nail polish

Birchbox- April 2014

This month’s Birchbox theme is “Rainy Days,” bringing us a box full of beauty samples perfect for testing when you’re stuck indoors during April showers. This April hasn’t been too rainy in NYC, but I’m still game for testing new samples, whatever the weather, so let’s get started.

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Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection in “Breakfast at…” – I got a sneak peak at the Gala’s Gem’s Collection at a Birchbox event a few months back (click here to read all about it), so I already knew I was a fan of these polishes before “Breakfast at…” came in this month’s box. The range features four gorgeous pastel shades perfect for spring. Unfortunately I already own the entire collection, but I will definitely put this duplicate to good use by gifting it to a friend.

Color Club Gala's Gems Collection in "Breakfast at..."

Color Club Gala’s Gems Collection in “Breakfast at…”

 

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo & Reconstructing Masque – This is the one product I haven’t tested out yet from this month’s box. To be honest I’m a little wary about using a clarifying shampoo on my colored hair, so I may stick it on my boyfriend’s shelf in the shower for him to try. The Reconstructing Masque sounds nice, but the sample is so tiny (imagine a ketchup packet) I’m skeptical of whether it will be able to cover my entire head. If I give either a try and they work miracles, I’ll definitely report back.

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Reconstructing Masque

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Reconstructing Masque

 

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in “Jamun (Deep Purple)” – This soft wax pencil promises to give long wearing color while not irritating the eyes, and I can say it definitely delivers on both. A beautiful purpely brown color that’s hard to pick up in photographs, this is a great softer alternative to lining the eyes with classic black liner. I’m not sure where you can buy Sumita products, but with a full size of this liner retailing for just over $10 I would certainly be interested in trying more from the range.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in "Jamun (Deep Purple)"

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in “Jamun (Deep Purple)”

 

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum – I was a little disappointed to find another sunscreen in my box after receiving a Coola sunscreen last month that wasn’t my cup of tea. This Supergoop sunscreen serum is much better though, going on even, not irritating my sensitive skin, and wearing well under makeup all day. I’m happy with the moisturizer/sunscreen I’m currently using, but this is certainly a good alternative and will make a great addition to my travel makeup bag.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum

 

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt – Last but not least, this month’s lifestyle extra was a delicious granola bar from KIND Snacks. Full of whole grains and the perfect balance of salty and sweet flavor, I’ve already gone out and purchased a box of these– they’re delicious!

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

 

Overall I’m very happy with my April Birchbox and appreciated its mix of makeup, skincare, haircare, and nail products, since it seems like for the past few months my boxes have contained a ton of skincare products. Did you get any of the same samples in your box this month? Leave a comment telling me what you’re loving!

-LMC ♥

 

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Gala’s Gems by Gala Gonzalez for Color Club

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I recently had the pleasure of attending  the launch party for blogger Gala Gonzalez’s new nail polish collection with Color Club, Gala’s Gems. Gala, a Spaniard now living in the UK, writes Amlul, a blog chronicling her personal fashion, style, and international travel. Aside from spending her days as a model, blogger, fashionista, and jet setter, Gala can now add nail polish creator to her impressive resume.

Gala's Gems (starting top left, clockwise): Heirloom Pearls, Breakfast At..., Aquamarine Azulino, Gold Struck

Gala’s Gems (starting top left, clockwise): Heirloom Pearls, Breakfast At…, Aquamarine Azulino, Gold Struck

Gala’s collection features a gorgeous set of four spring pastels with a shimmery pearlescent finish. At the launch event hosted by Birchbox at Manhattan’s Mondrian Hotel a variety of beauty and lifestyle bloggers were treated to manicures in our shade of choice from Gala’s collection, as well as some much needed hot cocoa. (Did I mention this event took place mid-blizzard?!) The night ended with a Q&A between Gala and Birchbox cofounder Katia Beauchamp, giving the attendees an intimate opportunity to ask Gala about the collection and her career as a successful blogger. Not only was Gala beautiful and poised throughout the evening, but she also had us rolling with laughter at some of her remarks!

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To end an extremely fun evening each of us was sent home with mini versions of Gala’s Gems, as well as a Birchbox containing a few additional goodies. Overall I think these polishes are beautiful and right on trend for spring. I was impressed at their coverage with just one coat, but was disappointed to see huge sections of polish peeling off the next day. Other bloggers in attendance had a similar experience, so I’ll guess it was due to the lack of top/base coat used on our manis at the launch event. Once I give Gala’s Gems a test run at home with my personal favorite top and base coats I’ll report back on their true staying power. I have to give a huge thanks to Birchbox, Gala Gonzalez, Color Club, and the Mondrian Hotel for such a lovely event, even despite the frightful weather! Look for Gala’s Gems to launch soon on www.shopcolorclub.com.

-LMC ♥

Birchbox- February 2014

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As if my recent drugstore haul wasn’t enough, my February Birchbox also showed up last week– better late than never! I’m definitely enjoying the products in this month’s box, a special collaboration between Birchbox and US Weekly. Without further ado, here come the samples…

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum – This serum promises to smooth wrinkles and restore dull, dry skin with its blend of antioxidant ingredients, including truffle extract. I was weirdly hoping it would have a truffle scent, but instead it just has a faint perfumey smell. The serum has a light lotion-like consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin. I can’t tell any long term effects yet, but it also hasn’t over-dried my skin or broken me out, so no complaints either.

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum

Harvey Prince “Hello” perfume – Hello is a fresh scent with notes of Meyer lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, forsythia, and plumeria– definitely a fragrance to usher in spring! I prefer more deep, woodsy scents myself, but this is a nice sized sample (loving the spray top!) that will be handy for travel.

Hello by Harvey Prince

Hello by Harvey Prince

OPI Sheer Tints in Don’t Violet Me Down – This sheer polish can be worn on the nails alone for a “wash of high-shine, translucent color” or layered over another polish to give it a glossy tinted effect. I’m loving the Geometric Nail Art tutorial on Birchbox’s website featuring several Sheer Tint shades, so I’ll have to give that a try. My only caution is to use your judgement on what colors will look good on bare nails– adding a blue or purple tint to nails I find makes one look a little dead/sickly, and I can’t imagine who would want the yellow tint either. In combination with a cream polish underneath, however, these look great!

OPI Sheer Tints in Violet Me Down

OPI Sheer Tints in Violet Me Down

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – This protective hair oil, exclusive to Birchbox, promises to defend against UV rays, heat, and breakage and can be used on damp or dry hair. Adding a few drops to the ends of my dry hair before flat ironing left it smooth, shiny, and (hopefully!) protected. The sample size is nice and generous, but doesn’t come with a dropper or anything to prevent product from pouring out all over the place, so be careful when dispensing just a little bit into your hands!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Harney & Sons Fine Teas – I haven’t given these teas a try yet, but after my recent coffee boycott I was very happy to find these in my box as February’s lifestyle extra. With flavors like Cleansing White Vanilla Grapefruit (white tea with citrus tones) and Enlightening Paris (black tea with fruit and caramel) I’m excited to give these a taste.

Harvey & Sons Teas

Harvey & Sons Teas

If you received a Birchbox this month (or another subscription service) I’d love to know what products you received and how you’re liking them!

-LMC ♥