Yup, so I officially missed getting my August BirchBox review posted in August. Late is better then never, right? At least I hope so, since that has been my life lately. Seems like everything has been a day late. At least things are never boring over here. I promise that it does not take away from how much I absolutely adore this month’s box. It was great, and you can tell the efforts that they put in towards getting the box just right based on your preferences.
For those of you who don’t know, BirchBox is a monthly beauty box. Every month, they send you a pretty box packed full of samples. Everything from fragrance, to soaps, to makeup, to skin care, even snacks once in a blue moon. They go above and beyond compared to other boxes, because they don’t just include the samples, they include a post card that has all kinds of information about each product. It really helps when you get a new product that just baffles you, to have this card telling you how to use it. And all of this for only $10 a month, you can’t go wrong.
This month we received:
- Noir Long-Wear Black Eyeliner– This is a great full size eyeliner. It goes on so smooth, doesn’t pull or tug your lash line, and it lasts until you take it off. And is by far my favorite item in this box. Can’t get enough eyeliner!!
- Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris– What an amazing scent. It is fruity with a hint of floral. A little bit goes a long long way, the sample that they sent will last a long time with how strong this is.
- Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow- I am on the fence about this one. It really does a great job, very light coverage but evens everything out beautifully. It is 100% natural you look, but 100% better. The only downfall: it has a very dewey finish.
- Not Soap Radio– This got swiped before I was able to try it. My daughter came into my bathroom to steal my shampoo (since I apparently have better shampoo then she does) and she saw it in my shower. Next thing I know, she is telling me how great it is and that I need to buy more lol. But she did smell amazing and even with her extremely sensitive dry skin, it did not irrate her at all.
- Birch Sap Moisturizing Lotion– I was not a fan of this on my face. It broke me out a bit, plus left my skin very shiny (not dewey full on shine). However, it was amazing on my hands. Not greasy, left my hands super soft and even helped with my poor cuticles. Loved it for that.
Overall I loved this box!! Great products and great value. What about you guys, do you subscribe to any monthly beauty boxes? Do you like the idea of them, or do you like picking out your stuff before you buy? If you need any more information, or want to sign up; just click on the link below.
Can you believe that it is fall already. Okay, yes fall is not technically for a little bit. September 22 to be exact; but to me Labor Day signifies the end of summer and the start of fall. Anyone else feel that way?
One of my favorite things about fall is the change in your makeup routine. Now don’t get me wrong, all the pumpkin flavors, the need for scarves, the cinnamon and nutmeg; also all really good things. But with makeup, we get to make the change away from the natural looks. We can breakout the darker colors; bold lips, dark eyes, are all acceptable for fall. I love being able to be a bit more dramatic, a bit more edgy. To make it even better, this year fall is going to be big on the greens and champagne colors. Which has been my favorite fall colors for years, just this year I get to wear them AND be trendy lol.
If you have read my blog for a while, you have seen the reviews on this pallet (which you can read here) and you know my love affair with Too Faced. So it is no surprise that I am going to kick off this season focusing on…. drum roll….. Too Faced!!
(I did put affiliated links to Amazon if you need to see exactly what I am talking about. Just click the links and it will take you straight to the info pages)-
- BOOTS No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation
- Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner – Onyx
- Too Faced Natural At Night Eyeshadow Palette
- COVERGIRL Bombshell Curvaceous
- Bobbi Brown Antigua
- Rimmel London- Kate Lipstick 03
Line upper and lower waterline with the SmashBox black eyeliner. To avoid eyeliner overload, I typically only the line the outer corners.
Using the Natural At Night pallet, apply Spotlight all over the eyelid. From lash line to brow. This gives a nice uniform canvas to work with.
Apply Moonstone on eyelid. Starting at the outer corner and blending inward. You will want to bring this color in about 2/3 toward your inner corner, gradually lightening the color. The color should be from the lash line to the crease.
Apply Full Moon, in the inner corner and in the crease. Using windshield wiper motions, back and forth across the eyelid blending everything.
Apply Night Fever, along the upper lash line. I tend to have the outer corners with a slightly thicker line, having the line get thinner as I move towards my inner corner.
