Saturday, February 15, 2014

Why you should start thinking inside the box

Hope you all had a wonderful week filled with daily double handfuls of miniature sized Reese's Cups and countless pink aluminum wrapped Hersey's Kisses…No? Just me? GREAT.

Valentine's Day does it to me everytime (and Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Labor Day, My Birthday, Tuesday, Wednesday - hint: this list doesn't end). I definitely overdid it on the chocolates this week, but tomorrow's a new day, right? And I think I am in the clear with the candy temptation until Peter Cottontail rears his candy toting head come Easter. My ability to say no to candy gets weaker with each passing holiday. This. is not. good!

But all chocolates aside, I have a newly found obsession and it has nothing to do with food (shocker). I am carrying on a love affair with BIRCHBOX. Have you guys subscribed? If not, you really should. I know, I know…if you are of my school of thought, you are probably thinking that there are way better things that you could do with $10 a month ($20 if you're a dude - but that only means you guys get some real quality stuff!). I thought the same thing, but then I just started hearing more and more about BIRCHBOX, and once I did a little research of my own, it started to peak my interest. I have to admit, though, that I still held on to a bit of skeptcism.

To understand my tentativeness with beauty products, you have to understand a bit more about me. If you don't know me, well, YOU'RE ABOUT TO. No, but really, growing up bi-racial, while often times rewarding in the sense that I had the opportunity to be exposed to more culture and backgrounds than most, was tough on my development in the beauty department. I could never use the products my friends were using because my hair wasn't the same, or my skin wasn't the same, or…well you get where I'm going. I can still hear my mom trying to explain to me why I couldn't do the same things with my hair that all my friends could. So, I kinda embarked on my own beauty voyage by my lonesome and at 24 years old I have FINALLY mastered how to wear my hair in it's naturally curly state (shoutout to the t-shirt hair drying method - saved my life). But that's only one battle. So, in short, I was like "If I invest $10/mo in BIRCHBOX, am I going to be paying for products I won't even be able to use?" 

Fast forward, and I am now two boxes in and OBSESSED.  I love that the moment you subscribe, they make the effort to get to know you through a little interest survey. They know the texture of my hair, the kinds of products I am not interested in and what I can't get enough of. Above all things, it's just about the sweetest thing you could do for yourself. $10 out of your account at the first of every month (and let's be honest, you were gonna spend that on Chipotle or a cocktail or SOMETHING, anyway), and then a week or two later you get a special little present in the mail filled with goodies that may just contain the BEST KEPT SECRET in your beauty quest. Two boxes in and I am already obsessed with Nail Rock and Harvey & Sons tea bags (did I mention sometimes you get lifestyle goodies!). P.S. If you find a product you like, you can buy the full size version on their website. I'm coming for you, Nail Rock!

February BIRCHBOX  - Curated by US Weekly!
NOTE: I am too excited to try that Agave Oil Treatment.
These locks sure need it!

I am still an advocate for all my interracial girls, or any girl for that matter, out there trying to get it right. I'll be honest and say that not ALL products in my box am I able to use because of my unique hair texture and my sensitive skin (womp). BUT I am confident that as BIRCHBOX continues to grow they will broaden their brand partnerships and develop into not only a better way to discover beauty, but, I mean, possibly the best! I'm about to spit some straight facts here, but the whole world is moving online. The BIRCHBOX business model is pretty brilliant, seeing as their was definitely a void in a strong beauty presence on the interwebz. Mostly because, well, why would I buy a product that I am going to apply to my skin or hair without trying it? But BIRCHBOX said, "Hold on, boo. Let me send you these samples real quick!" And now with BIRCHBOX MAN, they are kind of unstoppable. I only hope that the underserved beauty novices, which is still the category that I place myself in most times, will continue to be able to learn and discover through BIRCHBOX.

The moral of this story: Invest in yourself! Join me in this fun beauty discovery. Finally a reason to think INSIDE the box. Because, I mean, sometimes thinking outside the box is so much pressure, am I right? 

BONUS: If you don't use all of your goodies, you can always save them up and use them as stocking stuffers. You may think this is a premature thought, but we all know that Christmas shows up quicker than your Monday morning alarm (you're lucky you're pretty, Christmas!).

If you're a subscriber, are you loving BIRCHBOX? If not, what are you waiting for?

Loving you guys like XO!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Peter Pilotto is my soulmate


Woo. Let me take a minute to calm down because I am writing in the heat of passion.


Okay, but, guys. Have you seen the Peter Pilotto collection for Target? Have you? It is what all my dreams are made of. I feel like all of my fashion icons went into a board meeting with Mr. Pilotto and were like "Listen, Pete, Vanessa has been having a really rough few months and this line is going to change her world. LET'S DO IT FOR NESS!" And BOOM! The Peter Pilotto Line for Target is born.

On a serious note (not that everything above is not serious, because I honestly believe that board meeting happened) this line is so amazing on about a thousand levels. It's risky yet trendy. Flashy yet conservative. Funky yet fresh. I always like to color a little outside the lines when styling my outfits and Peter Pilotto has made it so much easier for us fashion rule breakers. Not only are these pieces to die for, the price point is unbeatable. I can't really speak on quality, yet, but I can appreciate that it seems that there was no skimping on design standards for affordability. THANK YOU, PETER. Now I can look like a million bucks without spending a million bucks.

Here are a few of my favorites of the bunch (but I mean, if you want to buy me everything, let's just say I would not hate you):

Throw on a blazer, some stilettos and some black pantyhose and you are ready for work. Nix the pantyhose and blazer and you are ready for a night out on the town! Can I get an 'amen' for day to night looks?

Do. Want. That is all.

I would not change a thing about the styling of this outfit. From the bare legs to the shoes to the hair. It's all working. I'll take it, thanks!

I am drawn to this because something tells me either Beyonce or Solange would wear this and well....they are Beyonce and Solange and I love them.

This skirt is magic. Mixing patterns and colors is something I am all about. Who says I have to match? I WON'T DO IT.

Aside from the amazing color and pattern combinations, what I love most about this collaboration is the versatility. Not only is it sleek and sexy, but there are ways to pull it off in your office, on a date, going out for drinks or even running errands (because who says you can't look fabulous in the grocery store?!). And if that wasn't enough, there's also some beachwear and accessories action going on as well. I. Am. Sold. So, if you want to find me this Sunday, February 9th, please look in 1 of 3 places: 1.) at my computer refreshing Target's website until this sale goes live, 2.) in Target wrestling any person who get's in the way of my dreams shopping, 3.) on the floor crying because it sold out immediately.

Photos and tips courtesy of <-- for more tips on how to score some pieces from this line.


Have a fantabulous weekend!