Monday, December 30, 2013

FabFitFun - Winter 2013

The Winter 2013 box is FabFitFun's 4th box. The VIP box is a quarterly subscription that costs $49.99 a quarter. It is curated by Giuliana Rancic and contains a mix of beauty, fashion, food, and fitness products.

I have been around since the first box. They have had issues with shipping, billing, etc (which seem to be improving with each box) but the contents and value are always great! In fact, this box consistently has the best value of any of my subs!

The winter box has a retail value of $271 (including cards) and this is definitely my favorite box from them so far.

They had some sort of glitch and my box didn't get shipped out when most of the others did. I finally contacted them. They were very apologetic and sent my box out priority mail, and also gave me a $10 discount off of the spring box. I received it 2 days later! I'm happy with their customer service.

I love the info card they use - it's large and easy to red and explains why each item was chosen. The winter box has 8 physical items, a gift card, and a "bonus" discount/freebie!

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream - This is an eye cream that battles wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness! It has peptides and Vitamin K, as well as other unique ingredients. I love this brand, but it is pricey so I am super happy to receive this eye cream! This alone retails for $45. I tried it this morning and it feels really nice. I'm excited to see how it performs!

Nyx Love in Florence eyeshadow palette - This is a five shade palette from Nyx. They sent out several variations of this...I got pretty pinks, grey, and taupe. The shades are really pretty and I do like the Nyx brand, so I am happy with this! They consider this and one other product to be "bonus" items because they are drugstore finds. I use drugstore products all the time, so no problem here! This retails for $8.

TruEnergy Inspired Earbuds - These are cute earbuds with a built in SoundShare splitter, so you can listen with a friend! They have decent sound quality, enhanced bass, and noise reduction, as well. They sent out 3 different color varieties. Admittedly, I was hoping for something besides the orange and yellow I received, but they are still cute and really sound pretty decent! I'm happy to have these to keep in my bag. These retail for $39.99.

Beauty For Real Lip Gloss - This is a plumping lipgloss with a built in mirror and light - cool! I received Don't Stop Red, a pretty sparkly red color. It has a nice minty feel and scent and I really love the built in light and mirror. It isn't too sticky, and the red is pretty but can be applied sheerly. This retails for $22.

The light is in the base of the cap, so you can see while applying. Cool!

Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser - This is the other "bonus" drugstore item...a foaming face wash with chamomile. I love this brand, and am really happy to try this cleanser. I still haven't opened my cleanser from the fall box, because I'm trying to use up all my open bottles before I open a new one! So this is being added to my stash. This retails for $7.49.

Lorna Jane bracelet - This is a symbol of sisterhood and a daily reminder to "move, nourish, and believe". It's stretchy and pink and I actually think it's pretty cute. It's great for me to wear to work because I can get it wet without worries. It retails for $29.99.

Bioxidea Miracle 24 - I have removed the image of this mask because I have been repeatedly harrassed by the company because it is an "outdated image", despite the fact that this review is a year old and it is an image that I took myself of a product I received. As such, I do not recommend this brand to anyone. It was nothing special anyway.
The Giving Keys Never Ending Necklace - Ahhh, how cute is this? It's a necklace made from repurposed keys. Each one is engraved with a word/message and is unique. The idea is that you wear the necklace until you meet someone who needs that necklace's message more than you at the time, and then give it to them. The company employs those who are transitioning out of homelessness. All in all, just a great company and concept.

I received a silver key with the word "strength". I love it!

We also received a $20 credit to meUndies. This is a true credit, not a discount code masquerading as a gift card! It can be spent on anything and no additional purchase is necessary. For this $20, you can get a pair of undies or 2 pair of socks. I used it to order some socks.

And finally, 5 free Physique 57 classes. These are online classes that combine cardio, strength training, and stretching.  I can definitely use these!

