Monday, December 29, 2014

The Best of Birchbox 2014


Hello, beauties! The end of the year has finally come, and with that means the end of my first year as a Birchbox subscriber. There have been loads of fantastic lotions, potions, and salves that have come through my mailbox this year, but there were several that were truly best in show. Today, I'm wrapping up 2014 by giving you the inside scoop on ten products that I feel were major standouts from this year's Birchbox samples!

It's been a good year for makeup. 2014 saw so many amazing beauty products, but there were five this year that absolutely made my boxes. Starting with eyes, the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette was a surefire winner. The neutral mini-quad I received has gotten a proper workout with loads of product left to see me into 2015. Plus, the stunning golds and browns ensure I have a look for any event. And to really make my peepers pop, I'll be topping things off with Benefit's They're Real Mascara. A beauty blogger darling, this mascara gives my lashes the oomph they need to flutter with a dash of glam.

Moving on to cheeks, this list wouldn't be complete without giving some love to ModelCo.'s Shimmering Bronzing Powder. All the way from Australia, this little beauty gives you a summer glow all year round, and the generous size has meant a sun-free bit of color well into winter. However, if a cheeky flush is more your speed, one can't do better than theBalm's How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek and Lip Cream. This double duty product is great for women on-the-go whose makeup routine is all about keeping things low maintenance. Speaking of lips, we can't talk about makeup without mentioning the Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in New York. Bright enough for summer, but deep enough to complete any holiday party look, this super pigmented beauty is the ultimate red lip lover's dream!

On the hair care front, there were several worthwhile products to choose from. However, there was one duo that just couldn't be beat. I'm talking about the Bain de Terre Color Preserving Shampoo and Conditioner. Boasting a paraben-free formula packed with argan and monoi oils and a passion flower scent, these beauties kept my color looking fresh and whipped my hair into red carpet shape. A lovely way to bring the spa to your shower and give your hair a reviving treat!

When it comes to skincare this year, there were two items that stood head and shoulders above the rest. Top marks go to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, a cult beauty classic in the UK. It's ability to melt off the most stubborn of makeup and it's skin soothing natural ingredients make this a must have for any skincare fanatic. And it wouldn't be a proper wrap up without gushing about the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Morning Eye Rescue. This little wonder saw my morning puffiness and persistent dark circles fade in a snap.

Finally, we round out the year with the best bits in body care and fragrance. With it's intoxicating floral scent and nourishing ingredients, the Gilchrist and Soames London Collection Body Lotion has to be given an enthusiastic mention. I've never been much of a lotion girl, but I absolutely want to bathe in this stuff. Gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it! As for fragrance, English Laundry's No. 7 perfume is top of the chart. This musky floral is a great alternative for those looking for a less powdery version of Chanel No. 5. I've been nursing my little phial all year long by making it my special occasion scent. It makes me feel very grown and womanly!

With all the fabulous samples I've received in 2014, I can only imagine what's in store for 2015. One thing's for sure. My mailbox and vanity are better with a Birchbox in it!

What were your favorite samples from Birchbox this year? Which samples would you love to receive in 2015?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Outfit Ideas

Hello, beauties! Christmas is only days away. That means it's time to start getting in the party spirit by planning our holiday get ups. Whether you're headed to a sparkling soiree or a cozy night in with the fam, I've got two outfit ideas sure to put some jingle in your step!

Christmas Eve in my family means a big party with the in-laws and their extended family. You'll find people wearing everything from jeans to their Sunday best. I love wearing something glitzy and festive to get in the holiday mood. Here's an outfit idea for all of us party goers looking to add a little glam to Christmas!


Christmas day, on the other hand, is a totally different story. I want nothing more than to be cozy and warm, dressed in an outfit easy for spending time with rowdy family members and comfy for travel. Soft and oversized are my typical rule of thumb. Here's an ensemble for those of us looking forward to jeans and jumpers on Christmas morn!


