Palette Giveaway! (Merry Christmas from Whole Foods Market)

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The first time middle-school-Robin attempted liquid eye liner, my eyelids swelled to levels of puffy not even sitting through a double feature of The Notebook and Titanic  with a box of Kleenex while being visited by Mother Nature for the month could ever make them replicate. I developed a healthy skepticism that day for cheap makeup brands I don’t recognize.

I was recently cautiously thrilled upon being gifted these fun little eye shadow palettes from Mineral Fusion courtesy of Whole Foods Market to giveaway to five followers of Daily Sprinkles -and maybe just a tish skeptical as I usually am with brands that don’t cost a fortune that I’m also not familiar with.

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My trips to Whole Foods are not few nor far between, yet they rarely land me in the beauty section. I’ve never been opposed, it honestly just never crosses my mind regularly while wandering the foodie’s grand toy store. My skepticism, now proven completely unfounded, was eased upon further research into the brand, Mineral Fusion, before I began playing with it. These guys are solid.

In the interest of being true to *never ever* recommend something I wouldn’t use, or getting you to spend what could be good wine allowance on an unworthy product, I played around with the palette I was gifted before sharing the goods. And next time I visit Whole Foods, my basket will probably be tucked full of more than a bottle of red and an organic frozen pizza, because this little trial opened up a whole wide world of affordable beauty products I’d never given a second thought, and realize now I probably should given the safe, natural nature of their ingredients (coupled with the fact I actually really liked this eyeshadow.)

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The color payoff is surprisingly excellent (meaning you don’t have to swipe your brush twenty times for pigmentation), and the formula is highly blendable without blending out to nothing on the eyelid. The colors are nice, warm neutral tones I’m naturally used to working with, too.

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Honestly, I was prepared to dump the brush straight in the trash before even unpackaging the product, but ended up surprisingly fond of it with the palette. (Which is a first. A literal first in dealing with drugstore/grocery store makeup.) I couldn’t count for you the number of bad names I’ve called the little plasticy, useless tuft of bristles or sponges that accompany most lower-end eyeshadow quads or blushes before tossing them. (Which is an exaggeration. I could count them, on one hand probably, and the words could still likely be used in most Disney films. Still mostly useless garbage that I never keep,  though.) But this dual-ended brush lived through the Robin Standards test to see another application.

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Palette Verdict: worth it. With the brush and concise, but creative range of wearable shades, I see this being a great space-saving weekend travel palette I will definitely have on rotation that I am more than happy to recommend you friends if you’re in the market for such a thing. (Milani, on the other hand, I will never endorse you or your cheap makeup voodoo. Just because the swelling subsided, there are emotional wounds and a grudge 10 years deep not going anywhere anytime soon.)

The point that may have caught your attention: I have 5 to giveaway! FIVE. Five loyal (or maybe not so loyal! Or maybe new!) readers have the opportunity to make one of these little pretties your very own, which are completely exclusive to Whole Foods Market stores. (And this blog giveaway this week.)

HOW? TWO THINGS! Two easy things. You must do both, or I’m tossing your name in the garbage with the rest of my tiny, cheap drugstore spongy brushes.

  1. Comment below (or with the talking bubble near the title) ON the post, ON this blog! Tell me: what you would do with the palette if you won? Which shades would you be most excited about trying? Have you tried Mineral Fusion before, and if so what should I try next? Any of those things, or anything else! Be sure and include the important information in step #2 below, so keep reading.
  2. Share this giveaway on your social media platform of choice! At least one, or all 3 (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) if you really want to up your odds of winning. For each platform it is shared on, you gain an entry, up to 4 entries including the one you will gain from commenting on the blog. In your blog comment below, please tell me which platforms you shared on so I can go take a looksee for myself.

Deets: I will alert the winners via social media, and post about it around the ol’ blog. Keep an eye out. Entries will be accepted 12/21/15 -12/23/15 11:59pm CST, and selected on 12/24/15. Kind of like that one gift you get to open before Christmas.

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Good luck, best wishes, and may the odds be ever in your favor. *cue Hunger Games jingle* (I’m such a fraud, I only ever saw the first movie, but I think it’s still hip to say that. I could be wrong. Tell me in a comment.)

Inside: Play! By Sephora Subscription Box 01

Life has been full. Like, capital f-u-double-hockey-sticks fullLike, “live in the next ten minutes because thinking about the week big-picture might make my brain explode” full. This lifestyle is not conducive to blogging (or at least blogging well), so forgive me again all three of ye faithful Daily Sprinkles followers who have noticed me absentee. I’d say it won’t happen again, but then my pants would be on fire and your forgiveness would instead be needed for the latter transgression. So, we’ll just go with this is the season we’re in, folks. I promise nothing but popping in with a little quippy commentary with the same ol’ whatever strikes my fancy if I make it home before dark to shoot photos in decent lighting, lest you be forced to stare at grainy big-foot quality images and shame me into photography oblivion. No one wants that.

