Beauty Box 5 April 2014 Review

by Ginger on April 21, 2014

in Makeup and Beauty

*I was sent a box to review, but was not compensated further.  All opinions and run-on sentences are 100% mine.

You guys know the drill by now, so let’s dive right into the review.



1. Jergens 3 Days To Glow Moisturizer, Medium/Tan
Ehh, this is a major miss for me. I’m not big on tanners, so this will go on my swap list. I will say, the sample size is pretty good for foils (you can’t see, but it’s 3 foils that size).

2. Blum Naturals All Purpose Cleansing Wipes, Citrus scent
I think this might be a perfect encapsulation of me being a grown-up, because this is the product in the box I’m most excited about. It’s a little can of wipes! It has a KEYCHAIN! I seriously am ridiculously excited about this, which I think proves I’m old.

3. Nicka K New York Hydro Lipstick
The formula feels nice, but the color is just way too coral-y on me. I’m bummed, especially since it’s a full size lipstick, but this one will go on the swap list.

4. Bonne Bell Lip Definer
I don’t know that I’ve ever owned any Bonne Bell makeup, though I’m a long time fan of their Lip Smackers. Sadly, this won’t be my first either. The liner is both a bad color for me, and too hard for my liking. Swap list it is.

5. BH Cosmetics California Collection Sampler Trio
I actually got this in a previous subscription box. I loved it then, and I love it now. Because it’s a dupe, it’ll go on my swap list, but only because I already have and love it. The colors are lovely, and I like the formula a lot.

This box was bigger on the misses than the hits for me. I think this is one of the only boxes I’ve gotten from Beauty Box 5 that I was disappointed in when I opened it, and have stayed disappointed about. Luckily, next month is another month, like all my sub boxes, but this one was just not for me.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling program that delivers a box filled with 5 cosmetic samples to your door every month. It is $12/month, $30/Quarterly, or $99/annually.

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Miscellaneous Musings

by Ginger on April 14, 2014

in Random

I feel pretty scattered lately, but today especially–I’m tired like I didn’t sleep at all, even though I totally did. Who knows what THAT’S all about? I mean, it’s Monday, but c’mon. But I’m feeling the urge to do some musing, so…here I go:

I did end up taking my mental health vacation days last week, and lo they were wonderful. I got to sleep in, have wonderful date meals with my wonderful husband, do a little shopping, a little meandering, and a fair amount of relaxing. It was just what the dr ordered…or it would have been, had we not gotten a call at 3pm on the last day off that Jackson had swallowed a magnet.

Thus began a whirlwind of activity that included a trip down to Children’s, xrays, an education on the problems with swallowing magnets, and LOTS of conversations with Jackson about not putting non-food items in his mouth. In the end, it turns out that it 1) wasn’t actually a magnet after all (thank goodness), and 2) there was only one, so even if it had been, it wouldn’t have been as bad as it could have been. (Guys, really, don’t have those magnetic balls around your small kids. Or bigger kids who have an oral fixation and must put everything in their mouth omg just stop putting things in your mouth!!!!!!! After hearing some of the horror stories, any cool factor about them is totally negated now.) J is totally fine, and was in good spirits the whole time we were there.

I was fine the whole time we were in the whirlwind, from the first phone call until the moment the dr. gave us the all clear. As soon as that happened? I crashed off my adrenaline high, HARD. I got super grouchy, and seriously tired, like bone weary haven’t slept for 3 days while doing hard physical labor tired. This is clearly my M.O. during any crisis/emergency/illness with the kiddo: calm (if a little too susceptible to reading Dr. Google’s possible complications), focused, on point until it’s all over and then DEAD ON MY FEET. Which, I mean, YAY that I’m able to mostly keep my cool in the moment, but I do wish there was a way to, I don’t know, like, step down from that adrenaline high?

Anyway, all that to say, I had a wonderful couple of days off and was able to relax, and then two hours there at the end of that last day basically undid all the relaxing. But at least it wasn’t work stress, right?


You know what I really shouldn’t do? I really shouldn’t look at real estate in my area. Unless I need a good laughsob.


I have all these little projects that I keep meaning to do: getting rid of a bunch of old books, organizing the binder of school stuff of Jackson’s that I keep, gathering a bunch of unused beauty stuff to donate, that kind of thing. And I just…can’t seem to get the motivation to do any of them. Much like writing here, I have the best of intentions all day and then I get home and…poof. My intentions fly out the window. I keep trying all the little motivation tricks I know, but nothing seems to be able to overcome the part of me that just wants to sit on my butt and veg at the end of the day.


This year I’m not going to New York in May for the big trade show I normally go to–I managed to beg off this year and a colleague is going in my place. I’m sad for only two reasons (not getting to see Jennie, and not getting to eat at all my favorite New York places for a week), but mostly I’m THRILLED. For one, I think we all know that I think business travel is exhausting, so I’m glad to not have to deal with that. For another, it means I’ll actually be in the same city and state as my husband for our anniversary, which is kind of a nice bonus. For ANOTHER, it means the office will be really, really quiet the week after Memorial Day weekend while everyone ELSE is gone for the show. These are all good things.


I’ve been on a (mini) reading jag the last few weeks. I’ve read Under the Never Sky (interesting enough for me to want to read the next book in the series), The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (totally enjoyed. It’s a Veronica Mars episode brought to the page), The Giver (I…feel like I missed something, because I was just rather meh on this one. Everyone else seems to love it.), Dreams of Gods and Monsters (liked a lot, verging on loved it, it made me cry), and Uglies (at first I was just meh about it, but the more I think about it, the more it bugs me to the point of making me mad. Kind of irritated I wasted the time on it). I’ve been enjoying reading more, so I’m hoping to keep up this momentum. I’m still 8 books behind on my yearly challenge according to Goodreads, so we’ll see if I can get caught up.

And to end this, I’ll go ahead and ask: what have you read and loved lately that I should give a try?

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Work, and Stress, and Stuff

by Ginger on April 2, 2014

in The 9-5

So I had a crazy ridiculous stressful day at work the other day. And I can’t get into any of the details of it on my blog, but it basically comes down to not being valued professionally by several people/groups I work with, and I kind of hit my limit the day that 5 different instances of an insane level of ridiculousness hit me.

I finished my day off with a margarita the size of my head (you think I’m exaggerating here. I’m not), and going to bed at 9pm to try and sleep the stress and frustration away.

I woke up this morning in a better place…or, at least I wasn’t breathing fire anymore. I was able to head into work, sit down, and calmly and rationally do my job, and deal with all the ridiculous crap from the day before. Like I do every day. Even when no one notices how hard I’m working or how hard the work is or how much work there is. Even when I want to pull my hair out. Because it’s my job. And I’m a grown up.

But it sucks to feel devalued day after day after day. It’s one of my biggest sources of stress, and while I know that I should just “let it go” or not let it bother me so much, it’s harder some days than others to ignore the feeling of banging my head against a brick wall. It’s hard to let go, and so the stress builds and builds and builds until something like the other day happens, and all of that stress and tension has to find an outlet. Even if that outlet is a vat of margarita and 10 hours of sleep.

I’m taking a couple of days off next week, just to give myself some breathing room. I hate to use my precious pto days on something like that, but I seriously DO need a mental health break. I frankly would have taken the days this week if my entire staff wasn’t on vacation already. I’m hoping a couple of days to disconnect will help me…reset a bit, even if all I do is putter around the house in my pajamas while the kid is at school.

When I’m given the chance, I really enjoy the work I do. Maybe a mini-break will help me enjoy some of it again with a little less stress.

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Snippets and things

by Ginger on March 31, 2014

in Random

I apparently can’t use my brain enough to do any real writing lately. So! Snippets it is!

*Last week I was having a lot of head, face & jaw pain which the dr thinks is being caused by some kind of TMJ sort of thing, which is likely caused from…stress. Yippee. Anyway, the dr gave me muscle relaxers to help me get some sleep and guess what? If you go to bed around 10:00 every night for a week, your body kind of gets used to that. Huh. Who knew? Also, you know what else? Muscle relaxers feel GREAT.

*I’ve gone about a week & a half without the stupid boot! I’m still wrapping my ankle, don’t get me wrong, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I might be able to bid farewell to the boot. Now, however, I need to find some supportive flats–the $10 jobbies from Target aren’t going to cut it for a while. Unfortunately, there’s a really fine line between supportive & comfortable (yet cute) and…orthopedic chic.

*It hits me at the oddest times, but Jackson is really and truly not a baby anymore. He’s a kid. He’s starting to read words, and starting to do math. He rides a bike. He can go on any ride at Legoland that doesn’t have an age restriction. He can write things like this:

(which may be one of my favorite things in the history of ever). He’s still a *little* kid, there’s no doubt, but he is really, truly, totally a kid. Time, man. It’s weird.

*I’m kind of getting the itch to completely redo this site. Who knows why, since I don’t really give it any kind of dedicated time the way I used to, but the itch is there anyway. I can’t really justify spending too much (any?) money on it, especially when I know I technically *could* do some/most of it myself. But…I dunno, we’ll see.

*I read the Veronica Mars book. If you like Veronica Mars, you should too. It was really fun, and felt very comfortably like the show (but is a totally new story, a few months after the events of the movie). I can’t wait until the next one comes out.

*I took a break from writing this to watch the series finale of How I Met Your Mother (fwiw, I liked this whole season a lot more than most people, and I actually enjoyed the finale. I won’t spoil anything, but it felt…appropriate.), and apparently I needed a good cry, because I’ve been crying for the last 20 minutes now. Maybe that has something to do with that stress thing? May possibly be time to bust out my guaranteed cry-fest movies (Stepmom, the graveyard scene in Steel Magnolias, the scene in the forest of Harry Potter 7.2 to name a few) and see what other tension I can let go of.

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I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but I kept needing “one more picture.” So let that be a warning that this is going to be a picture heavy post. And that you’re going to see a lot of close ups of my eye. It’s going to be weird. Sorry about that.

I came across Hello Waffle originally through, I believe, Temerity Jane linking to the Summer collection*. Hello Waffle is an indie makeup store run by Christine, and after seeing her Summer collection*, I was intrigued. Just not intrigued enough to buy–indie eyeshadows are almost always loose shadows and I haven’t been terribly confident with loose shadows in the past, plus the shipping cost was a little spendier than I wanted for a couple of eyeshadows (she’s in Canada, so it’s more expensive).

Then, somewhere along the way, I ended up buying some materials to press loose shadows (for some others I had), and considered buying some of Hello Waffle shadows & pressing them. But I still put it off, because the last thing I really need is more eyeshadow.

THEN, Christine put out her Winter collection.* Annnnd, I finally caved. I ordered two shadows from the that collection (Bare Trees & Broken Trees), and one from the Summer collection* (Wisteria). Christine had a delay in getting the shadows shipped to me, but she was exceptional in keeping me updated, and for the delay, she threw in another shadow I was wanting to try (African Violet from the Summer collection). I have to say, her customer service and communication was great, which definitely makes me want to order from her again.

When the shadows got to me, I was super excited to find they were just as gorgeous in person as in her swatches. Here’s what my quickie swatches looked like when I first opened them.

Hello Waffle swatches

From top to bottom, Bare Trees, Broken Tree Branches, Wisteria, African Violet. You can’t really see how pretty the shimmer is, and the depth it gives these colors.

Bare Trees is a gorgeous coppery reddish brownish color with sort of multicolored sparkle. Broken Tree Branches is maybe my favorite for daily use (though it photographs perhaps the worst)–a taupe-y brown that has a metallic sheen that can veer a little silver, a little bronze. Wisteria is a really pretty purple-pinky shade, that has a nice sparkle to it. African Violet is a pretty purple that has golden shimmer.

Sadly, when I first tried the shadows, I was a *little* disappointed. I found them less sparkly and interesting than I did in the swatches. I attribute some of it to my still-learning-blending habit of blending too much away, and a little bit to differences using loose shadows, which I’ve been working on. They were still pretty, definitely, just not how special I thought they could be.

Floating lanterns with primer
This is African Violet with LORAC’s eye primer (and blended with something from Naked3 I’m guessing, but don’t remember)
Oy, those eyebrows need some work. Yeesh.

Fresh Lacquer with eye primer

This is Broken Tree Branches w/LORAC’s eye primer (most likely blended with Darkside from Naked 3)

This is African Violet with a bit of a better application.

See? Pretty, very pretty, and definitely shadows I’ll use, but not quite like those swatches. BUT! I refused to give up, so I decided to try a bit more, this time doing either a foil method (basically a wet application), or using Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy. And now, BAM! This was way more what I was looking for.

Hans with Pixie EpoxyBare Trees with Pixie Epoxy (which, whooboy, is there a learning curve with that stuff)

Floating Lanterns with Pixie Epoxy

African Violet with Pixie Epoxy

Maxiums foiled

Wisteria Foiled (just using water)

Hans with Pixie Epoxy againBare Trees with Pixie Epoxy (there are patches here, because Pixie Epoxy is HARD. It’s not for the weak of heart). My eye looks really creepy in this.

Fresh Lacquer with Pixie Epoxy

Broken Tree Branches with Pixie Epoxy (seriously, I can’t photograph this color well, it’s really really pretty, I swear).

They were pretty before, but they are GORGEOUS this way. I’m loving how shiny and complex they look with the foil or the Pixie Epoxy. Next I want to try them with a white base, to see how they do that way. I’m also getting better about how I use the loose shadows–I’m learning that you really need to pack the brush, and pat it on, instead of sweep it on the way I do normally. I may see about pressing some of these–there’s plenty of shadow for me to press some and keep some loose–but I’m nervous about them losing something in the process. We’ll see.

For now, I’m really loving them, and eying the rest of the collections, along with the new Spring collection* (Mud & Blackberries are particularly catching my eye. And Wet Sand. And Lingering Snow. And…well, you see how this is going). Christine had fantastic customer service with my order, and the shadows are really pretty (now that I know how to use them a little better). And right now she has a discount she’s offering to promote her new website that sort of makes up for the shipping cost.

But mostly, I just really like her shadows, and the way she puts the collections together, and I want them all. Someday.

*Christine has had to rename all of her shadows & collections because the original names were inspired by, and therefore a little too close to trademarks of, certain Mouse movies. I bought all my shadows under the old names, and am trying to post with them under the new names, but be warned, they may still change. Regardless of the names, I think the shadows are gorgeous.

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