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

25 September, 2015

An introduction to UNT Cosmetics (Taiwan): BBs, CCs, eye stuff (oh my!) Plus coupon code & GIVEAWAY!


A week or two ago I reviewed the Pore Minissima Super Anti Shine Oil Control Serum by Taiwanese skincare brand UNT, and now I'm back with more! UNT is perhaps best known for their skincare products, but did you know that they also make a ton of makeup? Well even if you didn't before you're going to now, because I'll be swatching not one but FOUR of their products today. Hold onto your pretty little hats.

An introduction to UNT Cosmetics (Taiwan): BBs, CCs, eye stuff (oh my!) Plus coupon code & GIVEAWAY!

24 September, 2015

Unboxing | Walmart Beauty Box Fall/September 2015

Affiliate Links Bought It

Happy fall, y'all! With the change of seasons comes a bounty of new beauty products and beauty boxes, including today's catch, the latest Walmart Beauty Box.

Unboxing | Walmart Beauty Box Fall/September 2015 review

16 September, 2015

R. Asks | How far in advance do you start saving for the holidays?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How you doin'? I'm tired.

This week's question was inspired by all of the holiday beauty sets that started appearing over these past couple of weeks—it is still summer, right?

How far in advance do you start saving and planning for your holiday season shopping? (That includes gifts for others and holiday splurges you might make for yourself.) Do you have a special system for keeping track of the funds?

In 2014 I made a separate savings account with the boring name "gift fund"—every month I put a bit of money aside in it to be used for holidays, birthday gifts etc. So thanks to that I'm saving a little bit for gifts year-round, but I still always find myself overwhelmed when it comes to my wants—there are so many pretty things that come around the holidays that nobody's going to buy for me but me. Obviously I can't purchase every single thing that looks awesome, but giving yourself a gift or two during the holiday season isn't so bad, right? So I just set up yet another savings account called "fun fund", hahaha. Now what to spend it on....

On a related note: If you don't care about financial planning at all but have been paying attention to the holiday collections, I'd love to know what's on your wishlist! Nosy nosy me.

15 September, 2015

Review | RE:CIPE by Slowganic Detox Rose Petal Cleansing Oil

Affiliate Links Bought It

Calling all rose lovers! Today I'm reviewing a cleansing oil that not only smells like roses, but also has actual chunks of rose floating in it. All rose, all the time. Like whoa. Meet RE:CIPE Rose Petal Cleansing Oil, your new favorite floral friend.

Care Cara detox RE:CIPE by Slowganic  (Recipe by Nature) Cleansing Oil - Rose Petal review.

UNT Skincare (Taiwan) now available in the US! Coupon code + a review of their Pore Minissima Super Anti Shine Oil Control Serum

Affiliate Links Sponsored

I have some good news for all the skincare fanatics out there: UNT Skincare now has a US/global website! UNT, for those of you who aren't familiar, started in Taiwan in 2004 and specializes in results-driven products at reasonable prices. For example, one of their most popular products is EX White Laserwave brightening serum (which contains 5% Mandelic Acid and 3% m-Tranexamic Acid), but they have a wide variety of products addressing other skincare concerns (not to mention a whole line of makeup and nail products!)

UNT Pore Minissima Super Anti Shine Oil Control Serum #UNTbeautytalk

I recently got my hands on UNT's Pore Minissima Super Anti Shine Oil Control Serum to try, which promises to blast shine and control oil. Here's the thing: I don't have oily skin all over my face, but I do have classic combination skin. I tend to treat my face mostly for dryness because having tight, dry skin drives me insane, but my nose gets about 10x oilier than the rest of my face by the end of the day even if I don't moisturize it as much (as do my forehead and chin, to a somewhat lesser extent). As I'm sure anyone with oily or combo skin knows, this can be a problem because makeup tends to melt off those spots faster, which looks... odd. I've been on the lookout for an anti-shine serum I could use as a spot treatment of sorts, so on my face Pore Minissima went! Here are all the juicy (but not oily) details.

14 September, 2015

Hey, it's the August Etude House Pink Bird Box: Swatches of the new Bling Bling Eye Sticks, Dear Darling Water Tint & More

Affiliate Links Press Sample

One of my favorite things in the world is finding new makeup that's inexpensive, works well, and isn't a total pain in the ass to use. There was at least one thing in the latest Etude House Pink Bird Box that ticked all three of those boxes—but you'll have to keep reading to find out what it is! [Insert gleeful cackle]

Etude House Pink Bird Box August 2015 review and unboxing

08 September, 2015

Getting ready for fall (lipstick): My thoughts on the Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste System


Here's a mini confession: I can be sort of self-conscious about my teeth. Truth is, I'm totally in love with coffee, tea and red wine (AKA the tooth staining triplets) and my front teeth seem to be the perfect canvas for collecting stains, so there are times when I hold back some of my toothier smiles. But of course I do occasionally freshen up with whitening treatments. Fall is one of those times of year when I want my teeth to look bright and polished—I feel like I always end up meeting new people in the fall. In the past I always met people when I started a new semester of school, and even as "grown-ups" a lot of people tend to move house or start new jobs around fall. Best to greet those new friends with a smile that's lovely, not scary.

Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste System fall lipstick #GetPolished

Fall is also the time of year that I tend to bust out slightly warmer-toned lipsticks—think slightly browner reds and berry hues. If you're anything like me then you know that yellow tooth stains do NOT go with warm lip colors. And if that's not a reason to do a little tooth whitening, I don't know what is. I've been testing out the Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste System recently to get my smile ready and polished for fall—keep reading to see the results!

04 September, 2015

Add some “Zing” to your afternoon: An easy DIY iced green tea latte recipe


I have a confession to make: I’m not really a morning person. Or even an afternoon person. If I could stay up all night and sleep until 5PM every day, I probably would—but most of the world doesn’t operate that way, so I work during the daytime. Crazy, I know.

Add some “Zing” to your afternoon: An easy DIY iced green tea latte recipe #AmaZINGStevia

My number one staying awake during the day strategy probably won’t surprise you: Caffeine. Delicious, energy-giving caffeine. Strong coffee is usually my choice in the mornings, but afternoons require something a bit gentler in the caffeine department (assuming you want to eventually fall asleep at night, anyway). Lately I’ve been enjoying iced green tea lattes as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up—they’re caffeinated, cold (important during this late summer humidity), and sort of like a sweet treat and drink in one. Even better, they’re extremely easy to make—and today I’m going to share how I make mine!

How To Stay Hydrated When You Hate Drinking Water: A free printable + fitness giveaway!


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

Over the past couple of years, I've become a lot more health-conscious. Maybe turning 30 (GASP) struck some fear into my heart about taking better care of my body. Or maybe all those years of people saying "take care of your body, you only get one!" to me finally sunk in. Either way, I've tried to eat healthier, sleep more (when I can) and just generally be good to myself.

How to stay hydrated when you hate drinking water #SipAndBeFit

One of the simplest ways to take care of yourself is to make sure you're staying hydrated. Personally I find that I feel better (fewer headaches!) and look better (soft skin!) when I'm chugging down water on the regular. Even though it's relatively simple, I still used to struggle with it in the past... either I got bored with the taste of plain water, or just got distracted and forget to drink anything for hours. Not good! Today I'll be sharing a few of my techniques for dealing with water boredom and forgetfulness—and there's a coupon and fun sweepstakes in it for you too!

03 September, 2015

At long last, the July 2015 Etude House Pink Bird Box: Play 101 pencil swatches, post office weirdness & GIVEAWAY!

Affiliate Links Press Sample

So here's a funny story that's not actually that funny: Etude House sent me this box in July (as one might expect), but it never showed up at my doorstep. After a while I contacted them for the tracking number to see if I could hunt it down, but by the time I got it, it was already listed as "returned to sender" because they had tried to deliver it so long ago. (Except nobody ever tried to deliver it, or if they did, they didn't leave one of those little pink missed delivery slips that American postal customers enjoy so much.) Don't you love it when that happens? Anyway, I thought it was long gone, but when my boyfriend went to the post office to pick up a different package a couple of weeks later it was somehow magically there. I don't even know anymore. In any case my local post office is awesome, and I finally have the July Etude House Pink Bird Box to show you!

July 2015 Etude House Pink Bird Box

01 September, 2015

6 UNDER 6: A collective review of six low-pH body washes (plus tips for finding more!)

Affiliate Links Bought It

Bodies are weird. I spent a lot of time taking care of my face, but the skin on my body has its own issues too, so lately I've been trying to give it some extra TLC. One of the ways I've been doing that: Switching to slightly acidic, low-pH body wash instead of harsh soaps.

6 UNDER 6: A collective review of six low-pH body washes (plus tips for finding more!)

Some of you may be wondering why I care so much about the pH level of my body wash. There's been a lot of buzz in the beauty community lately about using low-pH cleansers on your face as a means of maintaining healthy skin. (Your skin is naturally acidic, at around pH 5.5.)

A couple of other bloggers already wrote really good posts on the subject, so rather than try to rehash and summarize I will leave these links below—I recommend reading them if you're curious about skin health as it pertains to acidity.

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