warm it up a bit- I found I got a much smoother application that way. When you first put it on it seems a little too thick, you have to wait a few minutes for it to warm up to your skin and suddenly it disappears and you look flawless. I turned a friend of mine onto this while she was visiting and now she's a total convert. it may seem pricey at first glance, but you're replacing a serum, moisturizer, primer and foundation with one single product. Don't know how I lived without it. It's SPF 27 too! When it's time for my next tube, I want to get the one step essentials kit- it has a full sized BB cream, PLUS includes their bad ass eye gel and face cleanser/makeup remover for little more than the cost of the cream all by itself. 

Bumble & Bumble thickening shampoo & conditioner really works! I was absolutely STARTLED by how thick and full my hair looked with just one shampoo. I asked my husband if he noticed anything different, and I actually got a "Wow!" This duo is on my shopping list as we speak. 

Especially Escada is an absolutely delightful scent. Elegant, delicate and with a hint of playfulness. It's subtle enough to wear to work or close quarters like the theater, but distinctive enough to not fall into a generic blah category. I think I wore this stuff every single day for like a month! 

The fragrance opens with a sparkling top note of pear and combines with the exotic notes of ambrette seeds. A luxurious combination of rose and ylang ylang radiates a fresh and natural aura of floral joy and happiness. Light musky notes complete the scent, adding a subtle touch of femininity.

Yay for Sephora having it as one of the choices in the Favorites sampler! These are always such an awesome deal, since you get to trade in your certificate for a full sized bottle of your choice while also getting to try out a bunch of different scents. I am addicted to these samplers. 

Why can't they do goody bags like this all the time?!?!?!?!?!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mascara Helpful Hints

I know I've totally done this my whole makeup wearing life, but did you know that you should NEVER pump the wand in and out of your mascara? It allows air into the tube which will cause it to not only dry out much faster, but also makes it a breeding ground for bacteria!

When applying mascara, slow down and be sure to really get the base of your lashes with the wand. This will extend your lashes and make them look much fuller.

To avoid clumps, simply wipe the wand clean first (on a tissue or what have you), then dip it back into the mascara and apply away. By getting rid of any excess that has clung to the bristles, you're ensuring that those buggers don't stick to your lashes.

If you blow a dryer on your mascara curler for a few seconds before you use it, it curls even better. It's like turning it into a mini curling iron!

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