Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings

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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…


Ipsy (MyGlam): November 2012

Hi loves!

Hope everyone’s holidays have been amazing and sorry for this post being so delayed.

Party Perfect… huh – I guess – well that was the theme of the Ipsy November Bag. The products didn’t exactly scream “party perfect” and well, I just wasn’t thrilled with some of the products.

NOVEMBER: Overall: C+. 

ArtsyArchitette November 2012 Myglam Ipsy Bag

ArtsyArchitette November 2012 Myglam Ipsy Bag Products


Starlet Intense Eyeliner in “Chocolate” – Full Size

Okay, so first off, this is a very red based brown liner and in fact, I wouldn’t call it brown at all, but auburn (swatch below) and just not a color I have use for very often. On top of that, sorry Starlet, but this liner was kind of crap! If it weren’t for the other poor qualities, I would love to be able to recommend this as a brow pencil for auburn hair, but I just can’t.

Nearly useless color aside, the liner blends smoothly, but that was the only good thing about it.  It literally doesn’t set at all and is easily wiped away just with the slightest swipe of a finger. No staying power and doesn’t apply well to the waterline at all.  You’ll need to set this with a shadow for any hopes at long-wear.

Full Size Value: $11.00

Nailtini Nail Lacquer in “Millionaire” – Full Size

Definitely loving this polish! It is part of the Nailtini Speakeasy Lacquer Collection – loving the collection name!

It has been perfect for the holidays and new years. Plus, I have been getting compliments and questions on where to get it. The shade (swatch below) represents its name with gold and rose gold flecks with money/ink teal-green glitter, but not too over the top when its applied.

As with most glitter polishes it sets very quickly and looks great layered on every color I have tried so far (nudes, red, plums, and black)!

Full Size Value:  $13.00

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow in “Matt Batali”  – Single Eyeshadow Pan

As with many of theBalm powder products I have been introduced to this one does not disappoint. It is a deep mauve-based grey matte shadow and applies smoothly. It has great color payoff and good staying power! 

The mauve grey color (swatch below) is perfect for a smok(e)y eye, crease contouring and a more subtle liner look.

The minor downfall about this, may be that you can only get the color in the Meet Matt(e) Palette.

Full Size Value: $34.50 (9 piece eyeshadow palette)

Chella Defining Eyebrow Gel –  Sample Tube

Okay, sorry Chella, but this product is ridiculous. $18 for a sub-par clear brow gel, which hardly set my brows at all. Yeah, that’s all – just not worth it to me. Far more economical and quality brow gels out there.

My sample also contained hardly any product at all, and the alternate sample to this one this month was the Benefit – they’re real! beyond mascara – too bad I didn’t get to try out that one.

Full Size Value: $18

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in “Dare Devil”  – .07 fl oz Sample Tube 

I’m a bit undecided on this product, it has some good qualities, but a couple disappointments. From the name, its minty scent and cooling feeling I had thought it was a plumping lipgloss, but its not. It does claim to volumize your lips with vivid color, long-lasting mirror shine and hydration.

It applies for the most part non-sticky, but does get tacky to longer it is on. It does apply fairly sheer (heavily swatched below), though you can build it up, but the more you add to darken the color – the more gooey it can feel, something I am not a fan of.

So, yeah, I’m still on the fence. It does have some great qualities as far as its natural ingredients, exotic oils, botanical extracts, and antioxidants, but I wish it had the vivid color payoff it claims to and didn’t go tacky considering it is supposed to be long-wearing.

Full Size Value: $18

Product swatches below…

ArtsyArchitette November 2012 Myglam Ipsy Bag Products Nailtini Millionaire

ArtsyArchitette November 2012 Myglam Ipsy Bag Products Swatches

So, if I don’t get to post again before the new year, HAPPY NEW YEARS to everyone – wishing you all a great start to 2013 and I’ll be back soon with  A LOT of reviews and more… 

xo Sam 


Killer Nails


Dexter + The Walking Dead + Halloween + Blog + Saturday Boredom = Killer Nails!!

This trend pops up frequently around this time of year, for obvious reasons, and of course I had to have a go at it – and I’m definitely loving them!

Plus, for any fellow Dexter fanatics, a little homage to his signature bad guy slice, which of course (if you have been watching this season) he has now had to abandon that killer blood slide trophy ritual.

Personally, I feel this look is best with a deep rich red on nearly nude nails, but you can do with any colors.

No special tools needed here either, just a bobby pin and a flat surface to ensure you can steady your hand and be precise.

Oh, most important, remember to allow the “drips” to thoroughly dry (I would say a good hour or longer), otherwise the color will streak/smear – possibly ruining your work – when you apply the top coat. You can always judge by the first 2 nails you do if you need to allow for more drying time.

What’s on my nails:

  • Essie all in one base coat
  • Ulta It’s Nude to Me nail lacquer – single coat.
  • Ulta Plum Street nail lacquer
  • Ulta top coat (so sad, I ran out of my preferred Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

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Nails: Matte Charcoal & Red Tips

I found myself experimenting again… and this is what came of it. My nails feel very Autumn/Fall now – with the deep matte charcoal that reminds me of wool and the rich burgundy red tips!

What’s on my nails:

  1. Essie “all in one base” multi-treatment base coat
  2. China Glaze “Stone Cold” (from The Hunger Games Collection)
  3. Butter London “Matte Finish” shine free topcoat
  4. Ulta “Plum Street” nail lacquer
  5. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat (on tips only)