Saturday, March 30, 2013

FabFitFun: Spring (Inaugural box)

FabFitFun is a brand new seasonal subscription program! Giuliana Rancic is its spokesperson, and it is a quarterly sub.

It costs about $50 per season, and each box contains hand-selected items in beauty, fashion, fitness, and wellness. They promise a value of $100 or more with full sized items. They will also be doing bonus gifts in between seasons, but it remains unclear how those will be done.

Now, I will preface this unboxing by saying there has been some controversy over this first box. FFF had sent out early boxes to some bloggers for review/promotion. Those boxes contained some amazing items, and garnered lots of subscribers. Then, when the boxes started rolling in, people found that in some box variations, some of the most exciting products were missing or replaced with a second of a different item (with less value). There had not been any indication that there would be box variations, and many people felt duped. I did receive one of the affected boxes!

I received my first box a few days ago!

The packaging is cute and simple. It came in a sturdy mailer and everything arrived unscathed.

Upon opening, I found that everything was very neatly packaged. However, in the boxes they sent out for promotion, those boxes contained a Butter LONDON polish and a GoSmile tooth whitening pen, as well as the Josie Maran lip stain and color stick. Many of us found 2 or all 3 of those items missing, and replaced with a 2nd or even 3rd piece of JewelMint jewelry. As you can see, I did get a second piece of JewelMint.

I did receive the Josie Maran lip stain and color stick, in Waltz. It's a beautiful berry pink, with the marker-like stain on one end and a moisturizing balm on the other. It is full sized, and the thing I was most excited about from the previews. 

This was the big selling point for the first box - a full sized bottle of Morrocanoil. I have never tried this product before, but so far, it seems nice! I love hair oils. The bottle is big and will last forever!

We also received a Zoya nail polish in FabFitFun pink. This is a beautiful shimmery pink and I love it. Zoya is my favorite polish brand, and I am excited to have this. Great for summer.

This is a sample sized brow perfection gel by Perfekt. The color is much too dark for me and I don't really do much with my brows, so this is just a "whatever" product for me. I might try it as a natural lash tint.

A sample sized lip gloss from Jouer in Glisten. I really like Jouer glosses! They aren't sticky. This one is nice and sheer with a pretty sparkle, and it is a welcome addition for me.

Now, instead of the Butter LONDON polish and the GoSmile pen, I received an extra JewelMint item. I have to say I am really disappointed with this. This first item, the earrings, are just hideous. NOt only that, they are defective. As you can see, the dangly part of one of them was attached backwards. Not that I'd wear them even if it wasn't...I don't mind JewelMint, but I can't think of a single person who would wear these ugly things.

The second piece is a little better. Still not my thing, but it is kind of cute and I might find reason to wear it someday. A summer/beach/London themed charm bracelet? Odd, but not too bad.

This is a thinkThin bar in creamy peanut butter. I dislike getting bars like this in boxes, but I did try this one. Unfortunately, it was gross. I just don't care for bars like these, if I'm going to eat a bar, I prefer the kind made mostly of nuts and fruit.

Here is the Josie Maran being worn - this is the tint with the balm over it. I love the color, and it feels nice and lasts!

Overall, I like most of the items I received. I am, however, really disappointed to not receive the Butter LONDON, which I really wanted to try, and the GoSmile pen. I do not feel that the ugly jewelmint earrings were any sort of a good substitution. Luckily, FFF has good customer service and are taking care of me. I will be sticking around for another season to see how they do.

What do you think of this box?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Starlooks Starbox - March 2013

My favorite sub arrived today! We have been buried under a metric ton of snow, so I needed the cheer!

Starlooks Starbox is a sub that sends out 3-4 of their full sized makeup products a month. The quality is fantastic, and it's just a great sub and a great value!

They had played with the idea of starting a 3 month rotation - one month of neutrals, one of bold, then one of mixed, then repeat...but after receiving feedback, they decided not to go that route and instead try to send out something for everyone in each box. This box is considered a "mixed" month!

This month's box is a cute brown with blue print. I love that they change up their boxes to suit each month!

This box has three makeup items and a bonus! I love the card they send - it has little usage tips for each product as well as the retail price.

First, we got a brand new product - mascara! This is a HUGE lengthening mascara with a very fluffy brush. I love fluffy brushes and I am so excited to try this out. The packaging feels nice and expensive.

Next, an eyeshadow in "Disarray"! It looks brighter in the picture - it is actually just a beautiful navy blue with the slightest hint of shimmer. On the skin, it is nice and neutral - a grey navy hybrid. It feels nice and soft as all of Starlooks's shadows I have tried have been. It goes on sheer enough to be wearable but is easily buildable if you want it bolder.

This lipstick is in the shade "Flutter", and it is a frosty rusty golden bronzey red. It is warmer than I usually wear, but it is surprisingly nice and not too crazy looking! I'm excited to try this out with a neutral eye! The formula feels pretty good, and seems like it will be long lasting.

And finally, the bonus - A Starbox exclusive lip sugar lip scrub! This smells just like sugar cookies, tastes yummy, and is perfect for dry wintery lips. I have been wanting a scrub, and this is a very welcome addition to my box. Yum!

Here are quick swatches of the shadow and lipstick. Both are beautiful!

Yet again, I am beyond pleased with my box! These products are great for spring. Yet again, I can't recommend Starlooks Starbox enough! Now, I'm off to ignore the snow and play with my new goodies...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

BA Star Cosmetics Review

BA Star is a company that specializes in performance makeup for dancers, cheerleaders, competitors, or just trendsetters. I was given the opportunity through BrandBacker to try one of their Smoky Eyeshadow Palettes, and I received it this week. This is a brand new company to me, so I was very excited to get to try them out!

Each palette contains 3 matte shadows and two gel glitter highlighters! The palette comes in four color options: Smoky, Natural, True Blue, and Pretty N Pink. I received "Natural", which is bronze, brown, and gold tones! The palette comes with a double ended brush/sponge applicator. I rarely use these, but I appreciate that this one is on the longer side, makes it easier to use, in my opinion.

Now, this palette photographed warmer than it is. It is on the warm side, but not nearly as much as it seems in this photo! The shadows are, in order, Bronze, Cocoa, and Nude. Each is just what it sounds like. I think nude leans toward the champagney range, and it is very pretty!
These feel nice and smooth, and they are decently pigmented! The colors work very well together for a natural smoky look.

The two glitter gels are super glittery and pretty! They are called Gold and Crystal. The first is gold, of course, and the second is white with opalescent glitter - it shines with purple, gold, and green! These have a gritty feel to them, as you can imagine, but they are wonderful for painting over liner for a sparkley pop. They are soft and easy to apply with a brush.

Here are swatches, in order, starting from the top. These swatches were done with a single swipe of the finger on bare skin, no primer. As you can see, the color payoff is not bad!

The glitter gels are very hard to see in the swatch, but in person, they are very glittery and pretty, good for what they're designed to be, which is a highlight.

I am definitely interested in trying out some of the other colors, especially True Blue! Each of these palettes retails for $8.75.

If you are interested in trying out BA Star smoky shadow palettes, you can enter the code "BBSMOKY" at checkout for a 50% discount!

*Disclaimer: I received a product to review free of charge. I was not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag - March 2013

I was happy to find my Ipsy bag in my mailbox this morning! Nothing brightens a Monday morning better than mail!

This month has a theme of "The Great Escape" and includes some goodies that are great for travel - perfect for spring break season!

The bag itself is SO CUTE this month! It's white and navy, made out of a soft nylon-ish material. I love the nautical print! This one will be going right into my purse! Inside of the adorable bag, we got 5 products (or, 4, with 2 variations on one!)

GlamRX mini Freestyle Palette - This is a cute little magnetic palette! It's sturdy cardboard with a really nice mirror. I am really excited to have this - I have several loose shadow pans that needed a home, but have never picked up an empty palette. I think this is a great item for Ipsy to have included!

yaby eyeshadow refills in so vein and sand dune - We received two shadow pans from yaby! The colors I received are a lovely teal and a sand color (they also sent out a brown and a light beigey color). The colors I got are so pretty! They can be used wet or dry and I'm excited to play with them.

La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover wipes - This is a pack of 8 wipes. I love things like this, it is a perfect little size to keep in my makeup bag, and I love La Fresh's products.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist - This mist tones, hydrates, and refreshes your face and hair. I've never used a mist, so I am excited to try it out. I don't care for the smell (reminds me a bit of potpourri?) but really curious how I'm going to like this. I generally love juice beauty!

I am happy with this month's bag! The bag itself is one of my favorites they have sent, and all of the products inside will be used. I'm hoping that the empty palette means they will be sending us more shadows this year!