What are you wearing this holiday? Do you have a go to ensemble for Christmas parties?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Friday, December 19, 2014

My Christmas 2014 Wish List

Hello, beauties! Christmas is just around the corner and, for me, that means finalizing my Chrimbo wish list. I'm a huge sucker for gift sets come this time of year. With their bespoke boxes, meticulously cultivated products, and high value at bargain prices, they are the ultimate purchase to go under the tree. See which holiday bits and bobs have made the cut for my letter to Santa this year!

Clockwise from right:

I'm crossing my fingers that one or two of these beauties make their way to me on Santa's sleigh! I've been eyeing several of these items for months, if not longer (ahem, I'm talking about you, Stila Convertible Color in Gladiola!), so I hope I'll unwrap one of these lovelies on Christmas morn.

What items are on your Christmas list this year? Are you a fan of gift boxes like me?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Birchbox | December 2014 - Review


Hello, beauties! The year has flown by so fast, hasn't it? Seems like just yesterday when I received my first Birchbox. However, it's now December, and with that comes the final box of the year. This month's theme is Decked Out, and is packed with all the products you need to get holiday party ready. From hair to makeup to the perfect soiree scent, December's box will have you prepped and primed for all your year end events!

• Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser | Full-Size, $14.99 (Sample, $2.50)
The first step in any beauty routine is a clean face. My skin is a bit sensitive, so I don't need to put it through the ringer any more than necessary. This particular cleanser is free of harsh nasties, so it's perfect for getting my face in shape before a big night out. I'm not a fan of the scent, but I love the Acure Organics Day Cream, so this is worth giving a shot.

• Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara | Full-Size, $23.00 (Sample, $8.00)
I'm no stranger to the They're Real mascara, and it gets plenty of love in my makeup rotation. This mascara definitely adds length to my short, baby lashes. Perfect for those eye popping looks, this is going straight into my holiday travel bag!

• Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm | Full-Size, $36.00 (Sample, $4.80)
When it comes to BB creams, you can't do better than Dr. Jart+. Especially if you have pale skin like I do. And after a long night filled with friends, family and holiday cocktails, BB creams are the perfect way to make your face look awake and refreshed. I currently use the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, so I'm excited to try another offering from the brand. I just wish this sample wasn't so small so it could be given a proper test.

• English Laundry Signature for Her | Full-Size, $20.00-$90.00 (Sample, $4.11)
Every party look is best finished off by that perfect signature scent. With it's blend of floral and woodsy notes, English Laundry's aptly named Signature for Her will be enticing loads of guys under the mistletoe this holiday season! It reminds me of a more complex version of Britney Spears' Fantasy perfume, which is a long time favorite of mine. I'm planning on wearing this to the Christmas Eve party at my in-laws.

• TONI&GUY Prep Heat Protection Mist | Full-Size, $15.00 (Sample, $7.59)
Now THIS is a sample! With all the party looks we do over a holiday season, our hair is more than put through its paces. To keep our tresses in tip top shape, a heat protectant is a must. And if you have dyed hair like me, you'll know that a good protectant will help keep color fade at bay. I foresee this TONI&GUY spray getting a proper workout this Christmas and New Year's.


All in all, I'm thoroughly impressed with the December box. Birchbox certainly ended the year with a bang! I've got all the bits and bobs I'll need to ring in a very beautiful new year. I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store for my favorite subscription box!

What's been your favorite Birchbox sample this year? Will you be getting a Birchbox subscription in 2015?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Friday, December 12, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder Gift Box - Review



LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder Gift Box, $19.95
Hello, beauties! Still looking for the perfect LUSH gift for a loved one or yourself? Well, if the Festive Friends box or the Best Wishes set didn't tickle your fancy, then today's offering is sure to be a holiday winner. Let's take a peek inside, shall we?

The LUSH Cosmetics Golden Wonder gift box is the ultimate mini treat for those who love warm and citrusy scents. And with a little something for bath and body, including a bath bomb, hand cream, and LUSH's super fun FUN, you'll be having a glorious winter pamper in no time flat.

• Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion

No holiday is complete without a cheeky bubbly tipple. Now your whole body can indulge in the festivities! Celebrate's champagne scent and skin soothing ingredients such as almond oil and fair trade cocoa butter will have you merry and bright in record time!

• Golden Wonder Bath Bomb
If you're looking for something to make bath time a little more magical, then Golden Wonder is right up your street. Boasting a fruity cocktail scent made from sweet orange oil, cognac oil, and lime oil, your bath will become the ultimate party. And if that isn't enough, be on the lookout for this bath bomb's sparkling finale!

• Gold FUN
There's nothing like Chrimbo to bring on the nostalgia and make us feel like kids again. With it's caramel scent, reminiscent of warming, winter sweets, this playful, moldable soap puts the (Gold) FUN back in shower time. A holiday hit for kids from one to 92!

Out of the three sets featured this week, Golden Wonder has to be my favorite. It embodies the season with a touch of sparkle, a bit of bubbly, and a dash of sweet. And each product is sure to go to the top of my repurchase list!

Do you have a holiday beauty routine? Which of these products would you add to it?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes Gift Box - Review



LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes Gift Box, $27.95
Hello, beauties! Still on the prowl for a prezzie for your favorite LUSH-ie? If so, no worries! Today I'm back with a sneaky peek inside yet another stunning LUSH holiday gift box. If you have a loved one who enjoys the gorgeous, spicy scents of Christmas, and can't get enough of their warming soaks in the bath, this is definitely one box to consider popping under the tree.

The LUSH Cosmetics Best Wishes gift box is the perfect festive gift for those who are Christmas and bath time obsessed. Packed with three holiday items that pull their inspiration from all the best bits of the advent season, you'll be whisked away into your own private winter wonderland. Two limited edition bath bombs and one limited edition bubble bar will have you Fa-La-La-ing in no time! Have a look!

Cinders Bath Bomb
Inspired by cozy, crackling fires, the Cinders bath bomb is sure to warm your tired, winter-worn bones. Cinnamon, almond oil, and sweet orange oil gives this fizzer its sweet and spicy scent, and the addition of popping candy to simulate the sound of a roaring fire will heat you all the way through. Want to kick it up a notch? Pair it with this next item!

Holly Golightly Bubble Bar
Named after the classic Audrey Hepburn character, this glittering beauty is sure to be a new holiday favorite.  With its quintessential Christmas scent of clove, cinnamon, and patchouli, and hints of orange and lime, Holly Golightly is all you need to get into the Holly-day spirit. And it's large size means you can get two to three bubble filled baths out of it to help extend your Christmas cheer!

So White Bath Bomb
If drinking copious amounts of apple cider is one of your favorite holiday traditions, then the So White bath bomb is right up your street. It's crisp apple scent, created with a skilled blend of bergamot oil, rose absolute, orange flower absolute, and neroli oil, will have you feeling like you're soaking in a bath full of your beloved cider. Just imagine yourself as the cinnamon stick!

If these spicy treats hit the spot, buy one Best Wishes gift box for yourself and one for a friend for a very merry Christmas morn! Still not sure which gift set to buy for that LUSH fan in your life? Check back on Friday for one last fabulous gift idea.

What is your favorite Christmas scent? Which of these bathtime beauties would you want to give a go?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Monday, December 8, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends Gift Box - Review



LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends Gift Box, $29.95
Hello, beauties! With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start nabbing gifts for friends and family if you haven't already. Nothing makes shopping for those we love easier than well cultivated gift sets. Not only can you get products at a discount, but it helps take the guesswork out of buying prezzies for your favorite people. If you have a LUSHie in your life, or know someone who loves to indulge in a cheeky bath, then today's gift box is a no-brainer purchase!

The LUSH Cosmetics Festive Friends gift box is a bath lover's dream. With four all-natural treats meant to help nourish the skin and soothe the mind, the recipient of this set will have everything they need for post-holiday relaxation. Festive Friends includes two limited edition bath bombs and two limited edition bubble bars. Whether used separately or together, these cute, little bath buddies will put a smile on any face. Let's take a look at what you'll get!

