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June Birchbox Review

It’s been awhile blog friends.  Hope there are still a few of you out there.  I just started my 2 week staycation and I have to say…I’M BACK!!!  So far on this staycation I have, worked out almost every single day (I’m going to lose some pounds damn it!), I went to the Born Free Motorcycle Show with my boyfriend (and now I know what’s it like to go to a festival in the desert – it was 100 degrees), and I helped save a kitten and find it a forever home (I have done my good deed for the month and I think I want to foster kittens now….).  So that’s what I have been up to on the other side of the computer screen.

Now, on to the blog – I have so many new reviews and I am so excited to share them with all of you.  Now, let’s get back to business.  First up…

This month’s Birchbox had a mix of really great products and some that were not so great.  Let’s begin with the good…

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray | Birchbox $46:  If you get Birchbox, you know that each month – you get to pick one of your samples.  This is the one I picked.  It is one of my holy grail products that I use on my hair every single day.  I am a “messy hair don’t care” type of gal and this stuff gives it just the right amount of texture and grit.  Plus, it has a lovely smell.  Well worth the money.  I must be on my 5th bottle!

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 | Birchbox $39:  When BB cream was all the range a few years back, Dr. Jart+ was one of the first BB creams I used.  This was actually the same exact one.  I loved it, except I realized after awhile that it was clogging my pores.  That’s just me though.  If you’re looking for a premium BB cream, this is it and it comes in 2 different shades.  I’m Shade #1 if you are curious.

Vasanti BrightenUp! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer | Birchbox $34: I love the Vasanti brand.  In one of my first Birchbox’s, I got a sample of the Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and it was life changing.  I love this exfoliator. So when I got a sample of this moisturizer, I was super excited.  It’s lightweight which is good for a day time moisturizer (make sure you put on your SPF too!) and for the hot summer months.  Great if you have oily skin and need a light moisturizer.

Now let’s get to the not so good products…

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil | Birchbox $24:  I feel like I’m always saying this with these types of reviews but…I had high hopes for this.  I was so excited to see that it was coming in my box.  However, the sample was the SMALLEST SAMPLE EVER!  When I tried it on my eyebrows, I couldn’t get a good grip on it.  I can’t even give you an honest opinion on this because the sample was so small.  No Benefit Cosmetics…NO!  How could you do this?  Very poor marketing on your part….

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Eye Candy Priming Shadow Stick | Birchbox $24:  This thing came to me broken.  I didn’t even want to open the cap and deal with the stick falling out and making a mess.  So I just took a picture of it and threw it in the trash.  Amazing that it is of such low quality, it broke going through the mail.  I didn’t even get this during the heat wave… so I can’t say that it melted in the Southern California heat.  NOPE.

3 out of 5 were winners.  YAY!

If you want to get your own Birchbox, click here!  Until next time!






March Birchbox Review

This past weekend I was up in NorCal for work and had a blast!  If you follow me on my Instagram, you would have seen that I went to Kittea Cat Cafe in San Francisco.  I had so much fun, the cats are adorable. Maybe I will do a review on my visit.  Let me know if you want to know what it was like.  Other than that, I ate a lot.  The food up there is amazing and it’s fun to see the different variations between SoCal and NorCal.  For example, I saw a huge line for Boba Guys. Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley – we have a ton of boba places.  I couldn’t believe why there would be a line at this place. Well, it’s the hip, organic, delicious version of what we have down here.  I approve.

Now back to the real reason for this post – March Birchbox review!  This Birchbox was curated by Reese Witherspoon and her lifestyle brand Draper James. This one had some great products in it and I was super excited to try everything out.  Also, I love Reese!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream | Birchbox $27.50:  This is a no-brainer.  I love Kiehl’s products.  This is right in between being lightweight and creamy.  It’s great for an everyday face cream.  It has no scent which I do like.  This is the best every day no nonsense face cream!

