Birchbox Sale! Last Summer Friyays 25% off Discount

An even better deal than the Sephora Sale!

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Birchbox is having their last Summer Friyay sale with 25% off everything on this page! That’s a pretty great deal for cosmetics – even better than the 20% Sephora Rouge sale. And anyone can use the code SUMMER25 to get the discount! I’ve rounded up my favorites and best recommendations below.

MAKEUP:

  • Benefit Bad Gal Bang! Bigger, Badder, Volumizing Mascara – $18 after discount. This is one of my favorite mascaras because it adds volume and separation without getting spidery or smudging.
  • Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil – $19.50 after discount. Super plush glossy oils in a bunch of pretty tints. The Raspberry is my favorite because it smells so yummy!
  • Coola Tinted Mineral Liplux SPF 30 in Tan Lines – $13.50 after discount. I love a lip balm with SPF and these are reef safe too. Tan Lines is a pretty coral-y nude.
  • Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow in Stardust – $7.50 after discount. Such a steal for this long-wearing cream shadow that catches light beautifully.
  • Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Stardust – $21 after discount. I just purchased this from the Sephora sale… This is a way better deal! Gorgeous on lips, eyes, and cheeks in duo-chrome pink with purple iridescence.

SKINCARE:

  • NuFace Prep-n-Glow Cloths – $15 after discount. These are perfect for travel since they remove makeup and lightly exfoliate in one step. No need to rinse!
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment – $78.75 after discount. One of two chemical exfoliants that I adore. It smooths and plumps almost immediately and removes dead skin cells and brightens overnight.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream 5-in-1 Firming Moisturizer – $27 after discount. The ultimate multi-tasker, this rich cream acts as an anti-aging serum, moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and overnight mask. I’m usually skeptical of x-in-one products, but this one is the best I’ve tried.

HAIR:

  • Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray – $21 after discount. A non-drying sea salt spray that perks up my waves and smells delicious. I spray it in damp hair and air dry.
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – $15.75 after discount. My favorite dry shampoo ever! Removes all oil without any residue and adds a little volume too.
  • Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray – $31.50 after discount. Another beachy, texture spray, but this one leaves more of a shiny finish when dusted onto dry hair. Still so expensive, but way better than $42.
  • R + Co. High Dive Moisture and Shine Creme – $21.75 after discount. The perfect lightweight cream to add a dose of hydration to my ends or help tame flyaways.

BODY:

  • Sumbody Salt Scrub – $14.21 after discount. This Milky Rich scent is so decadent and feels luxurious. The scrub isn’t too abrasive, but if definitely gets the job done.
  • Juara Candlenut Body Creme – $26.25 after discount. This rich body butter is perfect for after shaving or all-over moisturizing. It also smells delicious – clearly a theme with the scents today.

OTHER:

  • Swell 17 oz. Bottle – $26.25 after discount. These are the best portable bottles I’ve ever tried. They keep drinks cold for 24 hours (really!) and look great while doing it. A desk and gym necessity for me.

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Here’s my little wishlist too:

  • W3ll People Natural Contour and Highlight Duo – $18.74 after discount. I already love the highlighter in this duo for a natural glow. I’d like to try a cream contour/bronzer (this looks a bit warmer) and this would be great for travel.
  • Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks – $18.75 after discount. I’ve been eyeing this brand since they launched and am trying to step up my eye care game. Plus these just look fun.
  • Georgette Klinger Coconut Facial Mist – $6.75 after discount. Such an affordable facial mist from a clean brand that’s on my wishlist. The coconut and green tea combo sounds lovely, plus there’s aloe and grape extract for even more hydration.

Have you tried any of these products already? What are you snagging from the sale?

Quick Morning Routine (Post-workout skincare)

A fast, effective routine

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I usually stop at the gym after work or head to a dance class at night, so I have the time to do my full skincare routine afterward. Recently, I’ve been sneaking in a few morning sessions and then have to quickly get ready. So here’s my shorter, simple routine that refreshes my skin after a workout and preps my face for makeup.

First, I use the Bliss Oh My Gommage Cleaning Stick*. I especially love using an exfoliating cleanser after a workout to get rid of excess oil and sweat. This gentle stick makes me feel like I’m getting a thorough cleanse without stripping my skin. Full review here!

Then I squeeze in a quick two minute mask from Clinique. The Pep-start Double Bubble Purifying Mask starts out as a pink gel and then bubbles up as it pulls dirt from your pores. I love the pump packaging and it’s affordable! The mask rinses away really easily too, so you can quickly move to the next step.

Now I start the hydrating part of my routine. I use about one to two pumps of the new Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly to lock in moisture and protect my clean, happy skin from pollution. This sinks in SO quickly without any residue. I then layer First Aid Beauty’s Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer on top. I love the extra bit of hydration this adds while smoothing my pores and adding the subtlest glow. Full review here!

I finish my skincare routine off with the Nooni Applebutter Lip Mask* from Memebox. This is seriously one of my favorite lip products; it’s hydrating without being sticky at all. It leaves a pretty sheen that lasts quite a while too. To finish off my look, I add a bit of my current favorite concealer, mascara, and bronzer. Then I’m running off to work!

What’s your favorite post-workout product? Are you loving a short and sweet routine or all-out ten steps?

Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Sale Recommendations (Fall VIB Sale)

Best items to buy with the discount!

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The Sephora sale is back starting tomorrow for Rouge members! I’m actually not Rouge this year – thumbs up for not spending $1k in the past year, but I am sadly missing the 20% discount. As a VIB member, I get 15% off starting next Thursday, August 30th. Beauty Insiders get 10% starting next week as well. To shop online, use discount codes: YESROUGE, YESVIB, and YESINSIDER.

Here are some of my very favorite products that are worth a haul. I’ve repurchased most of these, including the Caudalie Sorbet, Drunk Elephant Bars, Bite Lip Mask, Josie Maran Body Butter, and Comptoir Sud Pacifique Perfume several times. Others are recent discoveries that have achieved HG status already, like the Isle of Paradise Drops and Herbivore Prism.

In the general, the sale is a great time to pick up high-end brands that are rarely discounted, like Pat McGrath and Tom Ford, and well as fragrances and discovery kits, so you can try more for even less. I’ll pop a wishlist on my Instagram Stories next week, but here are some tried and true recommendations:

Herbivore Botanicals Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion – This is my new favorite exfoliating serum. It has a pretty watery consistency that layers well with other skincare products. I only use this at night and happily wake up the next morning to soft, glowing skin. Full review coming soon, but I highly recommend this.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet – A wonderful hydrating lotion with clean ingredients. This feels lightweight, helps with redness, and is cruelty-free, vegan, and oil-free. It also smells lovely and the packaging is cute.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil – Another glow-making product! This is a hydrating and anti-aging overnight oil that replaces moisturizer and serum for me. It has retinol for plumping the skin, helping with wrinkles, and smoothing pores. I also love the blue tansy and chamomile ingredients for soothing redness.

Drunk Elephant Baby Pekee Bar and Juju Bar Travel Duo – These are so convenient for travel since they’re smaller and don’t count as a liquid. Even though they’re little, these last about six months or longer, so they’re definitely worth the price. The Pekee bar is amazing for gently removing makeup while Juju lightly exfoliates, making it a great morning or post-workout cleanser.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter – The unscented version is actually my favorite because it smells like whipped cream! This is my favorite body butter ever. It’s so hydrating without being heavy; the whipped formula is definitely light and luxurious. Since you can get a great body butter at Ulta for less than $10, I only splurge on this during the sale. It lasts a few months thankfully.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops – I use the Light version of these drops mixed into body lotion before I go to bed. I wake up a shade or two darker with even coverage and no orange tones. I never thought I’d be into self-tanning (it always seemed so time-consuming and hard to get it to look natural), but this has completely changed my mind. Full review here and routine details here!

Ciate London The Pretty Eyeshadow Palette – Out of all of my eyeshadows, this is my ultimate go-to. I use it every. single. day. You can create a very natural-looking matte eye, everyday shimmer look, or add drama for a night out. While it’s a neutral palette, the pop of orange, purple, and gold make it pretty versatile. It’s relatively affordable too and great for travel.

BareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer  – This is another item I use in my daily routine because it couldn’t be faster to apply and it looks so natural. I lightly sweep this along the perimeter of my face in a 3 shape. The Medium shade is perfect for me, even when I’m much more fair, so you may want to swatch this one in store. The texture/finish reminds me of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders; there’s a tiny bit of shimmer that adds a nice, healthy-looking glow with absolutely no detectable glitter particles.

Bite Agave Lip Mask – One of the most moisturizing lip balm products I’ve ever tried. It has a thicker consistency that melts onto the lips for a comfortable, plush feeling; this helps it last for a good few hours on the lips. The finish has some shine, but it’s not terribly glossy. Smashed is my favorite shade, but I’ve tried the clear and Champagne versions too. I really want to try the newer Maple and Lavender shades!

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray – Amazing if you have dry or damaged hair! I love a lightweight leave-in that takes care of frizz, protects from UV, and adds a good dose of moisture; this spray does it all while smelling nice. I definitely want to explore more from this brand – they’re pretty clean and cruelty-free too.

Verb Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner – Another great fix for dry hair. This duo helped so much with my curls without being heavy. It also smells great, but it isn’t overbearing. I’m currently using the Ghost Line (reviewed here!) which I’m loving and may be better for my newly short hair. Either way, I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from this brand and it’s already affordable thankfully.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco – This is my favorite warm and sweet scent. It’s not too close to baked goods, but it definitely has some nostalgic vibes in my opinion. Vanilla is my classic winter scent, but the coconut in this adds a tropical vibe that is fun for warm-weather vacations too. Perfume is rarely on sale, so this is a great time to treat yourself or pick up gifts.

There are so many products and brands from Sephora that I love (Tata Harper, Hourglass, and First Aid Beauty to name a few), so I couldn’t include everything, but these products popped into my head right away and are so good I HAD to include them. What are your Sephora Favorites?? Anything new you’re picking up during the sale?

Birchbox August Unboxing and Mini Reviews

Monthly unboxing and review

It has been the busiest summer! I can’t believe we’re 2/3 through August already… Does everyone say that? Summer usually flies by for me, but it’s pretty relaxing.  Between traveling more than usual, having friends and family visit, building a bunch of new furniture for the apartment, getting ready to transition into an exciting new role, and working on a new fitness schedule, I’m feeling pretty stretched. All good things thankfully, but I have to say I’m looking forward to things settling down a touch this fall.

Anyway, here’s my August Birchbox! I chose the curated box this month because I knew I would use every single product. I was really excited to see Amika in this month’s edit as I love their hair-care products; I’ve also never tried a dry shampoo foam and was pretty intrigued. The Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam is fun to use, effective at removing oil, and actually adds volume to my strands as well. I dispense about a golf-ball size puff, flip my hair down, and massage it into my roots. It feels almost wet, but it doesn’t leave any residue or dampness behind and (as with all Amika products) smells lovely.

The other hair-care item I received is Oribe’s Featherbalm Weightless Styler. I was definitely looking forward to trying this because Oribe products are so luxurious; their Apres Beach Spray is one of my favorites. This balm provides light hold, nourishes, and protects against UV rays and heat. I think it did a surprisingly great job moisturizing as my hair was nowhere near as frizzy as usual, but I could use a bit more hold for my curls.

For skincare, I have yet to try this Borghese Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask because my skin is currently a bit dry and mud masks tend to dehydrate my skin. It’s a decently sized sample though – I think I will be able to get about three uses from this jar – which makes it perfect for travel. I’m heading to Mexico in a couple months and the humidity there might contribute some oiliness/clogged pores that this mask would be perfect for.

I received two makeup products this month, a cute Kabuki Brush from Birchbox and a Cheek Blush from Doucce. The brush is really soft and would be great for travel since it’s so small. It smelled a tiny bit like vinegar at first, but I washed it before using and that disappeared thankfully. The size and shape of this brush makes it great for setting powder or even bronzer. This RSVP blush is such a pretty, subtle shade of pink. The powder itself is very soft and blendable too. However, I don’t love the packaging as it’s meant to go in a Doucce case or z-palette (neither of which I own).

Box Breakdown

  • Dry Shampoo Foam: .75 oz = $3.54
  • Hair Balm: .5 oz = $6.18
  • Mud Mask: .5 oz = $8.8 (this same mini sells for $12 on the Borghese website, but this is the value of actually product based on the full size)
  • Kabuki Brush: full size = $5
  • Pink Blush: .12 oz = $12 (That’s with the packaging, so I’m docking $2)

For $10, I received $33.50 worth of product. I love the Amika Dry Shampoo Foam and was happy to try another Oribe product. I also received a full size brush and got to try two new-to-me brands.

What did you receive this month? Do you like choosing the Curated box or being surprised? If you’re interested in Birchbox, you can sign up with my link!

Beauty Products I’ve Changed My Mind About!

Second chances that paid off

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I usually know right away if I’m going to love or hate a product. Maybe it’s the wrong shade, or the formula isn’t meant for my skin type, or the scent is just way too strong for me. If I’m leaning towards liking a product, I test it for at least a week before deeming it a favorite. But when a product falls in between my favorites and garbage pile, I’m usually not super thrilled about using it. If it’s just okay, what’s the point?

I decided to give some of my in-between products a second chance recently. Of the bunch, these two have really grown on me! I actually love getting use out of something I had almost written off too!

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The Tool Cool for School Guggenosaurus Concealer has become my go-to! One side is a matte concealer for covering spots (bottom swatch) while the other is really creamy and has a peachy tone for under eyes (middle swatch). They both blend quickly and look natural. The under eye side is definitely my favorite because it quickly brightens and has a natural finish (not matte or too dewy). When I tried originally this, I think it was too dark for me. Now that I have a bit of a summer tan going on, it’s actually the only concealer in my collection that matches my skin tone. I’m so happy about this one!

