Jolly With Julep: A Review

In case some of you did not know, awhile back I became an affiliate of the cruelty free beauty brand, Julep. However, I personally did not start using their subscription box service myself until last month, which is why this is the first time I am posting about them! More over, I am very pleased to say, unlike my last beauty review post, Julep is quite the little beauty box and I am very impressed with the products I have received. And since I did not have the opportunity to post last month's box (a combination of my February calendar being booked and wanting to make sure I wanted to continue the subscription after my second box), for this post today, I will be reviewing both my February and March Julep boxes. But before I get to that, let me tell you a little bit about Julep!

About Julep 

The company Julep began back in 2007 and is the brainchild of founder and CEO, Jane Park. Jane began the company with the vision that beauty should be a fun and fearless experience for all women. She highlights in her bio that all types of women are beautiful, whether you are the type of girl who commands attention by simply stepping in the room, or the plain Jane girl next door. And if you ask me, that is definitely a stance on beauty that I can back fully. So, what is Julep exactly? Well here's the scoop:

As I mentioned earlier, Julep, is a subscription box, much like my popular sponsor Rocksbox, that costs 24.99/Month. However, unlike Rocksbox, Julep is a beauty subscription box, is monthly, but the good news is you get to keep all the goodies that they send you. So lets see how it works!

First, much like Rocksbox, you simply take Julep's quiz so your beauty concierge can pick the right products for you. The quiz only takes about five minutes. 

As you can see above, you then just make a wishlist of products that you would like to try and then it ships right to your door for free! Not a half bad deal huh? Well it gets better because as I stated earlier, Julep is a 100% cruelty free brand, meaning none of our furry friends are harmed during testing. Also, all of Julep's nail polishes are vegan friendly, which is pretty sweet too. Now that I gave you all the deets, you're probably wondering what exactly comes in a Julep beauty box. Well wonder no more, because here are my reviews for my February and March Boxes!

February Box

Green Tea Konjac Sponge

The first thing I tried out of my February box is this green tea konjac sponge. The sponge itself is very soft and feels very nice to the touch, which is great because it is not rough at all on your skin. After using this sponge, my face felt very clean and refreshed.

April Boho Glam Nail Polish

Next up, I received this boho glam nail polish in "April" (you may recognize it from this Instagram post). I really liked this color nail polish because it is very bright and looks great on. This color is perfect for just about every occasion, and is also a great color for spring!

When Pencil Met Gel, in Sunset Gold

The last thing I received in my February box is this gorgeous gel pencil eyeliner. I first have to say I absolutely loved this color and that this eyeliner applies so easily. Once I get back from John and I's spring break vacation, I am hoping to do some fun makeup looks with it, as well as the other color liner I received in my March box! 

March Box

It's Balm, in Brandy Wine

So this lip balm/lipstick has hands down become my favorite color to wear! The balm also is very soothing for your lips and has totally kept mine from getting cracked and chapped from the cold weather.

When Pencil Met Gel, in Deep Raisin

This is the second color of eyeliner that I mentioned earlier, and much like that eyeliner this pencils color is very vivid and applies with ease. I really can't wait to combine these two colors for a bold, shimmering look.

Ange Boho Glam Nail Polish

This month, I received a cooler toned nail polish color, and absolutely adore it! The color is a bit darker than the photo but it still looks lovely on and is a great shade for fall or winter.

Sample Party's Over One Step Nail Polish Remover

Lastly, I received a sample of Julep's "Party's Over One Step Nail Polish Remover" and I have to say these little pads really do the trick and your nail polish really does come off in one swoop. And to top it off, it only takes 3-5 minutes!

Final Thoughts

After having Julep for two months now, I am happy to say that I will be keeping this service. I have been pleased with everything I have received from Julep thus far and strongly encourage anyone who is looking for a beauty subscription box to give Julep a try! And since I am one happy customer, you can expect monthly beauty posts about my new boxes. Pretty sweet, huh? 

Have you ever tried Julep and love them as much as I do? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Later, dolls. 

Xx, Bree

Harvey Prince Organics: Hair & Skin Care

One thing I am always on the hunt for is new and different beauty regimens. Whether they are new skin care products, body washes, or hair care products, I am always on board to give it a whirl! The reason this is, is because I am a firm believer in making small changes to your beauty routine throughout the seasons so it remains effective. And I'm sure if you've had a look at my beauty routine, you know how I have an abundance of goodies ranging from Beautycounter facial scrubs to lush bath bombs and bubble bars. For this post,  I am sharing some of the newest hair and skin care products I have tried recently, and am thrilled to announce that these products came from my newest collaborator and sponsor, Harvey Prince Organics! Also, my readers will be thrilled to know, that I'm not the only one who will be getting a little treat out of this post, since Harvey Prince Organics is now one of my sponsors, after you read this article and decide if you want to try a product or not, I now have a promo code with Harvey Prince that will save you cash! (If you follow me on Instagram, you may already have this promo code from my post last Wednesday!) 

