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

Wednesday, April 18th

April Birchbox

Just in time for Earth Day, the April Birchbox has a natural wonders theme. Healthy, restorative and packaged with green tissue paper instead of pink, this is a fun box.

Birchbox

  • Wonderstruck Taylor Swift. A sweet, light fragrance with notes of freesia and dewberry. $49.50
  • J. R. Watkins Foot Repair Salve. Restorative, peppermint-scented balm to soothe rough heels and tired feet. Just in time for flipflop season. $8.99
  • Pangea Organics Lip Balm. Extra-moisturizing, made with Egyptian fennel, grapefruit, and sweet orange. $12
  • Befine Skincare Sampler. I received a few packs of Exfoliating Cleanser made with brown sugar, sweet almond, and oats. Also Daily Moisturizer, SPF 15, with rosemary, pomegranite, and rice. $24
  • Pangea Organics Eye Cream. Made with Turkish rose oil and white tea extracts. $55
  • Pangea Organics Facial Scrub. Made with adzuki bean and cranberry seed enzymes. $32
Birchbox
BeFine
Pangea Organics

 

 

Wednesday, April 4th

Checks and Balances

I’d like to highlight one of my holy grail face washes, Checks and Balances by Origins. This is a classic product and has many, many, many fans. I’m not discovering new ground here.

Checks and Balances

Formulated for both oily and dry skin, and many of us have a little of both, this wash has struck the perfect balance. Hence the name. A hint of mint invigorates and leaves the skin feeling and smelling fresh.

But what I really love is the insane lathering. The tiniest amount bubbles and foams up like an overloaded washing machine. Using the Clarisonic really makes it go crazy. I don’t know how I lived before this minty, bubbly, foamy wonder. You should try it.

*Disclaimer: Mad Betty was not compensated in any way for this review. I just have a love affair with this face wash.

Thursday, March 15th

March Birchbox

After a year of receiving Birchboxes, I thought I might take a break for a while. Truth be told, I am drowning in samples. I need to, you know, start using them. But this month’s box was so good, I’m hesitant to put my account on hold. What if I miss something awesome? So I will wait for the next lackluster box and reevaluate.

  • Traditions by Nick Chavez Yucca Root Shampooing Cream. A silky hair cleanser made from wild yam and yucca.
  • Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water Cloth. This luxurious Japanese cleansing cloth is made with spring water.
  • Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien. A bright scent with citrus notes. I really like it.
  • Color Club Nail Lacquer. This pretty pink shade is called He Loves Me.
  • Eve Lom TLC Radiance Cream. Brightens and hydrates skin with vitamins A and C.
  • Tea Forté skin-smart Teas. I am excited to try all three flavors I received: Cucumber Mint, Honey Yuzu, and Cherry Marzipan.

I like everything in this month’s box. I especially love trying new scents. And the shampoo looks interesting, too.

Click here to order Birchbox.

Sunday, February 19th

February Birchbox

The February Birchbox was fun. I anticipated a perfume sample or two, as I feel that lovely scents align with Valentine’s Day. I was wrong. Here’s what I got:

  • dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. This is a powder that you mix with water to create an exfoliating paste. Pretty cool. $60
  • beautyblender. The hot pink sponge that looks like an egg is a foundation blender. $26
  • EYE ROCK Designer Liner. Stick on cat eye strips. I can’t wait to use these! $13
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint. I hope I like this moisturizer as much as Jouer lip conditioner. $38
  • Extras. Heart-shaped nail file and six free songs from Green River Ordinance.
Monday, January 23rd

January Birchbox

The first Birchbox of the new year had a clarity theme. From a fresh face to an optimistic mood, the products included this month are supposed to inspire clarity in all aspects of our lives. That’s a bit of a stretch, but I still enjoyed the selection in this month’s box.

 

 

  • FIX Malibu Immaculate Complexion Smoothing Serum. Antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C, and E brighten skin tone and soften wrinkles.
  • Algenist Firming and Lifting Cream. Moisturizer that uses microalgae to boost skin’s elasticity.
  • Juicy Couture. Their signature fragrance is sweet and floral.
  • Zoya Nail Polish. The color I received is called Kendal and is a pale, creamy periwinkle.
  • Extras: ‘wichcraft Granola and a Birchbox magnet. There was also a card with tips for doing mini detoxes in various areas of your life: Mind, Relationships, Closet, Diet and Bathroom Cabinet. They suggest using your Birchbox magnet and putting the list on your fridge as a reminder.

The real gems in this box are the serum and moisturizer, which cost $94 and $125, respectively. I’m happy with all of these products.

Thursday, January 19th

Got my hair did

Recently I took advantage of a Google offer for a $75 cut and color at Jco and Company Salon in South Austin. What an incredible deal! I took full advantage and had my blonde highlights freshened up and a significant hair cut.

My regular place is a Redkin Salon and Jco uses Paul Mitchell, so I felt good about trying some new products and maintaining high quality.

The salon itself was friendly and comfortable, with a hint of luxury. A place where I felt pampered, but it wasn’t at all stuffy. More than a salon, there is photo studio in there as well as rooms for esthetician services. So you could get a full makeover and photos after, which is pretty cool.

My stylist was Tara, who was fantastic. She was personable, professional and modern. We discussed what I wanted, my normal hair routine, curly vs. straight, and she made a few recommendations. I appreciated that she cared how it would grow out and wanted to provide a style that would buy me time, as I am not good about going every six weeks.

Are you looking for a new salon? Check out Jco and give Tara a call!

Tuesday, January 17th

Glam Gift

Someone special sent me some fun Estee Lauder products. If you’ve never received anything from Estee Lauder in the mail, you should order something. It’s so beautifully packaged with glossy boxes, layer after layer of shimmering gold paper, and tied with ribbon. It’s almost too pretty to open. Almost.

Look at these glittery glosses. Perfect for a night out or a glammed up day at work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at how beautiful the Michael Kors makeup is. I love the hardware on the bag, and the subtle colors in the compact. This was a fun gift!