Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birchbox: April 2013

My laptop is officially at the repair shop! It's been broken for 4 months now, so that may explain a lot... Hopefully I'll be back in full force soon!

Don't know what Birchbox is?
Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers a little, heavenly box of premium beauty samples to your doorstep. Each month you will receive 4-5 samples (sometimes even full-sized products) and generally a goodie (energy booster, granola bar, etc). The samples range from make-up, polishes, skincare, body, hair, and fragrances. All from luxury, quality brands. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked for you are based on a survey you fill out letting the gals know your style and skin-type. Birchbox costs just $10 a month, and your box will always be valued way above!
Click here to join Birchbox.

April 2013, Box #9
Birchbox this month is all about tiny tweaks with big results. Which is why they teamed up with Women's Health magazine and their beauty and wellness experts to put out a collection of their favorite products to update and rejuvenate your life!

Information Cards:

Beauty ProtectorProtect & Detangle
Great for all hair types, this nourishing elixir performs seven hair-healing functions. Among them: locking in color, adding shine, and instantly detangling.
Full Size: 8.0 oz ($21.95)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($2.75)
When I was little I would use a detangler every day, I remember it came in a green alligator container. Adorbs. So if my hair is the same thickness and texture as it was when I was 8, why don't I use detangler every day?In December, Birchbox gave me a very similar product from 12 Benefits that I just ran out of. I was pleasantly surprised to get a similar product this month. This has 7 great benefits: it seals your hair cuticle, smooths and moisturizers, defrizzes, locks in color, adds shine, and protects your hair against UV rays and heat. It works like a charm and is actually just slightly cheaper than 12 Benefits. I may just use my BB points to buy this!

Supergoop!Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream in Light/Medium
This next generation CC cream provides corrective coverage and trip protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays.
Full Size: 1.6 oz ($32.00)
Size Received: 0.06 oz ($2.00)
I love tinted moisturizers, which pretty much by default means I love CC creams. They do a multitude of things in one quick swipe. Supergoop's Daily Correct has light-diffusing mica that helps to soften the look of your skin so wrinkles and pores disappear. It also has antioxidants that help to correct your skintone. The color was perfect for my skin tone, especially now that I have a tan. It made my skin look flawless, matte, and still not monotoned. I felt great leaving the house. Half way through the day it pretty much wore out. I could see all my imperfections clearly, had built up of yellow makeup residue in spots, and felt greasy again. But in the products defense, my office is super humid so its like Im in a spa room for 8 hours.

LAFACE LaboratoriesBeaux Yeux Beautiful Eyes Concentrate Intensive
A hefty does of hyaluronic acid amps up moisture levels, while an advance peptide complex halts wrinkle formation. 
Full Size: 1.0 oz ($160.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($16.00)
LAFACE is a company that focused on plant stem cell technology to address skincare issues. Beaux Yeux is an intense hyaluronic acid concentrate that moisturizes the skin around the eye helping to combat puffy eyes and dark circles and reduce fine lines. It also boost collagen production and effectively help reverse the appearance of any damage. It seems like a really small, expensive sample at first. But all you need is a teensy bit. It will take me two weeks to just use the cream that is on the top of the lid. I could feel this working immediately. My skin felt moisturized and a little tingly after application. I've heard so many positive reviews that I am hopeful it will work for my tired eyes!

CaudalieDivine Oil
Made with a blend of grape, argan, hibiscus, and sesame oils, this multitasking wonder gives skin, hair, and nails a gorgeous glow.
Full Size: 3.4 oz ($49.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($1.47)
Just like pure argan oil, this dry oil blend can be used for multiple purposes. The list of ingredients is immense for a dry oil blend. It can be used on dry skin, as a moisturizer, pick me up in normal lotions or serums, on cuticles, or dry hair. Honestly though I would prefer to use 100% argan oil than a large blend. This company has also started selling to China, so although the company themselves do not directly test on animals, their products are tested in China, and will ultimately be tested on animals.
Sells to China, therefore not cruelty-free!

Hail Merry: Chocolate Macaroons
It tastes too good to be true: These decadent treats are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients.
Full Size: 3.5 oz ($5.00)
Size Received: 0.88 oz ($1.26)
A Vegan food item!! Nu uh! I don't believe you! I almost quit Birchbox because I was so tired of all the dairy laden foods they put in beauty boxes. Granted food is food, at least this is food that almost everyone can enjoy! This product is raw, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan! The chocolate flavor only has  6 ingredients total: maple syrup, shredded coconut, cocoa, extra virgin olive oil, vanilla, and sea salt. These are chocolately and rich, but still sweet and coconutty. I felt satisfied after one. A lot of people didn't like these and blamed it on the fact that they are vegan, but its because its rich dark dark cocoa so its going to be a bit bitter!

Women's Health 1-Year Subscription
1 year subscription ($9.99)
This was one of the most exciting bonuses from a curated box! I used to subscribe to Women's Health magazine and really enjoyed it. There is a great balance between exercise, healthy eating, and entertaining articles. I somehow currently have 5-6 free subscriptions to different magazines, with over half being health/fitness magazines, so I haven't cashed in on this subscription yet. Either way it is a great added value to my box!

