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Ooh La, Rue La!

26 Jun

Ah the subscription model of shopping. I am a sucker, and I LOOOOVE getting packages. Plus it’s a great way to try out new products without having to invest in full sizes.

So far, I am a member both of  BeautyBar Sample Society and Birchbox. And then, cause you know, I like to share the wealth, I also signed up for BarkBox. FOR MY DOG.

sample society

If you decide to sign up for BeautyBar Sample Society after seeing this, please consider using my referral code – kate78 – so I can get credit!


Then my friend Cait mentioned Glossybox to me. I have been meaning to look into it but not had a chance yet.


Today, Rue La La is offering a DEAL on Glossybox – $40 for a $100 membership. WHAT! So yeah. I signed up. And maybe, if you’re anything like me, you should too.

rue la la glossybox

If you’re a member of a similar program, please share the details and your referral code below, or tweet it to me @kate78, #lipglosslife!

Oh the weather outside is frightful….

28 Nov

…but Zulily is having a sunglasses sale – Tom Ford, Chloé, Emilio Pucci, and Ray-Ban! Go, see, buy! I love some cheap end of season designer sunglasses!

Naked Princess/theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer/October’s Birchbox

19 Nov

I kinda love Birchbox. And by that I mean I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. I am always excited to get my surprise box of samples in the mail. I am always excited to open it. But I am only sometimes excited by the samples inside. I have to stay faithful to them, because they did introduce me to my favorite hair product ever, Orofluido. And I have NEVER been faithful to a hair product as long as I have to Orofluido. It’s truly the best. But sometimes their boxes are just meh. However, they can’t have a home run every month, I guess, so I try to be patient.

Well last month’s box was not just a home run, but a straight up grand slam. TWO products I love AND a product so ridiculous that it’s blog worthy. How much more can a girl ask for?!?

First the good – theBalm cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer. Super cute “luminizer” you’re meant to be able to use all over your face. I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of anything that makes my face look shiny – it’s not a good look on me. Or, I think, on most women who are not either at a photo shoot or on a runway. But that’s just personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, I DID use it as an eyeshadow and it is DARLING! A lovely, shiny gold color, just enough to be noticeable without being overbearing or too fancy. A perfect every day shadow. My main issue with this one is the cartoon woman on the front of the packaging, who looks just like this girl I used to know and hate. I might scribble her face out or something to make it easier for me to use it. Otherwise, a great product.

Next, the even better – Naked Princess Naked Shine Lip Gloss. Okay, again, main issue is very superficial – the name. “Naked Princess?” Are you effing serious? What…. I don’t… Okay moving on. The color I received was called Barely Nude and it is SO fabulous! It really is very nude, but shiny shiny, soft, not sticky, and smells like white chocolate! I can’t say enough good things about this gloss. If you’re looking for a sweet, pretty, simple, every day gloss, you found it. I went on Amazon and bought several more in different colors and I don’t regret a one. I am, however, embarrassed to tell people the name. Naked Princess… Jesus.

And finally, the most hilarious – tili Bags Small. Ahhahahaha, ahhhhahahahahaha, hahahaha, haha, ha – you’re kidding, right? Because I see you calling it a “Lifestyle extra” and a “stylish reusable bag” but it’s actually a crappy Ziploc, not even as heavyweight as the Hefty Zip bags I use, and it’s kinda ugly, and you’re trying to sell me 12 of them for $8.50, when I can get 22 heavier weight and more see-through Hefty quart-size bags for $2.68. (Let me break that down for you – that’s 12¢ for a Hefty bag, or 71¢ for a “tili” fashion bag. Made of plastic. Exactly like the Hefty bag. But not as heavyweight.) I just couldn’t let this one go, Birchbox. Super silly. Nice try, though.

Anyhow, all that said, last month was a real coup for the Birchbox! Two awesome items, one HEElarious item, and one happy shopper. Well done!



26 Jun

What do I love as much as product? Getting things in the mail. So when I heard about Birchbox, a subscription service where for $10 a month you get a box of product samples shipped to you, I yelled, “ALL IN!” I did not research. I did not waffle. I did not ask around. I SIGNED THE HECK UP.

I have been a Birchbox member now for six months. Some months have been unimpressive. Some months have been pretty cool. One month I even got a free, special bonus box (in addition to my regular monthly box), full of Vichy products. Quelle belle surprise! Until this month, only one product had hooked me, and it’s actually one I have since blogged about – Orofluido’s hair oil. I got a nice little tester of it that lasted me for a good week, really enjoyed it, and ended up buying stock in the company. Okay, not really, but I should, because I have bought it for myself twice since and recommended it both personally and in my blog. I also got another product I blogged about, the Miracle Skin Transformer, which I did REALLY like but found to be a little too expensive for the size you get.

Anyhow, I have gotten some other great stuff, but nothing to write home about, until June’s box. June’s box has not just an eyeliner, not just a lip stain, not just a Borghese bath soak… BUT ALL THREE! And some other crap too! Not just one packet of the Borghese bath soak, either, but TWO packets of it, so you can really decide if you like it before ordering.

Damn, Birchbox. You got me. I am hooked. And I can now endorse you fully, far and wide. If you can cut out two Starbucks lattes a month, you can afford a Birchbox subscription. And if you love product even half as much as I do, you can’t really afford not to.

Target’s Beauty Bag Giveaway!

