Friday, October 31, 2014

Julep Trick or Treat Mystery Box

Happy Halloween, friends! I'm feeling all kinds of festive and happy today. I took the day off from work to give myself some much needed R&R and blogging catch up time (complete with an AMAZING bubble bath with my Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar, of course). One of the things on my to-do list was to share with all of you the Julep Trick or Treat Mystery box I ordered at the beginning of the month. As you may have seen, I signed up for Julep's Maven subscription, and I decided to add this fun surprise on to my first order. It cost $24.99 and promised over $125 worth of products. Even though I had heard mixed reviews about the quality of Julep's last mystery box, I decided I would take a risk and hit the "order" button. With that type of value, and my not having a ton of Julep products at home I figured...why not?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream & Shadow Softies

This year has been all about exploring aisles of my local drugstores for new and interesting products to try. Sometimes I stumble upon amazing and affordable dupes for some of my favorite high end products. Other times I'm underwhelmed with what I try. While Almay is brand that I've known about for over a decade, this the first time I'm adding their products to my beauty stash. Geared toward sensitive skin I was curious to see how these gentle formulas performed.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Julep Maven Welcome Box

As a self proclaimed nail polish junkie, it's kind of surprising that it's taken me this long to become a Julep Maven. Prior to now I've owned approximately 1 Julep polish (compliments of this Limited Edition Birchbox from last year) in a bright cherry red color. I loved the formula, but I never ended up biting the bullet and splurging on other shades. I did, however, subscribe to emails from the website, just to keep myself in the loop with sales and other discounts that might be going on.

Of course, when the word was spread about the Julep Trick or Treat Mystery box, my interest was piqued. I love all things Halloween, and I had just recently purged my nail polish collection. While I was hemming and hawing over whether or not to splurge and buy it, I decided to revisit the whole Maven subscription idea. With a code to get your first box free, and free shipping on my order (since I did, in fact, order the mystery box after all) I decided to take a chance and give Maven a try.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Holiday 2014 Wish List - Eye & Cheek Palettes

With October coming to a close, the holiday season seems to be right around the corner. Maybe it's just me, but it's never too early to start making those Christmas lists, or to stash away gifts for friends and family. If you or someone you know is a makeup junkie, you should check out these 10 amazing palettes for eyes and cheeks. They'll surely be some of the showstoppers for the holidays! And with many of them being limited edition, you'll want to make sure you grab them quick before they're gone forever!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Goulishly Good Bath Time Treats From LUSH

It's hard to believe that Halloween is only a week away! Aside from stockpiling candy and practicing my favorite spooky makeup looks, one of my favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit is by jumping in the tub with a Halloween themed LUSH bath bomb or bubble bar. Every year brings a new collection of seasonal goodies that I can't wait to get my hands on. Let me show you what treats (and hopefully not tricks) I took home with me!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea Time - Harney & Sons Paris

It is a gross, gray, miserable kind of day. The wind is howling outside, and I am curled up on the couch in my pjs, fighting off a nasty cold. To help put my sniffles and aches at ease, I made myself a nice big old pot of Harney & Sons Paris tea. I actually came across this tea back in the springtime when my mom and I had gone on a weekend retreat to The Emerson Resort and Spa. In between spa treatments, I found myself wrapped up in a fluffy bathrobe, admiring the mountain scenery, and sipping a cup of this delicious tea. By the end of our stay I was so addicted that I couldn't resist buying a tin from the gift shop to take home with me. Now it's my special treat for those times where I need a little mental reminder to relax.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birchbox October 2014

It's only Tuesday, but it's already been one of those weeks.

Yesterday was the Monday of all Mondays. I overslept. The woman in front of me at Dunkin' Donuts ordered a million things, and after a cash versus card miscommunication at the register, had to be rung up twice. I hit construction on the way to work (because I wasn't late enough, apparently). Work itself was crazy, and with my hormones being all in flux a la that time of the month I had zero emotional resources to deal with people and their general unpleasantness. I tried to relax when I got home - spent some time catching up on my Bloglovin' feed, had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (because I'm an adult), took a nice soak in the tub, and slipped into some comfy pjs. But all the stress must have gotten to me, because my throat became increasingly angry throughout the night, and lo and behold I woke up this morning in full-on cold mode.

10 very long hours later I am more than thankful to be snuggled up at home on my couch. I'm definitely a homebody even on a good day, but when I'm sick there is nothing I want more than sweatpants, a cup of tea, and a big fluffy blanket. Even though I'm a bit under the weather, my current state of cold induced coziness is perfectly fitting for talking about my October Birchbox. This month's theme is Fanfare, paying homage to the Netflix binge watcher in all of us, and encouraging subscribers to share their favorite books, shows, and movies. And what better time to catch up on your favorite forms of entertainment than on a sick day (or night)? There might be some catch-up happening with my DVR later this evening, but for now it's time to show you what products I'll be playing with this month!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Everyday Autumn Makeup and a Few Thoughts on the Season

I had a bit of a revelation the other day. It's been a good 5 years since I've graduated from college, and all this time I've spent in the real world has made me realize how much of my life previously revolved around the school schedule. The passing of seasons was always about semesters, exams, vacations and the like. But now time flows on from January to October with very little changing in my day to day routine. Without my normal academic calendar to anchor my life to I think the first couple of years post college were a bit of a blur. It's a bit weird to think about, but in that time I think I stopped noticing the seasons. Or well, perhaps notice isn't the right word. Appreciating might be more fitting. In the past two years, though, since I've bought my condo and started blogging, I've finally started to redefine the special nuances of each season that comes and goes.

Now that fall is well underway I find myself appreciating all sorts of little things - wearing my boots at every opportunity, going apple picking, sipping pumpkin coffee in the morning, watching the leaves turn and change from week to week. It's not that any of these things are new to me, but I guess, with everything else in life moving along in a constant, predictable way, I look forward to things like putting out my Halloween decorations.

It should be no surprise then, to hear that I've totally revamped my makeup routine for autumn. The BB and CC creams of summertime are back in storage, along with an assortment of coral lipsticks and blushes to make room for berries, neutrals, and all things matte.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Caudalie - A First Look and Review

After over a year of beauty blogging, I've come to realize that there is just SO MUCH out there to try. And of course you want to get your hands on all of it, but money and time tend to be pretty heavy limiting factors. Caudalie is one of those brands that I've known about for ages, but has always been a little too far out of my price range for me to splurge on. As with other prestige brands, I always keep an eye out for sales, coupons, and other deals so that I can maybe snag a luxe product on my drugstore budget. And sure enough, my patience and persistence paid off. I was able to snag this set of three full-sized Caudalie products at a crazy discount during Sephora's End of Summer Sale. I was excited, to say the very least. Sadly, it looks like that set was on sale because they were discontinuing it, so it's no longer available for purchase. However, each of these products is still available individually as part of their regular skincare lineup.

Regardless, I can finally say that I've been able to experience Caudalie skincare. What did I think about this long raved about beauty brand? Were any of these products amazing enough to re-purchase? Here's  an in-depth look at my first impression.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

9 Natural Beauty Brands You Should Be Trying

As a self-proclaimed beauty junkie I've tried A LOT of different products over the years. While there are a lot of things I consider when writing a review (packaging, performance, and cost, to name a few) I've been more conscious than ever about what is on the ingredients list. So many companies opt to use potentially harmful chemicals and substances in their products to lower their manufacturing costs. As someone who cares about what I'm putting on and into my body I've started to gravitate toward natural and organic beauty brands that offer quality products that I can feel good about using. Here's a quick look at 9 of my favorite companies and some of the products I've tried.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall 2014 Drugstore Beauty Haul

Retail therapy. It's most certainly my favorite form.

It seems I've done quite a bit of it in the past month. Arguably I needed it (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). After several doctor's appointments and a round of allergy testing (57 needle pokes…was not pleasant) I treated myself to a few new goodies. On a related side note, I was able to score all of this stuff for ridiculous prices, thanks to some shopping know-how. I've had plans to write a post about all of my money saving secrets for what seems like a good six months now. This is my public promise to all of you that it will happen.

ANYWAY. Fall. Beauty products. Back to that! I've hit up a little bit of everything in my rounds at Target and CVS, from haircare, to skincare, and makeup. Let me show you a closer look.

Birchbox Book Club September 2014 - Big Little Lies

I don't know about you, but I love curling up with a good book. Sometimes you just need to escape from your own life and problems and get caught up in someone else's. When Birchbox started a book club earlier this year I was understandably excited. While everyone seems to be addicted to binge watching TV on Netflix (and yeah, I'm guilty of that too) I think it's awesome that the company is supporting the idea that people should disconnect from the world of technology for a while and pick up a book. While I had been on a bit of a blog hiatus over the spring and summer I had missed out on their first few selections. Once I made my return, though, I was all in. I was even fortunate enough to be one of the lucky Birchbloggers who won a copy of their September Book Club pick, Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies. It's been quite a while since I've read something other than a classic (or even that's been written in this century), so I couldn't wait to delve into something a little more fun and a little less serious.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

September 2014 Glambag

Good morning, friends! I know I've been quiet in the past couple of weeks, but mainly it's because I've been spending the majority of my free time lately with my nose in a book. As much as I love blogging, I also love reading, and every once in a while I need some time away from my laptop and to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of internet life. You can also blame the Birchbox Book Club, because their September book, Big Little Lies, was particularly enthralling. My hope is to write up a review this weekend!

But anyway, it's about time that I get back to business (the most fun kind of business, of course) and round up the last of my unfinished September posts. First on my list is to give you the run down on my Glambag from last month. Take a look!