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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: June Birchbox

june 2017 birchbox review

When this month's Birchbox arrived in the mail I realized that the end is near-- for my subscription, I mean. My July box is the last one in my subscription, which was a gift (shout out to my in-laws) so I was really hoping for my last couple boxes to be really great.

june 2017 birchbox review

  1. The Beauty Crop Blush Duo, $10- I've been getting so many blushes from Ipsy lately, so I wasn't too excited to receive this blush duo. The right side is an orangey-coral powder blush and the left side is a more pink, but still coral, cream blush. The powder blush isn't a great shade for me, but I really like the cream blush. It's very pigmented and easy to go overboard with it, but it can also be very subtle and natural looking. I'm definitely going to use the cream blush till it's all gone.
  2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $36-  I've received a ton of single-use sample packets of this primer over the past couple years, but this is the first time I've received a sample of it that was substantial enough for me to actually know if I liked it or not. Now I actually know that this primer isn't for me. I noticed that my foundation didn't last nearly as long when I used this primer and came off more easily and looked patchy. 
  3. amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $24- It's a nice smelling dry shampoo that gets the job done. There's not much else I can say.
  4. COOLA Rosilliance Organic BB Cream SPF 30 in shade light/medium, $52- COOLA is such a hyped-up brand but y'all, I have been less than thrilled with every single product I've tried from them, including this one. My sample tube was only half-filled, if that, and the consistency was extremely watery even after I shook the tube to mix things up. Once applied, I couldn't see any color or coverage on my face whatsoever. For a $52 product, I expected a lot more.
  5. JUARA Rose & Willowbark Purifying Mask, $38-  This mask claims to be great for anti-aging, purifying, and softening. The scent is quite earthy, but I was expecting it to be more floral so it threw me off. The description says that the mask "feels calming and soothing on contact" but upon putting it on my face I realized that means it is a warming mask, which wasn't blatantly stated anywhere, so I had a few moments of "is this a warming mask or am I having an allergic reaction?" That's not a fun game to play. I rode it out and my skin felt soft and smooth, a little more so than after my usual skincare routine. However, I don't think this is something I would purchase because of the price and there are so many comparable products out there and I'm really not a fan of warming masks.
June 2017 Birchbox review

Overall, this wasn't the best Birchbox but it certainly wasn't the worst. I'm hoping that my next and last box will end things on a better note. 

Have you tried any of these products? Want to subscribe to Birchbox? 
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pemaquid Point + Fort Point

pemaquid point maine

Life has been serving up stress and mundanity for Spencer and I lately but thankfully we've still found time for some little adventures. We recently crossed 2 places off of our to-do list, and both of them involved lighthouses.

pemaquid point maine

First we headed to Pemaquid Point, located in Bristol, which is a pretty popular spot for tourists, but we arrived just as they opened so it wasn't too crowded. There is a $3/person fee and other than the lighthouse, you'll find the Fisherman's Museum and the Pemaquid Art Gallery. The views alone are worth the entry fee. Pemaquid Point is famous for the rocky cliffs, which I almost loved as much as I loved the panoramic view of the ocean. This was an unplanned trip, so I was wearing flats which certainly weren't the best shoes for walking on the jagged rocks.

pemaquid point light

The lighthouse itself was first built in 1827, commissioned by President John Quincy Adams, and is owned by the Coast Guard and managed by the Friends of Pemaquid Point Light, so it is open to tour the inside whenever the park is open. It's safe to say that Pemaquid Point is one of the most popular attractions in Maine's Midcoast region, and it's easy to see why.

fort point state park

Then we headed about 30 miles north of Camden to the town of Stockton Springs where Fort Point State Park is. We didn't know much about it before we went, only that there was a lighthouse and it wasn't a very popular state park (compared to our local Camden Hills State Park, at least.) There was no ranger at the gate, only a box to drop the fee in, and we only encountered 4 other people while we were there. We found an informational plaque, read up on the history of the park, and found out that the area was settled in 1759 when Governor Pownall brought 400 men to build a fort to defend the area during the French and Indian War. The fort saw no action during the war, then in 1872 a luxury hotel was built there, which burned down in 1898. Now the park is just home to the ruins of the fort, Fort Point Light, and trails. The lighthouse, built in 1857, is private and occupied by the lighthouse keeper as this is an active lighthouse. 

