Follow Our Blog

Our Awesome Followers

Powered by Blogger.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Amanda's September Birchbox

I really enjoyed my Birchbox this month. Sometimes it's a hit or a miss but overall I really enjoy receiving these samples each month. I have found some great products I wouldn't have tried otherwise and am so happy that I did!

1. Benefit foamingly clean facial wash and Benefit refined finish facial polish

2. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+

3. Birchbox and Color Club® Custom Collection

4. Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum

5. twistband™ Hair Tie

6. tili Bags Small Collection 1

1. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: Benefit’s daily cleanser comes in a chic blue tube that will make your other products look humdrum in comparison. Appearances aside, the gentle formula works into a creamy, meringue-like lather that softly removes dirt and impurities. And unlike some cleansers, it gets the job done without drying out your skin.

We seldom go a day without makeup, which means it’s important to take extra good care of our skin. The beauty experts from Benefit devised this pore-purging facial polish to clear away all traces of product residue and breathe new life into dull skin. Use it to leave skin feeling refreshed and clarified, never dry. It’s formulated for all skin types, making it a no-brainer addition to your cleansing regimen.
My review: I LOVE BOTH OF THESE. Sorry for the caps but honestly they smell amazing and left my face so clean and soft. I suffer from dry skin and most of my face washes dry it out even more. Not these products, they left my skin feeling more hydrated then before I washed my face. I couldn't believe how much I liked them and will be purchasing them once my samples run out.
2. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: We desperately try to adhere to the less-is-more philosophy, and Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm helps us minimize our routine. A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum all-in-one, this tinted BB cream even helps hide imperfections—so there’s no need for foundation or cover-up. Think of it as the Swiss Army Knife of your beauty cabinet.
My review: When I opened the tube it looked like the product had already been used. There was BB cream all over the lid and top of the bottle and I wasn't sure if it happened during shipping or if someone had previously used it. After disinfecting the top, I applied what was left to test it. It covered well and matched my skin tone fine (I'm tanner than normal so I'm not sure how it would look in the winter) but it wasn't as moisturizing as my normal BB cream. I would not purchase this.  
3. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: If you update your polish nearly as often as you check your Twitter feed, you’re not alone. We designed this share-worthy custom collection with Color Club for all the social media addicts out there. You’ll be inspired to tweet, pin, tag, and post these four gorgeous shades with your followers.
My review: I've received another Color Club polish in a past Birchbox and enjoyed the color, but it didn't last long before chipping. Sadly, I experienced the same issue with this one. I got a fall/winter shade this time  called Status Update and it was a darker grey/slate color. I am always looking for more colors to add to my growing nail polish collection so I was not totally disappointed. I just wish it lasted longer before chipping.
4. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: It’s a fact of life: as we get older, our once-firm skin begins to lose its elasticity and fine lines start cropping up. Instead of flying into a panic, we’re enlisting Caudalie’s lab-proven anti-aging serum. It’s formulated with grape-based actives and other botanicals that soften the look of wrinkles, plus tightening agents that go to work right away to lift sagging skin.
My review: I tried this a few times before bed and in the morning before I started my beauty routine and didn't notice a difference in the firmness of my skin. Perhaps after regular use this product would start working, but it didn't dazzle me.
5. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: We never paid much attention to our hair ties before Twistband came into our lives. Now we can’t go anywhere without one (or three) of their snag-free, super soft elastics. They keep hair secure without leaving ugly creases behind, and look as good on our wrists as they do in our ponytails. These colorful collections come with twelve ties, so you’ll always have plenty of spares on hand.
My review: I have seen these hair ties everywhere and was curious to see if they worked. I was so excited to get on in my box this month and couldn't wait to try it. It left my hair crease free and didn't pull out any hair like my normal hair ties do. I also like to wear them on my wrist if I might need to put my hair up at some point and was pleased that these did not dig into my wrist like my other ones do. I would definitely purchase these!
6. According to the Birchbox Breakdown: Traveling can be a stressful experience—whether we’re going through airport security or catching a subway during rush hour. After spilling the contents of our purse in public one too many times, we turned to tili’s stylish reusable bags. They’re small enough to fit inside your purse or carry-on but large enough to hold all your lip glosses, loose change, or travel-sized toiletries. Each pack comes in three colorful varieties.
My review: I thought these bags were cute. I wouldn't mind throwing one into my purse to keep all of my lip glosses and loose items organized. I don't think I would purchase these, but I'm glad I was able to try one. Perhaps if I traveled more I would be willing to drop down some cash for fancier plastic bags.
Want to try Birchbox for yourself? Sign up here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Adrianne's September Birchbox

