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

31 May, 2015

Unboxing | Tea Sparrow Tea Subscription Box - April 2015

Press Sample

True story: I love tea. Sometimes I get into a "tea rut" though... I end up reaching for the same blend so often that I end up getting super-duper bored with it. Thankfully, there are options other than weeping from despair (or caffeine withdrawal headaches)—subscription services like Tea Sparrow exist to help folks get out of their tea ruts and discover new blends to love. Speaking of loving things, I loved three out of the four teas that came in the Tea Sparrow box I'll be unboxing today—can you guess which ones based off the pictures?

Review Unboxing | Tea Sparrow Tea Subscription Box - April 2015

FYI, the box I'll be showing you this time is actually April's lineup. It was shipped around the end of April, but it didn't get to me until the middle of May. (Insert fist shake at the post office.)

The Renuzit® Home Style Challenge: Decluttering my "skincare zone" on a budget (+ GIVEAWAY!)

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I will never claim to be an expert home decorator, but lately I've been working extra hard to eliminate clutter and just generally make my space look nicer. For those of you who don't know, I live in a smallish two bedroom apartment, which can make storing things in a way that looks nice a bit challenging. (Not to mention the fact that our place has kind of a weird layout, but that's another story for another time.) Renuzit® (makers of delightful-smelling and potent air fresheners) recently gave me the opportunity to do a little budget-minded home makeover inspired by their new Pearl Scents® scent varieties, so I thought I'd share what I did! If you've been needing to declutter, perhaps this will serve as inspiration (or you can just laugh at how little space I have). Oh, and there may be a chance for you to win some Renuzit® Pearl Scents® at the end of the post too. :) Keep reading!

Renuzit® Pearl Scents® Blue Sky Breeze Sparkling Rain Home Style Challenge #DesignYourAir

Renuzit® Pearl Scents® are available in five scents:
  • Blue Sky Breeze
  • Sparkling Rain
  • Fresh Lavender & Eucalyptus
  • Chamomile & Jasmine
  • Seductive Pineapple

Personally I know that I prefer "fresh" scents like Blue Sky Breeze and Sparkling Rain, but if you're not sure which one to get, check out Renuzit's Pearlsonality quiz! I'm also a big fan of blue and green color schemes too, so I decided to use that as the inspiration for my mini home makeover.

30 May, 2015

Unboxing | Splendies Underwear Subscription - May 2015

Bought It

This is probably way TMI, but I'm in serious need of new underwear. Problem is, my favorite style was discontinued a while back, so I find myself floundering in a sea of panty options, unsure which ones will behoove my bottom. Thusly, I decided to give Splendies (a subscription service that sends you random undies each month) a try!

May 2015 Splendies panty underwear subscription box (size XL)

27 May, 2015

REBECCA ASKS | Live with clutter or live to get rid of it?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope you're doing well. Excuse my (relative) absence this week—been a bit preoccupied by other projects.  I have some fun stuff coming up here though, so y'know, stay tuned and such.

art via



This week's question was inspired my by recent efforts to declutter my apartment a little bit. (It's a slow, painful process. Some of you may have gotten little glimpses of it on Snapchat lately. There is still more crap to be dealt with.) Anyway, I ask you:

Do you generally keep your desk tidy, or are you the sort of person to let mountains of paper and other stuff pile up? If you don't work at a desk, the question applies to other types of work spaces too—your vanity, craft room, kitchen counters, etc.


If it wasn't obvious from the lead-in to the question, I'm pretty bad about letting clutter accumulate. I'm one of those people who's organized enough to always be able to find what they need, but there may or may not be a bit of playing Tetris with my crap to get to it. Once in a while I'll go through a phase where I want the extra stuff gone (like now), but for the most part, I have clutter-blindness and just work around it without even really thinking about it. Is that weird? I don't know.

So, how about you? Do you live with clutter or live to get rid of it?

24 May, 2015

Join me at SoFabU On the Road in NYC - 6/20

I don't attend a lot of blogging conferences, but when I found out that Social Fabric would be doing an event in New York City this summer, I knew I had to get a ticket straight away.

Social Fabric, for those of you who don't know, is a blogging network that connects bloggers with sponsored post opportunities. I've been a member for a little over a year now, and it's one of my favorite networks because they put a really strong emphasis on community and educating their bloggers. One of the resources available to their members is a website called Social Fabric University, which is a hub for free online courses on subjects like monetization, photography, social media and more. The SoFabU events are sort of like an extension of that, but with a very cool twist—you don't have to be a Social Fabric member to attend! Ticketing information and more can be found here.



22 May, 2015

Unboxing | Wet Shave Club Women's Starter Box: May 2015

Press Sample

So a while back Stan helped me review a unique shaving subscription box: Wet Shave Club. They've been sending out shaving goodies since 2013, but this month they finally launched a special version of their monthly box geared towards ladies—woo! I'm one of those. So how does the Ladies' Box differ from the original version of Wet Shave Club's box, you might be wondering? Read on to find out!

Wet Shave Club Women's Starter Box: 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!

REBECCA ASKS | 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

Unboxing | Birchbox May 2015: Cupcakes and Cashmere

Affiliate Links Bought It

Despite the iffy box I got last month, I think Birchbox is still my favorite cheap-o beauty box subscription. They carry a lot of interesting makeup brands in their shop, at least... did you know, for example, that they recently added a few bits and bobs from Peripera and Chosungah 22 to their product lineup? Now if I only I could get them to send me that stuff in my actual boxes, haha. Oh well. Let's see what sorts of tidbits they sent me this time!

Birchbox May 2015: Cupcakes and Cashmere review unboxing

15 May, 2015

Deal Alert: Love2Love Fragrances just $9.98 at Walmart (new scent available!)

