Benefit, Birchbox, Stila

Birchbox August 2013 Review

Hey! It’s the beginning of September! You know what that means?! Time to review my August Birchbox!

It also means my birthday is exactly one month away. Barf. 32, I see you. That’s ok. Beyonce just turned 32. If I’m ever doing anything the same as Beyonce, it has to be right.

August’s Birchbox theme was “Finishing School.” Which is like, OK, whatever. I ain’t about balancing books on my head, and I don’t buy into your patriarchal construct that I have to keep my knees together when I’m sitting down. SLOUCH ON, SISTERS.

Birchbox 8:13

Kerastase Bain Chroma Riche Cleanse

What they said: Shampoo that uses vitamin E and powerful UV filters to restore moisture and preserve color.

What I say: I broke my no-poo regimen to use this, and it was worth it! It made my hair feel incredibly soft and, dare I say, luxurious. But, I’m happy with my co-wash system, so I won’t be buying this. It was really nice though, I’m happy to have finally been able to try this brand. I do wish they’d sent me a shampoo and a conditioner instead of two shampoo samples.

pūr~lisse pūr~youth preserve age delay skin serum

What they said: Powered by peptide complex Lotus Lupine 5, this clinically proven anti-aging serum firms and smoothes.

What I say: I don’t know what the hell Lotus Lupine 5 is, but this serum is really really nice. It feels velvety between your fingers, almost powdery. It glides onto your skin and feels wonderful. I don’t know if it really works for anti-aging the way it says since this isn’t really enough to be able to tell for sure, but I’m very interested in a full size product.

stila stay all day liquid lipstick in beso

Stila swatch

What they said: Long lasting liquid lipstick in a wearable red that glides on like a gloss, but stays put like a stain.

What I say: I am cuckoo bananas for this lipstick (stain?). The little applicator is soft and spongy, it feels great to use and it makes controlling the slippery color a little easier. The red color is gorgeous, and the wear is phenomenal. I honestly don’t know exactly how long this will say put on your mouth since every time I tried to swatch it, I ended up having to wipe it off because it got late or whatever. Birchbox says to take your time during application because once it’s on, it’s not budging. That’s good advice here. I did all kinds of stuff with my mouth wearing this product, and it only wore off a little bit in the center. This was another product that has made Birchbox worth it for me. I probably would have just walked past these at Sephora and never given them another look, but now I want them in all different colors! Love it. A+

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Black

What they said: This extra bold liner combines rich pigment with long lasting wear – no smudges or smears.

What I say: I wish this was true, but the liner disappeared off one of my eyes so fast, I thought maybe I forgot to put it on that one. Maybe it was just my extra oily eyelids? With a primer, this liner would probably be fine. I did like the soft consistency of the pencil though. Did you ever used to melt your eyeliners with a lighter to get them to be more of a liquid? That’s like a good high school trick. This liner has a soft melty texture that’s similar without the risk of a burnt eyelid. I always like to have extra black liners around, and this one was full size! So, even though I wasn’t impressed, that’s good? It’s like the joke at the beginning of “Annie Hall”:

“There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.”

Like that. But with eyeliner.

Benefit Cosmetics Triple Performing Facial Emulsion + Total Moisture Face Cream + It’s Potent Eye Cream

What they said: A three step system for scoring an ultra radiant, youthful, and deeply hydrated complexion.

What I say: I already bought this system when it first came out a couple years ago. I took it all back. I really hated it! The perfume smell was way too much, and I didn’t like the way it made my skin feel. I didn’t even open these samples because I already know the score.


Overall, August’s Birchox was a hit. I was into everything but the Benefit stuff. I am REALLY not mad at that stila lippie. Totally worth the $10 this month.

Get your own Birchbox HERE.

Benefit, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, Fave Looks, How-To, Stila, Urban Decay

SF Smoky Eye

This was the eye look I did on Saturday night before we went out to a party.

SF smoky eye

With the exception of my Stila liquid liner, my mascara, and my white highlight liner, I used all Urban Decay products.

First, I applied UD’s Primer Potion in Eden to my entire lid up to my eyebrows. Second, I used “KINKY” (matte nude) from UD’s Smoked Eyeshadow Palette over my lid to the crease. Third, I used an angled brush to apply “GUNMETAL” (dark grey) from UD’s original Naked Palette to the area a little above my crease and down to the outer corners, connecting in a “V” to my upper lash line. If you want to make your eyes look bigger, creating a false crease a little higher than your actual crease is a way to do it. Third, I used a fluffy brush to wash “TEASE” (taupe) from UD’s Naked 2 Palette over my entire lid, up to the dark grey crease, blending the edges as you go. Then, I picked up a little more of my matte nude color on my fluffy brush, and blended the outer edges of the grey crease. Last, I used “BOOTYCALL” (frosty white-beige) from the Naked 2 Palette to accentuate my brow bone, always blending.

I lined my upper lash line and water line with “WHISKEY’ (dark brown) from UD’s 24/7 Double-Ended Glide-On Pencil, then I lined below my bottom lashes to about 3/4 across, leaving the area near my tear ducts, unlined. I went over the top line and created a winged line with my black Stila liner. Then, I used a white liner to line my bottom water line to also give the appearance of bigger eyes. I finished it off with my They’re Real mascara from Benefit on my top lashes only.

Since this look uses dark colors, I did my eyes before I did my foundation. That way, you can clean up any fallout you have and sharpen up any edges you’d like to define with your foundation brush. I’m not wearing it in this picture, but I did a nude lip.

Add a bun and giant earrings, and you’ve got yourself a look!

Sorry the photo quality isn’t great. I wasn’t taking pictures to put up here, I was taking pictures to check the blending and symmetry. Remember in “Clueless” when Cher takes Polaroids of all her outfits because she doesn’t trust mirrors? It’s like that. Plus, I was showing off and sending pics to my sister. Shame on me! PSYCH! I’m not ashamed.

Benefit, Mascara

Benefit They’re Real Mascara


they'rerealdiptichNo mascara vs. mascara

I need to be up front about my mascara predilections.

The honest truth is, Lord help me, I love a good set of spider eyelashes.

So, maybe I’m not the best person to come to if you want a nice natural look. If you want some good tear stainers though? I’m your gal.

theyrereal2Someone learned how to make diptychs!

I have really long eyelashes, but there are like, 4 of them. So, I require a fair amount of lash fattening in my mascaras. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara sailed right past my MINIMUM PLUMPING LINE and kept on going. The weird/cool little brush was awesome for grabbing all my tiny hiding lashes, and the rounded tip was perfect for coating every corner lash. The formula is nice with great one coat application, and amazing layering capabilities.


The brush/formula combo is so effective, it’s hard to stop building lashes. I’m a bad beauty blogger right now because I lost count of how many coats of mascara I used for these pictures. I guess it depends on what your definition of “one” coat is? I’m going to say three. Three very heavy coats of product.

Benefit’s They’re Real is a really excellent mascara. It has good coverage like the mighty Diorshow, but it doesn’t dry out quickly like that one does. It’s become my makeup bag mascara, and it hasn’t failed me yet.

 Dear Tammy Faye’s Eyelashes,

Please guide my thoughts, my pen, and my mascara wand today.


Buy Benefit’s They’re Real HERE.

P.S. I was at Sephora last week, and I got a small They’re Real for 100 Beauty Insider points.