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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Power Play… BIRCHBOX: July 2013

Hi loves!

Ohhhh Birchbox… trying to seduce my inner control freak? Well, at least that was the apparent goal of July’s box of goods that were selected to “help you take control” of any situation. Meh. Sort of.

ArtsyArchitette July 2013 Birchbox Review

I was initially excited about the July box because they were partnered with SUITS!! And I love that show, BUT…

I may be a tad harsh on Birchbox in this moment considering they forgot to include my “Suits Pick!” I should have received theBalm cosmetics InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush, but it was missing! Being a fan of Suits and theBalm brand I was a bit peeved to not receive my product.

Granted, Birchbox did give me 100 Birchbox points for the mishap, but that only equals to $10 and the product retails for $22 – so not enough to buy one. I guess something is better than nothing though.

Onto what I did receive…

1//

My favorite product of the bunch was the Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect Leave-in Conditioner! LOVED THIS STUFF! Seriously. No seriously loved it. With my very long, quite curly hair, hydration/ conditioning and all that are high on my list of hair needs, and this made a noticeable difference after the first use. Not something that happens very often. Total hair ends transformation, at least for me. It also has UV (and color protection) – to me that’s a great bonus benefit!

Though in thinking about it, I have also tried the Number 4 Reconstructing Masque and it was amazing as well. The only reason I don’t buy the masque is the price tag, but the leave-in conditioner is definitely more wallet friendly!

The only downfall is the smell. It is supposed to be floral, but comes across more artificial blueberry-clay-ish to me (sorry, bad scent description). Though the scent doesn’t linger.  Full Size Value: $32 USD (200 ml).

2//

The extra in the July box were a set of Birchbox Bobby Pins. Heavy duty (needs a little extra effort to open and slide onto hair), strong, extra wide bobby pins with a cute print. You can get a set of six (6) pins for $5.

3//

The next product I can’t really judge on because, thankfully I haven’t had much of a need for it as my skin has been behaving quite well. It is the DDF Acne Control Treatment. Technically a night treatment with Salicylic Acid that you can apply up to 3 times a day. It is non-comedogenic and paraben-free, though again, I can’t judge on its effectiveness considering I haven’t had a need to test it yet.  Here’s a little more info:

Formulated with three powerhouse acne-fighters, this high-tech nightly treatment quickly brings clarity to your complexion. First, salicylic gently purges pores of dirt and oil. Second, DDF™’s Clarifying Neutralizing Complex strengthens and protects skin from inflammation and free radical damage. Rounding out the winning formula, supermoisturizing glycerin soothes away irritation and quells dryness.

Full Size Value: $44 USD (1.7 oz). It has some good reviews, so I’m happy to have the product to try the next time I need a little skin savior.

4//

Finally, I received a little sample pot of the Benefit it’s potent! eye cream. I was a little wary of this one at first, considering I tried the face cream from the same line and had a bad reaction, but luckily that was not the case with the eye cream. It is a good eye cream, hydrating, but not greasy and sinks into skin quickly. It has a “peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness, a blend of hydrating botanical extracts and loquat extract, known to help protect the skin from free radical damage.” It is supposed to help lighten dark circles and help with fine lines, but I haven’t witnessed anything along those lines yet, not that I have too much to correct (plus I use a different night cream – one I will not give up).  Full Size Value: $34 USD (0.5 oz).

…more soon loves 😉

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Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox Summer 2013

Happy Thursday Loves!

The weekend is almost here and I’m super excited… for no real reason other than I have 3 days off from work – and hey, that’s reason enough right?!

Well, early last month (July) I received a box of complimentary goodies to test and review from one of my absolute favorite communities/ programs > Influenster!

I’ve held off on reviewing them for you since one of the products was a BB cream, see below, and I didn’t have the time to properly test it out when I first received it.

So check out the Sunkissed VoxBox freebies I got…

ArtsyArchitette Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox Summer 2013 Review

Now I will be posting individual reviews for each of the 4 products I received in a couple of days, expect those posts to hit your inbox/ WP reader on Saturday soon (sorry, for the delays, unexpected work beckons), but I thought I’d share a peek pre-review. I will link each item below to its own review once those posts go live.

