Thursday, July 26, 2012

Birchbox July '12

I've been subscribed to Birchbox since December, and all the boxes I got (maybe except for one) were quite good.  Almost every box included at least one really good product that pretty much paid off the entire box. I feel the same about this month's box. 
This month Birchbox teamed up with Glamour magazine to bring the subscribers a multisensory experience, as you can tell by looking at the sleeve of the box shown above.
That's what I got:

 1. Color Club nail polish in the color Blue-Ming. It's mint color that is so popular right now. I don't really like anything blue or green on my nails, but I'm definitely going to try it on my toenails.
2. The neon earbuds. They are nice-looking, but unfortunately, poor quality. The sound they produce is horrible! It's highly unnatural and makes you feel very far away from the source of the sound. I'm going to keep them as a backup though.
3. Harvey Prince Eau Flirt - Lavender Pumpkin. The sample is very small, and the fragrance itself is not something that I'm into. I normally like both lavender and pumpkin, but I couldn't smell them in the fragrance. It's very, VERY sweet and heavy...I like fresher scents for sure. 
4. Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum.  This is supposed to be lightweight sunscreen, which would be perfect for oily/combination skin. I haven't tried this one yet, but I'm excited to do so as I don't like heavy creams and I use sunscreen daily. I'm also glad that they included two packs of it.
5. Tea Forte minteas. These tea-infused mints came in a little tin box in the shape of a leaf. So cute! The flavor is ginger pear, and I like them! Great substitution for gum.
6. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black (full size!!!). This eyeliner is my favorite part. It was very timely as I needed a new black eyeliner anyway. This one is so thin! And it has a very long tip which makes the application more comfortable and fool-proof. I've had multiple liquid eyeliners in the past, but this one is by far the best. As soon as I run out of this one, I'm going to buy another one. I'll most likely do a separate blog post on it since I love it so much lol. 

Overall, I liked this box, especially since it was only $10, while that Eyeko eyeliner itself is $15. Good deal, isn't it?

Have you tried any beauty subscription services/boxes? What do you think of them?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green or Gold? Maybe Both?

I have recently got this nail polish, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard (from The Amazing Spider-Man collection), which has become my favorite after just one application. Its color is so unique! It can be green, gold, or bronze depending on the lighting. I hear other people say it's a dupe for Chanel Peridot, and after looking through some swatches online I can say that they are almost indistinguishable.

OPI - Just Spotted the Lizard

in the shade (green)
in the sun (gold)

electric lighting (bronze)

The quality of this nail polish is outstanding. It's thick in one coat, and it lasts a long time too. I painted my nails 3 days ago, and they still look perfect - the polish hasn't chipped at all. So far it's the longest-wearing nail polish I have in my collection.

I'm actually planning to purchase Into the Night nail polish (from the same collection) next as it also looks amazing. And did you like any colors from this Spider-man collection?

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Makeup Brushes

Hey guys, I just wanted to show you my makeup brush collection and tell you my experience using this or that kind of brush, which I hope some of you will find useful.
I had been using brushes made of natural animal hair before I switched to synthetic brushes. I'm not against natural hair brushes, but the thing is that my skin is very sensitive and using such brushes made my skin itch like crazy. Mrs. Bunny brush kit by Sigma (which contains synthetic brushes) made a huge difference!These brushes are so soft! And they work just as fine as my old brushes.

Here is my current collection. I put some other brushes in Sigma cups for easy storage.
I use Sigma brushes everyday and I love each of them! Maybe except for the eyeliner brush, which doesn't pick up almost any eyeshadow...

These two brushes are my main eyeshadow brushes,and I use them regularly. The black one is actually my old one, made of natural hair, but I can't stop using it as it is the perfect size and shape! Sigma E 25 is similar, but more fluffy, that's why I use it for blending.

Sigma F 80
Sigma F 80 is my foundation brush, and I love it! It blends my foundation perfectly, without leaving any streaks. It's also extremely soft!

Jane Iredale The Handi brush

This brush is made of goat hair and is kind of scratchy, but it works really well with Jane Iredale mineral powder foundation, that's why I still use it.

Real Techniques Blush brush
This brush is by Real Techniques and its bristles are very similar to that of the Mrs. Bunny brushes by Sigma. The size of this brush is very big, about the same size as the powder brush by Sigma, so I use it for bronzer. Since its bristles are not very dense, it doesn't pick up too much bronzer, but at the same time blends it very well!

Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush
 I love this brush! Its bristles are very dense, so the brush is perfect for applying powder foundation! It's also good for applying bronzer, but I feel like I can overapply it with this one. Maybe my bronzer is just too dark.

