Monday, June 30, 2014

Julep Mae nail polish

Julep Mae nail polish

Two coats of Julep Mae nail polish. I really love how this turned out! Says it's a satin finish, but I think it's more of a matte finish.

Julep Mae nail polish
with flash

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sample Challenge #2

In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, one of the ladies came up with a genius idea:  a sample challenge! The challenge is pretty straightforward, just use three or more of the samples received in various subscription boxes. Simple, right? But so many of us just toss the samples into a drawer and forget about them, so we really needed this!

Sadly, this isn't even all of them.

I decided to keep it random and just grab a few different samples each week. I wound up with a shampoo, conditioner, mascara, detangler and hand scrub. 

Sample Challenge #2 - aka Terri

The Samples:

Patented formula contains specialized volume building technology paired with cleansing agents. The formula gently cleanses and detangles fine hair as it applies volume boosters, then rinses clean. Volume boosting technology is activated during blow dry to enhance hair’s natural volume, for hair that feels naturally full and soft.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
This paraben- and sulfate-free detangler seals the cuticles (the microscopic scales that compose the outermost layer of each strand of hair). It also smooths and moisturizes, thereby minimizing frizz, while safeguarding color and adding shine. Lastly, it provides protection against UV rays and heat. Happily, it accomplishes all this through a weightless, non-greasy formula that leaves behind an airy floral scent.

MAC Zoom Lash
Major drama. Lasts all day. Creamy, velvety formula builds density and conditions. Feels light, supple. Ultra-sculpted brush has three-sided fibres to embrace and separate each lash, hugging every curve. Coats in one stroke from root to tip. No smudging.

Julep Glycolic Hand Scrub  
Whisk away dirt and oil and reveal noticeably softer and younger looking hands after just one use. You'll be surprised that something so effective smells so good! (Insider tip – try this gorgeous scrub all over your body, it’s even gentle enough for your face.)

My Thoughts:

The John Frieda shampoo and conditioner was meh. Cleaned my hair, but I didn't notice any increase in the volume. I have really straight, thick hair that just lies there, so I'm on an everlasting search for something that will actually add volume.

Loved the Beauty Protector detangler! Worked great! Once I've used up my current stockpile of detanglers, definitely stocking up on this!

The mascara really made my eyes pop, but seemed overly wet and I had to be really careful when applying. The first time, I managed to get it on my face and on the inside of my eyelid, but it wiped off easily. Contrary to it's "no smudge" description, it smudged when I forgot I was wearing it and rubbed my eyes that night. This was hours after application, so it should have been plenty dry by then! Would totally buy this if it was truly no-smudge, as I loved how it made my lashes look!

The Julep hand scrub really worked! Loved the way my hands looked and felt softer after the first use, although I didn't notice the good smell that the online reviews mentioned. I'll add this to my Julep wishlist and hope it's included in the next sale!

Another good week of using up my samples! And I even found two new products to buy, so considering this week a win!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Birchbox #2 June 2014

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription where you receive a mix of beauty products (samples and full size). At only $10 per month, it's one of my favorite beauty boxes and a great deal! 

Birchbox #2 June 2014 - aka Terri
My box came with a surprise - I won the deluxe mini of the new Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner! It came in a huge box, so I wasn't sure what it was at first. What a great surprise!

Birchbox #2 June 2014 - aka TerriBirchbox #2 June 2014 - aka Terri
June's theme was Away We Go, to celebrate their collaboration with JetBlue.

 - aka Terri
June goodies from my second subscription!

Vasanti BrightenUp! - aka Terri
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
This customer fave mimics effects of microdermabrasion for a glowing, smooth complexion.

Catherine Malandrino Fragrance - aka Terri
CM Catherine Malandrino Fragrance
The designer's first-ever scent mingles summery fruits and florals for an elegant vibe.

Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion - aka Terri
Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion
Antioxidant-rich moisturizer that smooths and softens with botanicals like grape seed.

 - aka TerriDavines Love Smoothing  - aka Terri
Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner, and OI All In One Milk 
This strand-smoothing trio softens, detangles, and tames frizz for remarkably sleek locks.

Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette  - aka Terri
Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eye Shadow Palette 
Versatile range of rose-tinted shadows that will round out your beauty arsenal.

Benefit They're Real Push-up Liner - aka Terri
Benefit They're Real Push-up Liner
Goofproof applicator makes hugging your lashline easier than ever. 

I was worried about this box because tracking seemed stuck and wasn't updating, so customer service was all set to send me a replacement when it magically appeared! Worth the wait for the mini liner sample!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Escape Monthly - Las Vegas

Escape Monthly

Escape Monthly bills itself as a Vacation in a Box! Every month features a different destination, with products from that location guaranteed to pamper you! A little expensive for my tastes at $49.95 per month, but I got a great deal with a 50% off promo.

Escape MonthlyEscape Monthly
First look at my Las Vegas box! Love the chevron pattern they use!

Escape Monthly
It's Vegas, baby!

Moon Nevada travel guide and authentic casino playing cards - akaTerri
Moon Nevada travel guide and authentic casino playing cards. 
Another travel guide that I'll never use. My card deck came from Mandalay Bay. I think that casinos used to give away their old decks, but now they sell them in the gift shop.

Tahoe Nevada Toffee - akaTerri
Tahoe Nevada Toffee. 
Toffee bar in the shape of Nevada, I find it hard to believe that this one piece sells for $15! I don't care how good it is, it's not worth that much money! 

Vegas nail file - akaTerri
Vegas nail file. 
This is a bonus item, but I can always use new nail files and I love the pictures!

3 Girls Holistic Calming Mist - akaTerri
3 Girls Holistic Calming Mist Body Spray. 
This is supposed to provide holistic stress relief, but doesn't say where you're supposed to spray it. Do I use it on pulse points? My pillow? Spray my face? Inquiring minds want to know! 

Las Vegas shot glass - akaTerri
Las Vegas shot glass. 
I used to collect shot glasses and have several from Vegas already. Not a big fan of glitter and I don't need yet another shot glass, so this will be going on my trade board.

Vegas wine stopper - akaTerri
Vegas wine stopper.
It's a little cheesy looking, but I really like this wine stopper!

Iadora Charcoal Salt Body Scrub - akaTerri
Iadora Charcoal Salt Body Scrub.
I love body scrubs and am looking forward to trying this one! I've used salt scrubs and charcoal scrubs in the past, but never a charcoal salt scrub! 

While not a home run, the body scrub, wine stopper, and nail file make this a good box for me. Not worth paying full price, but I'm pleased with this month's box. Next month is India, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's included!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Butter London Victoriana nail polish

Butter London Victoriana nail polish - akaTerri

Butter London Victoriana nail polish. I love this color, but it chipped less than 24 hours after application. I touched it up, but it chipped again before I could apply a top coat. This is an absolutely gorgeous color, but I really wish it was a little sturdier.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sample Challenge #1

In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, one of the ladies came up with a genius idea:  a sample challenge! The challenge is pretty straightforward, just use three or more of the samples received in various subscription boxes. Simple, right? But so many of us just toss the samples into a drawer and forget about them, so we really needed this!

Sadly, this isn't even all of them.

I decided to keep it random and just grabbed a few different samples. I wound up with a face cream, three perfumes, and makeup remover wipes. I started using a couple others, but they're not empty yet so I'll save them for next week's wrap-up.

Sample Challenge #1 - akaTerri

The Samples:

Harvey Prince Hello
For their latest fragrance, the brother duo behind Harvey Prince decided to mimic the joy of waking up to a warm day with the sun shining and the flowers blooming. The resulting blend is an energizing mix of citrus and floral notes that will keep you optimistic even when you get up on the wrong side of the bed.

LA FRESH Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes
These travel-friendly wipes are biodegradable and compostable. The leakproof packaging makes them perfect for carry-on bags and purses alike, while the vitamin-E enriched formula allows for gentle, thorough makeup removal, leaving skin smooth and soft.

Le Metier de Beaute Replenishing Daily Solution SPF 30
This highly emollient cream is designed to condition and hydrate while it nourishes and detoxifies - the formula normalizes the skin's moisture content to provide unparalleled suppleness. Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protects the skin damaging UVA/UVB rays.

Versace Bright Crystal
Versace Bright Crystal features top notes of yuzu, iced accord, and pomegranate. Mid notes of rose, peony, magnolia, acajou, and lotus flower rest atop sensual base notes of vegetal amber and musk.

Joan Vass L'eau de Cristal
Citrusy top notes of bergamot and mandarin blend with middle notes of black currant, rose oil, and raspberry puree. Fresh musk, vanilla bean, and patchouli oil round out the cast of this grownup scent.

My Thoughts:

My favorite sample was the Harvey Prince Hello fragrance. Loved the scent, but it was really hard to apply. My sample vial was only half-full and keep clogging, but totally worth the effort as it's such a nice, summery scent!

Also loved the Le Metier de Beaute face cream. Very thick and creamy, it had a pink sheen to the it that I found appealing for some reason. I felt all fancy applying it because I know how expensive a jar of this stuff is ($225 for 1.7 oz!), but to be honest I didn't see much difference from my bargain face creams. This small foil packet lasted several days, and part of me is so relieved it didn't work any miracles because I just can't justify spending that much on face cream!

The makeup remover wipes were just okay. While it looked like it removed most of my makeup, my mascara was stubborn and didn't want to come off with these wipes. I didn't really like these because they seemed too wet. While the liquid didn't drip off the wipes or anything, they just felt too moist and I didn't like the sensation. Maybe I'm just used to my Yes To wipes, but the excessive wetness turned me off.

The Versace perfume sample was very faint, so I couldn't tell you if I like the scent or not. I'm not sure if the sample had dried out or if the perfume is just that subtle, but this was a no for me.

Last and certainly least, the L'eau de Cristal sample. Hated it! I only used it once and it's going in the trash despite not being empty. It smelled okay in the vial, but horrible on my skin! I did sniff-tests throughout the day hoping that it would settle down and improve, but no luck. 

Very happy with the results from my first week! Have a couple of samples I started, and going to pull out a few more. Need to get through my huge sample stack, so glad that Jill thought up this challenge!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mail Call 6/21/14

mail call - akaTerri

Having signed up for so many samples and entered so many contests, decided that I needed a place to share the goodies that have started coming in the mail! It's been awhile since I've done a wrap-up, so there's quite a bit here.

starfish earrings - akaTerri
Bought a cute pair of starfish earrings to celebrate living at the beach!

swap goodies! - akaTerri
This is the result of one of the fastest & easiest swaps I've ever made! Posted my Birchbox goodies on Facebook with a comment that I didn't like two of the items and would probably put them on my trade board. Next thing I know, I'm messaging back and forth with the nicest lady ever and we arrange a swap! And boom! It shows up in the mail a couple days later. Thank you Amber! You're my new BFF! :)

Julep - akaTerri
Had a 50% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket, so used it on the Purple Pair set of polish and a Konjac sponge. The two purples are Gayle and Mae.

Suddenly Pasta Salad - akaTerri
Free box of Suddenly Pasta Salad from Betty Crocker! I signed up for her newsletter and they send out offers like this periodically for their subscribers. Well worth signing up!

Bath & Bodyworks - akaTerri
Bath & Bodyworks has been having great sales lately! Picked up a couple of foaming handsoaps and candles on my last visit. 