What do you think of these products? What are your favorite travel friendly items?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Birchbox: March 2013: March Madness

I was really surprised to wake up to my Birchbox this morning! I think this is the earliest I have ever gotten it.

This month's theme is March Madness, and promises to help you create your ultimate beauty starting lineup! Here's what I received this month:

Incoco Nail Polish Applique in Spring Vines: This is a really cute little design! I'm not terribly excited because I just struggle with nail strips, and I've gotten SO MANY of them recently. But I'm definitely going to try these out.

Caldrea Body Lotion: I received three small packets in the scents Tea Olive Lime, Aloe Water Apricot, and Coconut Fig. I like body lotion, so these will be used, though I'd have preferred a single deluxe sample to the packets. The scents sound interesting!

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo: I love dry shampoos, and this is a great size! I'd be excited about it, but everyone who got it last month talked about how terrible it was! I'm still going to try it, but cautiously.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream - A blueberry scented shaving cream! Mmm. Again, nothing exciting here, but will definitely be used.

Madewell for Birchbox Emery Board; This month's extra is a cute floral print and pink emery board. Not sure where mine is, so useful.

So, I am not super excited about this box, but it's not terrible...the whole thing really depends on whether I find the dry shampoo useable or not! I'm most excited about the shaving cream and emery board!

What was in your Birchbox this month?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Glossybox USA: February 2013

This month, Glossybox decided to do an International Style theme! I love discovering new products form other places, so I was pretty excited about the theme itself. But after last month's awesome box, I knew that this month would be a bit of a letdown. It finally arrived a few days ago!

This month, we received five items!

Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Au The Blanc soap: This is a beauty soap from Italy. This smells pretty nice and is a good size! However, I think it's a pretty boring sample to put in an international beauty box! That said, I will give it a shot. It's a very good sized sample.

Nail Rock Nail Wraps: These are nail stickers, and I believe they are from the UK. I received black and white striped ones. I have used similar products, and for me, they are kind of a pain - They are usually too wide for my nails, and I find it difficult to get them trimmed to size! However, they look very nice when applied. I wash my hands a thousand times a day at work, and things like this don't last long enough to be worth it. However, I'll try them out as well!

Missha - Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro Gel Mask - This is the thing in the box I was most excited about! I love Missha BB cream and I have heard of snail masks and creams for a while. This is a sheet mask from Korea. I already tried this one out! I have to admit, I didn't care for the sheet mask aspect - it was difficult for me to keep it on my face that long! But it left my skin feeling absolutely amazing. I've included a pretty terrifying picture for you below. 

Lisi Sheer Sparkle Gloss - This is a lip gloss from a boutique in New York. In the photo above, it looks red, but it is actually pink in the tube, and nearly colorless when worn. I wasn't very excited to get this, as I have more lipglosses than I will ever be able to wear, but I gave it a shot. Sadly, I don't think it's worth it. It is very, very sticky and has no color and very little sparkle. It felt terrible on the lips! This is a big disappointment.

Da Vinci Cosmetics - Shimmer Powder: This is another US product. It is a shimmering mineral powder! They state that they can be used to highlight or as eyeshadows, but the color they sent me (Lava) is definitely too dark to be a highlight! It's pretty though - a dark brown with a light green duochrome sheen! I am excited to wear this as a shadow.

Here is the Da Vinci powder (top) and the Lisi gloss (bottom). As you can see, the Lisi is basically clear, and the Da Vinci is quite pigmented!

And here is evidence of how terrifying I looked while wearing the snail mask! Yikes! I think I would like this better if it were just in a tube and applied that way!

Overall, I think this was a very disappointing month for Glossybox. For one, 2 of the 5 products are from the US...and this is supposed to be an international box! It just seems odd to me...and the UK product has a ton of dupes in the US. To me, an international themed box should contain unique products from different countries! In my opinion, the snail mask is the ONLY product in this box that is truly that.

And, theme issues aside, I just don't think the products are up to the usual Glossybox standard. I enjoyed the mask, and I will use the shimmer powder. Other than that, I just see myself tossing the other things aside and forgetting about them. I mean, a bar of soap, a sticky lipgloss, and some nail stickers...? Luckily, I had cashed in my Glossydots and got this box for free, but if I paid for this box, I'd feel cheated.

What do you think of this month's Glossybox?