Monday, July 21st

What It’s Like to Get Botox

So you’re curious about Botox. You’re afraid time will ravage your face and you will look like the Crypt Keeper by the time you are 35. I totally get it. 

Crypt Keeper

Several months ago I saw a Groupon-ish deal to get 20 units of Botox at a discount. I wasn’t sure how much that was in relation to what a normal face needs. So I called the doctor’s office to see what they recommended. To get the full treatment in the forehead, a person uses around 40 units. I opted to just go for the 20 units. Because I don’t have the “elevens” between my eyebrows, I can get away with less.

I sat on the deal for months, intimidated. As the expiration date grew closer, I realized I needed to bite the bullet and make an appointment. When B-day arrived I woke up nervous and made my way to the office. The waiting room was full of plush furniture and there was a television looping a video promoting a fat-removing contouring treatment. There were also some signed celebrity photos and different surgery ads. Weird. Please excuse the stealthy iPhone photos.

Tyra Banks

Once inside the exam injection room, there were more surgery ads and to my delight, a Nip Tuck poster. And implants!

Nip Tuck

Breast Implants

Breast Implants

Soon, the child young girl came in with the needle. It was small and was going to be stabbed in five places: One in the center of my temple, and two above each eyebrow. I tried not to wince as each injection went in and asked what age it’s recommended to start Botox. 22! Well, I missed the deadline on that one. But it’s a preventive treatment so earlier is better than later.

Botox needle

How bad did it hurt? Enough that I had to sit for a few moments afterwards, woozy and weak. But not enough that I wouldn’t do it again, if the circumstances and price were right.

I took before and after photos, but they don’t really look that different. I would have been better off recording short before and after videos so that you could see how I couldn’t move my eyebrows much afterwards. It took a couple days, but indeed my forehead felt paralyzed.

Another thing to note is the tipping. In a clinical setting, tipping can seem out of place so I asked and was told it was acceptable but not expected. (I chose to tip because I felt embarrassed about feeling faint and having to stay and ask for water. I’d base future tipping decisions on each situation.)

This experience taught me that I’m not going to take extraordinary measures to preserve my youth. No fillers and definitely no surgery. I’m not comfortably with being “sold to” in a doctor’s office or taking large unnecessary risks with my health, nor am I interested in spending thousands of dollars this way. No judgement to those who do, it’s just not for me.

Have you tried (or are you interested in trying) Botox? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 16th

The Spa Buzz

The Spa Buzz is a company focused on the professional growth and networking of spa professionals and they throw events all around the country. While I’m not a spa professional, I was thrilled to be invited to their recent Austin event, where I’d learn about the newest, cutting edge products and maybe even get to sample a few myself.

The day started with mingling over breakfast while we each built a personal schedule of mini appointments with the vendors. Now, I’ve had my share of massages and facials, but I’m no expert. So I scanned the list and picked a few things that were completely foreign to me.

NuFace

The most foreign was NuFACE, who makes a handheld device that delivers a microcurrent to lift and tighten the face. They slathered my face with gel and spent about five minutes working on the half of my face. It didn’t hurt at all, but I was aware of an electrical sensation and my face reddened and felt warm. When I compared the two sides of my face, indeed, the treated side looked revitalized and lifted. They went ahead and did the other side of my face so I wasn’t uneven, and I learned that they suggest you use it five times a week for 90 days, and then occasionally as needed. At $350, it’ll be a little while before I pick one up, but…yes. I want this.

Spa Ritual

I was also really impressed with Spa Ritual, whose philosophy of “slow beauty” is about feeling good in your skin at any age. The vegan line has some of the most fun nail polish colors I’ve ever seen and I was lucky enough to get to take a few home. The coolest one is Lighthouse Top Effect, which turns any manicure glow in the dark. It charges all day and glows all night. It is incredibly bright! I also took home some Chinese Jasmine lotion and bath salts.

Lira Clinical

I had a full facial and light peel with Lira Clinical products. Ah, it was so relaxing and I walked away glowing. The extensive brand has lines for all global skin types and complete customization. Whatever the problem is, they have a fix. I love retinols, vitamin C, and good protection. I took home a plant stem cell physical sunscreen that I’m pretty psyched to try, as well as a body scrub and silk soufflé.

I picked up a trend forecast from Spafinder and was excited to see natural brands taking advantage of apps/social media and hot springs making a comeback. Spas are looking to branch out into the transition markets to help people going through divorce, job loss, even death. I’m on board with the idea of some pampering to get through life’s rough times.

Some other brands I learned about:

MedSkin Solutions. The scientific brand makes high quality eye masks that provide immediate, visible results. I wore one for about 20 minutes and I looked refreshed and brighter. I’d love a stash of these for when I’m tired.

Cosmedix. Another science-backed line, I tried some serums and reparative eye creams. They have a deep background in corrective products and sell convenient kits indicated for a variety of concerns.

B. Kamins. The Canadian brand uses a Bio-Maple compound derived, in part, from actual maple trees. The high quality products are gentle and packaged more for the consumer eye, ie, less clinical than other lines.

PINO. I took home an Orange Lemongrass massage candle and the smell is bold and invigorating. The full line of spa products have the best scents and are natural and luxurious.

I’ll be counting down the days till my next spa encounter. And now that I’m better informed, I can try new things and stay on trend with the latest and best services.

Monday, March 31st

Mineral Fusion: Product Review

Recently I was invited by Whole Foods to check out one of the lines in their Whole Body department. Fellow blogger and friend Melissa Lombard joined me and we made a day of it, enjoying a sushi lunch and chatting under a shaded picnic table outside. Then we walked around the store to see all the latest renovations to the Gateway store. Is it just me or do the Whole Foods stores in Austin keep getting better and better?

Next, we learned all about Mineral Fusion. I’m a product junkie and loooove trying new things. But I’m a little afraid of the hippy-dippy stuff. After all, I’m a modern girl and can’t walk around smelling like patchouli. Let me assure you that this line is modern, high quality, and smells good. It’s all vegetarian (most products are vegan, actually) cruelty-free, gluten-free, and contains no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.

So after using the products for more than a week, here’s the takeaway.

Mineral Fusion Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser

Kristin’s take: It leaves skin so squeaky clean that I think it might be a tad harsh for me to use everyday right now. Once the hottest months are upon us, this will be my first choice for removing sweat, dirt, and sunscreen. Bonus, it lathers up nicely and is ideal to use with my Clarisonic.

Melissa’s take: Two thumbs way up from me. Works great and smells fab!

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressed Powder Foundation

Kristin’s take: I gave up liquid foundation years ago and have been a loyal BareMinerals user ever since. I was skeptical of using a pressed rather than loose powder, but I couldn’t resist buying a compact to try out when I sampled a shade that was a perfect match. The triple-milled powder is so light and buildable and best of all, doesn’t seem to settle in to lines or pores. I am officially a convert. It’s priced better than BareMinerals, too. I am thrilled. I’ve found that the Hydration Mist sets it really well and helps it last all day.

Melissa’s take: Just brushed some on over the BB cream one day to make sure the color was good. I find powders to be drying, so it will be best in the humid summer.

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balm BB Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BB Cream

Kristin’s take: I tried the Perfecting Beauty Balm which provides a sheer, satiny finish. I’ll use this all the time for quick looks when I don’t want to apply full makeup. I’m grateful for the SPF, although I wish it was higher than 9 since I burn easily. I love how moisturizing it is.

Melissa’s take: The Illuminating BB cream is pretty much awesome. Super moisturizing and just the right amount of coverage. Like a BB cream promises to be. Not sure about you, but I’ve been disappointed before. Mineral Fusion makes good on their promise.

