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

20 May, 2015

Share a Coke with friends (and your legs): A DIY Cola Body Scrub Tutorial

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

One of my favorite things about summer is being able to spend time with friends outside. Things like picnics, barbecues, or even just lazy days hanging around the beach at Coney Island. Of course warmer weather means showing a bit more skin—and sometimes I feel like I'm still not prepared for that. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about post-winter grooming rituals and exfoliation, and she complained that her legs were still super-dry and scaly because she hadn't had a chance to really pay attention to them lately. So what to do? Make her a delicious-smelling, summer-themed moisturizing body scrub, of course!

#CokeHappyHour #CollectiveBias  Share A coke DIY cola body scrub tutorial and recipe

When I think of iconic summer scents and flavors, one of the first things that comes to mind is Cola-Cola. Refreshing Coke to wash down tasty food at family cookouts,  to cool off after nearly sweating to death on the boardwalk, or to perk you up in the midst of a slightly-too-long family road trip. So naturally I wanted to share those memories with my friend—both as a body scrub and in the form of an actual Coke!

R. | Do you keep a beauty (or style) budget?

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

art via

This week's question was actually inspired by fellow blogger adordee, who posted an article earlier this week called How to Beauty Haul responsibly. Speaking as someone who usually plans out beauty purchases instead of just impulse-buying everything in sight, I can relate to a lot of what she says—but it got me wondering:

Do you keep a specific budget just for beauty or style purchases? If so, how do you ensure that you stick with it? If not, do you wish you did have a budget?

I do keep a budget, mostly out of necessity (hellooooo student loans that I will be paying off until after the end of time). I'll admit that some months I don't stick to it to the cent, but for the most part I'm keeping my spending within a certain range. I also try to keep a list of what I've bought recently on a spreadsheet so I'm not like "Oops, forgot about that $50 I spent on squirrel nail decals last week."

I actually got in the habit of keeping separate budgets for separate spending categories a few years ago when I had a "normal" job with regular paychecks—a friend recommended some budgeting software to me called You Need A Budget. It's a bit trickier when you have freelancer income (not the same from month to month), but I still think is an excellent resource if you're trying to pay off debt or save up.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be judgmental towards folks who don't keep a beauty budget—there are plenty of reasons why it might not be necessary. Either way, let me know in the comments!

18 May, 2015

Review & Swatches | Memebox X Pony Blossom Lipstick Collection

Lately I've been on a bit of a budget lipstick-buying craze. I blame the change of seasons—nicer weather calls for brighter colors, I guess. So naturally when Memebox released a collection of spring lipsticks in collaboration with famous makeup artist/YouTuber Pony, I knew I had to have it!

Memebox X Pony Blossom Lipstick Collection: Shades #01 Rose Garden, #02 Spring Romance, #03 Orange Dahila, and #04 Blooming Love 미미뷰티 미미박스 [포니x미미박스] 블로썸 립 컬러 4종

13 May, 2015

R. | One (body) lotion or lots of potions?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope life is treating you well. I'm eating Skittles right now. Mmm, Skittles. Aren't I exciting?

drawing via

This week's question was inspired by cleaning, strangely enough. I spend a little time this past weekend cleaning up my mess of a bedside table, and weeded out all the skincare products I don't really use... but of course there were still a million left. What can I say, I'm a multi-stepper. But that got me thinking:

A lot of folks have a multi-step skincare routine for their face (e.g. cleanse/tone/serum/cream), but do you have one for your body? Or do you just slap lotion on and call it a day?

I never really thought about writing a post dedicated to my body routine, but when I think about it, I do actually use a bunch of different stuff. For example:
  • Cleanse with body wash (or sometimes even just my face wash)
  • Sometimes exfoliate in-shower with a rough cloth or sugar scrub
  • If I'm not exfoliating in-shower, use Paula's Choice RESIST AHA body lotion
  • Lately I've also been alternating the AHA lotion with Paula's Choice 2% BHA body treatment, in the hopes of killing the scant amount of acne and KP that remains on my body
  • Sometimes follow up with another, more occlusive moisturizer (like body butter)

 Geez, that's actually kind of a lot of steps. Or is it? I don't know, maybe some of you do more. Let me know in the comments!

