Sunday, July 27, 2014

1 Year Birchbox Subscription for $50!

Gilt City is offering an unbeatable deal on a 1 Year Birchbox Subscription right now! Boxes are typically $10/month + tax, but you can receive 12 boxes for just $50.

The original deal is $99 but when you use the code "25EMPLOYEE" at check-out you can the same deal for 25% OFF. For that $75 you will receive a 1 Year Subscription + a $25 credit to use on or in Birchbox's new Soho store. You can sign up for Gilt City & find the deal here.

What are you waiting for? Subscribe to Birchbox today!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Saturday, July 26, 2014

HauteLook Summer 2014 Beauty Bag Review

About 3-4 times each year, flash sale site HauteLook by Nordstrom puts out a "Beauty Bag" containing various high-end beauty deluxe samples in a unique cosmetics case. They usually run around $20-30 + shipping. The Summer 2014 Beauty Bag, which went on sale on July 18th and very quickly sold out, is my very first one. I decided to get it because of the large number of samples + the brands included + because I had a $20 referral credit to use on the site. This time around it was $25 + $5.95 shipping and the bag included a whopping 16 products!

BodyPurity by Philosophy 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face & Eyes (1 oz, $3.33), Whish Body Butter in Pomegranate (0.75 oz, $0.75), Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Body Wash (1 oz, $3.00)

None of these brands were new to me but they are all brands I really like. The Philosophy cleanser makes your face feel refreshed and detoxified. I love how smooth and gentle it is on all skin types. I'd only tried the Whish grapefruit shave cream before through Birchbox but the pomegranate body butter is just as indulgent. The smell is really sweet and tropical. Bonus - It's currently part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I am a massive fan of Molton Brown so I was really psyched to get anything from them. The Pink Pepperpod scent is a delightful mix of floral and pepper notes.

Face & Hair: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment (1 oz, $3.00), Fresh Rose Face Mask (0.68 oz, $11.60), Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifting & Firming Cream (0.5 oz, $27.94), Clinique Moisture Surge (0.21 oz, $4.16), Mario Badescu Kiwi Face Scrub (0.5 oz, $3.75)

The only brands in this batch that were new to me were Living Proof and Mario Badescu. I'd heard of them both but had never tried them. I'm excited to try the 5-in-1 treatment on my dry, color-treated hair. When combed into damp hair it's supposed to provide volume, smoothness, conditioning, strength, and polish. Like my hair, I also have very dry skin. So, I was excited to see that the Fresh mask with soothing rose petals is supposed to hydrate and tone. The texture is a thin soupy brown gel, not an exfoliant. So, that combined with the rose scent make it very relaxing. 

The Lancome Cream is the item of the highest value in the bag. It's fragrance free and has firming effects that are almost immediately noticeable. Of all the samples, the Clinique one is one of the smallest. However, it delivers an instant burst of moisture and a little bit of product goes a long way. I've been really excited about trying a Mario Badescu product for a while - they have a boutique near work and their products sound like a good value for money. This scrub sounds like the perfect exfoliant for sensitive skin. It uses kiwi seeds and seaweed to slough off dead cells. It's got a nice creamy texture to it but I will admit the smell is a bit unusual.

Lips: Stila Lip Glaze in Mango Berry (top, .05 oz, $13.75), Lorac Lip Lustre Gloss in Peach (middle, .07 oz, $9.54), Jouer Lip Gloss in Peony (bottom, .08 oz, $6.95)

These are three very conservative and practical colors. The Stila one is a nice sheer nude that creates a sun kissed look. It's the only one that is essentially full-sized - the .05 size is what's included in Trio Set. The Lorac one is deeply moisturizing and has a nice rusty rose color with lots of shimmering sparkles. I've tried another Jouer lip gloss in a Birchbox and love how long lasting and moisturizing it is. This color is a fun Barbie pink - just the right amount of "pop" that's still appropriate to wear to work.

The Basics: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Infinite Mascara in Black (approx. 0.2 oz), Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25 oz, $7.50) 

I've received this mascara before in The Man Repeller's collab with Glossybox. It's actually one of the top 3 mascaras of all time that I've tried - up there with Benefit They're Real and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes. It's got great color and a wand that separates and makes a nice curl. The Smashbox primer is another one of my favorites. I got it before through the Birchbox Local "build your own box" station last year. It's soothing on sensitive skin and keeps your makeup in place all day long. It also comes in a few variations that tackle discoloration/redness and severe dryness.

