Review: October Birchbox

My September Birchbox was unfortunately kind of a dud, so I didn't know what to expect for October. This box only had 5 items instead of 7, and 2 of the items were mascara samples. Nonetheless, I was still excited to receive my box. Birchbox days are always good days! Now let's get to it.

  1. Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, $44- Since I recently went blue I've been shampooing my hair less in order to help prevent my color from fading, so I was happy to receive this sample. Usually I use my trusty cherry-scented Batiste dry shampoo. The reviews I read about this product were great but besides the smell, I wasn't too excited by this product. On days when I used this instead of my Batiste dry shampoo my hair was noticeably more greasy-looking and flat. 
  2. Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara, $23- I'm always searching for new mascaras to help out my nearly-white, tiny lashes but this mascara is not it. This mascara felt very dry and it took me quite a while to fully coat all my lashes. Maybe I got a dud? An old tube? Who knows, but I've found much better drugstore mascaras than this.
  3. Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara, $20- After being disappointed by the Prescriptives mascara, I was really excited to try this one. I just had a feeling it would be great. Maybe that feeling was fueled by the cute packaging. But that feeling was wrong. This mascara made my little lashes look even shorter somehow and clumpy. However, it worked somewhat well on my bottom lashes, so it wasn't completely awful. 
  4. dr. brandt Microdermabrasion skin exfoliant, $79- I've said it before and I'll say it again, apricot scrub will always be my #1 when it comes to exfoliants. However, this wasn't bad and if the price wasn't so high (yeesh!) I would probably purchase this. It claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scars, and discolorations over time and those are all things I'm concerned about, I would be interested to see if continued use would make a big difference. Besides the price, the only thing I didn't like was the smell. It was sort of bathroom-cleaner citrus-y. It's not a pleasant smell but it's certainly not the worst smell. 
  5. Air Repair Super-Hydrating Eye Cream, $23- When I first put this on, my skin immediately started tingling. I don't know if I'm allergic/sensitive to something in it or if it's supposed to have that tingling sensation, but either way I was a little freaked by it. The sensation stopped right as I was preparing to rinse it off my face, so I left it on. I've continued to use this and the same keeps happening. Maybe that's not the smartest move on my part, but oh well, I appear to be fine. It's supposed to be used on puffy eyes, which I never really have an issue with, so unfortunately I haven't really been getting any results. I just use eye cream now so that maybe when I'm 60 I'll still look 30. Ha. 

Have you tried any of these products? 

A visit from an elusive sky-mermaid

You've heard about my best friend Sarah, but now I'd like to introduce you to my other soul sister, Mary, AKA the aforementioned elusive sky-mermaid. Mary lives in Florida and has been working her butt off for the past few years to become an instrument-rated commercial pilot (which she recently became!) so unfortunately she wasn't able to make it to my wedding. But! She made it to Maine for a couple days this week to visit me and then went off to Chicago to visit Sarah, and I was so glad to see her!

Since Mary was here for such a limited time, I tried to squeeze in as much Maine-y stuff as possible. We spent her first day here exploring Rockport Harbor, downtown Camden, and I took her to Mount Battie, where Spencer and I got married.

We spent her second day here at Acadia National Park, because no trip to Maine is complete without visiting Acadia! Since we had limited time we drove around Park Loop Road and stopped at the popular spots-- Jordan Pond, Sand Beach, Schooner Head, Thunder Hole, of course, Cadillac Mountain.

It was such a beautiful day and we picked a great time to go, the leaves were all so beautiful. Mary, being the flatlander she is, was blown away by the scenery. She also noted, while we were standing on the edge of a cliff staring out at the ocean, how small and insignificant she felt. She said it was a great reminder that there is more to the world than her small town in Florida, there is more to life than working, and there is so much more going on in the world than the current presidential election. I don't know about you, but the election has been the source of a lot of anxiety for me lately, so when she said that I took a deep breath and made more of a conscious effort to relax and focus on the present for the rest of the day.

Outfit details: Plaid hooded shirt, Glacier NP shirt (similar here), Old Navy Rockstar jeans, Hunter floral garden boots, hair color is Arctic Fox. 

