Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Work Space Wednesday: Handmade Book Progress

Last week I shared these photos on my Facebook page, and thought it would be nice to show off what I've been making with the new Pebbles collection I got for my birthday.  This mini book will be super cute when it's all finished but it's been rough going making it.  I made a few careless mistakes during assembly, this is what happens when I try to watch TV and craft at the same time!

I am glad I stuck with it and didn't just trash the whole thing, the papers were too pretty to do that!  I did a different type of page inside and I am excited to finish adding my pictures and all these beautiful embellishments.  I'll share more pictures when it's completed, hopefully soon!

What have you been working on?  I was inspired by all these lovely happy colors to think spring, regardless of how it actually is outside!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Birchbox March 2014 Review

This post contains referral links :)

This is my first one since breaking up with and then almost immediately getting back together with Birchbox.  I didn't actually miss a month, the previews of this one and finally getting around to using some of the skin care samples from previous month's Birchboxes, got me to give it a few more months.

(March 2014 Box Contents)

From Top Left to Right:

Supergoop!, City Sunscreen Serum (Full Size, $20-$40):  So a lot of people didn't seem very excited about sunscreen in their box, but I was actually quite happy with it.  This one has SPF 30 and is a jump up from the SPF 15 my daily moisturizer has in it.  My cheeks and upper cheeks on the side have the most evidence of skin damage, with some hyper pigmentation.  I've been trying to find something a little stronger to use on these areas, that doesn't have a totally nasty sunscreen smell and this fits the requirements nicely.  It's a bit expensive but since it's the best I've found and it also works as a primer, I will probably go for a full size.

Air Repair, Rescue Balm (Full Size, $12): This balm is supposed to be great for your chapped lips, cuticles, hands, elbows, and knees.  The sample sent was minuscule considering all the places it's supposed to work it's wonders.  I have been trying it out on my cuticles but it seems too expensive for using on elbows and knees.  There is no way I could tell if it worked on larger areas for this sample anyway.

Harvey Prince, Cherie Blossom (Full Size, $55): A nice scent for spring, the floral component is too strong for me to wear on a daily basis.  I really only wear citrus scents and this has enough pink grapefruit to make it fine for when I want something a little different.  My seven year old loved it and immediately stole it for her own use, so it looks like I won't be getting to wear it any more anyway.  It's a nice size for her, to get  several wears out of but I will not be buying it.

Jergens BB Body Reflecting Skin Cream (Birchbox Finds): This is a mass retailer find that isn't officially part of this month's samples, it's an "extra".  I used it on my legs and was thinking it would be great during that transitional time, when the weather finally begins to warm up and I break out the capris.  A little prep with this and maybe my skin won't be scary winter white.  It is basically self tanner, but then I read some of the reviews and a lot of people think it's ingredients aren't very safe so I will have to do more research into this one.  Anyone know anything about this?

Stila, Lip Glaze in Sparkling Purple (Full Size, $8): I LOVE this lip gloss, hands down one of my favorites from Birchbox.  I wasn't overly excited to get one, and really wanted a sample from the Balm cosmetics, "How "Bout them Apples" instead, the mini sample some people got was oh my gosh, so darling!    I had a Stila Lip Glaze previously in a neutral brownish tone and didn't get the hype over it, it was okay.  But this purple is lovely!!!  I would never have bought it, I mean...purple, realy?  But having tried it, I will totally buy it in this color and branch out to others, even the bright ones, because it's so sheer on and looks super layered as well.

Because I rejoined, I got an extra sample as a special promotion.  Like practically everyone else who's ever tried Benetint, I think it's a great product and was very happy to get it!  I wear it on my lips for a pretty done but undone look.

So what do you think, worth the $10 subscription price?  I think so, the lip glaze at $8 is almost the entire cost of the box.  Did you get a Birchbox?  What was in yours?


Friday, March 21, 2014

Julep Review: Savvy Deals Purchases

This post contains affiliate links.  If you love polish as much as I do, and sign up to be a Julep Maven via my link, I'll earn rewards and be ever so appreciative ☺

The day Julep announced their End of Season Sale, with up to 65%, I went to "just look" and ended up ordering NINE lovely new bottles of nail color!  I know, that is a lot to get at one go, but it was just under $35 for all of them!  It was a fantastic deal, especially since I got free shipping as a Julep Maven!  I absolutely love all of them and even though most fall within the pink/berry tones there is a lot of variation.

