One reason I love snail mail (part 8)…

Well my friends, this is the last chapter in this particular love-of-snail-mail story.  I have cancelled my membership to BirchBox.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting these nifty boxes of samples in the mail, but truth be told I’ve only used a few of the things I’ve been sent.  I’ve gifted several of them to others, which is nice, but in the end I’ve decided that it’s just not a good enough value for me right now.  So, without further ado, here’s my December BirchBox…

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

No 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo:  $32
Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel:  $28.50
Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas:  $6 (varies depending on what you purchase)
Juicy Couture:  $90
Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment:  $29.95
Rent the Runway $50 off your dress rental of $125 or more:  $50 

TOTAL:  $236.45

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $226.45 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties).

No 4 High Performance Hair Care Clarifying Shampoo

N.4 High Performance Hair Care

Weekly deep cleansing therapy that doesn’t strip moisture or color.

Since I perm my hair I’m not really supposed to use clarifying shampoos on it very often because it supposedly makes the hair frizzy.  That being said, with permed hair I have to put a bunch of product in it every day so I still like to clarify my hair once in a blue moon.  Yay for free stuff that I can use!


Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel

Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel

It’s more than a mascara! lash perfection gel is a silky smooth color gel that per-fekts and enhances the appearance of the lashes offering an easy alternative to traditional mascara, lash primer, conditioner, and enhancers.

Just by looking at this product as well as the description above I can’t really tell a difference between it and regular ol mascara.  I’ll give it a shot though when the mascara I’m using dies. 


Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas

Tea forte Skin-Smart Antioxidant Amplifier Teas

Delicious skin-smart tea works with your body’s chemistry to help protect and take care of skin from within. These progressive teas support the detoxifying effect of abundant plant-based polyphenols and catechins, a strong tool in skin recovery and the fight against visible signs of skin ageing. With an integrative approach to beauty, these delectable teas are intended to promote a more youthful looking and feeling appearance.

I love tea.  These babies are staing in my desk drawer at work for sure.  I’m SUPER excited about the swiss apple and coconut lychee flavors which, naturally, aren’t part of the sampler I received.  I got the cherry marzipan, cucumber mint, and honey yuzu.  I’ll probably purchase the swiss apple and coconut lychee though.  Hopefully I can find them at Kroger or something instead of having to order them online.


Juicy Couture

juicy couture

Long live the scent of couture. With top notes of wild berries and juicy mandarin gently tempered with honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine. Underlying it all are warm tones of amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline. Boldly bottled with Juicy charms and rocked in fuchsia wrap.

I’m surprised I actually like the scent of this but I do.  It’s a little sweet but for whatever reason, it appeals to me. 


Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment

Frownies Eye Gels Under Eye & Eyelid Treatment

Anti-wrinkle treatment for puffy bags under the eyes contains powerful anti-oxidants that help protect your skin. With one 30 minute anti-aging treatment 100% of women testing Frownies eye gels saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

I’m not much of a partier or drinker so I’m not certain that I’ll actually get much use out of this but perhaps I’ll find someone who can. 


Rent the Runway $50 off your dress rental of $125 or more

rent the runway

So unfortunately RTR is one of those things where you have to join for free in order to delve into the website to see what this is all about.  I hate websites like that.  Anyways, the gist of this is that there are designer dresses of all styles, shapes, and sizes up for grabs.  You can rent them for a period of time instead of having to invest a ton of money to buy them.  It’s a nifty concept and I have some friends who use this service.  I won’t get any use out of the coupon since I’m plus-size but I’ve offered it up to my friends. 


Thank you for joining me over the last couple of months to take a look at my BirchBox goodies.  I hope you enjoyed it!

One reason I love snail mail (part 7)…

So I know we’re well into December at this point but I’m finally getting around to telling you about what I got in my November BirchBox goodie box. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue:  $195
Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder:  $30
Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector:  $58
ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara:  $24
Chuao Chocolatier 7pc Assorted ChocoPod Box (I got the potato chip):  $7.95

TOTAL:  $314.95

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $304.95 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties).


Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue

Rose Anonyme, a breathtaking seductress caught in a stolen affair between light and dark, Turkish Rose Absolute sparkles and intrigues beneath notes of spicy Ginger, enwrapped in sultry veil of Velvet Oud, Indonesian Patchouli, mystic Papyrus and Somalian Incense.

