Thursday, September 25, 2014

Enjoy 20% OFF Everything at Bare Minerals today!

Glammy Promo

Enjoy 20% off everything online & in-store to celebrate the 10th consecutive year of the Bare Minerals ORIGINAL Foundation winning the Glamour Award for Best Prestige Foundation!

Today is the last day to enjoy this offer - just enter "PERFECT10" at checkout.

My personal fave? My brand new Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready. It's so versatile - perfect for a day in the office OR a night on the town - and it's extremely moisturizing and long lasting!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Sloane Ranger Friends & Family Sale

Sloane Ranger Friends & Family Sale

30% OFF your order of $60+

Use code "SRFF14" at checkout
Sale through 9/28

Here are a few of my Sloane Ranger faves:

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Walmart Beauty Box - Fall 2014 Review

I just discovered the Walmart Beauty Box and was excited to receive my very first one this week!  The awesome thing about these boxes is that they're basically free. You just pay $5 for shipping and the box is yours to test some of the best beauty products currently available at Walmart. The box is available just once each season (4 times/year).

Dove Advance Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Shampoo (Full-size, $4.99) & Conditioner (Full-size, $4.98), Dove Pure Care Dry Oil for Hair (Full-size, $11.98)

I'm a big fan of the moisturizing capacity of Dove's lotion and shower cream products, but haven't been overly impressed with their haircare products yet.  That being said, I haven't tied anything from the "Oxygen Moisture" line yet, so I am definitely excited to see how they work.  I'm also interested in seeing how the Dry Oil compares to some of the premium brand hair oils I've tried lately. All three of these samples would be perfect to bring along on a business trip!

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Makeup (Full-size, $13.97), L'Oreal YouthCode Pore Vanisher (Full-size, $17.97)

The Neutrogena makeup and L'Oreal Pore Vanisher were the only things in the box that weren't deluxe samples or full size products. So, it'll be a bit hard to tell how well I like them after just 1 use. The Neutrogena sample did come with a $2 off coupon for the full size though, which doesn't expire until December 31st.

L'Oreal Glossy Balm in Innocent Coral (Full-size, $6.97)

This lip gloss is my favorite product in the box. It's such a great find. The crayon-like applicator goes on so smoothly. It suits my needs a little better than similar Pop Beauty lip crayons because it's packed with moisture. It actually reminds me a lot of the LAQA & Co ones except the pigmentation is a little bit less saturated (this one's more subtle). I definitely plan on buying another one of these in the future! It's got the quality of a premium brand at a value price of just $6.97.

Cover Girl Glowing Nights Glosstinis Nail Polish in Lumiere Laser (Full-size, $2.99)

I wasn't as crazy about this nail polish, mainly because of the color. Personally, I don't wear black nail polish at all outside of perhaps a Halloween party. I applied 2 coats on one nail and still didn't achieve an opaque effect / it looked a little stripy. So, I think I would bring this in to the manicurist to apply it a bit more evenly.  Doing it by myself would require 3 coats I think - which would take a long time to dry.

Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Eau de Parfum (Full-size, $19.99)

This scent reminds me of tropical fruits but is also sugary sweet. It's fun, youthful, and energetic. It most reminds me of Rihanna's "Nude" perfume, which I actually like quite a lot and wear on different occasions in the Spring & Summer.

Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant (Full-size, $5.98)

I tried this deodorant when it first went on the market years ago. I didn't find it to be 100% effective then, but look forward to giving it another try.  I'm sure they've adjusted the formula a bit since then and I think the product has a lot of potential.

Overall, I thought this box was well worth the $5. The deodorant alone was worth $5.98. I look forward to receiving my next Walmart Beauty box in the Winter!

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Customer Appreciation Day at Birchbox Soho

Friday was the first ever Birchbox Customer Appreciation Day.  Throughout the day, Birchbox surprised subscribers and nominated friends with special giveaways and office & home visits.  They also had a special offer for all Birchbox fans in the New York area: everyone who stopped by their brand new store in Soho was treated to a "Build Your Own Birchbox" (value: $15 + tax).  The box was absolutely free - no purchase necessary!

I got to the store at around 6pm and the line was almost 1/2 of the block outside the store. I think it got even longer after that. In total my wait time was about 45 minutes but it was definitely worth it to me. The other ladies in the line were so fantastic, Birchbox staff treated us to delicious sweets and a bonus lip gloss while we waited, and our sample selections at the B.Y.O.B. bar were served up by VIP staff members like Co-Founder Hayley Barna and Editorial Director Mollie Chen (who are both just adorable and beautiful IRL). 

