About Me

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My name is Christen, I'm 30 years old and a stay-at-home mom to my three beautiful girls, Lauren, Hailey, and Farrah. My husband David and I live on scenic Long Island and we love it. Our party of 5 keeps pretty busy, but I try to set aside as much time as I can to blog (which isn't as often as I'd like these days).


Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Subscription: Graze

Hello fellow snack lovers! There is a new subscription service in town. If you're looking for a healthier (and completely delicious) alternative to your over-processed bag of Cheetos, check out Graze!

For $5.00 each week, Graze will send you a nibblebox fitted with four containers filled with assorted healthy snacks for you to enjoy. After you've tried each snack, you can rate it as Like, Love, or Trash. Graze will start sending the snacks you Love more often, and omit the snacks you Trash. You can also receive a lightbox instead of a nibblebox, which is less calories but the selection of snacks is somewhat limited. And if you don't want to receive a box weekly you can opt for bi-weekly or monthly deliveries.

I'm currently receiving the nibblebox. Check out my next nibblebox HERE.

Each box is delivered right to your mailbox in a small, flat brown box.

My last Graze box included Florentine, Mango Chutney, Salt & Vinegar Nut 
Selection, and Hot Cross Yum. Florentine was my favorite!

Since Graze isn't officially open to the public yet, only one of you can use my invite code to sign up. You'll receive your first box completely free! Simply e-mail me at christenbeautyblog@gmail.com if you're interested and I'll send you the code. 

What do you think of Graze?

Update: I now have more invite codes to give out! :-) You can still e-mail me a request if you'd like to sign up.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Favorite Product of the Month: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Each month, I will be sharing one of my new favorite products with you. For the month of January (I didn't get a chance to post this last month), I want to highlight a product I recently discovered through my monthly Citrus Lane subscription when I received a deluxe sample of it several months ago. That product is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.

When I first saw the sample packaging, I wasn't impressed. It was a short, stout little bottle that certainly didn't boast about its contents with an overly designed label with a printed promise of being the best in the market. But I wanted to try it because I wasn't familiar with "cleansing oil". A bit of an oxymoron, no? I always thought oil clogged your pores and caused breakouts. No thanks! But I used the entirety of the deluxe sample and noticed afterwards that my skin felt much more smooth and appeared almost blemish free.

I now own a full-size bottle and regularly use it. When I use the Deep Cleansing Oil, I put the product into my palm - about the size of a nickel, and gently massage it all over my dry face. I can actually feel the daily buildup coming off of my skin! Afterwards, I either step into the shower or use the bathroom sink to rinse and wash the residue off of my face. Luckily I have fairly good skin to begin with, but I definitely see an improvement with the addition of this product to my daily routine. This cleansing oil is ideal for removing makeup (especially waterproof mascara), dirt, and excess oil. It contains both olive oil and vitamin E. :-)

I've already looked online at more of DHC's products to see what other treasures they sell. I also sampled the Imperial Green Tea Shower Gel and it's next on my list to order.

Another thing I really like about DHC is that the company is generous with samples. You can choose up to four free samples with each order your place on their website and they often send out brochures via mail with samples enclosed.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (6.7 fl. oz) $28.00

I'll be randomly selecting one person to receive a DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Mini (1 fl. oz.) which is valued at $5.50. If you're interested in trying out this product, provide your e-mail in a comment below.

For more information about DHC, click HERE.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Diamond Candles Giveaway

I announced earlier in the week that I would be hosting my first Giveaway once my blog had at least 10 public Google Followers and 10 'Likes' on my blog's Facebook page. I'm pleased that I surpassed my goal a few days after the announcement. I'm so happy I can give back to those who have shown their support so far.

My first Giveaway prize is from Diamond Candles. Diamond Candles are made from all natural soy, are available in a variety of fun scents, and contain a ring that could be worth any amount between $10.00 and $5,000.00!!! I LOVE Diamond Candles. It's a blast to wait for your candle to burn down enough to retrieve the small gold foil packet within the wax so your ring is finally revealed!

The Diamond Candles Giveaway Contest starts at 02/23/13 12:00 AM EST and ends at 03/09/2013 12:00 AM EST. Please read the Terms & Conditions below.

Three winners will be chosen, so good luck Ladies! :-D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information about Diamond Candles, click HERE.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New URL & Giveaway Update

I wanted to post a quick update about my blog which will be down temporarily as my new domain name transitions from beautyandthebocks.blogspot.com to www.beautyandtheblocks.com. Be sure to save the new address in your Favorites. ;-)

Also, I'm one 'Like' away on my Facebook page from hosting my first Giveaway! I want to thank all of my recent Followers for showing your support and I look forward to being able to give back.

Ipsy (MyGlam) - February 2013 "Red Carpet Ready"

I haven't had the opportunity to try any of the products from this month's Ipsy Glam Bag yet. I just wasn't as excited by the contents as I have been in previous months. Since the products in my bag are primarily for eyes I'll be posting a red carpet smokey eye look at some point this week.

From Left: POP Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara in Smoky Black, Lash Card Sample Pack, Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer, Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Sample Set in In The Spotlight (Dark Goldenrod, Sunbeam, Golden Globe, Dark Golden Olive), and MICABeauty Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner in Black

February's Glam Bag is a solid black patent leather on the outside and red mesh-like material on the inside. I have to say, this bag is my least favorite. It's the cheapest quality bag I've received to date. But I'm not completely bothered by it - it's still cute! 

I was really pleased to see I received Lash Cards in my Glam Bag this month. I've been going back and forth about signing up for Beauty Army, and last month these same Lash Cards were one of the samples recommended to me.  I decided against it though because the price was too steep for the other samples I was offered. I was bummed about missing out on this product, but luckily I can try them out after all because of Ipsy! I'm ALWAYS getting mascara on my eyelid while applying it, which annoys me to no end so I think Lash Cards might be an effective solution.

What do you pretty ladies think of this month's Ipsy Glam Bag and contents? Would you like to see an Ipsy gift subscription as a future Giveaway on my blog? Let me know!

Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) is a monthly subscription service that sends a different Glam Bag each month filled with 4-5 deluxe samples and/or full-sized beauty products. The cost is $10.00 a month. Click HERE to get your name on the Glam Bag Waitlist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UNBOXED: Birchbox - February 2013

Last month, I didn't make the time to post about my January Birchbox, but I was okay with the contents for the most part. I'm still on the fence about keeping Birchbox as one of my subscriptions though because I'm not sure I can justify the expense on the sample sizes I've been sent. Birchbox based February's boxes on Hollywood's recent red carpet events. Although, my box selections didn't really reflect that...
Clockwise from Left: Twistband Headband in ArmyOjon Volume Advance Thickening SprayJuicy Couture Couture La La PerfumeColor Club Nail Polish in Mamba (Fiesta Collection), and Ghirardelli Chocolate Square in Milk Chocolate with Caramel 

Twistband Headband in Army
I have ranted about the hair tie version of the Twistband product before. And I still don't understand what the big deal is. I actually think I like the headband version less. I already know without using it that this headband would easily slide out of place and need to be bobby pinned to my hair. I don't want to use bobby pins unless I'm wearing a fancy hairdo for a formal event. I also don't want the awkward knot at the end of the headband to be digging into the back of my head. I know these hair ties and headbands will be circulating for a few months before I don't have to get them in my beauty subscription boxes anymore. 

Ojon Volume Advance Thickening Spray

My hair is really fine and naturally limp, so I'm constantly looking for a product to give me literally any level of volume. I spritzed my damp hair with this thickening spray and blow-dried it shortly afterwards. My hair did appear to be more voluminous! It'll take a few more uses to convince me, so I'm glad I was sent a deluxe sample. 

Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume
I spritzed my wrists with the itty vial of perfume and my first impression wasn't good. The scent was too strong for my liking (and fumey), and in my opinion, completely forgettable. I know almost every Birchbox subscriber has received at least one Juicy Couture perfume sample by now, so I was expecting it.

Color Club Nail Polish in Mamba (Fiesta Collection)

The nail polish was the most surprising product in my box. I didn't like it and refused to try it at first since I'm not a nail polish guru and I'm a bit picky about the colors I receive from beauty subscriptions. But my opinion completely changed once I decided to give it a chance. Red is a color I only want to own one bottle of since it's a color I hardly wear, if ever. This little polish bottle is perfect for that as I don't currently own any shade of red. Application of this polish is easy, and I was impressed by the amount of color saturation left on my nail with just one coat. It also dries fast and really sticks to the nail. Funny, I think it's my new favorite nail polish and red isn't even "my thing".

Ghirardelli Chocolate Square in Milk Chocolate with Caramel

I ate the chocolate square immediately after I snapped a few photos of my box. Of course it was delicious! Ghirardelli chocolate isn't exactly a favorite of mine, but I have tried several different chocolate square flavors throughout the years. The problem is that I can't eat just one. Ha. And it's a little underwhelming to receive chocolate from such a well-known brand.

After the initial feeling of disappointment with my February Birchbox selections, I have to say my attitude changed when I decided to test the nail polish.

If you're a Birchbox subscriber, what did you receive this month?