Overall, I am super impressed with this box. I love that everything is well suited for me and I will use and love it all. I am so impressed with the value they manage to put into their boxes. I am definitely sticking around to see what spring brings!

Have you tried out FabFitFun yet?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Starlooks Starbox - December 2013

I'm a sucker for a palette. I have more eyeshadows than I am willing to count, and I always want more more more!

So when I found out last month that Starlooks would be sending out another 15 shade eyeshadow palette like they did last December, I had to sign back up for November and December. And I've enjoyed these last 2 months so much that I think I'll stick around awhile longer, even though more makeup is the last thing I need!

My box arrived last week, and I am currently having a lot of fun with it!

I love the cute packaging every month, it always feels like opening a present. This month brings a glossy white box with gold print, tied with green elastic. Super cute!

Inside, the box is covered with pretty gold tissue. I didn't get them in the picture, but they've included 2 of their signature quartz crystals, which I collect in a little cup on my vanity.

This year's palette is called New Years Eve 2014! Last year's what a mix of very bright reds, yellows, greens, blues, and purples. This year's is much more neutral with a few seasonally appropriate pops of color! My neutrals collection is shamefully small, so I am excited about this!

Opening it up, I see that there is a nice mix of shimmers/satins and mattes. I did very quick swatches of all of the shades on my bare arm. Some are very decently pigmented, while a few (specifically the mattes) tend to be more sheer. Now, I am super pale, so the lighter shades are hard to see in the swatches, but they do show up nicely on the eyes!

Each picture below has 5 swatches, starting with the bottom row.

The silver and the green are pretty amazing! The matte berry shade is definitely the most sheer and the hardest to work with of the bunch.

I don't think I'd have paid full price ($99!) for this palette, but the colors are nice and it is a very good deal for what I paid. As usual, I am happy with my Starbox, and I'm glad I did sign back up.

If you are interested in trying out Starlooks, please feel free to do so using my referral link!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Glossybox US, December 2013

Man, the USPS is a mess this month. I know it is pretty normal for things to ship slower during the holiday season, but it really seems like this year, it's much worse than usual!

For example, I shipped my secret santa gift to the recipient 11 days ago...and I chose Priority 2 day shipping. It is finally just now at her post office today. I have had 50 mini heart attacks about it.

Because of that, I was beyond surprised to find my Glossybox in my mail this morning! They aren't known for their fast shipping in the best of circumstances!

I ripped that sucker open so fast!

I'm building up quite the collection of these boxes! I need to use them to assemble a little makeup storage set of drawers.

This month's card is pretty and holiday themed! So cute.

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing - This is a moisturizer designed to keep your skin balanced and moisturized. It's natural and organic, and contains essential oils, which I love! I'm excited to try this.

Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Mask - This is an enzyme mask that exfoliates, smoothes, and helps clear clogged pores. I have used it before and I love it! It looks and feels a lot like slathering pumpkin puree on your face, but the results are great. So happy to get another one of these!

Ardency Inn PUNKER world's baddest eyeliner - This is a black liquid liner intended to help you draw a great cat-eye (or any other type of liner you like). It is nice and smooth and dark! I generally get tired of getting black liners, but I was actually needing a good liquid one soon and I am so happy to try this!

nails inc. nail polish in Victoria - This is a super glossy polish in a very dark cherry red. So pretty and unlike anything I own! So great for winter!

Anatomicals You Need a Blooming Shower body cleanser - This is a relaxing shower gel with witch hazel and aloe in it...awesome. It smells like roses (also has jasmine in there, but I primarily smell the rose). I have just discovered that I really like rose scents, and I am so excited to try this out. It smells AMAZING.

Overall, I am super happy with this box. The sizes are great, and I love the variety. There is not a single thing that disappointed me this month! 

Here's a single swipe of the liner, with light pressure. Pretty great!