Star Wars socks - akaTerri
Saw these awesome Star Wars socks at JC Penney and couldn't resist!

caldrea samples - akaTerri
I fell in love with the Caldrea Rosewater Driftwood handsoap from a recent PopSugar box, so was happy to receive a sample pack of their other scents. Am sure to find another favorite, as their products are awesome!

swap - akaTerri
Had a great swap with Emily on MakeUpTalk! Got a Clinique Black Honey lipstick and Sally Hansen basecoat for my citrus zinger. She even threw in a lip balm! The MUT ladies are the best!

 photo BB001.jpg
My Birchbox haul! Used my points and anniversary coupon to buy Caldrea Sea Salt handsoap, Shea Terra rose hips black soap, Green Meadow detangler, and a free mystery pack. Too bad my mystery pack had duplicates, but pleased with the rest!

My mailman and husband keep making jokes about how many boxes I receive. I need to show him the hauls of some of the other bloggers I've seen, as I'm a rank amateur compared to them!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Julep Summer Brights Welcome Box

Julep had a special promo recently for a Summer Brights Welcome Box, so couldn't resist ordering a box. It cost me $3.99 for shipping, but that was it. They have a new welcome box now, but I'm glad I got this one as the colors are so bright and summery!

Summer Brights Welcome Box
The Summer Brights Welcome Box.

Mariska, Caitlin, and Kayla nail polish
Mariska, Caitlin, and Kayla nail polish.

Glowing lip gloss
Glowing lip gloss.

Kajal Eye Glider in Carbon Black
Kajal Eye Glider in Carbon Black.

Buffer Blocks
Buffer Blocks.

I don't really care for lip gloss, but loved everything else in this box! I usually don't do bright polish, but these are such fun shades that I thought I'd give them a try!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coca-Cola Zero Mini-Cans

Coca-Cola Zero Mini-Can - akaTerri
Coca-Cola Zero Mini-Cans (8 Count, 7.5 Fl Oz Each)

Received an 8pk of Coca-Cola Zero mini-cans from Amazon Vine for review. I prefer Cherry Coke, but was curious to try regular Coke Zero.

The 8pk came with two loose cans. Not sure how they got out of the plastic yoke, but none of the cans were dented so no harm done.

I was concerned that the mini-cans would not be large enough for an adult, but it turned out fine. The cans are one serving and fit perfectly in a normal beverage glass. It's also perfect for making a rum & coke, as it's just the right size.

Final verdict:  I enjoyed the taste of Coke Zero, but still prefer Cherry Coke. The size surprised me by being a perfect size! My local grocery store doesn't carry these mini-cans, but so long as they didn't charge more for them, I'd buy it!

Our new landscaping

 photo June2nd005.jpg

Bought some pindo palms and crepe myrtles for the backyard. DH dug out the bed and put the border in himself. The small bushes were from the front bed. Love it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PopSugar Must Have Box - June 2014

The PopSugar Must Have box is a crowd favorite, but the boxes have been hit or miss for me. Since they raised the price to $39.95 a month, it just isn't worth it for me and this will be my last box (until the next promo!),

First look at my June goodies!

The info card. It's a little different format than what I'm used to, and I prefer this tri-fold card to the old accordion-type fold out card.

My two favorite items from the box: an Emily Giffin book and a Turkish-T towel! I was disappointed that I missed the awesome towel from the resort box, so this is the next best thing! And I can never say no to new books, and this one I'll actually read!

One Potato Two Potato Hawaiian BBQ kettle chips. These are nice, thick kettle chips with a kick! While we love kettle chips and love bbq chips, these were a little too spicy for our tastes and we couldn't finish the bag.

You Smell lemon wet wipes. I love the brand name, and you can never have enough wet wipes so these are a win-win for me!

Sachajuan Shiny Citrus body lotion - akaTerri
Sachajuan Shiny Citrus body lotion. I have enough lotions and creams to last a lifetime, so this one will be going on my trade board.

Lollies Basics hair ties - akaTerri
Lollies Basics hair ties. These look more like bracelets than hair ties. Either way, I have no use for them so another item for the trade list!

Native Union $15 gift card. I've never heard of this store, so hopefully they'll have something not too expensive I can spend my giftcard on!

Not a bad box this month, but still not worth the price IMO. Of course, next month will probably be an even more amazing box and I'll be kicking myself! Oh well...