I purchased a Birchbox subscription last month in hopes of discovering some new brands and products. I've been pretty pleased so far, and I thought I'd share what was in my February box. It's always fun to see what comes in subscription boxes and see if you're getting your money's worth by subscribing.

ABOUT BIRCHBOX

Birchbox is a beauty (makeup, haircare, skincare, fragrance, etc.) subscription service that delivers 5 samples to you each month for $10. Samples you receive are customized to you, based on a profile you fill out when you first subscribe.

If you are unfamiliar with Birchbox, you have 3 options every month. Firstly, you can choose to receive the curated box, where you are guaranteed to receive 5 specific products. Your second option is to choose one of your samples through Sample Choice, leaving the other 4 samples a surprise. Lastly, you can have all 5 of your samples a surprise. This month, I opted to use the Sample Choice feature.

The sort-of theme this month was lips, as you can tell from the lovely box design. I'm trying to repurpose these boxes -- any ideas?

WHAT'S INSIDE

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo | 21.3g, $3.06
I've used this a couple times, and I'm quite a fan. I don't mind the scent, which can usually be a dry shampoo deal breaker for me. It absorbs oil well, but it is tough to get rid of the white cast, and I'm blonde. Something to consider if you have darker hair.

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm | 3ml, $3.30
This was the sample I chose to receive because I'm always scouring for the best lip balms. This tube is super cute and mini -- great to toss in a bag. Not only does this work well as a lip and skin balm, but it claims to also sooth sunburns, tame brows, and nourish cuticles. Great multipurpose product to have around.

LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in Color Me Confident | 0.6g, $10 (full-size)
Birchbox exclusive. This is a really lovely, staple red shade, and full-size products are always appreciated.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray | 37ml, $4.81
Beautiful packaging and a great scent. This product claims to deliver beachy, texturized waves, and to hydrate dry hair while boosting shine. I've used it a couple times, but I haven't noticed a dramatic difference. I'll have to try it out again.

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 40 | 3ml, $2.04
I'm saving this sucker for the summertime, so I've yet to try it out. It's described as a light-weight formula that won't clog pores and claims to have shade-adjusting technology.

BOX VALUE: $23.21

This box's worth definitely exceeded what I paid. A coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase was also included, so feel free to factor that in if you wish.

If you want to try Birchbox out, you can get 50% off your first box using my affiliate link HERE. Plus it helps me out a little :)

What subscription boxes have you tried?

Sara
*this post contains affiliate links
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

Birchbox | February 2017

2.25.2017


I purchased a Birchbox subscription last month in hopes of discovering some new brands and products. I've been pretty pleased so far, and I thought I'd share what was in my February box. It's always fun to see what comes in subscription boxes and see if you're getting your money's worth by subscribing.

ABOUT BIRCHBOX

Birchbox is a beauty (makeup, haircare, skincare, fragrance, etc.) subscription service that delivers 5 samples to you each month for $10. Samples you receive are customized to you, based on a profile you fill out when you first subscribe.

If you are unfamiliar with Birchbox, you have 3 options every month. Firstly, you can choose to receive the curated box, where you are guaranteed to receive 5 specific products. Your second option is to choose one of your samples through Sample Choice, leaving the other 4 samples a surprise. Lastly, you can have all 5 of your samples a surprise. This month, I opted to use the Sample Choice feature.

The sort-of theme this month was lips, as you can tell from the lovely box design. I'm trying to repurpose these boxes -- any ideas?

WHAT'S INSIDE

amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo | 21.3g, $3.06
I've used this a couple times, and I'm quite a fan. I don't mind the scent, which can usually be a dry shampoo deal breaker for me. It absorbs oil well, but it is tough to get rid of the white cast, and I'm blonde. Something to consider if you have darker hair.

Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm | 3ml, $3.30
This was the sample I chose to receive because I'm always scouring for the best lip balms. This tube is super cute and mini -- great to toss in a bag. Not only does this work well as a lip and skin balm, but it claims to also sooth sunburns, tame brows, and nourish cuticles. Great multipurpose product to have around.

LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in Color Me Confident | 0.6g, $10 (full-size)
Birchbox exclusive. This is a really lovely, staple red shade, and full-size products are always appreciated.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray | 37ml, $4.81
Beautiful packaging and a great scent. This product claims to deliver beachy, texturized waves, and to hydrate dry hair while boosting shine. I've used it a couple times, but I haven't noticed a dramatic difference. I'll have to try it out again.

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 40 | 3ml, $2.04
I'm saving this sucker for the summertime, so I've yet to try it out. It's described as a light-weight formula that won't clog pores and claims to have shade-adjusting technology.

BOX VALUE: $23.21

This box's worth definitely exceeded what I paid. A coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase was also included, so feel free to factor that in if you wish.

If you want to try Birchbox out, you can get 50% off your first box using my affiliate link HERE. Plus it helps me out a little :)

What subscription boxes have you tried?

Sara
*this post contains affiliate links
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

Well, I'm back to talk about my skin once again - but this time, it's good news. Old Orchard Apothecary is a brand that offers a beautiful selection of skin and body care products, and I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to try out their No. 16 Oil Cleansing Cream* ($32). This is a company I haven't heard anybody else talk about in my small blogging circle, so I'm very excited to share this with you, especially because it has been so wonderful for my skin.


Before even using this product, I could appreciate the beautifully simple packaging, and its ingredient list:


butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, curcuma aromatica (wild turmeric), tocopherol (vitamin E) from non-GMO soy sources, citrus reticulata (tangerine) essential oil

6 ingredients - that's it. Even better, this product is vegan. I'm all about being a conscious consumer, and I also want to be certain that I'm putting healthy and safe products on my skin. This cleanser definitely checks all the boxes for me.


As the product description states, turmeric is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant, which makes this product wonderful for acne-prone skin like mine. This is a hot ingredient right now as far as skincare goes! I also suffer from severely dry skin, so using an oil cream cleanser has really helped add some life back into my complexion. I absolutely adore the scent of this product - very natural, and reminds me of orange peel.

I've been following the directions practically to a T - I take a small amount and massage it in circular motions into my skin (I've been using this immediately after I shower, so my skin is already opened up from the steam). I then lay a warm cloth over my face to give my skin the chance to really absorb the ingredients, followed by gently wiping it away. I've definitely been getting my exfoliation fix in between the gentle exfoliation from the product, as well as the exfoliation provided by the cloth while removing the product.

My face is left feeling calm and glowy. Also, between using this product and cutting dairy out of my diet, I have seen such a difference in my skin. No. 16 has also been doing a wonderful job at evening out my complexion; I immediately saw a decrease in redness. I honestly look forward to using this product each night, and it feels like a mini trip to the spa each time I use it. As long as you sufficiently remove the cleanser, there's no risk of the turmeric staining your face, and I always use a dark-colored cloth to avoid tinting my washcloths yellow. :)

My skin is finally starting to turn around, and No. 16 has majorly contributed to that. I encourage you to go check out some of Old Orchard Apothecary's products - this company has a beautiful philosophy and deserves a great deal of recognition. Let me know if you decide to try anything - I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

Sara
*sent for consideration 
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

Old Orchard No 16 Oil Cleansing Cream

2.11.2017


Well, I'm back to talk about my skin once again - but this time, it's good news. Old Orchard Apothecary is a brand that offers a beautiful selection of skin and body care products, and I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to try out their No. 16 Oil Cleansing Cream* ($32). This is a company I haven't heard anybody else talk about in my small blogging circle, so I'm very excited to share this with you, especially because it has been so wonderful for my skin.


Before even using this product, I could appreciate the beautifully simple packaging, and its ingredient list:


butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, curcuma aromatica (wild turmeric), tocopherol (vitamin E) from non-GMO soy sources, citrus reticulata (tangerine) essential oil

6 ingredients - that's it. Even better, this product is vegan. I'm all about being a conscious consumer, and I also want to be certain that I'm putting healthy and safe products on my skin. This cleanser definitely checks all the boxes for me.


As the product description states, turmeric is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant, which makes this product wonderful for acne-prone skin like mine. This is a hot ingredient right now as far as skincare goes! I also suffer from severely dry skin, so using an oil cream cleanser has really helped add some life back into my complexion. I absolutely adore the scent of this product - very natural, and reminds me of orange peel.

I've been following the directions practically to a T - I take a small amount and massage it in circular motions into my skin (I've been using this immediately after I shower, so my skin is already opened up from the steam). I then lay a warm cloth over my face to give my skin the chance to really absorb the ingredients, followed by gently wiping it away. I've definitely been getting my exfoliation fix in between the gentle exfoliation from the product, as well as the exfoliation provided by the cloth while removing the product.

My face is left feeling calm and glowy. Also, between using this product and cutting dairy out of my diet, I have seen such a difference in my skin. No. 16 has also been doing a wonderful job at evening out my complexion; I immediately saw a decrease in redness. I honestly look forward to using this product each night, and it feels like a mini trip to the spa each time I use it. As long as you sufficiently remove the cleanser, there's no risk of the turmeric staining your face, and I always use a dark-colored cloth to avoid tinting my washcloths yellow. :)

My skin is finally starting to turn around, and No. 16 has majorly contributed to that. I encourage you to go check out some of Old Orchard Apothecary's products - this company has a beautiful philosophy and deserves a great deal of recognition. Let me know if you decide to try anything - I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

Sara
*sent for consideration 
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow



As every other blogger has already stated, January sure flew by! I think time is going especially fast because I'm in my last year of high school -- it's crazy to think I'll be graduating in 4 months! January has been a really productive month for me, and I wanted to do a little monthly recap about things I've been loving throughout January. These are always some of my favorite posts to read.