I'm so happy that I got to see Mary, even for such a short time. It's always so much fun showing people around my beautiful state.

Review: Arctic Fox hair color

The first time I dyed my hair a "fantasy color" I used Kool-Aid. Oh, boy that was a bad idea. I'm not saying it's a bad idea for everyone, but I had no idea what I was doing. My mom wouldn't let me dye my hair blue and I was 14 and jobless, therefore I had no money of my own to sneakily buy hair dye with. I read a how-to article online, found some Kool-Aid mix in my pantry, and 8 hours later my hair was blue-ish. At the time I thought it looked amazing, but since I did that over my blonde hair I guess I would describe the color as..."dishwater blonde." It eventually faded to a silvery color, which I hated, but I suppose nowadays it would have been on trend.

Here I am 10 years later and my desire to have colorful hair hasn't gone away. Last year I had my hair dyed blue for a while but I decided to go back to blonde and not dye my hair again till after my wedding. But man, I was itchin' to do this. My old half-used bottles of blue dye were calling my name, taunting me!

In the past I've used Manic Panic's Amplified formula, Special Effects, and Splat but I decided to try out Arctic Fox since I've been seeing it everywhere for quite a while. I love that Arctic Fox dyes are vegan, cruelty free, and non-GMO, plus they donate 15% of their profits to help prevent animal abuse.

 I didn't buy it directly from their site, I bought my dye from Hot Topic because I'm all about racking up points for their rewards program. Unfortunately Hot Topic currently only sells the 4oz bottles, except the Arctic Mist diluter, which they sell in the 8oz bottle, and the dye is more expensive than if you were to purchase it directly from Arctic Fox. But I was at the store and wanted to dye my hair ASAP, so why not? I purchased the colors Poseidon and Phantom Green.
A quick swatch on a paper towel-- Poseidon and Phantom Green.

In the store, when standing next to the shelf with all the dye, all I could smell was grape. A similar scent to grape Kool Aid, funny enough. I thought maybe the bottles didn't have quality seals, but they do. This dye is just very fragrant!  I'm not in love with grape scent, but it could definitely be worse and I don't mind it.

I chose to dye over my unbleached hair because, to put it plainly, bleaching sucks. Also, my hair was already very light and I wasn't planning on diluting the dark colors I chose. When rinsing it out, I noticed it didn't stain nearly as much as some other dyes I have used in the past. My hands weren't stained at all (except my nails) but the back of my neck was stained. That's nothing compared to the staining I've dealt with in the past!

However, I didn't actually shampoo my hair for 5 days after I dyed it. I just rinsed it with cold water and conditioned it a couple times. Because of that, I noticed my hair would still stain a little. If I ran my fingers through my hair a lot, my finger-crotches would be stained. My clear phone case also became stained blue around the edges. I also noticed that when I flat-ironed my hair (I know, it's bad) then ran my fingers through my hair. the color would be on my hands. That isn't unusual, but I didn't have that problem with other dyes.

via my Instagram 

Since I didn't dilute the dye at all, I went through the entire 4oz bottle of Poseidon in one go with nothing left over for touch ups. My hair is very fine and is about bra-strap length, so I wasn't expecting to have to use as much dye as I did. But now I know to purchase more for next time.
Fading 2 weeks in
I noticed that the parts of my hair that I had lightened in the past were the first parts to fade, and I had heard a couple people who used this dye say the same thing. But the color was still pretty as it faded, unlike other dyes I had used that turned my hair a grayish-green color.

Overall, I'm very happy with this product and I think it's going to by my new go-to hair color. The price is reasonable, it's vegan and cruelty-free, it's available from numerous retailers, the colors are beautiful, and it fades well.

*Disclaimer: I am not a hairstylist nor have I ever had any professional training. I'm just a girl who likes to mess with her hair. Remember that everyone's hair is different and you may not have the same experiences that I did with this dye.*

Music Monday #28

Here's some mostly new music to get you through the week! Don't forget you can find my past Music Monday playlists here, including my big 'ol wedding playlist
What's your favorite track? What are you listening to right now?