Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First Impressions: Birchbox May 2013! ❤

Hello lovelies! I hope you have been having a fabulous week! I know mine has been hectic being out and about since I have FINALLY been on vacation :) And guess what came in the mail JUST in time for a little relaxation? My very first Birchbox! So I have never tried a beauty box before, and decided to give Birchbox a try for a month and then Glambag by Ipsy. Next month should be my glambag. I decided to do a blog post on my Birchbox while I finish up my Spring fling shopping spree blog post :) 

What is Birchbox and other such beauty boxes?

Birchbox and other beauty boxes are a monthly subscription. Bichbox costs $10 a month with free shipping. Other beauty boxes cost around the same for the most part (at least Glambag does). These beauty boxes give a handful (usually 4-5) of different beauty items for you to try. So for people that like to experiment with different brands and different products, but don't want to go out and purchase a full price product without knowing what it is like first, this is a great option! Birchbox comes with TRIAL sizes of the products. I have heard that other beauty boxes come with full size products with the downside of being more expensive or having fewer items. Glambag has a variation of full and trial sizes, and is still the same $10/month.
What I got in my Birchbox this month?

So lets get down to it...what did I get this month?! First, I got a Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for sensitive skin. It is an exfoliator and skin brightener. It smells delicious and I will definitely be trying this one out! My favorite thing in the Birchbox this month is the Cargo water resistant blush. The blush is the perfect color for me and the waterproof is an added bonus! I also got Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber moisturizer. Nothing to rave about, but nice to use up. Next I got a small sample size of Isaac Mizrahi Fabulous perfume. This stuff smells amazing, but keep in mind, it will probably last me about 6-7 uses. Lastly, I received Runa Guayusa Tea bags (4). I haven't tried these out yet, but if you are interested in knowing how they taste, leave a comment!

What I ❥ love  about Birchbox?

As raved about by other bloggers, the packaging done by birchbox is adorable. It comes in a cute Birchbox box and is wrapped up in hot pink tissue paper. It also comes with a nice description notecard of everything you received. I was surprised to see that the blush and the face peel were a generous size. I feel like they will last me a good while, especially the blush!

What I dislike about Birchbox?

The main thing I do not like about Birchbox is that I do not care so much for the perfume samples and the random "Lifestyle" samples, aka the tea bags. The perfume samples are so stinkin' small that I could walk into Sephora and have the lady pour me a sample of Coach for the exact same size and for absolutely free. Are they really trying to kid us about this? But before I run my mouth on Birchbox, I look forward to comparing it with Glambag and seeing what all the rave is about that first!

All in all, I won't lie, receiving a little, cute package in the mail with beauty supplies is pretty exciting. It just may be worth the $10 regardless of what is in the box :)

Hope you are all having a fabulous Spring! Check back soon!


Nail polish worn in photos: Essie Tart Deco

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Madewell Earrings! ✿

First off, can I just express how happy I am that finals week is over! ^_^ And of course as any girl would, I went on a shopping spree to begin summer break AND I will be doing a blog post on my splurges in the next few days! Just as a quick sneak preview, some of my favorite shopping spots that I hit up included Charming Charlie, H&M, Lush, Sephora and Target! I cannot wait to share with you all what I have bought and what purchases I am currently loving for Spring!

One of my favorite purchases has to be my Madewell earrings. If you have no made your way to a Madewell store, I would definitely do so! The prices are on the higher end, so go in there with the mind set that you are ready to have a little splurge. The jewelery, for the most part, is decently priced. I got these adorable chandalier earrings for 15.99 USD. I'm in love! The pretty soft gold and coral goes great with so many spring and summer outfits and I love it with my new gold Fossil watch I bought.

Just as a heads up on upcoming blog posts, I have several step by step nail tutorials, shopping haul and a night out dramatic eye look using some of my favorite shades by Urban Decay. Hope you are having a fabulous day and  check back for a new blog post on my shopping spree in the next few days!! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Q&A: Does dry shampoo really work and how?! ☀

I have been asked this oh so many times! What's the scoop on these dry shampoos that are gaining popularity lately?!

Well, I'm sure almost all of us are quite familiar with second day or even third day hair (depending on the thickness of your hair and how often you wash it). Let's admit it, at the end of day 2 or 3, our hair is not as bouncy and pretty as it was when we washed it. The oil buildup at our hair roots begins to show its effects, and that's when we throw on our favorite headband or opt for a cute updo. Wellll, how about we just add a few spritz of dry shampoo and restore the "just washed" appearance of our hair for a few more hours or another day?

How does this work you ask?

