Friday, February 17, 2017

Deep Discounts on My Top Birchbox Picks





Birchbox is having an incredible sale right now! Some of my personal favorites in the beauty, fragrance, and skincare categories are currently being offered at a deep discount of 30% off for everyone, 40% off for Birchbox Aces members.

What makes this deal even sweeter? The discount is automatically applied in your cart. That means no promo codes are necessary! So, you can stack on top of your discount a free mystery sample pack (on orders of $25+) and a free gift of your choosing (on orders $25-50+).

I personally own and use all of the items above, or at least some iteration of each. So, I can vouch for just how wonderful and high quality they are!

1. Penhaligon's Empressa Perfume - So, it's no surprise that I'm a bit partial to the British brands on Birchbox. However, Penhaligon's offers product that is so extremely special and I cannot sing their praises enough. They hold two Royal Warrants, snazzy speak for "used by the British Royal Family". Penhaligon's has been around since 1870 and each scent is inspired by some really interesting parts of the brand's history. For instance, the Empressa scent is inspired by the woods used in old trading ships combined with silky and spicy notes inspired by the decadent goods the ships transported.

2. Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish - The polishes may be a bit more pricey than your average, but let me tell you - they are worth it! Deborah Lipmann and Butter are the two brands I turn to when I want a manicure that won't chip. I've had some Deborah Lippmann manicures that have looked flawless after 10-14 days without any touch-ups! I recently saw a talk/presentation by Mark Lippmann, Managing Partner/CEO/Brother-in-Chief of the company. If you ever get the chance to attend an event where he's on the agenda, you're in for a treat! He's brilliant.

3. Caudalie Purifying Mask - I haven't tried this particular mask. I don't think it's right for my skin. But, I recently had a treatment at the Caudalie Spa at the Westfield World Trade Center (kudos to Gilt City for the discount!) and they used the moisturizing mask from this same line. I couldn't believe the difference it made. I don't think my complexion has ever looked that well-balanced before. I didn't wear any foundation for 2 days after that treatment and I got lots of comments on my skin/"make-up". Try this out for the real "I woke up like this". So incredible.

4. Pinrose Perfume Rollerball Trio - I haven't tried the rollerballs yet, but I was one of the first adopters of this brand back in 2014. I'm a huge fan of their perfume towelettes which are so perfect for travel, refreshing post-workout, or for making sure your scent lasts throughout the day (easy to re-apply at the end of the work day). The only other company I've seen make a similar product is Fragonard Paris, but I have yet to find anywhere in the US where you can buy theirs. I've loved every single scent I've received in the Pinrose towelettes, so I have no doubt the same scents in rollerball form are wonderful too!  I'm also kind of thrilled that both of the founders are fellow Stanford alums!

5. Caudalie 2016 Favorites Set - As I said above, you can't really go wrong with Caudalie, especially if you have dry skin. I love the grape water in this set.

6. PeriPera Cushion Blusher - Quite possibly my favorite of this whole lot! I purchased this in June 2016 from HauteLook in the Lovely Lavender shade. If you have dry skin like mine, this product will be perfect for you. It is especially great when paired with a cushion foundation. I really like how it added back some color after I used a full-coverage foundation and that rather than looking powdery or flaky, it gave my skin a moist, dewy glow.

7. Davines SU Hair Milk - Favorite. Haircare Brand. Of all time. I discovered Davines through Birchbox several years ago and have never turned back. It's a bit pricey so I don't use it every day, but on the days I do - just WOW! What a difference! I went on a business trip to Italy a while back and was so surprised to see how much cheaper it is there (literally a fraction of the price when you buy it at Eataly in Rome). I talked an Argentine colleague into getting some while we were there and she was equally impressed - and hooked. I haven't used this particular product, but I have used the OI Hair Milk. My all-time favorite Davines products are their conditioners.

8. Cynthia Rowley Eyeshadow Palette - In the early days of the Birchbox online store, they had a really awesome program for beauty bloggers called Birchbloggers. One of the events I really enjoyed that they hosted was a beauty party in the Cynthia Rowley store in NYC's Upper East Side. At the end of the party I got to take home a large selection of products, including this wonderful palette. I think that all of the colors in it are universally flattering. The colors are also a bit silky rather than dry/chalky which I think is a good indication of quality.

