Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Birchbox Review...

Hey All! It's been awhile! Starting off the week with a review of my December Birchbox. I love getting packages in the mail, especially my monthly Birchbox! I am pleased with this month's box. This month's theme is All Wrapped Up.  Take a look at what I received.

Lovely presentation

  1. A sweet to and from gift tag
  2. Nuxe cleansing gel with rose petals. Free of harsh soaps. Love the way it smells, can't wait to try it.
  3. Neatly wrapped package (next pic shows with was inside)
  4. Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel. Primer, conditioner and mascara all in one. Love it!
  5. Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls Styling Lotion. Since my hair is natural and I super excited about trying this!  This will be my first time trying anything from Miss Jessie's.
  6. $50 Rent the Runway Gift Card. So awesome! A fab way to get the look for less, especially for a formal occasion. Saw an awesome vintage Chanel bag I would love to rent.

These are the products that were in my nicely wrapped package.
1.The Balm in Hot Mama. Lovely Blush with a faint golden shimmer. Love it!
2. John Varvatos cologne in Artisan. Nice cologne sample for men that has a woodsy scent. Giving this to my teenage son.
What was in your December Birchbox? 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Happy Monday All!! Today I went to my last bead show of the year. I stocked up on some really pretty gemstones and findings. Really loving blues this season. Below are just a few of the strands that I purchased. A friend told me she wants me to go back to designing beaded necklaces with pendants. When I first started designing jewelry all I made was beaded necklaces and matching earrings. I got bored and changed my techniques and started incorporating metal wire and chain to my designs. This week I will be making some beaded necklaces and complementing earrings.

Love the flash of blue in the Labradorite gems

A splash of Neon.

It feels like Christmas to me! All these goodies to play with!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Recap...

Hey All! Well my favorite month of the year has come and gone. However, I know December will be a fabulous month! I hope you all are having a beautiful weekend and bringing in December with a bang! Take a look at some of my November Instagram pics. Follow me on IG @sydneyaustindesigns.

Started the month off with Hey Fran Hey's Jump Rope challenge! Forgot how fun jumping rope is! This month's challenge is Walking Lunges! Join in!
Trying hard to eat healthy and it's actually fun! This salad I made was freaking yum yo! Arugula (my fave), Roma tomato, almonds, blueberries, gorgonzola cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.
Month of birthday celebrations. Celebrating Michelle's 40th (baby in the bunch) at a day spa.
New loves: Almond butter and Yogi tea!
Two of my favorite earrings that I designed in November. Spikes and chevron. I love working with brass. Get them here
Out celebrating my birthday at a local wine bar, Riojas. Cheers!
Blessed and happy! Lots of bling! Get them here
Nothing like walking into a store and finding your favorite hair products on sale!  I just love Shea Moisture.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Support Handmade Art...

Hey All! I pray everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving! If you plan on doing any shopping this weekend either for yourself or for someone special, please consider supporting indie artisans. A handmade gift is an awesome gift. Artisans put a lot of passion into their craft. I see a lot of trinkets I want to give and receive on etsy.

Sydney Austin Designs is having a sale today through Cyber Monday. Take 20% off all jewels. Enter coupon code HOLIDAY20 at checkout. Become a follower of my blog and also receive FREE shipping. To shop my online boutique go here. Thanks for buying handmade!
Source: squidoo.com via Vanessa on Pinterest

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Birchbox Review...

Happy Tuesday All! November is my favorite month! I love Autumn, so much to be thankful for, and my birthday is this month. So I was thrilled when my November Birchbox arrived filled with cool goodies.  This month's box is all about giving. Take a peep at what was in my box.


My goodies

2 products that were in my gift envelope.

  1. Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper - Will try this soon especially since it promises to "total control for frizzy hair."
  2. Fibre Lashxtend Lengthening Mascara (full size) - Love this! It has a mirror on the tube!
  3. Chuao Chocolatier Chocopad - I received the Honeycomb flavor and it was delish!
  4. Cute reusable gift envelope shown above for re-gifting. Inside was 2 beauty products. I gave a pair of earrings I designed to my sis-n-law for her birthday and put them inside the box. So cute!
  5. Stila All over Shimmer liquid luminizer - This was inside the gift envelope. The color I received is Rose Gold Shimmer. I can not wait to wear this when I go out with my girls for my birthday this weekend!  I love anything that shimmers, shines, and sparkles!!
  6. Jouer Perfume Oil Sample - This was also inside the gift envelope. My sample has gardenia, jasmine, and honeysuckle. I'm usually not a a floral perfume wearer. Usually too strong for me. However, this is nice. The strongest scent is the honeysuckle which reminds me on my childhood. A neighbor had a honeysuckle tree that me and my friends would take a few petals off and suck on the honeysuckle. I'm alive so I guess it was cool!

