Sunday, April 21, 2013

Unboxing my April Birchbox

For April, Birchbox teamed up with Women'sHealth magazine.  They wanted to provide us with 'tiny tweaks' that would produce big results.  They did an awesome job finding products to do just that!  Honestly, when I looked at what was being sent out, I wasn't too excited, but once I actually opened my box and looked through the items, I am VERY pleased.  Let's look at what I got.

 This is Atelier Cologne's 'Ambre Nue Cologne Absolue'.  I wish all little perfume samples came with a spray top...  I hate these little vials.  When I first put this on, I do not like the smells, but after an hour or so, I really like it.  I don't know that it is worth going through a full hour of not liking the way you smell to get to a smell you like.  It is a little spicy, a little fruity, and a little floral-y.

This is Lierac Paris's 'Concentre Mesolift Toning Radiance Serum'.  I have never used something like this, but i am excited.  This is a serum that hydrates and fights signs of aging.  Any type of facial moisturizer I am willing to try.  Plus, how fun is this little pipette and bottle?!  It is an orange liquid, and it doesn't really have any scent.

I was so happy to receive another product from Number 4.  This is the 'Blow Dry Lotion'.  I have received a hair mask in the past and it is seriously one of my favorite hair products I have ever used.  This is a GOOD sized sample and it smells amazing (so does the mask).  This is to protect your hair from heat.  I will definitely be buying some Number 4 products in my lifetime.  Great quality and results.

This is Ruby Wing's color changing nail polish in 'Peony'.  It shows you on the sticker what the color turns to in the sun.  The color on the left is in the shade, then I put it in the sun for a minute and it started turning darker (notice the picture on the right).  I've never used a color changing polish, so I'm stoked.  I like the color too.  :)

Birchbox included a 'Birchbox Finds' in this box.  They gave me Simple's 'Revitalizing Eye Roll - On'.  It is made to 'cool and revitalize' your eye area.  I've never used something like this, so it will be fun to try out!  Attached to this product was a coupon to get $1 off a Simple product.  SCORE!

Since Birchbox teamed up with Women'sHealth magazine, they added in a free one-year subscription!  Woohoo!

Overall, I was very pleased.  Each product is something I like or am excited to try.  The only thing I am on the fence with is the perfume, but it's like like I 'hate' it.  :)  Good job Birchbox!

-polish. impress. repeat.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

OPI - Oz collection - What Wizardry is This? (Liquid Sand)

I was really excited for OPI's Oz (the Great and Powerful) by Disney collection, but after seeing other people swatch them, there wasn't any one color I was gunning for.  None of the 'Liquid Sand' polishes have really caught my eye, but I saw Scrangie swatch "What Wizardry is This" and it was stunning.  Like I said, I don't really like the textured look, but with a top coat, this becomes a whole different polish that is beautiful.  It feels like sand paper, but really smooth sand paper (if that makes sense).  It isn't rough by any means, but it is bumpy.  It is sort of a thick goopy polish, but I used two coats anyways.  This is a dark golden brown shimmery spectacle. 

I like is so much better with a topcoat.  Where my topcoat got a little thin, you can still see some of the texture coming through.  Next time, I'll use two layers of top coat.  Also, the texture is hanging off the tips, I'd file those off too.  I was a newbie with this liquid sand stuff, so I've learned my lessons.

What do you think about this textured polish trend?  Yay or Nay?

-polish. impress. repeat.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Teal Mix n' Match Manicure

I decided to try something a little more adventurous lately.  Being on Spring Break, I have some extra time on my hands, so I get to try things I normally wouldn't.  I used China Glaze's "Luxe & Lush" and "Re-Fresh Mint", Essie's "Penny Talk", and Julep's "Lena" for this look.  I used two coats for each color except "Lena" where I only needed one.  Julep polishes have amazing opacity!  Enjoy!

Let me know of any fun manicure's you've tried lately.  Leave me a link to your blog post if you did one on it.  :)

-polish. impress. repeat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Well, I have never done one of these 'empties' blog posts.  I have been saving up my empties for a while, and figured I had a good amount I could post one and do some reviews.  I apologize that some of the pictures, my back drop is covered with fuzzies.  I guess next time I do this, I need to bring a lint roller with me.  ;)  Many of these are things I have gotten in my Birchboxes and am excited to repurchase.

