March vs. April Birchbox

Birchbox can either be the greatest part of your month, or one of the worst. Lately, it has been a bit of both. I always try to do the early sample pick (which never works out) and change up my beauty questionnaire to mix up the likelihood of my product selection. In March and April, I received boxes with duplicate products from past boxes or purchases from Birchbox. Here is a comparison of my March and April boxes!

MARCH: I ordered the Roller Lash mascara from Benefit on Birchbox and it happened to come the same day as my March box! How lucky!

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PROS: This Cargo Blush has changed my view on cheek shades. I was an all pink lady, but now I am all about the coral shades! A perfect product to enhance your summer glow! I got the Cargo Bronzer in one of my boxes a couple of months back and thought it was OK… nothing unique besides being waterproof! But why would you want waterproof blush? I cannot think of any situation where I will be dolling up my face just to jump in the pool! Can you?

CONS: I purchased an Amika gift set in January from Birchbox with my points… Got quite a bit off! But why would Birchbox then put a product I purchased from them in my box? Just a little annoying… wish it was another brand! By the way – Amika has phenomenal dry shampoo! Absorbs all the oils and leaves you with a blow out look.

APRIL: I absolutely ADORE this box! Such a great collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. Definitely check out their website for extraordinary stationary!

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PROS: When I saw the sample selections for April, I was immediately drawn to the Bee Venom face mask… BEE VENOM?? What kind of ingredient is that?? It smells wonderful, is very soothing, and completely transformed my skin from a dry bone to a blossoming flower (a little cheesy, but it’s the truth). This is going to be my next purchase from Birchbox!! BEWARE – if you are allergic to bees, avoid the venom at all costs! Birchbox even sent a warning for costumers who are allergic.

CONS: I mentioned in a blog (see here) that I get tons and tons of lotions from my boxes! STOP! I do not need any more body or hand lotion…! I should have taken a picture of my lotion stash for this post. Plus, the Temple Spa lotion was a REPEAT! My first Birchbox repeat and it wasn’t even a product I liked. Oh well… cannot win them all!

Lipstick Tray of 2015

Lipstick – each vibrant shade can transform your look & day 

FACE Stockholm Lipsticks

I am falling in love all over again with lipsticks. This acrylic tray holds 24 tubes and allows you to display the shades you love! Most of my collection (at least the products pictured here) is from FACE Stockholm. With over 100 shades to choose from, FACE has it ALL!

Here are my Top 5 from this collection:

  1. Strawberry Veil – a sheer pink. Strawberry Veil is my GO TO lipstick. Easy to apply, stays on long, semi-natural looking, and moisturizes – the perfect combinations for a daily lipstick!
  2. Smile – a hot fuchsia shade with a dose of shimmer. I cannot get over how bright, fun, and eccentric Smile is! It honestly is a color that will brighten and liven anyone’s day.
  3. Bästa – a deep marsala. I adore this trendy shade. With Marsala being the Pantone color of 2015, Bästa will take your style and #FOTD to the next level! P.S. – Bästa means supreme in Swedish!
  4. Success – a sophisticated, toned pink. A universal lip color, like Success, is a necessity for all makeup collections! Similar to a day and night wardrobe, this lipstick can go from the work environment to the latest social event.
  5. Matte Sahara – a true nude with a matte effect. This is a perfect lipstick to pair with a dramatic, smokey eye. I think it is sooo simple and elegant yet edgy. It really is a twist from an ordinary nude with a slight pink hue and matte properties.

Interested in other shades? Here is the full list starting from bottom left and going up: Leva, Matte Sahara, Softly, Diva – Light Mist, Matte Fashion, Wineberry Veil, Ansvar – Naked, Cranberry Veil, Bästa, Mantra – Fame Factory, Strawberry Veil, Instinct, Smile – Success, Silk, Stunning Matte, Matte Desert – Friendship Veil, Vibe, Flirt, Raspberry Veil

2015 Foundation Routine – Combat Dryness

My skin has always been red, especially my cheeks. The redness comes in various blotches when dryness hits. Winter months are a killer in the Northeast since everything from your pinky finger to your lips become suddenly chapped. To combat this dryness, I decided to try a new foundation routine that would eliminate redness while adding medium coverage.

Sephora Haul Foundation Routine

On a frigid day in NYC, I went to a Sephora in Union Square. Here I met a lovely sales associate (can I just say – her skin was BEAUTIFUL). She tested my skin using the Skincare IQ system. This device takes pictures and measurements from your skin in three places – neck, cheek, and forehead. The recommendations were on point ranging from Benefit’s Hello Flawless to Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer. I tried on these foundations but did not enjoy the coloring and coverage. Here were my final picks after looking at countless medium coverage routines:

  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation – I am Beige 3 in this product – it matches my skin perfectly! I am worried about wearing medium coverage foundations due to the threat of a “cake face.” This foundation actually looks like skin while covering all blemishes!
  • smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – One thing I learned from the Sephora sales associate – primer is a necessity. I went for the Color Correcting Adjust Primer from smashbox because the green pigment reduces all redness while smoothing the skin. I really like the feel of this product … it acts like a skin drink by immediately reducing redness and hydrating skin before the foundation. This primer is also great on its own.
  • Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner – How often do you clean makeup brushes? If you are like me, probably once a month (bad habit)! A brush should be cleaned after every use and then deep cleaned every two weeks. Since purchasing this brush cleaner, I have been cleaning my brushes daily with a paper towel. Unlike a dirty brush, a clean one allows for a smooth application without any loose pigments floating around.
  • Sephora Brush #55 – Before this purchase, I normally applied all foundation with a sponge. I decided to go for a brush that created a true airbrush finish. Brush #55 from the Sephora collection is perfect. The size is just right because it can reach areas of all sizes on the face while creating a flawless look through the buffing motion – take the brush and apply the foundation to your hand to warm it up, then buff gently on the face in circular motions.

P.S. – here is a sneak peak at my skin using this routine! I was not using this picture for the blog… but thought my skin looked great! What is your foundation routine? Share below!

Skin Routine