Saturday, September 6, 2014

Birchbox - September 2014 "Fresh Paint" review and unboxing

I usually get my Birchbox toward the middle of the month, and usually about a week after I get a shipping notice. So, imagine my surprise when I came home yesterday to find my box waiting for me! Definitely the earliest I have ever gotten it, before my shipping email arrived!

The theme for September is "Fresh Paint" and it's all about saying goodbye to summer and gearing up for fall's colors, textures, and fashions. It is also Birchbox's anniversary month! They sent out cute patterned boxes this month, and it sounds like the boxes might have multiple designs. Mine is adorable and I am already using it to store some samples on my shelf!

This month, Birchbox gave us the opportunity to select a sample once again. I don't remember what all of the options were, but there were 4 options and another curated box. I selected Macadamia Healing Oil Spray as my sample. I was delighted to feel how heavy my box was this month!

Here's what was inside.



You can see the cute patterned box in the back! I'm interested to see if others get different patterns! I received five samples and a "Birchbox Find", which is a mass market product they send out as an extra.

Macadamia Healing Oil Spray - This was the sample I selected. It is a lightweight oil spray for hair that fights frizz, dryness, dullness, and protects. I've used the regular oil before and really loved it, so I was excited to try the spray version! It has the same scent as the regular oil and I love how light and easy it is to apply. I love hair oils, and this one does a great job of keeping my hair soft, silky, and shiny. Once I use up my giant hair oil stash, this is probably the one I will repurchase!

TEMPTU S/B Highlighter in Champagne - This is a liquid shimmer that adds some shimmer and glow to your look! The color is called champagne, but it is actually a bit darker than what I generally think of when I think of that shade. I'm very fair, and on me, this is too dark to be a highlighter. I am going to try it out on my eyes, as a base under bronzey shadows, perhaps! I do like the shimmeryness and it is not sticky. 


Harvey Prince Hello - This is a perfume featuring meyer lemon, mandarin, other citrus, and floral notes. Harvey Prince is one of my favorite perfume brands, and I already have a rollerball of this scent. It is one of my favorites, so the sample is more than welcome! It is citrusy, and not too sweet...it is great for a hot sticky day, but not out of place for fall, either. It isn't heavy or overwhelming. 

Avene Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser - This is a cleanser infused with French thermal spring water. It is great for oily or blemish prone skin, which is exactly what I have these days! I really like this. It makes my skin feel clean and soft without feeling dry or tight. It also seems to be helping my current breakout, so bonus!

Tocca Crema de Mano in Bianca - This is a hand cream featuring a green tea and lemon scent! I have been lusting over these Tocca hand creams since the first time BB sent them out, ages ago. So excited to finally get one! This is great - the texture is moisturizing without being too heavy - it is quickly absorbed. The scent is delicious and citrusy. This made its way immediately into my bag.


BIRCHBOX FIND: Chapstick Hydration Lock - This is a double ended chapstick! One side is moisturizing, and the other is renewing. Both sides feel nice on the lips with no nasty flavor or scent. This is a great extra for fall.

Overall, I am SUPER happy with this month's Birchbox! The sample sizes are amazing and I am happy with all of the products! I am not sure how much use I'll get out of the highlighter, but the other items have already made their way into my routine. Awesome. 

If you've read my blog long, you probably know that subscription boxes are my addiction, and I've tried so many. Birchbox is the one I always go back to, and the first one I recommend to people. If you haven't tried it yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link here..

What was in your box this month?


































Sunday, August 24, 2014

Birchbox August 2014

Wow, it's been a while since I've been around! It's been a busy few months, and blogging unfortunately took a backseat to moving, leaving a job, starting a new job, etc. BUT. I'm back and hoping to do a better job!

To start things off, I finally cracked into my August Birchbox and tried most of the items inside. This month, Birchbox did something they've been trying lately - letting subscribers pick a sample! For August, we had a choice of a cream eyeshadow, a bronzer, a lip/cheek tint, an eye pencil, and a curated box called the "everygirl box". After some debating, I chose the Laura Gellar cream eyeshadow in "Silver Sands". I had trouble selecting my sample at first, due to site traffic, but I did finally get to make my selection and I received what I chose!

For some reason, my computer refuses to rotate my images and save them today! So, it's on its side and I'm sorry.

