Beauty Review: Not Your Mother’s® Kinky Moves™ Curl Defining Hair Cream

My curly-haired girls know that achieving the perfect ‘do is no easy task. Every detail, starting with shampoo and ending with hairspray, must be carefully calculated. Finding the perfect combination of products is nothing short of groundbreaking.

I recently sang praises to Miss Jessie’s® Original Quick Curls, but my 2012 Influenster Beauty Blogger Vox Box sent me a sample that pushes poor Miss Jessie to #2 on my “must-have curl cream” list. Who is the new number one? Not Your Mother’s® Kinky Moves™ Curl Defining Hair Cream.

At just six dollars for a full sized, four ounce bottle, Not Your Mother’s® gives the 32-dollar, eight ounce bottle of Miss Jessie’s® a run for her money. The Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream has two definite pros over Miss Jessie’s®:

  1. The smell. Kinky Moves is infused with natural grape seed & jasmine to encourage natural curls and eliminate frizz and fly-aways. Every time I use this product my boyfriend raves about how good I smell. He’s a full foot taller than me – so catching his attention with nice-smelling hair products is much easier than trying to entice him with perfume!
  2. It’s lightweight. Kinky moves really does eliminate frizz, without any greasy residue, which tends to weigh down curls. My curls are bouncy and clean-feeling once dry.

My curls with Not Your Mother’s® Kinky Moves™ Curl Defining Hair Cream

So if you’re constantly searching for great curl products that don’t break the bank, give Not Your Mother’s® Kinky Moves™ Curl Defining Hair Cream a shot. I just ran out of my sample and will be buying the full-sized today!

Interested in trying other Not Your Mother’s® products? The Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray is another favorite!

Birchbox Favorites

The reason I joined Birchbox almost one full year ago was to practice my favorite principle of “try before you buy.” Each month, for only $10, Birchbox mails a box of large or full sized products for sampling. There is almost always one full sized product that makes the month worth the $10. Since joining, I’ve been exposed to many products that I like, but there are a handful that my improved beauty regimen just cannot live without. Here are my top three:

Eyeko eyeliner
Image courtesy of polyvore


1. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner– this liquid eyeliner’s pen-style applicator is a life-saver. I like that the applicator is skinny because I can do a thin liner or build up to a thicker look. The company also makes a fat eye stick for a smudgier look, but I’ll stick with my skinny.

2. Miss Jessie’s® Original Quick Curls – August was the best month to receive this amazing curl cream. The cream’s moisturizing botanicals kept my curls calm and lightweight, giving them a very soft and natural look, which is not easy for me to achieve in the late, humid East Coast summer.

Image courtesy of TartCosmetics.com
3. Tarte LipSurgence™ lip tint: I’m not huge on lip color – at least I didn’t used to be – but this product is amazing. Birchbox gave a full-sized sample in August. I already had this lip tint in a deep red and a light pink, and Birchbox  gave me ‘Joy’ – the stick looks orange but it goes on in a deep peachy color that is just perfect for any season. I wear this tint just about every day.

Do you have an favorite products thanks to Birchbox?

March Birchbox in Review

This month, Birchbox partnered with Teen Vogue to put together an exciting Birchbox for prom season. I may be nearly a decade from my last prom, but I can still get all dolled up, right? This was by far my favorite Birchbox since joining. Here are the goods:

 


 

1. tarte LipSurgence™ lip tint: I’m obsessed with this product. Birchbox gave a full-sized sample, making the whole box completely worth the $10. I have this lip tint in a deep red and a light pink already. Birchbox  gave me Joy – the stick looks orange but it goes on in a deep peachy color that is just perfect for welcoming Spring.
2. essie® Luxeffects Nail Polish:I have to admit that I’m not a sparkle girl. Glitter and shiny things are great for accents every now and then though, so I will hold onto this full-sized goodie with the intent to step outside of my comfort zone sometime soon. If anything, I have my New Year’s Eve polish 9 months early.
3. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie: This scent is absolutely beautiful. It’s very sweet and clean, but a little young – perfect for the prom-goer though!
4. PETER THOMAS ROTH Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel: I’m not sure why Birchbox included this product in my box. I have normal to dry skin, so a mattifying gel probably won’t do me any good. I will try it eventually but haven’t yet.
What did you get in your Birchbox?

