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Monday, January 30, 2017

First VNYL Delivery

VNYL subscription box

You may have already heard about VNYL, a monthly curated record subscription service. As someone who is always on a mission to beef up my record collection and who loves the surprises of subscription services, I was instantly intrigued. I put off subscribing for months, then found a pretty great deal for it through Groupon, set up my account, and waited not-so-patiently for my first delivery. It made me a little anxious to have a complete stranger pick the newest additions to my record collection.

VNYL subscription box

When filling out your profile for your VNYL account you can link multiple different accounts so the curator can see what you like to listen to, plus there is a space to write in what you really love and really hate. You can also choose how adventurous you want the curator to be when picking albums for you. I chose "lukewarm" just to be on the safe side. Along with that, each month you can choose a different vibe (theme) you'd like.

VYNL record subscription preferences

If you're thinking, "okay but I have a big collection already, what if they send me something I already own??" there's an easy fix for that! Simply make a Discogs account, enter your albums in your collection, and link your Discogs account with your VNYL account. It's super easy, especially with Discogs' app-- you can just scan the barcodes on your records and add them to your collection instantly. That way there will be no duplicates in your collection!

VNYL subscription box

My first delivery arrived within a few weeks and came with a handwritten note, stickers, and coloring page (pictured above). If you color the page in and share it online, you could win a free month subscription. It's what all those adult coloring books have been preparing me for!

VNYL record subscription

The vibe I chose this month was Boys Do Cry so I received Blush by Moose Blood (black vinyl), You're Gonna Miss It All by Modern Baseball (solid yellow vinyl), and The Home Inside My Head by Real Friends (milky with black clouds).These are all albums that I love, songs from these bands have previously been featured on my Music Monday playlists, and were very welcome additions to my collection!

Moose Blood Blush vinyl

Modern Baseball You're Gonna Miss It All vinyl

Real Friends The Home Inside My Head vinyl

I think VNYL is a great idea and I'm looking forward to my next delivery!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: First Ipsy Glam Bag

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

January 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag

I have always considered myself to be a person who hates surprises. I always peeked at Christmas gifts and whenever someone tells me "I got you a present!" I badger them until they tell me what it is. I hate not knowing, I can't help it! However, my subscription to Birchbox made me realize...I freakin' love surprises. Which is why I also subscribed to Ipsy, another monthly beauty subscription, bag. Ipsy is also responsible for Generation Beauty. Without further ado, let's get to the reviews!
January 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag
  1. F.U.N. Lacquer in TGIF, $11.50- I've never been one for glittery or shimmery nail polish. I stick to red, black, and neon pink if I'm feeling adventurous. I gave it a shot and I immediately liked that the glitter in the polish is a few different colors. This polish looks great with one coat or three. It looks great by itself but I also think it would be great over nude polishes or even a neon coral polish. It's still not quite for me, but I'll keep it in my collection just in case.
  2. ModelCo BLUSH Cheek Powder in Peach Bellini, $22-  Hence the name, this is a peach blush. I typically go for more pink or mauve blushes and I think this may be the only peach blush I've ever used. I like it, but I think it's a little too peach for my skin tone. I've also found sometimes it can be a bit difficult to blend. 
  3. SLMissGlam Blend Beauty Brush L34, $13.50- I can't say anything bad about this brush. Not only is it super cute, it picks up just the right amount of shadow and blends so well. I would definitely consider buying brushes from this brand.
  4. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Fantasy 3-in-1 Eyeshadow, $19- I wasn't very thrilled by this color at first, but I fell in love with it after the first use. It's a great everyday color, with some shimmer for a little glam. It is designed to be a blush, highlighter, and eyeshadow but for me, it works best as an eyeshadow. I don't normally do warm eye looks, but I've been using this almost every day since I got it. I use it with Urban Decay's Warning from the Full Spectrum palette for a warm smoky eye. 
  5. Sally's Box LoveRecipe AcaiBerry Mask & LoveRecipe Aloe Mask, $1.50 each- These both made my face feel more greasy and sticky than hydrated. Still not bad for only $1.50, but I think I'll pass.
January 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag

So far I'm pretty pleased with Ipsy!

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? What do you think? Want to subscribe? 
Monday, January 23, 2017

Music Monday #34

Music Monday playlist

It feels like it's been forever since I last posted a Music Monday playlist! Truthfully, it's not even been a full month. Since I posted my Favorite Albums of 2016, I've mostly been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. Like, all the time. Since you've probably heard that already (and if you haven't, here ya go) here's the other few songs I've been listening to for the past few weeks.

What have you been listening to this week? 
Friday, January 20, 2017

11 Alternatives to Plastic Microbeads

11 alternatives to plastic microbeads

We've all seen, and probably used, products with plastic microbeads in them. If a product boasts "exfoliating beads!" that's a red flag. You can know for sure by reading the ingredients (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate is what you're looking for). They may help your face feel smooth, but they are wreaking havoc on our waterways.
plastic microbeads
via 5 Gyres
Microbeads are most often found in face washes, soaps, toothpastes, and body scrubs but sometimes also lip gloss and nail polish. They are usually smaller than 2 millimeters, thus they easily go down our drains and flow into the water systems. Since they're plastic, they easily soak up toxins in the water. Marine life mistakes the little beads for food, ingests them, and that marine life may end up on your plate.

In 2015, President Obama signed a bill that banned the beads but the ban on manufacturing such products doesn't go into place until July 2017, and they won't be banned entirely until 2018. The UK has made plans to phase out microbeads as well, but there may potentially be some loopholes. Many other countries have proposed bans and the United Nations even recommend a worldwide ban.

Progress is good, but it's going a little too slow if you ask me. I still see people buying products with microbeads, YouTubers showing their face washing routine that includes microbead face washes, and people recommending these products to others. Frankly, that all makes me want to scream. The products with microbeads are being phased out, they have been banned, that's a pretty big clue that we shouldn't be using them anymore!
plastic microbeads
When President Obama first signed the bill banning the beads, an old high school acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook, "Ugh, thanks a lot, Obama. What am I going to exfoliate with now?" If you're wondering the same thing, here's some ideas.
  1. Crushed walnut shells
  2. Seeds, crushed or full 
  3. Baking soda
  4. Coffee grounds
  5. Shredded loofah
  6. Sugar
  7. Sea salt
  8. Oatmeal
  9. Corn kernel meal
  10. Bamboo extract
  11. Pumice 
Of course, there are other exfoliants out there but I wanted to list the ones you could easily find, not only as ingredients in drugstore and high-end products, but also you can easily find these items at the grocery store or on Amazon and make your own scrub. One of my favorite things to do is mix coffee grounds with coconut oil-- it exfoliates and makes my skin so soft and smooth.

I was going to list examples for products that contain these exfoliants but there are just so many options out there. We don't need plastic microbeads! We need to encourage others to use these alternatives instead until the bans take effect. If you live somewhere where a ban hasn't been put in place yet, write your lawmakers!

Tell me your favorite microbead alternative in the comments!

Further viewing: How Plastic Microbeads are Causing Big Problems by Lush Cosmetics & 5 Gyres Institute 
Further reading: Microbeads: How Did Companies Respond? from Greenpeace International
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: January Birchbox

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

January 2017 Birchbox

This month Birchbox partnered up with SELF Magazine to curate a box that makes you feel "like the greatest version of your (already great) self." Because I am a grump, I rolled my eyes at that line and assumed that my January Birchbox would be a dud.

But I think this is my favorite box yet. 

January 2017 Birchbox

  1. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner, $22-  Eyeko is no stranger to me. I've been using this brand for years now and this eyeliner is probably my second-favorite liquid eyeliner. It used to be my very favorite until Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner came along (which I talked about in my 2016 Favorites post). This liner is super easy to apply and makes sharp lines but I've found that it doesn't last as well as the Tattoo Liner. It's still a great eyeliner that is worth checking out! 
  2. Beauty Protector Protect & Oil, $28- I'm a huge fan of Beauty Protector's Protect & Detangle spray, so I was really excited to try this out. Like the spray, it has the same great scent, a little goes a long way, and it leaves my hair feeling silky AF. I've been focusing this oil on the ends of my hair to provide a little more heat protection and smooth out the split ends. I'm not sure if I would purchase this since I usually use jojoba oilwhich is much cheaper, and I'm pretty happy with the results I get from that. But the scent may be worth it. 
  3. R+Co OBLIVION Clarifying Shampoo, $24- I'm pretty set with clarifying shampoos- I have a ton laying around and I only use them before coloring my hair. But ever since I received R+Co's ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner in my November Birchbox, I've been dying to try more of their products. This shampoo smells great and lathered better than other clarifying shampoos I've used. It was just a pain to squeeze out of the bottle. It also dried my hair out a bit.
  4. R+Co OBLIVION Restorative Gel Conditioner, $25- This tiny sample size was just barely enough to coat my hair. It said to use after the clarifying shampoo and it would restore my hair, make it feel hydrated and soft again. I don't know if it just didn't work or if I didn't have enough of the product, because my hair felt like straw when I got out of the shower. Meh.
  5. Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $105-  This product claims to plump up fine lines, exfoliate skin, and generally make you look more radiant. The sample size is pretty small, I only got 6 uses out of it, but I really liked it. It made my face instantly feel so much smoother. I would love to purchase this and see what results I got from continued use, but $105 is more than I'm willing to spend on one face product. 
  6. Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic To-Go, $18- I love toner pads like this, especially when traveling and I don't want to bring a big bottle of witch hazel toner with me. I only received two of these and I didn't notice anything particularly spectacular about them but I would buy them and give them another shot. 
January 2017 Birchbox

Have you tried any of these products? Want to join Birchbox?
Monday, January 16, 2017

Poppyseeder Turns 1 + Giveaway! (CLOSED)

blogiversary giveaway

As of today Poppyseeder is 1 year old. I can't believe that I have stuck with this blog for a whole year. Not only that, but I have no intentions of abandoning it. Crazy! Now it's time to delve into my past a bit, because would this really be a blogiversary post without me describing my history with blogging? No.