This time the packing and shipping took a lot longer than my Welcome Box, but I'm betting they have those boxes assembled and ready to go as soon as one is requested.  Here is the timeline for this order.  Placed on March 8, shipped on March 10, delivered on March 17.  Technically it arrived on time and within the 5-10 business days but man, it seemed like it took A LONG TIME!!!

My order arrived in a black box with black paper cushioning. Six were wrapped but three came in the white boxes and branded Julep band.  At first I wondered why some were in plastic, but in doing some looking up, it seems these might be older polishes.  I guess that's to be expected at an End of Season sale, but I was a bit worried when I read that.  So far, only one gave me a little trouble applying and that could be because of the glitter.

Today I am rocking the crazy nails, so I can give you all a better look at the colors I selected.  A few things to keep in mind while reading this rather long, photo heavy review:
  • I applied the polish quickly so please overlook the less than perfect application.
  • These bottles were all sale priced; some are no longer in stock as of this writing.  To see all of Julep colors, visit their Nail Color page. 
  • The original price of each bottle was $14.
  • The sale prices are listed in the descriptions below.

Were you super curious to see which three bottles were in the boxes and hidden by the Julep paper band wrapper?  I sure was!  I won't make you wait any longer.  The three in boxes, are the three to the right in the picture above and are Lauren, Nan, and Glenn.  Ellie came wrapped in plastic and is on the left.  We'll start with a better look with that one below.

Name: Ellie, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Opalescent seashell pink with holographic shimmer
Savvy Deals Price: $2.99

This is really lovely pale pink, that adds just the right touch for a subtle look.  It's also perfect for layering over another color to tone it down a bit as it's a bit sheer.

Name: Lauren, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Crème
Color Description: Hot tropical pink crème
Savvy Deals Price: $4.99/Out of Stock

This is perfect for summer and exactly what I was hoping for!  I love how sheer and vibrantly it went on.  My daughter is obsessed with neon colors and I think we'll both get a lot of wear out of this one.

Name: Nan, It Girl
Finish: Crème
Color Description: Nantucket red crème
Savvy Deals Price: $2.99

This was one I almost didn't get, but am so glad I did.  A review on the site mentioned it's a terracotta color and I would definitely agree.  I like it for when I don't want to wear as bright of a color and is good for everyday wear as it will look good with so many of my outfits.   I also think it's perfect for fall.

Name: Glenn, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Bold, berry red shimmer
Savvy Deals Price: $3.99/Out of Stock

Deep beautiful red, the kind of color every woman should own.  Lovely coverage, that's just one coat on my nail above.  This is the most red of all the colors I selected.

Moving onto my right hand, these five were all wrapped in plastic.  Don't they look lovely all lined up in a row?  Until I was preparing for this post, I had no idea just how difficult it is to photograph polish!  I've tried my best, but I must say, the colors and details of each one is so much prettier in person.

Name: Gwyneth, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Sheer/Frost/Pearl
Color Description: Sheerest pink clear
Savvy Deals Price: $2.99/Out of Stock

This is just as described, sheerest pink.  As in it might as well be clear, except that with a couple coats there is just the barest hint of color.  I like it for adding some shine, for when you want more finished looking nails without looking like you've got anything on.  It will also be perfect for French manicures, if and when I ever master them.  Plus it just looks prettier in the bottle than a perfectly clear one would look.

***The faint streaks you might have noticed on my nail above is not from the polish.  They are from ridge filler I normally apply as a base coat due to the yucky nail surface I have.  Gwyneth is so sheer you can see them through the two coats I applied.

Name: Wendy, Bombshell
Finish: Sheer/Frost/Pearl
Color Description: Sheer watermelon red jelly nail glaze
Savvy Deals Price: $2.99/Out of Stock

I love the sheerness, the color, the shine...everything.  I remember wearing glazes like this as a teenager and this reminds me of those carefree days.  This is what I had hoped the blue sheer tint I got in my last Birchbox would work like.  Okay to be honest, it might have, but the blue looked just terrible and wrong on nails, this is pretty and feminine.

