Thursday, May 30, 2013

Glossybox May 2013

Well I generally liked most of the products I received this month.  Considering this is a 20 dollar subscription aimed at providing luxury brands, I would say this isn't one of their better months.  If they just at least attempted to match the CC cream with the subscribers' skin color, I would have considered this box reaching the expected level of quality for this company (based on all the great boxes I previously received).   However, I appreciate that they always try to include one full size item, and that the total box worth is still about twice the subscription cost.  Overall, the total box worth was still approximately 40-45 dollars.

1.  Nicka K New York in Parc de 59 solid perfume stick, which goes for around 14 dollars (3/4 the box) - It smells wonderful and is in full-size.  Glossybox always includes a full-size item that is almost the whole subscription cost, which I really love about this company.  However, I am stubbornly attached to the 6 perfumes I use regularly.  I won't use it regularly, but it would make a nice gift for a friend.   I don't expect to always use every product I receive in a subscription box, but I really appreciate boxes that introduce me to new, quality products.  This is a good example.

2.  My Prime Multi-purpose Mattifying Moisturizer -  I really love receiving skin products I can actually use or try out.   I really needed a good face primer that is in a moisturizer form, and this came at the perfect time!  I'm very happy about receiving this item.  

3. Sebastion Volupt Spray - I can always use a good hair styling product.  I really love never having to buy a full sized bottle, because I can maintain my supply with sampling boxes.  

4. Amore Pacific color control cushion compact - Smells great, feels wonderful, but what the heck am I supposed to do with cream at least 2 shades darker than my skin tone?   I guess I can use it as a bronzer or visit a tanning salon, but I don't want to do either.   I think I was most excited about this product, but then once I received a completely off shade, I was pretty sad.  I love Amore Pacific....  This was a complete cock tease.

5.  European Wax center - samples of their lotion and body wash.  It's supposed to slow down hair growth. The box also included a gift certificate for a free wax, and fortunately, the center is about 15 minutes away from me.  Yay! I feel that this makes up for the CC cream. 

6. Etre Belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask: I LOVE receiving masks. From my experience, generally almost every mask I've used has the same temporary effects that make my face super soft.  With these boxes, I never really have to buy masks on my own anymore.

For June, Glossybox's box will entail an "American Beauty" collaboration with Dallas Shaw.  I loved their previous collaboration with the Man Repeller box, so I'm really excited for this upcoming month.  Maybe they held back a little this month, so they can go all out hanky spanky with the next month's box.   They've revealed that we'll recieve a Tarte Complexation Enhancing Lipstick worth $12.50, one Bondi New York nail polish worth $12.50, a 6 sample collection from Oscar de la Renta’s Essential Luxuries, and 2 other surprises that aren't announced yet. 

If you want to subscribe to Glossybox, click here. Remember to use the coupon code “WINK” for a free eyeliner to be added to your box this month.

Birch Box May 2013

BirchBox is a 10 dollar make up subscription box company, which previously has sent me the worst box I have ever received.   It entailed a piece of chocolate, a booger colored tiny sample sized nail polish, minuscule Jouer BB cream sample, and a small fragrance sample that smelled like a musky, runner's arm pit.  What the heck??  I was obviously disappointed and quickly canceled my subscription.  I could have bought myself a cool Dota 2 skin instead with that 10 dollars.  However, as I continued looking at other blog and forum posts, I wanted to join in on the fun again.  I love finding deals, and since there's a high random factor to Birchbox, I love gambling 10 dollars for the chance discovering great products.  I honestly had low hopes, but this month actually surprised in an amazing way.  I really loved this month's box, which included the following:

1. Beauty Protector sample, which is a spray that conditions, protects from heat, adds shines, detangles, and etc.  It's great and smells like ... I think Coconuts?   It really smells good though in a more pastry / sweet type of way, which I normally dislike. It does detangle and lessens my flyaways.

2. LaFace Proteger Age Defying primer sample - I heard great things about this company, but I gave it to my mom who was looking for a good primer.   The anti-aging component really appealed to her.