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish and Remover

Kristin’s take: I couldn’t find my colors on the website to show you, but I tried two shades, Slate (a sophisticated gray) and a Lagoon (a bright blue green) and liked them both. The polish is high quality and therefore a bit on the pricey side for smallish bottles. The formaldehyde-free formula is as long-lasting as good polishes normally are. (I’m kind of a fast manicure wrecker with all the typing, cooking, dishwashing, etc, in my life.) The remover is dynamite. Smells amazing and feels less destructive than regular remover.

Melissa’s take: I put the little pink polish on my toes and I really like it. But I did one nail of the Slate color, just to try it and feel like you’d need at least two coats. But it looked nice. I have never looked forward to removing my polish. I either bust out the “good stuff” and get ‘er done or I grab 27 cotton balls and the “gentle stuff” and spent the next 17 minutes working on that one coat of pale pink that just won’t go away. When I heard about Mineral Fusion’s remover, I was skeptical. It’s either great OR it smells like fruit. No way can it be both. Wrong! I was wrong! This stuff is ridiculously amazing. It smells great, it’s nourishing, it doesn’t leave my nails brittle and it works better than the toxic crap. Yeah, I said it. Better!

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balms for Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shampoo, Conditioner and Beauty Balms for Hair

Kristin’s take: My curly hair tends to be dry and tangles very easily. The Hair Repair Shampoo and Conditioner was up to the task and left my hair feeling clean and soft. There’s little scent to the products but I’m okay with that. The Curl Care Beauty Balm is a lightweight leave-in that define curls and reduces frizz. It’s softer and more subtle than the salon products I normally use and I like it. I won’t abandon my current products, but I will happily add these to the roster.

Melissa’s take: I am the gal who thinks that shampoos and conditioners are pretty much all the same. Do I want a product that is gentle, not tested on animals, and safe for the environment? Sure. Do I want it to leave my hair clean, shiny, full of body, touchable soft and so damn silky people come up to me on the street asking to touch it or photograph it? Damn straight. (I might be asking too much.) I’ve been using Mineral Fusion shampoo and conditioner, along with the beauty balm for hair, all in “Vibrant Shine” and I have to say, I’m a total convert. This stuff meets all the above criteria and it’s super affordable!  To be fair, no one has photographed it yet, but I think they want to. And I can’t stop touching it, so there you go.

Have you tried any Mineral Fusion products? If you are in Austin and want to check them out, you have till May 18th to take advantage of the Whole Foods roadshow discount of 30%.

  • March 21- April 6th at Whole Foods Market Gateway, 9607 Research Blvd
  • April 11th-27th at Whole Foods Market Domain, 11920 Domain Drive
  • May 2nd-18th at Whole Foods Market Downtown, 525 North Lamar Blvd

Disclaimer: I received several products free of charge but was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.

Friday, June 28th

Jurlique Product Review

From time to time Jurlique sends me a lovely box of products to try out and review. I’m not compensated in any way other than the free products and my opinions are my own. I’ve been using these products for a couple months so that I could give a fair assessment.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Gel

The Herbal Recovery Gel is a smooth, light serum. Cool and slippery, it absorbs easily. The pleasant floral scent dissipates quickly leaving skin feeling clean, nourished and balanced. I like this product so much that it will permanently replace my old serum. It’s a luxury product at $140, although they offer a smaller size for $50.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Day Moisturizer

Purely Bright Day Moisturizer is for everyday use and should lighten dark spots if used for an extended period of time. I didn’t notice any lightening effects, but really enjoy this lotion. I wish it had an SPF, so I could use it all summer long. The lightweight, non-greasy formula is $48.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Night Moisturizer

The counterpart for evening is the Purely Bright Night Moisturizer. Overnight moisturizers can be too heavy for me. It’s important to hydrate at night, but there’s nothing worse than waking up with an oily face. This is light enough for me to tolerate, and that might be partly due to method of application. For all of Jurlique’s moisturizers, they recommend warming a small amount of  products between your fingers and lightly pressing it into the skin. It’s a technique that I’ve come to love. Not only is it gentle, but it stretches your precious product. At $52, I’d like this one to last.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask

I’m a sucker for masks. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and feel a little pampered at home. The Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask is a clear, light gel that gives a nice hydration boost. It gives a bit of a cooling sensation, and of all the products in this review, this feels the most spa-like to me. $48 buys a large tube that will last a very long time, even with frequent use.

Jurlique Review Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Life Cream

The Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream is supposed to provide noticeable resulting in tightness and line reduction right away. I can tell you when I use it I feel firmer. I don’t know if I’m quite old enough for this product just yet, although it’s very nice. The jar is heavy glass and it feels and smells expensive. Firming products can cost a fortune, so I think the $70 for this one is actually a bargain. A little goes a long way and this far will last forever.

I’m a big fan of Jurlique’s extensive line. The luxury products are packaged simply and I appreciate the metal tubes that don’t allow air to contaminate the products. Do you have any favorite Jurlique products?

Wednesday, May 29th

Mad Betty Meets Urban Betty

Urban Betty Salon, Austin TX

I was invited to check out Urban Betty last week and aside from desperately needing some highlights and a haircut, I was happy to patronize a fellow Betty. Bettys need to stick together, right?

Located in the little hideaway mall on 38th Street, the salon is nestled in the back corner of some cutesy boutiques. For my next appointment I’ll allow extra time to wander around and check out the surroundings. But on this visit, I had one mission: beautify!

Urban Betty Salon Austin, TX

Upon entering I noticed that the name is a bit of a misnomer in a decor sense. I expected a cold, austere vibe. Maybe a little too cool for school in the way that salons can be sometimes. Instead, what I found was a colorful, welcoming, warmth that felt like home. And perhaps that’s what urban really feels like. Austin urban.

Urban Betty Salon Austin, TX

Urban Betty Salon, Austin TX

The waiting area looked cozy, but I was whisked away before I even had a chance to sit down. Tara brought me to her chair and I settled in with my coffee. We talked about what I had been doing with my hair lately which entails hiding my burgeoning grays whites, conditioning it often and using a diffuser. Yes, dear readers, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m curly. Which means I’m special I have a harder life.

Justin Timberlake Curls

Tara took extra time giving me recommendations and listening to what I wanted. It’s a step that’s so important yet often skipped over. I felt completely comfortable with the plan and as Tara set to work I looked around and absorbed more of the decor. You guys, this place is so cute. There are cool little embellishments, a rotating art gallery, and a courtyard garden.

Vintage Hair Dryer

Gold Boot

Urban Betty Courtyard

It’s a lovely place to pass the time while you wait for your color to process. The end result was one of the best I’ve ever had. Tara blew it out straight (a real treat for a curly girl) and gave me tips for styling at home. We talked about the products that would work for me and some of the hottest new products on the market.

Bumble and Bumble

Tara kept a record of what she did, so when I go back next time there will be no trying to guess at matching my colors. I looked at the pile of curls on the floor and felt not a drop of remorse and my new, shorter length. I felt light, bouncy and like a new woman.

If you’re looking to refresh your look, let me recommend Tara and Urban Betty Salon.

Tara Songey

Monday, December 17th

Holiday Gift Guide: NYC Edition

Okay, everyone. We’re in the home stretch. Christmas is right around the corner and from what I’ve gathered in the stores this weekend, the masses are still very much shopping. It’s not too late, peeps. Get out there and finish the job!

Today’s guest post is by Kar Yi Lim, one of my very favorite beauty bloggers. I stumbled upon her blog Angelic Betrayal when I was checking out a hot new beauty item, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Her honest reviews touch on the latest and greatest, while also covering the occasional classics. What I especially love is the range of products she discusses, giving drugstore brands as fair shot as the high end products. But it’s her smart writing and down to earth peek at her fabulous NYC life that keep me hooked on this young blogger’s site. So check it out, ladies. I know you’ll all love her, too.

