Butter London Lippy Review

20 Feb

I promise I have good intentions when it comes to this blog. I take photos all the time of stuff I want to post. But I don’t have two things: A camera with a USB cord OR a home computer. All posts you see are posted during the little down time I have at my full time job. All photos you see are selfies, using my iPhone 4S, and are almost always taken at my desk at work.

So anyway, onward.

I LOVE Butter London. Love everything about it. The packaging, the funny British names, the formula. I own several polishes already and now I basically want them all. The lippys were shown to me a few weeks ago and I’ve made it a personal mission to get one ever since. Then Butter London came out with a trio package with two polishes and a lippy for $25. Bingo. The polishes will be reviewed in another post (pooooossibly on another blog! There’s something in the works for one, that’s for sure) so let’s start with the lippy.

Primrose Hill Picnic

Primrose Hill Picnic

This color is Primrose Hill Picnic and it looks really intimidating in the bottle. As a fair-skinned girl, I have to be really careful about anything bright, because it tends to look garish.

Without flash

Without flash

So I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t as 80’s-Barbie-pink as I thought it was going to be. When I cracked the seal (awesome feeling, isn’t it?) and pulled the wand out, I was excited to see that it was a useable color. The smell was not like frosting as I had previously read on other blogs, but it wasn’t unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination.

With flash.

With flash.

“Wow, she wasn’t kidding about being pale!”

Without flash

Without flash

And there it is on. I took a picture with flash but my skin isn’t cooperating today. It was pretty pink, but a blot with tissue made it really natural looking, like my lips were just a little more flushed than normal. It’s appropriate for work and play! I will definitely be buying more in the future.

Butter London’s PR team was nice enough to send me a press release on their new Starkers Collection, which I’ve been lemming -really- hard since I first saw pics of it. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to colored nail polish, so nude really appeals to me. I love the idea of making your fingers look longer with nude polish.

According to the release: “The Starkers Collection was created with three hues to blend with every skin tone. When choosing which colour to wear, match the lacquer to your skin as nails with tend to carry a different tone. For someone who prefers to stand out a little more, find a contrasting colour.”

Clicking this picture takes you directly to B.L.'s site!

Clicking this picture takes you directly to B.L.’s site!

The nail colors from left to right are: Shandy (opaque light apricot creme), Crumpet (opaque warm, caramel creme), and Tea & Toast (rich, tan, opaque creme). The Lippys from left to right are Tea With The Queen (opaque, pinkish-tan liquid lipstick), Hen Party (sheer opal gloss), and The Old Bill (burnished shimmering copper lipstick). The price is $15 for each nail lacquer and $18 for each Lippy.

I will definitely be scooping up Shandy, Tea With The Queen, and Hen Party when they are released on March first!

To buy: http://www.butterlondon.com

*Note- I was in no way compensated for this review. I purchased the product with my own money and the opinions are honest and my own.

Birchbox vs Ipsy January 2013 review

24 Jan

I’m a tough critic. I admit it. If I’m paying for something every month, I’d like it to meet my expectations. This post today shows how one expectation was above and beyond what I expected, and how the other fell miserably, horribly flat.

I mentioned in the last post that I joined a swap on Facebook for Julep, and it’s going wonderfully. Lots of colors and brands I never knew existed, and I’m quickly developing a love for Butter London. One of the girls on the swap introduced me to Ipsy (formally myglam) bags. It’s the same premise as Birchbox. $10 a month, free shipping, and you get deluxe beauty samples delivered to your door. I just got my Ipsy bag today. I received my Birchbox a couple of weeks ago, but held off on posting because I wanted to do a side by side review.

First up is Birchbox. Brace yourselves.

Looks promising...

Looks promising…

Well, that looks normal. I already peeked at my box so I knew what I was getting ahead of time. It’s always “one more month just to see if it gets better” with Birchbox. January was an “okay, I’ll keep giving it a shot” month.

Keeeep going...

Keeeep going…

Not looking good so far. I’ve already gotten one of those mouth-envelope things in December and it went into the recycle bin. A small tube of Embroyliesse face cream in that white box. I like that cream, it’s nice on my skin. Jessica (my best friend) raves about it, so it’s worth a shot. The price ($16) for a full size isn’t bad either. A… poster underneath that. A poster. Let that sink in.

Welp.

Welp.

Here’s the issues I had with this box. One: they left out a sample. And it was the only sample I was excited about, The Balm Hot Mama blush. Two: They also gave me the wrong sample, eyelash serum instead of mascara. I emailed Birchbox about it and they sent me another blush and gave me 100 points on my account, which is worth $10 in their store. Three: That sample of Harvey Prince “Skinny Chic” perfume was not for me. Luckily my boss fell head over heels for it, but apple and amber are not my notes. Four: the Ojon hair oil. I specifically said in my profile that my hair is oily to begin with, so I don’t need hair oil. Tsk. Luckily Jess took it off my hands. She’s got great hair.

After this box arrived, I cancelled my subscription for now. Maybe if it gets better, I will get back into it, but for now, spending $10 on a box valued at >$5 is stupid.

On to Ipsy!

Pink!

Pink!

The bag felt heavy when I picked it up out of the mail box. That was promising. Bonus points for it being a pink bubble mailer. Packaging is like, 9/10s of every present.

Ooooh!

Ooooh!

Oh man, that’s a full size makeup brush! And that bag looks FULL.

WHAAAT

WHAAAT

Holy crap, you guys. That’s a beautiful sight. Not only are these samples “deluxe”, two of them are freaking FULL SIZE.

Glorious.

Glorious.

Wow. Look at that spread. A tube of Pacifica lotion, a full size concealer brush, a full size Nailtini nail polish, a medium can of Big Sexy Hair hairspray which will be perfect for nights out on the town, and a bottle of Josie Maran Argon Oil, which even an oil newb like me has heard of. Not to mention the cosmetic bag it all came in, which is a dark gray on the outside and has these cute little stars on the inside. All in all, this box was worth a whopping $40. Customer for life, right here.

Want your own? Visit Ipsy at http://www.ipsy.com or Birchbox at http://www.birchbox.com

Note: I was in no way compensated for either of these reviews, and the subscriptions were both paid for by me.

Julep January Box Review

9 Jan

I stumbled across Julep after seeing the bottles pop up in nail art pics on Pinterest. I was curious and the bottles looked pretty, so I checked into it. It’s a monthly service, much like Birchbox. For $20 a month (and free shipping!) you get 2 full size polishes and then some other goodies. You take a neat little style quiz to determine what polishes would fit your lifestyle best, and then you get set up with an introductory box. The styles are: bombshell, It Girl, American beauty, Classic with a Twist, and Boho Glam. Each month they send you an email previewing what will be in your box, along with all the other style options. Don’t like the colors your style option has? You have the power to switch it up! Or, if you don’t like any of the options (which won’t happen, but just in case), you can skip that month and not be charged. If you’re really lucky, you might get a Golden Box, which has all the polishes in that month’s collecton.

January was the “Resort” collection, which was a nude paired with a bright neon. I was really happy to see my style option (Classic with a Twist, if you were wondering) was a pretty sheer pale pink and an eye searing neon pink.

Another box!

Another box!

I opened my box, which felt pretty heavy. I was so excited to see that bright pink!

julepjan 002

Whoo! Neon all around!

julepjan 003

More Twistbands! My poor husband is probably about to start freebasing them.

julepjan 004

The two polishes, a cuticle stick, and some stickers for swatching your polishes. Pretty neat idea! I’ve only tried on the sheer pink (called Grace) but it’s really sheer. Two coats baarely added any color. I’m putting on the bright pink (Madison) tonight and I already know I’m going to fall in love with it.

Want your own Julep box? Sign up here: http://www.julep.com

December Birchbox Review

21 Dec

I didn’t post about the November box because I was so disappointed in it. Two samples of liquid soap and two hair masks. I didn’t have high hopes for December either. I peeked early at my box and was pleasantly surprised.

Festive!

Festive!

This month the theme was “all wrapped up” and the box itself really reflected the season.

birchboxdec 002

Ew, I don’t know why that’s vertical.

birchboxdec 003

So far so good! Another eyeliner! Birchbox had emailed me apologizing for a “double sample” (I had received the same brand of eyeliner in October) but I am head over heels for this product so I didn’t care. Eyeko makes a brilliant liquid eyeliner with a felt-tip pen package so it’s totally idiot proof. Finally, the perfect cat eye! The white bottle is shampoo, and it claims to be clarifying but won’t strip color out of your hair. I used it a couple of nights ago and it smells really good, but was almost sticky in a way. I think that’s due to whatever chemical makes it not lather up like regular shampoo. I left it in the shower for the mister to use when he runs out of shampoo.

birchboxdec 004 

I honestly thought it couldn’t get better than the eyeliner, until I opened that Chuaco pod. Sweet, salty goodness and it was light on calories. The little black pot is Mox Botanicals lip butter, which was a good product but didn’t last very long. It’s eco friendly and totally recycleable.

