Birchbox Haul

If you don’t know, Anthropoloie online carries a lot of beauty and hair care products. A coworker returned a Klorane conditioner (because she accidentally ordered 2) so I decided to try it out. I had recently colored my hair and this is a conditioner for blondes to I decided to go ahead and order the matching shampoo to have a set.

IMG_3259

Klorane Shampoo with Chamomile – Klorane is a French brand and I have tried a few of their products before thanks to Birchbox (I really like the Mango shampoo). Whether your hair is dyed or not, this is designed to brighten and prevent brassiness. Something I didn’t know is that chamomile is a natural brightener! This has a nice floral and honey scent and I like it. I probably wouldn’t order again (pricey) but it was fun to try out. The weird part is that the shampoo is HUGE in comparison to the conditioner.

Klorane Conditioner with Chamomile

IMG_3260

Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner – To round out my BB order, I decided to try a new toner. I have never used Origins before and this toner gets 4.5 star reviews on BB, and a blogger I follow recently had talked about it. Sadly this gets a bad review on Beautypedia for the ingredients (it’s alcohol based and tested on animals). That’s why it’s always good to do your research! It has a lot of fragrances and plant oils like mint which can also cause irritation. I have used it one time and did notice a strong scent but it did not irritate my skin. I think I’ll stick to Paula’s Choice next time!

I got a great mystery sample pack with includes Benefit They’re Real Mascara and Rusk Heatshift Re-Styling Cream. I already know I like the mascara and I’m not sure about the cream. It is a product that reduces blow dry time and to restyle your hair. I would try it out and basically consider it a blow dry cream. Overall not the most exciting haul but there you have it!

 

Voluspa Haul

Y’all know I love beauty products, but did you know I’m also candle crazy? Voluspa is a brand we carry at Anthropologie and I liked some of the scents we carry (Goji Berry, Santiago Huckleberry and Baltic Amber) but I was really looking for something different and I saw they were having a sale! I had never ordered from Voluspa before so I signed up for their email list and got a free gift! Here’s my haul.

IMG_3141

IMG_3140

Everything came individually wrapped which was super fun to open like Christmas presents. It was also packaged really well so none of the glass would break.

IMG_3152

FullSizeRender

Creme de Peche – All of the vessels in this sent are on sale except this large glass jar right now. This scent is made of “CRÈME DE PECHE WITH NOTES OF ASIAN WHITE PEACH, NECTARINE AND CRUSHED VANILLA BEAN”. I just started burning it recently and I love the mix of fruit and vanilla for a sweet but not overly so scent. The kind of creamy orange vessel is also so pretty! I have found Voluspa candles to burn very evenly and to have a great throw. 

IMG_3142

Nissho Soleil – This is part of the Japonica collection which we sell at Anthro and the tin has a beautiful metallic floral design inspired by Japanese paper making. The description really caught my attention “TOPPED BY NOTES OF SUN KISSED PINEAPPLE AND TANGERINE, SOLEIL IS ANCHORED BY VOLUSPA’S SIGNATURE CREAMY VANILLA. A DAY AT THE BEACH IN A BOTTLE”. Sounds perfect for summer! On cold sniff it is very light and pretty. All of their candles use coconut wax and a paraben, sulfate, and phalate free with 100% cotton wicks. They also never test on animals. 

IMG_3145

French Bourbon Vanille – This is a gourmand scent from their holiday collection. The packaging is a gorgeous glass vermeil jar with metallic overlay inspired by fine jewelry. It really has an antique vibe! This scent has “FRAGRANCE NOTES OF VANILLA BEANS GROUND AND DISTILLED FOR EXTRACT”. It’s lighter than I thought it would be but should be really nice burning. 

IMG_3143

Mandarino Cannela – This gorgeous mini tin was my GWP and I’ve already burned through it! It’s small but really puts off a fragrance. I burned it with a complimentary candle. The scent is “ITALIAN MANDARIN ORANGE TOPS A CREAM HEART OF VANILLA CINNAMON, FINISHED WITH NUTMEG AND STEM GINGER.” So it’s kind of a spice tea scent!

