July 25, 2017

Birchbox Update & a Bit of Inspiration!

                                         Everything’s not coming up roses!

In February I purchased a year subscription to the Birchbox, an online monthly subscription service that sends you a box of five samples of  beauty related products. The boxes range from skin care items, perfumes, makeup or whatever they throw in!  If you have read my previous blog posts about Birchbox, you know I am not their biggest fan. From this day forward I will no longer critique all the items/samples in each box.  Since I’ve committed/paid for the yearly subscription, I will continue to evaluate, but only share product information, I believe are worth reading about, and not commenting on cheap filler/samples among a few worthy items. The following is a mix of the products worth mentioning in the June & July boxes!  

Benefit Cosmetics

Boi-ing Airbrush ConcealerThis was a solid good product. It was easy to apply, blendable, covered dark under eye circles, was easy to remove and did not irritate my sensitive skin. I think it’s a good buy for the money. Full-Size, $20

 Oribe

Oribe Dry Texturizing SprayThis is an invisible dry spray that is supposed to build volume, and it did. I used it as a dry shampoo and it extended the life of my blowout from the previous day. The scent is light and I noticed a slight shine on my hair after application. I love this product as much as the Oribe, Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray that I reviewed in my A Questionable Value post and the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo that I reviewed in my A Jolly Thought post!  If all of these Oribe products were not as costly, I would be using all three of these products regularly, and loving them!  Dry Texturizing Spray,  Full-Size 8.5oz $46  or  2.2oz $22 Wowee!!!!

 Klorane 

Dry Shampoo with Oat MilkNo reason to re-view this product, I purchased it and reviewed it in my Cold Weather Skincare Update, and here is what I wrote and still believe!

“Good product, but when compared to the Klorane dry shampoo, there is no comparison. Klorane is the superior product.  It not only works as a dry shampoo should, absorbing excess oil from hair, it adds volume and texture to your hair after application and leaves your hair looking healthy and smelling fresh and clean. ” 

The Beauty Crop

Fabulous Flocking Lashes MascaraIt has been a wonderful experience trying new mascaras, since I was a teen I’ve been loyal to the many different Maybelline washable mascaras.   Of late I’ve tried a few mascara’s that are all waterproof, contain argan oil or jojoba oil that I have loved, and the Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara just joined the ranks!  This was the only full size sample I have ever received in my Birchboxes!  I loved the way it easily glided and adhered to my lashes, didn’t smudge, and was easy to remove. I am now a fan of waterproof mascara that contains essential oils and make my eyes look alive. Full-Size $19.00

So that’s the wrap up of the two Birchboxes I received for June & July!  Not many items that tickled my fancy, but I will continue to evaluate and share anything useful I find.  

This is something I need to share; this week I viewed this segment on the local news, I am in awe of this woman and the road she traveling! 

Self-proclaimed ‘dying woman’ becomes mother of invention for necessary comfort

July 11, 2017

Going Natural!

Spring and early summer has left me battling allergies, and the constantly changing weather isn’t helping it either!  I hate calling doctors, I just don’t want them to prescribe any more medications, there is absolutely no more room in my pill-box for any new ones.  So I took it upon myself to monitor and change some of the products I use daily.  It was my intent to replace items that I normally use with natural and/or organic products. Since it was my watery eyes, constant sneezing, and a runny nose that were the problems, I’d start with replacing my soaps, add calming oils to my nightly ritual, and try aromatherapy shower tablets to help me breath.  Earlier this year Reverie Farms of Argyle, Texas sent me two of their natural and organic soap products, I hadn’t tried them yet, so I brought them out and started.  Daily I used the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap and the Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap.  I have sensitive skin and was pleased that I had no adverse reaction to the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap, it left my skin super soft, and moisturized,  without the use of chemicals. The Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap worked beautifully as a hand soap.  I love that the soap not only cleansed my hands, it smelled delicious, and left my hands soft and moist.

The other products I introduced into my daily self-care were the Aura Cacia Purifying Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Shower Tablets and the Relaxing Lavender  Shower Tablets.  

Found the scent not strong, but medicinal.

 

Lavender scent shower tablet was lovely!

The product was rather expensive for not accomplishing what I wanted it to do, relieve some of the congestion and aid in easier breathing, it also bombed out as a shower experience.  You need to know if you use a shower tablet the aroma quickly dissipates into the air and that’s all it does.  Finally I put a towel over my head tried to absorb the aroma of the relaxing lavender tablet, the aroma was good, but it quickly disappeared.  I did not realize any relief from these products.  

