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

30 March, 2015

Review | Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil-Busting Emulsifyer & Wipes

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One of the biggest skincare game-changers for me was the discovery of cleansing oil. For years I struggled with never being able to remove all of my foundation using regular foaming cleanser... I'd scrub and scrub, but inevitably there'd always be a bit of residue left behind. Nowadays I use an oil cleanser to dissolve my makeup and follow up with a foaming cleanser to make sure my face is totally clean, and do you know what? It really works! The process is quick too. Keeping that in mind, today I'll be reviewing an oily product that promises to make your cleansing life easier: Dermalogica's PreCleanse system.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil-Busting Emulsifyer & Wipes #DoubleCleanse #IFabboMember

26 March, 2015

Review | ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion SPF50+ PA+++

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I'm always on the lookout for foundations and BB creams with a good level of sun protection. I wear dedicated sunscreen under my makeup, but being pale and prone to sunburns makes you welcome any extra coverage you can get. Today I'll reviewing a CC cream that boasts excellent sun protection and nearly BB-like coverage: The ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion (SPF50+/PA+++).

ATRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion SPF50+ PA+++

25 March, 2015

Weekly Poll | Seasonal Im-Pedi-Ments

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Foot art via

This week's question was inspired by my mother, whom I'm visiting this week. (It was her 66th birthday yesterday. Happy birthday, crazy cat lady!) She was telling me how much she's looking forward to wearing sandals this spring, but lamenting how much work she'd have to do to get her feet un-dry and un-gross in preparation. Which brings me to my question...

Do you ignore your feet during the winter because they're hidden inside shoes and socks all the time? Or do you take extra care to make sure they're moisturized and pedicured? Or something in between?

Personally I do make a point of keeping mine moisturized, simply because I hate the feeling of dry skin. But full-on pedicures... nah, probably not. My tootsies might need a little prettying up before sandals season, but they don't look like full-on "hobbit feet" as my ma calls them. (Now I know who to give my extra foot peeling masks to!) How about you?

24 March, 2015

Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 March 2015: Hustle

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And now for a review of something that my boyfriend describes as "frequent and rectangular": The latest Beauty Box 5! AKA the monthly teal rectangle that comes filled with beauty treats.

Beauty Box 5 March 2015: Hustle

23 March, 2015

My experience with the Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit

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I have kind of a love-hate relationship with false eyelashes. On one hand, I love the way they look, but on the other, I find them sort of uncomfortable to actually wear for long periods. There's nothing more lovely than going through a day with that "boy I wish I could rip this thing off my eye" feeling. Luckily, Physicians Formula recently released a product that promises to give lashes instant drama without the heavy feeling of falsies or glue: The Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit. Read on to find out how to use it, see my before and after photo, plus check a few of my personal tips for successful application and removal!

Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit #EyeBooster CNSway

Unboxing | Vegan Cuts Snack Box March 2015

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You know what always excites me way more than it should? Getting a snack box in the mail. More compulsive mailbox checking occurs on days when I'm supposed to get one than any other mail day, I reckon. Anyway, my postal lurking for the month is now complete—I got my March Vegan Cuts Snack Box last week! Hooray.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box March 2015

22 March, 2015

Review | Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner

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I'm always on the search for good, budget-friendly liquid eyeliners. There are a few brands that I like, but it can be tough to find a liner that's awesome and cheap enough that I don't weep for my wallet when I have to replace it every two or three months. The latest hopeful in my eyeliner talent search is Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner, which promises to create crisp lines that are also water-resistant. So... does it work? Read on to find out!

Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner

Review | Plum Deluxe Tea of the Month Club

Press Sample

Calling all tea fans! I have something yummy to share with you today: The Plum Deluxe Tea of the Month Club.

Plum Deluxe Tea of the Month Club

21 March, 2015

Unboxing | Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015

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According to my calendar and the latest version of the Walmart Beauty Box to show up in my mailbox, it's spring. You could have fooled me, what with all the gross wet snow we got here in New York yesterday. It'll warm up soon. I hope. But for now, I'm going to put on some spring-y perfume and dive into that beauty box... who's with me?

Walmart Beauty Box Spring March 2015 WM • T 1A #WalmartBeautyBox

20 March, 2015

A look at the new Gillette® Venus Swirl™ razor & Gillette Venus Olay Violet Swirl Shave Gel (+ Walmart gift card giveaway!)

