Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Birchbox August 2012 Box #5 and Box #6

This month Birchbox teamed up with Pencils of Promise, a non-profit, to build a school in Central America. In August, 15% of all sales in the Birchbox shop are to go to the organization with the hopes of building a school in Guatemala. This is especially cool to me, as my future sister-in-law is adopted from Guatemala and even though she's only six, her mother has taken her back to see and help out at orphanages there.

I received two boxes this month because I can't help myself and love Birchbox.

Box #5:

Caldera Hand Soap in Ginger Pomolo
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

Schick Hydro Silk Razor (not pictured)
stila smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in oscar fish

The smudge stick is very pretty. If you look closely you can see that it has bits of shimmery bronze in it. And they're not joking when they say it's waterproof. I scrubbed my arm with a washcloth and I still have a brown line that you can see. I'm excited to use this.

I've already received the Yu-Be Cream in a previous box. The smell is... something else, but I use it on my cuticles after I do my nails or on my heels. If you can get past the smell, it works well. It says you can use it on your lips, and I'm sure it would be moisturizing, but the smell.

I keep spraying on the Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur. I love, love, love Juicy Couture fragrances, so I was extremely eager to try this. I was especially excited to receive it in both boxes. I will use every drop. It has the sweetness of all Juicy fragrances with a nice floral undertone. However, like most will say, the scent goes away quickly, and at $70 for a full-sized bottle, I don't think it should. I have it on right now and I keep smelling it over and over.

I haven't tried the Caldera Hand Soap yet, and I would just throw it in my bag just in case, but it's in the dreaded cardboard liquid sample holder. I'm afraid it would get all over everything. I guess I'll keep in in my bathroom at home in case I run out of hand soap.

Box #6:

Beauty Fixation Make-Up Remover (3 Ct.)
Comodynes Hydra-Tanning Face Moisturizing Summer Glow 
Comodynes Self-Tanning Intensive 
DDF Brightening Cleanser 
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur 
Schick Hydro Silk Razor

Everyone else that got the Beauty Fixation Q-tips (lip conditioner, nail polish remover, etc.) got a full box, but we just got three for the make-up remover, which makes no sense to me whatsoever. I might get a better feel for them if I had the box to take around with me, but as it stands, I'm not going to put some stray Q-tips full of make-up remover in my purse. Some subscribers had these come open already, and I'm afraid that will happen inside my purse full of things that I like to have with me all the time.

The Cosmodynes Self-Tanning wipes will get some use when school starts back up next week. I've seen pictures of good results, as long as you only use one per leg. I'm happy to try it out, but I've honestly been happy with my Banana Boat Summer Color that I can get at Walmart for $7. I will not be trying the Hydra Tanning Face Moisturizing Summer Glow because of my sensitive skin. I don't even want to attempt it a week before classes.

My boyfriend stole the DDF Brightening Cleanser for this exact reason. I can't use it, but he can. It smells really good and he seems to like it. He took it before I could even get a good picture.

The Schick Hydro Silk Razor was an extra in all Birchboxes this month. The moisture strip on the razor is really weird and has almost a mucous-y consistency when mixed with shave gel (or used in general). This was somewhat off-putting, but it had a nice, close shave, so I won't complain. I have three of these now. Who doesn't need more razors?

Overall, it was a good Birchbox month. A lot of people were unhappy, but it depends on what you're looking for in a beauty box sub. I think I would have been significantly less happy had I not gotten the Stila liner in one of my boxes, but it's full-sized and pays for both boxes itself.

You can subscribe to Birchbox here for $10/month (disclaimer: referral link). It's been more than worth it for me consistently.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color

Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in Polar Purple ($9.99)

This Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color came in my Summer Beauty VoxBox, complimentary of Influenster for review purposes. And I love it! I am a huge fan of Sally Hansen nail products anyway (the nail polish strips are incredible), so I was excited when they came out with this line of magnetic polish. 

Being the huge science nerd that I am (I spent the summer studying stable mixed-atom cluster structures), I went insane when magnetic polish came out on the market. I swooned over $20 bottles of magnetic polishes. I could never succumb to a $20 polish, but I bought a bunch of the "salon" quality brands when they emerged with magnetics. 

I have to say, this magnetic polish works the best of any of the others. Maybe they have a stronger, better magnet, but I think it's the formula. It goes on really smoothly and makes awesome waves in the polish. I found the trick was to do a normal layer (as in my picture), then do a thicker layer and make sure to immediately put the magnetic over it and hold it there for 10+ seconds. I put a top coat and it lasted me over a week with literally no chipping, even at the tips. It's such a pretty metallic purple that you could definitely just wear it without using the magnetic on it.

Now I need Red-y Response, which looks like a reddish fuchsia.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 ($8.99 for 6 oz.)

 One of the products I received from Influenster in the Summer Beauty VoxBox was the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30.

"With its ultra-luxurious hydrating silk ribbons, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen nourishes and pampers skin while providing broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and 12-hour moisturization when out in the sun. Also available in SPF 12 and 50."

This stuff definitely looks cool in the bottle, but I'm a sucker for those swirled lotions and makeup. It smells nice and definitely keeps you moisturized without being greasy. It doesn't break out my sensitive skin either, which is a plus (however, I only used it on my body, not my face). The only problem that I can see with this product is that, since it is a lotion, I tended to use a lot more of it in a single use than normal sunscreen. Maybe that's just me and my perception of how my skin should feel when it's covered in sunscreen.

If I buy this in it's full size, I will probably get the SPF 50. I tend to just use sunscreen on my easily-burned areas and use something with bronzer all over. I'm not blown away, but it's definitely a good product.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Birchbox June 2012 Box #15

First of all, I just want to say how much I love Birchbox and their customer service. When I checked my account the other day it displayed Box #3 (which I honestly was not the most excited about). I got my box today and it was Box #15, so I called customer service and they fixed my feedback as well as gave me a free August box for the inconvenience. You can tell that Birchbox will do anything to fix problems with their customers. If you're not familiar with the multiple Birchboxes, you can check out what I use: Zadidoll's monthly BB list on Makeuptalk.com. Anyway, on to the box...

Inside the box:
boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (25 Sheets)
Juliette Has a Gun Vengeance Extreme (vial)
stila lip glaze in Lights
Gloss Moderne High-Gloss Masque (no size listed)
Lifestyle Extras:
Tea Forte minteas in Ginger Pear (full size)
Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds (pink and blue)

The Stila is a pretty nude with lots of shimmer. Unfortunately, it has the problem that all glosses have, and why I thought about trading: stickiness. I don't want to worry about everything sticking to my lips when I'm out. However, my curiosity got the better of me so I swatched it and gave it a try. It gets less sticky as you wear it and lasts about an hour on me. The amount of shimmer is so much that I won't be able to wear this on a daily basis.

The left is a thin layer, the right a bit thicker to get more color.

With my points from my first Birchbox I gifted myself a second three month sub since I cancelled my Glossybox. I just couldn't help myself. So I should be getting another box in the next week or so! I am truly addicted.

P.S. You can sign up for Birchbox here (Disclaimer: I get referral points).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox 2012

I got my Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox in the mail today! All products are complementary of Influenster for testing and review purposes.

In the box:
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 - 2 fl. oz
Tampax and Always Radiant Collection - 2 pads and 2 tampons
Quaker Soft Baked Bar in Banana Nut Bread - Full Size
Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in Polar Purple - Full Size
Sally Hansen Nails and Cuticle Hand Creme - 1 oz.
Extra: Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner - 2 x 3 fl. oz.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Glitter Toes

I am a true girly girl. I really like glitter and pink and all things sparkly, but I've never been able to get good solid glitter on my nails. So, I was thrilled when my toes ended up like this:

Solid, pink glitter! For under $5. Under the glitter is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color in Rosy Future with Wet n' Wild Wild Shine in Sparked. I found the Wet n' Wild at my local drug store for 99 cents. I'm now going to go back and get every other glitter color that they have.

It took about three coats to get a solid glitter coat and I put on an Essie top coat. I went swimming today and it didn't even think about chipping.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Glossybox June 2012

I received my June Glossybox in the mail yesterday.

In the box:
Ahava Mineral Botanic Hibiscus & Fig Velvet Cream Wash - 3 oz.
First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream - 2 oz.
Ofra Cosmetics Eye Shadow ICE (in Dumb Plum) - Full Size
vBeauté Lite Up, Buying Time, & Eye Never - 3 x 0.033 oz.
Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment - 0.84 oz.
Bonus: A Perfume Organic Urban Organic Vial

Unfortunately, my Ahava leaked some in the box and when I got it the inside of the box was sticky. About half was gone, but there's still enough to try out. It didn't get on anything paper except the Ahava label itself, so I just wiped everything down. I emailed Glossybox and they contacted me right away, so we'll what happens.

I can't wait to try everything out. I am going to try out the Ofra Eyeshadow tonight. I'm not usually a fan of deep colors, but this is a pretty, shimmery dark plum. 

Edit: I tried out the Ofra Eyeshoadow ICE in Dumb Plum today and I made a swatch. I took a little from my arm and smudged it on my eyes. A little goes a long way. And this stuff is waterproof! I had to scrub my arm with soap and water for a few minutes to get everything off. 

 Left: Without flash. Right: With flash.

Edit #2: I went ahead and cancelled my account with Glossybox. I just don't trust them yet. Essentially everyone with Ahava had a problem with it leaking all over everything. The responded to me asking for a picture of my box, but I didn't take one before I cleaned up everything, so I don't think they'll do anything at all for me. I will resubscribe if I feel like they've gotten their shit together.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bath and Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist

Bath and Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist in Sweet Pea
$14.00 (8 oz.)

I love Bath and Body Works and I was honestly already a fan of the Sweet Pea scent, so they didn't have to win me over. I've bought many Bath and Body Works products in the past, and I like this one just as well. 

Influenster provided us with full-sized Fine Fragrance Mist to try out in this Spring's Beauty VoxBox. My first impression when I saw the mist was the lovely packaging (below). It's also a very nicely sized product. It will last forever. The scent I received, Sweet Pea, is so light and floral and lovely. 

B&BW describes it as:
  • Our original, award-winning Sweet Pea fragrance is a fruity floral scent that evokes the intoxicating, floral-infused breezes of the Mediterranean
  • Key fragrance notes: Sweet Pea Petals, Watery Pear, Freesia, Fresh Raspberry, Soft Musk
A little goes a long way with the Fine Fragrance Mist. The scent lasts longer than many other fragrance mists that I've tried. I especially like it for the summer months when you want something sheer.
Conclusion: I will buy more of these once the Sweet Pea runs out. I really want to try the Paris Amour, though, so maybe I won't wait.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot Cushions Review

"Created uniquely for women's shoes, the slim design of Dr. Scholl's® For Her Ball of Foot Cushions prevents your feet from sliding forward, so you avoid “toe scrunch”. Plus, they fit comfortably and discreetly in both open- and closed-toe shoes." -Dr. Scholl's For Her

The Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot Cushions were a bonus in this month's VoxBox from Influenster (which sends you awesome products completely complementary for the purposes of testing and review). The day my VoxBox came in the mail I was getting ready to go to a wedding for one of my boyfriend's best friends. I knew that I would be in heels all day long, so I immediately put these in my shoes.

They're a pretty purple and completely invisible once your shoes are on. You place them at the ball of your foot and they have a sticky backing that keeps them in place. I was outside all day at the wedding and even had to stand on my toes most of the time to avoid sinking my heels into the soft dirt, and my feet didn't hurt at the end of the day.

I've only tried these once, but then again, I haven't worn heels since the wedding. I'm definitely not the type of girl who wears heels very often. Sometimes for fun, but mostly formal occasions. Usually, my feet are killing me by the end of the day. I didn't notice much of a difference in toe scrunch. I still had a tiny blister on my little toe at the end of the day, but that wasn't a huge deal for me. I'm still going to switch them into every pair of heels I wear from now on.

Sally Hanson Salon Effects

One of the items included in the Spring Beauty VoxBox complements of Influenster for review is one of my favorite nail products ever: Sally Hansen Salon Effects.

  • No dry time
  • Lasts up to 10 days
  • Removes easily with nail polish remover
  • 40 must-have styles

 All of the claims are true, in my experience. The strips go on just like a sticker, but it's not a sticker. It's actual printed nail polish. Just peel off both sides and use the convenient tab to place to "sticker". They include a stick to make sure it's smooth as well as a tiny nail file which you use to shave off the excess. All you have to do is fold it over the end of your nail and file it off. 

I've probably purchased 10 of these in the past year. The floral designs are my absolute favorite. I have gotten so many compliments on the designs and many people think I have painted on an intricate nail design myself. My only concern is with the glitter strips. The printed strips seem to work perfectly, but the glitter is a little more rubbery. They don't want to fold over the nail and file off as easily as the printed strips.

They are a little pricey at $9.99 for a set, but I've found that you can do multiple nails with most of the strips and get a good two uses out of it if you're careful. They also last forever. I have found that with a clear top coat, I can get a good two weeks out of them, if not more. There has been occasions on which I've had to change it because you could see my nail growth before it had actually started to wear off of the nail (I mostly use it on my toes). 

I want to go buy another set just talking about it.

Sheer Cover Review

I received the spring VoxBox from Influenster a few weeks ago and they just opened up the brand challenges. This was my very first VoxBox (and hopefully not last) from Influenster and every box has brand challenges, so I will be posting them for the next few days to complete them.

First of all, Influenster is a really cool program. You take a few surveys to get an initial box (like I did) and then you complete brand challenges to review the products to get more badges to earn more free boxes. The boxes are full of products that are new or that a brand is promoting.

The VoxBoxes are themed and this was in the Spring Beauty Box. The entire box included: Sheer Cover Duo Concealer, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, Chapstick Lip Shield 365, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips, Bath and Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist, a SoyJoy bar, and Dr. Scholl's for Her Ball of Foot Cushions.

I was initially most excited about the Sheer Cover concealer, mainly because I needed concealer that day and didn't have any.

 $29.95 for the concealer (non-member price) and $29.95 for the introductory system, which also includes the Duo Concealer. Sheer Cover

The color is light/medium and it usually comes as a kit (with foundation, primer, and a kabuki brush). This was a full-sized sample (3g).
The coverage is pretty good. The formula is extremely creamy and tends to cake a bit on my face. My skin is very dry and tends to be red, so I tend not to use cream concealers or thick liquid foundations. This is great for the occasional blemish or discoloration, but you have to touch-up often. Even with my Bare Minerals on top as a setting powder it tended to wear off fairly easily.

I love how this product has the ability to blend to make a custom color that is perfect for any skin tone. I honestly believe more products need to have a duo color system for more customization.

Conclusion:  I wanted to love this, but it just didn't have the staying power I need. I like the packaging, the colors, the creaminess. My skin just wasn't as accepting. If you have normal/oily skin and few imperfections I think this would work wonderfully.

Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (12.00%). Other Ingredients: Boron Nitride, Bisabolol, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, May Contain (+/-): Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) (Source: Sheer Cover)

Potential Irritants: Boron Nitride (reported to show weak fibrogenic activity), Bismuth Oxychloride ("sharp" crystalline structure of the molecule can cause irritation to the skin)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ombre Zigzag Quilt

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Pretty in Pink Kona Cotton Solids Fat Quarter Bundle from Fat Quarter Shop

Pattern: Make a Zigzag Quilt without Piecing Triangles

All of the strips are cut out and 95% of them are cut into blocks. Now I'm starting to arrange them. I'm placing them in the same order they came in. I'm realizing it will be an extremely long quilt. 

Also: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Best cookies I've made in a long time. They were gone that evening.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This blog is created entirely for myself in order to document my craft projects and things that I generally want to remember in the future. The summer makes me want to be productive and happy. :)