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

30 September, 2013

September 2013 Empties & Giveaway Winner Announcement

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Greetings everybody!

So September is finally at an end... this has been my most prolific month in terms of posts since I started this new blog in June, so really I appreciate those of you who have been subscribing and/or commenting recently. Or if you're reading and just silently chuckling to yourself that's good too!

Speaking of new subscribers, I'm delighted to announce a winner for my first-ever sheet mask giveaway... Jayen G (entry #106). As for those of you who didn't win, thanks for entering and better luck next time. :) I will be hosting more beauty-related giveaways in the future so please stay tuned!

And now for something completely different (ahem): My September empties. Want to know what products I've used and abused until the bitter end? More after the jump!

29 September, 2013

Reminder: Sheet mask giveaway ends in 24 hours!

Hello folks! Have you entered my sheet mask giveaway yet? It ends in about 24 hours, so if you haven't yet now's your last chance! UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.

And now for a bonus cute cat picture:

28 September, 2013

Review: The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner & Emulsion

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Today I'll be doing a review of a couple of basic skincare items I purchased: The Face Shop's Calendula Eden Essential Toner & Emulsion. I've been using these items as part of my daytime skincare routine for the past three weeks, and I think that's enough time to get a good feel for them. This review was requested by Tessia when I posted a pic of my last Sasa haul, so I hope you find some of the info useful!

The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner and Emulsion

27 September, 2013

Get to Know Me: Beauty Blogger Tag!

Hello again everybody!

I saw this tag on Beauty Junkie on a Budget and decided to have a go. I don't think I've done any tags on this blog before, and besides, what blogger doesn't like to talk about themselves a little bit? C'mon. Plus we all know that I work hard to put the "beauty" in beauty blogging:

Mudbeard? Nay, SPOT TREATMENT!!!

And without further ado, here are the questions and my answers. You can breathe now.

Drugstore Shopping in Anywhere, USA (+ mini haul)

Bought It

Hello everybody!

So in case you missed my last post, I'm visiting my mother right now. My mom lives in a "bedroom community" outside of Baltimore... not exactly Excitement Central, but one thing they do have here is a lot of malls, haha.

It's sort of interesting, because while there's a ton of shopping in New York City the stores tend to be a lot smaller than the ones out here in the sticks.  Not a lot of wide open spaces to build stadium-sized supermarkets, y'know? Even more specifically, drugstore shopping near where I live in Brooklyn sort of sucks, because in addition to the stores being small they also tend to be out of the stuff I want... all the other millions of people nab it before I get a chance. >:(

Anyway, my point is that while I've been visiting my mom, I've been hitting up some of the local drugstores on a quest for cheap makeup. The stores may not be unique or boutique, but they sure are well-stocked! Want to see what I found? More after the jump.

26 September, 2013

The train brain-drain

Greetings friendly people!

Apologies for not posting as per my normal schedule for the past couple days (I'm sure you were deeply disturbed). I had a "Graaaahhh!" day yesterday followed by a "HEHBF!FAAAQBBQ" kind of day today. Yeah, it was that good.

I won't get into all the mundane details, but when all was said and done I managed to go visit my mother, who lives about three hours away by train. And that's where I am now. Speaking of which, I got the best seat on the train ride down here today: Wedged between a drunk finance exec who wanted to talk about the various things in my purse/sailboat racing (WTF?) and this:

Yep, that's a plain grey wall with no window. Can you tell that I was cowering a bit? Because I was cowering a bit.

Anyway, I hope to be back with your regularly scheduled nonsense tomorrow, but for now I'll just leave you with a picture of this delicious snack I found in the supermarket here:

24 September, 2013

Review: Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Trios (#332, #335)

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Hello folks! Today I'll be reviewing two of the Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection eyeshadow trios: "I'm Feeling Retro" (#332) and "Silent Treatment" (#335).

Want to know how they look out of the pan? More after the jump!

23 September, 2013

10 tips for making sure your house never gets clean

Hello friendly people of the internet! I have a confession to make... remember the other day when I wrote about putting on makeup to avoid cleaning my home office/dressing room? Well.. I still haven't finished. Here's what that room looks like right now:

You see that purple suitcase in the middle of the floor? It's been there since I got back from Chicago almost a month ago. Scary, I know. I'm hoping that posting a picture of my sloppiness on a public blog will shame me into tidying up, but if I'm unashamed enough to post the picture in the first place then maybe it won't work? Shit.

