Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 2015 Birchbox Unboxing

This month's Birchbox theme is Creativity which I love.  Spring is in the air, despite having just had 5 inches of snow the other day, I am HOPEFUL that the good weather is right around the corner.  As my last month's Birchbox post stated, I ended my 2 box a month experiment as I was receiving too many duplicates and wanted to try a new subscription.  So let's get to the goods for this month.
  • Amika Bombshell Blow Out Spray-Prior to receiving this months sample size, I had purchased the full size version of this about six months ago, with my Birchbox points.  I have very, very long hair and am always looking for ways to keep it shiny and straight, plus added volume when I blow it out.  The reviews on this were fairly good so I gave it a try.  I wasn't too impressed so needless to say I was bummed it was in my box this month.  It smells great and doesn't weigh my hair down but compared to Bumble and Bumble's version, this is not up to par.  I love their hair masks but noticed no difference after having used this product.
  • Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Angel Kiss-This is a dual product.  Can be used on both lips and cheeks.  I love the idea behind this but wasn't a fan of the color, it was too pink for me.  It went on very smooth and I didn't need a lip liner, which was nice.
  • Mereadesso Tinted All In One Moisturizer-The packaging alone on this item was such a turn off, I don't know who would have ever thought this would make for a great presentation of the product.  The coloring was very orange......they have great reviews for skin care but maybe that is where they need to focus their energy.
  • Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Eucalyptus Body Creme-While I wasn't overly thrilled with another sample of mini lotion, I liked the idea of it being all natural.  But oh dear lord, the smell, the smell........and not an earthy just stinks.....which is sad because the lotion absorbs so well and feels so great on my hands.  Not greasy at all.  
  • Number 4 Shampoo and Reconstructing Masque-Can you hear me screaming????  How many times must I proclaim my frustration with receiving this bloody shampoo in my Birchbox!!! Do I somehow own stock in this product that I am unaware of??  I am not writing another review on it. I like how they tried to sneak in a masque on me and switch it up a bit but there is nothing more angering than bringing a sealed plastic sample in the shower and being unable to open it with wet hands and nearly breaking a tooth from trying to rip it open.........
So there you have it......not quite sure where the creativity portion of the box was.....and I was not very happy this month.  I am all about renewal and rebirth and new life but was definitely lacking after looking over the items.  My profile is set to "Trendy" and I have since changed it to "Adventurous".  I used to have it set to both and I think it confused the system.  Also, another tip, if you set your household income to a lower amount, I have noticed you tend to get items more on the affordable end.  If you want to try higher end, luxury brands, try increasing your income and see if that helps.  I have found that the less choices you select, the easier it is to get items that you prefer. That did not seem to help me from being disappointed in this months box.  It did give me enough points to be able to place an order for some new items using my points alone though! So that makes up for it!!

Click HERE to sign up for Birchbox!! Remember, every item you give feedback on gives you points and for every 100 points that is $10 to spend in their shop! No other monthly beauty box can top that :)

What did you get in your box this month?  Do you think you might try my tips on changing up your profile?  If you do, let me know how your box changes next month!!

Have a great day!! xo

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection Swatches and Reviews

This collection compared to Cinderella is absolutely stunning. And it was gone in a flash.

Spring 2015

I am sure you have already googled Bao Bao Wan so I won't go into the inspiration behind it and I will get straight to the beauty of it and the pieces I was lucky enough to get to review.

The packaging is also something that gets the collector in me going......the metallic gold and matte green packaging is beautiful and the colors of the collection take me to an exotic place far away from Illinois.

There were 4 lipsticks in this collection and I chose 3 of them.  Romantic Breakdown, Burmese Kiss and Lavender Jade.  I also chose the Summer Opal beauty powder.  I am always on the hunt for the perfect highlighter.  In my opinion though, Summer Opal was the worst performer for me.

With it being a golden peach, bronze shimmer, with a warm undertone, of course I knew it would look great on me but I just didn't feel like it gave me the glow it should have.  Becca Opal did better.

The stars for me were the lipsticks.

Romantic Breakdown-this is a sheer nude with a lustre finish and I have found it was not the favorite of other beauty bloggers.  I love a good nude that can go with anything.  It has a touch of shimmer and didn't wear as long as I wanted it too but it goes on very smooth and can easily be adjusted and kicked up depending on the lip liner you place with it.

