We’re Moving!

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After a year and a half and over 100 posts, we’ve decided to make this blog thing official and get our own domain. Come on over to www.birdiebijou.com and check us out! Please bear with us while we get everything moved over and prettified  =)

Cheers,
birdie&bijou

Edited to add: Aiyayayaya, it looks like the importing-to-new-domain thing was not as seamless as we’d hoped. For some reason, around 30 old posts were deleted on this site, but they *were* moved over to the new site. So birdiebijou.com has everything you could possibly need – no need to hang out around here any longer…

 

Sneak Peek: March 2014 Birchbox

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Here’s what is on it’s way to me right now… I always love it when the box pages update so that I can see exactly what I’m getting, instead of wondering how big a sample will be, etc.

birdie Bb March14(Photo via birchbox.com)

Well … at least it’s a six item box? That is really the only bright side for me here, other than theBalm blush – because I’m obsessed with both blush and theBalm.

Otherwise, not excited at all. Dark chocolate is fine, but I’m of the opinion that fruit in chocolate should be BANNED. I don’t have curly hair. I have enough skincare to last a LIFETIME. And that lotion is literally something that I’ve picked up in a sub-par hotel.

I think I’ll enjoy having 60 more points, though…  =)

Bijou’s box arrived yesterday, bizarrely early. She’s somewhat underwhelmed as well…

bijou Bb March14(Photo via birchbox.com)

Although it must be said that the Jergen’s lotion is really fab for winter legs that are entering into spring/summer mode.

Full reviews of February’s box soon, now that I’ve had the chance to really test everything out. And who knows, maybe something in March’s box will be a surprising find. If not, here’s to April being absolutely over-the-top fantastic!!!

Cheers,
birdie

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Mini-Haul [bijou]

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I’ve had my eye on these lovelies since Sally Hansen debuted their Triple Shine line a few months (ish?) ago. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge blue nail polish person, but for some reason, I was immediately drawn to the blue/green shades in the collection.

SH haul
Gorgeous, right?? From right to left – Sparks Fly, Great White, Sparkling Water. Picture on the left is no flash, picture on right is with flash, just so you can get a feel for how amazing these colors are. The biggest problem I’m going to have is deciding which one to use first. I’ve been needing a good white polish, and the sparkly blues just feel very “spring” to me. In case it’s not coming through, I’m absolutely salivating over these.

I’m also feeling like a very saavy shopper – I had $10 in CVS ExtraBucks that were about to expire, plus a coupon for $2 off $10 for Sally Hansen. AND, CVS was running a weekly special that if you spent $10 on Sally Hansen, you get $4 back in EB. Each polish was $4.79, for a post-tax total of $14.37. Take away the $10 EB and $2 coupon, and I got all three for a whopping $2.37, plus $4 EB to spend on a future purchase. It was really just a win-win-win. I highly recommend CVS’ Beauty Club and ExtraCare program, if you aren’t already familiar with them.

How about you – any good nail polish buys lately?

Salut,
bijou

Jan/Feb empties

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We just realized that we hadn’t posted our January/February empties pic, yet. We’ll be taking inventory and showing pics of our empties every two months during 2014, because more products makes for a more satisfying picture, don’t you think?

janfeb empties
So many great products and finds – notably, the Rose Jam body wash from Lush (limited edition around the holidays), and Stay Flawless primer from Benefit. Also mourning the end of the Pink Pepper perfume from The Body Shop, which is no longer being made.

But overall – empties, yay!

Cheers,
birdie&bijou

The Mascara Stash: Tube #1 (Jan-Feb) – Volumizing Mascara by mally beauty

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I have a TON of unopened mascaras that I’ve collected from various beauty subs and I decided that 2014 was going to be the year that I got through them all. Besides, aren’t you supposed to replace mascara every 2-3 months? It’s a hard and fast rule that, frankly, I’ve never really followed. But after reading up – especially this post from my fave Brightest Bulb In the Box – it’s clear that the rule exists for a good reason.

SO. I’ll be starting a new tube of mascara every two months and reporting back. First up for January/February 2014, the Volumizing Mascara by mally beauty, which I opened on January 1 and tossed on March 10 (a few days late, but oh well). This tube originally came from a New Beauty QVC Test Tube and has been sitting in the back of a drawer since that time.

Mally mascara
Pretty, pretty. I love the mally “look” and branding/packaging. It’s streamlined girly, which I love.

I wasn’t expecting much but came to LOVE this mascara. It was the perfect daytime mascara – it made my lashes dark and full, while still being totally daytime appropriate. I literally have no complaints – no weird smudging, lasted all day but still easy to get off at night, and two coats made for the perfect work-appropriate look. The wand is straight and easy to use, nothing tricky or fancy about it.

Verdict? I’m sold on mally AND this mascara.

Next up, for March/April – Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes, which is supposed to be a drugstore dupe for Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes (which I LOVE) because of the wand shape. I’ll report back at the beginning of May.

Salut,
bijou

In the Bag: Gym Bag edition

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Here’s the thing: I’m a lazy, lazy person. In my head, I’m the kind of girl that gets up at 4:30 AM to make a 5 AM Cycle class. But the reality is… no, I’m SO not that girl. But I also need to keep fitting into my skinny jeans.

My devious work-around to my laziness is the lunch-time workout. There it is, a shining hour of me-time, right smack in the middle of the workday. Sure, you could stuff your face with a quick sandwich over checking to see if Tom and Lorenzo have posted anything new, or, you could take that hour of me-time and get some crunches and cardio in while blasting the new Beyonce album.

So when I don’t have other appointments or conflicts, I take option 2. Don’t you get sweaty and gross, you ask? Well, no. I don’t do wind sprints for my lunchtime workout. Vigorous cardio, yes. Stretching, light weights and yoga, yes. Wind sprints, no. You have to be selective with the lunch-time workout. And you also have to Be Prepared. Capital B, Capital P. Because nobody ever got a successful lunch-time workout in by Being Unprepared.

be preparedI keep my gym bag in my car at all times, along with my workout shoes and clothes. That way, I’m never at a loss when I get to the gym or wasting ten minutes rummaging around trying to find socks. I also keep a few sets of fresh under-things in my gym bag so I can always change post-workout. This goes a long way towards feeling fresh and ready to go back to work – no explanation necessary.

I have a makeup bag, as well as a separate beauty bag. If I know I have a meeting in the afternoon and will want to touch up something specific, I pack accordingly in the morning (ie, a certain color of eyeshadow).

But, my makeup bag always contains the following:
Powder – right now, it’s the last of the lovely Revlon powder
Brow pencil/brush – my trusty It Cosmetics pencil/brush duo
Cheek stain – Stainiac by TheBalm accentuates that post-workout flush
Foundation – a little jar of my favorite Lancôme
Chella highlighter pencil – this little pencil does everything & anything
Perfume vial – sadly not pictured, because I finished a vial and forgot to repack!
Skin blotters – An absolute must.

makeupmustsMy beauty bag contains all of the other necessities that help me refresh post-workout. Such as:

Witch Hazel wipes – these little gems came in an Allure Beauty Box & are perfect for
days when I haven’t sweated up a storm (thus becoming a shower in a packet).
Deodorant – of course
Hairspray – to freshen up that hair & lock it back into place
Body lotion – Dark Kiss is the ultimate B&BB scent, IMO

I also keep shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and mouthwash on hand in this bag.

bodybasicsTa da! With all of these items on hand, I’m always prepared and able to squeeze in a great workout in the middle of the day. I always find it interesting to read “in the bag” or “daily routine” posts on other beauty blogs, so thought it would be fun to share here.

How about you? Are you a morning, lunch or evening workout type? What’s in your bag, gym or otherwise?

Cheers,
birdie

MOTW: Revlon Nail Enamel in “Chameleon”

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If history has shown anything, it’s that I’m a sucker for nude-ish metallic polishes that are amazingly gorgeous yet insanely hard to capture via mere photograph.

And I insist on sharing them with you here anyways.

14Mar3 MOTWThis is “Chameleon” by Revlon – my first foray in quite a while with Revlon polishes, and I’m quite impressed with both this one and “Diamond Texture”. Chameleon is a gorgeous neutral oil-slick of a polish that is strongly green in the bottle but comes off as more of a bronze on the nails. It’s a lot more subtle than I thought it would be and I absolutely love it.

What are you wearing on your nails this week?

Salut,
bijou

Review: Orly Nailtrition

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Confession: I’m a nail coveter. I see girls with healthy, long, natural nails and get absurdly jealous. I don’t know if it’s genetics or calcium deficiency or just my general stubbornness, but my nails do. Not. Grow.

Nails BEFORE
Here they are above in their natural state. They really don’t get much longer than this without peeling away into nothingness. I laugh when I read nail blogs that talk about VNL – it took me forever to figure that one out, because having nails long enough to have a white nail line is pretty much a figment of my imagination.

My poor nails have gotten better with regular care – I’ve been doing my nails much more regularly over the past year – and also slathering on the hand cream as much as possible. (Current love: Roger & Gallet Creme Sublime in Bois d’Orange – it’s so perfectly French.) The cream helps my cuticles to NOT look like a rabid raccoon has been nibbling on them, and regular polishing encourages me not to mess with them as much.

Another huge help has been discovering Orly’s Nailtrition.

Nails WITH
Per usual, I did a lot of research in advance of buying this. The reviews were uniformly good and I found that it didn’t disappoint. Nailtrition’s packaging states that it will “strengthen peeling nails and stimulate healthier, faster growth”.

Just for kicks, here’s a side by side comparison of my naked nails, before treatment and after a week of wearing Nailtrition:

Orly before and after

You can see they are still somewhat peel-y in the “after” picture, but much stronger looking and definitely longer. My favorite thing – other than it making my nails look overall less rabid-raccoon-y – is that it has a nice, peachy sheen that makes nails look natural and insanely healthy when on. You can see a little bit of that in the picture of the bottle above.

Nailtrition is in my regular nail rotation and I use it as a base coat, as well.

Do you have a favorite nail strengthening treatment? Have you used other Orly products? I’ve heard good things about their Bonder base coat as well so that will probably be my next nail-related purchase.

Salut,
bijou

Review: January 2014 Birchbox

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January’s Birchbox was slightly underwhelming. I feel like I’ve gotten a few underwhelming boxes in a row, and from what I read on other blogs and on social media, I’m not alone. Please, please, please don’t become lame, Birchbox! I need you to whelm me!!

I received Box 31, which contained five items:

January14 bb31[photo from birchbox.com]

I ended up being pretty enthusiastic about the two hair items, fairly meh on both body/face items, and fairly smitten with the makeup.

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner
I like the idea of dry conditioner – because as much as I adore dry shampoo, it can leave my ends looking rather dry and sad by the time Day Three rolls around (I try to only shampoo every three days). I think the key to this product, for me, is to spray it on my palms and work it through the ends, rather than spraying it directly on the hair. I liked the effect much better when applied this way. Spraying it directly onto the hair just seemed to make it rather limp and lifeless.

Coastal Scents® Revealed Palette Set
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by these eyeshadows. The pigmentation was fantastic and the colors were very nice. I know Birchbox has sampled Coastal Scents in the past but this was my first time trying the brand. I think the reason I was surprised that the product was decent was because the packaging and branding is SO bad. I mean, Coastal Scents? Is it me, or does that sound like a crappy line of candles that you might find on sale at WalMart?

Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy™
I kind of forgot this was hand cream and ended up using it as body cream during a rather frigid trip to the East Coast last month. It was perfectly nice, but again, the packaging and branding just felt off to me. Not something I would necessarily go out of my way to purchase, but a nice enough sample to have on hand (no pun intended!).

Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
I feel completely saturated with skincare right now. I have a zillion little tubes and pumps and bottles and none of them are really wowing me. So I did try this but wasn’t bowled over by the results – my skin has just not been great lately so I’m trying to stick to a certain routine.

Under Armour Braided Mini Headband
This was definitely my favorite sample. So cute and kept my hair in check even during a long run. It’s rare for me to find headbands that don’t slip around, and/or do a good job of keeping my thick hair in place – but this one hit all the marks. The one I received was blue & purple, not the colors in my box photo above. Kind of random to be my favorite thing from a *beauty* sub, but I really, really love this headband!!!

Are you a Birchbox subscriber? Have you been slightly underwhelmed lately, or is Birchbox still hitting the marks for you? I do have to say, the February box photo just updated on my page, and the sample sizes for my February box look pretty fantastic, so am looking forward to February dazzling me a little bit more than the past few months have.

Cheers,
birdie

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