Birchbox Black Friday Haul

I love Birchbox. I love receiving my box every month, I love window-shopping in their store, and I love occasionally buying myself something. This month was one of those “buying something” times.

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Shipping was a little slow, but only by the high standards I’ve come to expect from Birchbox — it took 2 days to be shipped, and another 3 to arrive at my door. I was really surprised by how light the box was, especially considering its size, until I opened it….and realized how much bubble wrap had been used to package my products!

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My 14 Favorite Products and Discoveries of 2014

2014 was the year that I got really into “beauty”: developing a skincare routine, exploring new brands and types of products, wearing makeup much more often, and starting this blog. I put beauty in quotes, because as we all know beauty is so much more than skin-deep. Part of the inspiration for this was spending the spring in Paris — surrounded by people caring about skincare, fashion, and otherwise looking good.

Since I just recently entered the beauty blogging world, I have made so many discoveries this year — new types of products, new brands, and new ways to apply makeup. Every month on this blog I’ve also been doing a “monthly favorites” list, and I’ve been trying hard not to repeat any products. Now, here come the repeats in this compilation of what I loved most about beauty in 2014.

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My Everyday Makeup Routine

Most days, I’m too rushed in the morning to do anything special with my makeup. I’m so focused on getting out the door and to class on time that I don’t have the presence of mind to deviate from the routine I’ve fallen into. I didn’t really devote any time to developing this in a scientific manner; it just sort of fell into place around the products I’ve been using the most in the past few months. Without further ado, here is that very simple routine (ignore the huge number of products in this photo; all will be explained!).

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July Favorites

This July has been a whirlwind! I’ve spent a lot of it traveling for work, and the rest of the time I’ve been sending e-mails or updating my resume or cooking or preparing to go back to school in August. That said, I’ve also taken the time to play with some new products and go exploring, and so here are my top 5 favorite beauty products from the last month.

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Extravagant Beauty Splurge!

Tonight I went a little crazy on buying makeup and skincare online… I’ve never spent this much on products at one time before, online or off, but The Body Shop was having a 40% off sale on some things that I’d been wanting anyway and Sephora had a great price on a pair of eyeshadows from a brand I like. And so… here’s the list of things I bought! They’re all supposed to arrive in 3-4 days, and I’m pretty excited.

The Body Shop

Plastic Foot File 1 USD3.00 USD3.00
Smoking Hot Colour Crush™ Eye Shadow

Shade: Smoking Hot

1 USD6.00 USD6.00
Peppermint Cooling Pumice Foot Scrub 1 USD8.40 USD8.40
Peppermint Reviving Foot Soak 1 USD9.60 USD9.60
All-In-One BB Cream 1 USD12.00 USD12.00
Seaweed Skin Care Starter Kit 1 USD17.50 USD17.50

My feet are becoming more calloused the farther into summer I get. I’ve had such great results from the Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue that I got from the Body Shop last summer that I hope the scrub and soak in the same line work the same magic. On that note, the foot file seems like an obvious purchase.

This BB cream is something I tried out at the store and liked, but couldn’t justify at its normal $20 price tag. Similarly, the seaweed skincare kit has good reviews and I’ve been meaning to get a toner; this seemed like a good way to try one out. I’ve been loving the Colour Crush eyeshadow I bought a few weeks ago, and so decided to get a few more from that line.

Sand By Me Colour Crush™ Eye Shadow

Shade: Sand By Me

1 USD6.00 USD6.00
Nutriganics™ Drops of Youth 1 USD21.60 USD21.60

I bought the products in two orders so that I could get $15 off my second order (discount not shown here) with points earned through the Love My Body program. This eyeshadow is a matte nude shade — I hope it looks good! The Nutriganics Drops of Youth is something that a Body Shop employee spoke very highly of last time I was in a shop. Since it’s normally $36, i thought it was probably worth giving it a shot at this discounted price.

Sephora

1639178 1 USD 15.0 Kat Von D Shade Shifter Set: On The Road/ Love Letter
1558337 1 USD 10.0 Tocca Beauty Florence Travel Fragrance Duo
1613785 1 0.0 NEST Amazon Lily / samples
1585876 1 0.0 Elizabeth and James Nirvana White / samples
880567 1 0.0 Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme / samples

    Tocca Beauty - Florence Travel Fragrance Duo

Several weeks ago I bought a Kat Von D Shade Shifter eye shadow in Devotion (a coppery shade). I loved it so much that I’ve been considering getting Love Letter (which is the purple shade) ever since. The eye shadows are normally $16, and so when I saw Love Letter paired with On the Road (a green-brown shade that I’ve heard a lot of good things about) for only $15, I had to get it.

The second purchase is a fragrance/hand cream duo. I don’t know anything about Tocca, or this scent, but I’m a sucker for sentimentality, and I adore the city of Florence. At only $10, it seemed worth a try. I also adore new fragrances, as the three free samples I chose indicate.

I’ve never bought beauty products online before, but most of the products I picked out I’ve had some experience with in real life, and so I don’t feel like any of my purchases were especially risky. Luckily, both Sephora and The Body Shop also have great return policies in case I end up not liking something.

I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of money lately… but I felt a little better when I did the calculations on how much I saved by buying during these sales instead of at full price. I also was able to get free shipping for all three orders.

Money Saved: $5.60 (foot scrub) + $6.40 (foot soak) + $2 (foot file) + $7.50 (seaweed set) + $14.40 (Drops of Youth) + $8 (BB cream) + $8 (Colour Crush x2) + $17 (Kat Von D) + $14 (Tocca) = $82.90 savings on $94.79 spent = 46.6% total savings

How much do you normally spend on makeup and skincare each month?