There are two types of dry shampoos on the market. There is the actual powder shampoo (which was used as a trick long ago with ladies just applying baby powder to their hair and rubbing it through). This shampoo is one you actually sprinkle into your hair and rub it through your scalp lightly. I don't prefer this one because it leaves white specks in your hair (cause who wants dandruff looking hair that was just washed...). The other type (the type I use for a quick fix) is the spray on dry shampoo. It goes on like hairspray. You add it wherever you feel oily after a good shake (shake well before EVERY spritz for best results) and then just pat it in. The way these dry shampoos work is similar to the same way they worked for ladies back in the day using baby powder...they absorb oils. It's that simple. So if you are in need for that quick fix, reach for these! 

Is it bad for you?

Well, there are chemicals in these dry shampoos, but guess what? There are chemicals in your regular shampoo too (sodium laurate sulfate being a prime culprit in most shampoos). Not to mention, washing your hair often will strip your hair of natural oils that will actually make your hair weaker and not grow as fast. Perhaps dry shampoos are onto something? Only time will tell. But for now, all I know is this is a great fix when I am on a time crunch!

Which dry shampoo should I use?

My personal favorite is Treseme Sleek and Straight Dry Shampoo. It has a nice, even mist. It doesn't leave a powder in my hair and IT WORKS! Catwalk by TIGI also makes a dry shampoo that works really well. Got2B Fat-tastic makes a collagen infused dry shampoo that really voluminizes the hair (I recommend this one too). 

So give these a try the next time you find yourself oversleeping, having a hectic day, travelling or just need that extra day to get around to washing your hair :) Have a great rest of the week!!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Eye Pencil vs Liquid Eye Liner vs Gel Eye liner ♡

Have you ever gone to the store to pick up your usual eye tool to line your eyes, and wondered 1) why there are so many brands making the exact same product 2) what all the rave is between eye pencil, liquid liner and gel liner? Well, hopefully today's blog will help you out a little bit!

Side by side comparison
From left to right we have:
Maybelline Line stylist, Revlon Gel Liner, Maybelline
Master duo liquid liner.
Over the years, I have definitely tried my share of all three of these eye products. Let's start off with the evergreen eye pencil. Now I've found that the biggest difference between drug store brands and the more expensive brands is a) the richness of the color b) whether it rubs off easily (especially on your waterline) c) how smoothly it glides. That is not to say that a drug store brand will NOT provide these qualities, nor will an expensive brand unconditionally provide these qualities. It just takes a little bit of testing. I have found that Covergirl easily rubs off the eye, most especially the waterline. I have also found their colors to not be as intense. I have found myself reapplying this eye pencil about 3 times throughout the day. The plus of this liner is that it does easily glide onto the eye and easily comes off with a wash with a cleanser. There are two eye pencils I would particularly recommend. One is a drug store knock off, and it is the Maybelline Line Stylist. This eye pencil is retractable. It gives you a nice edge to easily line your eyes and create a sultry cat flick. The color is very rich, and the black color is absolutely gorgeous. The CG eye pencil pales in comparison. That being said, the Maybelline liner hardly pales at all, in that it takes a good scrub to get this thing off! I would highly recommend getting a MAC makeup remover, or prepare for a scrub off. The next recommendation is Stila's eye pencil. These go on ever so smoothly and will last all day! If you ask me, it is worth the splurge, but Maybelline does a pretty darn good job if you don't quite see yourself splurging on eye pencil!
On the left is Maybelline New York Line Stylist.
On the right is Maybelline Master Duo Liquid Liner
The top and bottom right images show how rotating
the liquid liner wand can give a thinner or thicker line.

Now let's move on to liquid eye liners. I have always been a fan of liquid liners, personally. I think they are ridiculously quick to put on, since you add a couple strokes, a quick cat flick and go about your day. They stay on until you wash them off and since it is liquid, you don't have to reapply to get the depth of color you want, making it that much quicker! My absolute favorite liquid eyeliner that I have recently started to use is the Maybelline Master Duo. It has the perfect liquid liner wand which can be flipped from side to side, with one side being thick and the other thin. This lets you control the line you want to draw. My only main complaint about this product is that it gets all over your eyelashes (well at least mine!). On a bright note, I don't really need mascara since this liner coats my eyelashes already. Keep in mind, this liner dries rather shiny, giving it a permanently "wet" appearance. That may not tickle of the fancy of some people, but going over it with eye shadow instantly gives it a matte look. Also, make sure to give this product a good shake before use though, or you will get a big hot watery mess :/ But other than that, LOVE this product!!! A tutorial on how to create the perfect winged eye liner using this product will be coming up soon :)

Now let's talk about gel liner! I am pretty new to the gel liner product, and I have found that I absolutely love it, IF I have the time that day. Gel liner takes me a lot longer than eye pencil and liquid liner combined to apply. Since I have to keep re-dipping the brush and reapplying the gel liner in small strokes to get the right shape and consistency, I have found that it takes me a while to get my desired look. The plus side to gel liner? It stays on all day long, doesn't budge, and can look absolutely stunning if you put in the time and effort. I have been loving the Revlon Gel Liner. It comes with a little brush that is stowed away in the screwable cap itself, so it is very small and sleek to take with you on trips. The gel liner itself is a very rich color and goes on very smoothly.

I hope this was a helpful post for you. If this helped you in any way and you'd like to read more on beauty and fashion tips, please subscribe! Have a lovely week!!


Q&A: Why use a moisturizing oil spray for your hair?

A lot of my friends always ask me why people use a moisturizing oil spray for their hair, when your scalp naturally produces oils? Well I have the answer for you!

As a generalized statement, most men wash their hair every day, while most women wash their hair every 2-3 days. This is perfectly normal. It is bad for your hair to wash it every day, especially for women, since we have longer hair. Oils produced by your scalp is good for hair growth. Your hair needs moisture to look healthy and grow strong. However, by the time your scalp produces oils from the time you wash your hair to before you wash it again, there is no way there is enough oil that is produced to travel to the ends of your hair (especially if you have medium to long length hair). So for all of us girls that have medium to long length hair, a moisturizing oil spray is fabulous!

How do you apply a moisturizing oil spray?

I usually apply the oil spray when my hair is damp. Apply it from below your ears down. You don't want to add the oil spray to your scalp (well you can, but I usually don't as I don't want a greasy appearance to my head). I apply to the ends of my hair and then run my fingers through it. I let the damp hair and spray dry and then comb my hair through.

Which oil spray should I use?

If you have read my blog before, you know I am a huge fan of Macadamia healing oil spray. This stuff smells good and does NOT leave your hair greasy or looking like you didn't wash it for a few days. It dries clean and you can still get that bouncy, shiny, just washed look!

How often should I use the spray?

I usually only use the spray once after I wash my hair, and my hair is still damp. This holds me over until my next wash. I also have fine hair, so I don't need the repetitive sprays. If you have thick hair, perhaps spraying again the following day will help tame frizz.

If you would like to check out my favorite hair products for this Spring, I blogged about this not long ago and you should check it out!

I hope this helped answer a few questions! Let me know if you have any questions you would like answered, and I'd be happy to blog about it :)


My week in a nutshell and new purchases! ﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿

So I have been behind on blogging and I decided to tell whoever is reading this why! I have finals. It is a dreadful time in any person's life, and trust me, it only gets worse the higher education you pursue. So, I have pretty much been sitting in a corner of my room staring at my screen, studying away from 9am-2am every day *sigh*

With that depressing thought being said, I decided to purchase a few things to make my week better (cause what girl hasn't resorted to retail therapy at some point).

First, I purchased the fairly new Esse Penny Talk nail polish. It's from the line of nail polishes that has the metallic/chrome effect. They are beautiful! The only thing I want to add about this polish is that if you do not add a top coat, IT WILL CHIP. Almost instantly. It requires top coat. Also, it almost looks like a matte nail polish with a chrome effect. So, if you think the top coat will make it shiny, it really doesn't add that effect. But, it is beautiful nonetheless!

The second purchase is two of the Maybelline Baby Lips tinted moisturizer. Aaaand,, these are fantastic!! These are limited edition, so if you are reading this when it is posted, go purchase some! The colored ones are my favorite. I purchased Coral Crush and Pink Punch.
I know there is a mint scented, as well as a few others, that are not tinted, but I feel it defeats the purpose of why I love these lip products. the color they give is beautiful. It glides on creamy and really moisturizes your lips. After I wore mine for a few days, I had people asking what I am wearing, and were surprised to find out it was a moisturizer by Maybelline!

I finally gave in and purchased the Tarte Amazonian Clay 24 hour Blush. If you are looking for that classic "blush" color, I have found it! Tarte's Flush is absolutely beautiful. It is the perfect vintage rose color. It looks classic! The best thing about Tarte? It lasts ALL day and just a tap in the blush will be more than enough blush per cheek. Yes, it is a bit expensive, but it will last you a long time!

I also got a piece of jewelry at American Eagle (I hardly ever purchase things there besides jewelry). I love the jewelry at American Eagle because it is the perfect blend between simple with a few stylish touches. I purchased a
necklace with some neon pink strands intertwined with silver. Neon is VERY much in this Spring, so don't be afraid to go bold!