Even though I felt confident in what I was attempting to accomplish, relief from allergies, it did me no good!  I finally went to my doctor who explained that any medication used to treat allergies would not affect any of the medication I was taking.  

May 23, 2017

A QUESTIONABLE VALUE!

No sooner had I posted an April Birchbox review on May 2nd, another box was at my door.   Taking a quick glance at the contents of this box, and recognizing my affection for two of the brands, I immediately went to work.  Below are the results of the products I tested.

Derma e

Microdermabrasion Scrub|Full-Size, $32.50

The sample size weighed 1/2 oz., enough for 1 and 1/2 applications (I have a large face). The scrubbing beads are finer than most microdermabrasion scrubs, yet  worked as well as the more granular products I have tried.  The scrub left my skin with a glow and smooth appearance, the same results achieved using pricier products.  

Living Proof

Perfect hair Day® (PHD) In-Shower Styler|Full-Size, $24

This is a new Living Proof  product that you apply in the shower after you shampoo and condition.  You liberally apply the product from roots to ends and quickly rinse.  This product is formulated for air-dried hair styles. Products are being introduced often for this type of style and I have yet to try one that achieves the same tousled look that should be rendered.  Air drying your hair is a great way to cut down on time blow drying and exposure to the drying effects of blow drying your hair. This product did absolutely nothing for my hair.  I read some of the given suggestions to braid or put your hair in a bun if you do not have wavy hair.  Well, I do put my hair in a bun when I want air-dried tousled hair and I don’t have to use any product to get it, or maybe the 1 fluid ounce sample was not enough to cover the length of my hair.  

Lord & Berry

Line/Shade Eye Pencil-Black|Full-Size, $19

This is a highly pigmented eyeliner that was easy to apply (no drag), looked sharp, but then the product smudged under my eyes or I wiped my eyes and ruined the look.  I’ve never been a fan of eye pencils, yet this brand that I never heard of, before it arrived, sells quite a selection of eye pencils which I probably will look into.  

Manna Kadar Cosmetics

Glo Illuminator|Full-Size, $29

Glo Illuminator shimmer lotion can be mixed with foundation or worn alone, on face and/or body!  I applied this product on my face and body(well my arm) and there was no shine or glow on me!  I re-applied the product and did not notice any difference.  It is advertised for mature and dry skin, that would be me!  I am accustomed and in love with the Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer and have found this works best for me, not only in appearance but financially.  The Glo Illuminizer is $29/oz, while the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer  is $26/ 1.5 oz.  

Oribe

Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray|Full-Size, $22-$24

These are directions on how to use this product according to Oribe: “Shake. Spray on wet or dry hair. Tousle to taste and let dry in the St. Tropez air.”  I followed the directions both ways to a “t” without traveling to St. Tropez!  My hair looked magnificent, if I say so myself. I haven’t been as enthused with a product, since I picked up the   Gloss Chap Stick Rexall Drug in South Station, decades ago!  

I’m getting extremely impatient with this Birchbox subscription service.  My online profile would suggest that many of the products that do not receive raving reviews never did fit my product preference profile, yet still are sent in my boxes.  Tonight, I did email Birchbox and hopefully they will address the issue, and I will start to receive products and brands  that are of interest to me and my readers.   

SIGNS OF SUMMER APPROACHING!

 

May 2, 2017

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE APRIL, 2017 BIRCHBOX


I recently received my second box from BIRCHBOX, the health and beauty product subscription service.  This month’s box is a plain brown box with plain writing on it, plain and unattractive.  Inside the box, it screamed  Lily Pulitzer, pastel beach/island life motif.  I don’t usually purchase things for the packaging, but after using the products sent to me this month, I’m beginning to rethink the value of this service!

What was in my box?  Not all boxes are alike, it depends on your preferences and whether you paid more for the curated box, which I did not!  So here goes:

amika Nourishing Mask/.7 fl. oz sample

All the ingredients in this hair mask suggested to me that it would have a positive effect on my dry hair.  Sadly, the sample was not barely enough to cover my hair.  I did leave it on for more than the suggested 10 minutes.  I cannot discern whether or not the product did not work, due to ingredients or insufficient amount of product.  It did not change the appearance or feel of my hair when dried.   Based on my experience, I probably would not purchase this product.

English Laundry Noting Hill Femme

There was a rather strong scent of bergamot, of which I am not a fan.  It is advertised as a flowery scent, but, you will have to judge if you dare!  I didn’t like it!

