January BirchBox Review! #LetsDoThis

I am not going to lie to you. My photos reeeeaaaalllly suck. I took them last night at around 8pm, just as I was going to bed. I didn’t do my usual set up with my photo “studio”. Just overall I had a really shitty week. Without delving too deep into it, I’m no longer going to England next fall and am trying to figure out what and where I want to be. Its been a weird, sad week, but what can you do.

When I opened the Birchbox last week I didn’t really think much about this month’s theme. But when I opened it to take pictures last night. It connected with me. #LetsDoThis. No matter what I decide to do, I’ve got to just do it, get through it and go forward and up. I also need to figure out how to let go. Its not always easy, but its possible. I’m working on it.

Enough with the sad news! Birchbox! Woo!

I didn’t really try much of the stuff from this month’s Birchbox. But the few things I have tried, I like!

January Birch Box

Lets Do This Birchbox

Birchbox Products January

Karma Organic Spa Nail Polish Remover ($12 full size)

So this is one I haven’t tried. I very rarely wear nail polish. Although I have like 20 bottles in my medicine cabinet. I usually end up picking it away, or I’m too much of a busy body to let it dry completely. So I end up with smudges, chips and texture allll over my nails. Not a nail polish, but a remover, with no acetone. This sample was pretty interesting to get. However, I kinda like the smell of good ole traditional nail polish remover…this one smells awful. Like medicine. yuck. I’ll probably use it just to get it out of my stash and also because I’m almost out of nail polish remover….

Whish Three Whishes Body Butter ($24 full size) 

Now I like this one, its a light scent, a really sheer moisturizer. Which has me wondering…is it really a body butter? When I think of body butter I think of a thick, creamy, almost paste of a moisturizer. This was definitely not that. Its not greasy which is awesome, because I hate that, its the reason I dont use lotion. Its more of a satin-y finish.  I probably wouldn’t spend $24 on a bottle of lotion, unless it like was a miracle cream or something…

Manna Kadar Lip Locked ($24 full size) 

I shoulda taken a photo of this on…but taking pictures of myself is not exactly on my mind lately. But I really loved this! I of course didn’t bring it with me to work so I don’t know what color I got, but really pretty peachy neutral.  I’m not really sure I get the whole Lip Primer/gloss thing…since to me a primer goes on first…but its got a great lipstick-y coverage mixed with a gloss.  I suppose if the color wasn’t so pigmented and went on so thick you could use as a primer… After the gloss wore off however, the color still remained! Even after a couple hours.  This is definitely a product I would consider purchasing, if I didn’t have like 100 lipsticks/glosses already.

Curly  Hair Solutions Curl Keeper Gel (17.50 full size)

I love Curly Hair Solutions. I got a sample of another product in my first Birchbox and immediately ordered it. I haven’t used some of the curly haired products I’ve gotten recently because my hair is growing and getting longer…its in that in-between phase where its not short enough to keep the normal bounce of my curls and its not long enough to lay straight. So its kind of this long frizzy waves with no definition. And even with products my hair ends up with really heavy flat curls. I haven’t devoted the time to figuring out which products work well with this new length yet. I have two in my roster to try out and see how they go! This is one of them! But I love that CHS is pretty reasonably priced and the product goes a long way.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Moisture Renewal Oil Booster ($35 Full Price)

My skin is getting weirder as I get older. I’ve overall had really great skin. Whether it be, me starting to age or if its my heightened anxiety as of late or maybe a combo of both. I’ve noticed that my skin has a ton of redness, and is oddly super dry and oily at the same time (specifically my forehead).  Usually if I use lotion it just doesn’t cut through the dryness and I’m hesitant to use an oil because of the potential for super-oily skin. This was kind of nice though. It gave my regular moisturizer a little boost without being too oily. Its definitely something I’m going to keep trying to see how I like it and if it makes a difference in my skin. A little goes a long way here too. Just a drop or two of oil into your daily moisturizer is all you need.

 

As usual, I’m always looking forward to what I’ll get next month! Maybe some more mascara…I’m almost out of the last few samples I got….

