Anya's August 2012 Birchbox

I got my first Birchbox a few weeks ago.

As a designer, the box made me squee a little. It's a standard cardboard color but then it has the lovely embossed pink logo on it. Inside were my goodies wrapped in pink tissue paper. Someone had hand-tied it with ribbon. It was a lovely touch!

Here's what was inside my box:
  • Schick Hydro Silk Razor
  • Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss
  • Apothederm™ Stretch Mark Cream
  • SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Full Shimmer Illuminating Shampoo
  • SHU UEMURA Art of Hair Full Shimmer Illuminating Treatment
  • Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur

I've yet to open the razor as I had an open box of others I needed to get through first. I'll update this once I do.

However, I have tried the stretch mark cream and the Viva la Juicy La Fleur.
The cream did absolutely nothing for me. 

The perfume was nice. I'll use all of it (the little sample spritzer is adorable!). But I doubt I'll actually buy any of it. I'm cheap and I like smelly lotions better than perfumes.

As far as these three, the lip gloss is tiny and definitely pink. After application it fades to complement my lip color rather than look strange unlike a few other pink glosses I've owned.

The SHU UEMURA smells wonderful. Seriously. It claims it has musk rose oil in it and it definitely smells like roses. But I didn't note any difference after using both together and then the shampoo the following day by itself. I made sure I used no other products with it (I have a few leave-in treatments) but again, I noted nothing. I'd definitely use the stuff if it were free but not at the price tag they're asking for it ($48 for the shampoo and $68 for the treatment).

So that's my Birchbox write-up. Thanks for reading!

Lace-like Nails

Melissa Tweeted me a picture of someone's lace-like manicure with French tipped nails last week. I'd never actually tried a normal French Manicure mostly because I have prominent tips as it is, though not bright white like these. So I decided to try it. 

My first attempt was done with China Glaze White on White for both the tips and the stamp (BM-201).

The second one used the China Glaze for the tips and Konad stamping polish in White for the stamp (Mash-40). 

Clearly the Konad is a brighter white in one coat.

I used guides for the tips on all of these (Nailene Perfect Tips) and set the guides beneath my actual white tips (hence why they're uneven).

I need a bit more practice on this and probably better designs but the effect is nice!

August 2012 Birchbox

Hey everyone! I'm back again to post what was in my August Birchbox. I wasn't super impressed this month, but have loved almost all of my boxes in the past.

Items Received:
1. Schick Hydro Silk Razor
2. GLOSS Moderne High Gloss Masque
3. Beauty Fixation Lipstick Touch-Up
4. Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
5. Sumita Brow Base Pencil

As an extra this month all of the boxes have a Schick Hydro Silk Razor. This item pissed quite a few people off. Most people are angry because Birchbox is supposed to give high end samples, not something you can purchase at a drug store. I'm easy to please, I'll use the razor, so I'm happy getting it.

I'm always looking for something new to use on my hair that will leave it hydrated. I haven't heard of this brand before but ouch on the price for the full size ($39)! This is a super thick cream type masque.

This is one item that I am not impressed with at all. Q-tips, seriously?
I normally hate the perfume samples that Birchbox sends out, but this month I am in LOVE. Juicy Couture has a bunch of scents that are not for me, but La Fleur is heavenly. I love that this sample has a little squirt top instead of a stopper.
I've never heard of Sumita, and was excited to see it in my box. I received the Brow Base, which is basically a concealer pencil. It goes on creamy, and does not skip at all. I plan on using this as an eye shadow primer.

Are you subscribed to Birchbox? If so what did you get in your box this month?

August 2012 MyGlam

I received my August MyGlam bag and wanted to show you all what I got. This is one of the many monthly subscription companies that are out there right now. I currently subscribe to MyGlam and Birchbox and love both.

Items Received:
1. Eclos: Anti-Aging Regenerative Cream
2. Eclos: Anti-Aging Cellular Activator Face Serum
3. Demeter: Roll on perfume oil - Dragon Fruit
4. s.a.l.t.y cosmetics: Mineral Eyeshadow - Glama-ZOID!
5. Circus by Andrea's Choice Nail Color - Ringmaster (Pink)
6. MyGlam: Glam Gloss - 02

MyGlam is different from most cosmetic subscription companies, they always include the products in a make up bag. This month's bag is an orange/pink plastic mesh bag.

They seem to send moisturizers in almost every bag lately. Which is okay with me since I haven't found one yet that I swear by. This month's bag had a brand that is totally new to me, Eclos.

I was extremely happy to see a face serum in the bag this month and goes along with the moisturizer. I personally have never tried face serums before so I'm excited to try it out.
I've heard mixed responses about Demeter being in this month's bag. A lot of girls are saying it stinks, or is super cheap since you can buy it at [insert random store name here]. I personally think the Dragon Fruit scent is very subtle and smells nice. To each their own.
Eyeshadow / Highlighter! I've never tried s.a.l.t.y cosmetics products before but I used the excess around the rim of the lid to do a swatch and it was pretty awesome. A little goes a long way. If you want 20% off your s.a.l.t.y. order until September 5th, use coupon code MyGlam2012.
Neon polish, yes please! I was happy to get the pink polish, the other color people were getting was a neon orange.
Last but surprisingly not least, a fairly pigmented lip gloss. It is sticky, but the color seems to last a little bit longer than most.

MyGlam is $10 a month, and you can cancel via their website at any time. The bag is shipped around the 10th of every month (give or take a few days). There is a wait list right now, but most people are able to join before the next bag. You can join via their website (, and make sure to add their Facebook page, they like doing giveaways.

Ombré Manicure

I finally got around to buying makeup wedges today so I could try to do an ombré manicure. I used this tutorial as my inspiration. It came out nice unless you look close (nicer than this photograph shows lol). I still haven't gotten the hang of the crisp edges thing the pros can do. 

But I'm pleased with the effect. I'll probably do this again even though it's messy (most of the time was spent on clean-up).

This manicure used these polishes:
Julep "Jessica"
ORLY "Prelude to a Kiss"

Mani for Monday

Tomorrow is a big day at the day job. I do my first interview as a director. I'm nervous.

I picked out my outfit and did a manicure to match.

Sort of. Skip to it.

Here's the fabric of my tunic shirt:

Nice right?

Here's the manicure I came up with:

This uses: 
  • Bundle Monster plate BM-215
  • Sally Hansen Salon 4131-01 Sterling
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro 282 Hard Metal
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
As you can see the Bundle Monster plates are pretty good. I don't like them as much as the Mash plates in terms of details and design but they're better than the cheeky plates I bought.

My Sally Hansen Sterling is getting near the end of the bottle but it still looks awesomely chrome-like. However it chips like crazy (I've already chipped it more since I took the photo ten minutes ago) and that Seche Vite doesn't do anything to stop it. I really need a better fast dry top coat that won't cost me an arm and a leg then crap out halfway through the bottle (I'm looking at YOU Essie).

Steampunk Mani

I handed my stack of stamp plates to my guy last night while we watched Supernatural and told him to pick a design. He handed me Mash plate #45 and told me to do "Steampunk Nails". He meant use the three "gears".

So I grabbed my box of polish to look for something suitably steampunk. I ended up going with Essie's "Pretty Penny" (yes, again) for the stamp color and the basecoat is ORLY "Buried Alive".

This is after a day. It's chipped and wasn't great to begin with. I'm still learning ;)

If I had to do this over again, I'd probably throw some silver and blue metallic in there too.

Melissa in the house

Just set Melissa from loose on the blog. I can't wait to see what she writes about. She'd BETTER tell us about her latest find in liquid eyeliners. HINT HINT ;)

This week's manicure

This week's manicure is another with Mash stamping plates.

I used Essie's Mirrored Metallic "Penny Talk" for the base coat (I apologize for the photo, it looks copper in person)

And the stamped color was a black ORLY polish (I don't have the name on me right now).

Mash plate #39 is the design I used.

August Julep Box - It Girl!

I got my second Julep subscription box the other day. 
This month's trend is "Metallics & Chromes"

Here is what was in the "It Girl!" box:
Sienna, sophisticated gold metallic.
Melanie, pastel indigo metallic chrome.
Harley, liquid silver metallic chrome.

Here's how they looked on my fingers:

Harley, the one on my middle finger, went on nice and smooth with one coat.
However the other two needed at least two coats to have any sort of coverage. I was also disappointed by their lack of metallic or chrome feel compared to other metallics and chromes I've tried (Sally & Essie, namely).

I haven't tried stamping with "Harley" yet but I imagine it would be fine. The other two would not.

Anyhow, that's my wrap-up of this month's Julep box!

Another Mash Manicure

Here's a shot of my latest stamped manicure.
This one was done with Walgreens bargain polish for the basecoat, ORLY for the stamp and Mash Plate #43

Various manicures over the past few months

Here are a few photos of the various manicures I've done over the past few months.

Old posts Imported

I've imported the blog posts from my old blog over here and back dated them now!

Oh, it's MINE.

Thanks to Melissa for coming up with the name of my new manicure/beauty-related blog.