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Home Sweet Home!

Hi everyone, sorry for the prolonged absence. I moved! It was a little sooner than we intended so it was chaotic for a while. I lived alone before and I just moved in with my boyfriend so we had to pack, clean, and move out of two different apartments. We’re almost through all the boxes and I pretty much never want to move again!

The good news is that I had a chance to do some redecorating, and I had some options since we had 2 pretty complete sets of furniture to work with. A lot was sold on Craigslist (met some really “interesting” people there). I thought I’d give you guys a peek at the things I found and the spaces I decorated… keep in mind we’re still working on a recent college grad budget :)

Also want to say up front that some of these items were purchased with a gift card I received from Target for testing out their new Threshold line of household goods. I’ve always been a big Target shopper (remember that college grad budget?) so there are also items I purchased with my own money at Target over the last year or so. Everything was around or under $20.

Starting with the entryway, I found a cute door mat that’s scratchy enough to get gunk off your shoes before going inside. I thought it was pretty and a little feminine without going overboard.

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Probably went a little too feminine for (boyfriend) G’s taste on the entryway, featuring a mirror I got at Target when I moved into my apartment last year. Need to finish perking up this area with some picture frames or candles, any ideas?

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Next up is the living room, where I took some “before and after” photos. Here is “before” with a mix of my white furniture and G’s red sofa and chair. I love that TV unit, but it looked kind of sad with the cheapo cloth bins I bought a few years back. I also disliked how cluttered the table looked.

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Mini Haul!

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Love Story, Avon Silicone Glove Hand Cream

I received an Amazon gift card as a late Christmas present from a dear friend of mine, so naturally I spent it on beauty products. I picked up a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (flattened paddle shape that looks great for foundation or even contouring), It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Love Story (looks like a pinky nude but leaves a rose stain on my lips) and some Avon Silicone Glove hand cream (used my mom’s last weekend and it’s AWESOME).

As you can see I already tried these products (hence the hasty iPad photo)… I’ll report back when I’ve given them a real trial!

What have you hauled lately?

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What is Birchbox?

Birchbox

Birchbox is a beauty sample subscription service where you pay $10/month (shipping included) to receive 4-5 random beauty samples in a cute box. There are many other similar services (Glossybox, Sample Society, etc.) to choose from. I chose Birchbox because, from what I’ve read, the samples usually come from high quality brands and I thought it was more affordable than the alternatives. For example, Glossybox (reviewed here) costs $20/month.

Another difference is that Birchbox lets you accumulate reward points. For every 100 points you earn, you’ll receive a $10 credit to spend in the Birchbox store. Here’s a breakdown for each activity:

  • Birchbox membership — 110 points for a yearly subscription, 10 for a monthly subscription
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent in the Birchbox shop
  • Earn 50 points for every friend you refer to Birchbox
  • Earn 10 points for each completed product feedback survey

There are some customization options available through the website that help ensure you get a box full of products you like. So far it’s not perfect but I’ve liked at least a few things in the two boxes I’ve gotten, and the retail value of those was definitely over $20. Besides, it’s nice to get a little gift in the mail every month.

If you want to try Birchbox, you can sign up by clicking here. (FYI that is an affiliate link so if you click and sign up I’ll get 50 points. If you don’t like that idea, just visit the website at www.birchbox.com)

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BeautyBloggers.org Charity Auction 2011

I’m excited to announce that the BeautyBloggers.org Charity Auction is back this year, and the items up for bid are fantastic. In case you weren’t around last year, here’s the rundown: over 50 beauty bloggers and brands have donated brand new beauty items that will be auctioned off on Monday, November 28th. All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders, a charity that provides emergency medical assistance around the globe. Until the bids open on Cyber Monday, you can register, browse the items, and bookmark them for quick access.

Some of the items up for bidding include:

  • MAC Lady Grey Quad (my donation)
  • OPI Muppets Collection
  • Urban Decay Naked Palette
  • Le Metier de Beaute Modernist Merlot Kaleidoscope
  • MAC Strawbaby Lipstick
  • and more!

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to browse the site and mention it to your friends. Last year we were able to send over $5,000 to Doctors Without Borders and we hope to beat that record this year!

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Wishlist Wednesday: August 10th, 2011

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Wishlist Wednesday: August 3rd, 2011

Butter London Wallis ($14) looks amazing, and I have nothing like it in my collection. After seeing Wallis Simpson portrayed in The King’s Speech (so good!), there’s no way I could skip this polish.

Melvita Extraordinary Water in Orange Blossom ($20) looks fascinating. I’m a fan of micellar cleansers, and this seems to be the king of the jungle, so to speak.

Canon G11 Camera ($650) is definitely a long-term wishlist item. I would love to have a smaller camera that fits into a bag easily. Someday!

A Clash of Kings ($8.99 for Kindle) is the next book after Game of Thrones. I’m almost done with that, so A Clash of Kings will certainly be purchased soon.