I love the scents that I picked out just from reading the descriptions online! The only downside is that there are not reviews on the website. They are different than my usual Bath and Body Works picks although more pricey. If you can catch them on a sale it’s perfect for a candle lover. There are a few more scents on my wish list for next time too!

 

Sephora Hauls

Sephora during the holiday season always has great gifts with purchases. Back in November they had my favorite GWP which is a makeup bag full of samples. You got to pick from four options and it was a great mix of items and brands. I decided to place an order to make use of a giftcard and to get the GWP!

IMG_2813

Some of my favorite items included the Nars Audacious Mascara, Stella Stella McCartney perfume (which I just ordered), and the Glamglow Thirstycleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser (which I have also since purchased the travel size). So there were some real winners here!

IMG_2814

This is the Dr. Jart BB It’s Cold Outside set. I picked it because I needed a backup foundation and I have sampled this BB cream before from Birchbox and really enjoyed the coverage and SPF it has. The kit (no longer available) includes the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 , Firming Sleeping Mask (which I can’t find on Sephora), Ceramidin Cream and Dermaclear Micro Water. The cream was new to me and is made with ceramides which help retain water. It does not have SPF so I have used it a few times at night. It’s nothing super special to me but it does moisturize. The Micro Water I have gotten a sample of before in Birchbox I think and I haven’t come around to the idea of cleansing my whole face with it, but it works well as an eye makeup remover. The Firming Sleeping Mask I have used a few times and the instructions say you are to put it on about 10 mins before bed and to wash it off in the morning. It has a gel/serum like consistency. Overall I liked this set because it is the same price as a full tube of the BB cream but you get extra stuff!

IMG_2815

This was a random thing I added on to get free shipping and it turned out to be really good! This is an oil in gel lipstick remover by the Sephora brand which I am not seeing on their website now. Bummer. You put it on, wait about 10 seconds, wipe it off with a tissue and BAM your lips are clean. It works with lipstick and liquid lipstick really well, but not as good with stains.

IMG_2816

These were my free sample add ons!

IMG_2786

This was the next GWP that I was drooling over. I LOVE this stuff! Benefit Gimme Brow

is my go to for just a little more definition, color and a groomed look. It’s for when I’m too lazy to use pencil to fill my brows in (basically every day) or want a more “natural” look. It’s a mini so it didn’t last long but was totally worth it.

IMG_2785

IMG_2787

So this is where the real fun happens – a whole set of DRY SHAMPOOS! This is the Extend Your Style kit (no longer available) and has 7 shampoos to keep you clean in between washes.

First up (from left to right) is my personal favorite of the bunch and one I have sampled before thanks to Birchbox. Amika Perk Up is really one of the best I have tried. The packaging is a colorful swirling print that makes me happy, and it smells amazing! It has natural rice starch to absorb oil without weighing you down. This really works and does not leave me greasy or with residue.I would for sure order more. *Note all of these are on the pricey side and would be a supplement to my go to drug store pick*

Next up is Alterna Haircare Cleanse Extend which has a mango coconut scent. I thought I would really love this one for that reason but it wasn’t in my top 3. I agree that it’s translucent but it is a little sickly sweet and has a slight greasy feel for me.

Living Proof is a brand that I have tried several of their products before including somehow their dry shampoo. Their Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is in my top 3 – it has their signature scent which is hard to describe but is slightly floral. It has no residue, is free of sulfates and parabens (if that matters to you), and leaves my hair feeling really clean. *Note I just sprayed this on my husbands head so he could feel the intense sensation of dry shampoo and how great it is and he said “I never have to shower now.” Yeah me neither*

If you don’t know about the Drybar then you are missing out. I have been a total of three times and each as been great and I have left the salon with the best looking and smelling hair. The Detox Dry Shampoo was created to extend your blowout and is in my top three mainly because of the scent. It comes out a little chalky (they made a separate one for brunettes that’s how you can tell!) but I just rub it in or brush it out. The smell puts it in my top three though – it’s addicting like delicious cupcakes!!!