The Finishing Touches: Bottega Veneta Essence Aromatique (0.25 oz, $14), Ciate Mini in Mistress (0.17 oz, $8), Balenciaga Rosabotanica (0.25 oz, $15.62)

These are two very luxe and beautiful samples of perfume. I'd heard other bloggers rave about the Rosabotanica but the Bottega Veneta is completely new to me. The Bottega Veneta one is a bit spicy and could almost pass for a unisex scent like Kiehl's Musk Eau de Toilette. The Rosabotanica is very flirty and floral with strong notes of rose and geranium. It's a lovely but very strong scent so just a little dab will do. Last but not least - the lovely Ciate nail polish. The mini is actually sold on its own at retailers and, like the Stila, could be considered a full-size product. I recently received a mini Ciate Caviar Set as a free gift with a magazine in the UK but have yet to try it. I've heard great things about the brand and look forward to using it for my next manicure. Mistress is a classic red than can be worn in all seasons.

I estimate the total value of the box (minus the mascara + cosmetic bag) to be a minimum of $121.29 based on the lowest prices I found online for most of these products. This is by far one of the best beauty sample bags/boxes I've ever seen. The products are all from really fabulous high end brands and the colors and scents are all very practical. I could not be more pleased with my decision to buy it!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Friday, July 25, 2014

The BaubleBar Sample Sale Returns Next Week!

Hooray! Baublebar is having another sample sale!!!

Stay cool all summer with styles starting at only $10!

Wednesday, July 30th | 10am-8pm
Thursday, July 31st | 10am-8pm

28 W. 27th Street, 2nd Floor
(Between Broadway & 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10001

Know before you go: check out my review of Baublebar's August 2013 sample sale.

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trend Spotlight: Tasseled Treasures

Tassels are so on trend this season and I am just loving all the adorable necklaces and clutches out there.  They bring that extra pizzazz to an otherwise plain outfit and scream summertime has come

I'm loving the elaborate designs at J.Crew right now but $150 is a pretty hefty price tag for any piece of statement jewelry. Luckily, for those of us with more modest budgets, chloe+isabel have some cute styles for under $100. Their Casablanca Tassel Necklace is excellent quality for the money spent: nickel-free with semi-precious turquoise, malachite + fuchsia jade, and natural shell beads! It looks great with a plain white tee or styled with your boldest boho prints.

Shop this necklace and more on the chloe+isabel site!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Jack Rogers Sample Sale Starts tomorrow

Jack Rogers Sample Sale
Monday, July 21st - Thursday, July 24th

Monday - Wednesday | 8:30am-6:30pm
Thursday | 8:30am-8:00pm

Jack Rogers Showroom
155 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
Between 21st/22nd Streets

Women's Footwear Sizes 5-11 up to 70% OFF
Accessories & Apparel up to 80% OFF

Credit cards only.

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Summer by the Sea is where I wanna be

Sandals: Jack Rogers via TJ Maxx | Pearl Earrings & Necklace: Majorica via GILT
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co | Nail Polish: Color Club via Birchbox

I saw this crab dress some time ago and thought it would make the ultimate summer outfit. When GILT City offered a discount on all purchases at Tuckernuck the other week, I finally hit the bid. The dress is fantastic in person. I love the ruffles, print, and flattering fit. It's perfect for a BBQ, day at the beach, or an evening at your fave rooftop bar.

Hair: Oscar Blandi Salon | Make-up: Tarte Cosmetics artists via Ulta Princeton

I had a fabulous time at the Ulta store in Princeton yesterday where make-up artists showed me all the best summer looks using the latest Tarte cosmetics. All the natural ingredients made my skin feel healthy and radiant.

Here are the products used to achieve this look:




What summer outfit is complete without a classic pair of Jack Rogers? #LoveMyJacks

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Starts Today!

The Nordstorm Anniversary Sale started today at 12am PST. Lots of great deals are already flying off the shelves. You won't want to miss out! 

This is the best time to get some Nordstrom exclusive deals, especially in beauty. It is also the time for some MAJOR mark-downs. With free shipping & returns, what's to lose? My tip: if you see something you love, add it to your cart ASAP. Many of these deals do not last long! 

A few of my fave brands included in the sale: Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Jo Malone, Kendra Scott, Molton Brown, & more!

Want to save even MORE? Sign up for free for and you'll get 6% cash back on everything you buy from Nordstrom's online sale. Here's your invitation.

Here's my sale edit:

Happy Shopping, Nordy Girls!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Torn by Ronny Kobo Sample Sale Starts Today!