Name: Monica, Bombshell
Finish: Glitter
Color Description: Multidimensional pink glitter
Savvy Deals Price: $2.99

This would probably be my favorite if it had been a little easier to apply.  It did not go on as smoothly as the others; was a little thick and harder to control the coats.  I'm not sure if it's because of the multidimensional glitter or not.  I have had plenty of glitter polishes before but not dimensional, so it might just take some practice and getting used to.

***This is also a particularly bad polish application because it was quick for a color swatch.

Otherwise, this is GORGEOUS!  It was the hardest color to photograph, so much prettier than it looks in my picture.  The product listing gives you a better idea of how it looks.  It's super glittery, sparkles like nothing else, but at the same time has a sheerness to it, like the glaze above.

Name: Evie, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Fresh-picked raspberry crème with gold shimmer
Savvy Deals Price: $6.99

This was my one "splurge" sale color, as I tried to stay in the $2.99-$3.99 range so my order would really be a savvy deal ☺.  Only one other, Lauren was over $4, but I have to say both more of the higher priced sale polishes were so worth it!

I think I had to get this based on the description alone, not that I'd ever actually eat polish, but doesn't it sound just yummy?  It so is!  Probably my favorite out of all of them, and my favorite color in a long time.  It's a much richer, deeper color that it appears above, where you can't even see the gold shimmer at all.  Again, I'd refer you to the product listing to get a better look.  It is really beautiful; I love how the light reflects the golden shimmer.  {Sigh}  I could look at my nails painted with this, all day long...

Name: Maria, Classic with a Twist
Finish: Sheer/Frost/Pearl
Color Description: Shimmering platinum rose
Savvy Deals Price: $3.99/Out of Stock

This was the one surprise of the order.  When I saw it in the box I assumed it would be like Ellie, discussed above, and slightly sheer as in the bottle it looks like another bottle I already had.  I thought, oh well, one sort of duplicate isn't super bad.  I was very excited when I tried it on and realized it's not at all sheer or like something I already own.  It's a cool metallic polish but with more of a satin finish and not at all shiny like I expected.  I think it's a fairly unique color & really fun.  Plus, due to the metallic in it can look rose to slightly purplish in color, super fun!

I could not be happier with the nail colors I ordered from Julep!  I had a blast picking out my own colors, as the shades in the Maven boxes are pre-selected and you pick between four box choices.  It was great getting exactly what I wanted, and much easier for me to tell how much I love their product.  I am really happy with the vibrancy of the colors and I have to fight the urge to change colors every day!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Citrus Lane: March 2014 Box Review

This post contains affiliate links, which save you and me both $$$ :)  As always, I'm very appreciative if you decide to sign up and use my link.  You'll save 50% off your first box if you do!

I have been reading about and seeing the Citrus Lane boxes some of their subscribers have received for a couple months now.  They are always were packed with such fun and cute stuff, all designed to match your child's developmental age.  From what I could see, they featured very cool brands not readily available at mass retailers so they had they definite upscale boutique feel.

I really liked the idea of getting to some new toys and toddler products just for my little guy, who usually makes do with a lot of his older sister's hand me downs.   He is so active and such a handful that it really isn't possible for me to visit stores and browse for them myself.  A nicely packaged box of goodies arriving each month curated for him seemed like the ideal solution!

At the end of last month we signed up to try Citrus Lane for the first time.  This subscription box is for infants through five year old children and is designed to be a care package that help moms & dads discover innovative products to help them through their parenting journeys.

You fill in the age of the child your box is for when signing up.  Ours is for a 32 month old.  Boxes start at $29 for the month by month plan and there is a discount for prepaid subscriptions ranging from 3 months to a year long.  Our first Citrus Lane box was purchased using a coupon code for new subscribers for $20 off your first box which brought the price down to $9, shipping is included in the monthly price.  I added on a set of reusable snack pouches so our final total was $16. You can see the add on at the top of the box in the picture below.

My little guy was super excited when he realized this box was just for him.  He very rarely gets mail, just a few cards here and there, and boxes usually are for both him & his sister.  He had to run around holding it for awhile before he could even calm down enough to open it!  I cut back on doing reviews after he was born, so I forget he's not used to things coming in the mail like his big sister.  He had to take each item out and closely examine them.  He was especially enamored with the Medi Buddy, which amused me because it's one of the two inclusions that's not a toy for him.

