Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: July 2013

20 July, 2013

e.l.f. Essential Eyelid Primer & e.l.f. Studio Eye Refresh reviews

Remember when I wrote about my e.l.f. online order a couple of weeks ago? I finally got around to trying most of the stuff I bought, so I thought I'd write about a couple of the eye products today.


First up, e.l.f.'s Studio Eye Refresh ($3):

Classy packaging!

19 July, 2013

Love With Food - July 2013 Subscription Box Review

Greetings all!

Lately I've been on a subscription box kick, and my most recent try is Love With Food. I got the July box earlier this week so I thought I'd share some photos and thoughts about what was inside!

In case you've never heard of it, Love With Food is a monthly snack subscription service. It's $12 per month shipped (or less if you sign up for a 6 or 12 month plan), making it one of the cheaper snack subscription boxes out there. As of now they're only shipping to the US.

The items in each box are chosen based on a theme, and tend to be small/unique brands. Additionally, Love With Food donates a meal to a food bank for every box purchased. Sounds pretty cool, right?

If you're not convinced yet, you can get your first box for just $2 by signing up and using coupon code FBFOOD at the checkout. You can cancel online if you don't like the service.

Awesome! Onto this month's box. Here's what the outside of it looks like:


Love With Food Subscription Box Review


17 July, 2013

KoComall: Experiences With My First Purchase (+ Bonus Product Reviews!)

Calling all you Korean skincare product fans out there:

Have you tried KoComall.com yet? Because I just placed my first order with them and I'm very pleased with the results.

In case you've never heard of KoComall: It's an online beauty shop selling mostly (or maybe entirely?) Korean beauty products. They carry popular brands (i.e. Etude House, SkinFood, TonyMoly) of skincare, makeup, men's products etc. They ship from Korea, so the prices on most of their items are much lower than what you'd find in a local beauty supply shop in the US. I had read some good reviews of them online, but since I hadn't tried them before I placed a small order. Here's what I got:


Kocomaul haul seoulglamour

14 July, 2013

July e.l.f. Haul + review of my online shopping experience!

Greetings all:

So in case you haven't noticed, I redid the site layout a bit! I plan to do more in the coming days, but for now it's starting to look less "meh" and more "yeah!"

So today I'm going to be reviewing my most recent experience with e.l.f. cosmetics (affiliate link). In case you didn't see it, I did a post a couple of weeks ago about what e.l.f. is along with reviews for a few of their products sold at Walgreens. It's been a long time (at least a few years) since I ordered directly from e.l.f.'s website, so I decided to give a few new products a try and see what their mail-order service is like these days. Behold the goodies:


eyeslipsface e.l.f. ELF haul


12 July, 2013

Guide to Buying Asian Cosmetics Online Part 1: eBay

So, you want to buy some Asian cosmetics. You've read a million blogs and made a massive wishlist of products you want to try, but aren't sure which online vendors are reputable (or the most affordable). If only there was a list of in-depth tips and reviews for some of the most popular sources...

Today's blog post will be the first in an ongoing series about different websites selling Asian cosmetics. I do live in an area with a rather large Chinatown and Koreatown, but I often prefer to buy my stuff online because (a) shopping online is convenient and (b) certain things are cheaper online (yes, even with international shipping!) Rather than just sit on all my knowledge about this stuff, I thought I'd share a few shopping tips and tricks on various merchants. I will only be reviewing websites I've bought from recently, but luckily I'm constantly purchasing stuff like this so I will definitely have some ground to cover in the days to come!

Now, onto the site du jour: eBay. I'll be doing a brief overview of eBay in general, but if you're just looking for a list of reliable sellers, skip to the bottom! For now, let's start with a quick overview:

Various Korean cosmetics samples I've obtained off eBay.

What is unique about eBay and why should I buy Asian cosmetics there?


10 July, 2013

Review: Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away! Shine Minimizing Cleanser

Speaking of samples... I got a free sample of one of Olay's new-ish cleansers, Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away! in the mail a month or so ago. I've been meaning to try it, and I finally got around to it today!


The full-sized product packaging.

Olay Fresh Effects Shine Shine Go Away Shine Minimizing facial Cleanser
My sample tube.

09 July, 2013

A Tale of Two Snacks: NatureBox Salsa Spiced Nut Mix & Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips

So I don't know about you, but I love signing up for free samples and Facebook giveaways from different brands. In addition to getting to try something before you buy it, it's really nice to come home to a mailbox full of something other than bills... it's like getting a present without having to write a thank you note!

I got two really awesome snack freebies in the mail this week, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on both of them. I feel like most of the free samples I get are personal care and beauty-related, so it's extra exciting when I get food (yes, I like to eat). This is what I got:

 NatureBox Salsa Spiced Nut Mix (received from a giveaway on their Facebook page):




05 July, 2013

"What the heck are sheet masks?" plus Vanedo Beauty Friends Sheet Mask review

So today I'm going to kick off what will undoubtedly be a series on some of my favorite things to buy... Asian and Asian-inspired beauty products! A large percentage of my purchases are from Korean brands, and today I'll be reviewing a Korean brand of sheet masks - Vanedo. But before I get into the review nitty-gritty I want to talk about what exactly sheet masks are.

Now, since this blog is not exclusively about Asian or Korean products, some of you may be wondering: "What the heck is a sheet mask?" I shall elaborate. If you already know, feel free to skip ahead.

-------------------------

Sheet Masks 101

In the simplest terms, a sheet mask is a piece of thin cotton cloth with eye and mouth holes cut in it that comes pre-soaked in facial serum.  They make you look a bit like a ghost or Jason while you're wearing them, but afterwards, your skin will glow.

How it works: You put the mask on your face (usually for a minimum of 20 minutes) to let the serum soak in and do its magic. There are many brands and many, MANY different types of sheet masks targeting different skincare issues... anti-wrinkle, whitening/brightening, anti-acne, moisturizing, and so on. They are typically aromatic and often contain plant extracts... flowers, fruit and herbs (such as ginseng or green tea) are among the most common ingredients and scents. Sometimes you'll see masks that tout chemical actives over botanics (such as arbutin for whitening). Other times you will see masks that tout natural benefits that are animal-derived, such as pearl powder or snail mucin as anti-acne or anti-aging ingredients. Sometimes you'll see a combination of the aforementioned ingredients. In any case, there's a lot of variety!


What are sheet masks?
A non-moistened, unfolded sheet mask. Looks a little bit like
something out of a horror film, right?  Image from this wholesaler.

03 July, 2013

Forever 21 Summer Basics Stock-Up

So I don't know about you, but I always feel like I'm in need of basic tank tops and leggings. You can wear them as a base layer under pretty much anything when you're out and about, and my apartment is on the warm side pretty much all the time (even in the winter... our landlords really crank that heat!) so I'm almost always wearing short sleeves indoors. After a while those tanks and leggings get kind of grubby though... whether it's sweat stains or holes or whatever, they don't last forever, and thus the bargain hunt is afoot!

Sometimes you can find really good deals on basics with coupons and store sales and whatnot, but when I don't really have the time or brain energy to hunt I turn to Forever 21. In case you don't know what Forever 21 is, it's a clothing store that sells cute and very affordable on-trend clothing and accessories. They cater mostly to women (particularly the juniors set), but they also have a limited selection of stuff for men and girls. I have shopped in Forever 21 stores around the globe, and while you can find some great in-store bargains, the shops are pretty much ALWAYS crowded. Thankfully, you can get a lot of their stuff on the website.

Anyway, aside from the cute trendy stuff, Forever 21 sells basic leggings and tanks for dirt-cheap. They have a pretty good selection of colors on the website too... not everything is available in every size, but if you hunt around you're bound to find some stuff that will fit you. They offer free domestic shipping at $50, which equals a TON of stuff if you're just getting basic pieces and not all the cute stuff featured on the front page. On my most recent order I spent a total of $56.79 before tax. Want to know what I got?

02 July, 2013

e.l.f. Mini Haul - June 2013

So I was browsing around Walgreens.com the other day for boring household crap, when I noticed they've started carrying a limited line of e.l.f. cosmetics. Or maybe they were before and I just never noticed, Either way, good news for budget-savvy makeup fiends like me!

In case you haven't heard of e.l.f. before, let me give you a brief rundown: e.l.f. stands for "eyes lips face" and it's a very inexpensive brand of makeup and makeup tools. They started out about a decade ago, selling things like lip gloss, nail polish etc. mostly for $1. Since then they've expanded their line to include higher quality tools and a wider variety of products, but many of their items are still under $3 (with some still at the original $1 price!) You can find the full range of products on their website, and a limited range at select retail stores (such as Target).

Anyway, I love e.l.f., and when I saw that Walgreens was carrying some of their stuff I decided to try out a few new things. I won't say that every product of theirs I've tried has been completely amazing, but many of them are really quite good and a real steal for the price. For a couple of bucks I'm willing to take a gamble. This is what I got:


Pictured: Essential Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara, Essential
Bushing, Bronzing & Blending Brush, Essential Zit Zapper, Essential
Eye Makeup Remover Pads, & Studio Baked Blush in Passion Pink

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