Ecotools Blush Brush

This brush, also by Ecotools, is very soft too! Its size and shape are ideal for applying blush. It's slightly flattened on the sides, which makes it a great brush for contouring, and that's what I mainly use it for, as I already have a blush brush by Sigma.

I also have two more brushes by Real Techniques, Lash/Brow Groomer and Fine Eyeliner Brush, which you can see in the first picture. The eyeliner brush is not very thin, but it's not thick either. I don't love it, but I don't hate. On the other hand the lash/brow groomer is perfect!It has metal teeth, which means it will last longer and will separate the lashes better.

That's it for my brush collection. I hope you liked it!
And what are your favorite brushes?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

As Bright as the Sun

Today was the first truly hot day in a long time. And, it was (actually still is) the 4th of July, Independence Day. Both occasions allowed me to wear something summery and bright, which I am so happy about! I hope the weather stays nice and lets me get a tan too lol.

Dress - Xhilaration from Target, bag - Carlos Santana, shoes - Nine West, earrings - Forever 21

I decided to add feather earrings, which I don't think are necessarily my style, but I thought they went well with the turquoise stripes of the dress. What do you think of them? And how do you like the outfit as a whole?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to Black

As I mentioned before, I have more of a casual classic style than anything else, and my favorite colors are also classic black and white.
When I put this black cardigan (from HauteLook) on for the first time, I immediately fell in love with it - it's classic, fitted, and lacy (although it's cotton). It's also quite thick, which means it will last longer. To add a pop of color to the outfit I chose to wear a simple coral top underneath, which also made the texture of the cardigan stand out.
I also wore my new Tacori bracelet as I felt like it would look nice on black.

Top- Mossimo, Cardigan - Dept, Jeans - Victoria's Secret, Bag - Calvin Klein, Shoes - no name

Monday, July 2, 2012

Haul: Clothes, Shoes, and Jewelry

I can't say that I buy clothes very often (not more than once a two or three-month period), but when I do, I prefer quality stuff. Too bad quality stuff is usually very expensive...But fortunately, when I came to the US I discovered two stores that sell quality things for cheap(er) - TJ Maxx and HauteLook. The former is just a chain store selling designer fashion and home items at discounted prices, whereas the latter is an online store with great daily deals on clothing, accessories, home decor, and other things of various brands.  These two stores have become my favorite, and whenever I decide to go shopping, I don't hesitate.
This last month has been fruitful in terms of shopping, so I want to share my happiness with you guys and show you what I got from those and some other stores:

This first crop cardigan is from HauteLook. It's 100% silk and the brand is Shu Shu. It originally cost $92, but I got it for only $23! This style fits loose, but still looks nice on, and I love all the embellishment it has!

This cardigan I bought in TJ Maxx - it was the only (or the last one) they had and luckily it was my size! It's by Juicy Couture and made of 100% merino wool. The original tag says it's $158, but I got it for $49.99. What a deal! It has bows at cutout shoulders and cuffs, which I really really love!

 This month can be called a "cardigan" month lol. Ok, this open knit cardigan is also from HauteLook and is by the brand called DEPT. Its original price was $138, but it was on sale for $35 there. I didn't expect the cardigan to be good quality just because the pictures on the site didn't show it well enough, but when it came in the mail I was pleasantly surprised how nice it really was. It's 100% cotton and has holes creating different patterns all over the cardigan. I'll show you what I mean in the next OOTD post.

 These tank tops are from Target, and they also were on sale for $6 each.

I had been wanting a neon swimsuit for a long time, and I was happy to find it at my local Victoria's Secret! I decided to go for non-matching pieces, which I think turned out different, but pretty.

 These shoes are from TJ Maxx. The ones on the left are by Etienne Aigner, the ones on the right- by BCBG.

I like the jewelry department at TJ Maxx as there you can find some amazing pieces at a low price. I wasn't planning on buying jewelry, but when I saw this cuff bracelet I couldn't resist, especially since it's by Tacori, my favorite brand of jewelry.

 It's platinum plated over sterling silver and has a unique lace design throughout the cuff with some CZs in the front and two oval canary yellow stones as endcaps. It was the only one in the entire store, so I'm glad that I got it! I was searching for more information about it online and found out that its full name is
Tacori IV Diamonique Epiphany Cuff Bracelet with Faceted Endcaps and that it's sold by QVC. Here's the link if you are interested:

Ok, that was a huge haul lol. If you live in the States and want to save some money on clothing and accessories, definitely check these stores out, if you haven't done so already. I just wish all countries had such great discount stores...

Thank you guys for reading and good luck on finding good deals on whatever you'll be shopping for next time!