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(Beauty) Products Review: 10 & 11

I could have sworn this was my 11th and 12th box, as I officially cut off the 1 year subscription a few weeks ago… but I guess maybe by “year” they mean…. almost? Anyways… I have never been happier to cancel a subscription before in my life!

Oh Birchbox, I will discuss the full scope of what you have meant to me, the good times and the bad times, in a couple weeks. But first we have some product business to attend. So let’s get started.

By the way – it has been almost 2 months since my last review due to vacation and general feet-dragging. How has your product journey been? Are you trying new things? Discovering new pomades and unguents? There are a few things on this list that I have yet to try, so if you have please give me your thoughts in comments!


This is the 10th box. I am always impressed with how many tiny things they can fit into that small rectangle.


This exfoliating cleanser from Suki was ranks in my #1 or #2 most disappointing item from this post. It had so much promise! I mean look at those granules! And it smelled so lemony and magical! And then when I used it in the shower the exfoliator melted almost immediately like kitchen sugar. It was such a waste and really did noting for my skin. It was difficult to scoop out of the tiny sample jar and when it came down to performance it’s a no-go. Maybe I’m supposed to use it with dry skin and then rinse off? But seriously… who has time for that?


I have not tried this nail polish yet, but I will! It is a fun purple/metallic and would look great on toes or fingers.


I was pretty excited about this nail polish remover towelette. And it was perfect timing as I just started a little experiment with my toes. I have had constant pedicured feet for the last few… years. The problem is, my big toe nails keep cracking near the center. It’s really annoying. They are not discolored and there is no weirdness going on, just this cracking. So I have decided to have naked toe nails all winter, in the hopes that a little air may help strengthen them. I should probably also start a Biotin regimen, but that is a different discussion.

Anyway! I really hate using cotton balls to get nail polish off. They always leave little cotton wisps everywhere and it takes forever and nail polish remover smells. So I thought these towelettes would be my answer! But these were right with the Suki exfoliator as far as disappointment goes. It took FOREVER to get my polish off! And so much active scrubbing! It was such a chore I started chipping away at my polish instead. I also found it kind of… oily? It was weird. I thought it was going to be a perfect solution, but nope. Not convinced.


This serum from Marcelle turned out to be the perfect combo to add to my BB Cream to make it hydrating and smooth! It looks like it might be kind of sticky, but it isn’t. It is really smooth and lovely. I used it up in like 3 days because I couldn’t stop using it. Two thumbs up – this fit into my routine and made my little system even better.


I haven’t used these shadows yet as I have been lax on the eye makeup lately. But yay neutral tones! I’m always up for free eye shadow.


This was exciting! A lotion from the makers of my new favorite perfume!!! My sample of Hello by Harvey Prince is still going strong so I was stoked bout this little happy yellow edition. And it was…. ok. I feel like this post is filled with meh! And I guess that just happens sometimes. The smell just didn’t translate as well in lotion form. It ended up being a little too sweet for me. Oh well. Shrug. On to the next item.

The 11th box was interesting. Lots of tiny little tubes of mysterious things. First up is the Whish Shave Cream.


I used this the day after I undid this box. Which says something because I usually let the box sit on my counter until a week before I need to write a post and then start using everything in a frenzy… with a few exceptions. So, last Sunday I was already to shave my legs, and I don’t ever use shaving cream so I really felt like this was going to be a treat. When I squeezed the Whish product into my palm it looked like a pearly lotion. The bottle says it doesn’t foam up but I did expect…. something, some sort of staying power.

When I rubbed it all over my leg it felt like I was putting on lotion in the shower, and not in a very confident way. I actually grabbed the bottle again and re-read the instructions. Could it have meant an AFTER shave cream? No. It definitely says my shave will be more luxurious thanks to this product. So I started to shave… and ah! It was the worst shave ever! And generally I just use bar soap to shave with! This created a terribly uneven shave and it was like dragging the razor across dry skin! For the second leg I switched back to soap and it was night and day. Did I just get a bad batch? I don’t get it! Did anyone else use this? I’m truly baffled.


Yay chapstick!! I love chapsticks of all kinds way way way too much. One time Kamel came home with fitfulls from a free sample bucket at work. Best surprise ever! They lived in my nighstand until I either used them all up or lost them… haha. This chapstick is a fun concept – night and day. It is also living on my nighstand and I have been using it before bed and before I leave in the morning. I love that it is 1 stick for 2 things. I love the way the chapstick on both ends feels and smells. Not stick or overly thick. Two thumbs up Chapstick! I will definitely pick this up in drugstores when mine runs out. It would be perfect for travel!


I’m a little afraid of this. I’m not sure how to use it. It says it’s for cheeks? But my cheeks are generally rosey and this just looks sticky/intense? I feel like I’ll try to put it on and it will look like a messed up clown, all uneven and splotchy? Has anyone else used this? Can you reassure me that it’s useful and awesome?


