Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite Product Of The Month! December

Is it just me or did the new year arrive beyond quickly? I can't believe that December is a few hours from being over and January is actually about to begin. What are you lovelies doing for the new year? What are your resolutions? Let me know!

It was so hard to narrow down just one favorite for this month. I've really been loving quite a few but, I think this product stands just a little bit above the rest. My December favorite is my Ahava Time To Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer (normal to dry skin) I received a sample tube of this a few weeks ago with my Ulta order and I love it. I'm always looking for non-greasy/no residue skincare because I absolutely hate how it feels on my skin. This moisturizer is perfect. The formula is very light and it leaves my skin feeling extremely soft. If I had to choose between this and my Philosophy Miracle Worker, I would most likely choose the Ahava. The reason for this is because I prefer how the Ahava feels on my skin, the MW is still a wonderful moisturizer and I will continue to use it because of all the benefits (anti-aging, antioxidants, etc.) but since the MW is a heavier moisturizer, it takes a little longer to sink in than I would like. This is especially inconvenient when using it in the day before trying to apply makeup. I prefer Ahava's lighter texture because of this, it sinks into my skin immediately and there's no waiting. If there was any way to take the Philosophy benefits and use them with Ahava's formula, I would be all over it! This moisturizer is paraben free and allergy tested.

In addition to making my face feel extremely soft, I also love how the moisturizer itself feels. It's not heavy whatsoever, and once I apply it to my face, I can't even feel it. This moisturizer also leaves a really refreshing, almost cooling type of sensation on my face. The scent is very pleasant, light and soapy.

Overall, I love everything about this moisturizer. My only wish is that it contained antioxidants like the Miracle Worker, but since it doesn't, I will stick to using this in the daytime and my Philosophy at night.

Full size retails for $39.50//1.7oz of product

Much love xo

Is Your Conditioner Lacking?

Hi lovelies! I know all too well how difficult the search is for a really great conditioner, and not only that, but one that doesn't break the bank. We've all bought them before, conditioners that didn't quite measure up or were just a little lackluster. Try adding these simple ingredients before you throw that bottle out.

Looks gross, I know! 
My last, not so great conditioner was the Nexxus Keraphix so that's what I will be using in this how-to. For my personal recipe: I took a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of conditioner, I then added two egg yolks, 2-4 teaspoons of honey, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of my Organix Moroccan Argan oil. Mix well. I LOVE the way that this mixture smells, the honey really gives it a mild, pleasant sweetness which I very much appreciated because I absolutely hate the smell of the Nexxus Keraphix. This mix can get very messy so I recommend transferring it to a squeeze bottle. If you have any left over, this will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before it goes bad.

I shampooed my hair and dried it just a bit so that it wasn't dripping wet. I then applied the mixture to my hair, covered it with a plastic cap and let it sit for about 45 minutes. Do not use heat because you might scramble the eggs (unless that's your thing lol) I rinsed my hair with cool water (cool/cold water seals in moisture whereas warm/hot strips it away) and applied a quarter size amount of John Freida Straight Fixation Creme and my Organix oil before blasting my hair with the cool setting of my hairdryer for a couple of minutes and then letting it air dry.

This mixture made my hair feel SO soft and silky! If you've read my past hair entries then you know that my hair is naturally BONE dry, and keeping it moisturized is a definite hassle. From the roots to the ends, my hair feels so good and hydrated after using this. I will be trying a banana and avocado mixture in the future to compare which I like most. Another great thing that I noticed after using this, my hands and cuticles felt so soft and hydrated, so I'm probably going to mix this into one of my body products as well (minus the conditioner).

Now, why should you add these ingredients? For starters, I'm a firm believer in natural hair care being the way to go, for anyone. Hair always seems to be healthier when less chemicals are involved. Secondly, I believe this method is cheaper, for you to add a few household ingredients to perk up your existing bottle of conditioner rather than tossing it out and buying something else.

