Interesting Discoveries, Skin Care

June 2014 Birchbox Reveal

I just received my June Birchbox in the mail and was extremely excited to find out what was inside. This month is full of travel ready samples that range from lotions to shampoos. The theme this month is travel since Birchbox recently teamed up with JetBlue. It is very fitting as quite a few of us will be venturing off on vacation.

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1. Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face: This is a mineral-based tinted moisturizer with sun protection. It goes on smooth and creates a shine free finish. This is a great product for the summer months as it works to minimize oil production and shine. I really like the sheer finish and light feel. Unfortunately, there’s not much product in the sample. It was mostly air.

2. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion: This is an antioxidant-rich moisturizer with ingredients such as grape seed that help smooth and soften. It has a light scent and is not too thick while providing excellent moisture. It also creates a cool sensation. I like the product itself but wasn’t impressed with the presentation. The sample was messy and looked like it had already been opened.

3. Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum: This is a fresh blend of mandarin, rose, and sandalwood. It is a great light scent. I love the fact that the ingredients named can be easily distinguished without being overwhelming. Spritz on pulse points such as your wrists and neck.

4. Number 4 Hair Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner: This is a sulfate-free cleanser containing botanicals and vitamins designed to repair and protect dry, brittle hair. One of the most frequent comments is about the fragrance, it is a little manly but it is fairly light. It is a good shampoo, although slightly pricey.

5. Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: This product mimics microdermabrasion and contains enzymes such as papaya as well as aloe vera, and coconut for cleansing. I love microdermabrasion in general. It is my must do in my skin routine. Again the presentation wasn’t great, the bottle was full of air and contained little product.

There was also a travel quiz with a chance to win a travel certificate with JetBlue. Overall, the content of the box was good. I wasn’t very impressed by the quality of some of the samples. They were messy, looked already opened and full of air. This is the first time I have been even slightly disappointed with Birchbox’s selections. My favorite is the Joie Parfum as I love good scents. It is a bit expensive but well worth it. I will update this post when I use the shampoo and conditioner.

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions please leave them below. I love hearing from you!

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries, Makeup, Skin Care

My Summer Beauty Bag

Since summer is upon us I put together what I will be carrying around in my beauty bag. This may change as I run across more products but for now watch to see my favorites. These will be hard to replace as we all know some oldies are goodies.

Products in my bag:

Silver eye liner: It’s so old I don’t remember the brand but I love using this in the corner of the eye to open it and about half way down my upper eye lash line. These techniques help make the eye appear more open and I love the dewy look with a little bit of mascara.

Marcelle BB Golden Glow cream: I received this product in a Birchbox and I fell in love with it. It is great as a mixer or base with my normal foundation or it can stand alone. It does have some shimmer in it so be careful if you don’t want to shine.

Pixi Shea butter lip balm: I have said this before but I love this product as well. It provides great moisture and a good pop of light color. It is also a Birchbox find.

Mary Kay Love Lash Mascara: This is my all time favorite mascara. It has a flexible wand and provides great volume and length.

Mary Kay cream highlighter: They don’t make this product anymore but I love to use it on high points I want to highlight on my face. My favorite place to put this is on my eye lids for a very natural look.

Mary Kay Poppy Love lip jelly: I just bought this color and it looks intimidating in the package but great on. It is sheer and not too sticky. I’m glad I tried this one.

Mary Kay CC cream with SPF15: This is also another new find. This replaced the tinted moisturizer so I wanted to give it a try. It is a little more robust than a BB cream but still lighter than my regular foundation. I love the pump on the tube and the fact that it has SPF in it. I really try to use face products with some sun protection.

I highly recommend all these products. If you have any products you love for the summer please let me know. I would love to try them!

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries

Paint between the lines: A new nail polish tool that can help

I recently received my Julep maven box for May. Inside were a couple of pretty pink nail colors and a new nail polish tool called the the Plie Wand. I couldn’t wait to give it a try and see how it worked. The wand has a long handle that swivels to improve leverage, comfort and usability with either hand. It snaps on to a Julep nail polish cap and comes with it’s own set of applicators for fun designs and use with other nail polish brands.

Plie Wand

The wand comes with 4 pieces: the balanced wand, a striping brush and dotting tool, precision brush and a Plie overcap. To use with any Julep nail color you pull the cap off and replace it with the overcap so the wand can magnetically attach. The precision brush allows for uses with other brands.

Plie Wand

The wand itself is well balanced and easy to control. The wand is approximately 4 inches long but is light in your hand. The part I was really interested in was the swivel capability. I am not the best with my left hand so anything that can help that is welcome in my book. It allows you to get more leverage and have better control because of how it rests in your hand. You want to make sure that the flat part of the brush is always rotated the right way to get a even application.

Plie Wand Swivel
Swiveled Plie Wand

After using it I am very happy with it and it’s ability to help me paint in the lines with my left hand. It is a great set of tools for a reasonable price. It can be found at for $25. It is currently on back order. You can also find a great demo video to preview the product. I’m putting it on my must have list.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them. I would love to hear from you!


Beauty, Interesting Discoveries, Makeup, Skin Care, Social Media

What is a Maven and could you be one?

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What is a Maven and are you one? You may have heard the term thrown into conversation and questioned what exactly that is. A maven is an information specialist or someone you rely on to connect you to new information on a specific subject. Given the definition, if you are reading this and participating in sharing your beauty knowledge as well as the knowledge of others using social media, you could be a maven.

Where are Mavens and why are they important?

Mavens are everywhere. Social media makes it very easy for them to put the information out there and for you to receive it. They are watching the trends, and writing relevant information for interested people to use. They have large social groups and companies love to engage them in conversation. Being a maven takes hard work and dedication, it’s not for everyone.

I have noticed there have been quite a few subscription services popping up recently regarding beauty products. These online services charge a monthly fee and either send you sample products or hold the fee in your account to use on whatever you like. One of the better known beauty subscription sites is Birchbox. For $10 a month they send you a box filled with product samples that match your beauty profile.

I became very interested in these services and have recently subscribed to two of them, Birchbox and Julep. I wanted to see what it was all about, especially since Birchbox has been popping up frequently in conversations. I just received both boxes but have yet to use the products. Birchbox contains 4-5 sample sized products that are available for purchase in their store. Julep, which is more expensive at $20 per month, sends two full-sized nail polishes and one beauty product. Their products are also available in their online store.

What sparked this topic idea was the title of the Julep box, a Julep Maven Box. This tells me they are looking for those who want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to beauty products. These sites are usually on top of the current trends, as well as looking forward to future trends. This is important to their business because the people who are subscribing want the latest and greatest. They are also hoping that you will fall in love with a product they sell and become a regular customer. The sites are open to anyone who wants to join.

What will this do for you?

If you are branding yourself as a beauty expert, it may be highly beneficial to look into these services. If you don’t want to subscribe to the service the least you can do is browse the site because there are blog posts on current and future trends, Birchbox does this particularly well. This gives you insight as to where the industry is moving. If you just love beauty products you might be interested as it keeps the costs down and allows you to try many different types of products before buying.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.