1 // Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles

2 // Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15

3 // Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics

4 // Sinful Colors SinfulShine with Gel Tech Nail Colour in “Set the Mood”

Until tomorrow…


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Wanderlust… BIRCHBOX: June 2013

 

 

 

 

Wanderlust lovelies… 

Birchbox’s June goodies were all about products, from near and far, to inspire or aid you on summer adventures.ArtsyArchitette Birchbox June 2013 Review

1 //

First up, they included some oh so nifty and cute postcards (4), each with a different city (New York, London, Paris & Barcelona) and a suggested day trip planned out on the back featuring some of each cities well loved hot spots.

2 //

Next, was a FULL SIZE Mirenesse Glossy Kiss Natural Lip & Cheek Stain in the Shade #8 Cheeky Kiss (sorry no swatch). The product itself is lovely, smooth, creamy, non-sticky, non-drying, barely glossy – more of a soft sheen than anything.

The color just wasn’t me at all though. “Cheeky Kiss” is a dusty rose, with slight cool beige/mauve undertones and just not a color I would have chosen lip wise, though I may use it for a cheek stain. Staying power is decent, though I haven’t tested it long enough cheek wise to judge on that. Full Size Value: $26.95 USD.

3 //

Next, a 50 ml sample can of the Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. Okay, this stuff is pretty awesome, definitely one of the best dry shampoos I have ever come across (in the top three for sure).

While I don’t use dry shampoo very often, as I most often style my hair in a natural curly state and often don’t require a dry shampoo, I do still like to keep an eye out for a great product when I see one because dry shampoo does come in handy (for texture, different styles, travel, etc).

It is light, NOT cakey, NOT chalky, its scent it airy and natural, smells expectedly like grain/rice (think Aveeno-like) and brushes through beautifully. Full Size Value: $18 USD.

4 //

Next up is a 7ml sample bottle of another Birchbox + Color Club collaboration for the Wanderlust Nail Lacquer Collection. I received the color “Reign in Spain” which I think is an awesome name and the shade definitely screams spring/summer travel to me – almost too loudly though.

Sorry for the lack of swatch on this one, my day job is hard on my hands and my manicures never survive more than a day or two. In the bottle the shade seems like a bright pink-coral, but once applied and out in the Texas sunshine – it was freaking neon coral! Too neon for a full manicure almost. However, I do like the Color Club formula, applies smoothly and opaque, without need for excessive coats. Full Size Value: $8 USD (four mini bottle collection).

5 //

I also received another Twistband Hair Tie in a fabulous green and teal anchor print! These hair ties really are gentle on your hair and the prints they come in can really add a little touch of flair to my braid.

The only down fall to these Twistband hair ties is that of the 5 I have been sent, 3 have come untied – not good. Full Dize Value (for packs): $5 to $22 USD.

6 //

Lastly, I received a standard sample vial of Oscar de la Renta’s “Something Blue” Eau de Parfum. It is a soft fragrance, but not powdery nor sweet. Citrus and floral, but slightly warm. Definitely a summer – and I don’t know if its the name that pushes my brain this way – but I keep thinking “summer wedding fragrance”. It’s a fragrance that wouldn’t be found too intrusive or abrupt, in my opinion. It could easily be an everyday fragrance. Full Size Value: $85 to $115  USD.

For those interested in the fine details:

Top notes: Italian bergamot, Mandarin, Neroli, Linden blossom
Heart notes: Stephanotis, Fleur de narcisse, Lily of the valley, Kiss of lychee
Base notes: Ambrette seeds, White musk, Ambergris, Cashmere woods, Bourbon vanilla

//

There you have it! Overall, I think Birchbox got there Wanderlust message across… postcards, dual-use product, dry shampoo perfect for travel, summer holiday nails, a hair tie that a girl can easily sport as an accessory and an easy-going summer fragrance.

