Monday, March 31, 2014

March Birchbox Review

This month I received my monthly Birchbox on my mom and sister's birthdays. This was especially fitting because when I was a child I couldn't stand that they both got presents and I didn't. So, it made me laugh a little that I still got a present, even if it was in the form of my subscription.  While I've had it for nearly two weeks now, it's taken me a while to get around to reviewing because I've been so darn busy. But, better late than never!

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
INIKA Organic Eyeliner in Green Lagoon
Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

I think I was a little cheated with this one only because my spritzer didn't work...although it seems like that's a common problem based on some reviews I read and I do think it's because the formula is so thick. I'll keep trying to get it to flow, but in the meantime I do what any normal person does and I poured a little in my hand, rubbed my hands together, and ran my fingers through my hair. It sure did do the job I needed it to do and I was left with silky strands. Now that my hair isn't as damaged, I don't have a huge need for a detangled type product, but even my healthier locks are grateful for the heat protecting elements. 

Verdict: It does the job, smells great, and isn't overly greasy. When I'm in the market for a new product like this, I'll definitely consider it to be a front runner.

INIKA Organic Eye Liner in Green Lagoon

Photo from Birchbox

I had received a previous INIKA eye liner in a dark green that was amazing, so I immediately had high hopes for this one. I thought it was going to be more of a jeweled tone, so when I dragged it across my eyelid, I was surprised with how light it was. While I was taken aback, I was pleasantly surprised by how much it brightened my eyes. I wasn't sure if it was going to complement my dark brown eyes, so I was seriously happy when it did. 

Verdict: Glides on smooth, stays put, and is the perfect hue for spring. I'd buy any INIKA liner.

Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue

Photo from Birchbox

This one was a little tricky because I could smell it as soon as I opened the box and it was overwhelmingly vanilla and amber. It wasn't that it smelled bad, just that it was strong. I enjoyed the fragrance, but it isn't one that I'll be dabbing on just on a whim. It would call for a very specific occasion and likely one revolving around cooler months. With spring and summer just around the corner, I'll be tucking this sample away to enjoy when the temps drop down below sixty.

Verdict: Not a perfume I'll indulge in, but it'll be nice to switch it up with the sample here and there.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Cream

Photo from Birchbox

Talk about smell goody! This eye cream made me wish it were an all over body lotion. It's obviously too soon to see what's going to happen, but I certainly didn't mind dabbing it underneath my eyes.

Verdict: We'll see what the long term effects are, but it seemed to help with the slight puffiness I was experiencing below my eyes. 

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream
Photo from Birchbox

It smelled amazing just like the eye cream, but I'm not in the habit of using night creams much these days since I seem to break out a little easier when I do. I'll be trying it on a day when I need to add some extra moisture to my skin.

Verdict: Not a product I'll be adding to my arsenal, but it smells amazing. 

Ghirardelli Cherry Intense Dark Tango

I am incredibly particular about cherries and chocolate. While dark chocolate is usually quite bitter, this combination with bits of cherry and cherry flavoring really sets it apart while the almond pieces provide a bit of crunch. I savored it tiny bite by tiny bite and it was still gone too soon! 

Verdict: I'd buy a bag when I need a sweet fix. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prized Possessions

Sometimes I think about what I would grab if there were a fire at home and I had to act quickly. What would I immediately reach for without hesitation? For me, it would be less about the monetary value of something and more about the sentimental value that it holds in my heart.  That's how my prized possessions are born.

The Ring

This isn't any old ring. It's the ring. And it is incredibly special. It is a gift I have worn for years and I'll continue to wear it for years to come because I love it. What appears to be a simple, silver band is really so much more. This ring holds a unique place in my heart and I will forever cherish the memories surrounding it.

The Hoodie

This was sort of given to me/sort of stolen from someone. I guess you could say I permanently borrowed it without having any intention of returning it...and thankfully the original owner was okay with that. What was once a black sweatshirt has now gracefully aged into a dark gray item with a broken zipper pull, though it has held up surprisingly well with the innumerable wash cycles it's endured (way to go B&E Sport!).

