Sunday, November 24, 2013

Birchbox - November 2013

I am so indecisive. Especially with my subs...I'll obsess over one for a while, then find myself getting jaded and cancel...only to sign back up a few months later. Birchbox and I have gone through this cycle probably four times now! We just spent several months apart...but again, fter a hiatus, I found myself missing Birchbox and saving up points for a, I decided to sign back up mid-month. I am an addict.

I received my November box without a shipping notification or anything. It was a nice surprise!

It's still fun to receive these cute little boxes.

This month's box came with a little holiday guide as well as the usual product card. Cute!

November's theme is "More Good". It's reflecting the season's general themes of abundance, and mentions more thanks, more giving, more thoughtfulness, and more goodies. Sounds good to me!

Birchbox Find: Ghirardelli Toffee Crunch Bar - This is a "Birchbox Find", which is what they call a mass-market product they love, usually a new product, which we get as an added bonus. I love things like this! This month, I got this chocolate bar - it's filled with a creamy chocolate filling and toffee bits...and it was totally amazing. Chocolate is always welcome in my boxes!

Atelier Vanilla Insensee Cologne Absolue - This is a fragrance's a blend of vanilla, jasmine, and lime. It smells really great - a warm, grown up vanilla scent. I have tried a couple other Atelier scents and they are great...and I love that the little sample vials come with a corresponding postcard. I mixed a bit of this one with my Orange Sanguine sample, also by Atelier...AMAZING. I smelled like a creamsicle. I think I need to get my hands on both of these fragrances...

derma e Soothing Skincare Collection - This is a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer sample that promises to calm sensitive skin and fight signs of aging. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds good and the ingredients are good! I love that it came with all three steps.

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Opal - This is a pretty lipgloss with a high shine finish. It is a great peachy nude color! I haven't opened it yet but it's a great size and looks like it will be a perfect everyday shade. 

Color Club in Baldwin Blues - This is a super pretty blue creme. I love blue polishes, but I'm not crazy about Color Club's formula. I do like the collection of these minis I've gotten from Birchbox over the years, however. This color is right up my alley and I'm super excited to wear it this winter.

Aloxxi ColourCare Leave-In Conditioner - This is a detangled that protects color and leaves hair smooth and shiny. This is a total win for me. I usually hate getting hair products from subs - I don't use hairspray, gel, or mousse, or anything with hold. But I do love leave-in conditioners. This one is really great! It isn't too heavy and leaves my hair feeling really nice. This is the star of the box for me!

Overall, I think this box was a really great welcome back to Birchbox! Not only did I get 6 items, but every single one is something I will use and enjoy. Keep it up this time, Birchbox!

If you haven't tried Birchbox yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link.

What was in your box this month?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Starlooks - November 2013

Last week, I made the snap decision to resubscribe to Starlooks Starbox for November and December. I was a subscriber for a long time, but I made the decision to cancel several months ago. I was always really happy with the products and value, but I was on sub and makeup overload, so I thought I should quit for a while. IF you haven't tried Starlooks Starbox yet, it is a monthly subscription that sends 3-4 full sized makeup items every month for $15 plus shipping (it usually comes out to $16.98).

 With winter approaching, I found myself craving more new makeup and colors to play with. I also loved what they did last November and December (they sent out a neutral shadow quad in November, and then a colorful 15 shade shadow palette in much fun) and I decided I really didn't want to miss what they did this year!

Surprisingly, only 2 days after I resubscribed, I received my shipping information, and while USPS had some hiccups this month (sent my box back and forth between the same two towns THREE TIMES), I received my box quickly. Here's what we got for November!

I have always loved how the Starbox is packaged. It looks and feels like a little present. It is always well padded, and the boxes are different colors each month. 

When I subscribed before, the makeup packaging was kind of boring black. I love the new look! Bright and modern and eye-catching. It's a small thing, but the little things count!

The first item I pulled out was a little extra - a sharpener! I am always losing my sharpeners, so an extra is very welcome. I love that Starlooks often adds in little bonus items.

Slanted Liner Brush #824 - This is an angled brush perfect for precise eyeliner application. 

It is neither too wide or too narrow, and it is the perfect stiffness for me! I have 2 other Starlooks brushes and I use both of them all the time...the quality is really great. So excited to have another! And it goes perfectly with the next item.

Infinity Pot Liner in Orion - This is a long wearing cream/gel liner that can also be worn as a cream shadow or base! At first glance, I thought it was a basic navy, but it turns out it is a GORGEOUS shimmery dark blue with a hint of green. It is absolutely perfect, and I own nothing like it! I imagine I will be using this all winter long.

5 Shade Shadow Palette in Monaco - This is a great mix of brights and neutrals! They are nice and soft, with pretty good pigmentation, and are quite buildable, but they are also able to be applied sheer for a more subtle look. I have a few different Starlooks palettes and they are all nice and fun to use, with a combo of matte and shimmer. I"m super happy to get this and I'm excited to play with these colors!

This box is fantastic, and I am SO GLAD I decided to resubscribe! Everything will be used and I am beyond obsessed with the liner. What do you think about this month's Starbox?

If you haven't subscribed to Starlooks yet, feel free to use my referral link!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Beauty Box 5 - November 2013

 Beauty Box 5 is another monthly beauty subscription. They provide around 5 full or deluxe sized products each month for $12. They are unique in that they offer a mix of well known drugstore brands, higher end brands, and lesser known specialty-type brands. As I am a person who uses products at all different price points, I appreciate this!

November's Beauty Box 5 had a theme of "prep, primp, sparkle" and it's all about preparing for what the night brings and adding a bit of sparkle!  It's a great theme for this time of year...and I always welcome some sparkle. I am always impressed with this box's fast shipping, it always shows up on my doorstep before I'm expecting it!

This month brought five products, most of which are full sized!

Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant & Deodorant - I actually used to use the original version of this and it's great! Even on my hardest work days, it keeps me dry and fresh. I only stopped using it because the formula (it was the really soft kind that dispenses through little slots) was too messy for me. I am SO excited to see that it now comes in a solid stick! It still works just as well but goes on clean. This will definitely be seeing use!

Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body Wash - This is a really nice body wash. It doesn't dry out my skin and it smells like lavender! I love this for a post-work shower. I get off at 10 p.m., so anything that can get me ready for sleep is a great thing. I am always a fan of Aveeno's products and this body wash is no different.

Montagne jeunesse Glacial Cooling Face Mask - This is a mud mask in sheet mask form (which is really cool!) It cleans and tightens pores. It smells fruity and feels cool and refreshing. I love the sheet mask format, and this is the first time I've ever seen a mud mask in a sheet form! It left my skin looking and feeling smooth and radiant. As an added bonus, you look super creepy while wearing it!

Scary, right? Perfect for disturbing men and children of all ages.

Body Drench Lip Drench in Coconut Lime - This is a moisturizing lip balm. I go through lip balm like water in the winter, so I'm always happy to get another. I haven't opened this yet as I have many open already, but it sounds promising! I don't usually care for coconut lime scents, but I'll certainly try this out anyway!

Bellapierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Champagne - This is a shimmery mineral shadow! I received the shade "champagne" which is great - It will also be wonderful used as a highlighter! It is nice and soft and shimmery without glitter chunks. I foresee myself using this often.

It's nice and subtle and blendable. 

I really like everything I received this month! I like that BB5 sends out a mix of common readily available products and lesser known specialty brands! I also think the sizes sent out are great. I will definitely be buying more of the masks!

What do you think of this box? What items are you loving for December?

Disclaimer: I am a member of the BB5 review team, so I receive complimentary boxes to review. I am not compensated for my opinion and all thoughts are my own.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blush Mystery Beauty Box - November 2013

Well, I will start this off by saying that I cancelled my Blush subscription for a while. It's not a quality thing, as I have really liked all the boxes I have received! However, I am quickly amassing more products that I can use, and as this one sends out full sized or large samples in bigger quantities, they're starting to pile up! I'll probably come crawling back after I use up some of my stash!

I got the November box pretty early this month. Here's what was inside!

Now that I've gotten several of these little fabric bags, I have found them great for keeping shoes/sandals/flats together! I put my summery shoes in them so I won't have to dig for the mates when I'm ready to use them again!

These were my bonus extras this month...a lotion and NeoStrata serum! I already used the lotion, and it was okay but nothing special. I am a big fan of serums, so this one was added to my stash! I really love that Blush sends out a couple of random extras every month - everyone gets different ones, and it's fun to see what you get.

Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum - This is a serum for oily or combination skin, which I have. In fact, I had sampled this particular line of Paula's Choice products, and I fell absolutely in love with the products! I have full intentions of using up the full sized products I have now, trying to make a dent in my samples, and the next time I purchase skincare, it will be Paula's Choice. My skin never looked better than it did the couple of weeks I was using the samples!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Hydrafull Gloss in Sorbet - This is a cute, tiny little lipgloss in a bright pink shade. It's supposed to hydrate and plump! I haven't used it yet, but the tiny sample is perfect for me, as I like to keep one in my bag.

Cargo High Pigment Pencil in Brown - This is a creamy chocolate brown pencil. I get bored with black, and I have brights, so a brown is welcome! I have several Cargo products and love them. This is creamy and pigmented, and I haven't worn it all day to test its longevity, but it's a really nice liner.

Nick Chavez Horsetail Root Lifting Spray - This adds volume, shine, and oomph to hair. I have fairly thick hair, but as it's cut into an angled bob, I can always use more volume and shine! I haven't tried it yet, but I am excited to do so.

Pur-lisse Pur Protect SPF 30 Essential Daily Moisturizer - This is a moisturizer with spf. I have tried a sample of it before, and it's nice! I'll probably save it for spring, as I have several sample sized sunscreens to go through, but it will be used, for sure.

SmartFx Smartlash Eyelash Enhancer  - This is an eyelash enhancing serum. I love products like this, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it works on my less than  impressive lashes. 

Elizabeth Arden Maximum Volume Mascara in black - A basic black volumizing mascara. I have to admit I am burned out on receiving mascaras...I currently have a giant stash I'll never get through. What's more is that most people found this one to be dried out when they received it. I haven't opened it, but if it is, I will not request a replacement...I have plenty to use already.

Overall, I think this is a nice box with a good value. There's nothing in there that I am super ridiculously excited about, but they're all good quality products that will be used.

Here is a swatch of the lip gloss and pencil. Both are nice and smooth!

Overall, I'm not regretting cancelling Blush at this point. Great value, but I really need to use up some of what I have. Have you tried Blush yet? What do you think of it?

Ipsy - November 2013

My Ipsy bag showed up without any tracking info this month. I always love it when that happens - it's so much less stressful than watching and questioning DHL's incredibly show shipping process. Seeing the pink envelope in the mailbox was an exciting surprise!

November's theme was "Glam It Up". I normally go for more edgy looks than glam, but I was excited, nonetheless! Ever better, this month was a 6 item month!

The bag this month is a cute gold snake wristlet. It's not my general style, but it is a nice change. Adorable.

Starlooks Gem Liner in Amethyst - I really love these gem liners...they're so pretty and soft and shiny. This one is a nice light purple, and it looked great with my eyes. Super happy to have this!

em cosmetics lash gallery dramatic volume mascara in black - When I learned we'd be getting an em item (one of several), I was really hoping to get to try the pretty waterliners. Instead, I got this mascara. I am up to my ears in mascaras right now, so I have no idea when or if I'll use this. I have gotten mascara from Ipsy 3 of the last 4 months, so I really hope for a break after this!

Be a Bombshell lip crayon in Shameless - This is a pretty berry shade. I am so glad I got this one instead of the bright reds I usually get from them! It lasted a few hours on me without needing reapplication, and the shade is really flattering. I think I'll be wearing this a lot over the next couple of months!

pixi bronzer in Subtly Sunkissed - This is not nearly as dark as it looks in photos. In fact, it is the first bronzer I've ever been able to use with my pale rosy complexion without looking dirty! It's nice and subtle. I was really bummed when I heard we were getting a bronzer, but I ended up loving it!

nailtini in Champagne - This is a shimmery nudey champagne color. I don't have anything with it, so I'm happy to have it! The formula and brush are really nice on this one.

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Palette Sample in Sun - This is a gorgeous baked eyeshadow from the Galaxy Chic palette. It goes on as a gold with a bit of red - super pretty. The quality is amazing. I'm going to have to pick up this palette!

Here are the color items swatched. First is the eyeshadow, then the gem liner, the lip crayon, and finally, the bronzer (which is hard to see, but it's nice and subtle!) Gorgeous colors this month.

Overall, I think this is a really great bag! I love that I got a variety of products, and all of the colors are gorgeous! My one disappointment is that I got another mascara, but that's hardly a deal breaker, since there are 6 items. I'm happy with Ipsy after a lackluster month last month.

What was in your bag this month?

If you haven't signed up for Ipsy yet, feel free to do so using my referral link!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Popsugar Must Have - November 2013

I may be one of the few people who loves November. It follows on the tail of my favorite month (October), fall things are still in abundance, and it is cold enough for scarves and silly hats, but it's not yet the miserable dead of winter. As the holidays near, things get festive and cuddly, and it's just all-around a good month for me. So naturally, I was really interested to see what Novembery delights would show up in my sub boxes!

My Popsugar box showed up on my doorstep a few days ago, and I was super excited to rip into it!

I really love Popsugar's boxes...they always feel like opening a gift. They always have a cute little pamphlet that explains why each item is a "Must Have". This month's pamphlet promises items to brighten the Thanksgiving season with practical and swoon-worthy pieces. Sounds good to me! Here's what was inside.

 Barefruit Crunchy Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips - These are considered a "special extra" this month. They are a guilt-free snack made from 100% real fruit and no nasty ingredients. I have had the plain version of these chips a few times and they are nice - very crunchy and simple. This flavor was decent - I found that some  chips didn't have the caramel flavor, but all were nice. These would be a great healthy alternative to a sweet treat.

Land's End Single Canvas Wine Tote - This is a canvas tote meant to carry wine...kind of a safer and more classy alternative to a paper bag. This tote does feel nice and sturdy! The only thing is...I don't ever have occasion to take wine anywhere. I don't go to many dinner parties, and when I do, it's not with wine drinkers. This would be a good hostess gift with a bottle stuck in it. However, I found an alternative use - I am currently using it to store my flat iron! It's the perfect size for that, and the handle lets me hang it over an arm of my floor lamp by my makeshift vanity. Soon, I plan to hang a hook to hold it, but in the meantime, this works! So, something that was not really exciting for me is now quite useful.

Illume Candle in Naughty - This is a cute candle in a spicy woody scent. It actually smells a lot like a really nice men's cologne...which would not usually be my kind of thing, but I absolutely love this scent. And naughty is a great name for a scent that smells like a sexy man! It's nice to have a break from my usual sweet scents. The jar is so cute, I'll definitely be reusing it, too.

Maison de Monaco Strawberry & Black Currant Cream Preserves - These are hand cooked preserves made from 70 percent fruit! They are special because they are cooked with black currant cream liqueur to give them a unique flavor. I don't eat a ton of preserves, but these sound amazing, and I think I'll try them on my toast tomorrow. 

The Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Shea Butter Soap - This is a rich soap with shea butter. It has a nice pine scent and promises to make you feel like you just stepped into a forest. I haven't used this soap yet...I can't bring myself to unwrap the super cute packaging! But it smells nice and I think it will be really nice and relaxing for the holiday season. As with the candle, I generally go for sweet and/or fruity scents, so this will be a refreshing change.

Absolute! Nail Polish Remover Pads in Lemon - These are acetone-free, oil based nail polish remover pads. They smell so good! I love these oil based removers...they leave my nails looking and feeling so good. They do take a bit more time than acetone removers do, but in my opinion, it is worth it.

Michael Stars Folk Art Wrap - This is the big ticket item this is a huge wrap that can be worn as a scarf or a shawl! The black and gray print is cute and versatile, and the size is just great. It feels nice and soft, and it is cozy, but not too thick - it will be great for a variety of climates. I absolutely love it and look forward to wearing it.

Also included, but not pictured, was a $30 discount to CanvasPop. It called itself a gift card, but it is not, it's just a discount...which I will likely use, but I do hate when companies call a coupon a gift card!

Overall, I am super excited about this month's box. I love everything, and it is a collection of items just perfect for the fall/winter transition. I continue to be happy with Popsugar...I love the combination of home, beauty, fashion, and food items.

If you haven't tried Popsugar yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link!

What do you think of this month's box? What are your favorite November goodies?