Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nail of the Day: Julep Keira

natural light, two coats

After seeing numerous beauty bloggers and YouTubers raving about Essie's Bahama Mama recently, I've been dying to get my hands on the gorgeous, rich plum shade.  I decided to search my nail polish collection for something similar before shelling out the money for Bahama Mama.  The first shade that popped out to me as a possible dupe was Julep's Keira, which I received in a Maven box last fall.

While as far as I can tell, Keira leans a little darker/less berry than Bahama Mama, it's definitely close enough that I can't justify getting Bahama Mama (at least for the time being).  I think these deep plum shades are gorgeous for fall.

What are your favorite fall polish picks?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 2012 Birchbox

My September Birchbox arrived a few days ago and, admittedly, my initial reaction was kind of "meh."  After the disaster that was my August Birchbox, I was honestly hoping for more this month to make up for last month.  That said, I will probably use all my samples this month, I just don't expect to be blown away by any of them.

My September Birchbox included:

Boscia - Purifying Cleansing Gel ($26/5 oz)
Made with botanicals like hydrangea leaf, this preservative-free cleanser gently removes oil and impurities.

Sample size: 1.69 oz
Sample value: $8.79

Color Club - Birchbox Custom Polish in Put a Pin in it ($8/0.5 oz)
We teamed up with Color Club to create this custom shade, inspired by the Fall 2012 collections.

Sample size: 0.25 oz
Sample value: $4

Dr. Jart+ - Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+ ($32/1.7 oz)
Think of this four-in-one moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, and skin-perfecting tint as the (extremely stylish) Swiss Army Knife of your beauty lineup.

Sample size: 0.1 oz
Sample value: $1.88

La Fresh - Instant Body Soother ($9.99/24 wipes)
These convenient wipes use a blend of six natural oils to refresh your senses.

Sample size: 2 wipes
Sample value: $0.83

Twistband - Birchbox Custom Lace Hair Tie ($22/12 ties)
Designers went gaga for lace this season and we don't blame them.  Get on board with these ouch-free hair ties.

Sample size: 1 tie
Sample value: $1.83

The Brush Guard - Brush Guard Variety Kit ($5.50/4 guards)
Slip these handy protectors over your makeup brushes to keep bristles in top-notch condition even when you're on the go.

Sample size: 3 guards
Sample value: $4.13

Total box value: $21.46

Despite my frequent annoyance with the contents of my monthly Birchboxes, I still can't quit them because of their fantastic point system.  Birchbox allows you the opportunity to review the items you receive in your boxes each month.  Each review rewards you with 10 Birchbox point (essentially $1 to spend in their online shop).  Therefore, with receiving 5-7 samples each month, you're able to get the equivalent of $5-7 dollars in the Birchbox shop (so the box almost pays for itself).  If you're like me, you religiously review the products you receive each month, save your points, wait for a great coupon code, and then treat yourself to something fabulous.  This month I redeemed quite a lot of saved points and used a coupon to purchase a Clarisonic Mia for a steal ($35)!  Despite the fact that I'm more often than not disappointed in the content of my monthly boxes, I have a hard time cancelling my membership because of the perks of the point system.  Here's to hoping next month is a bit more impressive.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 2012 GLOSSYBOX USA

I have to say, after the amazing August GLOSSYBOX, I was curious to see if this month would be as impressive.  If you ask me, it certainly didn't disappoint!

"From the fall fashion runways to the season's latest beauty trends, GLOSSYBOX offers a forward look into new products, formulas, technologies and colors of the season.  This month, we celebrate beauty's breakthrough products and offer a mixed set of forward thinking essentials.  From an elite shine controlling matte-maker, to a power packed smoothing system to take tresses and a natural lip refresher with a kiss of color.  All this paired with the ultimate multi-tasking miracle for the face, this month's cache of luxuries will keep you beautiful and current!"

This month, GLOSSYBOX sent us three full-size products and two very generous samples.

 1. GKHAIR - Moisturizing Shampoo ($20.00/10.1 oz)
Nourished with plant extracts, this superior smoothing shampoo will purify and moisturize the scalp and hair.

Sample size: ~1.5 oz
Sample value: ~$2.97

2. GK HAIR - Moisturizing Conditioner ($20.00/10.1 oz)
This gentle moisturizing coniditioner puts the finishing touch on your tresses and leaves your hair smooth, radiant, and revitalized.

Sample size: ~1.5 oz
Sample value: ~$2.97

3. Kryolan for GLOSSYBOX - Moisture Rich Lipstick in GLOSSY Pink ($14.00/0.14 oz)
Treat your lips to a creamy, long lasting lipstick enriched with Vitamin E to stimulate and hydrate your lips.  This perfect pop of GLOSSY pink compliments all skin tones and lifestyles.

Sample size: 0.14 oz
Sample value: $14.00

4. Missha - M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 ($29.99/1.69 oz)
Hailing from Korea, this Blemish Balm, also known as BB Cream is a multi-tasking powerhouse for the face.  This multi-use cream provides light coverage, smoothes, protects, and moisturizes.

Sample size: 1.69 oz
Sample value: $29.99

5. OC 8 - Professional Mattifying Gel ($30.00/1.6 oz)
This innovative mattifying gel lets you get control of your shine all day long.  Clinically tested, this one of a kind gel keeps shine down while helping you achieve a fresh flawless even tone look, for all skin types.

Sample size: 1.6 oz
Sample value: $30.00

Total box value: ~$79.93

 Another great month, GLOSSYBOX!  I have some seriously oily skin and I am beyond stoaked to try the Mattifying Gel.  I'm also really excited to try the Missha BB Cream.  This will be my first time trying an authentic Asian BB Cream.  The shade I received (No. 21) looks like it may be a tad dark for my fair complexion, but it blends seamlessly into my arm so I have hopes it will work well on my face.  I never get particularly excited about shampoo and conditioner, but I'll give these a go.  The GLOSSY Pink lipstick looks like a lovely shade that I'll get tons of use out of.  Unfortunately mine arrived a little beat up (the lipstick itself have loosened from the bullet and had gotten a bit smashed against the cap), but still useable.

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