Sally Hershberger is a brand I am not as familiar with. Their 24k Supreme Stylist Dry Shampoo is supposed to be voluminous but I just find it to be sticky and leave my hair feeling a little greasy. Nothing great about the scent either. It has low stars on Sephora so I know I’m not the only one!

Klorane is a brand I am familiar with thanks to BB and I have actually gotten this as a sample before and am using their shampoo and conditioner now (review to come later). A lot of people really like this Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk but I am not one of them. It’s not too greasy but does leave a white residue that I have to rub in. I don’t love the scent either – it’s light but just not my fave. I’ll use it up but I won’t buy more.

Lastly we have Bumble and Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder which I was really interested in trying out because B and B is a super prestige brand (I have some of their hairspray and really like it). I have never used baby powder as dry shampoo so this was hard for me to get used to. I found it difficult to get an even coating and to get rid of all my oil. It has a soft powdery scent and does add volume but the application is just too difficult for me. I would rather spray and go! It still gets a lot of good reviews so maybe I just need to give it a few more tries.

There you have it – one of the most in depth dry shampoo reviews you will ever read! Thanks for sticking it out till the end, and if you have questions leave them in the comments!

January Birchbox

Birchbox is my original subscription box and I’ve been getting it for over 2 years. It’s only $10 a month and they let you pick one sample. The best part is you review your products for points and then use those to buy full sized products!

FullSizeRender-5

They included these little stickers to put on the front of your box which I didn’t use but think are pretty cute. I like the bright colors they chose.

IMG_3190

IMG_3191

Ciate London Nail Polish – It doesn’t look like this color is currently on Birchbox, but this is a great sample size! I don’t think I’ve used this brand before but I have heard of it. I swatched it on the sample card above – it’s a dark blue with metallic shimmer. Really pretty and I need to try it out soon!

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser – I loooove cleansers and I put this on my counter right away to try out. This was very fresh and fun! I don’t think I’ve used an aloe based cleanser before and I liked it! I agree that it’s gentle, got my makeup off nicely and smells fresh. No complaints here! I would purchase this in the future.

IMG_3192

0.2 Meet Your Destiny Eau de Parfum – I’ve started to enjoy perfume samples more and more recently. This is described as a “clean, earthy unisex fragrance. Its bouquet includes top notes of bergamot and spearmint, middle notes of neroli and orange blossom, and base notes of sheer musk accord, Tunisian amber, white amber, oakmoss and French vanilla.” I usually don’t like earthy fragrances and like something a little more floral so sadly this wasn’t a win for me. 

TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint – I thought I wouldn’t like this and put it up for swaps and totally forgot about it because I’m not a fan of a similar product called Stainiac by The Balm. Then one day I tried it out and have used it several times since. I feel like all stains of this type can be a little streaky, but this one has serious color and staying power! I got compliments both times I wore it. Also the full size is only SIX DOLLARS. SO CHEAP. p.s. they sell some things by this adorable Korean brand at Urban Outfitters. Also I think it comes in other colors just not on Birchbox.

IMG_3193

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner – I have this same product but the skinny version and I really like it! It’s so nice to see a full sized product (it’s been awhile). I found the fat tip a little harder to use but basically the same result – a beautiful cat eye. We carry this brand at Anthropologie btw.

IMG_3196

Here I am sporting the liner and lip tint. Overall this box was an improvement because of the full sized liner. face wash and lip tint! Let’s hope the rest of 2016 is just as good!

December Birchbox

Birchbox for some reason has not been impressing me lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy opening a little package each month, but maybe it’s their curation of products or brands that leaves me feeling lackluster. Comparing it side by side to Sephora it leaves a little to be desired. Nonetheless the box is always pretty and I like that it is different each month.

FullSizeRender-9

FullSizeRender-10

IMG_3063

IMG_3065

Kate Spade Walk On Air – I am generally not a big fan of Kate Spade fragrances. They come off too floral for me and this is no exception. “Notes of linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, soloman’s seal, bergamot, and Tunisian neroli fill out the top notes of this floral bouquet, followed by lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, Egyptian jasmine, crinum lily, white iris, and violet leaf.” It’s just too overpowering for my taste. 