What do each of these ingredients do for you? Well each addition definitely serves it's own purpose.
  • Honey: This ingredient is a humectant. In short, it helps to seal in moisture.
  • Olive Oil: Like many oils (shea, jojoba, coconut) this ingredient adds essential fats, shine, moisture and nourishment to your hair (your body as well!) It also strengthens the hair follicle to decrease damage and breakage
  • Bananas: These are no longer just for breakfast. Bananas add moisture and softness to your hair. (You must mash or blend the bananas thoroughly otherwise you'll end up with banana chunks in your hair!)
  • Avocado: Just like the oils. Avocado's add fats and proteins to your hair to not only strengthen it but to add shine and body as well. Also great for hair that tangles easily! 
  • Egg Yolks: Like avocados, egg yolks add proteins and moisture.
So you see, all of these ingredients have some really amazing benefits, and I'm positive that at least one of these attributes is something that we all look for in a conditioner. So try it! Most of these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. I'm sure some of you are a bit weirded out by the idea of using food as hair care, but think about it, before all of these chemicals and pre-made things were invented, these are the types of ingredients that people used. It's important for you to cater to your specific hair needs and try what recipe works best for you, everything is completely customizable. These recipes can without a doubt work alone, no existing conditioner needed. And as always, please if you have an allergy, skip that ingredient. 

Comment below and tell me if you've tried any of this! I would love to know how it worked.

Much Love & Happy New Year's Eve! xo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

MAC Strength Collection "Absolute Power" Lipstick - A Review

When MAC first announced this collection, I knew I was going to be all over it. I've been looking for a great matte red lipstick for awhile now and this one seemed to fit everything I was looking for. The other lipsticks in this collection were gorgeous but I knew I wouldn't give them the proper wear that they deserved so I skipped them. MAC describes this color as a "rich red". It's not quite the bright snow white-esque lipstick that I was looking for but more so a very pink toned red. I love it none the less.

The Strength Collection is described as "Colour is a vehicle for women to flex their femininity, and MAC's new Strength Collection reflects this state of mind and style. It starts with dramatic eyes and lips pumped up with vivid colour to project power while cheeks are softly chiseled with natural tones. And, nailing it for overall presentation, MAC's high-gloss Nail Lacquer"

I had a bit of trouble tracking this lipstick down even though I bought it the night of release because there seemed to be a mix up on what locations this collection was actually shipped to. After much irritation, I finally walked away with my lipstick. My favorite part about this lipstick is the texture! Even though it's matte, it's very creamy and glides onto my lips with ease. Once applied, the color leaves a subtle sheen/gloss that lasts for just a little bit before it dries down to a true matte finish. Worn alone, with no lip primer or lip liner, this color lasted about 2-4 hours before it wore down and became a bit dull. The stain it left however, lasted for much much longer, until the next day in fact. When paired with MAC's Prep + Prime Lip and a little lip liner, the color stayed at full opacity from day to night with me having to re-apply nothing. I do like this lipstick and I'm happy that I purchased it but my search for the perfect red still continues.

This lipstick retails for $15.00//3g of product
This collection can be purchased here

Much love xo

Friday, December 28, 2012

MAC Prep + Prime Lip- A Review

Lovelies...I have found THE holy grail lip product...seriously...I'm wondering where this product has been all my life and why I'm JUST NOW finding out about it?! I'm talking about MAC's Prep + Prime lip. I had been wanting this product for a few months now and lucky me, I received it as a Christmas gift a few days ago. I must say, I am absolutely smitten with this lip product. As a girl who wears mostly matte lipsticks, this was a must have for me.

Let me start off by saying that there is a right and wrong way to use this product, so many people are saying that this is a "glorified lipbalm" when it is anything but. If you've tried this product before and thought it did nothing, I highly encourage you to have at it again! The right way to use this is simply, applying it and allowing it to sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute and letting it become tacky on your lips. It should have a glue stick like texture once tacky (terrible description right?). Doing this allows the product to form a proper barrier so it can grab onto your lip color and NOT. LET. GO. If you don't allow it to become tacky and just apply your lip color right after then you are defeating the purpose of this product. The balm is white in the tube but completely clear when applied. It has no taste and carries the familiar vanilla scent that MAC lip products are known for.

I honestly cannot express how much this impressed me. It made my lip color last the entire day and kept my lips moisturized and soft while doing it. Not once did I need to re-apply anything even after eating and drinking. My lipstick did not bleed, feather or budge in any way. Never have I been able to take a tissue and blot it on my lips with absolutely nothing coming off, until now. When I say that this product is an essential for me now, I really mean it. I can't see myself ever applying lip color without this again. The tiniest touch of lipstick came off while eating and drinking but other than that, it didn't budge and my lip color pretty much looked the same from the beginning of the day until the end. I've found that this does work the best with matte lipsticks, it works well with non-matte but more lip color came off when eating and drinking, it still did not feather or bleed though.

This product retails for $16.00//1.7g of product
This product can be purchased here

Much love xo

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Benefit Skincare Solutions Cleansers- A Review

Hi lovelies! Hope you all had a fantastic holiday! This is something that I've had on my review list for awhile and I just got around to it. I actually didn't know that Benefit even had a skincare line until I was sent the samples with an order that I placed online. I'm reviewing the Foamingly Clean Facial Wash and the Refined Finish Facial Polish. Let me say, I REALLY love these products and I will be purchasing both of these in the future.

I followed the steps and used the facial wash first. At first I thought I had been sent a dud packet because nothing would come out and then all of a sudden, the ENTIRE contents came out so I ended up using much more on my face than needed. These packages are good for at least 3 uses. This cleanser left my skin feeling so clean it was insane. Not a squeaky clean but more so a really deep, refreshing clean. Am I explaining this right? I also loved how the product was very thick, almost like icing so it felt like a night cream as well. I rubbed this all over my damp face and massaged it in, before I rinsed I let it sit for about a minute or so. It left my skin feeling moisturized and really good. This product retails for $21.

Next came the polish, I kind of compared this to the Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. This product, like the cleanser was very thick like a night cream and had plenty of exfoliating particles. I massaged this into my damp face for a few minutes and rinsed. It left my skin looking brighter and feeling wonderful. This product retails for $22.

Overall, I am SO glad that I got to try out these two. They made my skin feel amazing and left it feeling hydrated and clean. The smell for both products is really pleasant too! I look forward to purchasing these both in the future.

Much Love and Happy Holidays! xo

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I just want to take a moment and wish all of my lovelies a wonderful MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! I hope you are spending the day in warmth and with people that you care about! Save some dessert for me!

Photo is from Google Images

Much Love xo

Nexxus Keraphix Restorative Strength Conditioner- A Review

Hey lovelies! If you've been following my blog for awhile then you know that I have major issues with my hair because of my PCOS and finding the right routine and the right products is absolutely crucial. I first tried Nexxus brand products in my September 2012 Birchbox, I sampled packets of the Pro-Mend line, including shampoo, conditioner and split end binding leave in treatment. I really, really enjoyed these products so I put Nexxus on my buy list.

I visited Ulta a little while back with a new conditioner in mind, I passed my usual John Freida Frizz Ease and came right over to Nexxus. Unfortunately, they were all out of the Pro-Mend conditioner so I started reading the bottles and finally walked away with this one because it seemed like the best fit, even more so than the Pro-Mend. As far as first impressions go, there are immediately two things that I dislike about this product, number one is the price (youch to the wallet!) at $18.99, this is the most expensive of their conditioners. Luckily, I had a few coupons so that brought down the price a bit. My second dislike is the smell, it is not pleasant and it is VERY strong but I will say that neither of those points are a complete deal breaker for me as long as I love the product.

This conditioner is supposed to contain keratin amino acids, collagen, nutrients, antioxidants and UV protectors. Sounds amazing right? Well, I do like the conditioner but I don't think it's necessarily worth the price tag for me. My $6 John Freida works just as well for 1/3 of the price. So sadly I won't be re-purchasing. It did make my hair soft but I didn't notice any extra hydration. I did however notice, a reduced amount of breakage with my hair so that was a big plus. It's not that this conditioner is bad, it's just that as pricier product I think my expectations may have run a bit high. I might take another shot at the Nexxus brand again in the future, like the Pro-Mend for example but for right now, I'll use this up and then it's back to my trusty John Freida.

Much Love and Happy Holidays! xo

December Birchbox

Ello Ello lovelies, so sorry for the delay this month but to top off my Birchbox being just a little late, I was sent a completely different box than what was listed on my profile so that was a little odd. Has that ever happened to any of you before? Let me know! The theme for this month is "All Wrapped Up", because of that, our boxes arrived a little differently. Instead of the usual brown box, we received a cute wrapping paper style box.