12 May, 2015

Review | Pure Heals Propolis 90 Ampoule

Affiliate Links Bought It

So I while back I tried the LJH Vita Propolis ampoule and immediately fell in love. It made my skin look super-glowy without feeling heavy or greasy... problem is, that stuff ain't cheap. American retail prices are around $38 for a 15ml (yes, just 15ml!) bottle, and even if you have the patience to order from Korea with slow/cheap shipping, you're still looking at paying around $30. What's a gal on a budget to do? Try out cheaper propolis ampoules, of course. Today I'll be taking an in-dept look at Pure Heals Propolis 90 Ampoule, which is loaded with a whopping 90% of propolis extract and costs less than half the price per volume of LJH. But does it measure up? Read on to find out!

Pure Heals Propolis 90 Ampoule review 퓨어힐스 프로폴리스90 앰플 30ml

New at Target: Pacifica "The Power of Love" Eyeshadow Palette & Wipes (+ GIVEAWAY!)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Calling all natural and cruelty-free beauty lovers! Pacifica recently launched two NEW (and adorable) products at Target: The Power of Love Coconut Infused Mineral Eye Shadow Palette and Coco Pure Makeup Removing Wipes Facial Towelettes. I've got the details on both—and there might be a chance for folks to win one of the eyeshadow palettes too. Just sayin'. :)

Pacifica "The Power of Love" Eyeshadow Palette & Wipes

11 May, 2015

New from CoverGirl: Super Sizer Mascara by Lashblast & Intensify Me! Eyeliner (a review)

Press Sample

Fun Fact: New York City turns into a stanky, swampy mess of humidity once summer rolls around. They don't tell you that in the guidebooks, but it's true. Because of that, I'm usually on the lookout for water-resistant eye makeup once the weather warms up. Nobody wants to look like a sad mime when they step out of the subway.

New from CoverGirl: Super Sizer Mascara by Lashblast & Intensify Me! Eyeliner (a review)

I have two NEW eye products from CoverGirl to show you today: Super Sizer Mascara by Lashblast and Intensify Me! Eyeliner. Will they pass the anti-swamping test? Stay tuned!

04 May, 2015

Review | Laneige Bright Renew Original Cream (New to Target)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

When Laneige first launched a bunch of their products at Target stores, I was most curious about their Bright Renew line. Somehow I never got around to trying any of it until now... and it's probably best that I waited, because they just brought their Bright Renew Original Cream to Target stores this spring! I've been using the cream since mid-March, so read on to find out what I think of it so far.

Laneige White Plus Renew Original Cream Laneige Bright Renew Original Cream at Target

So it finally happened: I made a Snapchat account.

Hey look, another app/social media platform I'm encouraging you to obsess over! You're welcome?

For a long time I didn't really "get" Snapchat—I thought it was just a way for people to send each other pictures of their junk. And while I'm sure a lot of people still use it for that, I've started to view it as a quick and easy platform for sharing little snippets of your day. Like Instagram, but with less pressure to make your pictures look amazing, because they vanish after a while. (Yes, I know there are ways to save Snapchat photos, but who's really going to hold onto pictures of my morning oatmeal?)

Here are some of the things I've been posting on there so far:
  • Junk pics (as in some of the more "interesting" decor in my home, not my crotch. Har har har)
  • First impressions/quick snaps of new beauty stuff I've obtained
  • Food. Mmmmmmmmm.
  • Sneak peeks of upcoming blog stuff
  • Pictures of me making faces
  • Pictures of Stan making faces
  • Little snapshots and videos of my daily life (c'mon voyeurs, you know you want to see it!)

Anyway, I invite all of you reading to follow me: My username is helloprettybird. I'm happy to add other bloggers back, so feel free to leave a comment with your username or send me a message letting me know who you are. Just don't send me photos of your crotch, OK? Well, unless it's decked out in a fabulous gown or something. Snapchat is so versatile!

Unboxing of the NEW Scent Trunk Women's Fragrance Box + GIVEAWAY!

Affiliate Links Press Sample

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how much I love niche and indie fragrances (Who remembers the 30 day #HPBScentOfTheDay challenge?) Today I'm pleased to introduce you to a subscription service that makes that niche perfume sampling itch ever-so-easy to scratch: Scent Trunk! Fragrance sample hoarders of the universe unite.

Scent Trunk Women's Fragrance Subscription Box May 2015

02 May, 2015

Review | Paula's Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter

Affiliate Links Bought It

I love spring. Not just because of the pretty trees and flowers, but also because it gives my skin a chance to recover from the hellish dryness of winter. Between the cold air and indoor heating... well... let's just say that my skin isn't at its smoothest. I purchased Paula's Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter back in February with the hopes that it would alleviate some of that painful dryness and restore my skin to a non-lizardy state. Want to know if it worked? Keep reading!

Paula's Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter tube

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