Weekly Wishlist: 4th Edition

Welcome to my newest weekly installment: Weekly Wishlist. This is where I’ll share a few items that I’ve either purchased, am adding to my shopping list or am just crushing on from afar.

I am freaking out over M·A·C’s Fashion Sets. They’re seriously killing me. One of my favorite trends is to match your nails to your lips (it’s so sexy, no?), but it’s often so hard to find the perfect “pair.” Enter these sets, that include Lip Glass, Nail Lacquer and Lipstick. Top of my list is Myth. But you definitely can’t go wrong with the Russian Red set (here, here and here).

Next on my wishlist is this Denim Anorak from Nasty Gal. It’s been raining like crazy in Binghamton, and it’s getting boring to see cargo anoraks and trench coats. This denim version is totally unique and for under $100, the perfect jacket investment for this spring time weather.

Speaking of weather, now that I’m a mere three weeks from my summer internship, I’m on the hunt for bottoms that are both work and summer appropriate. These shorts from Topshop may be one of my favorites that I’ve spotted. Sophisticated, structured, and short without being slutty. Sold.

I’ve also been continuously hunting for chic flats/sandals. I have a penchant for gold and brown once the sun is out, so these Dolce Vita sandals are screaming my name.

More on gold… well, fool’s gold that is… How funky/unique/cool is this CC Skye ring, while being totally everyday-wearable?

If you’re pining for a new pair of sunniest like I am, but don’t want to drop the big bucks on a pair of Ray Bans or Karen Walker or Warby Parker (by “don’t want,” I mean, “can’t currently afford to spend that much on plastic/metal, no matter how gorg”), ASOS is the place to check. Anything big, cat eyed and retro is so perfect for summer, like the pair pictured or these leopard cat eye pair.

And finally, how can you say no to an orange clutch with to-die-for stitching for less than $60? All white outfit, brown wedges, and said clutch? Perfect. Thanks, Steve Madden.

What’s on your wishlist this week? Let us know in a comment!

I Tried It, I Sorta Liked It: L’Oreal Kérastase Elixir

As regular readers may know, I recently attempted (and succeeded) at ombré-ing my hair at home. While I adore the outcome, my low-maintenance routine is no longer enough to treat my dry, visibly split ends. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect products to make my hair look and feel healthy.

I bought a new… okay, two new deep conditioners that have extended my shower way past my already long 20-minutes (which my bathroom-mate is undoubtedly hating me for), but I needed more. I was thrilled to see that I got a sample of Kératase’s Elixir Ultime in my first Birchbox.

Unfortunately though, I wasn’t blown away by this “elixir.” It smells delicious, and it can definitely act as a daily serum for healthier hair (it was wonderful on the top 75% of my hair). However, if you’re looking for something to nourish, repair and tame drier, more damaged hair, I wouldn’t recommend it. I used it on both my wet ends and dry, and it just wasn’t there for me.

For now, the two products that are giving my hair a healthier look and feel post-shower: Bed Head After Party and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum.

Have you tried Elixir Ultime? What was your experience with this product? Let us know in a comment.

To Birchbox, or Not?

I finally received my offer to join Birchbox a few weeks ago, and I was thrilled.

Why, you ask?

Here’s how it works: for a menial $10 each month, you receive a package of “luxe” product samples from a range of beauty brands so you can test them out before purchasing them through the Birchbox website.

Birchbox not only has its own online store, but it provides tutorials, has its own online “magazine,” videos and more (none of which I’ve used yet).

Okay, okay, sounds interesting, sounds right up my alley, right? Who doesn’t want free samples of the best beauty products delivered to their door once a month?

But, I was a bit disappointed when my first Birchbox arrived.

In it, I received:

I have to say I was quite disappointed with this selection. The two stand-outs were obviously Jurlique’s Night Cream and the Kérastase Elixir because those products are the ones that I would have probably never gambled on for their full price tags without knowing they were worth it.

The Jurlique Night Cream couldn’t have been more lovely. I’m a sucker for rich creams and serums (even the ones that promise wrinkle-reduction: they’re just so much more luxurious), particularly Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye CreamOlay Regenerist’s Micro-Sculpting Serum and Micro-Sculpting Cream, and Sensai The Eye Cream. Jurlique was a great addition to this family.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime is going to get it’s own separate review within the week. I’m still testing it to see how I feel about it.

Now for the bad.

Viva La Juicy literally makes me want to puke, makes girls smell like their butts should still be donning a huge pink “JUICY” circa middle school, and I’ve received samples of it (for free!) from Sephora too many times before. Not novel, certainly not luxe, and not anything I want to be paying for.

The fact that Birchbox includes perfume samples in their boxes disgusts me, since (a) they’re already all over the place (magazines, department stores, etc.)… for free, and (b) because you can walk into any Sephora and have them create samples from any single perfume whether or not the brand distributes samples or not.

Color Club’s polish wasn’t the most flattering color on my skin, but it was almost opaque in one coat, plus super shiny without top coat. Full-sized polishes are $8 on Birchbox and Color Club’s sites. But, a little internet trolling (aka a Google search) led me to colors for $2-4 dollars, so I can only imagine how much this half-sized sample would get on Amazon. Maybe $0.75? Again, nothing special.

And finally, don’t even get me started on the fact that companies are still trying to sell double-stick tape in fancy packaging and calling it “fashion tape.” ShowStoppers currently have a deal on their website for $10 that includes 48 strips, along with deodorant dissolver. Sound “luxe” to you?

The reason I was so excited to try Birchbox in the first place was because I believed I would be receiving a “curated box of luxe beauty samples,” as their website states. Instead, I felt that I could have received majority of these products in my Sephora/ULTA bag with purchase.

The concept is brilliant, of course. We’re paying to have (what should probably be free) samples put into our hands, which, given that you like the product, will drive sales. However, there is no way that this was “hand-curated.” 

I’m going to continue using Birchbox, since it’s a mere $10 tacked onto my credit card bill each month. I imagine some of the products must be swoon worthy and will help me distinguish the good products from the bad before investing in an entire container of something. I’m having some faith.

Plus, I see pics on the internet that hopefully suggest that my subscription happened to start on a month with a crappy box.

Do you use Birchbox? What’s your experience been so far? Do you love it, or hate it? Let us know in a comment!