April Birchbox – Magic Inside

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Just one item led me to pick this month’s curated box. It was that new lipstick – Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Double the Lip in “Lusty Rose”. Mostly because I was skeptical – it’s just a two tone lipstick. It took some maneuvering to get it on my lips, while keeping the dark portion to the lip line. I repeatedly kept asking my husband if my lips looked bigger, fuller, plumper. Apparently, they looked the same. The lipstick is just plain old lipstick and didn’t make them look any different – just pink. I was correct to be skeptical. Boo.

Also in this month’s “Magic Inside” curated box: TOCCA Emelia Eau de Parfum (strong geranium scent, but not geriatric); Vasanti BrightenUp! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer; Bumble and bumble. Don’t Blow It (gives volume to air dried hair – genius!); and derma e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask (I love me some charcoal masks).

Great box this month, even if the lipstick doesn’t live up to the hype.

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

April Ipsy Bag – Sideshow

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I literally SQUEALED when I opened this month’s ipsy bag and saw the Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angle Blush Brush. Who didn’t have EVERYTHING Lisa Frank back in the 80s? So psyched to get a pre-release from this new collection!

Also in this month’s “Sideshow” bag”: H2O+ Beauty Keep It Fresh Cleanser (I am loving getting to try so many new cleansers); Luseta Beauty Volume Reviving Dry Shampoo in “Potpourri”; defy & Inspire Wear Resistant Nail Lacquer in “Paradise Island”; and ColourPop Cosmetics Crème Gel Pencil in “Show Me”vivid true copper (I was assuming this would be blue based on the color of the box, but I was wrong).

Is it me, or are ipsy bags getting WAY better?

If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my link.

Target Beauty Boxes – April 2017

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I skipped last month, but April’s boxes were so nice, I had to snag them both.

The box on the left is the “regular” box, which includes: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser (fancy); Sally Hansen Double-Duty Base & Top Coat (it’s not quick dry, so I doubt I’ll use it for anything but a base coat); HASK Argan Oil Repairing Deep Conditioner; Dr Teals Lavender Foaming Bath (I don’t have a bathtun!); eb5 Facial Cleanser (Yeah, more cleanser!); Rimmel Colour Precise White Eyeliner (this has me both excited AND scared – what crazy looks can I do with this?); and Banana Boat Dry Balance SPF 50 (ooooooh, matte sun protection).

The box on the right is the “natural”box, which includes: SheaMoisture Kukui Nut Facial Cream Cleanser + Face & Neck Cream; Juice Organics Deluxe-Size Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner; Burt’s Bees White Tea Extract Facial Cleansing Towelettes (I hope these don’t burn like the other ones do); Hello Extra Whitening Pure Mint Flouride Toothpaste; Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask (So excited to try this); ACURE Pore Clarifying Red Clay Scrub; and Raw Sugar Lemon Sugar Body Wash.

Wow, both boxes are amazing!

Each box was $7 and came with a $3 off $15 coupon. 5% off with my Red Card, too!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty – Day 14

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So proud…I made it all the way to Day 14 of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty before placing an order!

I had to pull the trigger on trying It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF50+ in “Light” for half price ($17.50 instead of $35). I’m always on the hunt for the perfect powder foundation. Trying it for the first time this morning, I wasn’t disappointed. This stuff is THICK. I used the included sponge for the first application, over only moisturizer – no primer – and it is THICK. Thick, but not as cakey as MAC Studio Fix. It covers almost as much as a liquid foundation, so I switched to my usual kabuki to buff it out evenly. I’m going to try over a few different primers next – it tended to settle into my nose pores, so I’m thinking that’s the only place I’ll really need it. A good buy!

I also took advantage of an NYX BOGO half sale – I got the Cosmic Metals and Lid Lingerie Shadow palettes (normally $9.99 each). They are like matte/shimmer twins. I wore Lid Lingerie today without primer. Note to self: NYX shadows ALWAYS needs primer. The colors are  nice though.

I also grabbed another Ulta Ultra Slim Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown” ($10) – it is my new go to. Also, it put me over the threshold to get $5 off my order. For free samples, I got an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (I have like 6 of these) and Smashbox Photo finish Foundation Primer (I have like 16 of these). They also threw in a huge sample pouch of DevaCurl Buildup Buster…but I don’t have curls or use a lot of product in my hair.

Free shipping since I got a Beauty Steal, so I didn’t have to hit the $50 threshold!

March Birchbox – Pretty Mighty

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Leave it to Tracy Flick to deliver a perfectly color-coordinated Birchbox. March’s “Pretty Mighty” box was curated by Reese Witherspoon and her “lifestyle brand” Draper James. I have no idea what a “lifestyle brand” is – maybe it’s her “goop”?

In any case, she did a great job on this month’s box. For my sample choice, I chose Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I got it in last March’s Birchbox and used it right up. Also in the box: Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Bronzer (why???); Coastal Scents Revealed Smoky Eye Shadow Quad (2 tiny eyeshadow samples from the palette, but love the rose gold and taupe); Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water (I am so confused about all this “special water” I’ve been getting – how does “hydrogen mineral water” remove makeup when regular water doesn’t?); and Davines Oi All in One Milk, plus samples of Davines Oi Shampoo and Conditioner (man, I wish I could afford full sizes of Davines).

Thanks, Reese!

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Sephora Play! March 2017 – The Gleam Team

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Strangely enough, I received my Sephora Play before my ipsy and Birchbox this month…so I won’t be lagging a month behind for once.

