Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sale of the Week: GiGi New York

GiGi New York is having an incredible sale right now. They're offering up some of their most popular styles at 40-60% off!  I'm so impressed by the variety of styles that GiGi is able to offer. They have everything from flirty clutches for a night out to fun and functional bags for travel to the perfect bag to bring to work every day.

GiGi is a personal favorite of mine. I first heard about them at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference back in early 2013. Based in Long Island, GiGi is a family-owned company that uses some of the highest quality leather in the world. I was impressed to hear about all of the detail and craftsman ship that goes into the making of each bag. Be sure to check out this video "The Making of  GiGi New York Handbag", it will definitely give you a new appreciation for the product! 

One of my absolute favorite GiGi styles is the All-in-One Bag. It's the perfect clutch for a day-to-night look. It easily fits a phone, wallet, keys, make-up, - even a camera or hairbrush! During the sale, this bag comes in a bunch of styles for just $75! I am a total sucker for monograms and initials. So, I have to admit that I've added the personalization option on all three GiGi bags that I own. For the All-in-One Bag, it's an extra $15 - and so worth it!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box Summer 2015 Review

It's taken a little while for me to post this, but last month I received my fourth Walmart Beauty Box (see my firstsecond, and third here). This one came with a whole bunch of products - 7 samples and some foil packets too. There were also coupons included in this one, just like in the previous ones. Again, this is a free box for everyone who subscribes.  You just get charged $5 for shipping each time - which is quarterly not monthly.

St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub (full size, $3.87)

This scrub works to clear blackheads and calm redness. I don't have any blackheads at the moment but my skin does get a little red and splotchy at times so I will definitely try this one out. It's oil-free, paraben free, and sulfate free.  It has salicylic acne medication (1%) and contains 100% natural exfoliants. There's a warning on the label that it might dry out your skin a bit and mine is already dry. So, I'll probably start out by trying it just once or twice a week rather than the recommended 1-3 times daily. It is a kiwi-green color just like green tea and has a fairly neutral scent that isn't very noticeable. The exfoliants have a texture similar to fine grains of sand, so it isn't too harsh but could be a bit rough on sensitive skin if used more than once daily.

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream (full size, $3.74)

I really like all Nivea products I've tried so far. I find that they work really well on dry to very dry skin types. I typically use their original Nivea Creme which is primarily for use on your elbows, heels, and hands. This cream is can be used on your hands, body, and face. So, it seems like a slightly less greasy version of the original Creme. I found that it definitely had a thinner consistency than the original Creme and is more like a lot of other mosturizers I have used. I don't think it moisturizes as deeply as the Creme does, but maybe that is necessary for facial use so it doesn't clog pores. I really like the scent which seems powdery fresh.

Dove Go Fresh Nutrium Moisture Body Wash (full size, $5.47-5.97)

The Dove body wash was actually quite a disappointment because I received the exact same sample in the exact same scent in my Spring 2015 Walmart Beauty Box the previous quarter (March). I didn't think that subscription boxes were supposed to send repeats at all, let alone in consecutive boxes. It's not a bad product by any means but it's not very exciting to receive the same item twice in a row.

NYC (New York Color) Liquid Lipshine Lip Gloss (full size, $1.87)

The color I received was 579 Fashion Ave Fuchsia. NYC cosmetics are good in a pinch - they are super cheap and are sold in most big box stores and pharmacies, so they are easy to pick up when you're on-the-go. This lip gloss contains Vitamin E which leaves lips moisturized and soft. It's ultra-shiny and pretty sheer. So, if you're not layering it on top of lipstick, I would recommend at least two coats. It's a nice rosie shade of pink. Admittedly, I didn't like that it was very sticky and the scent was kind of sickeningly vanilla cupcake sweet.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Complete Care Shampoo (full size, $4.98)

This is a nourishing anti-dandruff shampoo with ten vitamins and nutrients. I actually already use Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy products quite a bit. I don't like to use the same shampoos and conditioners on a daily basis because I find that daily use creates root build-up. So, I usually have 2-3 of each in my weekly rotation. I pretty much always have one Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy product in the rotation. Right now I'm using the Intense Hydration Shampoo which I received at an Allure Magazine event.

Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 (full size, $8.49)

This sunscreen lotion is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and contains helioplex broad spectrum UVA / UVB protection. It goes on in a nice thin layer so it's not hard to apply and rub into your skin - no white streaks here! It has a very light citrus type of smell too it. So, it definitely doesn't have a strong smell like traditional sunscreens.

This comes in two skin tone options, Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan.  The samples I received were for Medium to Tan so unfortunately I wasn't able to try them. They looked like they would be way too dark on my skin tone.  It looks like a pretty intriguing product that gives you "natural-looking color just by moisturizing".  Since I have dry, fair skin I would definitely be interested in trying it. It's a shame I did not receive the Fair to Medium sample.

You & I by One Direction Perfume (full size, $39.50)

The perfume vial I received was about 1/4 empty. It doesn't look like that happened in transit, so maybe that's just the way the sample is packaged. I fall a bit outside of the One Direction fan age group, so I can't say the band's association is a big hook for me. However, the scent is actually really nice. It's pretty sweet (kind of like Riana's Fierce perfume) but has nice fruity and floral notes - it reminds me grapefruit, cantaloupe, and fresh wild flowers. It's definitely a nice spring/summer scent. This does not appear to be on Walmart's website and is sold out at Ulta and Sephora - it's potentially only available at Kohl's. Right now Walmart only seems to have One Direction's other perfume, "Our Moment".

Last but not least, there were quite a few coupons again. This time they were for makeup brushes from Real Techniques by Sam & Nic Chapman, Ecotools, and Essential Tools ($2 off brushes from each but the coupons expired quickly, at the end of June).

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In Defense of Amazon's Prime Day...

So, I know a lot of people were really disappointed about Amazon's Prime Day yesterday...although it did create some hilarious memes and tweets! There was so much hype built up around it that it would be bigger and better than Black Friday. Admittedly, I was in the same boat as everyone else for most of the day.

I continually checked the "Lightning Deals" throughout the day hoping there would be something amazing hidden in amongst the baby bottles, tupperware, shoe horns, and camping lanterns.  I had gotten some great deals in the past from similar promos during Black Friday, like wonderful Monster DNA Headphones for $75 vs. regular price $230 (and I wouldn't mind an upgrade to some Bose QuietComfort Headphones!).

Sadly, what few things I was excited about like a pair of Jack Rogers sandals, a $25 Sephora gift certificate for $20 (ok not huge savings) and "The Theory of Everything" on Blu-ray sold out incredibly quickly. Even the waitlist was full.

However, what I discovered later in the day was just how closely you needed to look at the day-long offers posted on the site, especially those that were posted on the homepage well below the various "lightning deals".  There were some great discounts on some of my favorite snack foods and there were actually some really incredible brands included in the fashion sale which took off 30% on select items at checkout. 

Some of the brands included in the fashion sale were: Kate Spade, Diane von Furstenberg, Joie, Dogeared, Gorjana, Vera Bradley, Mara Hoffman, and Alice & Trixie! There were some good deals to be had from pretty high-end brands, but like at TJ Maxx, you had to do some digging.

I walked away with the impulse steals pictured above. The white Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. Purse and Platinum Jack Rogers Navajo Sandals are such classics, the individual bags of Stacy's pita chips are just enough to satisfy my cravings without my feeling bad about the calories, and I've had my eye on the Rifle Paper Co x LeSportSac collection since I went to the launch event on Madison Ave with Anna Bond a couple months ago! Items were 25% off at that event and I hadn't seen them on sale anywhere else. What a surprise that they were included in the 30% off sale on #PrimeDay!

Best of all, if you feel some post-shopping guilt or wanted to try out two colors and decide which you liked best, you could shop worry-free. With Amazon Prime, there are free returns!

I can't say I'm completely sold on Amazon Prime yet at $99/year. I used the 30-day free trial to shop the sale. The main reason is that I feel like I could only justify an Amazon Prime membership if I took advantage of both the free shipping and the Instant Video service. However, I think Amazon still has a ways to go to catch up with Netflix. So, for now, I'll keep my Netflix and add orders of $35 or more to my Amazon carts. 

