Tag Archive | Birchbox

Moisture Superstars

I recently went overboard with the platinum. It doesn’t look bad, just not what I was shooting for, when within 24 hours two men I know quite well looked at me and said “Wow, your hair is white.” I chose the wrong toner, and though it took out the gold, it lifted the blond even higher. Luckily I am so OCD, my hair is not too fried. The last time I got it trimmed, the stylist said “I can’t believe your hair is in this good of condition when you retouch the bleach yourself.”

I’ve been able to stay glam as opposed to “girl next door” trashy in two ways:

1. Lots of research. I am NOT a professional cosmetologist, so God bless all the bloggers and product reviewers out there.

2. MOISTURE. I condition every single day, use leave in conditioner every single day, and only shampoo 1-2 times per week.

So despite the decent condition of my hair, it looked pretty pathetic the other morning after dying it. I frantically turned to the “magical closet” to see what I had in the hair product bin. (Yes most people have a drawer, I have a closet.) Voila! Ketastase Elixer from my March Birchbox. First off, it smelled amazing. I felt like an Egyptian princess. Why Egyptian? I don’t know – it gave me visions of laying around all day like Cleopatra. Anyway, it worked fantastically and brought life back to my mistakenly overprocessed locks.

As a side note, I also received a Twistband Hair Tie in the box. I was skeptical about this, as it just looked like a folded piece of ribbon. I was WRONG. It had lots of stretch in it, and held great. PLUS, unlike ouchless ponytail holders, which I like for the most part, it did NOT leave any funky lines in my hair. LOVE!

Back to moisture. Since I was in awe of the Kerastase, I thought I’d introduce to another moisture superstar I am having a not-so-secret love affair with. Time Freeze Firming Day Cream is the first product I’ve tried from Lumene but I guarantee you it will not be the last. It feels so thick and cool on your skin, and uplifting without being restricting. Sometimes these kinds of products can actually make your skin feel tighter and drier – not this one – it’s an awesome mix of moisture and lift.

Finally in the quest to repair my hair, there was one product I was not so impressed with. Biolage Intensive Strengthening Mask was not nearly intensive enough for dry, fried hair. It may work out well for normal to oily tressed girls, but I unfortunally can’t speak to that.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day for my giveaway! (see related stories)


Score, Sample, and Splurge

Perfume is one category where I think it’s almost ridiculous not to try before you buy. There are so many competing brands, they are happy to dole out samples to try to capture your attention. This gives you a little time to decide how much you like a product and how much you are willing to spend.

20120125-234430.jpgSo how do you rack up the free schtuff?

1. Play with the testers. This will immediately weed out the ones you can’t stand. Fragrance is completely based on personal preference so reviews won’t help you much on this one. You’ve got to play the field and see what you like. Start in the air or little cards if they are provided. Believe me, if you hate it, you’ll be glad you didnt spray it on your skin ( I had this experience with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely, sorry SJP I think you rock but that scent did not.)

2. While you are there, see if they give out free samples at the perfume counter. Sephora and department stores are usually pretty great about this. Besides the worst they can do is say no!

3. Order subscriptions to fashion magazines and subscribe to receive Ulta‘s mailer. These always have fragrance tear outs.

4. Sign up for emails from various beauty sites like Ulta, Sephora, Drugstore.com, Birchbox, Bluemercury, etc. They all offer free samples with every order, but occasionally they’ll have an extra bunch of samples for you with purchase.

There are lots of pleasant smells out there right? Here’s how I decide the scents that are truly worth spending my hard earned money on.

1. The most important factor is how it makes you feel. Do you still catch a whiff hours later and think “i smell gooood”?
2. Does my significant other notice? We’ve been dating a long time and I switch up lots of scents but he doesn’t usually say much. If he brings it up, I know it’s got to be good.
3. Do I already own scents that smell similar to this?

Sometimes a good scent is worth the splurge, even if you just save it for special occasions. And the sampling is how you know it’s worth it. Next on my list to buy us Gucci Guilty Oriental Floral. I never would have even considered it because of the price tag but after trying a deluxe sample (small bottle with two-three uses) I am hooked though. Plus once I actually researched, it’s not that much more than a lot of fragrances. Smelling pretty is expensive!

Once you decide to splurge you can still get deals. Google the name of the perfume – stores have individual promotions for free bonuses with purchase. It’s also worth stopping in the department stores, they often have gift sets at good prices, with extras like lotion and body wash of the same scent. Also, stores like Ulta and Macy’s have deals where you get a bonus no matter which scent you purchase.

Happy sniffing!