Product Review: Kiss Nail Dress

Do you love the nail decal trend that is going on right now? I do! I was so excited to see a pack of leopard print Kiss Nail Dress decals in my Love Voxbox last week. HEre they are in all their wild glory: var _qevents = _qevents || []; (function() { var elem = document.createElement(‘script’); elem.src = (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://secure” : “http://edge”) + “.quantserve.com/quant.js”; elem.async = true; elem.type = “text/javascript”; var scpt = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; scpt.parentNode.insertBefore(elem, scpt); })(); _qevents.push({ qacct:”p-a32YmCQzxP4ak” }); <div style=”display:none;”> <img src=”//pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-a32YmCQzxP4ak.gif” border=”0″ height=”1″ width=”1″ alt=”Quantcast”/> </div>

There are a few factors that I especially loved about the Kiss nail decals compared to other brands. One brand I’ve tried in the past was a little difficult to apply. They were made of a gel-like sticker, that needed to be stretched onto your finger, and then given a few minutes to set. Nail Dress doesn’t dry out the way other polish strips can, so you can save them to use on your next DIY mani. With 28 strips in each package, you can cut up your extras to create designs that can be used on top of polished or artificial nails. A nail design booklet is included in each package, just in case you need a little inspiration.
And don’t forget about your feet! Nail Dress looks awesome on toes, too – just use the square side of the sticker for a perfect fit.
The Kiss decals went on very easy – you just stick them onto your fingernail, fold the extra material over the edge of your nail and file it away. The other bonus? The Kiss decals come with a nail file! this was such a pleasant surprise, since I was doing my nails at my mom’s house and didn’t want to run around searching to borrow a nail file. I checked out their website and I absolutely love the Peplum design:
Another bonus? Kiss Nail Dress decals are available at most drug stores. Nail Dress’ suggested retail is $6.99 and is available in all major drug chains and mass retailers like WalMart, CVS and Walgreens. I’m so happy I don’t have to search or order online. CVS here I come! 

February Birchbox in Review

I could not help feeling slightly disappointed with my Birchbox this month. I liked two out of the four products enough to potentially purchase in the future, but I was especially disappointed in the February freebies: a free digital music download, and an impractically heart-shaped nail file. I’ve already misplaced the paper for the music download, and the heart-shaped file is just not shaped well for filing nails!
Here are the main products from my February box:
1. Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliator: this was the jumbo-sized sample, and I’m glad it was! I’ve never tried a powder exfoliator before, and I really liked the product. I typically used an exfoliating scrub from Philosophy every morning, but decided to take this little guy along to Europe with me to avoid bringing any liquids I didn’t need. I usually break out when I switch up my routine, but didn’t see any difference in my skin over the 10 days I was away.
2. Eye Rock Designer Liner: I haven’t tried these yet! I’m reserving them for nights out in NYC, and I’ve been away so I haven’t had any. Did anyone else get the designer liner? If so, what did you think?
3. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint: I love Jouer, but this sample was so teeny tiny. I tried it as a luminizer rather than a moisturizing tint, because I don’t like my whole face looking sparkly. A tiny dab on each cheekbone was all I needed to become luminous! Will definitely put this on my shopping list for the summer.
4. Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum: I rarely get pimples or blemishes, but did have one last week and tried out this clearing serum. I couldn’t tell if my blemish cleared at a normal pace, or if the serum accelerated it.
What did you get in your Birchbox?

Review: Hollywood Fashion Secrets

As I mentioned in my December Birchbox  review, when it comes to preventing wardrobe malfunction, Hollywood Fashion Tapedoes the job right. I recently also tried Hollywood Fashion Secrets’ Boot Straps and Sweater Saver.
 
The Boot Strapswere wonderful! I’ve tried stirrups before, that strap under your feet, and I hated that I felt like something was stuck in my shoe all day. The Boot Straps are comfortable, and keep your pant legs down when you pull on your boots. Another added bonus was that they kept my boots up. My leather boots have stretched slightly in the past year or so, and are getting a bit slouchy, so the extra width from the straps kept them up where they belong. The disadvantage? I had a harder time pull my boots off at the end of the day – but this is easily avoidable by putting the straps lower on my ankles.
 
 
I also tried the Sweater Saver (below), and I have to say I can live without it. The Sweater Saver is a pumice brick meant to remove the extra fuzz from your sweaters. When I opened it up, a black power fell from the packaging. I actually tested this out on my tweed ottoman. The pumice was a bit harsh on the fabric but it did work. I’m a little scared to take it to a sweater, and the packaging does warn to spot test first, so I think the fear is rational. I’ll probably give this one more try on actual clothing before writing it off.



A few other products on their site piqued my interest to try in the future:
Temporary Hem Tape – so I can wear my “high heel pants” with flats (other short girls out there can probably relate)!
 
Deodorant-Removing Sponge – Self explanatory.
 
I’m also in love with the Fashion Emergency Kit! It’s only $15 and includes Hollywood Fashion Tape, Deodorant-Removing Sponge, Lint-Removing Sheets, Sewing Kit, Stain Wipe, Earring Back, Instant Button, Hair Band, Nail File, Blister Pad, and the Shoe-Shine Sponge.
 
Do you have any fashion secrets? Share!
 
*This post is sponsored by Hollywood Fashion Secrets. Visit them on the web at http://hollywoodfashionsecrets.com/. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

All photos courtesy of HollywoodFashionSecrets.com.

January Birchbox in Review

January’s Birchbox was all about clarity – a fresh start for the new year. They included a cute little tip card in the box for mind, body and soul detoxes. What are you doing to make a fresh start for 2012? I’m personally trying my hand at group fitness classes at my gym. I have an odd case of group workout anxiety, and I’m determined to get over it this year and try new things. The products in my January Birchbox are completely conducive to my get fit goal!

ORIGINS Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is fantastic! Just a little bit of face wash is all you need for a whole lot of froth. The cleanser has a minty scent that is completely refreshing and relaxing at the same time, and left my skin feeling balanced. I’m definitely purchasing a full size, and this sample size will find a home in my gym bag.
Birchbox is encouraging members to swap out their black eyeliner for something new this year. The stila Smudge Stick comes in a few eccentric colors, but i was happy that they gave me Lionfish, a shimmery dark brown that is perfect for a daytime look. The eyeliner is long lasting but not as long as some of my other waterproof eyeliners. Still a great product!
I must not be the only one who liked this product because it’s now out of stock! The Archipelago Pomegranate Body Soap is super sudsy. The pomegranate scent is light, and the soap doesn’t dry out your skin. I prefer this soap to my usual body wash.
My Birchbox came on a day when I skipped breakfast so I was very happy to find the LARABAR inside. The bar is gooey and feels raw, and it actually tastes like health food. If you’re into that sort of thing, I’d say it’s good, but I can imagine a lot of people not liking it so much. For me, the texture put me off a bit, but I thought it was the perfect small breakfast replacement on a busy day.

Birchbox/ Jouer event in review

This Saturday my friend Julia and I met up for brunch at Barbounia and continued on to the Birchbox/ Jouer event at A Startup Store. We sipped champagne and tested some Jouer cosmetics with mini makeovers. I’m slowly falling in love with the Jouer brand! Here are some of our favorite products from the testing session:
1.      Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer – This lip conditioner is slightly tinted pink but has practically no color. Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil give your lips a moisturized smooth texture that stays. 
2.      Jouer Crème Eyeshadow in Cashmere – This creamy eyeshadow instantly made it to my ‘must have’ list. Its texture is perfect for fingertip application – which is great on the run. The color is slightly shimmery, and looks wonderful on its own, or as a base for a daytime smoky eye.
3.      Jouer Liquid Shimmer Eyeliner in Fox – I do not wear liquid eyeliner. Let me repeat that: I.Do.Not.Wear.Liquid.Eyeliner. That said, I LOVE this product. It goes on clean and the color is a perfect charcoal tint. I’m totally making the switch from my eyepencil.
The coolest thing about Jouer’s products is that the compacts snap into one another, so you can mix and match your own palette. It’s like Legos for stylish adult women!  They also sell palettes already grouped together. This one is called Jouer Sunday Brunch Signature Palette, how appropriate!
All in all the day was a success! Do you have any Jouer products? Which ones are your favorites?

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December Birchbox in Review

I took a long holiday break from actively being on my computer – and I have to admit that it was refreshing! Never mind that my iMac decided to have it’s annual breakdown, and I haven’t had time to bring it to Apple for a diagnosis yet. We’ll pretend the hiatus was fully intentional. And now, with a new and improved Macbook Air, courtesy of my extremely generous parents, we’re upgraded and ready to blog. So, without further ado, I owe you readers a Birchbox review! As you can see, I’m continuing to use Have to Have to curate my links. I really like it! Click through above to see the full list of items that were in my Birchbox this month. It annoys me that the preview only has four pictures, but I LOVE that the website alerts you when items are on sale, so we’ll call it even. On to the review:

1. AHAVA Mineral Body Lotion (Water) – This lotion smells incredible! It’s super hydrating, and perfect for the winter. The full size is a little on the pricey side, but may be worth it for thirsty skin in the winter. (Retail: 8.5 oz – $24)

2. Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss (Birchbox Pink) – Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss is exactly what it claims – moisturizing. The gloss went on smooth and wasn’t sticky at all. The Birchbox  Pink shade is sold out, but it was a perfect pink, and I would totally buy it again. (Retail: .21fl oz – $20)

3. Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment – I have curly, frizzy hair, and this oil was the perfect finishing touch. I used it when straightening my hair too, and my strands were noticeably silkier. Boyfriend loved the scent too, which makes this product an all-around win. (Retail 3.38 fl oz – $34)

4. Incoco Nail Polish Applique (Bling Bling Glitter) – I LOVE these stick on nail appliques! Birchbox sent me the Bling Bling Glitter nails, which don’t seem to be available on their site, but you can find them here. Application was easy, and my nails are short enough that I could used 5 appliques for 10 fingers. They have a bunch of solid colors and also funky designs. You don’t have to wait for your nails to dry, and they really don’t chip as easy as regular nail polish. (Retail: 16 nails – $7.99)

Extras:
Showstopper Designer Fashion Tape – I actually had the chance to use this double sided tape with an outfit last week. While it worked and held up all night, I thought the strips were way too thick. I’ve used Hollywood Fashion Tape before, which is much thinner and you can find it in most drug stores.

EBOOST Orange Natural Energy Booster – I haven’t tried this yet! Maybe today before the gym!

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

SheMakes Holiday Festival in Review

Hello and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend – I know I did! Last week, I told you lovely readers about the SheMakes Holiday Festival, a gathering of 30+ female vendors, selling handmade goodies. I’m a sucker for handmade, so on Saturday I decided to leave my apartment while the sun was still up (a weekend rarity), and head down to Hudson Street to see what all the fuss was about.

I was slightly underwhelmed by the event – after attending the Renegade Craft Fair for the past couple of years, I was shocked at how small scale this event was. I could easily cover the whole room in 20 minutes. That said, there were a handful of vendors that did catch my eye, and three reasons that I’m very glad I went:

1. PeaceBOMB: This company makes bracelets and other jewelry and items out of metal from littered bombs in Laos, Vietnam from the Vietnam War. Read about the mission and impact of their effort here and here, and check out their shop. I’m obsessed.
2. MagPie: This vintage shop had GORGEOUS furs on display. I think I spent 15 minutes petting them and mentally fighting with my budget to try to make one fit. Alas, budget won and I had to walk away.
3. HaveToHave.com: I’m loving this registry website. The idea is similar to Pinterest – bookmark items you’re coveting, create lists, etc. The big difference that makes all the difference? Have to Have tells you when your favorite items go on sale! Also, they have a great export feature that makes you list look pretty and blog-embeddable. Check out some of my favorite items from SheMakes via this handy list:

How was your weekend? Did you get any holiday shopping done?