Category Archives: Treats

Birchbox: August 2014

I just want to take a moment to enjoy the fact that I’m actually sharing a Birchbox properly in the month it was sent.  Finally.  I feel like the Birchboxes this summer have been really excellent.  Good samples, things I actually want, things that are actually interesting to try.  I’m glad that they’ve upped their quality game, because we all know that I’m 100% in this for the actual box and not the opportunity to purchase these goodies later.


In the box: Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris Fragrance, Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm, ModelCo Shimmer Bronzer, Neil George Shampoo and Conditioner

Dr. Jart+ has made more than one appearance in my box and I’ve been pleased overall with the quality of their products.  The bronzer sample could have come earlier in the summer.  I mean, I’m pretty much at the point where I have to switch back from bronzer to pressed powder.  But, maybe I’ll use it to add a glow as the fall progresses.

I am pretty sure that the only way this box could be better is if they threw a nail polish sample in there.  That’s only sort of hilarious because I haven’t dealt with my mitts properly since June.

Are there any beauty products you have tried lately and loved?


Birchbox: June + July 2014

We’re all probably a bit overdue for a peek into my latest Birchboxes.  Actually, I know we’re overdue.

Confession time: I am something of a product-hoarder.  Right now, my sample bag runneth over.  All of the miniature sunscreens have found their way into my toiletry bag for cabin usage, but everything else is still hanging about my vanity.  I need to schedule some moisturizing/facial time in a serious way.



In the box: Cynthia Rowley Beauty Silver Eyeliner, Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Body Wash, LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Menatour, nyakio Kenyan Coffee Face Polish Body Scrub and Hydrating Face Oil, Perlier Body Cream – Shea Almond

If we’re going to keep the honesty-streak alive, then I feel like I should tell you that I haven’t used anything in this box yet.  As gorgeous as that tube of Perlier Body Cream looks, I think that it’s probably going to be saved until winter, because dry skin is not really a problem in Minnesota in the summer.  Come January, I will be begging for just the tiniest bit of humidity.

I am really looking forward to the nyakio facial kit, but I just haven’t made the time to do it yet!  The packaging is actually fairly impressive.  Each of the steps have been split out so that amateurs (AKA me) know how we’re meant to perform this ritual.



In the box: Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Sugar, Harvey Prince Singular Scentsations Imperial Gardenia, NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion, Paula’s Choice RESIST c15 Super Booster, St. Tropez Tan Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing Multi-Action Face, Women’s Health Subscription (10 issues)

This box arrived last week and it was PACKED.

I am a big fan of Harvey Prince scents, so I was really glad to see the Imperial Gardenia in this box.  Since Women’s Health sponsored this month’s box, I also received a 10 issue subscription which makes it probably the best freebie that Birchbox has thrown in to date.

Some of the lotions look thrilling (NAOBAY), other serums look terrifying (Paula’s Choice RESIST), and still some threaten to turn my face an unnatural shade of tan (St. Tropez).  We’ll see where that goes.

Birchbox: April + May 2014

Before my long-overdue April Birchbox recap and my May Birchbox recap, some beauty buys I have made on my own!

Subtitle: That One Time When I Bought A Lot Of Beige Colored Things.


I ended up sourcing a full-sized container of the Stila Highlighter because I adore it.   I was definitely scraping the sides of the sample container that Megan gave me by the time I knew I needed to give in and make a purchase.

Part of the reason that I drained that first tube so quickly is because I realized that the highlighter was working wonders under my eyes.  The solution to that?  My first tube of concealer in what is probably at least five years.  Generally speaking, I wear Revlon powder and I’m pretty pleased with the staying power of all of their cosmetics, so I thought this would be a good concealer choice as well.  So far, I have not been disappointed.

Last but not least, it is bronzer season!  Lured by the promise of CVS ExtraCare Rewards and a much lower price tag than Physician’s Formula ($6 v. $15), I just had to give this Maybelline bronzer a try.  It’s fine.  I might switch back.  I might now.  The jury is still out.


Birchbox April

In the Box: Atelier Cologne Cedrat Enivrant Absolue, Color Club in Aquamarine Azulino, Davines Oi All in One Milk, theBalm cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream

Sometimes I have to ask myself the question of sky blue nail polish: what to do with it.    Actioning some high-level mitts with silver party nails is not a bad place to start.  I was actually a fair fan, but they got lots of compliments, which was a little bit of a (fun) surprise.

I’m no stranger to KIND bars, but I certainly don’t mind snacks that I recognize or having an excuse to try a new flavor.


Birchbox May

In the Box: Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo, Beauty Protector Protect & Condition, Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes, Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow, Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology

Let me tell you about how I divided this box up.  The shampoo/conditioner samples went straight into the shower.  The sunscreen into my travel beauty kit, because that’s basically all I need at the cabin.  I did give the foot towels a bit of a side-eye, which I feel was completely justified.  Washing my feet is not something I want to make a habit of.  But, you know, I’ve also realized that after the last few weddings we have attended, my feet have been basically black.  So there may be a market for those foot wipes after all.

Have you sourced any new beauty buys that you love lately?

Birchbox: March

Before we even get into the Birchboxing, we need to workshop the rest of my beauty life.

The Bad: I know that I am really late to the game with BB and CC Creams.  I tried one out on Monday (L’Oreal) because I had a sample and we all know that I’ll try anything once.  I should have known when it came out of the tube that it was going to be nothing but trouble – I feel that it was more of a sibling to the foot cream Cady Heron gave to Regina George than something you would want on your face.  Undeterred, I slathered it on anyway, waiting for the restorative magic to take effect and instead I got three zits.   So there’s that.

The (really) Good: When we were in Houston, Megan gave me  a tube of Stila Highlighter.  What is highlighter?  I’m still not really sure as I’ve never actually taken the time to source a tutorial on how to use it.  But it is sort of a shimmery war paint (I think) that gives you cheekbones that could cut glass.  It has changed my life in all ways and may be my new #2 after #1 Mascara.  It seems fairly idiot-proof so far, so I can be into it.

And now, The March Birchbox.


In the Box: COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face, English Laundry No. 7 for Her, HAVVN Night Cream, Luster Premium White Luster NOW! Toothpaste + Distinctly White Set

I just opened this box on Monday, so I haven’t had the chance to use any of the products yet.  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by the Whitening Toothpaste.  I have a pretty good relationship with Colgate Optic White right now, but I had a terrifying experience with white strips in high school.  With no real desire to repeat that, I’m being just a bit cautious.

As you can see, I also got another tube of my new arch nemesis: BB Cream.  Since this one is for all over and NOT just my face, I am a bit curious to know what it could to for my poor hands and the other skin that winter has been especially vicious to.  Spring starts on Thursday, but I feel like this could be a long recovery.

Highlighter users, what brands are you using and loving?

Birchbox: February

Like clockwork, another Birchbox.  I am pretty sure that this is my last month subscription-wise, so I need to figure out if I’ll be signing on for another year.  What I will say: For all that I am sometimes fussed about what they send me, they have also sent me some spectacular, life-changing products.  Since we all know I am not exactly on the pulse of beauty buys, that aspect of the service is invaluable.


In the box: Ayres Bar Soap, Beauty Protector Protect & Oil, Cynthia Rowley Liquid Liner in Black Ink, Juicy Couture Couture La La Malibu, Ahmad Tea

If we’re going to be totally honest, I slashed this box open last week, promptly threw the tea in my purse to take to work and have yet to touch ANY of it.  As in not even a spritz of the perfume.  I’ll probably have a better chance to play around with the products once I am, you know, home.

If you subscribe, what is the best product they’ve helped you to discover?

Birchbox: January

I have been so spoiled when it comes to the beauty world lately.  I’ve had blowouts the past two Fridays and while this is not a habit I can ever have, it has been just lovely.  Life is always better when someone else is doing battle with a round brush and a blow dryer on your behalf.

This month’s Birchbox? Was heavy.  As in: When I lifted it up, there was some weight there.  That is a first.

BB 2 BB 3

In the Box: Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion with Clary Sage, Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner, Harvey Prince Journey, Coastal Scents Revealed Palette Set

I have never tried Fekkai products before.  I know they come with a reputation and I’ve never been displeased with the hair product samples that Birchbox has sent, so I am excited to include these in my rotation.

After I cracked open the Revealed palette, I was pleasantly surprised – it is full of earthy, metallic shades (greens, browns and golds) that are exactly what I like to wear.

Birchbox subscribers: What came in your boxes this month?

Birchbox: November + December 2013

I’m supremely overdue on my Birchbox posts for the remainder of 2013.  Yes, I was busy, but there was also a period of time where I decided that I hated Birchbox (don’t ask, probably burnout) and was at the point where I wasn’t entirely sure that anyone actually wanted to see what they were sending me each month.  We are over that hump.


BB1 BB 2 BB 3

In the box: It’s a 10 miracle leave-in product, Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars in Pop Corn Pop, Tiossan Body Cream, Color Club Nail Polish in Dark ‘N Stormy, Chella Highlighter Pencil

Truth: I ate the Chocolate Bar as soon as I opened the box.  I had just finished my run.  It was snack time.  It did not stand a chance.

Y’all know I just love the little nail polish samples – Color Club’s Dark ‘N Stormy was no different.  I was a little bit hesitant because the color looked so severe – it is 100% gunmetal.  When I actioned it on my mitts + some sparkles, it looked…really excellent and much more feminine than I was expecting.


BB Dec 1BB Dec 2BB Dec 3

In the box: Hayadi Pure Happy Smooth, FusionBeauty LashFusion XL, BENTA BERRY G-1 Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, Emily’s Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookie, Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips

I was not super-impressed by this box initially – the chocolate covered fortune cookie seemed ridiculous.  Knowing how often I do not buy them at Chinese take-out places (100% of the time), I can’t imagine that there’s this big luxury market for them.  But, whatever.

I’ve used the mascara a few times and so far have been underwhelmed.  Maybe it is for people whose lashes are tragic, maybe I just need to keep trying, or maybe I need to give up.

The Gold Star for the December box goes to the Dr. Lipp Balm.  It is SO dry here right now because of the cold and my lips are basically a train wreck at the moment.  When I gave the Dr. Lipp Balm a try, I was very impressed.  It’s only $14.50 on the Birchbox site and since I had a $10 credit, I was able to source it for $4.50.

What beauty products have you been loving lately?