Birchbox : {March}

IMG_4167I’m not gonna lie I did not like my March Birchbox which is why I didn’t write about it at first.  Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad…I just didn’t fully realize how Birchbox worked.  I thought you give them your preferences on products and they give you samples based off those products.  While this is mostly true, they don’t have unlimited samples to choose from every month….they have certain ones every month and send out the ones that best fit your preferences.  So you just might get ones you don’t really like because they don’t have any better ones to give you that month.  Does that make sense?

I found this out by writing a complaint to Birchbox about my March box contents.  Something they also pointed out (which I didn’t know before) is that I can review the products I received in my box online.  These reviews help them to know more about me and my preferences for samples and also allows me to earn points that can be used to purchase full sizes of the products.

What did I learn?:

I am not always going to get what I want from my Birchbox and I should start reviewing my products asap! (which I have started doing)

What did I get that I didn’t like:

Tea and Chocolate.  (I don’t drink caffeine, I don’t like fruit with my chocolate, and I signed up for Birchbox for beauty products)

Not sure what Birchbox is?  See my original post here.

OR want to join Birchbox click here: Sweetly Lemon Birchbox Invite

Now for the products:

IMG_4165Air Repair Rescue Balm

This all-natural salve repairs dry, cracked skin anywhere on the body. 

My Review:  This is a pretty straight forward product…very similar to Aquaphor.  I wore it on my lips and it did a great job moisturizing…but no different than other similar products.  I say save your money and invest in Aquaphor….which I am clearly in love with.

IMG_4168COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face

Organic tinted moisturizer with lasting sun protection that evens tone and masks flaws.

My Review:  MY FAVE ITEM IN THE BOX!  I religiously wear SPF daily but I hate the greasy feeling…especially because I have combo (normal/oily) skin and it can cause break-outs.  This mouse/cream is a tinted SPF and moisturizer that doesn’t dry you out but is not greasy at all..it almost feels chalky but then when it’s on your face it is moisturizing and mattifying at the same time.

IMG_4164Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper

This water-based, weightless styling lotion keeps curls shiny, defined, and frizz-free. 

My Review:  This product surprised me.  I thought it would be gel-like or greasy but it is very watery and goes on easy without any stickiness or greasiness.  I have wavy hair that I usually wear straight, but I have been using this after the shower, then letting my hair dry naturally and then adding curls with my curling iron and it works great.  It keeps the frizz under control that can happen when I let my hair dry naturally.

IMG_4158Vasanti Cosmetics “BrightenUp!” Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

This customer fave mimics effects of microdermabrasion for a bright and smooth complexion.

My Review:  I LOVE THIS!  I am a sucker for good exfoliating cleansers/scrubs and this one is up there.  It feels just like a microdermabrasion.  I am def buying the full size when I run out of my usual exfoliator.

Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches

Handpicked blend of organic tea leaves, dried fruits, and spices in a biodegradable pouch.

 My Review:  I don’t drink caffeine so I gave them away at work, but the chamomile caffeine free was delish.

 Ghirardelli Cherry Tango Square

A deep blend of dark chocolate, tangy cherry, and satisfying almond crunch.

My Review:  I am not into fruit and chocolate so I gave it to my brother.

 

Birchbox : {February}

photo 1 (12)

A few months back my friend Claire told me about, and invited me to join Birchbox.  I became a member and I am loving it…seriously getting my box every month feels like Christmas!  I am going to start posting the contents of my box every month so you can see for yourself.  But I have gotten perfume samples, teas from England, hand salves, nail polish, makeup, hair products, and tons more.

What is Birchbox? A box you receive monthly with high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands.  And the great part is not everyone’s boxes are the same.  When you join you enter in personal information and answer a few questions about yourself and they send you samples that cater to you and your needs.  Plus the samples are usually big!  It’s a great way to discover new products without fully committing to buying the whole thing.  And if you like a product they sent you and want to buy the full size, then you can buy it right from their website.  For every purchase, you earn points that can be redeemed for more purchases.   They also offer Birchbox for men! (Coy Boy and Jakers this is up your alley).

Cost: $10 per month

You have to be invited to join Birchbox, so if you want to join click here: Sweetlylemon Invite

photo 5 (7) Dr. Brandt “Pores No More Pore Refiner”

This celeb favorite minimizes pores and absorbs oil for a photo-ready matte finish. 

My review:  Completely mattifies the skin and works great!  If you are of the dry complexion then this will dry you out too much.

photo 4 (9)Agave Healing Oil Treatment

Created by a veteran hairstylist, this lightweight oil uses agave to hydrate and protect.

My review:  I LOVE THIS! I am going to buy the full bottle soon, it left my hair silky and shiny but didn’t look greasy.  I just poured the whole thing on my damp hair, combed it through, and then rinsed it really quick.  
photo 3 (6) Benefit Cosmetics “Fakeup”

Brighten tired-looking eyes with this hydrating undereye concealer and moisturizer combo.

My review:  I LOVE THIS!  Def buying the full as well.  I LOVE under eye concealers but hate when my undereyes are super dry and then the concealer looks pasty and gets in my wrinkles.  This is like rubbing tinted chapstick under your eyes…smooth and creamy.  photo 2 (10)

Benefit Cosmetics “Big Easy”

New from the cheeky makeup line, this oil-free complexion perfector smooths and balances.

My review:  I love this too haha!  It advertises that it is better than bb cream and that it has an SPF of 30 which is better than the bb cream I use now.  PLUS this mattifies which I always need.  Once my bb cream runs out I am going with this one!

photo (19)OPI Sheer Tints in “Be Magentale with Me”

This tinted top coat gives nails a wash of high-shine, translucent color.

My review:  No need to buy this.  If I am going to wear a color on my nails it is going to be an actual color and not just a tinted top coat.  But if you are someone who doesn’t like to do your nails and just wants a quick cute look…this would work for you.

Breakouts? {5 Easy Prevention Tips}

When I was a teenager I remember thinking, “I can’t wait until I am old and don’t have zits and blackheads!”……well, I am still waiting.  I have come to realize that my oily skin, if not cared for properly, will always break out.  When I was younger the go to was to cover-up and camouflage the acne with tons of makeup and concealer.  But now I have learned it is more important to know how to take care of your skin in order to prevent these breakouts from happening (as best you can…thanks hormones).
5 Easy Tips To Help Prevent Breakouts

BB Cream Love : {Quick Makeup Tip}

On a “A few of my favorite things” last week I featured Garnier Fructis BB Cream as my fave product.   BB Cream (Beauty Balm/Blemish Balm) is all the rage right now when it comes to makeup/skin care products and it’s something I have to talk about.   The reason they are so popular is because they combine a ton of things into one cream to simplify your morning “beautifying” process….and for a new mom I need simple and quick!

What is BB Cream:  To say specifically what a BB cream is and contains is difficult because they are all different.  But most are a combination of a primer, moisturizer, foundation/concealer, and sunscreen.  Some also help with smoothing out the skin tone, appearance of blemishes, and anti aging.  It really is an amazing product!

So which one is right for you?  dailymakeover.com has a perfect summary of all the most popular BB creams and what skin type they are best used on.  Check it out here:  Part 1 & Part 2

For me it was the Garnier Fructis Skin Renew in Medium/Deep ($12) because I love the coverage, that it has sunscreen, and how moisturized and soft my skin feels after using it….and feeling really moisturized is important for me now that my skin is noticeably aging.    I love makeup and prior to the BB Cream I would take all the “proper makeup steps” in the morning when getting ready.  But by using this I have compacted my routine of moisturize, sunscreen, prime, and foundation/powder into one.  Some days I want a little more coverage so I will mix some of my foundation into the BB cream prior to application and it blends perfectly!  If you want a lot more coverage you can top with your normal powder or routine.

Here are some pictures as an example of what my skin looks like before and after application…just in case you don’t believe me.   Good luck finding a BB Cream that is right for you!

No makeup except mascara:IMG_1004For application I use this brush or my fingertips when in a pinch.IMG_1018 Squeeze a dime size onto back of hand, use brush to apply in a circular motion onto face. IMG_1021IMG_1026This is the coverage I received after one quick application of just the BB cream.  IMG_1031This is the coverage I received after mixing the BB Cream with a little bit of my foundation (Mac Studio Fix Fluid NC40)IMG_1032To help with shiny-ness I apply HD Translucent Powder on the T-Zone to mattify my face and set the BB Cream.  *Note: You can get a fairly comparable translucent powder for cheaper here.  But a little of these powders goes a long way so one jar will last a long time. IMG_1035IMG_1045My face after adding a minimal amount of makeup. (Bronzer, blush, lip gloss, under eye concealer, eyebrow powder).  The whole application (including BB Cream) took less than 6 minutes!  IMG_1062 IMG_1063 IMG_1064*No pictures were altered

(I wish I could have airbrushed that zit, but gotta keep it real!)