The Beginner Puzzle Set from Petit Collage ($14) is unlike any puzzles we own, and I have quite a few left over from my days teaching preschool special ed. and kindergarten.  I really love how this one is designed for preschoolers and how they get progressively harder.  You can start with the 3 piece monkey puzzle and then move on as your child gets more proficient, up to the six piece elephant design.  The Safari Babies theme is really darling, and my little guy is very interested in anything with Mommies (or Daddies) with their baby.  This will be something he can use for awhile as he needed help to assemble the 3 pieces one. 

Some other boxes included this adorable All About Memory Game, that I am so putting on his birthday wish list.  LB is obsessed with anything train related, he'll love it!  I spent a lot of LB's nap time browsing the Petit Collage site and it's safe to say I am now obsessed with this company too!

Lately LB wants to play with dough so he knew just what this was for when he saw it in the box.  He ran off to his high chair and we had to open them immediately!  Isn't the stamped logo on the eco-dough®, ($19 for 5, 4oz containers) such a nice touch?  It has a lovely smooth texture, not gritty at all and wasn't very crumbly.  I have ordered "natural" homemade dough through an etsy seller before, and found that dough was both gritty & crumbled at lot, so I was a little worried that this would be too.  Happily it was none of those things and the information sheet even says that if it should dry out a few drops of olive or veggie oil will fix it, nice!

The company describes themselves as, "eco-kids® is a line of art supplies that gives children the tools to create using non-toxic, natural ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging."  Since my kiddo sucks his thumb and tends to be a hot mess when getting creative, I am totally on board with their non-toxic and natural ingredients!  I've got my eye on these finger paints.  He loves painting but I've been reluctant to let him finger paint with anything but pudding because of the whole hands in his mouth thing.  Plus the paints come in powder form so it look like there might be less waste as you can perhaps mix the colors as you need them and not have to worry as much about paints that dry up.

The second two products I consider parent helpers, things to make my life easier, and I am all about that!  The All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes ($10.99 for a Set of 2 Canisters, $80 total) from CleanWell are for cleaning up your kid's face & hands without alcohol, Benzalkonium Chloride, or harsh chemicals and are gentle on sensitive skin like my kiddo's cheeks, which can get red from some products.  No trouble with that when I used these!  They also won't sting cuts, a real concern around here as he is a dare devil, and are naturally anti-bacterial, kill germs, and are biodegradable.

I wish I had known about these this past winter, during which the LB seemed to always be sick!  Since he has viral induced asthma, staying healthy is important.  These are going right into the car and will be great for taking with me so we can wipe him off as we're out and about & for after meals. 

This is what's inside of the Medi Buddy ($5.25 per kit, $3.95 refill kit) that LB was so interested in.  Packed into this reusable compact container are 15 kid friendly bandages, 1 3" knee & elbow bandage, 2 antibiotic ointments, 5 sting free antiseptic wipes, 4 2X2 gauze pads, and 12 stickers.  This will also be perfect for the car, I never seem to have a band aide when at the park and darn it, if that isn't always where we need one!

me4kidz has the perfect motto: Clean it, Fix it, and Back to Play!  Isn't that what every parent wants?  They also have other variations on their Buddy Kits such as Smile and Diaper Bag, which would be perfect for as part of a baby shower gift.   My favorite is the Nail Buddy with 2 kid-friendly nail files, 2 bottles non-toxic, water-based nail polish, 1 bright colored nail brush, 1 nail buffer, 2 sheets of nail appliques – self stick, and one 1 Reusable and recycled carry anywhere case.  That sounds perfect for my daughter's Easter basket!  Several stores in my area carry me4kidz, including where I grocery shop, so I'll be looking for these really soon!

This box was an amazing deal for just $9, I found the $20 discount code I used via My Subscription Addiction, and she mentioned it again in her latest review so it should still work.

I took advantage of the $20 off a 3, 6, or 12 month plan that existing subscribers can use found via Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, that brings my monthly box price down to $17.67 for 6 months!  I really could not believe how excited and happy LB was to get new just for him stuff and that totally makes it worthwhile for us!  In the same post as that code, Jennifer also has a different code for $20 off your first box, so you could also try that one if the other one doesn't work for some reason, and also one for 20% off anything in the Citrus Lane shop.

I am really interested in the featured brand Janod's stamp puzzles, puzzle and art all in one?  Sounds terrific!  That would be great to use at home now with my kiddo and as a story writing aide when back teaching elementary school.  A 20% discount would make it only $16!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ipsy March Glam Bag Review

Disclosure: This post contains referral links.  If you decide to join Ipsy, I'd be ever so appreciative if you used mine!

I was super excited to get my very first Ipsy Glam Bag on my birthday last week!  I got three packages that day and it was so much fun to finally get my hot pink mailing envelop!  I tore into it immediately and inside was this bag designed by Klari Regis, and based on the topography of San Francisco.  Brad and I used to live in the Bay Area when he was getting his PhD at Berkeley and San Fran was just a BART ride away.  I loved living near by but not actually in such a big city and at times I really miss it.  To be completely honest, this bag didn't say SF to me at first, but it is much easier to see you view the full version.  I am so glad that Ipsy's has a new Artist Series and are giving artists more exposure. 

My first glimpse inside, even though I knew exactly what I was going to get from peeking in my Glam Room on Ipsy, it was still so cool to get my hands on the real deal!  Now this is more like it, all sorts of color!  Have I mentioned I really love that each month a new bag comes, I can never ever have enough little cosmetic bags!  This one is very colorful and cheerful with it's abstract art, and knowing that it of SF makes it special for me.

Here's what was inside.  I hope I am this happy every month!  Love the variety, it's practically enough for a full face.  I would've preferred mascara over eye liner because no look is complete without a few swipes of black for me, but otherwise it has all my basics.  Plus, since I currently have three bottles of mascara, some not yet opened, it's not like I really need more samples.  The eye liner is something different for me and I like that it's not your basic boring basic, even though that is what I would gravitate toward.

This is my first NYX product and while I understand it's not a high end product, retail price is $6, this Love in Rio Eye Shadow Palatte in Voodoo Love Spells, does have all shades that are perfect for me. This is totally something I would pick out for myself.  How cute is that bow on the packaging?

Now, since it is a less expensive brand I will say that the Flawless Beauty Primer from Pixie, that just happened to come in this month's Ipsy was perfect to use with them.  I put a little on my eyelids and the shadows weren't as washed out looking, and six dollars for the three shadows is a good price point, even if you do have to apply a bit more than usual.

I am pretty happy with the primer, I generally only use it to help pump up my eye shadows and not any where else but I might try a little around my nose next time I'm also planning to wear foundation.  I was happy with both the color and product in general, but I'm not overly picky about that kind of thing.  Primer I can generally take it or leave it.  I have a sample, I'll use it and when it's gone I may or may not buy more...maybe I'll just wait until my next sample comes!

I had one bareMinerals eye shadow back when we were in CA, and this company like Ipsy is also based in San Francisco so I am familiar with their story.  I used to see their stores downtown  and now I wish I had tried them out more.  At the time I was a MAC girl and didn't stray to far into other brands.  I was a little worried about this color based on how it looked on the previews.  In some it looked like a really perfect berry and in others a little too pink.  It's not very berry, kind of a pink coral shade but I like it for spring.  What do you think?  I've got it on below.

The sample is great purse size and I like the creaminess and texture of it.  Plus it's supposed to moisturize and improve lip fullness.  Since there is a free shipping and a free mascara sample code I am very tempted to get it in another shade.

I'm not used to liquid eyeliners, I think it's literally been since high school that I've used one, and this Indigo Blue from Chella is not the color I would've picked to start again.  It's described as long lasting and vibrant; wow is it bright!  It's also very quick drying, which I think is a huge plus, as well as smudge proof & water resistant, good thing cause the last thing I want is this stuff all over the place.  If they offered it in gray or a nice brown I might be tempted to order one because it did apply very nicely, I like how it worked but $24...I'd have to think about how much I would actually use it to go for it.

I don't know if I can pull this look off enough to actually leave the house wearing it.  I'm going to need a lot more practice applying before I do.  It's a little bit more muted because I put the NYX shadow over it, in and effort to tone it down a bit. What do you think?  Blue eyeliner, yeah or nay?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds - Review

Disclosure: Birchbox referral links are included within this post & I'd be very appreciative if you decide to join & use mine.

I know I just wrote about breaking up with Birchbox, but I've resubbed at least for the time being, more on that here.  While I was signing up for the month to month $10 plan I threw in a Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds into my cart because it shipped free with a new subscription.

There has been a bit of an uproar over this box, because Birchbox is usually associated with high end products.  I really don't see what the fuss is about.  Those who aren't into it, don't get it.  It's not like it's coming in place of your monthly box.  I thought Birchbox was very upfront about what the Finds box was all about, and think it was a great idea.

It has seven full sized mass retailer, think drug stores etc., products in it for $18 and is a $55 value.  I have been wanting to try both the John Frieda Frizz Ease® Nourishing Oil Elixir and Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask anyway, and cost of those two alone add up to the price of the box.  I was interested enough in the other products to make it well worth it.

My Limited Edition box happened to show up on my actual birthday, making it was especially fun to unpack everything.  I'd read in other reviews that the normal sized Birchbox container was jammed packed for the Limited Edition and they weren't kidding.  I can't believe they fit everything inside.  I know there is no way I could get it all back in!

Here's what was inside of mine.  At first I was a bit thrown off because I had not looked at the listing closely enough to notice that there were assorted colors.  Silly me, of course there are, it is Birchbox after all!  But I was a little disappointed that they hadn't somehow matched up colors for me better.  I decided this was not going to bother me, reminding myself that everything beyond the Bioré & John Frieda Frizz Ease® were "free" in terms of cost.  I think these boxes were probably packed ahead of time and sent at random upon order.

Now let's take a closer look at the contents of this Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds: Italicized descriptions are from the information card included by Birchbox.

Bioré Self Heating One Minute Mask, $7.99 for 4: This warming mask uses charcoal to purify pores and control shine.  

I have used their deep cleansing pore strips since back in the day so I was familiar with the brand, even though I had not previously used this particular product.  I was interested in the mask because they're designed to work in just one minute.  Since any face mask I do means being without my glasses, I don't have time to sit around for lengthy periods in what is essentially a state of blindness.  I am glad the directions clearly state it's a warming mask.  I definitely felt warm right away!

I didn't think there was very much of the mask in the individually portioned packet.  I did not have enough of the mask to get as thick of a layer on my face as is shown by the model on their packaging.  Mine was much thinner, I took a picture but decided to spare everyone the actual sight of me with it on.  It felt nice on but I am not sure if I noticed any immediate difference.  My nose was a little red along the bridge so I don't think I will use it 2-3 times per week, but  will keep up a weekly use to see if I notice enough difference to keep using after this package is finished.

COVERGIRL Bombshell Volume by LashBlast™ Mascara, in Very Black, $11.99: Supersize volume in two steps: first with a thickening base coat, then with a lengthening top coat.

This is one BIG mascara!  It's a good thing Step 2 is supposed to seal in the color for an intense all day long finish.  There is no way you can just pop this into a evening bag.  As someone with puny little lashes, I was really interested in trying it.  I typically only wear black mascara so the color was perfect too.

However, I was underwhelmed by this mascara's performance.  It was super clumpy and I tried several times to see if I just needed to get the hang of it, you know cause maybe that giant wand was messing me up or something.  No go.  It did certainly lengthen my lashes, but into a longer clumpy mess.  No one wants that.  Thumbs down, glad I tried it for less in this box, for just a couple dollars more you could totally get a nicer mascara at Sephora so don't waste your money.  I never use mass market mascara, and now I remember why.

John Frieda Frizz Ease® Nourishing Oil Elixir, $9.99: Packed with nourishing argan oil this frizz-taming formula leaves hair ultra soft and shiny - never greasy. 

I am new to the whole hair oil thing, but like Bioré this is another familiar company and I've had good results with their serum in the past, so if I'm going to start putting oil in my hair this is a good place to start.  I've been blow drying my hair all winter and it's beginning to need a little extra help. Then when the humidity kicks in, if warmer weather ever shows up again - it feels like winter is just going on and on, I'll need help fighting the frizz then too.

You can mix in with your other regular products, which is what I did over the weekend.  I was think it helped quite a bit and will hopefully make it easier to style my hair until my next cut at the end of the month.  I was trying to stretch things out and wait a bit longer between but now I'm paying the price with at times, slightly unruly hair.  I also appreciate the pump, which is so much easier and less messy than having to pour from a bottle.  I think this bottle will last a long time & I'll get a lot of use out of it. I've also put some on my daughter's hair and it made it much easier to brush out throughout the day, she's been having some major static issues!

