Recent Birbox Purchase

After last week’s rant about my disappointing July Birchbox, here I go getting more things from them. To be fair, I placed this order before I received my July box.

I use the Birchbox app on my phone. It makes it super easy to review the monthly samples and browsing products is good hobby when I’m bored. A few months ago, I received the Beaver Professional Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo and the Beaver Professional Nutritive Repairing Conditioner. Whew, what a mouthful.

I loved this shampoo and conditioner when I sampled it a few months back. The crappy thing was that Birchbox was sold out of both for months. I finally got an email that it was back in stock and ordered it. It makes my hair incredibly soft and shiny. I can’t wait to give it a full bottle review.

The thing about Birchbox, is if you spend over a certain amount ($35 for example) you can get something from their bonus shop. I was close to that amount, so I threw in a lip balm I am running low on.

Coola’s liplux in the original formula is great. It has SPF 30 in it and is what I layer on during the summer. It has a light fresh scent as well and doesn’t taste like a lip balm filled with SPF.

I was able to get the Mally Volumizing Mascara for free. I’m all about a free full sized product. I actually really love this mascara! The brush is a natural fiber brush which I prefer. The mascara itself is not clumpy at all. I can’t wait to keep trying this more and hopefully I still love it.

I will keep you posted on these products as I keep using them.


Let’s Talk… Deodorant

Let’s talk about deodorant. I feel this is a super personal topic. We all sweat different amounts and we have different smelling sweat. I will admit, I get sweaty. I get anxious sweaty. I get cold sweaty. I get hot sweaty. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. It happens to (almost) everyone.

At last though, I have found a brand of deodorant I love. It is made by Lavanilla.

The Healthy Deodorant by Lavanilla is an all-natural deodorant that is paraban and aluminum free. I love the Pure Vanilla scent, pictured on the left above. The last time I was in Sephora, I saw Lavanilla has released a new type – Sport Luxe Vanilla Breeze. Let’s start with the scent of them. AMAZING. I love the Pure Vanilla scent. I think it is fantastic. The Sport Luxe, pictured on the right with the silver cap, smells great as well. I feel the Sport Luxe works a bit more in super hot and sweaty situations.

Last night, I spent the evening outside in sticky, humid 86 degree heat at a baseball game. I feel the Sport Luxe kept up with me. Yes, I was still sweaty last night, but I was basically sweaty all over.

In addition to getting sweaty, I also have super sensitive underarm skin. If I use something that is too strong and harsh, I will get an itchy red rash. I have not had that happen since using The Healthy Deodrant. The downside? The price. The Pure Vanilla is $14 a stick. I have found that it has lasted quite while though. But really, anything that keeps me smelling fresh and doesn’t irritate my skin, I will take it.

If you try it or have already used it, let me know what you think!

July 2015 Birchbox

I have subscribed to Birchbox for a few years now. If you’ve never heard of it, it is a beauty sample subscription service. It’s $10 per month and I get a box with four to five samples per month. Usually the samples are a bit higher end and things that I normally wouldn’t purchase because of the price point.

I really have enjoyed it. I have found many products that I swear by now through Birchbox.

Last week, I received my July box. I was really hoping to have this fantastic review of it for my first Birchbox review on The Spotted Poppy. But I have to be honest, this month’s Birchbox was less than thrilling.

As a subscriber, you can look at your account and peek at what you will be getting in this month’s box. I was very excited about the samples this month. I impatiently checked my mailbox until the day it arrived. I received Bumble and bumble. all-style blow dry cream, clariSEA rapid detox charcoal exfoliant, stila look at me liquid lipstick, and Supergoop! anti-aging city sunscreen serum. You will also see I received what was supposed to be a perfume sample from Cartier.

Disappointment number one. You see that yellow tissue paper? Usually it all neat and folded and opening it feels like a special indulgence. Nope, mine was all crumpled up like that. Disappointment number two. I did not receive a perfume sample, only the piece of cardboard that goes with it. I ended up emailing Birchbox about the missing sample. I received an email back right away and was told they would mail me a replacement sample. I got an email earlier today they are out of the Cartier perfume samples and instead gave me 50 Birchbox points which is equivalent to $5 in at their shop.

Yeah, $5 is great because I know that I will use the points and apply it to an online purchase, but I expect better from Birchbox. This particular experience is probably not enough for me to cancel my subscription just yet, but I am disappointed. I hope August’s box can redeem this month. I haven’t even tried any of the products I received yet. I am most intrigued by the clariSEA rapid detox charcoal exfoliant. It is a powder that you mix with water in your hand and then exfoliate your face. Very, very intriguing. I will keep you posted.

I intend on doing monthly reviews of my Birchbox. I hope this does not turn you off of Birchbox, but I did want to be honest about my review of July’s box.