Amazon Prime members, what do you think of your membership? Did anyone else get some really great deals yesterday? Let me know in the comments!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sale of the Week: Macy's Surprise Sale

One Day Only
Wednesday, July 15th

Sale ends at 11:59pm EST tonight.

A little underwhelmed by Amazon's #PrimeDay sales today? Well, never fear! Old reliable Macy's has stepped up to the plate with some great deals - even better than their frequent "One Day Sale" offers. 

Today, for the first time ever, they are offering free shipping with no order minimum! They are also offering an extra 20% off nearly all sale and clearance merchandise with the code "DEALS". As if that weren't enough, they are also offering literally 1000s of surprise deals today - beauty department included!

If you are the ultimate coupon-clipper, I'll let you in on a couple secrets to save even more:

1) Sign up for and access the Macy's site through the links on their site. You will get 8% cash back in the mail on everything you purchase from Macy's today. It's completely free to sign up and I can attest from several years using it that it is a very reliable service.

2) This one's just for American Express card holders. If you have certain AmEx cards, and I'm assuming this applies to most since I have their free Blue Sky card, you can sign up on their website to load a special Macy's deal to your card. My account has a "Spend $100, get a $20 statement credit" by using my enrolled card online or in-store at Macy's before August 31st.

My sale picks are (pictured above):

Originally $69.50, Now $26.39
Available in: Yellow, Navy, and Light Grey

Originally $79.50, Now $26.39

Originally $15, Now $7.50

Originally $20, Now $10

Originally $25, Now $12.50

Originally $99, Now $69.30

Originally $12, Now $6

Originally $40, Now $25

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happy 1st Anniversary, Birchbox Soho!

Happy Anniversary, Birchbox Soho!

This month marks the 1st anniversary of Birchbox's first permanent venture into 
brick-and-mortar. The Birchbox Soho retail store is a fabulous place for product discovery, personalized service, express beauty treatments, and special events. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, be sure to read the post about my first visit last July (shortly after it opened!) to learn more. I'm pretty thrilled that I've had the chance to come along with them for the entire journey thus far - Birchbox Local, Customer Appreciation Day, and more!

To celebrate this special occasion, Birchbox is offering a special promo for all Birchbox subscribers who began there subscriptions 1 year ago or before. Just go to the store any time during the month of June and pick at 5 samples in the "Build Your Own Birchbox" in the back. Then, proceed to the register and let the sales girls know the email address that you use for your subscription. Voila! You will get your personalized box for free.

I posted the samples I picked in the photo above (from my Instagram) - what do you think? See any favorites?

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Starts Today!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts today! If you're a Nordstrom card holder you can get exclusive Early Access to all the incredible deals on offer until July 17th. After that, the sale will be open to the rest of us! 

Not a card holder? Don't worry, you can preview all the sale items now and start to make up your wish list. Click on my edit above to view the awesome deals I've already put on mine.

Go forth and shop, Nordy girls!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Birchbox "Beachy & Bright" July 2015 Review

This marks my first Birchbox after my annual subscription ran out. I got my initial subscription through a special holiday promotion, so I was a little hesitant to let it auto-renew. In the end though, I did let them go ahead and renew it. 

With all the points you get from reviewing the products in your box and sharing your box via social media the $100 annual subscription comes down to more like $40 (or $100 plus $60+ free product). In that case, I definitely thought it was worth it. I may not get around to using up every single sample each month, but it's definitely a nice monthly pick-me-up getting a box of little surprises in the mail for less than $10/month.

I had avoided the curated boxes for a while because I missed getting surprises, but this time I did spring for the curated "Beachy & Bright" one. For those of you who are less familiar with Birchbox, you have two choices. You can either pick 1 item in your box (from among that month's sample choices) and receive 4-5 surprises, or you can pick a curated box and know in advance which 5-6 items you are going to receive.

My box contained: Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub, Stila Look at Me Liquid Lipstick, Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, TheBalm Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush, and Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Serum SPF 30

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray (full-size $39, purse size $22)

I definitely more of a polished waves than beachy waves kind of girl. For the other Drybar addicts out there, that means I usually go for the "Cosmo" rather than the "Mai Tai". This spray gives that nice sea salt texture that creates a great "I woke up like this" look, but it does make your hair dry rather than silky and matte rather than shiny. So, it just depends on the type of look you prefer - or the occasion. 

This spray definitely emphasized my natural waves which was pretty flattering. It's a great way to get a new look in a matter of seconds. 

I will say, with most of the sample aerosol sprays I've received from Birchbox - and this one is no exception - I've found that there really isn't much product in such a tiny aerosol. It's mostly air. Perhaps for the samples they'd be better off putting them in plastic spray bottles? If the sample is any evidence of ratio of product to spray bottle, I would recommend investing in the full size of this product rather than purchasing the purse spray.

Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub (full-size, $38)

To be honest, this was the sample I was least excited about this month. While Juara has a strong brand reputation, there are a number of other skincare brands I prefer at the moment. 

The product is odorless which is appealing to most, but I thought that the lack of odor - or at least lack of a pleasant odor - was kind of disappointing. Since the product contains some cinnamon and apple enzymes, I had hoped it would have some nice natural scent. 

My skin type is dry/very dry, so I think this product isn't exactly designed for me. I do try to use an exfoliant at least once every 1-2 weeks, but I usually have to use a mild one. I've been told ones that are too rough actually bring extra oils to the surface of your skin. So, I definitely want to avoid that. I wouldn't say this one did that, but I did feel like my skin felt especially dried out after using it. 

I can't speak for the long term effects though, since I've only tried it once. Just a little bit of product seemed to go a long way when applied to damp skin. So, although this sample looks pretty small, I think it will last for at least 4-5 uses.  So far, I still prefer some of my Liz EarleCaudalie, and Nuxe masks and cleansers - or event the Vasanti one I received in a previous Birchbox. I think just about all of those are cheaper too. But, I'll give this one a few more chances.

Stila Look at Me Liquid Lipstick (set of 3, $20) in Bella

This month's sample choice was the same Stila Liquid Lipstick in three different shades, all of which are included in the full-size trio set. Part of the reason I went for the curated box was because I'd planned to pick the bright pink Bella shade anyway, which is the one included in every "Beachy & Bright" curated box. The color has got a matte finish and is very long lasting, almost like a lip stain. I anticipated that it would have a sticky texture but it's actually not sticky at all. Since I have dry lips/skin I found that I actually wanted to apply a moisturizing lip balm on top of it.

I wanted to do a close up of this product swatch so you could get a feel for color and texture. This color is bright! If you're not into bold hot pinks, then Bella is definitely not the shade for you. It's a Barbie-bubble-gum hot pink. It's definitely not suitable for work, but will certainly make a statement on a night out. 

I really like the texture because it is extremely thick. It felt like paint when I swatched it. Because it's so thick, it's not particularly easy to remove. I tried my Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water from last month's box and that didn't do the trick. I needed a cleansing cloth for this one.  

I found that the pigment only really clung to the front of my lips, so you could see a bit of a divide in color when I smiled. Also, because the color is so strong, it's not a great one to smudge with your finger. I would definitely recommend using a Q-tip or beauty blender to wipe away any access product around your lips. Otherwise, you'll need to use some heavy-duty make-up removing wipes to get the product off of your hands.

TheBalm Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush (full-size, $21)

I usually steer clear of bronzers because my skin is so fair. However, I really love TheBalm and thought this product might be worth giving a try. I like it a lot better than other bronzers because rather than creating a dark streak on my face, it blends in quite nicely like a blush would. 

It is relatively translucent and has a nice rosy sun-kissed shimmer, which you can see a bit on the far left of the photo where I swatched it on my hand. I think this sample will last a while, so I look forward to experimenting with it. The two great things about TheBalm's products are that the packaging is always really convenient for travel and that most of the products can serve multiple functions (like a 2-in-1 blush and bronzer).

