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One day left to this
godforsaken year, so I thought I would share my favorite products. This year was a weird one, in terms of my beauty and skincare purchasing. I managed to earn Sephora VIB Rouge status in August, yet haven’t been able to buy too much since then. So I feel like I’ve already discussed my favorites previously, but, well, without further ado…
As luck would have it, this year was all about the foundation and lipsticks for me.
(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!
Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. You find a shampoo that you love. You use it and you have shampoo commercial hair. People tell you how nice your hair looks. YOU notice how nice your hair looks. You don’t know how you’ve ever lived without this shampoo.
You’re about halfway through the bottle, several months later (well, in my case, since I don’t shampoo my curly hair as often as other people), and suddenly you style your hair and it looks absolutely blah. Like, so blah. You think that maybe there was something off in your styling. Maybe you didn’t add the products in the right order. Maybe it’s more or less humid.
So you take your next shower thinking nothing of it. And your hair comes out SUPER blah. And you know. You know.
Your shampoo has stopped working.
Now, I just googled this, and everyone assures me there is no such thing. That it is just a myth. Well, then my hair is freaking mythical, because it does happen.
About a year ago, I got Lush’s Curly Wurly shampoo, and for several months, my hair looked fantastic. Amazing. And smelled even better. And then one day, the shift happened.
So then I started using Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner (with the Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner thrown in once in a while), as I’ve mentioned. And my hair has been looking great since then.
Well, it’s happened again. Last week I washed my hair, and it was just disastrous. So I went back to an old shampoo I had, and it looked fine again. I used that for a couple of shampoos, hoping that if it was just buildup or fatigue, a break of a few shampoos would help act as a clarifier.
Now, this wouldn’t be so annoying if I only used drugstore shampoo. But I have always
been gullible believed that they have higher quality ingredients, and my hair is one of my best assets, so it’s worth investing in. At least with the Davines products, I was able to get the travel sizes.
On a hunch, though, I tried the Curly Wurly again last night, and it seems to be “working again.” So maybe that’s a bright side. I can finish my container of Curly Wurly, and by the time it stops being effective, I can finish up the Davines!
Still. Sigh. What a pain!
Do you find that your shampoo stops working? Do you have anything tried and true? Anything that you’ve had to give up?
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!
My current shampoo and conditioner loves: The Love line by Davines.
It’s time again for 5 things that I’m loving lately.
#1 – My hair is curly, but it’s also very fine, so achieving any volume is always a challenge. I’ve tried a million different volumizing products that usually just manage to make my hair oily within a day and nothing much more. Kate of gh0sparties is always recommending products for this purpose, but being unemployed, I’ve only been able to add them to my shopping list for when I’m working again.
Fortunately for me, I received a replacement September Birchbox because of a damaged item, and this time around, it contained a travel size of Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray. I actually use Davines shampoo and conditioner (I switch between Love Smoothing and Love Curl Enhancing), and I’ve been waiting very impatiently for their fabled OI All In One Milk to become available for purchase (and now to have money). So I was really excited to try this.
I like my curls to look more styled, so I didn’t use it for the beach wave effect, but instead for the promised volumizing action. And, guess what? My hair looked AMAZING after. With plenty of body. And it lasted for a couple of days, with no oiliness.
You’ve gotta love the name of this thing as much as the packaging.
#2 – A brand new knitting project with winter in mind. There is nothing I like more than a long, chunky scarf when the weather makes it so that you want to bundle up with one. And I’m a super slow knitter, so bulky scarves that knit up quickly are right up my alley. Plus, finding the perfect pattern to pair with the perfect colorway of yarn is like finding balance in the universe.
It’s going to look like icicles!!
It’s so fluffy!!
#3 – A little splurge I allowed myself was to purchase one of my coveted fall nail polishes, Peace, Love & OPI by OPI (as pictured here with Illamasqua Stance). I saw it in and ad, and I just had to have it. I love the duochrome colors. I love the color combination possibilities.
And another great find in my September Birchbox was my Ruffian nail polish in Delirium. As I mentioned in my video, I was delighted to receive that color, because it’s the one I wanted the most. It’s an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple (as seen here), and purple IS my favorite color.
Technically these are 2 things, but I’m just filing them under “nail polish.” 😉
#4 – One of the things I have been doing to try and improve my French is to read a lot of blogs written in French (salut à tous!), as well as to watch a lot of French-speaking YouTubers. It has definitely helped my listening comprehension, and I’m so glad at how much more I’m understanding (IF ANY FRENCH SPEAKERS ARE READING THIS—I had never heard of the verb “craquer” before and now EVERYONE is using it. Is this a new popular word or was it always used?). Sadly, my speaking still is pretty abysmal, as you might have heard if you watched my last video.
One particular tutorial I loved was this Autumn look by Julielovesmac07. The weather in New York hasn’t seemed to be able to settle on Autumn yet, weaving back and forth between Indiam summer and fall, but this makeup tutorial by Julie just SCREAMS apple cider and pumpkin picking. And luckily, I had all the eye shadow colors and similar blush. I’ve just got to work on the lip color! Even if you don’t speak a word of French, you’ll be able to follow along with her. And she has a ton of other great video tutorials.
#5 – My friend Amielle has done more by her age than I ever knew was possible to do at 21. Previously an au pair in the French Alps, she is now looking after the children for a family in Madrid (lucky bitch ;)), learning a new language, and documenting all of it, diligently, on her blog (since December 2010! THAT is dedication I, as a failed blogger, cannot conceive of!).
She studied as a photojournalist, so her posts are full of beautiful photography of her travels. But it’s the entries populated with her wry humor and thoughtful introspection (and, sometimes, amazing gifs) that blow me away. And if you don’t like any of that, her “Things I’m Loving” at the end of each entry has introduced me to so many cool, useful, entertaining, and educational things. It’s basically a post like this in every single one of her posts. You should go read them.
My fake little sister is adorable, no?
What things are you loving lately? I’d love to hear!