This is Tutti Dolci's Mango Sorbetto Creme Body Wash.  If any of you remember Tutti Dolci used to be sold at Bath and Body works WAYYYYY back in the day.  I got like 5 of these on clearance 5 years or so ago.  This was my last one.  I used these all through college and I really liked them.  I am ready to move on and discover new body washes.  This one was really creamy and lathered nicely.  It smelled good too.

Here's another Bath and Body Works product.  This is one of their mini lotions in Sea Island Cotton.  I think this was a free sample at some point.  I would probably like this scent in a candle, but I hated it as a scent.  I ended up just using it on my feet so I wouldn't have to smell it too much.  It has a very strong 'laundry' scent.  The lotion itself was great (moisturizing).

A few weeks ago, my mother and I walked into Bath and Body Works and they were promoting their new 'fresh picked' line.  They gave out these little baby samples of the lotions.  We got apple and strawberry.  The apple one smells great!  The strawberry one smells like candy... not a fan of it.  I still haven't used up the strawberry one, but this was the apple scent and it was the perfect amount for a one time use.  It was a crisp nice smell.

This was a sample of Ojon's Volume Advance Volumizing Shampoo.  I really liked this!  It wasn't very sudsy, but it made my hair feel really clean and nice.  It didn't have a strong scent, which is a bummer because I like scented shampoo's and conditioners.  This smelled lightly of citrus.  I would probably repurchase this in the future.

This is one product I was sad to see go.  It is Pangea Organics Italian Green Mandarin and Sweet Lime Facial Toner.  I got this in one of my very first Birchboxes a couple years ago.  I have used it sparingly because I like it so much.  I was going to buy the full size from Birchbox, but I ended up getting Sephora's Toner.  It doesn't even compare to this sample.  I will be buying this for sure once I finish up what I have now.  After you wash your face, it leaves your skin feeling refreshed and soft.  It smells great too!

This was a sample of Ahava's Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream.  It has a strong laundry scent that I'm not a huge fan of in body products.  Other than that, this lotion is amazing.  It leaves your skin feeling super silky soft.  If you don't mind the strong scent, this is a wonderful lotion. 

I have been using these bad boys since Jr. High.  These makeup wipes from Pond's do the job and leave your face feeling clean.  They do a great job of getting make up off and they are a decent price.  I have heard MAC has good makeup wipes too.  Any insight on that?

This here is my go to primer.  It is aquaPRIME from Lorac.  It is free of all the bad things and it is like putting water on your face.  It dries quickly and leaves a nice foundation to put your make up on.  I found this a few years ago, and it will take something amazing to get me to buy a different primer.  It is a little pricey, but it lasts a VERY long time.

Speaking of other primers... Here is the Porefessional by Benefit.  I recieved a TON of these little guys to sample.  I gave a bunch away and my mom really likes them.  It is supposed to minimize the appearance of pores.  I don't have super big pores, so I didn't notice a big difference, but I've heard that this works wonders if you have bigger pores.  I hated the texture at first, but after using it a few times, I actually liked it.  I used up these samples, but I still like my Lorac primer better.  This smells like oranges.

This is my go to top coat.  It is Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Top Coat.  It comes out clear (no worries).  It makes your nails dry SUUUUPER fast.  I've heard Seche Vite is amazing too, but this is cheap and it gets the job done.  I couldn't do without this.

This is my go to base coat.  I really like this and it has helped the wear time of my nail polish.  I don't have problems with chipping or peeling with this.  I usually wait until ULTA has a sale where you get this for free with a purchase of OPI nail polishes.  :)

There was all the rave on this Revlon ColorStay Whipped foundation.  I tried it out.  It is more like a mousse consistency.  I hated this.  I spent a good amount of money on it, so I felt that I needed to use it up, but I was so excited for the day it ran out!  :)  It made my face feel greasy.  It had decent coverage, but I wasn't impressed otherwise.  Plus, it is a jar, so you have to keep dipping into it...  not very hygienic.