I happen to like the scent of rose so I was really hoping that I’d love this perfume.  It’s a bit granny-ish for me and I feel like it’s something I would have found when I was a child digging around in my grandma’s drawers.  I might keep this one for days when I want to just run errands or work around the house though.  It smells better than sweat!


Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

Lulu Organics Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

An all organic, TALC-FREE hair powder for hair on days of unwash. Inspired from our college days, this silky powder is perfect for on-the-go styling and leaves your hair smelling as fresh as a day one wash. Sprinkle a dime size amount of powder into your hands and rub through the roots of your dry hair.

I haven’t tried this yet but I’m super excited about this product.  I’ve been wanting to have a dry shampoo product on hand for those days when I need to just get up and go and don’t have time to shower.  I’ll definitely be keeping this one in my bathroom drawer. 


Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector

Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector

This concentrated skin treatment addresses fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, environmental stresses, dark spots, and dullness. Delivering a mix of imperfection blurring optical diffusers and powerful active ingredients, this silky-smooth texture virtually becomes one with your skin. Targeted powerful antioxidant vitamins C and ergothioneine are delivered deep into the skin where they are most effective while skin-correcting ingredients diminish the appearance of dark spots and age spots. It improves the skin’s collagen content, decreases UV-induced pigmentation, and smooths surface texture without irritation. Acting as a disappearing act for imperfections, skin texture becomes refined and a new level of skin clarity is revealed.

With my sensitive skin I’m always skeptical of products like this.  It’s highly likely that it’ll be too harsh for my skin and will end up causing more problems than it solves.  Nonetheless, the next time I get a break out, I’m going to give this baby a whirl (ok ok, so perhaps I’m going to test it out on my husband instead). 


ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Lenghtening Mascara

ModelCo’s innovative formula is made with tiny fibers that attach to your lashes to elongate and thicken them. You’ll be shocked at how much richness and length you can get with a single coat— apply two for serious drama. Plus, each tube features a handy built-in mirror for easy on-the-go application.

So I’ve been on the hunt for a good ‘fake falsies’ mascara for a while now.  I have very blond and short eyelashes and I never feel like I get the kind of look I want from other mascaras.  I’m definitely looking forward to trying this mascara and finding out if it’s the secret!


Chuao Chocolatier ChocoPod Potato Chip

Chuao Chocolatier 7pc Assorted ChocoPod

Don’t knock these unusual flavor combinations until you’ve tried them. This 7-piece set includes: Potato Chip (kettle chips and sea salt in milk chocolate), Sweet and Salty (milk chocolate with a hint of salt), Maple Bacon (crisp bacon with a dose of maple sweetness and smoked sea salt in milk chocolate), Honeycomb (amber honey caramelized into crispy pieces in dark chocolate), Salted Chocolate Crunch (toasted breadcrumbs with sea salt in dark chocolate), Spicy Maya (a spicy blend of pasilla chile, cinnamon, and cayenne in dark chocolate), and Firecracker (chipotle caramel fudge dotted with popping candy and salt in dark chocolate).

So I’m not gonna lie, I think these flavor combinations are WEIRD.  I haven’t worked up the courage to try my chocolate covered potato chip yet.  Chocolate and potatoes???  It just sounds weird in my head.  I did make potato chip butterscotch cookies years ago and I remember people telling me they were really good so who knows.  Perhaps this could be a baking breakthrough. 

Have you tried any new products lately?

Product Review: Urban Decay

So the other day I went to Ulta to purchase some new makeup because I ran out of my favorite eye shadow.  I purchased a few new products from Urban Decay and I wanted to tell you about them because I love them so much. 

You see – I’ve never been one to spend much money on makeup.  Usually I just purchase the colors I like in the cheapest place & brand in which I find them.  I’m realizing though, that sometimes the money you spend on quality products is worth it.  You get what you pay for after all. 