Torn by Ronny Kobo Sample Sale
Up to 75% OFF

July 15th-18th (Tues-Fri) | 10am-7pm
July 19th (Sat) | 11am-7pm
July 20th (Sun) | 11am-4pm

225 Fifth Avenue
Between 26th & 27th Streets
New York, NY 10010

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Summer Afternoon in Soho

This past Friday during the late afternoon / early evening, I took a stroll through Soho. It was the opening day of the brand new brick-and-mortar Birchbox store (433 West Broadway), so I was really excited to check it out! 

When you first walk into the #BirchboxSoho store, you'll see the displays of the website's top sellers and the products from the current month's box. There were lots of sales people around who were helping customers find exactly what they want to suit their makeup and skincare needs. All the displays were bright and fun with lots of testers. To me, that's a huge advantage since you can't test any products if you buy them on their website - something especially important for fragranced products!

Like their #BirchboxLocal pop-up shop at Chelsea Market that I reviewed last fall, the new shop as a BYOB (Build Your Own Box) station. It's a kind of formal pharmacy-like counter with display cases of all your options for Birchbox and Birchbox Man boxes. There are info cards on the walls that you can take to get extra info on the products and check off your selections. Each custom box is $15 for 5 products. It's a little bit less DIY than the #BirchboxLocal station was, which had "vending walls" that dispensed the products you selected which you then placed yourself into your empty box. Personally, I liked the vending wall set-up a little better but I can see how it would be difficult to keep it staffed at a full-time store. Also, if you're a regular Birchbox subscriber then this section might not be so exciting. The options were a little more limited than they were at #BirchboxLocal. There weren't any items exclusive to the store and most had been featured in very recent Birchboxes. They'd still make a fantastic gift though!

The options for the Women's BYOB included: (Body & Nails - pick 1) Color Club Polish, Egyptian Magic Skin Cream, Whish Shave Cream, (Skincare - 1) Caudalie SOS Morning Eye Rescue, Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Booster Serum, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit, (Fragrance - 1) Atelier Cologne's Orange Sanguine, Joie's Folle de Joie, Tocca's Florence, (Hair - 1) Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle, Klorane Shampoo with Desert Date, Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment, Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo, and (Makeup - 1) Cynthia Rowley Black Eyeliner, Jouer Lip Gloss, Marcelle BB Cream, Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight, or Supergoop CC Cream.

Near the BYOB station was this cool computer set-up. Not sure what product to buy? Staff looking particularly busy? No problem! This touchscreen program allows you to filter a bunch of options - style, hair type, skin type, and age. It will then pull up a bunch of recommendations for you.

The product walls are especially well organized. Rather than having product separated by brand, they are instead separated out by product category - makeup, skincare, hair, etc. Although there weren't any product discounts or gifts with purchase (at least not yet), you can pay for products at the shop with your Birchbox points - and you can earn Birchbox points there too!

The store has 2 floors and the basement floor has hair, body, home, and men's products. It also houses the services station. At that station, you can book appointments for hair, nails, and make-up. The make-up and hair services each cost $30. The nail services cost $10 (basic polish change), $20 (polish change + nail art on 2 fingers), or $30 (polish change + nail art on all fingers). There was a 20 minute wait for a manicure when I was there, but I was informed you can also book in advance on their website here. They also offer several beauty workshop classes in that space which are $30 to non-subscribers or FREE for Birchbox subscribers.

After all that shopping, you might work up an appetite! I was thrilled to see the Chobani cafe across the street from the new Birchbox store. I'd been meaning to check it out.

Admittedly, I didn't really know what to expect from the cafe. I just like Greek yogurt and wanted to have a look. At the cafe they offer Chobani yogurt mixed with numerous sweet and savory fresh ingredient combos. Some of the savory ones included hummus, tomatoes, feta, cucumbers, and olive oil. I picked a very tempting sweet one that had chocolate flakes, pistachios, honey, and mint leaves. I got the "half" size which was the size of a typical Chobani tub for about $5. I also got an incredible iced coffee for about $3.

They had lots of cute poufs and nice wooden trays for guests to enjoy while dining in the cafe. They also had a number of outlets to plug in your laptops and smartphones. I decided to take mine to go and was surprised to see that they give you your yogurt in the same high quality glass tubs - yours to keep! I'll definitely be using mine in the future to make my own yogurt combinations. The ingredients tasted really fresh and high quality. There were layers of each on top of my yogurt which made it really hearty and perfect for mixing. I never would have thought of having yogurt with toppings instead of a classic desert like a cake, pie, or mousse. I'm loving this new idea and was just as satisfied with my yogurt than any of those other (less healthy) options.