About Harvey Prince Organics

 Before I dive headfirst into my reviews of Harvey Prince's wonderful products (Which I totally want to do because they worked so perfectly!), I'm sure all of you would like a little more background on this company, assuming you are like me and hadn't heard about them until recently.

How Harvey Prince started was with a simple and sweet idea: two brothers wanted to create a perfect perfume as a Mother's Day gift, and as a result their first fragrance "Ageless" was created. However, that's not the only unique thing about Harvey Prince, they're name holds an interesting story as well. You see, the younger of the duo graduated from Harvard University and the older from Princeton University, so they combined the names of their alma maters and came up with Harvey Prince, and their brand was born in 2007. 

However in 2015, Harvey Prince was reborn as Harvey Prince Organics, and was then recommitted to creating the best vegan and cruelty free fragrance, skin, and hair care products. That's right my friends, Harvey Prince Organics, is a Beauty Without Bunnies company and is one hundred percent cruelty free! All of Harvey Prince Organics products include all three Leaping Bunny, PETA, and Choose Cruelty Free stamps on their products. Meaning none of our furry friends were harmed during the testing of Harvey Prince's perfume, skin, or hair products. And now that you have some background on this deeply committed cruelty free company, let me tell you about the awesome hair and skin care products their representative, Michael, sent me complimentary to try and review. 

Keravegan Hair Masque

The first product I tried from Harvey Prince Organics is the Keravegan Hair Masque. The reason I chose to try this product first is due to the fact the winter weather really wreaks havoc on my normally luscious locks, and this Keravegan Hair Masque is made too smooth and soothe your tresses. This product left my hair feeling very soft and rejuvenated, so much so my little, five year old  cousin (who enjoys playing with my hair when I see her at family dinners) even commented on how soft and smooth my hair was after using it! This hair masque also made my hair look more alive, bringing out its pretty, natural, shine.

Sea Salt Texturizing Mist 

As many of you know, normally I always wear my hair pin straight, simply because, that's just how it is naturally and will only stay curled or styled with a ton of hairspray (as you can see here). With that being said, I absolutely loved this Sea Salt Texturizing Mist. The reason is, is because this mist added depth and texture to my hair and made it look naturally wavy. Though you won't get to see this product in action until my post for Ritani on February first, this mist really does give your hair the look of beautiful wind swept locks that you normally would obtain after a day at the beach. 

The Original Fango Mud Therapy

This product is honestly probably the product I was the most excited to try! Though I loved my charcoal mask from Beautycounter, I had finally ran out of it and was ready to try something new, and I have to say I honestly preferred the Harvey Prince Organics Fango Mud Therapy Mask! (Don't worry, Beautycounter, I still love your Nourishing Cream Cleanser and Nourishing Night Cream.) The reason why I preferred this mask is because I felt it wasn't as harsh on my skin, while still leaving my face feeling deeply cleansed and rejuvenated. This mask worked wonders on my face and left it feeling smooth and clean, and even made my skin look more vibrant!

Hello Body Butter

Lastly, I had the opportunity to try Harvey Prince Organics Hello Body Butter. This lotion has become my new favorite body lotion due to the fact that it has restored my rough, dry, winter skin back to its normal, soft and smooth state. (Which made John really happy, because if we are being honest crocodile skin doesn't exactly scream "let's cuddle!") This body lotion is not only ultra moisturizing, but also smells amazing too! And that's because it is infused with Harvey Prince's best-selling "Hello" perfume, which has hints of citrus layered with summer forsythia and notes of white grapefruit, wild verbena, and Tahitian vanilla. Giving this lotion a refreshing and welcoming scent. 

Final Thoughts 

As I'm sure you've already assumed, I loved my Harvey Prince Organics experience which is why I have decided to share it with all of you! In closing I just have to say I will be using this company's products for years to come and these products have definitely become a staple in my beauty routine. And lastly, if you already love Harvey Prince Organics or want to try Harvey Prince for the first time, you can use my special promo code "starkravingchic40" to get 40% off your next order!! 

Have you ever tried Harvey Prince Organics? If so what's your favorite product?! Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Wanna know more about Harvey Prince Organics perfumes? Stay tuned for next week's post where I will be featuring three of the fragrances that Michael sent me! These include Hello, Sincerely, and Perfumista. (Along with some of their accompanying lotions!)