The first purchase I want to tell you about is the Eye Shadow Primer Potion.  I purchased the ‘original’ color.  First off, this stuff is $20 and it lasts FOREVER.  I mean, you use this itty-bitty bit each day and this tube is pretty good size.  I’m willing to bet this one tube will last me a year easy.  So the concept of eye shadow primer (in case you’re unfamiliar) is that it helps your eye shadow grip to your eyelids – no streaking or clumping or wearing off during the day.  Now, in the spirit of transparency I have to tell you that I’ve never tried another primer.  However, after trying this one I can tell you that I’ll probably never see the need to try another primer.  This one works great!  My eye shadow sticks all day and doesn’t run (I used to get sort of ‘goopy’ oily corners at the outsides of my eyes and those are LONG GONE!).  If you’re having any issues with the staying power of your eye shadow this stuff is a God-send.  I’ve tried it with several different brands of eye shadow and it works great with them all. 

I also purchased the Naked 2 pallet which comes with 12 taupe & greige neutral eye shadows, an eye shadow brush and a Lip Junkie Lip gloss in Naked.  Ok first off, the eye shadow colors are great.  There’s a wonderful range and so far I’ve used every single color except for the black (which I’m sure most people use for eyeliner but I prefer a real eyeliner stick).  The colors are vibrant and there’s a healthy mix of matte and sparkly colors in varying ranges of pale to dark.  I generally change up my eye makeup every day and this one palette has it all!

In addition I’ve totally fallen in love with the Lip Junkie lip gloss.  Usually I don’t like lip glosses because they’re sticky and don’t get me wrong, this one is definitely sticky, but it’s sooo moisturizing and it stays on ALL DAY LONG.  I just love it.  I put this on in the morning, take it off when I eat lunch and then reapply afterwards and my lips stay soft and supple all day.  The neutral color is great as well because it goes with EVERYTHING!  No more carrying around multiple tubes of lipsticks!  Yahoo! 

If you’re on the hunt for new makeup I definitely recommend checking out Urban Decay.  I’ve been really pleased with my purchases and would buy them again in a heartbeat. 

Do you have any favorite make up purchases that you’ve made?

One reason I love snail mail (part 2)…

Do you remember about a month ago I posted about this nifty box of goodies that I got from BirchBox?  I still haven’t tried out any of the products but that’s because they’re all going with me on vacation later this month.  I promise I’ll post reviews of them when I have ‘em!

I just received my June BirchBox in the mail and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t as excited with the goodies as I was last time.  That’s just sort of how it goes with these things.  Some days you’ll get stuff you love, some days you won’t.  I’m totally ok with that.

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Bath Salts:  $35 (sale price $25)
Eye Stick:  $15
Lip Stain:  $17
Skin Cream:  $16
Chocolate Bar:  $19 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.25/bar)

TOTAL:  $84.25

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $74 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Borghese Bagno Di Vita Soak (on sale right now at Amazon)

  • Mineral infused crystals transform your bath into an oasis of calm, blue waters while the uplifting scent of botanical oils soothes tense, tired muscles.

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Petrol Blue

  • Let’s talk: Eyeko Fat Eye Sticks for easy-to-apply creamy colour in an instant.  Featuring a rich pigmented formula, the sticks can be used to shade and smoke the eye lid. 
  • Tell me more:  This chubby twist-up eye stick with retractable nib delivers soft, creamy eye shadow for easy application directly onto lids.  Create a smudgy, glossy finish for an effortless effect. 
  • Need to know info:  Make-up artists applaud the intense pigments and blendable colours and we love how user-friendly Eyeko Fat Eye Stick is for smoky eyes in a second. 
  • Tips and tricks:  Creamy formulas guarantee a modern finish. Have fun with this limited edition eye stick dab metallic shades on inner corners; ring round darker hues for smoky eyes or blend to a sheer finish for subtle shading. Wear alone or to add depth to powder eye shadow. For longer wear use primer and set with powder.

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

  • The perfect pop of color for your cheeks and lips, Stainiac hint of tint is perfect for all skintones. Simply dab a touch onto your cheeks for a sheer wash of color or layer for added intensity. And the best part? Stainiac is formulated to give you more time before the stain sets, so it won’t streak.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

  • Use Yu-Be anywhere on the body – even the face and lips.
  • Helps heal split cuticles and smooth rough, cracked and dry skin on hands, elbows, knees and feet.
  • Absorbs instantly and works for hours. Good for all day or all night.
  • Non-greasy formula contains NO artificial colors, fragrances, petrolatum or SPF.
  • CAMPHOR soothes irritation and stimulates blood circulation to improve overall health of your skin.
  • Mild camphor scent fades within minutes.
  • Concentrated GLYCERIN moisturizer helps hydrate, soothe and smooth severe dry skin on the whole family – ALL YEAR LONG. (kids too!)
  • Makes a great massage cream!

