Joining the Julep Maven

Just to disclaimer upfront: this is not a sponsored post. I decided to join the Julep Maven on my own and absolutely loved the introductory box I received. After joining, I also found this AWESOME deal where you can sign up for your own box for just $0.01 (so cheap!!) and shipping’s free, so you basically get to try out some nail polishes and hand scrub for less than the cost of a Big Mac (yes, that’s how I compare the value of things… to McD’s menu items).


I thought it would be fun to share with you the unboxing of this package. It was a real delight to have such a chic, classy looking package (did I really just describe a cardboard box as being classy?) waiting for my in the mailbox and I didn’t know what to expect in terms of presentation and packaging when I opened it.



After taking the Style Quiz to determine what box I would get, this is what I ended up with:



I love how beautifully everything was packaged. The hand scrub was in a separate box from a fuchsia pink bag (wrapped with a black ribbon bow) that held the two nail polishes. There was also a nail file that came tucked neatly under the bow, which all sat beneath the cute Welcome cards at the very top of the box. I absolutely love the colours of the nail polishes I received. I got Oscar, a sparkly gold glitter, and Natasha, a vibrant orange/red.

If you love nail polish as much as I do, I definitely encourage you to try this. I signed up for a single introductory box, but I’m thinking of extending my subscription so I get a box every month. I love the idea of getting new nail polishes that are catered towards my personal tastes without having to stand in front of an overwhelmingly crowded shelf of colours trying to decide for myself.


Coupon code: COLOR2012 gets you a Julep Maven introductory box for only $0.01 (regularly $19.99) and free shipping!! Now, when I signed up for the Julep Maven, I thought I was getting a deal since I found a coupon code for $14.99 off the price. With the coupon code above, you can get the box basically for free (just pay for taxes which are like $2?). Not too shabby for two bottle of nail polish and hand scrub!


[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Win a Hot Tools flat iron and curling iron set!

Happy April, loves! To infuse the week with some excitement, I’m really stoked to announce this month’s giveaway! I worked with Image Beauty last year to review one of their other flat irons and this year I get to offer one of my lucky readers not just a flat iron, but a set of two hair tools by Hot Tools! (Wowzas, I’m so stoked for whoever wins this set!! It could be YOU!)

This Hot Tools 1″ flat iron and 1″ curling iron set would be perfect for everyday use and is heat and corrosion resistant thanks to the titanium tourmaline addition to the ceramic plates.

How to enter
Leave a separate comment for each entry. You can enter up to 3 times:
1. Leave a comment with your current go-to hairstyle! Are you a “a messy bun” kinda lady or do you rock the “milkmaid braids” daily?
2. Follow me on Bloglovin’ or Like the demure muse on Facebook
3. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted!

Win a Hot Tools flat iron and curling iron set from @katriiina here: #giveaway

Entries for this giveaway will be accepted until April 9 at 11:59pm PST.

Good luck!!

Edit [April 11, 2012]: Congratulations to Amanda! You’re the new owner of this amazing Hot Tools set!


Review >> BaByliss Pro Tourmaline Titanium Flat Iron

I bought my first flat iron (which was also a BaByliss) back in 2005 for about $150 during the time when CHI flat irons were all the rage. Having never purchased beauty supplies or tools before, I was conflicted about which brand to go with. After reading the reviews for CHI and BaByliss flat irons, I went ahead and invested in a BaByliss due to the price point (It was $50 less than the CHI). Looking back, I didn’t think my iron would have lasted for 6 years (the plating on the ceramic plates started to show wear and tear at the beginning of 2011) and I couldn’t have been more satisfied with the investment.

I recently got the chance to try out a BaByliss pro 1.5″ tourmaline titanium flat iron and I couldn’t be happier! My old BaByliss was a ceramic iron (heavy with white, ceramic plates) and I was pleasantly surprised when I started to read up on the benefits of tourmaline titanium compared to the old school ceramic that used to be so popular. It’s a much lighter material which promotes healthier looking hair (won’t leave it looking fried) and reduces static and frizz.

The packaging of the flat iron itself is really sleek and well colour-coordinated with the flat iron itself:



One feature that I really liked about this iron is the fact that there’s a removable comb! It’s really easy to slide the comb off the track on the flat iron. For this review, I tested the flat iron with the comb on. I’ve never seen other flat irons like this and I was really curious to try it out for myself.


Another feature that was new to me was the ability to lock and unlock the plates. At first, I thought, “Yeah, this is so smart! This makes storage so much easier if I can lock the plates together.” After reading the manual, I learned that I could also lock the plates to speed up the warming of the iron. I thought this was a really nifty idea, and what do you know– my iron was heated up and ready to be used in the matter of less than a minute!

If you’re new to the blog, you may not know that my hair is naturally wavy. I usually blow dry my hair before flat ironing it, which helps to smooth out a lot of the waves but leaves me with voluminous hair with tips that curl in all different directions. As someone with thick hair, I do not enjoy having extra volume. It makes my hair feel too poofy which is why I try to straighten it 80% of the time. (The other 20% I either leave my hair wavy or put it up in a ponytail/bun.)


In the photo above, you can see what my hair looked like halfway through the process of straightening. I found that I didn’t have to go over handfuls of hair with the flat iron more than once to achieve the pin-straight hair I was going for.


The end result was exactly what I had expected from BaByliss! My hair looked super straight, shiny, and healthy! I didn’t even have to add any extra anti-frizz or extra shine products to achieve this look. Straightening my hair only takes just under 10 minutes, which is as much time as I can afford in the mornings on my hair.

I would highly recommend this flat iron to anyone looking to purchase one. It’s currently on sale for $59.99 (originally $200) from Image Beauty, an online retailer of beauty supplies and discount cosmetics! Based on my previous experience with BaByliss flat irons, I can say that this would be an incredible deal for a tool that is built to last.

Disclosure: I received this flat iron c/o Image Beauty. The review of the flat iron in this post is true to my own personal opinion.


Straighten Up: HANA Professional Flat Iron Review

It’s been quite some time since I last straightened my hair and there’s a good reason for that. My trusty BaByliss ceramic flat iron of seven years (wow, that’s a long time!!) recently started to fall apart. The plating on the iron plates started to chip and I’ve been a little worried my hair might get fried if my hair touches the naked plates. Since my flat iron started to die, I’ve been wearing my hair up in a messy bun or leaving it wavy.

I was recently offered a chance to try out the HANA Professional 1.5″ Flat Iron and could not have asked for a better time for this flat iron to enter my life! First off, can I just comment on the adorably colour-coded packaging? I received a pink-themed package with a traveling case, little pink extras and a pink HANA sleeping mask along with the flat iron and countertop protector.

Hana Flat Iron

The flat iron itself is quite lightweight compared to my previous one. Having only ever owned a high end BaByliss iron before (which I have been told is comparable to the legendary Chi Flat Iron or Corioliss lines depending on the model), I had high expectations for the HANA. The HANA plates can be set anywhere between 140 – 450 degrees. When straightening my hair, I set the iron to around 300 degrees because I have extremely thick hair.

Hana Flat Iron

I was really impressed by the quick heat-up time of the plates! However, after 5 minutes of using the HANA, I found that the outside of the straightener (on the other side of the plates) got extremely hot to the point where I had to turn down the temperature before continuing with the straightening. Although the straightening process at a lower temperature was still manageable with smaller handfuls of hair to be straightened at a time, this slowed down my progress a little.

One other thing that I noticed was that my hair wasn’t as shiny at the end of the straightening process as it used to be when I used my old flat iron. I never used to put any products in my hair before or after straightening and my hair would still have a smooth, shiny look to it after being flat ironed. Luckily, I had a sample bottle of Dove Smooth and Soft Anti-Frizz Cream lying around and was able to achieve the same shiny, healthy hair look as I used to.

Below you can witness my morning bed head (usually my hair’s much wavier if I don’t use a hair dryer) and how I was able to tame this wild mess.

Hana Flat Iron: before & after

Overall, I would definitely recommend the HANA Professional 1.5″ Flat Iron to people who are looking to upgrade from drugstore flat irons. The total amount of time taken to flat iron my hair was just over 12 minutes from start to finish and I have quite uncooperative hair. Having thinner hair would definitely cut the overall straightening time and might give you the shiny hair result (as I’ve seen with others who I have tested this flat iron on).

Disclosure: I received this flat iron c/o Misikko. The review of the flat iron in this post is true to my own personal opinion.

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