I Just Got Accepted… By Me

Louise Hay Quote

I’ve said it before and I don’t know why it is so acceptable for us- especially women- to be so down on ourselves. We beat ourselves up for things that we celebrate in others. Even if someone compliments us, we over-analyze or try to read way too much into someone’s kind words.

Why do we do that?

We each have insecurities. That is perfectly normal. We see some imperfections- real or imagined- and see those imperfections made perfect in someone else and ask, Why can’t I be like that?

Here’s an answer to that question: What if you weren’t meant to be made like that? Have you considered that? Okay, here is a better answer: If you were meant to be a different way, than you would be that way.

Each of us has been given special gifts and talents and unique qualities that make us, well, us. When you think about and accept the fact that there will never, ever be another person like you, it’s both humbling and remarkable.

The next time you start to say something bad about yourself, say something positive instead. 




Review: Enraptured by Ruffian’s Rapture Collection


Birchbox recently selected some bloggers to review a new collection of nail lacquer from Ruffian and I was so pleased to be included in this lucky group! Ruffian is a New York-based fashion line that has recently added nail polish to its fashion empire. This line of polish is available exclusively thru Birchbox.

Oh, I guess full disclosure: I got this collection for free because I am a Birchblogger, a community of bloggers who get sneak peeks to upcoming products available at Birchbox, access to giveaways and products to review. I did not receive any compensation from Birchbox or Ruffian for this review and this review is my honest opinion about the products I received.

Okay, that’s out of the way. On with the fun stuff!

Birchbox sent me The Rapture Collection which includes a trio of metallic polishes: Ambrosia, a lovely, soft metallic lavender; Relic, a cool silvery taupe; and Rosary, a nice rose gold color that reminds me of a rosé drink.

This was not my first time trying Ruffian- I had received two polishes in Birchboxes last fall: Hedge Fund, a nice, mossy green; and Fox Hunt, a pumpkiny orange color- both perfect fall colors. So I was thrilled to try these new colors!

My first impression is that I love, love, love the colors in The Rapture Collection! The first one that caught my eye was Ambrosia, but I decided to try Relic on my hands and Rosary on my toes.

If you are worried about trying metallic polish, let me assure you that these are not “scary” metallics. I work in a conservative office environment and have no worries about wearing these to work. As promised, the polish goes on pretty smoothly. I did two layers of polish on my manicure but only one on my toes, plus base coat and top coat.

My Relic manicure!

I really like the bottle design, especially the cap. The little knob is not only a stylish twist, it gives you a bit more control as you are applying the polish. Smart thinkers, those Ruffians!

Oh goodness! I forgot to mention that Birchbox also sent me a box of Ruffian Perfumed Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes. And yes, they are perfumed with a light lily scent. Hands down, the best smelling nail polish remover I have ever experienced.

The wipes are sold in a box of 10 black towelettes, each individually wrapped. This is great for travel- after all, chipped nails can happen anywhere and who wants to deal with a bottle of polish remover away from home? Compared to other polish remover, they do a good job. I must say they were not as effective as the Sephora nail polish remover I’ve been using. But one towelette successfully removed polish from my pedicure and the subtle floral scent was a refreshing surprise.


Recently I have been having a love/hate relationship with nail polish. I love all of my colors but hate it when they chip after 24 hours. Ugh! So much work just to do it again later. I’ve written this review immediately after applying the polish and will give an update on how long it lasts before it chips.

Ruffian nail lacquer is available through Birchbox and cost $11 per color and The Rapture Collection retails for $26.50. The remover towelettes are sold for $12 for a box of 10.



Birchbox August 2014 Sneak Peek + Pick A Sample!

Oh, my goodness gracious, everyone! Birchbox just got a bit awesomer for August 2014!

They are expanding the Sample Choice option they launched in July (subscribers got to choose the color of one makeup sample). For the August box, subscribers can choose one of four samples to be included in their boxes. How cool is that?!?!

Here are the four items subscribers can choose from:

  • Noir’s Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir (http://birch.ly/1zTiB2H). It goes on smoothly and its waterproof formula is perfect for these icky summer days.
  • Laura Geller Cool Lid Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands (http://birch.ly/1rqfa0X). It has a sheer shimmer when worn alone or you can layer a powder eyeshadow over it. 
  • Modelco is an amazing Australian brand and their Shimmer Bronzing Powder (http://birch.ly/1sBLXRd) is exclusive to Birchbox
  • Birchbox fave- theBalm’s Stainiac in Beauty Queen (http://birch.ly/1nIAcQU)- is a great gel that adds sheer color to both lips and cheeks.

Decisions, y’all. Decisions!

