Birchbox Fashionista Box Review


I used to subscribe to Birchbox and ultimately cancelled my subscription because I was tired of getting hair-ties and different brands of the same red lipstick. It was cheap and exciting to get something in the mail every month, but most of the time I just got crap. I recently got an email with a code to get the Fashionista Birchbox so I signed back up to give it a go. Maybe I would get cooler brands and better product?

I got this month’s Birchbox a couple days ago and completely forgot that I signed back up. I got that little excitement again when I saw it in the mail and actually got kind of nervous opening it up. When I looked inside, I was pretty unenthused until I started actually looking at what I got. Check out the run down below.

dr. brandt pores no more vacuum cleaner
sample size .25 oz | full-size price: $45
Award-winning gel that degunks pores for fewer blackheads and spotlight-ready smooth skin.
I’m definitely interested to try this, though I have to wait a few more days because I just got a peel. The package says that it turns blue when it’s drying and causes a cool feeling that feels similar to what I imagine it would feel like if your face chewed gum. I know this brand pretty well and like their other products so I’m looking forward to trying this.

Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner
sample size 3 oz | full-size price: $15-$33
This multipurpose, no suds formula cleanses and softens hair, plus cuts blow-dry time.
Generally, I’m not a fan of cleansing conditioners. I’ve tried the Enjoy one and while I liked how my hair felt after, I hate when it doesn’t foam up as I’m washing my hair. I’m also not stoked on trying this because I’m a die hard Moroccan Oil fan so I kind of turn my nose up to Macadamia Oil. BUT, I am intrigued by the fact that it says it cuts blow-dry time so I’m interested to see how well it works. I’ve used other products that are supposed to cut blow-dry time down and usually I avoid them because I feel like they have too much alcohol, but this is definitely different. I’ll report back once I try it.

Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara
sample size .2 oz | full-size price: $24
Makeup artist-designed, water resistant formula that lengthens, volumizes, and curls.
Laura Mercier is a kick ass brand and I’m always in need of mascara so I can’t wait to try this tomorrow.

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion
sample size 1.01 oz | full-size price $24
Natural beauty is in: this Spanish cream hydrates and softens with olive oil and avocado.
I’m not really big on lotions. I have 100 of them that I never use, but I tried this one a couple hours ago by putting it on the back of one of my hands and I’m happy to report that that hand is still much softer and much more moisturized than the hand I didn’t use it on. I had hopes that this lotion had a slight shimmer to it since it has “radiant” in the name, but I’m sad to report no shimmer or shine. Oh, well.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Silver Eyeliner
sample size .03oz | full-size price $16
A luxe, creamy liner from NYC-based designer for smudge-proof, all-day wear.
I’m excited to try this one because I have another silver liner that I love, but it makes my eyes itch like crazy. I swatched this on the back of my hand and it glides on very smooth, but it is very shimmery so I suspect it’ll feel like glitter in your eye if you get too close to your waterline.

OVERALL RATING: I would give this box 4/5 stars mostly because I’m so tired of lotion, but mostly everything was pretty good. Definitely better than most of the boxes I’ve received.

Monday MMMix-up


Hiiii! I missed last week’s Monday MMMix-up because I was out of town working a wedding in the Bay Area so it seemed only fitting that this week’s Monday MMMix-up should be Bay Area themed. While I was up North, Hardly Strictly was going on, while I didn’t go, I really wanted to, so a lot of inspiration for this post comes from the music festival. Enjoy!



For more typography, photography, videography, and other varieties of “ography,” check out Ben Halpin. It took a lot of work to find this guy and although I’m pretty sure a lot of what is on his blog what done with his phone, I’m still pretty into it. The camera doesn’t make the photographer.


OPI’s Keeping Suzi at Bay. You can read a full review on this color and the full San Francisco collection over at Makeup and Beauty Blog.


I wanted foggy mornings and cool breezes when I was in the bay area, but I just got heat, heat and more heat. So here’s a beauitful foggy San Francisco moodboard created by Creatively Driven to make up for what I missed.


When I was up North over the weekend, it was 90 degrees! I thought I was getting away from the LA weather, but boy, was I wrong. When it’s that hot out, your face melts off. Bye makeup! Bye perfect winged eyeliner! Hello raccoon eyes! I’m used to the LA heat and therefor I have plenty of makeup that won’t budge, but in case you need to find products that can beat the heat, here’s a great list of products to get you started.

Beautiful header image by Alessandrogiraldi.

