Tag Archives: Birchbox

New Faves

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Wow. Over a month since my last post. I am a terrible blogger!! Good news is, I have lots of new things that I’ve tried since my last post, and I thought I’d share my faves! First of all, September’s Birchbox! Last month introduced me to the best foundation product I have ever used, Wei’s Ideal Skin Perfect Finish CC cream. CC stands for color control cream, and this stuff does just that. It creates amazing coverage and evens skin tone perfectly, without leaving my face feeling greasy or like its caked with make-up. It feels very natural and looks amazing. Definitely my new favorite foundation. Try it, it’s awesome. Also in my September BB was the Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator. By far the best facial exfoliator I’ve tried. It combines papaya enzymes, which break down dead skin cells and even skin tone, with microderm crystals to buff skin, and the result is glowy, beautiful, baby butt smooth skin. Awesome, awesome product! Last month, I also blew all the BB points I had saved up and placed my first shop order, and I finally ordered, among others, the product that I had been wanting for months now, Eyeko’s Skinny Liquid Liner in purple. I LOVE this eyeliner!!! I want it in other colors now, but the purple is amazing!! It’s so bright and pretty without being over the top. The applicator almost reminds me of a Sharpie, like a marker for your eyes. It is incredibly easy to apply and goes on smoothly, and amazing. The applicator is designed to make it easy to do a thin or a thick line, depending on the look you want to go for. I’ve never been that big a fan of liquid liner, but this has changed my mind for good. It’s incredible!!

Another new favorite I’ve discovered is Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. I should start by saying that I have wavy hair. The type of hair that can be super curly if I use curling products (which are usually beach wave type products), but also straightens very easily, so I can go either way with it. The first time I used this, I used entirely too much, and it made my hair feel full of product and almost a little crunchy even. BUT, I tried it again, using less, and it worked wonders! It made my hair curl up nicely and left it soft and smelling like fabric softener, which I kind of love! It’s definitely a great product for any type of curly hair, as long as you figure out the right amount to use for your hair.

Lastly, I recently found the perfect body butter. I am not a regular user of lotions, although I do use them. Not long ago, I got Shea Terra’s Marula Whipped Shea Butter. I absolutely love it! It’s super duper moisturizing without feeling greasy, and it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so very soft. There are so many more amazing scents that I can’t wait to try! I love this stuff!!

So there’s the low-down on all the new favorites I’ve found, and hopefully they will soon be some of your favorites as well! Coming soon is October’s Birchbox. They’ve partnered with Goop, Gwenyth Paltrow’s blog, so hopefully Gwenyth will hook us up with some fancy schmancy awesome products! Also coming this month is Conscious Box (LOVE LOVE LOVE this sub, check it out!), as well as the newest addition to my ridiculous addiction to sampling services, Ipsy (formerly MyGlam). I already know what will be in the bag, but I’m going to keep you all in suspense until I get it! I’m pretty excited about it, looks like some amazing products, a couple of which are full-size! Can’t wait!

Hopefully it won’t be another month before I decide to write another post…

Until next time, peace, love and MAKEUP!! πŸ™‚

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August Birchbox

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So I’m a little behind in reviewing my August BB, but I’m finally getting around to it. This month’s theme was “Beauty School.” I have to say, for the first time, I am a little bit underwhelmed with my box. 😦 I’ll get back to that though. First, here’s what I got:

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The Beauty School card is actually a cute little booklet that has a few cool tips and tricks. The other card explains this month’s BB partnership with Pencils for Promise, intending to use a portion of all purchases this month to build a school in Guatemala, which I think is pretty cool.

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The card with the contents of the box is the back of the little booklet.