This is my favorite foundation I have found so far.  It is Revlon's ColorStay foundation.  You can see my color change for when I get some sunlight...  ;)  The one on the left got a crack in the top and so the makeup leaked into the lid.  Oops.  This goes on great with a brush or a Beauty Blender and it has great coverage.  It isn't cheap, but it's not super expensive.  I've wanted to venture out with different foundations, but I'm scared.  haha

This is a sample of Dr. Jart's Water Fuse BB Cream that I recieved in a Birchbox.  I really liked this, but I only got 2 or 3 uses out of it.  I don't know if I liked it enough to buy it full sized.  It felt fine and had okay coverage. 

 These are Maybelline's Dream Matte Powder.  It is my favorite setting powder.  It does have a matte finish, which I love and the powder is super fine and so it doesn't look like you have a dusty face.

This is Stila's All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner.  I LOOOOVE this eye liner.  It is a perfect black that glides on and literally stays put all day.  It lasted forever and I was sad when it dried up.  I have some others I am trying right now from Lorac, but I have a feeling I will be repurchasing this one day in the future.

I got this Maybelline Falsies Volume Express mascara because of rave reviews.  I was not a fan.  It just didn't do anything amazing for my lashes.  I used it up, but I will not be repurchasing this.  It was more of a lengthening mascara for me than a volumizing mascara.

This here is some good mascara.  These are samples of Benefit's Bad Gal Lash.  It isn't super waterproof which I don't like, but other than that, it makes your lashes look awesome!  It makes them look wispy and thick.  Weird combo, but really, it's great.  I have a few more samples of this, but I'll probably repurchase it in the future.

I know you are thinking.... this isn't empty.  You're right.  I just decided to throw this away because I didn't like it and thought I'd include it with the rest of my empties.  I was really hoping to like this and I've tried it over and over again hoping my mind would be changed, but I finally laid it to rest.  This is a lip gloss from Sephora.  It is a clear glittery pink.  I don't like it because it is sticky and the glitter is grainy.  I would rather wear something else I have then try to convince myself that this is a decent gloss.  It's not.

I have had this for YEARS.  It was the gift that kept on giving.  I swear, I used this ALL the time and it seemed like I never made a dent in it.  It finally ran out.  I'm not even sure that Neutrogena makes this particular lip balm anymore.  It is The Lip Nutrition Vanilla Replenish Balm.  If my lips were ever badly chapped, I would put this on when I went to bed and when I woke up, it was like I had a brand new pair of lips that were super soft and fully repaired.  This stuff is like a miracle cream.  I would definitely purchase this again, but I need to finish up a bunch of the things I have now before I go scour for this. 

This is a sample of Suave's dry shampoo.  I really liked this and actually bought it full size, but the can had a leak because I went to use it and it had no pressure left it the can to get the product out.  I haven't repurchased it since.  This is a cheap dry shampoo that does a good job.  It has a citrus-y scent that wasn't 'great', but it did the job.

I was bummed when this ran out.  This was another product I was savoring.  I will be repurchasing this when I run out of my Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum.  This Oil Treatment from Amika is to die for.  It seriously has one of the best scents.  I would buy the scent in a perfume if they sold it.  I just bought a hair mask from Amika and it has the same scent.  If this is their classic scent, they have my business for life.  Not only does it smell amazing, but it works really well.  It keeps your hair hydrated and keeps back all those little frizzies.  I highly recommend this product.  Plus, a little goes a long way. 

This is my go to toothpaste.  It definitely isn't my favorite flavor, but it leaves my mouth super clean and keeps my teeth white.  I drink a lot of tea and coffee, but this keeps the stains away.  I wish they had other flavors that I liked better than this one, but it does the job.

Well... there we go.  I think I will try to do this quarterly or maybe even monthly if I can get myself to use up products.  I try to savor things, and I have a lot I need to use up, so maybe that will be motivation.  :) 

What things have you used up recently?  Any you will be repurchasing?  Any you recommend staying away from?

-polish. impress. repeat.