Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: January 2015

28 January, 2015

Weekly Poll | Cooking the books... or not

Happy Wednesday, everybody! I hope those of you who live in the Snowmageddon zone didn't get hit too hard by yesterday's blizzard.

Pan clip art via

This week's question has nothing to do with weather, and was inspired by one of my favorite activities... eating! Well, and cooking. Usually goes with the territory.

Where do you get inspiration for new recipes or things to cook or eat? Cookbooks, magazines, blogs, Pinterest, something else? Do you have any all-time favorite sources?

I'm kind of old-school in that I like to flip through cookbooks for inspiration. I don't always follow recipes to a T, so having a book with an index where I can be like "I have a block of tofu, what recipes in this book have tofu in them?" works well as a method of idea-gathering. Sometimes blogs are useful too though, as there seem to be a number out there focused on budget-friendly meals, which isn't always the case with cookbooks—I remember reading some "recipe" recently that was basically just a pound of non-dairy cream cheese (not cheap!) with some stuff mixed in it. Umm what?

As for favorites, I really like Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks because I have yet to make a recipe of hers that utterly failed. Trying someone else's recipe with a certain degree of confidence is good. Because spending a lot of time making something and having it come out gross is very, very sad.

21 January, 2015

Weekly Poll | Meet me in Marsala

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

This week's poll question will be brief and topical. I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala—if you've somehow managed to escape hearing about this, you can read all about it here. My question:

What do you think of Marsala? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Like looking at it but would never wear it? Going to name your baby Marsala?

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm not sure if I like it. I'm not at all surprised that a wine-ish shade was chosen, but Marsala is so... brown. Maybe they wanted something totally different than last year's pinkish-purplish shade (Radiant Orchid).

What do you think? All Marsala all the way or no Marsala for you?

20 January, 2015

Review | TonyMoly Aquaporin Sherbet Cleanser

Affiliate Links Bought It

Oil-based cleansers have been one of the biggest skincare game-changers for me. Prior to using them, I felt like I could never get all of my makeup off... wipes and foaming washes always left residue behind. Blech. The latest craze seems to be oil cleanser in balm or "sherbet" form—more akin to cold cream, but harder initially and more melty at the end. I picked up a jar of TonyMoly's Aquaporin Sherbet Cleanser last month and have already used up most of it, so I think it's probably about time I share my thoughts!

Tony Moly TonyMoly Aquaporin Sherbet Cleanser

19 January, 2015

Review | Michael Todd Soniclear Cleansing Brush

Affiliate Links Press Sample

I write about chemical exfoliants a lot on this blog, but once in a while it's nice to have a good old fashioned scrubdown. For whatever reason I never got into the whole cleansing brush (e.g. Clarisonic) craze, so I'm just experiencing their wonders for the first time now. A good old fashioned scrubdown for your face, but really, really gentle. Sounds OK. I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Michael Todd Soniclear Cleansing Brush—has it converted me to the way of the brush? Read on to find out!

Michael Todd Soniclear Cleansing Brush box

18 January, 2015

Meet Scentbird, the perfect subscription for perfume lovers

Affiliate Links Press Sample

It's no secret that I love trying out different perfumes. I've tried a couple of curated fragrance sampling subscriptions, and while I feel like they're a good idea in theory, they often end up sending me stuff that I end up not liking. Bummer, bro. Luckily, there's a new-ish scent sampling game in town: Scentbird! They allow you to sample specific fragrances of your choice or choose from recommendations based on other scents you've liked in the past, making it an awesome discovery service for picky perfume connoisseurs.

Scentbird monthly perfume subscription

14 January, 2015

Review & Swatches | Pony X Memebox Eyeshadow Palette (Shine Easy Glam #1)

Affiliate Links Bought It

I reviewed the second Pony X Memebox palette collab here a couple of weeks ago because it was a brand new item at the time, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about the first palette! Herein you'll find swatches, comparisons, and my personal observations about the Pony X Memebox Eyeshadow Palette, the original. The classic. Whoosh!

XO Pony X Memebox Eyeshadow Palette Shine Easy Glam #1

12 January, 2015

Review | TonyMoly Aquaporin Water Bomb Sleeping Pack

Affiliate Links Bought It

Not sure if it's because of the temperature or because a bunch of tenants complained, but our landlord has been putting the heat on FULL BLAST for the past couple of weeks. Like wear shorts and a tank top indoors with the windows open levels of heat. Sort of ridiculous in near-freezing temperatures, but what can you do. All of this extra heat is making my skin pretty dry, which drives me totally crazy... thankfully I have a few moisturizers and treatments to take the edge off! Today I thought I'd review a new-to-me sleeping pack I picked up last month: TonyMoly Aquaporin Water Bomb Sleeping Pack.

TonyMoly Aquaporin Water Bomb Sleeping Pack review ingredients

08 January, 2015

07 January, 2015

Indie | Darling Clandestine's "Tyto" (fragrance review)

Bought It

Hey look, indie reviews have returned! I took an unintentional break from indie-ing over the holiday season because I was spending most of my extra cash on gifts—go figure. I've decided that in 2015 I'm going to just mix the indie reviews in with everything else as it suits me, because scheduling them all on Fridays turned out to not be so convenient—live and learn, I guess. Anyway, the first indie review of the year goes to Darling Clandestine's Tyto, a new-ish sent that I think is a must-have for lovers of woodsy smells.

Darling Clandestine's "Tyto" itsy bitsy vial fragrance review

Weekly Poll | An Authorized, Unauthorized Biography

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

This week's question was inspired by my fondness for pajamas. Oooooh, cozy.

If you were to commission a close friend or relative to write your biography (or a story about your life), what do you think they would call it?

This topic came about when Stan and I were discussing my excellent choice of attire one Saturday afternoon: Purple pajamas and different colored eyeliner on each eye. (The latter is a beauty blogging thing, not an insanity thing. Assuming this blog isn't just a figment of my imagination.) This wasn't the first time I'd spent the weekend wearing sweats with a glammed-up face, so he announced that my life story should be called Purple Pajamas and Eyeliner: The R. Story. Clever, huh? Of course I have done a few things in my life besides lounge on the couch wearing makeup, but we'll save those stories for volume two.

05 January, 2015

Review | Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA

Affiliate Links Bought It

Happy 2015, everybody! Hopefully the new year has been treating you well so far.

I was compiling a list of some of my favorite beauty (and non-beauty) discoveries of 2014, when I realized that I had never reviewed the Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA—an egregious mistake on my part, since it might be my favorite skincare product that I tried last year. In the top three, at the very least. Better late than never, I guess! Read on to find out why I love it so darn much.

Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA