Thursday, October 15, 2015

Birchbox "Positive Force" October 2015 Review

This month's sample choice was all about the mascaras! I don't think Birchbox has done a single-category sample choice before. At first I didn't think that seemed all that exciting because I'm fairly set in my ways about which mascaras I use. However, when I thought about it, it's actually a pretty good deal. I just went with my usual Benefit They're Real because I love it...and actually a sample this size has some pretty significant value! I would say at least $10, which is the cost of the whole box. Check out my reviews below to see what I thought of the rest of my "Positive Force" box this month.

My box contained: Avene Thermal Spring Water (Full-size, $12.50-$18), Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara (Full-size, $24), BioRepublic Green Tea Detox Purifying Sheet Mask (Full-size, $14.50 for 3),  Harvey Prince Hello Body Creme (Full-size, $22), Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (Full-size, $22-42)

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara 

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I just adore this mascara! It gives you that really voluminous "faux lashes" look without all the glue and fuss. It manages to create that right mix of glamorous but natural, that is still appropriate for everyday wear. 

I think the most frequent problem other ladies have experienced with this mascara is that they have a lot of difficulty taking it off. In case you have that problem too and don't want to spend the big bucks on Benefit's makeup remover, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I've used all of these makeup removing wipes with this mascara and they all quickly and thoroughly remove it: Ponds Fresh Wet Cleansing Towlettes, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, and Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths.

I received so many samples of Harvey Prince product last year in my Birchboxes: Hello Fragrance (February 2014 & August 2014), Ageless Liquid Loofah in September 2014, and Petaly Noir Fragrance in October 2014. Honestly, I wasn't wild about any except the Hello fragrance, and I expressed that in all my product reviews. So, I was kind of hoping I wouldn't see another Harvey Prince product for a while...well, I guess it has been exactly a year!

I'm a bit surprised they call this a "body creme" because that makes me think of something with a thick, even pasty consistency that deeply moisturizes your whole body. Instead, I this has the same consistency of an average hand lotion; it's a bit thin and soaks into your skin very quickly. I like the "Hello" fragrance quite a bit, but I don't think this creme smells much like it. The base notes are similar but the overwhelming scent is a pretty artificial orange and lemon combination that reminds me of some dish soaps. It's a shame it doesn't live up to the original fragrance.

I just got the Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray in my July 2015 Birchbox. I know I received the Dry Texturizing Spray before but maybe it wasn't part of a regular Birchbox. Maybe I received it in a Birchbox at an event or at the Build Your Own Birchbox station, because I can't seem to find the previous review.  What I remember from before is that it was a pretty average "dry shampoo" and that there wasn't much product in the aerosol can, so it only lasted 2 or 3 uses if that. It also left my hair feeling a bit like straw.  I'm never a big fan of texturizing sprays because I prefer a sleek, polished look. If you're aiming to create a slightly messy, beachy look, this product is perfect for you!

I was intrigued by the Avene Thermal Spring Water because it seemed to me to be very similar to the Evian Spray I reviewed earlier this year. I was excited to see that Avene is also from France. I love getting French products in my Birchboxes! This is a nice hydrating mist that really helps with my dry to very dry skin type. I think this spray comes out a bit thicker than other ones that I've tried, which actually left my skin feeling moisturized a bit longer. 

A lot of people like to use this type of product in the summer time but I actually love to use it right around now - at the end of fall and beginning of winter - because the air is starting to get crisp and colder which can be pretty harsh on your skin.

The BioRepublic Green Tea Mask smells like chamomile and honey to me, which in my opinion is lovely and very relaxing. It's a bit of an investment because you have to leave it on for 15-20 minutes. The quality of the mask itself, how it is packaged, and how it sets on your face is very similar to Korean sheet masks like the Dr. Jart ones. 

This one does leave a lot of product on your face when you remove it that isn't very easy to rub into your skin.  So, I think it is best to let it sit on your skin and absorb for a few minutes afterward. My skin felt tighter (and a little sticky) after using the mask. It definitely felt like it helped open up my pores a little bit, but did nothing to hydrate my very dry skin which is usually my primary skincare concern. 

The full-size price immediately threw me off, but it's actually for three masks not just one - which is a great deal compared to similar products! It is currently out of stock on the Birchbox website, but should hopefully be back soon.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Soulcycle Warehouse Sale Starts Wednesday!

Soulcycle Warehouse Sale

Men's and Women's Limited Collections
Starting at 40% off!

Wednesday, October 7th / 9am-8pm
Thursday, October 8th / 10am-8pm
Friday, October 9th / 11am-8pm
Saturday, October 10th / 11am-8pm
Sunday, October 11th / 11am-3pm

151 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10012

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Gilt City Warehouse Sale Review - Fall 2015

On Friday night, I had a VIP pass to enter the Gilt City Warehouse Sale at The Altman Building.  This allowed me to enter from 7-9pm on Friday night, in the very first group of shoppers to see the sale. Despite showing up promptly at 7pm for a time slot that was only supposed to have a very select group (a few advance tickets and a lot of industry contacts), I still had to wait in line outside in the rain for about 20 minutes before I could get into the sale.

Once I entered the staff was very friendly though. They checked my name, handed me a big recyclable shopping bag, and waved me through. I was able to get through pretty quickly by wearing a sweatshirt instead of a coat and by bringing a small clutch with me instead of a purse. Otherwise, I would have had to wait in the coat check line on the way in and on the way out. This is a good tip if you want to get through as quickly as possible.