You got me? Good. Thank you.

But something great was delivered to my doorstep yesterday, so cue The Pointer Sisters because I’m so excited and ain’t tryin’ to hide it anywhere!

 

My very first Play! By Sephora box. (Thank you, Dallas, for being one of the designated test market cities. If it were physically possible to kiss a city, I would.)

A quick primer:

  • $10/mo subscription box, free shipping. 6 deluxe beauty samples. Product info booklet. A Play Pass card for bonus Sephora beauty points and free in-store tutorials with the month’s products. Detailed info, here.

This first box’s theme is “Uncover the Essentials.” Nutshell version: some of Sephora’s best selling products (read: this is gonna be good.) With brands like Bumble and Bumble + Marc Jacobs, they’re already living up to my wildest deluxe brand expectations. 

Need I comment on the packaging, or does it boldly speak for itself,  “I’m probs the cutest thing your mailbox has ever seen.”? Yeah, that.

Enough already, Robin! What’s in the box!?!” 

OKAY! OKAY! (drum roll):  (Crinkle filler paper?! The way to this crafter’s heart.)

Marc Jacobs Highliner  (Blacquer)  

Gor.ge.ous black eyeliner -muy swoon upon first impression. However, eye-liner is one of those products you need to live with a little before making a forever judgement call. To be continued on how long this guy hangs around.

Glam Glow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser 

Glam Glow, you win for scariest looking thing to go on my face this year. “Mud to foam” is accurate, but smells far more divine than it looks.

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Prime  Worked super well as a detangler.. possibly a tad too heavy for my fine hair -dreaded oily effect. (Nooo!) I plan on trying again s-p-a-r-i-n-g-l-y for better results (at which pace, this sample could last me a glorious amount of time.)

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Creme Feels extremely refreshing, but I can’t speak to it’s “transformation” properties on a first impression.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Fragrance  I was pleasantly surprised by this fragrance. From the packaging, I was prepared to be hit in the nostrils with a blanket from your great grandmother’s musky basement, but it was lovely. Sophisticated and floral in a way I don’t think would have been appealing to Robin three years ago, that might be given a shot now.

Sephora Rouge Infusion in #19 (Peony) 

This one will be living in my goes-everywhere, in-purse makeup pouch. Swipes easily for no-fuss touch of color that I feel like will be pretty darn universally flattering (which is excellent news concerning an argument I make below.) Oddly for a stain, it applies slightly unevenly, and required two passes for perfection, but then I had no complaints.

Key differences I see between Play! and my Birchbox subscription (after the first box):

  • There was no “beauty profile” to fill out, which was slightly disappointing because I think it means every single box will be the same, where each Birchbox is customized to your profile. What does this mean? No trolling social media to see what other women got in their boxes if you want to keep it a surprise, and hopefully no pop-up spoilers in the feed. Also, better chance of the makeup not “matching” skin type/hair color/other pesky personal particulars. My olive tones tend to pair with pretty wide scope of colors, so I don’t know that this will be my biggest gripe, but I could see it being a problem for women who have much more complex complexion matching struggles.
  • They’ve promised deluxe samples, and I get the feeling this will much more closely resemble Ipsy than Birchbox as far as the ratio of makeup to lotions-shampoos-soaps-masks-“beauty health” products go. AKA, much more makeup heavy. Do I love this? Time will tell. I love my Birchbox because it isn’t makeup heavy, although I enjoy the makeup samples. *Praying hands emoji* that the boxes will simple compliment each other nicely in my life.

easily see why these are some of Sephora’s cult favorites. If you haven’t gleaned this already, I’m enthusiastic about the potential for this new service. I mean, come on, it’s Sephora.

Were you chosen to receive this first round of boxes? Have you jumped on the wait list? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title.

Inside my Birchbox: July

Unwrapping this month’s Birchbox gave me a little jolt of ohhh nooo because Bold and Robin aren’t generally synonymous, but the feeling passed in a jiffy when I saw they didn’t sample me anything too crazy.

Buckle up for some thorough review time, because all 5 samples gave me a little somethin’ to say this month.

The lineup:

Birchbox July 2015-2Oribe Dry Texturzing Spray, Benefit They’re Real! Push Up Liner, stila look at me liquid lipstick, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid, Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel

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Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray 

You know how baby hair is ultra fine and soft in a way that pins + elastics slip right out? My mom says my hair never left this stage, and it’s a pretty accurate description. (Per square inch there are a lot of hairs on my head, but each strand is thin, description per one of my previous hair dressers.) F-Y-very important-I, that’s the mane I’m working with. Texture spray is muh best friend. 

This product?

Solid A for product effectiveness.

Solid D for its “for the love of Job I don’t want to smell like that all day”-ness.

Solid for why are you $42?!

I had to scan reviews to see if I was flying solo aboard the crazy train with my polar opinions, and it seems the masses are divided.

