Unboxing: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

Birchbox May 2017

R+Co – Death Valley Dry Shampoo

I can never have too many dry shampoos so please subscription boxes keep ’em coming! This particular dry shampoo is packed with rice protein sourced from Brazil. This style-refreshing spray will absorb excess oil (as most dry shampoos do), as well as give hair volume and a tousled texture. Make sure not to spray it to close to your scalp. Spritz 10-12 inches away from your roots.

The Beauty Crop – Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara

Flamingos just so happen to be one of my favorite animals so I died a little inside when I saw this mascara. I am such a sucker for cute packaging. It claims to be a smudge proof as well as clump free. These are two things that I look for in a mascara so I am very excited to try it out. The formula is nourished with argan and jojoba oils to condition, separate, plump, and lengthen lashes.

Living Proof – (PHD) In-Shower Styler

This is an innovative, first of its kind lotion to just washed hair. The directions say to rinse while you’re in the shower, and air-dry for soft waves and more manageability without any residue. I love the idea of this product but I am afraid to use it. Let me know in the comments if you have tried any products like this one and your opinion on the result.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics – Glo Illuminator

I have dry skin so I prefer liquid or cream highlighters. The less powder the better. Now don’t get me wrong I do use powder highlighters every now and then and I will layer them when I am feeling extra glamours that day. This unique formula subtly reflects light to make skin look radiant. Mix with foundation or apply alone.

Peter Thomas Roth – Max Complexion Correction Pads

I am really excited to try these out! The treatment pads are soaked in a cocktail of powerhouse ingredients including salicylic and glycolic acid to cleanse skin, banish breakouts, and promote cell turnover.

Ipsy May 2017

Mellow Cosmetics – Creamy Matte Lipstick in Nude

I must admit these days I tend to lean more towards liquid lipsticks vs. lipsticks. However, this lipstick is the exception. Not only do I loooooove this shade, it is also very moisturizing while still providing a matte finish. This is a trait most matte lip lovers find to be very rare. I’m so sorry the lipstick isn’t as pretty/crisp as it usually is upon its reveal. I just  couldn’t wait to use it before taking a picture hah.

Luxie Beauty – Precision Foundation Brush 660

Do I even need to talk about this? I LOVE GETTING BRUSHES IN SUBSCRIPTION BOXES!

Urban Decay – Afterglow in Sin

This is the first time I have ever received a sample from Urban Decay so I was instantly thrilled. The formula is very finely milled, and therefore the powder is very buttery. Even if you don’t have dry skin, who doesn’t want a creamy lightweight powdered product.

Grande Cosmetics – Grande Mascara in Rich Black

According to the Ipsy website this mascara is waterproof. I have watery eyes/wear contacts so I only buy waterproof mascara. Might I add, this is actually full size. So, that means Ipsy automatically earns extra points.

Adesse New York – Nail Lacquer in Sufer Girl

I am a nail polish junkie so I always get so excited to see a nail polish in my bag. Unfortunately, this just isn’t my color. However, I have a few friends that would love it so it will not go to waste. The formula is extremely opaque and shiny and almost looks like gel polish when it dries.

This month’s winner is… Ipsy

Unboxing: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

Birchbox April 2017

Davines – LOVE shampoo and conditioner

Enriched with olive oil and rice protein, this formula smooths frizzed-out and tangle prone hair while you wash. The Minuta olive conditioner calms frizz while providing intense moisture and shine with nourishing fatty acids.

Dr. Jart+ – Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream

Formulated with medicinal herb centella asiatica, this healing, calming, and deeply hydrating cream treats redness, blemishes, inflammation, and other irritations.

This Works- Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

The name says it all! This spray really does work! I picked this item as my product choice this month. It is clinically proven to aid a good night’s rest. This calming infusion of lavender and chamomile helps you fall asleep faster. Just spray it on your pillow right before bed. I am not going to lie I was skeptical at first but it really did help me fall asleep and it smells amazing!

The Beauty Crop- GRLPWR Lips Liquid Lipstick – Imma Bawse

This liquid lipstick delivers a long-wearing matte look and rich uncompromising color. Enriched with shea butter and vitamin E it provides comfortable wear for hours.

R+Co – HIGH DIVE Moisture & Shine Crème

Formulated to smooth and seal the hair cuticle, this crème moisturizes, softens, and controls frizz. Apply to towel-dried hair before styling.

HUM Nutrition – Raw Beauty Green Superfood Powder

I still haven’t tried this yet, but it looks really interesting. The directions say you are supposed to add it to your milk of choice or smoothie. It is full of nutrients that help boost energy, nourish skin, and up your metabolism. I will post an update on this as soon as I try it!

Ipsy April 2017

Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angled Blush Brush

So I hate to state the obvious here but I will… I’m obsessed with this brush!!!!!!!  I love getting makeup brushes in my subscription boxes, and this one just so happens to feature a Lisa Frank design. I mean what more could you ask for? The brush is so soft and I have been using it everyday to apply my blush. It is the perfect size to quickly add a bit of color to your cheeks without it looking too crazy.

OFRA Cosmetics – Peach Blush

I know this product is marketed as a blush but I will most like not use it on my cheeks. I love the peach blush I received last month but this one is has more of a sheen finish to it which is not something I look for in a blush. It is just a personal preference because I do think this would look great on other people with fair skin. That said, I will use it as eyeshadow. It is a very pretty color and a great transition shade for a subtle eye look.

Defy & Inspire – Nail Lacquer in Paradise Island

Nail polish is also another product I get extra excited to receive!  The formula is almost gel like and the polish is very pigmented. It is also created without any harmful ingredients which is always a plus.

Ciaté London – Mini Bamboo Bronzer

I recently did a post about Ciaté London nail polish, and their amazing  quality. So I wasn’t surprised to see how buttery this bronzer was when I first swatched it. Fun fact: this bronzer is infused with amaranth and sunflower extract which help smooth skin’s complexion.

Luseta Beauty – Dry Shampoo

I did not get a chance to try this dry shampoo. Ipsy actually sent out an email recalling this item and recommended discarding it due to it’s flammability.

The winning this month is…

Ahh I can’t decide! I’m leaning more towards Ipsy but I think that is only because I LOVE the bag and the Lisa Frank brush. However, I think I will use more of the products from my Birchbox.  What do you think?? Let me know in the comments! <3

My Skincare Routine: Part One

Photo from my personal Instagram SammyBrodsky

Skincare is one of my favorite things to talk and post about, so when I received requests via Instagram to write about my personal skincare routine I was more than happy to do so! I will be splitting my morning and evening routine into separate posts so make sure to check back for part two! Please note: all of the info provided is strictly based off of what works best for me and my skin. For those of you that do not know I have dry and sensitive skin and these are the products that I have found work best in conjunction with my skincare needs. So without further ado lets dive right into it.

Morning Routine

My morning routine is not as many steps as my night time ritual but it is still extremely important to properly prep the skin before applying any makeup.

Photo Curiosity Amazon.com

Step 1: After submerging my face in water I generously lather Cetaphil Skin Cleanser on my skin, and rinse. I then repeat this step without rinsing off the product to prepare for step 2.

Photo Curiosity Amazon.com

Step 2:  I add one more pump of Cetaphil to a Face Secret Facial Cleansing Buff for a gentle exfoliation. This step will rid the skin of any dead skin cells, prevent makeup from catching onto any dry patches, and minimize texture.

Step 3: Using a washcloth or towel pat the skin completely dry before applying any of the following products.

Photo Curiosity Sephora.com

Step 4:  Apply one pump of First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum all over the face. This serum feels slightly tacky at first but when it drys down it makes my skin feel so smooth and hydrated.

Photo Curiosity Birchbox.com

Step 5: A little goes a long way, so using less than a pea size amount pat 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream under the eyes for a quick pick me up. This product does a great job getting rid of any morning puffiness.

Photo Curiosity Birchbox.com

Step 6: This moisturizer is a cult classic. Apply about a dime sized amount or so of Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré all over the face and wait for it to completely absorb. It is a cult classic for a reason! This moisturizer is great for all skin types. It is hydrating yet lightweight and does not leave the skin feeling heavy or greasy. I received this as a sample in my Birchbox one million years ago and is one of the reasons I fell in love with subscription boxes… but that’s a subject for worthy of its own post.

Photo Curiosity Sephora.com

Step 7:  This step is usually reserved for days that my skin is looking extra dry. In the winter, I do this step daily but come this time of year it just depends on how my skin is looking that morning. If I am using a foundation that is not particularly dewy, however, I will definitely apply this oil first. Using the dropper, squeeze two drops of Tarte’s Maracuja Oil onto fingertips and rub the oil together between both hands before putting it on the face. Do not spread the oil around simply pat it into the skin and allow the warmth of your fingertips to help the product absorb.

Hope you enjoyed part one of my skin care routine! Comment below what your favorite skincare products are!

 [FTC disclaimer: some of the links provided are affiliate links. For information about affiliate links please click the Contact Me tab for more details.]

Spice Up Your Spring Wardrobe

Zephyr Dress – mix and match your floral with a patchwork boho look!

I need to start this post off with a disclaimer… in no way, shape, or form am trying to imply that there is anything drab about a floral print. In fact, floral patterns are one of my absolute favorites, and you’ll see me sporting floral all year round. If you have been following me for a while now i’m sure that is obvious, but I needed to state it for the record before going forward with this post.

