Ipsy vs. Birchbox March 2015

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ipsy vs Birchbox March 2015

The debate of Ipsy vs. Birchbox is still a strong one. It’s long-enduring and even has people like me (who subscribe to both) unable to make a solid decision. I’ve decided to combine my Ipsy/Birchbox postings every month into one video/post and do a little bit of a comparison. Now you will easily be able to see what was received in each bag and the estimated retail value all in one convenient place.

Check out the details of my bag & box below. I have listed benefits of each subscription for your information as well. Best of luck to you on picking just one! ;)

 

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Ipsy- Floral Fantasy

NYX Butter Lipstick- $6.00
Pur~Lisse Pur~Delicate Face Cleanser- $6.43
Boo Boo Cover Up- $10.00
Vintage Highlighter- ~$10.00 (Weight of actual palette not listed, but size would assume it’s a bit more than double the sample.)
Dr. Brandt Pores No More- $9.18

Ipsy Total Value: $41.41

Benefits: Ipsy tends to do things that are a little less high end. (Think Ulta vs. Sephora.) The value in the bag is usually much higher than that of Birchbox. I attribute that to them being a bit more generous with their sample sizes.

Drawbacks: Some products are by brands you can only get on their own online stores. The accumulation of bags can be overwhelming. Their rewards program needs some serious re-vamping. They don’t seem to really listen to feedback in products you would like- many people get the same products no matter their skin tone of preference.

If you don’t have an Ipsy or want to know more about it, check it out and sign up here. It’s only $10/month and you get a lovely bag of goodies to your door every month!

 

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Birchbox

Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray- $3.00
Supergoop CC Cream- $2.04
Cargo Blush (Los Cabos)- $7.73
N4 Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner- $6.60
Whish Hair Inhibiting Gel- $2.60

Birchbox Total Value: $21.97

Benefits: Their rewards program is top-notch! You basically get $10 back for every 2 boxes you receive, which is just awesome. Their store is great, which is something they definitely have a leg-up on over Ipsy. You can buy anything you receive in your box on their website directly. (Genius.) The products seem a bit more “Sephora” if you will, while Ipsy is “Ulta.” (I hope you get the reference here!) Another good thing is that they actually seem to listen to your feedback on product types you don’t prefer and lately my skin colored products have actually matched!

Drawbacks: They can be a little stingy on the product sample sizes. They can sometimes tend to be a little heavy on perfume samples as well! I had stopped using Birchbox in the past for issues with samples being “junk” in my opinion, but it seems they have really turned this around.

If you don’t have a Birchbox or want to know more about it, check it out and sign up here. It’s only $10/month and you get a lovely box of goodies to your door every month!



My Top 5 Picks for Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Ulta 21 Days Of Beauty

You all know that I think Sephora’s VIB Sale is the most wonderful time of the year, but with that being said… If VIB Sale is Christmas, Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty is like Spring Break. (So poetic!)

I have looked this list over and found my picks for the specials they have, and it was hard to narrow it down to just 5 days!

MARCH 17th- The stand out today is the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara for $10! I took advantage of this last year and still love the mascara- it’s one of my all time favorites. The Algenist deal is an AWESOME one for the money as well!

MARCH 19th- GASP! You should all know that butter LONDON is my favorite nail polish brand by now. (Well, one of many, but come’on. It’s pretty much at the top.) They are usually $15 per bottle, but this special is $9 for full size polish and treatments.

MARCH 23rd- Bliss! Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask is on sale for $27 (50% off!) I love this stuff, so it’s easy to recommend. Check out my review of it here. And then make your way to Ulta to get the sale!

MARCH 29th- Lorac Champagne Dreams Palette for $15! I am a big fan of Lorac shadows. They are great quality and their minimal packaging is always right up my alley. They are worth every penny, especially when it’s under $20! It also seems really similar to their Skinny Nude palette, which is one of my favorites!

APRIL 4th- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and Stila Magnificent Metals are both 50% off, which is pretty awesome! I know a lot of people love those products.

 

Besides that, if you go into a store that has a Benefit Brow Bar and spend $50+ on any Benefit products, you will receive a FREE Brow Waxing! (This is also happening on March 21st AND April 4th.)

I have had their waxing done and LOVE it. I might be a little biased, since my partner in crime (and one of the founders of TPP) is an awesome BeneBabe! She’s the best in the biz- so if you happen to be in the Central Indiana area, you should head to the Kokomo store and ask for Mell!

 

What are you going to swoop up in this sale? I think they have such great things this time!

 

 

*Graphics from ulta.com



Mani Monday: Gold Coins & Great Luck

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Mani Monday Gold Coins and Good Luck

 

When people start asking me if I am wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, I am all like…”Yeah, my underwear!” Truth be told that I’m NOT wearing green… I just want you to leave me alone about it!

This year, I don’t know if I am giving in and being festive, or just being proactive about the fact that I can’t stand people asking…but I went all out on my nails for the holiday! I even (attempted) a 4 leaf clover on my accent nail! I must say, these gold nails are super fun and glitzy! If you want the nail polish deets- they are below!

