Birchbox unboxing January 2014

Birchbox unboxing January 2014

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner – No dimethicone yay! I can try this one. But it has synthetic fragrance so boo! It ranks a 5 with the cosmetics database and a good portion of that score has to do with the added fragrance. Remember the lower the number the healthier. But I still tried it. My hair IS softer and looks less greasy but like the dry shampoos I’ve tried I’m just not wowed. Yes it will do in a pinch but one of the ingredients is starch. Starch is white and my hair is DARK brown. Used sparingly it’s ok but it does seem to make my hair look dull immediately. Use too much and you suddenly look like you’re graying. So while I’m going to keep this around, I think people with sandy and blond hair will like it better than I do. I will say though, this is the best of the dry shampoos I’ve tried (and been able to try since a few I’ve skipped due to ingredients that will cause ME to break out.)

100% Pure Hand Buttercream – excellent ingredient list! I was super excited to try this and it is the perfect wintertime hand treatment. Lots of natural organic essential oils and butters. I went ahead and ran it through the cosmetics database and it came back a 3. A little higher than expected but still not bad. And as always, look at the actual ingredients for yourself and decide. Even thought the scent is natural it is a little intense but it dissipates some. I tried this on my hands overnight and it was really good. Not a lotion I would apply before any kind of computer work but something I can see myself applying before bed.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – this has cones in it. As I’ve mentioned before cones cause breakouts for me so this is a “no go” item for me personally. I went ahead though and ran it through the cosmetics database to see how healthy it is. It’s a 3 which is good. No added fragrances, no parabens … good stuff.

Nail Rock in Red Glitter Kit – I wanted to like this but there was just too much glitter everywhere after a quick test nail. Since this does not get a top coat, I expect that there will continue to be fall-out as you wear it. If you don’t mind a little loose glitter you might still like this. The nail polishes are “3-free” but as for the glitter, it doesn’t seem like anything more than dipping a freshly polished wet nail into a pot of glitter. At $7 though it’s like getting some glitter as a bonus and the red shade is still nice so I may try that solo and see how it lasts.

Under Armour Braided Mini Headbands – SO close. I wish I could wear headbands but my head is just the wrong shape no matter how good the grippy backing is. ALL headbands slide on my head quickly and try and pop off my head. This is a really cute headband though and if you like a good workout headband and know that headbands work for you, you should give this one a shot.

So I’m glad I got what I got but I find it interesting that I got no makeup this month. I’m a little concerned that I’m going to fall out of an age bracket with birchbox this year and start getting way too many face serums. We’ll see …


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Ipsy glambag unboxing and reviews November 2013

My ipsy glambag November 2013 -

em michelle phan – pillow plush cushiony lip balm in vanilla – the color is almost non-existent. No cones or parabens – yay! fragrance, boooo. If they had left out the frangrance this would likely have rated a lot better than a 4 with the EWG cosmetics database.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in “hot damn” –  this is a cherry red shade. No cones or fragrances, yay! Parabens though, booo. This ranks a 5 with the cosmetics database.

Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Champagne – this is a coppery color in the bottle but does actually look more like “champagne” when applied. And as I’ve established before – Nailtini is three free so all good here!

Pixi Beauty Bronzer – cones … I can’t use this personally (cones break me out without fail) but otherwise this is super healthy. It’s a 2 with the cosmetics database. Yay for healthy! Bad that I can’t use it. :/

Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Topaz – this is a silver eyeliner. No cones or fragrance … but parabens. It is another 5 with the cosmetics database. Remember, lower is better! The report actually calls out carbon black as the worst ingredient. Petrolatum and aluminum powder were also concerns but ranked 4s as ingredients.

TRESemmé® TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray Travel Size – no cones or parabens but fragrance. :/ This ranks a whopping 7 though!! HORRIBLE health-wise. There were also two other reports for this so they apparently have changed the ingredients several times – none are healthy. Report 1 & report 2.


swatches for Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in hot damn em michelle phan - pillow plush cushiony lip balm in vanilla Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Topaz -

So this month’s Ipsy glambag is a bit of a bust for me…

The best items for me in the November 2013 ipsy glambag are the nailtini nailpolish and … well that’s about it. I’ll try the two lip products because they don’t have cones but they are a little less healthy than I would like. I also wish I could try the pixi bronzer because it IS healthy BUT it has cones in it. Oh and I do like the bag!

wish I had received …
Cailyn Built-In Sponge Tip Mineral Eye Shadow in Champagne! No cones and it’s super healthy. It ranks a meer 1 with the cosmetics database!



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Photo of the day – Dec 10 2009

Some basic business attire from yesterday. The red flats I recently bought, a pair of dark dark grey pants with a tiny light green pinstripe that are at least 3 years old, and a white acrylic sweater I don’t remember buying but it feels so much like cashmere I checked the tag before I tossed it in the wash. Earrings, gift from mom from Greece trip, and the necklace is a couple dollars worth of flea market finds someone brought to a beading party (thanks Betsy!)


A bit of non-clothing info: I am LOVING the beadboard WALLPAPER I put up in the dining room that you can see here. $25 a roll and I almost did it in one roll (would have been able to if I hadn’t messed up a few pieces.) So $50 and the room looks SO much better. Inspiration from Southern Hospitality’s blog here:

Check it out and the links to the beadboard wallpaper projects other people did as well.

Next house project is removing the textured ceiling and giving everything in there a good coat of paint. I plan on doing a light ale yellow above the chair rail.

The tree in the photo was the display tree that was over half off and came with the lights on it. I love the urn base.

I have a small live arbor vite(sp)  in the living room where the palm tree was this summer that is decorated and will get planted after the holiday season. This artificial one will go in that spot next year. The palm tree started to struggle … it’s sitting under the plant light in the bedroom now with the dwarf lemon, dwarf orange and dwarf blueberry plants. I hope to have fruit in a couple of years!

Now, off to prep the computer for a hard drive and OS upgrade (I’m a geek…) = RSVP shoes for $6.95 & Nine West for $14.95

I’m not sure how long the sale is going to last but I do know the shoes seem to be going fast. I ended up buying 9 pairs of shoes for approximately $100 which meant I also got free shipping on nine pairs of shoes. Some of my purchase was more practical than exciting but you really can’t beat 9 pairs of shoes that normally run$60-$90 EACH for about $100 total.

Below is what I bought (click to go to their page on