Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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…


Birchbox: September/October 2012

So as I mentioned in today’s earlier post, my subscriptions have been arriving late the past couple months, but Birchbox did email me letting me know the October box would be late (and gave me some Birchbox points). I received it a couple days ago and definitely excited for one of the products included… but first, September, which was equally good!

SEPTEMBER – overall: B+.


21 Drops “Focus” Aromatherapy Blend – .07 fl oz Sample

  • Reminds me of hot tea and the holidays, with its blend of rosemary, peppermint and frankincense oil.
  • I’m not sure if it really helps with avoiding distractions? Hmmm…
  • It says you can apply it to your wrists or neck, but considering its scent, I personally wouldn’t want to go around smelling like the holidays and hot tea
  • Full Size Value: $29.00 (7.5 ml)



Color Club Birchbox Custom Collection “Status Update” – 7ml Sample

  • Good quality polish, in a solid blue-toned soot gray.
  • Full Size Value: $8.00 (15ml)



Mighty Leaf Tea – Tea Pouches – 3 count Sample Pack 

  • I’m a tea lover and definitely enjoyed the ones I received: Green Tea Tropical, Chamomile Citrus and Vanilla Bean Black Tea.
  • Each flavor was as expected and of good quality whole leaf teas.
  • Full Size Value: $9.95 (15 count pack)


Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Treatment System – Single Use Sample Pouches

  • I always hate these single use pouches… how am I supposed to fall in love with a “system” that I only use once. Included was the Daily Shampoo, Daily Conditioner and Targeted Leave-In Treatment Crème.
  • Warning: Fragrance/perfume heavy products. From what I recall the shampoo is very floral, with the conditioner being floral-fuity and the leave-in treatment being most fruity.
  • Full Size Value: $9.99 (Shampoo), $14.99 (Conditioner), $9.99 (Leave-In Treatment)


twistband Birchbox Custom Lace up for Fall – Single Hair Band

  • Simple, ouch-free – no snag – no tangle hair band.
  • Full Size Value: $22.00 (12 pack)


Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator – 20g Sample

  • Loving this stuff!
  • 99% Natural with Papaya Micro-crystals and Aloe
  • Though I love this, you can definitely get the effects at home and for fairly cheap. Read more on brightening your skin here. 
  • Full Size Value: $34.00 (4.23 oz)

OCTOBER – overall: B+.

This Month's Box


beautyblender – Single Full Size Sponge

  • Okay- so excited! I have never bothered to purchase a beautyblender, but I am familiar with it and the brand. I am actually a lover of the MAC Pro Performance sponge, so it will be great to do a proper comparison of the two!
  • I have not yet used this, but initial observations: extremely light and airy, very small (when dry) and easily fits in my small hands.
  • Look out for my MAC vs BB comparision soon 🙂
  • Full Size Value:  $25.95 (2 sponges)


theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer – 1 g Sample 

  • Great multi-purpose eyeshadow and highlighter. Smooth and creamy powder, easily blendable. Can be used wet for a more dramatic finish and high shine look.
  • Full Size Value: $24.00 (8.5 g)



Lucy B Cosmetics Roll On Perfume Oil Duo – Standard Sample Vials 

  • Love these scents! Smell lovely together and on their own.
  • Austrailian Wild Jasmine, with waterlily, white ginger and magnolia, is a little sexy, but still soft with florals. Not overwhelming or overpowering.
  • Pink Frangipani is even softer but more fruity, with pineapple, heliotrope and coconut milk.
  • Full Size Value: $48.00 (exact size unknown, see photo above)

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum – 2 Single Use Samples

  • Gel-lotion consistency with an odd scent, but fades quickly.
  • Initially seems greasy, but sinks into skin well.
  • Unsure of its performance under make-up, but too much contact tends to make it feel a little gritty.
  • Okay sunscreen, but nothing special. I still prefer my normal SPF moisturizer.
  • Full Size Value: $42.00 (1.7 oz)

LUNA Fiber Chocolate Raspberry – 1 Full Size Bar

  • Blehhhh… a bit too dry for my liking and where was the raspberry filling?
  • Good for you ingredients but, tasted too much like a diet snack/meal bar.
  • Full Size Value: $14.95 (12 count)



Ipsy (MyGlam): September/October 2012

So I don’t know if it was the post office or what, but both my Birchbox AND MyGlam – now Ipsy – September subscriptions didn’t arrive until the last days of September.

That, plus being out of town, I am finally getting around to publishing these latest 2 posts – sorry for that 😦 – I’ll try and be a concise as possible.

One of the things I am hoping to accomplish in the near future is becoming a truly consistent blogger, so thank you to all my readers for bearing with me.

Okay – so onto the latest goodies in the MyGlam bags – but wait… first things first, the weird name change to ipsy…
beauty by you <<< I think it is strange and unnecessary, plus it sounds too similar to “tipsy.” Maybe that is how the name came about – the “MyGlam” team got together for a re-branding meeting and couldn’t come up with anything, so they decided maybe a few cocktails would help… it didn’t :/

SEPTEMBER – overall: B.

