Birchbox July: Cynthia Rowley

I’m not that into fashion.

And it’s hard to believe, if you were to look at photos of me.  Hair in exactly the same style – the way I let it air-dry as I was late to work…the same pair of jeans on the weekend along with Jethro’s college shirts that I get in trouble for wearing…shoes picked for comfort and price and then MAYBE style…  I definitely LOOK like SUCH a fashion plate….

(There is one thing that I’m into that is vaguely stylish, and that’s makeup.  The contents of my makeup bag will routinely cost more than what I’m wearing on any given day.  Probably EVERY day, with the exception of my wedding day.  It’s a problem.)

Anyway, I’m not that into clothes.  I LIKE them and I like looking good, and if I have an event to shop for I’ll enjoy it.  But in general?  If I could wear a uniform that made my butt look good and showed off my giant ta-ta’s, I’d be all over it.  If I could wear that to work and then only have to think about clothes on the weekend, that would be enough for me.

And as a result, I don’t know anything about designers other than the major ones.  So when I got my July Birchbox in and it was all, “CYNTHIA ROWLEY,” I was like, “Who?”

I mean, I know her name, but only because she had a super cute line of jewelry in Target the late 90’s, early to mid-2000’s that I LOVED.  And then she did some home decor products for them that were fun but I was too old for.  (You can only have a super cute colorful pink bedroom for so long before it starts to get creepy.)  But as a clothing designer?  I had no idea.  But apparently she picked the products in the latest Birchbox as her favorites and I have to say, lady has good taste.

First off, how pretty is this box?  I love the idea of belly-bands on pretty much anything, so I thought this was fun.  Plus, oooo, pretty colors.

Click to enbiggen.

First off, is a Kind Almond Apricot snack bar.  Ick.  That might need to be given away.  (Who wants it!?)

Then there’s philosphy’s purity made siple one-step facial cleanser.  (Really, philosophy?  You couldn’t do without about four of those words?)  I tried this and I thought I hated it because there was no foam.  HOW DO YOU CLEAN WITHOUT FOAM?  Apparently pretty well because it worked.  Clean skin, no mascara streaks and no massively dry face afterwards either. I likey.

This one’s fancy – Nuxe ‘s Huile Prodigieuse Multi-usage Dry Oil.  This brand is forgiven because it’s French.  And the oil smells good, like magnolias.  This is supposed to be used all over; face, body and hair to soften and smooth.  I’ll try anything once, so I slapped some on my face before bed.  I didn’t wake up with a oil slick on my face, so that’s a plus in its column.  However, it’s also hella expensive for something so small.  Unless this gets up and makes me breakfast, I’m not paying nearly 50 bucks for 100 ml.

Redken Shine Flash 02, which is just a fancy shine spray.  I like this; being half a colored girl, my hair gets frizzy like WHOA.  And it’s usually not because it’s dry or unhealthy, it’s just curly and coarse.  So while it feels good and healthy, it looks like Pam Grier.  Not stylish L-Word Pam Grier –  lost in the woods, hopped up on heroin Foxy Brown Pam Grier.  (I am not the only one who’s seen that movie y’all, do not even lie…)

And my favorite.  I was excited to see more Zoya in the box, because it’s my favorite nail polish and I’m kind of a nail polish fiend who actually HAS a favorite nail polish brand.  But Birchbox is a cheater because this color is from their new Touch collection so it totally can’t be an “all-time favorite” product of hers.  (How sad is it that I know that?  We might need to call A&E.)

Anyway, this is Pandora and it is pretty.  It’s a shimmery nude with just enough pink to make things interesting.  (The photo makes it look a little…peach?  Maybe?)  It’s kind of cool for my skin, so we’ll see how it goes.


Anyway, this box got me thinking about what I’d put in my own box if Birchbox was like, “Hey, famous lady!  Pick some stuff.”

1. MAC’s Prep+Prime powder.
It’s white, but goes on completely invisible.  It keeps me from being crazy shiny.  It is my friend.

2. Bath and Body Works Mentha Shine in Magenta.
Minty, pinky goodness for your lips.

3. Zoya nail polish in whatever color I feel like that day.
Possibly Charla.  Or Lindsay. Or Apple. Or Lana.

4. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab imps’ ears.
I’d pick a few of these.  Probably GlasgowTwo Five and Seven and Black Pearl.