The Jewelry Box

While this one may be a little juvenile, I simply cannot bear to part with it. The base is a star, it's yellow, and it has Mickey and Minnie dancing atop. Does it get much better than that? I'm not even sure exactly when I acquired it, but it has been with me for most of my life and it's something I keep out on display on my dresser even today. It's perfectly me and I wouldn't dream of parting with it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beauty Spotlight

Shiseido IBUKI Refining Moisturizer

Photo from Sephora

Like so many deluxe samples I obtained before Birchbox, I got this one from Sephora way back in September. I initially started using it as a part of my nightly moisturizing routine, but when I realized it wasn't going to completely wreak havoc on my skin, I switched it up and started using it in the morning, too. While that routine was working, now I'm trying something new where I don't moisturize at all before bed, and it's doing ah-mazing things for my skin. I don't know if this Shiseido moisturizer has anything to do with it, but it seems to be working miracles.

First off, I have to warn you, it does have a perfumey smell to it. That said, I barely notice it anymore. This is a lightweight moisturizer that quickly absorbes into your skin without making it feel overly greasy. And while it does have soft reflecting powder particles in it (a fancy way of saying it has a shimmer), it isn't that noticeable unless you're inspecting your pores two inches from the mirror. While the claim is that it "instantly corrects the appearance of unevenness from visible pores, breakouts, blemish marks, and skin roughness," I have to argue that it's not that much of a miracle worker to banish those things in an instant. However, I do think that over time it has helped even out my skin and I'm far more comfortable going without makeup some days.

Overall, I love this moisturizer. I've had the full size product since December and I still haven't finished it up yet. For me, half a pump does the trick (and sometimes that's even a little much), so I'm probably saving a ton of it that way. If you have super dry skin, you might need something that moisturizes a little more, but otherwise, this might be the product for you!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This morning I took out a pair of scissors before work and impulsively cut a solid 4 inches off of my hair. Why? Because I'm getting it cut on Thursday anyway and I don't have anything to lose but more inches. Besides, I've been feeling discontent and cutting my hair myself is oddly cathartic.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do yet in terms of how I want it styled, but I'll figure it out soon enough. I'm just so sick and tired of the damaged ends (most of which I conveniently chopped off this morning) and I really want my hair to be all natural for a while before I get that first, dreadful gray hair. *knock on wood* Once that happens you better believe I'll be dying my hair like crazy.

I've been growing it out since the last time I got it colored in August...of 2012. It's certainly been a lesson in patience. So while it has made some definite progress, it's not nearly enough...but it's so close. Anyway, I've been playing around and giving myself makeovers on InStyle by trying on celebrity hairstyles and changing up their colors to better suit me.

This one hairstyle is a dark version of Cate Blanchett's hair. 

I think I've lost hours of my life from this site. 

This is just one of many styles I played around with. I highly recommend it if you need to kill some time or you're thinking about change up your look or if you want a few laughs. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

'Tis Better, Though I'll Forever Suffer

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: 

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

Indeed, I believe it to be true. 
I have loved. I have lost. 

And because of this, I'll forever suffer from the heart-wrenching loss of love for the rest of my days. 
Because, in the words of Dionne Warwick, I know I'll never love this way again.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Trip That Wasn't

Months and months ago a trip was planned.
The months turned into weeks.
The weeks turned into days.
And then it all faded away. 
Like a melting snowflake in the palm of my hand.
I was supposed to be out on a grand adventure, but I'm not. 
I guess some things just aren't meant to be! 
C'est la vie.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beauty Spotlight

I don't know if you know this or not, but I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and I have been for quite some time. Though I have long since given up on the "party" part of the job, I do still sell products and I must say they do carry some exceptional ones. One product, in particular, is the showstopper of them all and it's their...

Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Photo from Mary Kay

This is by far the best product I've ever used and I likely won't bother to use anything else ever again (unless I receive a sample via Birchbox, of course). I used to think Avon's eye makeup remover lotion was IT, but then I made the switch over to Mary Kay. I've even tried Estee Lauder's gentle eye makeup remover and it didn't do squat when removing the waterproof stuff. Hence, the reason I stick with the tried and true. It takes off everything.

I don't just think this product is great because I sell it and I want people to buy it. I honestly believe it is the best product out there and one of the few MK products that I think is worth it's retail value. I typically sell at a discount because I don't think anyone should have to pay full price, but this one might be the exception because of how effective it actually is. Although I usually do some kind of deal.

While it is oil-free, you will see that the solution separates. It is imperative that you shake the bottle before using it, otherwise it won't work properly and you'll be left shaking your head instead and wondering why you took my word for it. So shake, shake, shake before squeezing it onto your favorite cotton pad and gently wiping away your look for the day. This stuff is amazing. 

Want to purchase products, but don't want a pushy beauty consultant? Well, look no further...your search is over.