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beauty review


Tartelette in Bloom

I have a confession to make.  I have an obsession with palettes…eyeshadow palettes to be specific.  I must have at least 6 of these by now.  What do I need 6 palettes for?  How many eyes do I have?  Confessions of a cosmetics junkie.  Makeup palettes are just so darn pretty – it’s hard to pass up.  I have the first 3 Urban Decay Naked Palettes (I LOVE the Naked2 Palette.  If you’re ever going to try one, this is the one to get hands down), 2 Charlotte Tilbury ones, 1 Bobbi Brown one and now….this wonderful, beautiful tarte one.  In my defense, I travel a lot for work.  Wouldn’t these be great for travel?

First of all, look at the swatches.  They’re gorgeous!  I am very into neutral tones in case you couldn’t tell.  I like how this has a blend of matte and luster finishes.  These eyeshadows are pretty pigmented and easily blend-able.  As I was using my finger to swatch the colors, it was like touching butter! When I went to Sephora to purchase this palette, the associate ringing me up said “This is my current FAVORITE palette.  The colors are beautiful.”  Thank you Sephora employee for verifying my absolute NEED for this.  ha!

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an eyeshadow palette that you will reach for every day, this is it.  The price point isn’t too terrible either.  Luckily, I had a $50 gift card that I received for my birthday back in May so all I had to pay was 3 pennies.  Yes, $0.03. What a steal!

tarte Tartlette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette | Sephora $46


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!






May Birchbox Review

May has been a super busy month for me so far.  I had a few work trips that have been keeping me busy and the oh so important –  my birthday!  After you turn 30, you’re like your parents where you don’t remember your age/you don’t want to tell anyone your real age. HA!  I hate getting a year older but I love celebrating my birthday with friends!  I had to work on my birthday but I have made it a tradition to go to Ruth’s Chris with my colleagues and it’s worked out great!  Who can say no to steak and sizzling butter?  Absolutely no one.

I know I skipped out on April’s Birchbox review and I thought I wouldn’t even notice.  Well, my desk sure noticed.  After May’s Birchbox came – I saw that I was starting to accumulate samples and had no plan to ever try them.  BAD!  So here I go, continuing with my monthly Birchbox reviews.

OUAI Wave Spray | Birchbox $26:  I have been wanting to try out OUAI brand products for so long.  I am a closet Kardashian fan and have been following Jen Atkin for awhile since she does their hair.  Also, SoulCycle now carries her products in their restrooms, so it must be good right?  Well, maybe I need to try a different product from her line.  This stuff smells great but gives hair a crunchy feel.  I will be sticking to my LUSH Sea Spray.

Whish Firming Body Cream | Birchbox $36:  This stuff is supposed to target the appearance of stretch marks and blemishes.  Do I believe this?  No.  Did I like using it as a normal body cream?  Yes.  It has a nice, light, floral scent and isn’t too thick.  Would I purchase this?  Nope.  For body lotion, I like to stay with the middle of the road ones.  Typically because they smell nice but I don’t usually spend too much money on body lotion.

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream | Birchbox $33:  I am on highlighter overload right now.  However, I do like that you can dab dab dab on the parts of your face that you want to highlight and it will blend perfectly.  It’s not too shimmery and won’t make your face look like a disco ball (unless you want it to, then you can keep on adding!). I actually really like MAC’s skin products and think this is a great buy if you want a glow from within (add it to your foundation or lotion) or if you are looking into a liquid highlighter.

The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes | Birchbox $22:  I wish I could tell Birchbox to stop sending me mascaras.  I always hope that a mascara will work for my eyelashes, but they never do.  The only one I can use is Cover Girl Lash Blast Very Black Waterproof.  The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes looked promising.  I loved the packaging, it’s waterproof and contains argan oil to help moisturize your lashes.  However, immediately after curling my lashes and applying this stuff – my lashes went straight. The good news is that they were looked really long.  If you have stubborn straight Asian eyelashes like me, skip this.

COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray | Birchbox $36: I like the idea of this.  I sprayed it on and immediately thought to myself – “this stuff smells weird.”  Now all day I have the smell on my face and I get whiffs of it as I sit at my desk. It’s supposed to give a matte finish, but after about 1 hour – my face was back to being a bit oily.  The best thing about this stuff is that it has SPF.  I like the other SPF products from COOLA that I have, but I don’t think I will be recommending this one.

