December Birchbox

 

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Juicy Couture-

From Birchbox-  Life is too short to wear boring fragrance. This youthful blend of fruity and floral notes is designed to make you feel fabulous, even if the most exciting thing on your calendar is laundry. Accordingly, the glamorous glass bottle comes bedecked with playful charms. One spritz and you’re ready for anything.

My take: I’m not a fan of this scent, but it did seem to last longer than most.

 

ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss-

From Birchbox- Sydney-based ModelCo prides itself in creating products that are fuss-free but high impact—ideal for off-duty beauties (models and non-models, alike). This non-sticky gloss goes on smoothly and gives lips a soft punch of sheer, slightly shimmery color. This slim tube has a built-in mirror so you can reapply on the go.

My take: I love this gloss! There’s a mirror on the bottle for easy application, and it smells like strawberries. It makes me feel like I’m using bonnie bell chapsticks again, but a little more grown up! It’s not sticky, and has the perfect shine with just a tint of color so I can wear it over lipstick or without it and either way it looks good. Quite the keeper!

 

Benefit it’s potent! eye cream-

From Birchbox- Thanks to this powerful cream, even stressed-out workaholics can feign eight hours of sleep. It fades dark under eye circles with day-to-day application. The thick caramel-colored refreshment works to preserve the elasticity of the delicate under eye area while protecting skin from free radicals.

My take- It was a fairly small sample, but I did see some results from using this for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t as greasy as other samples that I’ve tried, and was nice and light under my eyes. It’s definitely better than other eye creams I’ve tried.

 

Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique – Protect

From Birchbox-  From heat styling to chemical processing, there isn’t much we haven’t subjected our hair to in the pursuit of beauty. And my, how our poor follicles have suffered. Fortunately, this ambrosia-like hair treatment revitalizes even the most parched strands and frayed split ends. In addition, it provides protection against heat styling and even improves the performance of your tools.

My take- This was a pretty nice conditioner. It didn’t weigh my hair down, but it was still nice and soft. The smell is great!

 

Emily’s Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies

From Birchbox- Everyone knows that the best part of Chinese takeout is the fortune cookies, so it’s about time these treats received the royal treatment. Deliciously crunchy fortune cookies get a coating of milk and dark chocolate for a sinfully good update on the original.

My take-  This was delicious! Despite the name, I did not expect to have a sweet fortune tucked into the cookie. It was much better than the standard fortune cookie. I’m not sure I can go back to the regular kind after these.

 

 

December Glossybox

 

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TRUFFLE SERUM

From Glossybox: Developed in Italy, this light-weight serum works to prevent the signs of ageing by bringing together pure extracts of Tuber Melanosporum and Hyaluronic Acid. It works great as a boost to the cellular regenerative process thanks to the potent Panthenol B5. This cellular regenerative formula is rich in Peptides and ideal for any age and skin type. You’ll notice the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles reduced and a more deeply hydrated revitalized looking you.

While I’d have to use the serum for more than a few days to be able to review the claims about prevent the signs of ageing, it does feel refreshing and made my skin seem a tad bit brighter just in the short time I used it. It is nongreasy, which is a must. I’m definitely glad to have gotten this in my December Glossybox!

 

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ARGANICS BY NUME ARGAN OIL

From Glossybox: Achieve stunning and healthy hair with NuMe’s specialized non-greasy Argan oil that penetrates damaged hair cuticles leaving hair healthy from the inside out. This rich yet light-weight hydrating Argan oil reduces drying time in damp hair and prevents fading on color-treated hair. NuMe’s Argan oil is also ideal for dry and tired skin as a reparative moisturizer, soothing rough and ravaged spots from head to toe.

I really liked the argan oil. I used about a dime sized amount, and it made my hair look substantially shinier and healthier. I only applied it about half way down so it wouldn’t affect my volume, but it still worked wonders! It also made my hair super soft- a win-win-win in my book.

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INCOCO NAIL POLISH APPLIQUÉS

From Glossybox: The world’s first 100% real nail polish appliqués – not stickers! Incoco Nail Polish appliqués contain base, color, and top coats for a brilliant, salon-quality manicure in just a few minutes with no drying time, smudges, or streaks. The strips are flexible and can contour to fit any nail size and shape. The Incoco collection includes a wide array of over 100 shades, designs, and finishes.

I’ve used these before when I got them in a Birchbox box a few months ago. I am torn on these. I like them in theory, and I do loathe waiting for my nails to dry, but I didn’t find they last as long as I thought the price tag should warrant.

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ILLAMASQUA  LIP & EYE MEDIUM PENCIL

From Glossybox: This highly pigmented creamy pencil allows for easy blending with a long-wearing hold to create sultry eyes and sensuous lips. It’s medium size tip allows for versatile use and strong application. 

I am very impressed by this pencil! Because of the color, I haven’t used it on my eyes, but it’s creamy and heavily pigmented on my lips. While I typically have a problem with the creamy/longevity spectrum, this is one of the few pencils I have found that is both creamy and lasts for hours! You can smudge it a little while it’s fresh but after it dries it’s pretty solid. All in all, I am a fan! My only complaint is that I can’t really imagine using the same color on my eyes and lips, since I try to avoid any pinks or reds on my eyes since it looks like I have pink eye when I attempt it!

There was also a Glossybox exclusive powder blush in a sort of dusty rose color. It was alright, but I prefer a cream blush personally.

 

~All of these are my own opinions and I paid for Glossybox with my own money, no gifts here. If you’d like to give or gift Glossybox, you can do so here. It’s a great present!

Beauty Trends: CC Creams

 

CC creams

AA + BB = CC Creams

I’ve finally found a BB Cream I love, but now CC creams are beginning to hit the market in the US.  BB, or beauty balms, are essentially tinted moisturizers with primer and anti-aging elements added to the formula — a sort of one-stop-shop for skin care creams.

Debuting in Asia, BB creams were one of the hottest beauty trends from the past year. Of course, just as I find my favorite BB cream, the new  CC, or complexion correcting creams, are beginning to hit our shelves and it might be time to move on.

So how do you know which one you need?

CC creams have added coverage and anti-aging (AA) benefits with a focus on skin brightening. While BB creams provide sheer coverage, CC creams have coverage more like a sheer foundation than a tinted moisturizer, and are easy to layer for extra coverage if needed. That sounds perfect for weekend wear since I find BB creams too sheer to wear alone!

While BB creams are great for maintenance and prevention, CC creams are supposed to actually repair existing issues, whether that is uneven skin tone or crow’s feet, often with brighteners or softeners added to the formula for extra benefits. A study showed that after 8 weeks, users generally had more even skin tone, and even better texture. I can totally get in line for that!

Olay already has one in the US, with Wei to Go, Chanel, Juice Beauty, and Rachel K CC creams are coming, too!

 

So what do you think? Will you be trying the new CC creams when they hit the market?

Spring Beauty

There are so many looks that I loved at Fashion Week(s) both fashion and beauty-wise. Here’s my top 5 Spring beauty looks for Spring and what products I’d use to recreate them at home!

 

 

Moschino

Face: MAC Prep + Prime Moisture Infusion and Select Moisture Cover.

Lips: MAC Morange Lipstock and Clear Lipglass.

Eyes: MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl, 35 Lash, Haute & Naughty Mascara and Brunette Or Deep Dark Brunette Luxe Brow Powder Pencil.

 

 

Jonathan Saunders

Face: MAC Complete Comfort Creme, Mineralize Concealer, Pro Invisible Set Powder and Hush Cream Colour Base.

Lips: MAC Lip Conditioner, Burgundy Lip Pencil and Clear Lipglass.

Eyes: MAC Graphblack Technakohl Eye Liner, Blacktrack Fluidline, Clear Brow Set and Omega Eye Shadow.

 

 

Zac Posen

Face: MAC Fast Reponse Eye Cream, Studio Sculpt Foundation and Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

Lips: MAC Stripdown Lip Pencil, Forecast Nude and Talking Tan Lipstick

Eyes:  MAC Pro Invisible Set Powder, Deep Dark Brunette Brow Fluidline, Must Have Brown from the Trend Eye Palette, 36 and 44 lashes and False Lashes Mascara

 

 

 

Marc Jacobs

Face: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer.

Lips: NARS Floralies Satin Lip Pencil

Skin: NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

Eyes: NARS Pandora Duo Eyeshadow, Mambo Eyeliner Pencil and Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara

Dolce & Gabbana

Face: Dolce & Gabbana Luminous Liquid Foundation, The Concealer and Blush in Sole.

Lips: Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Chocolate and Iconic.

Eyes: Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Quad in Desert, The Glam Liner in Black Intense, The Eyeliner in Chocolate, Khol Pencil in True Black and Intenseyes Mascara.

Nails: Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer in Pink.

 

Which one is your favorite? I think Marc Jacobs or Dolce & Gabbana are my two favorites!


October Glossybox Review

 

I look forward to getting my Glossybox every month, and this month was no exception! While it’s more than Birchbox and Sample Society, I think it is worth it for the money. This month, I received GKHair Shampoo and Conditioner, Koh Gen Do Spa Water, Kryolan lipstick in a special Glossybox pink, and the best BB cream I’ve tried by far- Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream.

