My First Birchbox: Unboxing & Review

WOW WOW WOW, Happy Monday!

I’m super excited to be back on Sparkle and Shine and even more excited to share that my first post back is all about my first ever Birchbox! For my 23rd birthday, three of my best friends got me a three-month subscription to  the monthly service. Thanks to Amber, Julia, and Hope, each month I receive 4 or 5 samples of high-end beauty, haircare, and skincare products- delivered right to my front door!

I was like a little kid on Christmas morning the first time my Birchbox came. I always love trying new beauty products after watching other bloggers and vloggers rave about them or finding new products on my own. With commuting into the big apple for work, the amount of time that I have to go shopping and spend hours browsing through Sephora, Ulta, and even a local drug stores, are very limited. Now, I don’t need to worry about finding new products – they are delivered right to my door!

Check out below to see what I had received in my box and my ~honest~ opinion on what I thought about it all!

Birchbox1

  1. Catherine Malandrino’s Romance de Provence Eau de Parfum: An ode to Provence, the timeless scent mixes fruity and floral nuances with vanilla and patchouli. If there’s one makeup product I am always nervous to try new of – it’s perfume. I’m not a fan of super strong scents. Clinique’s Happy is my go-to because of it’s super light scent. This perfume was a little stronger than my liking. With hot summer days coming up, where I spend my mornings underground on the NYC subways, a strong sample size of this perfume will be perfect in my bag. Quick spritz and the oh so fabulous (not) smell of the subway will be gone. 
  2. Beauty Protector’s Protect & Detangle: This best-selling elixir locks in color, protects from heat damage, and adds silkiness to each stand. During my freshman year of college, I became obsessed with straightening my hair. Later classes, compared to early morning for high school, meant more time to get ready and I would spend each of those extra minutes frying- yes frying- my hair away. Four years later and I am still trying to fix the damage I caused to my hair. I only straighten my hair in certain situations and when I do, I make sure to use heat protector. This is by far my new favorite heat protectant! I usually only straighten my hair once a month, so April was the first time I got to use this product and I loved it. It didn’t have a lingering scent and did not need to use a lot of the protect for it to work. Plus, my hair looked so smooth and silky. If only I had a selfie to show it off! 
  3. Real Chemistry’s Luminous 3-Minute Peel: Apply this acid-free peel to clean, dry skin for luminous results. Massage in a circular motion to exfoliate, then wash skin with a mild cleanser to remove. I always love trying to find new face masks and exfoliants – it’s my favorite. I love how fresh and clean I feel after deeply exfoliating and cleaning my face. As I’ve mentioned, commuting in and out of the city for work takes a lot of my time. By the time I get home, from 15+ hour days, I just want to shower and go right to sleep. I love that this exfoliant didn’t add extra time- no need to wait for it to dry then wash it off. I just simply scrubbed the peel on and it three minutes – I could clean it off. I’m able to use it right in the shower, not waste time, and get super clean skin. Winner, winner!
  4. Manna Kadar Cosmetics’ Lip Locked in Sienna: A primer, lip stain, and gloss in one, this innovative product ensures that your lips stay lusciously hydrated and smooth all day while delivering rich, long lasting pigment. I am OBSESSED – not just with the color, but with how long this lasted. I used this ultimate lip product when going out for Paul’s birthday in Hamden- knowing between sweat, drinks, singing, and who knows what else, my makeup look would take a beaten. At the end of the night, for post-going out Dominos, my lip color was still in tact as if I had just put the lip stain on. From now, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be sure to see this lip color quite often!
  5. Dr. Lipp’s Miracle Balm: The natural formula completely rehydrates skin and lips, soothes sunburn, tames unruly brows, and nourishes thirsty cuticles. Apply to dry lips and other areas of the body as needed. Not going to lie, I haven’t used this one yet. Since I do PR for Aquaphor and Eucerin (#client), I have plenty of products to rehydrate my skin and lips at my fingertips. I was super excited when I read that the product helps soothe sunburn. Summer is right around the corner and if you know me in real life, you know that I have a bad tendency of getting sunburnt. I’m excited to use this balm when that day rolls around – which will be soon. Sorry, Gram!

Do you have a subscription to Birchbox? Thinking about it? Comment below and let me know! 

 

Let my gal pal Casey teach you how to properly put on your makeup on her YouTube channel

Happy Friday, babes!

SO one of my bucket list items for 2017 (since I don’t believe in a “new year, new you” mindset) is learning more about how to properly do my makeup. I watch tons of YouTubers and buy so many different products, but I just don’t know how to always put it on. To be honest, I’m pretty sure the brush I put my eye shadow on with this morning was a concealer brush. WHOOPS!

I always fake it til I make it when it comes to makeup- pretending I know how to properly blend and contour, knowing what my 20 brushes are for, and that I can do a great smokey eye.

But I don’t. Let’s be honest, the closest I get to a smokey eye is on Sunday morning brunch when I didn’t take my makeup off the night before.

For all you girls like me out there, let me introduce you to my friend and sorority sister, Casey!

casey_edited

Casey and I had gotten really close during my senior year and is someone I still talk to now that I have graduated and am doing the whole adulting thing.When I saw that she started her own YouTube channel of makeup tutorials and lifestyle content, I KNEW I had to find out more and share about it on Sparkle and Shine.

Check out what Casey had to say about starting her own YouTube channel:

I am extremely passionate about film, makeup, and laughing – so I thought creating a lifestyle & beauty YouTube would be the perfect combination of the three!! If I can make videos all the time, show the world how to do some kickass makeup, or put a smile on someone’s face, I’m ecstatic.

LOVE IT! I love supporting my friends when they start new projects, like when Lianna started blogging.

Now enough about Casey and more about her makeup tutorial! I’m starting to adapt techniques from her “Makeup for Dummies” video so I know what I’m doing – like starting with light eye shadows and building up to the darks.

But enough of me explaining – why don’t you just watch for yourself?!

Check it out: 

Have any good makeup tutorials and tricks for a girl like me? Comment below and share them…then go watch more of Casey’s videos and subscribe!!

signature 22222

MY GUY BFF DOES MY MAKEUP {NEWEST VIDEO BLOG}

Happy Saturday, readers!

If you don’t subscribe to my YouTube channel (which you totally should do like, right now), you may not know that I recently released my newest YouTube video blog.

Check it out: 

My guy friends always complain that I am always late whenever we go somewhere.

The reason? I am doing my makeup!

Give me ten minutes or two hours and either way I’ll be 15 minutes late cause I am doing my makeup. They never understand why it takes so long or what goes into a makeup routine (like helllllo…that ‘no makeup look’ took about 20 minutes), so I decided it was time for them to see what it takes. And then share it with the Internet…

Watch the hilarious new video of Brandon doing my makeup, then comment on the video and let me know what you think!

signature 22222

Thank you, Seventeen!

seventeen edit 1.jpg

After two years of working with my dream company, I am now passing on my Seventeen Social Club torch to other social media mavens and bloggers. My contract with the company has wrapped up, there is now an end-date listed next to Seventeen Magazine on my LinkedIn, and the chapter in my life has ended.

My favorite memory was during my first year with the company. My little and I got to attend the 2014 New York City Makeup Show. We skipped a day of studying for finals to go gallivanting around the beautiful Big Apple. It was the first time I got to introduce myself as press at a big event, leaving me with butterflies that I could certainly get used to. Once inside the Metropolitan Pavilion, Amber I got to talk to different vendors, sit through tutorials, test our new beauty products, and of course, make some purchases! To find out more about that incredible experience, make sure to check out the post from May of 2014.

Besides being able to attend the New York City Makeup Show, I was exposed to a lot of different companies that I may not have gotten the opportunity to contact otherwise. Maybelline and Milani cosmetics became staples in my makeup bag after receiving so many awesome products from them. I also got hooked on ABC Family’s one-season show “Chasing Life” after ABC Family and Seventeen helped me host a season premiere party for “Chasing Life” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

While working for Seventeen over the past two years, I have gotten to experience so much and realize how much I truly love the media industry. Here’s to hoping I continue to reach more goals, continue to fall in love with this industry, and more as graduation (eeeeek!) keeps creeping up on me.

signature 22222

Fresh faced lazy days, thanks to Seventeen Magazine and L’Oreal

This is a post on behalf of my contractual membership with “Seventeen Magazine” for the Seventeen Magazine Social Club.

17 social club

Some days are just lazy days- am I right readers, or am I right?

I don’t want to put on my full face of makeup, do my hair, and every other task it takes to get ready. Some days I want to just throw on a baseball cap, like my favorite from Vineyard Vines, throw on some foundation, and call it a day. Thanks to L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation I can do just that while looking and feeling fresh faced!

loreal paris foundationThe foundation went on so smoothly and gave me an airbrushed finish. It gave me the appearance of having flawless skin, without even being able to tell that I had makeup on.

loreal paris

This drug store foundation worked just as well as some of the much more expensive department store foundations I have used in the past. All the expensive foundations promise this same airbrush finish that you can now get for half the price at any local drug store.

Now I just can’t wait to wear it for a night out and feel as glamorous as as a Kardashian.

Thanks, Seventeen!

signature 12121

Mirrorless Monday

Happy Monday, readers!

Today is a special Monday. In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness week, today is Mirrorless Monday. The concept of today is to avoid the mirror. How you look on the outside does not matter, it was what is on the inside. You are unique. You are beautiful. You are you – your hair color, your pant size, and the pimple on the tip of your nose does not matter.

I challenged my residents to participate in today by covering up our large bathroom mirrors and writing reminders to them about beautiful they are on both the inside and outside. More importantly, I reminded them that how they look on the outside does not reflect their self worth.

IMG_3067

IMG_3070

Today, I have not looked in a mirror. I have promised myself, in honor of the 20 million women and 10 million men in America who suffer from the disease, to honor this day.

I didn’t do my makeup and I let my hair naturally air dry, then put it into a pony tail. I did not do my makeup. I didn’t have to look in the mirror while brushing my teeth or washing my face because of the large paper covering the mirror.

I ask you to take this promise, too. From now on today, do not use a mirror. Do not stop and look at yourself.

Then tomorrow, do not critique yourself. Ignore that zit, ignore the off-white shade of your teeth, and ignore the so-called rolls and flab you see on your stomach, arms, and thighs. Instead focus on what is inside – how much you care about your family, how hard you work in school, and how amazing you are just being you.

I know there are plenty of days I want to stare down everything I see that is wrong in the mirror – did eating those french fries yesterday make me gain weight? Are those blackheads on my nose? Why is that hair so out of place? But instead, I chose to ignore this. I focus on my GPA that I work my butt off for; I focus on my blog and how far it has come in so little time; I focus on how much I love my friends, family, and sorority sisters. I focus on being more than what I see in the mirror. I focus to be happy and confident for who I am.

Just promise yourself, and me, that for one day you avoid these thoughts and avoid looking in a mirror. Honor those who no longer can.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, reach out to the confidential hotline at 1-800-931-2237 to get help.

proper size signature

Spending My Last Day of 2014 with Some Goodies from Seventeen Magazine

This is a post on behalf of my contractual membership with “Seventeen Magazine” for the Seventeen Magazine Social Club.

17 social club

Happy last day of 2014, readers! It’s officially page 365 in the 365 page book of 2014. Starting tomorrow, we are starting a new book – blank and ready for a fresh start.

Prior to ringing in the new year at work (save the champagne for next year when I’m 21), I’m spending my last day home – relaxing with some goodies that I received from Seventeen Magazine, as a part of my Holiday Sample Box.

1. Clean and Clear: Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub

One of my biggest beauty must haves is always making sure my face is washed and feels fresh and clean! I’ve been using Murad routinely, since Seventeen sent it to me months ago. I started using this Clean and Clear product and it truly does leave my face feeling clean. The scrub has a cooling sensation, so I can actually feel it going deep down into my pores and getting rid of dirt. Plus, it leaves my skin looking radiant!

clean and clear

2. New York City Color Proof Twistable Intense Lip

After being a biker chick for Halloween, I’ve realized I loved myself with a red lip! I always thought it would be too daring for me, but it turns out it wasn’t! This New York City lip is super easy to use – just twist, glide, and boom! you had that instant color on your lips! With Roosevelt Island Red, I”m looking forward to doing looks like this pin and this pin!

nyc color

3. Blistex Ultra-Rich Hydrating Lip Balm

Move over Eos, I have a new lip balm I will be using! This new Blistex has a dual layer of extra hydration for smooth, healthy lips. My lips get so chapped during the winter, that this new Blistex is doing just the trick to keep them smooth and hydrated. Just because I’ll be in my work uniform and won’t be kissing anyone at midnight, it doesn’t mean I can’t have the smoothest of lips tonight!

blistex

4. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I’m relaxing in my Tiffany box bedroom, in my new cupcake pajamas, reading my advanced copy of “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. I look forward every break to getting to spend time in my comfy bed reading a good book – and this was just the book I was looking for! The heart wrenching love story focuses on two love birds (or a love Finch and a flower, I could say), who meet in an unlikely place – at the top of their school’s bell tower, contemplating to jump. What happens next as the two continue a journey together of wandering left me laughing, crying, and everything in between. It is a must- read!

book in bed

Enjoy your last day of 2014 tonight, my sparkling readers! Remember, tomorrow starts page 1 of a new book – make sure to write a good one!

NEW SIGNATURE