April Birchbox Unboxing and Mini Reviews

Monthly Birchbox review

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Here are the five items I received this month! I requested the Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse for my sample choice item. I love their wave spray and dry texture spray, so I figured I would enjoy this product as well. I do think it gives nice volume (and smells amazing, of course), but there was a bit of a learning curve with the amount of product to use. First I used too little and I couldn’t tell much of a difference. The next time I used too much and my hair was crunchy/stiff at the crown. Now I know to use about a golf ball sized pump.

The only skincare item I received this month was the Bioderma Sensibio Eye Contour Gel. I’ve actually never tried this brand before, but I’ve heard great things. I love how lightweight this is because I’m prone to milia and avoid heavy eye creams. It has caffeine to reduce puffiness and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. It’s also supposed to have a light-reflecting effect, but I don’t really notice that. I think this is a great size for travel and I’m happy to have tried something from Bioderma.

One of my favorite things about Birchbox is being able to try out unique and niche brands. I received the Fill and Tame Brow Gel in Brunette from Beautaniq Beauty which is the perfect shade for my dark brown brows. It holds the hair in place without feeling crunchy which is great; it’s also pretty pigmented and the brush shape is a perfect tapered cone.

This Cupuacu Butter Lip Balm is a cute mini from Adesse New York. It glides on very easily and leave a hint of color behind. I built up the swatch a little so the color would be visible. It makes my lips look just a bit lighter and pinker and moisturizes for a short amount of time. My lips are always dry and I’m a total lip balm addict, so this one wasn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad either.

I also received a mini of the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara, which I did a whole blog post about. I’ve already put the new one aside for my next giveaway!

Box breakdown:

  • Benefit Mascara (.1 oz): $8
  • Beautaniq Brow Gel (full size!): $12
  •  Adesse Lip Balm (.05 oz): $11
  •  Oribe Mousse (.18 oz): $5.5
  •  Bioderma Eye Gel (0.06 oz): $2.4

For $10, I received about $39 worth of product! I absolutely love the full sized brow gel and was happy with all of the brands I received – any box with Oribe is a win in my book and I like trying smaller brands as well. If you’re interested in Birchbox, I would so appreciate if you used my link to subscribe.

What did you get in your box this month? What’s your favorite beauty subscription box? I just subscribed to Beautyfix from Dermstore!

Sunday Riley The Influencer Foundation – First Impressions

If you read my post about the Sunday Riley Pop Up event last week, you know how much I love this brand! But how did I get on with their newest launch? Here’s a video capturing my first impressions on The Influencer Clean, Long-wear Foundation and an update several hours later.

Are you excited to test this out? What’s your favorite foundation at the moment?

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – The Blue Box Cafe Experience

Shopping and brunching

When Reed’s family came in for Easter, we were able to squeeze in a trip to the Tiffany flagship store for some shopping, brunch at the Blue Box Cafe, and a tour of the on-site workshop. It was such a fun day, so I thought I would share our experience on the blog!

First we had brunch on the fourth floor. How cute is this decor? Everything was perfectly on theme from the gorgeous blue walls and chairs to the Tiffany china on the table. The Blue Box Cafe even serves their own tea blend – which is delicious by the way.

Breakfast comes with an adorable fruit salad with tiny flowers and croissants while lunch is served with your choice of three appetizers. I chose the truffled eggs – which were delicious – Gramma had a lobster salad, Jill had avocado toast, and Brent had a waffle. We were all very happy with the food.

After the main course, we were pretty full but just had to order the Tiffany box cake for dessert. How adorable, right? It’s a lemon funfetti cake with buttercream frosting. Overall the service was great and the atmosphere made it really special. If you can get a reservation I would definitely recommend visiting the Blue Box Cafe.

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After brunch we were invited to go down to the private salon to try on jewelry. The associates were so helpful and sweet – they treated us to champagne and we were able to view all of these gorgeous, elaborate pieces from emeralds and rubies, to pink and yellow diamonds.

The salon was a beautiful room and relaxing break from the busy floors full of people shopping. I also loved seeing the sketches, CADs, and showcase pieces. Here are some of the rings we tried on and a custom necklace designed for Greta Gerwig.

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After that, we had a tour of the workshop where the amazing artisans were working on hand crafted pieces. Some of them were for the Jean Schlumberger collection that is being celebrated this month and they were so intricate and beautiful! The amount of detail, effort, and thought that goes into the work there was seriously impressive and made me even more of a fan. Photos weren’t allowed here unfortunately.

It was such a lovely day with our family. The biggest thanks to Tiffany for such a wonderful experience and making us feel like royalty!

Sunday Riley Pop Up Experience – The Influencer Foundation

A fun blogger event!

Anastasia and I went to a blogger preview yesterday for the Sunday Riley Pop Up (which opens today)! The event is for the new foundation launch and we had such a great time! The whole space felt like a playground with tons of fun props, confetti showers, a giant slide, and a candy bar. It was packed as there were Instagram-worthy shots all around and tons of bloggers mingling. The founder, Sunday Riley, was even there!

The new foundation is called The Influencer and it comes in 20 shades. It officially launched two days ago and is available at Sephora ($42 for 1.08 oz). The formula is described as a clean and long-wearing with medium to full coverage and a satin-matte finish. I absolutely love that it comes with a pump too. We were able to get shade matched at the party and received a full size foundation to test out!

I’m the lightest shade (per usual) which has golden undertones. The artist actually tried four shades on me – I think the range has a great variety of depth and undertones. We also received samples of U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Facial Oil (which I actually had never tried) and Good Genes, which is one of the best Lactic Acid treatments I’ve used. I’m so thankful and overwhelmed by how generous the team at the pop up was!

