Wednesday, January 29, 2014

REVIEW: Birchbox January 2014

First subscription box review for the new year! Had to go with Birchbox since they were my very first beauty subscription box I discovered and the only one I've consistently kept over the last year or so. :) 

Here's what I received in my January box!

A really nice variety of products this month, I think. Makeup, hair product, nail product, lotion, & skincare! 

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream
Nail Rock in Sequin Green
Juara Candlenut Body Creme
Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum 
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara

First up, the Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream. I actually received this product already in the Target Beauty Box they put out a few months ago. It's meant to add shine to your hair and honestly I can't say I really notice a different in that aspect. However, it does smell fantastic and it leaves my hair feeling smooth and soft! 

Next up, Nail Rock. I haven't actually used this product yet, but I've tried this concept!This kit comes with polish and a container of mini sequins, which are basically just big chunks of glitter. You paint your nails and then before they dry dip them in the sequins! This effect can be achieved using any polish and craft store glitter, but I will say it was smart to market the coordinating 'sets' together. I will definitely be using these green sequins come next football season (GO PACK GO!)

Ohhh Juara Body Creme. I wasn't expecting to be impressed by this, but I totally was! It's incredible moisturizing and not greasy at all. The smell is fantastic but I have a hard time explaining's definitely nutty, but also a little fruity. LOVE IT. Unfortunately I think the full size is just a tiny bit pricey for a body creme ($35), but I'll use up the sample!

I adore Paula's Choice, so I was thrilled to get one of their products in my box! I received the Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. Based on my experience with their other products, I have no doubts that this one is also fabulous but unfortunately I can't really vouch for the effectiveness. The serum is meant to reduce the appearance of wrinkles which I don't have (yet!) and fight the signs of aging. I can definitely use it to fight signs of aging but I don't think those are results I'm going to be able to see by the time I use up the sample. I will say that I really like the texture. It's easy to apply, lightweight, and not greasy at all!

The dud of the box, unfortunately. I really like 100% Pure's lotions and I was excited to try something from their makeup line but the Fruit Pigmented Mascara is a bust. You can't really tell from the picture but most of the product is dried up inside the tube and there's hardly any on the brush. I tried applying it to my lashes and it didn't even really stick. Also smells really funky. It's possible I just got one from a bad batch, but I think I'll stick with my regular mascara!

What did you ladies get in your Birchboxes this month? There were a lot of great products I saw in the spoilers that I'm curious about. 

We're only a few days away from February spoilers!

REVIEW: Ipsy January 2014

If you paid attention to the spoiler post for this month, you already know this is a super skincare heavy bag. Honestly, I was thrilled with it! I love makeup as much as the next girl, but I do have a lot of it and I'm always eager to try other products as well. January is the perfect month for this sort of bag as it's sort of a 'detox' month for everyone after the holidays! 

I actually got two bags this month, but I did give away a few products to friends already. So I'll be reviewing a bag & a half for you. No worries; it's a great mix!

Here we go:

This is the bag itself. NOT my favorite. I think I'd like it more if the product drawings were all over the bag and not just at the bottom. But I can always use more bags for storing things!

Absolute! Make-up Cleansing Tissues in Pomegranate
Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm
Yaby Foundation in Buff
Balanced Guru Balm Me Up Body Balm
Benefit The Porefessional

I am a hoarder of these types of wipes, because I love them for quick makeup removal and freshening up! These, unfortunately, I can't recommend. They actually don't work well for removing makeup and they left my skin feeling kind of sticky. 

This body balm from Balanced Guru is one of my favorite things from this month! It's PERFECT for my super super dry winter skin and it's not greasy at all. Are any of you fans of the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser than Birchbox sampled a few months back? It smells JUST like that. Kinda lemony and fresh. :) I think I'll be purchasing a full size of this once my sample runs out!

Ok. I love Benefit and I know there were a lot of people DYING to get this in their bags this month, but I'm just not sure what all the fuss is about. I'm glad I got the chance to try it and it does work nicely as a primer, but I don't notice a huge difference between this and my other primers. Also have not noticed any sort of pore minimizing. I'll use up the (tiny!) sample, but I'm not sure I'd splurge & buy the full size of this one. 

This lip balm from Malin & Goetz is absolutely fantastic if you have dry cracked lips like so many of us do this time of year!  It's pretty thick, but not sticky. The mojito scent is fairly light and goes away almost immediately after applying. It's very moisturizing and after continued application I've definitely noticed a huge improvement in my lips' appearance!

This is Yaby's liquid foundation in the color 'buff.' I actually like this a lot more than I thought I would! Super blendable and lightweight, but gives great coverage. This shade matches me almost perfectly, although it is just a tiny bit more yellow than I'd like. 

Swatches are below. My hands are a little more red than usual from the cold and I didn't completely blend so you could still see it!

Some of you might already know this if you follow me on Twitter, but every Friday night part of my ritual is putting on a face mask and a hair mask. I love to mix it up and try new ones! This one is pretty decent. It smells really nice and left my hair super soft and smooth. It rinses out easily and doesn't leave any sort of residue or greasy feeling. Definitely worth checking out! 

Favorite product this month, hands down. I'm kind of picky about facial scrubs because I like to be able to FEEL the exfoliating aspect, but I don't like it to be super harsh on my skin. This one is perfect. My skin feels awesome and refreshed afterwards! I wouldn't recommend using it every day, but every two to three days would be just right. It's pretty comparable to the Vasanti scrub that everyone (including me!) loves so much from Birchbox. 

I had a hard time really reviewing this one because honestly I don't have any marks on my face that need fading. I did have a small breakout area near my chin so I used them on that and did notice that it went away fairly quickly! 

