Category: Video

December 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

(In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.)

I followed last month’s lead and again avoided all spoilers so that I would not be envious or upset about what I did or did not get. It’s been only mildly successful, because, while I now no longer am upset that I didn’t get something specific, I’ve been underwhelmed by what I did get. (And I had a slight spoiler by texting with Rose who let slip the nature of one of her items, and I wound up figuring it out. And being sad I didn’t get it.)

So, on to this month. I feel like I am nearing 2 decisions:

1. Cancel my Birchbox See, I LOVE getting a little box of goodies in the mail every month, but I’ve really been underwhelmed the past few months. Since I resubscribed back in July in order to get the Davines shampoo and conditioner samples, I’ve really only been thrilled about 3 products: Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray, the Tocca hand cream, and the Stila Stay All Day in Beso. That’s 3 things in 6 months, and one of them came in a replacement box. It may just not be worth it anymore, or maybe I should try a different service.

2. Quit making videos
I know, I know, learning curve. But this is my 4th video and I’ve done yet another thing wrong. (I forgot that you can’t see what’s in my hands and I didn’t hold everything up for the camera.) I mean, at this point, I may have learned to a. shoot it with my point-and-shoot so that it focuses in on close-ups, b. how to add music, and c. how to add an intro, but my video skills are still severely lacking, it may just look worse for me to keep making them than it would for me to stop them. I mean, come on, admit it—you watch other unboxing videos and they’re way better.

Anyway, the review!

As always, If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box? Have you tried any other services? (Beauty Bar? Glossybox?) Do you recommend them?

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Music Monday #12

I had a musical discovery (to me) this past week, actually from reading the Clarins blog. (Believe it or not.)

Could you have a better band name than Le Prince Miiaou?! (Yes, that’s french for “meow.” 🙂 ) Our songbird’s real name is Maud-Elisa Mandeau, and she started playing music at 16. No, she’s not another teenager, she’s been at it now since 2002. But I really adore this song, from her third album.

I have to listen to some more of her music, definitely. Although, sadly, it seems her first album is no longer available. But her second and third albums, Safety First and Fill the Blank With Your Own Loneliness, are available. Plus, she has a new album called Where Is the Queen? coming out at the end of January.

What do you think? Have you ever heard of her before? Do you have any more recommendations for me? What are you listening to today?

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Music Monday #11

I cannot adequately express how obsessed I was (and kind of still am) with the debut album of Maxïmo Park (yes, the umlaut IS important!), A Certain Trigger. The hours I spent listening to it. The impetus to go visit Newcastle. (In late December. Yes, really.)

(You can pretty much say my musical tastes are fixated in 2005-2006.)

In some ways, any follow-up album was going to be a disappointment to me, because of how much I loved it. When they released the first single from that album, “Our Velocity,” I didn’t like it at all.

Can you guess what happened?

Yup, obsessed.

And with a line like, “Is it cold where you are this time of year?” it seemed pretty apropos for the season. 🙂

I did eventually wind up loving the entire album, Our Earthly Pleasures.

The next two albums, The National Health and Quicken the Heart, were not my favorites, alas. But I have it on good authority that they’re forthcoming (in February) album sounds quite good. At least to my friend who knows a lot about music. Though we don’t always have the same taste. Still, I’m hopeful, because I want one my favorites to come back to New York soon!

What are you listening to today? Is it cold where you are?

Music Monday #10

I love when I read a good blog and not only do I get great beauty and skincare tips, but I also find out about new bands.

Kate’s post did not introduce me to any new British bands, but instead to 2 American bands. I liked them both, but I’m starting with Kitten.

An LA-based band, Kitten released 3 EPs: 2010’s Sunday School, 2011’s Cut It Out, and 2013’s Like A Stranger.

I am really digging the track, “Cut It Out.” Hope you enjoy, too!

Any new band recommendations for me? What are you listening to today?

Music Monday #9

Today I start my new job. Today I start work in a new industry. Today is all about new starts and new beginnings. Today is about emerging triumphant, undeterred.

Today is ALL about Titanium by David Guetta (a Frenchman, yay!).

It’s not new, and it’s been played plenty. But it makes me feel good and makes me think of good times and of Paris and today it fits me perfectly.

Sing it loud, sing it proud!

What songs make you feel this way? What are you listening to today?

November 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

It’s right around mid month, so that means another Birchbox! And that means another Birchbox unboxing video!

(In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.)

Despite the fact that I learned a few things about editing video, as I showed off in my How To Style Curly Hair video, I somehow managed to cut off the top of my head this time. Well done, me. Someone’s already given it a thumbs down, and I can’t really blame them. :p

Last month, I was kind of disappointed, so this month I decided NO SPOILERS, I didn’t watch the sneak peek video or looked at the links on Facebook, so that I couldn’t possibly disappointed since I wouldn’t know what I didn’t get. I did actually watch the video after I opened my box, just because I’m a masochist. :p I did get all the things in the video that I would have wanted; I’m just not so enthused overall this month. (But maybe it’s not just the box…)

Anyway, on to the mediocrity! (My video-making skills, I mean.)

http://youtu.be/DfGk516mv7o

As always, If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box?

Music Monday #8

I love me chicks who rock. I especially love me chicks who rock while playing awesome instruments. So I was so excited to discover the Memphis Dawls last Tuesday at the Knitting Factory. They seem to only have an EP out, but they’re definitely worth checking out!

I guess today I’m a little bit folk/country. 🙂 What are you listening to today?

Music Monday #7

No, this is not a recent song. And, yes, I may have found out about it because for some reason I actually watch 2 Broke Girls, rather than from a legitimate source. And I don’t know anything about the band at all or any of their other songs. (They’re Black Kids, for your reference.)

But I love this song, and this Monday, ALL I WANT TO DO IS DANCE! Dance along with me!

What’s tickling your ears this Monday?

The girl with a curl – How I style my curly hair

Hey guys! Today I figured that since I’ve already covered my basic skincare and beauty regimens, I’d talk about how I style my curly hair. (I even made a video! And it’s not about my Birchbox!)

It took me years to learn the optimum way of styling my curly hair. Part of that was finally finding a stylist who knew how to cut curly hair. I CANNOT STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT PART. Find someone you like who knows how to cut curly hair. I can’t tell you the number of times I came home from getting a hair cut in tears. My mother started to dread my haircuts!

There are so many more resources out there for people with curly hair than there were when I first permed my hair and went crying to my aunt who had years of perm experience. (As this would suggest, I always wanted curly hair. I think I had my first perm at 13. And then 1 or 2 more perms, and puberty hit, and voila! Forevermore curly!) But there are entire web sites to curly hair tips and products, such as CurlMart and NaturallyCurly.

I know I’m opening myself up to criticism, but I do NOT follow the Curly Girl Method, which prescribes no shampoo/sulfate-free shampoo only, no silicone products, and no heat drying. Among some other rules. They’re all set down in the book, Curly Girl: The NEW Handbook by Lorraine Massey (founder of Devachan Salon and the DevaCurl line) and Michelle Bender. It works for many people, but I’ve chosen another route.

Mostly because my stylist showed me the way that I use now to style my hair, finger curling, and it just works for my hair. But you decide what works best for you!

DSC_1216My current shampoo and conditioner loves: The Love line by Davines.

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Music Monday #6

You know a song is good when you run out of the shower to grab your phone so you can Shazam it from the radio. That’s what happened to me when “Pompeii” by Bastille came on the radio while I was in Paris this summer. Water dripping everywhere, I dashed from the shower to my bedroom and back, because I couldn’t live with the idea that I would never know what song it was.

It’s ironic I had to learn about a British band while I was in France, especially since most of the bands I listen to are British. But I guess I’ve been slipping as of late. Because when I came home and looked them up, it turns out they had a show scheduled in New York already, and it was sold out! (See? I’m not a hipster!!) Ah, well.

Their album, Bad Blood, is now out in the US (it came out in the UK in March), and you should check it out. In the meantime, now you know what the song is, so you can stay in the shower (or dry, whichever you prefer 😉 )!

(Check out this awesome version in Gaelic, too!)

What do you think? Was it worth the effort I went through? 🙂 What are you listening to right now?