If you love love love to try out new products, continue reading! If you continuously purchase your standby or go-to products, continue reading! Birchbox is GREAT for everyone! So, I saw a tiny article in a magazine about Birchbox and was immediately intrigued. Here is the deal: you get 4-5 sample beauty products conveniently mailed in a pretty little box to your doorstep 1x per month for a $10 (per month). Incredible!!!  As soon as I read this, I fled from my comfortable little tanning spot on the deck to my laptop where I logged onto and signed up.

My very first birchbox arrived with  my mail yesterday.

Reasons why I am already loving birchbox:

+ the birchbox arrived earlier than I anticipated (was supposed to get it on the 10th, it came on the 8th! *However, this might not always be the case depending on where you live!*)

+ the products within are well varied (from makeup products to skincare)

+the packaging is adorable (such a treat to break into a little gift for no reason at all!)

+so far, the products within are of impeccable quality


So, you might be wondering, what actually came in the box?! A total of 5 products: Laura Geller Blush-N-Brighten Makeup, a perfume sample of Kate Spade Twirl, a sample of Weleda Smoothing Facial Lotion in Wild Rose, Molecular Mist by Sircuit Skin Cosmeceuticals (This sounds way too scientific!… What do you think?), and two Deborah Lippmann lavendar nail lacquer remover finger mit packets. I am enjoying the blush/bronzer and perfume sample so far. I am trying to pace myself and not test out all of the products in one day, although I am tempted to. :)

Bottom line with this product: if you are not signed up, you are missing out! It is an awesome deal and at $10.00, quite the steal! Haha, so lame, I know… :) Sign up and then let me know what you think @




Sigma Brushes

Quality brushes are essential to the application of makeup (unless of course you prefer your fingers, which is perfectly acceptable). I am sure we have all experienced the horrors of cheap brushes: stray bristles on your face, “scratchy” bristles, sparse bristles, etc. The range of brushes available is astonishing, ranging from incredibly inexpensive to ridiculously pricey. I have found that price is not a great indicator for quality when it comes to purchasing brushes. For example, E.L.F. makeup brushes sell for $1 and their eyeshadow brushes are awesome! Another example of cheap (in terms of price) brushes are EcoTools – these brushes are made of sustainable bamboo and have the softest bristles that I have ever encountered. BareMinerals brushes are a bit more expensive but also excellent. Sigma brushes are awesome too, a full set of brushes can be purchased for less than $80. Sigma brushes are a great starting point in building a brush collection – they offer a great range of products at a modest price.

Although I have a decent collection of brushes, I found the Sigma Complete Kit to be a necessary purchase for me because it contains every type of brush for the application of eye and face makeup. (I purchased this kit with a coupon. I always check when purchasing online – the second it takes to look up a promotion code is worth it because it can yield great savings). So I received a total of 12 brushes:  Small Angle E65, Medium Angled Shading  E70, Large Shader  E60, Pencil E30, Large Angled Contour  F40,  Large Powder F30,  Duo Fibre  F50, Foundation F60,  Concealer F70, Tapered Blending E40,  Eye Shading  E55,   and Eyeliner  E05. The brushes came in a classy black mesh drawstring  pouch. I also received a free gift (every purchase over $30 gets one!), which is an E25 travel size brush. There was an insert with the brushes too which contains information on brush cleansing (it is absolutely essential to clean your brushes).

I am impressed with the quality of these brushes and am already enjoying them! This set can also be purchased with a brush roll (for an extra $20). This was not necessary for me because I prefer to store my brushes in decorative mugs. This is a matter of preference, if you would prefer a roll, go for it, at the very least it will allow you to travel with your brush set.

I think that investing in good brushes is a necessity! If you are willing to purchase quality makeup, splurging on great tools and brushes to use in conjunction with your products is definitely essential.

If you are interested in Sigma products, check out their website:

Let me know what you think!



Philosophy Makeup Optional

I have decided to start 2011 off with a new skincare routine/regimen. This was a pretty big decision for me! I am trying to finish up all the products I currently own in the next 2.5 weeks. It will feel good to start fresh & I would encourage others to try my strategy out too if it sounds like something you might be interested in.