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I can be lazy about shaving my legs sometimes. I mean... we're just coming out of winter here. My legs have been hiding under tights, sweatpants and other cozy (and opaque) attire for months now. But now that the hope of spring is near, I'm on the hunt for quality razors to whip them back into smooth and lovely shape. I recently had the pleasure of trying the new Gillette® Venus Swirl™ razor, and it's a force to be reckoned with! Hairs beware.

Gillette® Venus Swirl™ razor Gillette Venus Olay Violet Swirl Shave Gel #NewVenusSwirl SheSpeaks

19 March, 2015

Review | Dessange Paris Oleo Miracle Haircare Collection (via Influenster)

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How Influenster selects folks for their voxboxes is still a mystery to me. I got an email a few weeks ago saying I'd be getting the Dessange Haircare/#JAdoreDessange box to try—yay! I don't remember filling out a qualification survey, but still, yay! Apparently there were a couple different versions of the box sent out—mine contained all three products from the Dessange Oleo Miracle line.

Dessange Paris Oleo Miracle Haircare Collection ingredients Influenster #JAdoreDessange VoxBox

18 March, 2015

Why I think a $7 spray can of water might actually be a decent buy

Weekly Poll | Smells Like Pretty

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How's life treating you?

Rose graphic via

This week's question was inspired my boyfriend Stan, who seems to be completely obsessed with coconut-scented things at the moment. He actually bought himself a tube of scented body wash—something I don't think I've ever seen happen since we've been living together. He always steals my nice-smelling shit instead of buying his own, but I don't have much coconut-scented stuff at the moment, so there you go.

Do you have a favorite scent in skincare or body care products? Floral, fruity, sweet? Something more specific like lavender and green tea? Or are you an unscented sort of person?

I like a lot of different scents, but I think my all-time favorite for skincare is the smell of roses. I mist myself with rosewater all the time, tch tch tch! I know some people don't like rose and think it smells sort of old-ladyish, but that's OK. Give it all to me. (And Stan, because he "borrows" my rosewater too.)

17 March, 2015

Review | Pacifica Beauty Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes

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Cleansing wipes both are and aren't a part of my regular beauty routine. I learned a long time ago that oil cleansers are really the best at dissolving makeup and heavy-duty grime, but they also require more rinsing and—gasp—EFFORT. Sometimes I just don't have the patience for that. Of course not all wipes are created equal... today I'll be reviewing the Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes by Pacifica, which is perhaps one of the best-known natural beauty brands.

Pacifica Beauty Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes

16 March, 2015

Review & Swatches | Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette (+ GIVEAWAY!)

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Sometimes I'm late to the party. I've finally manged to collect my thoughts about the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette, right after the Revealed 3 palette was released. Whoops! Some things are worth the wait though: Revealed 2 is a truly delightful, budget-friendly palette. And I like it so much that I've picked up an extra to give away to one of you, yay!


Use It Or Lose It: March 2015 "You're Glowing!" Edition

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If you're a regular reader of my blog, you've probably seen the "Use It Or Lose It" posts I do around the end of most months... I've decided to be a bit wild and start posting them in the middle of the month instead. Bold-n-zesty!

Use It Or Lose It You're Glowing March 2015

Unfamiliar with 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! This month I chose five items to review. I didn't really have a theme in mind when I was grabbing random products out of my pile, but in looking at the photo now they do all seem to have one thing in common: They all contribute to glowy-looking skin and hair. Well, at least they're supposed to. Shall we see if they were actually any good?

13 March, 2015

Unboxing | Birchbox March 2015: Creativity

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Last month I remarked on how creative Birchbox has been with their box designs lately, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this month's theme is creativity. Extra-pretty design this time too! But I suppose it's what's inside that counts... who wants to know what I got?

Birchbox March 2015: Creativity box design

Tips for staying active during "that time of the month"

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

Over the past six months or so, I've been making more of a concerted effort to exercise on a regular basis. Maybe this was inspired by the horror of turning 30 (and subsequently 31), but in any case, I find myself more concerned than ever about my health. I wouldn't say that I'm in amazing shape (at least not yet), but I do see results when I commit to a routine and actually stick with it.

#FitToPlay #CollectiveBias

One of the biggest challenges I've faced in sticking with a routine is what to do what I get my period. I won't get too graphic, but I'm one of those people who gets it bad—horrible cramps, digestive distress, the whole nine yards. Makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry, not get up and move around. Taking several days off from your exercise routine really impedes your progress though, so I've had to come up with a few coping mechanisms to keep me from reverting to a total lazybones during that oh-so-special time of the month. I'll be sharing those tips with you today!