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #L2LMom #CollectiveBias

I don't know about you, but I like changing up my fragrances often (depending on my mood). I tend to reach for deep, spicy scents more often during cold weather, but once spring rolls around, I'm all about scents that are light and fresh. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to freshen up your "perfume wardrobe", be sure to check out the selection of Love2Love EDTs at Walmart—all of the scents are just $9.98!


Smell great and save money this spring season with Love2Love fragrances at Walmart. Love2Love offers 5 wonderful scents for every feeling, including the brand new Bluebell + White Tea, a captivating fragrance that radiates love and grace.


Even though Mother's Day is over, you can still celebrate Mom everyday! There is no better gift than the unbeatable value of fine fragrances from Love2Love. In participating Walmart stores, enjoy a one-stop-shop for Mom with the Coty Love2Love end cap display at your local Walmart. The display features all 5 fragrances at $9.98 for a 3.4oz bottle, along with a $.50 gift bag and the Bluebell + White Tea fragrance, Love2Love's new signature scent. Show your mom how important she is to you every day and stop by a participating Walmart store today for Love2Love fragrances!

For more information on the different fragrance options available, be sure to visit  love2lovefragrances.com. Let me know which scent sounds the most appealing to you in the comments!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.

Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 May 2015: S.O.S.

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It's the middle of the month, which means it's... beauty box time! I don't know why, but a lot of the beauty box companies seem to ship right around the same time. Who knows how that works. Anyway, the first one to reach my doorstep in May was Beauty Box 5—read on for all the beautiful details!

Beauty Box 5 May 2015: S.O.S. review unboxing

14 May, 2015

Say "Sí” to movie night in: Two easy (and delicious) homemade movie munchies and Spanish wine pairings

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We take movie night very seriously in my household. Some couples go hiking, some take classes together, some like to party out on the town—all fun things, but I think Stan and I are both happiest when we're snuggled up on the couch watching a good (or so bad it's good) film. But do you know what makes movie night at home even more delightful? Drinks and snacks!

#SiWhatsNext #CG Ribera y Rueda movie night in Netflix

It's no secret that I love to kick back with a nice glass of wine (or "night juice" as Stan calls it) at the end of a long week. I recently sampled some delicious Spanish wines from Ribera y Rueda, which immediately inspired me to start rummaging through my pantry and whip up some tasty snacks to go with them. The wines are quite lovely on their own, but what's movie night without nibbles? Less crunchy, that's what. Today I'll be sharing a couple of super-easy ideas for movie munchies that pair well with Ribera y Rueda wines—like so easy that they only take a few minutes, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. Not having to change out of your jammies to get some spice you'll only use once simplifies things, I'd say. And if that's not stress-free enough for you, I'll also be suggesting a few titles available on Netflix that complement the wines too! Woo!

13 May, 2015

REBECCA ASKS | 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!)

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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)

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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!

06 May, 2015

The Best Mother's Day Gift is Keeping in Touch

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #MobileMemories #CollectiveBias

My mom and I have an interesting relationship. Some women are best friends with their moms—I wouldn't say that's the case with us, but I do really love and respect her, and as I get older, I find myself understanding her better and appreciating her more.


REBECCA ASKS | Different social media, different shares?

I've been meaning to re-name the Weekly Poll ever since I started it in... oh... what was it... 2013? It's not a very good name. And it finally just occurred to me that I should call it "Rebecca Asks". I am the one doing the asking, after all. Is this an improvement? Let me know what you think in the comments. It's hard for me to tell because I've always been notoriously bad at naming stuff. Back when I was taking creative writing classes at university in the year 300 BC, my classmates would rag on me for handing in some completely insane science fiction story and then titling it something bland like Robot Story. I don't know, maybe I need help. But in any case, the Weekly Poll is called "Rebecca Asks" now.

I don't know what's going on in this clip art, but it seems dangerous. Via

And now for the real topic!

Most of us are on at least a couple of different social media networks these days. Do you use different networks for different purposes? If so, how?

I was trying to explain to my boyfriend the other day why/how I share different stuff on different platforms. I think the only real rhyme and reason behind it is that you can write longer captions in some places than others. I like explaining things. (Robot Story!) Like for example, this is roughly how I use the major networks:
  • Twitter: Share my blog posts, RT other people, occasionally share deals or interesting articles
  • Facebook: Share my blog posts, share articles, share lots of deals/sales
  • Instagram: Share bits of my daily life, mini beauty reviews (which may or may not be linked to a blog post)
  • Snapchat: Act like a total maniac when the mood strikes

Etc. etc. I sure wish that Facebook would actually show my posts to more than a third of my followers at a time though... it's still the best place to write nice, long captions. So how about you? Do you mix it up or try to share the same things everywhere?

05 May, 2015

Books | Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren + GIVEAWAY!

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Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir is a new book from Los Angeles author Jillian Lauren, now available from Plume/Penguin (272p). It's a continuation of sorts of Lauren's first memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem (2010). To be honest I never read her first memoir, though I'm very curious about it now that I'm acquainted with her writing style a bit. From what I understand the first book was about her experiences as a troubled young adult turned concubine in—you guessed it—a harem. Not something you read about every day! In any case that's another book that should perhaps be discussed another time, but it's important to mention as Everything You Ever Wanted chronicles the next phase of the author's life.


04 May, 2015

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

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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!

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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

Unboxing | Vegan Cuts Snack Box April 2015

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My latest Vegan Cuts Snack Box arrived well before the end of April, but I didn't get a chance to write about it until now, eep. But that's probably for the best—it just means that I had time to test all the snacks thoroughly before writing this most. Testing snacks thoroughly, such a difficult task.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box April 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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