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Are you considering getting your first Birchbox? How exciting! But before you do, what exactly should you expect from your small little gift to yourself every month? Check out my list of things to consider before you get your first Birchbox in the mail.

First of all, what exactly is Birchbox? The company started up in 2010 by two Harvard graduate (fancy, fancy). It provides women (and men) a chance to try new products such as cosmetics, hair products, and sometimes chocolate samples (oh yes, chocolate samples). It is very affordable to get your Birchboxes each month. You can choose to pay $10 USD a month or pay annual $110 USD. If you decided to pay annually, the first box is free.

So how does Birchbox know what to send you each month? When you become a member, you get a chance to create a custom profile on the birchbox  website. In your profile, you are asked questions like what is your hair type, what types of samples would interest you the most, etc. This customization is what has keep me a loyal customer for the past two years.

What is even better is that Birchbox has a rewards system too! If you leave a review of the products you try each month, your get 10 points per review. Once you earn 100 points, you have earned $10 USD in the Birchbox store. So anything you may want online you can get for practically for free after leaving several reviews. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I have had so many great products mailed to me without breaking the bank.

Getting a Birchbox is a lot of fun. I absolutely love that it is super affordable. The company has a love of big name brands on their website from Smashbox to Beauty Blender. Keep in mind that if you ever find yourself wanting to cancel your subscription, you can do so at any time. I have also given Birchboxes as gifts. They are a big hit! Hope this helps you  make a decision on whether or not to sign up for a Birchbox. Personally, I love that the little box is like a Christmas gift to myself throughout the year 😛

xo.

 

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Considering the Sweat app as a purchase? Here is what I found when I started using the app.

Hello loves! Now that February has begun, I wonder how you are all doing with your New Years Resolutions. Some of you may be doing very well. For some, you may be finding that keeping your resolutions are already becoming a challenge. This year, I decided that I did not want to focus on getting skinny or losing weight, but rather become healthier and stronger. One way that I have been able to do so is by using the Kayla Itsines Sweat app. Here is what I found out about the app in the past few months that I have been using it.

  1. No counting calories. One thing that attracted me to Kayla Itsines and her nutritional advice was the fact that she does not count calories. Rather, she focuses her recipes on getting proper nutritional value from all of your meals. Instead of focusing on calories, you can on stay active while still enjoying a wide variety of different recipes. These recipes are provided to you straight from the app!
  2. Pre-planned meals. I am someone that loves to schedule my week day-especially my meals for the week. As much as I love to eat out from time to time, eating out can be very expensive. The Sweat App gives you meal ideas for the week that you can either prepare ahead of time or the day of. The best part about this app is that it gives you a shopping lists of ingredients that you will need for the week. Your grocery bill will literally be in the palm of your hand through the app.
  3. Customization for meal plans. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can add this information to your profile. As such, your meal plans are catered to your specific needs (and the meals are delicious).
  4. A recent featured that was just added to the app is a planner. The app will sync into your primary e-mail calendar to help remind you to do your exercises for the day. This feature is a smart and effective way to keep on track with your exercise throughout the week. This new feature has been a fantastic way to keep me on track with my goals.
  5. I love the customized water log. Did you know that there is such a thing as over-hydration? Yep, this is a real thing and it is someone I encourage you to read more about (thank you, community college nutrition course). As such, the Sweat App has a water log that will show you whether you need to drink more water throughout the day or stop. The water the amount of water is needed for your body is determined by your weight. It’s pretty cool!

I also love that the Sweat App has different exercises that you can do throughout the week in order for you to see results. More so, the Sweat app is now really affordable. It is 19.99 USD a month to use the app. I read several blogs and reviews before I decided to give the Sweat app a chance. I can agree that having access to a gym HELPS when using this app to strengthen your body. I don’t necessarily agree that you need to go to the gym or need to have a personal gym in order to use this app (let’s face it, going to a gym can be intimidating. I certainly am not a fan of public gyms myself). I can say that you do need the following items to be able to get the most of the Sweat app. They include:

  • A yoga mat. I found that having one helps you not only maintain your balance but also ease your back and wrists when applying pressure to them. Needless to say, a yoga mat will be an invest-whether you decide to use the Sweat app or not.
  • A muscle foam roller. This was an item that I have never heard about until I started using this app (this extensive exercise thing is new to me lol). You can purchase one through the Kayla Itsines website or online on Amazon (that is where I got mine). The reason I ended up purchasing my muscle foal roller from Amazon to take advantage of my Amazon Prime account.
  • Weights. Don’t worry, you do not have to go crazy with them. I do recommend getting weights not just for this app but also to use in the future to keep your arms toned. If you are short on cash, ask around and see if you can borrow weights. You might even be able to convince your friends to join you in strengthening your body.
  • Medicine ball. Again, this might be a product that you might not have right away at your disposal. I did find that without the medicine ball, I could not complete some of the workout that I needed to do. I ended up improvising some exercises with weights instead.

Conclusion: The Sweat app is a great way to stay active on your goal to strengthen your body. I follow Kayla Itsines on Instagram and Twitter. The fact that  she promotes having self-worth and confidence by promoting good health and strength is really admiring. If you like to plan your meals ahead of time, you will definitely find this app very useful. You are NOT going to get immediate results right away. I have noticed after two months I have a lot more energy and strength. Let’s be frank, a healthy lifestyle is not a quick fix. Results that will last (and continue to last) will one happen when our eating habits change and we stay active. I truly believe that this app can be useful for anyone who is serious about becoming healthier. Learn more about Kayla Itsines by checking out her website here.

xoxo.

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Hello lovers! I have had the chance to try both drugstore and high end products. This segment is going to focus on contouring products from three different brands. Before I begin, let me just add that I am a girl that has oily but sensitive skin. So be sure to take my advice lightly if your skin is less problematic than mine. 😉 Let’s begin!

NYX Wonder Stick

NYX-Wonder-Stick

This is a great product if you are a beginner. The box paints a clear picture as to one must use the darker and lighter shades on your face. I purchased the universal shade. The lighter shade I found to be very shimmery. Some make-up artists are able to work with shimmery based foundations. But not this girl! I also found that the colors were very oil based which made it impossible to keep the product on my skin without adding a fourth of my facial primer to my face before I used the wonderstick. Definitely not for someone who’s face is very oily but may be beneficial for those who have dry skin.

Sephora Collection Contouring 101 Face Palette

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I purchased this palette wanting to try different shades for contouring. I found that the product was very powdery and chalky. I am a girl that enjoy a matte finish above anything. Because the product was so powdery, I found myself struggling just to get the colors on my skin. Needless to say, I regretted making this purchase.

Smashbox Step-by-step contour kit 

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Now we are cooking with fire! I really liked this palette. Each of the colors were very pigmented. I loved that this included a brush as well as a guide that highlights how one should contour based upon their facial structure. A little goes a long with this this palette. Additionally, I love that the colors of the palette give a matte finish (just the way I like it!).

Have you tried contouring yourself with any of these palettes. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my critiques? Let me know! And have fun enhancing your already beautiful faces! 😉