April 2014 Birchbox Swatches, Review & Photos

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Another month and I’m still with Birchbox! I must say, between this month and last I’m happy my cancellation didn’t go through. Hopefully it’ll keep up like this! The theme for the April 2014 Birchbox is Rainy Days, which is referencing April Showers bringing (hopfully) May flowers.

Birchbox April 2014 Rainy DaysAs you open the box the card resting on top gives you a little explanation and greeting on one side and a run down of what is in your box on the other side.

Birchbox April 2014 ContentsLet’s see what’s going on for April!

Birchbox April 2013 Review PhotosFrom Anastasia Beverly Hills, Clear Brow Gel. I love this brow gel. I’ve got a full size here and the brush/tube are fantastic. It pulls up just enough product and doesn’t leave a bunch of wet gel clumps in your brow hair. While this size is just a mini it’ll be perfect for when I travel to NYC next month.

From Color Club, Breakfast at… Nail Polish. I loveeeee getting nail polish, especially these adorable mini sizes. Birchbox teamed up with style blogger Gala Gonzalez to create this particular shade and I love it! Breakfast at… is a beautiful mint pearl shade. Two coats.

Color Club Breakfast at... Nail Polish SwatchesFrom Paula’s Choice, 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant. This feels great on my skin! My skin is sensitive so I only use it once a week, but there is definitely a difference even after only using it once. I’ll likely buy the full size once I run out of this.

From Supergoop!, Daily Correct SPF35 CC Cream. I received the shade light/medium but it’s stated to be self-adjusting. At first I thought it would be way too dark but it really did adjust! I wish the sample size wasn’t so small. It’s laughably small.. maybe two uses if you’re lucky and use sparingly.

And, as a Lifestyle Extra, from KIND Snacks, Healthy Grains Bar – Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt. I love to get these in sample boxes. These bars aren’t something I’d jump to buy normally, but I usually love the taste. This particular flavor tasted fantastic but had a chewy, stale type of texture that I wasn’t a fan of.

Birchbox April 2014 Swatches Review PhotosThere was also a “tip” from 52 Bright Ideas for a Rainy Day. My tip number was 37 which told me to treat myself to a facial and other pamperings. It’s a once a week type thing that reminds you to do something for yourself.

Birchbox April 2014 TipsI was happy with this months shipment. If Birchbox keeps it up I might just fall back in love! I do believe it was worth $10 and it was a nice mix of makeup, nail, food and skin care. I’m definitely looking forward to next months shipment!

Wanna sign up for Birchbox(Click for referral) If you like what you see in this post go to the website and fill out the form.  It’s just $10 a month (free shipping too!) and you get some cool stuff, tho I will warn you, you’re going to get stuff you hate as well.

***Disclosure – I buy my own Birchbox, but the links posted here do give me referral points which I can use towards product on the site.  Once you sign up for your own Birchbox, you’ll also get a referral code to send out to others and get some points of your own!

Hot, Weather Ready Picks From Anastasia!

Press Sample/Affiliate Links

Anastasia has a couple of amazing products to keep you looking hot and vibrant this Summer, without melting away!

IMG_5133First I want to talk about Lash Genius Clear Waterproof Topcoat ($21.00).  I reviewed it awhile ago here, and if you followed the recent Waterproof post from Makeup Wars you’ll see that it was featured by almost all of the bloggers!  I personally don’t wear waterproof mascara, but we all need it every once in awhile for various reasons.  How perfect is it that there is a top coat to make any mascara waterproof and it actually works!

The Covet Waterproof Eyeliner ($19.00) applies easily to the lid without tugging and can actually even be used on the waterline.  I liked that it’s self-sharpening and can make a nice, precise line as well as work out something more dramatic.  It’s shown below in Noir.

IMG_5211IMG_5249You think Lash Genius is amazing?  The Brow Genius Kit ($24.00) will blow your mind.  You can create a brow look that is subtle or striking that will absolutely not budge.  How often do we do up our brows with a “stay-all-day” formula and we just aren’t sure if it’s actually staying… so we check.  And check.  All day it’s in the back of your head “are my brows still there or do I look hilarious”?  You can relax.  Use the powder and the gel to create your perfect brow and seal it with the brow sealer.  This set comes with all of that including a mini dual-ended tool with a small slanted brush side and a spoolie side.

IMG_5207Finally, the brightest of them all, the Hypercolor Brow and Lash Tint ($22.00 each).  These have great pigment and vivid colors.  I feel like it’s a lot to just wear this alone (I’m just not that bold!) so I just put the shades right on the tips of my lashes to add some vibrancy to my look.  It tints the brows fully and well, but I can’t say I’ll ever be one to rock that.  The tint is available in three shades - In the Pink, Electric Blue and Ultra-Violet.  Each shade comes with a bonus mini Lash Genius.

IMG_5137 IMG_5141 IMG_5177 IMG_5215 IMG_5224 IMG_5253Anastasia products can be purchased at Sephora, Nordstrom and Ulta as well as online at beauty.com and anastasia.net.


Anastasia Bold & Beautiful Kit Swatches, Review & EOTD

Introducing the Anastasia Bold & Beautiful Kit!  It’s compact, it’s portable, it’s wearable… it’s basically your travel-ready bestie.  With this slim palette duo, you can expertly work your bedroom eyes and perfect your brows for any occasion.


What the Nordstrom website says about the Anastasia Bold & Beautiful Kit:

Beauty by the book.

Volume 1 Bold Brows: Brow powder, pomade, mini duo brush and mini tweezers allow you to sculpt, define and beautifully layer color for perfect brows.

Volume 2 Beautiful Eyes: Four matte and shimmering shadows in versatile neutrals are the perfect shades to finish any look. Layer them wet and dry to create anything from a subtle, sheer wash of color to an intense, nude smoky eye.

133 136 137 148 157Volume One.  Create bold brows by using the Brow Powder & Pomade shades provided.  The look is meant to be dramatic, so as long as you blend well and brush the powder through with the provided brush it will look okay.  Tweeze off those stray hairs with the mini-tweezers that are also included in the kit.

196Volume Two.  Create beautiful eyes by blending shades together or using them alone.  All are nicely pigmented and smooth.  I only experienced a bit of fall-out with the darkest shade, shade four.

  • Shade One is a vanilla colored matte
  • Shade Two is a golden pink shimmer (and I think would also make a pretty blush!)
  • Shade Three is a caramel with a slight shimmer to it
  • Shade Four is a deep chocolate with golden shimmer

169The shades can be worn dry for a subtle or smoky look, but can also be worn wet to make the look become much more intense.  Below I used the shades dry to create a subtle yet smoky day-time look.

165 197(L-R: Shade One, Shade Two, Shade Three, Shade Four, Brow Pomade, Brow Powder)

For the EOTD I applied shade three all over the lid, shade two in the crease, shade four in the outer V and shade one to highlight.  The liner is Make Up For Ever 2L Aqua Eyes and the mascara is Neutrogena Healthy Volume.

198The Anastasia Bold & Beautiful Kit retails for $36 and will be available at Ulta, Nordstrom, Sephora Canada, Sephora.com and anastasia.net.


Anastasia Kisses On My List Volume 2 Hydrafull Gloss Set Swatches & Review – Holiday 2012

This Holiday, in addition to a stunning Eye Shadow Palette, Anastasia has released a Hydrafull Gloss Set in Kisses On My List Volume 2!  Because, when Volume 1 is so popular, you obviously release a second one.  And, later, a third… and so on!

What the Sephora website has to say about the Anastasia Kisses On My List Volume 2 Hydrafull Gloss Set:

What it is:
A limited-edition HydraFull Gloss set that includes three sheer, ultra-hydrating glosses and three new and exclusive Hypercolor glosses.

What it does:
HydraFull Gloss features high shine and bold, long-lasting color that’s clinically proven to improve the appearance and texture of the lips. Hypercolor reacts with your skin’s chemistry to stain your lips a custom hue that is all your own.

This set contains:
- 6 x 0.07 oz in Jolene, Moi, Maggie May, Roxanne, Lola, Sharona

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens

Research results:
Overall clinical results:
- 83% saw improvement in the texture of lips
- 90% reported lips are hydrated
After 10 minutes:
- 90% reported lips are hydrated
- 87% reported the lip gloss provides long lasting moisture
Results after four weeks:
- 83% saw improvement in the texture of lips
- 90% reported lips are hydrated after four weeks

(L-R: Moi, Maggie May, Sharona, Lola, Jolene, Roxanne)

  • Moi is a deep peachy cream.
  • Maggie May is a light peachy nude cream.
  • Sharona is a warm coral shimmer.
  • Lola is a bubblegum pink shimmer.
  • Jolene is a hot pink shimmer.
  • Roxanne is a light raspberry shimmer.

The creams are my favorite to wear, but the ones with shimmer aren’t gritty and aren’t disco ball over-kill.  The pigment is stellar on all six shades and they’re so wonderfully glossy!  Wear time isn’t too long, a few hours sans eating and drinking.