Apply foundation all over face. I first stipple it only my face where I need the most coverage. Think under eyes, around nose, on chin, and on forehead. Then blend using small circular motions.
Apply blush by sweeping down the cheek bone. See here for a great, simple way to apply blush that will look great on all face shapes.
Apply lipstick. I like using a nude color, this helps to make your eyes stand out a bit more.
And like always, last but not least, curl your eyelashes and apply two coats of mascara.
Be sure to tell yourself that you are beautiful.
Are you guys looking forward to breaking out the darker fall makeup colors or do you keep it simple year around? Are you going to rock this season’s it colors? What is your favorite thing about fall?
Yes you read that correctly; Vitamin C for your face. We all know that Vitamin C is so important for your body. It plays a big part for our immune system. It is now popping up in all kinds of skin care as well. There is good reason for that. When applied to your skin, Vitamin C has been known the reduce and even reverse the signs of aging. I was so lucky to get a bottle of this magic serum for free, so I could share it with all of you!!
This is one of those products that I have wanted to try for a while now. But with a price tag of $35, I have not jumped onto the bandwagon. It is a big chunk of change for this stay at home mama. Until someone I knew tried it first, aka being a guinea pig with their money, I was not going to rush out to get it. That is why I was so excited when I heard that Valentia was giving away a few bottles for beauty bloggers to sample. I knew that I HAD to be one of those bloggers.
Even Glow Serum has some of the biggest promises on the market. It is an antioxidant treatment that is applied to your clean and dry face. According to the box it promises to: even skin tone, increase glow and radiance, absorb quickly, boast collagen production, and last (but the biggest one for me) reduce wrinkles & fine lines. After two weeks, I can tell you that it lives up to almost all of those. I would tell you that it lives up to all of them, but I have no way to determine if it has boasted my collagen production. Even in the short amount of time that I have used it, I have noticed that my little lines are reducing, my skin is so soft and glows. It is a syrupy in texture, so not quite liquid. There is some substance to it. It is yellowish in color, and completely smooth. For the me the biggest point is the smell. It simply smells amazing!! Like oranges.
Now that you know about how amazing this anti-aging serum is, lets go over the basics about how to use it. Cause I know that I actually had to look into HOW to use one. Never having a serum in my routine before I was a bit intimidated, but let me assure you it is super easy.
You are going to want to clean your face. While we all like those handy makeup removing wipes, I find that this absorbs more quickly and gives me a better application when I actually go old school and wash my face with a gentle cleanser.
Pat dry your face. There is no reason to have a layer of water covering your face before applying this. Not only will it take forever to get into your skin, you will end up using more.
Be sure to shake the bottle for a moment or two before using. Since it is an all natural treatment, it does tend to separate a bit.
You only need 3 drops to cover your entire face. Yup, only three drops. I use the dropper to put one drop on each of my cheeks and one on my forehead. Then rub in.
This serum does not replace your moisturizer. It is an added step to your routine. So once you rub it into your skin, you will still need to apply your moisturizer as normal.
That’s it! Super easy, super quick and major benefits. Do you guys use a serum? What are your thoughts?
Yes you read that correctly. The boy band One Direction, not only sings/dances/preforms they now also have a makeup line. To be completely honest, I was skeptical about a group of boys coming out with cosmetics. After more thought, I figured they are not the ones actually making the makeup, or really anything to do with it other then put their name on it. Plus the people promoting One Direction know their market, and know what that market wants. Tink was so excited when this came, she was literally jumping around asking if it was for her.
The packaging is amazing. They really did a great job with the packaging of the product. It comes in a great tin box (think old school lunch boxes without the handle). The box has a brick pattern printed on it, then the plastic sleeve has all the One Direction printed material on it. The actual tween/teen market that this is geared for probably would have liked it printed on the box, but I am thrilled that it was not and that I can re-use the box for something else.
Upon opening the box, there was lots of print outs with different ways to use it with various makeup looks. As well as a flyer with all of the different boxes that you can purchase. It was neat seeing what other boxes they have. While they all are similar, they do have a few differences. Mostly in the nail polish colors and the eyeshadows.