Burmese Kiss-this is a bright pink, coral with warm undertones, with a finish more on the satin side, described as matte.  I thought this was going to be a color I could not pull off and I love it.  I will love it even more this summer.  This stayed on me almost the entire "work" day.  Ha Ha, as I am wearing my I Love Rum shirt, clearly working from home.

And last up, Lavender Jade, this is the color everyone wanted.  This is a cool toned, matte purple.  It goes on thick and dragged a little.  I have mixed feelings.  My friends love it and I might more when it is summer and I am not wearing my winter coat still.  Clearly I threw it on at the last minute since I am wearing a red top, fashion faux pas......

So overall I was happy with the items I picked.  This was a limited edition collection but it does appear some items were restocked today and may be through Thursday.  So get on over to MAC and see what you find.

What items did you get? Love it or hate it?  Let me know in the comments below!!

What is nice about this collection, at least where the lipsticks are concerned, is you can find dupes for many of them.

Next up is the Julia Petit Collection :)

Have a great day!! xo

Friday, March 20, 2015

MAC Cinderella Collection Stroke of Midnight Palette Review And Swatches

I know my posts have been short and sweet lately lovies I just am a little overwhelmed these days, I have the products rolling in, wish the money was too! But I am here and also plan on doing another giveaway soon since we have so many new members, so stay tuned for that xo

My favorite Disney movie growing up was, and still is, The Little Mermaid.  It is such a magical tale and that gorgeous red hair.......Well this season MAC came out with their Cinderella collection.  I was lucky enough to get some of those pieces to review.  The general consensus on the lipsticks, Free As A Butterfly and Royal Ball, was that although beautiful, they were just too sheer.

These were also my thoughts.  I also feel that the packaging, although a beautiful iridescent blue, could have much fancier.

But today I want to talk about the Stroke of Midnight eye shadow palette, as this is the star in my eyes.  It is absolutely beautiful.

Yes, five of the six shades are available permanently on MAC's site but I like having coordinating colors in one palette.  These six compliment each other so well and I have been reaching for this palette almost daily.  The palette consists of warm undertones and goes perfect on my skin.  Love, love, love.  I just recently started playing with matte colors and these two are great.

From top to bottom:

Vapour-a peachy pink color with a velvet finish.  It does take some time to build up but is a great muted highlight color.

Phloof-a frosted off white color with a frosty finish.  Another great highlight color for under brow and inner eye.

Omega-a beigey, taupe color with a matte finish.  I love using this as my base and all over lid color.

Quarry-a plummy, brown color with a matte finish.  This shows up more purple on my skin and of course I love that,

Satin Taupe-medium dark taupe brown color with a frost finish.  The shimmer is gorgeous.  In this swatch it looks almost copper like but if your skin tone is like mine, that is not how it translates.

Stroke of Midnight-black, plummy color with sparkle and a velvet finish.  This is great for defining and creating dimension.  There is no fallout on this color either but it does look pretty matte once on. This is also the LE color.

Here is the look I came up with when I first used the palette.

Very, very simple with a lot of blending. I wanted it to look seamless. I actually used all the colors. Overall, for the price of $44, I think it was well worth it.  Like I said, I reach for it all the time and there is plenty of product for this to last a very long time.  Just like the happily ever after of Cinderella.

Did you get your hands on any of this collection?

What were your favorite pieces?

Let me know in the comments below!!

Next up I will be reviewing the Bao Bao Won collection.  MAC is really releasing so many wonderful collections one after another and they won't be stopping any time soon!!

Have a great day!! xoxo

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Self Tanner Review

Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Tanner!!  This stuff is incredible!!! The end.   HaHa, If only all my reviews could be so simple.  I am trying to not turn into leather face and have cut back on the tanning booth.  I haven't gone in about 8 months and my pasty white pale skin reflects that sadly.  I was sent this by a friend and I am so grateful!!  I have tried cheapo "tanning" lotions from the store and have never turned orange, nothing happened at all.  I love Tarte and have been pleased with everything I have tried from them so I gave this a whirl.

This was my first time using a tanning mitt so it took some trial and error.  I also tried using it on my face.  I did it before bed, lathered up and waited till each section dried and went to bed.  I woke up and of course had forgotten I had done it until my husband said, "Whoa".