Hope you all are having a much less stressful week than yours truly. Take care lovelies!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Best Nude Nail Polish Color ☼

I don't know about you, but I have been on the hunt for the best nude nail polish for quite some time now. Colors are either too light, too dark, a pink tone, a brown tone, but nothing ever matches that truly nude shade that has been in style for quite a while now! Well lovelies, I have hit jackpot for the PERFECT nude nail polish. It is OPI Samoan Sand. Pair this beautiful color with the Seche Vite top coat for high shine, and add a few rhinestones for a classy touch and a beautiful and easy manicure! Check back later this week for blog post all about eye liners! Have a lovely Wednesday :)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Simple mani & L'oreal Spring nail polish review (◡‿◡✿)

Happy Sunday everyone!

A new week is upon us, and I thought I'd give you a quick and easy idea for a manicure that uses a color I have been in love with from the new L'oreal Spring nail polish collection. It is the Violet Vixen #500. It is a cross between plum and pink and it is beautiful on the nails. You can easily get away with one single coat if you want more of a pinkish plum, but add a second coat and get a deep plum (as I did in the pictures shown). My favorite thing about the new L'oreal colors is that they are very rich and glide on pretty smooth. My main problem with this nail polish is that it is almost too thick of a polish. Though I cannot make any conclusions yet on this product, I feel like since the consistency is so thick, it will likely get even thicker pretty soon and I won't be able to use it without it gettin' a little too messy for my taste :/ My other complaint is that the bottle cap is way too frickin' tight. I have never had problems opening OPI, Chine Glaze, Esse or Zoya (which are my favorite nail polish brands), but this one needs some major man muscles for me to be able to use. Rather frustrating!

To finish off my manicure, I went ahead and added a rhinestone to my thumb and middle finger for an added touch and I painted my ring fingers with Orly's Tiara. If you are looking for a glitter nail polish that is going to pack on glitter all over your nail with high shine and sparkle, try out this nail polish! I guarantee it will not disappoint! I finished off all the nails with my FAVORITE top coat, Seche Vite. If you want rhinestones to stay on your nails, I HIGHLY recommend a top coat around and over the rhinestone, otherwise it will flake off.

I have several ideas for upcoming blogs with how-to picture tutorials, so check back this week lovelies! I hope you are having a beautiful weekend and an even better week :)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 2013 Shower & Hair Favorites! ☀

I don't know about you, but showering is the one time I can truly relax and be at peace from my crazy day! Aaaand, what better way to unwind than using some amazing shower products that will be calming, smoothen your skin and make your hair soft and shiny! Today's blog will be my top picks for shower products for this Spring ❤

Let's start off with a great scrub that I've been loving this season. It is the Loofah exfoliating oatmeal and honey scrub. This stuff isn't the best smelling (smells a little too honey-like for my taste), but I love it since it is not too abrasive and does not leave a residue like a lot of the new sugar scrubs do. I try to exfoliate once or twice a week for a smooth and soft feeling after scrubbing off those dead skin cells!

I have been trying out another scrub. It is the Paris Amore Golden Sugar Scrub from Bath and Body Works. This stuff is AMAZING smelling. However, the downside is that it leaves a greasy residue. Clearly it has a bit too much vitamin E action going on. I use this scrub at nighttime, and though it leaves a residue, when I wake up, my skin is ridiculously soft and hydrated. Not my favorite product, and I probably wouldn't repurchase it, but perhaps it'll strike the fancy of a few of you out there.

This season, I have been loving the Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Conditioner with Awapuhee. This shampoo/conditioner have been perfect for adding volume to my hair without drying out my scalp and ends! I personally like to combine the awapuhee shampoo with a strengthening conditioner. And may I just add, this stuff smells amazing!!

A new product that I must RAVE about is the Macadamia oil spray. This stuff is AHHHmazing! It makes my hair soft and silky and doesn't make it oily. It is made of all natural products so I know I am not just adding a ton of chemicals to my hair. I usually add a few spritz of this to the ends of my hair to prevent dryness and split ends, and also to prevent brittle hair that is prone to breakage. It smells amazing and a little goes a long way with this stuff, so even though it is expensive, it is worth the buy!! I plan on purchasing a few more products by Macadamia and will be doing a product review in the near future.

Lastly, I wanted to tell you guys about my favorite body wash this season. It is the Enchanted Forest Bodycology wash. This stuff smells insanely good and is a foaming body wash! I love that it lathers up and isn't greasy, but adds enough moisture to not dry out my skin. I do believe this is a brand new scent from Bodycology, so I'd suggest giving this a try!

A nail tutorial is soon to come lovelies, so check back in the next few days and please subscribe!