Thursday, June 28, 2012

Birchbox June- My First One!

I held off for a long time, but finally gave into the temptation that is the monthly subscription service Birchbox. Birchbox is a cute little box delivered to your doorstep each month for the fee of $10. Inside are a variety of high end beauty samples. I am a sucker for trying new beauty products and love, love, love getting mail so Birchbox was too intriguing to pass up. Basically any beauty sample you can think of all the way to hair ties to face cleansers are a possibility.  Birchbox sends out a variety of boxes each month so it is a toss up what you might get. Alright, I know the excitement is killing you so here is what I received in my first box, minus a couple things, but we will get to that in a bit ;) 

I have had this box for a few weeks so apologize that not all the products are shown in the above picture/ the Band-Aids are opened. I am looking forward to doing an unboxing on here of my July Birchbox so make sure you come back to see that :) 

June's Birchbox theme was Jet Set so the box included samples of products that should be helpful when traveling.  There was a little card in my box (the blurry white thing lol) that welcomed me to Birchbox in a sweet manner and had a description of the products I was getting along with their full size prices.  

The first product I received was the lifestyle extra- Cynthia Rowley limited edition Band-Aids which I was surprised by haha. I am a child at heart and the only thing that ever got me through going to the doctor for a shot was the prospect of a fancy band-aid at the end, much unlike the plain lame ones we always had at home. These band-aids are designer ones for women and quite pretty. I have broken my toe since my Birchbox came, but luckily have not had the need for these little gems yet.

The next product I have already used and boy did they feel great! BORGHESE Botanico Eye Compresses was the name of the two round spa treatment eye pads in a package. I put one circle shapped damp pad over each eye for about 10 minutes and my eyes felt amazing. I removed them feeling more relaxed and the circles under my eyes were lighter. Unfortunately for a full size of 60 compresses it will cost you a pretty penny- $51. Way out of my price range, but it was nice to try them for sure! (Pictured at end of post)

Next up was theBalm cosmetics Stainiac lip and cheek stain in the color beauty queen. It seems that everyone had this included in their box. The color in the tiny tube looks dark blood red and was scary at first to say the least! Luckily once I dabbed it on my lips and cheeks and smeared it out with my finger it blended in nicely. I am enjoying this sample and think it will last quite a while!

Next up was my favorite sample of the bunch: Scalisi Skincare Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. The tiny bottle made me sad until I used it! I only needed one tiny pump to cover my whole face and neck. I have been using it for about three weeks under my foundation and it makes my skin smooth and acts as a nice primer. I also love knowing if I go outside my face already has sunscreen on that doesn't include the regular harsh smell. A full sized of this is $110, so it was amazing to try out just an expensive product I otherwise would NEVER be able to!! 

The last two products were Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint which was teeny tiny and did not give me much of a tint, and John Varvatos Star U.S.A. cologne for men in order to promote the new Birchbox man (I passed in onto my boyfriend). Oh, and I got some silly discount thing on artwork that I think is too expensive even with the discount, but I guess that could be swell for someone else?

Here is a much prettier picture of what the contents of my BB looked like :)

Overall I was very pleased with my Birchbox. It was a treat to try out products I would otherwise never be introduced to or have the funds to use! Some people seemed to get bigger samples such as a full size Stilla bronzer/ foundation, but hey, that just shows me I could get even better products next month. I am looking forward to my July box as Birchbox has teamed up with Glamour magazine and the brands featuring samples all seem super legit!

**If you are interested in Birchbox here is the link :)

I would love to read your comments/ let me know if you have any questions about Birchbox please! My July box should be coming around the 10th of the month :)

Mary Kay Product Review

Botanical Effects, Mineral Foundation & Eyeliner

Recently my best friend Cassie started to sell Mary Kay cosmetics.  Similar to Julep, Mary Kay is all about giving back to women.  Mary Kay uses their proceeds to support groups aimed towards preventing domestic violence, to build classrooms at women's shelters and to empower women just to name a few. I have been blessed with troublesome skin :( Due to the oily, acne prone skin I thought was supposed to go away but didn't after my teenage years I am constantly looking for new cleansers that actually work. Cassie suggested a new line from Mary Kay known as Botanical Effects.  These products are not only great for your skin being packed with antioxidants, but their packaging is also environmentally friendly.

The Botanical line consist of four different products: Cleanse (facial cleanser), Hydrate (moisturizer), Freshen (a spray to remove excess oil/ minimize pores), and Mask in three different skin profiles for you to choose from based on your needs: Normal, Combination and Oily.  Cassie informed me that moisturizing your face is one of the most important steps in caring for your skin, but one that most woman tend to skip. (Guilty as charged). My friend has never been one to lead me astray expect for that one time when...(just kidding) so I took her word for it and purchased the Cleanse and Hydrate.
My beloved Mary Kay Botanical Effects Cleanse and Hydrate
My skin being what it is I did not expect any miracles. Upon the first use of these large sized products- I was pleasantly surprised with the bang for your buck- my skin felt cleaner and much smoother to the touch. I quite enjoyed that clean feeling and have continued using the product for a couple months now.  At first, as always with new cleansers, my face broke out sightly. After a few more weeks of use however...WOW!!! My face began to clear up, and even though my face is oily that unwanted shine started to stay away!! I haven't had any big breakouts in a over a month and even some of those disgusting blackheads have cleared up. I am highly pleased with these products, and am saving up for the freshen and mask!!

The Entire Botanical Effects Line :)
 Photo Credit: Mary Kay by Cassie on Facebook

Another "fun" issue I have with my skin is trying to find a foundation good enough to cover blemishes without looking caked on. I am a teacher, and while I absolutely love my little ones they are also brutally honest when it comes to everything including appearances. I didn't want to be known as that first year teacher whose face looked liked a pizza! I turned to my dear friend yet again for advice in this area. I had been using Bare Escentuals Minerals foundation in the past, but talk about pricey!! In swooped Cassie yet again to the rescue suggesting I try Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation.  It comes in a bigger size than the Bare Minerals and is 10 dollars cheaper. I found this foundation to provide much better coverage (a little goes a long way) as well and last longer! I didn't have to worry about it rubbing off in the middle of the school day or my shine breaking through. For those times when I did need a touch up on the go the container the Mary Kay powder comes in even has a mirror on top- how is that for convenience :)

Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation in Ivory 2 and Foundation Brush

 Mineral Powder Foundation

Photo Credit:

Now that Cassie had me sold when it came to the quality of Mary Kay products it was a no brainer where to turn when I needed new eyeliner. I purchased Mary Kay eyeliner in black. I was put off at first by the small size, but with how evenly it applies it is lasting longer than store bought larger ones. It features a angle perfect for lining the top lid of your eye, a sharper at the end and a twist up container. It glides on easily and lasts throughout the day. Many times my girls would say I had makeup under my eyes or even on my nose (oh the life of a teacher). Mary Kay eyeliner did not smug however so no more embarrassing rushing to the restroom on my lunch break hoping I don't look like a clown haha. 

Mary Kay Eyeliner in Black

**Where to get yours: Needless to say I have a long wishlist of Mary Kay products now! If you are interested here is the link to the wonder Cassie's site She knows everything there is to know and can help you personally with any questions. Let her know Lauren sent you and enjoy!!



June Julep Maven Mystery Box

Shortly after I gave into the fabulous subscription company Julep I found out about yet another amazing deal they offer every once in a while. A Mystery Box! Being a teacher, and therefore a forever child at heart the mystery in Mystery Box caught my attention right away!! I then read (on their facebook site Julep Nail Parlor which I suggest all of you like pronto) that a Mystery Box sells for 19.99 and you receive at least 40 dollars of product, but up to 200 dollars worth. Oh Julep, you really know how to win a girl over!! 

Now, let me tell you that after signing up for Julep for a penny I had every intention of canceling the subscription. I got the product in the mail however, put it on my nails and well, I am currently hooked. I am hard on my hands and usually don't even bother painting my nails. They always chip right away and it drives me crazy if they are all not perfect. Literally all the sudden I get OCD and NEED nail polish remover or I can't function. I sure did get my pennies worth out of Julep though! My mani didn't chip for two weeks and I even went swimming!

So, needless to say I didn't cancel my subscription and eagerly ordered a mystery box with my fingers and toes and legs and arms crossed tightly wishing and hoping for 200 dollars worth of product. My mystery box got here even quicker than my intro box. I got over 60 dollars worth of product :)

I was lucky enough to get two toe separators, three polishes (Vera, Natalie, and Molly- a deep red not pictured), a Nail Therapy Basecoat and a chap stick that literally smells and tastes like Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies with SPF in my lovely little box! I saw Vera which is pictured below and though ewwwww! A brown nail polish?? Then I tried it on and it's actually a nice warm coffee color. I actually liked it and was so surprised! It looks very nice with my bright pink shade Natalie! I guess I shouldn't judge a polish by it's bottle haha.

Remember you can try Julep for a penny!!  Just use the link and enter the promo code COLOR2012, or PENNYINTRO or TWITTER1 :)

The contents of my Mystery Box :)

Here is a blurry (sorry) first attempt at some polka dot nail art with Julep colors Vera (brown) and Natalie



My July box was just shipped yesterday!! This month Julep is throwing in an extra polish for free to all Mavens! You either get America the Beautiful which is a red and blue glitter with stars or Oh Canada which is a lovely red and white glitter- pretty nifty eh?  I am usually an American Beauty, but loved the IT GIRL box with three polishes this month because of Daphne- a creamy seafoam blue color! I will post as soon as the box is in my hot little hands! 


Julep Maven for a Penny!

My newest obsession :)

Hey all! I am extremely new to this whole blog deal, but trying my best! A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to stumble upon a wonderful company by the name of Julep Maven. Now, after picking myself up and dusting off I was hit with another surprise! You can try this 4-free high quality nail polish product for a penny!

Now, you may be saying yeah right you can't get anything for a penny these days! I thought it was all a huge scam at first as well (I have trust issues ;) ) but I got brave and it really worked!! Now, Julep Maven is a monthly subscription service.  Once you are a "Maven" you will have the opportunity to preview boxes each month from the 20th-24th. Boxes include either two polishes and a beauty product or three polishes!

This subscription is one of a kind. I also subscribe to Birchbox, but it is just not the same. With Julep you not only get a choice of the box you would like each month, but you can skip a month without completely cancelling the subscription. If you don't have the 19.99 that month for your box or are iffy about the colors, fear not, just push the skip button and you are good to go! 

Are you interested yet?? If so here is how to try out Julep for a penny!! Just use the link and enter the promo code COLOR2012. Julep will have you take a little quiz to see what your style is (which intro box you get). It takes about two minutes. Don't like the style they chose for you? Just retake the quiz, or pick a different style after you view the amazing color choices.

Here is what my penny intro box looked like :)  
Photo credit :

If for some reason the promo code COLOR12 doesn't work you can also use PENNYINTRO or TWITTER1 to experience beauty for a penny. Let me know if you decide to be a Maven, and as Julep would say: Shine On!