SOHO Smudge Brush – Full Size

  • Good brush, seems sturdy and of good quality. No shedding.
  • Full Size Value: $5.97

Circus by Andrea’s Choice Nail Color “Tightrope” – Full Size

  •  Neon violet-fuschia nail color. Vegan and cruelty free. Bold and quite pigmented, dries semi-matte and sets fairly fast. Okay polish overall. Brand “Circus” was created by Andrea’s Choice – one of the “YouTube Beauty Gurus” behind Ispy.
  • Full Size Value: $29.95 (as part of  a 5 polish collection)

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer – .38 fl oz Sample

  • Loving this stuff! While it says “93% fewer split end instantly” – it should be clarified that it is not reversing the split ends, but simply binding them together to appear less noticeable. Nevertheless, smells great – light semi-floral beachy-coconut scent, due to the Tahitian based ingredients; and really does keep the frizz and split ends smooth.
  • I think with continued use, especially after having your hair trimmed, would keep your ends looking amazing.
  • Would be great for ladies with long hair and ladies with hair prone to brittleness, or easily damaged.
  • A bit hesitant about the full size value for the price :/
  • Full Size Value:  $25.00 (1.7 FL OZ)

Jane Sparkle Gloss “Sparkle Pink” – Full Size

  • Uggghhhhh!! Dislike. Sorry Jane.
  • When initially applied, it is slightly sticky with good pigment, but gets tacky too quickly.
  • It has an artificial cotton candy -esque scent that gives me a headache.
  • There are better quality drugstore glosses around the same value.
  • Full Size Value: $9.99 (part of a 3 gloss set)

Mirabella Eye Colour “Semiformal” – Full Size

  • Biggest problem here would be that the product came as a single pan, luckily I have a shadow palette I can place it into.
  • Good quality shadow. Blends nicely. Warm soft bronze with a slight sheen.
  • Medium to Tan skin tones can use this as a neutral everyday color, will pop a bit more on deeper skin tones, while light skin tones could use this easily as a crease/contour shadow.
  • Full Size Value: $10.00

OCTOBER – overall: B+.

Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment – Full Size .5 fl oz

  • Very lightweight hair treatment that hair adsorbs easily, which is always awesome!
  • Light tropical-fruit, somewhat natural-banana scent (from Amazonian ingredients).
  • Can be used before shampooing, blow-drying and/or styling.
  • As with most oil treatments, is restorative and adds protection, leaving hair softer, shinier and smoother.
  • Has natural UV filters 🙂
  • FYI: Does contain a silicone derivative.
  • Full Size Values: $12.00 (0.5 fl oz / 15 ml), $32.00 (2 fl oz / 60 ml), $50.00 (4 fl oz / 120 ml)

Coastal Scents Eye Shadow – Sample Quad Set

  • Candlelight, Vibrant Blue, Elven Midnight & Deep Eggplant
  • Greatest thing about Coastal Scents is the range of products and colors for the price!
  • All shadows are creamy powders that are easily blendable and you can use them wet or dry!
  • Only disappointment would be that the Vibrant blue was not so vibrant when used dry.
  • Full Size Value Range: $1.99 (single) to $69.95 (sets)

Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain “Bomb 2” – Full Size

  • Mixed feelings on this one considering it really doesn’t live up to the majority of its claims.
  • They sell it as a “gloss, stain and lacquer all in one!” – Gloss yes  – stain not the stain you want – lip lacquer uhhh sure.
  • They also say it is “feather light, non-smearing, intense and stay put” – Feather light, not exactly, smearing – all over, intense – yes, stay put – uhh no!
  • They do advise you to apply a thin layer, which for the more novice make-up user could take a few tries to get used the the product consistency.
  • It smells minty! A little odd.
  • The color is very intense and for someone who applies make-up regularly and well, this product was a bit unexpectedly tricky. The wand is a strange 8 type of form and the product does stain imperfectly, but after you have taken it off! So imagine if it smears and then stains outside your lips! Seriously, I felt like Cher from Clueless when she gets all flustered and her lips are all stained/smeared with residual lip color and Dion is attempting to fix her make-up!
  • Redeeming qualities, the color is a gorgeous true and vibrant blue red and the product is not sticky. When applied (with a lip primer to help avoid smearing) it looks seriously sexy!
  • Overall- not worth the money for a product that doesn’t live up to its claims.
  • Full Size Value: $39.00

Be A Bombshell Eye Liner “Onyx” – Full Size

  • Love this marker liner! One of the best pen/marker liners I have tried 🙂
  • I don’t tend to buy pen/marker liners anymore, as I prefer to use a brush and gel liner the majority of the time, so I was excited to try this out.
  • It has a fairly thick felt tip (could be difficult for some people), which may not hold up for fine liner looks with continuous use, but it offers versatility.
  • Dries quickly, long-lasting, quite pigmented, does not feather or run at all!! Great when you are in a hurry.
  • It does not state that is it waterproof, but I definitely feel it is water resistant – and could stand up to a bit of humidity and light drizzle, but easily comes off with facial cleansers and water.
  • If you are looking at taking your look from office to a night out, this could be a great product to toss in your bag.
  • Full Size Value: $14.00

theBalm What’s Your Type? “the body builder” Black Mascara – .11 fl oz Sample

  • Very good mascara for length and separation  but not as well with volume – a little disappointing considering the name – I was expecting it to be the total package mascara.
  • My lashes already have good length and are naturally curled, but I had to be careful with this mascara – when I applied it, it lifted and lengthened my lashes to the point where they were hitting my brow bone.
  • Non-clumping, non-smearing and long-lasting.
  • Full Size Value: $19.00

I am loving that Ipsy/MyGlam has been including so many full size products, plus one of the greatest things that has come about is that every product/brand has an accompanying discount code or coupon!

…more soon ♥