Review: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy

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Okay, I have to admit, I abuse my nails. I was dishes, often slam them into something and break them, constantly scrub my hands and occasionally bite them…(not as often, but absentmindedly sometimes…) needless to say, I am not the perfect candidate to be a hand model. But the worst part is, I do want to have pretty manicured hands despite my horrible nail luck–star crossed love affair on that one, am I right?

Most of the time I’m stuck redoing my nails a couple of days after I initially do them which is SUCH a pain. Nothing seems to stick no matter how many coats I do–bottom middle and top! But lately I have found the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy line to be my light in the horrible nail darkness. This stuff lasts! I actually can keep a manicure for a week and do all the normal scrubbing I want!

The consistency is a nice thick gel-like one that dries quickly and smoothly and without the necessity of a led lamp! I’m all about this since I’m typically a no fuss kind of girl. (And also because the quicker it dries, the smaller the chance of me screwing them up…for which I am notorious.)

Also, I’m in love with the color selection Revlon provides. I’ve been rocking the color “Hold ’em” which is a very pretty mauve color, perfect for fall. But there are quite a few other colors I’ve been eyeing. Honestly the only downfall to this line is the newness and lack of a color range, otherwise I would never go back to regular nail polish again. (Sorry Essie and OPI, I love you but you’ve got to step up your game!)

My consensus: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy is totally worth it, especially for the active gal who wants a long lasting manicure!

Have you tried any nail polishes or manicure styles that you have fallen in love with? If so, let me know! I’m always curious to hear!

~L, xoxo

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L’OREAL Privee Collection (Eva) Review

I have to admit, I’m not a risk taker when it comes to lip colors. Dark colors make me feel too Eliza Dushku Vampy and bright ones sometimes make me feel like that kid who has clearly been drinking too much cool aid. I’m more of the muted lippy kind of gal and even more so–the nude wearing kind. Classic = my thing.

So of course if a new nude catches my eye, I’m compelled to try it. The most recent urge hit me on a trip to the drugstore where the L’OREAL Privee Collection was out on display. The packaging was cu-ute! Also the “celebrity nudes” theme was a nice spin on an old style and the descriptions provided did help me choose one that might look lovely on my lips. I actually decided on Eva which was a slightly darker version of my lips. I thought the darker tone would be nice since its fall and I feel like darker tones are a must this time of year.

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 Overall, I thought the product was so-so. It came out lighter than I initially expected and a little more sheer than I anticipated with a matte-gloss finish. Though you can build up the color with a couple of good applications, it would have been nicer if it was a tad thicker. It was also relatively moisturizing, but the staying power was only okay. This is definitely a color I have to reapply throughout the day, which isn’t necessarily a turn off because I feel like I’m always reaching for a lippy no matter what the staying power is. (#addicted)

While I think these are decent nudes, I don’t know if its worth the $7.99 price point. (Maybe if its on sale for $5.99, I’d say go for it) Bottom line, not L’OREAL’s best, but if you’re in a pinch for a classic nude that has a bit of sheen, this might be for you.

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Have you tried anything interesting from the drugstore lately? What are you dying to try? Let me know! I’m in the mood to swipe some new things for the collection!

~xo, L

Collective Fall Clothes Haul!

Fall has hit, the weather has started to get colder, and I’ve sadly come down with a bug–the shopping bug. I’m serious, I have a problem. One that has lead me build my wardrobe to suit all the lovely fall trends. (Yay inner monologue justification!) All the burgundy, faux leather  and neutral items had me lusting from afar and my restrain has finally collapsed. Here is the fruits of the previous month’s purchases 🙂

1Hi-Lo Sweater Knit Top $18 at Old Navy | Hammered Metal Long Necklace $9.99 at Old Navy
2Sweater Knit Infinity Scarf $10 at Old Navy | Faux Leather Trim Ponte Leggings $30 at Old Navy
3 I absolutely love the faux leather detail on this. I think it makes the leggings edgier…and makes me feel like I should be riding on the back of Danny Zuko’s motorcycle.
5Faux Leather A-Line Skirt at Old Navy (No longer available online) | Navy Polka Dot Tights $8 at Old Navy | Black Diamond Patterned Tights $9 at Old Navy
7I’m falling in love with patterned tights! I think they’re a cute way to class up an outfit and make it a little more bold.

I was really surprised with how many cute pieces were at Old Navy this season! A lot of the faux leather ones specifically caught my eye, as you can see. I’ve already worn a couple of these pieces a few times now and can honestly say I think they will be frequently seen on me this fall! Oh and of course I got these all at 40% off during the stuff and save event Old Navy periodically has (the prices above are the ones listed on oldnavy.com, not the discounted prices I received) so of course I went a little crazy snatching up the pieces I loved!

4Merona Cardigan Sweater $27.99 at Target | Mossimo V Neck Dress $24.99 at Target
6Merona Vintage Tee $10 at Target | Mossimo Ona Scrunch Ballet Flat $12 at Target
9Navy Triangle Print A-Line Skirt at Target (no longer available online)

What can I say? Target will always be a weakness of mine. I got a lot of comfort based clothes this go around–ones that were cute but I could throw on and feel relaxed in. Though I have paired the dress, skirt and flats with different pieces that have dressed them up. I love the patterns and clearly burgundy is my thing this fall.

12Sam Edelman Laredo Suede Booties $140 at Lord & Taylor
8I ADORE these booties. I love the taupe color, the details, and the suede. Sam Edleman is slowly becoming my favorite shoe designer ❤

I mean, what’s fall without some cute boots? This season I am absolutely bootie crazy…I’ve got 3 pairs and counting…And it doesn’t help that Lord & Taylor has had killer shoe sales recently–they’ve been having a shoe of the day sale almost everyday for the past month! (Thus is what convinced me to get the cute boots above!)

10Erica Anenberg Camel Tribeca Hobo Handbag (No longer available on Nordstrom Rack) | Vince Camuto Rose Gold Tone Watch (No longer Available on Nordstrom Rack)
11I love that this watch tells more than just the time–the day of the week and month are both on there. Also the detailing is so cute!

Okay so this was my biggest splurge for the season (so far…) and probably my happiest of purchases. I’ve been dying for a new bag and specifically one lighter than I had (the one I have been using has been so heavy lately, I needed a break!) and this one fit the bill! It fits perfectly under my arm and is super light! Plus it fits way more than I thought initially! It really is quite a lovely bag. As for the watch…I’ve been oogling all thing rose gold, so when I saw this–I jumped at the sale! It’s such a classy statement piece, I’ve been wearing it obsessively.

So that is all my wallet shaming purchases as of late! I will be trying my best to practice restrain in the land of shopping during these coming months (but I’m not sure of my success since it will be the holidays very, very soon) so while I do that, what have you been snatching from the stores? (Help me soothe my buyers soul by showing me your own hauls!) Or if not buying, what have you been lusting over from afar? Share with me your shopoholic ways! Haha

Until next time!

~xo, L

I went to Birchbox Soho…and it was fabulous!

So this summer, I decided to mosie on down to Soho here in NYC and check out the new Birchbox shop after seeing some rather lovely sneak peek photos online–it was love at first site.

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(Can’t you just hear a chorus of angels in your head right now?) The store was bright and girly and fun! The idea of the store was very much like a trendy designed Sephora, only BB features a BYOB (Build Your Own Box) where you can pick from a menu of samples to put in a box right there in the store! (Basically, you get to be a BB specialist– for yourself! It’s quite fun 🙂 )

The upstairs part of the store featured a majority of makeup and skin products while the downstairs had the men’s section, hair and nails. Even better: the lower section had a salon-like area where you could get a mani, a blowout or, of course, your makeup done!

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Another difference from the big beauty stores: the BB shop has all the lovely goodies that they feature in their online shop–necklaces, tshirts, makeup bags, etc. I loved oogling the goodies while I was there, picking them up and trying them on– it was the full shopping experience.

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The shop was adorable and the best part next to shopping around was being able to use my BB points in store! So of course I had to pick up the Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask (Available on Birchbox.com for $25.95) since I had been eyeing it!

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Overall, it was a fun shopping experience and I look forward to attending some of the BB events in the near future!

So, have any of you been down to check out the new shop? How did you like it? Did you hit any events?

And for all of you BBholics planning visits to NYC in the future, here’s the address:

433 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012

Until next time, Ta!

~xo, L

 

Ipsy Vs. Birchbox: September 2014

 So, this is slightly late (whoops), but I was still trying out these products so I could make an honest opinion on which of these truly won me over this month. (excuses, excuses…) Spoiler: I wasn’t necessarily wowed by either overall, but I am really enjoying a few of the products I received. They’ve actually become staples in my routine so far, so I can’t complain too much…

Okay, without any more delay, here is my Ipsy Vs. Birchbox showdown review! First up, BB!

 

Birchbox

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 Brands – Liz Earle, Juicy, Cynthia Rowley, Yu Be, R+Co, Jouer

Estimated Price$26

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $10 and sends beauty samples. (sometimes deluxe, sometimes on the smaller size, it varies. Though they have upped their game recently.) Their products vary from lifestyle, to skincare, to makeup and their brands are often on the higher end. If you’re interested in this subscription, check it out here

Before I dive into the products, I have to say this: I was SOOOOO excited for the cute box design this month–I was going to keep it for makeup storage and oogle its pretty colors on the daily. But my excitement was quickly crushed when I found out that my box was, well, crushed in transit! Goodbye cute box, I never got to truly enjoy you. 😥 Oh well, on to what really matters, the products!

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I have to be honest, when I opened up my box, I wasn’t too happy to see some repeat products aka the Cynthia Rowley eyeliner and The Viva La Juicy perfume–even if they were in new colors/scents. It was kind of like a “been there, done that” kind of thing, you know? But overall, I got a decent balance with haircare, skincare, a scent, a face makeup product and eye makeup.

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Is it just me or do all the Juicy perfumes smell kind of similar? Probably just me…but while I enjoyed the new scent, I wasn’t surprised or anything by it. And since I have been getting perfumes every month now…I’m kind of over them to be honest. The YuBe cream was a lackluster item too. It was scentless cream–I mean it seemed to work decently well, but nothing to write home about.

The R+Co shampoo and conditioner however, was great for my thin hair! It made it look illustrious after use, smelled great and the sample packaging was adorable! The styling cream didn’t really make a huge difference in my hair that I could see, but it smelt lovely as well. Though the full size of each costs a pretty penny, I might save my BB points and splurge on the shampoo and conditioner!

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 Okay, once again: the Cynthia Rowley pencil made me go “Meh.” Not that it’s not a great product, I loveeee the first one I got, but I can only use eyeliners so fast! (Plus, I’m a liquid liner kind of gal…sticks I only use on my lower lash line.) I will give BB props for sending me a trending eye metallic color–but in all honesty, I will probably get minimal usage out of that since I am not an 80s groupie/rockstar.

Moving on, I was excited to finally get to try a Jouer product since I’m pretty sure I hear the BB gals gush about it almost religiously every month. But the size of this sample made my heart sink just a tad–this gave me like 2.5 uses! Not enough to make up my mind on whether it would be something to purchase for my makeup collection. Sorry, Jouer–I’m not sold on you yet!

Lastly, the thing I was most excited for in this box was not a surprise since I picked it– the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. Since I first saw this product a couple of months ago, I have been dyingggg to try it because 1) the packaging is adorable and tiffanyesq which, being an Audrey Hepburn fan, I was instantly drawn to. 2) I love face/skin care products. Especially pampering ones like this! The whole process of massaging this cleanser into my face and then using the cloth to wipe it off–I feel like I’m in a mini spa each night. The product feels great and leaves my skin happy and smooth! Plus the sample size was very generous! I will be purchasing this ASAPO. (As Soon As Product’s Out)

 

Ipsy

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  BrandsNyx, Crown Brush, Alterna, Pacifica, Cailyn

Estimated Price$44.50

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $10 and sends deluxe/full size beauty samples. It usually focuses on primarily cosmetic products medium-high in value that are delivered in adorable makeup bags! (Though it sometimes will throw a skincare product your way.) If you’re interested in subscribing,check it out here.

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Okay, before I say anything, I must say this: I thought the bag was UGS this month. I get they were trying to go for edgy street style…but it kind of just reminded me of a wallet I would find in Claire’s…on discount. I dunno, it just wasn’t for me. But it was a good try. Next time, Ipsy.

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Moving on, I will say I was sooooo happy to see another brush in this bag. Even better–a double sided one! Being a woman on the run most days, as I scramble to make my train into NYC, I have very little time to prep in the morning. My makeup time is always on the go which makes this brush PERF for me. I just need the one for my bag and I’m good! This one is now a staple and pretty soft, so in other words: THANKS IPSY!

As for the CC cream–was anyone else baffled that this wasn’t for skin, but for hair? I didn’t even know there were alphabet creams for hair! But then again, I can barely keep track of all the alphabet creams out there–did you hear there is now an EE cream? Yeah, I give up. Rant aside, this product was nice, but kind of small for me to make any definitive choice seeing as I have quite a bit of hair to try this on. Basically, this gets a “Meh.”

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So you know how I said BB got points for being on trend, but also a “Meh” for sending me another eye pencil? Yup…Ipsy gets the same. Though I have to say, I am not yet sold on Pacifica as a brand. This pencil was kind of dry and chalky. Pass!

As always, I love to see a Nyx product in my bag! I was happy to see this lovely neutral color (in “Velvet”) and I have been using it as a base color on my lids quite frequently this month–applying it with my new brush, I must add! (I see what you did there, Ipsy…)

Last, but not least, was a repeat brand but a new product type–Cailyn tinted gloss in “Basic Instinct”. I loveeee this! The first application has a little transparentness to it, but you can build it up quickly and the color is a very lovely coraly pink!

Conclusion

Like I said, there wasn’t anything super super exciting about either subscription this month and each had things I really liked. However, if I’m forced to choose, I have to give it to Ipsy. It had 3 full sized products that I have been using all month and am currently still loving on. (Though it was tough because I really did love the cleanser and haircare from BB and will be repurchasing!)

So, how did you guys fair this month? Are you getting as much use out of your products as I am? Hope so! Until next subscription post (which will be in like what…a week? haha whoops…), ta ta lovelies!

~xo, L

Folly Ventures: Bar Harbor, ME

So sorry for my leave of absence, dear readers. Summer has been a little overwhelming and busy here in NY, so I decided to take a break from the blogging world (without a note…my bad). Though with autumn here in full blast (complete with everything deliciously pumpkin!), I’ve been inspired to take hold of my long since ignored blog! That said, here’s a post about a summer adventure I had to catch you all up.

Over the summer I went to a couple of lovely vacation spots and one of the newest and exciting ones (and longest to trek to #LeSigh) I got to visit was Bar Harbor, Maine. It was what can only be classified as a perfect vacation spot–which I guess it should be from a place whose motto is “Vacationland”. It had an adorable town filled with shopping (not high end, but cute vacation knick knacks), yummy eatieries, wine/beer tastings, and a long list of fun social events. (Markets, comedy crews, etc.)

What really impressed me though, was all the natural beauty that surrounded the town. Bar Harbor, ME is home to one of the most gorgeous natural parks I have ever been to on the east coast of the US: Acadia. Please see some examples below of said beauty:

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What did I tell you–completely lovely, right? The park is MAAAASSIVE and has numerous different things to enjoy such as mountains to hike with far horizon views, sloping seaside cliffs, numerous beach spots, and even more wooded camp/picnic areas. It is a nature lovers paradise.

And with such a grand playground, there of course are plenty of outsidey events to do such as kayaking rentals, sea life cruises (the whale/seal/puffin tours will cost you a pretty penny, but I feel like its something wonderful to try at least once!), sailboat cruises, plane/helicopter rides around the islands, and lots lovely lighthouses to check out around nearby locations.

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Overall, it was a beautiful vacation with tons of sights to take in and lots of fresh air to enjoy. I would really recommend Bar Harbor to anyone who loves natural views, the outdoors, or would just like to have a wonderful time with family/friends. I know I would certainly love to go back, even if the trip takes me a little longer from the city. For more information on Bar Harbor, ME, visit http://www.barharborinfo.com/

Where did you love traveling this summer? And funny fall trips coming up? Hope all is well!

~xo, L

Ipsy Vs. Birchbox: August 2014

GASP! I’m actually on top of this post this month, you guys! (Shocking, I know!) I really am trying to get better about posting, especially while everything has been so crazy lately. Hopefully I will get my rhythm down soon. Until then, let’s check out my August goodies! (This was a great month for subscription boxes!!)

Ipsy

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For those of you who are unfamiliar, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $10 and sends deluxe/full size beauty samples. It usually focuses on primarily cosmetic products medium-high in value that are delivered in adorable makeup bags! (Though it sometimes will throw a skincare product your way.) If you’re interested in subscribing, check it out here.

Brands featured in my bag: Urban Decay, Dr. Brandt, Costal Scents, Lord & Berry, Absolute New York

Estimated value: $29

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As you may or may not already know from my Perversion Mascara Review, I have a crush on this product. So I was STOKED to see it in my bag this month. I love this formula and am excited to have a little more before I have to buy the product myself! (Seriously, I use it like every day…so I mean, it was going quickly and I was getting ready to break out the wallet!) Thank you Ipsy for my continued gorgeous starlet lashes!

As for the eyeliner, I’m meh on it. On the one hand, I was excited to try a new brand and I can always use a sample eyeliner pencil for my lower lash line. On the other hand, it’s a pencil eyeliner–I hate ones you have to sharpen! If it accidentally breaks while I’m out doing some touch up make up, I’m sh!t out of luck. Plus the shavings get everywhere! Me = not a fan of them. THOUGH, I will say that this product went on smooth and was a beautiful black. If the full size wasn’t so pricey, I would overlook the pencil sharpening state…

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I can’t remember if I’ve received Dr. Brandt in Ipsy before, but I was already acquainted with the brand–and VERY excited to see it in this bag. Dr. Brandt has great products and this one furthered my opinion of the brand quality. The formula was light, went on smooth, reduced the appearance of my pores and matifyed my skin. Though I’m unsure if it really is any better than benefit’s Porefessional. I’d be interested in doing a comparison to see if Dr. Brandt is worth the extra $$$.

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Next up, Absolute New York’s Balm in Grape. (YAY! Another new brand! And a full sized one at that!) I really liked this balm. It was hydrating and cute. The grape smell was very much a commercially grape smell, but it kind of reminded me of my childhood and really is a fun scent for summer. The only downside is having to apply it with my fingers–I’m not a fan of that type of application for balms. Though I will get a lot of use out of it!

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Lastly, (not leastly) was the blush duo in Fresh (the peachier color) and Elegant (the pinker color). I’ve gotten a bunch of costal scents products in the past, so this was probably my least impressed with product. That said, the color payoff was pretty nice even though it was a bit chalky. As you can see in the picture, there is a 25% code on the product that you can use! I won’t be using the coupon, so if you want, go ahead!! Also I noticed that costal scent’s blushes are on sale this week for $3.98, so hop on that! (check out the sale here)

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(side note, while the bag was a little cheap in quality this month, I thought it was super cute! I love orange and polka dots!! Also, the round tubular shape was adorable!)

Birchbox

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For those of you who are unfamiliar, Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription that costs $10 and sends beauty samples. (sometimes deluxe, sometimes on the smaller size, it varies. Though they have upped their game recently.) Their products vary from lifestyle, to skincare, to makeup and their brands are often on the higher end. If you’re interested in this subscription, check it out here

Brands featured in my bag: Whish, hello, Key West Aloe, ModelCo, Laura Mercier

Estimated value: 28.75

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So since resubscribing to Birchbox, I haven’t yet gotten to choose my preferred sample until this month–and let’s just say, I was really excited for my choice! Bronzer!! (AKA the perfect summer product.) I was pleased with the sample size of this–I’m definitely going to get a good amount of uses out of it. Also, the product itself is very pretty. It isn’t cakey and leaves a nice tan/shimmery sheen. Though I did notice that it builds color quickly so I only apply it lightly and sometimes double up for contouring areas. Definitely a contender to my favorite too faced bronzers!

Unfortunately with the good comes the bad and my least favorite product this month was the Whish shave cream. The sad part was that it had all the makings of a shave cream I might like: smooth shave cream that hydrates my skin and doesn’t clump up my razor. (Like EOS…ugh, that stuff is impossible to wash out of my razors!) Unfortunately the smell–oh the smell!–was AWFUL. It was supposed to be grapefruit which is a scent I enjoy…but if it really was grapefruit, it was rotten ones! I’m serious. It smelt like voimit. I could only do one of my legs, it was so bad. But that leg was super smooth after so maybe there is hope with other scents?

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I will say, I was impressed with the amount of new/unfamiliar brands I received in my birchbox this month. Even more, I was impressed with how much I enjoyed them! I loved my lifestyle-ish item (the hello breath spray) and will be utilizing it as a substitute for gum when I run off to work meetings. I’m even curious to try the other flavors available! I also was a HUGE fan of the Key West Aloe lotion. It smelt delicious, it made my skin feel super smooth, and it had aloe in it which is a huge bonus for summer activities in the sun. I will be sure to repurchase this in the future–it’s a really great find!

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Now, birchbox must be a mind reader and know my secret love for Laura Mercier products (must be the name haha) because I nearly flipped my sh!t when I saw this product in my box. Not to mention, they threw in an extra with the tinted moisturizer! (The way a foil packet SHOULD be utilized. As an extra and not in place of an actual sample for the box.) Basically setting the standard for my favorite box yet. I have used the generous sample (seriously, BB is stepping up their sample size game and I’m bada ba ba ba loving it) for the tone perfecting cream a couple of times now and am over the moon for how light it is on my skin–not oily either, which I like. I also do think it has improved the creases around my eyes, which I’m pretty floored about. While the full size is on the pricier size, I will definitely be considering purchasing the cream in the near future.

I also enjoyed trying out the moisturizer–it was light and provided good coverage on the portion of my face that I tried it on. I would have liked to be able to cover my entire face and see if it did the complete job, but I’m not too upset since it was an extra. I did get to see the formula on my face and it looked pretty natural and felt great–so I would definitely keep it in mind as a summer product for me in the future.

The Winner is…

This month was kind of tough since there were a lot of great products samples from both subscriptions. Though I think I will have to give it to…Birchbox! I will definitely be getting the most use out of all of my items in this month’s box from BB and the quality was just slightly better for me this month. What about you subscription addicts? What did you love in your boxes/bags this month? Is there anything you saw that you wish that you got? Anything you’re dying to try/buy? Let me know!

~xoxo, L