Friday, April 24, 2015

April 2015 Birchbox Unboxing

It's so pretty who cares that it is upside down
It's that time again....with all that happened last month with my new job and everything I am not even going to try to play catch up, I will just go with the items I have for this month to show you all!!

There is no doubt this is the prettiest Birchbox box I have ever received.  They partnered with the Rifle Paper Company to collaborate on this box and this will definitely be on my vanity for all to see.

Remember, Birchbox is a monthly beauty sampling subscription service that only costs $10 a month. You get to try out a bunch of different brands that you might not have found on your own tailored to your own beauty profile. Each month after you review your items, you get points added to your account and for every 100 points, that is $10 in the Birchbox shop. And the shop is just like your Sephora or Ulta! Click HERE to join with me!

Okay back to the goods......oh but first, this month's cute mailing label they sent me!

We know this is true!

No more teasing, here are the products I received.

April 2015 Birchbox Goodies
My first impression is that this box is a decent mix of makeup, hair and body.
  • Harvey Prince Yogini Perfume-I have a love hate relationship with Harvey Prince...Petaly Noir is really the only one I can see myself actually purchasing but the staying power with these perfumes is zero. Within an hour you can't even tell I put anything on....This scent is kind of masculine for me....I like woodsy, but my co workers might actually think I put on my husbands cologne :) 
  • Fekkai Soleil Beach Waves Tousling Spray-My hair is a disaster when it is wet and I have yet to find that scrunch N go product for me. I really only have "wavy" hair at the roots and the rest of my hair is stick straight. All of the reviews on this product are incredible. I will be trying this out this weekend for sure since I can hide out in my house if it is a disaster. It claims to control frizz, add shine and hold for that surfer girl hair. I am a fan of Fekkai so I hope this works.
  • POP Beauty eye shadow trio-The good news is I was excited when I saw the colors, they are beautiful. The bad news is they were broken when I opened them....somehow cracked underneath during transit....I will have to repress before I can use them. The reviews on this brand are pretty good though. Long lasting, good pigment and can be used wet or dry.....SN yes all shadows can be used wet or dry but only some of them will actually perform well when wet.
  • Cynthia Rowley Brightening Illuminator-So the full size of this product comes in a nifty pen for application. The sample is not, so it is harder to work with. I am a highlighter junkie but find this is too runny....and I am sure it has something to do with it not being in its original packaging. I am going to try to mix it with my foundation next to see if it holds up better. 
  •  Not Soap, Radio Body Wash-The packaging is super cute but body wash is body wash. I haven't been overly excited since The Body Shop's honey body wash. I mean that stuff is incredible.  This would make a cute gift idea or stocking stuffer though.
Overall, I wasn't extremely excited with this month's box, although with the exception of another Harvey Prince perfume, there was great variety in this box and of course the box itself was amazing.  I miss getting two Birchboxes in the mail even though my second profile seemed to be a miss somewhere.  My next Choix box should be here any day and I think that will be my last month with them.  I will explain more in my review when it comes.

Also I am reviewing Estee Lauder's Double Wear Light next and I can't wait to share my results with ya'll!! LOVE!!

Teaser!!! I am getting another giveaway together though!! I feel guilty that I haven't been posting as often as usual since, ya know, life happens, but I want to continue to give back so stay tuned for details on that!!

What did you think of your Birchbox this month?  Have you used any of the products I received before?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!! xo

Friday, April 17, 2015

What Coconut Oil Can Do For You And Your Face

Excuse the bright lighting on this pic....holy flash Batman....I wanted to show you the benefits after using coconut oil for 2 weeks, not the starkness of how white my untanned skin is....

First, let me go back to how this journey began for me.  I was doing some research on new homemade dog treats for the babes and came across one that was all natural and gluten free and sent to me by my crunchy friend, Rachel.  It contained coconut oil.  I wanted to see how it would affect my babes and was pleasantly surprised (info and recipe to come in future post) at all the ways it actually would.

So I went out and bought a big ole tub of it.

And then I was like, Rachel, I have this big ole tub of coconut oil, what else should I use it for....she was like, let me count the ways.....

That's some pretty heavy stuff right?? But today I am going to touch on the ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine and the ways I am currently using it.

First, I take off my make up with it!! No more need for those expensive makeup removers, or two for that matter, I can use this on both my eyes and my face.  Works like a charm.  In fact, I bought an expensive oil based makeup remover to review and I think the coconut oil actually works better.

After I wash my face, I slather it all over again and let it soak in for a bit....usually this means I indulge in a trashy show :)  Then I take a hot rag and rub it in and wipe it off.  If I am particularly dry, I will leave a small amount on my face overnight.....but that is dangerous with puppy kisses, since they want to lick it all off my face :)

Since my last post was about highlighter, did you know you can use coconut oil as an all natural version?? Just swipe it on the high points of your cheek bones after you do your makeup for a natural dewy look.

Now on to hair.....I use coconut oil as a deep conditioning treatment and it can be used for split ends....which I haven't had in years thankfully.  If you do, just rub some coconut oil on the tips, wrap your hair in a towel and go to sleep.  Wash it out in the shower in the morning.

You can use it as a moisturizer on your hands, use it in place of shaving cream for your legs and even add it to some brown sugar or sea salt for a body scrub.

I wasn't really a believer until I tried it but my skin is doing a complete transformation since leaving behind harsh chemical cleansers.

It's interesting that in doing my research I found out that it wasn't until the 20th century that many people actually started believing in the health benefits of coconut oil......In the 70's there was a huge propaganda campaign spread by the corn and soy industry against it claiming it was harmful for us due to its high saturated fat content.....and there is your history lesson for the day ya'll!!

Have you used coconut oil in any of these ways before??  What's your favorite way??

Let us know in the comments below!!

I AGAIN thank my dear friend Rachel, for turning me on to this magical wonder.

Have a great day!! xo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mary-Lou Manizer VS Hard Candy Tiki Dupe Review

Sorry it's been awhile guys!!I started a new job and have been crazy busy with so much stuff but I wanted to drop in because lately I have been doing a lot of research on know, trying out the drugstore/cheaper alternatives to our name brand/pricey favs.  I myself often search the internet for these so I wanted you guys to be able to come to me.  At the end of this post or on my Facebook page, let me know if there are any specific dupes that you would like me to feature for you!!!

So here we go......

On the left, is Mary-Lou Manizer by the Balm and on the right is Tiki by Hard Candy.

Mary-Lou retails for $24.00 US and Tiki retails for $9.00 US.  Mary-Lou can be found at Kohls or online at the Balm (link is above) and Tiki can be found at Wal-Mart or online at Hard Candy.

I love highlighters, I love gold, shimmery ones that make me look dewy and like I just stepped off the beaches of all times.  So when I did my research and was told that Tiki was the cheaper alternative to Mary-Lou, I was allllll over that.

Mary-Lou on right, Tiki on left (sorry its backwards)

Mary-Lou on left, Tiki on right
As you can see from the above swatches, there is a definite difference.  Both of them offer basically the perfect amount of shimmer.....I mean THAT is what a highlighter should be.  Shimmer not glitter. Glitter is rave appropriate not office appropriate.  Unless it's on your eyelids, that's a different story.

Mary-Lou is so smooth and buttery and when I use my Sonia Kashuk fan brush, it applies it perfectly in one swoop.  Tiki, however, requires either several, several applications or more like a buffing brush for application, plus it is essentially a matte finish.  Also, Mary-Lou will stay on all day, and Tiki gives up by my 3rd cup of coffee.

I might be inclined to think Tiki would look better on tan skin, what doesn't look better on tan skin for that matter, since you would be able to see it easier.

But all in all, Mary-Lou Manizer won this dupe test by a long shot.  I actually used my Birchbox points and got this for free.  I love it,  use it every single day and don't think I will ever be without it.

If golden highlighter is not your cup of tea, the Balm also has Cindy-Lou Manizer and Betty-Lou Manizer.  Cindy-Lou is a pink version and Betty-Lou is the bronzer version, the latter being the one I want when I am tan this summer :)

So there ya have it!! Have you used either one of these products before??  What are your thoughts?

Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo
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