Surprisingly, i'm actually HAPPY that my box was switched this month because the one that I was originally going to receive was SUCH a downer! Even though there are a couple items in this box that are a bust for me, I feel as though it's a much better fit. I received:
  • Thebalm Hot Mama Blush/Eyeshadow
  • Frownies Eye Gels
  • Nick Chavez Advanced Volume Shampoo
  • J.R Watkins Hand & Cuticle Salve
  • Emily's Dark Chocolate Mint Fortune Cookie
  • Rent The Runway $50 Coupon
My favorite product of this box is by far the hot mama! It is an absolutely GORGEOUS, pink coral shade and it complements my skin tone perfectly. Since I have a very medium skin tone, it's hard to find the right shade because they usually are either way too light or they blend so well into my skin that you can't even see them. I use this as an eyeshadow since I do not wear blush.

The eye gels were a nice surprise, I put mine into the refrigerator for about 5 minutes so they would be just a little cool. I like how refreshing they felt but as far as noticeable results, I really couldn't see anything but I can admit that it would be a little hard to see something after only a few uses. The texture was extremely odd, to the point of almost not wanting to use it so that took some getting used to.

I really disliked this shampoo. First and foremost, I absolutely hated the smell, it's very assertive and unpleasant. I honestly found myself wrinkling my nose the entire time. Secondly, it dried my hair out a bit. Not to the point of feeling like straw as some shampoos have but enough that I won't be using it again. Lastly, I noticed absolutely nothing in the form of volume. I won't totally blame that on shampoo because I do have naturally thick hair so if it added any volume, I didn't notice.

As for the J.R Watkins salve, as a whole, I've never been a fan of the J.R Watkins brand. In general I really don't like the scents and I find that the products that I've tried, really did nothing for me. This was by far my most disliked product though. Even though this product is a solid, once touched, it became an oil. I used this a few times and each time, there was almost no difference whatsoever. My cuticles were slightly moisturized but nothing that any hand lotion or body butter couldn't do so I definitely won't be purchasing. 

I have to be honest here, I was NOT looking forward to the fortune cookie because I usually despise mint flavored things but my GOODNESS, this cookie was DELICIOUS! I really enjoyed this cookie so much that i'm already planning to cash in my points to buy them as soon as they are in stock. It was perfectly chocolatey and not too much mint flavor. LOVED this!

Now that I've said all of the good points about this box, here comes my rant. I REALLY dislike when a clothing or limited size related product is included in any type of subscription box. There are so many sizes and shapes and heights and everything that it's very rude in my opinion to include something like that because if you aren't in the size range then you're pretty much getting cheated out of an item and it's not fair. Rent the Runway's service only goes up to a size 16 and as someone who is a size 24, well this is completely useless to me. I know, I know that in a subscription box there is ALWAYS going to be something that doesn't work for everyone but by including something that automatically excludes a certain group of people, that's just not right in my book. So, shame on you Birchbox. If you're going to include something like this, next time choose a company that caters to all sizes.

Overall, I like this box. At least all of the products I received are things that I will use except for the RTR promotion. My favorites were the fortune cookie and Hot Mama, both of which I will be purchasing!

Much love and Happy Holidays! xo

Friday, December 21, 2012


I'm extremely happy to announce the winner of my first ever giveaway! Many many congrats to KRISTINA!!! Thank you so, so much for being a reader of Dollface Beauty. I will be contacting you asap!

Also, a big thank you to Steph, who also entered the contest! I hope you continue to read my blog and I hope you stick around for more giveaways in the future! Thank you so much.

Happy Holidays and Much Love xo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sulfates, Parabens And All The Other Bad Stuff. YUCK!

So, over the years you may have heard people talking more and more about paraben this and sulfate that, especially when it comes to beauty or hair care products. These ingredients seem to be EVERYWHERE and now more and more companies are taking the initiative to release paraben and sulfate free products. You might see yourself asking though, first of all, what are parabens and sulfates and why are they so bad? What do they even do, and what is all the hub bub surrounding them? Well, let's find out.

You hear about sulfates mostly revolved around hair care but sulfates can be in any cleansing type product. These products usually contain a mixture of multiple sulfates and not just one. So, what are they? Sulfates are the ingredient that make products lather up. Those awesomely thick, rich, wonderful bubbles that we all love so much? Sulfates. This is also the ingredient that leaves that squeaky clean feeling because it strips away the dirt, grease and residue, this is why you hear about them mostly in shampoos. The top reason that this ingredient is frowned upon is because it can very easily be too harsh, especially for sensitive skin. It can also leave your hair and skin feeling extremely dried out. There have also been studies showing that sulfates can be harmful to both you and the environment so that's definitely something to consider as well. If you don't want this stuff around you, try looking for more natural or organic brands which in honesty, this is a good recommendation for anyone because even if you don't have an issue with sulfates, all natural and chemical free seems to be the best route for anyone. While you may miss your rich lather, you'll probably get more satisfaction from knowing that you're taking the healthier route.

Now let's tackle parabens, what are they? Parabens are an extremely common cosmetic ingredient, this is because they are what keep our makeup, deodorant and other personal products preserved. They stop gross bacteria and any other microbe that you can think of from growing on your products. There has been significant research that parabens might even be the leading cause of different cancers in both men and women. Although the former has not yet been confirmed, multiple tests have shown that parabens were found in cancerous cells. Scary right? So what do you do to get past parabens? Well, just like sulfates, the only sure fire way to avoid them is to purchase products that boast the paraben free label. Even though research is still be conducted everyday, who wants to take the chance?

As always, I encourage all of you to do your own research and make your own decision on what type of products that you feel comfortable using. Also, i'm interested to know. What is your stance on parabens and sulfates? Will you continue to use them? Comment below.

Much Love and Happy Holidays xo

FLO Perfume Atomizer- A Review

Sweet babycakes, I am so excited! I have been dying for a perfume atomizer for quite awhile now but I never got around to it. I had my eye on the Travalo brand but I could never seem to track one down in stores and I didn't want to pay shipping for one item. Once I found out that Ulta sold this brand, I was ALL over it! This nifty little thing is by the brand Flo and retails for $10. Now, right out of the starting gate there is a huge difference between this and the Travalo brand and that is in how the perfume, goes from bottle to atomizer. While the Travalo allows you to take the cap off of your perfume, stick the Travalo on in the caps place and spray the perfume into the atomizer that way, the Flo brand simply has you to spray or pour whatever perfume or body spray into it so that you aren't limited or restricted in any way. Even though this method takes some getting used to and might be a little messy at first, I think that this method is better because with the Travalo way, you run the risk of breaking the perfume cap while trying to remove it, if you have a pour style bottle this would be incompatible or what if your perfume cap simply isn't removable? Either way, they are both good brands and products and it really all falls down to personal preference.

The Flo is incredibly easy to use, even on my first try I had no spilling or leaking whatsoever. Just be sure to have everything properly aligned and it works like a dream and takes less than five minutes. I sprayed about forty sprays and my atomizer still wasn't quite full so about fifty or maybe even sixty sprays should completely fill it up. This atomizer is also airline safe and approved.

My only dislike is that the top cap is very hard to get off but I guess that's also a good thing because at least I know that it's secure and won't come off in my purse. It is also a little difficult to look and tell how much perfume is inside but, after awhile I kind of got the hang of being able to tell.

All in all, I really like this product and I will definitely be purchasing at least one more in the future.

You can check out the brand here
Or purchase from Ulta here

Much Love and Happy Holidays! xo

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's A Giveaway!!! CLOSED

Ello Ello lovelies!! I am beyond excited to announce my first ever giveaway! It's been almost a year since Dollface Beauty first started and I've definitely come a long way. This blog has grown and explored. I've found awesome products and some...well some haven't been so good and you lovely, lovely readers have been here to witness it all.

I decided to do this giveaway around holiday time rather than in January because, let's face it. Who doesn't want an extra, awesome thing under the tree? I love you all and I just want to thank you for being here and sticking with me throughout everything. I wish that I could give you all something special from the heart but for right now, there shall only be one winner. Okay, my emmy speech is done!

The rules for this giveaway are as follows:
  • You must follow Dollface Beauty either publicly or via email to enter this giveaway. 
  • This is open internationally
  • This giveaway will be open for 10 days! I will announce the winner first thing December 21st
  • Please leave your email along with your comment so that I can contact you if you win
  • To enter the contest you must leave one comment below telling me which Dollface Beauty blog post is your favorite and also, what are you most looking forward to this holiday season? 
And finally, the prize for this giveaway will be a MYSTERY BAG filled with some of my favorite products!! Good luck to everyone who enters and Happy Holidays!!!

Much love xo

UPDATE: This giveaway is now CLOSED! Thank you to everyone who entered. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Favorite Product Of The Month! November

Hey lovelies! I thought I would start a new "series" on my blog. At the end of every month I will be talking about and reviewing my favorite beauty product for that month. My pick for November would have to be my Aroma Workshop Shea Butter Body Cream.

Now that the cold weather is upon us (i'm just waiting for snow!) I don't know about you, but this weather has been sucking all of the moisture out of my skin, especially my hands. I've been using this pretty much every single day now and I absolutely adore it. My skin feels so soft and supple after I use this, it gives my skin the perfect amount of moisture without being too heavy and thankfully leaving no greasy residue behind, if you know one thing about me it's that I despise products that leave residues behind. A little goes a long way with this cream, it's very thick and rich yet light enough that it sinks into the skin immediately. This product features 10% shea butter, glycerin, beeswax, fractionated coconut oil and jojoba oil.

What I love most about this is that the scent is completely customizable or you can leave it unscented if you prefer. I chose to leave mine unscented this time around but in the future I might just have to get the Italian Blood Orange scent, I have this scent in a glycerin soap from the same shop and the smell is just, all kinds of amazing.

Unfortunately, for you lovelies outside of the Chicago area, this product can only be purchased online here.  I encourage you to check out the shop, they have so many different products and pretty much every scent available under the sun.

So, this is the product that i'm loving now but what's yours? Comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Much love & Happy Holidays! xo

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Smashbox 3 PC Bestseller Mini's (Ulta Exclusive Gift)

Ulta, must you keep me coming back with your awesome gifts? We all love freebies right? Well check this one out, because i'm really loving this promo lovelies. I placed a holiday order with and in addition to receiving a nifty little beauty bag full of goodies, I received this as well. It's free with any $35 Smashbox purchase and I must say amazing. It comes with a makeup bag and includes samples of photofinish primer, lip enhancing gloss (sheer color version) and full exposure mascara. The samples are tiny but are still pretty good size and they are absolutely perfect for throwing in my makeup bag for class or any other sort of travel. This is a great way to try a few different products with enough uses to make a final decision about purchasing. There's nothing I hate more than a single use sample because it's almost impossible to form a solid opinion about it, especially with a high end brand item. No one wants to spend $30+ on something they may or may not end up loving.

 Photofinish and I are old friends. this was the first makeup primer that I ever used before I moved onto the NYX Shine Killer & Pore Filler versions. Even though i'm well acquainted with this product, i'm glad to see it and I will be sticking it in my on the go makeup bag. The size is 0.25 oz.

Shimmery lip products are not something that I normally go for, i'm a matte lip kind of girl but, I will say I've really been enjoying this lip gloss and it is absolutely chock-full of shimmer ( is) When used sparingly though, it creates a nice little sheen to my lips. I really like that it's non-sticky and pretty long lasting, I only use a couple of swipes and it stays on for hours. I can't see myself purchasing though only because gloss is something that I just don't use enough to buy, especially a high end one. The color I received was "Radiant". The size is 0.14 oz.

I had high hopes for this mascara but it did absolutely nothing for my lashes and when I say nothing, I mean it. My lashes were one micro step up from being completely natural. It separated my lashes nicely and I didn't have any clumps or flaking but, I suspect the reason for that is no matter how much I applied, the mascara just would not build up. Somehow, the fifth coat looked just like the first. The size is 0.14 oz.

Even though the mascara was a dud for me, i'm still happy about everything else. While they could have easily packaged the samples in a plastic baggie, they went the extra mile and included an actual makeup bag and since it's a freebie, you can't beat it. Thanks Smashbox & Ulta!

You can check out the bag and add it to your cart here, i'm sure quantities are limited so snatch yours up soon. Ulta stores have a nasty habit of not having their promo gifts in stock or having so few that they run out, if you're looking to redeem this offer in stores, I suggest calling ahead and making sure that they have it.

If you recently placed a qualifying order but didn't receive this, print out your receipt, call your local Ulta and explain the situation. You should be able to go and pick it up. This also applies to any other promo or free gift item, provided that it is not an online exclusive and is in stock.

Update: This promo is no longer available

Much love and Happy Holidays xo

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Birchbox

I am so sorry for the delay lovelies! Between work and catching a mean flu all over again, I've just been swamped. I missed you all though! Now onto my November Birchbox review, I received mine quite late last month, considering I usually receive them anywhere from the 10-15. I never did receive a shipping email but much to my surprise and delight, my box just showed up one day. After seeing all of the disappointment, I honestly didn't have high expectations. I'm glad though, once again BB came through and I was proved wrong.

 Tis the season of giving and thanks, that was the Birchbox theme for this month. They've already opened up the holiday shop for this year and so far things have been looking up for BB despite the hurricane Sandy tragedy. This month, BB made it well known that there would be shipping delays because of the recent events. Most people received their boxes by the 10th but a few, like me in fact received there's much, much later. I'm not going to complain though because I commend Birchbox for coming through after everything that happened, so many kudos to their staff.

Despite the BB staff giving us their best efforts this month, it was not without incident. From spilled body oils to actually including a men's cologne sample in some boxes this month, quite a few customers were less than satisfied, and I can't say that I blame them. It honestly irks me that BB would include a male item in some boxes (we have Birchbox Man for that!) but what followed that was a blatant plug for new BB Man subscribers covered up by a "holiday giving" scheme. I know, I know that BB is in fact a business and needs to make money but to take our subscription box that we pay for and swap out one of our samples for a male one so we can "give" it to a guy friend so that in turn he can hopefully sign up for BB Man is a new low. Shame on you Birchbox.

All in all though, I am absolutely thrilled with the box that I received. With the exception of the cupcake bath bomb that was sent to a few subscribers, I received everything that I had been eyeing in other boxes, so this was DEFINITELY a great month for me:

  • Oscar Blandi Texture & Volume Spray
  • ModelCO Fiber LashXtend Mascara
  • Viva La Juicy "La Fleur" Perfume
  • One Love Organics Aromatic Body Serum "Rose"
  • Cranberry Soyjoy Bar
  • Give Pillowbox
  • Chromatic Gallerie $15 Coupon

I enjoyed everything but the CG coupon, in all honesty it's completely useless to me. If anyone would like the code I would be more than happy to give it to you. Just contact me via email or twitter. It expires 12/31.

I was DYING for this mascara but for me, it fell a little flat. The formula is VERY and I mean VERY dry. So much that I though the product may have been expired until others said the same thing. Despite that, I do like the mascara and I will use it, but as far as purchasing it's a definite no. Even with the lash fibers, I noticed no difference between this and my regular Maybelline mascaras. Be careful as well because quite a few fibers got into my eyes (OUCH) and it was NOT pleasant. 

The One Love Serum was nice, it absorbs into the skin quickly and the rose scent is light. Which I definitely prefer since i'm not that crazy about rose scents, they always seem a little musky to me. I didn't really notice any added moisture but it did leave my skin feeling soft and silky.

I really wanted to love the "La Fleur" perfume since I love Viva La Juicy but this one just didn't do it for me. The perfume by itself smells really good but once on me it smelled like pure watermelon. 

The stand out item for me was without a doubt the Oscar Blandi spray, I absolutely LOVE this product and I will definitely be purchasing the large size. I have always hated the smell of hairspray, even more so I've always hated how the smell lingers. With this, I don't have that, the product smells absolutely amazing and smells more like hair perfume than anything else. It also held my hairstyle in place but didn't make it crunchy or sticky and did not weigh my hair down.

 As much as I thought that I was going to despise the Soyjoy bar, it was actually very good and that speaks volumes for me because cranberry has always been something that I've never enjoyed. If this was available in a plain flavor or maybe even chocolate chip, it would probably be amazing. Get on it Soyjoy!

All in all, this was a great box for me and now I have my eyes on December! Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you are somewhere warm with the people you love.