What do you think of this month's Glossybox?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beauty Box 5 - December 2013

I love seeing what themes all of my subs come up with each month...even though the themes usually have little to do with the actual contents, I just think they're fun! Beauty Box 5 has a very fitting theme for December - "Naughty and Nice".  I was excited to find out what was inside!

Beauty Box 5 always has good sample sizes and an interesting variety.

NYX - Love in Rio palette in Sway With Lola - This palette is so pretty! The lighting in here sucks, so the colors are a bit off. They are actually a soft pink, a light shimmery brown, and a baby blue. I really like NYX products. This palette is not super pigmented, but I actually like that sometimes...these shadows are a really nice sheer wash of color. I look forward to playing with them.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Gel Moisturizer - This is a light water based moisturizer. It has a nice refreshing scent, and I am pretty excited to try it. I will likely save it for summer, because in the winter I need a bit more moisture.

Ofra Cosmetics Sultry Lipgloss Plumper - This is a plumping gloss with a pretty color and shimmer to it! It has just the right amount of pigmentation, and it can be applied sheerly or built up for more color. It has a nice minty smell to it, too.

Body Drench Daily Moisturizing Lotion in Hemp - This is a nice silky lotion. I wasn't sure what it would smell like, as all I could think of was the smell of hemp jewelry, but it is actually a nice, light, fresh fragrance. I really like this lotion and it has found a home in my bag!

Every Beauty Flexible Foot Smoother - This is actually something I really needed! I was just thinking about buying a pumice stone or something similar to smooth out my feet, and then this showed up! It's nice and flexible, with a fine grit on one side and a more coarse one on the other. It reminds me a bit of a kitchen sponge (but more substantial). Super excited to get this.

Overall, I think this month was a really great month for BB5! I'm loving all of the products I received. 

If you haven't tried Beauty Box 5 yet, give it a shot. Here is a sneak peek of what's coming in January!

Disclaimer: I receive Beauty Box 5 free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Ipsy Glam Bag - December 2013

I'm a little late on this one. I managed to catch a really awful stomach flu this week and I have just now started feeling like a person again! Happily, I have several subs to help me feel better. This month, I actually got my Ipsy and Birchbox on the same day! Exciting! My Birchbox was really great, so I was hoping for a great Ipsy bag, too!

The theme this month is "Celebrate!", which is pretty fitting for the holiday season.

The bag this month is so cute! It feels nice and sturdy. It is the exact same color/pattern as my train case, so I'm pretty excited about that!

POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life eyeshadow trio in Smokin' Hot - This is a shadow trio with silver, grey, and black. I like gray shades, so this is a good choice for me. There was another trio sent out that was neutral browns. I'm glad I got this one! I got a POP beauty shadow in a previous sub a while back, and it wasn't very pigmented...but I am happy to give these a chance.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Cream - This is a creamy lipstick. Now, the picture makes this look pink. It is NOT. It is a beige with gold shimmer. And honestly, it is just ugly. I really like the feel of the formula, but I cannot see myself wearing this shade. I tried it on and it instantly made my skin look more pale, and my dark circles more dark. I looked like Uncle Fester! They sent out many different shades this month, I just got unlucky. I'll try it to add a bit of shimmer to dark or bright shades.

Ardell Natural lashes in Demi 120 - These are cute natural looking fake lashes. I cannot wear lashes to save my life. I've tried every tutorial out there. I've watched youtube videos, read blog posts...and I still end up with the lashes half glued to my eyebrow with my eyelids stuck together. I may give these another shot just because I really like the look of them.

Nicka K New York nail color in Taupe - This is a purpley taupe creme shade. They sent out several different polishes this month...and honestly, this one (and this shade specifically) is the one I was really hoping NOT to get. I just dislike taupe...I think it's kind of hideous. The good news is that the formula on this one is really nice! I just can't see myself actually wearing it.

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Girl Crush - This is a multi-purpose stick that can be used for cheeks, lips, or eyes. The shade I got is Girl Crush - a light pink with sparkle. It is a cute color, but it is pretty light so I likely won't use it on my lips. It is very subtle on my cheeks since I am also pretty pale. I would have liked one of the brighter colors more, but this is a nice product.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this bag. The products themselves are really nice, and the sizes are great. I just feel like I kind of lost the lottery when it comes to shade variations received! It's okay, I'll find someone to gift the polish to, I'll use the one stick, and I'll find a use for the lipstick.

Have you tried Ipsy yet? If not, feel free to sign up using my referral link! If so, what was in your bag this month?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Birchbox - December 2013

Sometimes, I will go for weeks at a time without mail. Days pass and NOTHING, not even a bill. But then, everything arrives at once! That's what happened to me this week with my subs. I'm not complaining at the mini Christmas I just had!

Last month was my first month back with Birchbox, and it was a really great one! I was really nervous that this month would be terrible and make me regret coming back. Shipping was pretty quick this time!

I don't know if Birchbox will be switching up their usual bright pink outer boxes regularly from now on or not, but I approve! I love this pretty gold box. Silly thing, since it just gets tossed out, but I'm a sucker for packaging!

And the box itself is different, too! How cute! The inside has pretty gold stripes, as well.

I noticed right away that my box was heavy! It was packed full this month. The theme for this month was just "Holiday 2013" and the products seem to include a little bit of everything. Products sent out this month (not just in my box) had lots of hand creams, moisturizers, conditioners, etc...basically nice pampering things for wintery holiday time. I received 5 products this month.

Hair Rules Quench Conditioner - This is a hydrating conditioner for dry or frizzy hair. I battle dryness, and I flat iron my hair a lot, so this is ALWAYS welcome. It smells amazing (reminds me of Pink Sugar perfume, or similar to the Beauty Protector spray)...and 2 ounces is a great sized sample. This is a new brand to me but it looks really good!

Pura Botanica Botanic Bath Infusions in Moment in Mint - This is a blend of mineral sea salts, essential oils, and this case, mint, meant to be dissolved in the bath. I don't take many baths because my apartment has a pretty tiny bathtub and it can be a hassle...but I had a stressful week at work, a weekend of 16 hour shifts coming up, and then a new position at work starting next this came at the perfect time! I soaked in this yesterday and I fell in love! It had the nicest relaxing mint scent, and it left my skin so soft and smooth. I'd definitely love to try more of these. I love that it came in a little sachet, so I didn't have to rinse any residue out of my tub. 

Willa Lavender Facial Towelettes - These are wipes that clean dirty and oil from the skin. I absolutely love face wipes. I use them daily - not in the place of cleansing, but to remove makeup before washing, to wipe off makeup mistakes, or just to refresh my skin. I also use them after I've wiped my face with them, to wipe excess off of brushes between cleanings. This is a pack of 10 and I was excited to try this brand. They smell good and work well. They will be great for after work, relaxing.

BORGHESE Superiore State-of-the-Art Mascara - this is a formula that lengthens, conditions, and curls. I have a ton of mascaras, but I love this brand so I went ahead and tried it out today. I loved it! It really did add great length and made my lashes look long and fluttery but not too dramatic. (I have mascaras for my dramatic days, but some days I want length without mega volume)! It feels conditioning. I am pretty impressed with this and might buy it when I run out of my current mascara, in like...5 years.

Emily's Chocolates Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookie - I ate this already. It was awesome. The fortune was stupid (it said something like my soul thanks me for the gift of chocolate) but it tasted great. Fun, too!

Overall, I am super happy with my box this month. Everything was a great size and it is all stuff I will use happily. Keep it up, Birchbox, and we won't break up this time!

Oh, and one tiny little extra - a card advertising their new iPhone app, with a little screen cleaner on it! The little black bit clings to your phone, and then you can take it off and use it to wipe your screen. I go nuts over smudges on my screen so I loved this, as silly as it looks!

What was in your Birchbox this month?

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