Birchbox Samples – April 2013

April 2013 Birchbox with samples from  (MALIN+GOETZ), Kiehl's, Supergoop!, Nexxus, and Simple

This weekend I also received my Birchbox samples, and I’ve had enough time to give them a try. This month’s box contained:

  • (MALIN+GOETZ) bergamot body wash
  • Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
  • Supergoop!® Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream
  • Nexxus® Youth Renewal™ Rejuvenating Elixir
  • Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on

After the last couple of boxes, it was nice to see a box of samples that weren’t makeup, accessories, or snacks. 🙂

The (MALIN+GOETZ) body wash is lovely. I always forget how much I enjoy the scent of bergamot, and theirs has a great energy and zip to it, without being excessively heavy. The body wash has a nice texture to it, but it is definitely more on the cleansing side of the body wash spectrum, not the moisturizing side.

The Kiehl’s concentrate is nice enough. It definitely makes your skin feel a bit tighter upon application, and it’s a neutral scent. I know that I’m old enough I should care about lines on my face, but really? I don’t. So we’ll see if it’s a product I use with any regularity. 😉

And, universe, can we slow down a bit? I’m just starting to warm up to the idea of BB creams, and now we’ve taken it to the next level with CC creams? I call balderdash. It’s like always upping the ante with razors, and next they’ll have 13 blades in them! I’ve decided I’m going to be stubborn for a bit and not try the Supergoop cream until I’m good and ready. 😉 Or at least wait until the summer, since it has such a high SPF.

The Nexus Hair Elixir is similar to other silky leave-in hair treatments. Smooths flyaways, makes your hair a bit shiny and soft. The scent is exactly the same as all the other products. This hasn’t stood out as an exception product to me, yet, but we’ll see if I change my mind by the end of the vial.

The Simple eye revitalizer is the one product I haven’t tried yet because it’s designed to be used in the morning when your eyes are sometimes a bit dark and puffy. I’m sorry, Universe, but really… some mornings I don’t even have enough time to brush my hair, let alone worry about circles under my eyes. Besides, I work full-time and I have twin toddlers… at this point, eye circles are just another accessory to me. 🙂

Very glad that this month’s box was one of the better ones. Oh and, not pictured, but this month’s box was sponsored by Women’s Health magazine, and the box also included a voucher for a year’s subscription. Pretty cool!

April Ipsy

It is that time again – Went to my mailbox this weekend and found this month’s Ipsy Glam bag samples.

April 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag with samples from Sation, Two Cosmetics, Sexy Hair, and Be a Bombshell

  • Sation Nail Lacquer
  • Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal
  • Be a Bombshell Blush

There is a lot of pink in this month’s bag. I’m a huge fan of the color, but it’s never suited me much for makeup. I don’t imagine the pink eyeshadow will be broken into for a very, very long time.

To be honest, I haven’t been in love with the Ipsy samples I’ve received the past few months, and at this point, I’m really questioning if it is of value to me anymore. I don’t want to be a downer, but this might be the last Ipsy bag you see here. Hope your samples this month were more to your liking!

 

 

Birchbox March 2013 Samples

March 2013 Birchbox with samples from Twistband, Vasanti, Whish, Madewell for Birchbox, FushionBeauty

And here is my review of the Birchbox samples that I received in March.

  • twistband™ Headband
  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
  • Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
  • Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board
  • FusionBeauty LipFusion™ Infatuation Lip Fattener

I recognize that the Birchbox folks are totally in love with twistband, but this is the third product I’ve received. Fortunately, this one is a headband, but I also have two hair ties. I am not super stoked to receive it… but I’m sure I will at least wear it at home while washing the ladies, or doing some other cleaning. And it’s always nice to have a replacement Emery Board.

The LipFusion is a pretty typical lip gloss – slightly sticky, not too much color, but not a bad scent. Now that Spring is finally here, I can see myself wearing pink gloss on occasion, so I’ll probably break this out a time or two.

The Vasanti BrightenUp! has been quite nice. I’ve used it three times so far, and it hasn’t had any miraculous, transformative powers over my skin… but then again, what really does? 🙂 It has almost no scent and a good texture that has a bit of abrasion, but isn’t overwhelming. I definitely see myself using it once or twice a week.

The Whish Shave Crave… all I have to say is WOW, this is fragrant. As a shaving cream it’s fine, but all I can remember is the scent of it. Imagine if you took a bowl full of Smarties, Sweet Tarts, and candy necklaces and pulverized them… that’s what Shave Crave smells like. I think if I were younger it might be a fun candy scent, but as an adult it’s just overwhelming. At least on my skin the scent stuck around for a couple of hours, so for that reason alone, I don’t plan on using this again.

Like the March MyGlam, it wasn’t my favorite month of samples… but that almost always means next month will be wonderful!

 

Ipsy MyGlam Bag, March 2013

Pardon my radio silence! We’ve had a crazy amount of sickness in our house the past week, but I’m happy to report that everyone is feeling pretty good again.

March Ipsy Myglam bag with samples from Yaby, Juice Beauty, GlamRX, LA Fresh

So it’s time to get caught up on some beauty samples! This month’s Ipsy samples were a little light, but the bag is super cute! March samples included:

  • Two Yaby eyeshadows
  • Juice Beauty hydrating mist
  • GlamRX mini palette
  • LA Fresh makeup remover

The Juice Beauty hydrating mist is lovely! Nice scent, and I’m almost looking forward to summer when it’s warm so that I can use it more often. Otherwise, this month was a bit of a dud for me.

Ipsy Myglam Bag with Yaby eyeshadow and GlamRX palette

I’m not in love with either the colors, the texture, or the staying power of the Yaby eyeshadows. The compact is cute – it has a magnetic base so your eyeshadow and blush refills in metal containers won’t fall around. Unfortunately, these are the only two items I own that aren’t in their own case. 😉

I’ve come to expect highs and lows with both my beauty subscriptions, and this is one of the lower months. Oh well, I’m sure it will be good again in April!

Ipsy Myglam bag, February 2013

Happy February! I know I’m a little later than usual,  but I wanted to try something different this month and do an actual review of the Myglam bag items, instead of just a profile.  Please let me know what you think!

Ipsy February 2013 with samples from Coastal Scents, Pixi, Pop Beauty, MicaBeauty, Lash Card

Here are the samples in this month’s Ipsy Myglam bag:

  • Coastal Scents Shadow Palette
  • Pixi Flawless and Poreless
  • Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara
  • MicaBeauty Gel Eyeliner
  • Lash Card

First off, I’m sorry, but Lash Card is one of the silliest products I’ve ever heard of. It’s a card that you put behind your lashes, over your eyelid, so that you don’t get mascara on your lids while applying it. Is this really a problem? If so, good for them for offering a solution, but it’s not something I’ve every come across before.

So, since I received primer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara, I decided I should give them all a go. The Pixi primer went on just fine, but since it was later in the day, I just used it on my eyelids. I did one eyelid with all four of the Coastal Scents eyeshadow colors, but the darkest one (a very dark olive green/brown) was really dark for me, so the other eyelid just got the yellows and golds:

Ipsy February 2013 - Coast Scents eyeshadows palette

(So the eyelid on the left is all four, and the eyelid on the right is minus the dark olive).

I also did a quick line of the MicaBeauty gel eyeliner. Fortunately, last month’s bag contained an eyeliner brush. For a gel eyeliner, this one was a bit softer than I’m used to, but it went only easily. I can’t do a good crisp winged eye with gel eyeliner, but it did give me some good definition. There was definitely enough time to smudge it a bit (if you wanted to), but it then dried/set well. It is black, but a softer shade of black.

Ipsy February 2013 - finished eyes with mascara.

I finished with the Pop Beauty mascara. Oh, I’m sorry, *ahem* Smokey Lash Kapow – which is really the best name for a mascara, oh, ever. So that I could compare the different I did my darker eye with mascara, and the gold eye without. It gave my lashes definition, but it definitely wasn’t what I’d call Kapow. 😉 Just a good basic lash definition. Good for a day look, but I don’t think it would cut it for a bold evening look.

So, hope that gives you a better idea of the makeup this month. Do you like having some pictures of me trying the makeup? Let me know.

Sara

 

Birchbox samples, February 2013

Birchbox February 2013 with samples from  Juicy Couture, Dr. Jart+ Beauty Protector and Color Club

This month’s theme was Red Carpet worthy products and, thinking about it, all of these pretty much fit the bill! In the box this month:

  • Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume
  • Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm
  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Hair Treatment
  • Color Club Fiesta Collection Nail Polish in Wild Cactus

Oh, and chocolate of course. Which lasted about 30 seconds after the above photo was taken. 🙂

You know how I feel about perfume… one of these days I might try this scent, but I still haven’t been introduced to anything that would make me give up my favorites. 🙂

The nail polish is a great score. The color is very rich and eye-catching, and I’ve had a ton of people comment on how much they love the color. That’s fun because then I can tell them it’s the color of the year. 🙂 But really, it’s a great color.

Birchbox February 2013 with Samples from Dr. Jart+ and Beauty Protector

Birchbox has been good at rounding out my nail polish collection, and helping me find new skin care, but it’s really been great at introducing me to new hair products. Really, the hair care selection (for me at least) has been a slam-dunk, and this leave-in conditioner is no exception. Nice, soft texture and a pleasant smell.

The BB cream – I’m mixed on. The texture is fine, but the color is a little pale and grey for me… which is strange, because ladies, I’m a pasty white chick. So if something looks pale for me, you know it is light. And it seems this is the only color it comes in. I can’t imagine it working for someone with olive or dark skin, but I also can’t imagine this working for caucasian women who have a medium skin tone, or a bit of a tan. I guess I’m just surprised that makeup can get away with coming in just one color. *shrug*

Have you tried any of these products before? What did you think?

Retro Hair with a Skull Scarf

The other day I had to kill some time and I wandered in to H&M – mainly to get out of the cold, but also to see if anything caught my eye. Boy, something did!

Skull patterned scarf from H&M

I found this fabulous scarf – You can see the small skulls that make up the pattern on the border, but there are also larger white and pink skulls, and some that are decorated in a sugar skull style. It’s beautiful! And huge – this scarf is nearly 4 feet square!

The first time I wore it, I fell in love, and I have a feeling it’s going to make a fairly regular appearance in my wardrobe. I went to brunch with a friend on Saturday, and didn’t have much time to do my hair so I came up with this:

Retro style rolled bang and rosette tied scarf as a headband

A great simple rolled bang, and the scarf as a headband. Because it is so huge, I was able to do a great rosette with the scarf for decoration.

Retro style rolled bang and skull patterned rosette tied scarf as a headband

I love with this fold, you don’t even notice the skulls… it just looks like some subtle color and great patterned texture. I don’t know why I haven’t done a rosette knot in my hair before. I think it’s high time I went through my scarves to see which other ones are a good length!

Taking a Trip to the Amazon – via Opera

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy the opera? I haven’t? Well, then it’s time to tell you about Utah Opera‘s latest production, Florencia en el Amazonas.

The story of Florencia is that of an opera diva who is returning to her homeland to search for her long-lost love. The different characters represent different stages and forms of love – new, young love; older love that has soured, love that has been lost, and love for life. We both loved the story, the gorgeous and rich music, the talented voices, and the performers.

The Red Carpet at Utah Opera's Florencia en el Amazonas

Since it’s January, I went with a black velvet dress, and Rob looked handsome in his tuxedo.

Sara, Rob, and Preston at the Opera

I also put my hair up in the back. It lasted surprisingly well – here’s how it looked at the end of the night:

Front view of my hair for the opera

The next opera will by The Magic Flute in March. If you’re going, let me know and we’ll meet up!

Modern Outfit with a Retro Silhouette

I don’t have much vintage in my wardrobe, and the vintage that I do have is mostly accessories. So usually I try to create an ensemble that is retro or pin-up inspired, with modern clothing. This is a combination that I stumbled upon last week, and I’m really happy with how it looks:

Retro silhouette without vintage clothing

Because the silhouette is so retro – form-fitting sweater and pencil skirt – it has a great late 50’s/early 60’s vibe to it, but with new pieces. I do have one vintage detail though:

Blue jewel vintage brooch.

This beautiful brooch. I love adding pieces to my collection of pins and scarves, and this is one of my favorites.

It’s always a treat when you shop your closet and stumble into a great outfit! I might even have to pull this off later this week at Altitude Summit.

Ipsy Myglam Bag Review – January 2013

Ipsy Myglam bag, January 2013 with samples from Pacifica, Josie Maran, Nailtini, Sexy Hair, and Soho

Back when I first signed up for Birchbox and Myglam there could be days and even weeks between when each package would arrive. The past three months they’ve shown up  within a day of each other, so it’s fun to compare and contrast the different samples. The January 2013 Ipsy myglam bag contains:

  • Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Mini Body Butter
  • Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
  • Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer
  • Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray
  • SOHO Brush

This box is interesting, because there are no products that are new to me this month. I love the Pacifica body butter – in fact, I’ve given it as a gift on a few occasions, so it’s nice to add this to my stash of great lotions in small containers. I’ve used the Josie Maran Argan Oil, and her foundation, quite a bit, so it’s nice to add this cute little sample bottle to my stash. Same with the Nailtini (which has been a Ipsy sample before), and the Sexy Hair spray.

So nothing new and exciting to try out, but now I’ve got minis of products I already love that I can keep in my purse/desk/etc!

One thing I love about Ipsy is that the samples come in a cute, and different, bag every month. Now that I’ve been a member for months, I’ve got quite the stash of little makeup bags. They’ve been perfect for re-gifting, or using as a little clutch, but this month’s is definitely makeup bag shaped. My favorite detail is the cute stars for the lining fabric!

Ipsy myglam bag details - star fabric lining

Are you an Ipsy member? What did you think of the products this month? And what do you do with all your previous bags? 🙂