The makeup itself is a bit lacking, but for a tween it is ok. The colors that I received were blue and pink. Not colors that I wear, but again Tink loved them. The neat thing is that the lipgloss will change colors under a black light. So I am thinking that during their concerts this will be fun. The eyeshadows do not have a lot of pigment and I found them hard to work with. But again, Tink was willing to over look this. And lets be honest a sheer swipe of blue is a whole lot better then an entire eyelid of bright blue. Can we say hello Mimi from Drew Carey Show?
I was very disappointed though, both the lipstick and the eyeliner/body crayon were melted by the time they came to me. I would have liked to use the body crayon. The box came with some great stencils to use with it. Luckily we always have face paint on hand at our house, so we popped that out and was still able to use the stencils.
The nail polish was great. It was a blue-green color with lots of shine and sparkle. It took forever to dry completely and you need a good two coats. My daughters really enjoyed this shade despite having to wait a bit for it to dry.
The mascara was decent. It made my daughters blonde lashes very dark. And for a tween it was perfect. There was not a lot of volume or lengthening products which was good for her.
Overall, while my daughter loved this box, I would probably not purchase it. I just did not think that they payout was worth the price tag. How about you guys? Do you buy the product lines of your kids favorite bands? Would you purchase something like this even if the quality was not completely there?
This month was my lucky month, I got two.. That’s right TWO BirchBoxes this month. Let me tell how excited I was. Not only did I receive two of them, they were both pretty amazing boxes.
Box Number 1-
- BeneFit Cosmetics- Posiebalm- This s a tinted lip balm. It is a really bright pink color, however, once applied it does sheer out quite a bit. I LOVE the way that it feels on my lips, makes my lips soft and smooth.
- Harvey Prince- Hello Body Creme- A citrus summery smelling lotion. What is great about this is that it is super light weight and absorbs into the skin very quickly, while lasting all day long.
- Ruffian- Rosary- What a great nail color. It is very pigmented and one coat goes a long way. It is a very pretty coppery pink color. Perfect for summer nails, without being to dark.
- Agave- Healing Oil Treatment– While it was a great hair treatment, and my hair looked skinny. Even with all my bleaching, sun, and wind this summer it came right back to my awesome pre-summer hair. The one issue that I do have, it weighed down my hair quite a bit. I have very thin fine hair, and this was simply to much for it.
- Vasanti Cosmetics- Brighten UP Face Rejuvenator– This was AMAZING!! After using it one time, mu skin was visibly brighter and smoother. I am excited to see what will happen after a week of using (only three times a week though).
Box Number 2-
- Davines- Love Shampoo, Conditioner, and Ol All In One Milk- This was a great shampoo and conditioner. My hair looked so straight and smooth, without weighing it down. The downside that I had, I received quite a bit of shampoo but only a single use conditioner. Not cool.
- Laqa & Co- Sheer Lip Lube Pencil- This was an odd one. It was full size which is nice, however, being a 3-something, I am not wearing a purple lip color. Not going to happen. Tink though was thrilled. Purple is her favorite color, and this is purple. It looks great on her, with just a bit of mascara.
- Jolie- Folie de Joie Eau de Parfum– I think that I am in love. This is such a luxurious smelling perfume. (I honestly never thought that I would say that sentence) I can’t even explain it, except that it is perfection packaged into a small bottle. A little bit goes a very very very long way. I put a single drop behind both ears and that was enough to last all day.
- Suki- Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser– I have not tried this one yet, but I like products that have multiple functions. This is a cleaner and exfoliate in one. Plus it smells nice.
- Egyptian Magic- All purpose Skin Cream- Okay I totally get the hype on this now. It really is magic. After spending the summer barefoot or in flip flops, my poor heels need a little TLC. This is just what the genie would have given me, if I had a magic lamp. A tiny amount goes a long way. I use the size of a pea for each heel. Just rub it between my hands to warm it up a bit, then massage into my heels. It is better then any pedi that I have received.