Rather than take three seconds to put that white plastic drawer where it belongs, I thought I'd share my expert tips for avoiding housework at all costs. Follow my lead and you too can live in a world of mismatched sock piles and forgotten dreams!

22 September, 2013

Cheap Sasa Finds: Docile Olive Hand Cream

Bought It

Greetings all! Today I bring you a review of an inexpensive hand cream with a peculiar brand name - Docile. I got this as part of a BOGO special on Sasa.com, but these are typically only $2 each for a 75ml tube so still quite cheap. I figured it was worth a gamble in any case!

Docile Olive Hand Cream

21 September, 2013

Saturday Foolishness: Procrastination & When Good Makeup Goes Bad

Hello everybody! Hope you're having a good Saturday (or Sunday, for those of you in far-off lands). I've been spending the day "cleaning" my home office. By "cleaning" I mean going in there and putting on makeup, because my home office also doubles as my closet/dressing room/cosmetics storage facility and I hate doing chores.

I was experimenting with some more "dramatic" eyeshadow looks when I totally screwed up and smeared mascara all over my eyelid. Rather than fix it and move on, I thought it would be funny to try and make myself look as scary as possible to "surprise" Stan. Did I succeed? You decide!

20 September, 2013

iHerb Shopping Guide (plus my recent skincare and natural foods haul!)

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Greetings everybody! Here's a question for all the folks out there who shop on the internet frequently: Do you have certain websites that you buy from all the time, or at least browse longingly and make mock shopping carts on for that magical day when you'll finally have money to order from them? For me, one of those is iHerb. Well, and probably eBay (gotta have my toilet stickers).

If you've never heard of iHerb and are just looking it up right now, you might be thinking "What the hell is this weird-looking website?" The quick answer to that question is that they're a US-based web shop selling things like supplements, natural beauty and skincare items, specialty food etc. I hate to say this, but I do think their website design looks a bit sketchy. Sorry iHerb, I still love you. But as a company they are most definitely not sketchy - I have been ordering from them for years and have had nothing but good experiences. You should note that this isn't a sponsored post or anything - I'm just a genuinely happy customer.

I thought I'd share my most recent purchase with you guys, because iHerb really is a great resource for "natural" skincare and makeup stuff, especially if you live outside the USA - they sell a lot of hard-to-find brands and their international shipping rates are pretty reasonable. Personally, I buy from them because their prices tend to be a lot lower than what I can find in local shops. I will also be outlining some tips for shopping their site later in the post, so read until the end if this type of thing is of interest to you.

Want to know what's in the box? More after the jump!

19 September, 2013

Ramblings on autumn, personal goals and hummus

Ramble alert: I'm putting most of this post after the jump in case you don't want to hear me blather on about personal crap. You have been warned.

So, the seasons are changing again - as of Sunday, it will officially be autumn. Well, for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Autumn is a special time of year for me because it reminds me of new beginnings. It makes me nostalgic for the excitement of all those first days of school (before the realization that I would have to get up at the asscrack of dawn EVERY SINGLE DAY sunk in) - the possibility of new things to learn and of making new friends. Coincidentally, a couple of the times I've relocated across a great distance as an adult (cross-country and inter-continental) have been around August/September. So the change of seasons also reminds me of my life changing.

18 September, 2013

Review: De Herbs 100% Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Serum

Bought It

Hello everybody! Today's review was requested by Yomi in the post about my most recent Sasa haul. Hopefully this info is helpful.

The product I'll be talking about today is "100% Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Moist locksas serum" by de herbs. Want to know more? Keep reading!

17 September, 2013

Review: Tony Moly Appletox Honey Cream (plus bonus eBay info!)

Affiliate Links Bought It

So earlier today when I was rambling about jewelry shaped like apples and pickles I had no idea that there would be an apple-shaped surprise in my mailbox this afternoon... a jar of Tony Moly Appletox Honey Cream!

I've purchased this product before, but I've never done a review so I figured better late than never. I bought this particular jar from eBay seller cosmeticmarket2012, so I'll be doing a mini review of them as well.