fort point state park

We didn't have time to explore the trails or the beach but this is a decent-sized, beautiful, and secluded park. I definitely think it's a mistake to pass it up, especially if you need a break from the insanely-crowded parks that are more popular with tourists. It's only about 3 miles off Route 1, so if you're passing through, check it out!

pemaquid point maine

Summer is off to a good start, I'd say!...even though it's still technically spring. 

Where are you adventuring this summer? Tell me in the comments!
Monday, June 5, 2017

June VNYL Delivery

VNYL subscription box

Yet another hot pink box arrived so I'm gonna tell you about what was inside. In case you don't know, VNYL is a vinyl record subscription box that sends you three records each month. I went into the specifics a little more in my first post about it, if you're interested. Anyway, let's get into what I was sent this month.

Four Year Strong Go Down in History vinyl

Four Year Strong isn't a band I've ever been too into (however, I really enjoyed their covers album, Explains It All). Truthfully, I wasn't very stoked about this pick when I first pulled it out of the box. I may have muttered "are you serious?" But I listened to it and enjoyed it quite a bit more than I thought I would, and I've listened to it a few more times since it arrived. Shout out to my curator, Sam, I'm sorry that I doubted you.

Apollo Up! Chariots of Fire vinyl

This isn't something I would have gravitated toward, but I really like it. The whole album is really energetic. I've been putting it on while I clean the house and dance around, it makes boring tasks more fun.

Sharkmuffin Tsuki vinyl

This is definitely my favorite album from this delivery. I've been really into female-led garage punk lately for the last decade, so of course this instantly appealed to me.

VNYL subscription box

All in all, this wasn't a bad box at all!

Have you listened to any of these albums? Want $10 off for VNYL? Shoot me an email & I'll hook ya up! 
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Current Favorites #4

It's time for me to gush over my favorite new products that I've tried over the past month! Most of the products are hair-related since I am constantly trying new hair products, especially sulfate-free shampoos which are safer for colored hair. I also decided to try out a new micellar water and it has replaced my old go-to. I'm pretty darn pleased with my recent finds. 

lisa frank blush brush, pacifica micellar water, indie hair, nature's gate
  • Lisa Frank x Glamour Dolls Angled Blush Brush, $5- While I do think this brush was very over-hyped (but I totally bought into the hype soooo) I've been using it every day and I love it. It's soft, fluffy, and applies blush well. It's a perfectly fine brush for $5, plus it's super cute.
  • Pacifica Kale Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic, $12- This is the micellar water that I've been searching for. It smells so good and fresh and takes even the cakiest of makeup off with ease. I want to use it all the time, even when I don't have makeup to take off. Pacifica nailed it.
  • Indie Hair Dry Shampoo, $15- I actually won this (and the hairspray) in an Instagram giveaway hosted by Jennifer Broders and Indie Hair, so many thanks to them! I love this dry shampoo because it has a fresh scent that isn't overpowering and keeps my hair feeling fresh between washes. 
  • Indie Hair Hairspray, $18- This hairspray is said to have a strong hold, but I'd say it's more of  a medium hold-- but I like that, because strong hold hairsprays usually give my hair a crunchy texture, and this hairspray doesn't. This hairspray holds my style but not in a stiff, crunchy way. It has a light fruity scent, and again, it's not overpowering.
  • Nature's Gate Shampoo, $4.99- Not any particular formula, in general this shampoo is just great. It's vegan, non-GMO, and sulfate-free. My hair color barely bleeds at all when I use it, which is a very important factor for me. My very favorite shampoo is Pacifica's Super Kale Shampoo ($10) but it isn't sold at any stores near me so I have to order it online or travel quite a bit to get it. The Nature's Gate shampoo is half the price, just as good, and is popping up at more and more stores in my area.
Have you tried any of these? What products have you been loving lately?