Okay, a couple of things to point out. Based on the video notes, I gather you will not be able to pick a different color of these products, so keep that in mind when picking your sample. Especially if you are considering the Laura Geller eyeshadow or Modelco bronzing powder. Also, you know how BB’s sneak peek videos often display both the full-size and the sample size? They did that here… except they didn’t show a sample size of the eyeliner. So one could assume that the eyeliner sample is actually a full-size.

I’m just applying some Encyclopedia Brown guessing on that. Birchbox has sent full-size products as the samples before. In fact, I’ve received two full-size eyeliners as “samples”. The Noir sample may really be a sample size, but go ahead and squeal with joy if it is indeed full-size!

Which sample are you going to pick? My first choice is theBalm’s Stainiac. I already have a full-size and a sample of this product, but I always like to have extras for emergencies, my desk drawer at work, or even to “share the product love” with a friend.

If you are a subscriber, make sure you keep an eye on your inbox for the email letting you know when you can pick your sample. The email should be going out on July 24!

If you are not a Birchbox subscriber, click here to subscribe for only $10 a month

Golly. And this is only part one of the August Sneak Peek. Can’t wait for part two!



Birchbox: Spend $75 and Get August Box FREE!

Between now and July 23, Birchbox subscribers who spend $75 or more on full-size products on Birchbox.com can get their August 2014 box for free! Just use code NEXTBOXFREE at checkout. If you have been planning to make a purchase from Birchbox, now is the time to do it! 

Not a subscriber yet? Click here to subscribe for $10 a month.

Happy Shopping!



Birchbox: July 2014


This month Birchbox partnered with Women’s Health magazine to create boxes to help subscribers “Power Up” our month. Birchbox partnered with the magazine last year (in April 2013?) and I really like it when they team up with other companies to give us themed boxes. 

I have two Birchbox subscriptions with one profile serving my classic taste and the other for my more adventurous side. So let’s get into my Birchbox vs Birchbox showdown!


Box #1: Adventurous/Trendy Profile


Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette (in Ballerina); Full size 20-color palette, $34

This 4-color sample is totally up my alley regarding the color. I did receive a similar palette a few months ago which I have not yet used. But I will definitely have to give this a shot. It is a perfect size for summer travel too!


Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Mask; Full size $25.95 

Sigh. I can not express how sick I am of receiving samples from this brand. It seems like I get samples every bleepin’ month. Will probably give this to a friend.


NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion; Full size $24

I love the fragrance and the texture is perfect- not too thick or thin. It has a slight peppery smell and contains olive oil and avocado oil.


Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1 Power Serum; Full size $34

I am a sucker for a good serum and this Birchbox exclusive is an anti-aging gel that hydrates, lifts, firms, and plumps fine lines. It states that you’ll see results in just one week. We’ll see!


Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel; Full size $48

I have to confess: I am a bit scared of peels. Did you see that episode of Sex & The City when Samantha had a bad reaction to a peel? Yeah- I know that was played up for TV, but I have read that peels can cause redness and I’m so nervous about having a bad reaction. But I will test this in a small area to see how it goes.


On to box #2!


Box #2: Classic Profile


100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel; Full size $15

This is the Beauty Extra in my box. I received a sample of 100% Pure Mascara that I liked and I am excited to try this one. One thing I do not like is that it is in a foil packet. This are hard to open in the shower, but hey.


Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Raina (Navy Blue); Full size $11

I received a full-size Sumita eyeliner in my first Birchbox so it’s great to be reacquainted with this brand. I like the navy blue color- it’s a great alternative to black. This is a soft wax pencil that promises to deliver long-lasting color that won’t irritate your eyes.


Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk; Full size $18

I have seen this sample on Birchbox before and am glad I finally got one myself. Yay! 


Vasanti Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser; Full size $24

Another brand I sampled in my first Birchbox, this Vasanti cleanser is sulfate-free and gently removes impurities without overdrying. 


NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion; Full size $24

Double trouble, baby! I love getting duplicates of great stuff.

One more thing that was included in each Birchbox was a card to redeem for a free one-year subscription to Women’s Health. If you don’t want to get this magazine, you have the option to request a refund of $9.99. 

Verdict: This is the second month in a row when I’ve enjoyed the selections for my Classic profile more than my Adventurous profile. It actually seems like the products for the Adventurous profile are actually not that Adventurous. I will play around with that profile to see if I can better tweak the samples I get. The samples I like the most this month are the NAOBAY lotion, Sumita eyeliner, Vasanti cleanser, and the Coastal Scents eyeshadow. I so wish I could stop getting hair product samples and have adjusted my profiles as such, but so far no luck. One thing I always do is submit product reviews to get my Birchbox points. I’ve got a good number of points and it is time for this girl to redeem them! I think a Birchbox Haul review is in my future!