Coastal Scents Formal Eyes Palette – I actually own a Coastal Scents palette from Birchbox and really enjoy it. It has nice color payoff, although maybe not as good as the Smashbox shadows I recently reviewed. This sample however was awful and barely showed up on my lid.

IMG_3066

Malin + Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask – At $48 they sure think they’re important! Made for acne prone skin it sounds just like Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil Absorbing Mask for only $19. It was a basic mask and not worth the high price tag to me.

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream – I got the scent green tea which is not very strong but still nice. This isn’t as thick as some shea creams I’ve tried but it’s a solid lotion with pretty packaging.

IMG_3067

The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow –   This is probably my fourth The Balm sample and as always the packaging is super cute…but really tiny. I still feel like I can get enough to really sample it though (compared to the Laura Geller blush sample this is a joke though). This is a nice blush with a little bit of shimmer. I feel like the rosy shade would look good on all skin tones.

I didn’t get a sample I just loved or was really impressed with this month. I still love Birchbox though – racking up the points just for a quick review is totally worth it! I just ordered one of their new limited edition boxes today, so look for a review when it comes in!

Stitch Fix #2

Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription box that can come as often or as far apart as you want. You complete a survey about your style and what you’re looking for, then they charge a $20 styling fee and 5 items show up on your front door! You can link your Pinterest page so your stylist gets a better idea of what your style is like. There is also a place to leave notes if you are wanting something specific. This time I left specific notes and they really paid attention to them. Once you decide what to keep, your styling fee is subtracted from the total. If you keep all items you also get a 25% discount!

IMG_3112

This is the page with all the pricing information and discount total.

IMG_3113

They always include a styling page with a note from your stylist and pictures of how to wear your items. On the left is a casual look, and on the right a more dressy one. This can be good if you’re kind of new at fashion or are trying a new style.

IMG_3110

Skies are Blue Yancy Plaid Top $58 – I had listed that I was open to petite sizing and I think that worked against me with this top. The bottom is a little shorter than I’m used to. I had requested a plaid top just to throw on with jeans, but this one has a half placket which I don’t like. It made it had to get on and off. It wasn’t a great fit and sort of pricey so I didn’t keep it.

IMG_3111

MTLA Brett Textured French Terry Lined Legging $38 – I’m not sure why but I wanted to be a leggings person, which I’m just not. These have a fleece lining and you can’t tell from this picture but a kind of sweater pattern on it too. I tried them on and they seemed a little thin and they just weren’t my thing.

IMG_3108

IMG_3109

Brixton Ivy Lawley  Cable Knit Open Cardigan $68 – I had requested a cream sweater and almost kept this one! It is a nice heavy weight, and has a really cool pattern on it. The price point is high so I didn’t. A few weeks later I saw a customer in Anthropologie wearing it and struck up a conversation with her!

IMG_3107

Octavia Alpine  Plaid Wrap Scarf $44 – The blanket scarf has been a big trend and I didn’t have one yet. I don’t know what I was expecting but this was way too big and overwhelming and it just wasn’t cold enough this winter to wear it!

IMG_3105

IMG_3106

41Hawthorn Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer $78 – I had seen this on their Instagram page and had been wanting a navy blazer for a while! This is a stretchy knit fabric so it is more casual. I usually get a small but I’m really glad my stylist sized up on this one. I like the fun striped lining! I kept it and have already worn it several times with jeans and over a dress. I used some credit I had from referrals to get the price down.

Stitch Fix is a great option if you are too busy to shop or just feel like having a stylist! I like it because they do the searching for me and I get to see things I wouldn’t in the stores I normally look at. They recently added shoes and also have jewelry and accessories like purses. This was obviously a winter heavy box, but I hope to get a spring one soon with maybe some dresses! If you’re thinking about trying it out use my referral link please! As always, thanks for reading!

 

December Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora for December had some fun brands to try out! I am continually impressed with this $10 box and the presentation. There has always been six samples, one of which is a perfume. I enjoy trying out perfumes so this is ok with me.

IMG_2998

IMG_3174

IMG_3153

Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal System – This is on sale and out of stock on the Sephora site. I don’t think I have tried any products from this brand before. I got seven packets and found that each one would last me about 3 uses. This treatment is supposed to firm, renew and protect skin while fighting signs of aging. It was very lightweight and absorbed well without much of a smell. I don’t have a problem with aging yet so I let my mom try half of these. Some ingredients it contains are omega 9 fatty acids, Japanese sea kelp, and ploypeptide repair complex.

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb – This is another perfume that I am familiar with and really love! I have never purchased it before but may in the future. Like the name implies it is very floral (jasmine, rose, orchid and freesia) with base notes of patchouli and vanilla. It feels and smells very luxe! Did you know Viktor and Rolf is an avant-garde fashion brand based in Amsterdam?

IMG_3154

dr. brandt PoreDermabrasion pore perfecting exfoliator – This is a very prcey skincare product at $58 a pop! This claims to reduce the look of pores and mattify skin. This is a dual treatment that combines both a physical and chemical exfoliator. Use this after cleansing for getting gunk out of your pores. In my opinion it’s overpriced, and the brand regularly gets low star reviews on Beautypedia.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil – This product however gets 4 stars form experts and 5 stars from consumers on Beautypedia! I have actually tried this product before. This is a lightweight oil that helps lock in moisture. It has great antioxidant properties like sea buckthorn oil that provides 10 times the vitamin C of an orange! It is good for dry skin or use during winter months, but should not replace a normal moisturizer. I like to use it at night.

IMG_3155

Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Liner – This box likes sending pencil eyeliners which is fine if not a little boring. This is your typical black eyeliner, nothing new to say about it. There are other products I would rather try from this brand as it is one I have not explored very much.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette –  I love these shades and they were perfect to use around the holidays! The shade on the right is a very shimmery gold, and the left a matte beige. They look neutral and a very easy to blend and work with. I don’t think I have used Smashbox shadows before and this was a great introduction. If you don’t want to splurge on the whole $52 set, there is an edited version for only $24.

I hope you’re having a great week! Here’s a little reminder for you:

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

 

Julep Haul

Julep is a subscription I sometimes miss. They have some really beautiful polish colors and I feel like when I wear their polish my nails feel stronger. There were a few colors I couldn’t miss out on so I made a mini haul.

IMG_2907

IMG_2908

They were running a special that you got a free Theo dark chocolate bar with your order – I let my mom have it! I was running low on my Oxygen Bonding Base Coat. I love this stuff – it dries fast, strengthens nails, and bonds to your color of choice.

IMG_2909

aubrey_swatch_1_3-2

Julep Aubrey – Rosewood shimmer, ughhhh this one is so pretty. It looks like plum to me and I love it.

ellis_swatch_2_3

Julep Ellis – Pink dawn linear liquid holographic, this one was lighter than I was expecting. I still like it but it is really holographic and light. 

I love Julep’s polishes – they are unique and work great!

I’ve done over 100 posts on this blog now and I just want to say thank you to whoever is out there reading it! I don’t put a ton of time into it but I like sharing about things I love. I want to leave you with one of my favorite verses that reminds me of what is really important when I’m drowning in beauty samples:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

November Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is only $10 and apparently not open to everybody yet. I live in Dallas and somehow was able to get on the list! So far it has been a great mix of brands and nice sample sizes. I have gotten a perfume each time so you should expect that. The November box was a great one for me!

IMG_2894

In each box you get a really in depth booklet that details each product and also has beauty tips.

IMG_2898

IMG_2895

Stella by Stella McCartney – I was so excited to get this because it is one of my favorite scents. I think I had a little bottle of this back in high school, then I forgot about it and rediscovered it again. The main note is English rose because Stella, the designer, is from England. The other notes include Peony Flower, Mandarin, Rose Absolute, and Amber. It’s a really bold and dark floral which I love – very different than other floral fragrances. I really can’t get enough and will have to buy more someday!