What did you all get in your Ipsy bags this month? How did you feel about all the skincare instead of makeup? And, most importantly, are you ready for February spoilers to start on Monday? :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

SNEAK PEEK: Ipsy January 2014

January 10th, 2014

Time for the actual bag reveal!

Also, the products are showing on Ipsy's page now, so I'm going back & updating some of the products in the previous posts. :) Stay tuned!

January 9th, 2014

Last product spoiler (and then the bag spoiler tomorrow) and it's a good one!

"The 2014 adventure begins now! Start it off right with two of these picks in your January Glam Bag!"

It looks like this is going to be a super make up light bag, focusing more on skincare/haircare. I am ALL FOR THAT. :) 

We have a lot going on it this one, so let's jump right into it!

Willa On The Go Lavender Face Towlettes

Nicka K New York Makeup Cleansing Tissues

Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads

SKIIN Instant Skin Tightener & Line Filler

Apothederm Bright Skin Serum

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo

Lightweight Moisturizing Organic Face Lotion
Nourish Organic Face Lotion (Not the same style container, but it could be different if it's a sample size!)

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier (Or some other Murad product. I know it doesn't QUITE match, but it's the closest I've found so far)

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Anti-Aging Sugar Scrub

Balanced Guru Balm Me Up Organic Sweet Cocoa & Tangy Body Balm

Lee Anni 3 in 1 Revolution

January 8th, 2014

Another day, another spoiler!

"Gorgeous for 2014, 24/7! From desk to dinner, your lovely look will last with one of these awesome products."

Ok, let's start with the ones I'm pretty sure of:

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner

Benefit The Porefessional

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Classic Foundation Small Synthetic
Coastal Scents Foundation Brush
This one I'm not positive on, but the coloring definitely matches. It looks to be a pretty thick brush in the spoiler photo, so I'm guessing a foundation brush. Perhaps to go with the Yaby foundation!

Pure Marula Facial Oil by Marula

January 7th, 2014

Time for spoiler number two!

JANUARY 2014 GLAM BAG SNEAK PEEK #2: So many beautiful horizons ahead! Make your 2014 your mostly beautiful year ever with one of these great products.

Best guesses...

Elizabeth Mott Smoothy Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil

Image 1
Yaby Liquid Foundation

Completely psyched about the shadow sticks, but oh so worried about the foundation. If any of you were subscribed last May, you'll remember when Ipsy sent out Yaby concealer. I was one of the fortunate ones to receive a good match, but many subscribers received really incorrect shades. I'm hoping maybe they're sending out the color correcting shades instead!

January 6th, 2014

Finally,  we have an Ipsy spoiler for January!  Whoohooo!

We definitely have Malin & Goetz Mojito Lip Balm:

As far as the colored pots...I'd say we're definitely in for some sort of tinted lip balm but without seeing the cap, those could be SO many brands. Ipsy has stated on their Facebook page that it's NOT Cailyn, but they also told us the lashes that were sent out a few months back weren't going to be J.Cat & that's what they ended up being!

I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being MicaBeauty, since Ipsy tends to send out repeat brands.

Which of these items would you guys prefer? I'm actually hoping for the Malin & Goetz! I love everything I've tried from them & could actually need a new non-colored lip balm for this crazy cold winter we're having. :)

Tune in tomorrow for the next spoiler!

Interested in signing up for future Ipsy bags? You can sign up here using my referral link:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NEW PRODUCT ALERT! Cindy-Lou Manizer from theBalm

Mary-Lou Manizer from theBalm is one of my favorite products in the history of ever. It's the PERFECT shimmery gold/champagne color and looks absolutely gorgeous as a highlighter or an eye shadow. There's also Betty-Lou Manizer, which is a combination bronzer/eyeshadow.

And now introducing.. Cindy-Lou Manizer!
Cindy-Lou Manizer

From theBalm's product page: "An all-in-one essential, this smart shadow, beautiful blush and subtle highlighter is tucked inside a go-anywhere compact. The light-reflecting peachy pink hue adds a splash of color to your cheeks and a hint of shimmer to your lids, while illuminating your finest features."

I may end up waiting for another one of theBalm's famous 50% off sales, but I'm definitely picking this baby up. It's such a versatile product & if it's anything like Mary-Lou Manizer, the consistency should be fabulous! What do you guys think? Yay or nay? 

SNEAK PEEK: Starlooks January 2014

The Starlooks Looksbook is up for January! I actually skipped the November & December boxes and I'm still deciding if I want to resubscribe for January. For any of you who are still on the fence as well, the cutoff to sign up is this Friday, January 10th.

Now let's take a look at what's coming this month!

This month the theme is "Reflect, Cleanse, and Start Fresh." PERFECT for the new year!

"Time to drink a cup of kindness for Auld Lang Syne and start a’new – with a fresh body, a fresh mind, and a fresh face. This month is a very special one, as we all have the opportunity to take a deep look into ourselves, say goodbye to the things we want to change, and welcome new transformations and goals. Starlooks encourages you to add our motto to your list of resolutions this January - Surprise Yourself.

Don’t hit the snooze button. Wake up in time to enjoy a cup-o-joe. Take a moment to notice what a beautiful winter day it is outside. Take the time to make yourself look and feel as gorgeous on the outside as you are on the inside. And before you head out to start your day, try that new, unused eye shadow, lipstick, liner, or piece of makeup you never thought you could pull off, and watch the heads turn and the complements flow… you won’t regret it, we promise "

Is it weird that the first thing I noticed was the dog?! Adorable. 
Product-wise, this month is really difficult to pinpoint. There's one picture that doesn't even show her face, which makes me wonder if we might see hair products this month? Her nails also seem to make repeated appearances, so nail polish could be possible although it would be a brand new product for Starlooks.