Saturday, November 12, 2011

Birchbox at Last

Today my very first birchbox came in the mail. I was super excited the day I signed up, I mean, who wouldn't love brand new products popping up in their mailbox like magic! I can't remember exactly what boxes I checked off, but I think I indicated I had some interest in makeup & skincare. So this is what came in: 

1)  Anastasia Bevery Hills:  Lash Lifting Mascara
2)  Befine:  Night Cream
3)  Kerastase:  Elixer Ultime
4)  Supersmile:  Professional Whitening Toothpaste
5)  Alex & Isabelle:  Classic Hair Ties

I was getting pretty anxious to get my 1st box, & I definitely wasnt disappointed.  The sizes are pretty much "deluxe samples".  The item I'm MOST excited for is the Kerastase.  The description is "A glam addition to your hair regimen, this conditioning oil hydrates, smoothes & sleekifies strands".  It regularly retails for $54, so this item alone makes up for the $10 a month price.  I cant WAIT for the next box to come in!  If you're not signed up, give them a try.  Birchbox.com

xoxo, Mia

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brand Familiarity & Goodies

With most jobs, there are perks. At Kaiser, there was always some event where we'd get pens, notepads, lanyards, squishy stress balls, etc... I absolutely loved those event days! Well, at Sephora, it seems like everyday is promo day!! One of the lovely & luxurious perks is that there is a wealth of products on hand for us Beauty Advisors to try out & test. One of my main concerns was my lack of "counter experience". There are a ton of high end products at Sephora that I generally would bypass & not even bother to test because I know I wouldn't necessarily want to drop THAT much money on a product. I'm pretty hyped that I have the opportunity to give some new products a shot & that I can get to know a variety of brands! So Ive made the decision to test out a new brand each week :)

This weeks testers: Bumble & Bumble and Murad.

I have this long, thick, color treated hair with a ton of baby hairs, frizz & flyaways... It could really benefit from some serious TLC! My top three items I was drawn to were the Creme de Coco Masque, Mending Masque and Straight Blowdry by B&B. I'm wishing for long gorgeous hair that people are drawn to touch... Ok maybe I don't want people to randomly touch my hair, but it would be nice to have someone ask me how I keep my hair so soft & healthy!

As far as skincare, I've struggled the last couple years. Throughout my teenage years, I never had any acne issues. Never really needed acne medicine. Then I hit my late 20s, and my skin has become a nightmare. My forehead totally breaks out, I used to have dry skin, now I constantly need blotters, and the worst, I have a ton of acne scars plaguing my face. I decided to give Murad a chance, after remembering a sample I had received a few months back. I picked up the Clarifying Cleanser, Clarifying Mask, Resurgence Age Balancing Night Cream, Anti Aging Moisturizer for Acne by Murad. I'm also testing out the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector as well to take care of these darn acne spots that have popped up in the last year.

I've been using the products for at least 4 days now, and I didn't take any "before" pictures for comparison, so I'll just have to take one now. So here is my face before bed... Washed, serumed & moisturized... Dark circles, freckles, red eyes, scaring & all. Sigh. When I run out of this set of samples, I take another pic before hopping on the next brand, and hopefully, there will be some improvement!

Off to get my beauty-sleep, Mia

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picture Day at Stanford

The photog situation one of the Drs
Last week I was fortunate enough to work for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital & Stanford to update profile pictures. It was especially nice to see that other side of the medical world, because during the 6 years at Kaiser, I've seen hundreds of practitioner photos & profiles & just assumed they took their own photos & submitted it to their prospective jobs.

Call time was 7am... Have I mentioned how NOT a morning person I am?! One of the main indicators of how much you enjoy your job/line of work is your willingness to get out of bed for it. Guess I LOVE makeup!! No it's true. I love adding a little glam to someones day with a bit of lipstick & blush. 

One of the physicians 
 Many practitioners weren't too thrilled at the mini makeovers, but some were excited at the chance to feel like a movie star! Everything translated so well onto the screen & I'm sure everyone photographed beautifully! It really was like picture day at Stanford! From 8am until 430, roughly 57 practitioners came down to take their photos... That mean that Christine, Liza & I worked on 57 people that day!! They came in spurts of people, we had downtime in between, but it was an eventful day. The other nice thing is that it's not full faced makeup or anything ridiculous. It's really simple makeup, making the practitioners look like themselves, just a bit more relaxed & refreshed!

Our "work" area
The funny thing about the shoot, is that it crossed my 2 lines of work. Physicians & my love of makeup. One of my coworkers, who happens to be one of my favorite MUAs to work with as well, stated it perfectly: I know they're doctors, but in my head, I think they're just another model! Lol, and if you've ever had conversations with any doctors, you know how adamant they are that you address then as such! I've gotten a lot of "I didn't go through ___ amount of years of school for nothing, young lady!" several timed while at Kaiser!

Anyhow, I didn't happen to take any close up photos of actual physicians, but I did take a few general shots to share :) Thank you again, to everyone that continues to check in on my makeup adventures. I love hearing other people's stories & hopefully some of you enjoy mine as well!

The view of the atrium 
The view up from the atrium 

Til the next flash, Mia

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Whole New World

The Sephora Handbook
Today I'm coming to you from BART (bay area rapid transit for any of you non-bay folks) on my way home from my second day at Sephora.com. The change happened quick & barely left any time to really think... But I did it! I left the comfort of Kaiser to follow my dreams of transitioning to the beauty industry. The nice thing is, it's a position at corporate, not necessarily the freestanding locations. So my official title is a "beauty advisor" at sephora.com! I'm excited & horrified all at the same time. It literally is a whole new world to me. A lot of the new hires in my group have worked several beauty counters and/or are cosmos or estis. Me, I've done fashion shows, photoshoots, corporate shoots, magazines & weddings. Today we navigated the sephora website a bit to familiarize ourselves with possible customer issues & everyone knows about this fragrance & that skincare brand... It's a bit intimidating! One of my fav things we've done so far is rummage the product cabinets. New products here & there, holiday sets, product favs... It's like every girls dream!!

A Quick Pic as I walked down the Hall
The other thing that's fairly new to me is the absolute structure they have set up for scheduling. For 6 years, I've had the ability to come in within a time frame, take lunch whenever I feel like, work at my own pace as long as the projects were completed within the time frame... No one completely depended in me coming back from break before they could take their break. EVERYTHING is scheduled in at sephora! Breaks are stacked, so you have to wait for your coworker to come back before you can take yours, tardiness is monitored closely... Sigh. I mean, I'm sure I could benefit from the structure, it's just new.

Another thing that's gonna take getting used to is working in the city.  I'm an East Bay girl deep down to the core. I thrive in warm weather! I'm lovin the layers of clothes & experimenting more with scarves & jackets, but whew, layers can be your BFF or worst nightmare!! Because of where my job is located, I'm lucky enough to be able to BART in. Commuting on BART can get crazy. Today I was lucky enough to get a seat on the ride home, however yesterday was a complete different story. Mind you, I'm 5'0" & can't exactly reach those bars on top... Although some trains have the little loopies that extend it. So I get my hands on one, in a train so packed you feel like a sardine! I had on a jacket, scarf, tanktop with another top on top of that, all while in heels. Smh, I was sweating. Not ok. Lol, just another bonus to commuting!

All in all, I love the move I've made. I'm excited for the opportunity to do what I love in an office environment that I'm sure I can still utilize all the other skills I've obtained through the years. Exciting!!! I'll be sure to update soon on how things are going :)

xoxo, Mia