Funny Face

While in New York, I took a little trip to a big Sephora store in Union Square.

I think my favorite thing about this particular store was all the nail art stations. They had video tutorials and the tools and polishes for various looks, so you could try it out. I tried a matte topcoat (which wore off really quickly, but that could be because I put it over my regular shiny topcoat) and a dotting tool.

What I should have bought…Illamasqua Rare neon yellow.

The thing about Sephora is that you’re surrounded with all those mirrors, and you can see exactly how your makeup is wearing throughout the day. Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of not looking enough, and just taking it on faith that my face looks okay. This has led to crazy-smudgy-eye more than once. However, since the heat and humidity was pretty high during my entire trip, I had a sense that I probably wasn’t holding up like I’d like, and the Sephora mirrors confirmed it. My fashionable friend was showing off her NARS Heat Wave lipstick, and suggested I freshen up with something from the NARS range.

NARS Heat Wave

I decided on a fuchsia. I picked NARS Funny Face, and immediately put back what I was going to buy and bought the lipstick instead. It is a beautiful, wearable semi-matte lipstick. It is blue-based, but it looks warm and lovely on. It is the perfect summer bright if you’re a lipstick lover, like myself.

NARS Funny Face

It is not for the faint of heart, I will say, but it’s not costume-y either.

Here’s me wearing it outdoors (my porch is a mixture of sun and shade):

And indoors (I look a little vacuous here for some reason):

At $24, it’s a little pricey, but definitely worth it.

Anyone else have a favorite summer bright? Or a NARS lipstick they would endorse?


I Just Got Lightheaded…

Twitter has changed my life. No, seriously. If you’ve been one of my Twitter friends for two years or so now, which is approximately how long I’ve been on Twitter, then you probably know all about it. If you’re a newer friend, or you don’t follow me on Twitter (oh, do, please! @_Freya), then you may not understand my attraction to Twitter. Basically, it’s a place to go where my friends are, pretty much all hours of the day (hello to my Australian friend @Jayde17, who is awake when I’m asleep…or an insomniac!). Then it became a place to follow really hilarious bloggers, like @TheBloggess and @Dooce. Then it became the first source for breaking news; I now follow @cnnbrk and am worried about tornadoes that are nowhere near me. And then, almost reluctantly, I started following brands, like @Anthropologie and @KorresUSA. Well, today @Zoya_NailPolish retweeted this:

And I said to myself, I said, “What is @Birchbox? And I Googled.


Basically, Birchbox is a subscription sample service. If you go to Sephora or ULTA, right near the checkout counter is a whole display full of “deluxe samples”; some are a couple of dollars, some are significantly more. These are the types of samples you’ll get from Birchbox for $10 a month. They will send you 4-5 deluxe samples a month, plus a “Birchbox treat” (a non-beauty sample, like chocolates or a makeup brush). Plus you can also get mini samples–the kind you might get for free in a Sephora shipment or at the makeup counter.

These are GENEROUS samples, like you might get with a gift with purchase. Some are even full-size; one YouTube video I watched had a comparison between a lip balm she got in her Birchbox and two that she had purchased for $12 apiece; they were exactly the same size.

Apparently you fill out a questionnaire as you subscribe, and your samples are hand-picked. So if you and your best friend both subscribed to Birchbox, you might get some products the same and some different. These are high-end brands, too, like Stila, Benefit, Korres, Nars, Kiehls, and Perricone MD, for instance. They have some other brands that I haven’t heard of before, but that’s the point, right? Trying things you’ve never heard of?

I have a confession to make that might be quite shocking. I’m actually a bit of a sissy when it comes to buying certain products. I have very sensitive skin, and even “mild” products can cause me to break out or irritate my skin. I don’t like to buy new products without someone’s iron-clad word on it. You know how many foundations I sampled before picking my current one, Korres Natural Watermelon Tinted Moisturizer? SEVENTEEN. And Korres was the first one I actually liked. And I only went looking for a new foundation because Prescriptives went out of business, and I had been buying my foundation there for more years than I care to admit. So the idea of getting deluxe samples in my own home delights me. I don’t have to wander around Sephora, wishing I knew what a product did, wondering if it might be my new beauty go-to, if only I had the money to buy it and try it out.

I am definitely going to sign up for Birchbox. I am just trying to decide now whether to start now, or to wait and buy a year’s subscription when I move, so I don’t have to deal with the hassle of the address change.

Has anyone tried Birchbox before? Is anyone else excited like me?