Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day of Beauty

Sometimes you just need a mid-week pick-me-up, especially in January.  Today, a pick-me-up is what I got when my very first Birchbox got delivered, so I decided to continue the beauty theme of the day with a little trip to Sephora and a stop at CVS on my way home.  These three little biddies turned this dreary Boston Wednesday into my day of beauty!

I only purchased a few items, and the rest of the goodies you see here were free samples I got.  I. Love. Samples.

Today's haul

Since I just got all this stuff tonight I haven't tried it all, but of course a DIY facial and hot shower was necessary to try out what I could.   Here's a rundown of what I got, what I have tested so far and where you could buy it all.  None of these brands asked me to use or review their products, they just happen to be what I picked up today.

Loreal Paris Total Repairs Restoring Shampoo & Conditioner - $7.99 ea for the big bottle at CVS.    (I love that the price tags that tell the price per ounce, the big bottle was $31 per ounce, small bottle $39 per even though it would have been cheaper in the moment to purchase the smaller bottles for $4.99 each, it's a better value to purchase the larger bottle for a couple more dollars!)  I've never tried this brand before, but I love to switch up my shampoos and conditioners to keep it fresh.  I chose the Restoring option because I've been coloring my hair for the last 12+ months and need products that cater to super-processed hair.  Gotta keep the shine in check!  These both have a light, pretty scent and super creamy consistency.  Check out this site to sign up for a free sample. 

Sephora Dissolvant Express nail polish remover - $1.00 at Sephora.  I can't help myself when it comes to $1 bins, and I love to do my own nails so I figured why not.  Impulse buy!

Origins Out of Trouble 10-minute Mask - $23 at Sephora.  I went to Sephora today specifically to find a nice new mask product to try.  Work has been insanely stressful lately, and my face is showing it, so I wanted to find something to give my skin a little TLC.   The package description sounded like exactly what I needed:

When skin is too-slick or when more pressing problems start to pop up, it's Origins to the rescue to keep skin out of trouble. Nature's trouble-shooters, including super-absorbent Zinc Oxide and Sulfur, calming Camphor rapidly responds to problem skin's plight with a three-part plan - sop up oily-shine, slough off sticky, dead cells, and sweep away irksome debris. Together they steer skin clear of slippery situations, refine rough texture and pull the plug on troublemakers to oust potential outbursts. Best for combination oily skin.

I just tried this out tonight and so far, so good.  My skin is super sensitive so I was a little nervous, but Origins makes great products that I usually don't have any issues with.  This mask dries up on your face as expected, but doesn't become painfully tight like some do.  I washed it off with warm water in the shower and while I don't see any clearups yet (usually this takes overnight), I do find that my face feels noticeably smoother and less bumpy.  Happy with this purchase!

benefit for Sephora - Primping with the Stars kit - $32.00 at Sephora.  I picked this up to keep in my desk at work.  I always want to do a little touchup, but never have all of the makeup in my purse that I want to tidy up my face.  This kit seems to have everything except the powder to freshen up mid-day or before happy hour.  My beautiful friend Stef used to be a benefit makeup artist, and has shared the bene-tint and Some Kinda Gorgeous foundation with me in the past, the other products will all be new to me.  It includes:
- 0.08 oz Stay Don't Stray Stay-Put Primer for Concealers and Eyeshadows 
- 0.12 oz Some Kind-A-Gorgeous Foundation in Medium 
- 0.13 oz Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain 
- 0.25 oz The Porefessional Pro Balm 
- 0.25 oz Girl Meets Pearl Liquid Pearl for Face 
 - 0.1 oz They're Real! Beyond Mascara in Black

I think this will be a good kit of mini's to keep in my desk, and picked up a cheap eyelash curler from CVS to keep with it. 

Now, onto the free stuff!  Many of these came in my very first Birchbox, which is one of the gifts B-hubs gave me for Christmas.  Once a month for a year, I will get a pretty little box filled with luxury beauty samples picked just for me based off of a profile I filled out.  Very cool company, started by two Bostonians.  Check it out here!

Sampar Ultra Hydrating Fluid - free sample from Birchbox.  Ho-ly-mo-ly this is a gorgeous moisturizer.  It's light, SUPER hydrating, and has a beautiful scent.  I will not buy the full size at $71 for 1.7 oz seeing as that is very, very expensive, but I will cherish every drop of this sample and ask for it for a birthday or Christmas gift.  Love!!

12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment - free sample from Birchbox.  I haven't tried this yet, but it is a leave-in treatment that is supposed to get a handle on frizz and freshen up colored or damaged hair.  Sounds pretty good, I will try it before my blow-dry tomorrow.  The full size product of this retails for $19, definitely doable if it's a great product.  I don't currently use a protecting spray pre-blowdry or style, so it is probably a good idea to get on that.  

Fresh brand samples!  Citron de Vigne Eau de Parfum - free sample from Birchbox, Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream and Soy Face Cleanser - free samples from Sephora.  So far I've only tried the fragrance, and I love it.  The description reads:  pinot-infused, pairs a rich grape core with bright notes of citrus.  I got the citrus, and almost a woodsy undertone (though not manly, even though that sounds it), and find it to be a really beautiful, winter scent.  I may have to shell out the $80 for the full-size parfum spray for this if I still like it after wearing it for a few days.  So far, I love it, and have yet to find a really good winter scent.  


theBalm Hot Mama blush- this is a teeny tiny free sample from Birchbox, and while I haven't tried it yet, it looks very similar to my favorite blush - NARS Orgasm.  Excited to try this one!

Last, but not least, the Birchbox lifestyle extra for January was a dark chocolate peppermint holiday fortune cookie from Emily's Chocolates.  Haven't opened it yet, but certainly will soon!

And that wraps up my longest post every, I think.  Let me know if you have tried any of these products, or if you have other favorites to suggest.  Happy Wednesday, Sweets!

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