3. Mirenesse in Perfect Kiss - It's a nourishing, lovely color, which reminds me of Vincent Longo's lipstain.   There's a golden sheen, which makes it look like I spent time mixing colors.   At first, I was confused, because the material looked plastic and there was no knob to twist up the product.  Then I got a little sad (I know subscription boxes really make me go through  more emotional roller coasters than anything, I swear).   After scouring the net, I discovered it really is a full-sized item, but you still have to use pencil sharpener.  Me gusta!

4.  Joie Perfume sample -  It smells sort of musky, semi-masculine from the bottle, but once you spray it on your skin, it smells amazing.  My mom loved the box as well, so I subscribed to two boxes for the next month, so my mom will enjoy receiving a monthly gift a swell.

5.  Tweezerman Itty Bitty Nail files were the lifestyle extras.  Nail files are always useful.  I like when boxes include little accessories like hair ties, pens, and such.

This made me a believer.  I really look forward to next month's box.  Most of the other subscription boxes disappointed me for May, but Birchbox came through in quality under an affordable price.  Not only did this box introduce me to new brands and quality products I never heard of, but it also has an amazing point system.  This serves as a safety net for the "bad" months in the long run.  If you want to join and give me extra points too :)), you can go to my referral link here:

My Face Care Routine

I have mainly dry to somewhat normal skin, so I often use highly moisturizing lotions with some retinol for wrinkle prevention and light spf for sun protection from the Californian sun. Since I experienced significant dryness and loss of brightness in my skin when visiting Germany, my routine changed from the 3 step Clinique products to a wider range of products.  

1. Alternate between Shiseido Perfect Whip facewash, which cleans thoroughly without being drying, and St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub for exfoliating dead skin and removing blackheads.  
2. Thayer Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner soothes and preps my skin.
3. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum‎ really moisturizes my skin without leaving it greasy.   I can practically wear any type of lotion after, and the serum does all the work.  
4. Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer with SPF 15 feels light and has sun protection.  After letting my face dry for about 10 minutes, my foundation goes on smoothly and leaves my face with a natural finish.  
6. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in Vanille is one of my favorite foundations. The Skin79 Pink BB cream is amazing, but the lasting power and coverage is not as strong as an actual foundation and is more suitable for relaxed days where I don't want to really wear that much make up.   The Bourjois serum foundation just covers the right amount, leaves a smooth, natural finish, and has really great lasting power throughout the day.  The coloring also leans towards yellow, which actually makes it my perfect skin color match.  Bourjois is a sister company of Chanel, and their high end drugstore products are generally very high quality.  

1. Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution eliminates all traces of my make up and gently cleanses dirt and oil away.   
2. Thayer Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
3. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum‎
4. Avene (2) Eluage Cream to rub in spots for wrinkle and fine line prevention.  I don't really have any fine lines or wrinkles yet, but I feel it's nice to begin with mild anti-aging products to prevent or slow down the occurance of agining.  I noticed I usually break out whenever I apply anti-aging products, but this product was very moisturizing while my skin remained clear.
5. La Roche-Posay (2) Hydraphase Intense Light Intensive Rehydrating Skincare is very moisturizing without feeling greasy, and in the morning, I feel that my skin is renewed, very soft, and fresh without any product really coating my skin..  I wish I purchased the non-light version, because I have very dry skin sometimes.   

Favorite Masks
1.  My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask.  I don't believe it has long-term lasting results, but during the days I use this, my skin is exceptionally translucent and supple.  
2. About once a week, I use Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.  I don't really have a problem with break outs, but the mask really does lessen the appearance of my pores and clears away any bumps I sometimes have on my skin.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Favorite Body Lotions and Oils

After I shower, I apply Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Spray - Face, Body and Hair. I initially didn't like the smell from the bottle, but once I applied it on my skin, the smell is addictive and unique.      It reminds me of a lazy summer day where I can just sunbathe and relax. I've grown to really love it, because it's subtle enough where it can match any of my perfumes. I use oil right after I shower, because it's locks in moisture without leaving any sort of residue.

Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Hand Therapy

Since the oil isn't as moisturizing as a heavier cream, I use Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Hand Therapy and Cerave Moisturizing Lotion for my hands, feets, and joints. Kai with very dry skin uses Cerave for his face and body as well.

On days I need some extra sun protection, I always use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sun Screen.   It's just basically just like any other sun screen except not as greasy (though some residue) and is super powered.  It's a necessity for the summer weather.  
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