LUNA Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick

How can something so good for us be so delicious? It’s simple. Start with the best ingredients possible (nothing artificial, 70% organic) and nutrition that matters most to women. Mix with flavors that make mouths water and the rest is sweet (and healthy!) history.

  • High in calcium and folic acid
  • Rich in antioxidants A, C, E
  • 8g protein, 5g fiber

One reason I love snail mail…

Have you heard of BirchBox?  I hadn’t, at least not until a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about it.  It made me curious so I started researching.  Here’s the deal… for $10/month they’ll send you a box full of beauty goodies.  You don’t really know what’s in the box (although they do ask you questions about your skin / eye / hair coloring, etc).  More than a few times I’ve purchased a new beauty product only to try it once or twice and absolutely hate it.  Yes, at most places you can return the product but geez what a hassle.  The concept of BirchBox is great.  They send you mostly sample sizes of new products but some full size ones as well.  The eyeliner and the nail polish I got were both ‘full size’ (although to be fair, those don’t exactly come in ‘trial sizes’ usually).  I like surprises and I definitely like fun beauty stuff so I figured, what the hell.  I can cancel whenever I want so what’s the risk?  Well, I got my first box in this weekend.  I did some research on the items and I want to give you a rundown of what I would have spent if I had gone out and purchased all of these items (at full size) and at full price….

Eyeliner:  $22
Nail Polish:  $3
Foundation:  $34
Shampoo:  $36
Conditioner:  $39
Shine Serum:  $42

TOTAL:  $176

So, basically I spent $10 to try out $176 worth of beauty products.  AND if I hate them, I don’t have to hassle with returning them.  I think I’m in love. 

What to know what was in my box?  Here’s a rundown…

Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Curacao

So this morning right before I took my shower I did a test line of this eyeliner on my hand.  It’s waterproof for sure!  It took some scrubbing to get it to come off.  I can’t wait to use this stuff when we go on vacation this summer! 

(the one I got is the dark blue one second from the right)


Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Disco Nap

I haven’t tried this yet but when I go for my pedicure in a few weeks I think I’m going to give it a go!


Dr. Jart + Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Makeup SPF 25

So I’m pretty curious about this stuff.  It’s formulated for crazy hyper-sensitive skin like mine.  I don’t generally wear anything on my face (just eye makeup and lipstick) however I’m definitely going to give this stuff a shot at some point.  Here’s what Sephora has to say about the product: 

What it is:
A one-step skin perfecting balm that minimizes the need for foundation or concealer.

What it is formulated to do:
A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum, this all-in-one product also hides imperfections. Made with 50 percent water, Dr. Jart’s Advanced Water Bead Technology helps hydrate and maintain healthy moisture for a dewy, fresh look. Like a drink for your skin, once applied, tiny droplets of water appear before being quickly absorbed, generating an instant soothing and cooling effect.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan

Kerastase Paris Cristalliste Lait Cristal & Bain Cristal with Lumiere Liquide

I received a trial size sampling of this product and at first, I wasn’t all that thrilled.  Most of that had to do with the fact that all the writing on the product is in a foreign language (I think French).  I just kept wondering ‘what the heck did they send me?’  After looking it up though, I’m excited to see what this product has to offer.  Here’s what their website has to say:

Introducing the best kept secret for long hair, Cristalliste. A product line designed specifically for young women with long hair, prone to weighed down roots and dry ends.

Kérastase’s Liquid Light Complex creates the ultimate in luminosity and shimmer. Pure and lightweight from the roots, smooth and free-flowing to the ends.

Featuring advanced technology from La Recherche Avancée L’Oréal, this daily haircare regimen maintains healthy hair while combating the causes of thinning to leave hair feeling and looking stronger, thicker and refreshed.


I haven’t actually tried any of the products yet but my plan is to take them all with us on vacation (except for the nail polish which I’ll have put on professionally) and try them out there.  We’re going someplace where the sun is closer and the air is dryer so I’ll definitely be needing makeup with SPF and extra conditioning for my hair.  We’re also going to be in the water a lot so I’ll definitely be testing out the eyeliners claim to long-wear waterproof.  I’ll let you know how it all turns out!