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Accessories of the Day 5/9/2012

May 9, 2012

I love Instagram. I use it to take completely gratuitous photos of stuff that probably nobody cares about, but I love it. I thought I’d try sharing some of my accessories on here when I remember to get pics of them. Camera phone pics, of course, and my camera phone isn’t very good, but hey.

Today I’m carrying (as usual, really) my Kenneth Cole Reaction yellow hobo bag, which I got at Ross. I love it and IMO it goes with everything, because it’s spring, and yellow!

Kenneth Cole Reaction hobo bag

Also wearing my Jewelmint Royal Ascot Ring, which, as we all know, is a total knockoff of the Gucci horsebit ring. Personally, I’m super happy that JM made this available, because I need more jewelry, and it’s equestrian jewelry, so it hits exactly the right spot for me. I certainly don’t have $2750 for the real thing. The JM ring is well made costume jewelry; definitely love it. Here’s my Jewelmint referral link, if you’re not already signed up. I’ll be doing a review soon but I really like the service.

Jewelmint Royal Ascot Ring

Happy Wednesday!


Unboxing and Review: Beauty Army April 2012

May 8, 2012

I already mentioned that I signed up for Beauty Army late last month. I’d heard amazing things about this subscription from so many people, including a friend whose opinion I really trust. I signed up on April 26 and received a shipping notice on May 1, so 3-4 business days. My kit arrived yesterday, May 7, which isn’t too bad. The estimated delivery date was May 11 or later, which would’ve been really slow. I wasn’t sure whether to call this an April box or a May box, because of the way BA runs their subscriptions, but I’m going with April since that’s when I chose my items.

The shipping box was black with the Beauty Army logo printed all over it; fairly nice as far as exterior packaging goes. I was totally delighted by the box itself; it’s sturdy cardboard covered in black, with a pink camo lining. I can definitely reuse it, probably for jewelry or makeup that I keep on the dresser. (The paper would get destroyed fast if I kept it in the bathroom.) Pardon the camera phone photos.

Beauty Army box

I was expecting to be a bit meh about the contents, since there was no surprise involved, but I was actually totally delighted. I think that might be since, even though I picked from a set of samples, I got things I wouldn’t normally buy — so it was still more like a gift in the mail rather than just a purchase. There was black tissue paper folded over everything, then a layer of pink tissue paper that contained the smaller items, with the larger items on the bottom. Here are the contents:

Beauty Army April 2012 items

You can see clearer pictures of the items in the screenshot I took from the BA site when I chose my samples, so I’ll repost that here.

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

So what do we have? Lots of really good stuff; I’m trying to focus more on reviews for this blog, so I’m hoping to post full reviews of the actual products as I use them.

  • Control Corrective Botanical Soothing Cream, 0.1oz. Full size (2.5oz) $48. Value: $1.92.
    I’m actually really excited to try this, because I have serious issues with facial redness. I think a lot of it is related to allergies, and soothing sounds good. Unfortunately it’s a really tiny sample in a not-so-resealable package, so chances are I won’t be able to tell whether it works well.
  • Cellceuticals SPF Defense 55+, 0.33oz. Full size (2oz) $45. Value: $7.42.
    My default daily moisturizer has SPF30, but I spend a lot of time outdoors when I’m riding horses. I don’t necessarily want to reapply a full moisturizer, so I’m on the hunt for a sunscreen that doesn’t smell too awful or give me hives. We shall see. The full size of this is super pricey, so I hope I don’t fall in love with it.
  • Mad Skincare Transforming Daily Moisturizer, 0.18oz. Full size (1.7oz) $54. Value: $5.71.
    I use and like CeraVe’s AM moisturizer, but I’m willing to try new things. Comparing by price, though, this would really have to knock my socks right off to replace the CeraVe.
  • CoverFX Clearprep FX, 0.24oz. Full size (1oz) $39. Value: $9.36.
    This is a really nice sample size of a mattifying primer/acne treatment gel all in one. I still deal with serious acne issues, especially around that time of the month, and I love primer, especially mattifying primer. I’ve tried and liked the Dermalogica version of this, but haven’t repurchased yet, so I’m excited to give this a shot.
  • Clickr Skincare Acne Spot Serum, 0.11oz — full size product! Value: $20.
    Again, something I’m stoked to try. I’ve had good luck with spot treatments, though so many of them seem to be pigmented and just stand out.  I already applied this to a large blemish this morning, and it’s definitely less red and swollen, though not entirely invisible. Full size product!
  • Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor, 5.1oz — full size product! Value: $12
    This is one of those things that’s been on my list of stuff to try forever; Makeup Alley seems to love it, judging by the boards there. I tend to get a lot of breakage in my hair (ponytail + riding helmet = not so good) so I want to see if this makes a difference. It’s sold out on the BA website so I’m estimating the price from other online sources. Again, a full size product!

I have no idea, really, how Beauty Army managed to pack so much into a box that costs $12 including shipping. Two full size products, three nice deluxe samples, and one tiny sample, for a total estimated value of $56.41. That’s seriously impressive. And because I got to choose my samples, there’s nothing there I have absolutely zero interest in trying. I’m hoping it stays this good, since they seem to be heavily gating the number of subscriptions available. I think part of the trouble with Birchbox lately is that they just have way, way too many subscribers.

As of right now, I’m super impressed with Beauty Army, and am definitely keeping my subscription. I like that you can skip the month if you can’t find samples you want. They do have rewards programs; for example, you can get a discount by filling out several brand surveys, and a set coupon for every three months of active membership. They also have a referral program; this is my Beauty Army signup link, should you wish to use it.

New Subscription Box: Sample Society

May 8, 2012

My friend Grace was kind enough to let me know that Beauty Bar’s Sample Society opened their subscriptions, so I signed up tonight — even though I just joined Beauty Army. My first box won’t ship until June 1, which kind of puts it into the category of next month’s purchases. That’s how I justified it, anyway.

I have no idea what I’ll be getting, since it’s a surprise, like Birchbox (but from what I hear, with only one box instead of 19+ going to different subscribers at random). (Aside: I’m really annoyed with Birchbox lately. I should write about that sometime.)

I’ll be sure to update once it arrives!

New BzzCampaign: Dr. Scholl’s For Her

May 8, 2012

I recently got an invite to participate in a BzzCampaign for Dr. Scholl’s For Her shoe inserts. I’m really excited about this one. I love wearing heels but so many of them are really uncomfortable, particularly because I had a Lisfranc fracture of my right foot about six years ago. It required surgery and, while it’s mostly OK, it does tend to make shoes that might already be slightly uncomfortable way, way worse.

Before I started my new job, I bought a ton of heels of varying heights, since at that time the dress code was business casual. After two weeks they switched us over to jeans every day, and I’ve been wearing my sneakers solely (get it? ha ha) for the comfort factor. I’d way rather wear some of my super cute shoes, at least Monday-Thursday, and I’m hoping the insoles will make them at least competitive with the sneakers.

My BzzKit hasn’t shipped yet, but  once it arrives I’ll be sure to let you all know what I think.

New Subscription Box: Beauty Army

April 26, 2012

Well, new to me. Beauty Army isn’t new to anyone else. I’ve been patiently sitting in queue, waiting for my invitation, and it finally arrived today! I wasn’t thrilled with the initial samples I had to pick from, so I retook the quiz a few times until I got options that I did like. It seems I was giving it too many options, which resulted in it giving me nothing but skincare products that were all kind of same-y.

So here’s what I picked:

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

I’ll go into more detail on each item once my Beauty Army box arrives. I got a confirmation email for my order immediately, and it let me know that my next selection window is May 26-31. They do have an option to skip the month. I’m a little worried, because I’ve read that if your selection window is at the end of the month, you may not get a good selection. However, after playing with the profile a few times, I was happy with what was available this time.

I’m really looking forward to receiving this box in the mail. I’m excited to try the Clickr acne pen, Joico K-Pak, and Control Corrective lotion especially.

Review: Philips Satin Perfect Epilator

February 20, 2012

This is my first video review. Shock! I’ll post a typed review later, but I thought you might enjoy this for now. Go check it out on YouTube, since I haven’t figured out how to embed yet. Disclaimer: I did receive this epilator for free as part of a BzzCampaign. Thanks and enjoy!

Philips Satin Perfect Epilator Review: BzzAgent

Interview Outfit

February 20, 2012

Today I had a big job interview (I’ve got my fingers super crossed, because this would be a really interesting position for me), so I figured I’d share what I wore.

Interview Outfit
a bit schoolgirl, i guess

Sweater: Lane Bryant

Blouse: Thrifted

Skirt: ModCloth (Le Centre Pompidou, I think)

Shoes: ModCloth

Purse (which you can’t see): Target

Scarf: Gabriel Brothers


I am absolutely in love with the shoes from ModCloth. They’re black suede wedges with frills on the front, and really comfortable in spite of the fairly high heel. I want to wear them all the time.