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Birchbox Everyday Glamour Limited-Edition Box

October 5, 2015

Today Birchbox is launching a new limited-edition box called Everyday Glamour ($48 for 8 items, approximately $200 value). It’s a really cute box filled with the perfect items to treat yourself or a friend with a transition into fall theme. For those new to Birchbox, this is a special limited-edition box that is different from the monthly subscription boxes. The Birchbox Team was kind enough to send me one as an early preview to share with you today. The contents of the Everyday Glamour Box:

All items are available to purchase individually (P.S. Juliette @jdalfeen, one of Birchbox’s Social Media Managers has a live unboxing video on Periscope):
I’ve been playing with the box over the weekend, some items are classic staples for me, others are new discoveries. First up are the four color items. The Cargo Texas Lash Mascara comes with a large plush brush. It’s a true deep black that doesn’t turn color once dry. I like how it thickens the lashes without clumping. In texting it over the past weekend it didn’t smudge or flake. It holds the curl for a long time. It doesn’t hold it all day, but I would say the curl stayed put for about 4-5 hours but I have super stick straight lashes.
Also in the box will be one Jouer Powder Eyeshadow (colors will vary per box). I owned several Jouer Powder Eyeshadows many years ago – I should explore these more. They have a wet-to-dry formula that’s super soft and blendable. The colors are good everyday kind of shades and the packaging has these little sliders on the side so you can connect multiple colors together. Espresso is a natural medium brown with a hint of shimmer.

Each box will have one Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer, mine came with Life in Photographs which is a sheer pale milky pink. On my lips it’s almost clear – but if you’re the kind of person who likes to line and fill lips with a natural lipliner and top with a sheer gloss, this is a good one because it smooths out the lips, adds shine and doesn’t feel goopy or too sticky. The glosses have a very moisturizing feel and stay put without sliding around. There’s a soft vanilla scent but on the lips the scent fades after a minute. I have a few of these glosses and really like them.

The last color item is a Ciaté Nail Polish in Paparazzi which is the perfect cream vamp plum shade for fall. It goes on smoothly. Full coverage is achieved with two coats. I’m on day 2 of the manicure and so far no tip wear or chipping yet. I’ll update the notes here after testing if for a full week on lasting power.

Swatches of Paparazzi and Life in Photographs: 

For skincare items, the Everyday Glamour Box comes with three items to try. The first is a NER:D Sheet Mask called the Skin Repair Master Mask. I haven’t had a chance to try this but I hope to this week. If you’ve tried anything from NER:D, I’d love to hear your thoughts. This one is supposed to have healing and soothing properties which sounds like the perfect end-of-week treatment.

There’s a mini vial of the Caudalie Divine Oil which is a classic staple for me. It’s an amazing dry oil perfect to add moisture and glow to the skin. I use mine on the body – it absorbs quickly and and has a really nice relaxing scent. I like to apply it on in the morning or night after showers. It’s a good touch up product if you’re feeling dry mid-day. The minis used to come with a spritzer, I do wish it still did. These days the mini vials don’t have one.

Last but not least is the Michael Todd Concentrated C Antioxidant Moisturizing Serum. This is a new line for me. I’m super hesitant to try new serums on my face since I have very sensitive skin and in general extremely picky with serums. I’ve only tried this for a couple days – but first thoughts are that this is an extremely moisturizing and hydrating serum. If you have super dry skin I recommend giving this a try. I always layer moisturizer on top of serum. The dry-down texture of many serums doesn’t work so well with foundation if you wear it alone. The texture of the Michael Todd is on the thick side, I was worried it would be too heavy because you can really feel it on the skin. However once it’s absorbed it feels weightless. Throughout the day my skin feels less oily and greasy – it seems to hydrate while controlling oil. It’s supposed to have ingredients that repair sun damage and reduce brown spots. It will take time to see results but so far I like the way it feels on the skin.
Overall, thumbs up. The Everyday Glamour Box does indeed have a good selection of items for everyday glamour. The plum nail lacquer in Ciaté Paparazzi couldn’t be more perfect as a fall transition color. Smith & Cult Lip Lacquers add a nice natural shine to the lips, good to layer over your go-to fall lip color. The Caudalie Divine Oil is a must-have in my opinion, the travel size is pretty affordable so if you’re looking for one new body product to try, I highly recommend it. The other items in the box are pretty new to me and I like the variety offered in skincare and body. I think it’s a nice way to try a lot of items at a value price.

If you’re looking for a treat yourself gift or a box for a friend, the holiday boxed sets are starting to trickle in. I’m usually a pick-your-own-individual-items kind of person but last year’s sets were phenomenal and the ones trickling in this month look even better. The Birchbox Everyday Glamour Box is definitely worth looking into. You can find the Everyday Glamour Box online at Birchbox now. It is limited-edition.

Do you spot any favorites in this box? If you’ve tried anything from the brands, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Many thanks to Birchbox for sending a preview box for review.


Color Focus: Dove Grey Eyeshadows

March 30, 2010
I find it incredible how many different variations of grey there are. One particular color I don’t come across very often is dove-grey for eyeshadows, but perhaps this is because I don’t look for it very often. I personally define dove-grey as a blueish grey, but even the ones I pull out are probably subject to interpretation. I didn’t think I had many dove-grey shadows, but I managed to pull out a number of barely used dove-grey shadows from my stash. I need to use these more often. Even for something I would define as “dove-grey” there are quite a few variations. Some of them look more blue than grey. And I was surprised how neutral/warm Apres Ski looks on my skin compared to what I see in the container.

Armani Cream #2 (LE from Spring 2005), NARS Notorious (discontinued), Jouer Truffle, MAC Scene, Becca Chinchilla, Laura Mercier Stone Suede Satinee, Stila Shore, Laura Mercier Sable, Laura Mercier Twilight Grey, MAC Copperplate, MAC Apres Ski

Some of these you might even describe as taupe. I don’t use these a lot, but I think pairing these with a soft pearl shimmer would be pretty.


Eyeshadow Comparisons For Marina, Lakshmi & Josie

January 5, 2010

I have been procrastinating on a few comparison requests and thought I’d post this in case anyone else had the same questions. I plan to be a better blogger this upcoming year and be more on top of things!

Comparison Project #1: How does Edward Bess Intimate compare to other shades, particularly Chantecaille Pyrite & Benefit Fawn Over Me?

Chantecaille Pyrite has more gold while Edward Bess is definitely more taupe/brown. Benefit Fawn Over Me might look like a close dupe at first glance, but looking more closely will show that it’s more of a paler sandy champagne compared to the Edward Bess. Here it is compared to similar shades.

Top: Chantecaille Pyrite, Edward Bess Intimate, Laura Mercier Bamboo
Middle: Scott Barnes Sable, Benefit Fawn Over Me, Guerlain Sable Blonde
Bottom: Becca Mermaid, Nars Cyprus, Benefit Fawn Over Me

1) Chantecaille Pyrite
2) Edward Bess Intimate
3) Laura Mercier Bamboo
4) Scott Barnes Sable
5) Benefit Birthday Suit
6) Guerlain Sable Blonde
7) Becca Mermaid
8) Nars Cyprus
9) Benefit Fawn Over Me

Bottom line: In my opinion, there is nothing like Edward Bess Intimate and I find it different enough to justify owning even if you have any of the above shades. This post will be updated later this afternoon with swatches.


Comparison Project #2: Is Bobbi Brown Java Metallic similar to the brown shade in Nars Brousse?

Bobbi Brown Java is a cooler mouse-grey when compared to Nars Brousse which seems to have a tinge of red. By itself you would barely be able to detect any red tones to Nars Brousse. I’ve also compared it to a few other medium-dark cool-toned browns.

Top: Edward Bess Mystery, Bobbi Brown Java Metallic, Nars Brousse
Bottom: Cle de Peau Satin 106, MAC Magnetic Fields, Jouer Espresso

1) Edward Bess Mystery
2) Bobbi Brown Java Metallic
3) Nars Brousse
4) CdP 106
5) MAC Magnetic Fields
6) Jouer Espresso

What’s the verdict? Are these different enough to justify owning all? Probably not unless you are a brown eyeshadow fanatic like me. This section will also be updated with swatches if my camera will cooperate with me later today. While I love the Cle de Peau 106, it can look a bit bruisey on my Chanel Shell (equals MAC NC30-35) skin and it’s the least shimmery.


A Week of Looks I’m Loving Right Now: Day 1

November 2, 2009

According to my recent survey, some of you mentioned how you loved certain posts, but wanted ideas on how to coordinate the products with other colors. I’m going to do a five-part series of looks I’ve done recently that I loved. I hope this series will help give you some ideas!

A few things to note ahead of time: I am not a professional makeup artist, but the following looks have been created on my own. My fashion/beauty style is very simple and natural. Style/beauty icons include Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Eva Mendes, Lucy Liu to name a few – all women who embrace their natural beauty with subtle, elegant and classic natural makeup.

Look Number 1: a simple smokey eye with soft pink cheeks and rosy pink lips


Stila Lilium Convertible Color on cheeks
Dolce & Gabbana Delight Blush layered on top

Laura Mercier Platinum Metallic Cream Eyeshadow lash to brow
Jouer Buttercream Eyeshadow on lids
Stila Black Cat Smudgepot smudged along upper lash line
Edward Bess Dusk Eyeshadow applied over the black liner blended up

MAC Naked Rose Lipliner
Edward Bess Tender Love Lipstick
Paul & Joe Lip Lacquer #7

Close up photos for eyes:
Top Left = Jouer Buttercream, Top Right = Edward Bess Dusk
Bottom Left = Stila Black Cat, Bottom Right = Laura Mercier Platinum

Close up photos for lips, Left to Right:
Edward Bess Tender Love, Paul & Joe Lip Lacquer #7, MAC Naked Rose Lipliner


Variation 1: using most of the same colors except includes Le Metier Fresh Blush, Edward Bess Love Always Lipgloss, Laura Mercier Pink Label Lipstick:


Variation 2: MAC Conjure Up Mineralize Blush, MAC Bare Study Paint Pot, Dolce & Gabbana Stromboli Eyeshadow Duo, Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Liner, MAC Plum Lipliner, MAC Scant Slimshine, Laura Mercier Violet Lip Glace (old packaging)

I’ve written about a few makeover events I’ve been to from Chanel, Nars and MAC before, click on this MAKEOVER tag to see the products used in those events for some more ideas!


Color Focus: Taupe Eyeshadows

July 20, 2009

Here is a series on some taupe eyeshadows. For me there are numerous shades that could qualify as “taupe”, these mostly range from neutral to cool-toned taupes. For most of the pictures, I’ve included MAC Satin Taupe to help you gauge the colors in comparison to one another. Also note there will be some repeats in some photos!

MAC, Becca & FACE Stockholm Eyeshadows:

MAC Pigments, Paul & Joe Pearl Powder, MAC Solar Bits:

Bobbi Brown Metallic, Bobbi Brown Shimmerwash, Laura Mercier, Scott Barnes Eyeshadows:

Bobbi Brown (some repeats to include Fawn Shimmerwash):

More Laura Mercier & Scott Barnes:

Chantecaille Eyeshadows:

YSL & Chanel Eyeshadows:

Christian Dior, Calvin Klein (original discontinued line), NARS Eyeshadows:

Urban Decay & Giorgio Armani Shadows:

Jouer, Le Metier de Beaute, Shu Uemura & Trish McEvoy:

Better view of Jouer Amaretto & Espresso:

Dior Jazz Club Palette:

Palettes from Lunasol & Dior:


Lips of the Day: Perfect Baby Pink Lips

June 5, 2009

Today’s lips are a baby pink shimmery look:

* Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick in Soiree (see previous D&G feature here)
* Trish McEvoy Lipliner in Bare
* Jouer Moisturizing Lipgloss in Blush (see previous Jouer feature here)

The products:

The look:

What are your favorite products for baby-pink or natural pink lips? I’m always on the search for my HG baby pink glosses, lipsticks, lipliners and would LOVE to hear yours!!!

(For reference, I have medium olive-toned skin, in between MAC NC30-35, Chanel Teint Innocence Liquid Shell 1.5, Stila D/E, Armani Luminous Skin Foundation in 5.5)


Jouer Cosmetics: Combining beauty, style and pure modern convenience

May 25, 2009

I found out about Jouer from an article in Harpers Bazaar featuring some of their products and was immediately intrigued by the cute packaging concept.

Jouer Cosmetics was designed and created by Christina Zilber to provide women with personalized beauty. The brand concept was focused around allowing women to create a customized palette of colors in which she developed a unique interlocking compacts to package her products. The line was first launched in 2004, but recently revamped in 2008.

The website is also unique, fun and interactive, providing great swatches of each product and brief descriptions of each color. In addition to swatches, each product features four different faces (with different skin tones and hair color). This allows you to see what each product looks like on different faces.

Tint ($20): a creamy cheek tint that comes in a square mirrored compact

* Petal – described as a soft rose pink, has a creamy texture that is sheer, but buildable, has a hint of shimmer in it

Moisturizing Lip Gloss ($20): wand style with the interlocking feature on one side, these have a nice non-sticky texture with a sponge-tip applicator.

* Wind – described as a creamy pink nude, this has no shimmer, and seems more peachy-nude than pink

* Blush – described as a creamy baby pink, perfect description, a great natural youthful pink shimmer that isn’t too pale

Powder Eyeshadows ($20): satin finish and oil free shadows that come in both shimmer and matte finishes, these are in a wet-to-dry formula, but so far I have only used these dry.

* Caramel – described as a shimmering soft gold, this is an accurate description, but it’s not too yellow or metallic, gives a soft warm golden caramel shimmer to the lids

* Buttercream – described as a pearly french vanilla, this is a great soft cream, the shimmer is very subtle on this one

* Truffle – described as a matte platinum grey, more of a dove grey

* Chocolat – described as shimmering bronzed brown

* Amaretto – described as a shimmering bronzed plum, more of a medium taupe shimmer to me than a bronzed plum, but gorgeous

* Espresso – described as a shimmering smokey slate

Overall thoughts: I believe this line is currently available online at the Jouer Website along with Henri Bendel in New York. I purchased these items sight-unseen online and was pleasantly surprised by the super-fast shipping and cute pink box that the items arrived carefully wrapped in. Also a plus – everything arrived very close to the online swatches/descriptions!

The eyeshadows are my favorite out of the products I ordered, but the glosses are nice as well! Good quality products at very reasonable price points. I hope they will expand their product line as well as possible expand their distribution to other locations in the US!