Ready to unpack the box with me?

My Weird Wishlist: Pickle Jewelry

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Once upon a time I had this really cute necklace with a plastic pendant shaped like an apple core. Then one fateful day it accidentally got squished in a closing door and broke. Better than my fingers, I guess. Like any diligent internet shopper/lover of adorable apple-shaped things, I immediately went on eBay to see if I could find a replacement. Thankfully I was able to, but during my search I also discovered a much more "unusual" theme for foodie jewelry... pickles!

Pickle earrings sold by eBay user pickleaddicts, who sells a wide
variety of pickle-themed objects. Because apparently pickle-mania
runs rampant on eBay.

Yes, really. While there aren't as many pickle-themed accessories on eBay as there are apple-themed ones, it's enough of a "thing" that I'm able to make a wishlist post about it. Curious? Appalled? Keep reading!

16 September, 2013

Use It or Lose It: September Sample Edition

Affiliate Links Freebies

So if you're anything like me, you hang onto free samples. You know... gifts with purchase, beauty samples from department stores, things you get in the magazines and so on. And if you're really like me you might even have a whole shoebox full. Or two. Or fifty. (OK, I don't have fifty. If you do... well.. I hope you have big closets.)

I've decided that from now on, at least once a month, I am going to force myself to try at least a few of the samples that have been lingering around in my collection for a long time, or else throw them away! Fellow sample hoarders, I encourage you to also "Use it or lose it" and write about it on your blog if you have one. Or tell me about it in the comments!

Here's what I've chosen this month:

15 September, 2013

What I do with my reject sheet masks

Do you ever buy skincare products, use them a couple of times, then realize you totally hate them but feel bad about throwing them away?

I think that happens to most of us, because it's hard to know 100% for sure whether something will break us out, smell weird, make our skin feel oily etc. Since sheet masks are sort of hard to find locally, I'll buy a bunch off the internet at one time so I can get the most out of the shipping costs, but once in a while I run into one I totally end up hating (like the Vanedo lemon mask I wrote about here). But thankfully I've found a great use for those reject masks...

13 September, 2013

Review: Milani Runway Lashes Mascara


Hello everybody! Today I'll be reviewing Runway Lashes, a mascara from Milani. This isn't a brand-new product, but I recently won a tube from a giveaway on their Facebook page so I thought I'd test it out!

Milani Runway Lashes mascara

12 September, 2013

My September 2013 Sasa Haul

Bought It

Hello all! Today I bring you photos and the rundown of my September Sasa.com haul. Or is it my August Sasa haul? If you buy the stuff in August but don't receive it until September which is it? Does it even matter?

Aaaaanyway, if there are any items in particular you'd like to see reviewed feel free to let me know in the comments. More pics and info after the jump!

11 September, 2013

Giveaway Alert: My Favorite Sheet Masks!

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.

Greetings all! I have some exciting news... Since I finally got my shit together to make my site look semi-presentable and updated with social media links and stuff, I decided to celebrate by hosting my very first giveaway!

The theme of this giveaway is "My Favorite Sheet Masks". Unsurprisingly, the prize is a bunch of masks I like! Hooray! Here's what the lucky winner will get:

  • One My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Sheet Mask (my #1 favorite of all time)
  • One My Beauty Diary Strawberry Yogurt Sheet Mask (reviewed here)
  • One SexyLook Intensive Whitening Black Cotton Sheet Mask (reviewed here)
  • One Innisfree Jeju Bija Anti-trouble Sheet Mask (reviewed here)
  • One sample sachet of SkinFood's Black Sugar Wash-off Mask (also makes a great body scrub!)
  • One sample sachet of SkinFood's Black Sesame Hot Mask (reviewed here)

Important details:
  • All entries must be made via the Rafflecopter widget below. None of the entry methods are mandatory, so you're welcome to enter via one or all methods or anything in between.
  • This giveaway is international. Yay!
  • The giveaway ends on September 30th and one winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter.
  • The winner will be contacted via e-mail and has five days to respond in order to claim their prize, so make sure you supply a valid e-mail address!
  • I will be checking the validity of each entry, so make sure to enter the required information correctly. Also, no cheating! :P

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you wish to link to this giveaway on your blog or social media site you can use this banner:

Have fun and good luck! :D

My Weird Wishlist: Toilet Decals

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Sometimes I can't decide if my sense of humor is silly and playful or just downright juvenile. I wonder if it's childish to sort of want my toilet to look like this:

Hello! Image from eBay seller season.7.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of toilet decals. Why do you need one of these? Because you've got a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket and your toilet just isn't pretty enough. Still not convinced? More amazing/horrible toilet decals after the jump!

