Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Glossybox - August

After waiting for what felt like 50 years, my August Glossybox showed up today! This month's theme is "Pure Luxury", and promises rich, technologically-advanced products and sublime colors to help you  revive your body after summer. Sounds nice.

I noticed that my outer mailing box was not taped this month...all I had to do to open it was lift the flap. The only thing missing was my GlossyMag, which I frankly don't care much about. The Glossybox itself appeared untouched.

Everything in the box itself was intact, including the cute ribbon.

I was happy to open my box and see great sized products!

The first thing I pulled out was this Feel like Honey Moon Skin Base by Touch In Sol. This is a primer and moisturizer in one that promises to firm and revitalize the skin and optimize makeup application. I'm intrigued by the little gold flakes it contains! This is a very good sized sample - only a tiny bit smaller than the full size. This has a prorated value of about $17.70!

This is the ExquisiteOil Replenishing Treatment by Biolage - it's a serum infused with Moringa Oil that promises instant shine and weightless replenishment. It also promises to be good for all hair types.  I love hair oils, so I'm excited to try this! The value of this sample is about $1.14.

This is Truth Serum by Ole Henrikson, and I've heard great things about this in the past, so I'm very excited to try it! It's a Vitamin C complex that nourishes and protects your skin while fighting aging. This is another great sized sample, half of the full size. It has a value of $24!

This is a full sized nail polish by Illamasqua! It promises to be hardwearing and chip resistant. I got the color "Purity", which is a pretty peach creme shade. I've swatched it quickly on a single nail below.

This is a very different color for me, and I'm happy to have it!  It is not quite as pale as it looks in the photo. This polish retails for $14.

And finally, this month's big ticket item - Glazed Lips by Ellis Faas (they also sent out their Milky Lips and Creamy Lips lines.) I am happy to get the Glazed Lips - it's a sheer glossy stain, which is right up my alley. I got the shade L305, which is sheer rusty orange. And how amazing is that packaging?

Now, orange is not a shade I'd ever have picked up on my own, but this one is truly sheer and the texture is great - not sticky, thick enough to be long-lasting, and the gloss is very natural and not overly glossy.

I think I may actually be able to pull off this shade! I am finding it long lasting on my lips. This is a full sized product worth $35.

Glossybox has finally wowed me with this box, as I am excited about every single item in it. And the value of the box is almost $92! Definitely one of the most impressive boxes I've gotten from any company.

Do you get Glossybox yet? What do you think of this month's box?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Unreal Candy (BzzCampaign)

I recently joined a BzzCampaign for Unreal candy, and I was excited to give it a shot! I received one free item coupon and several BOGO coupons to share. I picked up the 3 varieties above and was able to try them out.

Unreal was a new brand for me, so I decided to see what they were all about. Turns out, this company is right up my alley! They're a company on a mission to "unjunk" candy. Basically, they take popular candy flavors, remove all of the nasty chemicals and additives, and deliver something that is delicious and far, far better for you!

If you've ever looked at the ingredients on a traditional candy bar, you know it can be kind of scary. They're full of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, artificial coloring,

Unreal uses things like cane sugar, agave, organic oils, and whole ingredients. They even use natural colorants like turmeric and beetroot!

I'll admit that I was a little skeptical about how they'd taste...after all, we're so used to eating foods full of junk. But I'm pleased to report that every variety I tried was delicious!

Unreal 8 is similar to a Snickers bar, and has that same chewy nougat, caramel, and peanut taste and texture - but in my opinion, it tastes even richer and better. The caramel is especially awesome.

Unreal 54 is modeled after peanut M&Ms...they're so good! I love the natural coloring - they're pretty, muted almost jewel tones provided by things like turmeric and beetroot. They lack that strange taste that is in the coating of M&Ms and the focus is all on the chocolate and peanut.

Unreal 77 is their version of a Reeses cup, and they are what you imagine - peanut butter cups. The peanut butter is smooth and true and the simple ingredients are absolutely delicious.

I really, truly enjoyed these candies and I am dying to try their other two varieties! As long as these are available, I will be replacing my traditional candy bars with them. I'd love to see them develop more varieties and really grow the line!

I recommend this line to anyone who likes to indulge in some candy once in a while but wants to put fewer nasty chemicals into their body.

*Disclaimer:  I am a BzzAgent, and I received free and discounted products to try and review. I was not compensated, and all opinions are my own.

Friday, August 24, 2012

myGlam - August

Well, this is the first one of these I've gotten in a while! I had signed up for myGlam near the beginning, and ended up unsubscribing after the horrendous February bag. I did keep my eye on the bags over the last few months, though, and they'd drastically improved, so I decided to give myGlam another shot. This is my first bag of our reunion.

August's bag has a theme of "Endless Summer" and it consists of 6 items.

I'm glad to see that myGlam still uses these cute pink mailers. I love to save and reuse them.

I really like the bag itself this month. It's an orange mesh bag with pink trim...I love the idea of a mesh bag to keep in my purse, makes it easy to find things.

The first item I pulled out was this sample sized shadow by s.a.l.t.y. These mineral shadows are blended by hand by a very small company...just the kind I like to support! The shade received is "Glama-ZOID" and it is specially made for myGlam! It's lovely - beautiful white in the jar, but it applies with an iridescent pink sheen. I can see myself using this color nearly daily.

This is a perfume roll on by Demeter! myGlam sent out two different scents this month, and I received the "clean skin" scent. It is much like it sounds - a very soft, clean scent. It has notes of bergamot peach, orange, lemon, white rose, and vanilla. This is a great scent for times you want to smell clean, but not noticeably perfumey. Love the rollerball to keep in my bag!

The next two products are both by eclos, which is a skincare company that uses plant stem cells in their formulas. The first item is this Cellular Activator Facial Serum. It promises to revitalize fatigued, stressed skin, and minimize damage and aging. I love serums, so I'm excited to try this out. I love the sample size, too.

Also by eclos, this is the Anti-Aging Regenerative Cream, and it is a moisturizer meant to be used day and night. The texture seems nice, not too light and not too heavy. I'll be trying this and the serum together to see what they do for me.

This is a full sized nail polish by Andrea's Choice. They sent out two different shades from the Circus collection, and I got "Spectacle", which is a truly neon orange. I mean, NEON. I love it, and it's different than anything else I have! I can't wait to try it out and see how the formula works for me.

And finally, the sixth item is a bonus - Glam Gloss. They sent out two different shades, I got 01 which is a light pink. I tried this out and I think it's nice - it smells like bubblegum and the texture is somewhat thick, but not tacky. It leaves a soft tint and light shimmer. I can see myself using this regularly...and the size is great.

In all, I think this is a really great bag! myGlam has really stepped up their game. We got 2 nice sized skincare samples, a good sized fragrance, a full sized gloss and nail polish, and a deluxe sample eyeshadow. I love the variety, and there isn't a single item I won't use. Hooray!

Do you sub to myGlam? What do you think of your bag this month?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Klout Perk: essie Mirror Metallics!

I received my newest Klout perk today, and I thought I'd share it with you!

If you haven't joined Klout yet, it's basically a site that measures your social influence. Your scores qualify you for perks, which can be anything from a food sample to an early movie/tv preview to an extra item on LBB to a free beauty product. I've been a member for a few months now, and I've claimed several perks!

This one is a polish from essie's new Mirror Metallics Collection, which consists of five shades.

I received the color "penny talk": it's a gorgeous incandescent copper.

I find the formula to be very nice - not too thick or thin, and it goes on super smooth, especially for a metallic!

This is a single coat applied on a bare nail! It's  opaque in one coat. I did go ahead and apply a second coat afterwards just for some added depth and shine, but you could definitely get away with a single coat with this one.

I'm a big fan of metallics, so I will likely be picking up a couple more shades in the collection.

I think this is an awesome perk from Klout!

If you haven't joined Klout yet, here is my invitation link. Using this will link us, allowing us to see each other scores and list each other as influencers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Maybelline Baby Lips - review

I'm a lip balm fiend. Always have been. I am not at all a lipstick gal, and while I do appreciate a nice gloss, I turn to balms 90% of the time. I have boxes full of them, and yet, I can never resist trying a new one.

When I saw Maybelline's Baby Lips balms start popping up a while back, I was tempted, but having just splurged on some pretty lip tints, I resisted...until a couple of weeks ago, when I saw them on sale at Walgreens. I was intrigued by Maybelline's promises: the balms include a "lip renew" formula, with 8 hour hydration. They also claim to provide visibly renewed lips in 4 weeks.  The packaging was adorable, as well.

 Out of curiosity, I picked up two - one tinted, and one untinted. I've been trying them out extensively over the last couple of weeks and I have had a chance to form an opinion on them.

I chose Peppermint and Peach Kiss. 

Peppermint is exactly what it sounds like - a clear, peppermint infused balm. I found the formula nice and smooth. It goes on with just a bit of shine. It does have a peppermint scent to it, but it's not very strong. I personally prefer a stronger mint scent and flavor, but that's just me. I did find that, with this one, you could kind of taste the sunscreen. It has done a good job of keeping my lips hydrated and smooth. It's a decent product, but I don't think I'd buy it again...there are just other clear mint balms that I prefer. 

I really love the Peach Kiss, though!  It is a sheer peach colored balm with a peach scent. 

As you can see, it's a nice shade...not too dark, not too light. The peachy scent is nice, not overpowering but a nice change for me. I find the formula to be as hydrating as the peppermint, but it has just a touch of shimmer to it!

Forgive the scary skin closeup, but here's how it looks on my fairly pigmented lips. It's a nice neutral peach that works on my cool skin tone as well as it would on warmer ones. 

I really like this one, and I would definitely buy it again. I am interested in trying a few other shades of these balms, though I will likely pass on the other clear one. All in all, I think Baby Lips are pretty decent lip balms with adorable packaging.

Have you tried them yet? If so, do you like them?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birchbox - August

Though I didn't expect it until Tuesday, I got my August Birchbox today!

August has a fitting theme of "Beauty School" and promises must-try essentials and exciting new products for fall. I love back to school shopping, so I was excited about this theme! Here's what I got.

How cute is this month's outer packaging? As well as being pencil yellow with a cute design, it's also a different size and shape than the usual Birchbox, very reminiscent of a pencil box. The box is super heavy for a Birchbox, too!

The cute theme continues with the card - it's covered with doodles. The other side has the welcome note and the "supply list". Adorable. I got four items and an extra this month.

The main item in my box this month is this Brightening Cleanser by DDF. It promises to lighten discoloration and even skin tone. I do have some mild acne scarring, so I am definitely excited to give this a try. Also, the sample size is HUGE. It is 4.5 ounces - more than half the size of the full sized product (and larger than some other full sized cleansers I have.) The prorated value of this sample is $20.22!

I also got LiQWd Professional Volumizing Catalyst. I love the cute purse-friendly bottle it comes in! Now, my hair is already pretty thick and full, so volumizing products do very little for me. In general, you can't see a difference, since my hair is already full. This also promises to contain high-tech moisturizers, though, so I intend to try it for it's other benefits. As a bonus, it smells really nice! The value of this sample is about $1.47.

This is a product I have already tried a few times and know that I love: Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Beauty Balm. By now, I think everyone knows what a BB Cream is - a combination of moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, and tint, in a nutshell. This one is nice, it suits my pale skin very well. It's not too greasy but it does keep my skin nice and hydrated and dewy. It has the perfect amount of coverage for me. I'm currently trying out a bunch of the different US versions of BB Cream out of curiousity, but once I finish those off, I fully intend to buy the full size of this. 

This is a welcome addition to my box, but it's a seriously tiny sample - .1 oz. Since I already know I like the product, it's okay for me...but if this were a new product for me, I would be frustrated at not getting enough product to truly try.

The value of this teeny sample is $1.88.

This is the new scent by Juicy, Viva la Juicy La Fleur. To be honest, I didn't have high hopes for this one. While I haven't tried the original Viva La Juicy, I have tried Juicy Couture the original and I dislike it. On top of that, I'm just not into florals. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, though! It's sweet and fresh, and yes, floral, but not in a bad way. It also has a fair amount of fruitiness to it! This sample has a prorated value of $1.50.

My extra this month is a Larabar Uber. I have to say I was a little disappointed by this, as Birchbox made it sound like everyone would be getting the Venus razor as their extra this month...and frankly, I could really have used a new razor. That said, I do find that the uber bars are actually pretty tasty compared to the nasty originals. This one was the Apple Turnover flavor, and it was basically apples and nuts. Tasted good...but not what I want out of my beauty subs, you know? This bar has a value of $1.80.

In all, I'm not super excited about this month's box...with only four actual items, one of which was a tiny perfume sample, another being the Dr. Jart+ that is basically a foil packet's worth of product put into a tube, and getting the bar instead of the razor, this is definitely lackluster for me. I am excited to try the cleanser. The value of my box is $27.84, so I did get my money's worth...I'm just not as excited about it as I have been most of my boxes.

(If you haven't joined Birchbox yet, my referral link is here. It's a lot of fun, even on the lackluster months!)

So, what did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Shea Terra Organics- review

Some months ago, I received a couple of 1 ounce samples of Shea Terra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap in a couple of my beauty subscription boxes. I was a little weirded out by it at first! It is black and looks a little like tar, and the smell, while not terrible, is not something I was used to.

But I kept seeing people rave about it, so I decided to give it a shot! Those two little bottles lasted me several months, and I applied it 2-3 times a week as a mask, letting it sit for 10-15 minutes. I wasn't sure at first if it would work for me - I have somewhat sensitive skin, and it's pretty intense! It usually tingles a bit, and sometimes my skin would be a bit red afterwards (though I imagine a lot of that was the circular rubbing while rinsing, honestly). 

But it turns out, this is my holy grail cleanser.  In my opinion, this is wonder soap. Freakin' superhero status. My skin  was softer and smoother. My breakouts reduced to a minimum. My pores were clear. My skin LOVED it! 

After I finished those two samples, I decided to wait to buy more until I finished off some other cleansers I had sitting around. Yeah, that was a mistake. My face was PISSED. Still is. I learned my lesson, and placed my first order with Shea Terra a few days ago.

I'm really impressed with their shipping! I ordered it on Sunday afternoon, and it was in my hands this morning (Wednesday). And, along with the products I ordered, they sent me 3 free samples, as well. Here's what I got!

My wonder soap. I will never be without you again. I love the glass bottle and that it has a pump top. The sample bottles had screw tops, and sometimes it was hard to get the thick soap out, and I'd make a mess. This 4 ounce size should last me quite a while! This is 100% percent natural.

These are their mini Shea Whippers! These are amazing whipped shea butter creations. They come in adorable little jars, and they're 99.7% natural. They're thick, easily absorbed by the skin, and they smell amazing! There is no added or artificial fragrance to them, instead, they are scented by the real fruit extracts and oils used for each formula. I got three varieties, and I can't wait to try more.

Gingered Pumpkin: I couldn't resist this one, I am so ready for fall. This smells amazing. It contains pumpkin seed oil and spice extracts, and smells like a sweet, spicy pumpkin pie. Mmmm.

Bourbon Vanilla: I love all things vanilla, so I couldn't resist this one. It smells like sweet, straight, simple vanilla, and is scented with only pure vanilla extracts. I find this one to have the longest lasting scent of the three, and I have to fight the urge to lick it off my skin.

Bananas & Baobabs: I heard raves about this one, so I had to try it! Yum. It is made with baobab oil and banana extract, and smells like sweet, ripe bananas - like homemade banana pudding! 

I didn't need another lip balm or butter, but when I saw this new offering, I could resist it. It smells like the above body cream, and it's delicious! Naturally sweet banana flavor sweetened with stevia. The ingredients are so simple and pure that I barely feel guilty about licking it off my lips. This is 100% natural.

And these are the three free samples they included with my order! They're all very generously sized and will be good for quite a few uses. These bars are all 100% natural.

Black Seed & Propolis Holistic Skin Care Bar: This one touts the healing properties of blackseed oils and propolis and can even help with skin and fungal infections. It is full of good oils, henna, propolis, and no added fragrance. It has a very herbal smell, sort of like thyme. I'm excited to see what this does for me.

Calming Baby Gentle Shea Butter Bath Bar: This one is soothing and gentle and obviously made to be safe for use on a baby. It contains oatmeal and lavender and chamomile! It definitely smells very lavender-y, and will be great to use after work to calm down.

African Wild Sage & Cinnamon Bath Bar: This one has antiseptic powers to fight germs and odors. It suggests using it on cuts and abrasions, which will be useful for me - I'm a huge klutz. This one smells super cinnamon-y!

In all, my fascination with Shea Terra Organics has been intensified. I want to try more and more of their line! They're exactly the kind of company I feel good about supporting.

Have you tried anything from Shea Terra yet?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream - review

The BB cream craze is still in full effect, and more and more US brands are coming out with their own version.  Now, as many have noted, US BB creams are not really comparable to the Asian variety.  The American variety are basically tinted moisturizers with added benefits, while the Asian creams tend to be less sheer and more focused on actual skin treatment.  I have and adore a couple of true Asian BB creams, but I am not comparing these American ones to those...rather, I'm trying evaluate them on their own merits instead of getting too hung up on whether or not they should use the term "BB cream" for the American product.

As someone who, in general, is not a fan of foundation, I gravitate toward all-in-one products like these and have been trying to try as many as possible. I've decided to start sharing my thoughts on each here! I recently picked up Maybelline's version and have been trying it out for a few days.

This cost me just a bit less than $9 for 1 ounce. One nice thing about the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream is that it comes in five shades. This means that darker skinned girls might actually find a shade that works for them! Traditional BB creams come in only one shade and are tailored to Asian skin tones, so they don't suit all Western faces. I am super pale, so I got the lightest shade.

Note that it describes itself as a sheer tint. It does not try to be a full or heavy coverage product. This product promises 8 benefits to the skin: blurs imperfections, brightens, evens skin tone, smoothes, hydrates, enhances, and provides sun protection. It includes SPF 30, which is a great benefit, in my opinion.

When I squeezed some out, I noted that it's a bit thinner than most other BB creams I've tried, but it is not at all runny. I wondered at first if it would be a bit too dark, but that was not the case at all.

Partially blended out, you can see that it is a pretty good match for my skintone (my hands are just a tiny bit darker than my face) and it is pretty easy to blend.

Once fully blended in, I am happy with the color. I am relieved that there is no orange cast, as I've had a couple of other similar products go a bit orange or dark on me. The texture is nice - just a tiny bit dewy, but not at all greasy. 

And here it is on my otherwise bare face after about 15 minutes. As you can see, the coverage is sheer. It does even out my skintone well, but don't count on it to hide a breakout. It feels nice on my skin, and the color never oxidizes on me.

In all, I think this is a pretty good product! It's more sheer than the Garnier version, but has a much nicer finish and color variety.

Have you tried any of the new US BB creams? What do you think of them?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sircle Samples

A while back, I posted about a new site called Sircle Samples. Basically, you earn points by filling out surveys and a beauty profile, and you spend those points on beauty samples. I've gotten quite a few things from them over the past few months, including lip glosses, eyeshadow, moisturizer, and eyeliner. Here are the three items I got today!

The elf super glossy lip shine is a really pretty pink shade! It does go on super glossy, thick but not too sticky. It lasted for a while for me.

The elf shimmer gloss is my favorite! It is a little thinner than the super glossy, but it is a gorgeous shade perfect for summer, and has just a bit of shimmer. It's not a glitter bomb or anything!

The NYX gloss isn't really my's called sand dune and that's just what it looks like...beige sand. I did try it, though, and it goes on sheer and is actually wearable. It'd be great to tone down a too bright lip color. The formulation is nice!

Sircle Samples does have a waiting list, and sometimes you have to wait a while until they have new samples available.  The good ones tend to go fast! The site is still in beta, so there are also sometimes technical issues. I've personally had nothing but good experiences with them, though, and who doesn't love free makeup? Here is my invitation/referral link if you're interested in trying them out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Little Black Bag - August

First of all, my computer is back in working order, and man I have a lot to catch up on.

But first, my August Little Black Bag. (Though, technically, I opened this bag in July...but it took the place of my August bag for me.)


The first thing I got was the Maharaja Palace stretch bracelet by Spring Street. This is actually a set of 5 bracelets tied together by a ribbon. I did remove the ribbon, by the way - while wearing, I found it annoying. The bracelets are super pretty and very decent quality.

I really like the colors - very different from everything else I have. 

I love the two sparkly ones. I also like that these can be worn separately.

I also got the R&Em leopard hobo in the color "Storm". I wasn't sure about this one, but I am glad I decided to keep it. It's huge! The faux leather feels nice. The magnetic closure is a nice touch.

There are studs on both sides and along the bottom, as well as some other cute details. 

There are several pockets inside, including one that zips. This bag has a nice, cute slouch to it when it has things in it. The handle is wide and fits nicely on my shoulder. This is my first product from R&Em and I enjoy it!

And finally, the studded tote by She & Josh in the color "Cobalt". SO PRETTY. This is the bag I was determined to get my hands on, and it took some serious trading, but I finally got it. 

The material is nice and soft. It has that slightly "wrinkled" (in a good way) look to it and it is great for summer. The handles are good and sturdy, and there is also a removeable shoulder strap.

I love that there are two pockets on the front, behind the handles. They're nice and deep and great to slide my phone, keys, and iPod into.

And how cute is the inside? I love the colorful fabric (which is also nice and soft) and it has several pockets, as well. Lots of space for everything.

So, here's yet another LBB that I'm happy with! I'm glad to get some color and pattern variety in my bag collection, especially.

What was in your LBB this month? (If you haven't signed up yet, my referral link is here!)