Monday, November 19, 2012

NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact...

Hey All! I received NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact for Brown Eyes complimentary to test and review through Influenster's Beauty Bloggers Voxbox program. For more information about Influenster go here. Below you will find product information, pictures, as well as my review of the product. For more information about NYC New York Color go here.

Product Information:

Discover NYC New York Color IndividualEyes Custom Compact, the all-in-one compact with everything you need for a complete eye look: primer, illuminator, applicator and complementing shadows. With four colors, specially coordinated to intensify and enhance your eye color, you can create a look as individual as you are. Make your eyes pop! Cost $4.99.


Everything you need for a complete eye look: primer, illuminator, applicator and complementing shadows to enhance your eye color
Colors designed for green eyes, brown eyes and blue eyes
Color glides on smoothly, evenly and really lasts
Ultra silky texture
Long-lasting, pigment-rich color provides all-day wear
Dual-ended applicator for professional results
Dermatologist tested

Key Ingredients:

Richly pigmented formula with Green Tea, vitamin A and C
My Personal Review:
I am by no means a makeup pro. I am a product junkie who loves to try new girly stuff! I wore this eyeshadow for the first time to a Jill Scott concert. I didn't receive any compliments on it. I got compliments on my boots, skirt, and earrings, but not my eyeshadow. It didn't make my eyes pop! The colors were pretty, mostly neutral colors, not eye popping colors. This is a great eyeshadow to wear for day, but if you want a more dramatic look for the evening, this is not the one.
The easy to follow instructions that came with the compact were great! I also loved the plum color and illuminator that came in my compact. I would recommend using a different primer, my shadow didn't last all evening as I had hoped. I also recommend getting an eyeshadow brush for applying. I really dislike the small brushes that come with these compacts. For creases, you can also use a Q-tip.
For $4.99, it's a great deal for the budget chica, recessionista, or broke college chick. Check out my pics below!
My compact

Showing the colors against my skin.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bath & Body Works Fall Mini Candle...

Hey All! I received Bath and Body Works Fall Mini Candle in Nutmeg and Spice complimentary to test through Influenster's Beauty Bloggers Voxbox program. For more information about Influenster go here.  Below you will find product information, pictures of my candle, as well as my review of the product. Visit Bath and Body Works website for additional information here.

Product Information:

A toasty treat of spiced caramel sprinkled with nutmeg, this fragrance evokes delightful memories of relaxing weekend getaways in the country.

  • Highly fragranced candle exclusively developed and tested by our team of Home Fragrance experts, including the world's best master perfumers
  • Made using the highest concentration of fragrance oils, an exclusive blend of vegetable wax and lead-free wicks for optimal performance
  • 1.3 oz candle burns 15 to 20 hours
  • 1" wide x 1 1/2" tall
  • 2" wide x 1 1/2" tall
  • Price - $3.50
My Personal Review:

I love this candle. It's small, but the scent is powerful. Nutmeg and Spice is a great Autumn scent. I used it in my kitchen to eliminate cooking odors, but the scent could be smelled throughout our home. Everyone in my family liked the scent which is great. After I blew out the candle the scent lingered, another plus. Besides the kitchen, I think the mini candles would work well in a smell area such as the bathroom. They will look heavenly around your bathtub!  I also used the mini candle as a centerpiece for my table surrounded by pumpkins and a larger 3-wick candle from Bath and Body Works. Picture below.

There is one negative about the mini candles, they burn down fast. The candle is supposed to burn 15 - 20 hours. I believe 8 - 10 hours is more accurate. Do you like the mini candles? What scents do you have?
Fall Mini Candle

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beauty Bloggers VoxBox...

Recently I was selected by Influenster to receive a Beauty Bloggers VoxBox. Influenster selected bloggers to test, evaluate, and recommend these beauty products to their followers. To learn more about Influenster, go here. Below is a picture of the products I received in my VoxBox. I will blog about a few products over the next week or two.

1. NYC Eyeshadow for Brown Eyes: I loved this. Very pretty colors.
2. Kiss Pro Lashes starter kit: Haven't tried this yet. I have been thinking about getting eyelash extensions.
3. Bath & Body Works Mini Candle: Nutmeg and Spice. Smells heavenly!
4. EBoost: Effervescent Powder in Orange. Gross! Awful aftertaste and too foamy.
5. Goody Spin Pin: Not sure if this will work with my frizzy/curly hair. Will try when I straighten my hair.
6. Not Your Mothers Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream: Nice smell, did well on my twistout. But didn't like it enough to switch from my Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.
7. Vitabath Fragrance Mist: I received Lily & Ivy scent. It's okay. Fragrance faded very quickly. A little too floral for my taste.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SAD Gram...