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Serum SPF 30 (full-size, $42)

I've received this sample before, perhaps at a Birchbox I received at a special blogger event. I love the Supergoop! brand and believe all the products in their line-up are very high quality. 

Unfortunately, they're a little out of my budget. As I said last month with the Coola one (full-size $32), I don't typically splurge on sunscreen products unless they are multi-function make-up products.  They also tend to have a shorter shelf life than other beauty products. Regardless, I don't mind getting a sample. It's always nice to get to try something that would otherwise be fairly inaccessible. 

I like that this serum acts as a moisturizer and is safe to use on your face, neck, and chest. It doesn't cause breakouts or leave a greasy residue. I have very dry skin so I appreciate the moisturizing aspect of this product, but also find most sunscreens on the market fairly moisturizing. 

I definitely feel very protected when I use this product, but again think the price tag's a little high. I'll enjoy it for the 3-4 uses I'll likely get out of this sample but don't think this is something I would purchase for daily use, as the description suggests you might.

I have a soft spot for palm trees and love the packaging for this month's box. I definitely want to re-purpose it. Let me know in the comments if you've repurposed any of your Birchboxes and what creations you made!

May your waves be beachy and your outlook be peachy!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Saturday, July 4, 2015

25 Can't-Miss Independence Day Sales

Happy Fourth of July! Treat yourself this summer with some of the best deals in fashion, beauty, home, and gift. Here's my round-up:

Anthropologie: Extra 20% off sale items w/ code "SALEAWAY"
Ayres Beauty: Buy 1 get 1 free + free shipping w/ code "AYRESBOGO"
Birchbox: 20% off select items, 30% off for Aces Members w/ code "STARSNSTRIPES"
Cath Kidston: Up to 50% off select styles
Furbish Studio: 15% off everything w/ code "HAPPY4"
Gigi New York: 25% off select styles + free shipping + GWP
Gilt & Gilt City: 20% off everything w/ code "4TW"
Glossybox: 15% off all subscriptions w/ code "GLOSSYUSA"
Gretchen Scott: 50% off select styles
J.McLaughlin: 40-70% off select styles
Jack Rogers: Up to 50% off select styles
Jack Wills: Up to 40% off select styles
Jayes Studio: 30% off everything w/ code "Freedom30"
Kate Spade NY: Extra 20% off sale items w/ code "SETSALE"
Malabar Bay: 30% off everything w/ code "Independence30"
Nuxe: 30% off everything + free shipping on $50+
Penhaligon's: Up to 50% off select items
Rebecca Minkoff: Up to 60% off select items
Rifle Paper Co: 15% off everything
Skyn Iceland: 20% off everything w/ code "JULY4SKYN"
Sloane Ranger: 30% off select styles w/ code "AFCFOURTH"
Sole Society: Up to 50% off select styles
Tarte Cosmetics: 15% off everything + free cheek stain on orders $50+
Trina Turk: Extra 20% off all sale items
Vineyard Vines: Extra 40% off all sale items w/ code "WHALE2015"






Three cheers for the red, white, & blue!

 photo newsignature2_zps60eabe93.png

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sale of the Week: Half Off Everything at May Designs

50% off everything!

I absolutely love May Books by May Designs! Over the last couple years I've already bought two for myself and two for gifts for my mom and grandmother. They are so beautifully crafted with hand-stiched binding and crisp matte canvas covers. I've included above the previews of a few designs I absolutely adore - I already own the middle one!

For today only they are having an incredible sale! You can get anything from their website for 50% off (this was the same deal they did for Black Friday!!!). That means any notebook, agenda, set of cards, stationery, photo book - the works! The agendas are especially lovely because you have a few options - you can have them start in August or select a "non-dated" one that allows you to fill in the dates starting on whichever month (or year) you choose.

The 50% discount will be applied automatically in your cart until 12 Midnight PST tonight (3am EST for us East Coasters). There is a $6 shipping fee so if you're just buying one basic notebook - personalized but just lined inside - it'll cost you $16 total rather than the usual $20 + $6 shipping. Those are some pretty significant savings even for just 1 notebook...but I definitely recommend buying some as gifts for your friends and family too!

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