Winter Beauty Survival Guide (My Top Winter Beauty Products)

Well folks, it is that time of year again when the city turns into a frozen tundra and wind is whipping through the streets. After a seemingly endless fall, winter is finally (sadly) upon us here in the 'Burgh. And of course with dreadful weather comes the potential for a vast amount of beauty disasters. From dry brittle hair, rosacea on our faces (not the kind of rosy cheeks we asked for, Mother Nature), to crocodile skin on our hands and feet, cold weather really wreaks havoc on all of our appearances. However, since class is back in session, and being back in school at Point Park University and interning as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista means I will be spending a good time outside in this frigid weather. So, I decided to take some action and find the best remedies to fight Old Man Winter and am going to share my findings here with you!

Maintain Your Luscious Locks (And Avoid Hat Hair)

I don't know about all of you, but I for one know my hair gets extremely brittle in the winter time and unfortunately that means a whole lot of split ends. However this first product which I found via Vogue is an absolute God sent! This my friends, is the Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Biding Leave In Crème. All you need to do to set this product into action is simply rake it through damp hair and let it work it's magic. The reason I feel this crème is so effective is because it contains nourishing coconut oil which is known to have ultra healing benefits, and smells amazing too! This product honestly did a great job at rejuvenating my damaged hair and preventing split ends.

So since we now have our split end problem under control, we should probably talk about ensuring a healthy scalp too. Once again, I am featuring one of my favorite hair care brands, and that brand is Amika! As we all know I love Amika's "Spoil My Hair" Kit, but I also have recently become a fan of their "Triple RX Mask" as well. The reason this mask is perfect for scalp health is because it is designed to nourish and repaired dried out, over stressed hair. After using the Triple RX Mask I noticed significant changes in my scalp, the main one being it that no longer feels dry or irritated. The other perk of this product is, is that it also leaves your entire head of hair feeling silky smooth, and adds a touch of shine.

 

 

Lastly, I'm going to cover one of my personal biggest winter beauty pet peeves and that is having to deal with hat hair. Ugh, we all go through it at one point of another when it's too damn cold to simply stick with a hooded coat or go hatless, but hat hair is generally just a part of winter. However, one of the stylists from La Pomponnee  gave me a little trick that has worked gloriously to keep my hair from looking squished and that simple tip is hairspray! All you need to do is lift the sections of your hair that tend to be a problem and give them a spray starting from the base (or root) of your hair to about half the length of the section. This just adds a little bounce so your hair won't squish as easily! And for the record my favorite hairspray is Bed Head's "Hard Head" Hairspray.

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Your Face Radiant & Your Lips Kissable

 

One main issue I come across every winter is how to avoid getting windburn while walking to and from class of those cold and blustery days. However recently, I decided to purchase Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion because I had read so many rave reviews about it and thought maybe I should give it a try to help repair my poor weathered cheeks. Well I have to say this product really did live up to all of the hype! Within a matter of just days I noticed my skin was rejuvenated and softer. Needless to say I would 100% recommend this product.

 

 

 

Next up, though we all know the importance of taking of vitamins, how many of us really do? Well upon so research as well as actually listening to the advice my mother gave me (See mum, I do listen!) I decided to try some hair, skin, and nail vitamins to help with my dry winter skin. Well these gummy vitamins by Nature's Bounty actually have seemed to have helped quite a bit! No only is my skin less irritated due to using my Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, it now is even beginning to feel healthier! Not to mention my nails seem to be stronger now too. And to boot these gummy vitamins from Nature's Bounty are actually delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, your cheeks aren't the only thing that takes abuse from the frightful winter weather, but so do your lips! Let's be honest, everybody that lives in a cold climate end up with sore chapped lips at one point or another. However, to heal and prevent anymore chapping this season I swear by Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. This stuff has helped heal my chapped lips for years! I've been using Burt's Bees since high school and honestly there isn't a flavor I don't like. Each one smells great, applies easily, and definitely sooths and nourishes damaged lips, leaving them smooth and extra kissable.

 

Happy Hands Are For Holding

As a kid, I always had itchy, dry, and cracked hands in the winter time. Of course this was from playing out in the cold without caring for them properly. However, during my adolescent and adult life, I've since learned the importance of pampering and protecting my hands from brutal winter weather, and the first step to doing this is finding a great hand lotion. After years of seeking for the right one, I finally found that Gold Bond Healing Hand Cream is the best product to use on weather damaged hands! The reason I say this is because this product is approved for sensitive skin, and also is fragrance free which is great because sometimes that can cause discomfort with cracked hands and even irritate them more.

