October 2014 Birchbox



Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo


Weightless spray in the brands’s signature Obliphica Scent that refreshes hair sans residue.

Lara Says: Y’all know I’m obsessed with dry shampoo and I’ve written numerous reviews on this blog about the different ones I’ve tried so… Needless to say I am quite happy to give this a whirl and you can be sure I’ll let you know my thoughts!  And the packaging is soo cute!

Brant pores no more vacuum cleaner


Award winning gel that degunks pores for fewer blackheads and smoother skin

Lara Says:  Umm… this sounds amazing!  If I wasn’t wearing a full face of makeup and have meetings for work today, I would totally put this all over right now and let you know the results.

Lord&Berry Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black

PicMonkey Collage456

This blendable pencil from the UK brand is studded with bits of silver shimmer

Lara Says: I received a Lord & Berry Liner in an Ipsy bag and I’ve used it a few times and I like it.   Think this is even better because it has glitter in it!!

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Melon

PicMonkey Collage123

This ultrashiney formula acts as a lip gloss, lip primer, lipstick, and liner all in one.

Lara Says: I love the Mally Mascara so when I had the chance to choose one of my samples this month and saw this I knew that was what I wanted.  First off, I love the color and it smells like sweet tarts!  So far after wearing for about 20 minutes it still feels moisturizing on my lips.

Skin and Co Sicilian Light Serum


Rich in vitamin C, this treatment boosts collagen, evens skin tone and minimizes wrinkles.

Lara Says: I put a tiny drop of this on the back of my hand and absorbed quite quickly and let my skin feeling very soft and silky.  I will definitely be using this on my face and let you know.


Ok so if you are not on board with Birchbox what are you waiting for?!  One of the reasons I keep coming back to Birchbox is their points system where you use your points to buy products in the Shop. You can get points a few different ways: One is by referring people (50 points),  buying products in the shop (1 point for every $1 spent), and by reviewing the products you received in your box (10 points for each review).  And… 100 points=$10.  So with a little math you can see that if you review all your products every month, you will get, on average, $5 in points a month.  I like to look at that as getting my box for half price!


Products Mentioned::

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo  $21

Brant pores no more vacuum cleaner  $45

Lord&Berry Paillettes Glitter Eye Pencil in Black  $18

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Melon  $20

Skin and Co Sicilian Light Serum  $47

Highlighter:: theBalm vs e.l.f.

I’ve used and loved theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer for a few years.  It is one of the best if not the best highlighter in my collection.  A few months ago while filling up my e.l.f. basket I decided to try the Baked Studio Highlighters.  I choose Blush Gems as it seemed to be a dupe for either the Mary-Lou or Cindy-Lou Manizer.


First Lets see what the products have to say for themselves…

PicMonkey Collage1

Meet Mary-Lou Manizer, a seemingly innocent honey-hued luminizer that catches everybody’s eye. This highlighter, shadow and shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer and younger while adding a subtle glow.

Lara Says:: This texture of the highlighters from theBalm are so creamy.  I love to use this as it blends out so nicely and the shimmer when blended looks more like a  luminous glow then glitter.

PicMonkey Collage123

An all-in-one essential, this smart shadow, beautiful blush and subtle highlighter is tucked inside a go-anywhere compact. The light-reflecting peachy pink hue adds a splash of color to your cheeks and a hint of shimmer to your lids, while illuminating your finest features.

Lara Says::  This Pink toned highlighter is my second favorite highlighter in my collection. It is just as soft and creamy the the Mary-Lou and blends nicely too.  I think I just use the Mary-Lou more because I’ve had it the longest.

PicMonkey Collage159

Create a radiant glow with this illuminating powder that highlights the skin with a sheer wash of shimmering color. Infused with Vitamin E, Jojoba, Sunflower, Apricot and Grape to nourish and hydrate the skin. The long-lasting baked shimmering color can be applied wet for a vibrant effect or dry for sheer pigmentation.

Lara Says:: This is not a dupe for either of theBalm highlighters.  It is not as close in color as I thought and it is definitely not as creamy. And it does not blend out as smoothly as theBalm so it can look more shimmery then luminous.  That being said it isn’t horrible but if given the choice I would choose to use theBalm over this. I’ve used it more as an eyeshadow then a highlight


Products Mentioned:: 

e.l.f. Studio Baked Highlighter $3.00 

theBlam Mary-Lou Manizer $24.00 

theBlam Cindy-Lou Manizer $24.00

ColourPop Fun

Look what I’ve got!  Lots of fun shimmery goodness…


I bought two of the Four Shadow Sets, Beach, Please and Queen For A Day.

Lets first look at the Beach, Please set

PicMonkey Collage789


ColourPop Says:: When it comes to attacking the mid-summer days heat with sweat resistant makeup, few products out shine our ColourPop Super Shock Shadows.  FOURSOME INCLUDES: SUMMER LOVIN – Only available in this limited edition kit, a pinky bronze with soft gold and silver sparkled highlights. Your ultimate bronzed beach babe shadow. Swimsuit not required. 3 – Cool-toned starlit bronze with a flash of silvery and multi-coloured glitter. CHIPPER – Mid-tone minty green eyeshadow with multi-coloured glitter. LOVELY – Soft light gold with shimmering flecks of multi- dimensional glitter.


Queen For A Day

PicMonkey Collage12698

ColourPop Says:: FOURSOME INCLUDES: SHAMELESS / BAE – A duo of shameless black drizzled with multiple shades of green and subtle hints of blue and gold glitter leaving a metallic finish paired with a rich eggplant purple with an emerald, and turquoise, glittery duo chrome metallic finish. GIRLY – Creamy vanilla with a flash of pink and gold duo chrome finish. Girly, the perfect way to class up your stripper heels. SMASH – Neutral medium warm beige with a soft golden satin finish, from beach parties to dancing on tables with your girl gang, Smash is step one to busting out your A- game. SEQUIN – A copper penny like shade with silver and gold glitter. Find a boy, pick him up, all day long you’ll get good…..

PicMonkey Collage123

Theses Eyeshadows are sooo good! I love them so much and you can be sure to see a few tutorials using these in the future…

September Favorites



Disclaimer,  Where I live does not look like my picture its more like this…



But a girl can dream right?!

Sally Hansen Salon Complete Manicure in “Mudslide”


Every time I wear this polish I get compliments.  Its the perfect Taupey-pink and it looks so fall!  I like the Sally Hansen Complete Manicure line of polish. It goes on smooth with no streaking and it dries fairly quickly.  Thumps up all around!!

Suave Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion


Not sure how I ended up with this, I think I got a sample in the mall.  It smells great and I keep the sample size in my purse.  This lotion absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling moisturized.

Clarisonic Aria/ Mia 3

PDP_HandImgs_Aria (1)

I’ve been using a clarisonic for over 2 years and I really think it made a difference in my skin.  I wouldn’t say that it  cleared up my acne but I think it has help control the issue and more then that it has help with the texture of my skin.  I had the Mia 1 and was perfectly happy with it until it died on me :( But I had had it over 2 years almost 3 years and the warranty was for 1 year. All of that to say, I took to twitter and this happened…




Soooo…. I of course emailed and was sent a Clarisonic for free!  I want to be completely honest with you guys about anything I get for free so that why I included the screen shots.  But I was planning on repurchasing a clarisonic and I was blown away I got one free.  If you want an update with my “clarisconic story” let me know.     To be honest I think the the Mia 1 will fit the majority of peoples needs and that is what I was planning on repurchasing prior to receving the Aria.  I checked the website and it appears that the Aria has been renamed the Mia 3…  Check out this link for a comparison chart of the different devices that Clarisonic offers. 

Not Soap, Radio Happiness Inducing Body Wash


I got a sample size of this body wash/bubble bath in my august birchbox and I love it!! I probably won’t be buying this so I’m enjoying my little sample and stretching it out as long as I can, it smells sooo good!!

Makeup Geek Starter Kit and Z-Palette Bundle


AAHHHH!!! I love Makeup Geek, I have used this palette from MUG almost everytime I did my makeup for the past month.  I’ve talked about these enough and did a 7 days of one palette with theses shades so I think y’all know that I’m obsessed. And if you were wondering, no I have no intention to stop talking and boasting about these products… :)

e.l.f. Essential Eye Shadow Brush


e.l.f. has some good products, some not some good products and then the how is this dirt cheap and still amazing products.  This is the later.  One Buck, did you read that $1 for this brush that is just as good as a mac or sigma LOVE IT!! I have three… no judgement please :)

Products Mentioned::

Sally Hansen Salon Complete Manicure in “Mudslide” $5-7

Suave Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion $5

Clarisonic Aria/ Mia 3 $199.00

Not Soap, Radio Happiness Inducing Body Wash $16

Makeup Geek Starter Kit and Z-Palette Bundle $61.99

e.l.f. Essential Eye Shadow Brush $1

Fab Fit Fun Box Fall 2014!

PicMonkey Collage

So excited to share my Fab Fit Fun Fall Box with everyone!!! There is still time to snag your own FFF Box… 



Jessie Steele Apron


What’s cookin’ good lookin’?  Must be you in this uh-dorable Jessie Steele Apron! With darling dots adornng the super cute vintage-inspired designs, you’ll be the hostess with the moistest this fall.  Featuring adjustable ties at the waist and the neck, you’ll serve up something hot in this number.  ( and we’re not just talking about dinner.)

Lara Says:: Love this!  I was just thinking last weekend after a marathon cooking session that I need to get a new apron and poof one appears on my doorstep not a week later :)

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster


Revitalize your dried out post-summer skin with this much needed treatment by the skin care geniuses at Dermalogica! The super-luxe, ultra hydrating concentrate moisturizes deeply, minimizing fine lines. Containing hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycolipids, and algae extract, this formula is a moisturization miracle!

 Lara Says:: My skin is not dry at all, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to use this.  I will definitely give it a try but I more then likely will be passing it along to a  friend or family member with drier skin.

Gramr Gratitude Co. Thank you Card Set, Sealing Wax, and Wax Press


Let’s face it, when it comes to giving thanks sometimes a Twitter shout out just won’t cut it. Send a little love the old-fashioned way with a handwritten thank you note. These gorgeous cards come with sealing wax and a wax press for an added special touch that’s perfect for the season of giving.


Great Soles Pink Ribbon Ballet Barre Ped


Never slip or slide in a yoga class again! Great Soles’ ballet inspired socks will help you perfect those body toning moves in all of your barre, Pilates, and Yoga Classes.  The super cute straps and flower detail make these way better than those clunky ol’ socks everyone else is sporting. And the cotton blend and heel tread help boost performance to give you a leg up (literally)! Here comes a bangin’ ballerina body.

Lara Says:: OMG so cute!  I can’t wait to wear theses!!


Beauty for Real True Color Lip Cream “ Always There”

PicMonkey Collage

This FabFItFun favorite features a new color and texture that is perfect for fall.  BFR’s lip cream not only gives you high impact, long-lasting color, it smooth’s and softens to make your pout even healthier! Made with capuaca butter, plus organic neroli and mandarin oils, this cream gives a smoothing, calming feel while you party with pretty lips all night long.  Plus, the LED light and mirror make applying easy, anytime, any place.

Lara Says:: This is new brand to me and you all know I love new products!  I really like the color (very “fall”)  and the formula seems to be very creamy and the light and side mirror are handy as well.

CHI 44 Iron Guard


Hear that sizzling sound? That’s your hair screaming out for a little TLC. Protect your locks from the damaging effects of heat styling without h ving to give up your signature ‘do with CHI’s Thermal Protection Stray.  The weightless formula delivers moisture back into your parched strands without leaving any ugly buildup.

Lara Says:: I’ve used this product before and I know I like it.  Thanks FFF!


The Honest Co. Hydrating Shea Butter Cleansing Bar


Who wants to look a little more like Jessica Alba? Um, everyone. We are obsessed with Jessica’s entire Honest co. Product line—including this amazing uber-hydrating bar soap.  The 84% organic cleanser is made with luxurious coconut, olive, and argan oils that naturally moisturize, condition and smooth skin. Nourishing rich later is perfect for bodies of all ages.

 Lara Says:: This smells soooo good!  I’ve never used anything from The Honeste Co. so I’m excited to give this a try.

LaNatura Travel Size Body Butter

 PicMonkey Collage

Crips autumn air can totally dry out your skin. Lock the moisture in with LaNatura’s Pure Vegan Body Butters, which contain ingredients to heal, soothe and preserve skin’s youthfulness! Each butter is formulated without parabens, sulfates, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances, colors, mineral oil, PABA, or animal ingredients. Toss a travel-sized butter in your purse for uh-mazing moisture on the go!

 Lara Says:: This isn’t the most attractive looking body butter but I’m willing to give it a try.  However it is not the consistency of a body butter, its more of a body soup.  Very very liquidy.

FitFusion 3 Month Digital Subscription

Ready to get your butt kicked by Jillian Michaels? FitFusion is a digital platform that offers you tons of premium fitness video content from famous trainers! And we’re giving you a three-month subscription to keep your workouts in high gear even as the weather cools down— yoga, Pilates, HIIT, bootcamp, dance videos and more.  Plus you can stream them from your IPhone, IPad, laptop, TV, Chromecast, or Apple TV. And your course you can sport your super cute Great Soles while getting your Downward Dog on.

Lara Says:: This could not have come at a better time.  I can’t wait to give this a try and see if I can find some new workouts!


Mary’s Gone Crackers


Halt the hungrys with these super delish and completely healthy vegan, organic, non-GMO, whole grain, kosher crackers (yes, nutrition is mouthful!) Try a  sample of these gourmet crispy treats that feature super foods like brown rice, flax, quinoa, and sesame in a variety of tasty flavors to satisfy even the most serious snack attack.

 Lara Says:: Theses pretzel like snacks have a unique crunch and a lingering spicy flavor.  I really liked them!

Numi Organic Tea

PicMonkey Collage89


Numi’s unique blends use only the highest quality organic, non-GMO, 100% real ingredients that are sourced directly from Fair Trade Certified gardens. Steep a cup to feel soothed and satisfied with a sample of our fave flavors. Their simple art of tea

Lara Says::  I love tea and mint is one of my favorite flavors.  Win win all around!

Products Mentioned::

Jessie Steele Apron  $32.00 (25% off your order using code LUVFFF25)

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster  $56.00

Gramr Gratitude Co. Thank you Card Set, Sealing Wax, and Wax Press  $43.00 (get 50% off the first month subscription using code FFF50)

Great Soles Pink Ribbon Ballet Barre Ped  $12.00

Beauty for Real True Color Lip Cream “ Always There”  $22.00

CHI 44 Iron Guard  $15.00

The Honest Co. Hydrating Shea Butter Cleansing Bar  $4.95 (Save 25% off your first order using the code HONESTLYFAB)

LaNatura Travel Size Body Butter  $18.00

FitFusion 3 Month Digital Subscription  $29.77

Mary’s Gone Crackers  $5.00 (Bonus Item)

Numi Organic Tea $6.99 (Bonus Item)

Birchbox Haul!


I had some Birchbox points sitting just screaming to be used so I decided to pick up a few things from the Birchbox shop!  One of the things I love about Birchbox is their points system which translate into cold hard cash for you to use on whatever you want in the shop.



Benefit Gimme Brow

PicMonkey Collage


Birchbox Breakdown

We spend more time than is reasonable lusting after Camilla Belle’s bold brows—which is why we’re more than a little excited about this magical brush-building invention. Just a few brush strokes deliver fuller, darker brows that stay in place all day and still manage to look natural. We told you it was magic.

How it Works

The water-resistant fiber gel adheres to skin and hair and comes in two colors: light-medium and medium-deep. The tapered brush with a precision tip lets you shape and blend with ease.


Benefit BeneBalm 

PicMonkey Collage456

Birchbox Breakdown

It used to be that if you were looking to add just a touch of natural color to your lips, your best bet was to chow down on a strawberry Popsicle. Benefit has a more practical (and portable) solution: this tinted lip balm. Modeled after the brand’s iconic lip and cheek tints, the creamy formula hydrates and conditions lips while providing a wash of sheer, barely-there red.

How it Works

This rose-tinted balm softens and smooths dry lips with a blend of mango butter and sodium hyaluronate.


 Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Towelettes 


Birchbox Breakdown

In a perfect world, we’d fully commit a portion of our precious evening time to washing, toning, moisturizing, and pampering our skin. In reality, we’re lucky if we remember to take off our makeup before we face-plant into our pillows (not exactly the recipe for a flawless complexion). That’s why we’re stocking up on these facial wipes. In the time it takes to get up and turn off our lights, we’re able to wipe away makeup, unclog pores, and fight off blemishes.

How it Works

These 97 percent natural wipes gently cleanse, exfoliate, and treat blemish-prone skin. Tomato extract reduces inflammation caused by angry breakouts, controls oil production, and protects skin from environmental agents that can cause acne. Salicylic acid sloughs off dead skin cells and opens up clogged pores, accelerating the healing process. Plus, it’s free of unwanted ingredients like petroleum, SLS, and parabens.

 Ahmad Tea London Bus Caddy


Birchbox Breakdown

In addition to all-things Kate Middleton, London is famous for its red double-decker buses. As it turns out, they’re good for more than ferrying tourists—they’re also an excellent (and handsome) way to store our tea. This continental caddy holds 25 bags of the best-in-class brand’s English Afternoon blend. When you’ve exhausted its supply, just refill it with your favorite Ahmad Tea.

How it Works

Part musky, part lemony, this English Afternoon Tea combines Indian, Ceylon, and Kenyan leaves to create a tasty p.m. brew.


Products Mentioned::

Benefit Gimme Brow ( I bought Light Medium) $22.00

Benefit BeneBalm  $18.00

Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Towelettes $5.99

 Ahmad Tea London Bus Caddy $5.29 



Ok so if you are not on board with Birchbox what are you waiting for?!  One of the reasons I keep coming back to Birchbox is their points system where you use your points to buy products in the Shop. You can get points a few different ways: One is by referring people (50 points),  buying products in the shop (1 point for every $1 spent), and by reviewing the products you received in your box (10 points for each review).  And… 100 points=$10.  So with a little math you can see that if you review all your products every month, you will get, on average, $5 in points a month.  I like to look at that as getting my box for half price!

Battle of the Makeup Setting Sprays! Urban Decay vs. e.l.f. vs Avon

PicMonkey Collage


If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time you know that I have oily acne prone skin.  So I’m always looking for a way to prolong my makeup wear and keep it from melting off my face and becoming an oily, gross mess.      With some foundations I can tell a difference when I use a setting spray and with others it makes no difference at all, my foundation will crease and/or just disappear.   No setting spray has been able to stop my oil production so I do still have to use a blotting sheet and/or powder touch up, but I can go longer and/or not use as much powder if I don’t use a spray.


Urban Decay::


Several years ago while perusing the aisle of Sephora (dangerous territory…) I came across the Urban Decay Setting Sprays.  UD has three types of sprays, De-Slick (oily skin), All Nighter (described as a long lasting spray… so normal skin?) and Chill (cooling and hydrating). I have bought and used De-Slick and All Nighter, I think that they both performed the same way on my skin.  De-slick may have been a tad more mattifying but not that much to make a difference in my mind.  Over all I think this product has helped in my fight against oily skin and I think that it does its job as it claims. A full size bottle is 4oz and the price is $30.00 which breaks down to $7.50 per ounce.  So this isn’t exactly budget friendly but I don’t use it every day.  I’d say out of the days I wear makeup (which is usually 5-7) I will use a setting spray 2 times a week.




e.l.f. has a Studio Makeup Mist which it advertises as “hairspray for your face”.  Which in the world of setting sprays sounds about right!  Out of the three, this is the least effective for me.  e.l.f. has a lot a great products that I love and swear by and others aren’t so great.  On the website this product has a 4.1 rating out of 5 so somewhere there are people that love this, I am not one of them.  When first applied it does what the UD and Avon sprays do. But I find that out of the three this one is the least long lasting and I have to do more touchups.  Also the spray nozzle is strange and sometimes it gets stuck or it sprays out in more of stream then a spray.  For someone which combo or dry skin, this could be an option for you.  However my skin is very very oily and this was a no go.  But for $3.00 for 2.2 oz I would say give is a try, you never know it could work for you!





Avon Makeup Setting Spray is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  It does the same thing for my makeup as the UD spray at a fraction of the cost!  I almost didn’t buy this when I say it in a catalog as I just assumed that it wouldn’t work as well as the UD.  I talked myself into buying it for review purposes and I’m so glad I did.  I will not be buying another UD setting spray again as long as Avon makes this.  I really can’t believe that it does everything the UD spay does but is soo much cheaper!  The size is the same 4oz but the price… are you ready for it…$10.00!! that is $2.50 an ounce compared to $7.50.  At this price you could get three times the product for what you pay for one bottle of UD Setting Spray.  And Avon is always having sales, so I make sure to stock up and got it for even cheaper.

Products Mentioned:: 


Urban Decay Setting Spray: $30.00

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist: $3.00

Avon Makeup Setting Spray: $10.00