Last, I got to that little silver rolled up tube. Oh God, the tube. I almost accidentally threw it away, because it was rolled up in brown paper. It was an Aerie Shimmer perfume sample, and it was the most heavenly perfume I ever smelled. I was really skeptical because Aerie tends to be super light and floral, but when I cracked the top I was floored. The notes are bergamot, peony and vanilla. I know vanilla can be hard to get right and not smell cheap, but this scent is AMAZING. I’s the perfect winter scent, warm and cuddly. I’ll be buying a bottle immediately. I’m hoarding the sample for special nights out until I can get a full size in.

All in all, December’s box was pretty good. I was considering giving up on Birchbox but I will keep on through January and see what the future holds. I also signed up for Julep Maven boxes, so I will be reviewing those as well.

Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Jalapeno Cheddar Parmesan Cornbread Muffins

3 Dec

On Thanksgiving eve, my brother-in-law requested something “different” as a side this year.

Crap.

I frantically scrolled through Pinterest until I stumbled across a recipe for cornbread muffins with jalapenos, cheddar, and parmesan cheese. Bingo!

Step 1: avengers, assemble!

jalapeno 001

Dry ingredents included cornmeal, baking powder, flour, salt, and pepper.

Step 2: getting wet…

jalapeno 002

Buttermilk, eggs, honey, and melted butter.

Step 3: mix it up!

jalapeno 003

I very lightly folded the ingredients together until it formed a wet dough.

Step 4: add the goodies!

jalapeno 004

Here I’ve added the cheddar and the parmesan. I forgot to take a picture after adding the jalapeno chunks, but you can guess that it looked the same, onlt with bits of green in it.

Step 5: lock and load.

jalapeno 005

I used an ice cream scoop to get uniform amounts in the muffin tin, and then placed a slice of jalapeno on top. I sprinkled more cheddar and parmesan on top of that. Then I baked them for about 15 minutes.

Finished product?

jalapeno 006

Perfect. I got a ton of compliments for thinking outside of the box and bringing something “different”. I made one batch with jalapenos and one without, for those who weren’t feeling as adventerous as my husband and brother-in-law.

Find the full recipe here! http://damndelicious.tumblr.com/post/22570030620/muffin-monday-jalapeno-cheddar-parmesan-cornbread

Marvelous Monograms!

24 Oct

Here in the South, we have a rule: “If it’s not moving, monogram it!” Sadly, I’m the worst Southern girl/wife/person ever and I don’t own anything with my monogram on it… yet. Here’s a few of my favorite ways to use the monogram.

1. The Zoey Crossbody from Gratefulbags.com

Zoey

The Zoey Crossbody from Grateful Bags

Look at that. Gorgeous. Perfect for gameday tailgating or a night with the girls. Grateful Bags was something I stumbled across while trolling style blogs on Blogger. These wonderfully crafted bags come with interchangeable acrylic monograms and they have several different styles and sizes. I’ve got the Zoey on my Christmas list! You can buy one here: www.gratefulbags.com

2.  Iphone Case

Chevron and monograms oh my!

These are super hot right now and combine my two favorite trends: chevron and the block style monogram. You can find these all over the internet, but I found this one from MonogramPOP’s shop on Etsy. You can visit their shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MonogramPOP

3. Monogram necklace

Always in style!

This piece of perfection is from MOON and LOLA. It’s the traditional script font, but you can also get a block font if you prefer. Etsy also has a ton of options and price ranges. You can buy the one pictured here: www.moonandlola.com

How do you like to wear it?

October Birchbox Review

23 Oct

It came!!

Birchbox

Shiny!!

After weeks of waiting, my October Birchbox arrived in the mail today. They had the option of either the “GOOP” (Wikipedia tells me it has something to do with Gwyneth Paltrow?) box or the regular box. I went on their facebook and read some of the reviews of people who had already received their GOOP box, and they were mostly negative. I opted for the regular one.

Birchbox2

It’s like a Christmas present!

It was a little like breaking into Fort Knox but I powered through. Tossed out the card like any self-respecting kid would do, and moved aside the paper…

birchbox3

Yay! Wait, what?

Is that… a fiber bar?! Well, uh, okay. I guess beauty starts from within and all that. Let’s dig deeper. Hmm… a full size liquid eyeliner pen. Okay, I can probably do that. What the hell is that silvery thing? GLITTER LIP TATTOOS? Well, I know a 10 year old that would get a kick out of that… Maybe next month they will have stick-on earrings too? Moving on… Another Twistband! A sample of Juicy Couture’s new fragrance, which smells pretty delightful. And lastly,  a sample of “Luminizer” which will get used as an eyeshadow.

birchbox4

All in all, not bad.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I will definitely be ordering for November!

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