I ran to that bathroom and it looked like I had just come back from a wonderful, stress free vacation, ya know just without the vacation.  I was tan.

And a nice golden tan.  I had every intention on keeping up with it as with those overnight results I would have only needed to do it about 3 times a week I believe.  But since I get so much stuff to try I have forgotten about it.

Mama and I went to get mani's and pedi's the other day and I nearly blinded everyone with my white legs soooooo I plan on using this again this weekend and really being diligent about getting in to a routine until the summer months.

Try this!  If you want a natural gradual tan that you control the color of, this is great for beginners. Plus most of the reviews I read were positive, too!  And there are 2 sizes you can choose from if you don't want to commit just yet.

My pointers would be not to rub it up and down in strokes though as I did notice minor streaking in some parts.  Use circular motions, the color goes on dark enough before it dries so you can see where you have put it.  And if you do plan on doing your face, make sure keep it seamless with your neck :)

Have you already tried this product?  Do you love it?  What tips do you have?

Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Monday, March 9, 2015

NYX WonderStick Review

Short and sweet review to start out this super busy week!  Since the last two contour products I wrote about (KVD and Anastasia) weren't the best IMO I thought I would tell you about one that IS!!

Plus this is an affordable and super simple one to use.  This goes for $11.99 US at Ulta and comes in a variety of shades.  I am going to show you the Universal shade today as I truly think it is one every skin tone can use.  Unless you are very dark skinned, then I will suggest the deep shade.

The NYX Wonderstick is also something you can easily pop in your makeup bag for travel or if you need to touch up after work to go out.

One side is the highlighter and one side is the contour color.  Do you see the wonder?? :)

The contour swatch is true to color, it is not orange at all on me but the highlight swatch does not do it justice.

It is absolutely beautiful.  It is natural and it is not overly shimmery.  I personally feel like it offers the exact dewy look that we try to achieve with a highlight product.  I use my Real Techniques Expert Face brush to blend, blend, blend after I apply the contour color and my Beauty Blender for the highlight color.  Extreme contouring is something that I personally think is losing its novelty, but if you are a beginner then a product like this is pretty fool proof :)

I have to say NYX is really stepping up their game as of late.  I never used to be attracted to their products and lately I find myself quickly opening their emails when they announce a new product.

In fact, they just released a palette that I have heard is comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills contour palette and at a  cheaper cost.
If you are able to get your hands on the Wonderstick let me know what you think?  Do you already have this? Love it or hate it?

Let me know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Choix February 2015 Unboxing And Monthly Subscription Review

I teased last month as to why I cancelled one of my Birchboxes and my Sample Society box.  Well this is why, folks!  Choix (pronounced SHWAA, french for choice) is a luxury, high end monthly subscription box.  You get to pick the 5 samples you will receive and depending on the item you choose, the packaging will differ.   Choix's vision for this box was to bring the in store experience to your home.


I know personally, there are a lot of things at the makeup counter at Macy's or in Sephora that I absolutely will not "test".  Lipsticks being numero uno.  And sometimes there just is not a local store that has the samples I am even looking for!  So for $20 a month, you can select your high end items to be sent to you.  What's great is that $10 of that money goes back to you to be able to use towards a full size purchase of one of the items you selected.  Unfortunately, my first experience made me learn a few things.

The Deets
Some of the brands you can choose from are Bobbi Brown, NARS, Dolce and Gabbana, Ellis Faas, HourGlass, Chanel and many many more.  Since I am always on the hunt for the greatest concealer and foundation that is what I decided I wanted my whole first box to be about.  Plus I snagged an HourGlass Ambient Lighting Palette sample, if anything just to see how they would provide a sample of it.

I chose the following items for my first box:

Once I opened the box, the above is what it looked like.  Size being comparable to Birchbox.

They also included supplies for the sampling.  I thought that was pretty neat.

Sponges, Disposable Wands, Etc.
And here is what the samples looked like.

The Goods

First item I reached for was the HourGlass Dim Light sample.

I can only assume they broke some off and repressed it into this jar??? No matter what though it was very hard for me to even determine if I liked it or could use it with this sample.  The brush they provided, which was the only one really small enough to get in there, didn't really pick up much powder.  I used my fluffy concealer brush but it deposited so much product in one spot it looked like bronzer on my cheeks.  So this was a major FAIL.

Next, I went for the concealers.

When I placed my order I really thought I was trying the creamy one.  This little sample was pretty much dried out, I had a very hard time trying to warm the product in between my fingers and when I attempted to use it, it tugged on my under eye areas.  So although application was difficult, I do know Custard in this product is too dark for me.  It may however work in the summer.  I tried the Vanilla in the creamy one from Sephora and it might be a tad too light so I will have to try the Custard in the creamy.  HA! Did that make sense to you??

This concealer was too dark for me but I liked the consistency very much. I would try fair next time although it looks pink on the website colors are a bit off based on the sample I received.  I do wish on the website they offered descriptions of skin tones and coloring for the choices, like they do on the actual brand website.  I had to go back and forth quite a bit to determine which color I thought would work best since it only listed the color name.

I am showing this picture again to show you the foundation sample sizes.  They were very generous with these.  The HourGlass one was waaaaaay too dark but the Guerlain one was very nice.  I actually forgot to use it this morning since I have been in love with my NARS foundation (review to come). It really felt like a second skin when I tried it on.

After you place the orders for your samples and you receive the shipping notification, 3 days later you get your code for $10 off a full size product that you sampled.

My next box I think I will try some lip colors I have been afraid to bite the bullet on and maybe some eye shadows.  Overall, I was happy because I made the choices, even though with every other box I WANT to be surprised.  I've never scrolled faster on FaceBook then when I see the words Sneak Peek :)

Since I signed up on the 19th of the month, I will receive an email on the 19th of this month telling me I can go in and order my samples.  The shipping for this would have only been about a weeks time but we have had bad weather and the post office has been making me very angry lately.

Now let's say you end up using your $10 off coupon but end up hating the full size product, Choix will work with you about exchanging or refunding you which I think is great! If you miss the email that says its time to pick your samples for the month, Choix will use the "surprise me" option for you. I forgot to mention if you want to be surprised, there is a choice for that! They have a great FAQ section that is very informative.

They also have boxes put together that you can choose for the month, like a Flawless Face Kit or a Smokey Eyes Kit and they have 5 pre selected items for you.

I am excited for next months box now that I know how it works and exactly what I will be receiving. I also have some time to get my wish list together since unfortunately I might be losing out on my $10 credit this month.

If you are interested in trying this out with me a for a month or two, click HERE!!!

Is this the first time you are hearing about Choix?  Do you think you will try it?

Let me know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Palette Review

Happy Monday Loves!!! I have a great week of reviews coming for you.  I want to start out with a palette that I really had high hopes for.  I have admired Kat Von D since Miami Ink.  Her artistry and talent is unsurpassed. So I love her makeup line.  Bold and vibrant and on the edge.

Love the art work

I was super excited about the Shade and Light palette as I am a fan of contouring but I do love cream palettes.  You all know how the Anastasia Beverly Hills palette turned out for me though. Read HERE if you don't!

This palette comes with three highlight and three contour shades and retails for $46.00 US.  There is a contour brush that is sold separately (the box is coffin shaped which is really neat) and that retails for $36.00 US.

Contour shades are larger than highlight shades

Courtesy of

Unfortunately for me, this palette also pulled through orange on me and the highlight shades really did not show up at all.  I have a very frustrating skin tone!!  For reference, I am NC20 in Mac, warm yellow undertones, sometimes neutral.  Levitation and Shadowplay are the only warm colors in the palette and the only ones I have really been able to use.  If I am going to spend $46 on a product, I want to be able to use the whole product, aside from the box it comes with.

The colors are listed above as they reflect in the pan.  Lucid is a cool pinkish nude, Lyric is a neutral yellow beige and Levitation is a warm soft peach.  Sombre is a cool toned taupe, Shadowplay is a warm soft brown and Subconscious is a cool deep brown.  Even on the white background above you can see orange coming through, IMO.

I have tried mixing both contour colors with ShadowPlay to create a more shadowy effect and it just muddles the colors and looks terribly ashy and dirty on my skin.  The highlights are merely setting powders and don't really offer any significant "light".

I will be returning this to the store and picking up Too Faced's new Contour Palette.  Like I said, I really had high hopes for this product but I can't see just making do with it.  So far Smashbox is still numero uno in my box in terms of versatility with only two shades yet they are true to color.

Have you gotten this palette?  Are you in love with it?  What is your skin tone?

Let me know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

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