I always loved the color of this MAC Pro Longwear Lip Liner in Staunchly Stylish – it’s the perfect deeper pinkish nude for me (top swatch). It also has a bit of dimension to the color, but it’s not frosty or glittery. The first couple times I used this liner, I felt like it was dry and dragging on my lips a little. It wasn’t very creamy, so I preferred my Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liner or Colourpop Lippie Pencil.  However, after using it more, I think that top layer was just a bit stiff and now I’ve sharpened it and gotten into the true product. I usually fill my lips in completely and then add a balm over the top for a bit of hydration and sheen. This combo matches pretty much any eye look and it lasts for half the day while fading away nicely.

After using these two products for a couple weeks, I’ve added them into my everyday makeup bag (which is pretty small!). Have you discovered a favorite product after disliking it?

New Bliss Cleansing Sticks – Cold Pressed, No Dull Days, Oh My Gommage

A travel must-have!

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Bliss was so sweet to send me their new cleansing sticks that are available online, at Ulta, and Target! I’ve never tried a stick skincare formula before, so I was really excited to test these out. The solid form is perfect for travel since it doesn’t count as a liquid. I also think these are convenient for a quick cleanse after the gym!

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Cold Pressed is my favorite of the whole bunch! It’s 40% olive oil, which helps break down makeup, but it also foams lightly so you can easily rinse this cleanser away. I love that it doesn’t leave any residue on my skin while effectively taking off my makeup. I apply this stick on a wet or dry face and then wipe the top off with a clean, dry hand. Next, I wet both hands and rub lightly to create a little foam. After about 20 seconds, I rinse it off with more water. It’s quick and gentle and has become my nightly staple!

No Dull Days is a charcoal based cleanser that purifies and also removes makeup. I like how this doesn’t strip my skin; most charcoal cleansers are too harsh for me. It also smells really pleasant! If you like to double cleanse, I think this makes a good first cleanse because it can leave a bit of a residue behind in my experience.

Oh My Gommage is a nice, gentle exfoliating cleanser. It has plant-based fibers that aren’t as rough as your typical physical exfoliating ingredients (like sugar crystals or walnut chips). You could definitely use this every day since it’s not too abrasive. I’m more of a chemical exfoliation kind of girl, but I’m happy to have this on hand for when I do feel the need to slough off some dead surface skin cells.

Overall, I would definitely recommend these! I think there’s one for everyone depending on what type of cleanser you’re looking for as well as different skin types. Cold Pressed is the best in my opinion, so it may be a good place to start!

Drugstore Dud or Delight? L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick Collection

Swatching pretty pink shades

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Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve ever owned any L’Oreal lip products! People tend to love or hate them, mostly based on the scent. The Color Riche Matte and original Color Riche lines have a bit of a floral fragrance, but it’s not too strong in my experience (and I’m pretty sensitive to perfume-y scents). The Color Riche Shine line smells the best in my opinion; it is reminiscent of the original with a sweeter, candy-like note.

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I have a couple L’Oreal Color Riche shades in 135 Ballerina Shoes and 580 Peony Pink. These have a very frosty finish; I’m not sure if I would wear them alone, but they’re awesome for layering. I love the hint of shimmer in the middle of the lips especially to make them appear larger. Ballerina Shoes is quite light, so it’s nice to mix with deeper colors, while I love the berry undertones in Peony Pink . These have a decent 4 hours of lasting power before you have to touch up. They’re comfortable throughout the wear and fade pretty evenly as well.

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From left: Ballerina Shoes, Sparkling Rose, and Peony Pink

My favorite item is definitely the L’Oreal Color Riche Shine in 908 Sparkling Rose. This is such a gorgeous color! It’s a natural-looking, light pink. It’s perfect for summer since it brightens up your face and pairs so well with nude or bright eyeshadow looks. The Color Riche Shine line has a gorgeous glossy finish with a balm-like texture. It feels very lightweight on the lips and you can easily build it up for more opaque color. It doesn’t last on my lips for more than a couple hours, but I don’t expect that for a shinier lipstick.

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I’ve read a few reviews that mention how the L’Oreal lipsticks taste like you’re drinking perfume too. I don’t tend to lick my lips often, especially when I’m wearing lipstick, but it’s not as horrible as I was expecting. I wouldn’t recommend tasting it – as with any lip product, you’re not supposed to consume it.

For the Satin and Shine finishes, I would definitely say they are a drugstore delight! Sparkling Rose has been in my bag every day since I received it! It’s the perfect throw on and go formula because you don’t have to worry too much about precision. It’s lightly hydrating and comes in a bunch of pretty shades. Since I’m not much of a matte lipstick girl, I’ve decided to save all of the others for an upcoming giveaway!

Thanks to Influenster for this complimentary VoxBox so I can share my honest opinion.

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