Time for another Birchbox review!

1. BVLGARI Mon Jasmin Noir

2. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+

3. LiQWd Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

4. LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst

5. Birchbox and Color Club® Custom Collection

6. twistband™ Lace up for Fall
BVLGARI Mon Jasmin Noir: This perfume was a bit too heavy for me. It is very musky and woodsy, which is definitely not the kind of fragrance I enjoy. Though I wouldn’t choose this fragrance for myself, it might be worth a look if you like deeper scents and tend to stray from the fruitier, lighter scents.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+: I’m still hooked on the B.B. cream trend, and I love trying out new kinds. The color of this B.B. cream was a little bit dark for me, but it blended really well into my skin. The sample lasted several days, so I was able to try out wearing it from morning to night. The product lasted all day. I’d say the downside to this product is that it only comes in one shade, and as I discovered, the one shade doesn’t match all skin tones. But, it might work for you if you have a medium to dark skin tone.

LiQWd Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner: I was blown away by this shampoo and conditioner. I have tried so many different products to help give my hair volume and bounce and it’s rare that something actually delivers on its promises. After I washed and conditioned my hair, I could already tell it had more body. I towel dried my hair and could actually feel that it was lighter. The same was true when I dried my hair. It had so much movement and felt really clean. I’d venture to guess that the shampoo was a type of clarifying shampoo that rid my hair of any build-up. I’d never heard of this brand, and am so glad I discovered it!

LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst: Another product from the LiQWd line. This is another product intended to help infuse volume into the hair. Though it didn’t specifically say on the bottle, the product reminded me of a spray gel. The directions say to spray the product on the roots of your hair 10 to 20 times. I tried spraying 15 times and I think that was a little much for my fine hair. It left my hair feeling a little bit sticky, but the spray did deliver on the claim that it help provides volume for your hair.

Birchbox and Color Club® Custom Collection: I’ve seen Color Club products making appearances on all sorts of beauty blogs, so I have been curious. The custom color I received is a really vibrant blue, which I love. I tried this polish out on my fingers and toes. It’s stayed put on my toes, but even with a top coat it only lasted one day on my fingers before chipping. I’m not sure if that’s the case with all polishes in this line, but that was my experience. Have you tried Color Club? What do you think?

twistband™ Lace up for Fall: I was a little disappointed to receive this hair tie in my Birchbox, and that’s only because I received one in a previous box. Aside from that, it’s great to have a tie that does no damage and isn’t a pain to remove from your hair.

Have you tried any of these products? Give us your reviews!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: Physicians Formula: Shimmer Strips in Nude

My mom picked up the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips nude palette for part of my birthday present and I was so excited to try it out. She had seen reviews comparing it to the Urban Decay Naked Palette (read Adrianne’s review here) and thought I would want to give it a try. I was intrigued because the Urban Decay palette looks awesome and I’ve been debating if I should drop the money and invest in it myself. This was a much more affordable version for a fifth of the price!

The biggest difference was the size. The Physicians Formula version was way smaller and instead of 12 shadows it included 9. The dark shades are also smaller than the other shadows and it was hard to use my normal brush to apply it. This wasn't a deal breaker though.

I haven’t tried out all of the shadows on the palette yet but so far I really like the product. It was really natural looking and when I wore it with primer it really enhanced the colors. There are three different sets of colors with a light, medium and dark shade to enhance the look. I have used the first two sets of colors so far and am waiting for a date night to wear the deeper color shades ;)

I’m excited that there is such variety and plan on mixing and matching different shades in the palette to experiment with different looks. They are all very bendable and easy to apply.