10 September, 2013

Cheap Sasa.com Finds: SexyLook Honey & Chamomile Duo Lifting Mask

Affiliate Links Bought It

Greetings all! I'm back with another sheet mask review... apparently I can't get enough of sheet masks or buying random things off Sasa's website. :P

The find of the day is SexyLook's Honey & Chamomile "Duo Lifting Effect" sheet mask. These are on sale for 2/$1.50 (regularly $1.20 each) until September 15th, which is pretty darn cheap. Want to know how the duo lifting effect works? Want to know if it made my face fall off? Keep reading!

Damn straight.

Review: HelloFlo September 2013 Subscription Box

Bought It

Sooooo... Another month, another "time of the month". Yup. I wrote a post last month about my first subscription box from HelloFlo, a service designed to send you "time of the month" supplies on a schedule you specify. I was impressed with the August box, but what about September? Read on for the whole scoop!

09 September, 2013

A Brief Announcement: Please Read!

Hello folks... I have a quick (but important) announcement to make:

You guys might want to update your Bloglovin' links and feed links because... I've changed the name of my blog!

To make a long story short, I chose my original domain name (RebeccaReviewsEverything.com) because I wanted to start blogging right away and couldn't really think of anything better, but as I kept writing I realized that wasn't the best name for me since I want to write more than just reviews. So after hundreds of tries I finally found a domain name I liked that wasn't taken. :) From now on, this blog is HelloPrettyBird.com (a play on my name). Let's hope I don't grow to dislike that one as well, because I don't think I'll be changing it again.

Anyway, for now the old URL will redirect to the new site, but there may be issues with updates for the few of you who are following me via Bloglovin' or RSS feed, so please re-follow me and/or update your feed:

Hello Bird! on Bloglovin'
Updated feed links

Thanks for sticking with me. :)

08 September, 2013

Review: Etude House "I'm Blooming" Deep Moisture Mist

Affiliate Links Bought It

Summer is winding down, and the season for facial mists is ending... or is it? A lot of people tend to favor facial mist sprays in the summer because of their cooling properties, but personally I like to use them year-round because basically any sort of extreme hot or cold weather (or heating or AC) dries the crap out of my skin.

Today I'll be reviewing Etude House's "I'm Blooming" Deep Moisture mist. I bought a sample-size bottle of this to try from RoseRoseShop, and I like it so much that I've been bringing it with me everywhere... even on my trip to Chicago!

Etude House I'm Blooming pocket mist mini sample

Review: Goodies.co August 2013 Snack Subscription Box


Greetings all! First I'd like to apologize because this review is SO LATE. My Goodies.co box arrived at my post office a couple weeks ago, but for some reason they had trouble delivering it and then I went out of town and blah blah blah blah. But I have it in my hands now so I can give you the scoop.

What is Goodies.co? From their website:

If you're anything like us, you often find yourself thinking, "I'm so tired of eating the same old thing." But branching out can be difficult. Why? Because trying new snacks are expensive, time-consuming and risky. What if it doesn't taste good? It's money down the drain, not to mention a dull and very disappointing meal... that's where Goodies Co. comes in. For just a $7/month subscription including taxes and shipping, the Goodies Co. box features 5-8 delicious new snacks hand-picked and delivered directly to your doorstep. You get to receive a surprise every month, sample new snacks and expand your palate without breaking the bank.

So basically, t's a monthly subscription box that sends sample snacks for you to try. The company is a brand of Walmart. This box is only $7 shipped, making it one of the cheapest (or possibly the cheapest?) snack subscription box out there. They offer two types of boxes for you to choose from:

  • Taster's Box: 5-8 random snacks a month, geared towards adults
  • Kids box: Snacks that are more "kid-friendly"

Since my household consists only of me and my boyfriend, I went for the first option. I got a promo code to get my first box for free, so I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.  Want to know what was inside? Keep reading!

