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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea Time - Harney & Sons Paris


It is a gross, gray, miserable kind of day. The wind is howling outside, and I am curled up on the couch in my pjs, fighting off a nasty cold. To help put my sniffles and aches at ease, I made myself a nice big old pot of Harney & Sons Paris tea. I actually came across this tea back in the springtime when my mom and I had gone on a weekend retreat to The Emerson Resort and Spa. In between spa treatments, I found myself wrapped up in a fluffy bathrobe, admiring the mountain scenery, and sipping a cup of this delicious tea. By the end of our stay I was so addicted that I couldn't resist buying a tin from the gift shop to take home with me. Now it's my special treat for those times where I need a little mental reminder to relax.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birchbox October 2014


It's only Tuesday, but it's already been one of those weeks.

Yesterday was the Monday of all Mondays. I overslept. The woman in front of me at Dunkin' Donuts ordered a million things, and after a cash versus card miscommunication at the register, had to be rung up twice. I hit construction on the way to work (because I wasn't late enough, apparently). Work itself was crazy, and with my hormones being all in flux a la that time of the month I had zero emotional resources to deal with people and their general unpleasantness. I tried to relax when I got home - spent some time catching up on my Bloglovin' feed, had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (because I'm an adult), took a nice soak in the tub, and slipped into some comfy pjs. But all the stress must have gotten to me, because my throat became increasingly angry throughout the night, and lo and behold I woke up this morning in full-on cold mode.

10 very long hours later I am more than thankful to be snuggled up at home on my couch. I'm definitely a homebody even on a good day, but when I'm sick there is nothing I want more than sweatpants, a cup of tea, and a big fluffy blanket. Even though I'm a bit under the weather, my current state of cold induced coziness is perfectly fitting for talking about my October Birchbox. This month's theme is Fanfare, paying homage to the Netflix binge watcher in all of us, and encouraging subscribers to share their favorite books, shows, and movies. And what better time to catch up on your favorite forms of entertainment than on a sick day (or night)? There might be some catch-up happening with my DVR later this evening, but for now it's time to show you what products I'll be playing with this month!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Everyday Autumn Makeup and a Few Thoughts on the Season

I had a bit of a revelation the other day. It's been a good 5 years since I've graduated from college, and all this time I've spent in the real world has made me realize how much of my life previously revolved around the school schedule. The passing of seasons was always about semesters, exams, vacations and the like. But now time flows on from January to October with very little changing in my day to day routine. Without my normal academic calendar to anchor my life to I think the first couple of years post college were a bit of a blur. It's a bit weird to think about, but in that time I think I stopped noticing the seasons. Or well, perhaps notice isn't the right word. Appreciating might be more fitting. In the past two years, though, since I've bought my condo and started blogging, I've finally started to redefine the special nuances of each season that comes and goes.

Now that fall is well underway I find myself appreciating all sorts of little things - wearing my boots at every opportunity, going apple picking, sipping pumpkin coffee in the morning, watching the leaves turn and change from week to week. It's not that any of these things are new to me, but I guess, with everything else in life moving along in a constant, predictable way, I look forward to things like putting out my Halloween decorations.

It should be no surprise then, to hear that I've totally revamped my makeup routine for autumn. The BB and CC creams of summertime are back in storage, along with an assortment of coral lipsticks and blushes to make room for berries, neutrals, and all things matte.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Caudalie - A First Look and Review


After over a year of beauty blogging, I've come to realize that there is just SO MUCH out there to try. And of course you want to get your hands on all of it, but money and time tend to be pretty heavy limiting factors. Caudalie is one of those brands that I've known about for ages, but has always been a little too far out of my price range for me to splurge on. As with other prestige brands, I always keep an eye out for sales, coupons, and other deals so that I can maybe snag a luxe product on my drugstore budget. And sure enough, my patience and persistence paid off. I was able to snag this set of three full-sized Caudalie products at a crazy discount during Sephora's End of Summer Sale. I was excited, to say the very least. Sadly, it looks like that set was on sale because they were discontinuing it, so it's no longer available for purchase. However, each of these products is still available individually as part of their regular skincare lineup.

Regardless, I can finally say that I've been able to experience Caudalie skincare. What did I think about this long raved about beauty brand? Were any of these products amazing enough to re-purchase? Here's  an in-depth look at my first impression.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

9 Natural Beauty Brands You Should Be Trying


As a self-proclaimed beauty junkie I've tried A LOT of different products over the years. While there are a lot of things I consider when writing a review (packaging, performance, and cost, to name a few) I've been more conscious than ever about what is on the ingredients list. So many companies opt to use potentially harmful chemicals and substances in their products to lower their manufacturing costs. As someone who cares about what I'm putting on and into my body I've started to gravitate toward natural and organic beauty brands that offer quality products that I can feel good about using. Here's a quick look at 9 of my favorite companies and some of the products I've tried.