5. Starburst Fave Reds.
WHAT?  Fancy desginer lady gets to send her icky snack bars and no one bats an eyelash, but when I add something that tastes good y’all judge?

If you guys had to pick 5 items to go in your own Birchbox, what would you pick?

14 comments on “Birchbox July: Cynthia Rowley

  1. esposetta
    July 14, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Oh my lord, this cracks me up. First, I completely forgot about the Cynthia Rowley line at Target! Now her clothes are being sold for bottom-dollar at TJ Maxx (which is fine with me, because I can finally afford them). Also, I’d wear anything that helped out my butt, poor soul that it is, but I admire your fashion mantra.

    Hmm, my five things would be Sour Patch Kids (I’m with you on the candy), whatever new Maybelline mascara is out (it’s my favorite brand and never lets me down. Hello, have you tried the Falsies yet! Amazing!), Nars the Multiple in Orgasm (tried and true), L’Oreal rolly foundation (you know the one–it looks like a paintset with a little roll-on applicator) and Dove body wash (because I have sensitive skin and it’s the only thing that doesn’t give me hives. Even all-natural soap breaks me out, much to the dismay of my former boss who believed wholeheartedly in her hippie soap).

    • kindofamess
      July 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm #


      L’Oreal hates brown people. I usually wear their True Match foundation and really wanted the rolly-kind. Because, you know, it’s a rolly-kind! And I like cream foundations and they don’t carry the Visible Lift compact anymore. So I look for the rolly-kind, no luck. I’m W8 and they only go up to W6. And THEN, they start to change their foundation colors and I’m now a W7. I have bottle of both and they are EXACTLY THE SAME.
      If it wasn’t such a pain to get color-matched, I’d switch foundations. Maybe I need to go to MAC and have them do it…


      Also, big yes to Sour Patch Kids!

      • esposetta
        July 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

        I love the roll-on foundation! I’m so unbelievably pale that L’Oreal is all I can find to match my skin. Otherwise I get the dreaded face mask where it all ends at the chin. Ick. I was going to get color-matched, too, but then I found True Match.

        They changed the foundation colors?! Well, hell. Maybe I can’t wear it anymore? The roll-on foundation has lasted me since before Thanksgiving (not kidding–and I use it every weekday) so I haven’t had to shop for make up in a while. Crap.

        • kindofamess
          July 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

          I think that they are phasing out their darker colors. I first noticed it when CVS had their clearance sale and ALL of my shade was on sale for 75% off. That usually signals that they are discontinuing something and sure enough, last time I looked all the W8’s are what the W7’s used to be. Bastards…

          The bonus part about going to MAC and finding your color is that a lot of blogs and websites use that as a standard for judging other colors. So if you know you’re a NC-45, you can find colors that go with that or that are matches to that particular foundation…
          Of course, I say that and now I can’t find said websites, but I know they’re out there!!!

        • lizvd
          July 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

          I’m also really pale and used to use Loreal foundation. I’ve switched to Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation/powder/blush. It’s not rolly, but it is a perfect match.

          • mere...
            July 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

            Love my TrueMatch, I’ve been using it since Senior year of High School! I even switched to MAC after I got my first raise thinking that I could actually afford to spend $36 on foundation (I can’t), but I still liked True Match more. I’ll be so sad if they’re changing formulas or got rid of the super pale shades too. But now I am very intrigued by this roll-on foundation and will be looking into at my next trip to Target.

  2. lizvd
    July 14, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    1.The Body Shop’s Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser and Toner: I have super sensitive skin and this combination is perfect. The cleanser actually feels a bit more like a light moisturizer, which so far I haven’t needed. My skin has smoothed out and cleared up since using this. Both products also have a pretty stellar rating on EWG’s skin deep list- if you’re like me and care what kind of chemicals you’re putting on/in your body!

    2. Dove Bath Bar – sensitive skin: Unfortunately, my face is not the only skin that’s super sensitive, so like esposetta, I have to include Dove on my list.