07 September, 2013

Air Travel Tips: What's in your liquids bag?

Affiliate Links Bought It Freebies

So my recent trip to Chicago got me thinking: What are the most efficient ways to pack liquids for air travel with the current restrictions for carry-on baggage? Just in case you aren't familiar, they are:

3-1-1 for carry-on luggage = bottle of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less (per volume); 1 quart transparent plastic bag hermetically sealed; 1 bag per passenger placed in the inspection container. One quart size bag per person limits the total volume of liquid that each passenger can carry.  The 3.4 ounce (100 ml) container size is a security measure. Medically required liquids, such as baby formula and food, breast milk and medications are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight. It is not necessary to place medically required liquids in a zip-top bag. However, you must tell the Transportation Security Officer that you have medically necessary liquids at the beginning of the screening checkpoint process. (From the TSA website)

With most domestic airlines in the USA charging extra fees for hold luggage and the liquids restrictions being so strict it can be hard to fit everything into your tiny allotment, especially if you're the type of person to wear liquid makeup (me!) and go on trips for a week or longer (also me!)

I did manage to fit pretty much everything I needed into my quart bag for the week-long trip, so I figured I'd share what I brought and some general tips on packing makeup and toiletries for travel.

My liquids bag. Yes, I really like to push things to limit.
But as long as the bag closes easily you're OK!

06 September, 2013

Review: Jordana 12 HR Made To Last Liquid Eyeliner Pencil

Affiliate Links Bought It

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for brightly colored eye makeup. I always pass over the neutral palettes in favor of bold purples, greens and blues. And the product I'll be reviewing today is no exception - Jordana's 12 Hour Made To Last Liquid Eyeliner pencil in Aqua Stone (ME-05) is colorful and fun in all the best ways.

A view of the pencil in Jade Jewel (ME-06)

Cheap Sasa Finds: C+M Oxygenating Eye Treatments

Bought It

So I posted a couple of days ago about my Chicago shopping haul, which included some refreshing eye pads I picked up at Forever 21. Of course I bought them forgetting that I still had something very similar I bought from SaSa in my big pile-o-masks... oops.

Today I bring you a review of C+M Oxygenating Eye Treatments, which ring in at a mere $1.50 USD for a pack of 12. So what are they supposed to do?

C+M Oxygenating Eye Treatments

05 September, 2013

Review: SexyLook Intensive Whitening Black Cotton Mask

Affiliate Links Bought It

So today I'll be taking about something rather interesting... a black sheet mask that's supposed to have whitening properties. Somehow putting a moist black piece of cotton on the face feels like it would be counterproductive to skin lightening, but perhaps there's more to it than meets the eye.


My Chicago Clothing, Beauty & Food Haul

Affiliate Links Bought It

Greetings all! So I've had a couple days to settle in after getting back from Chicago and catch my breath. I didn't exactly shop til I dropped while I was there because I was too busy visiting friends, but I did spend a rather long time one afternoon browsing through the Forever 21 and Walgreens on Chicago's "Magnificent Mile", so I thought I'd share a few snapshots of the few things I actually did buy on my trip. :P

Are you excited? Brace yourself, things are about to get real.

02 September, 2013

Chicago: What's New (To Me) and Still Awesome in 2013

I posted this yesterday, but I finally got back from my week-long trip to Chicago yesterday. I didn't really take any pictures because (a) I mostly was there to visit friends and the inside of my friend's dog hair-covered house isn't that interesting, (b) I lived there for years and am sort of shitty tourist for that reason, and (c) I forget that that's a thing that might be fun to do. I did do some stuff though, so I thought I'd share despite not having the photographic evidence. Beware, there's a ton of text ahead because I like the sound of my own voice. Moving right along...

01 September, 2013

Nexcare acne patches available in America?!

Hi y'all!

I'm back from my trip and still in one piece, which is probably (maybe) good news. I plan on posting about my trip in a little bit, but first I just had to share something I just discovered whilst poking around Amazon - it seems like there's now a western version of Nexcare Acne Dressings available?! They're being sold as "3M Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers". In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I mean these:

Overseas version of Nexcare acne patches.

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