Month: November 2014

Pretty Papers for Under the Tree

  Pretty papers, pretty ribbons of blue. Wrap your presents to your darling from you. Pretty pencils to write ‘I love you.’ Pretty papers, pretty ribbons of blue. Pretty papers, written by Willie Nelson in 1963 for Roy Orbison, is a lovely and melancholy holiday song that has a way of playing at my heartstrings. I couldn’t help but think of this song while making a recent gift-wrap purchase from Paper Source. I decided to indulge in some high-quality craft gift wrap this year. Fueling this impetus is the sensual pleasure I feel while handling beautiful papers like these. There’s something about the way they feel in your fingers, the way they smell… and obviously, their gorgeous designs are pleasant to view from afar. In short, these papers have real character that adds depth to the holiday tradition of gift giving.   I grew up in a home where quality was valued over quantity. My mother pays (and my grandmother paid) great attention to detail. I was their student in learning mindful observation, and I’m grateful to them …

Popsugar November 2014

POPSUGAR  Must Have is finishing off our three-day run of unboxings. Ipsy vs Birchbox kicked off the unboxing marathon on Tuesday, followed by BOXYCHARM yesterday. This month’s Popsugar box was a beautifully curated group of items that are perfectly festive, and I’m excited to share them with you. If you’re not familiar with POPSUGAR Must Have, it’s a well-rounded, $39.95 per month subscription that features items every it girl must have — from fashion to fitness, gourmet goodies to beauty essentials and more. POPSUGAR also offers discounts on three-, six- and twelve-month subscriptions. Click here if you’re interested in learning more. November’s box was inspired by “Gratitude, gourmet treats, indulging, hosting, giving and gathering.” Let’s take a look at the product card and a sneak peak into the box:   This month’s box was bigger and heavier than normal. The first item partially accounts for the larger-size of box. G.H Cretors Chicago Mix Popped Corn was safely packed between layers of cardboard when I first peeled back the tissue paper. I almost forgot to take a photo of it before opening it… I caught myself …

BOXYCHARM November 2014

Following yesterday’s ipsy vs Birchbox, I bring you round two of AVD’s November unboxings (LOL). This month’s BOXYCHARM theme is Sparkle and Shine. The glittering treasures in this month’s box arrived just in time for the beginning of the holiday season. But, as on point as this box is (as usual), BOXYCHARM is already stepping up their December game by revealing just yesterday that their waiting list is not only suspended for a short time, but also that the Coastal Scents REVEALED Palette is part of December’s box! BOXYCHARM is a $21-per-month subscription (with a cancel-at-anytime policy). This month BOXYCHARM brought subscribers five full-sized products valuing at $120.89 (or $125.89 if you received the Shimmer Color.Bug). Here’s a peak into the box. First up is MicaBeauty’s Eye Primer. This is a lovely cream eye primer. It works well for me on short days, but this isn’t tough enough to withstand the oil-slick challenge my eyelids pose during long days at work. It’s too bad, because this base makes blending shadows a dream. ($44.95) I loved the OFRA …

Ipsy vs Birchbox November 2014

It’s ipsy vs Birchbox time again! All of my subscriptions came late last month and earlier this month, so it seems like we just did this. Both ipsy and Birchbox had another great month. Let’s dig in and I’ll show you the goodies.   November’s ipsy theme is Girl Meets Glitter, and this festive bag was full of items to get us party ready.   This bag speaks to the ’80s child within me, as the ’80s were a time when hot pink and silver sparkles went together as well as Mattel and Barbie.   First out of the bag is a full-sized Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Ultra Olive. These retail for $17, so already, the monthly cost of $10 for the subscription has been more than paid for. I received Ultra Turquoise in this month’s BOXYCHARM (post coming soon). I had issues with it smudging, despite using primer, so I decided to pass this on without using it. Next, I received Be a Bombshell’s Eye Base in the color Submissive. The Be a Bombshell website describes …

Mani(cure) Monday: Different Dimension’s Wild Thangs Duo

For those in the U.S., happy Thanksgiving! I decided to go festive for this week’s Mani(cure) Monday to celebrate. There is a lot to celebrate, too! I’m celebrating an entire week off school, finishing clinicals (forever… at least as an undergrad), and being two weeks away from graduation. I was impressed with my experiences using Different Dimension polishes a few weeks ago. So, I decided to browse the Different Dimension website to see what was new. When I spotted the Wild Thangs Duo, I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad I didn’t, as I had so much fun wearing this manicure!! The Wild Thangs Duo includes a clear-based polish called Feelin’ Spotty and a sheet of Giraffe patterned NailVinyls. The polish has pink, silver, and white glitters in various sizes and shapes — the larger splatter-shaped holographic glitters make me think of drips of paint. I think this is one of the reasons why I love this duo; this polish makes inspired and creative manicure looks that are easy-work.   I used Dior’s Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer in the color Mirage and Floss …

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

  Whether you’re looking to make your first serious blush purchase, or you’re already a bona fide blush addict, Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is a must have! It is a slice of heaven that swirls together the most seductive powders into a sophisticate’s dream come true. What’s neat about this palette is that it not only features two of their best selling blushes as well as an exclusive blush, but each of the three blushes is mixed with a different one of the Ambient Lighting Powders! I honestly do not have a favorite of the three. Annie (from Annie’s Beauty) and I were discussing just this a couple of days ago. It’s so hard to pick! In fact, it was Annie that suggested months ago that those of us who were able to snatch this palette up during a VIB Rouge early access period, do so, and quickly, because she predicted it would sell out. She was right, and I am so glad that I listened to her infinite wisdom on all things beautiful! She …

Popbasic’s Amélie Micro Collection Available Today

Popbasic’s Amélie collection is launching today at 10 am PST. The collection has been a highly anticipated one, as it includes a le Breton-style striped dress. It comes with the Forget me Knot bracelet, and a silver tube necklace, as well. This dress is really, kind of great! I’m a fan of Popbasic’s le Breton shirts. And, as a fan of Popbasic, I’ve watched as the team has worked on getting this dress just right. I think they did just that — from the shape to the style — it’s just right. I love the look of the fit of the dress, with its longer sleeves, slightly fuller skirt, and pockets (yes, I just wrote pockets! :o). All orders placed on Wednesday, November 19th will receive an additional accessory surprise. The collection retails for $70 and can be purchased through the Popbasic website (remember Popbasic offers free international shipping). If you haven’t purchased from Popbasic before, and want to grab this collection while you still can, click this link for $15 off your purchase. Shipping …