September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

september-birchbox

Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

milk-perk-swatch

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

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Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

July Birchbox Unboxing!

Birchbox July

Hi everyone!  Hope your weekend was great.  🙂  Today’s post will be a quick run through of  July’s Birchbox with my first impressions so let’s get to it!

Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub

This milky white scrub utilizes bamboo, tiny  jojoba beads and apple enzymes to exfoliate.  Compared to the Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, this feels more gentle and hydrating.  According to the instructions, this can be used as a mask and left on for 1-3 minutes.  So far I like it.  Haven’t noticed any dramatic effects but it leaves skin smoother. *Note: this has cinnamon, clove and ginger extract so it may be a bit stimulating for sensitive skin.  Always conduct a patch test.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray 

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you’ll know I really love this spray and I was excited this was featured in July’s box.  It’s a smaller sample than the purse size option but is enough to give you a feel for the product.  I love using this product when I use a curling wand to curl my hair as it sets the style, adds texture without a sticky or stiff feel and smells ah-mazing.

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 

Love that a sunscreen was included in this box as it’s essential for skin health.  Like the name implies, this feels like a serum which is so light-weight and absorbs quickly into the skin.  It’s a chemical based sunscreen which you can read about here. Definitely an easy sunscreen to work with underneath makeup as it doesn’t pill.  Best part?  Toss it in your bag to carry with you on the go or if it irritates your skin, try using it as hand sunscreen protection when you’re driving. Yes, our hands and body need protection too!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bella 

I call this lipstick my ‘sitting pretty’ lipstick.  You know how you have those high heels that are so beautiful to look at but killer to wear so you use them only when you’re not going to be walking much? Well, the same concept applies to this lipstick.  It is a gorgeous, bright pink color that provides intense (and I mean intense) color in one stroke.  It does stain lips but it tends to move and transfers so if you’re planning on going out to eat while using this or are wearing white, I’d skip this or a least, use caution. Removing it with an oil based makeup remover works best.

theBalm cosmetics Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush 

I was surprised by how tiny this  sample is-a little bigger than my thumb.  You’re still able to pick up enough product with your brush but it takes a bit more effort.  The consistency is creamy and blends nicely but I think this is more bronzer than blush.  You can use this as blush-I love using bronzer as blush- but compared to the Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer, which has a lot more pink undertones, this one is a dusty rose shade that leans more towards tan.  Makes a great pick for summer.

JB Swatches

L-R: Bronzer/Blush and Bella

That’s it for today!

What did you think of this month’s Birchbox? 

Stephanie 

Hair Haul!

Hair Haul

Hi readers, it’s Thursday-yay! I feel like the days are zooming by right now.  Hope all of you are doing well.

I have a few hair products I’m reviewing today so let’s get to it. 🙂

*Side note: I just realized some pictures came out a bit darker than I thought so apologies in advance!

HairGia

HairGia Keratin Hydrating Masque; $24.99

Described as: “Moisturizing deep conditioner with keratin proteins for dry, damaged and chemically treated hair. This hair mask can be used daily as your regular conditioner or on a weekly basis as a deep conditioning mask treatment.”

Pros

Deeply hydrating and great after color treating hair

Smoother hair appearance and straightening hair is easier after using this

Paraben, sulfate, and cruelty free

Vegan

Color and keratin treatment safe

Cons

Fragrance is overpowering

Due to its thick consistency, sometimes the product is hard to dispense

Bottom line: I really love this conditioner as much as the Macadamia Nut Deep Conditioner.  My only complaints would be the smell which although isn’t bad is overpowering-kind of floral like.  Also, there is an ingredient in here that makes my body itch if I use it on  regular basis so I personally limit use to about 1x per week.

Oribe Text

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray; $22

Described as: “Bigger, better, full-on glamorous hair. This invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).”

Pros

Available in travel/purse size

Smells amazing

UV protection

Provides texture

Color and keratin treatment safe

Invisible spray-sprays clear

Good for holding styles

Cons

A little on the pricey side

Does not absorb oil

Doesn’t provide shine

Bottom line: I like this product as a styling product as it provides texture but I wouldn’t recommend it as a dry shampoo since it doesn’t absorb oil very well.  This and the Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray are great when I style my curly hair.

Oribe Surf

Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse; $22

Described as:  “Sexy, surfed-in hair is no longer the domain of beachgoers in their tropical climes. Texturize your locks with this hydrating mousse that creates perfectly imperfect separation for that effortlessly tousled look.”

Pros

Available in travel/purse size

Color and keratin treatment safe

Good for creating piecey/tousled hair

Doesn’t leave that ‘crunch’ factor in hair

Smells good

Cons

Sticky texture and residue

Doesn’t provide shine

Hair feels very dry after use

Bottom line: I did not like this mousse at all.  I tried it both on wet hair and dry and I couldn’t get past the sticky residue left on both my hair and hands after use.  It defines curls and provides texture to straight hair but left the ends feeling and looking dry.  I wanted to like it but after many uses, it’s a no for me. 😦

Dry Bar

Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo; $12

Described as: “Prolong your blowout with Detox Dry Shampoo! It absorbs oils, impurities, and odor while providing body and fullness, leaving hair feeling fresh and clean. Lightweight and easy to use, the micro powder blends in perfectly with hair color, leaving no white residue behind.”

