Tuesday Review – Birchbox

Hello Wonderlanders!

For the longest time, I wasn’t interested in beauty products beyond every day hygiene necessities.  Then I hit a phase in my life where I wanted self-improvement, and to me, it meant the whole package, mental and physical.  I started paying more attention to the way I was presenting myself, and that lead to my dabbling in makeup and beauty products and a perm.  In my quest for more knowledge, I started to read blogs about beauty and a good lifestyle in general and I stumbled on Kayla Aimee’s blog – Kayla Aimee Writes.  She’s so darn humorous and down to earth and full of goodness, but that’s for another day.  One of the things she had discussed and reviewed was a subscription service called Birchbox.

I was intrigued.  What was this magical subscription for only $10 a month?  Well, it features 5 personalized beauty samples a month for you for only $10 with free shipping. There are two subscription boxes – men’s and women’s.  You can get one for yourself, and one for your sibling or significant other and enjoy the goodies together!

When you join the subscription, you can either pay $10 a month, or $110 for a whole year.  For women, you create a profile by answering a survey about what beauty looks you like, what skin type and hair type you have as well as some other ones that I don’t remember off the top of my head.  I’m sure that the men’s section has a similar survey too.  This is how Birchbox customizes the subscription box for you.

I’m a college student on the college student budget and $10 for beauty product samples that I’d normally never try or even heard off really isn’t bad.  So far, I’ve received two boxes, November and December, and I’ve really liked the products I received.  I will post up about them later separately so I don’t overwhelm you guys as I am still playing catch-up to my weekday prompts. I do plan on posting a monthly review of my Birchbox samples starting in January.

My very first Birchbox(s)!  November and December 2014

My very first Birchbox(s)! Aren’t they pretty and full of mystery?November and December 2014

You may ask me how can I review something that I’ve only had for 2 months, but let me tell you, I know straight off when I have a physical item with me whether I will like it or hate it.  I liked the Birchbox subscription in case you can’t tell.  Yes, there were some items that I don’t need.  Or wouldn’t use normally for that matter, but it was still nice to be given a chance to try it out.  Plus, by reviewing the items you’ve received, you could earn up to 50 Birchbox points (their reward system) which equals $5 to spend in their shop.  Birchbox has full sized products of the samples you receive and more in their shop, and more ways to earn points on their site. I will be providing my referral link below – I earn 50 points anytime someone purchases their Birchbox subscription.  Please feel free to look through the site and see other blog posts across the web for reviews of their products and customer service.  So far I haven’t heard or read anything about bad customer service with Birchbox, but if anything changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I am not paid or given extra benefits by Birchbox for providing this review of their service.  All opinions stated are solely my own and I am imply sharing my opinion of the things I’ve used or come across that I find useful or not useful.  What you decide to do with the products in my review or opinions is not my responsibility.

If you liked this post and would enjoy similar content in the future, feel free to subscribe!  I will not send spam, and you’ll only receive notifications of when I post.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback – questions, comments, and concerns, so comment below and I will respond as soon as I can!

Referral Links:

Kayla Aimee Writes (http://kaylaaimee.com/) – A wonderful Southern lady shares her heartfelt adventures with her darling toddler

Birchbox Referral (https://www.birchbox.com/invite/allysinwonderland)

Mani Monday – The Time We Used a Stamp Kit

Hello Wonderlanders!

I do sincerely apologize for the delay in this post.  I did warn you that I’d be bad at getting things started and sticking to it, but at least I’m getting this post up!  Today, I wanted to share with you a kit that I enjoyed using for fine nail art.  Usually when I do my nails, I stick to easy things like one basic color.

This is a throwback to June 2013 when I was taking summer classes with my friend Crystale and we were bored.  She told me about this nail stamping kit that she had invested in to do her nails with and I wanted to try it.  We ended up at her parent’s home and having a manicure party which resulted in the pictures below.

My right hand.  Butterflies and flowers design in silver and deep blue.

My right hand. Butterflies and flowers design in silver and deep blue.

I have a really hard time making decisions regarding myself.  So I drove Crystale nuts with my indecision on what colors I wanted.  It then turned into whether I should do blue or silver, and her mom cut in, suggesting I just did both.  That suggestion was definitely worth it.  I love cool colors and the metallic silver just really complimented the coloring as well.

The first shot of my left hand - notice the fine lines of the stamping on both the butterfly and flowers.

The first shot of my left hand – notice the fine lines of the stamping on both the butterfly and flowers.

I do apologize for the crappy photos – they were taken on my iTouch 4th generation which doesn’t have a great camera.  I think that the detailed art of the stamps are still visible though.

My left hand has the reverse color motif of my right hand.

My left hand has the reverse color motif of my right hand.

The stamping process went a little like this:

✻ Paint the nail with your base coat, then your base color. Allow each to dry completely before layers.

✻ Select stamp image and color from selection. Paint the image selected on the image plate.

✻ Scrape off excess paint, then use the rubber stamper and gently roll it over the painted image from the plate.

✻ Align with nail and gently but firmly roll the rubber stamper across the nail.  Image should transfer without smudging if you do it fast enough.

✻ Wait for stamp image to dry before applying top coat.  Be deliberate with the top coat as sustained movements may cause stamp image to smear.

✻  Admire nails.  Repeat from the third step on as many fingers and toes as you’d like!

It was a little tedious getting the nails done, but they turned out so well with patience. I found a link with a tutorial directly from Konad (don’t mind the calypso-esque music and slow talking), it shows what I described above so much better.

I personally don’t have this kit, but I love doing my nails with Crystale because there are lots of fun designs to choose from and so many color combinations possible.  However, I will note that the stamping kit did not come cheap for her.  She had gotten a great deal from Sam’s Club when she purchased it a few years ago.  Looking at the website today, image plates alone are $6 and the special nail polish is about $4 a bottle.  Depending on the frequency of your manicures and how elaborate you like them to be, the Konad stamping nail art kit may be a worthy investment.  They are having a 50% overall store discount sale at the moment for a limited amount of time.  This is a link to their direct website: http://www.konadnailart.com/index.html

If you liked this post and would enjoy similar content in the future, feel free to subscribe!  I will not send spam, and you’ll only receive notifications of when I post.  As always, I would love to hear your feedback – questions, comments, and concerns, so comment below and I will respond as soon as I can!

I am not a pro at manicures, nor do I get paid to endorse a product.  I am simply sharing my opinion of the things I’ve used or come across that I find useful or not useful.  What you decide to do with the products in my review or opinions is not my responsibility.

XOXO

Allys