The theme for this month was "Lighten Up", and it was all about doing just that. I received five items, including my selected sample.


Laura Geller Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands - This is a shimmery silvery cream shadow designed to shimmer like the inside of a seashell. I chose this color because I thought it'd be a great base for other shadows, and I was right. But it is also beautiful on its own! It has the perfect amount of shimmer and the texture is great. I prefer to apply it with my fingers! I am really interested in getting my hands on a few more shades of this.

Harvey Prince Ageless Body Cream - This is a nice moisturizer with the Ageless scent, which is a fruity grapefruit and mango fragrance. Harvey Prince is my favorite perfume company, and  I actually have a huge bottle of this perfume, so getting the body cream was pretty great! It smells just as good as the perfume, and the texture is nice - not too heavy, but rich enough to work. I might be seeking out the cream versions of all of my favorite HP scents.

nugg Beauty Revitalizing Face Mask - This is a cute little pod containing a white mask. It has peppermint, olive, and several other oils and it really did make my face feel amazing. It was nice and cooling without being tingly or harsh, and my skin felt soft, plump, and hydrated afterwards. I love the little pods, so the mask will be fresh each time. I plan to pick up a few more of these. This was my surprise favorite of the box!

Neil George shampoo and conditioner - Okay, I wasn't too excited to get these. I have enough shampoo and conditioner stashed to last a lifetime. BUT, the sample sizes are really nice, and these are a cult favorite. They boast vitamin C and botanical extracts. I haven't tried them yet, but I am pretty excited to see what all the hype is. They smell nice!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this Birchbox! While it wasn't my favorite, the shadow and mask especially are awesome, and everything will be used.

What was in your box this month?

As always, if you haven't tried Birchbox out yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - April 2014

I love April! Things finally start getting color again, it is usually a bit warmer than freezing, and it's my birth month. So, I was especially excited to get my subs this month...birthday presents!

Beauty Box 5 is a great monthly sub. For $12 a month, they provide a great mix of beauty products - makeup, skincare, and tools.

For April, they used a theme of "shades of beauty" and they've focused on looks that allow you to slow down and do a bit of leisurely layering. Interesting!

Here's what I got.

First glance: The box is nice and full! I love that they don't use excess packaging - as much fun as pretty packaging is, sometimes it's really nice when a company is kind to the environment. Here are the goodies!

BH Cosmetics California Collection eyeshadow sampler - This is a sampler of 3 eyeshadows...a brown, a purple, and a gold. I haven't opened this, because I actually already have the entire collection, so I figured I'd pass this along to someone who hasn't tried them!

I love BH Cosmetics shadows. They are nicely pigmented, but not crazily so...so you can make them as bold as you want, but they can also be worn more sheer for fun subtle color.  They are such a great value for the cost - beautiful colors, good quality, and they have a huge range of shades, from super brights to subtle neutrals. I hope the person I give this sampler to loves the shadows as much as I do!

Bonne Bell Lip Definer in Warm Brick - This is a nice soft lip pencil. I like the shade a lot, it is a very wearable color, and it is versatile enough to be worn with several different shades of lipstick or gloss.  I tried it out and it lasted most of the day without drying my lips.  I didn't even know that Bonne Bell made makeup other than Lip Smackers! I'm definitely interested in trying out more.

Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer - This is a gradual self tanner. Now, I will just say that I never, ever use tanners. I am very light skinned and I am unable to tan...any tan, therefore, looks super unnatural on me. So, I will not be trying this sample. However, I will happily pass it along to a friend who loves tanners and I'm excited to see how she likes it!

Nicka K New York Hydro Lipstick - This is a hydrating lipstick in a pretty peachy shade. I really love the texture - it isn't too drying, but it sets and lasts a pretty long time! I only had to touch up a couple of times in the day, and I am generally hard on lipstick. I'm really happy with this!

Blum Naturals All Purpose Cleansing Wipes - These are handy wipes that can be used to remove makeup or for nearly any purpose! They smell like grapefruit and are not irritating on the skin at all. I love wipes and use them daily for all kinds of things. These are great, and one of my favorite things in the box!

Overall, this is another good month of BB5. There are a couple of items I won't be using, but that isn't a reflection on the quality of the products, just my personal needs. 


Here are swatches of the lip liner and lipstick, in order. Such pretty, wearable shades! BB5 always sends great, useable products.

