Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My May Birchbox

I hadn't ever heard of Birchbox until last month sometime when I saw post around the blogosphere saying that this month's box would be inspired by Gossip Girl. The idea of receiving samples of high-end beauty products, especially if GG themed, intrigued me. So I shelled out the $10 to receive my box.

I was so excited when it arrived in my mailbox. The packaging was so cute. I had to constrain myself in order to resist tearing it open then and there with no pictures taken.

Once I finally got through all the layers to the goodies inside, I was quite disappointed with the samples. I was hoping  for a  better selection.

The perfume was packed up cute, but it smelled like something my grandma would wear. (AKA I don't like it at all)

I will never consider a headband a high-end item. While it's nice, its nothing but a piece of ribbon tied together with an overhand knot, I can make that in two seconds for about less than a dime a piece. Plus, I dont wear headbands. Unfortunately, this is the only sample that actually made a lot of since to me to be included as part of a GG theme.

The nail polish is quite small, 7 ml, but that's ok.There's probably enough there to paint my nails at least a couple times, and that's good enough for me. This is one of the only samples I actually liked.

The BB creme sample is so small, it's the only sample I didn't test out in some way when I got it. It seems like something I would actually like, but there's so little there, I'm afraid to use it. This is a real disappointment, I feel they could have at least doubled the sample size of it.

The cleanser was something I thought I wouldn't like or use. I don't clean my brushes. But since I now have a cleaner, I should at least make use of it, plus its so much more sanitary this way. I must say, I actually like it. The amount in the bottle is actually pretty decent. You only need a small amount, I've used it twice now, and its barely made a dent. It cleans really well, and while I'm not too fond of the scent, its not a big deal. I might even purchase the full size bottle when the sample runs out.

The nail polish and the brush cleanser where the only two samples I was pleased with over all. And while I've seen some other people get samples that I would like more than the ones I got, I don't think I'll be taking the $10 risk again. These samples just weren't worth the $2 a piece in my eyes. So while it's a novel idea, I guess beauty sample boxes just aren't for me.

What about you? Do you, or would you, order Birchbox? If so, what did you get this month? What did you think? Are sample boxes for you? I would love to hear from my readers! (:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Julep Portia Over Essie Lilacism Swatches

First off, please excuse the chipping, I forget to take pictures when I first painted my nails, so there's a few days of wear and tear. 
And second, yes, I know it doesn't look like I'm wearing Lilacism. That's because I bought the polish before I moved., and since then it suffered some heat and sun damage that changed the color. So instead of a light purple, its now more of a light blue. But fortunately that makes it more suitable as a base for Portia.
If you saw my last post, you can see how by its self, Portia is very sheer, with the blue nearly undetectable. But,  over a nice light blue, it really shines! 
I love the way this turned out, it looks more like you would think it should by looking at the bottle. It's really fun and summery. Like this it really does remind me of a day at the beach. 
I wish I would have taken some pictures out in the sun! And I really should start using an actual camera, and not just my phone.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Julep Maven Intro Box

The other day I got my Julep Maven American Beauty Introductory Box, and I was so excited! The packaging was quite cute. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pictures of that, too eager to get the goodies.

Everything was in prestine condition, and they even sent me a free nail file.
Here's a close up of the nail polishes:
The Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub- "contains glycolic acid combined with apricot seeds for double exfoliation that leaves your hands noticeably softer after just one use."
This scrub was nice, the scrubbies in it were just right. It felt nice when washing, not too rough, but noticeable exfoliation. The orange scent is faint and pleasant. Afterwards, my hands did feel soft, but the effect isn't long lasting. This product is nice, I enjoy using it, but I wouldn't pay $32 dollars for it.

Penelope-"opaque, almost white with a hint of blush. Elegant on manicures and pedicures."
I've yet to really play with it, but it looks more pink in person than I originally that it would be, which is a plus. I plan to try this color out soon

Portia- "sheer tropical blue with glittery sparkles that will remind you of a day on the beach"
As you can see, I already played around with this color. It looks so pretty in the bottle, but I must admit that I'm slightly disappointed with just how sheer it is.

Even after three coats, I can clearly see my nail. I like the glitter, but they're a bit big, which keeps my nail from being smooth. A top coat helps.
It is very pretty, and I feel like if I layer it on top of a nice beachy blue, it'll look incredible. I just feel that the description on the site doesn't accurately portray the feel of the polish. It doesn't remind me of a day at the beach, and it isn't tropical blue.
All in all, I really enjoyed the products that I received in my introductory box, and I might even continue on with the Julep Maven program. You can find out more here, and don't forget to use the coupon "PENNY" to get your first box for only $0.01 plus free shipping.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Essie Summer Collection 2012

I'm super excited to share some information and pictures of Essie's Summer Collection 2012 which is to be released June 2012 at $8 a bottle. I found the information and pictures here. I love Essie, they're definitely splurge polish of choice, and I'm loving the look of the summer collection. They're so bright and fun!
  • Bikini so Teeny—provocative lustrous sky blue
  • Cascade Cool—frosty, shimmery carnation pink
  • All Tied Up—naughty molten bronze
  • Off the Shoulder—daring, scorching hot pink
  • Fear or Desire—obsession-worthy bright orange
  • Mojito Madness—fun-loving party lime

SPF as a Part of Your Daily Routine

I honestly believe that the best way to a youthful complexion is taking preventative measures while you are young.

That's why it baffles me so when I see others my age neglecting their skin! My mom looks incredible at her age of 38. She looks years younger than every other woman her age. She's always getting mistaken for my older sister. My grandma, too, looks nothing like she's in her 60's. She especially looked younger than her years back in her 40s before she started smoking. And, besides good genes, a lot of their youthfulness has to do with the fact that they wear SPF, Every. Day. Not just when at the beach. Summer, winter, sunny days, or stormy. I honestly don't understand how such a critical step is so often over looked. Especially by girls here in Florida. It's like, hello! There's year round sun exposure here, imagine how old you'll look in a few years

 Now, I'm not saying you should slather on a ton of greasy old sunscreen everyday. No, although in a pinch, I guess that can do. But, no, that's unnecessary. Using a foundation with SPF* will work, or applying a face lotion with SPF first thing in the morning. I personally use Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Body Lotion SPF 55. I love it, it soaks in to your skin fast, and feels like there's nothing there. It's also oil free and non greasy, so no break outs either!
Adding a little SPF is a easy and painless addition to your daily routine, but one that you will be so thankful for years from now.

*On sale at Amazon for $0.99, just click the link to be taken there.