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

28 April, 2015

Tips For Throwing a Great Last-Minute Game Night


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameNightIn #CollectiveBias

Game night has always been a popular activity amongst my friends and I. Board games give us a chance to hang out and laugh and connect without being glued to a screen the whole time—something most of us probably do too much of these days. Problem is, as we get older it becomes more and more difficult to schedule these sorts of hangout sessions... folks are busy with their careers or kids (or both) and it's hard to get away. But once in a while, a glorious window of opportunity will present itself—maybe the kids are sleeping at grandma's house. Or you finished work early for once. And just like that, it's GAME NIGHT TIME! But how to throw a memorable little party at a moment's notice?

Tips For Throwing a Great Last-Minute Game Night #GameNightIn #CollectiveBias

Today I'll be sharing a few tips for throwing an awesome, low-stress game night at the last minute. Less time prepping, more time for playing!

Beauty Staple Spotlight: Kao MegRythym Steam Eye Masks

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I have another one of my favorite "invisible" beauty products (AKA stuff I use so often I forget abou it) to introduce to you today, except this week the beauty product isn't actually a beauty product—it's more of a general wellness/personal care item. But it's become engrained in my beauty routine, which I think makes it suitable for the Beauty Staple Spotlight. I present to you: Kao MegRythym Steam Eye Masks!

Kao MegRythym Steam Eye Masks lavender sage

27 April, 2015

Traipsing through the tulips at Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn (AKA a crapton of flower p@rn)

I have a bit of an obsession with flowering trees. Did you know that the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a map where you can track the various bloom stages of their many, many cherry trees? Engage stalking mode! I've been creeping on it since the beginning of the season, so when the Sakura Matsuri festival rolled around this weekend, I decided I had to attend.

19 April, 2015

Review & Swatches | XO Memebox X Nylon Sweet 16/#ItGirlPalette

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I have to tell you something: I love colors. More specifically, I love wearing bright colors on my face and body. I also love Memebox and a lot of the own-brand makeup they've been putting out lately, but after a whole bunch of releases I found myself wishing SO HARD that they'd put out a colorful palette instead of another one containing neutrals and rosy shades. Don't get me wrong, some of those palettes are gorgeous—but I wanted something new. Thankfully, my eyeshadow wishes were answered: Meet the Memebox X Nylon #ItGirlPalette, which is filled with bold, vibrant and fun shades. Yay!

XO Memebox X Nylon #ItGirlPalette

14 April, 2015

My Allergy Season Beauty Essentials

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I don't know about you, but spring is not usually my most beautiful time of year. I have year-round allergies to stuff like mold and dander, but once all the pretty plants start to bloom, I turn into a walking sneeze. Luckily I've come up with a few coping mechanisms over the years to look (and feel) less disgusting during springtime, so today I present to you: My allergy season beauty essentials!

13 April, 2015

Review & Swatches | Pony X Memebox Pony Nails Pastels Set

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This will probably sound obvious to most of you, but spring is the perfect time of year to wear pastels. Delicate, muted shades that coordinate with the lovely flowers that are finally starting to bloom. What's an easy (and affordable) way to pastel yourself up? Nail polish! I recently picked up the Pony X Memebox Pastels Set, which is a cheap (only $3 per bottle!) and cheerful way to add a little color to your fingers. But are they any good? Read on to find out!

Pony X Memebox Pony Nails Pastels Set 포니가 선택한 2015 S/S 시즌 트렌드 컬러 네일

11 April, 2015

Review | Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel (new at Target!)

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I have mixed feelings about eye creams. On one hand, the area around my eyes does get dry, and more and more little lines are starting to appear around there with each passing year. But on the other, I've had a lot of really underwhelming experiences with eye creams in the past. They felt heavy, greasy, blah... why not just use your facial cream on your eye area if that's the case? You can certainly do that, but I tried a new eye cream recently that made me want to change my tune: Laneige's Water Bank Eye Gel. Shall we take a look at why this one's different?

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel review box 라네즈 워터뱅크 아이젤

10 April, 2015

Review | Pacifica Beauty Essential Makeup Removing Wipes

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Looking for a new way to make your face smell delicious? Aren't we all. Natural beauty brand Pacifica recently launched a few new exclusive products at Ulta Beauty stores, including these scrumptious-smelling Essential Makeup Removing Wipes. Facial tastiness aside, I also expect my makeup removal wipes to actually remove makeup, so I had to put them to the test—keep reading to see my results!