W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara | Birchbox $21.99It doesn’t matter what kind of mascara it is.  They  never work on my stick straight eyelashes.  However, I try every single mascara that is sent to me and sadly, this did not work for me.  *insert sad face*

Davines Naturaltech Replumpling Shampoo & Conditioner | Birchbox $26.50 each:  I know I say this a lot, but I was really looking forward to trying this out.  I love Davines.  However, this smelled musky and like an old lady.  AND when I used the shampoo my hair didn’t feel clean.  When I used the conditioner, my hair didn’t feel soft.  PASS!

Davines Naturaltech Replumping Hair Filler Superactive | Birchbox $40:  I was skeptical about this.  What is it supposed to do?  Fill my hair?  Well, other than the smell which I didn’t like (it’s the same as the shampoo & conditioner) – it did what it said it was going to do!  My hair is full and plumped.  I wish it didn’t smell like an old lady, but I will be using this whole sample bottle up!  Who doesn’t love fuller hair?

Real Chemistry Fresh-Start Foaming Cleanser | Birchbox $24:  I loved the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel that was in my December Birchbox so I was really looking forward to trying this out.  It doesn’t dry your face out like normal foaming cleansers do and it’s moisturizing!  Not bad!  This would be perfect if you have a Clarisonic.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Double the Lip in Lusty Rose| Birchbox $20:  This product is really cool.  It’s a lip liner and lipstick in 1.  You can see in the photo that there are two layers.  However, even though I was super excited to see this and try it – it was a bust for me.  The first problem, the color.  It just wasn’t a good look on me.  Also, having to put the “liner” part on your bottom lip is a bit of a task.  It’s a great concept and Benefit is some high quality stuff – but this just wasn’t for me.

I liked 4/7 of the products sent to me.  I say that’s a win!

If you want to get your own Birchbox, click here!  Until next time!


Benefit Gimme Brow

In the past few months, I have been a little obsessed with my eyebrows.  When @hairbyliaa suggested that I try growing my bangs out, I gasped in horror!  That means I will have to make sure BOTH my eyebrows are filled in and even.  ha!  I used to just make sure that my right eyebrow was on fleek and did a half a** job on my left one.  Well, NOT ANYMORE.  So you can imagine my excitement when I found out I was going to bett receiving a sample of the Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $24 in my June Birchbox.

Benefit Gimme Brow 2 Benefit Gimme Brow 3 Benefit Gimme Brow 4Benefit Gimme Brow 5

What it is: Benefit recently came out with a whole line of eyebrow products.  I used to actually get my eyebrows waxed at the Benefit Brow Bar inside Macy’s, so I get why Benefit is expanding their brow line.  The Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel is supposed to make your eyebrows look full and defined.  With volumizing microfibers and a water resistant gel, this product should give you bold, beautiful brows.  It is suggested that you “back brush” against the eyebrow hairs when putting this on to add volume.

My thoughts: I have used this a few times with and without other eyebrow products.  For me, it is just okay.  It’s great if your brows are NOT sparse and all you need is a “tint’ to help fill them in.  However, if you are like me and have sparse eyebrow hair, then this is not for you.  BUT – if you are planning on filling in your brows with another product and then using this on top – then YES.  I did try to “back brushing” that was suggested.  What happened was that I ended up with a ton of product on my patchy eyebrows.  Not a good look.

I like how the brush is small so it’s easy to control.  I got the medium shade which matches perfectly with the other eyebrow products that I use.  My final thoughts are that I’ll be sticking with the Cle de Peau and Anastasia eyebrow products that I have been using for now….

Bare brow

Benefit Gimme Brow 7

Brow with Benefit Gimme Brow (without the “back brushing”)

Benefit Gimme Brow 8

Has anyone else tried Benefit’s line of brow products?  I would love to know your thoughts and if there are any other products I should try!



June Birchbox

June Birchbox 9 It’s my favorite time of the month!  I’m really starting to enjoy getting my Birchbox each month.  Last week I went to Vegas and it was perfect to throw in the sample size products that I have been getting.  It was even better that I have a few SPF samples that I desperately needed for the 110+ degree heat that Vegas was having.  Even though it was incredibly hot, it was a lot of fun to gamble (and sadly lose a bit), eat delicious foods, and be able to do whatever I wanted without having to worry that I had to be somewhere at a certain time.  Vacations are amazing!!!