The fact of the matter is, there is nothing special about wearing floral in Spring. As much as I may love floral it’s  a little on the nose, no?  That being said, there are so many fun prints out there right now! Here are a few suggestions for some alternatives to the floral motif we all know so well.

Palm and Collected Top – Palm Tree Print how cute is that!

  Beauty in the Details Shorts – Who doesn’t love paisley?

Asymmetric Hem Dress – Mosaic pattern kind of looks like floral but it’s not!

[Please note some of the links featured in this post are affiliate links. For more information on affiliate links please click the Contact Me tab located in the menu bar above.]

Ciaté London

Comic Strip – Multi-Tone Matte Glitter

I am officially obsessed with Ciaté  London! I recently purchased a few of their nail polishes from Sephora and had to devote a post to these beautiful high quality shades. The color selection is very unique, which I think it why I like them so much. I still can not get over how well the Comic Strip Matte Glitter color above applied (currently sold out on sephora.com). Most polishes like this one do no apply as opaque as this one. I only had to apply two coats to get that effect. Can you believe that! Here are a few of my favorite colors at the moment, you can purchase them at Sephora.com or the Ciaté London website!

Risky Business

“Premium quality cosmetics, with a Pretty Fun Fearless edge! This pigment packed, long wear collection is designed with you in mind – express every side of your personality and have fun with your makeup every day! From ground breaking innovation in nail art, polish and treatments – to the very best in creative colour and makeup, Ciaté London is the home of the beauty superhero.” -Ciaté official website

Goal Digger Gelology

Seas of the Day 

Unboxing: Birchbox vs Ipsy

Birchbox March 2017

Clarins – Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream

Give super thirsty skin the nourishment it needs with this formula, complete with an organic succulent extract that improves the skin’s ability to retain precious moisture. This moisturizer has a pretty strong fragrance but it fades after a few minutes. and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth. It has a very lightweight consistency which provides a great base for makeup application.

Coastal Scents – Revealed Smoky Eye Shadow Quad

You can go as smoky or as subtle as you like with these bendable hues that work with every skin tone and eye color. The lighter shade is a beautiful pink champagne when applied and has a stunning pearlescent shimmer finish. The darker shade, on the other hand, is much more glittery but is the perfect outer corner accent color for the perfect smoky eye.

Davines – Ol All in One Milk

This is a nourishing all-in-one leave in hair treatment. It is a multi benefit spray that detangles while adding volume, shine, and provides heat protection. Not to mention it smells amazing! It has the salon smell that until now seemed unachievable even when you bought all of the products your hair stylist used.

W3LL People – Bio Brightener

Add a flattering shimmer while nourishing skin with this high-performance all natural formula. Using fingertips or a brush. blend the product onto the areas of the face you’d like to highlight. If you prefer a subtle glow from within type of highlight then this is for you.

Real Chemistry – Fresh-Start Foaming Cleanser 

It gently removes impurities, makeup, and excess oil with a luxurious foamy lather, and a fresh grape fruit scent. Real Chemistry’s foaming cleanser leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean. I really like receiving Real Chemistry samples because it is hard to commit to a new skin care product without trying it out first.

Davines – Ol Shampoo and Conditioner *bonus item*

You’ll love this ultra hydrating, paraben- and sulphate free cleanser for all hair types. It creates a shine as it boosts volume, improves texture, and protects hair from UV Rays. This conditioner is packed with natural active ingredients like roucou oil, which protects hair from UV rays and heat damage, plus apricot butter, which adds softness to each strand.

Ipsy March 2017

Air Repair – Complexion Boosting Moisturizer

I actually first received a sample of this moisturizer in my Birchbox about a year ago, and I love it! I completely forgot about it, and I am so glad I got another sample of it this month. I think I might purchase the full size. No matter your skin type, this hydrates and revitalizes even the driest and dullest of complexions. A combo of antioxidants (like cloudberry seed oil and green tea) rejuvenate stressed out skin.

ModleCo – Eye Define Retractable Crayon Liner

This eyeliner has a very creamy formula, there is not tugging at the eyelid to get the perfect line. The color is very buildable and can be worn for both a subtle or dramatic look. This long-wearing, water-resistant formula won’t smudge, budge, or transfer.

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics – Blush in Kitty Pink

This dusty peach shade is absolutely beautiful and wow it is pigmented. You definitely have to use a light hand  when applying this blush but when you use the right amount it creates a lovely romantic look. It is one of my new favorite blush shades. This formula is long wearing and will keep you looking rosy all day.

Tarte Cosmetics – Matte Lip Paint in Rosé

I’m officially obsessed. Like most makeup lovers I have quite a few nude lip shades but this one has got to be one of the most flattering on my fair skin. It is very hard to find a nude lip color that does not just blend in with my skin. If you have very fair to light skin I highly recommend this shade.

Beau Gâchis – Tapered Blending Brush

I LOVE GETTING BRUSHES IN SUBSCRIPTION BOXES! This quality all natural tapered blending brush is perfect for blending in shadows into the crease, creating that perfect smokey eye, or even adding highlight to your cheekbones. This versatile brush is simply a must have for your beauty collection.

Wow, this was a tough call this month! I think i’m going to have to call it a TIE! Well done Birchbox and Ipsy well done!

Product Crush of the Month


Living Proof PHD Dry Shampoo

I know it’s pretty early to dub a product my monthly favorite but that’s how much I love it! I truly tried to wait to write this post, give some other products a shot, then make a decision but I just couldn’t! This product is not new to the market but it is new to my collection. I’ve tried a countless amount of dry shampoos because, they are a reoccurring item in my subscription boxes. Don’t get me wrong through, I actually really enjoy receiving dry shampoo samples so frequently because I never have to buy them. However, for the first time earlier this month, all of my dry shampoos where completely empty! So, I went out on a limb and purchased one that I have never received a sample of but, have only heard good things about… Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PHD) dry shampoo. I instantly fell in love! Honestly, I thought a dry shampoo is a dry shampoo ,and while some were better than others they all provided the same result. Boy, was I wrong! Living Proof PHD dry shampoo is by far the best, and I have no idea why I didn’t purchase it sooner. It doesn’t just make your hair look clean it actually absorbs and removes excess oils. Perhaps it is their patented Healthy Hair Molecule and Triple Action Cleaning technology, that makes the difference. So if you are looking for a new dry shampoo I highly recommend going with Living Proof!

Best Dressed Wedding Guest

Be Still, My Beading Heart Dress $59.99

You know all those save the dates and wedding invitations you received about a year ago? Well guess what, those dates are coming up sooner than you think. So, it’s time to start scouting out some new dresses to wear to these beloved occasions. Of course, everyone is going to be looking at the bride, after all it is her special day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the best dressed guest in the room!  Here are just a few dresses I have on my radar this season all under $100!

Lace Off the Shoulder Fit and Flare Dress – Soprano $69

Experienced in Opulence Fit and Flare Dress $51.99

Lulus Exclusive Tip The Scallops Black Dress $46

Radiant Reunion Lace Dress $74.99

Quiet Grace Blush Pink Long Sleeve Dress $62

Denim Trend Alert

Photocred: Dosta Radnjanska

I’m sure you’ve seen it all over at this point, whether it be street style photos taken in our world’s fashion capitols or at your local retailer. What is it that i’m talking about? Patchwork, embellished, and embroidered denim of course! I was slightly weary of this trend at first, but lately i’ve seen it done so well that I totally changed my mind and am completely on board. I can’t wait to rock some patchwork denim. Ladies and gentleman the 90’s are back and better than ever! Take a look at some of these adorable examples of how to style and where to purchase your own statement denim look.

Rose Embroidered Skirt

Current/Elliot The Fling Jeans

Slim Patchwork Jeans

Paige Jacqueline High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Jacqueline Straight Jupiter Embellished Jean

How To: Spot and Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

We all know cleaning our makeup brushes and sponges is extremely important. Cleaning your beauty tools is not only for sanitation purposes, it also helps maintain the quality of the brush and or sponge. Here are some great products and a step-by-step guide as to how I go about cleaning my personal makeup tools.

Spot Clean:

So you definitely don’t need to deep clean your brushes every time you clean them. What I like to do in-between deep cleanings is use JAPONESQUE Makeup Brush Cleanser Spray.

Step One: Hold the bottle approximately 6 inches away from the brush and direct the nozzle towards the brush head. Evenly disperse the cleanser onto the brush head. You can also spray some cleanser on the towel as well.

Step Two: Gently rotate the brush head in a circular motion on a paper power or terry cloth allowing all of the makeup to be removed from the brush head. Repeat as needed.

Step Three: Dry excess moisture on paper towel or terry cloth. Then, reshape bristles and leave to dry completely.

TIP: Do not dry with brush hairs in upright position. I just place them flat on a fresh paper towel.



Deep Clean:

Step One: Wet brush bristles in clean sink

Step Two: Put cleaner on makeup brush. I like to use Aveeno Baby Shampoo because it is very affordable and does the job without damaging the brush.

Step Three: Gently rub the brush head on the section of the Silicone Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat that corresponds with the makeup brush type.

Step Four: Rinse with water.

Step Five: Place the makeup brushes (bristles down) in the Makeup Brush Holder overnight to dry.

And… voi la! Clean makeup brushes!