Saturday, February 18, 2017

February Birchbox

The latest Birchbox showed up in my mailbox a couple of days ago and contained the following:
  • Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
  • Davines SU Hair & Body Wash
  • Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+
  • Juliette Has a Gun "Not a Perfume"
  • LAQA & Co. Avo Lip Butter in "Ninza"
Since the Avo Lip Butter is, well, called a butter, I was thinking it was going to be pretty sheer.  I was wrong.  This is a full-coverage lipstick!  Applied straight outta the tube this deep berry shade is way too dark for my liking, however after heavily blotting with a tissue it made for a beautiful berry pink lip stain.  The other makeup item I received was a BB Cream from Dr. Jart+ in shade "01 Light-Medium".  Here's to hoping Dr. Jart+ comes out with a shade "00 Fair" or something because I found "01" to be a bit too dark unfortunately.

Juliette Has a Gun "Not a Perfume" is definitely intriguing.  It contains only a single note: Cetalox.   It is very unobtrusive and ideal for those who are sensitive to fragrance.  I find it pleasant enough but as I prefer fragrance with a bit more "oomph" (like gourmand or woody scents) this one won't be a purchase for me.

I'm definitely looking forward to using Davine's SU Hair & Body Wash this summer!  It's supposed to prevent and treat hair damage from the sun and also soothe sun irritated skin, so it's certainly something this fair skinned girl will be reaching for.  I don't get breakouts often anymore (knock on wood), but they do still happen so I'll be reaching for the Congested Skin Serum from Balance Me as soon as one does.

Overall a great box with lots of new-to-me products and a $10 off promo code!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February Allure Beauty Box

I know I've raved about the Allure Beauty Box before (probably several times actually) but I just can't help it.  It's my favorite for good reason!  This month's box contains 2 full-size products (with a combined value of nearly $60), a beautiful smelling candle, and skincare to make you glow!

As far as the skincare goes, I have already tried and loved First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads.  They instantly remove dry and flaky skin without any irritation and are a major last minute rescue.  I also received Olay Eyes Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment to reduce the appearance of the lines and wrinkles I'm really starting to notice.  (Eek!  Let's nip these in bud shall we?)

The full-size cosmetics I received are the Cargo Colorstick in "Champagne" and Beautycounter Lengthening Mascara.  Can't wait to see how the Cargo stacks up against my current favorite highlighter, Watt's Up by Benefit!  And I know I've mentioned I have what may be the world's shortest lashes so I'm happy to put this lengthening mascara to the test too.  Also included was a deluxe sample of GrandeLips Hydrating Lip Plumper. I was blessed with full lips so I personally have no need for this, but I have several friends who are always on the lookout for great new lip plumpers, so I'll be gifting this to one of them! 

Last but certainly not least, my nose was greeted with the scent of roses the second I opened the box.  A tea light sized Red Flower Moroccan Rose Candle was inside!  I used to use their body oil all the time and this little candle smells just as lovely!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

What I'm Reading: French Country Cooking

While browsing the New Release section the other day, French Country Cooking:  Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards caught my eye.


"Amid Mrs. Thorisson's recipes are stories of the home's past, as told to her by previous owners and village old-timers.  Readers will learn tales of multiple generations of cooks together in the French country kitchen."  Wall Street Journal
I'm only about a quarter of the way into this book and so far I'm in love...  with the author's house!  In the first few pages she describes the home, its history, the antiques she found hidden away, and... cue jealousy!  It's my dream to live in a huge old house and to spend my days hunting for antiques to fill it with.  But I digress...

I'm also loving the recipes of course!  It was my unfamiliarity of French cooking that caused me to grab this book off the shelf in the first place.  Each recipe is preceded by a story or some history (which I love) and many of the recipes are familiar and more simple than I expected.  Note that I said "many of the recipes".  Not all.  Take Everyday Pear Cake for example.  Both familiar and simple.  Far Breton?  Simple but not familiar.  (It's a custard cake with rum and prunes.)  Cassoulet?  Sounds familiar but definitely not simple.  (Do the French typically have goose fat on hand?)

The photography is beautiful:

Everyday Pear Cake
Comte, Ham, and Walnut Feuillite
Pain D'Epices
I intend to read through the rest of the recipes and then settle on a couple of the unfamiliar but simple ones to test out first!  Happy cooking!