 

 

Advertisements

December Birchbox Review!

Ok, I LOVE it when Birchbox sends me a pretty box. The December box has been my absolute favorite box so far its blue with gold foil all over it! I’ve recently started re-purposing my boxes as little trays for jewelry, organizers for drawers and as jewelry making supplies storage (I’m brainstorming and I’ve got tons of jewelry ideas that I’ll be venturing into starting in January so keep an eye out for an Etsy shop coming soon!) But this particular box might just have to be displayed somewhere in my apartment! Not just in a drawer!

This month’s Birchbox was pretty awesome. I definitely got some products I will (and have already) use. I haven’t tried the Miss Jessie curly hair product yet, but I’m really eager to try it since its been a top product for us curly haired ladies for quite some time. Although I’m super excited to try the product, it came on a sad, sad note. Titi Branch one of the founders of Miss Jessie’s passed away early December. She left behind family and friends and an incredibly successful company.

With the sadness of the passing of Titi Branch, there is still a lot of happiness in my box! Yay for samples!

December Birchbox Review

December Birchbox

Dec Birchbox

Birchbox December

Dec Birchbox Products

So on to the review! I opted not to take photos of individual products this time, as I’ve been running out of time with the holidays. Plus I just like the box so much!

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: 

I received an Amika product before and I wasn’t super crazy about it. I was glad to get a dry shampoo because I’ve been meaning to try one out. I’ve used them in the past but for some reason everytime I buy a can, the freakin nozzle gets clogged after one use.  This Amika one has not done that (yet) and overall it seems to be a pretty decent product. For me it didn’t last super long for my hair to be feeling kinda slimy and stringy and the scent is VERY strong. It was straight up perfume on my hair. Which can be nice but this was pretty overwhelming. For me, I’d pass on dropping the cash for it.

W3LL People Brightener: 

I’ve used brightners in the past (particularly a Wet and Wild one that I freaking loved for a long time), I recently haven’t really used them, I’ve been trying hard to up my beauty game again though. So this was a welcome little item. In the fullsize form it comes in a stick, which I would have to say would be much better for application. It’s VERY subtle on me and almost barely noticable, but in the right light its perfect. The little pot will last me a LONG time as I try to use brushes to apply products like this because a little goes a long way.

SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub:

There was enough product for one use in the little tube, I wasn’t disappointed by it either. My face tends to get a little dry, especially on my cheeks and it can get even worse when I exfoliate. This was really gentle, not too harsh and made my skin feel pretty clean. I probably wouldn’t spend $28 on it as I use similar products that are less expensive. But if I had the money to burn I’d probably buy it!

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Creme: 

It says its good for dry skin and lips. So with winter in full swing, my lips are super dry, always peeling and cracking. So I put that baby on my lips. Now I REALLY love the Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm, I think its by far one of the best products I’ve gotten in my Birchbox. The Yu-Be is pretty good too, it has an odd smell almost medicinal. It reminded me of Gold Bond lotion, which smells pretty terrible. It was pretty moisturizing on my lips, but not nearly as noticable as the Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm (which made my lips feel like buttah). If it didn’t smell so terrible, I’d probably consider it. But I don’t like smelling like Bengay…

Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil: 

Oh Birchbox, how you love to send me eyeliners…I literally will NEVER have to buy another eyeliner for all of 2015. I have so many. This Lord & Berry one has sparkles in it. Which is not my typical eyeliner choice. I haven’t tried it yet, this may be a “bust it out on NYE” eyeliner. For $18, I wouldn’t spend that much on any eyeliner, let alone one with glitter…

Miss Jessie’s Original Jelly Soft Curls: 

This sample is pretty large! I’m excited to give it a whirl. I don’t wear my hair curly very often anymore, as its getting longer and longer. My curls tend to get really flat when its long. And my hair is the longest its been in probably 4-5 years! I’ve been taking really good care of my hair; regular trims, limited heat styling and no more dying until it grows another 5-6 inches (hopefully by my birthday!). I started taking biotin and want to start doing more airdrying to avoid wearing it back wet. So hopefully the Miss Jessie’s will help me with that!

