A Beauty Full Week

ae8e24e6658d186325c6230acf19903dDon’t you just love this? I think I’m going to (eventually) try to DIY something similar. You can buy the original on Amazon for about $250, but that’s considerably more than I’d like to spend…..so yeah. Anyway, when I was trying to think up a title for this post, I kept thinking about this image, so there you have it. If I ever attempt the DIY, you’ll see it again! 🙂

Last week was full of beauty stuff, hence the “Beauty Full” title. First I decided to paint my nails, which almost never happens. Sorry for the rough pic, but you get the idea. (I did clean the edges up, but of course it was AFTER I played photographer.) While I love Essie’s colors, I have to say, I’m really not impressed with the formula. It chipped horribly the next day, and by the end of the 2nd day, it was bad enough that I had to take it off.

"Fishnet Stockings"

Fishnet Stockings by Essie

Then, I got notice that my Birchbox had shipped! I’m officially hooked on Birchbox. It just keeps getting better and better! I love the points program, and the referral program, and the sneak peaks. My box came early this month, which was super exciting. I’d watched the sneak peak video, and had a couple things I reeeeeaaallly wanted to see in my box. Plus I knew I was getting nail polish, so I was anxious to see what color I’d get.

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This month’s theme was Heritage, which really had nothing to do with anything, but it was also Birchbox’s 3 year anniversary, so that’s kinda fun.

I literally SQUEALED in delight when I opened my box and saw the bottle of sea salt spray. That was the number one item I’d been hoping against hope to get in my box!! Zoe helped me open it, and couldn’t resist checking out the nail polish.

september birchbox1. Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray – LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I was super stoked to see it in my box. My hair is naturally wavy, but usually by the end of the day it’s looking a little ragged, regardless of what I put in it. Years ago I used the John Frieda Beach Waves. Either they stopped making it or I’ve just not been able to find it, and nothing I’ve tried has ever come close….until now!! The only thing I wish were different is the smell. It definitely doesn’t smell bad, but it doesn’t have the nice beachy scent some of the others do. But seriously, this stuff is awesome. I’ve used it twice, and have gotten so many compliments on my hair. Here’s a pic (sorry it’s a little hard to see).

Hard at work, with my snowflake coffee and Howard looking over my shoulder.

Hard at work, with my snowflake coffee and Howard looking over my shoulder.

2. Ruffian Nail Laquer in Hedge Fund – Also a huge fan of this! At first I was a little bummed I got the green – I’d wanted the purple. But, after reading a few reviews, it doesn’t look like the purple was that great…and I love the green. The formula goes on well and dries pretty quickly, plus the little knob on the bottle makes it easier to hold on to. I threw on a quick (sloppy) coat and then immediately screwed it up, but otherwise it hasn’t chipped (even after spending an hour this afternoon doing yard work). Definitely a fan, and I’ll be looking for more Ruffian colors!

Ruffian in Hedge Fund

Ruffian in Hedge Fund (sorry for my cuticles)

3. Soak Heel Foot Cream – For some reason Birchbox is saying I got the Soak Rinse-Free Wash, so that’s what I reviewed, but whatever. I actually got a sample of the heel cream. I’m not gonna lie…this stuff is just ok. It smells nice, with a cucumber scent. But I expected a thicker consistency, and more moisturizing power. It felt nice going on, but didn’t do much for me.

4. Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin-Perfecting Polisher – This stuff is interesting. I’ve only used it once, but it seemed to make my skin brighter. It certainly felt better. It says to use this three times a week, and I can definitely see why…after I used it my skin felt super dry and tight.

5. BCBG Max Azria Bon Genre – I love fragrance samples! This one is nice, a little floral and a little fruity. Like most similar scents, it doesn’t stick around very long, but it’s pleasant. Would I buy it? No….but then, it’s gotta be a pretty awesome fragrance for me to actually purchase it. I don’t like wearing the same thing every day, so samples suit me just fine.

I am beyond thrilled with my September box. I did decide to make a change to my profile though…while I love the fragrance samples, I have a lot of them. And I would rather get something else in my box than a fragrance sample, which I can just go to Sephora and get. So I switched from “love them, send me more!” to “please limit to no more than 6.” We’ll see if that makes a difference.

Want your own Birchbox? Use my link and I’ll love you forever…. http://birch.ly/12xaa97

But that’s not all the beauty this week!

Back in July, I tried to host a Beauty Swap. Then I got Birthday Bronchitis, so we had to reschedule. It’s taken us this long to finally do it, but it was totally worth the wait! In fact, I can’t wait to do another one!

Basically a Beauty Swap is just what it sounds like. Everyone brings their unwanted beauty items, throws them all out on a table, and then everyone gets to pick up some new stuff! We had everything from makeup to bath and body stuff to hair stuff to jewelry and accessories. I even threw in a few Pure Romance products from my old demo (lotions and things). There were 5 of us, and everything barely fit on my kitchen table!

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I should have taken more pictures of the actual swap, but I was having too much fun looking at stuff. We kept it simple…..I’d set up a mirror for trying stuff on, and had gotten a few gift bags for everyone to load their goodies into. Linda brought cupcakes, and we just played and caught up on some girl time. It was pretty low-key, which was a perfect way to spend a Friday night.

I picked up several things to try, including a large barrel curling iron to replace mine, which finally bit the dust a few months ago. I also snagged a few more perfume samples, a small thing of dry shampoo (perfect for our upcoming camping trip!), and a super cute pair of earrings. I also got an adorable set of nail sticker things…I have no idea what I’m going to use them for, but they were too cute to pass up. Again, wish I’d taken more pics!

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IMG_2273We had a ton of stuff left over, so we decided to host another swap sometime, and see if more people can come. I may have to get a bigger table….

Annnnndddd….I found out that my first Ipsy Glam Bag is on its way, and should get here while I’m camping (groan). I peeked online though, and not sure I’m super excited about what’s in it. Guess we’ll see!