Have you tried Beauty Box 5 yet? If not, you can check it out at http://beautybox5.com :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Popsugar Must Have - March 2014

Popsugar has consistently been one of my favorite boxes! I just really like the variety of items we get- my beauty stash gets a bit out of control, so it's fun to get lifestyle items, too!

March's box arrived in decent time...it was actually the first box to show up this month. The theme is all about welcoming spring and "putting a spring in your step", which I am more than happy to do. Here's what was in it!


Snapea Crisps - These are a snack made from peas! Sounds weird, but they're super good - light and crisp with just enough salt. These would definitely be a good alternative to chips and other salty snacks. I am going to be on the lookout for these!

Nature's Bakery Strawberry Fig bar - This is just what it sounds like - an all nature newton-type bar with strawberry fig filling. These are actually delicious, and while I don't usually buy bars like these, I would not be opposed to eating them again.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum - I love serums.  I'm all about skincare these days and I am always excited to get a great product. This serum fights dullness and fine lines while hydrating. It smells great and I love the organic ingredients! This is one of my favorite products this month, for sure!

Baublebar Elephant Ring Tree - How cute is this?? It's an adorable little ring holder. I don't really wear rings, but I like this so much I don't care! It looks adorable on my dresser. They have other animals available, and I kind of want to get a few more to keep him company!

Dogeared Lucky Horseshoe Make a Wish Necklace - This is a really cool concept. It's a wishbone charm on a thin cord. When you wear it for the first time, you're supposed to make a wish. Then, when the cord wears out and falls off, your wish is ready to come true. Such a cute idea. It's a little short, almost like a choker on me, but I like it and will wear it often. I've already made my wish!

Activeforever Fusion Exercise Ball - Okay, this is obviously a terrible picture, as it hasn't been inflated yet. But this is a small stability ball. I need to start pilates and yoga again big time, so this will come in handy!

Brokedown Blue Ikat Scarf - The star of the box - a gorgeous blue printed scarf. I love it and have already worn it several times! It's soft and not too thick or thin, nice and flowy and just beautiful. This is the star of the box for me!

Overall, I am super pleased with this box! It is probably my favorite I have received from them. I am so excited to see what April brings!

Here's the Brokedown scarf being worn. I so love the shade of blue!

What do you think of this month's box?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Birchbox - March 2014

Now that it's nearly April, I'm trying to get caught up on everything I'm behind on - namely, posting my March subs!

Birchbox is normally one of the first to ship and arrive. This month, however, they seemed to have some issues. Mine shipped out super late and ended up getting here even later.

Now, each month, Birchbox updates their site with your box contents every month on the 10th. I try to avoid peeking, but often, I look anyway. This month, I looked at my box contents and was SO EXCITED...there were several items I was really excited about!

Then, my box finally arrived...and it was a completely different box. Ahhh.

Anyway! March's box has a theme of "Spring Forward", which I am so so ready to do. This has been the longest, coldest winter of all time and if I see one more snowflake, I will cry.

Here's what was in the box I actually received!



Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion - This is a light, fresh smelling lotion. It's not bad. I'd not spend the money on the full size, and I have lotion up to my ears, but the sample will be used. The brand and scent remind me of hotel lotion (and this brand is carried in some hotels), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not an exciting product, but not a terrible one.

Control Corrective Cucumber Bead Cleanser and Oil Free Healing Lotion - These are nice. The cleanser is gentle and the beads are soft...it smells like citrus and cucumber and really does leave my face soft and fresh. The lotion is also nice - not too heavy. It doesn't have a strong scent. I have already used these up! They are nice, but don't beat out my favorite skincare products.

Obliphica Professional Intensive Hair Serum - I have hair oils and serums coming out of my ears. However, they are something I use every day and I'm always happy to try a new one. This one smells amazing (kind of like cotton candy) and it really does leave my hair sleek and shiny. I actually prefer it to the Redken and Moroccanoil that I am currently working through. I don't know that I'd buy it full price, but I am happy to use up the sample.

Air Repair Rescue Balm - This is a multi purpose balm that can be used on skin or lips. I'm not crazy about it. It feels heavy and greasy, and the results are no better than a typical balm. I will use it on my cuticles, but there is no way I would buy this.