Once we got to the front of the line we were given check lists to select 1 sample in each of the 5 categories: body, hair, skincare, make-up, and fragrance. The samples available in the B.Y.O.B. section change each month and boxes are $15. 

Here are a few of the options (from memory) we were given:

Body - Caudalie Divine Legs (foil packet), Whish Exfoliating Body Wash (in Coconut, I believe), Color Club Nail Lacquer in Peace Love & Polish (I don't believe this color is available on, + at least 1 other I can't remember

I picked the Color Club polish. It's been a long time since I received a nail polish in one of my Birchboxes, so I was excited to see that this was an option. It's bright neon pink with an iridescent gold glow.

Hair - Frederic Fekkai Glossing Shampoo & Conditioner (bottles not oil packets), Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Treatment, Miss Jessie's Curls (foil packet), + at least one other I can't remember

I picked the Macadamia oil because I've read so many amazing things about the brand. I've tried a few hair oils recently and have noticed the immense impact they've had on my hair's health and shine. I had a really tough time picking the 1 sample I was able to choose for my September Birchbox and ultimately picked a Davines conditioner over the Macadamia oil option. So, having this product as an option on Customer Appreciation Day confirmed I made the right choice for the September box.

Make-up - Laura Gellar GlamLash Mascara, Cynthia Rowley Silver Eyeliner, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion

I picked the Anastasia brow gel. I recently got the Anastasia duo brow powder and absolutely love it so I was excited to try another product by the brand. The Cynthia Rowley eyeliner is fabulous too, but I already have a couple of them.

Skincare - Coola Sunscreen, Marcelle 8-in-1 Power Serum, Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel, Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Supergoop Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream

It was a tough call between the Supergoop and Juice Beauty products because I love eye products that minimize bags and crow's feet. Ultimately, I picked the Juice Beauty peel because I've never tried anything by the brand and have noticed the products are pretty expensive. So, this seemed like a good opportunity to try a product I probably wouldn't risk buying in the full-size version without sampling first.

Fragrance - Harvey Prince Ageless, Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum, Mad Madame by Juliette Has a Gun, + at least 1 other I can't remember

I've already received numerous samples of the Folle de Joie perfume and have a full-size version of the scented lotion from the RewardStyle party last year. So, I thought I might want to branch out and try another one.  I smelled the tester strips the staff had on-hand and ultimately decided that although the Mad Madame was pretty nice too, I'd stick with the one I already knew I loved. I've been saving up for a full-size Folle de Joie perfume but haven't quite gotten there yet, so it will be nice to have another sample.

The little bonus I received while waiting was this Jouer lip gloss. It's an exclusive color called "Birchbox Pink". I love the other two Jouer gloss samples I have from a previous Birchbox and the HauteLook Summer Beauty Bag. So, I know I will adore this one too.

Happy Birthday, Birchbox!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Popsugar Must Have Boxes on Sale on Rue La La!

Always wanted to try out Popsugar Must Have's boxes? 
Now's your chance!

Rue La La has a special sale going on right now to get your first box for just $24.95 including shipping. They're normally $39.99 so that's a great deal. Boxes typically include a mix of about 7 different full-size items spanning home, fashion, beauty, or food. They often throw some great books in there too! Check out my Pinterest Board for some of my fave items in previous Popsugar Must Have Boxes. Still curious? Check out my review of my last Popsugar Must Have Box!

Don't worry current subscribers, I'm pretty sure you can create a new account and use the code to receive the discount. Hurry - this offer's only available for another 6 days (or while supplies last)! Order your discounted box on Rue La La today.

Click HERE to buy your box.

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Philosophy Friends & Family Event

This week only!

Philosophy Friends & Family Event
Get 30% OFF your favorite fragrances, bath & body products, and skin care!

Enter code "weloveyou" at checkout.
Offer ends 9/19/14.

Plus, FREE ground shipping on orders $50+!

1% of all Philosophy products supports community-based mental health efforts.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Chapstick Hydration Lock Collection

Earlier this week Birchbox and Chapstick/Pfizer sent me two Chapsticks from the new Hydration Lock collection for free to test and review for you, my fantastic readers!

Everyone has his or her own recurring beauty woe. Mine would definitely be dry, chapped lips - especially in the winter time. I'm always on the prowl for the latest and greatest long lasting moisturizing products for lips.  So, I was thrilled to get this new product. 

The first one I tried was the "Advanced Anti-Aging Formulas" stick.  The awesome thing about all the Chapsticks in this collection is that they are double sided (whoa, mind blown!). That's 2 formulas in 1 - and less to carry around in your purse. 

Each side serves a different purpose. This one has a "moisturize" side and a "renew" side. The moisturize side aims to create fuller, smoother, and younger looking lips and is lightly scented with Soft Vanilla. The renew side revitalizes lips with natural butters and is lightly scented with Botanic Medley. To be honest, both sides didn't really have a strong scent. I really noticed the instant impact of the moisturize side. It didn't go on as smoothly as the other side but felt like it packed a powerful punch of hydration. So, in that sense it felt more like a medicated lip balm than a silky luxurious one.  However, the other side complemented it really well by topping my lips off with that buttery smooth finish.  You may wish to use each side at different times for different purposes, but I actually liked combining the two.

The "24 Hour Care" one was even more practical.  The "day" side is a skin protectant with SPF 12 sunscreen that is ultra-conditioning and unflavored. This one's especially great because it is actually pretty hard to find a nice lip balm with SPF that doesn't give off an awful sunscreen taste. Protecting your lips from the sun is SO important. Not only do you avoid the sun's harmful rays, but you also avoid exacerbating common problems like chapped lips, fever blisters, and cold sores. The "night" side replenishes lips overnight with tamanu oil, natural butters, and antioxidants. It's got a Calming Chamomile scent. I like that it has a relaxing scent for bedtime and that it actively helps moisturize and soothe your lips while you sleep.

It's hard to say which of the two I like best. The first one is a very powerful moisturizer and the second one is extremely practical. At $2.99 each, these are a bargain. Which would you like to try? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birchbox "Fresh Paint" September 2014 Review

This month Birchbox again gave several options to choose from - pick 1 of various samples or go with the Birchbox x Fashionista box.  Although the Birchbox x Fashionista collab had a number of items I really like, I decided to go with the pick 1 option since I was pretty disappointed with my choice to pick the Birchbox x The Everygirl collab last month when other subscribers seemed to have gotten much better samples going the other route.

I'm afraid that again I may have made a blunder. I'm very impressed with what others received in the Birchbox x Fashionista box and extremely underwhelmed by everything in my box aside from the 1 sample I selected (Davines Conditioner). To note, the Fashionista box included a travel size Macadamia Oil Conditioner worth $15 (would love to try anything by this brand), a Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Mask (like this brand!), Cynthia Rowley Silver Eyeliner (already have & love), Laura Mercier Mascara (like I was supposed to receive too), and  Naobay Radiance Lotion. The only item I wouldn't have been overly excited about was the Naobay.

My box contained: Acure Organics Day Cream (Full-size, $18.99), Davines OI Conditioner (Full-size, $32), Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah (Full-size, $22), Real Chemistry  Luminous 3-Minute Peel (Full-size, $48), Temptu S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer (Full-size, $27.50), and 2 bonus items with my selected Davines sample - Davines OI Shampoo (Full-size, $26) and Davines OI Oil (Full-size, $41).

I received another Acure product just last month - the Brightening Facial Scrub. It was alright the first time I tried it but nothing extraordinary - at least for my skin type.  I was so underwhelmed by it that I actually ended up deciding to swap it before trying it a second time. This brand just doesn't seem to be my cup of tea, so I was surprised to get products from them 2 months in a row. Honestly speaking, I already have enough day creams so I think this one will be gifted or swapped. It doesn't seem like anything particularly unique. It's advertised as an anti-aging firming moisturizer made with gotu kola stem cells and seems to have a bit of a citrus scent.

This was the crown jewel of the box. The Davines OI Conditioner was the only sample that I personally selected. I picked it instead of the other options (many of which were very appealing!) because I absolutely loved the Davines LOVE Shampoo & Conditioner, and OI All-in-One Milk I received in a previous box. The OI Conditioner sample size (a 2.53 oz tub) looked very generous and this option came with 2 bonus samples, the OI Shampoo and OI Oil. So, it definitely seemed like the most bang for your buck.  The full size products are all pretty expensive so it was important to me to try out the samples before deciding to commit. The Davines LOVE Conditioner sample I'd received before was in a foil packet like the Shampoo & Oil ones this time, so I didn't have the chance to make sure I loved it equally after multiple uses. This deluxe sample will give me the chance!