22 May

Cheers to the fabulous Candice R. for bringing this incredible steal to my attention! Target Summer Beauty Bag Giveaway! Be patient, the demand is great and it’s taking some time to load. But act fast – offer good only while supplies last, which I bet won’t be long! 

Adam Hardy, Fine Art and Pet Portraits

30 Apr

For my wedding, my friend Marie and her husband gave me the portrait above.

It’s of my cat Piglet, who passed away two and a half years ago, the first of a series of losses in my life that also included my father and mother-in-law.

I wept when I opened her gift, but not (just) because I missed Piglet. Her husband, Adam, lovingly handcrafted this beautiful portrait for me. It’s a mixed media portrait of painting, pastel, and decorative papers (you can see it on his site here) and it’s so faithful to the original photograph it’s almost stunning (I’ll try to find the original and post it soon).

Adam is a freelance artist in NYC, originally from the UK, and this is a shameless plug for him and his work. After seeing the amazing job he did on Piglet’s portrait, I commissioned him to paint a portrait of my friend Jen’s cat, Phoenix, after he passed away, and you can see that artwork here. Again – a lovely job, perfect for framing and hanging.

I recommend Adam both for your own personal pet portraits as well as an artist to commission for a thoughtful gift for someone who has recently lost a beloved pet. Additionally, Adam also creates fine art worthy of hanging in your home – his full catalogue of work can be found on this website. I am trying to get him to start his own website, but you know artists – he prefers creating art to managing the “techie” side of things, so it’s an ongoing battle.

Adam’s also recently begun a Zazzle shop, where his graphic designs are printed on tee shirts, baby clothes, etc.

I really find his work both lovely and inspirational, and am recommending him not because he is the husband of a friend, but because I truly believe he is talented and deserves more appreciation than he’s currently getting!

Please browse Adam’s work and feel free to contact him at micepie(at)aol(dot)com if you’d like to commission him for a specific work. He’s very responsive and friendly, and all he needs is a photo to get started. Let him know I sent you, and please pass the word onto your art-loving (and animal-loving) friends!


13 Mar

So today, I went to Frenchy’s Chantecaille event. I arrived like 20 minutes early, but there were no other appointments, so they took right away. The Chantecaille representative, Connie, was super nice and well informed, but boy, was she a talker. It was meant to be a 30-minute mini-makeover, so I planned for that. I arrived at about 11:40; I didn’t get out of there until 12:50. Unfortunately, she was so well informed and so intent on imparting all the information about the brand on me, it felt a bit like a hard sell, which was kind of a turn off.

I also thought I’d go in there and she’d suggest a few different types of makeup for my complexion, I’d buy maybe some powder, blush, and eyeshadow, and be on my merry way. Again, not so. Chantecaille also does luxury skincare, and Connie was determined to give her one client a sample of everything.

Here’s an interesting little something about me: I like symmetry. I cannot and will not ever wear two different socks. I wanted to get my nostril pierced but never did, because I can’t just do one side. If my symmetry is not aligned, I feel off-balance, off-kilter, and incredibly uncomfortable. Remember those “Shoulda hadda V8” commercials? Like that.

Connie decided the best way to approach my skin was to try different skin care products on each side of my face. ACCCCCK. I didn’t say no – I realize my symmetry thing is weird. But I did not like it, not one bit! Then she kept asking if I could feel the difference! If they truly feel different/have different effects, she DEFINITELY shouldn’t have been putting some on one side, some on the other! Maybe two-face is her thing, but it’s not mine. Anyhow this went on for some time with me biting my tongue to keep from screaming. Finally she moved on to makeup, and I couldn’t have been more relieved.

The makeup was really light and lovely. She did a good job applying it, and I looked natural and pretty when she was done. I liked everything so much that I decided to get quite a bit of the makeup, and after I had listed all the things I want, Connie said, “What about skincare?”

FAIL. I felt so uncomfortable, and so forced, and so put on the spot. I’d just had this fairly relaxing, nice experience with this woman, agreed to buy a BUNCH of stuff, and then that? I hurriedly agreed to an eye roller she suggested and went to check out.

My total was astounding, I was too embarrassed to say no, and I left feeling guilty for spending so much, especially since at least one of the items I not only didn’t need, but also didn’t even WANT. I initially calculated in my head how many paychecks I’ll need to put towards my credit card to pay this off, until I just saw THIS:

Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum

That is the thing I bought. The thing I felt forced into buying. The thing Connie casually suggested I add onto my already not insubstantial order. LOOK AT THE EFFING PRICE ON THAT THING. If there is ONE of you, JUST ONE OF YOU, who can justify to me paying that much for an eye roller, and make me believe it, I will keep it. If not – and I very much doubt any of you can convince me otherwise – I am taking that atrocity back to Frenchy’s tomorrow and asking for my money back. TWO HUNDRED TEN DOLLARS! Are you out of your bloody MIND?!? Unless this thing literally takes 10 years off my life – I don’t mean off my face, either, I mean makes me 24 years old again – then that price is absolutely insane. Good God, are there people who can drop that amount of money without a care? I almost want to return everything on principle but I really do like the makeup.

As for the Frenchy’s employees, they were friendly, helpful, and honest. I didn’t feel cornered by them, and I’ll happily go back there, especially since Connie’s only in from out of town.

Two hundred ten dollars my ass.