Overall a very lovely and delicious afternoon!

What neighborhoods have YOU explored lately?

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Get Your Beach On - Calypso St. Barth Sample Sale!

Calypso St. Barth Sample Sale
Up to 80% OFF!

Tuesday-Thursday, July 15th-17th | 10am-8pm
Friday, July 18th | 10am-7pm
Saturday, July 19th | 11am-7pm
Sunday, July 20th | 11am-4pm

260 Fifth Avenue
Between 28th & 29th Streets
New York, NY

All Sales Final. No Exchanges or Returns. 

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Birchbox "Power Up" July 2014 Review

Now that was FAST! I feel like I only just finished writing up June's Birchbox review and my July Birchbox arrived in the mail! This is probably the earliest in the month I've ever received my box. I don't know if it has anything to do with my switch over from a month-to-month to annual subscription or if this month was just super speedy. Speaking of speedy, I think it's really cool that this month was a collab with Women's Health Magazine. It was really done quite creatively with a lot of "good for you" products. Never fear, girly girls, that doesn't mean there wasn't any glam make-up this month.

Although I wasn't wild about the Coola Mineral Sunscreen BB Cream I received in my March 2014 box, I was actually pretty excited to see this Coola product this month. This after-sun lotion is definitely something I could use this summer. It's been an especially hot summer so far - spent in London & New York - and my skin has definitely been feeling the heat. The next time I forget my floppy sun hat, I'll look forward to using this agave-packed relief in a tube.  It's got a really nice exotic smell that is a little more fresh and fragrant than your typical aloe vera gel after-sun product.

Marcelle is a totally new brand to me, but it turns out it started way back in 1874 in Chicago! Birchbox did a great job of promoting the brand in this box, including an additional info card on the product that includes a code for a bonus offer - a free Lux Gloss Cream in Bellissima with the purchase of any Marcelle product in the Birchbox shop. It sounds like this is a particularly great serum for brightening, hydrating, and anti-aging your skin.

I've seen a LOT of No.4 brand samples in other subscribers' Birchboxes over the past year, but this is my very first one! I'm excited because this is a color-safe leave-in conditioner. I definitely love using leave-in conditioner to fight off tangles and leave my hair extra silky. However, it can be pretty tricky to find color-safe versions...and even harder to find travel-size ones! The scent is sort of hard to's like the perfect combo of an orange creamsicle and your favorite salon. Well, now that's probably the oddest description I've used in a review so far....but oh so summer!

I practically jumped up and down when I saw that there was a Cynthia Rowley eyeliner in this month's box. Birchbox and Cynthia Rowley very kindly invited me a an exclusive Birchbloggers event in New York earlier this summer. At the event we got to chat with Birchbox Co-Founder Hayley Barna, shop Cynthia Rowley's latest fashion collections, and go home with the entire Cynthia Rowley Beauty collection! Ever since, I have been gushing over my new beauty gems. The eyeshadow palette has the most amazing colors, the lip stains are the right combo of matte and moisturizing, and the eyeliners glide across your lids like butter! 

The silver isn't the easiest color to style, I'll admit. It blends pretty easily with other eye make-up. However, it leaves a sort of shimmery shadow around your eyes that looks even more fabulous throughout the night.

This is another product I'd seen a lot of other subscribers receive in previous boxes, but my first. These gummies look so sweet and delicious. I've tried some gummy vitamins before that looked more like fruit snacks but these look more like gumdrops - so cute! It's also a very appropriate "Lifestyle Extra" for the Women's Health box.

One of the other little extras in the box was a "Power Up" booklet of 12 challenges to improve your mental and physical health. It's a pretty substantial book with little tips like "part your hair differently", "up your sleep quality", and "eat veggies for breakfast" with extended info on how to perfect these new routines. 

The final extra was a subscription card for Women's Health Magazine. At first I didn't think much of this. I figured it was an advertisement trying to get us to subscribe to the magazine. However, that is NOT the case. The folks at Women's Health are actually offering up to Birchbox subscribers a FREE 1-Year subscription to their magazine ($9.99 value). There are no hidden obligations and you won't receive any bills, which implies that it isn't an "auto-renew" scam. 

If Women's Health is not your thing, the reply card also gives you the option of mailing it in with your July Birchbox receipt (within 30 days of receiving the box) and receiving a $9.99 refund from Women's Health in lieu of the magazines. Can you believe it? Women's Health is practically offering to pay for the cost of your Birchbox if you're not interested in their magazine. A very generous deal no matter which option you choose.

1,2,3...Get fit, girls!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...