I really liked the Harvey Prince "Hello" perfume sample that I received a while back, so I hate to say that I was disappointed by this sample. There's nothing wrong with it really. It's just that Birchbox sent out an email letting everyone know they could preview online what they were going to receive this month before it shipped. So, I took a sneak peek and was really excited to see that I would be receiving the Laura Mercier Mascara that those who selected the Birchbox x Fashionista box were also receiving. 

I wasn't super excited about the other randomly selected samples so that was going to be the big win that made this box worth it this time around (+ the Davines samples I selected). To my surprise, I opened the box and found out that I received this shower gel instead. Very disappointing. I'd never received an item in a box that was different than what was listed under my "Box History". I've contacted Birchbox Customer Service to let them know and hopefully I will be able to get the Laura Mercier product I was supposed to receive. That being said, the shower gel has a very nice grapefruit scent. I'm just more of a luxury bar soap person than shower gel person. This would be great for travel though!

I'd seen some other subscribers get this 3 Minute Peel a few months back and was intrigued.  However, my skin is extremely dry and can be quite sensitive. So, I'm a little bit wary about products that could be too harsh. This product is supposed to help with: controlling acne breakouts, diminishing dark spots, reducing ingrown hair, evening skin tone, brightening complexion, and smoothing & resurfacing skin texture. The box does say it is gentle unlike chemical or abrasive peels so I think it will be fine for me and I definitely plan to try it soon. This is probably the randomly selected sample I'm most excited about in this box.

The Temptu Highlighter is another disappointing sample.  It's hard to give you an exact idea about the size of this sample (.1 oz) but it is tiny.  For reference, the photo above shows it on top of the Birchbox lid. It's not even as large as the rectangular logo on the lid. The other odd thing about this sample is that most Temptu products are sold in pods and are supposed to be applied with the Temptu airbrush machine. This particular version of the highlighter doesn't have to be, but it is also sold in pod form. I think because Temptu is really known for its airbrush products, this won't really give me a good idea of what I think of them.  Additionally, it probably goes best with other Temptu products - which would not only cost me $30-45 per pod, but would also require the purchase of the airbrush applicator machine which is sold in a $170 kit. That's a pretty massive investment! My advice: if you're thinking of investing in Temptu products, go try them out at the Birchbox Soho store. I don't think this one itty bitty sample will give you an idea. On the plus side, this sample looks like it would work on all skin tones. It creates a sheer dewy look that glows but doesn't really adjust pigmentation at all. 

My overall verdict? Quite disappointed this month. It's so difficult to judge what's the right move to take, now that Birchbox gives you some choices.  The Davines samples alone probably did justify the cost of the box, which I got at a discount since I have an annual subscription.  I am seriously considering investing in a full size Davines product so that's really useful. However, I really could have done without all of the other samples. None of them were really for me this time. They were mostly skincare related and I was hoping for makeup, nail polish, or haircare products this time. It seems like the majority of products I get in my boxes (2/5?) are skincare which is the 1 category I said I was NOT interested in when filling out my beauty profile.

I hope Birchbox sticks to our preferences in the beauty profile a little more closely in the future and/or I get more opportunities to select products for my box that fall outside of that category. I don't mind some but 2 out of 5 products is not at all what I would like. Still hopeful for next time and over the whole subscription period have been generally very pleased with my Birchboxes.

Addendum 9/14: Birchbox customer service got back to me very quickly and kindly offered to send an extra Laura Mercier Mascara sample to replace the one I should have received. They really could not have been nicer about it. Just another reason to love Birchbox!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kendra Scott Girls' Night Out - 15% OFF!

Girls' Night Out with Kendra Scott

For tonight only - Kendra Scott is celebrating Girls' Night Out with a very special offer.  You can get 15% OFF your purchase of a fantastic assortment of "fall colors" (black, slate, and turquoise). Simply use the code "FALLCOLORS" at checkout.

This offer is only available until 1am on the East Coast. Hurry and grab your faves at a fantastic discount.

Here are a few sale gems I've had my eye on:

Now, go get glam!

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