Unfortunately this Birchbox was a bust for me this month.  However, I still love trying out new products and maybe I would have bought the full size version of any of these and then figured out I didn’t like them.  This is so much more fun!  haha

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!



April Birchbox Review

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I finally jumped on the subscription service bandwagon and decided to subscribe to a monthly box with beauty/skincare products.  I like experimenting with skincare more than I do with cosmetics, so after doing a lot of research online, I decided to go with Birchbox.  This is the first box that I got and since I signed up during the month of April, it came at the end of April.  Sidenote: those who live on the West Coast may have to wait up to 10 days after shipping to receive their box.  For someone like me who is impatient, this was not a fun wait.

Birchbox did a collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. – hence the box title.  I was also able to enter a code at checkout to get a free notebook and coupon.  Who doesn’t love free things?  I think I’ll be carrying around one of those little notebooks to write down blog post ideas while I’m out and about.  Now, onto the reviews:

(Malin + Goetz ) grapefruit face cleanser | Full-size $32  This citrus-y cleanser is supposed to help dissolve dirt and oil, clear breakouts, and balance your skins natural pH.  This one is oil-free and has hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.  After my first use, I didn’t even realize it was supposed to be a foaming face wash.  I squeezed out about 2 pea sized amounts, added water and washed my face – with no foam.  It wasn’t until the 3rd time I had used it, that it started to foam.  Strange… Anyway, it smells just like grapefruit, which I LOVE.  It seems to be gentle, doesn’t dry out my skin, and my face feels and looks clean.  It reminds me of my Fresh Soy Cleanser as it is pretty gentle.  I think this would be great to use with a Clarisonic – foaming or not.   I would buy the full size.  

(Malin + Goetz) Vitamin E Face Moisturizer | Full-size $–  This came as just a bonus small sample.  I really liked using this in conjunction with the face cleanser.  Doesn’t have the most pleasant of smells but I got used to it after awhile.  Very light, oil-free and I liked using it as a daytime face lotion.  The product description even states that it would be great as makeup primer.  I will have to agree on this.  Thumbs up!  I would buy the full size.  

amika Touchable Hairspray | Full-size $24 This hairspray is a dry mist that offers strong-yet-flexible hold while battling frizz by protecting against the effects of humidity.  I tried and the smell immediately reminded me of bug spray.  It is not as “touchable” as I would like and quite frankly, this will go in my handbag for emergency purposes but I will not be purchasing a full size.

Milk Makeup Gel Brow – Pilsner (Medium Brown)| Full-size $18:  This is a gel formula that is waterproof and transfer-proof.  I liked how it felt going on my eyebrows.  I can definitely tell that there is some wax in it to hold my eyebrow hairs in place.  The color was not bad for me, a little darker than I would prefer but not bad at all.  This was just okay.  I prefer the eyebrow pencil that I usually use, Cle de Peau, but I will put this in my travel makeup bag for touch-ups while on the road or at work.

PETER THOMAS ROTH Acne-Clear Invisible Dots | Full-size $30: Comes in two different sizes so you can pick which one will best cover your breakout.  There is salicylic acid to heal breakouts and prevent new ones.  This one was a lot of fun because they’re stickers – and who doesn’t like to play with stickers?  Luckily, and not so lucky, I had a pimple that was starting to sprout on my chin so out came the stickers.  And what do you know, after sleeping with one of these suckers on my new friend, the pimple was not red and was pretty much gone.  Now, I have to say that it was in its “beginning stages” so take that with a grain of salt.  This stuff isn’t bad and I will probably buy the full-size when I run out of the samples.

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick – Guava Nice Day | Full-size $14.95: Contains Sweet Almond Oil.  Upon application, I immediately noticed a sweet smell.  I couldn’t tell if it was lychee, guava, or melon but it definitely has a nice scent (I actually figured it out from the website – it’s almost butter and goji berry!).  The color is pretty but not exactly something that I would wear on a daily basis.  Nice to have for days where I feel like wearing some color on my lips.

I just got an email notification that my May Birchbox was shipped and is on its way!  I can’t wait to review the next box for you.  If you want to join me, subscribe HERE!

Until next time….