While my first Birchbox was fun, this one was quite the treat. A few new products from brands I know & love and a few complete surprises. I opened it up Saturday night after I had climbed into bed and sifted through all the excitement – and tried every single one on Sunday because I just couldn’t wait another second!


  • Oribe Shampoo & Conditioner for Beautiful Color: I love Oribe. I’ve used their dry shampoo and volumizing shampoo & conditioner before, so I knew these would be great. The smell of Oribe products always makes me feel like I’m stepping out of a fancy salon and the texture is rich and lavish. 
  • This Skin&Co body gel is delicious. I love the light orange and slightly spicy scent. It smells like something I might have found on my honeymoon at a fabulous hotel. It left my skin feeling rather moisturizer and clean.
  • Mirenesse Glossy Kiss is my new favorite lip product. I love the lipstick-like texture with a glossy finish, the bold color and how perfectly it mattes when blotted. The color I got is called Glossy Kiss and is the perfect orangey color. I’ll be buying more of this the second it’s back in stock.
  • We already use the Supergoop sun block, so I was really excited to try this new eye cream. I wear SPF 15 every day, but I love the idea of wearing something a little more hefty around my eyes. SPF 37 sounds just about right. And it smoothed on just perfectly under my concealer. Hooray! I’ll be picking this up once my current eye cream runs out. 
  • I’m drinking the Kusmi Sweet Love Tea now and am pleasantly surprised. I love tea but can be rather picky. This has a lovely light but spicy flavor that I am really enjoying. They have two detox flavors that sound rather citrusy and delicious that I might have to try.

All in all this box was a complete win! I’ll be buying at least the lip product and eye cream… oh, and probably the body gel too. It’s such a lovely indulgence.

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So… my newest obsession is BirchBox. New beauty samples delivered to me every month? Yes, please! Not just teeny little sample packets, these are lovely smaller sized bottles that allow for multiple uses before you dive into a full size purchase. I’m only a few days into my first box, but I already have some raves and rants.


Clockwise from top left corner: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC CreamMadewell for Birchbox Nail Emery BoardWhish Shave Crave Shaving CreamJuicy Couture Couture La LaSerge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo

  • The Juice Beauty cream has a lovely texture and I love the SPF, but I like a little more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. I’ll bet this is excellent as a light alternative in the summer. We’ll have to wait and see if the anti-aging benefits kick in! 
  • The Madewell Emery board is a cute version of your every day one. I pretty much love anything from Madewell. They make everything… adorable. 
  • Whish Shave Cream feels so luxurious after shaving with soap or shampoo for way too long, but the super sweet smell was a little much for my taste.
  • The Juicy perfume was a bit of the same overly sweetness, but I don’t wear perfume too often to begin with. Just a little Chanel occasionally. 
  • I’ve been trying to jump on the dry shampoo bandwagon for a while now, but I can’t get out of the habit of washing my fine oily hair every day. I do like the texture of this spray a bit better than the others I’ve tried, but I’m still working up toward giving it a true test on unwashed hair!

I just can’t kick my love of beauty products after spending a few years working in cosmetics, and this is such a great way to try out fun new things each month without breaking the bank. I’m crossing my fingers for some hair volumizing product in one of the coming months, and maybe an amazingly moisturizing lip balm! Oh, and anything to help control my oily t-zone. Overall I was incredibly pleased with first shipment and am anxiously awaiting #2!

A few weeks back, I read this post from Anna of Door Sixteen and jumped on the French face oil bandwagon (within seconds of reading the post actually! Best spontaneous purchase ever).
As the days get colder, my skin gets a little crankier. My winter cheeks are dry and flaky, my t-zone is oily and unruly with breakouts – that is until this fabulous oil hit my face. It took a week or two for my skin to truly adjust, but I immediately saw that foundation stayed on my much-less-oily nose the whole day (instead of needing a touch up by lunchtime) and my face felt less like two different countries at war. Today my skin feels the most balanced it’s felt in years. I’m obsessed! With a little exfoliation for my sad dry cheeks and this oil morning and night, every inch of my face is looking and feeling good. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to basic moisturizers. Thanks Anna!

