Last month, I signed up for Birchbox.  Check out the link if you don't know what it is, it's a pretty cool service.  Especially for someone like me, who doesn't spend a lot of money on beauty - it's a fun and cheap way to get small amounts of a variety of high-end products.  Last month's box was a Cynthia Rowley collaboration, and though the boxes differ from customer to customer (you fill out a short quiz and they try and tailor the items to you), most that I saw included mini bottles of Zoya colors.  So that's a double win for me, polish + Cynthia Rowley, whose family I've gone to church with since forever.  Not that I've ever met the woman or reap any sort of benefit from my 3 degrees of separation, but it's still cool to me, and I like to support a family friend.  Plus her stuff is adorable.

In any case, they sold out of the July box faster than anticipated, so I didn't get my first shipment until August.

Camera battery charger is currently MIA, so please excuse crappy webcam pics!

There it is, all neat and pretty!  Each box is hand-packaged, and the boxes themselves are very nice and sturdy.  I've seen people re-use them for all sorts of purposes, I'm figuring out what to do with mine!  I think the nicest thing is just the price.  I mean $10 isn't a lot, and with my life being so ridiculous right now, a little bit of luxury delivered to my door once a month sounds like heaven.  Not to mention, the quiz they have you fill out to determine which items you get is pretty short, but I swear some of these were hand-picked just for me!

So here are some better pictures of the individual items (as good as webcam pictures get, that is):

01. Amika Obliphica Oil Treatment
This is a hair serum, made of argan and jojoba oils.  My mother, sister, and I were just discussing argan oil when they were in town recently, and I had been thinking of trying it - my hair gets quite a bit of damage thanks to the constant assault of sun and chlorine, not to mention winter is coming.   Switching shampoo/conditioner has made a noticeable difference - Pantene Pro-V Moisture Balance is a godsend - but I baby my hair whenever I can, and this stuff will be put to good use.

02. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Lifting Mascara
There were two mascaras that were sent out in boxes this month - one was super water- and sweat-proof, which is perfect for me.  And then there was this brand, which promises volume and curl even on short, straight lashes.  Also perfect for me, since chemo left me with pathetically short lashes.  Mascara is my hands-down favorite beauty product (I usually swear by Maybelline Full 'N Soft), so I'm looking forward to trying out a fancy brand.  And as a little bonus, they added a small envelope of their Line Erasing Serum.  I should probably be more concerned with skin aging than I am, again given all the sun exposure I get, so I plan on using this as well - they recommended under the eyes, which will be good for me.  That skin is always pretty sensitive, and I get bags and dark circles pretty easily.

03. Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue
This one I'm less excited about, simply because I was born without a sense of smell, so I don't really do perfumes.  I never know if I'm putting on too much.  It certainly sounds like it would have a good smell, from the description on the website - blood orange, jasmine, and sandalwood.  Orange seems particularly appropriate given that I live in Florida.  I might have a friend give this a sniff-test, and I'll maybe use it eventually, but given that it's August it's still deathly humid, and I doubt even the best perfume smells very good combined with a layer of sweat.  But, this super-cute postcard came with it.  I'll probably hang it on a wall somewhere, I like the beachy look.

04. Earthen InstantPeel
This is supposed to be a chemical-free peel comparable to the offerings at a salon.  I got two little packets of the stuff, and god knows I'm anal-retentive about keeping my skin clean, so these will most likely be used very soon.


05. twistband hair tie
Obviously you can't tell by the picture, but this is a hair band that is supposed to leave your hair crease-free, and actually look nice around your wrist as opposed to a traditional scrunchie, which I always do but does look kinda tacky.  I'm wearing it now and it already seems to be slipping a bit - the fabric is pretty slick, and so is my hair thanks to this new shampoo, so I'm not sure if it will hold up.  The real test will be if it can survive a day at work.

I'll try and update around the end of the month after I've used some of the products and let you know how they worked out.  I've also got to get my camera charger back (or just suck it up and buy a new one) so that I can get back to normal.  As you can see in some of the pictures, I'm wearing Ulta 14 Carat, which I'd really like to do a proper review on.  And, even though I swore I would stop buying polish until I'd reviewed what I have, I picked up 3 bottles the other day:

Milani Disco Lights, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Emerald Express, and Sinful Colors Unicorn.  I bought Unicorn after seeing Emily wear a similar color on this week's "Pretty Lttle Liars", which I am obsessed with.  (Consequently, it was also via the actress Shay Mitchell's suggestion that I tried out the Pantene Moisture Balance).  I'm currently wearing it on my toes and loving it.  Late summer seems like the wrong season for pastels, but whatever. 

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