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

31 January, 2015

Use It Or Lose It: January 2015 - 30 Day Challenge Edition!

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Hey, it's already the end of January! Whoa, how did that happen? In any case, the end of the month means it's time for another edition of... USE IT OR LOSE IT!

Use It Or Lose It 30 Day Challenge #UIOLI30DayChallenge January 2015

New to my Use It Or Lose It series? Each month I select a few beauty/personal care items I've been hoarding in my stash, and vow to either use them up and review them or throw them away! I typically select about five products each month, but since one of my new year's goals was to declutter, I decided to kick it up a notch and do one product per day during the month of January. If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen me posting about this every day(ish) with the tag #UIOLI30DayChallenge. For the non-Instagrammers out there I shall repost my product selections and original comments below, plus any follow-up thoughts if applicable.

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.

26 January, 2015

Unboxing | Vegan Cuts Snack Box January 2015

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Surprise snacks might just be the best thing ever. I somehow managed to forget that Stan gifted me a subscription to the Vegan Cuts Snack Box over the holidays, so I did an actual happy dance when it showed up in the mail a few days ago. Cha cha CHA!

Vegan Cuts Snack Box January 2015

23 January, 2015

Intel Pocket Avatars app: A ridiculously fun way to stay in touch

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


I don't know about you, but multimedia texts are a staple of keeping in touch for me these days. With many of my friends and all of my family living in other states, you've got to find easy ways to share your everyday experiences, you know? I also text/chat with Stan (my boyfriend) sometimes while he's at work. Sharing the little things just makes your day feel brighter. Today I'll be showing you how to use a free app that takes multimedia messaging to the next level: Intel Pocket Avatars! It allows you to record short video messages as a funny character and share them with your family and friends. Stan and I had a lot of fun messaging each other back and forth with it, so I really recommend giving it a try!

Intel Pocket Avatars app #CollectiveBias #GetPocketAvatars

21 January, 2015

Review & How-To | VOLOOM Volumizing Hair Iron

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As someone with fine hair, I always find it challenging to achieve super-voluminous styles. Heat tools are definitely necessary, but even with your standard hairdryers and curling irons the process can be a bit tedious and annoying. Today I'll be sharing my thoughts on a device that makes creating volume-tastic hairstyles super-quick and easy: The VOLOOM Volumizing Hair Iron!


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

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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

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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

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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

16 January, 2015

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Enter for a chance to win BOTH Memebox X Pony eyeshadow palettes!

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Hey, so remember how I reviewed both of the Memebox X Pony eyeshadow palettes recently? Well I maaaaaay have picked up an extra set to give away to one lucky reader! If you've been on the fence about picking these up or just haven't had the opportunity yet, now's your chance to win both.


15 January, 2015

Unboxing | Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge

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Who's ready to get down to some serious relaxation with the January Birchbox? Me, that's who! And if you don't subscribe, maybe this review will soothe you. Sooooooothe.

Birchbox January 2015: Relax & Recharge outer box

14 January, 2015

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

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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

Weekly Poll | The Tubes of Yesteryear

Happy Wednesday, everybody!


This week's question was inspired by nostalgia. I recently got my hands on a perfume that was a favorite of mine when I was younger, which got me thinking...

Do you remember what your skincare and/or makeup routine consisted of ~10 years ago? If you do, which products did you use regularly?


Strangely enough, I find myself remembering scented things (perfume, shampoo etc.) I used even 20 years ago with great clarity, but I struggle to remember what I moisturized my face with every day. Which is funny, considering how much thought I give to those things now. I was incredibly broke in my early 20s, so I think a lot of my beauty routine consisted of "What's on sale at CVS this month?" I definitely remember using Cetaphil as a cleanser though. The brand name version, because the store brand equivalent broke me out. Small luxuries?

How about you? How much of your former beauty routines do you remember?

13 January, 2015

Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 January 2015: Hello!

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Hey look, it's my first subscription box unboxing post of the year! I should bake myself a cake or something. And then mail it to myself. Monthly, of course. But do you know what would be even easier than that? Subscribing to a monthly beauty box, like Beauty Box 5! Read on to see what was in my very first box of 2015. Gasp.


12 January, 2015

Shopping PSA: Amazing gift with purchase at Drugstore.com

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Quick shopping PSA time! I discovered a really nice beauty deal this weekend, so I wanted to share while it's still available. For a limited time, Drugstore.com is offering a free Rimmel tote that is STUFFED with beauty products (both samples and full sized) with your purchase of $75+ from their beauty department. Look, I already got mine!

drugstore.com rimmel free tote gift with purchase gwp january 2015

So. Much. Stuff. Here's the official list of products included (from the offer website):


The fine print says: Cannot be redeemed for cash. While supplies last. Limited to once per order. Offer expires Saturday, January 31, 2015. Non-transferable. Free gifts cannot be returned for credit or exchanged. The free gift will be added to your shopping bag when you make a purchase for the amount required by the promotion. A minimum purchase does not include shipping charges or applicable sales tax. Not applicable toward gift cards, gift certificates, magazine subscriptions, contact lenses or prescription purchases. Cannot be combined with some offers. APO/FPO/DPO and U.S. shipping destinations only.     


Once you've added enough qualifying items, you should see a message like this in your cart:


It's quite possible that these bags will run out before January 31st, so take advantage now if you want one. FYI, the $75 total has to be AFTER any applicable coupons/discounts, and before sales tax/shipping. Still amazing though! This is a good excuse if ever I've seen one to stock up on your favorite drugstore shampoo and skincare.


To access the offer, visit the Drugstore.com Beauty department, scroll down and click the banner that says "Free Rimmel Tote". Happy shopping!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.

Review | TonyMoly Aquaporin Water Bomb Sleeping Pack

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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

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 Rebecca 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

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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

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