DIY: no sew shirt skirt


Chanelle and I have worked together about a billion times throughout the years. We met in high school and now, ten years later, she’s killing it. She’s the owner of Penelope’s Vintage, an online vintage store, she’s a blogger that was featured in an ad campaign for Forever21, and she just came out with her own clothing line, Valley High. I’m obsessed with her because she’s one of the coolest, down to earth chicks I know. And I’m so freaking proud of her.

Since she just launched her clothing line, I was looking through my archives of stuff that we shot together and I came across a shoot we did ages ago where she used an over-sized button up shirt as a skirt. (I told you she was cool.) And I loved it so much that I decided to feature it on my blog.

It’s really very simple. You button up the shirt around you like a skirt, tuck in the collar, and tie the sleeves into a bow. If you want a step by step tutorial, I found one here, which is actually another way to funk it up, but the same concept. You can see the result below. Enjoy!

How would you style this look? Have you done it before? Send me your looks in the comments below!


#FBF: Manchester


I’m really feeling the fall vibes lately. It’s cooler, a little bit windier, a little bit darker. I just want to cozy up with my tea, wrapped in a blanket, and watch movies all day everyday. For this week’s Flashback Friday, I pulled some images from when I shot with Manchester back in August of 2011. We went to one of favorite spots out in the hills of Simi Valley and shot until our hearts were content. She was so awesome and had brought this amazing wardrobe. She was quick and professional, but so fun. She wore this amazing velvet floral dress and a belt that she made by pinning a bunch of accessories and jewelry to it. And she has a Lisa Frank sleeve. How could I not love her?

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies


It’s National Homemade Cookie Day! Shit, yeah! Who doesn’t love cookies? And who doesn’t like them better from scratch?

One of my best friends has her own blog too, called The Dating Department, where she talks relationships, health, fun things, silly things, and FOOD. When I told Sara that National Homemade Cookie Day was coming up, we agreed the best way to celebrate would be to make cookies together. And since it’s October (see also: we’re obsessed with fall), we decided we really wanted to make pumpkin cookies. I found a recipe on trusted ol’ Pinterest, went over to this babe’s house, and we baked cookies and talked and really, I don’t know why I don’t bake with my girlfriends more often. We decided that we are definitely going to do it more so here’s our first installment of Shurie and Sara make things (we’re still working on the name). Enjoy!

PUMPKIN sugar cookies

PREP TIME: 45 min COOK TIME: 15 min

makes 24 cookies

cookie without frosting: 200
cookie with frosting: 250


1 cup butter, softened
½ cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream or plain greek yogurt
3 cups powdered sugar


In a large bowl, mix together butter, pumpkin, sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until incorporated. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll dough into 2-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Use the bottom of a tall glass (or a small jar) to flatten the dough balls to ½ inch thickness. Bake for 10-14 minutes until cookies start to look “dry”. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

To prepare the frosting, cream together butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Mix in sour cream. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Store in airtight container.

Store cookies in an airtight container (separate layers of cookies with wax paper or parchment paper) Frost cookies immediately before serving.

*prep time includes 30 minute chilling time
**recipe adapted from Lauren’s Latest

Monday MMMix-up


Since today is National Coffee Day, I decided that would be great theme for this week’s Monday MMMix-up. I loooove coffee! I will scream my love for coffee from the mountain tops. I was a barista for almost ten years and now coffee runs through my veins so, of course, I’ll take any excuse to talk coffee. Please, enjoy this week’s Monday MMMix-up and sip some coffee in honor of National Coffee Day.


The video for Coffee by Sylvan Esso reminds me of days passed when my friends would throw parties and everything was care free. House parties, themed parties, accidental parties. We all came together, we just danced and laughed. I only have happy memories of these times that created these friends, now my family.


Everyone is talking about Kylie Jenner’s lips right now, including me! They’re perf, she’s perf, but that’s a different story. Turns out, I did some research and one of her favorite lipsticks is Mac’s Velvet Teddy. With some further research, I discovered I owned a Mac dupe, NYX’s Frappuccino. I love this color because it makes such a great nude and it’s perfect for all skin tones. It looks a little more pink on pale skin, but that’s a good thing. Protip: pale skin tones need a nude lipstick with a little pink to it because a true nude will wash you out.


Look how beautiful that shot of espresso is! Gimme!
source: Pinterest.


What couldn’t you do given enough coffee? Their site is under construction, but you can see more from LabNo4 here.


Simple and delicate. I can’t wait to try this look on myself. Maybe do the dots and put a gel topcoat over it to make it last? Photo found here.

Header image was found here.



For this week’s ThrowbackThursday, I bring you a shoot from 2011, when I shot some Blonde Locks gear with Bridget Blonde and Ivy D’Muerta.

