Birchbox Unboxing! May 2014

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This is my second month subscribed to Birchbox so I thought I would do an unboxing post for the May box!

1. The first item is from Cynthia Rowley Beauty and it is a silver eyeliner described as “A luxe, creamy liner from the NYC-based designer for smudge-proof, all-day wear.”

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It is a very pretty and pigmented silver eyeliner that glided on smoothly when testing on my hand.

2. The second item is from Gilchrist and Soames and it is their Spa Therapy Body Lotion. Described as “Rich in marine extracts, this paraben-free moisturizer leaves skin smooth, soft, and calm.”

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It has a nice fresh scent and after testing it on my hand, it absorbed into my skin well and was not sticky.

3. Item #3 is from Marcelle and is their BB Cream Golden Glow described as “A multitasker from the Chicago-founded brand rich in antioxidants and hydrating aloe.” It also says that it is suitable for all skin types.

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When I opened the cap on this I was  nervous about the color as it appeared quite dark, but after trying it out and blending the product out the color wasn’t an issue and it disappeared into my skin. When looking closely the product also contains some shimmer.

4. The 4th item is from Number 4 High Performance Hair Care and is their Volumizing Shampoo. As a bonus birch box also added in a sample of their volumizing condition (not a typo, it actually says it is called “volumizing condition” on the packaging). This item is described as a “sulfate-free, botanical-rich cleanser [that] creates bouncy, bodacious hair.”

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I like to save shampoo and conditioner samples for when I travel, so I will probably wait until the next time I’m traveling to try these out. I’m always looking for volumizing hair products though, so I am excited to try them!

5. The “Lifestyle extra” in this month’s box is from SmartyPants and is their All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults. Birchbox says “These delicious gummies provide essential nutrients without artificial flavors.” The normal daily dose is six tummies. This package contains two gummies. vitamins.jpg

I tried these already and they tasted good – a bit tart but also sweet. I always forget to take my vitamins so this could be a good alternative that I would actually look forward to every day. But at $29.95 for a month’s supply it is an expensive option compared to “regular” vitamins which I normally buy in bulk from Costco.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this month’s Birchbox. I do wish the eyeliner had come in a more wearable color. There was also an eyeliner in my Birchbox last month and a cc cream, so I would prefer a bit more variety in the products provided from month to month.

Are you interested in signing up for Birchbox? You can sign up here!

Have you tried Birchbox before or another subscription beauty box? Let me know in the comments!

My Night Time Skincare Routine

I’ve been getting more into skincare recently and have been wanting to start a good skincare routine. Here is what I am currently using as part of my nighttime skincare routine!

First a bit of a background on my skin type! I have acne prone skin, but my skin is somewhere between dry and dry combination.

Also, you can find all of the products mentioned below in my Luvocracy skincare collection!

1. If I wore makeup, first I remove my makeup for the day. I usually do this in a few steps. I start with a makeup wipe. I have been trying to Olay Fresh Effects Refreshing Make-Up Removal Cloths.

Olay Wipes

They’re pretty good, but I also like the Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes, although I will buy whatever is on sale most of the time, or the store brand.

If I was wearing waterproof mascara (which I usually am) or a lot of eye makeup in general, I will also use these Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads.

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I like these because they are quick and easy to use, and I tend to spill liquid makeup remover when I try to use it.

2. Next I will cleanse my face. If I was wearing makeup I try to cleanse my face twice. First I use Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm to remove the rest of my makeup.

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If I wasn’t wearing makeup, or as a second cleanser if I was wearing makeup, I use  Murad Clarifying Cleanser .

Murad Cleanser

I like this product a lot. It has Salicylic Acid 1.5% in it, which helps with my acne. I prefer using salicylic acid over benzoyl peroxide because benzoyl peroxide tens to bleach all of my towels and pillowcases.

3. After cleansing, I use an exfoliating toner. First I use the Cane and Austin Acne Treatment Pads.

Cane and Austin

These have 2% Salicylic Acid and 5% Glycolic Acid. I like to buy these from Skinstore.com because they usually give a high cash back with ebates and you can usually find a good coupon for them too! I also cut these pads in half before using them, they have enough product in them to use half of one at a time and this way they take twice as long to use up!

Next I like to use a moisturizing spray toner. Lately I have been using Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming/Toning Agent.

Aveda

I like this, but I think when I finish the bottle I will refill the spray bottle with the Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner  since I also like this product and it’s about 1/4 of the price.

4. After toner, if I am having some breakouts I will use Grease Lightning Tea Tree Cleanser  from Lush on any blemishes.

Lush Grease Lightning

5. Next I use an eye cream. I just started using the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. I’m really liking it so far!

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6. Almost done! Next I have started using a serum. I have been  using the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.

Advanced night repair

It is quite expensive, but I use very little every night so it has been lasting a long time. I like it so far!

7. Finally, the last step! Moisturizer! Recently I have been using the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream and I’ve really been loving it!

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It’s moisturizing without being greasy. I also love the packaging. You just take the top off and press down and it dispenses the perfect amount of product!

So that is my current night time skincare routine! Since a lot of these products can get quite expensive, I bought them over time until I had all of the pieces I wanted.

What does your skincare routine consist of? Do you use the same products every day? Let me know your favorite products in the comments! I’m always looking for new things to try out!

Glossybox Best of Britain Unboxing

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I’ve never ordered anything from Glossybox, or any of the subscription beauty box companies, but when I got an email about this Limited Edition Best of Britain box, I couldn’t resist! I was really missing London (I studied abroad in London for a semester this past year).

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I’m really happy with and excited to try all of the products that came in the box.

1. Nails Inc. – Kensington Caviar Top Coat – .33 fl. oz / $18.20

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I’m very excited to try this. I have a set of Nails Inc. Polish that I got at Sephora a while ago, and I’m really happy with it, so it is a brand that I like. I’ve been wanting to try out a new top coat too, and this one claims to dry in 45 seconds!

2. Nailgirls London – White #1 – .33 fl. oz / $12.90

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I don’t own any white nail polish. I’m not sure how often I would actually wear white nail polish, and I kind of wish this was a different color, but I’ll try it out. I’m sure this would be good to have for layering with other polishes too. I’ll find a use for it! Maybe OPI’s Polka.com glitter polish from the Euro Centrale collection will look good over a white base.

3. MeMeMe Cosmetics – Beat the Blues Skin Illuminator – .41 fl. oz/ $8.30

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I can’t wait to try this one out. I haven’t opened it yet, but the way it looks in the bottle is reminding me of Benefit High Beam, which is a product I love. (Also Sephora has 8% cash back right now from Ebates!)

4. Mitchell and Peach – Luxury Hand Cream – 2.1 fl oz/ $26

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With Fall and Winter approaching it will be nice to have an extra handcream lying around. I usually go for Hand Food from Soap and Glory, also a British brand! I went a bit Soap and Glory crazy when I was in London, while they sell some of the products in the US at Sephora, such as Hand Food, there are a lot more products available in the UK…and I took full advantage of that!

5. Steamcream – All-In-One Natural Moisturizer for Face, Body, & Hands – 2.65 oz/ $19.50

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The description says this cream can be used on the face, hands, and body. The tin is a good size, but I think it’s too small to use as a body cream. I plan on using it on face at night for now, and maybe on my hands if I don’t like it for my face I really love the packaging. I checked out the company’s website and you the tins come in all these different designs! Also, when I selected shipping to the US, the site said they have free worldwide delivery! If I like this I would definitely consider picking up one of these fun tins!

6. HD Brows – Grow Baby Grow – $46.50

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This was the product I was most excited to see in the box. I’ve had a long struggle with my eyebrows. The ends of my eyebrows, farthest from my nose, are almost nonexistent due to some over plucking, and now they just don’t want to grow back and the few hairs that do grow look odd. I’m really hoping this helps, I would love to have fuller brows.

7. Helen É Cosmetics – Lasting Lip Colour in Raspberry- .12 oz/ $12.20

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I’m not sure about this product, it is quite a dark color. I don’t own any lipsticks this dark, I’ll have to think of a look to wear with it. It will be a nice color for fall and winter though.

8. Batiste Dry Shampoo – Batiste Dry Shampoo Blush – 1.6 fl. oz/ $2.30

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This is the best dry shampoo I have ever tried in my life, and I’ve tried quite a few. I have blond hair that gets very greasy very fast at the roots, and this product fixes it instantly. It adds volume and makes my hair feel fresh again if it’s been a day since I washed it. I like to lift up my bangs and spray a bit under them, and then spray a bit on my scalp at my part and my hair looks great again. I know this product is available in the US, but I didn’t know about it or use it until I was studying abroad in London. I loved it so much, and it was so reasonably priced that I ended up buying a second bottle, one in this scent blush, and one in the original. I’m going to save this travel size for the next time I go on vacation. I would like to mention that the blush scent, while nice, is quite strong, so just be aware of that if you decide to pick up one of the scented versions.

There was also a bonus item! A small makeup case!

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I’m really happy with this box overall. The real test will be when I actually try out all of the products, but in general I’m really impressed. The packaging was amazing. From the insert that explained all of the product information, to the tissue paper, to the box that contained the products. Even the shipping box was cute!

I am definitely going to consider subscribing to Glossybox, or at least get a limited edition or normal monthly box every once in a while. The limited edition box cost $40 and I think it was a great value for the money. The normal monthly boxes cost $21, and is less per month if you subscribe for more months. Ebates also has a cash back deal available right now, you can get $2.75 back if you order from Glossybox and use Ebates!

Have you ever tried Glossybox or other similar subscription makeup boxes? What do you think about them, are they worth it? Let me know in the comments!

Haul! Space NK, Sephora, and Drugstore products!

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I’ve bought a few things over the past few days so I thought I would do a haul post!

I ordered two items from Space NK. I’ve been wanting to try them out for a while, but they are a little pricey so I held off on buying them. Then a few days ago I saw a $20 off coupon for Space NK that’s good until August 18th on Elle Fowler’s Blog, and decided to go ahead and buy them.

Darphin Aromatic Purifying Balm        Rodial dragon's blood hyaluronic moisturiser

The first item is Darphin’s Aromatic Purifying Balm. The Second is Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturizer. I’m really excited to start using both of these, I’ll do a review after I’ve used them for a while.

Next up is Sephora. I went to Sephora to buy a new bottle of this nail polish remover.

Sephora Nail Polish Remover

This is Sephora’s Instant nail polish remover and it is my all time favorite nail polish remover. It’s the kind that has the foam that you put your finger in to remove the polish. This is the third time I’ve repurchased it. It says on the bottle that this nail polish remover “is magic!” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ll post a review on it in the next few days.

Next, I picked up two of Urban Decay’s new Lipsticks, the Revolution Lipstick. I got the colors Fiend and Naked.

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After I use them I’ll post a review with some pictures and swatches. I’ve read some great reviews about these lipsticks and I really hope they live up to the hype! Urban Decay is actually having a contest on instagram right now. If you post a picture showing off one of these new lipsticks you can win all 22! Are you going to enter the contest? I think I might enter!

The last item I picked up is a drugstore item. It’s Covergirl’s clean glow blush in #100 Roses. It looks like it will be a really pretty natural looking blush. I can’t wait to use it.

Coverglow Clean Glow Blush Roses

Have you bought anything recently that you’re loving? Let me know in the comments!