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OK, so here’s the breakdown of my box:

Schick Hydro Silk razor: I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I didn’t mind getting this. Razors can be expensive, so getting a free one is not a bad deal. HOWEVER, I DID NOT like this razor at all! The first time I used it, I didn’t get a close shave and I had like 4 nicks. I always put the little plastic cover back on the razor when I’m not using it, so the second time I went to use it, all the moisturizing whatever it is leaked out of the razor and into a big sticky goop in the plastic cover, which the razor got stuck in and was practically glued into the cover. So I was left with a big sticky boogery moisturizer goo blob on my razor. BOO! Honestly, I’ve tried lots of different, more expensive razors, and nothing works as well as my good old Bic Soleil disposable razors. Also, I don’t know if I’m thrilled about getting items that I can get at Wal-Mart in my BB, which is supposed to be high-end samples. As long as they continue to be “extras” in addition to my samples, I am ok with it.

Comodynes tanning stuff: I wasn’t too thrilled about this. I received 2 of the face tanner packets and 2 of the tanning towelettes. My main issue is that the face product is a gradual tanner, while the towels are not. I feel like I would have an uneven color. I also look kind of silly when I’m tan; it’s not exactly natural looking for me. BUT, I feel like I’d be willing to maybe try the towels on my legs…I don’t know. I don’t want to be half tan….

DDF Brightening cleanser: So this one I wasn’t really happy about. My profile says I have sensitive skin. They sent some people a version of the cleanser for sensitive skin, but not me. There is actually a sunburn warning on the back of the bottle, stating that the cleanser has ingredients that can increase risk of sunburn. Yup, that’s just what I need. Takes me 5 minutes to burn in the sun to begin with. I don’t think I need something that INCREASES that risk!

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur: This smelled good, but basically just like a watered down version of the regular Viva la Juicy, which I really like. I got a sample of it in my first box and I liked it so much that I bought some at Gordman’s (way cheaper, of course!). I think I’ll stick with that one, but it was a nice smell. Light and flowery.

Beauty Fixation Make-up Remover Swabs: I actually really liked these! I have read that a lot of people were unhappy about these and thought they were junk, but I really liked them! I always get mascara on my eyelids, or have eyeliner mishaps, and these are great for fixing those little mistakes!

So here’s why I’m kind of bummed about this box. I feel like BB has sort of gone off the rails a bit in the past couple months. Last month, there were crazy shipping disasters, but even with that I ended up with 2 boxes last month (my box was lost, they sent me a new one identical to the one I was set to receive, then I ended up with another one at the end of the month!), and I loved that box! This month the shipping issues seem to be happening again. I was fortunate to get mine fairly quickly. What I’m not happy about is that they seem to have completely disregarded the profiles they ask us to fill out (so that our samples are “tailored” to us). My profile says that I’m fair skinned, and my skin concerns are sensitivity and sun-protection. So I get sunless tanner and a cleanser that makes it easier for me to get a sunburn. Part of the BB experience is trying new things, and maybe you might not always like the things you get, but that’s the gamble of it. What bothers me is that they promise samples that are tailored to each person’s needs. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t make that something that they base their service on. I’ve seen many people post this month that they have gotten things that just don’t make sense, like curly hair products for girls with straight hair, wrong foundation colors, etc. I want to get things that I can at least try, even if I’m not a fan afterwards. But I don’t want to pay $10 for a box of things I can’t use! That being said, this is the first box I’ve gotten that I have not been THRILLED with! I have loved my previous boxes! I don’t really know what went wrong this month, but it seems I’m not the only one who had the same issues I did. I think the issue is that they are a relatively small company, and they have BLOWN UP very quickly. I think maybe they are just having issues keeping up and trying to make everyone happy. I’m in no way ready to give up on them. Again, this is the only box of 5 that I haven’t liked, so that’s no reason to quit, but I do hope they get all their kinks worked out! I still love you Birchbox, but please, get your act together! πŸ™‚

Little side note on a unrelated topic. I am a huge fan of Maybelline Great Lash mascara, so when I found out about the limited edition colored Great Lashes, I had to try it! I got the purple, and I LOVE it! Same awesome Great Lash formula, with just a hint of purple. Not enough to make me look like a club kid, but just the right amount to stand out in the sunlight and give a nice pop of color. TRY IT!!

Peace, Love, and MAKE-UP! ❀

July Birchbox (Finally!)

