perfume

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 ♥

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January 2014 Favorites

januaryfave2In most parts of the USA January has been cruel, smacking us with record snowfall and arctic vortexes that have brought screaming winds and sub-zero temperatures. With that mess going on outside, January has also been a good month to cozy up indoors and try out some new beauty items. Before the next  blizzard hits, let’s get started with my January 2014 favorites:

Alien by Thierry Mugler – I discovered Alien via my pretend internet best friend LeighAnnSays and after running through a tiny Sephora sample I knew I had to splurge on the full size. Luckily some Christmas cash came my way and gave me the perfect opportunity to pick up this gorgeous fragrance. It has notes of solar accord, jasmine sambac, cashmeran, vanilla, and transparent amber (truth: I don’t know what half of those words even mean, but Sephora tells me it’s so). Overall I’d describe it as a deep, spicy scent perfect for a winter date night. If you’re looking for something that veers from run of the mill flowery/sweet/girly scents, Alien will probably be right up your alley.

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Maybelline Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Bronzer (50 Light Bronze) –  Long, silly names aside, Maybelline has had some impressive Spring 2014 launches, and the Master Hi-Light range is no exception. Serving triple-duty as a blush, bronzer, and highlighter, Light Bronze is a mosaic of champagne, rose, taupe, and chocolate colored powders that when swirled together produce a lovely shimmery peachy bronze. Pretend internet BFF #2, ChelseaWears, recently raved about wearing bronzer all over her cheeks as a kind of blush/contour combo, and I figured if my pale sister can pull that off I could give it a try as well. Dusting Light Bronze all over the apples and hollows of my cheeks does a great job of warming up my face and giving it a little extra dimension, especially during these blah January days. Next time Maybelline goes on sale at the drugstore I will definitely be picking up another shade or two from this range.

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Real Techniques Buffing Brush – In the interest of pampering my skin a bit (or at least not torturing it) during this frigid winter I’ve stuck to a pretty strict BB Cream-only regimen for the past month. (I miss you, Revlon Colorstay, but I’m sure we’ll meet again when humid springtime rolls around.) At first I was applying my various BBs/tinted moisturizers with my hands, which got the job done, but still felt a little messy and unsanitary to me. Then I gave the Real Techniques Buffing Brush a shot at the job, and I haven’t looked back since. It seems to blend product seemlessly without irritating my dry skin, and is the perfect size and shape to cover large areas and get into small spots near the nose and eyes. It’s no secret that the Real Techniques line is a major hit, but I’d have to say the Buffing Brush earns top honors in my book.

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Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner (001 Black) – At a Sephora makeup class a few months back I discovered the beauty and pain of tightlining. (For those of you unaware, tightlining is the cringe-inducing practice of adding eyeliner to your upper inner lashline.) While I couldn’t deny that my tightlined  eyes looked great, the idea of sticking an eyeliner pencil so close to my eyeball made me seriously squirm. In the end it seems like this just takes patience and practice, but the key to a good tightline is also the right eyeliner. It should be fairly creamy so you’re not dragging and pulling at your delicate eyelid (typing that sentence just made me shiver), but also a product that will set to a waterproof finish so all your hard work doesn’t get blinked away in three seconds. So far I’ve found the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl eyeliner to be the best at getting the tightline job done and sticking around for hours. I prefer liquid or gel eyeliner on my upper lashline, so this really only gets used on my upper and lower waterline, but for that purpose it’s perfect.

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NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish (Grand Central Station 202) – After a glowing recommendation on Nouveau Cheap I knew I had to give NYC’s Grand Central Station a try when my Seche Vite topcoat finally devolved into goopy obsolescence. For only $1.99 this is an affordable top coat that dries almost instantly and helps my nails stay chip-free for days on end. I find it works best to reapply a top coat every 2-3 days to keep your color locked in. Of course, top coats work differently for everyone, but with Grand Central Station’s low price and availability at most drugstores, you really can’t lose by giving it a shot.

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I hope you enjoyed this roundup of the products I’ve been loving in January. Please leave a comment and let me know what have been some of your favorites from the past month! Stay warm…

-LMC ♥