Tag Archives: birchbox

Beauty Grab-Bag: Random Pretties

First of all, hooray, it’s finally spring!! I’m not freezing at the moment and I even have a window open, it’s a miracle! I haven’t done a grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d share some fun products I’m liking right now.

I haven’t bought a nail polish for more than $8 in years, but when I was at Ulta over the weekend they were having a promotion where if you bought a butter London nail-polish you would receive a free mini bottle of their powder polish remover, so I decided to indulge and purchase the color “Macbeth”. The powder polish remover is nice, it leaves behind a sort of baby-powder smell on your skin rather than a strong nail polish remover smell.

Butter London polish is $14 at Ulta, and despite the name it’s actually an American company. I really like the bright reddish-orange shade I bought and even on the third day there is minimal chippage, but when it comes down to it I’m still cheap and I’ll have to be impressed by an unusual color for me to purchase this brand again.

I fell and skinned my knees in front of Penn station last week both hurting and embarrassing myself while also ripping a new pair of $15 tights to shreds—so what did I do after that? I dusted myself off and went to Sephora where I bought this Hello Kitty eyeliner for $16 to cheer myself up. When you fall down, pick yourself up and buy some makeup—trust me.

It’s an olive-green color called “picnic basket” and it’s a nice alternative to my usual black winged liner. I’m a little worried it might dry out fast, but I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m very happy with this liner and thinking I might buy the purple the next time I find myself in Sephora (or the next time I take a spill).

This Pangea Organics lip balm came in my March Birchbox and at first I was like “whatever, sure, another lip balm”, but then it slowly won me over. It has a relaxing jasmine-y smell and goes on very smooth and moisturizes well. I haven’t decided if I can bring myself to buy another for $12 but I’m thinking about it.

This is the biggest problem with birchbox, they make you fall in love with expensive products and then you feel compelled to by them—I guess that’s kind of the point though right?

Last but not least, I’ve written before about my disappointment in the totally wasteful and annoying packaging of Urban Decay’s primer potion, they’ve finally listened to their fans and Sephora has changed the packaging for more efficient use. It’s always nice when a brand actually listens to their customers, isn’t it?

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My First Birchbox Has Arrived!

My first Birchbox couldn’t have chosen a better day to appear. I was feeling cold and annoyed at the icy, cold, disgusting, weather outside, so that fuchsia box in the mail was like a little bit of sunshine for me.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of the Birchbox you can get more information at their website. Basically you pay $10 a month (or $110 a year) and each month you receive a cute box of deluxe samples. Obviously if you’re not into products, it seems silly to spend over $100 a year on boxes full of stuff you might never use, but if you’re a product junkie, this might be perfect for you. I signed up in December and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first Birchbox for the last week, so let’s take a look at what I found.

The box itself is packaged very cute, when you receive it, you don’t feel like you’re getting a throwaway box full of cheap samples, it feels like a well thought-out gift. It comes with a card explaining all the featured products and why each was chosen for the box. This specific package has a sort of “new year, new you” theme, the products inside are meant to be rejuvenating and refreshing. Here’s the breakdown:

Blow Up Daily Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

I have a lot of hair, so it took almost the full bottles of each of these samples to get my head properly washed and conditioned. That being said, my hair does feel nice and smooth and the smell is also pleasing. Is there an increase in volume? Not noticeably.

Ahava, Dermud Intensive Nourishing Hand Cream

I have to say this hand cream is really nice, it dissolves very quickly, really moisturizes and a little goes a long way. It also has an interesting but unobtrusive natural smell that I personally like.

myfaceworks, Sheet Mask

This mask is a piece of cloth drenched in nourishing liquid. You’re supposed to lay down for 15-20 minutes when you wear it since it might drip, and also because the people you live with might run screaming from the house particularly if they’re scared of Michael Meyers or Leatherface—I’m serious, I scared myself in the mirror several times—yikes!

It does feel refreshing, but these are pretty pricey so I don’t know if I would ever buy them.  It’ nice that you just put it on and then pull the whole thing off in once piece without having to deal with crumbling mud or anything.

Serge Lutens, L’Eau

I really don’t like this perfume, but I think all women have very different tastes in scents, so it depends on the individual. This is a “fresh” scent that reminds me a lot of Clinique’s Lucky, but it’s just not for me.

Zhenea’s Gypsy Tea

I’m usually not a tea drinker, but this light and spicy Chai is really lovely, as is the tin it comes in. Perfect on a cold January day, the sample tin contains 5 tea bags.

And that’s it!

My main concern when I joined Birchbox was that the size of the samples wasn’t going to be worth it, but I’m not disappointed. I was worried they would be like the samples they give you in department stores that come in paper sleeves and can’t be resealed for multiple use, but aside from the face mask all these products can be used more than once. Since the one face mask alone retails for 9$ the whole thing seems like a pretty decent value.

I’m hoping that in the coming months there are more makeup products to play with. I have a feeling there will be some months that are amazing and others that fall short, but you can’t please everyone all the time right? So far I think that for the price, and the fun of getting the cute package delivered to your door, Birchbox is worth it if you love cosmetics.

Anyone else trying Birchbox? Let me know what you think!

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Beauty Grab-Bag: Makeup Fun-time

I haven’t done a beauty grab-bag in a while so I thought I’d do a quick one today and feature some random things.

Before my wedding when I was desperate for blogging help I put a call out to anyone who could do a guest post or had something to share. Sara over at makeshift vanity sent me these makeup collages she put together for fun—and they’re pretty fun to look at too! Things got so crazy before the wedding that I never got a chance to publish these, but I’m happy to feature them now, thanks for submitting these Sara! I love a good makeup collage, and these backgrounds are awesome.

In other news—If you haven’t heard of it yet, there is this site called Birchbox,  you pay $10 a month (or a flat $110 a year) and they send you a box of 4-5 cosmetic samples, shipping is free and apparently most of the samples are deluxe. Since I was good and forced myself out of Sephora without buying the $30 YSL lipstick last week, I figured I could splurge and spend $10 to try this out for January. Birchbox combines two of my favorite things—sampling new products and getting stuff in the mail! I often find myself wishing stores sold products in sample sizes for just a few dollars so I could try them out before buying the full size. Dealing with scuzzy, over-used testers and crowds at retail stores has gotten really tiring, so I hope this works out. If you don’t like the service you can cancel, it seems too good to be true doesn’t it? I’ll let you know how it goes and share pics in January when the box arrives!

Speaking of getting things in the mail, I participated in my first nail polish swap last week with the above mentioned Sara. I’ve been behind on my nail polish purchases and missed most of the Fall launches, so I was very happy when Sara sent me 4 mini shades from Essie’s fall line—Sew Psyched, Little Brown Dress, Limited Addiction, and In Stitches. I wouldn’t wear these in summer, but they’re great neutrals (except Limited Addiction). Amanda from mandabear did a guest post in October and featured Sew Psyched as one of her favorite picks for fall, and I have to agree with her, it’s a khaki gray-green and a nice alternative to griege. Swaps are fun! I apologize that you have to look at my incredibly dry winter skin, yikes—I really need to start moisturizing.

(from left to right, Little Brown Dress, In Stitches, Sew Psyched, Limited Addiction)

For the requisite cute animal part of the grab-bag, I present you with this cute video of baby otters.

I would like a baby otter for Christmas please, he would fit in with my cats just fine:

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