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So, here it is, the first day of August, and I am finally reviewing my July Birchbox. July’s box was curated by the awesome people at Glamour, which I love! And boy, was this a crazy month for Birchboxes. I got my email saying my box had shipped at the same time of the month as it always does. After about 3 or 4 days, I checked the package tracking, and it said that it had been delivered to me. But it hadn’t. So, I waited a couple more days, and still no Birchbox, so I sent an email to Birchbox and told them my situation. After about 3 days, I hadn’t heard back, so I called the customer service number and left a message, and later that day I received an email back from them. They were super nice, and they apologized and immediately sent out another box, which I received right away! Little side note: Once the boxes ship, and maybe even a couple days before, If you log on to the Birchbox website and go to the page for your box, it will show you what is going to be included in your box. I know, I know, ruining the surprise, blah blah blah. Sometimes I just get excited and impatient. πŸ™‚ Anywho, I knew what was supposed to be in my box and I was pretty excited about it, so when they sent me a new box, I was happy that it was the box I was supposed to receive! Yay! Sooooo, I got my box last week, and just hadn’t gotten around to posting about it yet. Then yesterday, I got another box! The same exact box I had already gotten! Except in this one, my perfume sample was gone. The cardboard holder was there, but the actual sample wasn’t. I can’t really complain since I did get one in the first box. Point of all of this: They were just a little off their game this month. I read a lot of reviews about the July box, and as of yesterday there are people who have either gotten their boxes late or haven’t received them yet at all. I also read that they have had this problem before with curated boxes (this was my first, but they had previous boxes curated by Teen Vogue and Cynthia Rowley.) I’m not saying this to discourage people from Birchbox, in fact, quite the opposite! Keep in mind that the company is only a couple years old, and isn’t a very large company, so there’s bound to be a glitch or two every so often. Their great customer service totally makes up for that! Anytime there is an issue, they do whatever they can to make it right. So hopefully members will give Birchbox a bit of a break if they had any issues this month, because they WILL make it right.

Enough of the boring stuff! Ready to see what I got this month? Good, ’cause I have pics this time!

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The card is included in each box, and gives you descriptions of all the products in your box and what the full-size price is. The first thing is the Alterna color protection fluide. I haven’t tried this yet, but only because I haven’t been styling my hair because it’s so darn hot! Maybe Friday for the Neon Trees show I’ll try it out. πŸ™‚ Next in the box is the Blinc Mascara. This is the thing I was most excited about getting. It is a “tubing” mascara, which means….well, it’s all scientific and stuff, so I’ll use their description:

How it Works

This mascara doesn’t just paint your lashes to make them darker and longer β€” it uses a copolymer-based formula to create little tubes around each one of your lashes. And since it’s not a paint, the mascara won’t flake, run, or smudge. When you’re ready to remove it, each individual tube slides off in one piece β€” no more black smears under your lashline!

This stuff is so awesome. I mean, super super super awesome. And they don’t lie; this stuff DOES NOT move once its on. This is the only mascara I have EVER used that is truly water-proof, smudge-proof, sleep-proof, rubbing-your-eyes-proof….you get the idea. It’s amazing. The sample was practically full-sized ( I figured it to be about 3/4 of the full-size), and since I got 2, I have a full-size and a half!! You can imagine how happy that makes me!! OK, so next is the Harvey Prince Hello perfume sample. Its a nice, summery flowery citrusy smell, great for day-time! The last beauty sample in the box is the Jouer tinted moisturizer. This was the product I was most surprised by. I absolutely LOVE IT!!! Like, I might have to blow all my points to buy the full-size in the shop. It’s amazing. My skin tends to get oily, so I really don’t like to wear foundations, and I tend more towards BB creams and those types of products. I’ve always liked the idea of tinted moisturizers in theory, but most just make my skin extra oily because of all the moisturizers. NOT this stuff. I was blown away. It dries to a powder-like finish. Even in the 100 degree heat, my face didn’t get oily. And it ALWAYS does. If you have oily skin, this is for you. Seriously. TRY IT!

