Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rent the Runway's Sample Sale Starts Tomorrow!

Rent the Runway's infamous sample sale returns tomorrow!

Monday, Mach 31st | 12pm-8pm
Tuesday, April 1at - Saturday, April 5th | 11am-8pm
Sunday, April 6th | 11am-3pm

260 Fifth Avenue (28th/29th Streets)
New York, NY
N/R/6 Trains to 28th Street

Don't miss this excellent chance to score gently used designer dresses and accessories at up to 95% off! They're advertising designers like Shoshanna, Nicole Miller, David Meister, Badgley Mischka, and Rebecca Taylor. However, at past sales I also found Issa London, Milly, Tibi, Lilly Pulitzer, Herve Leger, M Missoni, & more! Check out my reviews HERE (April 2013) and HERE (March 2012) to know what to expect.

This is the perfect way to get the most glamorous dresses for spring and summer weddings, charity benefits, & other special occasions - all on a budget!

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UPDATE 4/4/14: Everything at the sample sale is now an additional 40% off the marked price.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Tory Burch Private Sale Is Here!

The Tory Burch Private Sale is here again - and there are lots of great deals to be found! There's definitely the best selection of cardigan sweaters and shoes. Many styles are under $150. The sandals are just perfect for the upcoming season - you won't want to miss out! 

Click HERE to shop the sale and check out my favorite items below.

Now, go get your Tory on!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Birchbox Nights at Benefit Boutiques

Benefit Cosmetics and Birchbox are co-hosting events nationwide for the launch of Benefit's latest product, Big Easy.

The New York City dates are:

Tuesday, March 18th | 7-9pm
Soho Boutique, 454 West Broadway

Wednesday, March 19th | 7-9pm
Upper East Side Boutique, 1301 Third Avenue

Thursday, March 20th | 7:30-9:30pm
Soho Boutique, 454 West Broadway

At each event, you will get the following for your $45 ticket:
  • A $35 store credit toward any purchase during the event
  • A chance to try (and buy) Big Easy
  • Complimentary brow arch service from a Benefit brow expert
  • Delicious treats and bubbly
  • Bonus: I've also read somewhere that you will get a Birchbox at the event with your ticket!
To see the dates in other cities (Chicago, Boston, SF, LA) & buy tickets, click HERE.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Birchbox "Spring Forward" March 2014 Review

I can honestly say that this is the first Birchbox I've received (other than the one way back in 2012) that made me think twice about continuing my subscription. Maybe I built it up too much in my head since the last 3 were pretty great, maybe it's because and I saw all the amazing products other bloggers got this month...but regardless I was super disappointed. This one was not customized to my tastes at all. My beauty profile indicated I was not interested in exploring new skincare products and in this box 3 out 5 products were skincare! Those were the larger samples too.

My box contained: COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face  (Full-size, $36), DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew (Full-size, $42), English Laundry No. 7 for Her (Full-size, $90), Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion (Full-size, $16), Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment + Restorative Hair Treatment Plus (Full-size, $33 each) and Ghirardelli Cherry Tango Square

The English Laundry brand doesn't really mean much to me. I've pretty much only heard about it through Birchboxes. So, I must admit I was a little skeptical. however, I tried this out and it's actually quite nice. It's got a strong vanilla scented base with some light notes of what I thought smelled like grapefruit, although the description says floral. It is one of the first scents I can describe as truly feminine but not powdery or overly floral. You don't have to be a super girly-girl to wear this one. 

At first sight I was not so excited about these samples. Deluxe samples are so much more attractive than the foil pouches that look like you could have pulled them out of a magazine. However, when I took a closer look I soon decided that these were my favorite samples in the entire box! My hair gets very dry from being color treated, blow drying it, and really just the elements in general. These are two restorative treatments that help treat severely dry hair. You have to leave them in for 20 minutes to work their magic, so I imagine they are deep conditioning masks. I'm really excited to see the results!

Gilchrist & Soames is a great brand, don't get me wrong. However, I think the name (at least in America) has become too closely tied to complimentary hotel toiletries over the years. If they want to appeal to the luxury beauty market, I think they need to do a little marketing re-vamp either in packaging or product innovation. I have a lot of similar samples from them that I have gotten for free in hotels, so I was a bit disappointed to see this in my box. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a decent product. However, Birchbox is supposed to help us explore new products from familiar brands or new brands altogether. This product is neither. I think if this brand had a little makeover it could really be amazing.

This Mineral Sunscreen BB Cream was really not my thing. I am not interested in getting teeny tiny samples of BB Cream that are mostly air. I haven't opened this sample yet but from feeling the .17 fl. oz. tube it's pretty clear there's not much in it. I'm also not really one to spend a lot of money on BB Cream. I've found some very affordable ones that really suit me like Ponds BB+ Cream,$12.99. I'd rather spend more money on make-up, fragrance, nail polish, and hair care.

So, with this DDF Moisturizing Dew you have probably counted already - that makes 3 moisturizing lotions/creams in this box! I think DDF is a fun brand to get because normally their products are so prohibitively expensive. So, they're always nice to try. This one has a really nice texture. It moisturizes deeply without feeling too thick. It is definitely the best of the 3 lotions/creams I received. However, I still would have preferred a makeup or lifestyle item over any of the 3 skincare items in this box.

This little Ghirardelli chocolate had some unfortunate timing. I just got back from a trip to San Francisco a few weeks ago. On my trip I went to Ghirardelli Square and purchased a tin full of my pick of all the flavors of Ghirardelli squares. I got at least 4 of the Cherry Tango ones. The tin cost $12 (plus I had a coupon for 10% off!) and I could fill it up with as many chocolates as I wanted, which came out to about 24. In all the pharmacies I saw the squares being sold in non-assorted bags for even less! So, this is not exactly a big-ticket item (but tasty nonetheless). I think I would have preferred one of the Chuao chocolates I've seen in other boxes for something a little different.

Overall, as you can tell, I was not so psyched about this Birchbox. The difference between Birchbox and other sample boxes I've tried though is that this is the FIRST disappointment - they usually get it right! So, maybe they built my expectations up too high with the first few. 

I received my box a few days later than quite a few other bloggers this time and had a lot of time to look at what they received and get excited about my box. A few of the other March Birchbox samples I'm coveting are: How 'Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream Palette by theBalm, Stila Lip Glaze, Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum (just to try the brand), Luster Now Instant Whitening Toothpaste, Mighty Leaf Tea Bags, and Tea Forte Minteas. Umm...theBalm and Luster Now are two of my FAVORITE brands! So jealous, you lucky ladies! Maybe next time. That being said, I still haven't decided if I should take a break from Birchbox next month or not after this one. I'd love to hear your opinions!

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Disclaimer:  I am currently employed by UK Trade & Investment. However, all written content and opinions expressed on this blog (including and especially those regarding British brands) are my own. This is a personal blog that is in no way affiliated with my place of employment.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask Review

I recently received a sample of the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask in my J'adore VoxBox from Influenster. I've been getting into face masks a lot lately since I have perpetually dry skin. So, I was really excited to try this new product. I've reviewed several Boots skincare products before through Influenster and really enjoyed them all. I first learned about the brand while living in the UK where Boots is one of the largest pharmacy chains - with an impressive makeup department that is comparable to Ulta or Sephora!

This product is described as a mineral-rich clay mask designed for used on normal skin. It is unscented, hypo-allergenic, and helps absorb oils and eliminate shine while deeply cleansing the skin. According to the company, "oceanic clay exhibits a negative charge, which helps to draw out impurities without overdrying". Among several natural ingredients, the mask contains clarifying willowbark and was developed with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. 

Now, here come the attractive pictures you've all been waiting for! When I first applied the mask, it was pretty messy. The mask comes out as a fairly thin liquid. So, I would strongly advise applying it over the sink, after you've cleansed your face. Once it goes on your face, it absorbs into the skin really nicely and spreads around smoothly and evenly. So, it wasn't so messy at that stage. The mask goes on a really dark green (see above), but quickly changes color in about 30-60 seconds to a light green.

I left the mask on for the recommended 10 minutes. During that time I could feel the mask tightening on my skin a bit, but not uncomfortably. It was pretty similar in that effect to most other masks I've tried. Afterwards, it was pretty easy to wash off with some warm water. I wiped off the remaining mask with a couple tissues since it was still tinted green and would likely make a mess of a towel. 

Since I have very dry skin I would not say that this mask helped too much in the moisturizing department; however, that's not really its intent. The overall effects for me personally were that my skin felt firm, rejuvenated, and deeply cleansed. Given my needs, I think I would definitely alternate this mask with the moisturizing and exfoliating ones I've been using. I'd use this one to deeply cleanse once a week and one of the others twice a week.

I would highly recommend this product for people with normal-to-oily skin. It would definitely reduce shine and absorb oil. I would also recommend it for those concerned with the signs of aging because of its natural ingredients and its effectiveness in firming the skin. The Boots Botanic Ionic Clay Mask is available for $9.39 at Target stores nationwide and at

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Influenster sent this product to me for free for testing purposes. To learn more about Influenster, visit
I am currently employed by UK Trade & Investment. However, all written content and opinions expressed on this blog (including and especially those regarding British brands) are my own. This is a personal blog that is in no way affiliated with my place of employment.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Influenster J'Adore VoxBox ~ February 2014

In mid-February I received another fantastic VoxBox from Influenster! For those who haven't seen my other Influenster reviews - they provide me the samples for free for testing purposes so that I can share my opinion with you! I've taken a little longer than usual to post about this one because I wanted to wait until I had the time to try a few of the products first, rather than just doing an un-boxing. Check out my initial thoughts in my video review: 

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas
$4.49 for a carton of 25 tea bags
I haven't tried these tea bags yet but I am a big tea drinker so I was excited to see them included. Red Rose makes some really unusual flavors like Creme Caramel, Lemon Chiffon, and Peach Cobbler. They all seem like they would have sweet, subtle flavor. At that bargain price, they would make a great everyday tea!

Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates
$5.29 for 18.5oz bag, $3.28 for 11oz bag
An American tradition that needs no explanation. These bags are the perfect size for sharing with friends and family or keeping on your desk at work! What's your favorite Hershey's Kisses memory?

Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask
I have yet to try this product but have tried many Boots skincare products before. I really admire the brand and am excited to see it made it across the pond from the UK to the USA! I think it's really cool that this mask was developed with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. It's natural and made with the experts. While its focus is on reducing shine, it is for normal skin. So, even though I have typically dry skin I'm excited to see what it will do to help clear my complexion too. I've been on a big face mask kick lately so this will be a treat.

KISS Looks So Natural Lashes
$3.99 for a set
I recently wore these lashes at a formal event (see below). The application method was pretty much the same as other falsies, but the look was definitely distinct and different. These lashes blend in beautiful with your natural lashes and develop a flattering look. They're the first false lashes I've tried that are subtle enough for daytime wear.

John Frieda Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Flat Iron Spray
$9.99 for 3.5 fl.oz.
I used this 2 days ago on my damp hair. My hair's fairly long, so I applied about 12 sprays before using the straightening iron. As you can see in my previous posts, my hair is naturally pretty straight so the hair straightener doesn't do too much; it just makes it look more polished. If you watched the video in this post, you've seen what my hair looked like on day 2. It's super soft and shiny. It's still very straight too! I look forward to seeing what it will look like on day 3. I think this would be a particularly outstanding product for women with naturally curly hair that they need to use the iron to straighten. It provides a semi-permanent look. It was a little bit hard for me to test because I don't like to go 3 days without washing my hair. I usually wash it everyday. However, with a little dry shampoo I think the style still looked pretty fresh on day 2.

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Disclaimer:  I am currently employed by UK Trade & Investment. However, all written content and opinions expressed on this blog (including and especially those regarding British brands) are my own. This is a personal blog that is in no way affiliated with my place of employment.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jack Rogers Sample Sale in NYC This Week!

Jack Rogers Sample Sale

Footwear up to 70% off
Accessories & Apparel up to 80% off

March 12th-14th, 2014
Wednesday | 8:30am-6:30pm
Thursday | 8:30am-6:30pm
Friday | 8:30am-5:00pm

Jack Rogers Showroom
155 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
(5th Avenue between 21st & 22nd Streets)

Credit Cards Only.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring Forward & Jet Set!

Shirt: J.Crew | Pants: J.Crew Factory | Dog Tote: Land's End
Sunglasses: ZeroUV | Sandals: Jack Rogers

When I saw this adorable J.Crew popover with French motifs I fell in love! I kept it on my wish list and was delighted to see it go on sale this week. It was originally $88 but is now on sale AND qualifies for the store-wide 25% off all women's clothing  accessories promotion. So, I ended up getting it for $52.49 in the end - not bad! 

Many of the other items in this post are on sale now too. The pet tote is a particularly good steal right now, marked down to just $19.99 . I originally saw it on The College Prepster but wasn't sure it would work for me since my King Charles Spaniel is a little bit bigger than Carly's dog. Luckily, it just fit her. This is definitely one of my favorite vacation-ready outfits - it's comfortable and chic. Bon voyage!

The shirt also reminds me of my favorite Etsy print in my home:

You can purchase this print from PeiDesign HERE.

Au revoir, mon ami!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

50% OFF The Balm Cosmetics on HauteLook Today!

As you may already know, since my visit to Birchbox Local last year, I have become a huge fan of The Balm Cosmetics. I love how many of their products are multi-purpose and that you can find them anywhere from Duane Reade Pharmacy to Nordstrom! I am especially wild about the "Mary-Lou Manizer" and "Hot Mama" Highlighter/Shadows. They provide gorgeous neutral shades with just the right hint of shine to brighten up eyes and cheeks. Here's one of my favorite looks using Mary-Lou Manizer as a gold eyeshadow while out on the town in London:

Nordstrom's flash sale site, HauteLook, is offering a huge selection of The Balm Cosmetics for 1/2 off today! The only other time you can find them for prices this low is when offers their special charity sales a few times each year. Even then, their site can often get overloaded. So, this is an AMAZING opportunity. You can shop the sale on HauteLook HERE.

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