ArtsyArchitette

Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


Leave a comment

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 😉


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


1 Comment

Influenster Review: Goody QuikStyle Brush

Hi loves!

So, I received this as part of my Influenster Holiday VoxBox, which you can read more about here.

ArtsyArchitette Influenster holiday voxbox 20122

Goody QuikStyle Brush – Half Round Styler

Okay, this was probably not the best brush for me to receive. I am not a round brush using girl, in fact I hardly ever use heat on my hair, but since I was sent this one complimentary from Influenster, I wanted to give it an honest try.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to say that I loved it. In fact, it was bordering on an unpleasant experience.

First, the brush is plastic and hollow, and it just felt “cheap” for lack of a better word. The kind of “cheap” that makes you a little wary of using your blow dryer on high heat.

This was a bit of let down considering I’m a fan of many Goody products.

Then you have the strange “microfiber” bristles that act like a towel to your hair, which are not really bristles at all – as they have no inner support, so they simply get squished down as soon as you rake it through your hair.

I will say this though, the microfiber bits did help eliminate some of the moisture in my hair. Supporting that claim.

This brush also comes with its own maintenance of sorts. You need a comb to help you remove the hair stuck in the brush and around the microfiber bits. You can let the brush air dry if you want, or use your hair dryer to dry the microfiber. You will also need to shampoo the brush to maintain its cleanliness.

Final Verdict: I will be gifting this brush along to a curious friend or family member willing to try it out.


Leave a comment

Head & Shoulders VoxBox 2012

Hi loves – a quick review for y’all today!

In late December, I received 3 Influenster VoxBoxes of complimentary products – awesome! I love testing out new products, and sharing my thought with you – especially when I ended up really liking or loving them!

One of the boxes I received was a brand specific box  for Head & Shoulders. Included was two full size bottles of their new Damage Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner collection.

abb3e99a60994a34170baa60167e33e995f733bb

So I have been using this shampoo for the past month, and as with all Head & Shoulders lines, it is primarily directed at those seeking help with dandruff and dry scalp, but with this specific line aimed at helping those needing extra help with damage.

Considering my hair is very long, and curly, it is more easily prone to damage and dryness, so I was happy to receive this line to test out.

During the cooler months, I actually use Neutrogena T-Gel to combat any seasonal dryness, so I did not mind the fact that this was an anti-dandruff/dryness/etc. brand.

Both the shampoo and conditioner are quite thick in consistency, with a pale yellow color, somewhat like vanilla pudding. They have a nice, gender-neutral and man-friendly, peachy scent.

The shampoo lathers well and neither product leaves a residue if rinsed out properly.

From my experience trying out different products, I usually take it as a step in the right direction when the conditioner is quite thick.

So after the first couple uses, I definitely noticed a difference – a good one – my hair did have that stronger feeling.*

*I should note that I leave my conditioner in my hair for a very long time. Washing/conditioning my hair is one of the first things I do, then I wrap my conditioner coated hair up, only rinsing it out at the end of my shower.

The only downfalls or doubts I have for this line are, for the effectiveness of the anti-dandruff/dryness – as it did not perform as well as my seasonal use of the T-Gel.

Also, from what I have experience, I feel this line serves well for helping with damage if you use it quite regularly. It helps with short term “damage rescue,” but it’s important to point out this is NOT a treatment with long-term effectiveness – it is shampoo and conditioner.

Full Size Value: $5.99 for each the Shampoo & Conditioner

Final Verdict: Definitely recommend this line if you are looking for an economical, gentle, but effective line for light-medium damage and low-mild dryness – to be used regularly.