Birchbox

October Birchbox

Image by Marie the Bee via Flickr

I’m so excited! I can’t wait to get my first Birchbox!!

October Birchbox

Image by Marie the Bee via Flickr

If you don’t know what the Birchbox is, I’ll tell you!

The Birchbox is a monthly subscription service. You pay $10 a month to receive a box of girly goodies. There is no contract and you can cancel at any time. They can take your payment off of a credit card and you can change the info at any time.

Now that that is cleared up…when you get your Birchbox, it will be filled with 4-5 deluxe size samples of high-end products.

What is a “deluxe size” product? It’s about half the size of a full product instead of in a tiny packet like other samples. If they do give you packets, they give you big ones and lots of them. Just look at the pictures!

For example, you may receive a half-bottle of hairspray or half-tube of mascara. You can get anything from cosmetics, to hair products, to toothpaste. Yep! Toothpaste. That’s what was in last month’s Birchbox, so I don’t think I’ll be getting any of that in my Birchbox!

There are plenty of beauty vloggers that have shared the contents of their Birchbox, so I know what to expect…nothing! You never know what you’ll get with Birchbox, but you’ll probably get something you’ll love and the products will probably last at least until your next Birchbox. That’s the beauty of deluxe-size!

I should be getting my first one within the next couple of weeks so I will update with a post and review of the samples.

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Look Thinner and More Beautiful Instantly!

Sit up straight!

Not only will you look better, but your back will benefit in the long run. Your spine and pelvis like to be positioned a certain way, and it’s bad enough that some of us have to either sit on our butts, or stand on our feet for hours during work. Sitting can be hard on our spines and pelvis so excellent posture can build up the muscles in your back and prevent future injuries.

You may not realize when you are sitting hunched over in your chair, how absurd you look! When people aren’t sitting up straight they look tired, bored, worn out, short, or just lazy. Sitting up straight gives the illusion that you’re taller than you really are. You can try this when you’re out with friends or at the office. Look around at everyone’s posture.  Are they hunched over, or sitting up straight? Who looks better? Then sit up straight yourself, put your shoulders back, and lift your chin a little to elongate your neck. You will realize that you’re head is higher than some of your taller friends, and that you even feel better, more regal. Ballerinas, belly dancers, and other performers always make sure that their posture is correct so they look graceful and elegant. A longer neck makes you look thinner and gets rid of a small double-chin!

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 Miley would look much prettier if she was standing up straight with her shoulders back and her head held high!

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Taylor Swift with great posture on the red carpet! 

Most women are of an average height of between 5’2” and 5’6”, so sitting in certain chairs for long periods of time may be uncomfortable.  In my experience, most office chairs (that can’t be adjusted) and restaurant chairs are not made for women this short. It’s almost a stretch just for my feet to lay flat on the floor! So a good way of sitting up straight and being comfortable while sitting is to move all the way to the edge of the seat. My feet lay flat on the floor and take the pressure off of my back while maintaining proper posture!

Women (and men) used to take great pains to have perfect posture. Corsets weren’t just used to make the waist smaller, but to force one to sit up straight. The bones in the corset prevented any kind of slouching. Even children were made to wear corsets as a kind of training in good posture.

From "History of Corsets" on Wikipedia.org

 

 After a while, your back may get tired or stiff from sitting up straight. Give your back a little break by getting up and walking around. Bend backward and forward slightly and from side to side to give yourself a little stretch, but don’t overdo it. You may also sit all the way back in your chair. Most office chairs are made to mold the contours of your back. Use it to give your back a rest, or as a reminder to sit up straight.

My Favorite Perfumes

Has someone ever walked past you and left a beautiful scent in their wake? Has anyone ever asked you, “What perfume are you wearing?” Have you ever smelled a perfume or scent that immediately brought back wonderful memories, or just made you feel nice?

