New Monthly Box: Julep Maven

My Birchbox subscription finally ended, and I decided that I wanted to try something new.  One of my friends recommended that I try Julep Maven, and with their first box free, I thought… why not??  I wasn’t disappointed, and I have really enjoyed getting a new box each month.  Some of the pros of the Julep Maven box are:

  • The primary focus is nail polish, which, as you know, I LOVE.
  • You get to take a fun “style quiz” that pairs you up with a general style they think you’ll enjoy.  Not to worry, though, if you disagree.  You can always switch before your box goes in the mail! (See the next bullet point!)
  • You have a window each month that allows you to choose from a number of options for what you will be sent that month.  This is awesome because it gives you an opportunity to make changes and pick things you really want.
  • You can skip months if nothing looks good!
  • There’s an option to add items to your box each month at a huge discount from their normal prices.
  • Each item or box you order earns you points, which can later be applied to discount your orders!
  • The product quality is great.  The nail polish colors are fun and vibrant.  I am IN LOVE with their lip gloss (I picked Enchanted).  It doesn’t get sticky, lasts a long time, and really moisturizes.  Plus, the color is fabulous!
  • They have tons of promotions each month, so it’s easy to get good deals on their products.
  • You can get your first trial box FREE!  Just click HERE to get started!
This is the first box I picked after my welcome box!  They seem to always include a little surprise with your order.  This time it was this adorable pink and blue candy stick!

This is the first box I picked after my welcome box! They seem to always include a little surprise with your order. This time it was this adorable pink and blue candy stick!

 

Do you have any fun monthly subscriptions?  Please share them in the comments!

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Favorites of 2013

This year, I’ve made an effort to expand my collection of beauty products.  I’ve tried a lot of new things, in part thanks to my Birchbox subscription.  I thought it might be helpful to share my new favorites from this year!  Here we go!

Favorite Leave In Conditioner

Seriously, this stuff is AH-MAY-ZING.  It’s $21.95 for the full-size bottle and is available exclusively through Birchbox.  I have never had a conditioner leave my hair so soft and silky, especially without weighing it down.  It’s also helped in my endeavor to grow my hair longer because it reduces tangling and makes my hair healthier.  Seriously in LOVE with this stuff.

Favorite Concealer

Fakeup concealer by Benefit is awesome.  I have really terrible under-eye circles because my allergies are so terrible.  There’s nothing I can do but cover them up, which has been nearly impossible.  I got a sample of this in my Birchbox one month, and I went to pick up the full size at Ulta within a week!  It moisturizes, conceals, and brightens… all without caking or creasing.  I opted for the light color, and it blends really well with my skin tone.  At $24 for the full size, it’s a bit on the pricier side, but definitely worth it!

Favorite Blush

My previous favorite blush somehow managed to break into a million little pieces, so I was searching for just the right replacement hue.  This perfect peachy pink shimmer popped up in my Birchbox at just the right time, and I really love the color!  It’s not too pink, not too brown, not too coral-y… it’s just the right blend of warm and cool tones for my shin and really brightens up my face.  At $20, it’s a little more pricey than its drugstore counterparts, but I looked everywhere and couldn’t find a color I liked even half as much.  Love it!

Favorite Shampoo and Conditioner

As I explained in my earlier post about growing out my hair, I discovered that using good hair products really does make a difference.  This is my favorite shampoo and conditioner duo.  Not only does it leave my hair silky, smooth, and healthy, but the conditioner smells fantastic and leaves a spa-like tingly sensation on your scalp.  Again, more pricey than the stuff you can buy at your local grocery store, but worth every single penny!

Favorite Eye Shadow Palette

I am such a fan of this nude-hued matte palette.  The range of shades lets you go from natural to dramatic, and there’s no shimmer or glitter to irritate my eyes.   It’s great for everyday makeup looks!  Not only that, but the quality is amazing.  It’s so much smoother and lasts so much longer than the drugstore shadows I had previously been buying!  It’s $27, which initially seemed like a lot to me.  Then I added up how much it would cost me to build my own matte palette like this one, and $27 started to seem like a good deal.  Besides, it blows the drugstore brands out of the water with its quality.

Favorite Eyeshadow Primer

I had never used an eyeshadow primer before I tried a travel size of this, but I’m so glad that I did!  It definitely does make a difference… eyeshadow goes on smoother and more evenly, lasts longer, and doesn’t crease or smear.  Awesome to use every day, but especially on special occasions!  At $12 for the travel size and $20 for the full size, it’s definitely worth the investment!

Favorite Mascara

One of my friends gifted me with this miracle mascara, and it’s great!  Makes my lashes look longer without any clumping, and comes off relatively easily without smudging.  Plus, since this isn’t one of the big name brands, it’s relatively inexpensive.  It’s less than $8 at most places I’ve seen it.  Good stuff!

Favorite Nail Polish

Anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to choose ONE favorite nail polish for the year.  I am obsessed and feel like I love them all!  But I keep coming back to this one.  It works throughout every season, and it’s a good balance of sparkly fun without being overdone.  The holographic silver shimmers so pretty in the sunlight, but it’s not an overpowering chunky glitter that’s inappropriate for more formal settings.  I like it so much that I’ve already gone through about half the bottle!  Although butter LONDON lacquers are $15 a pop, I’m willing to spend the extra cash for colors that I adore, like this one.

Favorite Lip Color

I actually haven’t bought the full size of this one yet ($22.50) because I’m still working on the sample I got from Sephora.  I pretty much always forget about my lips when I do my makeup, so I appreciate that this is easy to carry along.  It is light and fresh and goes on more like a chapstick or lip balm than a gloss or lipstick.  I really like the consistency, and it adds just enough color to bring life to my lips without making a big statement.

What are some of your favorite beauty finds from this year?  Or classics that you just can’t get enough of?  Please share them in the comments!  I’m always looking for something new to try, and I’m much more likely to do so with a recommendation than just browsing a store.  Hope you enjoyed!

All Hail New Nails

Have you been looking for a new nail polish to try?

I had my eye on this Butter London shade since I saw it on Pinterest months ago.  I happened to notice that Butter London was available (finally!) at the Ulta near my house.  I checked, and saw that they had the color I had been envying, but after looking at the price tag, I decided against it.  Well, I just couldn’t get it out of my head, and I ended up going back a couple days later specifically to pick it up!  The polish I drove back for?

Butter London’s All Hail the Queen:

 

Um, hai.  This color is FANTASTIC.  It’s a great nude color, so it goes with anything.  But the underlying shimmer and sparkle adds just a little something that makes it appropriate for party time, too!  Also, it looks crazy cool in the sun!  It’s hard to explain and pretty much impossible to photograph, but trust me, it’s awesome.  $14 is a little more than I would normally like to spend on nail polish because for me, I prefer quantity over quality when it comes to nail colors.  BUT, after trying this one color, Butter London has made a believer out of me!  Absolutely worth $14, in my opinion.

I tried to get a shot of how cool it looks in the sun. This definitely doesn’t do it justice, but you can kind of see the sparkle! You can check out this link for a much better picture!

I think this color is great for any season, too.  That’s one of the benefits of a nude, it can be perfect anytime.  That also really helps me justify the price tag because I know I won’t be limited to only wearing it during the summer.  Basically, I recommend this one for sure!  In fact, I liked it so much, and one of my friends was so jealous, that I ended up buying it for her for her birthday, too!

 

Do you have any favorite nail polish shades or brands?  Please share in the comments!

 

Holiday Nail Color

A Part of the “Getting in the Christmas Spirit” Series

You may have noticed my obsession with nail polish if you’re a regular reader of Class and Creation.  Hehe.  I love finding new colors that are fun and stylish.  I found this really awesome Christmas color by Essie that I just had to share!

Essie’s School of Hard Rocks and top coat mini 2 pack

I love this color for Christmas.  It’s an awesome green shade, almost a deep teal or evergreen color.  Love it!

I used another Essie shade, Size Matters from the “Cocktail Bling” collection on my toes.  I don’t have a photo of that (I feel like it would be weird to post a photo of my feet… haha), but it looks like this:

The two together made the perfect variation on the traditional red and green!  I thought it was super fun to use a green with a teal undertone and a red with a magenta-ish undertone… love it!  I thought it was a great way to do a little twist on a traditional combo!

What are your favorite holiday nail colors???