You can still subscribe to Birchbox and get the July box with the card for a free Women’s Health magazine subscription. A monthly subscription is only $10 and is a great deal for sampling products and discovering your new favorite thing!



The Ultimate Birchbox Sneak Peek: July 2014


Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a Birchbox. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Okay, that’s not really how the line goes. But it might as well! Every month Birchbox surprises its customers with a new selection of products to sample and (hopefully) discover their new favorite things. Birchbox offers so many variations to its boxes- dozens in fact, with each box selected based on your profile.

Birchbox just posted a sneak peek of all of the colorful makeup products making their way into July boxes. Birchbox subscribers may get one or two of these awesome products.

You can visit their website for the full list and descriptions of all of the products, but here’s a quick rundown:
Benefit Cosmetics Posiebalm
Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil

Recently Birchbox gave some subscribers the option to choose the shade of a cosmetic sample they would receive in July. I got my email and it looks like I will be getting the LAQA & Co. Pencil. I’m a sucker for a great lip product so I am thrilled about trying this! Of the products listed above, I’ve previously received the Sumita Eyeliner, Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, both Cynthia Rowley products, and the Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Palette. If you get one of these, you’re in for a treat!

Which product are you interested in trying? If you are not to a Birchbox subscriber, click here to sign up today!



Review: Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner


When Birchbox announced that they were giving select subscribers a deluxe sample of Benefit’s new They’re Real Push-Up Liner, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I got the liner in my June 2014 box! I have been a fan of Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara and the description of the new liner sounded so good that I was absolutely dying to try it.

I must say- I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I hoped I would be. I didn’t have that immediate amazement that I had when I tried the They’re Real Mascara the first time. But let me go into a bit more detail.

This push-up liner features a cushioned tip that is designed to hug the lash line, giving you more control which is great if you’re doing a cat eye (or a kitten eye like I sometimes do since I don’t want to go full cat. Meow!). You also screw the base to release the product. The box said one twist would be enough for both eyes. But I found that I had to screw the top 2-3 times per eye. 

Pro: Long-lasting wear

If you’re looking for a long-lasting eye liner (and really, is anyone seeking an eye liner that doesn’t last long?), this one is perfect. In fact, this feature is to me the best one. The damn stuff doesn’t budge. Have you ever had an eye liner that you apply and then a few hours later, some of it has transferred or smudged onto the upper part of your eyelid? The They’re Real Liner will not do that. It stays put. On the flip side…

Con: Removing can be a pain

If you already use Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara, you already know that even though it is not marketed as waterproof, you need to use a waterproof eye makeup remover to get everything off. The same with this liner. When I tested it on my hands, it wouldn’t smudge with my finger. Even vigorously rubbing it, it wouldn’t budge. Again, I love that it lasts a long time, but if you are one who wants to be able to remove your eye makeup with your facial cleanser, you will need to spend more time cleaning or just go ahead and invest in a waterproof makeup remover. I use Sephora Collection’s Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover which does an amazing job and is incredibly budget-friendly. 

Con: Application is challenging- at least for me

I found applying this liner to be a bit challenging. I am used to applying my MAC gel liner with an eye liner brush, so going back to a pen liner was a bit weird. But even then, I do occasionally use a pencil and found Benefit’s to require a bit more work on my end. First of all, I felt that the Benefit liner dragged on my eye lid a bit. It wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped. Again, I am used to the brush application, but still, dude, not very smooth.

Second, I felt that I didn’t have as much control with this liner. I couldn’t always get it precisely where I wanted it to go, so I kept going over and over my lid which felt like a waste of time. 

Con: Only comes in black

I am being very picky here, but I wish it came in other colors besides black. I anticipate that based on the initial sales, Benefit will likely expand the color options. The MAC liner I use is burgundy, which I feel brings out my eyes more than a traditional black liner.

Overall: It’s not you Benefit, it’s me

I really, really, really wanted to be madly in love with this liner, but I just am not there. I will keep working with my sample to see if I can overcome my application challenges. I know this review comes off as if I hated the liner, but I don’t. I like it, but I’m not in love with it. It’s more like a long-distance crush kind of thing.

Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner retails for $24 and is available on Benefit’s website, at Sephora, and at Birchbox.com. I got an email from Sephora where for a limited time VIBs could get a deluxe sample of the liner with online orders when you use the code PUSHUP. So if you’re placing an online order in the next few days, you may want to use the code so you can try it yourself.

If you do try the liner, let me know what you think about it in the comments below. And also share what eye makeup products you can’t live without. For me, it’s definitely the They’re Real Mascara. If they ever discontinue that stuff, I will be stockpiling it. You’ve been warned!