We’re back to a white cotton bag this month. I still haven’t figured out what to do with all these pouches. Maybe use them for panties and socks when I travel?

I was drawn to try Chloe Fleur de Parfum immediately – I love Rose de Chloe so much. It’s not bad – there are rose notes, but they’re buried under the lemon verbena. Unfortunately, it gave me a headache within 90 seconds of a light spray on my arm. Boo!

Also in this month’s “The Gleam Team” box: GlamGlow GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer (I can’t get enough GlamGlow); Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in “Golden Pink” (weird product); Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter (another weird one); Living proof Full Dry Volume Blast (I think I’ve gotten every single Living Proof product available over the past several months); and Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm (another confusing product – instructions say it can be used as a primer or a finishing balm – wot?).

Very weird products this month – and NO lip products. Boo!

If you haven’t signed up yet, JUST DO IT. This is by far the best subscription box I get every month. Sephora Play is only $10/month. You can sign up at sephora.com/play.

Influenster Vox Box – Rosy Vox Box

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Ooooooh! I finally qualified for a good vox box from Influenster. (I received one with coupons for gluten free stuff a few months ago. No. Thank. You.)

I was most excited to try the two Vera Wang Embrace fragrances in the box. Rose Buds and Vanilla is my jam. It’s a very mature rose scent, reminiscent of Cartier Goutte de Rose. I likely will buy it when I can find it in a store (not at Ulta or Sephora yet – I checked. The other scent is Marigold and Gardenia, also very mature…but not in a good way. I wore it all day yesterday –  that powdery gardenia scent is not for me.

Also in the box: Fancy Feet Ball of Foot Cushions (I’ve pretty much given up on heels, but these might make them more comfortable for me…and an excuse to go shopping); Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant (I’ve never felt like I am particularly stinky or sweaty, but a good deodorant nonetheless); Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray (I have sooooo many sea salt sprays, but they work so well to add a wave with a simple hair twist); and Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals (I admit, I don’t use hand sanitizer if I can help it – it makes my knuckles bleed…but I’ll be keeping it in the car for the kids).

Good job Influenster – I’ll likely be buying a full size of at least one product in the box…

As always, products were received complimentary for review purposes. Want some free stuff? Check out Influenster for yourself…

Ciao Renaissance

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I may have made a grave mistake. Ulta sent me a 20% off coupon and I used it to try out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($42)…and it’s one of the most beautiful palettes I own. The quality is outstanding – I’ve never had shadows that blend so well, and WITHOUT primer. The colors meld together seamlessly and they complement each other perfectly. I don’t want to use any other eye shadow ever again.

Okay, I may have exaggerated on that last bit…but it seriously might be one of the very best formulas out there. Luckily, none of the previous ABH palettes are available to buy retail – or I’d be buying them all right now. That was my mistake – another brand to be in love with. I should’ve known there’s a reason all the Social Media Influencers (Manny, Jeffree, Skelotim, NikkieTutorials) keep coming back to this palette.

I’m done gushing…about eye shadow. I’m also in love with the new scent I discovered in the Ulta flyer this month. I also smell the scented flaps, gag, and then forget about the scents…but not with Vince Camuto Ciao. It smells so good, that I kept the scent card in my purse, so I could re-smell it. I don’t usually like sickkly sweet scents, but there is something about Ciao. As soon as I got the coupon, I went ahead and ordered the rollerball ($22) . My only complaint is that the scent doesn’t seem to last on me past a few hours. Sigh.

In my sample pack, I got Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer in “White” and “Smoke” (Ooooh, I’ve never tried dark primer), and ogx Bamboo Fiber-full Shampoo & Conditioner. I also got a few extra free samples – Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.

This order made me so, so happy!

February Birchbox – Lip Love

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“Lip Love” – huh, huh, huh, uh. I can’t even make a joke – I feel too much like Beavis & Butthead.

February is supposed to be a romantic month, so why not have a lip-centered box? Inside Birchbox’s “Lip Love” February box: Acure Organics Purifying Fruit Peel (yes, please); Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm; Manna Kadar Cosmetics Lip Locked Stain in “Rosette” (this month’s sample choice); Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray (not sure if I have enough hair left to use this); and Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel for Body (I’ve gotten the face version before, not sure how much of my body this peel will cover?).

All in all, a pretty decent box – I’ll likely use all of the products except the Wave Spray.

If you would like to try Birchbox, click on my referral link – https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5453f – I’ll get 50 points if you join.

Target Beauty Box – February 2017

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I’m not exaggerating when I say that this might be one of the best Target Beauty Boxes that I’ve ever received. Lots of goodies in this $10 box.

Let’s see what we’ve got…Soap and Glory Face Soap & Clarity Face Wash (been wanting to try this brand); Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Repair Shampoo & Conditioner (Oooohhh, from Schwarzkopf, makers of my favorite shampoo/conditioner from back in the day – Citre Shine…wish they still made it); Raw Sugar Coconut & Mango Body Wash; W3ll People Expressionist Mascara; Sun Bum Sunless Self-Tanning Towelette (the only product that’s a NOPE); Masque Bar Hydrating Face Mask; and L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks – 3 masks, one with red algae, one with eucalyptus and one with charcoal (I am most hyped about these masks).

Except for that tanning wipe, I’ll be sampling all of these within the next week or two!

I even already used the $3 off $15 coupon! I picked up some Sea Breeze, a new shower cap and mustache wax (don’t judge – PCOS is a bitch). I saved my 5% with my Red Card.