What is BirchBox, besides awesome, you might ask. It is a great monthly beauty subscription service. You will receive between 5-6 samples of new beauty products each month. These can be for hair, makeup, skincare, nails and really anything beauty related. For only $10 a month, you really do get your moneys worth. AND their customer service is way above anything that I have ever dealt with, they really go above and beyond to make their clients happy. If you are interested, click below for more details or to sign up. I promise that you won’t regret it.
There are so many makeup brands on the market. It can really make your head spin. It seems like everyday we are hearing about a new line that is coming up. How do you know what is worth spending your money on? I put together my list of the “Best Of The Best MakeUp”. These are the brands that I love, and use every day. I went ahead and included high end makeup, mid-range and even some great drugstore brands. There is something for everyone.
For my high end:
- -MAC- There is a reason that this is a classic. It really is a great makeup line, they have everything in every possible shade. They stand behind their products, and always great to work with. Their makeup is blend-able, build-able, and you can rely on always getting the same shade.
- -Bobbi Brown- This is a new line for me. I have not been using it for very long but that is all that it took to make me fall in love with them. All of the products that I have tried have been amazing. I love their philosophy that all women are beautiful, and their makeup is all designed around that thought. Most of their shades are natural, and bring out inner beauty.
For my mid-line:
- -Too Faced- This has to be my all time favorite line of makeup ever, and I quite possibly own their entire line. (But that is our little secret) Their products are amazing. You get such quality for a fraction of the price. They are completely cruelty free. I could go on and on about them, they are my most go-to items. My daily use items are just about all Too-Faced.
- -SmashBox- While I don’t use them a lot in my “Look Of The Week” posts, I use them every day. Their primers are completely unmatched in my opinion. I use their Photo Finish Foundation Primer every day, along with their eye shadow primer. Slowly my collection is growing, I am so excited to have just gotten my sample box of their products. Their eyeliner is making a huge impact on my daily routine too. Plus I am dying to get my hands on their contour set.
We can’t forget about the great drugstore finds:
- –Maybelline– While not the cheapest, or most expensive, drugstore line, it is a great reliable go-to. I love their Baby Skin primer. It works just as well as POREfessional. Their The Buffs lipstick line is wonderful. For the few times that I use lipstick, not gloss, they are my go to. In fact I have Truffle Tease in my purse right now. If you are looking for a great mascara, you can’t go wrong with their Big Eyes collection.
- –NYC Color– I grabbed this the other day, by mistake. I ran out of BB Cream and we spend our summers in a little town, with no makeup counters. Target though, has all of the drugstore brands. Normally I like NYX, but with three kids in the cart I was not paying close attention and somehow grabbed the NYC Smooth Skin Fini Parfait instead. I mean they are pretty close in name and their packaging is so similar. It was like 3 bucks and is AMAZING. It is a bit on the dewey side, so I have to use a setting powder. But it brightens my face like no other, covers everything, and is very very light.
What about you? What brands are your best of the best? What are your thoughts about these?
LOTW- Queen Elsa From Frozen
Anyone else’s daughters STILL obsessed with Frozen? While I admit, I really like this movie. I like that the Princesses are the heroines. I like that the Anna choose her sister over the boy. I like that the entire movie was sisters trying to protect and help each other. While yes there was the romance/boy drama that is in all Disney Princess movies, it was not the main theme. See lots of great things to love about this girl power Disney Princess movie…..
After seeing it thirty times (thanks dad for making sure the girls got this on Blu-Ray to watch over and over and over) the song Let It Go, is kinda like nails on a chalkboard. Not only is the movie on constant repeat, my girls have discovered the joy of You-Tube and listen to the songs on there. Basically some aspect of Frozen is on at all times at my house.
No big surprise, that they want to be Anna and Elsa for Halloween. It’s all they talk about. Really… it ….. is….. all….. they…. talk….. about…. But, being the supportive mom that I am (now with a slight tick at even the mention of Frozen), I am on the search for a great costume that I can make easily. Cause to buy them from Disney is ridiculously expensive, no thank you. Part of the costume, is having the perfect makeup. So I have been trying and trying to get Elsa’s perfect. I have to admit it is harder than I thought. My solution? Onto Pinterest I go; this girl nailed it. She duplicated it so perfectly. I am so impressed!