I grew up journaling every single night. It started as a requirement for school, then I did it on my own because I loved to look back and read the usually mundane details of my life. Before middle school I bought a ginormous orange, fuzzy-covered diary from Claire's and I wrote in it almost every night before bed all three years of middle school. Unfortunately I threw it away out of pure embarrassment when I got into high school. That diary contained details about my first real crush, my first not-so-real boyfriend (I mean, it was middle school), and every stupid, petty, angsty detail of my oh-so-difficult life. Tweens, amirite?

During high school I moved away from the fuzzy orange diary and branched out to Blogger and LiveJournal. I used Blogger to share my terrible prose poetry that made no sense whatsoever and I used LiveJournal to share every detail of my day plus YouTube videos for songs I loved at the moment. I shared every single thought and feeling I had during my turbulent teen years on LiveJournal because I didn't think anyone I knew read it and because I didn't want to burden my friends and family with my problems. I just wanted to get things off my chest. I thought it was a good system. Turns out someone I knew did read it, and they used it to mock me relentlessly for years, which caused me to take a break from blogging for a while.

I started a new blog during college that left out the personal stuff and focused on my adventures in environmental advocacy, the short time I lived in Washington D.C., and trying to figure out how to grow every vegetable under the sun in containers on my patio. I used that blog for a few years but deleted it and all the content when I was going through a particularly rough time. I was really proud of that blog and it had lots of photos that existed only there, so about 45 minutes later I definitely regretted hitting the self-destruct button.

Sharing my life on the internet isn't easy for me, even with the teeny tiny spotlight that I have. I'm still wary about sharing too much, I still cringe when I find out that someone I know in real life reads my blog, and I still have so much self-doubt that I'm constantly battling. Will I hate all of my posts by next year? Yeah, probably, but oh well.

Anyway, I'm happy with where my blog is now, I'm happy that I decided to start it up again, and I'm happy that I'm sticking with it. I think I've found the line of sharing too much (at least, I hope) and I have been so darn reclusive the past few years, this has helped me crawl out of my little turtle shell.

A Look Back
Camden, Maine library

If you read all that, I appreciate you! If you're just here for the giveaway and didn't read any of that...I guess I appreciate you, too...but not as much 😉 Let's get to it.

The purpose of this giveaway is just to say thanks for reading, whether you're a new reader or have been around for a while. The prize of this giveaway is a $25 Amazon gift card so that you can treat yourself to a 'lil something. I will be sending it to the winner via e-mail, so there is no need to provide a mailing address.

  • This giveaway is open only to residents of the USA who are 18 years of age or older.
  • My friends and family are not eligible, sorry y'all. 
  • This giveaway is not sponsored, I am purchasing the prize with my own money. 
  • One winner will be picked randomly via Rafflecopter and *I will be verifying that they have completed the mandatory entry tasks*. I will then notify the winner via e-mail and Twitter and they have 48 hours to claim their prize before I pick a runner-up winner.  
  • The giveaway is open for entries between 12AM EST January 16th and 12AM EST February 20th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm pretty confident that this year is going to bring bigger and better things. Thanks again for being here and good luck!
Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: goodDYEyoung Hair Color- UPDATED!

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

goodDYEyoung is a hair color brand that I've been wanting to try for quite a while and, as you can tell, I finally got around it. This company happens to be owned by Hayley Williams, frontwoman of Paramore, and her colorist, Brian O'Connor. Their products went on sale in April 2016 so goodDYEyoung is a fairly new company. The available colors are pink, yellow, red, orange, and blue. (Keep reading for an updated color list!)

This dye is vegan, cruelty-free, and is infused with sunflower, bergamot, and other nourishing conditioners. It is free of synthetic fragrances, which I love, but it still has a smell. This is the best smelling dye I've ever used, hands down. It smells a bit like Earl Grey tea, hence the bergamot.

Around the time I bought my dye, GDY was donating $1 of every product sold to different charities, depending on the product. All the charities they chose are doing very important work so I was glad to know that my purchase would support one of them and also that I was buying from a company that shares my values.

(Learn more! Trevor Project - NRDC - RAINN -NAACP Legal Defense Fund - Center for Reproductive Rights. Sales of their merch supported the NAMM Foundation.)