Pros

Safe for color and keratin treated hair

Available in trial/travel size

Affordable

Absorbs oil effectively

Provides volume

Great to use after the gym

Paraben, sulfate and phthalates free

Cons

There is a white residue left behind if you don’t work it into hair

Overpowering smell- you’ll either like it or hate it. I personally like it.

Bottom line: I had seen this reviewed in a couple of blogs before and I am so glad I tried it.  It’s a really great product that helps refresh your hair and prolongs your style.

Skin Food Olive

Skin Food Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hair Essence; $18

Described as: “ A hair treatment serum that contains refined extra virgin olive oil.  Calms unruly curls and frizzy hair while adding shine.”

Pros 

Adds shine

You can layer it without a greasy look or feel

Nice and subtle clean scent

Defines curls

Cons

Available in select Skin Food stores or online

Price fluctuates depending where you buy it from

Need quite a bit of product to add shine

Bottom line: I’ve purchased this product a few times already and I love it.  It does sometimes take a little bit more product use to add shine while I am straightening my hair but the end result is soft and smooth hair.

Hope you enjoyed this post!  What hair products are you currently loving?  Any recommendations? 

Stephanie 

Oribe Gold Lust Collection Review!

 

A few weeks back, I did a post on my current hair care products and because I really loved the Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, I treated myself to a couple of other Oribe goodies. I have been hearing rave reviews about Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Oil and thought it would be a perfect item to try for my curly, color treated hair.  After scrolling through multiple sites that retail Oribe products, I purchased the Gold Lust Collection from Birchbox since carried a set with 1.7 oz of this oil along with travel sizes of the Gold Lust Shampoo and Gold Lust Conditioner that when used in conjunction, “strengthens and rejuvenates hair to its natural brilliance.”

Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo

Gold Lust Shampoo  

The Gold Lust Shampoo is described as a rejuvenating cleanser that, “combines centuries old healing oils and extracts-cypress, argan and maracuja-” with a “revolutionary bio-restorative complex to balance the scalp and reinforce the inner strength of each strand.”

Both bottles of shampoo and conditioner are virtually identical so embossed on the top of the bottle is the letter ‘S’ signifying ‘shampoo’. This scent to this shampoo, like most of Oribe’s hair care products is laced with Calabrian bergamot, white butterfly jasmine and sandalwood.  Personally, I love it.  For a shampoo that’s formulated without sulfates, it lathers nicely and the best part, it rinses clean without stripping hair.  As much as I like this shampoo, unfortunately there is an ingredient or ingredients that made my skin itch, so I will be sending this back.  (Side note: I have very weird skin so sometimes it’s more difficult for me to find something that works amazing and that won’t cause a reaction.)

Oribe Gold Lust Conditioner

Gold Lust Conditioner

Using the same oils and extracts as the shampoo, this “ultra-hydrating conditioner softens and revitalizes, smoothing each cuticle to undo the damage of time (and style).”

Again, Oribe’s signature scent is present in this conditioner and the letter ‘C’ is written on top of the bottle for easy identification.  The consistency is pretty thin for a conditioner as I am more accustomed to using thicker, masque type consistencies.  Sadly, I didn’t find this conditioner hydrating and in fact, it seemed to tangle my hair even more.  For a conditioner that boasts healing oils, I expected my hair to feel smoother which sadly ended up feeling and looking frizzy on the ends of my hair.

Oribe Gold Nourishing Oil

Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

This oil is said to “deeply condition, strengthen and smooth-imparting intense nourishment and incredible shine.  Works wonders on dry, damaged and color-treated hair.”

I agree with all the reviews out there on this product that state this oil doesn’t weigh hair down.  It’s incredibly light-weight and absorbs quickly into hair.  My ends are pretty dry and when I applied this oil on them, it helped their appearance slightly but not by much.  Perhaps this would work better on my hair if it was straight, but I’ve been leaving it curly and I’ve found other products that work just as well, if not better, than this one.

Note: These products are formulated without parabens, sulfates (SLS or SLES) or sodium chloride.  They are also color and keratin treatment safe, offer UV protection for hair, vegan and cruelty and gluten free.  

Bottom Line: I wasn’t impressed with this line.  Had I not reacted  the way I did to the shampoo, I wouldn’t mind buying the shampoo as it’s hard to find a shampoo for curly hair that cleanses well without stripping it.  Some shampoos clean too well while others I feel don’t clean at all, leaving a greasy appearance to hair.  This shampoo manages to strike the perfect balance but alas, it wasn’t meant for me. 😦  The conditioner and oil are items I would skip out on though.

Have a favorite hair care product you love?  Share your favorites below!

Stephanie