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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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CleanUp Time: Make-Up Brushes & Sponges

Is your skin looking not-so-hot? Do you use make-up brushes or sponges? Did you know that they may be why your skin is in a funk?

Well, it is true, if you are not cleaning your make-up tools often enough or properly. Brushes and sponges not only accumulate product residue, but also bacteria, which without proper cleaning, means that you are spreading that days old product residue and bacteria onto your face. Eeek!

Based on how much and how often you apply make-up, brushes should be cleaned thoroughly once a week to once a month. I would also recommend using a daily anti-bacterial brush cleaner in between proper cleanings.

The exception to this would be if you have enough brushes to use some for a limited time and move onto using more clean brushes.  The only issue with this – when you run out of clean brushes, you will have A LOT to clean at once! Not fun – I know 😦

So onto how to clean your brushes (according to me and what I have learned)…

Cleaning make-up brushes:

Step 1: Gather your brushes and take them to a flat surface with plenty of space, either on a bathroom/kitchen counter or table.

Step 2: Grab a medium size bowl (or partially fill your bathroom sink) with warm water.  Doing this wastes less water.

  • Depending on how dirty your brushes are and how many, you may have to empty and refill the water once or twice.

Step 3: Wet the bristles of the brush, doing your best to avoid wetting the brush handle.

  • Wetting the brush handles, especially if wood, can damage them – as water makes the wood expand, when it dries, the handle can crack.

Step 4: Add a small amount of brush cleaner/soap to your palm and swirl the brush into your palm, sweeping back and forth.

  • Do not push the bristles down – the forcible spreading of the bristles outward can/will damage the brush density and form.

Step 5: Rinse under clean cool water and repeat Step 4, in the bowl of water, until the brush is clean of make-up.

Step 6: Gently squeeze the bristles, ridding the brush of as much water as possible, and re-form the brush to its smallest density.

  • When squeezing the brush, do so downward – from the brush handle towards the end of the bristles.

Step 7: Dry the brush handle with a clean towel, if necessary, and allow the brush to dry – brush head end down.

  • If the brush is not dense enough to support the weight of the brush, meaning the bristles bend when placing the brush bristle end down, then lay the brush down on a clean towel to dry overnight.

The brush shampoo I currently use:

Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo 

The daily brush cleaner I currently use:

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner

(spray after use and allow to dry – no rinsing required)

When I don’t have my Sephora brush shampoo:

I use a 2:1 ratio of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Dial Gold Antibaterial soap. Works just as well.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but to those new readers or in cased you missed that post, make-up sponges should be cleaned after each use. Since sponges absorb more product and absorb the product deeper than brushes do after one use, proper daily cleaning is important.

Cleaning make-up sponges:

Step 1: Take the sponge(s) to your bathroom/kitchen sink.

Step 2: Do NOT wet the sponge

Step 3: Grab some oil (yeah – I did just said oil, grape seed or olive, or even baby oil)

Step 4: Pour the oil on the more stained areas and work the oil into the sponge well.

  • The oil breaks down the cosmetic ingredients and separates the makeup from the sponge better than regular soap.

Step 5: Squeeze the dirty out! Then squeeze some more.

  • Repeat Step 4 until the stains are gone.

Step 6: Grab some of your brush cleaner, gentle facial cleanser or some baby shampoo/antibacterial hand soap and wash out the oil.

Step 7: Squeeze all the water out using a clean paper towel and check for any oil residue.

  • Check for oil residue by pressing the sponge onto your clean, dry hand – you will be able to feel/see on your hand if there is still oil.
  • Repeat Step 6 until you have rid the sponge of the oil.

Step 8: Allow the sponge to dry or use it right away – if you prefer using your sponge damp.

Side Tip: Wash your pillow cases often too.

  • Why? 1. Sebum (Face “Oil/Grease”) 2. Sweat 3. Product Residue 4. Bacteria

Have fun cleaning your way to good skin!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Chloe + Isabel boutique and spread the word! You’ll love it and I’ll love you for it!