I’ve previously gone over my thoughts on the gloss formula and applicator (shown below), so I’ve gone ahead and reposted it below the pic so you don’t have to go looking for it.

The formula is on the sticky side… a bit more so than a MAC Lipglass (but not as thick), but no where near as bad as a Butter London Lippy.

Rather than a sponge or brush, the applicator is a plastic spatula.  This can be a positive or negative thing, depending on your preference.  On the plus side, it’s a lot easier to be sanitary with this type of applicator.  So, if you’re a makeup artist… or just like to be super clean… huge plus!  However, it doesn’t apply perfectly, and I found I need to swipe it on my finger to apply the best way, leaving me with the messy hands.  Personally, I prefer a sponge doe foot applicator.

In the end, this is a versatile and affordable set.  A great gift for the lip gloss lover on your Holiday 2012 shopping list!

The Anastasia Kisses On My List Volume 2 Hydrafull Gloss Set retails for $30 ($108 value) and is available at Sephora and Anastasia.net.

Anastasia Want You To Want Me Eye Shadow Palette Swatches, Review & EOTD – Holiday 2012

Anastasia is making the most out of the impending Holiday season by releasing a set that contains not only an eye shadow palette filled with 9 shadows, but also a mini eye liner and a mini clear brow gel!  Oh, AND a brush.  All in adorable clutch type form!

The Want You To Want Me Eye Shadow Palette comes complete with eye ball essentials to make your season festive.  Just add mascara!

What the Sephora website has to say about the Want You To Want Me Eye Shadow Palette:

What it is:
A deluxe eye shadow palette featuring an array of nude and plum shades and all that you need for a beautiful holiday look.

What it does:
This mirrored compact with brush features nine matte and pearlized nude and plum shades, Liquid Eye Liner, and Mini Clear Brow Gel to turn your eyes into a velvet goldmine. Illumin8 formula featuring Youthful Synergy Complex® is clinically proven to illuminate, firm, and hydrate the skin. Toss this gorgeous palette in your clutch for touch-ups wherever your night takes you.

This set contains:
- 9 x 0.025 oz Eye Shadow in Platform Wedge, Members Only, Graphic T’s, Iron on, Front Row Center, Ziggy, Brass in Pocket, Power Ballad, Jellies
- 0.085 oz Mini Clear Brow Gel
- 0.17 oz Liquid Eye Liner

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens

Research results:
-Clinical results of shimmer shades showed a 29% increase in skin hydration after one hour
-Consumer results after four weeks showed eyelids appeared 70% firmer and 83% smoother

The clutch opens at the bottom to reveal….

(L-R: Platform Wedge, Members Only, Graphic T’s, Front Row Center)

(L-R: Power Ballad, Brass In Pocket, Ziggy, Jellies, Iron On)

The nine shadows of the palette range from a satiny to frosty, yet all can work together and coordinate well.  The satiny shades tended to feel chalky, and I found them best for a lid color or to soften the edges of the crease for blending.  The frosty shades didn’t feature shimmer overkill and were easily blendable.  All of the shadows wore well over a primer and stood the test of time.. aka a day of wear.  Only two shades gave me noticeable fall-out (and it really wasn’t much) and they were Graphic T’s and Iron On.

The clear brow gel speaks for itself and is fabulous.  The mini black liner has great pigment and dries as a matte black.  The only thing I dislike about it is the brush.  It’s long, thin and flimsy… making it hard to control.  A more novice user may have a hard time with precise and even application.  Included as well is a dual-sided brush.  I’m never a fan of included brushes, but this one will be okay in a pinch!

For the first EOTD look I stuck with something more neutral.  After applying UDPP, I started off applying Front Row Center to the inner corners of the eyes and up.  Power Ballad is on the lid with Brass in Pocket in the crease.  I then took Graphic T’s and placed it in the outer V, blended over through the crease.  I blended out with Members Only and used Platform Wedge to highlight.  The top liner is MAC Teddy Eye Kohl, the bottom is MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl.  The mascara is the Too Faced Lash Extension System.

For the second EOTD look I used the rest of the shades.  Beginning with a thin layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion, I put Jellies all over the lid, Ziggy in the crease, and used Iron On in the outer V (blending into the crease color).  For above the crease up to the brow I applied Front Row Center.  The black liquid liner is part of the set and the mascara is Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill.

Anastasia Want You To Want Me Eye Shadow Palette retails for $34.00 ($90 value) and is available at Sephora and Anastasia.net.

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