GK Hair Shampoo and Conditioner -

From Glossybox- World-renowned hair care line, GKhair is committed to moisturizing, purifying and protecting your tresses. The first line of defense starts with this superior smoothing shampoo that invigorates your hair with moisture while purifying from roots to ends.

My review: I used both of these this weekend, and I was pretty impressed with this duo. I wasn’t familiar with this brand, so I don’t know how they compare with other products in their lineup, but they left my hair shiny, manageable and not weighed down, which is key!

 Koh Gen Do Spa Water-

From Glossybox- Gently remove even waterproof makeup and skin impurities in a single sweep with mineral-rich Cleansing Water. From the Yumura Hot Springs in Izumo, Japan, comes pure water, rich with skin-absorbing nutrients, to replenish and rejuvenate as it cleanses. White Birch Sap, harvested only three weeks in early spring, contributes an abundance of minerals and xylitol as it lifts off makeup, oils and residue. No washing or rinsing required!

My review: This could not have come at a more perfect time for me! I had planned on picking up some more makeup remover in the next couple of days, but this showed up at my door instead! Perfect timing! It seems pretty calming and nourishing for my skin, but it doesn’t work particularly fast. I had to keep it on my eyes for several seconds to remove my eyeliner and mascara. However, if you have sensitive skin I think this might be a good option, and it is safe for contact wearers!

Missha BB Cream:

From Glossybox: Blemish Balm, also known as BB Cream, is shaking up the American beauty scene as the key to perfect-looking skin. Developed by Missha, one of Korea’s original BB cream creators, this product provides light coverage, soothes, protects, and moisturizes.

My review: I was really excited to try this BB cream since it is from one of Korea’s original BB cream creators. It has SPF of 42! [it's the secret to life??] When I first applied it over the weekend, I was impressed with how great my complexion looked compared to my normal routine! I have tried several different BB creams before but this is absolutely the best one I’ve tried. It seems like the Missha cream is more of an all-in-one cream than the ones I’ve tried in the US that seem more like tinted moisturizer with SPF. If I do buy a BB cream when this (full-size!) bottle runs out, it will probably be this one! Unless  I get tempted to try a CC cream…..

Kryolan lipstick: 

From Glossybox: Kryolan, a trusted brand in the professional make up sector, has developed an exclusive moisture rich lipstick just for GLOSSYBOX! With this “Pro” approved lipstick, your lips will feel soft and velvety with a luminous, long-lasting color.

My review: In the first box I received from Glossybox, there was a Kryolan lipgloss and I loved it. So when I found out that this full-size lipstick was from Kryolan in a special pink shade just for Glossybox members, I was really excited! It was flattering and creamy, and just a really good neutral shade for work. It also got me out of my bright red lipstick rut!

If you’re interested in signing up for your own Glossybox, you can do so here.

I was not compensated in any way for this post, and even bought my own box!

How to Make Lipstick Last

 

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.  -Gwyneth Paltrow

I think Mrs. GOOP here has herself a point. I’m not sure what that certain magic of red lipstick is, or what enchantment it has to completely transform my outlook, outfit, and disposition. Red lipstick is my favorite, but no matter what color I wear, I want it to last.

What’s the point of applying if it disappears just an hour or two later? No one wants to spend that much time reapplying!

I like to go for bold – and pick the right lipstick. My two favorite brands are Ellis Faas and bite {I found bite’s lip gloss in Sephora stores last week! hopefully a sign of good things and more availability to come}

Prepping your lips by buffing your lips is key. The bolder the lipstick, the more important this step is. I personally use a damp washcloth just to make sure my lips are prepped and perfect. Then, I use clear lip balm and let it sink in. In the winter I use a little more intensive treatment, but most of the year I find my favorite chapstick works just fine.

Then I use  lip liner to trace my lips and fill them in. I like Vincent Longo {last seen here}  because I love having two colors in one pencil. My most used Vincent Longo lip liner is actually a deep wine and white duo, so I can use the white half to highlight and make my lips look extra full. Always a good thing. Always. 

Now this part could be controversial, but stay with me.  This might sound crazy, but I find I get better, longer lasting results and a more intense color if I don’t use a brush to apply the lipstick. I go straight from the tube. This is part of the reason lipliner is so key: without it, you might get more transfer and bleeding then you’d like. Let’s keep the bleeding to a minimum, eh?

After it looks just perfect, I dust on just a little powder with a fluffy brush- but don’t worry, it doesn’t show!

I applied using this method for Fashion Night Out, using the Ellis Faas Creamy Lips and it lasted until I took it off about 5 hours later. Not bad for about 3 minutes of application time!