To the person who wrote, “it makes my hair smell summery,” -Oh no, did you spend summers locked in your grandma’s basement growing up? How sad. To the person who wrote, “just totally potent”… ding ding. Terrific use of accurate adjectives in your product reviews, new friend. Our noses are the same.

This guy smells strong, st-r-ong in a you-better-love-the-fragrance-or-immediate-migraine sort of way. But it works extremely well, adding a healthy amount of texture, grit, and instant volume to sleeker strands. Shame.

If you can get past the smell + price tag, it might fulfill your wildest texturizing dreams, but note it’s supposed to double as a dry shampoo -and Oribe’s pants are on fire as that might be one of the phoniest claims in dry shampoo history. It struck me as being too tacky for that sort of use, if that’s even the right word. Too somethin’. Too somethin’ dry shampoo is usually not.

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Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

I was ex.i.ted. to try this stuff. It was one of those products I didn’t really want to love (because who needs another not-drugstore-price-liner they can’t live without?) but seriously wanted to sample.

Resting easy and reporting it was not love at first line. Or second.

With practice, I might grow to be extremely fond of this stuff, because I like the end result. I didn’t like the effort. I own plenty of liners with similar results, far less time consuming. If you “push up” too much gel through the tip’s tube, it gets a little messy, and wastes product.

I also had trouble as a righty getting it to look as lovely on my left as I did on my right. (Which might be an unrelated motor skill issue I should have checked out.)

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If I was going for a serious oh baby thick and bold cat eye, I do foresee this being a super nice option with a skilled hand. My hands are not so skilled -but maybe with practice. It’s a nice sized sample, probably for that reason. The first day I wore it, I was all McKayla Maroney not impressed face because it flaked. Granted that was a long, hot, concert on the lawn day and I was sweating like a you-know-who in a you-know-where, so I gave it second chance, and it stayed put.

Totally conflicted and confused by my mixed review? Good, me too.

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stila look at me liquid lipstick

thought it would make me look like Barbie. It kind of just made me look like that you-know-who sweating in the you-know-where from a few paragraphs up.

It was not flattering. This shade is most comparable to hot pink glow paint. Like, my lips were ready for a straight up rave.

Color inside the lines, too, because where it goes it stays, like it or lump it. After I patted a little off (AKA tried removing it with Kleenex), I liked the effect a little more. Less rave, more Barbie. At about 1/4 its maximum potential, it proved to be sort of nice. But “holy permanence, Batman” to quote another reviewer, this stuff stains.

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Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel 

I was not eager to put the words “chemical” and “peel” and “my face” in a sentence together.

After the small test spot didn’t turn green or melt or burn an orifice into the back of my hand, I used it -following perfect package instructions- on my face while in the shower as recommended. And it shut up this doubting coward.

I like this stuff. Like, I like it-like it. Not enough to use the capital L word, but enough to go out on a few dates and let it buy me dinner before deciding if I could commit. I used a small amount, as advised by the package, and have enough to give it another go or two. Lucky me, I actually have another full sample of this I received in a full-size order box or something or other that I previously ignored and tossed in my under the sink sample stash because, coward. I’ll be digging that out.

I can’t quite tell yet if it made my face glowy, or if it’s psychosomatic and I know it’s supposed to be glowy? All I know is my skin was darn soft afterward -like I’d used a killer exfoliator- and I was a fan.

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Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid

Transparency: I didn’t understand this sample. I sort of still don’t understand this sample. I *think* it’s for skin more mature than mine, but is it preventative? Should I use it now? I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its whatever, but this book’s label was pretty boring in my humble opinion and not overly helpful in answering my questions.

It felt more medicinal than luxurious, and really wasn’t particularly scented. So. Meh.

How was your July Box? Any samples you’ve already checked out? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

Summer Lips: Model Co. Party Proof Brights

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The Robin Karber Comfort Zone is wallpapered creamy neutrals and delicate pastels, complete with pops of deeper neutrals and daintier pastels. With grey curtains. And a beige rug.

I’m not typically a brights kind of girl, which is unsurprisingly characteristic of 98% of my makeup stash, too.

What then –I know you’re burning to ask- compelled me to snag this lipstick trio featuring Peony, Red Velvet, and Disco Fever? Maybe delirium in the South Texas heat. Maybe the silent peer pressure of every bold-lipped beauty in my Pinterest feed. Just maybe I’m finally heeding advice to wear more color on my lips (and everywhere else in my greige on white life.)

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I just thought they’re pretty, and would be nice to have on hand for all 5 summer days I feel like lookin’ a little fierce.

I tend to lean toward softer lip butters on the daily (like these or this favorite) that tint more than paint on color, if that makes sense -the more “no fuss” lip route. These lipsticks aren’t no fuss -there is definitely fuss involved to the tune of prepping, priming, and holding my breathe so fierce doesn’t cross the line into clown-like.

