Monday, April 30, 2012

Sindulge - April bag

I received my second Sindulge bag today, and I have to say it was better than last month's.  If you haven't heard of Sindulge, they are another monthly subscription program sending out 4-5 beauty samples per month.  They differ from the other services in that they offer a one on one consultation with them each month.  Awesome concept, but the execution has been shaky so far.

I got four items for April, and two are full sized.  The brands seem to be Sindulge's favorite, but I actually liked the brands last month and I don't mind having more of them.

I have to give it to them that once they actually SHIPPED this month, it came quickly.  Shipping seems to be one of the areas they need to work on, as some got their boxes quickly after their consultation, and some waited up to a month.  

The welcome note this time comes with a bonus discount code for pixi products.  I actually like the pixi products I've tried so far, so I might actually consider using this.

I still like their box/'s basically a cross between a box and a purse. Cute.

This is the Youngblood Eye Impact Quick Recovery Eye Cream.  I looked this up and it is an anti-aging, hydrating, illuminating cream that is meant to reduce signs of fatigue around the eyes.  It's supposed to help reduce dark circles and puffiness as well as fine lines. 

I've just tried this after removing my makeup and it smells like grapefruit and feels nice and cooling!  It feels really good going on.  I can't wait to see if it helps my dark circles.

This eye light by Skone Cosmetics is really pretty and shiny. However, it was also all over everything.  Easy enough to clean off.  I do like the color.

After looking at the company, I'm quite excited to try this!  Skone cosmetics describes themselves as "healthy makeup for smart women".  They promise natural ingredients and high performance.  Here's what they say about the Eye Lights:

Loaded with vibrant pigment, this super shimmering and sparkling eye shadow dust creates intense color and highlights the eyes. It’s versatile and can be used in many ways. You can use as an all over face and body highlighter or wet as a sparkling eyeliner.

I love the idea of using this as a liner...the bronze gold color I got would be gorgeous for that. Definitely trying that out tomorrow.  I finally got a chance to check this out a little closer and it's gorgeously pigmented and shimmery.  Very cool product.

I was excited to get a full sized eyeshadow.  This pixi Fairy Light solo is in Champagne Glow. It promises to reflect the light and draw attention to the eyes.  It's a pretty color, I'll use it.  This has a value of $14.

I used this today as a highlighter on my browbone and it worked great!

And finally, a pixi nail colour.  I'm not a huge nail polish person, but it's nice to get another full sized item.  The shimmery brown isn't really ME (and I find it odd that I got it because I did tell them that I like BRIGHT colors, and I know others got the polish in colors), but it's a pretty shade. I'll try it out. This has a value of $12.

As I've said before, I think Sindulge has an awesome concept.  This bag was decent for me, and the value is good. However, this will be my last Sindulge bag for a while.  I just think the company has a lot of kinks to work out for now.  Shipping times and product range definitely need help, and while the consultation is awesome, it doesn't do much good if they don't have enough different products to truly personalize their bags.  I would definitely consider resubscribing once they get some of those sorted out.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Favorite Products for April 2012!

As I've been trying a ton of new products this year between my sample subscriptions and trades, I've decided to start posting about my favorite products each month.  These are the things I've been LOVING for April.

I finally got my hands on the Cailyn gel liner via a trade. I ADORE IT.  It goes on smooth and dark and once it sets, it is truly smudgeproof.  The brush that comes with it is actually decent for an included brush, so this is good to toss in my purse for use when I might not have my liner brush with me.  I've been wearing this daily.

It's no secret that I've fallen in love with Harvey Prince...they're just a great company, and I love that the fragrances are natural and don't include scary chemicals.  I now own five of their scents!  I'm currently addicted to Hello, which is their new fragrance for spring.  It's so good!  The top notes include Meyer lemon, white grapefruit, and satsuma mandarin while the mids and basenotes include pink plumeria, summer forsythia,  wild verbena, tahitian vanilla, and musk.  It just smells nice and warm and I love the citrus notes on top of the vanilla and musk.  I take this little rollerball with me everywhere.

So, this was one of the must-have items from April's Birchbox! I sadly didn't get it in my box, but after reading reviews and raves, I decided to spend my BB points on it. I got it in Blushing and I love it!  Gives a nice pink flush with a slightly dewy finish.

Between some trades and my Conscious Box, I also finally got my hands on some Juice Beauty samples.  I've been using the cleanser and moisturizer twice a day and the peel twice a week. My skin is looking great, it's clearing up and staying even and smooth.  Full sizes of these are on my to buy list.

This is my favorite mint's softer than Burt's Bees and goes on without much shine, which is a nice change. I love that it includes SPF.

I'm not a big fan of Bath and Body Works' regular lotions, but I LOVE the triple moisture body cream! It's so thick and rich and really softens my skin.  I love the Aruba Coconut scent, it smells like coconuts and tropical fruit.  I need to stock up on this one before it's discontinued.

What were some of your must-haves for April?

Newman's Own Organics review

I was recently given the opportunity to sample some Newman's Own Organics products.  As I am trying to incorporate more natural and organic products into all areas of my life, I was extremely excited to do so!  I received the items and was absolutely shocked at how many products they sent me!  I was also surprised and excited at the ingredient lists - all things pronounceable, natural, and organic.

Newman's Own Organics is actually a separate company from Newman's Own.  It started as a part of the Newman's Own line by Nell Newman and her business partner in 1993, but it branched out on its own in 2001.  The idea of the company was to make great tasting products that just happened to be organic!

I received 7 packages (the full line) of their organic licorice, three packs of Newman-Os, two packs of Fig Newmans, two bags of other cookies (Vanilla alphabet and chocolate chip), two packs of dried fruit, five packs of chocolate cups, two types of pretzels, and four tins of mints. Wow.

The first thing I tried were these cookies.  The Alphabet Cookies are nice and crunchy. They have a light flavor and they aren't too sweet. They remind me a lot of animal crackers!  These would be great for a toddler - perfectly bite sized and the alphabet letters would be a fun way to work on spelling!

The chocolate chip cookies are good as well, I crunched some up on top of some ice cream!  These are small and great for packing in my lunch.

I received Newman-Os in Ginger n Creme, Hint-o-Mint, and Chocolate Creme.  These are reminiscent of the popular name brand sandwich cookie, but I think they are better!  I love the Ginger-Os...they aren't too sweet and have just a bit of ginger flavor.  I've never had anything like them before.

The Hint-o-Mint cookies are awesome, as well.  The mint flavor isn't too strong, but it is nice and refreshing.  I love the texture of these.

My mom's favorite item was the Chocolate Creme Newman-Os! They are tasty and chocolately, without the weird artificial flavor that other sandwich cookies tend to get in the filling.  All in all, we loved all of these and they will be going on our shopping list on a regular basis.

It's fairly obvious what cookies these are similar to. I received the low fat and fat free varieties, which made me happy - these are a great cookie for a healthy diet.  Not too sweet, soft and chewy.  I found the amount of figs in these cookies to be impressive!  I'll admit that I didn't share these! :)

I love dried fruit, so I was happy to get these.  The raisins were plump and juicy, and the apples were sweet and not too tough.  These make a great healthy snack and would also be awesome in some trail mix.

I had no idea what a hermit was. Well, I fell in love with these! They are old fashioned soft cookies. They are square, in bar form.  And these ginger ones are AWESOME.  They remind me of a cross between gingerbread and oatmeal raisin cookies!  They're soft and chewy with lots of raisins and lots of ginger and spice flavors.  These are another thing I didn't share!

These are the three "regular" licorice flavors.  They come in pomegranate, strawberry, and black.  I'm not a huge fan of black licorice, so I tried one piece and gave the rest to a black licorice loving friend.  I will say that the piece I tried was pretty good! It's not an overwhelmingly strong flavor.  The pomegranate ones are good and different.  The first bite reminded me a little of medicine, but it passes quickly and it's just a nice, fruity flavor. The strawberry ones are AWESOME.  They taste like real strawberry. They are good and chewy, and don't have a fake plastic-y taste like many brands.  I will be buying these!

I also got the four sour flavors! These were my favorite products of all and I can't wait to get more! I shared them with coworkers, and they loved them too!  The sour cherry tasted like black cherries, a very strong flavor and not too sour.  The mango were so good and different! They tasted very tropical.  The apple were surprising!  They were red and tasted like real apples! They were the favorite of my coworkers. I adored the sour strawberry - same real strawberry flavor as the regular, with just that little bit of sourness. Mmm!

These are the strawberry - love the natural flavor and coloring.

I got spelt and high protein pretzels. Both had a great flavor and crunchy texture, perfect for dipping!  We dipped them in mustard, in caramel, and in peanut butter. Yum.

I also got four tins of mints. I lost the picture of them, sadly, but I LOVED the tins!  I got them in peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, and wintergreen. The tins featured animals and are very cute - the cinnamon had a tiger (I LOVE TIGERS).  My favorite has to be the ginger mints...they are unique and taste very strongly of ginger!  They are great for soothing an upset tummy.

I also received five packs of different chocolate candy cups. These were devoured before I could photograph all of them, but I did get a quick cam shot of the dark chocolate peppermint cups. YUM.  I also received caramel cups in both dark and milk chocolate, and peanut butter cups in both dark and milk chocolate.  These things were amazing!  The caramel cups were soft and flowy and SUPER rich.  The peanut butter cups had that real natural peanut butter flavor that you don't find in the popular mainstream brand.  The peppermint ones were smooth and tasted of real peppermint!  The chocolate on all of these was rich and smooth and creamy.  These put the other candy cups to shame! They come with three cups to a package.

I was blown away by the taste and quality of these products. I definitely recommend them to anyone interested in trying more organic foods. I had no idea they offered such a large line of products, and now that I know, I will be buying them regularly.  They also make pet food and treats - as I have a dog and two cats, I'll definitely be looking into those products as well.

What are your favorite organic snacks?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Garnier Bzz Campaign/Update and Review

I posted a while back that I was joining the Garnier Fructis Bzz Campaign.  Well, I've since received my BzzKit and tried the product for about a week, and I'm ready to share my thoughts on it!

My BzzKit arrived with product information and a greeting note as usual.  They're always fun to get.

The letter always gives you a brief introduction to the campaign and the brand.  

I love that BzzAgent always includes a BzzGuide with the kits.  It always lists the key facts about the product, very useful when trying to share with people.  It lists the other products available in the line, and it also lists the different Bzz activities you can do on BzzAgent - things like reviews, videos, and reports.

Most important is the product!  I received Triple Nutrition.  This line is great for dry, damaged hair.  I have thick, wavy, color treated hair that is prone to dryness and damage, so it's a great choice for me.  It contains olive, avocado, and shea oils and promises to nourish hair without weighing it down.  The bottles are 13 ounces each and packed in the new Eco-Fructis bottles, which use 30% recycled plastic.

But how does it work?  In my opinion, very well.  It smells amazing - fresh and fruity. My hair smells good all day after using it, but the scent isn't so strong as to distract from any other fragrance I desire to wear.

The consistency is great - it's nice and creamy and easy to use.  It also rinses out easily, and leaves my hair feeling nice and clean and smooth.  I've gotten comments this week on how shiny my hair looks, and I've noticed that it just feels HEALTHY.

I've used and enjoyed other Garnier products, and this one doesn't disappoint.  I definitely recommend this line to anyone looking for affordable shampoo and conditioner that will keep your hair strong and healthy.

After a week of use, my hair feels super soft. :)

Note: I am a BzzAgent.  I received free products to test, but no compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Conscious Box - April

Much to my excitement, I received my April Conscious Box yesterday, and of course I promptly tore into it like a maniac.  This is my first Conscious Box, though I've a good friend who has been a subscriber for a while now, so I've been familiar with the service.

Conscious Box is another monthly sampling service.  This one offers a box full of pure, natural, green, sustainable products every month.  The products are all vegetarian, and most are vegan as well.  The box is $12 with $7 shipping, and it comes packed surprisingly full of goodies!  I love Conscious Box because they offer such a variety of products - in any box, you will receive a mix of food and snacks, beauty and skincare products, cleaning products, and random lifestyle goodies. As an added bonus, they always include a ton of coupons and discount codes!

April's box was a special Earth Day box. (My birthday is on Earth Day, so it's one of my favorite holidays to celebrate!)  It came packed with fun and useful things.