So though this one may be a bit obvious, I figured I should mention it anyways. Along with properly moisturizing your hands with a cream, it is also very important to be sure that you are using a moisturizing hand soap as well! Everyone knows that chapped and irritated hands are due to dryness, so though washing your hands is important, avoiding harsh antibacterial soap can be a key way to keep your hands smooth and healthy, hence where moisturizing hand soap comes in. My pick of moisturizing hand soaps has to be Deep Seep's Coconut Oil Hand Wash. This hand wash leaves your hands feeling squeaky clean as well as refreshed and smooth after each use. This hand wash also is 100% natural and smells great too!

Don't Forget To Treat Your Feet

Yes! I know this sounds crazy but it is in deed true: though your feet are tucked away inside boots and slippers during the winter season, they too suffer the harsh side effects of the cold weather! So, to remedy that and to shoe your toes you haven't forgotten them, the first thing I suggest doing is investing in a pumice stone and a good foot scrub! First, the reason you need a good pumice stone is to help exfoliate your feet. Exfoliating your feet is important because it rids them of all the dead and dry skin that has built up over the season, there for making moisturizers more effective.

 

 

Of course if you're going to treat and exfoliate your feet you need a good and reliable foot scrub. So my suggestion is to check out Pure Body Naturals' Himalayan Salt Foot Scrub. With light, sweet aromas of grape and almond you'll give yourself and you feet a nice and relaxing break after a long day. This scrub also helps ease tension in the arches of your feet due to its natural healing attributes and also leaves your skin feeling soft and rejuvenated.  

 

 

 

 

After a nice hot bath and home foot exfoliating treatment, the next best thing aside from curling up with a cup of tea and a good book is adding the finishing touches to your foot treatment. And just like with your hands and face one of the key things you can do to keep your feet healthy in the winter is moisturize them. With that being said, Gold Bond has made this list for the second time due to the fact their Softening Foot Cream works absolute wonders! This foot cream kept my feet feeling nice, soft and smooth all winter long thus far.

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, the final step to to treating your feet is to snag a pair of aloe socks! The reason aloe socks are an important part of this routine is they help lock in the moisturizing affects of the Softening Foot Cream, as well as giving you something fuzzy and cozy to slip on your feet. Not to mention, these socks will also help keep your feet warm, because if we are all being honest here, having popsicle toes doesn't exactly scream "let's cuddle!". (John knows all too well about this little issue.)

 

 

What are some of your favorite winter weather remedies? Tell me about them in the comments below or tweet me at @StarkRavingChic!

Xx, Bree

Caress Skin Care (Compliments of Influenster)

Ah, Influenster you know me too well. First you send me some pretty lipstick, then an awesome hair care routine, followed by some great perfume, and now some wonderfully scented body wash?! You spoil me.

Influenster?  

To my readers, you're probably wondering who/what my sponsor "Influenster" is. I know I've mentioned them a few times but it slipped my mind to share the deets with all of you! So this being said, before I dive into my Caress Skin Care review, I'll give you a quick overview of what Influenster is and how it works. 

Firstly Influenster is a website that allows it's users to discover, review, and share different products that they are interested in. The reason Influenster is so great for bloggers is because it enables you to connect with brands as well as get awesome full sized products to review 100% free. These free samples are called VoxBoxes, and all you need to do to recieve one is make an account, specify your interests, and fill out a quick survey, it's that easy! After that Influenster will send you surveys to see if you're a good fit, and if you are,  Influenster will add you to that specific campaign. So once you're part of a campaign, Influenster will send you the products that you were interested in. And all you need to do in return is write a review and mark it as a sponsored post, so everybody wins!

Caress Pure Embrace Body Wash

The first thing I noticed about my Caress Pure Embrace Body Wash, was the incredible smell. This body wash is incredibly fragrant, as soon as I popped open the lid all I could smell were aromas of jasmine, wisteria, and just a little hit of roses. Honestly, it was heavenly. This body wash also lathered very nicely and felt great on my skin. It had a soothing feel to it and moisturized my skin as it cleasned it. After I washed off and dried, Caress' Pure Embrace scent still lingered and left my skin feeling very soft to the touch.

Final Thoughts

Since this was my first time trying a Caress product (I'm normally a Dove kinda girl) I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely recommend this product to a friend and would be apt to purchase it too, mainly just because I absolutely loved the smell. 

Have you ever tried any of Caress' body washes? If so, what's your fave? Tell me about it in the comments below or tweet at @StarkRavingChic. Later dolls! 

Xx, Bree

P.S. Also note, that though I prefer cruelty free skin, hair, and makeup products, Caress is NOT cruelty free. Caress is owned by Unilever, who claims to no longer test on animals, but they still sell in China where animal testing is required by law. So though I love this particular body wash, it unfortunately cannot be considered cruelty free.