There were 2 “lifestyle extras” (non-beauty products) in this box. I’ve read a lot of posts from people who don’t like these extras, because they aren’t beauty products, but I really like them. I think they’re fun little extras, and the beauty products that are included are well-worth it (I figured the approx. value of the mascara alone was about $21, 3/4 of the $28 full-size price. This MORE than pays for your box, and that doesn’t include everything else in the box). The extras this month were the Tea Forte Minteas, which was a full-size tin (they are sold in the shop in 3-packs). They are supposed to be energizing, and I don’t know how energized they make me, but they taste good, so I’m cool with that. I drink coffee, that’s enough energizing for me! The other extra was the Birchbox/Glamour exclusive earbuds. How cool are these?!? SO CUTE, with the neon pink and green!! I LOVE THEM! And, you can buy them in the shop for $10, so again, that pays for your box.

So with all the shipping mishaps, this box was totally worth the wait. I can’t wait to see what next month box brings! Also coming soon (like, hopfully today!) is my first official Julep Maven box! I have already gotten my 2 add-on polishes (I’ll go into that more when I get my box) so any time now! And, in a little over a week I will be getting my first Conscious Box! I’m SUPER excited about this one….stay tuned to find out all about it…. πŸ™‚

Love to all!!

Jamie

I’m a Beauty Product Junkie!

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So, when I started this blog, I did it mostly out of boredom. I figured I would just write about whatever I felt like writing about. Then, it kind of got away from me. I still intend to write about other things too, but I have decided that the best way to use this blog is to discuss and review the plethora of random beauty products and things that I get. Β I have become a little obsessed with all the subscription sample programs there are out there (such as Birchbox, which I should be getting in the mail in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for a review!). I read tons of reviews of TONS of different services ( I had no idea there were so many….self control…), on tons of different blogs. And after reading so many, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I do this too?” I LOVE everything to do with make-up, beauty products of all sorts, and anything related to beauty. And I always have a lot to say about the things I try. I love to try new products, so I figured I would review the products I’ve tried, and I’m also secretly hoping that maybe if I say enough good things about the products I love, I might get offers to try new things for free! So why not, right? I’ll be doing a review of this months Birchbox as soon as I receive it, and also will include pictures this time. Also, I was selected to receive my first VoxBox from Influenster, the Summer Beauty VoxBox, which should come in the mail sometime next week (YAY!!!), so I will be reviewing that as well. I’m super excited about the VoxBox. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Influenster is a service that sends you a box of FREE (Yup, makes me reeeeally happy) products to try in exchange for reviews of the products on the Influenster website as well as in blogs and social media networks. Visit the website, earn badges that fit your lifestyle (just answer some questions, super easy), and when a box is being released that you qualify for, you will be notified by email that you will be receiving that box. I have been a member since the end of May, and a box is released about every 1-2 months. June’s box was the Mom VoxBox, which I am not so I didn’t qualify of course. BUT, I will be receiving the Summer Beauty Box, which will be my first. I figure no matter what it’s a cool deal, since it is completely free! Who doesn’t like free stuff, right? So stay tuned for my reviews of these boxes, and whatever else I feel compelled to tell people about. For now, here are a couple new products I’ve tried recently that I really love:

Garnier BB Cream: This stuff really is awesome. I got a sample of Dr. Jart BB Cream in one of my Birchboxes, and I looooved it. However, it is a bit pricey for me, so when I heard about the Garnier BB Cream, I had to try it. It’s great because it’s an all-in-one product, so no more layers of makeup! Foundation, primer, sunscreen, and more all in one. It seems a little expensive (about $12 a bottle), but this bottle should last me a long time, so I think it’s totally worth it. Great coverage and my face looks flippin’ awesome! πŸ™‚

EOS lip balm: I really really really love this stuff. Before I tried this, my go-to lip balm was Burt’s Bees, which I still love, but this stuff is so great! I got the mint flavor, and it tastes so good. And it makes my lips so super soft. Also, I really love that it comes in that cute little egg shaped container (I am such a nerd!). It has a flat bottom, so it sits perfectly on my night stand, making it easier for me to use it obsessively. LOOOOOVE.

