Thursday, June 19, 2014

POPSUGAR Must Have Box June 2014 + Promo Code!

The June 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box arrived recently, and I have to say, I absolutely looove it! All of the items for this month's box perfectly complement any upcoming beach trip here in San Diego which is awesome.

Here's a quick first look:

Okay, let's see what was inside!

  1. "The One & Only" by Emily Giffin - love books by EG and can't wait to read this.
  2. $15 Gift Card to Native Union - this company makes cool tech items to enhance your smart phone.
  3. Lollies Hair Ties 3-Pack - features cute designs that double-up as bracelets, too.
  4. Lemon Wet Wipes by You Smell Soap - so fresh and so clean.
  5. Hawaiian BBQ Kettle Chips by One Potato Snacks - one word: yum.
  6. Citrus Shine Body Lotion by SACHAJUAN - first product I've tried from this brand and I enjoy it.
  7. Beach Towel by Turkish-T - absolutely love the turquoise stripes and lightweight material.
Here is how my beach trip this weekend will be made better by my POPSUGAR items: I'll be stretched out on my Turkish-T towel, reading "The One & Only" while listening to music on my phone through a MONOCLE speaker from Native Union. I'll control my windswept hair with Lollies hair ties and snack on Hawaiian BBQ chips. Afterwards, I'll wipe the sand from my feet thanks to You Smell Soap and lotion up dry skin with the SACHAJUAN lotion. I mean, c'mon. Beach perfection in a box! POPSUGAR - you're awesome.

If you want to subscribe to the POPSUGAR Must Have Box, enjoy $10 off your first box with the code JUNESELECT10 through June 30th, 2014!

And finally, here's a bonus pic of Piper, who thinks that all empty POPSUGAR boxes are hers lol.

Disclaimer: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I heart Brazilian Blowouts

I have to tell you, morning battles with my hair get really old, really fast. My hair is kind of wavy, kind of curly, coarse in general, and if not properly styled (see "before" pic below) it looks like a long, frizzy mess. I typically flat iron it or use the DevaCurl method (more on that here) but both methods can be a bit time consuming. After hearing how Brazilian Blowouts could help with my hair woes, I decided to schedule a treatment.

One misconception I had is that Brazilian Blowouts permanently alter one's hair - they do not, rather, they coat each hair follicle much like a deep conditioner would. So, think of a BB as a smoothing treatment you have to maintain by using sulfate-free shampoos, as lather strips away the treatment faster. On many people, one Brazilian Blowout can last around three months. It's been about that time since my Brazilian Blowout, but before I tell you what I think, check out the before and after photos:

Before the Brazilian Blowout treatment

After the Brazilian Blowout treatment
I think the results speak for themselves! Keep in mind, if your hair is like mine, it won't stay this straight the whole time, but it does dramatically cut down flat ironing/styling time, helps your hair stay frizz-free, and imparts a wonderful shine all over. I could actually let my hair air-dry and leave the house with nice, soft waves. Love it!

The stylist washed by hair, combed in the Brazilian Blowout keratin-based treatment, blow dried my hair straight, then sealed in the treatment by flat-ironing my hair. You then wait a few days without pinning hair back or tying it up, then wash as normal (with sulfate-free shampoo of course).

Here are a few tips if you're interested in getting a Brazilian Blowout:
  • Do your research. Make sure your stylist is using the actual "Brazilian Blowout" brand for best results.
  • Remember that there are usually chemicals present in this treatment, namely formaldehyde. If you'd like a formaldehyde-free option, check into Keratin treatments instead.
  • In regards to getting other hair services done, get the BB done prior to getting your hair cut because your usual cut may need to be adjusted (mine did) for smoother and straighter hair. In regards to color treatments, these can be done before or after the BB as long as you wait at least a week before or after the treatment.
  • Care for your hair properly. As mentioned above, you should use sulfate-free shampoos (I even took it step further and made sure it was also sodium chloride-free - I recommend the Number 4 line). Chlorine and salt water can also cut down on the life of your Brazilian Blowout. 
Overall, I love the way this treatment made my hair look and feel. I'll definitely be getting another treatment in the future. For more information, check out this Brazilian Blowout FAQ.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'd Buy the Full-Size... Sens'Eyes Eye Makeup Remover by Make Up For Ever

I wanted to share a quick review of my new favorite eye makeup remover! I've never been a fan of the popular "dual-phase" oil-based eye makeup removers - as a contact lens wearer I end up feeling like a thick film coats my eyeballs matter how much I rinse the stuff away.

I picked up a small Sens'Eyes Waterproof (in the sense that it takes off waterproof eye makeup) Sensitive Eye Makeup remover by Make Up For Ever. Love it! It's a gel-lotion consistency and contains no mineral oil which is awesome. It literally melts away eye makeup, and so easily.

Here are the results after applying the makeup remover to a cotton pad, then leaving it on over full eye makeup for 20 seconds without rubbing:

Pretty cool, right? My favorite way to use this product, though, is to massage a pump or two into my lashes and eyelids, then wipe away with a soft cotton round. I then wash my face like normal and never have to worry about greasy/oily residue left behind! It is really gentle and never burns my eyes. If you're on the lookout for a new eye makeup remover (can also be used on lips) I highly recommend this one! $10 for 1.01 oz, or $24 for 3.38 oz at Sephora.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year

Can you believe we're already (more than) a week into 2014? Crazy! This year, I'm looking forward to delving into more natural skincare and beauty products and mixing them into my current arsenal of favorites. I'll be sharing all of this with you, along with the usual subscription box "un-boxings" :) Wishing you a beautiful new year!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

PopSugar Must Have Box: October 2013 + Promo Codes

First look..
Oh, PopSugar. How I've missed you :) I took a break from this lovely subscription box for a few months but am happy to receive it again! Read on to see what was inside the October 2013 PopSugar Must Have box!

PopSugar Must Have Box: October 2013

Must Have Beauty: 
- NYX Cosmetics Smokey Shadow Palette
- NYX Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner in brown
- Julep nail polish in Char + Freedom topcoat
- The Wet Brush Hair Detangling Brush
Must Have Food:
- 'The Can't Cook Book' cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, she's the wife of Jerry)
- Halloween CrispyCake from The Crispery
Must Have Fashion:
- Gorjana Charity Bali Bead bracelet in pink.
- Jane Tran Thin Metallic Bobby Pins.
Special extra:
- $20 credit to Stitch Fix, a styling subscription service for women (how fun!).

There were some really delightful items in this month's box! For example, you may notice that the Halloween CrispyCake is not in the photo above because, well, I ate it lol. One standout product that I've been loving is the Wet Brush - it perfectly glides through wet/damp hair without pulling or snagging , which lessens the amount of split ends and breakage you'll have).

I've perused through "The Can't Cook Book" and have bookmarked some items to try like the Mixed Berry Crisp, Sweet Pea & Onion Frittata, and Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Arugula and Lemon. Yum! I always welcome Julep polishes and am looking to try their topcoat, too! I initially had mixed feelings about the Gorjana bracelet but really like the pop of color when wearing it. Lastly, I'm really looking forward to trying Stitch Fix - you fill out a style profile, then a stylist picks out a mix of clothing and accessories to send you, then you pay for the items you want to keep. So fun!

If PopSugar looks like something you'd love in your mailbox every month, I'd subscribe now because they're increasing prices from $35 a month to $39.95 a month on November 4th. You can subscribe at the lower rate before 11.4.13 with either a month-to-month, 3-month, or yearly plan, but all subscriptions will auto-renew at the higher rate (unless you cancel, of course). Plus, be sure to use the code SQUAD5 or REFER5 for $5 off your first month's box of a monthly subscription or SQUAD10 for $10 off a 3-month subscription! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: referral links are included in this post.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Birchbox Roundup: July - September 2013!

