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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!


Best Moisturizers

I decided to start doing some “best/top 5” posts and since I’m on a skincare kick right now – why not start with the best moisturizers for your skin type?  I have tried every single product that I am recommending at different times of my skin’s life.  It’s definitely true what they say, one day you’re going to have “normal skin,” then it’s going to be “combination skin,” then it’ll be “dry skin.”  You have to know what skin type you have and make sure you get the correct skincare products that will help with the problems you have.  Sometimes I will notice my skin is dry at work and all I have is hand lotion.  I don’t recommend doing this on a daily basis by any means, but if it’s an emergency – it should be okay for the time being… I know a handful of people who use body lotion on the face.  DON’T EVER DO THAT…. Ok, onto the post!

Normal Skin: Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer|$65.00 – The company says that this is a light, sophisticated formula that delivers brightness and nourishment.  Great for all skin types (even sensitive skin).  Plus, it helps with anti-aging too!  If you have “normal skin” then you are a lucky lucky person.  Back in the day, when I thought I had “normal skin” and before I turned 30, I tried this moisturizer out.  It was when Kate Somerville first came out with her skincare line.  I remember it vividly – I was working at the big fancy and the sales associate that was in charge of the line walked over to my department with some free samples.  I, of course, purchased an entire skincare regime because I love trying out new lines.  I love how it has lavender, ginger and orange in it.  It’s lightweight and has a great scent!

Acne-Prone Skin: Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer Oil-Free|$8.40 – One day my coworker came to my house (again, back in the day) and she looked at my shelf that has all my skincare products on it and she couldn’t believe that I used this product.  Well, the truth is… I went to a dermatologist when my skin was not very happy with me and she recommended this.  I have to say, this definitely  helped in my 20’s when I was breaking out like crazy.  Some pro’s about this stuff – it’s cheap, you can buy it ANYWHERE, and it works!  Why don’t I use this now?  Well, obviously as you get older – your skin has different needs.  Now I need anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, basically anti-anything right?  But, if you are having some problems with acne and need something – use this stuff.

Moisturizer with SPF: Clarins Brightening Hydrating Day Lotion SPF 20 Oil-Free Nordstrom|$65.00 – I actually stopped using this about a year ago because I wanted to try something different.  But I have to say that I did like this.  I bought maybe 3 bottles of this but unfortunately the price kind of kept me away from staying with it forever and trying out other things.  Lightweight moisturizer in a nice pump bottle.  Definitely worth a try if you are looking for a daytime lotion with SPF.

Dry Skin: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream Nordstrom|$58.00 – There was a time when my skin was super duper dry and I needed something to get it back to it’s dewy glory.  I like the glass packaging that it comes in and it definitely helped my dry skin.  I didn’t repurchase it because I didn’t need it anymore.  Right now if my skin gets a bit dry in the winter – I go through my bag of samples that I have collected from Nordstrom & Sephora and I usually have some “extra moisturizing” face lotions in there.  If I have my favorite La Mer samples, you better believe I use those first!  Side note – you can get La Mer samples when you order beauty/skincare products from Nordstrom.

SPF: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42 Nordstrom|$32.00 – I know I did a review on my favorite Clarins SPF, but I wanted to offer another option.  Also, I know this isn’t a “moisturizer” per se, but if are you too lazy – you can totally just put this on and it kind of moisturizes your skin.  I do this sometimes if I am going hiking.  I sweat so much that I don’t want to sweat off my moisturizer AND my sunscreen all at once.  So that’s my lazy tip to anyone out there…. but back to the review – All of my sisters use this SPF so it has to be good.  Plus, I always see it on the “top SPF” list when I’m googling stuff. I just never liked it – personal preference only.  I know that Shiseido is good for Asian skin but since I’m all about packaging and smell it never appealed to me.  It’s a great product and definitely a good SPF, especially since it is at 42 SPF.  Give it a try!

Combination Skin: Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Cream Nordstrom|$90.00– This is what I currently use and I love it.  I totally contradicted myself in the review above about the SPF saying I didn’t want to put the one that I love BUT I really love this one.  It’s pricey but worth it.  I love the consistency and the packaging.  The smell no longer bothers me and my skin just feels so luxurious after I apply it.  If you have combo skin like me, get a sample and try it out!

Oily Skin: Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream Nordstrom|$60.00 – I generally use this in the summer when my oily skin is out of control.  I like that it smells like lavendar and it’s lightweight.  Plus, the light aqua color of the packaging is just so pretty.  I can hear everyone right now saying in their head “Susie!  Packaging doesn’t mean the product works!”  I know…but I love a good packaging!  Kiehl’s does make this in the original formula that isn’t lightweight.  I find it to be a bit too heavy for the summer, but good in the winter.  I actually have the original formula and am planning on trying it out soon to see how it goes with my skin – will update you in a few months when that happens!