Sunday Riley is one of my very favorite skincare brands – I love the Luna Sleeping Oil and I’ve raved about the C.E.O. Moisturizer on Instagram here and way back on the blog here. So even though I’m not a huge foundation person, I’m really excited to try this one! I hope it lives up to the natural-looking and lightweight-feeling claims. Check out my review next week!

The pop up is open through Sunday at 201 Mulberry Street here in NYC. Are you excited about the new foundation? What’s your favorite Sunday Riley product??

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara Review

Testing Benefit’s newest launch

The Benefit mascaras are pretty hit or miss for me – Rollerlash is one of my all time favorite mascaras, but I hate They’re Real, so I decided to try a mini from Birchbox to test out Bad Gal Bang ($24 for the full size). I prefer a mix between length and volume that looks fluttery, not clumpy or spidery.

Here’s a close up of the brush – the bristles are very short and only slightly increase in length at the end of the brush to create a cone shape. It’s also a very wet formula that coats your lashes immediately. I think I would prefer longer bristles to brush through and separate the lashes because the amount of product can create clumps quickly.

I have to be very careful applying this, but I do like the overall effect. It’s best when brushed through with a clean wand, but I can make it work without that step too. You can also build Bad Gal Bang up very quickly to get dramatic, voluminous lashes.

This is one light coat of the mascara – I think it looks defined yet still natural. I wanted to mention that it’s a bit harder to remove, which I find true for all of the Benefit formulas. Personally, I still prefer Rollerlash, but I’m happy to have this for more dramatic nights.

Have you tried the new Benefit Bad Gal Bang? What’s your favorite mascara??

Haircare Favorites – Styling Routine

Sharing an easy routine

I’ve been narrowing down my haircare products to find a routine that works for my fine, wavy hair. This one is pretty simple and only requires three products after the shower. Then I have my two favorite dry styling products from Living Proof when my hair needs a refresh or some hold.

After shampoo and conditioner (I’m currently using this line which smells amazing but doesn’t weigh my hair down), I wrap my hair in a cotton t-shirt for ten minutes. It’s pretty long, so this helps cut down on the time it takes to air dry my hair.

Then, while it’s damp, I spray this Bumble and Bumble Curl Primer all over. I love how it adds hydration without being heavy; my hair is pretty dry, so I even use it at my roots and it doesn’t make them greasy at all. It also smells great! I sadly just finished my bottle after taking this shot, so I’m using the Ouai Leave in Conditioner. It works well, but the scent is really strong.

Then I spray the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray from my ears down. It helps give a little more definition to my waves. It also has aloe vera so it’s not too drying (but I always need a leave in beforehand). Another favorite is the Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray which smells divine and works beautifully.

Lastly, I add a tiny amount of this Curl Keeper Gel for a little hold. You have to be careful not to use too much or it can get crunchy. This keeps my waves intact and helps cut down on frizz.

Since I only wash my hair three times a week, I need dry shampoo in the meantime. This Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is the best I’ve tried. It’s so effective at removing oil and shakes out easily. The scent isn’t too strong but it smells great in my opinion. I’ve also liked the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo and Hask Chia Seed Dry Shampoo. The latter is so affordable, but it does leave a little build-up.

Lastly, if I’m going to curl my hair with a wand, I use the Not Your Mother’s Beat the Heat Shield Spray first (totally forgot to shoot…). After I’m done, I’ll spray this Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray from my ears down. It’s never crunchy, which I love, and I can easily run my hands through my hair afterward. Living Proof products have really impressed me – I don’t think there’s a single one that didn’t work for me!

Those are my styling staples and quick routine – it literally takes two minutes to apply the three products and then I finish air drying. What are your favorite haircare brands?? Anything I should try for dry, wavy hair?

Brand Spotlight: L’occitane En Provence

Featuring a French favorite

I wanted to start a new series featuring some of my favorite brands with an overview or quick reviews of the products I’ve been loving. It’s the perfect time to begin with L’Occitane since they’re having their 20% Friends and Family Sale this week (by the way this totally isn’t sponsored – I just love the line!).

When I lived in Chicago, I walked past a L’Occitane store nearly every day and often popped in for the scents alone; everything they make smells delicious or beautiful. I actually put a piece of the Verbena soap in my jewelry box, so I can smell it more often. It’s such a refreshing, pretty fragrance that’s perfect for spring.

Since being back in NYC, I don’t come across their stores as often, so I’m really glad they reminded me of their products with this cute gift set. I’ve loved the Shower Oil for years – it’s plush and foams up, but it’s also super moisturizing. I hadn’t tried the classic Shea scent before though and I really like it so far.

Surprisingly, I haven’t really explored their skincare, besides an eye cream a while back, so I was excited to try this face cream. It’s the Immortelle Precious Cream – pretty serious name, huh? I love the texture of this – it feels rich without being greasy. It has a somewhat floral scent, so just be careful if you’re sensitive to fragrance.

I usually have one of their Shea Butter Hand Creams in each of my bags and on my nightstand too. They’re really moisturizing without leaving a gross residue behind. This one is in the Cherry Blossom scent, but I absolutely love the Zesty Lime one that comes out during this time of year. It’s fresh and citrusy and perfect for some warmer weather! The bright green tube is also easy to spot in your bag.

My very favorite line has to be the Almond – these products smell so warm and comforting and make my skin really soft. I’ve had the Shower Oil, Milk Concentrate, and tiny Exfoliating Soap from a gift set last Christmas. This is the most luxurious line in my opinion and totally worth the price because the products last quite a while and the scent lingers on your skin all day.

Now I’m craving the Almond line and I definitely want to try more of their skincare. Have you ever tried L’Occitane? What’s your favorite body care brand?