9. Ayres Bar Soap - So, I lived in Buenos Aires for a summer and have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for the great Porteno-influenced Ayres branding. The scents are all really nice, clean, and refreshing. They are also all pretty gender-neutral. My favorite is Pampas Sunrise which has a nice sort of citrusy-patchouli scent.
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Gift Guide ~ Valentine's Day 2017





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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kenra Platinum Snail CC Cream for Hair Review



As you likely already know, I'm a big fan of Korean beauty products. I've reviewed a number of them on this blog and especially like how there's such a wide range of products geared towards people with very dry skin and fair complexions - like myself.

A while back I went to an event where the Founder of e-commerce store Peach & Lily, which specializes in bringing Korean beauty products to the USA, spoke about how Korean beauty is always a bit ahead of the curve in terms of R&D and ingredients. At that event, I discovered Mizon's All-in-One Snail Repair Cream. At first, like most of you are probably thinking, I was a bit hesitant to try it. I mean, it's 92% snail secretion filtrate, which does sound a little odd.

All joking aside, I was immediately won over by the product. I only had to apply a very tiny amount and I could immediately see the man great effects of using a snail cream. My skin was instantly hydrated, brighter, and any signs of acne/fine lines/wrinkles were visibly decreased.

Why have I spent all this time talking about a Korean face cream? Well, because that product piqued my interest in the benefits snail cream has on other parts of the body. When I saw the opportunity to test out Kenra's Snail CC Cream for your hair, I was instantly drawn in.


I'll start off my saying I have dry, color-treated blonde hair. So, I wouldn't immediately think that Korean beauty-inspired haircare products are tailored towards my hair type. However, the Kenra Platinum Snail CC Cream is really great for any hair type. It serves as a 10-in-1 "corrective creme" that fights all 10 signs of aging hair: dulling, thinning, breakage, frizz, dryness, elasticity, porosity, scalp irritation, unmanageability, and coarse texture. I think just about everyone deals with one if not several of those signs. To assuage the concerns of those who are looking for ingredient-conscious and cruelty-free products, I want to highlight as well that this product contains no parabens or sulfates and no snails are harmed in the production of the product.

The product is very easy to use. It is essentially a leave-in conditioner. Simply apply evenly with your hands or a wide-tooth comb on damp or dry hair. I would suggest using an amount the size of a dime at most. A little bit will go a long way and I found that too much weighed the hair down or left it a little greasy.


On a final note, I just wanted to comment on how beautiful the packaging and branding are. If you know a beauty buff who likes to try new and inventive products, I would highly recommend gifting this product. The packaging looks absolutely luxurious and elegant. I love the iridescent shimmer of the periwinkle color and the applicator is very high quality - the product pumps out like a high end CC face cream would.

Ready to try it for yourself? This product is exclusively available at at ULTA ($25.00)! Shop HERE.


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This product was provided to me for free for review purposes by Kenra via Brandbacker.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Heeling the Sole: My Sole Patches Review



Sole Patches are American-made removable adhesive pads to alleviate shoe discomfort. They come in package of 6 which will last you a long while. They are a nice, discreet nude color that blends in well with the linings of most shoes. Each has a distinct flower-like shape that helps absorb impact with each step and help enhance comfort.


Each pad has a very strong "medical-grade" adhesive that keeps it in place on the shoe. I have used other products like these in the past and my biggest gripe is that they tend to move around in the shoe after applied. That actually causes me even more discomfort than wearing my shoes without them, because the root of the pain and soreness is usually the foot sliding forward. However, Soul Patches really do stay put!


One thing that makes Sole Patches relatively unique is that they are not just intended to be applied to the ball or heel of your sole. They can actually be directly applied to the skin on the bottom of your feet! They are moisture-repelling, odor-repelling, antimicrobial, and shock-absorbing. They are designed to stay on your foot for up to 24 hours of wear, which allows you to wear multiple pairs of shoes with the pads during that period.


I found the pads I used in my high heels for New Years Eve to be pretty effective. I would say the ball of my foot usually hurts a bit in these shoes after about 3 hours of wear, but one pad in each made them comfortable for about 5-6 hours. I still have to test them out with double-padding - applying a pair of pads directly to the bottom of my feet too. I think that would do the trick for a whole day of wear! If you're interested in learning more about this product and purchasing some for your own use ($9.95 for a pack of 6), please visit: http://solepatches.com/

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This product was provided to me for free for review purposes by Sole Patches via Brandbacker.
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