Birchbox Best: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

The secret to lovely winter skin.

The secret to lovely winter skin.

As you may remember, I received a Birchbox this month for the first time in over a year. To celebrate the return of the beauty subscription, I’ve decided to give a monthly shout out to the best new find (or finds). This month I had a really great selection of items, but there was one real standout product: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. This mild exfoliant says it’s good for all skin types, and as someone with sensitive skin, I’m typically weary of that. However, after reading copious reviews on the Birchbox website, I was convinced that it was gentle enough to give it a try. I’m so glad I did!

The product claims to even skin tone, reduce redness, build collagen and unclog pores. It can be used once or twice a day, after cleansing and before moisturizing. I simply pour some on a cotton pad and swipe it on during my nightly cleansing routine. I have to say, I am blown away by this product! It didn’t aggravate my skin at all – in fact, while my skin was in the height of winter craziness, this product calmed it down! After one day my skin looked less blotchy and had fewer dry patches. After my second use, the flaky patches were completely gone and my skin felt super smooth. On day three my skin looked more even and felt better than it had in months. There’s no going back for me; this little skin saver is going into my arsenal forever!
The Balm Read My Lips Lip Gloss in BAM!
Runner Up: There was another new product definitely worth mentioning in my February Birchbox – The Balm Read My Lips Lip Gloss in BAM! This a creamy, shiny gloss with sort of a liquid lipstick type of feel to it. It’s super long lasting and this shade, a rosy pink, is very pretty and feminine. I’m loving it as a weekday lip gloss – perfect for the office!

All I Want For Christmas…

???????????????????????????????Since I’ve just spent the better part of my day wrapping presents and decorating our Christmas tree with my husband, I’m pretty much full-on in the holiday spirit. And now that we are less than three weeks out from the big holiday, I thought I’d share my holiday wish list as a sort of holiday gift guide for all the beauty fiends on your list. A word of caution – you’ll probably want to pick a few of these items up for yourself, as well!

1. Birchbox Subscription: This is the number one beauty gift on my list because, as a former Birchbox subscriber, I know how much I loved it! In case you have not yet heard of (or subscribed to) Birchbox, this beauty subscription service delivers a box of personalized deluxe beauty samples to your house for $10 per month. Sometimes the samples are a small – think a packet or two of shampoo – but more often than not there’s a full sized nail polish or lipstick in your collection, and I’ve found many new favorites through this service. 3, 6 and 12 month gift subscriptions are available.

2. Fresh Sugar Ruby Romance Gift Set: This is the perfect gift for the gloss and balm lover in your life. Fresh Sugar lip balms are the best of the best, and I’m loving the ruby red shade for winter. Also, I’m dying to try that gloss.

3. Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial in a Box: Who doesn’t love a good spa day? The idea of being able to give yourself a Bliss Spa-quality facial in the comfort of your own bathroom is so tempting, and with a $12 price tag, how can you pass it up?

4. Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair: For all the green beauties on your list, what could be better than the gift of all-natural lip balm in beautiful packaging? I love Osmia Organics products, and if this jar of balm is as effective as their Best Lip Balm, I need it in my life.

5. Osmia Organics Lavender Shea Soap: I really love a good, smooth bar of soap, and lavender is my favorite scent. Plus, Osmia soaps are so beautiful, you basically don’t even need to wrap them.

6. The Ciate Daily: A set of seven killer nail polishes in an adorable newspaper-inspired makeup bag? You bet this makes my list!

7. Victoria’s Secret VS Stripe Train Case: I really love train cases for stashing makeup, and I’ve always been a sucker for the pink and white stripes. Why not get the girlie girl on you list one of these? Better yet, why not fill it with the other goodies on this list and really make her Christmas?

What are you hoping to find under the tree this year?

Fall Polish Picks from RUFFIAN

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund

Aside from the occasional classic red or hot pink manicure, I tend to keep my fingernails pretty tame. I have a whole shelf dedicated to clear or almost-clear nail strengtheners that do little more than add shine and perhaps the faintest pink or white tint to my nails. But in the fall I always seem to find a darker, more dramatic manicure appropriate. With that in mind, let me tell you about my new favorite nail polish brand – RUFFIAN.

I received this cool shimmery dark green polish – RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund – in a Birchbox last year. I was intrigued but intimidated. That is, until I swiped the impossibly easy to apply polish on my nails and realized how much I love it. The color is super saturated, so one coat completely covers each nail, and the oddly shaped cap actually makes the brush incredibly easy to hold and maneuver. It dried quickly and I really cannot get enough of this color.

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Endless Love

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Endless Love


Looking for something similar with less of a camo-flavor? Might I suggest Endless Love, a beautiful shimmery purple in the RUFFIAN collection. I’m pretty sure it’s the loveliest nail color I’ve ever seen, which is why it is at the very top of my must-buy list.

What shades are you loving this season?

The Gift of Beauty

Imagine coming home to find a package waiting for you. Inside is a beautiful box, lined in jewel-colored tissue, filled with top-of-the-line beauty products that you have never tried, tailored to your own individual interests and beauty needs. This lovely gift fills you with delight, and introduces you to new products that just might solve your most lingering beauty woes. What would it be worth to you?

How does ten dollars sound?

That’s the price of a month’s subscription to birchbox, my latest beauty obsession. As a girl who loves both beauty and receiving presents, I could not be more excited about this find. Birchbox is a website/beauty store/subscription service that allows you to send yourself the gift of beauty. When I heard about it, I decided I had to give it a try, if only for one month. So I logged on, signed up, and waited. When my first box arrived, I actually squealed with delight – the pretty packaging really makes it feel like a gift, and because I didn’t know what would be inside, I was both excited and surprised. Before I opened it, I was a bit skeptical – the website describes the subscription as a box of deluxe beauty samples, and as a sample-lover, I’ve been saddened by the decline in ample samples that some of my favorite stores have been sending me. Still, the site promised quality, and it delivered – my first box included a full-sized organic lip balm worth $12, a large bag of bath salts, a mini mascara, a travel-sized tube of Italian toothpaste, a couple of packets of foot cream, and an eyebrow brush – well worth the $10 price tag, if you ask me. I loved a couple of the products so much that I purchased full-sized versions and now use them on a regular basis.

To be honest, I became a little obsessed. Obviously I had to keep subscribing, and I’ll be receiving my third box this week. (My second treasure chest came stocked with all sorts of treats – a wildly chic nail polish, an adorable tin of organic chamomile tea, facial scrub, moisturizer and perfume.) What makes birchbox even more worth the subscription price? A points system that rewards you for every dollar you spend, free shipping on orders over $50 and on any item featured in that month’s box, plus extra reward points for referring your friends – and believe me, once you try it, you’ll want to. The site also features articles on a variety of beauty-related topics, and special deals for members.

You can sign up or find out more at www.birchbox.com. Or, better yet, comment on this post and I’ll send you an invitation!

Enjoy! I know I will, month after month.