Happy Wednesday All! Prayers and Blessings out to those who were affected by Sandy. Thanking God that my friends and family who were in Sandy's path are all safe!

Sharing a few recent Instagram photos. Follow me on Instagram @sydneyaustindesigns.

New rose gold chain bracelets now available here
Impromptu Girls Night at my friend Lydia's home. Peanuts, lime-a-Rita's, wine, laughter, and
Uncle Charlie Wilson.
Getting ready to see Jill Scott perform in Greensboro.
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
Back to eating clean and putting less carbs on my plate. Sockeye Salmon and collards.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Birchbox x Goop Review...

This month I was given  an option of receiving the standard monthly Birchbox or the Birchbox x goop collaboration. I am currently a goop subscriber so I selected Birchbox x goop. If you are not familiar with goop, goop is a weekly lifestyle publication curated by Gwyneth Paltrow offering travel notes, recipes, shopping suggestions, etc. I was pleased with my box. Take a look at what I received in my box.

Always a nice presentation.

  1. Orofluido Beauty Elixir : Hair treatment oil that will nourish and add shine. This oil smells awesome with a hint of vanilla and amber. I will definitely try this.
  2. Embryolisse: French moisturizer anti-age firming cream that fades wrinkles. This cream is for established wrinkles. Last I checked, I do not have wrinkles, but I do have dry skin and I will give this a try. *Update* Love this moisturizer. Very rich, only need a small amount.
  3. Luna Bar: Lemon Zest. I have tried Luna Bars before and I didn't like them. This flavor I have been told is like a dessert. Perhaps this will be a sweet treat. *Update* This bar is amazing! Tastes yummy!
  4. DDF Wrinkle Resist Pore Minimizer: Moisturizing serum that shrinks pores. I have the DDF cleanser and I like it, I'm sure I will be pleased with this as well.
  5. Chantecaille Mascara: Water resistant mascara that delivers volume, length and curl. This is my favorite item that I received in my box! I love mascara, especially one that will add length to my lashes.
If you received a different box, let me know what you received.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Currently Craving...

Currently Craving... red lipstick. This weekend I am in search of the perfect shade of red/wine lipstick. I'm usually a nude/bronzy lip kind of girl. Decided to spread my wings this Autumn and try something different. If you have any red lipstick suggestions, let me know. What lip shade are you craving this Autumn? Would love to hear from you lovely beauties. Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

SAD Gram...

Hey All! I hope your October is starting off with a bang! This is my first post for the month. Sharing some Instagram pics from the past week. If you are on Instagram, follow me @sydneyaustindesigns. Have a great Thursday!

The cutest mini pumpkins I saw at Whole Foods. Would make a great Autumn centerpiece for your dining table.
I know it's probable 1,000 calories, but it was good and I'm not beating myself up for having one.
 Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
Bracelet I made in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. A portion of sale will go towards 5k I'm running walking in this Saturday for Mammogram Scholarship fundraiser (Women's Hospital of Greensboro).
 Running Girl now has a happy home in the District of Columbia! Thanks Q!
Just do it! Nike workout pants I bought to wear for the 5k. Gotta preserve the sexy and still look cute.
Also got the Essie polish because it was a pretty pink color.
Celebrated 18 years of marriage on October 1st.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sip and Stroke...

This past weekend my girlfriends and I used our Living Social voucher for a Sip and Stroke paint class. Sip on some wine and Stroke on a piece of canvas. It was a lot of fun. Between sipping on Moscato and Lime-A-Ritas, snacking on chicken salad, seafood salad, and pepper jack cheese, we all painted a lovely floral piece. Our instructor, Dawn, was very patient will all the laughter, silliness, and questions. Below are some pictures from Sip and Stroke. I hope you all have a Happy Wednesday!

Before paint

After paint.

My girlfriends and I with our masterpieces.

Me with my artwork which now hangs on the wall in our home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Fall Y'all...

Look at the above picture. Now close your eyes. Can you smell the wood burning> Can you hear the crackle? Ah. The sounds and sights of Fall. My favorite season for many reasons. I got married in the Fall, my birthday is in the Fall, my favorite colors are red, orange, and yellow. There are lots of things you can do in the Fall. Below is a list of suggestions.

