Beautiful Lagoon

A site about feeling beautiful

Birchbox + Gossip Girl April 15, 2012

Filed under: General — slagoon @ 1:14 pm
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You have probably already heard, but Birchbox is pairing up with Gossip Girl for the May Box. Everyone, including new subscribers will get a box that is inspired by Gossip Girl.  Now I’ve never actually watched an episode of Gossip girl but I have seen some beautiful hair and makeup from photos of the show.  Apparently there will also be clues included in the box about their season finale to drive people to watch it – which to me spells out that the boxes should be IN HAND before the finale which is May 14th.

www.birchbox.com/gossipgirl.

From the Birchbox PR statement:

The Gossip Girl Birchbox will contain chic beauty products inspired by Manhattan’s poshest social set, chosen in consultation with the series’ department head for makeup, Amy Tagliamonti, and department head for hair, Jennifer Johnson.

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited in spite of my lack of fandom.

FTC Disclosure: This information was sent to me by BirchBox PR. I am not affiliated with BirchBox nor was I compensated by them for this post. I only thought this might be of interest to my readers. If you have any concerns regarding my affiliations or what this means, please visit my Disclosure Policy page.

 

April BirchBox – Initial Impressions April 14, 2012

Filed under: Haircare,Makup,Skincare — slagoon @ 8:15 pm
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Ug, Box 7, I was really hoping to not get washing machine detergent.  I use Tide from Costco – it is economical and does a good job of cleaning – I have no interest in trying anything new for clothes washing.  Anyway I guess I just spoiled one of the items for you. Sorry.  This month’s box is intended to be “down to earth” themed. So what all came in the box you ask?
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Check it out after the break…
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My March BirchBox – Wrap Up April 11, 2012

Filed under: General,Haircare,Skincare — slagoon @ 12:21 pm
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I’ve had a chance to use and review all of the products from my March boxes and decide on how much I liked them. So now it is time to do my box wrap up.

In case you don’t remember, here is a summary of the Awesomeness level:

Box Awesomeness Level Review (AL)

  • 5 points for an item that surpasses everything else I’ve tried and becomes my #1 choice for what role it fulfills
  • 4 points for an item that becomes added to my permanent collection of cosmetics and I will repurchase
  • 3 points for an item that joins my “I might buy this again” list
  • 2 points for an item I finished or will finish the entire sample of but in the end decided not to re-purchase
  • 1 point for an item that I tried and immediately threw out/gave away
  • 0 points if the item was a duplicate of something from a previous bag/box/kit that only scored a 1 in that box – meaning I knew enough to not even bother with trying it.
  • Don’t forget that I subtract 1/2 point for samples that can only be used 2 or fewer times.
I’ll start with the standard box, then the Teen Vogue box and then will compare the two.

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Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens – Review April 10, 2012

Filed under: Skincare — slagoon @ 9:08 am
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Today I bring you the final product from my two March Birchboxes, the Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens. I didn’t save it for last because it was the best, but because I never really had reason to sample it. I just don’t get much oil on my face during the day. My BB cream really controls my oil levels throughout the day, and the dewey look is in so the little oil it doesn’t control still looks ok.

So what sets these apart from every other blotting paper? Well, they are made from natural fibers from the abaca tree. Then these sheets are infused with green tea, this is naturally full of antioxidants and is good for your skin.

Today I went out for a medical massage and the lady ended up thinking she’d do a little face massage at the same time. I’m laying there thinking “gaaaah, I just did my makeup 2 hours ago, get your oily hands off my face.” Yep, she totally messed up my makeup and left loads of massage oil all over my face. Bugger! But it did leave me with lots of oil to remove, so I figured now was as good a time as any to try the blotting paper.

I pressed the paper to my forehead and nose and up came the oil. The papers worked just as advertised.  When I was younger I had major oil problems so I used the clean and clear blotting papers. From my memory of those I’d say that the Boscia worked just as well, but I don’t think much better.  It is greener, both literally and in the carbon footprint meaning.

Anyway if blotting papers are your thing these are as nice as any.

Will I buy more? I doubt I’ll need to for a very long time, but if I felt the need for more, and it was convenient I’d get them again.

Will I finish the sample? I’ll keep using them until I either run out or lose them.

Here’s the breakdown:

Sample Size 25 sheets
Full Size 100 sheets
Full Size Price $10.00
Sample Value $2.50

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the box. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

Kérastase Elixir Ultime – Review April 7, 2012

Filed under: Haircare,Review — slagoon @ 9:57 am
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Today I bring you the Kérastase Elixir Ultime that I received in my March Teen Vogue Birchbox.  This is a hair oil that is intended to leave your hair shiny and manageable. It can be used as a leave in conditioner or it can be used before shampooing as a hair treatment.

