Friday, October 25, 2013

Birchbox October 2013 - Review / First Impressions

Where did October go? I was actually surprised to receive my Birchbox this month, because I don't think I quite realized it was October! Let's see what I got this month!

I loved this. This cleanser and muslin cloth arrived in their own beautiful turquoise box, with instructions. The cream is to be applied to dry skin, massaged in, and then buffed off with the wet muslin cloth. It smells fantastic, very earthy and spa-like. I've been using it since I received it, and I really like it. It's gentle and moisturizing, but the muslin cloth provides the perfect amount of exfoliation. I'll definitely be purchasing this. 

I received a Pop Beauty Aqua Lip Lacquer in shade Floating Rose. It's a lovely color! I'm not a big fan of the packaging over all. I was happy to see that the package has a stick applicator, not a squeeze applicator. The actual applicator foot is very unusual. It's like a spatula, not like the doe foot applicators, or brushes I have used in the past. It's a fine lip gloss, but no better than something I could find in the drugstore for less. 

Speaking of the drugstore... This month I received a "Birchbox Find". This is a mass market item that the editors at Birchbox have been loving. I received a full size Chapstick Hydration Lock, and a coupon for $1 off of a Chapstick purchase. I don't usually purchase Chapstick products, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It's not as moisturizing as my favorite lip balm, but I've been using it as a primer before lipstick.

I have heard great things about this line of hair products from curly girls. To my great dismay, I am not a curly girl. I am the total opposite, and can't hold a curl to save my life. The good news is, you don't have to have curly hair to love this conditioner. My hair looked great after using this conditioner, and several good hair days were had. 
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this conditioner smelled a lot differently that I expected. It smells like soap. Not bad soap. I think I'm used to my conditioners smelling sweet.

Mmm. Beautiful floral scent. I've been loving wearing it.

Overall, a great box! What was in your Birchbox?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

DIY Gel Manicure

I am so excited to share this! When I found this via Pinterest, I had to try it out. So I headed to Sally Beauty, and grabbed Gelous Nail Gel. I followed the instructions provided by Corrine, and here are the results:

I was totally stunned at how well this held up! I do not have a job that is particularly tough on my hands, but I am often typing. I have a two-year-old, which means lots of hand-washing! I also wash all my dishes by hand (with gloves). After a totally normal week, full of cooking, cleaning, work, and child-wrangling, my nails were fine! I did no touch up whatsoever.  Here's what I did:


  • Gelous Nail Gel takes longer to dry than most nail products. You don't have to wait for it to fully dry between coats, but you'll have to wait longer that you typically would between coats of color. I solved this by adding Essie's Instant Dry Oil after my very last coat of Gelous. 
  • It smells. Not good. But only while you are applying it. 
  • It's super easy to remove. I notice no difference between removing this manicure, and one done without Gelous Nail Gel.
  • I removed my manicure after 7 days, but it really didn't look bad. I just get bored with a color after about that long. I'm sure you could wear it longer. 
  • Since this test, I've used Gelous Nail Gel with different polishes, and had the same great results. The only exception: Essie's Beyond Cozy. It's full of glitter, and therefore a thicker polish than most. I think that Gelous does not work well with thick, glitter polishes. 

Let me know if you give it a try! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Easiest at-home Eyebrow Wax

I love going to the salon to get an eyebrow wax. My makeup applies better, and I just feel more put together. But keeping up with my brows can get expensive. I can think of lots of things I'd rather spend money on, that paying someone to inflict pain on my face. So of course, I've been looking for a great DIY alternative.

I've tried several at-home kits. Some were terrible, some were ok. The "professional" peel-off wax I tried was very effective, but incredibly messy, and more time-consuming than just plucking my brows in the first place. Sally Hansen makes a pretty good wax, but I ran out of the strips they provided very quickly. Both of these wax kits were about $8.

As I walked down the health and beauty aisle of my local supermarket, I noticed little packages of wax strips for only $1.50. I figured it couldn't hurt to try! They looked appealingly easy to use. Nothing to microwave, stir, or spread.

To use, hold a strip between your hands to warm the wax. Peel them apart, and apply to your eyebrow area. Rip it off... Done! There is no mess to clean up and the whole process won't take longer than 5 minutes.

The only drawback is that the strips are not in "eyebrow" shapes. I got the wax strips as close to my brows as I could, without ripping important bits off. And then cleaned up a few strays with tweezers. You can also trim them to fit your brow shape.

The package comes with 3 small, and 4 large wax strips. I cut the larger strips down, to get 2 waxes from each. There are enough strips in the pack for 11 eyebrow waxes. That breaks down to only $0.14 per wax! I'll take that over $7 at the salon, thank you!

I found the same strips here on Amazon, in case your supermarket isn't as super as mine. :)

Have you found anything fabulous at the supermarket? Do tell!
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