I hope this was useful to you.  If there are any other “best/top 5” posts that you would like to see, let me know!  It could be “best leather jackets” or “best nude sandals for the season.”  Don’t have to be beauty only, it can be fashion as well. Leave me a comment below and I will make that happen for you!

Until next time!


March Empties

If you read my Finished February post, you may recall that I said I was worried I wouldn’t have anything for the end of March.  Well, what do you know?  I have 4 products that I finished!  YAY!

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30:  Lightweight serum that is like a moisturizer and a sunscreen in one.  Can be used year round and is good for summer when it’s super hot and you don’t want to feel like everything that you put on your face is melting off.  Works great as a primer.  I do like to use the Clarins Sunscreen but when I’m lazy and don’t want to slather on 2 separate products (moisturizer and SPF), I do like to use this serum.  My face doesn’t feel like I have SPF on at all and it’s great for my oily skin.  If you typically hate using anything with an SPF because of how it makes your skin look or feel, try this serum out! 5/5

Lush Snow Fairy Limited Edition Shower Gel:  Bubble gum and sweet vanilla scent with biodegradable “fairy dust” – what more can you ask for?  I absolutely love Lush products and mainly use their soap and shower gels with a loofah (gross I know, but I LOVE loofahs!).  I actually really enjoy the smell of their products and get really happy when I walk into the store and am engulfed in all those scents.  I like that Lush is handmade, not tested on animals, they buy ethically and use fresh ingredients. I bought this shower gel the day after Christmas – which is THE BEST time to buy any holiday Lush products.  Everything is buy 1 get 1 free, so it’s when I stock up on ALL my soap for the year (and sometimes the year after if I am lucky and get the soaps I love).  This year I went a little before opening and there was already a 30 deep line.  It wasn’t too bad though, the location that I went to actually had some really good items still leftover so I left very happy!  Note:  This is limited edition and only available during the holiday season.  5/5

Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Grapefruit:  This stuff is aluminum free and 100% natural, safe and effective.  It is not an antiperspirant so you will still sweat if you wear this.  I initially found this through a YouTuber that I follow.  She had said that she used this so I figured why not give it a try.  Well, this is my 3rd one that I have purchased – which pretty much means that I love it and will not use any other deodorant other than this one.  I have tried the Vanilla Lavendar one and this Vanilla Grapefruit scent.  I really like all of their scents and if you want to try a deodorant that is safe and natural…this is definitely the one to try!  5/5

Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash:  Even though it says “deep cleansing” sometimes you may think that means dry.  Actually, the entire time I was using this face wash I thought it was meant for sensitive skin because it doesn’t dry my face out at all and is very gentle.  I like foaming face washes.  It just makes me feel like it’s really cleaning my face.  Plus I wanted to use this with my Clarisonic, so I was immediately attracted to the pump.  The only bad thing about the pump is that it almost feels like you’re wasting it towards the end when the product doesn’t reach the pump.  So, I do what any other person who wants to use up as much as they can do – I add water and will unscrew the top so that I can get every last bit!  Since I think this really does what it’s supposed to do, but I don’t see any real improvement to my skin – I’m going to give this a 4/5.  If you’re looking for a new face wash, I would still really recommend this!

If you’ve made it to the end of the post – I have to say, you must be a good friend of mine!  haha… I’m going to have to put it out there that my dad is currently in the hospital so my posts may not be as often.  I hope that you do still come back and read when I do have the time to post something.  Please think positive thoughts for my father and thank you for being a blog friend.  


Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Skin Brightening Exfoliator

I was first introduced to Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Skin Brightening Exfoliator when I was searching for a  new exfoliator.  I had been using LUSH’s Ocean Salt Scrub for awhile and even though I loved the smell, I didn’t like how the salt crystals disintegrated so easily.    The “Clearly Corrective” line had just come out recently so it was fairly new and there weren’t that many reviews on it (trust me, I looked!).  I used it every other morning in the shower and at first I thought it was just a big ol’ waste of money.  But then after using about half the bottle I noticed that my skin was so clear and dare I say it… bright!  So after that, I have been hooked ever since.



Price $29.00 |  Nordstrom

I do have to mention that I do not have many dark spots on my face other than some freckles so I haven’t noticed if it really reverses noticeable skin discoloration.  I do get acne every so often (ok, every month…) and after using this on a consistent basis I saw that my face was clearer and smoother than normal.  The consistency is like a soft, liquid paste.  I really enjoy the smell of this too – reminds me of a spa.  When you add water, it becomes a nice foam and after rinsing, your face feels so sqeaky clean!  Which is a good thing but a bad thing if you have naturally dry skin.

Final thoughts:  I am on my second bottle… which means that I used up the first bottle and liked it so much I went out and bought another one!  I am a bit picky on consistency and this is the perfect in between.  I like that it doesn’t feel like it’s scratching my skin but at the same time doesn’t disintegrate once it hits water.  The added benefit of it reversing discoloration and brightening my skin is even better!  5/5

Until next time …