I love the boxes that Conscious Box uses...and that they're printed with veggie inks!  See details of everything I got after the jump! :)  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

White Apricot's Green Grab Bag, April

I've posted before about my current attempts to live a more eco-friendly and health friendly lifestyle.  A big part of this is replacing many of the products I use with more natural and green alternatives.  I was given the opportunity to test out a Green Grab Bag, and I was really excited!  Green Grab Bag is another monthly subscription service.  This one focuses specifically on green beauty products, and promises around 6 samples per month for $15. I received it today and I really liked it!

The way it came was a nice change from what I'm used to!  A cute little gift bag, tied up with a bow.  I loved the presentation!

The outside of the box.  It has the contents listed on a little card, tied to the bag with a bow.  So cute, I felt like I was opening a present.

Here are the contents of the bag!  I love that this little card also lists a discount code for the included products...a nice touch I haven't' seen in any other subscription services.

The first thing I pulled out was the Heaven's Alchemy perfume.  This is all natural fragrance.  They take their inspiration for each scent from cities. I love receiving perfume samples, as I love to change up my scent!

I received two fragrances - Kyoto and St Petersburg.  Kyoto is a fruity floral that contains notes like apple, cherry blossom, and melon with a base of musks and sandalwood.  St Petersburg is a spicy gourmand with citrus notes, jasmine, vanilla, and musk. I can't wait to try each of them!

Update:  I have now tried them and they are both very nice! I especially love Kyoto - lovely and sweet without being overpowering.

The AnnMarie Gianni Coconut Oil sounds and smells awesome.  It promises to hydrate parched skin.

It can be used on the face or body. I want to try it on my dry elbows and cheeks!

Update:  I've been using this on my dry areas and I really like it! It absorbs well and isn't too heavy, and it smells really nice.

I'm really excited about the Prem Soaps organic olive oil soap.  These are made in small batches.  I got tea tree with chamomile, and it smells so good and clean with the distinct tea tree smell.  This particular variety says it is good for itchy or acne-irritated skin.  

I thought this was a nice touch!

Here's the soap itself...I love soaps like these, you can tell how natural it is.

Update: I used this little piece of soap and I loved it!  The smell was a bit spicy, like chai or something! I loved that it didn't dry out my skin, and the texture really left me smooth.

This is hydrating facial creme from Aguacate & Co.  It uses organic and all natural ingredients to hydrate.  I can't wait to try it, I'm always looking for a good moisturizer.

This is what I'm most excited about!  It's a full sized Deep Steep Moisture Stick (it's very large, .5 oz).  It melts when it comes in contact with your skin and hydrates.  This will be great to keep in my purse. I love the Rosemary Mint.

Update: I've been using this daily, and I love it! It's like a good lip balm for your body, and slicks on easily.

How cute is this little sack?  I opened it up and found three Angelina Organic products.  So adorable!

I got Rose and Cardamom Foaming Face Wash, Coconut Bliss Exfoliating Cream Mask, and Youth in Bloom Phyto-Active Firming Night Cream.  I can't wait to try these out this weekend.  They smell great!

In all, I think this was a great bag, and I definitely plan to subscribe!  These are all products that are new to me and I'm excited to explore them.

Note: I was provided with a bag, free of charge. I was not paid for my opinion or otherwise compensated, and all opinions are my own.

Edited to add:

Green Grab Bag has informed me that they are running a Mother's Day promotion!  If you buy your mama a gift subscription, you get a free bag for yourself, how awesome is that?  If you have an eco friendly mama, or just one who loves to try great beauty products, this would be an amazing gift for her.

Here's the full info:

With gift subscriptions starting at just $45, Green Grab Bag’s easy to use gift options, allow customers to customize how the recipient is notified using one of three options:

  • An e-mail gift notification to the recipient on the day the order is placed.
  • An e-mail gift notification to the recipient on a date specified by the customer.
  • An e-mail gift notification to the customer, which can be printed out and presented to the recipient personally. 

The recipient will receive her first Green Grab Bag the month following her notification. 

Named one of Lucky Magazine’s “Five Eco Sites to Love,” White Apricot has become a “go-to” resource for staying on top of what’s hip and hot in the eco friendly world. Each week, brings its readers and subscribers the latest trends in the ever-expanding world of eco fashion, beauty and lifestyle, and directs them to where they can buy these items now. 

In an effort to demystify the world of eco friendly beauty, White Apricot introduced Green Grab Bag in October, 2011. For just $15 a month with free shipping, this sampling program delivers a recycled bag, filled with natural, organic and vegan beauty product minis, into the hands of beauty addicts all across the United States. Full sizes are available at a discount via Green Grab Bag’s Exclusive Offers. 

*only one bonus bag per person, regardless of number of gift subscription orders placed
For more information, visit 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Harvey Prince giveaway winners!

So, much to my excitement, Harvey Prince gave me the opportunity to select 6 more entrants from the giveaway to win Harvey Prince Ageless, as well. Soooo, randomly selected via Rafflecoptor, the other six winners are:

  •  Samreem S. 
  • Amy (Myblushisahorcrux) 
  • Ashley K. (beautyflawed) 
  • Stephanie H. 
  • Black Asphodel 
  • Rianne C. 

 You've all been emailed (or will be shortly), please respond with your mailing address within 48 hours! Your prize will be sent to you directly by Harvey Prince. Congrats, guys!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Xan Confections chocolate review!

I freakin' love chocolate. So I was super excited when a friend gifted me a box of Xan Confections chocolates! I had never heard of the company before.  They are awesome! They're based in California, and they focus on sustainability and responsibility.  Many of their products are vegan. Those that do include dairy use milk from local cows not treated with harmful chemicals.  Their products use all-natural ingredients, and they use recyclable materials in their packaging, as well.  Basically, they're the kind of company I love to support.

I received a sampler box of the "Signature/Sins".  It includes 12 pieces - 2 each of 6 of their popular selections.  3 are from the Signature Collection, which are some of their most creative, indulgent chocolates. The other 3 are from the Saintly Sins collection. The Saintly Sins chocolates are all vegan, all gluten free, and have a low glycemic index, and they have only 29 calories each - basically, they're pretty darn healthy for chocolates. YAY.

When opening this box, the first thing I noticed was how cute the product is.

Love the packaging. I'm a sucker for anything tied up with a bow.  It included a little pamphlet that shows each of their gorgeous chocolates.

How cute are these?  Seriously, I almost hated to taste them.  They're so much prettier in person, too, with several being shimmery.

Closeup. So pretty.

How cute is that little butterfly?! And the little cappuccino?!

The first one I tried was the Banana Saintly Sin.  At first bite, I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  The filling is very obviously made with real bananas! After a moment, I decided I loved it.  These are different than most chocolates - when I hear raspberry or fruit filled, I think of those sugary cream centers.  These are more of a jelly!  They have a bit of fresh tanginess to them! Mmmm.

Love the combo of dark chocolate and banana.  

This is the raspberry sin.  Like the banana, it is dark chocolate with a raspberry jelly-like center!  I loved this one...the filling isn't too sweet and tastes of real raspberries.  And it's freakin' gorgeous!

I loved the oozy center.

This is the Cappuccino from the signature collection.  This one is so flavorful!  It has a caramel-like center, with a  bit of coffee flavor. The coffee bean on top is a great touch.  This one was absolutely delicious.

So many layers of flavor!

This was, hands down, my favorite in the box.  The Fleur de Sel caramel. I am a sucker for salted caramel, and this one does it right - soft, real caramel, dipped in dark chocolate with a smudge of sea salt. Simple, and amazing.  I will be ordering a full box of these, seriously.

I could cry because I don't have any more of these. :(

This one wins the "cutest in the box" prize!  It's the Vanilla butterfly, and it's so cute! The finish is shimmery light purple.  LOVED the filling, it has pieces of real vanilla bean and is more of a creamy filling.

Not artificial tasting at all, yum. I love vanilla.

This is the Strawberry sin, and it's probably the most unique in the box.  Like the other sins, it has a jelly-like filling...but this one has a bit of balsamic in it! I'm a sucker for balsamic vinegar, and I love a salad with balsamic vinaigrette with strawberries on it, so this is right up my alley. And it doesn't disappoint!  Real strawberry taste with a tang.  Mmm.

So pretty.

So, you can tell, I enjoyed these chocolates immensely, and I had the box polished off in just a couple of days!  This is definitely a company I feel good about supporting, and I recommend them.