My package arrived fairly quickly and came with some free stickers. Lemme tell ya, free stickers are the way to my heart. Plus the adorable comic strip style directions!

Unlike the last time I dyed my hair, I did bleach it this time. My reddish-roots looked bad, my hair color was uneven, and I had a lot of color banding going on. As much as I hate bleaching my hair, it needed to be done so I sucked it up and did it. My hair could have done with some more processing time and some toning, but it was good enough for me. If I cared about it being done perfectly I'd be going to a salon, right?

goodDYEyoung hair color review

On GDY's website they recommend buying 2 bottles of their dye, but I only bought 1 bottle of Blue Ruin so I was a bit worried I wouldn't have enough to cover all of my hair. I mixed in a little of my Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask to make the dye go further and because after bleaching, my hair needed it. I used my dye brush to scoop out two little heaps of it, mixed it with all of the dye and it didn't seem to dilute the color at all, which I was happy about. My hair is about bra strap length, pretty fine in texture and I had enough of my mixture to completely saturate my hair, but I didn't have any dye leftover for future touch-ups. I applied the dye basically undiluted, left it on for an hour, and the color turned out very similar to Manic Panic's Rockabilly Blue, if you're familiar with that. Hella blue.

goodDYEyoung hair color review

As with most blue dyes, this dye stains-- a lot. If you use this dye definitely coat your hairline, ears, and neck with Vaseline, coconut oil, or whatever else you prefer to prevent staining. I skipped that step and I was stained blue in those areas for a week. You may want to use gloves when rinsing your hair if the blue hand look isn't for you. I also recommend rinsing this dye in the sink or under the tub faucet, bonus if you can get someone to help you, especially to help keep the runoff off of your face.

For about a week after I dyed my hair I was having a lot of issues with the color bleeding. It was all over my hands and neck all the time, it was staining my pillow cases and clothes, and I would wake up with huge blue blotches on my face, as would my husband. I'm used to hair color staining, but it was a bit excessive. I just wanted to wake up in the morning without having to scrub a giant blue line off the middle of my face, ya know?

Because of the bleeding I wasn't so sure that this dye was for me, but other factors made up for that. It's certainly not lacking in the pigment department. I probably could have diluted it a lot more than I did and still had super vibrant color. Once the bleeding phase was over, the color clung to my hair and didn't let go. I was shampooing it quite a bit more than usual and it barely faded compared to other dyes and usually my facial cleanser would make the dye fade on my hairline around my face, but this dye didn't budge. During the dyeing process, I noticed the consistency of GDY is thicker than others I've used, which it made it so much easier to work with.

goodDYEyoung hair color review
3 weeks in

The reason why I put off purchasing this dye for so long was, in a nutshell, money. There aren't many colors available right now, no green dye, so I would have had to purchase more bottles to mix the color I wanted, thus spending even more money. One 4oz bottle of dye costs $13.99. In comparison, a 4oz bottle of Arctic Fox dye is only $7.99 and they have many colors available. GDY is also only available through their site right now, so I couldn't shop around for the cheapest shipping methods. (UPDATE: a selection of GDY is now available at Urban Outfitters).

The shipping costs were what really slowed down my purchasing process. The cheapest shipping option for 2 bottles was $13.70, almost as much as one bottle of dye. For one bottle of dye shipping was $5, so I could have purchased 2 bottles in separate orders to save a few bucks, but I was getting cranky about the whole thing and decided to just get one bottle. I wanted green hair but blue is cool, too. (That was an unintentional pun, I promise!)

goodDYEyoung hair color review
3 weeks in

Despite the color bleeding, I absolutely love this dye. I didn't have much faith in it at first, but it's my new favorite. The pros outweigh the cons. The slightly higher price and shipping costs are worth it to me since the color stays so vibrant for so long and I'm sure I can figure something out to minimize the bleeding. I don't think I'll need to dye my hair again anytime soon, but I've already placed another order with GDY. I've heard that they are planning to release more colors in the future and I can't wait for that!

UPDATE 2/24/17: 
You know that color bleeding issue I mentioned? Well, I figured out what I did wrong. I definitely did not need to use a full bottle of this dye (although they recommend the use of 2 bottles). I refreshed my dye and used just a little bit of dye and diluted it a lot with my conditioner, and it barely bled at all. The bleeding wasn't even close to what I experienced before.

So in a nutshell: even though their site recommends 2 bottles, you probably won't need it because this dye goes such a long way and this dye is an even better value than I originally thought!

UPDATE 5/24/17:
Rejoice! goodDYEyoung now offers shipping at a flat rate of $8 and free shipping for orders over $40!

(Yes, another) UPDATE 6/21/17:
Today GDY launched 4 new shades, expanding their color range to 10 (including their Fader product). The new shades are purple, green, teal, and black.

*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.*