Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bonus Vichy Birchbox

Hello again everyone!

I am here as promised with my post about the Bonus Birchbox I was lucky enough to receive courtesy of Vichy. It was like getting a second Birchbox in February because it was in addition to my monthly box! I was very excited. :)

Okay, time to get down to business.

Front of the box.

Back of the box.


The pretty wrapping.


Purete Thermal Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
Purete Thermal 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser

The eye makeup remover has cornflower water and vitamin B in it, and is very gentle on your delicate eye area. It works just as well as any eye makeup remover and does not leave behind any oily residue. It is also not drying.

The cleanser is described as a cleansing milk, toning lotion, and makeup remover. The instructions say to dab it on with a cotton pad OR smooth it directly on skin and rinse with water. I tried both ways and I prefer the cotton pad method. It is VERY effective at cleaning off makeup and it leaves your skin feeling super soft afterwards. I LOVE this cleanser for nights when I'm too lazy to actually wash my face. 

Aqualia Thermal Cream
Lifactiv Rhamnose Night

The first cream claims to provide moisture for 24 hours. This claim seems to be true, but I do not suffer from dry skin all that often, so it is hard to say how accurate my observation is. I do like the level of moisture it provides, though. It is not too heavy or too light, even for my oily skin. I typically wear it under my tinted moisturizer on a day when I feel like I need a little extra moisture, and I will wear it alone on days that I choose not to wear makeup. 

The night cream is much heavier. It claims to have anti-wrinkle and firming properties. The main ingredient, Rhamnose, is a plant-derived ingredient that helps the skin renew itself. I really only use this one when I am fighting dry, flaky patches on my cheeks and chin. I definitely only wear it at night because it makes my face oily almost instantly, and I avoid over-using it because the extra oil can make me break out. For those of you without oily skin, it would make a great nightly moisturizer!


Lastly we have the Celludestock. This is for treatment of the dreaded cellulite. It has Lipocidine and pure caffeine in it which claims to tone the skin on your thighs, hips, and derriere. I cannot accurately review this product because I am lucky enough to not have to battle cellulite so far (smack me across the face if you must). I am intrigued by the idea of ANY product containing caffeine, so I will eventually give it a whirl, but for now I imagine it is safe to assume it is not the magic cure or it would be all over the news by now! :-P

And there you have it. Wasn't that fun? Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

February Birchbox (Belated)

Let me just say "Oops!"

I'm a little behind on my Birchbox reviews! I just got my March box in the mail today and thought... 'Okay, I think I've reached my limit for procrastinating on this'. Not only that, but I also received one of the BONUS Vichy Birchboxes that I've been needing to review.

But first... The regular FEBRUARY Birchbox!

Another photo of the signature Birchbox. Per request, I have attempted to give you an idea of the size of the box by placing my iPhone next to it.


The back of the card.

Pretty shiny tissue paper. :)

dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($50/full size)
This daily exfoliating cleanser is awesome! It is actually a powder that you have to mix with a little water in order to use it. The first time I used it, I wasn't quite sure I was doing it right because it didn't feel like my usual exfoliant. It was extremely gentle. As soon as I rinsed and dried my face, I realized I must have done something correctly because my skin felt so smoft (smooth & soft... I JUST made that up accidentally, you're welcome!). I should also say that this product is great when you have to travel by plane. Since it's not liquid, you don't have to worry about the 2 ounce rule. The ONLY downside I found to this exfoliant is the smell. It is very unpleasant. However, since it works so well, I have been able to overlook the stink.

Free music downloads. I would pass them on, but I believe they are no longer available. Sorry for my procrastination. :-/

Violent Lips Temporary Lip Tattoos ($15/3 pack)
If you know much about me, you know I don't wear a lot of lipstick, and what lipstick I do wear is typically very natural and light. These lip tattoos look fun, but I definitely can't see myself wearing them. I DO plan on trying out a set and snapping some pictures to share with you... soon. :)

BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream ($22/full size)
Supersmile Powdered Mouthrinse ($16/24 pack)
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint ($38/full size)

The Benta Berry face cream was very appealing to me because it claims to control oil and keep your face matte. I have very oily skin, so I was excited to try this. Unfortunately, it is like most other oil-control lotions that I've tried and it makes my skin feel really dry at first and then my face over-compensates and gets extra oily about halfway through the day. :( It smells nice, though!

I'm saving the Supersmile mouthrinses for my trip next month. I will be traveling by plane and this is also great because it is not liquid. I'm sure it'll be a little different from your average mouthwash, but you don't have to worry about it leaking!

I LOVED the Jouer tinted moisurizer. As I mentioned in a previous blog post or two, I prefer makeup with light coverage, so I use mainly tinted moisturizers. The bonus with this one is that is has light-reflecting shimmer in it that gives your skin a dewy look. It's not glittery, so it is great for every day wear. The only problem I have with it is that my face is quite oily halfway through the day. I even tried the Benta Berry oil-control lotion underneath and that didn't make much difference. That will likely keep me from purchasing the full size, but I highly recommend this to those of you without oily skin!