It's been a while since I've posted about my Birchbox goodies, so I thought I'd do a quick post about the last few boxes I've received! Birchbox remains to be my favorite subscription box because it's only $10 to try on and discover lots of fun beauty items :)

July 2013: Power Play

July's Birchbox was a collaboration with the television show 'Suits' (one of my favorite shows, yay!). I received five fun samples in July:
- Number 4: Super Comb Prep & Protect spray for hair.
- DDF: Acne Control Treatment
- Benefit: It's Potent! eye cream
- theBalm: InStain blush in Swiss Dot
- Birchbox: set of white bobby pins

Most-used products: Benefit eye cream and the Prep & Protect spray.
Least-used products: the bobby pins because they're not very flexible.
I'm really happy that BB sampled theBalm Instains, but the shade I received is just a touch too red (i.e. kind of looks like sunburn lol).

August 2013: Finishing School

Okay, if I'm being honest, I wasn't completely over the moon about the August Birchbox. I'm not a huge fan of lipstick, the TanTowel is a little intimidating, and I got feet wipes (which surprisingly ended up being a favorite lol). My five samples included:
- ModelCo: Party Proof lipstick in Disco Fever
- Dr. Jart+: Premium Beauty Balm
- Violet Oasis: 100% Premium Argan Oil
- Jasmine Seven: Fresh Feet wipes
- TanTowel: Classic Formula Self-Tan towelette

Most-used item: the Jasmine Seven wipes, which are so delightful, refreshing, and peppermint-y (and handy for all the flip-flop wearing in SoCal!). I would definitely order more of these.
Least-used items: the lipstick, BB cream, and TanTowel.
Overall, this wasn't my most favorite Birchboxes, but you win some and lose some :)

September 2013: Heritage

The September theme revolved around the three-year anniversary of Birchbox. I really enjoyed this one, so much so that I started using all the products before taking a picture lol. So thank you, Birchbox, for the use of the image above! My five products were as follows:
- Beauty Protector: Protect & Shampoo
- Beauty Protector: Protect & Condition
- RUFFIAN: nail lacquer in Hedge Fund
- Mereadesso: All-In-One Moisturizer
- Glam Natural: Cream Blush (three sample packets)

Most-used products: I am looooving the Mereadesso All-In-One Moisturizer! It also functions as a makeup primer, toner, and eye cream and smells beyond amazing. I would definitely purchase the full-size version of this! Secondly, the Beauty Protector shampoo and conditioner are awesome - they're sulfate-free and have left my hair super-soft, especially in conjunction with the brand's Protect & Detangle spray that I received in a prior box.
Least-used product: the RUFFIAN nail lacquer, but only because I don't really like the green/gold color.

I received my October Birchbox yesterday, so be on the lookout for all the goodies inside - coming up soon! If you're interested in getting a Birchbox of your own every month, check them out here!

*referral links are included in the post above.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

As a Wedding Guest: Rose Gold Makeup & Accessories!

Last weekend I attended a family wedding back home and was inspired by the color rose gold for makeup and accessories! I love rose gold because it works well with any skin tone and exudes a beautiful and classy elegance.

Base: Two coats of RGB Nail Polish in 'Doll.'
Top: Essie Sleek Sticks in 'Oh My Gold.'

The Star Treatment palette from bareMinerals, featuring
'Carte Blanche' in inner corner and under brow bone, 'Kudos'
as the lid color, and 'Bragging Rights' in the crease.

Roseland Disco Wrap bracelet from BaubleBar
Chain Bracelet Chronograph Watch from Michael Kors

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and it was lovely to be surrounded by family and friends for such a happy occasion! The bride was thrilled with how her vintage-themed touches came together for her special day, which included over 100 individual place settings purchased from vintage shops, resale shops, and flea markets for nine months prior to the wedding so that every person had a unique set. So much fun! :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sephora + Groupon!