Total value of my April 2013 Birchbox:$33.47
A free magazine subscription and two products clearly marked as vegan! This was my box! I couldn't wait to gobble up the macaroons and loved the mix of products I received!

What do you think of my April Birchbox? How does it compare to yours? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Birchbox, click here to join

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ipsy: April 2013

A day home sick is a perfect day to catch up on tv and blog posts.

Don't know what Ipsy is? Ipsy is a once a month beauty subscription service that delivers premium beauty samples to your door. The creator of Ipsy, Michelle Phan, is a YouTube beauty expert that wants to share her favorite items with the world. The bags are delivered in the cutest reusable beauty bags. Once you join you will take a beauty/preference quiz that will help the girls choose the best products for you. The products range from beauty, skincare, hair, body, nails, and more. Every month you should also expect to receive full-sized products. Ipsy costs $10 a month, and your bag will always be valued above!
Click here to join Ipsy.

April 2013, Pretty in Pink
This month Ipsy is all about pink! Shades of pink and red were everywhere! Good thing I like pink!

Information Card:

Be a BombshellBlush in Sweet Cheeks
A highly pigmented pressed powder blush that highlights the complexion and provides long lasting color. Can be used both as a blush or a bronzer. 
Full Size: 0.17 oz ($16.00)
Size Received: Full-size received! 0.17 oz ($16.00)
I don't have a go to blush that I use everyday. Normally I'll use one until it runs out or until I get something more exciting. Right now all my attention is on Be a Bombshell's Blush in sweet cheeks. This is described as a medium shimmery, rose. I actually think it is a bit brighter than medium. There is so much shimmer in it that it makes the color a bit brighter and lighter. At first that scared the crap out of me. The swatch I took made it seem like this would look ridiculous on me. But I decided to try it out anyways, and I am so glad I did. This is the perfect blush for summer. I feel brighter and airy when I wear it. My skin glows and this stuff lasts all day. It is highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. I have gotten compliments on my skin and makeup when I wear this stuff. This is definitely a contender for my everyday blush.

Sexy HairPowder Play
Get ‘POW’ volume in an instant with Sexy Hair's Powder Play! Powder Play adds instant volume to any type of hair style or texture. Weightless, odorless, and colorless! Instantly liquifies when applied and adds volume and texture in seconds. Just sprinkle on dry hair at the root for lift and volume. Apply throughout the hair for extreme volume and texture. 
Full Size: 0.53 oz ($15.95)
Size Received: 0.07 oz ($2.11)
This is a powder voluminizer. It is perfect for thin, fine hair that can't handle crazy gels or thick mousses! You add a little to your roots and  brush through with a round brush. I've heard mixed removes about this product. Some say their hair ends up sticky and gross and others swear by it. I still haven't gotten around to try it, but I am excited to try it. It would be a perfect product to revive second day hair!

SationNail Lacquer in Love At First Byte
Sation Nail Lacquer is a contemporary beauty company, infusing a creative direction in nail care through a blend of lifestyle aesthetics. The collection features 120 colors from its seasonal & limited collections.
Full Size: 0.5 oz ($5.00)
Size Received: Full-size received! 0.5 oz($5.00)
For some reason I pronounce this nail polish Sah-Tee-Own as if I were speaking French. Im pretty sure its just sation, like sensation. Either way this is a line from Miss Professional Nail a 3-Free and Cruelty-free nail polish brand. I received the color Love at First Byte. It is a light peachy pink. I love the color in the bottle, but it applied a bit sheer. It would have taken 3-5 coats to get fully opaque. The formula was extremely awesome to work with, it applied smoothly, almost like a gel formula. If I had the time and patience, I'd definitely reapply this polish. It is classy and good for anytime of the year.

Two CosmeticsDuo Eyeshadow in Heartache
Two Cosmetics blush pink duo eyeshadow in Heartache is suited for all skin tones & complexions in two finishes. The shimmer side is fabulous for highlighting the brow bone, tear duct or cheeks. The matte side is great for blending, or for use as a blush and is amazing for an all over the lid color. Paraben free and not tested on animals!
Full Size: 0.04 oz ($6.25)
Size Received: Full-size received! 0.04 oz ($6.25)
This product didn't initially excite me too much. But when I looked up the brand I was excited to see that this brand donates a product to a local women's shelter for every product purchased. A 1:1 donation, that's freaking awesome! The shimmer shade is really beautiful, it almost is the same shade as the blush. The company does have products that contain carmine, and I don't doubt this shade (especially the matte) are included. The company is proud that they do not sell in China and are 100% cruelty-free!
Cruelty-free! (May contain carmine)

Total Value of my April 2013 Ipsy bag$29.36
Initially this wasn't my favorite bag. The makeup items are in pretty generic Made in China black makeup compacts, but they ended up impressing me. This was a well rounded bag that had a fun theme.

What do you think of the April Ipsy bag? What was your favorite item? Let me know in the comments below! If you dont get Ipsy and are interested, click here to join!
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