Some women have a signature scent and I think that’s an important part of being an elegant woman. I, myself, have a few special scents. Right now, I only have a couple of perfumes, and they aren’t my ideal scents. I don’t know what happened! I just ran out and never got more. I was thinking about all of the perfumes I’ve had and loved and the ones I’d like to have again. Scents bring back memories, and your nose remembers far more than your eyes, in my opinion. You can be walking around the mall one day and you get a whiff of a scent you haven’t smelled in years and all of a sudden, it’s after gym class again, and you’re dousing yourself with CK-1. And that’s another good point!

A dainty woman never reeks of perfume!  Your perfume shouldn’t be able to be noticed unless someone is close to you, and even then, should be subtle. A dab or spray on the pulse points: behind the ears, on each wrist, and some on the décolletage is more than enough. If the perfume is very light, a light spray on your hair is very nice!

Cheap fragrances smell like cheap fragrances! Cheap doesn’t have to mean inexpensive. I’ve enjoyed some inexpensive perfumes in my life. But some dollar store or designer imposter perfumes can be very off-putting.

These are my favorite fragrances of all time:

Charlie by Revlon–This was my grandmother’s (on my dad’s side) signature scent. I called her “Nona.” Nona wore Charlie everyday and everything she owned smelled like Charlie. I liked the way she smelled but I don’t like it straight out of the bottle or on me. I guess it’s true about frangrances smelling different on different people. Charlie White is more my taste.

Charlie was introduced by Revlon in 1973. Charlie was the first perfume ad to feature a woman wearing pants!  (Wikipedia.org)

Strawberry Oil from the Garden Botanika—My mom used to go to the Garden Botanika and just pick up this oil. It smelled like strawberry bubble gum! I loved it. Too bad there’s no more Garden Botanika where I live!

HeartAnother Garden Botanika favorite. Heart is actually their best selling fragrance according to the website. This scent is light and absolutely delicious. You have to smell it to believe it.

Navy White– I used to wear this when I was about 11. I must’ve got it as a Christmas present. It came in a little circular bottle with a navy blue top. The perfume itself was creamy white and I think it had a moisturizer in it. Very light and subtle but very pretty.

Chanel No 5– Another of my Nona’s fragrances. I never smelled it on her, but it was on her dresser and I kept it after she died. I looked up the shape of the bottle and found that it’s over 20 years old. It still smells lovely. I wear it sometimes. I like the way it smells but I think I wear it more because it’s Chanel no 5 than because I actually like it.

Revlon Streetwear Scent in “Fling”-I wore this scent when I was around 12. Flirt came in a little silver bottle and smelled like vanilla and candy. I can’t find it anywhere so it must be discontinued but Britney Spears’ Fantasy is very similar. I don’t know what’s wrong with Revlon because this scent was great.

Ralph Lauren Polo Sport– This may be the closest thing I have to a signature scent. It came in a tall, clear frosted bottle.  I wore it from around 16 to 22 (I’m 25 now) and have since run out. I may just get it again! It’s very strong so a little goes a long way. It’s an unmistakable scent and anyone would remember it. It’s classy and fresh.

K de Krizia-This perfume makes me think of the holidays. My mother used to wear it. It’s spicy and warm.

KenzoAnother perfume of my mother’s (I used it all up on her!). Kenzo came in a bottle shaped like a leaf and smelled as green and fresh as a rainforest. It was floral and fruity and wasn’t too strong.

Tommy­– Yes Tommy, not Tommy Girl. My friends and I would wear Tommy before Tommy Girl came out because it just smelled so good! I think it should’ve been a unisex fragrance because it smells even better than Tommy Girl.

Escape by Calvin Klein– A strong perfume that smells like sweet flowers. A good one for special occasions.

Jovan White Musk– This perfume is pretty cheap at less than $15 a bottle but it smells very good. It does have that musky smell but is very light-hence the “white” in the name. My fiancé liked this one! It’s important not to overdo a light scent. You might think that others can’t smell it on you because your nose becomes desensitized or used to the scent. Don’t worry! They can smell it! Too much of the scent (especially if it’s cheap) can give you and others a headache.

CK one– This was a big deal to the girls when I was in high school. It was soo cool to have a unisex scent and it smelled dreamy…My fiancé and I bought $10 bottles of fake CK one and CK Be (another favorite) thinking they were real. They were most likely watered down versions.

Gap Scents– All the Gap scents were coveted in high school. The girls would carry tiny bottles in their purses and spritz “Dream” and “Heaven” to their hearts content. “Om” is also good, but “Grass” and “Dream” were my favorites. Even now, if I were to come upon one, I’m sure I would be reminded of high school.

Opium– My mom got this as a gift for Christmas. It was a moisturizer, not the perfume. I thought it smelled so sophisticated, and reminded me of woodsy/spicy incense. Strong yet warm without the alcohol smell of cologne.

I hope I didn’t forget any! Please let me know what your favorite scents are and if you like any I’ve listed!!

Addicted to Surgery!!

We all know we  have cosmetic surgery as an option to stay young looking and beautiful. But some go to extremes and instead of enhancing their features, they have them altered until they are almost unrecognizable.

Meg Ryan:

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makemeheal.com

 Nicole Kidman

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Courtney Cox

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tvscoop.tv

 Rose McGowan

awfulplasticsurgery.com

 http://Awfulplasticsurgery.com has great pictures of lots of celebrity surgeries gone wrong…

Dried Roses

My fiance brought me home a beautiful bouquet of roses

But they were starting to wilt so I am drying them. Can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out!

drying roses

Beauty Pageants!

Poor Girl!

Beauty pageants can be good or evil, depending on the contestant, and those behind the contestant. Namely, the pageant mothers! Some pageant mothers push their daughters to excel in the pageants whether their little hearts are in it or not. But others do it just because their daughters wish to be in the pageants.

I think pageants can be a good thing in the development of little girls. They develop confidence and self awareness. They have a lot of attention focused on them while they are preparing for the pageants, and are encouraged to take care of themselves and practice proper ettiquette in their actions and speech.

Sometimes children need to be pushed to be their best and to find their own motivations in life. But some parents can come down too hard on their children, and the pageant experience can be unpleasant. Kids are impressionable, and I think some subjects should be approached gently or not at all. With food and weight, girls should be taught how to eat healthy, and that not eating enough, is just as unhealthy and unacceptable as eating too much.

I am obsessed with King of the Crown and Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC. When I have a daughter, I would definitely want to put her in pageants, if she wants to!

The prizes in the younger pageants are usually money or savings bonds. The Miss America prizes include scholarships. The Mrs. America prizes include lots of certificates for gowns and gym memberships. Glittery stuff. Stuff I would like.

What’s Wrong with the Drugstore?

paul mitchell

I love the drugstore and it’s aisles of haircare products. I love to go there and open the bottles and sqeeze them just enough to sample the scent of coconut…the aroma of rose hips. I have used a plethora of shampoos and conditioners on my hair, always choosing the mousturizing formulas, never buying the salon brands. Of course, I enjoy the shampoo at the salon and the fresh smell of the conditioners, but it’s just too expensive for me.

While sitting in the salon chair, getting my hair chopped off, the subject of salon brand hair products came up between the stylists.

Young One- No one will buy our products, not with the economy.

Old One-Yeah, they go to Wal Mart and buy them. But, they don’t know that they’re (the product) crap!

Young One-I know! They “fell off the truck” and sometimes they just bottle anything and then the customer thinks it’s the real thing!

They continued to talk about how all of the Pantene commercials are lies, and that Pantene does nothing for your hair. Personally, I use Herbal Essences.

Well, I was quite silent, because I am a user of this “crap.”

So, is this true? Do the general stores really rip us off with fake salon products? Are salon products that different than regular brands?