 

Did you subscribe to any monthly boxes? I’d love to get more but I have a hard time going through the samples I do get! I finally used my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish sample and gotta say…LOVED it.

 

 

Frosty Vox Box Review!

Have you ever heard of Influenster? If not, you should definitely check it out! Its kind of like Yelp for products and if you complete the challenges and get the badges they may send you a box of goodies! I only recently started using it, but I quickly received a box! The #FrostyVoxBox! Needless to say, when I got the email stating that I was going to get some free stuff I was pretty excited. I mean…who isn’t excited for free stuff?!

I really love getting sample boxes like these (although with Influenster, they’re nearly all full size products) because it allows me to try a wide variety of things before going out to actually buy them. I love that! Plus I’ve gotten so many eyeliners between my Birchbox and now my VoxBox that I definitely do not need to buy eyeliner for at least a year!!

So what goodies did I get?!

Influenster

VoxBox

VoxBox Goodies

Although the beauty sample boxes, or most sample boxes are taylored to a specific theme, the VoxBox is a variety of things…as you can see. Everything from cosmetics to herbs! Which was totally appropriate for me, considering I love to cook! If you can’t tell, I couldn’t even wait to eat those Fruit Vines…

Lets break it down and do little mini reviews of each product!

Eco Tools Brush

I really was excited about a new brush. I’m pretty sure the last brush I bought was one of the Goody microfiber brushes. Before that…the brush I have, I’ve probably had for 10 years. Not because its like the best brush ever, mostly because I’m just too cheap to buy a new one.

This Ecotools brush is pretty nice, its super lightweight, is ventilated for faster drying. and has a nice easy to grip handle.  I haven’t tried this brush to actually dry my hair but I did use it on my dry hair to smooth things out after it had been up in a ponytail. Now for me, on dry hair, it wasn’t that swell. It made my hair really fluffy looking and almost a little frizzy at the ends. My hair is naturally frizzy, but I just got my hair cut on Saturday (finally graduated to the “long hair haircut!”). I didn’t feel like it made my hair sleek and shiny like my normal brush.  Maybe with damp hair and a blow dryer it will give me that look. I still have to try it out.

Fruit Vines

I opened the box and was like ” YES CANDY!” I’m not a big sweets person. I typically stay away. I don’t know if its because I’ve been drinking more water or what but I’ve had a sweet tooth lately. Constantly craving ice cream and chocolate.  So talk about perfect timing. I couldn’t eat more than a few pieces at a time, because those babies are sweet (but super tasty!)

Red Vines were a staple in my house growing up. It was the only kind of licorice my mom would eat. She’d buy packs and just nibble on them! We’d use them as straws and always had them around (in the car, in the house…everywhere!) So I was already familiar with the brand and knew that the Fruit Vines would be just as good as the originals! And they didn’t disappoint!

McCormick Thyme

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I like to cook. And making up spice mixes is now one of the things I like to do! Its (a.) Cheaper to make than pre-mixed packets and (b.) allows you to control what goes in your food (ie no weird things/ingredients). Thyme is one of those things that hasn’t really made its way into my pantry yet, but now I’m going to be scouring Pinterest for some recipes that will utilize Thyme to enhance a dish! I’ve got a whole bag of potatoes just waiting to be roasted….McCormick is a brand that everyone knows and has been around forever. You know the quality is good. Plus I really love it when herbs and seasonings come in glass containers, they’re great to re-use!

Expert Last Lip Color NYC

If you were to ask anyone about 2 years ago, how would you describe Angela. They would say, Oh Angela! The girl with the red lipstick and the big jewelry! When I worked at the Casino, red lips were my thang. Lipstick is in general my thang. I have so many. Most in bold, bright colors. Very few neutrals. And funny thing is that I was thinking recently that I needed to buy a nice neutral color that is good for work. I wear my red lips and even my burgandy lipstick every once and awhile but a lot of times I don’t re-apply. I’m more likely to re-apply if its a neutral (mostly because I dont need a mirror) #lazygirlproblems

This color is PERFECT for everyday wear. Its not super bold, but just enough color to give you a little ompf.  NYC New York Color is one of those drugstore brands that are super inexpensive, so my feelings aren’t dashed when I loose a lipstick (which happens often). I can quickly replace it because NYC is everywhere and my wallet won’t be hurting either because its so reasonably priced.