Makeup

I only purchased one makeup item in January, mostly because I'm trying to focus most of my attention (and money!) on improving my skin. The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer (post) is a product I've really enjoyed using, and it is definitely an affordable option. I'm glad I gave this a go, and I'll probably end up repurchasing.

Skincare

I'm in the process of trying out some exciting new skincare products, but one that really stood out for me in January was the Lush Tea Tree Water (post). I've been using this at least once a day, and I do think it has helped decrease new acne arrivals.


Nails

Essie Topless and Barefoot is a super wearable pale beige pink. I've always been a fan of this shade, but I've found myself wearing it a lot lately. This might be the first time I end up repurchasing a nail polish.

Body Care

Two products I've been loving for the dry winter are the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep in Night Time Tea and the Lano Intense Hand Cream in Rose. Both of these smell darling. I'll admit I was quite confused when I first tried the Lano hand cream, because it leaves a strange, thick coating on your hands. But literally a minute later, after the product sinks in, your hands will feel like silk. Don't know how they do it, but I'm diggin'. 

Entertainment

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have already seen me talk about this book, but 14,000 things to be happy about has become a staple for me. I try and sit down every day with a highlighter and mark the things I can relate to. It really gives you an appreciation for the small things in life that we normally pass by. 

Other books I've been enjoying this month are Republic by Plato (because I geek out on philosophical & political content) and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, which is the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. I swear this is my third time reading the first book, but I never seem to get around to the other 5 in time to remember what happened in the beginning. I will finish this time. I will. 

I haven't watched many movies lately, but I did rekindle my love for The Great Gatsby. I'm seriously in love with the jazz era. (And I found out that prom this year is 1920's/Great Gatsby-themed. I'm swooning.) Also, #1 on my list is La La Land. I need to get my butt to that movie!!

The Blog

I started this blog in late December, and I've really seen a lot of growth already. I want to say a big thanks to everyone who has been reading. I no longer feel like I'm just writing into a void.

Now, I know, I know, blogging isn't about the numbers, yadda yadda, but I did set a few preliminary goals for myself, just to see what growth would look like in the first month. My Bloglovin' goal was 50 followers, and my Instagram goal was 100 followers, and it's great to say that I've exceeded both of those! I have a lot of exciting ideas swimming around in my head, and I look forward to working on my blog further.

Also, Eve from Fearne Creative Design has been so wonderful with helping me format my blog the way I want. If anyone is looking for a new blog set-up, I would 100% recommend her shop. Affordable, great service, and beautiful templates.

Other Ramblings

I've been making a bigger effort than ever to eat healthy -- I think a big chunk of this stems from trying to clear my skin. I can also feel the "senior-itis" sinking in as we approach the seemingly never-ending months of February through April. The wanderer in me is aching to get out and explore. 

Also, recent legislation has made a big impact on many lives, and I wanted to express my love and support. Never be afraid to speak up for what is right. Unity is worth fighting for.

I hope you all had a wonderful beginning of 2017. This is gonna be a big and exciting year for me -- I can't wait to see what lays ahead.

Sara
*this post contains affiliate links
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

The Month in Brief | January

2.04.2017




As every other blogger has already stated, January sure flew by! I think time is going especially fast because I'm in my last year of high school -- it's crazy to think I'll be graduating in 4 months! January has been a really productive month for me, and I wanted to do a little monthly recap about things I've been loving throughout January. These are always some of my favorite posts to read.

Makeup

I only purchased one makeup item in January, mostly because I'm trying to focus most of my attention (and money!) on improving my skin. The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer (post) is a product I've really enjoyed using, and it is definitely an affordable option. I'm glad I gave this a go, and I'll probably end up repurchasing.

Skincare

I'm in the process of trying out some exciting new skincare products, but one that really stood out for me in January was the Lush Tea Tree Water (post). I've been using this at least once a day, and I do think it has helped decrease new acne arrivals.


Nails

Essie Topless and Barefoot is a super wearable pale beige pink. I've always been a fan of this shade, but I've found myself wearing it a lot lately. This might be the first time I end up repurchasing a nail polish.

Body Care

Two products I've been loving for the dry winter are the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep in Night Time Tea and the Lano Intense Hand Cream in Rose. Both of these smell darling. I'll admit I was quite confused when I first tried the Lano hand cream, because it leaves a strange, thick coating on your hands. But literally a minute later, after the product sinks in, your hands will feel like silk. Don't know how they do it, but I'm diggin'. 

Entertainment

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have already seen me talk about this book, but 14,000 things to be happy about has become a staple for me. I try and sit down every day with a highlighter and mark the things I can relate to. It really gives you an appreciation for the small things in life that we normally pass by. 

Other books I've been enjoying this month are Republic by Plato (because I geek out on philosophical & political content) and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, which is the first book in The Mortal Instruments series. I swear this is my third time reading the first book, but I never seem to get around to the other 5 in time to remember what happened in the beginning. I will finish this time. I will. 

I haven't watched many movies lately, but I did rekindle my love for The Great Gatsby. I'm seriously in love with the jazz era. (And I found out that prom this year is 1920's/Great Gatsby-themed. I'm swooning.) Also, #1 on my list is La La Land. I need to get my butt to that movie!!

The Blog

I started this blog in late December, and I've really seen a lot of growth already. I want to say a big thanks to everyone who has been reading. I no longer feel like I'm just writing into a void.

Now, I know, I know, blogging isn't about the numbers, yadda yadda, but I did set a few preliminary goals for myself, just to see what growth would look like in the first month. My Bloglovin' goal was 50 followers, and my Instagram goal was 100 followers, and it's great to say that I've exceeded both of those! I have a lot of exciting ideas swimming around in my head, and I look forward to working on my blog further.

Also, Eve from Fearne Creative Design has been so wonderful with helping me format my blog the way I want. If anyone is looking for a new blog set-up, I would 100% recommend her shop. Affordable, great service, and beautiful templates.

Other Ramblings

I've been making a bigger effort than ever to eat healthy -- I think a big chunk of this stems from trying to clear my skin. I can also feel the "senior-itis" sinking in as we approach the seemingly never-ending months of February through April. The wanderer in me is aching to get out and explore. 

Also, recent legislation has made a big impact on many lives, and I wanted to express my love and support. Never be afraid to speak up for what is right. Unity is worth fighting for.

I hope you all had a wonderful beginning of 2017. This is gonna be a big and exciting year for me -- I can't wait to see what lays ahead.

Sara
*this post contains affiliate links
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser

I go through concealer like it's nobody's business, so I've been doing a bit of exploring to find a good-quality drugstore one. (My regular is the NARS Creamy Concealer, and that $30 every couple months adds up.)

I'd been hearing about the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer (that's a mouthful) for ages, and since it was the only one I had any knowledge about, I figured that's the one I'd try. I picked it up in the shade Fair, which is a bit too pink for my skintone, but not enough to make me stop using it.

I've been using the concealer for a couple weeks now, and I have nothing bad to say. What I really love about this concealer is that the applicator (which probably isn't the most sanitary, although it does say it's anti-microbial) practically blends the product out for you. I apply this to problem areas -- so basically my whole face right now lol -- and then take my damp BeautyBlender and pretty much just blend out the edges. I've found that this blends into my skin a lot easier than the concealer from Nars.

This concealer has medium coverage, and does a pretty good job at covering up any acne and scarring. I have noticed that it fades throughout the day, but I can't say anything different about any other concealers I've tried.

If you're looking for an inexpensive concealer to try out, I would definitely recommend this one. It blends beautifully, and I'll definitely enjoy the extra cash in my pocket while my usual concealer is on hold.

Sara
*post contains affiliate links

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

Quick Look | Maybelline Dark Circle Concealer

2.02.2017

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser

I go through concealer like it's nobody's business, so I've been doing a bit of exploring to find a good-quality drugstore one. (My regular is the NARS Creamy Concealer, and that $30 every couple months adds up.)

I'd been hearing about the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer (that's a mouthful) for ages, and since it was the only one I had any knowledge about, I figured that's the one I'd try. I picked it up in the shade Fair, which is a bit too pink for my skintone, but not enough to make me stop using it.

I've been using the concealer for a couple weeks now, and I have nothing bad to say. What I really love about this concealer is that the applicator (which probably isn't the most sanitary, although it does say it's anti-microbial) practically blends the product out for you. I apply this to problem areas -- so basically my whole face right now lol -- and then take my damp BeautyBlender and pretty much just blend out the edges. I've found that this blends into my skin a lot easier than the concealer from Nars.

This concealer has medium coverage, and does a pretty good job at covering up any acne and scarring. I have noticed that it fades throughout the day, but I can't say anything different about any other concealers I've tried.

If you're looking for an inexpensive concealer to try out, I would definitely recommend this one. It blends beautifully, and I'll definitely enjoy the extra cash in my pocket while my usual concealer is on hold.

Sara
*post contains affiliate links

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow

What's new?

© sara spoke. Design by Fearne.