COVERGIRL Bombshell Shine Shadow by LashBlast™ in Ice Queen, 8ml, $8.99: A long-wearing cream shadow, that's oh-so-blendable and adds subtle shimmer.

Cream shadow is always fun. This one looks white straight out of the bottle but the real beauty is how it blends in and adds a little shimmer, perfect for catching the light.  It is great for layering on top of other colors, look for it on sale.  Covergirl can often be gotten on discount because for some reason almost nine bucks seems like a lot to me, but it's possible I 'm feeling cheap at the moment.

NIVEA Kiss of Care & Color in Sheer Caramel, $4.99: Enriched with shea butter, this balm preps and hydrates lips while adding a sheer wash of color.  

Okay, this is the first of three color products which is I got a little messed up by not noticing the (assorted colors) that followed.  Now I thought what I was going to get was more of a sheer berry color, in doing some research after getting the caramel color, I saw that there is also a coral tint.  Either of which would have been preferable.  The caramel color does not show up at all on my lips, basically it's a clear balm for me, regardless of how it looks in the tube, but it is supposed to moisturize so it's still something I will use.

I have been wanting to try a Nivea lip product for some time anyway.   My normal place to browse is Target and mine only carries their products without any color.  I tend to only buy lip balms & glosses if they provide at least a little color or have a scent I absolutely adore like peppermint, lemon or other fruity ones.  I'm sure I'd probably like the other sheer washes so I'm doubly bummed I didn't get one.  I'll have to try to broaden my horizons and venture out to a Walgreens or CVS to see I can find one there.

Rimmel London Stay Glossy 3D Lipgloss, $4.99: Color-shifting sparkles create the illusion of fuller lips - one application lasts up to six hours.

I am honestly not sure which shade this is, I think it's Lights, Camera, Action because it has a peachy look to it.  I ripped off the packaging in my eagerness to get a closer look and I'm not about to go dig through the trash for it.  In seeing the other colors available, it wouldn't be my pick but it's what I expected as I think this is the (assorted colors) shown in the preview pic on Birchbox.  I don't think it necessarily makes my lips look fuller and I doubt it will last six hours but it's a very pretty and neutral shade on me.  The color doesn't show up at all on my lips but I do see lots of sparkles.  It's also not super sticky, so I'm pretty happy with it.  It'll be great for wearing on top of lipstick.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure™ in Pink a Card, $7.99: A base coat, top coat, and color gel polish in one, this multitasking wonder lasts for up to 10 days.

Third color product and again not one I would pick for myself.  It is much lighter than what I normally wear, but I liked the idea of it being an all in one polish.  Other than remover, I haven't bought a Sally Hansen product in years, I mainly purchase Essie or OPI and this didn't make me a convert but was a fun color to try.  I might pick up another bottle on impulse at the store if I see a shade that catches my eye because it is a time saver.  I will wear it again but since my daughter is already asking for it, I'll most likely be using it on her more than me.

When I do, I will add my normal layer of ridge filler by OPI.  I have really yucky nails, which is why I like nail polish so much.  I think skipping filler with such a light shade was a big mistake.  Maybe it's just me but I find that any mistake with pale color is so much more noticeable.  I wanted to show the polish straight out of the bottle for my review, but I will most likely add a coat of either a sheer pearlescent or glitter over it to make it more me.

So that is my Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds.  What did you think?  Even if I don't love all the colors I will still use almost everything and both Rimmel & Nivea are two brands I have never tried before.  I haven't quite given up on the mascara, yet.  I'm sure I'll try it at least once more, but I'm not very hopeful it will be less clumpy.  Even taking that into consideration, I think it was well worth the price and I'd be quicker to buy a Finds box if Birchbox does one in the future.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  
May the Luck of the Irish Always be Yours!

A couple of weeks ago I went to my very first Pinterest Party and it was super fun to craft with my sorority sisters!  It was an Kappa Delta Alumnae event and since our sorority's colors are green and white and our annual big philanthropy event is called called the Shamrock Project making a St. Patrick's Day wreath was especially appropriate!

I really loved how one of our inspiration pins had layers of embellishment and tried to recreate a similar look and feel. My bow is bugging me a little, and I just noticed that the original has the tails tucked in.  I think I'm off to try that!

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