Anyway... that should do it for LAST MONTH'S box! Whew! I plan to post about the Vichy bonus box soon. And then after that, THIS MONTH'S box. Ha!

If you want to join Birchbox, just click HERE to go to their website. You have to enter your e-mail and they'll send you an invitation to join. It's only $10 a month with free shipping & handling. Totally worth it! :)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by! Are you tired of my excessive use of exclamation points yet?!!!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Freehand Cloud Nails

What's up, Homies? :)

Today I have an attempt at some freehand nail art. A favorite nail blog of mine has great tutorials... and I am fairly pleased with how mine turned out. I could definitely improve my technique a little, and maybe choose a different color combo so it stands out a little more, but I think it looks pretty dang good for my first attempt!

With flash.

Close-up without flash.

The colors I used: 
LA Splash - Blowfish Fushia
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Lightening
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Sun Kissed

The orange color, Sun Kissed, needed three coats. It applied a little streaky and blobby, but it smoothed over after a good top coat of Seche Vite. 

On my accent finger, I applied two coats of Lightening, then I used a small paintbrush to do the cloud designs. You can visit Nailside's blog to view the tutorial. 

That's all I have for now! Thanks for stopping by. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How To Fight Static Hair

This adorable photo courtesy of herm007 on Flickr

I know this topic may be a little late in the season, but a friend requested that I address the issue of static hair. I am lucky enough to not really have issues with static hair, even in the winter. I think it is partially because of my hair type, and because I condition it A LOT. Sorry, I know you're jealous. :-P

I wasn't really quite sure how to tackle this topic, but I finally ended up just asking a few friends how they handle it and spent some time with my buddy, Google. I eventually came up with a few tips and tricks to help those of you who battle the static frizzy mess on a regular basis.

First of all, I think it is important for you to know what causes static in our hair. It may seem like common sense to most of you, but I'll pretend like it is not. Without going into a lot of detail about electrons and pH balance, the main thing you need to know is dry hair and dry air are very conducive to static electricity. Winter is the worst because the air has less moisture in it, therefore it is more difficult to keep your hair hydrated.

Here are some things to do and NOT to do to help prevent or tame static flyaways:

  • ALWAYS condition your hair! I understand those of us with oily hair might want to avoid the conditioner sometimes, but be sure to at least get some conditioner on the ends of your hair. ESPECIALLY during the winter. If you need to, avoid the roots and that can help prevent your hair from getting as oily.
  • If you can manage, avoid washing your hair every day. The more you wash, the more it dries your hair. If you have an oily scalp like mine, you can use the product I reviewed HERE to make your hair last a second day without washing.
  • Look for styling products that are WATER BASED and avoid those that are petroleum based (waxes, gels, & pomades).
  • Use hairbrushes and combs made with natural bristles. Apparently those with plastic/synthetic bristles tend to make static worse.
  • When styling your hair with blowdryers and straightening irons, be sure to use a thermal protection product. 
  • Spray a finishing spray on your hairbrush and then brush it through your hair. This is great before styling or even later in the day. After styling your hair, it is also not a bad idea to spray the finishing spray directly on your hair.
  • Getting a humidifier in your home should help. This is the first year I have had a humidifier running all day, every day and I seem to have had fewer issues with dry skin and dry hair.
  • I wouldn't recommend rubbing dryer sheets on your hair or spraying your hair with Static Guard. Multiple websites have warned that both of these have chemicals in them that aren't healthy for skin and hair and they could cause you to break out. With that said, I use both of these products on my clothes and the clothes touch my skin and I seem to do fine. So I say if it works for you, go for it!
Sorry for the long-winded post! I think that covers just about everything I could come up with. PLEASE feel free to comment below and let me know any tips you might have for preventing static hair.

Thanks for stopping by! :)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Revlon - Royal

Happy Saturday!

I finally got around to painting my nails again and I was really excited because I got to use a polish I discovered on a couple of different blogs that I already knew was going to be gorgeous!

This is Revlon Royal.

Revlon Royal without the flash.

With flash.

Macro shot. Sorry it is a little blurry. 

How pretty is this?! I love it and I'll probably use it a lot. After this color and the last color I posted (Revlon Velvet Rope), I've decided I'm a huge fan of jelly polishes. They are so pretty to look at, and I am constantly asked if I went to a salon to get a manicure! 

A fair warning: this polish dries to a vinyl/matte finish. You must use a top coat to get the glossy shine that I got on this one, and I use the Seche Vite fast dry top coat.

I don't think I can say how much I love this. I just couldn't stop staring at my nails all day. :)

Thanks for stopping by!