Lastly, here’s an interesting one: Bath and Body Works Malibu Heat Surf Waves hair mist. My hair is naturally wavy, but not really “curly.” In the summertime, I hate blow drying because its just so darn hot and the humidity makes my hair go all stupid anyway, so I like to rock the waves, which I can’t do without some sort of product. I don’t like gels or mousses because my hair gets all crunchy and weighed down, and feel like those products are meant for hair with lots of natural curl, so I go for the “beach wave” type products. A few months ago I bought Charlotte Ronson’s A Perfect Mess beach hair spray, and it was AWFUL! It’s a tiny bottle for $20 (smaller than my hand), it smelled weird, and it only looked good for about ten minutes before the curl fell out and my hair looked dry and gross. Not cool. SO, fast forward to about a month ago, I was at Bath and Body Works, and the Surf Waves spray was a new product that was also included in a buy 3 get 2 free sale, so I thought I’d try it. And I am so glad I did. This stuff is awesome!! It smells great, and gives me awesome looking waves that last without making my hair dry and yucky feeling. Who knew!?

Check these products out! And stay tuned for my Birchbox and VoxBox reviews!

Love and Peace πŸ™‚

The Beauty of Birchbox

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So, since I got my monthly Birchbox in the mail yesterday, I’m using this first post to fill everyone in who isn’t already aware of the wonder that is Birchbox! LOVE!!!! First of all, a little background. Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that sends you a box of deluxe samples of amazing beauty products once a month. You fill out a profile with all your personal beauty info and preferences, and for $10 a month you get a little box of fun surprises shipped free to you (and who doesn’t like to get fun stuff in the mail, right?!). They also have a shop on their website that allows you to buy full-size versions of the products that are featured in the boxes. You get a point for every dollar that you spend (which includes the monthly subscription fee), and ten points every time you give feedback on a sample you received in your box each month. For every 100 points, you get $10 to spend on full-size products in the shop. This is my third box, and I’m already close to 300 points! The samples they send you are based on things like your skin tone and type, hair color and type, and personal preferences, so you always get things you can actually use! Ok, so now that you have a little background info, let me break down the awesomeness of my latest box.

In every box, you get about 4-6 products. Here’s what I got:

1. Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream: This stuff is awesome!! It’s a super concentrated skin cream that you can use for ANYTHING! Super dry hands, cuticles, rough heels, even lips and face! I used it on my feet (it’s summertime and I like to be barefoot, so you can imagine how rough my feet get). They are now baby soft. Sah-weet. It’s a little expensive, but the beauty of Birchbox is that they feature products for all budgets and all tastes, and you rack up points so fast that if you like something that’s a little out of your price range, you can use your points to get it! The sample is enough to last a few uses, especially since it’s super concentrated, so you don’t need to use much. Full-size version is $16, and honestly, I think its worth the money because it will last a long time.

2. Eyeko Fat Eye Stick: First of all, if this was a sample, the full-size must be massive! This seemed like a full-size product to me! This thing will last a while (as has my sample of Color Club nail polish from my first box, and my Stila Sparkly liquid liner from my second….freaking awesome.) It’s a great product that goes on so smooth, and is super versatile. You can use it to line you lids, smudge it out, or use it to add depth to shadow.

3. Borghese Bagno di Vita body soak: Ok, so I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m excited about it! Side note, I love that when they send you a sample of something that comes in a one time use packet as this does, they send at least 2. I might try this after my morning swim, since it says that it soothes tired muscles.

4. theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac: Awesome lip and cheek stain!! And again, this sample should give me quite a few uses! The color is not too dark (of course, they send shades based on your skin tone), and it lasts! Also, doesn’t have the greasy feel that some stains do.

5. Luna Bar: Luna Bars are good, so this was just a fun little treat! And I had never tried the flavor they sent me, which was chocolate peppermint stick. Mmmmmm, tasty.

SO, Birchbox is freaking awesome. I haven’t been disappointed at all by any of my boxes, and I doubt I will be. Everyone should give it a little try. Maybe you’ll love it too!

Spreading the LOVE,

Jamie