Pacifica Beauty Essential Makeup Removing Wipes review

09 April, 2015

Review | Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

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Now that it's sort of warm-ish and I'll actually spending time outside, I'm making sure all my sunscreen ducks are in a row. I recently picked up a few new SPF products to try, but there's one that was already in my collection that may have already beaten them all in terms of comfort for everyday wear: Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30.

Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 review

07 April, 2015

Review | Ariul Mood Maker "Nobody Knows Why" Sheet Mask Set

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Do you ever buy something without really researching it first just because the packaging grabs your eye? That's what happened to me with the Ariul Mood Maker "Nobody Knows Why" Mask Pack Set—I saw bright colors and crazy drawings and simply had to have it. Luckily these masks do also have some skincare benefits, so now that I've used them up, I thought I'd share my thoughts!

06 April, 2015

Beauty Staple Spotlight: Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle

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Do you have any "invisible products" in your beauty routine? I don't mean some sort of otherworldly ghost mascara—rather products that you use so often, you kind of forget about them until it's time to replace them. As a blogger I often mention my most-used products as a reference point in describing new products, but it's sort of rare that I actually get a chance to elaborate on why they became essential for me in the first place. Over the next couple of months or so I'll be shining a little spotlight on my most-used (but lesser-discussed) beauty staples. First up: Beauty Protector's Protect & Detangle.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray bottle

Review | Odylique Ultra Rich Moisture Balm

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Hey hey it's Monday! Dance a little in your chair (or not). Today I have a product review for you of something that will likely excite the natural beauty enthusiasts out there: Odylique's Ultra Rich Moisture Balm.

Odylique Ultra Rich Moisture Balm box French

My Etsy Spring Wishlist + gift card GIVEAWAY!

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I like spring. The weather is nice and all the pretty flowers come into bloom... well, not quite yet around where I live, but soon enough. In meantime I've been trawling through Etsy in search of unique springy things to tide me over until everything's green again. I present to you... my Etsy Spring Wishlist for 2015!

All images are the property of their respective sellers.

05 April, 2015

Project Low-Buy 2015, Update #2: What I bought and thoughts on "catching up" on products

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Month two of my three-month low-buy challenge for 2015 is now over! I have managed to keep on track, so today I thought I'd share what I managed to pick up this month using my meager budget with you.

New to the challenge? Here are the basic rules:

GOAL: Reduce frivolous buying by spending no more than $75 out of pocket over the course of three months.

RULES: Other than basic living and blog or work-related expenses (outlined here), all purchases must be counted towards the budget. The budget can be increased by selling items I already own or if I receive a monetary gift. Purchases made with rewards points, referral credits etc. do not count towards the budget.

Just to quickly recap February, I did receive some cash gifts for my birthday, so my budget/balance at the end of the month was $69.86. I didn't go over budget this month, but I did purchase several things... would you like to see what I got?

04 April, 2015

What I got in my ModCloth Stylish Surprise - Winter/Spring 2015

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So ModCloth had another one of their Stylish Surprise sales earlier this week. And in typical Stylish Surprise style, everything sold out crazy-fast (my shoe size was gone within minutes!) Luckily, I was able to grab one article of clothing in time. Or maybe I wasn't so lucky? That's the special magic of the Stylish Surprise... you never know if it's going to be amazing or terrible. Only one way to find out: Keep reading!

Review and unboxing of the Winter/Spring ModCloth Stylish Surprise box

Not familiar with the ModCloth Stylish Surprise? ModCloth (online retailer of cute dresses and other lovely things) will clear out their stock a couple times per year (usually around the end of a season) and sell mystery accessories and garments for $5-$20 apiece, depending on the category. You pick your size, but the rest is up to them!

03 April, 2015

Review & Swatches | Laneige Cushion Concealer (new at Target!)

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I don't know if you've heard yet, but Laneige (the popular Korean skincare brand that launched at Target last year) is currently rolling out a bunch of new products in the US. Just in case you couldn't think of enough ways to spend your money. Today I'll be sharing my thoughts on one of those lovely bits of fantastic newness: The Laneige Cushion Concealer.

Laneige Cushion Concealer BB Target

02 April, 2015

Review | Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

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As the warm weather approaches (finally!!!) I'm looking more and more into sheer face products. New York City summers are humid and gross, so my makeup choices have to be pretty darn sweat-proof or sheer enough to let my skin breathe. Today I'll be taking a look at a base product that promises a sheer and beautiful facial finish: Pacifica's Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream.

Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream