Today, I stop slacking… (October Birchbox 2013)

Happy Sunday! Fall weather is in the air and it makes me oh so happy. Itinerary for today: The National Zoo (yay! re-opened and time revisit the pandas) with a high school friend + Sushi with two awesome people.

I got my birchbox a while ago, but I’ve been slacking a bit, sorry! I also misplaced the card, so I’m clueless as to what the theme was for this month’s box. But here it is, the last box of my one-year subscription! I’ve had a fun year with birchbox, but decided it was time to quit. In fact, at this point, Jarkie is not subscribed to a single subscription box service! My wallet/bank account is sure happy now. I might do a “best of…” subscription box post in the near future, but for now, here’s the box.

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Chapstick Hydration Lock ($2.99)
Light vanilla scent.

Bain de Terre macadamia oil nourishing conditioner (1.7 oz / $1.70)
Also light scent. 🙂

POP Beauty Acqua Lacquer in Splashing Scarlet (FULL SIZE 0.34 oz / $14.00)
The splashing scarlet is a bit too bold for me, so expect a giveaway coming up soon 🙂

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And to my favorite product from this month’s box –

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (1 oz/ $6.51) + Mulsin Cloth (1 cloth/ $3.00)
Excited to give this a try.

There were some months where I just did not care for my birchbox, however, I’m happy to say I ended my subscription on a good note. The value of this month’s box came to $28.20, which is not too bad. Did you enjoy your box? How will you spend this lazy Sunday? Hope you have a lovely day!

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Today, I tell my story … (Birchbox September 2013 Review)

Heritage. That is the theme for the September 2013 Birchbox. I usually don’t pay much attention to their themes, since I feel like the products don’t really match the theme. However, it’s their three year anniversary, so I decided to read the card a little more this month.

The best part about beauty? … It’s the stories…. every[one has their] own fascinating history…
                                                           –Birchbox, September 2013

Having to write a lot about myself lately (anyone else working on applications of any kind? school? work? etc?), I’ve touched upon the subject of my past experiences, my stories, and my heritage. I’ve never really stopped to think about myself so much. My name was inspired by a Chinese proverb that literally means “when you drink water, remember its source” (yin shui si yuan). One can think of this as the quality of the water depends on the source. The character is also part of the name of a village in China my family is from. The other part of my name was inspired by a proverb that literally means “brocade-like future” (jin xiu qian cheng). As the theme of silk has been interwoven into this saying, it means glorious or bright future. If you put the two together, it means I will [hopefully haha] have a bright future, but no matter what, I will stop and remember my beginnings and where I come from (my source). How neat is that? 🙂 So with my applications and my birchbox, I’m taking some time to think about my past, my family, my culture and my heritage.  Texas, Stockholm, China (all of it), Kentucky, India (specifically Udaipur…), …. DC… and now what’s next? [I’ll be able to tell you in about EIGHT months.] What about you? What exciting stories do you carry with you? 

The pretty box! I haven’t been too impressed with Birchbox lately, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this box.

Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray (3.38 oz / $10.80)
I have really enjoyed all the Davines products that Birchbox has let me try. I’ve also learned to become fond of sea salt sprays. They give me such a nice added shape/volume/texture that allows me to forgo blowdrying my hair. I just spray this onto my damp hair, put into a messy bun and let it dry on my drive to work. In addition, it has a really nice dessert like (is it cinnamon?) scent!

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara (0.39 oz / $20.00) – FULL SIZE!!!
I don’t wear mascara. And it’s such a great value for a birchbox! I’m sorry I can’t really say much about this other than.. it seems to get good reviews. Expect this in a future giveaway 🙂

[Beauty Extra] VOESH New York Green Tea Pedicure Masque (0.7 fl oz / $1.65)
This is part of a 3-step treatment. I have never heard of a mask for the feet but I love masks & I’m quite intrigued as the feet is probably the part of my body that I forget to take care of (in terms of moisturizing and such)… It’s suppose to soften the feet with grape seed extract and green tea!

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF for Face (0.10 oz / $2.11)
This seems like a 1 (maybe 2)-time use sample… Mineral-based tinted moisturizer with a matte finish. 