    3. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara – blue: It’s one of the most popular mascaras, and after years of using brand names (found during obsessive trips to Sephora), this has turned out to be my favorite. It hasn’t clumped on me yet and the blue color somehow makes my green eyes a more interesting shade. It’s also the cheapest mascara I’ve ever bought- so win win!

    4. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil: It’s not listed as being a tinted lip balm, but I swear it brings out color in my lips. It feels great and doesn’t taste too bad either, if by chance you lick your lips.

    5. Bath and Body Works Body Splash – White Tea & Ginger: When I can get over the fact that I have no idea what’s in the ingredient “fragrance”, this is my favorite scent. It’s warm and sweet and a little citrus-y. I won’t lie, I sometimes sniff my wrists to get a stronger whiff when I wear it.

    Edible Treat: One of those tiny boxes of Godiva chocolates, the ones with two pieces in them. I may not generally spring for chocolate, but I can “force” those down no problem.

    • kindofamess
      July 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Ooo, White Tea and Ginger. I haven’t ever worn it, but I love the scent for candles and car scents. Yummy.

      I also adore that you wear blue mascara regularly. That makes me happy.

      • lizvd
        July 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

        Unfortunately, B&BW only carries the white tea & ginger scent in store during their semi-annual sales, so it’s generally only available online.

  3. Chantal
    July 14, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Oooooooo, fun! Ok here’s my list:

    1) Lush’s Curly Wurly Shampoo. My hair is crazy dry and coarse too, without the proper products so I LOVE this coconut infused concoction.

    2) Maybelline’s Fit Me blush. It is the ONLY blush that actually blends with your skin and looks like you have a natrual rosy glow instead of looking like someone smacked you on your cheeks a couple of dozen times and all of your capillaries burst open in a red fury on your face.

    3) Vogues Haut Chocolat’s Mo’s Bacon Bar. Let me break this down for you: Decadent Dark Chocolate infused and laced with Bacon and Sea Salt. If that doens’t get you, you aren’t human.

    4) Lush’s Ultrabland. Yes, again with the Lush. I can’t stress enough how great this cream is as a makeup remover/moisturizer. It removes all of the layers of mascara I put on and the dirt and oils I collected along the day while keeping my dry, excema prone skin soft and smooth. (Disclaimer: I worked so hard to not make this entire list about Lush products. I am obessed with everything they have)

    5) Terranova Pikake Perfume. Pikake is only my favorite smell in the wide world so when Terranova was able to succestully bottle it, I was in olfactory heaven.

    • kindofamess
      July 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      LUSH! Yes, I love them so….

      And I KNEW you’d have some fancy stuff. Y’all listen to her, she has excellent taste!

      • Chantal
        July 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

        Aw, shucks! I keep telling my husband how classy I am but it falls on deaf ears. ‘Course, maybe choosing the Hawaiian Package at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas for our nuptials might have something to do with it.

  4. Maggie
    July 14, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Never heard of this birchbox thing, but you’re making me want one.

    1) Victoria Secret “Candy, Baby” body mist. I love this scent so much, I bought 4 bottles last fall. Smells like vanilla and sugar (doesn’t taste like it, though… don’t ask me how I know ;P).

    2) Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick. Stays on my lips ALL DAY. I wore it for my wedding and still had it on when I woke up the next morning. Bonus: it doesn’t feel icky the way most long-wear lipsticks feel (you only need a light coat).

    3) Republic of Tea Cinnamon Plum Tea. It’s so warm and sweet and spicy. Makes me not miss coffee, and that’s saying a lot.

    4) Sephora Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder. I’m scared they’ll discover this somehow poisons people – it just seems too amazing not to be harmful in some way/witchcraft. It makes pores vanish, gets rid of oily shine, and makes my face look like it’s been airbrushed.

    5) Land O’Lakes Chocolate Graham Cocoa Mix. This stuff is like crack. I bought a cup of it at an indie movie theater once and licked the mug… then I found out that that flavor was discontinued, so I drove back to the theater–wasn’t even seeing a movie–and bought every other packet they had.

    • kindofamess
      July 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      You DO need it. $10 bucks monthly and you get pretty princess stuff. Let me know if you want a referral….

      MUF is amazing, I just discovered them like 3 months ago and I can’t believe I never used their stuff. Yours sounds just like my prep+prime MAC powder…YAY for invisible coverage!!

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