Inika Eyeliner in Green Lagoon - This is an organic mineral eyeliner pencil in a really pretty shimmery green. I like it, it is springy, creamy, and gorgeous. I have liners for days, but this one will be used up. I like the mineral ingredients! This is definitely my favorite item in this month's box.

Overall, I don't dislike this month's box, but I am not excited about it the way I was the box that was listed on my account. Products are fine, but just a little lackluster. I'm sure most of that is because I had my heart set on the other box, and if this had been my original box, I would have been happy with it!

As always, if you haven't tried out Birchbox yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link.

What was in your box this month?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - March 2014

Wow, we're getting close to the end of March already, and I don't know where the time went! The weather still feels somewhat wintry, I still have the winter blahs. Ahhh.

Anyway, as always, Beauty Box 5 was one of my first boxes to show up this month!

Beauty Box 5 is another monthly beauty subscription service. Here's the breakdown!

Cost: $12/month (but they offer savings for purchasing longer subscriptions).
Ships to: The Continental US and Canada
Shipping: DHL Global Mail (final delivery via USPS), cost included.
Products: A mix of makeup, skincare, body care, haircare, and tools.

It usually takes my BB5 a little less than a week to get to me, once it ships. It ships toward the beginning of the month.


March's theme is "Out With The Old, In With The New". BB5 usually sends out a few varied items in their boxes, and I'm always excited to see which ones will be mine. Here's what I got!

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime - This is an organic body butter with a tropical coconut and lime scent. I've mentioned before that I dislike the general coconut lime scent (I blame being around too many people when that scent was huge from BBW). Well, this body butter is an exception! It smells so nice and summery, and the texture is nice and rich without being greasy. This tub went right into my purse and I've been using it at work for a boost of energy and cheer, and to keep my hands and elbows soft! Love it!

Jane's Pick All Natural Handmade Bar Soap - This is a handmade soap sample! I'm actually not sure what scent mine is, but I think it might be Purity, as I can smell lavender and mint! I love this kind of bar soap, so clean and natural. This is a very relaxing scent and I like using it before bed to soothe me and help me get ready for sleep. I am impressed with the looks of the company, too, and will likely be placing an order to try more products!

H2O Plus Hand & Nail Cream - This is exactly what it sounds like. I really like this brand, and I LOVE hand creams. At my job, I use my hands constantly, and wash them often. As such, my hands are always dried out and irritated. I love a good hand cream to keep them happy. This one works really really well! It absorbs quickly and isn't greasy. The one downside is that it doesn't smell great - it has that typical lotiony smell to it. However, that is not a dealbreaker. It's a really nice cream!

Swissco Dual Sided Facial Pad - This is really cool. It's a face cleansing pad with softer side and a loofah-like side. I was really excited to get this! It's really important to me that I keep my face exfoliated!  I love that BB5 sends out tools and items like this, as many of my other subs don't do that often. 

Somehow, my computer/the internet ate the photo of my last item, so this one is from BellaPierre's site!

BellaPierre Cosmetics Makeup Base - This is a multi-tasking product that can be used as a concealer, illuminator, or eye primer/base. I love products like this! So far, I have used it under BB cream to camouflage problem areas and as a shadow base. I like it for both uses! It is a little sticky, which is actually a good thing, as it helps other products adhere. It's great with loose pigments. 


I've been using all of these products daily since I received them!

Overall, I am really happy with March's box! I love the range of items and brands, and as always, everything is super useful.

What did you think of this month's box?

*Disclaimer: I received a box free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Glossybox - February 2014

Man, I'm glad February is over. I love the month for the chocolate, but the weather...gah. It's no surprise that my Glossybox was the last of my subs to show up...some girls STILL haven't received their February box! Mine did show up about a week ago, but I've been behind on everything this month.

But, since I am home sick with the plague today, I figured I'd at least get something done.

February's box has a theme of "The Month of Love". They state that they aim to deliver a box filled with love and happiness every month, and that they hope each box serves as a reminder to take some time to primp and pamper yourself.

There were some variations this month! Here's what I received.



Anatomicals - Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer Wake Up Under Eye Patches - Okay, how cute is this name? This is the same brand that sent out a really great shower gel a couple of months ago, and they have such cute clever names. These are eye patches intended to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and eye bags as well as moisturize, nourish, and rejuvenate. I have issues with dark circles, puffiness, and natural fine lines, so I was super excited to get these. There are 3 sets of the patches. I tried one, and they were really nice - my eyes really did look and feel better, and they felt super cooling and soothing while on. Really happy with these!