A few brands had booths set up and were offering discounts, product, and refreshments for shoppers. My favorites were Argo Tea and Skinnygirl.  Be sure to try the Skinnygirl Cucumber Vodka with Bloody Mary Mix and the Skinnygirl Moscato while you're shopping - both were excellent and I plan on purchasing them in the future! Other booths included Justin's Almond Butter, Pretzel Crisps, Handy, a bottled water, a book promotion, and a jewelry brand. 

The womenswear section was about 8 racks deep and 2 racks wide. The racks toward the front on either side were XS and the sizes increased up to the back, where they had size L and just a handful of XL items. The largest collection of attractive items were in the Extra Small and Small sections. The total number of items on offer in the womenswear section felt pretty similar to the Rent the Runway sample sales I've been to in the past at 260 Sample Sales, to give you an idea.

There were a lot of multiples of items and quite a large selection of a few particular brands. Here's a list of most of the brands I remember seeing: Alice & Trixie, Cynthia Rowley, Alice & Olivia, Tibi, Alice by Temperley, Temperley, Red Valentino, Valentino, Monique Lhuillier, Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, Ronny Kobo, Shoshanna, Kate Spade, Opening Ceremony, Missoni, L.K. Bennett, Pringle of Scotland, Diane von Furstenberg, Herve Leger, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Karen Walker, and Charlotte Olympia.

The menswear section just to the right of womenswear had some of the most attractive stuff in the whole sale. It was much smaller than womenswear but still a significant size. Of those in the crowd tonight, I would say only about 5-10% were men. So, if you're a fashionable man or you're stuck tagging along with your girlfriend, you're in luck! There are lots of nice coats and suits to be had.

The photo above should give you a feel for what the handbag section looked like downstairs. It was just a big pile on two round tables. The tables themselves weren't all that big, so really what you see in the photo is all that there is. I'm such a handbag person, but to be honest I wasn't even tempted by the selection. The only bags that remotely excited me were a patterned Rebecca Minkoff for $115 and a wicker Kate Spade clutch for $105. I've included photos of both below. Even those didn't really seem worth it though, as I've seen some more attractive offers at other sample sales and online. I don't think Gilt considered this section to be their strong suit.

You might be in luck, however, if you are searching for some luxurious new bed linens. Although crammed in a dark corner downstairs, there was a pretty large selection of bedding including quite a few things from the W Hotels collection. The other departments downstairs were: home (looked like a yard sale really, except a KitchenAid mixer for around $200), jewelry (no notable brands, all looked cheap), belts/scarves/misc, sunglasses, children's, and shoes. None of those sections were very large at all except the shoes section. That seemed to be the only one that anyone took any interest in really...though who wouldn't want a Moncler puffer coat for their little one at only $200?

Here's a good representation of what was on offer, 
including a few of my top finds:

Alice by Temperley Jumpsuit $235.00
($930.00 RRP)

Balenciaga Dress $269.00
($339.00 RRP)

Charlotte Olympia Heels $315.00
($895.00 RRP)

Cynthia Rowley Skirt $29.00
($350.00 RRP)

Kate Spade Mules $105.00
($298.00 RRP)
Sadly, the sole was damaged.

Mary Katrantzou Jacket

Herve Leger Dress $929.00
(RRP $1,590.00 Leger Tag / $3,720.00 Gilt Tag)
This is the only Leger item I saw in the whole sale.

Mary Katrantzou Blouse, $929.00
($3,720.00 RRP)

Oscar de la Renta Jacket $529.00

Diane von Furstenberg Dress (center)

Rebecca Minkoff Purse $115.00
($425.00 RRP)

($316.00 RRP)

Missoni Scarf (center) $69.00
($295.00 RRP)

Karen Walker Sunglasses $75.00
($250.00 RRP)
This is one of three pairs of Karen Walker sunglasses I saw in the whole sale.

Temperley Dress $759.00
($2,175.00 RRP)

Valentino Wedding Dress approximately $3,000

Kate Spade Clutch $105.00
($348.00 RRP)
This is one of three Kate Spade items I saw in the whole sale.

Since I didn't come in with a $2,000 budget, the Temperley and Valentino items were still unfortunately out of my price range. Admittedly, I didn't see a whole lot that I loved for under $500. So, I didn't walk away with much. I was tempted by a few things above, but ultimately decided the best value seemed to be all the Torn by Ronny Kobo items. I ended up purchasing a Gamma Dress for $69.00 ($398.00 RRP). It's a really great quality, flattering dress, so that was definitely a great deal.

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I was provided with a VIP entry pass for free from a GILT staff member. 
While my admission fee was covered, all product purchases were my own expense.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Celebrate Pink October for Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that more than 200,000 cases of breast cancer are expected in 2015 and that it is the 2nd major cause of death for women around the world?

This month many companies are lending a hand to show their support for breast cancer research.  Can you imagine a future where no women will die of breast cancer? Charm jewelry brand Glamulet can! They are one of the companies helping the cause. They have just designed a limited edition set of pink charms just for the occasion. For every set of charms that is added to a shopper's cart, Glamulet will donate 50% of sales to a charity fund for breast cancer. 

Want to do more? Glamulet has started a campaign called #GlamuletPinkOctober. They are encouraging women to spread awareness through blog posts, special banners they've created, and survivor stories share on social media. There are even some themed prizes to be won. Check out the campaign here.

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This is a sponsored post for Glamulet via Brandbacker.

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