More of me and my thoughts soon…


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Overdue Review – BIRCHBOX: December 2012

Hi loves!

So, I had been wavering on whether or not to post these latest two monthly subscription reviews, considering they are about a month and a half later than I would have normally posted them (sorry!) due to my whole January/February semi-hiatus state, but I said what the hell, product reviews are product reviews and they might still help someone out.

December: Overall B-.

ArtsyArchitette Birchbox December 2012

THE GOODS

Rent the Runway Discount Card – $50

One of the bonus items in the December box, which I had no use for. Sure it was worth $50, but if I remember correctly – as I have apparently lost the card someone in my bedroom – it was $50 off of $125 or $175 purchase. I don’t have that kind of money to spend on, admittedly gorgeous, clothing and accessories that I don’t even get to keep.

I can see this site being handy for special occasions, occasions worth the money to look like you just walked off the red carpet, but otherwise its just not practical for someone on my budget to rent.

Fresh Citron de Vigne Eau de Parfum – 7.5 ml Sample Vile

Fresh is definitely the word with this fragrance. It is lovely and fairly light, perfect for Spring in my mind.

Being inspired by France’s Champagne region, it has top notes of: Neroli, Bitter Orange, and Pink Grapefruit, with heart notes of: Jasmine, Pinot Noir, and Lemongrass, and base notes of: Cedarwood, White Sandalwood, and Birch Tree Leaves.

I would say the notes that hit me the most are the Pinot Noir and Lemongrass, followed by the woods.

Full Size Value: $80.00 (100 ml), $38.00 (30 ml)

Sampar Ultra Hydrating Fluid – 15 ml Sample

This is a beautiful moisturizer! Sampar, a Parisian brand – and the French are known for their skin care, is a new one to me, but I was seriously happy getting this sample.

It actually feels like a moisturizer-serum hybrid on your skin and it performs well under make-up. It sinks into your skin beautifully, leaving it gorgeous and plumped up with moisture, and not greasy whatsoever. It smells like floral water.

The only downfalls I could see are that it does not contain an SPF and the high price tag. Considering it is a moisturizer, and I usually apply two layers – once, let it sink in well, then apply a second layer and let that sink in (then possibly followed by make-up), and based on the sample size I received, I would probably guess I would go through the $71 full size in about a month to a month and a half. That’s a lot of money on moisturizer!

I’m a little bummed that I fell in love with this pricey product.

Full Size Value: $71.00 (50 ml/ 1.7 fl oz)

12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment – 45 ml Sample

Okay, I need to be completely fair to this sample. I did try it, and still have some left, but honestly didn’t notice much of a difference, but maybe I wasn’t the best person to judge.

I don’t use heat on my hair 98% of the year, don’t color my hair, don’t do any other chemical treatments, and haven’t exposed my hair to chlorine in many many months.

What I can say is that my hair is very long, curly, and because of those two things and everyday exposure it does have some natural occurring damage and some frizziness. The 12 Benefits treatment felt like a liquid leave-in conditioner type product and does smell quite nice.

Here is what they say it helps with:  Seal hair color + Smooth frizz + Repair damage + Prevent split ends + Moisturize dry hair + Strengthen fragile hair + Prevent flat iron damage + Prevent chlorine, wind & sun damage + Add shine, softness and a silky finish + Protect hair from blow-drying + Improve detangling & manageability + Keep hair youthful 

Full Size Value: $19.00 (6 oz)

theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One– 1 g Sample Tin

I am definitely becoming a fan of theBalm powder products and this one doesn’t disappoint.

I would describe it as a multidimensional blush, with three color layers, a golden highlighter layer, a pink layer, and a peach layer, and when they combine on your skin it creates a flattering flush of color.

Full Size Value: $20.00 (7 g)

Emily’s Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookie – Single 

It was chocolate! It was a peppermint dark chocolate covered fortune cookie, complete with Santa fortune inside.

Full Size Value: $5.99 (6 pack)

ArtsyArchitette Birchbox December 20122