I’ve tested it as a leave in conditioner for after my hair has been washed. I have tried applying a couple dots to slightly damp hair and also to fully dry hair. It does leave my hair more shiny, but not more manageable. I also don’t feel like it has any long lasting effects to improving my hair.

This is a nice product but I’m not overly Impressed with it.

Will I buy it again? Probably not, I just didn’t see the real benefit to it.

Will I finish the sample? I’ll still use it occasionally, but I will probably throw it out fairly soon.

Sample Size 0.16 oz
Full Size 4.22 oz
Full Size Price $54.00
Sample Value  $2.05

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the box. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

Traditions by Nick Chavez Yucca Shampooing Cream – Review April 6, 2012

Filed under: Haircare,Review — slagoon @ 3:04 pm
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Today I bring you Traditions by Nick Chavez Yucca Shampooing Cream which I received in my March Birchbox. This light blue/green gel is supposed to “boost shine levels and fortifie each follicle, preventing excess hair loss. Wild yam encourages healthy hair growth, while the mildest dose of peppermint oil will leave your scalp tingly and refreshed.”

Well, does it? I’ve used nearly the whole sample at this point with my normal conditioner and my deep conditioner that I use once every 14 days. I don’t know why but I think I’ve lost more hair lately. I don’t see any improvement in my shine levels either.

I don’t think that it was necessarily bad, I just don’t think it was as nice as my alterna shampoo.

Will I buy this again? Probably not, it was just not an upgrade from what I normally use.
Will I finish the sample? Yep, it’s nice enough to finish the sample.

Sample Size 2.0 oz
Full Size 8.5 oz
Full Size Price $20.00
Sample Value $4.70

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the box. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

Kusmi Tea Paris – I Love My Detox Tea – Review April 5, 2012

Filed under: Food — slagoon @ 6:27 am
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Today I bring you Kusmi Tea Paris – I Love My Detox Tea.  I am a tea lover, and have been for years. I spend way too much money at Teavana and other similar stores though admittedly not as much as I do on cosmetics/skincare. Anyway, this tea was sent to me in my March Birch Box. I like Detox teas usually, they have a nice blend of green and other teas. This particular one is a blend of Matte, green tea, and lemon grass.  The idea of Detox teas is that they help flush toxins from your system, leaving you healthier and with better skin, hair, and nails.

At first I thought this was kind of a silly item to get in my Birchbox, I mean a Tea Bag with “detox tea” in it. I am a loose leaf tea snob, and tea bags usually are filled with icky leftover tea products (no offense if you like them). I was wary of this but like a good trier-outer I dutifully opened my outer wrapper and was delighted to find a satchel rather than a bag inside. If you are not into tea then you are probably scratching your head at this.  A tea bag is a little paper filter with ground up tea inside and a string stapeled to it.  A satchel, on the other hand, is usually made of silk or some other natural fiber – in this case I believe it is cotton. Additionally a satchel contains loose leaf tea. When you look at a satchel they usually look like they are not filled properly and are too empty. In reality the dried tea and other ingredients shrink up a bunch and when water is added the satchel will fill up as the ingredients expand. By the time you are done steeping the tea, the satchel is quite full. One thing to be careful of with loose leaf tea is that they are much more temperature and time sensitive. If it says 3-4 minutes you better remove the tea from the water by 4 minutes. If it says 170º then you better not put boiling water in it (instead try 2 normal sized ice cubes in the boiling water. You don’t want to burn the tea.  Loose leaf teas have more nutrients in them because they go through less processing and to me they taste better because of that lack of processing.

Kusmi is no exception to the normal satchel stereotypes. This tea is wonderful and the lemon and lemon grass add a perfect citrus to compliment the green tea. It is the perfect tea for cool spring mornings.  It has enough punch that you can actually get a full second steep with it, and a 3rd if you don’t mind it a little weaker (leave it in for more like 6 minutes on the third steep).  This tea is great even with its hefty price tag. I plan on ordering some when I get more birchbox points (or see if I can find it on Amazon for cheaper).

If you like tea this is definitely one to try!

Will I buy this again? Yes I plan to

Will I finish the sample? Yes

Here’s the breakdown!

Sample Size 2
Full Size 20
Full Size Price $21.94
Sample Value  $2.19

 

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the bag. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

Tarte LipSurgence matte lip tint review March 30, 2012

Filed under: Makup,Review — slagoon @ 7:25 pm
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Today I bring you Tarte LipSurgence matte lip tint in “lucky”.  This is a bubblegum pink color.  I was super impressed that this was a full sized item in my birchbox.  I was also impressed to find a taste item in my box. I really do like my tarte cosmetics.  I’m not much on matte lipsticks but I figured I’d give it a try.