Scandaleyes Eyeliner Rimmel London

Another Drugstore brand that I really love. I’ve actually purchased this eyeliner in the past, so I can attest to how great it is. I love Rimmel London in general. I like their mascara’s and eyeliners. And their lipsticks for that matter too. I have quite a few options in my makeup arsenal. The ScandalEyes Waterproof eyeliner is a really nice, goes on smoothly and with a good makeup remover comes off nicely as well. I used to buy all kinds of different colored eyeliners, but now I just stick to black. Although my Birchbox has sent me quite a few silver ones that I still just haven’t gotten to using yet…

Rimmel Makeup Remover

I cannot tell you how much I love makeup remover. I really love makeup remover wipes, but any makeup remover is really an essential in your bathroom. For me, I always remove makeup with some kind of specific remover. I don’t go and wash my clothes with dish soap  now do I? Or shampoo my hair with floor cleaner. Makeup removers are experts at removing difficult to remove makeup like you know…waterproof eyeliner…or mascara! Or that extra dark burgundy lipstick that just wont seem to come off with tissues. Its gentle around your eyes and is usually pretty good for people with sensitive skin (like me!).

This bottle from Rimmel was pretty large! So it will definitely last me awhile, plus a little goes a long way with makeup remover. You don’t need to soak a cotton ball through to really utilize it, a dash or two should totally be enough! I use lots of waterproof mascara, and even my normal makeup wipes don’t get it all off so I still end up with raccoon eyes in the morning. Eye Makeup specific makeup removers, like this one, are awesome for those pesky bits!

No7 Advance Serum

I’ll admit that even though I’m almost 30, I’ve never really done much in the way of skin care. Recently though I’ve realized that I should have started pre-aging skincare routines early in my 20’s to keep the wrinkles and age spots away. The bags under my eyes are pretty dark and sadly the wrinkles are slowly coming…

I’ve been crazy lucky. And I don’t mean to brag, but I have awesome skin. I very rarely get breakouts, my only big skin flaws are some red spots on my forehead and cheeks, and dark under eye circles. I do tend to have larger pores around my nose, but its not as bothersome. But now that I’m thinking more and more about how to keep my skin looking flawless as I age, I’m looking more and more for products like the Boots Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum.  I wanna keep my skin looking amazing till I’m 80!

I’ve never actually used Boots before, but now that its readily available and I’ve had a chance to check it out, I’m definitely going to consider it as a go to skin care item!

Candy Cane Lane Tea

I know one of my Goals for December was to drink more green tea. And I’ve totally been off to a bad start. Actually now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve yet to have a cup of tea since I said I was going to start drinking more. I don’t actually have any green tea…does that count as an excuse? I have white tea…its not the same.  Even though I like green tea, I generally stick to more fruity accented ones (think blueberry, peach, raspberry, pomegranate etc.). Mint is not really my thing. But I love Celestial Seasonings, some of my coworkers love mint tea so I’ll be passing this along to them.  One of my FAVORITE green teas is a Celestial Seasonings Blueberry Green Tea, I don’t actually know if they make it anymore. But it’s delicious. I love blueberry anything really.

But this Candy Cane Lane Green Tea is perfect for the holidays. Thats one of the fun things about Celestial Seasonings, they always have seasonal teas. Pumpkin and Candy Cane, Gingerbread and Caramel Apple…and even Sugar Cookie! Plus I mean…can you imagine how delicious your house will smell if you’re whipping up a batch of sugar cookie tea?! Yum!

I was so surprised to be selected for the VoxBox for December! And totally excited. I got some really useful items that I’ll definitely utilize. And will continue to do reviews on Influenster, because who knows what else I could get in the future! Its a really awesome concept!

 

***All products were provided to me by Influenster at no cost, for the purposes of testing and reviewing said products. All opinions are my own.***