Check out a few of my other beauty faves here:
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About a month ago I found out a good friend of mine is working at a salon doing lash extensions. A few of my girl friends and I had been discussing it for a while and I decided to give it a whirl. I worked in cosmetics for years as a makeup artist years ago and haven’t left the house without mascara since I was in my teens, so the idea of trying it was a bit strange but tempting. It’s been about 3 weeks now and I must admit I’m in love! Not only did I give up mascara, but eyeliner too. My world has turned upside down! Well, at least in terms of cosmetics.

I just got my first fill this morning and couldn’t be more happier. Love these lashes! And Husband is happier my makeup routine is about 5 minutes shorter. What about you? Have you ever tried it? Any other beauty fads you’re into? It’s been about 5 years since I worked in the industry, but I still love trying out all the hot new options!

Years and years ago, I worked at a makeup counter and accumulated more eye shadows than any one person (or maybe dozen people) should own. And although I only use a handful of these colors regularly, I can hardly part with such a treasure trove of color. When I stumbled across this post from Lindsay at Delighted Momma on making your own nail polish out of old crumbly shadows, I knew there was a reason I couldn’t part with my preciouses.

Here are Lindsay’s steps:

What you will need:
Clear nail polish.
Eye shadow.
A funnel. I made mine by wrapping a note card into a cone shape and then taping it on the back.

Take out the eyeshadow you want to use. I used a butter knife to scrape it out of the container. I combined the first two colors of the eyeshadow palette above. Crush it up so it is in a powder form.

Empty a small amount of clear nail polish out so you have room for the eyeshadow powder. Place your funnel into the top. Add the color into the bottle.

Use the toothpick to mix up the color into the bottle. Put the cap on and give it a good shake until it is evenly distributed.

You now have you own custom shade of nail polish!
Now I’m off to find my favorite shadow color!

I’m always talking about doing something interesting with my hair. I’ve made and cancelled appointments for adding purple to my bangs at least twice now. Such a chicken! And then
I saw this post on A Cup of Jo today for colored chalk tips. So cute! And non-permanent!
Perfect for a chicken like me.

1. Get yourself some chalk pastels. You can find them at any art or craft store or on Amazon. Make sure they are CHALK pastels and not OIL pastels; otherwise you’ll make even more of a mess!

2. Pick your favorite color of chalk, and wet the tip of the chalk you have chosen. Then rub the end of the chalk up and down the tips of your hair, re-wetting when necessary. (You can also wet your hair instead of the chalk, but I find it easier to just re-wet the chalk when needed. You don’t want your waterlog your hair, since then it will become a mushy mess.)

3. Switch colors if you want. Just go crazy. Experiment. This type of hair is meant to be fun and carefree! (For my hair, I used a combo of four colors: magenta, peach, royal blue, and turquoise.)

4. Wait for your newly colored hair to dry a little before you get dressed. You don’t want to get colored dye on your party outfit. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands after, you’re going to get a bit messy. Don’t worry, it comes off with soap and water!

Three extra tips:
* If you have lighter hair, skip wetting the chalk first and just use the chalk dry on your hair. Wetting it may stain lighter hair a bit more than darker hair. If you find that the color isn’t showing up enough for you, you may want to run a flat iron over the part you just colored. The heat will help brighten and seal the color in.
* Apologies in advance for the ladies with super dark hair; you may have to sit this one out (although, you could try some bright blues and purples for a cool subdued effect).
* Don’t fear that it will rub off onto your clothing once it’s dry. I was wearing a white blouse when we took these photos, and I went out to dinner afterward and came home with no trace of color anywhere on me or my clothing (save for some bright pink chalk under my nails because i didn’t wash my hands well enough;).

So lovely!

images by jamie beck