Base Coat- Nail Foundation by butter LONDON
Gold- Pot of Gold by ELF (Similar)
Gold Glitter- The 444 by butter LONDON (My fave!)
Green- Starboard by China Glaze
Top Coat- Freedom Polymer by Julep



It’s Like a Blast of Water to the Face!

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Review

Okay, maybe it’s not THAT intense, but it is pretty hydrating! Of course, I am talking about Neutrogena’s new Hydro Boost Water Gel facial moisturizer. I was lucky enough to be given one to try out, and I am so glad I was. I’ve had the chance to trying this out for a few weeks now, so I have a bit to say about it! Check out my review below!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The scent: Smells so fresh and light!
  • The texture: When you touch it, you will feel an immediate cool. It’s a wet feeling that feels like a gel- really indescribable. When you smooth it on your face, it’s INCREDIBLE. It feels like you are just wiping over your face with water and dries so quickly!
  • The results: There was a point when I was wearing this that at like, 4pm I thought that it wasn’t doing it’s job because my forehead was feeling kind of dry. Literally 20 minutes later I felt my head again and it was rehydrated. That goes to show that the hyaluronic acid really does release throughout the day.
  • The price: It retails for about $20, but I have seen it on sale on many sites for around $15- check here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • The packaging: It was a little bulky. Nothing horrible, and I didn’t hate it. It’s just too much plastic for the product, in my opinion. I wouldn’t be able to travel with it. It’s a bit bulky.

CONCLUSION:

I highly recommend! I feel so lucky to have tried it for free, because I may have made a mistake in not trying it. I typically use moisturizers that are more “high end” to help my dry skin, but this one is from the drugstore and is amazing! If you have normal to dry skin, you will love this. If you have VERY dry skin, they have a cream gel version you may like in the range, as well as an eye cream!



Sweet Italian Turkey Meatballs

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Sweet Italian Turkey Meatballs

 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But, Brittney, you don’t even LIKE ground turkey!” You’re right. It’s not my preference, but for some reason that is unknown, I decided I wanted to try my hand at turkey meatballs. It could be because I saw a picture on Pinterest, or because my husband likes them….I may never know. All I know is that I made them, they turned out moist and only took 20 minutes from start to finish, and taste great.

 

Sweet Italian Turkey Meatballs 1

 

Sweet Italian Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1 Egg
1/3 c. of Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 of 1 Large Onion
1/4 of 1 Large Green Pepper
1 T. A1 Sauce
1 t. Salt
1 t. Pepper
1 t. Italian Seasoning
1 t. Minced Garlic

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Dice onions & peppers- cook on stove. I just tossed them with a nonstick spray for the duration of mixing the rest of the meat and seasonings.
3. Mix all ingredients together.
4. Scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of mixture, and roll into balls. (Should make 20 equal sized meatballs.)
5. Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until meatballs are golden brown and no longer pink in the middle.

We served ours over spaghetti with a little extra sauce. You could eat them on a sandwich or on their own, even! Each meatball is around 37 calories with the products we used! We ate them in servings of 4 for 147 calories!



PCOS Survival Kit

Friday, March 6th, 2015

PCOS SURVIVAL KIT

*Que “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child*

By now, if you have been a regular reader, you know what PCOS is. If you have just tuned in, and you need some PCOS 101, check out this post.

This post is dedicated to PCOS Survival! I put together a “kit” to help you get through the day to day. Now, of course, this a light-hearted post. You may not need all these things, but it can give you an idea of some of the things we PCOS’ers may need in a kit that’s fit to help us survive! If you want details, read on below!

  • Tinkle Razors- Seriously my saving grace. I can’t talk any more highly about them than I already do. You can order them on Amazon here. They are under $13 with FREE shipping, and you get 36 razors! Prance your little fingers over to Amazon, I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Tweezers- Tweezerman is the best. They have fun designs and mini sizes, but I like the classic black.
  • Centrum Women Under 50 Multivitamin-
  • Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Moisturizing Mask- Many women with PCOS suffer from dry skin. This mask is an AMAZING treatment and really quenches the skin’s thirst. I use this mask 1-2 times per week.
  • Tennis Shoes- Get up, and get moving. Tennis shoes are important to this kit because regular exercise will help tremendously, whether your goal is to lose weight, or to start regular cycles.
  • MyFitnessPal- Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. You can track things that you’re having bad reactions to, sugar intake, etc. I highly recommend MyFitnessPal and you can find me here. Send me a friend request!
  • Ovulation Tests- If you are trying to conceive, knowing if/when you’re ovulating is key. You will definitely go through a pack of these!

 

Can you think of anything else you would add to this kit? Let me know in the comments!



Jewels on Jewels: Monthly Subscriptions Rocksbox!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

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I’m sure you’ve heard about all the subscription boxes out there. I’m such a huge fan, as you will probably notice with my Ipsy and Birchbox posts. I’m sure you’re a fan in some way too, whether it’s something tangible, or your Netflix subscription!

If you’ve never heard of Rocksbox, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of them until one of their representatives reached out to me to try for 3 months and I gladly took them up on it. I always want the next new thing to tell you all about, and this one is SO FUN.

