ArtsyArchitette

Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


Leave a comment

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…


1 Comment

Champagne, Macarons and a Jo Malone Haul

Hey gorgeous!

Okay, so I was so wrapped up eating my macarons and sipping my champagne at Saks that I failed to snap some photos of the Jo Malone event they held recently. Complete with free samples, tasty snacks and booze, there was also a Jo Malone representative there explaining the newest collection, Sugar & Spice, along with all that JM offers, and the best blending combinations to pair the new fragrances with.

It was so much fun just indulging at bit with other JM lovers, and of course, splurging a little on a few new fragrances for Spring and Summer.

So, I thought I’d share my haul of JM goodies…

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul5

JM Haul + Free Bag with Saks Beauty Samples + Free JM goodies

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul3

Blue Agava & Cacao, Nectarine Blossom & Honey 

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul2

Redcurrant & Cream, Lemon Tart

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul4

Free JM goodies that came with my JM Haul

ArtsyArchitette Jo Malone Haul

Samples of every JM fragrance Saks offers

Oh and if you haven’t discovered Jo Malone yet, I’d definitely stop into the closest store/counter and give the brand a try. JM fragrances are unique and made to be layered, so you can really make the brand your own.

x Sam


Leave a comment

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


3 Comments

Long Overdue – July/August 2012 MyGlam Bags

As in my my overdue Birchbox post, again, sorry for this being soooo late. I’ll keep this one as short as possible, considering it will be a quick review of the last two MyGlam months 🙂

July was a really good one… 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion (Deluxe 1.0 fl oz. Sample)

I use this product already – so I loved getting this one. Great to have a small bottle on hand for travel or just your bag. I use this when I am going to be at home mainly, in the evening or just not really going out (since it does not contain SPF).

This moisturizer really feels like you are applying a barrier layer – locking the moisture in and everything else out. It is non-greasy, with a natural somewhat medicinal/botanical scent, and has a cooling affect on the skin. It works well under some make-up, but not all.

It is oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and colorant-free; and helps keep oil in check.

Full Size: $26.00 (4.2 fl. oz.)

NuMe HydroPunch Hydrating Conditioner (Deluxe .7 oz. Sample)

I hate having to judge conditioners I only get to use once or twice, but this one was clearly a very nice conditioner. I definitely felt the effect of its “hydro punch” ingredients (Argan oil, strengthening bamboo and conditioning sage) after I used it. I would definitely consider purchasing this conditioner, though considering how much conditioner I go through, it may get a bit pricey.

Caution: It is quite heavy on the fragrance/ perfume – but the scent is pleasant.

Full Size: $24.99 (8.45 oz.)

Yes To Cucumbers On-The-Go Facial Towelettes (Travel Pack – 10 Towelettes)

LOVE THESE!! I use them already – so I was excited to get them! I always carry a Travel Pack with me and have the full 30 count pack on my bedside table.

Read more on them in my Brands I love: Yes To post here.

Travel Pack: $2.99 (10 count).

Full Size: $5.99 (30 count).

Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in “Quickstep” (FULL SIZE)

Quickstep is a rich plum – which comes off a bit warmer in tone when I apply it – considering my yellow undertones. It is a nice, but pretty standard, lip/cheek stain pen. It has good staying power once set, fragrance, cruelty and paraben free, and vegan friendly.

Though it is a good stain pen/marker, there are others just as good for less.

Full Size: $19.00.

Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Polish in “Reverso” (FULL SIZE)

White nail color. Vegan and cruelty free. Bold and quite pigmented, dries semi-matte and sets fairly fast. Good polish overall.

Brand “Circus” was created by Andrea’s Choice – one of the “YouTube Beauty Gurus” behind MyGlam.

Full Size: Price Unknown – not available for purchase until this fall.

 

and onto August… which was okay. 

Demeter Roll On Perfume Oil in “Dragon Fruit” (FULL SIZE)

Nice, but as expected, very fruity and a hint of floral. An oil, so very little is needed. Made with Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E,  so it is skin softening and non-drying.

Full Size: $10.00 (.29 fl oz).

S.A.L.T.Y. Cosmetics Glama-ZOID! Eyeshadow (.035 oz. Sample)

Packing and branding seems a little cheap, but product is okay. Simple enough – extremely fine milled mineral shadow. Color is an iridescent violet pink.

Could be used as an extremely subtle highlight, but overall staying power seems to be lacking!

Full Size: $14.97 (Large 2.5 grams).

Full Size: $4.50 (Small 1.25 grams).

Sample: $3.97.

Eclos Cellular Activator Facial Serum (Deluxe .5 fl oz. Sample)

Unsure about this one… I tried it but, ehhh – undecided. It applies well. It is a very thin, non-greasy, serum that absorbs very quickly. The real thing the irks me is the scent – a strange semi-natural lemony funk.

This lightweight serum helps wake up skin’s self renewal process to revitalize fatigued, stressed skin. Unique plant extracts help boost firmness and tone to smooth out fine lines and damage. Exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in two weeks. Comfrey, Gotu Kola, Tumeric and Green Tea antioxidants shield against skin aging environment assaults, helping to prolong a youthful appearance.

If you haven’t figured out yet, I get put off by things with unpleasant scents – no matter how great the product may claim to be.

Full Size: $24.99 (1.7 fl oz.)

Eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream (.25 fl oz. Sample)

Same sentiments as the serum – undecided. Has the same semi-natural lemony funk going on that just puts me off.

This medium-weight moisturizer with restorative benefits helps smooth and brighten for a youthful finish. Hydration replenishes dry, dulling skin suffering from the signs of aging. Powerful extracts and antioxidants boost collagen levels for noticeable tightening and firming. Exclusively formulated with rejuvenating Apple Stem Cells, clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture in two weeks.

Full Size: $24.99 (2 oz.)

Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Polish in “Ringmaster” (FULL SIZE)

Same sentiments as the Reverso white polish. Neon pink nail color. Vegan and cruelty free. Bold and quite pigmented, dries semi-matte and sets fairly fast. Good polish overall.

Brand “Circus” was created by Andrea’s Choice – one of the “YouTube Beauty Gurus” behind MyGlam.

Full Size: Price Unknown – not available for purchase until this fall.

MyGlam BONUS: MyGlam Glam Gloss (Full Size )

Pardon the photo quality. Bright, fuscia pink gloss that is quite pigmented. Only slightly sticky, but overall quite smooth. Does get tacky after a bit of time on the lips. Smells of strawberries and bubblegum – so I’ll be holding onto it.

Not available for purchase.

😉