So how does it perform? The matte highlights every single imperfection of my lips, but it is not as bad as some of them.  The color lasts for a good 3-4 hours if I don’t eat anything or drink anything.

For what it is, I think its pretty good – but it is not the product for me. I will use it but not super frequently and when I do it will get some sort of gloss over it.

Before                                                                                          After

 

Sample Size 0.08 oz
Full Size 0.08 oz
Full Size Price $24.00
Sample Value $24.00

Will I buy it again? Probably not, I’m not huge on matte stuff

Will I finish the sample? I’ll use it as long as it makes sense.

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the box. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

stila Smoky Eye Shadow and Kate Spade New York Twirl March 28, 2012

Filed under: Makup — slagoon @ 4:15 pm
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Today I bring you my two biggest disappointments of my March Birchboxes.

In the Teen Vogue Birchbox I received Kate Spade New York Twirl which is a fragrance I have received previously on my other account.  I did not like it then and I still do not now.   I know that it has some initial fruity scents but after it lingers all I smell from it is musk…which I do not like.  As I’ve mentioned before I do think that Birchbox would do well to ask us about our fragrance preferences..I have consistently disliked the fragrances they have chosen for me. Oh well, the rest of the samples usually prove delightful so I won’t complain too much.

In the standard Birchbox I received still Smoky Eye Shadow sample.  This was a disappointment because it was a cardboard sheet with one use of shadow to it. These are the sorts of samples I have received from Sephora in the “3 free samples with order” or from the companies themselves.  It is strictly one use and if you mess up you don’t have enough to redo the sample. I’d much rather get a  itty bitty pan where I have a chance to use it 3 or 4 times and play with it  I don’t expect full size products in a sample box, but I do what samples I can actually try.

Now luckily, I am familiar with still and the longevity of their shadows and the normal texture, so I can vouch that these are nice eyeshadows. The First color is Kitten, which is their version of Urban Decay’s Sin but with a little more of a shimmer – I already have a full size of this one that I purchased a few months ago.  Then is an olive green/gray/taupe shimmer called Diamond lil.  From what I can tell it is a nice color that would be a perfect transition between Kitten and ebony (the black color. Ebony is a matte black. I personally prefer the texture of Urban Decay’s Blackout but this one is not bad, and again it is fairly hard to tell from the tiny sample; it might be better in a pan.  I think this look would be nice and glamorous and easy to go from day to night by just adding a little more black.

Would I buy it again? Twirl – no, Stila – probably but not because of this sample but because I know and like the brand.

Will I finish the sample? Twirl – I already discarded it, Stila – I nearly finished the sample with just swatching it. so there isn’t enough left to do a look with.

Sample Breakdown:

kate spade new york Twirl
Sample Size 0.05 oz
Full Size 3.4 oz
Full Size Price $80.00
Sample Value $1.17

stila Smoky Eye Shadow
Sample Size 0.005 oz (maybe less)
Full Size 0.9 oz
Full Size Price $45.00
Sample Value $0.25

 

Essie Luxeffects – Set in Stones and Color Club Neon Nail Polish – Lava Lamp March 26, 2012

Filed under: Makup — slagoon @ 6:47 am
Tags: , , ,

Today I bring you two nail polishes I received from my two March Birchboxes, First the Essie Luxeffects in Set in Stones and Color Club in Lava Lamp. 

I’ve owned a number of Essie polishes before, but never a glitter.  This one was really nice – it is pretty much opaque with 3 coats, which I can’t get with most glitters.  The color is all different sized silver hex glitters in a clear base.

Next I bring you Color Club’s Lava Lamp – it is BRIGHT orange – love it.  The cream is nice and applies evenly. In 2 coats I had full opacity. This is my first ever color club polish, and I now understand what all the hype is about.  I cannot wait to wear it in real life instead of just on my practice wheel.  As soon as my ASK challenge is over *sigh*

Finally I decided it would be neat to put the two together.  I love it. What do you think?

essie® Luxeffects Nail Polish – Set in Stones
Sample Size 0.5 oz
Full Size 0.5 oz
Full Size Price $8.00
Sample Value $8.00

Color Club Neon Nail Polish – Lava Lamp
Sample Size 0.25
Full Size 0.5 oz
Full Size Price $8.00
Sample Value $4.00

Will I buy each again? I will continue to keep purchasing Essie, and I will now be on a lookout for Color Club.

Will I finish my samples? YES!!!

FTC Disclaimer: Not affiliated with nor compensated by Birchbox or any of the brands included in the box. Items purchased by me for my own personal use. For more information please review my disclosure policy.

 

 
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