Back to what I got this month.  I’m going to write this review a little different.  I’m going to review the products that I actually like and the ones I don’t – just a brief description.  However, I did get one product which I am going to do a separate post because I think it’s pretty important.  Here we go!

Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer:  I LOVED this moisturizer.  It has just the right amount of thickness that I prefer with my face creams.  Also, it has hyaluronic acid which I have been hearing a lot about in the beauty blog world.  What is this magic acid?  I googled it and it says that it draws water to the skin and helps prevent moisture loss.  This is important for aging since our skin loses moisture, resulting in loss of firmness and pliability.  Hyaluronic acid also helps to repair your skin’s barrier and is helpful for all skin types. This lotion is lightweight which is perfect for the summer and even better for my combination skin.  I have used the entire sample and am planning on buying a full size.  The price at $21.00 is not bad either!!!
June Birchbox 5 June Birchbox 1 June Birchbox 11

COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint:  I used this while I was in Vegas and it seemed to work pretty well.  It did go on matte but I can’t say for sure if made my face stay matte since it was over 110 degrees and was like I was sitting in an oven.  However, I wouldn’t mind using this again.  There are so many different SPF’s out on the market now.  I think I will stick to my Clarins one for now, but if you are looking for a matte one – this is a great option.June Birchbox 8 June Birchbox 2What I didn’t care for:

Whish Shave Cream with Vitamin K:  This was fun to use just because it’s a fancy schmancy shaving cream.  Do I still prefer using that one I buy from Target?  You betcha…. if it works, why replace it with something twice the price?  This does moisturize your skin, but I can do that with some lotion after shaving.  Skip!June Birchbox 7 June Birchbox 3

Living proof. Perfect hair Day (PhD) Night Cap Overnight Protector:  I usually put Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil on my hair once a week and sleep on it to help keep it mositurized.  However, trying this out.  It worked fine, but I wasn’t super impressed.  Great sample though.  Glad I was able to try something from the Living proof. line.  I have been meaning to try their hair products out and Birchbox does a great job in helping me do that.  Skip!
June Birchbox 6June Birchbox 4

The last product I got is the Benefit gimme brow volumizing fiber gel.  Separate post on this next week!  Stay tuned!

Still loving my Birchbox subscription.  Just got one for a friend for her birthday.  If you need a gift for someone who loves beauty, this is the perfect present.  At only $10 a month, you can get a 6 month subscription for $60 and they can customize it to their preferences.  Best gift ever!  Here’s a link if you want to join too!


Best Mascaras

So this past weekend, one of my coworkers told me that I had to watch this stand-up comedy special on Netflix – Ali Wong: Baby Cobra.  If you have NOT watched this by now and you have Netflix, you are missing out big time.  I was laughing so hard, I am sure if someone was around me, they would not have known if I was laughing or crying.  Seriously, it was HILARIOUS.  Do yourself a favor, especially when you are having a bad day – and watch this special!

Now on to a beauty post!  By request, from my dear friend Florence down in San Diego, it’s time to talk about the Best Mascaras!  I do have to tell you though…I have ONE tried and true mascara that I have been using for YEARS.  I have stick-straight Chinese eyelashes, which makes it very difficult to keep them curled. Every mascara that I have ever tried – expensive, drugstore, mascara primer, EVERYTHING… has failed to keep my eyelashes curled.  Usually, they fall right back to being as straight as can be after applying.  So what works for me?  It’s the Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof Volume Mascara in Very Black.  Best thing I have ever discovered.  It definitely makes my eyelashes look a bit fuller and longer – you have to try it!  Only bad thing is that it is extremely difficult to take off.  I recommend using some sort of cleansing oil, coconut oil, whatever oil you’re currently using to get it all off.

The other mascaras I have listed on here, are some of the best selling ones out on the market right now.  I have heard great things and even have friends who swear by some of these.  Tip:  A few times a year, Nordstrom will have a buy 2, get 1 free Mascara Madness Event.  That is a great time to try some out and save a few bucks!

Has anyone tried a mascara not listed on here that works well on Asian eyelashes?  If so, let me know!  I love trying new things!