Birchbox is a subscription service that sends a curated box of 4-5 beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products each month. Birchbox Women is $10.00 a month, and the *new* Birchbox Men is $20.00. Accrue points to spend at the Birchbox shop by referring friends, reviewing the product samples sent, and for each box received. Click HERE to join Birchbox today!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My First Giveaway!

In an effort to gain more public Followers and to get more blog views in general, I've decided to host a series of exciting giveaways when I have approximately 10 Followers on my blog and 10 Likes on my blog's Facebook page (click HERE to 'Like' my page).

My first giveaway is pretty exciting, so be sure to follow me and I'll keep you posted when I reach the goal! ;-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

UNBOXED: POPSUGAR Must Have - February 2013

After days of anxiously waiting out the recent blizzard, storm Nemo, my February POPSUGAR Must Have box finally arrived a few days late yesterday afternoon. I wouldn't have received it then either, because after the mailman delivered a few bills to my mailbox, he drove on to my next door neighbor's house without leaving my POPSUGAR box at the front door like he usually does. I knew it was on the truck and should have been delivered so I pouted and complained to myself a little bit and eventually retreated to the computer to read reviews. But my husband saw how disappointed I was and tracked down the mail truck to retrieve the undelivered package. Apparently the mailman was given strict orders not to deliver packages due to the delays from the snow storm. Eh, then why did USPS put the packages in his mail truck? Either way, I thought it was incredibly sexy that my husband went out of his way to make me happy. He's a keeper Ladies. 

This month, most of the items were individually wrapped in tissue paper.

Must Have Fashion - Brokedown Spa Wrap 
I received the color White. Although, the Brokedown website shows the wrap as a true white, the one I received appears to be more of a cream color and doesn't have ribbon trim. I'm inclined to believe that the version subscribers received is a POPSUGAR exclusive and I wonder if the lack of ribbon changes the value. The wrap is O/S (one size) and doesn't fit me well. But I've recently started going to the gym again since giving birth to my daughter last year, and this is an item I would love to use after losing some weight. It's very practical, feels luxurious, and decreases the amount of towels in the laundry basket. 

A coupon for 30% off any purchase on Brokedown was included in the box.

Must Have Fashion - Hanky Pankys Original Rise Thong

I received the color Capri. The thong is O/S. The material is soft and stretchy but I don't wear thongs. They're not comfortable and I question how sanitary it is to wear one all day. I'll use it exclusively in the bedroom though to spice things up because I wouldn't be wearing it for too long. ;-)

A coupon for 15% off any purchase on Hanky Panky as well as a free exclusive Zoya nail polish in Hanky Panky Purple with any purchase was included in the box. 

Must Have Food - Mariebelle New York's Tresor Box 

I received Dark Chocolate Pearls. I've always preferred dark chocolate over milk or white, but I was hoping to try a different flavor (like Orange Peels). I gobbled up the little pearls like there was no tomorrow, so no real complaints here. I should have saved a few to sprinkle over a bowl of strawberry ice cream. That would have been divine!

Must Have Beauty - Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 

I received the color Romantic. I wanted a more neutral pink, like Honey, but I really like the red hue of the one I got and I will wear it on Valentine's Day when I go out to dinner with my husband. It's a nice color and probably won't wear off easily as I eat.

Must Have Entertainment - Safe Haven Book

I'm so glad a book was included in the box. I've seen a few movies based on books by Nicholas Sparks and I liked them all. Romance isn't my favorite genre, but it's perfect for reading while I'm taking a bubble bath or when it's pouring rain outside. I plan on reading the book by the end of this month and seeing the movie adaptation with a few girlfriends. I was interested in seeing it anyway. 

A bookmark voucher for a free song download of The Journey by FM Radio which is featured on the soundtrack for Safe Haven was included in the box.

Must Have Home - Connoisseurs Quick Jewelry Cleaner

Jewelry cleaner is something I would never buy for myself, but I have always needed it. Every time I wash my hands or slather on some lotion, an undesirable residue is left on my wedding ring. This is perfect for cleaning the few expensive pieces of jewelry I own.

Special Extra - Conversation Hearts

I figured chocolate was a given to be included in February's box, but the inclusion of conversation hearts is almost like a personal Valentine from POPSUGAR.

I love the contents of February's POPSUGAR Must Have...How do you feel about this month's box? 

POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly subscription service that sends a curated box of must have items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food. Each box contains full-size products and premium items worth over $100. It costs $35.00 a month and shipping is free. Click HERE to sign up today to receive next month's POPSUGAR Must Have box. Enter the promo code REFERFRIENDS at checkout for $5.00 off your first delivery!