To answer the first question, I did some research, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know what the answer is. Most who have this problem on their minds talk about Paul Mitchell brand.

There was a heated argument that made me giggle like a kindergartner on The Beauty Brains article Are salon products in regular stores the same as those in salons–According to the Beauty Brains, Paul Mitchell likes the drugstore because it boosts his sales. He just pretends nothing is going on. But if you look at the flyer on top of this post, there is a different story. Salons furiously defend their products and condemn the “salon” brands at Wal-Mart and supermarkets saying they dilute the product with water and harmful chemicals. The Beauty Brains says this just isn’t true.  Who do you believe?

Of course, it would be nicer if everyone purchased their hair products at salons to keep small businesses afloat, but it’s cheaper to buy them at general stores.

Now, for the second question…I compared conditioning treatments because if any brand was to perform, I think it would be with the deep contitioners. I was going to compare Paul Mitchell with Pantene Pro-V Deep Moisturizing Treatment but when I saw Pantene’s ingredients, I was very disappointed. It may make your hair soft, if it is fine and oily, because it didn’t have enough moisturizer for dry hair. In my opinion.

Garnier Fructis: Fortifying Deep Conditioner-3 minute masque

Ingredients: Saccharum Officiarum (Sugar Cane) Extract–hydrates

 Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride– Antimicrobial

 Cetrimonium Chloride-smoothing, anti-static

Cetearyl Alcohol-smoothing, anti-static

Bentrimonium Chloride-anti-static, antimicrobial

PEG-180– Humectant

Amodimethicone-Selective conditioning

Cetyl Esters-Thickener

Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract-Hair growth

Methylparaben-Antifungal (preservative)

Hydroxyethylcellulose-Thickening agent

Niacinamide-good for acne (?)

Pyridoxine HCl-Moisturizer

Citric Acid-cleanser (can strip hair of moisture)

Trideceth-12-prevents build-up

Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract-Astringent

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract F.I.L. D2669/1-Nutrients

Paul Mitchell-Super-Charged Moisturizer

Ingredients: Cetyl Alcohol-Lubricant used for consistency

Stearyl Alcohol-Smoother, thickener

Hydrolyzed Soy Protein-Adds shine, detangles

Stearalkonium Chloride-Anti-static

Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone-Conditioner

Hedychium Coronarium (White Ginger)– aka awapuhi, moisturizer

PEG-12 Dimethicone-smoothing

Panthenol-moisturizer

Tocopheryl Acetate-aka Vitamin E Acetate, uv protection, moisturizer

 Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG Propyl Dimethicone-conditioner

Algae-Lots of Protein

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf -moisuturizer

Anthemis Nobilis-aka Chamomile, adds luster and smells pretty

Lawsonia Inermis (Henna)-enhances color, conditioner

Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)-Conditioner

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)-Enhances color, conditioner

PEG-12 Dimethicone-smoothing

Lecithin– Paul Mitchell is cruelty free so I guess this is plant derived?-hair growth, smoothing

Glycerin-absorbs moisture

Wheatgermamidopropyl Ethyldimonium Ethosulfate-haven’t a clue

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride-smoothing

Cetearyl Alcohol-smoothing, anti-static

Ceteareth-20-emulsifier

Citric Acid-cleanser (can strip hair of moisture)

DMDM Hydantoin-preservative

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbarnate-preservative

Right off the bat, I could see that there are a lot more ingredients in the Paul Mitchell brand. That doesn’t make it better! There are a lot of “cones” in the Paul Mitchell brand. Cones are notorious for causing build-up, but these cones have “PEG” in them, which fixes that problem.

Paul Mitchell wins in my book.

I will use both of these products in the future and see how my hair turns out!

I am glad I did this just for myself. I think that I should do this for everything I consume. Why not? We should all care about what we put in/on our bodies. I’ll have to wait and see if I do it. The research will keep me busy!