As a side note, I just wanted to say that I have been most faithful to Burt’s Bees and Neutrogena over the years but have tried so many (including: Cetaphil, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Clearasil, Noxzema, Biore, Korres, Murad, Kiss My Face, Burt’s,  Alba, The Body Shop, Etc.) The brand that I am turning to for my 2011 skincare is Philosophy. There is so much buzz about this brand — I want to experience what it is all about! Oprah named Hope in a Jar one of her 25 favorite things of 2010. I purchased the kit pictured below at Sephora, it is called the Philosophy Makeup Optional Skin kit.

My expectations for the products within are really high! The kit comes with Purity face cleanser, Hope in a Jar moisturizer, 3 face peels, a serum and a cream for the eyes/lips. I am so excited to try out these products! The skin regimen will commence with the new year & I will review the products shortly thereafter.

My hopes for the new skincare regimen: less breakouts, diminish acne scars, some overall firming, and pretty skin that is makeup optional. I will let you know how it goes – join me if you like! :)

x0 Katie

Review: EcoTools Brushes

EcoTools brushes are amazing!

Most of my makeup brushes are EcoTools (I think I have at least one of every brush they sell!). I also have some Ms. Makeup brand brushes-which are sold by Paris Presents, the same company that sells EcoTools.

If I am at a store and I see these brushes then I need to buy them! Here are some of the reasons why EcoTools brushes are in my makeup brush collection right now:

-These brushes are incredibly SOFT. I especially love the way the kabuki brush feels on my skin!

-Cost: inexpensive. In terms of price, these brushes are all very reasonable. Both individual brushes and brush kits are available for you to purchase. I enjoy both varieties-I keep the individual brushes in my room and the brush kits are usually in my makeup bag.

-EcoTools brushes come in recyclable packaging

-Brush handles are made of bamboo, a renewable and sustainable plant source

-Synthetic bristles = no animal cruelty

-EcoTools is a member of 1% for the planet (1% of annual sales will be donated to environmental organizations)

-EcoTools brushes are easily washable, durable, and efficient.

I use most of the EcoTools makeup brushes on a daily basis, including: the mini brushes (for eyes/lips), the foundation brush, the powder brush, the retractable kabuki brush, and the eye shading brush.

The mini brushes came in a package of  brushes. I use these little ones for precisely applying lip gloss. Sometimes I will use the mini brushes on my eyelids for applying a highlighter on my brow bones and inner corners (of my eyes).  The powder brush is great for both loose and pressed powder. Bronzer can be applied easily with the kabuki brush, it helps to create a balanced appearance. I use the eye shading brush for applying dark colors and also occasionally for blending.

These brushes are fabulous and you should buy them for your brush collection. I have added some EcoTools favorites to Katie’s picks, check them out at  Try starting a mini collection with one of the 5 or 6 piece EcoTools brush kits if you would like (that is how I got started with them)!  Then, purchase your favorites in the larger size or stock up on the brush kits.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy using these brushes as much as I do!

*A girl with a passion for makeup, hair & fashion*

Hey! Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you are checking it out!

On this blog I will discuss: MAKEUP, hair, fashion, beauty products, anything organic, occasionally food, drinks, and literature.

So how many of you remember your first experience with makeup? I do! I was about 8. It was a hot summer day, the sunshine was pouring into my room as my neighbor yelled the familiar, “Hey Kaaaaate!” I ran down the stairs to discover some samples of Clinique products. Mascara. Lipstick. Blush. Eyeshadow! It was thrilling…and that was when it all began.

Since then, I have used countless products, ranging from drugstore to department store. Over the years my collection of beauty products has grown and diversified, products that I adore continue to be staples while others currently remain hidden somewhere in the dark depths of my walk-in closet (that is intoxicated with jewelry, shoes, makeup, hair products, and clothing).

It’s not that I am wasteful with money or frivolous, it’s actually quite the opposite. I work and earn money, like most people. However, unlike most, I am uninterested in diversifying my portfolio I’d rather diversify my look.

I have started this blog as an outlet of my passion for makeup, hair, and fashion.  Enjoy!