A blackhead vacuum?!?! What is this witchcraft? I imagined some sort of peel and then all the blackheads are there, like teensy trees!


It ended up being a mask that dried after 5-10 minutes and then I needed to wipe off with a warm washcloth. It was kind of fun, not AS fun as little trees, but I could dig it. Except it must use a chemical something or other to attack black heads and it made me really red across the bridge of my nose and the tops of my cheeks for a while afterwards. Kind of like the red I get when I wax my lip…. so… that kind of worried me and made me self conscious when I left the house.


Caudalie is a natural brand. They use the properties of grapes and wine in their products. I’ve been using this at night. It reminds me of a lot of the night serums and I am never sure they work. I would like to invest in one though, as I have been struggling with ongoing dryness post baby and would like to treat my face skin better as I approach my 30s.


I haven’t tried this one yet. I’m not sure if it does anything especially special. Has anyone else tried it?

It has been 11 months since I started this product-palooza and I am actually very happy it is coming to a close. What are you doing differently now that summer is fading and fall is upon us? How do you switch it up? Do you have any suggestions for me?

The next post on this (sooner rather than later!) will be a sample giveaway! And some discussion on what I’ve changed and any products I’ve actually bought and used. The final chapter, one might say. :)



I did not sleep enough this weekend. Friday I did not sleep well at all, tossy-turny-ed a million times. Then Saturday I was out late late late with Claire for a lady dinner and a movie date. We saw the Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. It was really well done and gave me lots of feels and lots to think about and talk about. Has anyone else seen that? I enjoy stories that take place post happily ever after, or unhappily as it were. Gabe had his first swim lessons! They went pretty well. A few tears but no freak outs and it was so incredibly cute watching him and all the other babies/toddlers splash around in their adorable baby swim outfits...


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The Give and Take of Control

When we were in Maine we had to give Gabe showers because there wasn’t a bath tub. Gabe hates showers. HATES. He doesn’t like the water shooting at him, he doesn’t like having his face wet, he hates them. Even when one of us is holding him in the shower, he tries to escape the jets of water with all his strength. But what is a parent to do? Dude has to get bathed – not every day, but like a couple times at least? We only did it twice during that trip because the trauma was palpable. Imagine a child screaming while having their limbs chopped off, and that would be an accurate depiction of Gabe in the shower. We also...


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The Family Name

During engagement Kamel and I talked a lot about what we wanted to do with our names. Initially I thought I would turn Dupuis into my middle name and simply be Lauren Perez, but it just didn’t feel right. Actually, both Kamel and I would turn Dupuis into our middle names and Perez into our last, but it just didn’t work for me. So as engagement progressed and we were referring to the wedding as the Dupuis-Perez wedding it became more and more clear that that was how we viewed the creation of our new family. We decided to be Lauren and Kamel Dupuis-Perez. But! With all of the details of the wedding being out of state (in Seattle...


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The Long Weekend-ing

This weekend we took Friday off and spent the morning packing, doing laundry, Kamel worked unexpectedly, and after the baby’s nap we headed north to Canada for Kamel’s birthday. I found a sale on the 4 Seasons (Kamel’s favorite hotel chain) and we spent 2 nights and 3 days-ish exploring, swimming, and robe-wearing. This was Kamel’s first time ever in Canada! And Vancouver is so much cooler than I ever remember it being. Here is the breakdown of events: The drive to Vancouver was supposed to be about 2.5 hours, but due to a stop at Target and massive traffic ended up taking 4.5. About 1.5 hours from the hotel the baby...


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Better Than Real Life Advice

Dear Lauren: Do you believe in astrological signs? My son is a Virgo and I’ve read up about his personality type…should I be parenting him in any special way because he’s a Virgo? Or is it all a bunch of crap? Help! Always, Astrologically Confused in NY Oh Astrologically Confused! Your question warms the cockles of my already warm and rather weepy heart! Do I believe in astrological signs? I am obsessed with astrological signs! I have a ram tattoo on my wrist for my sign (aries) and a fish tattoo on my forearm for my son’s sign (pisces). My husband is a Virgo and his Virgo tendencies drive me bonkers, so I am...


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Happy #32 Kamel!

Dear Kamel, In the last 6 months I have seen you grow more as a person, a father, a husband, and yourself than I have seen in the entire 5 years I’ve known you. I look at you and I see my future. Is that what 30s are like? If so they look pretty magnificent. Full of self discovery, career advances, adventures, and major milestones. I like it. Today is your birthday! And I am so grateful that all of the small little choices of both of our lives matched up in such a way where I find myself waking up next to you every day and especially this day. I love you because… … you are incredibly authentic. … you are a fantastic...


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Who the hell is she?


I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.