Finding lipstick, as I’ve mentioned before, is a whole heck of a lot like jeans shopping: sometimes you have to clock a lot of dressing room hours to find the one. Shooting in the dark and ordering without trying is a seriously ill-advised risk, but magically I feel like it worked in my favor this time, as I kept the pack. Do as I say, not as I whatever. Or follow your heart and forget what I say.

The best thing about something like a bright pink or coral summer lip is how feminine yet modern they make me feel at the same time. There’s something about lipstick that instantly spikes my confidence meter ten points.

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Peony. Since ordering this set at the beginning of the summer, I’ve been pretty partial to Peony. It’s an easy shade to adjust boldness. If I dab just a touch and rub into my lips, it’s much softer and easier for me to sport on days I may not paint on a full face.

Party Proof Summer Lipstick Peony

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Disco Fever. Ah, Disco Fever. Is it orange? Is it coral? Is it sort of a little peach? Coral is the most dubious of shades, the line is so thin -I think it depends on the light. It paired really well with this electric peach China Glaze polish I was donning last month, which was incidentally the exact same shade as my coral Kendra earrings.

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Red Velvet.  This shade is absolutely the most “party proof” of the set. I haven’t tested it without, but with primer its staying power is pretty impressive. Like, eat-drink-and-be-merry and your lips don’t budge impressive. Transfer definitely occurs, but my lips stayed poppin’. This color is solid.

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Party Proof Summer Lipstick - Red Velvet

I will say, these are supposed to me matte, and if you can tell from the photos they apply with a definite gloss to the finish.

I found this strange until wearing them around, and it seems the gloss part of the lipstick does transfer and fade, leaving a stained, perfectly matte finish within an hour or two.

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In case you had even an inkling of a doubt, Model Co. doesn’t have a clue who the heck I am, and this was not a sponsored post. Just a girl playing with lipstick and sharing a few of the shades I’m sporting these summer months.

What’s your favorite summer lip shade? Or which of these would you most likely find yourself reaching for on the daily? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!

Party Proof Summer Lipstick- Red Velvet

Inside my Birchbox: June

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

June’s Birchbox theme revolved around saying yes to adventure. Super season appropriate, nice summertime samples. It’s like professionals put these boxes together or something.

None of my samples were even particularly rage worthy. If you’re lookin’ for me to pick a fight with a brand to liven up your Monday, sorry to disappoint. If you’re lookin’ for some honest feedback that might moderately liven up your Monday, proceed.

All in all, June was good to me.
Inside Birchbox: June 2015

Number 4 Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect |  Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow | Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50 | Sarahpotempa ‘Darby’ Hair Clips | TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Isabel | Marcelle Mini Waterproof Eyeliner

Sarahpotempa ‘Darby’ Hair Clips

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

This is the first time I’ve received any sort of hair styling tool in my box, so that was a pleasant surprise -even if it was a cheap plastic clip. I always section off my hair at some point while styling, so it’s gotten a handful of uses already.

What else is there to say about a clip? At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have purchased this one my own because it’s just a funky clip, but I’m not not happy it’s in my pile of alligator clips.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

I was surprised by how well this BB cream actually matched me. Matching skin tones is as hit or miss as it gets, but this was pretty spot on for my olivey-with-yellow-undertones kind of a little tan sort of shade.

A titch heavier than other BB’s I’ve tried, it was still amazingly light and airy with a super creamy application. My skin isn’t in a place right now where I could wear it concealer-free, but once I get the lady hormones messing up my face in check again I imagine this would be a really easy breezy weekend-wear BB in lieu of heavier foundation.

I checked out some of the other reviews on the site, and some people complained about a “sparkle” (did we get the same sample?) and some people raved about it being similar to “an all over bronzer” (did we get the same sample?) and some people complained about it being super greasy (did we get the same sample?). My conclusion is this guy is not universally wonderful and an absolute case by case.

Maybe my olivey-with-yellow-undertones kind of a little tan sort of skin glows a little golden on its own, so it matched without necessarily enhancing? Who knows. Even after a dusting of finishing powder, it did give me a dewy summertime finish that I was a total fan of.

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner 

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

Inside Birchbox: June 2015

This dark blue is probably as about as adventurous as the lines of my eyes will ever see –so how theme appropriate. If I’m feelin’ particularly spunky, I’ll likely pull this out again because while I didn’t give it a full-day’s wear yet, it applied nicely and made me feel trendy for a hot minute. I’m skeptical about its saying power as that line was way to easy to wipe off my hand, and equally easy to wipe off the eyes for claiming waterproofness.

But eye makeup samples are just fun to play with, even if I’m never brave enough to paint them on and leave the house.

Supergoop! Everyday SPF 50

I wasn’t too keen putting something called Supergoop! on my face, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Confession: I’m not a sunscreen wearer. I like my face products to have a little SPF on their own so I feel like I’m getting some protection, but another thick and creamy layer on my face has never been appealing.

actually didn’t mind this consistency. It’s light, non greasy after letting it soak in a couple of minutes, and doesn’t smell like the inside of a beach bag. At this point in my life I don’t believe I would ever spend nearly fifty dollars on a full size bottle of sunscreen. Like ever. But hey, lotteries are won everyday, right? Maybe someday this guy has a chance of landing in my basket, because it was a surprisingly good little sunscreen.

How was your June Birchbox? Any samples you plan on partnering with for the long haul? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

Back to the Bangs

(Because I had a feeling “To Bang or Not To Bang” would get a few unhappy eyebrows raised.)

Summer 2015 Bangs

Summer 2015 Bangs Summer 2015 Bangs

Confession: I’m the queen of fickle when it comes to hair. The only reason it got anywhere close to the ballpark of “long” in 2014 was because we were living in Louisville, I didn’t know any hairdressers, and we were pretty poor. (In case you mistook me for a person patient enough to grow out my hair.)

The gene of thick, flowing Rapunzel tresses burned itself out on my gorgeous older sister, leaving me a mane with much to be desired. (That’s how genealogy works, right? Science! But really, she has the thickest most lushes locks in the land.)

My own locks are a little on the wimpy side (praise heaven for mousse), so I’ve always struggled with how to get it cut. Is this me announcing the beauty gods have finally whispered in my ear sweet secrets to all my fine hair woes…? (Ha. Haha.)

Summer 2015 Bangs

I used to get super regular haircuts cropped well above my shoulders at nearly all times -with varying levels of fringe- mostly because I was told short would compensate for the lack of thick. (Looking back, I think I was drinking the shorter-is-better coolaid without having a clue how to style it. Aren’t old school photos of yourself fun?)

Summer 2015 Bangs

How I determined I needed a haircut then: Bad hair day. Snip snip. Now the hairs that made me mad are gone. (It made sense to me.)

How I determine I need a haircut now: There’s money in my account,my splits have past the point of no return, and no amount of coconut oil can ever fix those babies.

I’ve also been trying really hard to eliminate hair cut whims and embrace what is (to me) a completely different hairstyle feel.

But old habits die hard.

Summer 2015 Bangs

I went about two solid months loving grown out bangs -and then I was bored to tears. Maybe I just need a few lessons on styling my hair from a real person not inside my iPad. There were days I’d finish fixing my hair and think “well, I guess that’s as good as it’s getting today, nothing I can do about it.” When in fact there was something I could do about it. It’s called a haircut, moron Robin.

I don’t think I’ll go full-on-bob-chop again any day soon (I say today), but I’m happy with my decision to reintroduce a little fringe (even if it was just a little more than I went in thinking I’d get. Ah! The fun of new hairdressers! But I’m digging it.) Maybe because I lived with them for so long, but bangs are just my happy hair place.

Summer 2015 Bangs

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My philosophy (which you can tell at this point is v. professional), whatever is “in-style” is basically garbage if you can’t feel like yourself while rocking it. While I noticed heaps of fringe on 2015 runways (here + here), most of the leading ladies in my life and general piece of the country have been letting them grow, and looking darn fantastic. So who’s to say what the real trend is? All I know is my own forehead was gettin’ a little lonely.

So that’s it  -the enthralling tale of me and my kinda ‘do (that isn’t too new if you haven’t seen me in two years.) Which I’m sure I’ll be bored with and changing in about three weeks. (Which is truer than you think. I’m on the verge of adding color of the first time. Will I? Won’t I?)

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Kudos and credit to my stellar sister-in-law Alexandria Karber Photography for a crazy fun mini shoot to showcase my cut. What a trooper. If you’re looking for a seriously fantastically talented, experienced photographer, hit this friend up. She’s in Amarillo for the summer, so now’s your chance to get a super reasonably priced shoot done before she finishes that KU Photo degree in a few years and can start charging millions. (Because she totally will. Girl’s goin’ places.)

Seniors, engagements, babies, infants, weddings, camps, families, dogs, grass, leaves, goats –she can do it all.

I just had to turn the camera around on her for a hot minute (example of gorgeous flowing Disney princess hair sans bangs.) She is one seriously beautiful lady with one of the happiest hearts I’ve ever known.

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Inside my Birchbox: May

May Birchbox Daily Sprinkles

We’re past May. We’re so far past May, June days now have double digits. 

My life this May looked something like the state of my mailbox.Mailbox

A jam-packed hot mess. Poor, neglected junk mail.

I don’t think I took my Birchbox out of my mailbox until the last day of the month. I chose to post this a little late and spend some time with the goodies so I could have an educated conversation, opposed to purely rattling off what I got or just making something up. Although I guess you’d really never know if I did. (Muahaha.) Don’t worry- never have I would I ever.

It was a fun box, and another killer collaboration effort. Cupcakes & Cashmere is a super fun blog I follow fairly regularly. Fun to see them come up on my box. Plus, bonus points for another cute box. You may recall I have a thing for cute packaging or something.

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In the box:

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer | Benefit Lolibalm | Beauty Protector Beauty Wash Cleanser | PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray | English Laundry Notting Hill Femme Eau de Parfum 

The good:

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer

May Birchbox Daily Sprinkles

These guys can make a serious moisturizer. I’ve really enjoyed this guy from their line of products before, which I originally discovered from one of my very very first Birchboxes.

The sample from this go around was a really nice, light facial moisturizer that I seriously may end up ordering for the summer. First, it smells to me like summer thanks to the avocado component. Second, the moisturizer I’ve been using for basically the past ten years and l.o.v.e. I have a sneaking suspicion will be a little heavy on an already destined-to-melt face in the Dallas summer heat I hear is looming. (Gross.) I may keep you posted on that front because I know you care oh so much about me and my pending melty summer face probs.

 Benefit Lolibalm

May Birchbox Daily Sprinkles

Benefit, I love you, and this perfect little moisturizing lippie sample. It looks like it’ll transform you into Barbie in .02 second, but that is completely deceiving (in a good way.) It really felt like more of a super subtly tinted creamy chap-stick, not the least bit tacky, and packed with a decent amount of moisture.

I have several similar products already -plus this pretty large sample- to go through before I likely add another one of these to my pile of lip products. If I didn’t, it’d be in my next order.

The bad:

English Laundry Notting Hill Femme Eau de Parfum 

The words “old lady drapes” come to mind. Not my style, but thanks for playing.

The ugly:

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Beauty Protector Beauty Wash Cleanser

This is a perfectly fine, super pretty smelling body wash -the advertising nerd in me just completely hates their logo. Am I alone?

How was your Birchbox last month? Any samples you plan on snagging full-size? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Comparison

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

The hype of a million suns surrounded the release of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara a couple months ago.

It was everywhere I looked. I even put a tube on pre-order, which felt dumb five seconds after I did it. They won. (Except the day it released -for reason irrelevant- I looked it up on Birchbox and it had sold out. Who’s dumb now? Correct answer: still me. For pre-ordering mascara. I live in Dallas, not the middle of the beauty-forsaken wilderness.)

Why they claimed it’s cooler than any mascara in your makeup bag: the Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush. It promised to curl lashes as it went for volume + length+ eye-opening curl without the use of an eyelash torture device. Flake-free, full, long-lasting, universally perfect for every eye shape and lash type, and inky black curly wonderfully flirty lashy goodness for up to 12 hours. It sounded like the freaking holy grail.

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I don’t have particularly stick straight lashes or lashes that won’t hold curl. I do feel like I look more awake when I use an eyelash curler, so more often than not, eyelash torture device it is. Using one never bothered me (except the unfortunate occasional instance in which the curler became an eyelid or eyeball torture device –ow), but the Benefit marketing still worked magic on blurring my want versus need line. Plus, the tube imitates an old fashioned hair roller. Cute packaging always wins.

This is the look I get with a couple coats and zero curling on my part. I’ve been hard-pressed to find a negative review on the stuff, but in general the beauty masses are pretty hot or cold with opinions about Benefit mascaras.

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As I found with Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara, it does a really nice job with fanning out my lashes and a surprisingly decent job curling when used correctly. It takes a little bit of a special flick of the fingers in a subtle c-shape, which sounds more complicated than it actually is.

If I go too quickly, I’ve found the results aren’t nearly as pretty, and some clumping occurs I have to rework with a lash separator. At that point, have I really saved anytime at all moving more slowly? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. If that’s what you think you’ll be getting out of this mascara, I don’t think you will.

This is doing mascara the-way-my-mama-taught-me (except sans curler) compared to Benefit’s Roller Lash:

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1 Benefit Roller Lash | 2 L’Oreal Mascara – No Curler Used

I don’t know what you see, but comparing lash curl to lash curl, I think there’s a difference. Personally, I do prefer that extra volume/bulk my L’Oreal mascara gives me I just can’t get with Benefit on its own, which is difficult to see in the photos. What I’ve found myself doing is going back after a coat of Roller Lash with a coat of something like my good ol’ plain L’Oreal to add the volume.

It’s a nice mascara to have, and it’s darn long lasting, I give it to Benefit for always nailing that for me. I also really do think it’s pretty. I’ve been using it off and on for a couple of months before chatting about it in case my first impression changed, but it hasn’t. I like using it when I want to kick my routine up just a notch.

But I tell you, I haven’t quit the curler habit even using Roller Lash on a normal day (i.e. not for this blog post.) 10 or so years of use and brainwashing might be at play here, but I just don’t feel like my eyes are at full open-and-awake-potential without using one.

For what I was expecting, it didn’t quite live up to the hype as far as replacing my other mascaras/lash curler and becoming my holy grail. It’s simply another really nice Benefit mascara not all that different from They’re Real that I’m not unhappy is in my makeup bag these days.

The short version of this review:
a) It hasn’t replaced my eye lash curler. Wasn’t that the point?
Bummer. (If I wasn’t so picky, it totally would in a pinch, though.)
b) Super good separation. Still pretty. Still a perfectly good mascara.
Not Bummer.
c) It’s pricier than the drugstore stuff that I have no qualms with, but it lasts a good Grey’s Anatomy Finale’s worth of tears.
It is what it is. I’ll pass on bankrolling daily use, but it’s special occasion good.

DISCLAIMER: if you aren’t used to getting Benefit mascaras off your lashes, oh man. It’s the price you’ll pay for all-day lash lovelies. It’s a delicate dance between don’t scrub your eyelids bald and I just want to go to bed why is this taking so long? Nothing I haven’t been able to tackle, though, with my drugstore product removing ways (Pond’s Cold Cream, Pond’s Towelettes, or generic baby oil, respectively.)

Mascara is also possibly one of the most personal makeup products we ladies use on the daily, second to foundation (if not more.) Every girl seems to have her own die-without tube, magic mixing combo, or secret to personal lash perfection because there are literally no two sets of eyes and lashes in the whole world who will wear it the same way. Which is beautiful. With varying lash types, you might find different results.

Have you tossed your eye lash curler in favor of this stuff yet? Would you rather die than read the word “lash” in this post one more time? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

The Elephant + April’s Birchbox

Nothing against elephants, but let’s get this one out of the room.

Content has been a little thin (aka there has been no content) for the past month. Maybe you didn’t actually notice. Maybe you’re thinking, “Boy she’s full of it. This jokester really thinks out of the 2 billion people on the Internet I’d notice her missing?” If that’s you, valid! If you did care that I left you hanging, I apologize.

I took a little mental health hiatus from Daily Sprinkles, which I realized wasn’t my best idea. If you ever wonder why this blog exists, it’s because it makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Taking photos makes me happy. An excuse for obsessive product testing, baking, and crafting makes me happy. More importantly, the conversations these posts spark and the times I’ve heard they’ve helped someone in some way make me genuinely happy.

Next time life’s crazy gets the best of me, maybe I’ll just quit my day job instead. (Kidding -nervous laugh- yeah, just kidding…)

I did take some time to do a little maintenance around here during the hiatus, so hopefully now it’s a little prettier on the eyes and easier to navigate my junk. This lovely page also got a little spruce.

Just know that my head is bubbling over with ideas and I’ve got some content up my sleeve.

Phew. Goodbye, Elephant.

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Now, that entire explanation could have just as easily been a farce to cover up the fact I’ve been distractedly fan-girling over this more perfect than perfect Birchbox + Rifle Paper Co. collaboration this entire past month. (I’ll never tell.)

Squeals.

I don’t know how or when exactly it happened, but the secret’s out and Rifle Paper Co products have been popping up stinking everywhere –which is why I shouldn’t have been surprised to rip open my mail and discover this collaboration made in subscription box heaven. It’s just so pretty.

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The bush outside our apartment that’s had a vendetta against me since we moved in last fall also started producing these really pretty flowers. So I forgive you for purposely overgrowing into my walkway sometimes, bush.

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Box Sample Winner
Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos

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If Birchbox chose one sample for me a month based on the item that got thrown in and tossed out of my virtual shopping basket most in the last 3 months, this blush would have topped the list. I’ve been wanting it so darn bad, but for some reason hadn’t followed through. There was always something I needed more urgently than blush that took its place.

Imagine my childlike happiness when I opened this box and found it, just try and imagine. 

Cargo was winning right out of the gate with this one. Not only had I been wanting to try it, but this is one of the better non-full-size samples I’ve maybe ever gotten. It’s a really good size  -literally just a miniature version of its full-size mama in a cute, tiny tin. I was already impressed with the sample size, then I tried it out -this sample is going to last me a good while. Super pigmented, so I don’t have to swirl and cake it on for a perfectly rosy result. Having a deeper olive complexion, blush and I have that struggle sometimes.

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The pigmentation and shade of Los Cabos is going to be terrifically pretty for the warmer spring/summer months and actually show up on my face.

Also, um, swimmable? Can we talk about that? Why is that not a bigger beauty thing? Maybe it is and I’m late to the game, but waterproof blush is the best news since -well- waterproof mascara. It just makes so much sense in the summer months. If you weren’t lucky enough to sample this piece in your own box, I’d snag it up online anyway. Adding this to my mental list of “will be replacing when it’s out.”

Product Sample Runner-Up
LAQA & Co sheer lip lube pencil

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Bonus, it was full size. This is definitely a lip sheer, not a lip stick, which made me much less uneasy about the bold pink. If it wore any heavier, I would feel like I was walking around with Barbie lips (which I might be in the mood for, like, once a year.)

Goes on incredibly smooth, lasts a couple of hours, and has a nice minty smell. Not a game-changer, but not a bad little lippie to keep in the collection. It isn’t a color I would have naturally chosen for myself, so for that little stretch I was pleased.

Were you as pleased with your box as I was mine? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

 

February Favorites

This month was all about beauty for me, and I don’t now how that happened. I racked my brain (surely I wasn’t that unadventurous), but beauty products were the only discoveries from February that knocked off my socks and made me excited enough to share.

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Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream | Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara | Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick | Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream

Holy. Yum.

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My husband forever cemented in the archives of Twitter my initial reaction:

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And I meant it. And I still mean it. I would still love to devour a big heaping scoopful every time I use it. (I imagine that’s a bad idea. I do not advise consumption.) It’s pistachio, almond, and sweet vanilla, but very mild, and simply makes me happy. While I love the smell, I also love that I can wear whatever fragrance I want on top of it at the start of the day because it doesn’t linger too terribly long (fortunate and unfortunate.)

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It applies like one of the silkiest, smoothest body creams I’ve ever tried without leaving my skin feeling the least bit oily. (Isn’t that the grossest? I don’t want to feel like I could take a running leap at a dry Slip’n’Slide and glide straight to the end after moisturizing my full body. Ick. You won’t with this body buttercream.) The texture is a real dream and lasts all day.

The price point is a little outside of my comfort zone for lotion. Despite the a-dor-able packaging, Soap & Glory is one of those brands I think I had picked up and tested a product or two before, but never bought. I probably passed on the price tag in favor of a drugstore staple. During a routine Sephora lap early this month, I passed the display and remembered one of my favorite bloggers (Kate from over at The Small Things Blog) mentioning it favorably in some capacity toward the end of last year. I couldn’t remember. I tested it in store and it was love at first smell. We’ve lived happily ever after. 

p.s. I have a thing for lotion tubs. I really like them. Maybe because I use a ton and it’s just easier to get in there and scoop it out rather than pump the bottle sixteen times? The tub also gives me the option of throwing the thing in my bag easily for travel or use during the day if I want. Who knows. I’m a freak.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in black

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I thought this product was genius. It’s really just a good smudge and flake free mascara in a tiny tube with a tiny brush designed to distribute product to tiny lashes.

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You might order it or go check it out in store and scream “What is this, mascara for ANTS?!” which was pretty close to my initial reaction, too. (It’s not THAT small. If you aren’t a Zoolander fan you’re probably really confused and lost, and I won’t apologize because that’s your fault for missing out on only about a million laughs.) It’s a small tube, but it isn’t expensive and I imagine it lasting a while for the small amount I use every time.

This isn’t a game changer or a top of the list once it runs out kind of product for me -I’ve found it mostly just fun to have and use. It does a nice job separating tiny bottom lashes and adding definition with a couple coats. When I’m really doing my eyes I add a couple coats for separation and length, and then one more coat of something a little thicker like my Covergirl Lash Blast on top of it.

It’s also nice to have for tinier lashes toward the inner of my top lash line. Who am I fooling? Once I’m 100% used to using it everyday it probably will be at the top of my list when it runs out.

Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Plummy Rose

Let’s take a moment and squeal over this packaging together, okay? Look how stinking adorable and fun and I want all of the shades just for the fun packaging of all of them seriously go look at them.

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OK, now we can move on.

I’ve wanted one (or all) of the lipsticks from this collection for a darn long time, and finally picked this Plummy Rose shade. It’s a mauvey-rose color that I like for its simplicity. It gives color and defines my lips in a “yeah I’m a grown lipstick wearing lady” sort of way without being super trendy. Sometimes I don’t want to look trendy, I just want to feel pretty and polished. You feel me? Those are the days I use this lipstick.

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As you would guess from the name, it’s super creamy and soft -definitely not a drying lip color, and maybe a little sheer. It takes reapplying every few hours to keep up the moisture and color throughout the day (or maybe I just talk a lot or drink too much coffee), but if those sort of lip products annoy you, pass on this one. I haven’t found a “lip butter” lipstick that doesn’t require this, though, and I just really like it anyway.

It also smells really nice, which is just a sweet bonus since you know I’m applying it, like, directly beneath my nose.

Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo in Tea Rose Tickle

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I reached for this blush probably 23 of the 28 days of February. I’ve ended up really liking it even more than I thought I would in the store. (Even after dropping it directly onto the hard wood floor the day I brought it home. I also did that with a brand new carton of eggs today. That’s a different story, but I think it’s a pattern.)

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Despite the battle wound I inflicted upon the little guy, it’s been a great blush. The colors are rich and pigmented enough to show up on my more medium olive skin, and actually have a lot of dimension. It has just enough sheen without being glittery. Few things I hate more than a product with so much sparkle it takes me back to the roller glitter stick days of my childhood. I can’t for the life of me remember what it is, but there is another Sephora Collection brand blush that does this. Beware.

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And that’s the February gang. Have you given any of these a shot before? Any brands or products I should be on the lookout for this month? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!