Make Up Forever Hydrating Primer – This is a primer for normal skin to moisturize and balance skin. A primer is not really something I see as necessary but I did enjoy using this one. It does not feel plasticy or like I have a coating on my face. This primer sank into my skin and made it feel great.

IMG_2896

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof – This is an electric blue color which I wouldn’t wear everyday but it’s fun to try out sometimes! This is a nice normal pencil that did stay on very well. In middle school I loved to wear a jade green liner only on my bottom lash line EVERY DAY. What was I thinking?!? I know better now that it’s all about moderation.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil – I’m not that into oils but apparently this one is the bomb. It can be used on hair, skin and nails. I have only used it on my skin and it’s pretty thick. There’s a lot of interesting info on the Sephora site about this product including this: “Pure Argan Oil is first cold pressed to ensure the best quality, highest-grade oil. It is housed in a recyclable glass bottle and purchased from women’s cooperatives in Morocco to support their social and economic welfare. These cooperatives work within a UNESCO biosphere reserve that ensures the protection and reforestation of Argan trees. ” It’s FANCY oil! It has vitamin E and fatty acids to hydrate skin. I’ve only used it a few times, but I think I will need to step it up.

IMG_2897

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil – Y’all this is where it gets good! Bite is one of my favorite lip brands, but I don’t have many of their products. The color, Rhubarb, is amazing! It is a gorgeous plum rose that looks neutral yet adds a great pop of color. It stays on really well and provides high pigment (like the name says). I want to buy so many more of the colors! What I love about Bite is all their products contain reservatrol which is an antioxidant to fight aging, and the ingredients are food grade (because it’s going on your lips)! They all smell really good too – nice and fruity.

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream – This gets good reviews but I’m just not that into the plumping effect. Dolly is a mauve color but I find that it is practically clear. It’s all gloss with no shimmer and I guess I like a little shimmer. It feels weird and a little sticky on my lips. I was hoping to love this one but I just didn’t.

Overall this was a great box if only for the Stella perfume and Bite lip pencil! Those are stand out products that I would buy more of. What are you loving lately?

November Birchbox

The November Birchbox design was beautful! I loved the roses and rose gold accents. If you don’t know what Birchbox is, it’s a monthly subscription box for only $10 that sends you beauty samples! You get to try out new products without ever leaving your house! If you like what you get you can buy right from their website. It’s my favorite box and I’ve been getting it for over two years!

FullSizeRender-7

IMG_2884

IMG_2879

IMG_2880

Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris – This scent was alright. It’s very fruity with notes of grapefruit, pear, orange blossom and gardenia. It’s not one I hated or loved – just OK.

Sumbody Salt Scrub – This scrub is very fine and not very wet. I used it in the shower and it scrubs up well. It has also lasted me several uses. The scent is milky rich which smells very sweet and kind of like cake. It left my skin feeling moisturized with cocoa and shea butter, pistachio and safflower oils.

IMG_2881

MAKE Face Gloss – This is the product I was least excited about and have decided to swap rather than try out. It is basically a clear gloss you would use instead of hilighter to add a dewey glow to skin. It got pretty bad reviews on Birchbox and the concept seemed really weird to me. I would much rather stick with my powder or cream hilighter!

eSalon Perfect Ending Leave in Conditioner – Instead of conditioner you use this on towel dried hair. I suppose it is supposed to save you time and an extra step, but I’m not sure I can get used to it. It detangles, fights frizz, prevents breakage and moisturizes. I’ve only used it once and it was alright. eSalon is actually a subscription service itself. It is an affordable way to color your hair at home!

IMG_2882

LOC One and Done Shadow Stick – This is Birchbox’s first in house brand. This is the shade Impress Me which is a rose gold. I love this product! I am really into shadow sticks – they are so easy to use and provide great color payoff. This color is interesting and really stays all day! I’m looking forward to see what other colors they come out with.

IMG_2883

Here’s a swatch! Overall it was an OK box, but the shadow stick was a standout winner for me! It’s something I use about once a week and would definitely buy again.