1. Go to a Bonfire. They are a big deal at the local high schools here in Greensboro. I love the smell of wood burning.

2. Get a Cinderella pumpkin. I saw some great Cinderella pumpkins at Whole Foods yesterday. My friend, Q, has a recipe for Cinderella pumpkin dumplings. Sounds amazing!

3. Go to a football game. I love football! But if you aren't a fan, go for the stadium food or the tailgating!

4. Make something where the main ingredient is butternut squash. Get your Top Chef on!

5. Write a handwritten letter to a friend, relative, soldier just to say Thank you or I'm Thankful for you.

6. Try a Candy Corn Oreo. I haven't found them, but I'm still looking.

7. Run or Walk a 5k for something you are passionate about. I'm running power walking a 5K for Breast Cancer Research on October 6th with my daughter and sister in law.

8. Volunteer.  Your local schools, shelters, clinics, and campaign headquarters need your assistance.

9. Host a Girls Night In. Try starting a movie club, less pressure than a book club. Sick of your wardrobe, have a swap party. Or just invite the girls over for drinks, munchies, lots of laughter, and girl talk.

10. Take a evening stroll with your partner, spouse, main squeeze, snuggle bunny. Wear a chunky sweater, comfy but cute shoes and take a evening walk. Talk about something besides politics and your kids. Stop and grab some hot chocolate.

What are some of the things you want to do this Fall?  I would love to hear from you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sweaters and Layers...

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn/Fall. This makes me happy. Autumn is my favorite season.  Cozy sweater and layer weather.

Love everything about this! Distressed jeans, tartan scarf, and classic navy sweater.
Classic trench and riding boots.
Cozy boyfriend sweater.
Awesome layering.
All pictures via Pinterest.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September Birchbox Review...

This month's Birchbox came a little later than last month. However, good things come to those who wait. I must say this month's box did not disappoint. My box was filled with goodies that I will use. The theme was this month's Birchbox is "Jumpstart Your Autumn Beauty Collection." Birchbox also teamed up with Madewell to offer a $25 gift card to be used on any Madewell purchase of $75 or more. Below are pics of my September Birchbox.

Always a nice presentation.

  1. Nail polish by Color Club in Status Update: It's a dark grey color. From someone who loves black nail polish, I can't wait to try this!
  2. Nexxus Split End Treatment System: I've been battling split ends so I will try this.
  3. Pink Twistband Hair Tie: I'm happy about this. I have a couple in black.
  4. Vasanti Brighten Up Face Rejuvenator: Exfoliating cleanser with microderm crystals to brighten dull skin. 99% Natural. I'm happy about this too.
  5. Youngblood Mineral Primer: I do not currently use a primer, but the ladies at Sephora recommend it for helping makeup stay put.
  6. Mighty Leaf Tea Company sample pack of teas: Another yea for me. I love drinking hot tea. This sample pack makes me happy.

Birchbox Fall Lookbook with beauty trend tips and Madewell gift card to be used at any Madewell retail store or online.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Autumn Date Night...

Our weather here in NC has been perfect! Crisp mornings and chilly evenings. I am looking forward to Autumn. It's my favorite season. Sweaters, booties, the smell of a fireplace burning, hot cocoa, and pumpkins! My wedding anniversary is quickly approaching and below is the perfect outfit for a date night. My ideal date night is simply dinner and a movie. Really. I'm not hard to please. Throw in some people watching and we have an awesome night.

On my Autumn date night wardrobe wish list is:
1. A peplum top, perferably leather. Peplum is very flattering.
2. Sleek black booties with a slight edge. The booties below by Jean-Michel Cazabat are all that and a bag of Jalapeno Cheetos!
3. Classic hoops. About 3 inches diameter. Gold or sterling. Made by me.
4. Chunky triangle cocktail ring. Roman Luxe has a great one.
5. Jeans by J. Brand. These cargos with more zippers than MJ's jacket are awesome.
6. A suede clutch.

What is on your Autumn wardrobe wish list?

Autumn Date Night

J Brand vintage jeans, $285 / Club L peplum shirt, $29 / Jean-Michel Cazabat leather high heels / Suede handbag / Leather ring / Fantasy Jewelry Box yellow gold jewelry

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monaco Blue...

Happy Wednesday beautiful! I made several pieces of jewelry this week using the color blue. So, I was very excited to hear that Pantone named Monaco Blue as the color for Spring 2013.  Take a look at some of the new blue jewels. All jewelry is available for immediate purchase here. Etsy now offers direct checkout with credit cards. No need to pay with Paypal if you do not want.

Blue agate gemstones and swarovski crystals on copper hoops.

Recycled blue suede leather with copper chain bracelet

Silver shark tooth and blue kyanite gemstone on gunmetal chain necklace.