Lauren B Beauty Nail Couture in City of Angels - This is a brand new line of quick drying nail enamel that promises a high shine and chip resistant finish. The shade is a very sheer light pink. I do love trying new polish brands, but I am less than thrilled with this color - pale pinks like this always go on so streaky for me, and I don't care much for the look of the shade while worn, either. The formula does seem nice, but a different color would have made me much happier.

Sumita Beauty Kala Color Intense Pencil - This is a deep black long wearing liner. I actually have a travel size of this already, and it is a great liner - super dark and creamy and it really does last. I'd have been more excited for a fun color, but as far as black eye pencils go, this is a really great one!

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum Plus - This is a hydrating serum that promises to increase hydration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I love this serum...it really does make my skin look and feel nice and soft and hydrated. It's too expensive for me to purchase, but I will use the sample and be happy to try any of this brand's products.

Pureology Serious Colour Care Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier for Color Treated Hair - Okay, could they come up with a longer name for this stuff? Seeeeriously. Anyway, this is a hair treatment that promises 21 benefits and to prime and protect hair. Well, frankly it sounds like a lot of words that basically mean "leave-in conditioner and protectant" to me, but yeah...marketing. This stuff is okay. It feels a bit heavy on my hair, but it's not bad. I won't purchase it, but I will use the sample.

Overall, this was an okay month for me. I love the eye pads and the serum. I like and will use the liner and spray. The polish is getting passed along to someone who will use it, because I dislike the color. This was my last month of my 6 month sub, and I haven't decided if I'm going to resub for March or not.

What do you think of February's box?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - February 2014

One of my favorite things about subs is trying new things. I'm always super excited when a sub sends me something I have never tried before! Beauty Box 5 did just that this month.

I love Beauty Box 5. I feel they are often overlooked...not as many people have heard of them as the larger subs. But they always send me a variety of items and the items are always interesting and of good quality and it is always worth more than the $12 that you pay!

February 2014 is their 2nd birthday! I was really excited to see what was in their birthday celebration box!

Such a sweet little info card this month! I love that their information cards are nice and detailed, with pictures.

Rockstar Nails Caviar Nail polish set - This is a pretty purple nail polish with matching caviar beads. I was so excited to get this - I had never tried a caviar mani before! I did a quick caviar accent nail and shared with you how to do it below! This is a new brand to me and I really love the formula of the polish and the fun of the caviar. 

Every Beauty Makeup Remover Pads with Argan Oil extract - These are dry makeup remover pads...you just get them wet when you're ready to use them! I love this idea - I absolutely hate when my face wipes dry out! These have already found a home in my bag. I love discovering new items like this!

Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara - I've actually gotten this before, but a friend needed mascara (and my stash was huge) so I passed it along to her and never had a chance to try it! I'm excited to try it this time. I don't want to open it until I finish my current mascara, but I'll report back with my thoughts on it.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full shampoo and conditioner (2 packets of each): I'm always happy to try new shampoos and conditioners. I used one of these yesterday, and my hair does feel nice and soft and full. I really like John Frieda products!


I was really happy with the contents of my Beauty Box 5 this month! I was so excited about the Rockstar Nails set that I decided to play with it a bit! Forgive the terrible lighting.

I decided to do just one accent nail with the caviar, today. So I started by painting the other nails. The polish was really easy to work with - not too thick, not too thin. I saved the accent nail for last, because you want to put the beads on about 10 seconds after you paint that nail - before it gets too try, but allowing for a few seconds for it to "set" a bit.


There are different methods for applying the caviar. Some people pour it over the nail. I decided to pour some beads in a container and dipping my nail in. I poured in enough beads to ensure I could cover the nail easily.


 Next, I painted the accent nail, waited 10 seconds to allow it to set, a dipped it in. I moved the nail around a bit, making sure every surface made contact with the beads.

 Tada! The next step is to tap off the excess, and seal it with a topcoat. Such a cute and fun look!

Now, a caviar manicure is not something that is going to offer you a lot of longevity, so don't do it when you need your nails to look great all week. But it is a super cute and fun look for a night out or special occasion. I'm really excited to play with this set more!

Have you tried a caviar mani yet? What about Beauty Box 5?

Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.