Sunday, July 15, 2012

RETAIL THERAPY: Birchbox July 2012 'The Senses'

Frankly, I was pretty disappointed with this month's Birchbox. When I got the email saying that this month would be a collaboration with Glamour magazine, I got super, super excited. I expected some really great high end beauty samples. But, I ended up just getting a things that I wasn't too excited about. Other people seemed to either love their box this month or were disappointed just like I was. This box's theme was 'The Senses' and was supposed to "guarantee a multi-sensory experience". Eh. Maybe next time, Birchbox. 

This first sample was Oscar de la Renta 'Live in Love' perfume. I am not really a huge fan of perfume samples. I just end up letting them sit around in my room and gather dust. Birchbox describes this perfume as: "this elegant floral layers ethereal notes of hyacinth and orchid over a rich base of sandalwood and cedar".  It smells nice, yes, but it just smells too mature to me, to be honest. It's just not my cup of tea. It does have a very strong floral scent, but it's just not as fresh as I like my perfumes to be. 

A full size of this perfume is $25 - $78, so my sample is worth $0.75

Okay, this sample was really, really annoying to me.  This thing is freaking TINY. It's 0.07 fl. oz.  I could probably only use this once and that's it. And even then, I wouldn't be able to really figure out whether or not I liked it.  I've always wanted to try Jouer products because I've heard good things about them, but this is barely even a sample. Ugh. What Birchbox said about this sample was: "This lightweight award-winner is our daily shortcut to dewy skin that feels natural and looks gorgeous". 

A full size of this is $38 for 1.7 fl. oz. so my sample is worth $1.56

The next sample was these boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens. I don't really use blotting papers, even if I have oily skin. They just don't do much for me and I find them to be too much trouble.  I've used these boscia blotting papers before and I liked them, but ended up just not using them.  It's a decent sized sample, though. Birchbox says: "These shine-busting sheets absorb oil with all-natural green tea extracts to leave skin matte".

A full size is $10 for 100 sheets, so this sample is worth $2.50

This was the most exciting product in the July Birchbox.  I know a lot of girls received this Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in last month's Birchbox and I was pretty jealous. I use liquid eyeliner every day so this product is really relevant to me, which made me really happy.  The color is interesting, too.  It's a dark, olive green shade.  I tried it out last night and I actually think it looks really nice.  It's flattering on my brown eyes and is dark enough to still work for every day.  It's a nice change from my every day black liquid eyeliner.  I'm also really pleased with the fact that it's a full sized product. Birchbox says: "Direct from London, these punchy color liners feature a pen-style applicator that's truly goofproof". 

A full size is $15, so this sample is worth $15. 

One of the lifestyle extras this month was This Larabar Uber Cherry Cobbler bar.  I'm food in the Birchbox, but I'll try it out.  It looks pretty good, anyway.  Maybe I'll like it and find a whole new snack obsession. Who knows.  Birchbox says: " The latest addition to our snack drawer, these healthy and satisfying bars are packed with dried nuts and fruits". 

A full size is $27.95 for 16 bars, so my sample is worth $0.87

The next lifestyle extra was this set of ear buds.  I thought this was pretty cute and pretty helpful.  I always use ear buds for exercising but I always seem to lose them.  The neon colors of these ear buds is also pretty adorable.  I have really small ears, so normal ear buds tend to not fit my ears and these feel a little big, but I'm sure I could make them work. Birchbox says: "We designed these neon headphones just for you. Pair them with your best playlist." 

This sample is worth $0, since Birchbox made them themselves.

Once again, I was pretty disappointed with this box.  I was really hoping for a great box with a nice actual make up samples since it was a collaboration with Glamour magazine.  But, I was only really excited about the Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner. But, I'm not gonna rule out Birchbox just because this box was disappointing. 

The total worth of this month's Birchbox was: $20.68.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

FACE OF THE DAY: Fourth of July!

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 W Bisque
Concealer: Bobbi Brown Stick Concealer in 4.25 Natural Tan
Powder: Laura Mercier Transluscent Setting Powder
Bronzer: NYC Bronzer in 'Sunny'
Blush: NARS Blush in 'Luster'
Brows: MAC Eye Shadow in 'Mystery'
Eyeliner: Maybelline Gel Liner in Black
Lipstick: NARS Lipstick in Heatwave
Lashes: Salon Perfect Demi Wispies

I hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth of July, even if you aren't celebrating America's independence! 


Monday, July 2, 2012


I'm actually doing my monthly favorites on time this month! Maybe a couple of days late, but still at the beginning of July! On that note...can you believe it's already July? We're more than halfway through this year. That's a scary thought.

Dr. Jart BB Cream and Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 Bisque W

First up is my foundation combination for this month.  I've been hearing insane buzz about the Dr. Jart BB Cream for the last couple of months and got a little sample from Sephora at the beginning of the month.  And let me tell you, it's definitely living up to the hype.  I was pretty skeptical at first because a lot of the girls I've seen trying it are fairly pale with pink undertones while I'm closer to the medium side with yellow undertones.    But when I applied it alone, the shade blended into my skin tone and seemed to adjust to a shade that was almost perfect.  I thought to darken it up a bit and bring out some more yellow tones in my foundation I would mix in my regular foundation, which is the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 410 Bisque W.  This combination has been my every day foundation for this whole month and I cannot be happier.  I'll have a more in depth Beauty Rave post up about the Dr. Jart BB Cream soon!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Another item I've heard a lot of hype about recently is this Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. You guys know that I love me some peach tones and this blush is one of the most beautiful blushes I've ever used.  I've always skimmed over the Milani section at the drug stores because I just always assume that it won't be good quality, but after hearing from a bunch of beauty gurus about this blush, I decided to give it a go. It is the perfect peachy coral shade and goes on with a really natural, glowy finish.  I was really pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation of this blush as well.  It really leaves your face looking fresh, which is a look that I love for the summertime. 

NARS Duo Eye Shadow in Alhambra

I've been trying to "shop my stash" recently to rediscover beauty products that may have been overlooked and this NARS eye shadow duo in Alhambra is one of the items that I've definitely fallen back into love with.  I really love a neutral eye and in the summer I love to wear gold on my lids with a brown in the crease.  This NARS duo has the best light, neutral shades for a quick, simple eye look.  It comes with a light, pinky, champagne shade and a light gold shade as well.  The gold has been my go-to all over the lid shade and I've been loving the champagne shade in my inner corner.  The quality of NARS eye shadows are absolutely amazing.  They're silky and crazy pigmented.  This duo is a really great staple for anyone who loves a neutral eye. 

NARS Lipstick in Barbarella

This lipstick is one of those products that I don't think I could ever live without.  I am so absolutely in love with this color and this formulation that I always find myself going back to it.  Barbarella is the perfect peach shade and the formulation is creamy and glossy.  If I'm having one of those days where I can't decide what lipstick to wear, this is usually the one I go for.  It just works with every eye look and never looks overpowering or too much.  It's just the perfect compliment to any look.  I've worn this at least once or twice a week this entire month, and I have a feeling that that's the way it's going to be for a really, really long time.

MAC Eye Shadow in Arena

This is one of my most recent MAC "purchases".  I got this eye shadow when I Back 2 MAC'd a bunch of my old eye shadow containers.  I swatched it in the store and was instantly like, "I need this."  It's a really great all over the lid shade for days where you want to have a little bit of sheen on your eyes but don't want there to be a whole lot of color.  It's kind of a peachy shade but looks really natural on the lids.  I was a little worried it would be too orange on my eyes, but when you blend it out, it just looks natural and like you just have a light shimmery wash on your lids.  I've really been loving wearing this on its own with no shadow in the crease and just some eyeliner.  


Sunday, July 1, 2012

LACQUER LUST: Essie 'Bikini So Teeny'

There has been a lot of talk recently about this new summer shade from Essie. I've heard from all over youtube and in person about this particular nail polish.  I saw it on one of my friends a couple of days ago and realized that I needed to get it.  So yesterday, I went to about three different stores to get my hands on this color and finally got lucky at a small CVS near my home.

This shade is absolutely worth the hype.  Not only does it have the cutest nail polish name I've ever heard, but it's also a beautiful, unique color.  It's a little bit similar to Essie 'Lapis of Luxury', but 'Lapis of Luxury' is darker and more blue.  This is just the a cross of baby blue and periwinkle and has seriously become my new favorite.   I think this would be really flattering on every skin tone.  It looks beautiful on pale skin but still looks good on my skin tone as well. I can see myself wanting to constantly repaint my nails this shade this summer.  I'm absolutely hooked on this great summer shade.