Butterbear Bath Bomb
Based on the year round best-seller, Butterball, this little guy is packed with sweet, melty cocoa butter to soften your winter worn skin. And with a hint of warming vanilla and restorative ylang-ylang, this bath bomb can turn any bath into a spa-like experience!

 • Dashing Santa Bath Bomb
Made with mandarin, orange absolute, and bergamot, this little fizzer is a citrus lover's best friend. Zipping around your bath and releasing his satsuma scented goodness, you'll be relaxing in yummy, scarlet waters in no time.

The Christmas Penguin Bubble Bar
Sporting the same scent as The Olive Branch shower gel, this adorable penguin will leave you anything but cold. Orange flower absolute, Sicilian mandarin, lemon oil, and bergamot will whisk you away to warmer climes on these chilly winter nights. Pair it with Dashing Santa for an extra zesty soak!

The Christmas Hedgehog Bubble Bar
Pile on the bubbles with this little cutie! Borrowing its scent from the limited edition Noriko soap, The Christmas Hedgehog brings to mind a floral wonderland. Notes of lavender, rose absolute, and ylang ylang calms, whilst cocoa and shea butters leave your skin silky soft.

Whether you buy a set for yourself or a box for a loved one, Christmas morning will be a happy one with Festive Friends under the tree. Need more gift ideas for your LUSH obsessed friends? Stay tuned this week for more peeks inside of a few of LUSH's best holiday gift boxes.

Would you be excited to get a LUSH gift box this Christmas? Which bath bomb or bubble bar would you use first?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Friday, December 5, 2014

The Beauty Bloggers Society


Hello, beauties! During a recent beauty bloggers chat on Twitter, a few of us started talking about how we don't feel that the blogging community is as supportive as it used to be. The chats, which started as a way to mingle, ask questions, share content, and grow as bloggers, had become nothing more than a free for all. It was hard to even find people to talk to as you had to slog through ridiculous amounts of links spammed in the hopes that someone, anyone, would click on it. You'd ask a genuine question and never hear an answer back. We felt that no one stopped to chat anymore or truly read each other's content. It was every blogger for themselves.

For awhile, I'd been bouncing around the idea of a blogging community in my head that was truly dedicated to beauty bloggers and helping them get seen, be helped, and make new friends. Oh, sure there are loads of beauty blogger communities on Facebook and such, but almost all of them are places where you do nothing more than drop your link and run. There's no guarantee that anyone will click on your content, no matter how good it is. Trust me when I say that unless you are established with name recognition, few people click on those dropped links.

The past few months, I've been part of a stellar blogging community on Facebook that aims to help members grow, expand their reach, and have their contents engaged with. I've loved being a part of that community and learned so much, but have often felt a little out of place being one of the very few beauty bloggers in the bunch. Sometimes it felt like beauty content was overlooked in favor of parenting blogs, DIY blogs, food blogs, and lifestyle blogs. And it was especially disheartening to receive loads of forced comments where people admitted that they really don't use makeup or skincare or any of that stuff, but, hey, nice post!

With all these things thrashing about in my mind, I decided that if I wanted a certain type of community and it wasn't out there, that I'd have to make it. So yesterday, I opened The Beauty Bloggers Society! I took all of the amazing things I loved about the blogging community I've been a part of, added my own twists, and created a space where beauty bloggers can come and really have their blogs read, their social media interacted with, and they can chat with other bloggers from all over the world.

If you are a beauty blogger, and you're interested in watching your followers grow, your engagement rise, learning new tips and tricks, and making new blogger friends, you should come and join us. However, I will warn that this is not like other groups where you just drop your links and run. You are expected to reciprocate to your fellow bloggers. You can choose what content you interact with, but you have to give back a little if you want to receive. My engagement stats increased by about 25% just on our first day open, so the system definitely works!

We have over 100 members already and it is only the second day open, so come on over and join us! See just how far you can take your blog and grow your skills to make you the best blogger you can be.

Are you interested in joining The Beauty Bloggers Society? Leave any questions or comments below!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LUSH Cosmetics Fresh Face Mask | Cupcake - Review


LUSH Cosmetics Fresh Face Mask | Cupcake, $7.95
Hello, beauties! When it comes to our well earned pamper sessions, is there any skincare ritual more relaxing than a dreamy face mask? I'm a huge fan of slapping on a favorite facial while I soak in the tub or catch up on the latest episode of one of my guilty pleasures. Today's super sweet offering has become a fast favorite and a new staple in my autumn skincare routine!

LUSH's Cupcake Fresh Face Mask is a fabulously decadent treat for troubled skin. Formulated with teenagers and their changing skin needs in mind, Cupcake is meant to soften, soothe, and treat any problem areas. Filled with goodies like cocoa powder, spearmint, and sandalwood, this face mask is nothing short of an indulgent dessert for your face!

I am absolutely in love with this face mask. Not only does it smell heavenly, but it works like a dream. My skin is normal to oily with a few rogue dry patches that have been exacerbated by the particularly crisp autumn weather, and Cupcake has helped keep my skin soft and nourished. It has also helped to calm down the persistent redness I experience, as well. The one place that Cupcake falls short is helping to treat any spot outbreaks. However, my blemishes are a hormonal issue, so it may not be the fault of the product that my skin hasn't cleared whilst using it.

If you are looking for a new face mask to add to your skincare rotation this fall, I fully recommend giving Cupcake a try. Even if you don't need all the benefits it offers, it's a fab way to indulge in a bit of chocolate minus the guilt! And with a firm expiration date, it will give you loads of excuses to schedule in a good pamper session. Oh, go on, then!

Have you tried LUSH's Cupcake Fresh Face Mask? What masks do you like to treat yourself with?

Stay gorgeous, peaches!


Monday, December 1, 2014

30 Before 30 | #4 - Buy a House



Hello, beauties! Back in early September, right after my 28th birthday, I posted a list of 30 goals I want to complete before I turn 30 in two years. On that list, clocking in at number four, was the goal of one day buying my first house. Well, on November 7th that goal became a reality. My dude and I are now the proud owners of our very own home!

Since we were married nearly three years ago, my husband and I have wanted to buy a house. However, we hadn't felt like it was a financial feasible goal until this past summer when my husband started a new, better paying job. Thinking that it would take us awhile to find a house we liked, and believing our first few bids would fall through, we started looking in mid-September with a summer 2015 deadline for owning a home.

We found a real estate agent and put together a list of homes we wanted to see. Scheduling in several viewings for our first weekend of looking, we were ready to dip our toes into the water. Little did we know that the house that would become ours would be in that very first batch. We loved the second home we saw so much that we put in a bid right there on the spot! By Sunday morning, September 21st, we were under contract.




Setting a tentative close date for November 20th, we began gathering together paperwork and sending out all the needed documents to secure a home loan. Our agent told us to not expect to close too ahead of schedule, but, once again, fate had different plans. Our loan was approved and we received the clear to close on November 3rd, almost three weeks early! And on November 7th we signed the paperwork that made us homeowners and promptly moved in that night.

The process had its ups and downs, and I had my fair share of anxiety, but this home has been an absolute blessing. There just isn't another word for it. It had almost all the amenities we wanted, it's situated in an up and coming neighborhood, we paid a mint price for it, it appraised for over 10k more than we bid for it, the seller repainted and put in new carpeting, and they threw in all the appliances, gardening tools, and even an outdoor grill! I keep thinking this whole thing is too good to be true, but my mom keeps reassuring me that when the universe wants to make something happen, it clears a path.

The dude and I are absolutely over the moon and can't wait to start decorating to make this house truly our own. I'm sure there will be loads of home decor and renovation posts to come! So, that's why things have been quiet here at the blog lately, and that's one goal checked off out of 30. Only 29 more to go!

Do you own your own home? Share your home buying stories, renovation posts, decor wish lists, and more!

Stay gorgeous, peaches!

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