What’s on your wishlist?

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Sephora 15% off sale info + what I hauled

Wow, so there was a lot of misinformation and confusion regarding this sale. Thankfully I finally got official information from Sephora. I’m deleting the previous post about this because some of the info I had was incorrect, and I’m posting again so everyone who gets the blog via RSS will see the right info :)

To use the discount online…

  • Beauty Insiders can get 15% off with code CHIC through April 21st, 2011. If you’re not a Beauty Insider, sign up (it’s just a free Sephora rewards points program)
  • VIBs can get 15% off with code CHICWEEK through April 21st, 2011 (VIB is a special type of Beauty Insider for people who spend $350+ in a calendar year – if you’re eligible, Sephora will tell you)

To use the discount in-store…

  • You may have received a coupon by snail mail or email, which has a bar code for in-store shopping
  • Otherwise, click the banner above to get a printable coupon

What I hauled…

  • NARS Tokyo Eyeshadow Duo
  • Lancome Artliner in Aubergine
  • Tocca Bianca Perfume
  • Korres Mango Butter Lipsticks in Purple, Natural Purple, Pink, & Naked Rose

What about you guys? Are you planning to buy anything or will you skip this sale?

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Urban Decay Naked Palette in stock at Sephora!

I just got an email from Sephora saying that the Naked Palette is back in stock. There are limited quantities, so if you’ve been chasing after this for a while I suggest purchasing now.

The palette is $44 and you get free shipping at $50, so type $10 into the search box and pick something you like. Also, Beauty Insiders and VIBs can get 10% off with code V436CB. Happy shopping!

P.S. Please leave a comment if you get to the site and see it’s no longer in stock so I can update this post.

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Gifts For the Man in Your Life: Part 2

If you’re looking for something for someone who errs more towards the geeky side of things (yes, I am fully aware that my guide has been fairly geeky already), this has been a great year for comic books, especially as they’re really beginning to break through into the mainstream (I guess geek chic is to thank for that, or maybe people have just started to realise how awesome these things actually are).

Scott Pilgrim, The Walking Dead, and a host of others have really made a name for themselves this year, and make great gifts. The Scott Pilgrim DVD ($19.99) is on sale as well as the books in North America, but if you’re not there, you’ll have to make do with the books (which are fantastic, and now easier to get hold of outside of North America). If you haven’t seen the movie, or at least heard the premise, here’s a recap: 20-something Scott meets Ramona Flowers, falls in love, and has to battle her seven evil exes. It’s a great twist on the romantic comedy genre, packed full of awesomely nerdy references (videogames and indie rock, what’s not to love?), accompanied by a great art style that oozes personality, and fits the clever writing perfectly. The Walking Dead on the other hand, is a far more sombre, grizzly affair, jammed full of post apocalyptic Zombie action. The TV show has become a firm fan favourite, and it’s easy to see why.

Don’t forget your standard prose and poetry books as well, which always make great gifts. Chances are you know their favourite authors already, so see if you can get a quick glance at their bookshelf to make sure you’re not getting them something they already have. My current favourite recent novel is Reif Larsen’s debut, “The Selected Works of T.S.Spivet”. There’s also a whole host of non fiction books that are bound to cater to anyone’s interests, and a huge range, from anything from something as broad as pop music to something as specific as a history of British Ice Hockey (something I’ve had my eye on for a while) can be found in any good bookshop.

If you fancy really splashing out on something, netbooks ($200 – $350) are awesome and useful, and of course, the selection of phones is ever growing. Check your guy’s contract beforehand! For the more career orientated guy, the Blackberry Torch, for someone who’s happy to sit playing silly flash games for hours on end (like yours truly), the iPhone4, or really, any Android phone. If they’ve got all the gadgets they want (which is unlikely, there are always more gadgets), experience days are awesome, offering a wide range of options, from skydiving to driving a tank.

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Gifts For the Man in Your Life, Part 1

It’s that time of the year again where, nearly all over the world, the sound of jingle bells can be heard, accompanied, of course, by soft, quiet sobbing from your bank account. But gift giving isn’t always easy, so to alleviate a little of that festive stress, here’s the My Lips But Better guide to Christmas gift shopping for the men in your life.

This year, you really are spoilt for choice if the men in your life are gamers. From gritty cold war fantasists wet dream Call of Duty: Black Ops to swords, sorcery and Stephen Fry in Fable 3, there’s a huge range of games to choose from, and that’s just from recent releases. The most important thing to determine is whether your man prefers PC games or console games, and which console he owns. Be sure to check this!
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood continues from where the second game left off, the mixture of it’s unique “social stealth” combined with Prince of Persia style platform gaming makes for a great mix, but if they haven’t played (and ideally, completed) Assassin’s Creed 2, this might be best left on the shelf.

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