The Beauty Crop GRLPWR Lips Liquid Lipstick in Imma Bawse

Not a full size liquid lipstick, but enough to use for more than a week everyday!  This lipstick is a deep rich berry color that stayed on for hours.  Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of the liquid lipstick due the drying nature of the ones I have tried, but I am extremely impressed with this product’s ingredients.  It is enriched with shea butter and vitamin E, that is probably why my lips didn’t dry out!

Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm/.33 fl oz

I’m always on the hunt for the perfect moisturizer, and I might have scored here!  This fortifying face balm is 100% natural, it smells divine, is lightweight, fast absorbing, matte finish, and just makes my face look better!  I had never heard of this product before, so I visited their website and will purchase their skin trial kit, I will update!

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream-Lavender/.75 fl oz

Great shaving cream product, aromatic, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.  The biggest downfall of this product is the price.  A 5oz container costs $16 vs my Gillette Venus Shaving Gel which costs $3.00 for 7oz.  I have no complaints with my shaving gel.  I do like the lavender fragrance of the Whish product, but my Gillette shaving gel does the job, and I like their scent as well!  I will continue my relationship with the Gillette Venus Shaving Gel.

SHOW Beauty Our Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner/.33 fl oz of each

I tried the single pouch of shampoo & conditioner that boasts hair with moisture and shine.  There is nothing else to say about the combo/sample other than, the one time I used it, I really liked the results.

I think you can sense the disappointment I have with my BIRCHBOX subscription.  It is telling when you are happier anticipating the arrival of the box than the samples that have arrived.  I understood completely that I would be receiving samples of products, but can’t help but notice, these are the same samples you can get at the cosmetic counters of department stores and Sephora.  From now on, if BIRCHBOX doesn’t step up their game, all they will be good for is introducing me to products I may not be familiar with, so I’ll extract any useful information I can from the samples sent. 

SPRING HAS SPRUNG & HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRE!  

April 18, 2017

Made in the Shade!

Growing up close to the beach, I spent summer vacations taking swimming lessons every day. Rain or shine, my friends and I headed to the beach to swim, eat lunch on the sand, and hang out!  Not once in all the years I spent at the beach, did I ever apply sunscreen.  I don’t remember hearing about sunscreen, but I do remember the Coppertone commercials and according to my mother, I didn’t need it, I had Mediterranean skin.  When I got older and realized that I could cut down on tanning time by covering a record album with tin foil. I adopted the habit of using a foil covered record album as a reflector.  Another genius  plan I adopted was purchasing baby oil and iodine mixed together.  I would generously slather on this concoction of  aromatic magic lotion and wait and bake until the golden goddess results appeared!  

 

Unfortunately, as I got older, I did notice that more products were advertised to protect you from the sun.  Yet,  I never paid attention to the advertisements and continued to use oil to tan, without any sun protection factor (SPF).  As time marched on I continued to spend weekends at the beach and even spent my honeymoon on a tropical island!  I love the beach and swimming in salt water!  Even though I am a teacher and have more discretionary time during the summer, my beach time is now limited mainly to walking early mornings or early evening, not laying in the suns direct rays! 

Well, a few weeks ago I visited a dermatologist with a skin complaint which I swore would be a result of the rheumatoid arthritis.  As with any complaint I  have, I automatically assign blame to RA. The dog ran away; we are out of milk; or, being late for work!(RA may have something to do with this!)  But it certainly was a surprise when my biopsy results came back with a diagnosis of solar keratosis.  So, no big deal I think, I’m being treated for solar keratoses, I’m told that; “This is very common for people in this area and age bracket.”  The symptoms, scaly lesions are the result of long-term sun exposure and sun damage, common on fair-skinned people, this made sense to me!  What is most upsetting is this was preventable!  So now, in addition to seeing my  dermatologist more often, I will  follow rigorous preventative measures, to ensure I don’t further damage my skin.

What is most upsetting to me now, is the fact that the information was available decades ago on how to protect myself from the sun.  For whatever reason, I decided this message did not apply to me, and now I have another health concern to deal with.   

So now I would like to share some of the preventative measures that were explained to me. These suggestions may be of some help to you in preventing skin cancer and premature aging. 

Seek shade/cover up when the sun’s rays are the strongest, 10 am to 2 pm.

Wear Sun Protection Factor (SPF)/sunscreen of 30 or higher on exposed skin, and make sure that your sunscreen protects against UVA rays (cause premature aging/wrinkles and dark spots) and UVB rays (they burn your skin).  

Wear sunglasses and any hat as part of your summer uniform.

Avoid ultraviolet light tanning beds.

Use common sense!

I for one will continue to go to the beach. Instead of sitting in the direct rays of sun, I will be comfortably seated, reading my books, under a very large umbrella.

%d bloggers like this: