Friday, May 17, 2013

Birchbox - May 2013


Who's ready for some more Birchbox reviews! This month we delve into YOUR beauty secrets, YOUR routines and YOUR style. Here is what Birchbox has to say! -

From your morning routine (sunrise yoga or snooze button and espresso) to your ice cream preferences (classic vanilla or rocky road with all the toppings), you've got a style and personality all your own. This month's Birchbox is about you: the order in which you try your products, your daily routine, the techniques you've mastered. We want you to spill big-time - consider it your beauty-tell-all.
- Taken from Beauty Diaries card in May 2013 Birchbox
Just for the record, I sleep till I wake up (privileges of working in the afternoons!), and dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate brownie bits and chocolate fudge. Did I mention I'm a chocoholic? 
So time to spill some beauty secrets! We'll do things a little differently with today's post, I'll be walking you through, quite humorously and intriguingly, my beauty routine (whilst we enjoy this month's goodies!) Here we are...a day in the beauty life of Cookie...
::cue 'Morning Mood' from Peer Gynt Suite:: 
I am awoken...not by birds merrily chirping their morning masterpieces, not by a rooster perkily crowing away upon a fence.....but by four pairs of huge eyes belonging to four fuzzy faced, whiskered rascals. So subtly they begin yowling-er-um-pleasantly mewing with affection.....and down the stairs we all trot. But hark! (crescendo in Peer Gynt song!) is that tossed package I heard upon my doorstep! I leap and bound with breathless-but graceful-anticipation that it could possibly be...YES!..YES IT IS! MAY BIRCHBOX! I gently sit upon my living room carpet, while I am surrounded by my curious cats...who must bask in the same glory that I am in. Then I unfold the bright pink paper to reveal.....well we'll just have to take a look now....
Spoils of the month: Curly hair products, toothpaste, sunscreen/moisturizer, eyeliner and a pen!
Fast forward through my day, past breakfast (all 5 of us...well 6 if you count my hubby who is at work), daily chores/cleaning, relaxing on my computer, catch an episode of a show....ah, now it's time to go to work! To the shower! My hair is thin and can get oily, so I am one of the oddity beauty shower routine gals who washes her hair every day, however, I don't condition it. I lightly wash with either volumizing shampoo, or specialty color-keeper shampoo (Except on weekends...on Friday or Saturday I use a clarifying shampoo, then the next day I deep condition) but TODAY, I am trying something new! Today I am trying:
According to DevaCurl's box, this product: "...provides maximum frizz prevention and the ideal balance of conditioning, moisturization, and definition for naturally gorgeous curls." Alright! I'm totally feeling this. My hair can be naturally curly at times, so I'm always on the lookout for a product (or products) that amplify my swirly tresses. 

Here is what was hidden away in the box! -

Step 1 - Cleanse: DevaCurl No-Poo
Step 2 - Hydrate: DevaCurl One Conditioner
Step 3 - Define: DevaCurl Light Defining Gel
For clarification...the No-Poo means No Shampoo....why they couldn't have come up with a more pleasant sounding name, I'm not sure...I was a little taken-aback by this when I read it, but oh well...The No 'Poo technique is used with the idea that commercial shampoos strip hair of their natural oils, therefore causing your scalp to overproduce oils to compensate for your hair drying out and being scalped of these essential oils from the shampoo's ingredients. I'm fairly interested in this method. I think at some point I will be doing a 4-6 week study with No 'Poo cleansers to see if it makes any difference. I used to not wash my hair every day, but I always had problems with my scalp getting oily quickly. 
So today I washed my hair with the No-Poo cleanser, then the conditioner (which made my hair feel silky soft!) then gently scrunched my hair with my towel (wrapping it to let it dry can cause curls/waves to get pulled, flattened and essentially end up frizzified during the air-drying process.) If you're looking for defined curls, towel-scrunching is your best method! The shampoo and conditioner had a pleasant fresh scent, leaning a little towards a cotton smell, but still light and airy. Usually I use Biosilk in my hair after I towel dry it (since I don't use conditioner daily) but not hair was quite soft and moisturized! Can I just take a moment to say how generous these samples were?! I didn't even use a third of what was in the foil! Here's a comparison pic - 
 That is a full-sized pen! These foils are huge!
I usually style my hair after I do my makeup, but for simplicity's sake, I'll jump ahead then jump back to makeup. So my NORMAL routine is to run some biosilk through my hair, then use a curl defining gel to set my curls, then let them air dry through my makeup routine. Afterwards, I spray on some root-boosting volumizing mousse to give my hair some OOMF, and I flip my head over and scrunch it all to dry it (or one could use a diffuser if one had one...::nudge nudge, awesome present for a wife, nudge nudge:: ) then I blow dry and style my fringe. I LOVE thick bangs, and just for the record, I had them before Zooey Deschanel was offense Zo, you're are the cat's pajamas, I loves ya...just saying. I finish it all up with a resetting curl spritz (to tame frizz) and set with hairspray! Voila! Then I spritz my hair with perfume, because I love to flounce my flirty hair! ::swish, flounce, twirl, twist:: Well, and because my Hubsters LOVES it ::mwuah!:: BUT TODAY I changed up my routine a bit! I lightly ran some of the DevaCurl defining gel through my half-damp hair before I did my makeup, then after the makeup I did my usual blow-drying (along with volumizing mousse), then the bangs, then again I scrunched a little more DevaCurl gel in and set it all with hairspray. 
I THINK this 3-Step set was just a little too moisturizing for me. Since my hair is half-straight, half-curly/wavy, it needs less moisturizer (since it's so fine, it weighs it down) and a stronger setter. I got a few good curls, but mostly my hair just drooped. I definitely get a better curl/wave with my normal routine. This particular set would be EXCELLENT for ladies who have thicker, curlier hair, that need it to be tamed down a bit and fight the frizz. This will give you glorious definition, silky softness and the curls you dream of. If you have that particular type of hair I mentioned, I strongly recommend trying DevaCurl system out!
Moving on with Cookie's shower routine....
As far as soaps, I'm a shower gel lover, I have, well, practically ALL of the Caress body washes....depends on my mood, or even on what I'm going to wear that day, THEN I choose which wash I want to use. Brown/neutrals clothing? Brown sugar scented wash! Darks/purples? Black orchid and Juniper wash! Brights? Pomegranate and Coconut....the list goes on ::grins:: After the shower, I brush my teeth...wiiiiiith:
Come on, have you not being reading my previous posts?! I just adore mint! My Hubby knows,if he is going to be buying me a toothpaste, it has to be fresh and the mintiest mint ever! This toothpaste certainly was! It is EXACTLY what it states to be....Classic Strong Mint. It leaves that amazingly fresh, super strong, cool breezy breath after brushing effect that makes me grin with minty toothy goodness. It foams really well, which is something I love, for some odd-ball reason I can't stand toothpastes which don't. Makes me feel like it's lazy on the job! The one and only thing I'll say is that I wish it had fluoride or whitening properties in it. I could even overlook the whitening, but I've tried to pay good attention to having a fluoride toothpaste for enamel-strengthening. Although, I'm curious, I've been trying to research it, since I saw on the back of the tube that fluoride isn't listed. Several websites actually LIST that it has an active ingredient of Sodium Flouride (0.3%) in it, but the ingredients on the tube do not list it. Hmmm...curious. Regardless, if you are looking for a clean-from-the-dentist, breath-so-cool-and-fresh-you-could-frost-your-windows toothpaste...this is the one for you! It also comes in Aquatic Mint, Jasmine Mint, Cinnamon Mint, Whitening Mint and Ginger Mint!
Time to wash my face!
I LOVE my Clarisonic Mia 2. I use it twice a day, it is amazing. I have a salicylic acid face wash to use in the day and a soy cleanser at night. After brushing my face with my Mia, I put on a Umbrian clay mask serum to keep my face matte and shine-free throughout the day, then I put a moisturizer on. Well, what do you know...I've got a new moisturizer to try out today....
It's Summer-time ladies, and you all know what that means....ooooo, that Summer sun! Now most of you (you lucky-ducks, you) catch some rays and get a gorgeous natural tan, but others, like us so-called fair-ones, need a little assistance to not turn into a shiny sun-speckled lobster within 15 minutes. Most of us may remember to put sunscreen on our arms, legs, neck, etc. but do you remember your face? Adding a light moisturizer with spf in it can be an awesome dual-tasking easy to remember daily piece of your beauty ritual! This COOLA is phenomenal! When they say it smells like cucumbers, they don't mean a light fragranced aroma that is similar to cucumbers in it's freshness,...nono, you close your eyes and hold this under your nose and you would SWEAR you were smelling a real cucumber! I LOVE IT! The smells does fade slightly after a while into a soft, fresh and welcoming scent (which is awesome, since it's on your face and you don't want to smell cucumbers ALL day long). I think COOLA knocked it out of the park with this product. It's not heavy at all like most sunscreens and another fantastic detail is that it's also infused with anti-aging ingredients! It's organic, has broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, soothes, tones and minimizes pores with strawberry extract, reduces inflammation and balances moisture...I mean, what more could you want out of a moisturizing face sunscreen? Divine.
Guess's makeup time!
I spread out all of my makeup around me, who knows what colors and products I feel like using today. First thing's first, I use a makeup primer on my face, then I pull out my beloved BB the way, can I just say, I am superdupes excited to see what CC creams and even DD creams will have in store for us! My BB cream is definitely my most used, most loved beauty product and to think that they're coming out with bigger and hopefully better things is definitely something to look forward to!
My makeup line-up usually goes something like this:
Face: Primer, BB Cream, Concealer, Brightener (under eyes, highlighting), Mineralized Setting Powder
Eyes: Primer, Eyeshadow, Close-set Eyeliner to lashes, Mascara(s), Eyeliners
Cheeks: Contouring face, Blush
Setting Spray
My eyes are definitely the part of my face that's featured the most, and I LOVE new eyeshadows and eyeliners...and, well, by golly, I have a new eyeliner to show off...
Saletti is a gorgeous matte charcoal grey that is VERY flattering. The formula is wonderful, it glides on smoothly, no creasing and it lasts forever. I actually forgot to spray on my makeup setting spray that day and 7 hours later I was terrified that it may have smudged but when I looked in the was PERFECT! It's very blendable and the color is rich in pigmentation and certain pops and contrasts as the brand states. Here is a swatch:
Left: Thick line, Center: Single line, Right: Swirl line
Notice how when it's swirled it doesn't crease or lift or pull the skin and look how rich that thick line is! A gorgeous matte grey. They have several other rich colors that I will certainly be purchasing soon! Just to note about the staying power of this eyeliner...after I took the swatch pic, I wiped across the lines to see how much it's smudge...and it didn't didn't smear...not one tiny millimeter...with a huge gigantic question mark hovering over my head, I wiped again...nothing. So then I got really curious and tried a makeup remover came right off in a few swipes, easy as pie. THIS is the type of eyeliner I LOVE.
So my makeup is on, I've packed all my stuff and I'm about to head out the door and I the more item...
Not only do I teach ballet, but I'm an Office Manager as well, and I am ALWAYS in need of a pen. Especially a good pen. So I think "Great! A pen! I misplaced my favorite one at work, this is perfect!" Then I write with it....oh stop my beating heart, it writes in TURQUOISE. Forget work, this pen is going in my purse and I shall love it forever. I was actually showing off my Birchbox goodies at work today and I showed a friend there my pen and he got all excited and said: "OH! Remember those clicky pens that had the little levers all over the top with the different colors so you could pick which color you wanted to write it?" WHAT. STOP THE PRESSES.....YES! I totally remember those! I was addicted to mine. Needless to say, the purple, teal and black ink were used up first! This pen writes wonderfully! (and yes, that IS my handwriting lol) It doesn't skip, the ink is bright and it feels smooth through curves (some pens make cursive downright unenjoyable!) If you're ever at the store, drop on by the school supplies aisle and grab yourself a pack of these, you'll love them!
 Out the door, in the car, off to work work, come home, kiss the Hubby....kiss him again....ok, maybe one more time....dinner, take off the makeup with a makeup remover wipe, wash the face with my Clarisonic Mia 2 and soy cleanser, smooth argan oil on face and eyelashes, spot treat any blemishes, relax, bedtime (with a goodnight kiss from Hubby, of course)...and there you have a day in the beauty life of Cookie.
I know, thrilling, exciting, you couldn't stop reading, you were on the edge of your seat. Was it worth the read? What's that you say? Worth? Oh yes, yes,'s box worth time!
DevaCurl 3-Step Introductory Kit:  Full-size each is regularly $19 (12 oz), but they do have a 32 oz super-size bottle for about $40. Each of the foil packets is 1 oz, so $1.58 each approximately, or $4.75 for all three.
Marvis Classic Mint Toothpaste: Full-size is $10.50 (3.86 oz), I received 0.5 oz, so $1.36.
COOLA Spf 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face: Full-size is $32 (1.7 oz), I received 0.23 oz, so $4.32.
Sumita Contrast Eyeliner in Saletti: Four mini pencils for $21, so my one is $5.25.
Acroball PureWhite Pen in Turquoise Ink: According to Pilot's website, they seem to be $4.60 for a pack of two, so my one is $2.30.
Total Worth of Box:  $17.98
So this is definitely on the lowest end of my box worths that I've received, but still almost double the price of what I've paid. Can't argue with that!
I know you were all worried and distraught that I'd run off and not show you my makeup for the day....fear not...I have pics!
I decided to go for something a little darker and edgier today with my smoky charcoal liner! and I LOVE purples with greys so I rocked out an edgy rocker deep purple/plum blouse with black rhinestones and did a matte lavender/grey cat modern cat-eye!
So what's your beauty routine? Tips, tricks and secrets? Spill!
Happy Makeuping!
Love, Cookie       


  1. Great reviews as usual! I have always wanted to try Deva curl products but I haven't got around to it yet. I love that shadow on you!

    1. You should definitely try the DevaCurl line! I think your hair would be perfect for it, from what I can see in pics! and thank you! <3

  2. I also got the Sumita eyeliner in my box and I love it! It doesn't budge at all! I love your makeup, it's pretty as usual :)

    1. Isn't that Sumita eyeliner amazing?! I'd never heard of it, but I certainly am bragging about it now lol Which color did you get? and thank you for the sweet compliment! <3

    2. Can't seem to find a full size of that color at BirchBox, only the 4 pack of the mini version. Really only want the one color.

    3. The only one they seem to be offering in full-size is Hara, which is a dark green. It appears that they may have had other color options along with Hara, perhaps they are just sold out at the moment? Keep checking! They may bring it back!

  3. awesome make-up look =) love the modern cat eye look!

    1. Thanks Jackie! It was a lot of fun to do! At the ballet studio I work at, we obviously deal with a lot of kids and one little 5 year old girl stood by me and staaared and I said: "What's the matter, pumpkin?" and she said: "Blink your eyes" so I did, then she said: "Nono, blink and stop", "Oh, you mean, CLOSE my eyes?" "Yes, yes, close them" so I did and she burst out with: "You have magical eyes! They hide purple in them!" I laughed so hard for so long! XD