Think of it like your Netflix subscription meets your Birchbox meets a Nordstrom jewelry counter. You go to the site, select some pieces you love, you pay $19/month and they send you 3 pieces of jewelry to wear! The reason it’s similar to Netflix to me, is that when you are done with your pieces, you put them back in the packaging and send them on back. (Very Rent the Runway, if you will.)

I love this idea, because you get some really cool, new pieces of quality jewelry to wear, but you pay under $20! I don’t know who wears the same “statement” pieces all the time anyway. I always feel really weird doing that, so in this case…you just ship them on back.

If you happen to have one that you do love, you can purchase them for 20% off the retail price- just keep it instead of sending it back! How cool is that?

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If you want to see info on the pieces from my box, read on below. If you are interested in signing up, you can get your FIRST MONTH FREE by going to www.rocksbox.com and entering the code prettyplusonlinexoxo.

 

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Perry Street Olivia Necklace ($75)

I found that this necklace is SO pretty! I think it’s great to dress up and dress down. I do have a bit of a larger neck, being plus size, so I had to use an extender, which is always a bit annoying. Beyond that, I think this is an awesome one!

 

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House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Button Earrings in Black ($35)

These are so chic and edgy! I love them with a slick back look with a bun, but really…I can’t think of anything I would wear that they wouldn’t go with. Of everything I got, they are the least expensive, but also the ones I am considering purchasing!

 

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Charlene K Turquoise Long Triangle Pointed Bracelet ($155)

This bracelet was the first thing I decided to wear from the box. I love it! I think it’s another super chic piece of jewelry that gives off a very boho feel.

 

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My thoughts on this service are pretty great thus far! I got it quickly after I ordered. I plan on sending this back near the end of this week, but in my next post on Rocksbox, I will be able to update you on the process of returning and receiving more products!

So all you jewelry lovers! Head on over to www.rocksbox.com and sign up to get your own. Remember to use my promo code: prettyplusonlinexoxo.



Mani Monday: Grosvenor Crescent by Nails Inc.

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Grosevor Crescent by Nails Inc 3

Soon, it will be Spring. (I say that like it’s not totally evident. I suppose if you’re not in the US, then you wouldn’t know this.) Like I need an excuse to wear pastel nail polish anyway, but Spring sure is a good reason to! With that being said, I am squeezing in some deep, dark colors now!

This awesome plum color reminds me of Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI, which is one of my all-time favorites. I think this one is a bit better for a few reasons. First of all, I like the formulation better. The Gel with Placticiser technology in the Nails Inc polishes is AWESOME. It stays on forever, and it gives that puffy, shiny gel look I love. The second reason is the packaging. I am a fan of the new Nails Inc. packaging/rebranding, and the rectangle bottles beat OPI’s bottles with no contest.

Grosevor Crescent by Nails Inc

Base Coat- Orly Bonder
2 Coats Polish- Grosvenor Crescent by Nails Inc.
(From the Be Gelous collection, which I HIGHLY recommend!)
Top Coat- Seche Vite



Life on Sundays: My Perfect Wedding Day

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

It’s been 9 wonderful months since my husband and I said “I do.” I’ve been meaning to post all these pictures for a while now! (I have hundreds, but these are just a few of my favorites.)

My standing table numbers are for sale in my Etsy shop also! I can make them in any colors you would like. :) I plan on doing a few little tutorial-type things since I was a DIY Bride- did my own flowers, decorating, donut cake, etc! Let me know if you want me to break down anything pictured here!!

I loved my special day, so I hope that you guys get some motivation for your own weddings moving into WEDDING SEASON! Happy Sunday to you all. <3

Photography by A.Marie Photography.

LOS



Looks Like PCOS to Me: A Visual Guide to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Friday, February 27th, 2015

PCOS Symptoms Looks Like PCOS to Me

I’m like a poster child for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have pretty much every outward and inward symptom you could think of for PCOS. I also know that in the beginning, when I knew something was wrong, I didn’t know to piece all the little things together to make one big problem. How was I supposed to know that my missed periods and my thinning hair were somehow connected?!

In the picture above, you can find many things that all add up to what PCOS looks like for me. (Think of it as a handy PCOS symptom chart!) If you have any of these issues, please do yourself a favor and find a doctor to consult with. I made a little checklist (below) that will be able to help you decide if you should get checked out for PCOS as well.

  • Do you carry excess weight around your waist?
  • Do you have a hard time losing weight when you’re really trying?
  • Do you have sparse to no periods?
  • Have you been trying to conceive with no luck?
  • Do you have excess hair growth on your chin, neck, back, stomach, breasts, upper lip, etc?
  • Do you have thinning hair?
  • Do you suffer from hormonal acne or acne in general?
  • Do you have skin tags?
  • Do you have spots of darkened/discolored skin?
  • Have you ever had ovarian cysts?

It’s worth it to get diagnosed if you think you may have PCOS. I feel like I say this all the time, but PLEASE consult with a doctor so you can begin to treat yourself!

If you already have been diagnosed, you may want to check out my post, So You Were Diagnosed with PCOS… I think it will be just the pep talk you need!



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