The most beautiful Groupon deal ever: $5 for $10 at SEPHORA, yayy! Happy shopping! :)


$5 for $10 Worth of Prestige Cosmetics, Skincare, Fragrances, Haircare, and Tools at Sephora

Disclaimer: affiliate links are included above.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Favorite Palette: The Dream Sequence by bareMinerals!

I am a huge fan of purple eye makeup and am always on the lookout for the best shades that complement each other fabulously. Purple is a tricky color to work with because it can end up looking too dark, or it can sometimes emphasize any redness you may have. But, when done right, purple eye makeup looks fantastic (especially with hazel and green eyes!).

I came across the bareMinerals eyeshadow quads (part of the "READY" collection of their mineral makeup) in Sephora and was really impressed with the color payoff. The Dream Sequence caught my eye right away - this gorgeous purple palette (or quad) comes with four buttery-smooth, pigmented shadows:

  • 500 Thread Count - described as "airy pink." This beautifully light shade is perfect as a brow highlight and to use on the inner corner of your eyelid.
  • Romp - described as "iridescent lilac." I love using this as a crease color for a daytime look - it's perfectly smokey in nature without being too dark. 
  • Boudoir - described as "electric amethyst." My favorite shade in the quad - awesome as a lid color!
  • Nightcap - described as "violet sheen." This rich color is great for an evening smokey eye look, especially when used on the outer corner of the eyelid and smudged a bit. You could also use this with a damp brush as an eyeliner. 
I used a combination of the first three colors for the look below, along with my Eyeko Skinny liquid liner in Purple and Buxom Sculpted Lash mascara!

The Dream Sequence look: 500 Thread Count as the brow highlight,
Boudoir as the all-over lid color, and Romp as the crease color.

Top L-R: 500 Thread Count, Romp
Bottom L-R: Boudoir, Nightcap

Love the packaging!
Have you tried any of the bareMinerals "READY" mineral makeup? Next on my list to try is The Aphrodisiac blush! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nails of the day: Owl Love It!

Well, I finally tried my hand (haha) at nail stamping last weekend! The kind folks at NailPolishCanada sent me the new M-95 Konad image plate to try which I absolutely love because it features the cutest little owl. If you're curious, NailPolishCanada does ship to the US. If you live in Canada, they're holding a contest to win a set of 5 recently-released Konad stamping plates (free shipping included), including the one I tried! Click here to enter, then read on below!

Supplies used:
  • Nail polish remover (for touch-ups and to clean off plate & scraper between uses)
  • Nail stamper
  • Plate scraper (or an old gift card, see below)
  • Image plate of your choice
  • Cotton rounds
  • Base coat - Bonder by Orly
  • Main color - RGB in "Doll"
  • Accent (stamp) color - Chanel in "Vendetta"
  • Top coat - Sally Hansen Insta-Dry

I ended up purchasing a nail stamping kit from Bed Bath & Beyond that contains a metal scraper - I don't recommend using the metal scraper as it scratches the plate (you can tell in the picture above). I started to use an old Starbucks gift card instead and it worked like a charm.

What I learned from my foray into nail stamping:

  • You definitely need to use a thicker polish on the image plate, or one that is specifically designed for nail stamping. Thin polishes don't transfer well from the image plate to the stamping tool, let alone onto your nails.
  • There is a technique to "rolling" the stamping tool over your nail to transfer the image over your entire nail. Nails are convex, so you can't just stamp the image on "flat" like you would in rubber stamping. 
  • There is a learning curve to the whole nail stamping process! I ended up running a bit short on time so I decided to stamp a few accent nails instead of all of them. Here are the results:

Konad M-95 Image Plate

My first attempt was certainly not perfect, but I'm super-excited to continue practicing my nail stamping technique. There are so many great image plates out there that the possibilities really are endless! Have you tried nail stamping yet? If you want some inspiration, I definitely recommend checking out Sarah at Dynamite Does Nails and her guest post right here at Olive + Hazel :)

Disclaimer: M-95 Konad image plate was sent for review from No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.