When I compare this palette to some other pricey eye shadows that I own -- it doesn’t disappoint. I thought for sure that I would be able to tell a difference in the product and that it wouldn’t last that long. I was proven wrong. More expensive does not always equal a better deal. 

 Have you tried any of the Shimmer Strips from Physicians Formula? Are there any other affordable cosmetics you swear by?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beauty Wish List

Do you have a long list of products you can't wait to get your hands on? So do I! Here are some of the things I'm currently lusting after:

Vera Wang - Lovestruck 

Vera Wang Lovestruck
I'm not a huge perfume nut, but I tested this scent and immediately wanted it. It's really fruity and slightly floral and my favorite thing about it is that it smells light. I'm not a fan of fragrances that are too heavy or overpowering. 

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - Lip Tar

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar
I've been hearing rave reviews about these lip tars. The product goes on like a lip gloss, but is supposed to last much longer than typical glosses. 

Illamasqua - Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nail Varnish
This is another product I've heard so much about and have been wanting to try. The range of colors is really bright and bold, and the polish claims to be more resistant to chips than other products.

Urban Decay - Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
Do I really need another foundation? No. Do I still really want to try this one out? Yes. The original Naked palette got me hooked on Urban Decay, and they have so many products I'd love to try.

T3 - Featherweight Luxe 2i 

T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Hair Dryer
I would never, ever spend this much on a hair dryer. That's why it's on my wish list.

Yves Saint Laurent - TOUCHE ÉCLAT - Radiant Touch

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Concealer Pen
A while back when I was searching for a good under eye concealer, one of the makeup artists at Sephora recommended this product and even put it on me. The only thing stopping me from purchasing was the price. This concealer did a wonderful job of covering up my dark circles and under eye discoloration.

NARS - Blush

NARS Blush
I've never been able to justify spending $28 on a blush when my $4 CoverGirl Cheekers look great and save me a ton of cash. But still, NARS blush is one of the brand's best-selling products and something I definitely want to experiment with. 

Dior - Diorshow Iconic Mascara

Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara
I’ve heard about this mascara on multiple beauty blogs and seen pictures of what it can do for your lashes. I’m sold, and I haven’t even tried the product yet.

What’s on your beauty wish list? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fashion: Fall Favorites

I have said it before and I'll say it again. I love fall. Not only is it perfect weather outside but the clothes are amazing! I thought I would share some of my current wish list items for the season.

1. BB Dakota Patterned Open Front Cardigan from Urban Outfitters - $108
2. Moonstone Treasure Collar from Anthropologie - $58
3. AG Stevie Cord from Anthropologie - $168
4. Peter Pan collar sweater from J.Crew - $89.50
5. Perfect shirt in buffalo check from J. Crew - $88
6. Schoolboy blazer in wool flannel from J. Crew - $198
7. BR Monogram lace belted trench from Banana Republic - $275
8. River Island Ellia Heeled Shoe Boots from Asos - $103.48
9. Ecote Tall Braid Boot from Urban Outfitters - $129
10. Luxedo from Essie - $8

Friday, September 21, 2012

Transitioning Your Wardrobe to Fall

I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm sad to see summer go. I'm never a fan of packing away my summer clothes, so one thing I try to do is pick a few of my favorite items and figure out ways that I can continue wearing them through fall.

If you need ideas on how to wear some of your summer wardrobe during the fall, check out these inspiration pictures:

Pinned Image

I wrote about my love for brightly colored pants here. Why stash them away during fall? Add a blazer and some neutral toned flats and you've got yourself a perfectly darling outfit that will keep you warm as the temps get chilly.

Pinned Image

There's never a need to pack away your tank tops. You can use tank tops to layer under sweaters or long sleeve shirts for added warmth, or you could make the tank top the focal point of your outfit by wearing it with a cardigan.

Pinned Image
Just add a scarf and boots. Go ahead and wear your skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts. When you add a pair of tall boots and a scarf, it instantly transforms your outfit and makes it scream fall. 

Pinned Image

Don't be afraid to wear your summer dresses -- just be sure to throw on a light coat like this trench.

Do you have ideas on how to extend your summer wardrobe into fall? Share them with us!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fashion: What to Wear to a Wedding

Wedding season is here! When I receive a wedding invitation in the mail I get so excited. Who doesn't love celebrating love? After I get over all the giddiness that I get when I receive an invite, one of the things that pops into my head is "what am I going to wear?" I'm standing up in a wedding this weekend, so luckily I'm all set with what I'm wearing. She's been one of my best friends since middle school and I'm so honored to be a part of her special day.  
I'm more often a guest than a bridesmaid however, so the outfit question comes into play. I've found that if the wedding is in the spring or summer light pastel colors are always a safe bet. If the wedding is in the fall or winter I go for jewel tones and richer colors. Black is always acceptable and can be worn no matter what season. I made the mistake of wearing a white and silver dress to a wedding and was so embarrassed once someone mentioned that I was wearing white and wasn't the bride. It's becoming more acceptable these days to wear white to weddings but I have learned to avoid it.
I always try to look polished but not overdone. It's time for the bride and bridesmaids to shine. My rule (for all occasions) is that it's always better to overdress than under dress so make sure you choose the appropriate type of outfit. Unless you know for sure the wedding has a more casual vibe, don't go casual. Another thing I've noticed while attending weddings are dresses that are too tight or too short (or both). Remember there will most likely be parents and grandparents attending and you want to look presentable. Save those outfits for a night out with your girlfriends ;)
I have purchased a few clutches and bags to match various colors for dresses and always feel relieved when I don't have to scramble for the right purse. I also always make sure to wear some kind of jewelry to pull the whole look together. Remember to wear comfortable shoes - weddings are long and you'll want to dance the night away later. The last thing you'll want to think about are sore feet.
Here are some looks that I would wear to spring or summer weddings:

Dress JCrew, Clutch BCBG, Shoes Steve Madden
Dress JCrew, Clutch BCBG, Shoes Steve Madden
These would look great for fall or winter:
Dress ModCloth, Clutch and Shoes Asos

Dress ModCloth, Clutch and Shoes Asos
As I mentioned earlier, you can't go wrong with an LBD

Dress JCrew, Clutch and Shoes Steve Madden
What do you think of these looks? Do you also worry about what to wear when you get invited to weddings or other formal occasions?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

I first tried Benefit They’re Real! Mascara via a trial size sample. The product comes in jet black and claims to curl, volumize, lengthen and separate lashes all with one formula and brush. 

According to usage tests conducted by Benefit, here are the results that testers saw:
  • "94% saw dramatic length & volume*
  • 90% saw base-to-tip curl*
  • 94% saw visible lift*
  • 100% saw long-wearing results*
*Results observed in a consumer panel survey" {via}

I’m always a little skeptical of panels like this because of course companies wouldn’t promote disappointing results. I really think the only thing that is going to convince me if a product works or not is for me to try it myself. Once I got my hands on the sample, I knew I would eventually purchase it.

Here’s how the product looks on me. I left the lashes on my left eye untouched so you can compare:

If you compare the way the mascara looks on me to the picture found on the mascara box, you’ll find that they differ quite a bit. It thickened my lashes a bit, but comes nowhere near the lashes featured in that picture. For me, the mascara delivers on several of the claims. It does an excellent job giving my lashes length, volume and lift and is very long-lasting. Unfortunately, I am unable to see the curling effect that’s promised unless I spend time curling my lashes.

One of the best things about the product is the brush. The tip of the brush contains tiny little spikes to help you get your bottom and outermost lashes.

Overall, despite not delivering on all it promises, I’d absolutely recommend picking up a bottle of this mascara. I really do love it. I don't think there's one mascara out there that's going to give you lengthening, curling and thickening all-in-one, but this product comes close. If you’re reluctant to spend the $23, try to get your hands on a sample. My sample came from the points reward program at Sephora.

Have you tried out this mascara? What did you think?