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund (0.17 oz / $10.00) – FULL SIZE!!!! – PHOTO BELOW
At first, I felt this shade was a not-so-flattering shade of green (if you get where I’m going). But now that I’m wearing it, I kind of love it; it’s got such a nice shine. I’m assuming the hedge fund refers to the “money green” metallic feel? One coat is all that’s needed. Goes on smoothly and evenly and is quick to dry. I love the shape of the bottle cap; it allows me to have a nice and steady grip while painting the nails. Yay!

Final Thoughts? Wow, Birchbox! Thanks for making me happy this month! I use Birchbox more as a way to introduce me to products rather than to get a good deal of full-size products for a good value. But all the samples in this box were decently sized, so I’m a happy gal (even if I can’t use the mascara). The total value of the box came to $44.56 (I might have calculated the sea salt spray incorrectly… the photo for full size bottle and the description on the website didn’t match so I had trouble there… if that’s the case, the value for this box is even higher). I thought this was a nice box as it contained products for my hair, eyes (make-up), skin (feet/lower legs & face), and nails! Great variety and good value this month! What did you get in your box this month? We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 

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Today, I am enjoying new music and new samples (Birchbox August 2013)…

Allo! My Birchbox arrived yesterday. I’ve noticed that I’ve started to become less and less enthusiastic when it comes to opening my Birchbox. I must be spoiled from my boxes (Allure box, Blush, NewBeauty) that give me lots of full-size goodies that these little samples just don’t really do much for me.

But if you’re looking for an introductory subscription box, this is still one of the best ones to try out, IMHO.

And actually, the more I think about this Birchbox, the more content I am feeling 🙂 It was a good value box (valued at $29.29), all the products are products that I would use…. and all were pretty decently sized this time. Okay, happy gal! 😀 What did you receive in your box? Did you like it? 

August 2013 – BIRCHBOX

  • EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Conditioner (2 oz / $5.88) – I received this product in my TotalBeauty mystery collection… it’s a perfect travel size conditioner. I’ll definitely be using it!
  • derma e Hydrating Mist (2 oz/ $13.50) – FULL SIZE! – FULL SIZE products make me happy! This is a very light and refreshing mist. My face felt a little smoother after spraying it on… dunno if that’s a psychological thing….
  • stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (.03 oz / $6.60) – The color is too bright for me… so I’ll most likely gift it or add it into a future giveaway (we’ll definitely be having one soon :D)
  • whish Exfoliating Body Wash (0.75 oz/ $2.75) – I used this last night … it smells good, has fine beads… my only complaint is that it’s a bit runny, so I feel like you might end up losing a lot of the wash.
  • whish Deodorant Swipes (1 wipe/ $0.53) Interesting concept… This would be perfect to keep in my bag in case I ever forget deodorant O_O hahaha

And as for new music, Lily & Madeleine are coming out with an album in October! Charkie first introduced me to them and I LOVE THEM. Here ya go… a preview for their new album!

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Today, I’m taking control of the situation (Birchbox July 2013)!

Wheeeeeeeeee.

My Birchbox came today! This was the first box that got me into the little world of boxes. However, since I’m saving up [or at least trying to] for further schooling, I’ve cut down on the random boxes I get. Now it’s down to this one, my Blush mystery box and NewBeauty TestTube. I guess I don’t have the self-discipline to cut all the way down yet! 😛

I’ve been feeling sluggish lately, not wanting to do anything… but so many wonderful things happened this week.

  1. I got a FREE Keurig from work! WHA??!??!!!! When I was asked if I wanted one to take home. I blinked a couple of times. Is she talking about keurig cups?! I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not in my own dream.
  2. I’m Yelp Elite! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. 🙂
  3. My application got verified! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. It’s finally getting REAL.
  4. I caught up with a group of wonderful ladies last night… we were very close our freshmen year.
  5. Massage Week – this is mostly because I’ve been procrastinating with groupons. What that means is that I have 4-5 massages lined up this week. Am I complaining? Nope. 🙂 Plus they’re all reflexology/acupressure places and the staff speak Chinese and it makes me feel at home.

This month’s Birchbox theme is Power Play [n. a move that puts an individual in a position of victory and strength… and/or maximizes one’s happiness or confidence… and allows for extreme freedom]. Inspired by the character’s of the USA’s hit series SUITS, this month’s box is all about helping us take control of any situation. Lately, I’ve lost grip of things… but I’m pulling through! #1) Get rid of those disgusting things, both emotionally & physically. No need to keep negativity around. #2) Cleansing. Hahhahahaha. I signed up for a 3-day juice cleanse (one that celebrities such as Olivia Wilde and Julia Stiles love). More to come about that. Hahahaha, I’m already laughing. The -arkies know that I am one who needs her food. Eating only raw foods (veggies/fruits) for me = NOT EATING. Expect a cranky Jannie for three days next week! But anyways, enough talk, here’s what I received. Let me just say that an eye cream I found in my box alone made me a happy GIRL. Everything else? The frosting on that delicious cupcake . 🙂

Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye Cream (0.1 oz/$6.80)
Oh my gosh! YES! YES! YES! Thank you, Birchbox! I love Benefit (well, I’ve only tried their makeup, but that means I love them) AND I NEED/LOVE eye creams! It’s suppose to help fade dark circles and help sooth fine lines. And it’s got such cute packaging (as do all Benefit products) and the jar is adorbs. Okay, I sound like a child on Christmas. Haha.

DDF Acne Control Treatment (0.5 oz/$13.52)
Meh.
I logged into to my account to check out my profile. No where did I mention that I have acne :\ But ahhhh oh well. I gave it to my roommate. Hopefully she’ll like it 🙂

Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect (~1.5 oz/$7.16 ?)
BIRCHBOX FINALLY! I’ve gotten a Number 4 product before… but it was N/A for me. This one is perfect! I’ve been looking for a leave-in conditioner. This one is sulfate-free and it safeguards color and protects against UV rays. Wheeee. The scent is a bit strong… but it just smells like conditioner.. thank goodness not a strong fruity/sweet/sticky scent !

SUIT PICK — theBalm cosmetics InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush (0.018 oz/$4.40)
Another creative package, especially for a sample-size product. The cover (see photo above) is designed as a Magazine. Hehe. It’s pretty pink. I can tell this little booklet of blush will last me a while.

BEAUTY EXTRA – Birchbox Bobby Pins (set of 2, $1.66)
I have really thick hair so I can always use pins. I wish I could have received the colorful ones, but that’s probably what I get for saying that I’m more of a classic type of girl and not trendy 😛  I remember seeing this product in the sneakpeeks – very cool design! They’ll for sure go to use! There’s a blog for how to wear bobby pins – APPARENTLY I HAVE BEEN DOING IT WRONG THIS ENTIRE TIME! Click here to read more.

Final thoughts? The last few Birchboxes have been nice! I love that all of the items are deluxe … I’ll be able to use each item at least three or four times, which is exciting! Also, I did end up giving the most expensive product away, but that’s okay, because I love all the other items 🙂 The total value of the box came to $33.54. I’m a happy camper. What’d you get in your box? Are we birchbox twins? Enjoy the evening, and I’ll be back with an iFabbo product and my cleanse!

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Today, I’m wondering about love but it’s time to travel!! (Birchbox June 2013)

I’m feeling a bit sick, physically and emotionally. Stomach bug? Eh. Maybe I shouldn’t have had those late night mozarella sticks.

All throughout my Disney years and my Asian drama (Princess Pearl? Remember?) years, I always imagined that love would be an easy thing. You find someone out in the crowd and then the love happens. 天长地久 (tian chang di jiu, sky long earth long), enduring as the universe. It’s funny because just like Hebe’s (from S.H.E) song LOVE!, seems like things are presented more like –

我爱你 你爱她
I love you. You love her.
她爱她 她爱他
She loves her. She loves him.
你爱我 我爱他
You love me. I love him.
他爱他 他爱她
He loves him. He loves her.

And some people are lucky enough for that line to end at the first line. Others experience 4, 5, 6 lines of this song. And I’m sure other things get in the way… called Life. hahaha. So anyways, tis what happens I suppose. Just embrace it. One day things will bump around… and a word will change and that song above will need only one line.

Coping mechanism: TRAVEL! I’m so jealous of all the traveling I see on friends’ blogs/facebook pages/snapchats (yes I use snapchat, I should start looking into VINE haha)… I cannot wait to go back into the air (or on water in a boat) and go somewhere new. But for now, I’ll have to just work with what I’ve got. Home. And DC.

My Birchbox (Wanderlust) came two days ago. I’m also expecting my Love with Food box today (that review should be up shortly). I loved this month’s Birchbox!!!! It’s one of the best ones I’ve received in a while! So excited.

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New Design! What do you think of it?

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Time for travels! ❤

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Love that it came with 5 postcards! And love the birchbox gift boxes they send out each time 🙂

This month’s theme is wanderlust, and they’ve filled the boxes with samples that should be (and are) perfect for all of our summer adventures! Though, sadly, I won’t be doing any traveling…

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  • Birchbox + Color Club Wanderlust Collection (1 mini polish: $2.00/ full size: $8.00)- The collection comes with four neon pastel shades that are inspired by four cities. The one I received is London Calling represented by a light green shade. “Two coats will give you an opaque glossy finish. ” I don’t normally paint my nails, so hopefully this will end up in a giveaway coming soon!
  • suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (0.25 fl oz: $2.05/Full size: $32.90) – I also received this deluxe (larger) sample in my NewBeauty box and was so EXCITED to see another sample in my box. It’s got a very citrusy (lemony) scent that wakes me up right away! The beads when rubbed immediately turn into foam… so awesome! My face always feels amazing after using this cleanser!
  • LAQA & CO. Lil’ Lip Duo (.07 pencil: $8.00/ full size duo: $8.00)- These pencils are creamy and have a minky kick. I love the finish of it (definitely a good professional look since it’s not too glossy). I used just one coat of it to get a nice color.

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  • Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo  (2.5 oz: $7.50 / full size 8 oz: $24.00)  – I always need travel-sized shampoo so this was nice. This shampoo has a light scent (probably from the Indian fig extract and olive oil). This is apparently for dry and fizzy hair which is exactly what I need! I don’t know if Birchbox listened to our profiles finally but this is perfect!
    **I love the sample bottle it came it. It has a twist-off cap, which is perfect for refilling with shampoo! I will definitely add this to my travel-size container collection 🙂Beauty Extras
  • Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner (0.41 oz: $1.40 / full size 8 oz: $27.50)- Formulated with nourishing borage seed oil. Conditioner is so necessary.
  • Davines OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion (0.10 oz: $0.50 / full size 8 oz: $40.00) – I love experimenting with hair oils just because I have such dry and damaged hair.

I loved this month’s box (value came to $21.45). The only thing I wish could have happened differently? Maybe I could have received deluxe samples of the conditioner and/or hair oil instead of the shampoo. But that’s a small thing. And I can’t complain. Excited to try out all the products. What did you get this month?

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Today, I’m making it up!

photo 1 (12)Sam Tsui’s new album (see my title) came out today! My May Birchbox came today! My body thanked me for deciding to take it to Spa World/Bliss Reflexology today after a stressful week.

May Birchbox – This month’s theme is beauty diaries… It’s all about getting into your daily routine, the way you like it… and I’m still making it up (ha!.. maybe that was a bit of a stretch) as I go along, taking it day by day.

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From left to right: 

  1. COOLA Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face (.23 fl oz/ value: $4.32) – “antioxidant enriched SPF 30 sunscreen” – I spy a couple of organic ingredients such as acai oil, linseed oil, evening primrose extra and borage seed oil. Fancy.
  2. amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask (0.67 fl oz/ value: $1.60) – I have very coarse, dry, brittle hair. It’s been compared to the hair of the little girls we saw outside the angawadi outside the villages of Udaipur… and they probably hadn’t washed their hair in weeks or months. Point of that little story is… my eyes sparkle when I see anything that has “hair” + “treatment”/”mask” in the same line 🙂 This is apparently filled with omega acids and vitamin C to help repair split ends and give me some more RADIANCE 😉
  3. Marvis Classic Mint Toothpaste Classic Strong Mint (0.5 oz/ value: $1.38) – Stalking BB’s fb, I’ve noticed that many customers are unhappy with the toothpaste. I’m actually really excited about it. It’s cute, perfect travel size item, plus toothpaste –> whiter teeth –> prettier smile. That to me is still somewhere in the vicinity of lifestyle & beauty.
  4. Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner (0.024 oz/ 1 mini pencil / value: $5.25) – I think I got the black color. Apparently inspired by traditional Indian formulas. Again, as the other -arkies will tell you, my eyes most likely lit up again 🙂

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  •     Runa Guayusa Tea (4 packets/ value: $1.75) – Love tea! This is perfect for work! The box says it has twice the antioxidants of green tea. My sample pack came with the following flavors:  traditional, ginger-citrus, cinnamon-lemongrass (interesting), and mint.

Box value: $14.3

Hmmm.. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about the box yet. I don’t hate it … but I don’t know where on the dislike<– (like) –> love spectrum I’m at.

Stay tuneeeeddd, dear friends! We have a giveaway coming up QUITE SOON.

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Today, I’m all about the sub. boxes – April 2013 Birchbox…

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And Spring is finally in the air! The all too familiar love-hate relationship I have with those birds who chirp at 6 AM is also back! But an exciting event? My April Birchbox came in two days ago. I was very satisfied with this month’s box. Felt like Christmas once again.What came this month?

Number 4 Blow Dry Lotion

Number 4 Blow Dry Lotion

1) Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue Petite Cologne Absolue – I don’t have a picture for it, but I’m not a fan of it. The site describes it as “Top notes of Italian bergamot sourced from Calabria, Sicily work in sync with Italian green mandarin to create an amber halo. The fragrance opens to middle notes of fresh jasmine and exotic cinnamon Ceylon from Sri Lanka, while base notes of African myrrh and Indian sandalwood provide an earthy counterpoint.” But I guess this combination did not sit well with my nose…

2) Number 4 Blow Dry Lotion ($32.00/150 ml) – Apparently with a combination of soy protein, vitamin B5, acai berry, black currant, and Irish moss can help protect your hair healthy and smooth under heat. It has a nice, clean & crisp scent. The sample size was perfect. (50 ml/1.5 fl. oz, worth ~ $10-11)

Lierac Paris Concentré Mésolift Toning Radiance Serum

Lierac Paris Concentré Mésolift Toning Radiance Serum

3) I have not had a chance to try the Ruby Wing (Peony) Color Changing Nail Polish (15 ml/$10.00) – This nail polish apparently changes colors from indoors –> outdoors. I have yet to try it but I’m excited to given that I’m one of the most indecisive people ever. Put Charkie and Jarkie together and we’ll be stuck in the same position. Haha jk 😛

4)  Lierac Paris Concentré Mésolift Toning Radiance Serum – I’m a fan of serums! It’s a pretty good trial size! Hopefully this will give my skin radiance! 🙂

Ruby Wing (Peony) Color Changing Nail Polish

Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on

Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on

5) And my favorite part of this BB is the Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on ($10.99/ 0.5 ml) which was a Birchbox Finds. First off, it came as a full size item. Two, I get dark circles underneath my eyes because I stay up and watch Downton Abbey (that show is dead to me right now), Mindy Project, or Random Asian dramas. And three, who doesn’t like roll-ons? The cool feel from roller ball makes me feel refreshed and we aren’t even talking about pro-vitamin B, cucumber extract and glycerin that should make up the “revitalizing” part of the name. Lastly, there’s a coupon on the back 🙂

6) Free 1-year subscription to Women’s HealthMore magazines for Jarkie!

I would also like to point out that I got “forced” (by my own brain) into purchasing two new boxes.

Blush Mystery Beauty Box III – Apparently it has over $100 worth of products inside. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or purchase just this box. If you purchase now, you can also get free 1-3 day shipping.

– A secret box for meri mama. 🙂 Mother’s day is coming soon. If you need ideas here ya go.

Oh the prettiness this month:

Oh the prettiness...

Oh the prettiness…

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