Presenting the Angelic Betrayal Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers

In just a few days, Christmas will be upon us and the culmination of weeks of gift-finding fervor will end in a heap of new goodies for the New Year amid a flourish of festive wrappings. The holidays are one of the best times to shop for beauty products because limited edition bundles abound and often are a great value for the money. Besides, who doesn’t want to feel extra pretty and pampered this time of year? If you still have to find gifts for the beauty lovers in your life, here are some of my picks that will be great under the tree!

Holiday Beauty Picks

1. Sephora Favorites Fragrance Sampler For Her or Him ($50): Every year, Sephora releases a sampler of 12 mini fragrance samples so you can try out several high-end scents. The real kicker is that the set includes a voucher which you can use to redeem the full size bottle of your favorite in the collection. As bonuses, the women’s set includes a pink pouch, perfect for carrying your everyday essentials, and the men’s set includes a Jack Black shave gel.

2. Stila All is Bright Lip Glaze Set ($25): The Stila lip glazes are sheer, non-sticky lipglosses that younger girls will definitely adore. This set is great for stocking stuffers as you can pop a gloss into eight separate gifts. Or you can gift this entire set to a makeup beginner so they can have an entire range of shades for every occasion!

3. Lush Little Green Bag ($25.95): For any vegan beauty enthusiast, the Lush Little Green Bag is the way to go. It includes a soap, solid shampoo with storage tin, body scrub and massage bar all wrapped up in an eco-friendly scarf. Those new to Lush will experience a unique approach to effective body care – while doing good for the environment!

4. Inglot Freedom System Palette (Price Varies): An avid makeup junkie who loves color and highly pigmented eyeshadows, blushes, and lipsticks will love a customizable palette from Inglot. The pigmentation of Inglot products is incredible and the do-it-yourself approach results in an endless combination of palettes. Gifting an Inglot giftcard is probably the best way to ensure your recipient loves their palette 100%!

5. L’Occitane Savons de Provence ($25): Give the gift of simple bath time luxury with a collection of L’Occitane’s extra-gentle shea butter soaps. These French-made soaps come in a variety of lovely fragrances that will soothe irritation of the skin and mind.

6. Sephora by OPI Spice Market Collection ($19.50): Nail art has been a hit in the beauty world this year and this set of miniature polishes offers a unique variety of finishes and colors. Included is a fierce, cream orange, a shimmery red, a silver glitter and a duochrome gold to ensure whoever receives this gift has nails that are always on point. The consistency of Sephora by OPI polishes is always great and the small bottles are perfect for travel and touch-ups.

7. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask ($48): After several consecutive nights of feasting and partying, tired skin will love a skincare treat and this mask is perfect for plumping and hydrating. When the holidays are over, this gift will be perfect for relaxing night at home due to its soothing, herbal fragrance and cooling gel texture. Beads of Vitamin E to reduce fine lines make this an ideal gift for a more mature recipient.

Friday, December 14th

Holiday Gift Guide: Hipstercrite Edition

Ho ho ho, all you Juggalos. There’s still over a week till Christmas, and if I know you guys, you haven’t started shopping yet. And for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, well, you are almost done. Get busy!

Today’s gift guide is by Lauren Modery of Hipstercrite. Lauren is kind of an Austin Blogebrity. (Yeah, I totally made up that word. Don’t use it or I will sue you.) Her blog is wildly popular and as the name suggests, it often speaks to and about hipsters. But it’s also quite poignant and melancholy, as Lauren ponders her existence and a deeper meaning in her day to day life. She’s not afraid to anger her readers (election time) or break our hearts. She’s so much more than the word hipster implies, but at the very core of the word meaning is cool. And cool sums up Lauren to a tee.

Check out Lauren’s Hipstercrite Gift Guide

For the Hipster

Creative Scratchings hipster series- I first spotted these adorable scratch drawings while feeding my face-hole with benedicts from Another Broken Egg Cafe. Of course I fell in love with them because they’re a.) anthropomorphic animals and b.) they’re dressed like hipsters. The very talented Austin-based artist behind these prints, Janis, has several hipsterrific portraits to chose from, but my favorite is the stoic cat with his Texas tattoo and cycling cap. You don’t have to be a hipster or hate hipsters to appreciate the beautiful meta-irony of these. The Scoutmob Shoppe is currently offering select prints for $17.

Creative Scratchings

For the Austin Lover

Austin skyline necklace by Vinca- I love everything this local kick-ass jewelry maker does, but my favorite piece (beside the mustache rings!) is her wooden Austin skyline necklace. Every piece of jewelry, whether it’s acrylic, wood or precious metal, is designed and cut inside her shop with the help of an awesome team of ladies (Amber Demure!). Stay stylish while supporting local business! $38

Vinca Skyline

For the Music Lover

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon- You don’t have to be a fan of or necessarily known who Warren Zevon is to enjoy this nail-biting, wall-punching book. For those who know him, Zevon was a popular musician in the 70s with hits like “Werewolves of London” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money” before losing it all due to his hard partying, drinking, womanzing, wife-beating and child-abandoning ways. After decades of being a reclusive asshole, just as Zevon tried to make amends, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. This harrowing book, written by Zevon’s ex-wife by the request of Warren, is a must-read for any rock n’ roll fan or aspiring musician. $15.99

Warren Zevon

For the Girly-Girl

Benefit “Sexy Little Stowaways” makeup kit- I’m a sucker for beautiful branding, and eye candy packaging is what Benefit cosmetics is known for. Luckily they have quality products to back up the style. I’ve been a big fan of the San Francisco-based makeup producer ever since I tried their now sadly discontinued She-Laq eye makeup sealant. It’s difficult to buy just one item, and with prices averaging in the low twenty dollar range, their products can quickly add up. That’s why their “Sexy Little Stowaway” set is the perfect gift for converting your girlfriend to a Benefit groupie. At $34, this collection of travel-size samples includes popular products such as Bad Girl Lash mascara, Cha Cha Tint mango-tinted lip and cheek stain and That Gal face brightening primer.

Benefit

Wednesday, September 19th

Jurlique

Early this summer I was contacted by Jurlique to see if I would be interested in trying out some of their products. I knew their quality natural products were a bit pricey, so I was thrilled to test out a few things for free. So yes, while I received these items for free, I promised the company nothing and my review is honest. Truth!

Also, my photos were nothing special so I took these directly from Jurlique’s website. The packaging looks identical (40 ml) and is quite plain. The metal tubes keep air from getting in and ruining the products. A+ on that!

Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Refining Treatment

The Purely Age-Defying Refining Treatment is a medium grit exfoliator and smells faintly of citrus. I am always somewhat exfoliated, so I had to give up my Clarisonic for a few days to give this a good test. I found that it left my skin feeling soft and refreshed. It claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but I didn’t notice that. Any lines I’ve noticed on myself are around my eyes: the smile crinkles. I’m definitely not going to exfoliate there, so I can’t comment on line reduction. Exfoliation in general removes dead skin and gives skin a healthy glow. For me, this one is the perfect texture. Not coarse enough to cause irritation and not too fine either. A 40 ml tube retails for $35.

Jurlique Intense Recovery Mask

I was extra excited to receive the Intense Recovery Mask. Who wouldn’t love to slap on a nice clay mask and pretend you are at the spa? This one is silky and green. It’s beautifully hydrating without being greasy. If I had to compare it to something, it would be an avocado. It just feels so smooth, lush, and natural. The directions say to leave on for ten minutes before washing off and to use weekly. This was my favorite thing they sent. It is $39.

Jurlique Calendula Cream

The Calendula Cream is a rich, pale yellow moisturizer. If applied directly to the skin this would be too heavy for me. Luckily I read the instructions and applied properly by warming a small amount between my fingers and tapping onto the skin. It’s a lovely little cream that will last a long time because it doesn’t take much. Rather than an every day cream, this is a rescue product, meaning it is to be used after sun or other harsh conditions. I limit my exposure to harsh elements, so this wouldn’t be particularly useful to me. But I did enjoy the feel of the product and love the calming properties. It is $35.

Arnica Cream

I was also sent Arnica Cream, which is the one product I didn’t test out. The homeopathic cream is meant to soothe traumatized skin, which thankfully, I do not have. It is cooling and provides protection against antioxidants. I imagine that this would be ideal after an accident or surgery. It’s good to know that a product like this exists although I hope to never need it. It is $36.

Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder

As the name suggests, the Rose Silk Finishing Powder is very silky. It took me a while to even try it as I was dreading the smell. Rose is NOT my preferred scent, although the powder is so nice I will use it anyway. I can’t believe how well it sets my makeup. I may be a finishing powder convert. The packaging is sturdy and the puff feels expensive. It also comes in Lavender and Citrus, both of which appeal to me. I like this enough that I might buy it in another scent when I use it up. It is $36.

Perusing Jurlique’s website, I found about a million other things I want. I’d love to try the foaming cleansers, the mists, the Love Balm, Radiance Serum, and the hand creams and treatments. If you’ve tried anything from Jurlique, leave me a comment. I’d love to read your opinions. Overall, I am impressed and will use up the full-size products they sent me. They all feel luxurious and natural.

Finally, Jurlique is giving away 20 Clarisonics and brightening product trios. If you’d like to enter, check out the instructions on the left. Winners will be selected October 1st.

Saturday, June 23rd

J.S.P Hair and Color Design

Having the foresight that I would eventually need a haircut, I grabbed a Living Social deal several weeks ago. Sure enough, my hair kept growing and it was time for some scissor action. Melanie is the talented stylist and owner of J.S.P. Since it was our first time meeting, we had a quick consultation and I told Melanie what products I used and how I normally style my hair. I’m definitely on the low-end of the fussy scale when it comes to my hair. It’s thick and curly with fine strands.

She made some recommendations for layering and styling and then we got started. The truth is, I love getting my hair done. One of my greatest sources of celebrity envy is the constant hair and make-up time. It’s so nice to sit and relax and let someone else make you look pretty. If I had unlimited funds, I’d be at the salon a lot more. I look forward to getting my hair done the way Mr. Betty looks forward to beer.

J.S.P is located inside N Salon at 3027 North Lamar. A chic black studio with modern, edgy decor, it is the perfect blend of fancy and funky.

N Salon

N Salon

Melanie was professional and swift. We had pleasant conversation while she shampooed and combed and snipped. The blowout was the best I’ve ever had, leaving my hair silky smooth and straight. She gave me tips for straightening my own hair in a way that would maintain swingy volume. (No word yet on whether I can do it. It’s been too hot for me to try. Also, I’m pretty lazy.)

It can be scary checking out a new stylist, although Yelp mitigates some of the risk. I am a believer in salon loyalty, but I also believe in checking out new local businesses and sharing positive experiences. So if you are looking to refresh your look, give Melanie a try.

Melanie

*Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. My hair just looks really fly right now and I wanted to brag about it.

Saturday, May 12th

May Birchbox

Another month, another Birchbox. I cracked up when I opened this one and saw that it had a Gossip Girl wrapper.

Gossip Girl Birchbox

I am decidedly not a Gossip Girl fan, although I did watch it for a few seasons.

Gossip Girl Birchbox

In typical Blair Waldorf fashion, I find myself losing interest in Birchbox altogether. I think it’s time for a break. So this will be my last Birchbox post for while…maybe ever. This is what I had in my box:

  • Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF. My tinted SPF came in the shade Glow. $34
  • SHE UEMURA Cleansing Oil Shampoo. This yuzu-scented cleanser is a foaming oil. Weird. $55
  • Dior Miss Dior Eau de Parfum. A classic with floral notes. $62
  • Dior Diorshow Extase. This dramatic mascara is the only truly thrilling item in this box. $28.50
  • Notecard extra. Meh. Feels pretty cheap. $10

BirchboxBirchboxBirchbox