I think that with it being on a person and the close up with the eyes closed, I will be able to duplicate it. Pretty excited to get started. How about you guys, are your daughters going to be Anna or Elsa for Halloween? Please tell me that I am not the only one with kids already thinking (and talking) about Halloween already?
*This is a sponsored post. I received all the makeup I am reviewing
at no cost, in exchange for this post. But as always
all the opinions and thoughts are my own*
Lets start by saying that I love mineral makeup. It gives a great, flawless, matte finish, plus it is so much better for your skin. When it is a good mineral foundation. It is so easy for a loose powder foundation to go wrong and become cakey, chalky, or just plain weird-looking. Can we say hello pancake face? Not good. So when I find a really great mineral makeup, I want to totally stalk up and then tell you all about it.
Clear Skin Minerals- Healthy Face Minerals has come out with an amazing foundation line. It is a loose powder base consisting of: silk, clay and pearl (yes pearls). But also vitamin E and jojoba oil making it really good for your skin. It is designed to sit on top of your skin so it wont clog pores, or cause irritation. Since it sits on top of the skin it will also, minimize the appearance of fine lines, pores and provides a great natural SPF.
They sent me samples of both Ivory and Light Beige. When they tell you that a little goes a long, they mean a little goes a long way. My first time using this foundation, I used WAY too much. Thank goodness it is just makeup, so I could wash it off and start over. Attempt number two, was much better. I tapped my powder brush into the loose powder and then tapped it off until no more would tap off. Then stippled it under my eyes, around my nose and on my forehead (yes all without re-dipping into the foundation). Then using my buffing brush I started buffing it in. Re-tapped stippled it onto my checks and jaw line. Then with my buffing brush blending it in with large circular motions. I do think that I buffed it into my skin, versus letting it sit on top of my skin. But it looked (and felt) amazing.
This turns out to be a full coverage foundation. It covers EVERYTHING!!! All of the little red spots around my nose and on my chin were gone. It even covered all my freckles. A totally different look on me, since I normally let them peek through. It even covered my dark circles under my eyes, no concealer needed. All of my little lines were covered, the large pores by my nose were gone. Gave a remarkably matte finish.
I love that they sent me two shades. After using them for a while, the lighter shade is simply to light for my skin. HOWEVER, it is great to contour with. It brightens up under my eyes (while covering my dark circles), and on my forehead a bit. Since they are only one shad apart it is a very subtle highlight. Not something that I do often, but it is fun when we go out.
What are your thoughts? Have you used a mineral powder foundation or do you like liquid foundation? Why?
Influencer VoxBox Surf’s Up
I was so excited to be selected for an Influencer VoxBox. It was so fun not knowing what was coming, but knowing that I was able to get one of the coveted boxes. I have to admit, I was thrilled when I opened it up!!! It was full of some great products (some that were very much-needed at that particular moment too). What is even better, they were all full-sized products. No skimpy samples here. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Influencer, they are a great company that connects brands with bloggers. They run all kinds of programs to get everyone connected, but the best is the VoxBox. When they have a brand that they think you will match well with, they email you a pre-survey. You have a short amount of time to get this filled out and back to them. Then if you are a match they let you know that you are going to be getting a box. Way exciting!!
So now onto what was inside this great box:
- First Aid Therapy Shot– I have seen these in the stores, you know by the cash registers for that impulse by. Every time, I have walked right by it. I was pretty excited to get this one in my box, so I could actually try it out. And you know, it came in pretty handy that weekend. We had a lot of fun for the 4th of July. For whatever reason, I woke with a headache. (Really no idea why that was hehe) Trying to muddle through, I remembered that I had this on my desk from my wonderful VoxBox. I popped it open and downed it. Within minutes, yes minutes, my headache was gone. It was so fast acting, tasted good, and it actually worked. LOVED it!! From now on I will have a few of these on hand at all times.
- Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun– Again for the 4th, if you read my blog you know that we got to spend a good amount of time outside. The weather was amazing, it was sunny and warm. Just a perfect 4th of July day. But, I got horribly burnt. My shoulders, my back, my neck. Not fun. Normally I am an aloe type of girl; just keep slathering that stuff on. I went to grab the aloe, and saw this sitting there, waiting to be tested. Man this was so awesome. It applied more like a lotion, then aloe, and there was no stickiness. It immediately gave my poor red skin relief. Really felt amazing on. I am a convert, no more straight aloe over here. From now on, this will be my product of choice for the after sun relief.
- SinFul Colors Nail Polish– This was a product that I have actually tried before. They are a great nail polish brand. The colors always apply like they look in the bottle, they dry quick, and you only need one coat. (I do apply two, but I am weird like that) This color, according my girls, was the perfect mermaid tail color. Since blue is so in this season, it works perfectly. And all of us girls have blue fingernails and toenails. We are happy!!
- Jumba Juice– Okay in all my excitement, somehow this didn’t make it into the picture. But we also got a coupon for a free Jumba Juice. Let’s be honest, who does not love Jumba Juice. Can’t wait to redeem this!!! I might even share with the girls….. Maybe.
- CoverGirl Bombshell Curvacous Mascara– This is by far my favorite item in this box. CoverGirl is a great drugstore brand that never disappoints. This mascara gives amazing volume, length and curls your lashes. It lasts all day, without flaking or smudging. It is a true, very dark black. Best mascara that I have tried in a long long time.
**I received this box, and all of its contents at no cost in exchange for this review.
As always my opinions and thoughts are all my own.**
This summer there are so many different trends going on. Some are really great, some are geared more for a twenty-something crowd and some are just perfect for everyone. What are some of the trends that have you excited? Which ones have you running? Here is my list of the 2014 trends: the good, the bad, and my thoughts on them
- Colored Eyeliner– One of the great things about summer is the natural, “me-but-better” looks. The main down fall is you can get stuck in a rut, there is no real excitement, there is no pop of color. This makes it so easy to grab some colored eyeliner, for that pop. This years big shade is blue. Any shade of blue works, turquoise to a dark navy. While I am a fan of colored liner (mainly purple and green), I just can’t get into the blue. The nice thing about this trend is that anyone, of any age, with any skin tone can totally rock it. If your into blue.
- Bold Brows– The eyebrow is making a HUGE comeback. The days of the tiny over-plucked brow is over. Big and bold (but very groomed) is in. For me, and girls with big brows, this is great. The brow helps to not only frame the face, but it anchors the face as well. Again it is a look that anyone can pull it off.
- White Eyeliner– It kinda ties into the colored eyeliner, but not. White eyeliner makes a striking statement; it makes your eyes look bigger, brighter, more awake and the whites of the eyes look whiter. You can line the waterlines of your eyes, or you can layer it on top of the colored liner for a night out statement. I find this hard to pull off, while I like to line my waterlines with it for a day look. Anything more then that makes me feel… weird.
- Orange Lips– Orange is HUGE. If you look at the run-ways orange lips are everywhere. This is one of those trends that I just can’t get into. Maybe I am just not finding the right shade of orange, maybe my skin tone is just the wrong tone for orange, who knows. But I have crossed this trend off of my follow list. (But I have shifted it slightly to corals and peaches. They both are orange based without being orange)
- Peach Blush– This has to be my favorite trend at the moment. Peach blush looks amazing on everyone. It really gives a nice warm, lit from within look. I think that this looks great on everyone, but mostly women in their 30s-50s. As we age, we tend to think that we need a pink blush to look younger, but this peach color will do more for you then any pink color.
- Glowing Skin– Having glowing, “my-skin-but-better” is in. While I tend to think that this is code for a dewey look, I do think that glowing lit from within is a good look for most people. Having great clear skin (even if you are faking it), will always be in fashion. There is nothing better then a great canvas. But lets keep the dewey look to those 20-somethings.
I think that I was able to hit the all the trends: Eyes, Blush, Lips, Brows, and Skin. What are your thoughts? Are these trends that you would follow? Just a word of advice- try them one at a time, not all at once 🙂