Thursday, May 31, 2012

march, april, + may birchbox

In the midst of my bad too-long blogger break I failed to update about my Birchboxes for the past 3 months. I even got two emails from readers interested in subscribing asking if I cancelled my subscription, and wanting to know why. Well I am here to say NO WAY! I love my Birchbox and couldn't be happier (well maybe in the very smallest way, but we will touch on that later). Anyway I'll try and keep my reviews short and sweet.
 Teen Vouge Box

So a few weeks prior to this BB, subscribers got an e-mail giving them the option to opt-in or out of the special edition Teen Vouge BB. Obviously I decided to forgo my usual BB for this one, and I was really happy with the contents. When the spoilers were released I was really excited to see a full size Tarte Lip Stain in many, as I am a huge fan. But then I saw that a few boxes got the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments and I was even more excited since I wanted to try one for a while now. I was pretty bummed when the lip treatment was just sample size, since the Tarte stains were full, but got over it quickly. This box also contained a full size Essie Lux Effects top coat, which was a nice surprise. I of course got the only Lux Effect shade I already own, but lucky enough have a friend that the same thing happened to and we switched!

The Kerastase hair elixir is nice, especially cause it's the perfect size to throw into my Lyndsey Emergency Kit (vlog on that coming in a few days). Other than the handiness of it, it didn't impress me too much. Seems the same as every other hair oil out there.

I was indifferent to the Twistband, but found out it doesn't give your hair a crease which is great  when I am heading from one job to the next. Though the blue color of the one I got is slightly childish. I wish you could buy solid black, more than one at a time. 

I wish there was an opt-out option for fragrance samples. They are the worst!

Overall I would give this box 3 out of 5.


I will start off by saying that I was really excited about both the Befine and Amika samples in this box. Right after the boxes were shipped Birchbox emailed the subscribers to let us know that some of the Befine samples were expired. It was really nice of them since most of us wouldn't have noticed anyway. They also credited each account with the expired samples with like 100 points or something. It was awesome and I finally cashed in my BB points to buy a full size of the Amika Hair Mask. It was originally $40, and HOLY COW is it big! I didn't pay a single dollar, not even shipping after I used my points. I love, love, love this mask!

The Vapour lipstick was alright. The color was really nice, but the formula didn't wow me. 

My beauty blogger bestie loved her Dirt scrub but once again it didn't wow me.

The lifestyle extra in this box was tea which was nice because I am a huge tea drinker and really enjoyed them!

Overall I would give this box a 3 out of 5.

Gossip Girl Box

This was another special Birchbox, but subscribers automatically received this one vs. given the choice. I probably would have opted for it anyway so that didn't bother me. I was pretty underwhelmed with this box. The Caudalie Hand + Nail cream seems like every other lotion, but is nice. 

The Ojon conditioner was the one I was most excited about and of course it is great! Ojon is a great brand, and I am glad I got the conditioner vs. the shampoo. 

I had no idea what to expect with the Fusion Beauty Lip Balm but it blew me away. I love it! It tingles just a bit to plump, is packed with SPF, and has the perfect satin formula. My favorite thing about it is that it looks glossy without being sticky. At $22 I am not sure I would buy another but I'm not against it.

The lifestyle extra this month was Gossip Girl notecards, which I was actually excited about until I got the box. In the picture online they showed multiple cards with multiple phrases but we only got one. 

Once again I wish there was an opt-out option for fragrance samples.

Overall I would give this box a 2 out of 5.

Anyway I tried to keep it brief and to the point here. Overall I really enjoy my BB subscription! With it only being $10 a month I feel like I get it's worth each month. I usually find at least one great new product to love, and getting the huge full size Amika hair mask for free was a huge benefit! 

What about you lovelies? Any BB subscribers out there? What do you think about your recent Birchboxes? Any of you lovelies out there considering becoming a subscriber?

And stay tuned cause in the next few days I will be posting a VLOG on the best way to utilize all your samples! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

little loves

Seriously am I the worst blogger lately or what? I am so very sorry for the severe lack of postings lately but time got the better of me these past 2 months! I can promise you I am back in full swing though! I filmed 2 new vlogs the other day, and have a few more planned this week! Getting some great giveaway's lined up for you lovelies as well!

In the mean time let's catch up quickly on what's been going on in my lovely little life.

On May 5th I had the great opportunity to attend the Noto fashion show at the Northside Lofts, with some other beautiful blogger friends of mine. The owner of Noto, Lauren sure knows how to throw a soiree! For some more pictures (and better ones at that) check out my new blogger friend Stacia's post on the show HERE!

I wanted to wear something from Noto of course, and had yet to wear this amazing red, white, and blue pin-up-esque style dress. I went with the style and pin-curled my hair, and went 50's with my make-up and accessories too. Loved the look!

A random date night last week, and pedi's with my momma before. I got a beautiful red on my toes called "Oh, Marilyn". Love this color block tank from Figleaf, the vintage diamond shaped cuff from my grandfather, and these vintage earrings from my great-grandmother. Vintage accessories are ALWAYS the best!

One of the main reason I have been SO CRAZY is the 80+ person clothing swap I was planning with my lovely blogger ladies. It was a HUGE and overwhelming undertaking. It turned out AWESOME though! Check out some more on the swap HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE!

This past Saturday, I met up with some of my favorite lovelies at a local park for snacks. We ate, drank, fed the ducks, talked, and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was one of those perfect summer days.

Both my boyfriend and I had off on Memorial Day, which never happens so we went all out. On Sunday we went to our favorite double date couples house and took a boat out on Portage lakes, and then cooked out and drank. Monday we slept in, raced go-karts, grabbed some dinner, and caught a movie. It was a perfect two days with my baby. 

Mark has totally over-hauled their hair styling line and I am obsessed! While flipping through my Allure this month I saw the new Mark Double-Do Hair Kit. It is seriously one of my new favorite products ever! Shop HERE, and use code WELCOME for FREE SHIPPING!

Phew! That was a lot of catching-up! I hope you lovelies have enjoyed the past few weeks of Spring too! I would love to hear any ideas or suggestions for new posts this summer! Thanks for being lovely, as always!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

summer beauty trends

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit

It's no secret that when summer rolls around your beauty routine should change dramatically (especially for those of us who get colder seasons). The sun, heat, and humidity do very different things to our skin than the cold, wind, and snow and therefore we must do very different things to our skin too. Not to mention "the look" you wear all winter shouldn't be the same as the one you have for the summer. To some people this might sound like I am speaking a foreign language but it's really quite simple, and comes down to a few basic points to achieve that beautiful summer glow you see all over the magazines. 

What's even better than a step-by-step guide to perfect summer skin? How about all affordable brands you can find at your local Walgreens to complete the look!

Summer Beauty Trends - Walgreens

Hands down the most important thing you can do all summer is use a daily moisturizer with SPF. I have said it before, and I will say it again; if your moisturizer doesn't contain SPF, forget about it! I love the new to US line Simple, which is super sensitive and won't clog pores during all those hot days!

I don't go a day without primer, and especially in the summer it becomes a god-send! This is my new favorite (I swear by anything Almay), that tones down redness, brighten skin, and evens tone, all while helping make-up stay put all day. Perfect for this hot days you feel like your face might fall off.

For summer you want to pick something a little more lightweight than your usual winter foundation. If you aren't much for foundation try this trick and mix a little foundation with your moisturizer, for a perfect glow. The sun has this wonderful way of highlighting any blemish or trouble area and a little coverage can do wonders. 

If you do like full foundation like me, try for something like this Covergirl Natureluxe that contains SPF and gives skin a silky, barely there finish. Another good stand-by for summer is Maybelline's Dream Matte Mouse, which gives that light airy look, but also helps keep extra oil at bay. Both of these foundations will give you that dewy finish that's so popular in the summer months.

Color is huge in the summer, so you most definitely do not want to skimp here. I am a huge fan of cream blushes and bronzers because I think they look more natural, which is definitely the look you want to go for in the summer. 

For blush stick to a soft pink that won't look fake. Remember that sun loves to bring things to light and will make even your favorite staple blush look like a clowns blush if you aren't careful. I love this new Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush (Rose Petal is my favorite) and its build-able color. It's soft, delicate, and the perfect summer pink.

Once again I love the creams when it comes to color! This Maybelline Dream Mousse cream bronzer is so much better than any powder bronzer you could buy. Take a flat top brush add swirl just a bit all over for a glow, or use your fingers to gently pat the bronzer into your cheekbones.

Simply put, you can not achieve the summer dewy glow without some illumination help. 

I adore this L'Oreal MagicLumi Light Infusing primer, but use it as a highlighter instead. Just dab a little of this on your cheekbones, brow bones, cupid bow, and anywhere else that needs a little brightening. If you really want some all over glow mix a drop of this in with your foundation.

Another way to add a little more illumination is this awesome L'Oreal all-over mineral glow. Typically used as a bronzer or blush, if you get one of the light sheer shades (I like Honey Glow) and just brush lightly over the face it adds the prettiest soft glow.

Finishing Touches
If you typically get oily you might want to swipe a very light layer of powder over oil-prone areas. This Almay Smart Shade pressed powder will do the trick, just remember to use very little, and only where and if you need to.

I typically keep eye shadow to a minimum in the summer months. There is something really pretty about beautiful dewy skin, and a bare eye (plus it's guy-approved!). If I do use shadow I would go for earth tones, and keep it simple. I love Almay mascara and this Get Up and Grow Waterproof formula is humidity proof, which means your perfectly curled lashes won't start to droop 20 minutes after you set them.

As with the eyes I like to keep it simple when it comes to the lips. I love Nivea Lip care and this Kiss of Shimmer has just the right amount of shine without being sticky. It looks great over color too if you want to layer it, but I love it alone especially for daytime.

a little beauty secret...

And here is one of my favorite beauty secrets for summer, take a little pressed bronzer like this Rimmel one and add it to the classic Johnsons Baby Oil for the most beautiful summer skin ever. Perfect for adding some glow to arms, legs, chest, and back! Just remember a little goes a long way!