New Always Infinity Overnight Pads

First of all, pads are not exactly my thing and talking about them, reviewing them… well all that is new to me- yup, I feel slightly awkward… – regardless, I do use them occasionally. You know, like after 3 or 4 days of non stop tampons, I just need a break.

That being said, for what they are- padddddsssss–  this new Always style seems pretty great. Dare I say, comfortable.

Always Infinity Overnights

 

What I especially like is that the pad is so thin (finally!) and at the same time it’s been designed to a lot. – You can see in the pic.- the tiny holes, etc. help prevent… uh… overflow.

I also appreciate that it is tapered at the back end- It’s much more comfortable, less bulky and provides enough protection for overnight.We didn’t need all that extra padding before, so it’s nice that its gone now.

Lastly, the wings. They’re not the standard rectangle, so they fit much better and stick much better ie. they stay in place.

I use pads often enough to be able to tell the difference with this new style- and I like it.  When I do use pads, for overnight, I’ll be purchasing this product.

* BTW- This product was sent to me for free, at no cost of my own, for me to review on She Speaks. But you should know, my opinion of the product has not been altered because of it.

June Julep Box and ‘Daisy’; the Super Thick Julep Polish

This month’s Julep Maven box was a great summer treat.

Beautiful colors in each of the box .. so great, in fact that I almost couldn’t choose…

As you can see I opted for the Boho Glam- such a fun, lively box. (I also got a couple of add-on polishes, but I’ll save that for another post).

Btw, you can take the survey, find out what your polish style is and sign up for your own Julep Box at Julep.com.  Promo code COLORS4ONE gets you your first box for just 1 cent! – no contract. That’s what I did!

As always, the box was a beautifully presented, and not only did it come with two full size nail polishes but  nice size hand/face sunscreen and a mint scented spf 15 chapstick. The chapstick  is one of my favorites- it smells like a thin mint!

Julep Maven Daylight Defense

Seriously, thin mints!

On the other hand, the ‘Daisy’ polish, was the biggest disappointment. I was really excited to have such a beautiful yellow for summer.. and while the polish looked good on my toes, it really did no justice to my hands. Actually, I couldn’t stand it. Wore it to work for half a day and took it off during lunch. It was a little too bright and a little too yellow. Slightly muted and it would have been beautiful. As it is, though, it’s just.. annoying.

Lastly, the polish is SO thick it doesn’t go on well. Look closely at the following picture and you’ll see what I mean- streaks and then some.

Julep Maven June 2012

Julep Maven, Boho Glam June 2012

What Good Customer Service Looks Like

Just a quick shout out to @BirchboxOps who handle Birchbox’s customer service on Twitter.

If you remember, my first Birchbox (May 2012) was a huge disappointment because of the tiny sample size– particularly of the ONE product I was really excited to try.

The Dr. Jart + BB creme sample was empty!

Birchbox May 2012 Dr. Jart BB

Nothing in this Dr. Jart+ BB Cream sample!

I don’t think I even got two drops out of the sample.. so, naturally, I complained on twitter. Found a few girls who had the same problem and started talking. @BirchboxOps was on it, though and immediately responded. I’m pretty sure they tweeted me first. They apologized and asked for a DM with my mailing address.

Birch Box customer service

aka Good Customer Service

Fast forward to one week later, and I’ve been sent two more samples in the mail. The two new samples were half full, but even so, Birchbox totallly made up for the empty box sample.

birchbox bb cream

1 original, 2 replacements

So, Thank you @BirchboxOps! Your amazingly quick response and the replacement samples are greatly appreciated!

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes (and, a review of beautyblender’s beautycleanser)

Since I got beautyblender’s beautycleanser in last month’s Birchbox (which I was super disappointed with, BTW) I thought I’d give it a whirl and give you all a few tips for cleaning your brushes while I’m at it. So,…

1. Wash often.

It doesn’t have to be every week, or even every two weeks, but just know that the cleaner you keep your brushes, the longer they’ll last.

2. Use plenty of the cleaning product.

I don’t recommend you use generic soaps- use something that was made for makeup brushes. They’re not too expensive and can last quite awhile- also, you don’t have to worry about what is or isn’t in the product and for the most part,  you know it’ll work.

I loved using the beautyblender beautycleaner. I was able to thoroughly clean all of my brushes with only a little bit of the product. It lathers well and has a great scent; a clean subtle lavender. It’s just noticeable while you’re using the product and doesn’t linger once the brushes have dried. Also on the upside, it’s a soy-based cleanser, and birchbox claims that not only will the soy “dissolves any dirt and debris trapped in your brushes and sponges” but that the soy is also a natural moisturizer that will work on your skin as you use the brush.

I don’t know that this product made any difference to my skin or even the application of my makeup, but it cleaned my brushes really well with a minimal amount of product. ie. It did it’s job and I like it.

I also REALLY like that the cleanser has a gel consistency to it. It’s not watery, or runny like others I;ve tried, so it lathers easily and it’s not falling off the brush before I get a chance to work it in.

On the right you can see how much of the beautycleanser I used for this brush.

I washed all of these brushes and the bottle is practically still full.

3.  Keep bristles in same direction they’ll dry in.

Theres no need to rough up the bristles in order to get them clean. You can be just as thorough without scrubbing or messing up all the bristles. Use your fingers to gently get the cleaning product evenly lathered and spread throughout the brush. The product will do the rest. If really needed you can gently rub the bristles between your fingers.

No need for excessive scrubbing!

4. It’s ok to lather, rinse AND repeat.

I often have to soap up and rinse more than once. My thicker brushes always need more than one round and if it’s been a while since I’ve washed the brushes, they all need more than one round.

I wash until the rinse is clear. I like my brushes to be THAT clean.

5. Shake out excess water.

Instead of squeezing your brushes to get the excess water out, try shaking it out. A few flicks of the wrists should do it. Squeezing, or excess touching or your clean brushes is unnecessary and can reintroduce oils & debris to your brushes. Your better off just having them air dry for a few hours extra than squeezing.

Extra: To dry your brushes, simply lay them flat and let them air dry. Touch as little as possible, and make sure they’re in a place where there’s little dust or opportunity for dust. I leave them on a towel in the bathroom.

Just lay flat and you’re done!

What are your favorite tricks and tips for washing makeup brushes?

I’m no expert so feel free to leave me feedback or your favorite makeup brush cleaning tips.

*****

For information on makeup brushes, which are the best and why- I highly recommend to you check out Beauty By Krystal as there is A LOT of helpful brush information& reviews on her blog!

Beautyblender beautycleanser is available at Birchbox, Amazon and I’m sure plenty of other places. ($15 for 6 oz. seems to be a decent price for this product- but, if you find it cheaper let me know!)

ALSO, if you know of a better product, send that info my way– I’m always on the lookout for better or more cost-effective products.

Banana Republic Nail Lacquer/ Polish in deep purple brown

Not sure if I’ve been under a rock or what, but this last week was the First time I’ve ever come across Banana Republic nail polish!

I found this bottle on sale for a little less than $5, it was the only color in the store. Lucky for them I’d been looking for a brown.

First and most importantly, the polish is smooth! I really like the way that it dries after a generous second coat. it has a nice shine to the color and and dried almost flawlessly. Drying period was not too long, as the polish is fairly thin, and the nail color seemed to hold up fairly well after drying. Though thin, it has a nice dark color and opacity. Not see though at all after the second coat.

Regarding the color: 1. I love it 2. I have no idea how to describe it.

The first coat comes out purple. With the second coat it turns more brown with a slight reddish tint. No purple visible.

Mostly it’s just a deep brown, but it varies depending on what light you in.

I tried to show the different colors, of course it never comes out the same on camera.

I highly recommend this polish for a smooth clean look. This color is a bit dark, but I’m happy with it. Cool, classic an mature.

Check it out for yourself:

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Whats Up With Etsy? – I USED to be able to sell stuff

In 2009 I opened the Barely Blue Birds Etsy account, posted a few crotched jewelry items, and sold everything. Amazing, I know.

What’s more amazing is that 2009 is when I taught myself to crochet. I was unemployed, just back from 4 months in Europe after graduating college, and needed something to help pass the time while searched for jobs.

But this isn’t about my crocheting, and I’m not trying to brag…

Mom has been handmaking amazing cards for years now. She’s obsessed. Her cards are so beautiful that she hates the idea of selling them on Etsy. and then I talked her into it. Posted the cards and…. nothing!

Not a single sale. I swear I sold my crochet jewelry in a month, and mom’s cards are so much more beautiful and amazing than that jewelry.

So what’s up with Etsy?

(I’m speculating here, and I’m sure theres much more too it – but here ya go)

1. There are a gazillion more shops in 2012 than there were in 2009. <- 100% speculation, but it would make sense…

The more people sell, the faster social networks grow, and the more stuff gets put online- the more people hear about it and think ‘Hey, I want to do that, too!”. With so many shops, so many cards, so many everything, non of the buyers are getting to my shop.

2. My Tagging Stinks

Holy moly, tagging. I just don’t know how to do it any better than I already am. I wish Etsy’d put out an Etsy SEO helper. Something that told me what people are searching for, which keywords work best, etc. Hey! They could make it specific to our shops. Tell us how people are finding us when they do, etc. etc. Just like the wordpress stats I get here. (By the way, share this with your friends, my numbers suck).

3. Prices. We want handmade, but not if we have to pay for it. &, the economy sucks.

I’ve got mom’s cards selling for $4.00 a piece (fitted envelope included)- Is this too much? I’ve searched Etsy and quality cards are priced about the same, but maybe people no longer want to shell out a few extra bucks to get handmade goods. Then again, drugstore & hallmark cards are rarely less than $3:00 so whats the deal ?

4. Cards are last minute gifts. (Yea, I’ve got personal experience with this one)

Nobody but my grandma buys cards in advance. Well, sometimes we buy them the day before the party…. Shipping is 2-3 days or you have to pay lots more, and why pay extra when we can run to the drug store.

What do you think? Am I right, or am I right? 😉

Any and all comments welcome.

You can check out my store at etsy.com/people/barelybluebirds I’d love any suggestions, tips comments. Anything that I can use to make it better and I’d happily do the same for you!

Cheating my Co-Wash

Yea, I know. Cheating at your co-wash already?! I couldn’t help it!

I went for a haircut two days ago and the best shampooing/massaging/best hair washing assistant in the world asked if I wanted a wash. Hell yea! How could I turn down one of those massages!

Yes, I could have turned it down and yes, I could have  also just asked her to skip the shampoo. But I felt kind of embarrassed. My hair wasn’t greasy or dirty, the Co-Washing has been going fantastically– but I kind of felt  rude (?) not washing my hair before a cut.

So I caved. But I don’t feel remotly guilty about it. I just wanted to let you all know how it’s (not) been going.

I think I could have gone another 3 days with co-washing alone! I’m using some cheap-ish Pantene conditioner and it’s been great. My hair feels clean, it really does! and I think I already feel it getting softer. It could be in my head. It could also just be because I had my dead ends removed.

Today I returned to the co-washing. Ran out of the Pantene and now using a Dove foaming conditioner. By the way, I’ve never used foam conditioner before- a little weird, but once you get used to it, it works just as well as the others.

Are you co-washing? I want to know how it’s going for you! Send me comments or find me at @BarelyBlueBirds to chat!