11 March, 2015

Weekly Poll | Unbundle Up

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Tree art via

I've been grumbling a lot about the weather this season, but now that winter is actually sort of easing up, I'm already making plans for things to do outside. Call it sunshine deprivation madness or something. So I ask you:

What are your favorite warm weather activities?

Simple enough. "Warm" can also mean stuff you do in the summer. I have quite a few, but do you know what I've been missing the most lately? Going on picnics. Either at the park or more exotic locations. The last one I had was in October (I think), and it was really too late in the year for that sort of thing—our hands were freezing even though I brought along two thermoses of hot tea.

Anyway. What are you looking forward to doing this spring and summer? Or if summer is just ending in your part of the world, what will you miss the most?

10 March, 2015

Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 Rockin' Beauty (Limited Edition) + FOTD

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I'm sure most of you have heard about Beauty Box 5 and their monthly beauty subscription box by now, but did you know that they occasionally release limited edition, buy-as-you-like themed boxes? Well if you didn't before, you do now. Today I'll be taking a look into their LE "Rockin' Beauty" box, which promised to "kick up the volume on your cosmetics!" BOOM!

#BB5Limited Beauty Box 5 Rockin' Beauty (Limited Edition) review unboxing

09 March, 2015

Review | Paula's Choice Clinical KP Treatment Cloths

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It's finally starting to warm up here in New York (it's a whopping 56°F/13°C today! Woo!) Short sleeve weather soon? Please? In any case, I've already been testing out a bunch of body treatment products in the hopes of smoothing out the rough mess that is my skin so people don't recoil in horror when I take off my coat. The latest of the bunch: Paula's Choice Clinical KP Treatment Cloths, which are chemical exfoliant wipes designed to combat Keratosis Pilaris and body acne. So... do they work? Read on to find out!

Paula's Choice Clinical KP Treatment Cloths

06 March, 2015

4 of my favorite things to do on the computer (that have nothing to do with beauty or blogging)

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I'm one of those people who has a lot of different hobbies. Probably too many. A full-time dabbler, if you will. I spend a lot of time on the computer due to work and this blog, so you'd think I might be sick of looking at screens at the end of the day, but nope! A lot of my other interests are computer-related too. (The fact that I still don't need glasses is kind of amazing, honestly.) Today I thought it would be fun to do a "getting to know you" type post and introduce you to a few of my non-beauty/non-blogging computer-related interests, inspired by the four "modes" of the HP x360 convertible PC: Laptop, Tablet, Tent and Stand.

#BendTheRules #ThatBassTour Hp x360 13.3 inch

Do we have any of these interests in common? Let me know in the comments!

04 March, 2015

Weekly Poll | Consumerism Lightning Round

Happy Wednesday, everybody! I know I complain about the weather too often in these posts, but daaaaamn it's been bad lately. I was supposed to go on a short trip tomorrow and it looks like I might have to postpone it due to impending ice and snow, boo-hoo-hoo.

Shopping basket art via

Anyway, enough whining. This week's question is actually one I asked a while back, but I want to ask it again because (a) the answers will always be different and (b) I'm nosy:

What's the very last thing you bought? Be specific! It doesn't have to be part of a proper shopping haul—it could be your lunch, a train ticket, etc.

My answer: I just bought three $10 gift cards off the Barnes & Noble website to tuck into birthday cards for some of the kiddos in my family. It's the 21st century version of all those $5 bills I got in birthday cards when I was a kid. Now don't spend it all in one place, y'hear?

03 March, 2015

Project Low-Buy 2015, Update #1: What I bought, what I didn't buy, and thoughts on careful shopping

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It's been about a month since I introduced my three-month low-buy challenge for 2015, so I'd say it's about time I shared my progress so far! Just to quickly recap, here's the basic gist of the challenge:

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.

So, have I stayed on track so far? Keep reading to find out!


02 March, 2015

Review & Swatches | XO Memebox/Soothing Sista #EYELOVE SF Eyeshadow Quad

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Happy March! What better way to kick off the month than with an eyeshadow quad filled with lovely, rose-colored neutrals? (Spring is almost here. I can taste it. Through the snow, of course.) The palette du jour is Memebox's collaboration with YouTuber Stephanie Villa (AKA SoothingSista): The #EYELOVE SF Eyeshadow Quad.

 XO Memebox X Soothing Sista #EYELOVE SF Eyeshadow Quad

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