Brand Focus: essence

A few months ago, I bought a few essence cosmetics products on a whim. I am so glad I did because it turns out, I love the brand. Their Web site says they are “dedicated to bringing affordable, fun, and high-quality products into the serious world of cosmetics.” I genuinely like the products, but I think the price point is even better.

I found essence on an end cap at Ulta. I’ve walked past that same end cap dozens of time at Ulta, but just never stopped to check it out. If I am remembering correctly, the top of the end cap had products focused to a much younger crowd — think glittery nail polish, nail stickers, etc. But… I looked downward on that end cap and found two dreamy colored lip sticks, a perfect shade for me eyebrow pencil, a great volumizing mascara, a matte setting powder, and a fantastic bronzer.

The all about matt! fixing compact powder has been an oily face saver this summer. It is very lightweight and has a diffusing effect. It brushes on smooth and the powder itself is finely milled. It is a very soft, smooth powder. It is a white colored powder, but goes on translucent and leaves no color whatsoever. The cost of the compact powder was $3.99.

The sun club matt bronzing powder is a matte bronzer which I prefer. I would rather add any shimmer with a highlighter and not a bronzer. The bronzer powder also smells great, weird I know. It has a hint of a not quite coconut smell, but really it smells like summer. It is a large compact and you get a lot of product for the cost. I have the shade 02 targeted to brunettes. The sun club bronzer I picked up for $4.99 at Ulta.

I have tried two of essence’s long lasting lipsticks. The one that is swatched on the bottom of my hand and is the tube on the right of the two is shade 01 – coral calling. It is the one I prefer and wear almost daily. The darker shade that is swatched on the top of my hand and it the tube to the left is shade 16 – I am yours. It is a bit more dark and definitely more a rose color versus the coral shade in coral calling. Each were $2.99.

I prefer waterproof eyeliner and mascara. I have especially watery eyes so anything that will last longer on my eyes is fine by me. The gel eye pencil waterproof eyeliner in black is awesome. It’s a gel liner so super silky and glides on smoothly without any tugging. It is a twist up pencil so no sharpener is needed. The get big! lashes volume boost waterproof mascara has my favorite type of mascara wand. It is big and bushy which I prefer in order to get all of my eyelashes.

It comes the blue tube. I actually need to pick up a new one as this one is beginning to dry out. At  $3.99 per tube, it is easy on the wallet. The last product I’ve tried is the eyebrow designer pencil for my brows. I use the shade 04 – blonde. I always pick up a lighter eyebrow pencil versus a darker one so my brows don’t look too overdone and too obvious that they are filled in. The eyebrow pencil is $1.99.

If you’ve tried any essence products or have any already, let me know what you think in a comment below! I really want to check out their blushes and eyeshadow as well. Looking on their website it looks like they have a couple eyeshadow pallets that I won’t be able to resist.

Product Review: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Naked Skin Weighless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup by Urban Decay. What a mouth full, but a really great product. I’ve began using this foundation a few months ago, then tried a different product. As of a couple weeks ago, I am back to using this. I found it at Sephora.

First off, it is a really liquid and runny consistency. I was skeptical the at the first squirt of the product. However, it applies like a dream. When I initially bought this, I used a buffing brush to work it into my skin. I noticed it wasn’t a super smooth application though and that was part of the reason I stopped using it. However, I wanted to try it with a sponge like a Beauty Blender. I was blown away! Bounce the product on with the sponge and it leaves you with a smooth, even complexion. I will then use a bit of concealer on my under eye circles and any red spots. I then set any perpetually oily areas with a mattifying powder. Boom, the base is then completed.

I am about half way through this bottle. You can’t tell above since I dropped the bottle on the floor just before taking that photo. I will definitely be purchasing it again! I use the shade 1.0 – very fair bisque shade with soft warm undertones. There are 16 shades, so I would recommend getting color matched. I picked up shade 1 on a whim and luckily it is the perfect shade for me.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

An Ode to a Tweezers

Can I take a minute to write an entire post about a pair of tweezers?  Specifically this pair of tweezers.  

Trust me, I know what you’re thinking $22 for a pair of tweezers?  And I know.  I rolled my eyes for years too, at the price and the hype.  But then one day when I had some awesome Ulta coupons and cashed in some of my reward points, I got said tweezers for $6 – a price I was comfortable with. 

And trust me.  I goffed at Tweezerman tweezers for years.  I’ve heard for so long how great they actually are and I never believed it.  I thought to myself, “Oh whatever, I can get a tweezers for a dollar and it will work exactly the same.”  Somehow though, that is just not the case.  I don’t know if it’s the slant of the Tweezerman tweezers or what, but it grabs my little tiny baby eyebrow hairs I can’t even see.

Seriously though, I’m blown away by a pair of stinking tweezers.  If you’re in the market for some tweezers, I can’t recommend the Tweezerman brand more.  Usually I get my eyebrows threaded, but this is great for in between sessions. I’ve had mine for a couple years and they are still going strong. I’m still as much  in love with them as the first day I bought them.