Bridget is one of my long time friends and she is sooooo fun. I never laugh while working like I do when I’m with her. She’s amazing and works incredibly hard, she’s a shining light. Give her website a look and if you’re feeling it, buy some Blonde Locks gear.


CO2 Laser Therapy and my experience.


DISCLAIMER: Some of the images in the post can be considered graphic. I do not recommend reading on if you’re squeamish or have small children nearby. They will probably have nightmares.

What is C02 laser therapy? The CO2 laser is a carbon dioxide laser used to resurface skin and treat wrinkles, uneven skin coloration, acne scarring and other skin concerns. The results are similar to those of chemical peels and dermabrasion, except that the laser removes skin layers by vaporization rather than with chemicals or a sanding device and the results tend to be much more dramatic. Laser therapy can only be preformed by a registered nurse in California, but in some states, a licensed esthetician can do them. From what I’ve read, the service costs $2,600 on average, but would have been around $2,000 where I got mine done.


Monday MMMix-up


Welcome to the Monday MMMix-up, a weekly installation of some of my favorite things. I want to share what motivates me with you, other bloggers that inspire me, the things that get my blood flowing.

This week, the weather has cooled down (from 106 to like 85), so I’m feeling the autumn love right now. Darker colors, leggings and boots and scarves, pumpkin, soup, WEATHER. Here are my autumn inspired favorites for this week…


Lately, I’ve been pretty obsessed with Far From Any Road by The Handsome family. It’s the opening song for True Detective, a show on HBO, which you should totally watch, if you haven’t. The Handsome Family is made up of a husband and wife, Brett and Rennie, who make these hauntingly beautiful, deep dark songs. I recently read an interview with them here and I loved what they said about the song. When asked what was going through their minds when writing Far From Any Road, Rennie said, “I saw some Jimson weed and it’s a plant that only blooms at night and you can see these huge white flowers and there are these moths that feed on them just at night so it’s like a secret night time blooming and romance. Jimson weed actually goes back to Jamestown and there’s a story of it driving people insane because it’s psychedelic and because it gets into people’s water all the time. So it’s about these moths and this sexy, forbidden ritual they have in the darkness..


I’m really into the soft matte, almost nude lip as of late. It doesn’t help that I’m totally obsessed with Kylie Jenner (please don’t tell anyone that I obsessed over a teenager.) and that she wears this color on her lips all the time. Keiko really nails the soft, matte, muted color. Get the look here.


Find more fall inspired downloads here via Cocorrina.


Brown, natural, cozy, nuetrals. I found this beautiful moodboard and several more over at Stil Inspiration. Pella has a beautiful blog where she shares interior design, decoration, architecture, photography, gardening and other fine things. It’s really lovely.


I’ve always had a thing for half-moon nails, but this is a really cool spin on in. And done in a deep red? This is perf. Get the full tutorial on the Lulus blog over here.

Do you have any suggestions for the Monday Mixx-up? Music, manicures, moodboards, makeup, meals, man crushes? You name it, I want to hear it. Share with me what you’re feeling lately in the comments below.

Header image found here.

Mr. & Mrs. Lamb | A Santa Paula Wedding


Ah, #jsquared. Jen and Jeff tied the knot on 8/16/14 and asked me to help with their special day. Jen wanted candid, stolen moment type photos, which really I think I’m pretty good at doing. And truthfully, I love doing them. I mean, if you want a bunch of posed photos, why not just have a family member take them? Am I crazy? Well, duh, but that’s besides the point.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love offbeat weddings. Weddings where the personalities of the bride and groom show through and not just tradition. Jen had blue hair and Jeff had Game of Thrones pins for him and his groomsmen. They decorated with little toy dinosaurs and they made all the pompom decorations themselves. Oh yeah! AND THEY MADE THEIR OWN FREAKING WEDDING RINGS!

Jen and Jeff brewed their own beer, which I love (because who doesn’t love beer?!), but unfortunately, it was such a hit that it ran out fast. There were so many personal touches in this wedding; it was really very sweet and true to them.

The officiant friggin’ nailed it. Definitely one of the best ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed. And the speeches were so touching and hilarious. I find myself getting more and more sappy at weddings as the years go on.

And of course, one of the best parts of my job, being a hairstylist and a photographer, is that I generally get to work these awesome events with my best friends. That’s my best friend, who did the makeup, and roommate, who did the hair, below. I can’t wait for the next wedding.

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Wedding, glamour, and lifestyle photographer. Hairstylist specializing in unique and fun trends. Passionate about healthy, vegetarian eating and living a natural lifestyle. Meow.

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