Monday, March 31, 2014

Popsugar Must Have - March 2014

Popsugar has consistently been one of my favorite boxes! I just really like the variety of items we get- my beauty stash gets a bit out of control, so it's fun to get lifestyle items, too!

March's box arrived in decent was actually the first box to show up this month. The theme is all about welcoming spring and "putting a spring in your step", which I am more than happy to do. Here's what was in it!

Snapea Crisps - These are a snack made from peas! Sounds weird, but they're super good - light and crisp with just enough salt. These would definitely be a good alternative to chips and other salty snacks. I am going to be on the lookout for these!

Nature's Bakery Strawberry Fig bar - This is just what it sounds like - an all nature newton-type bar with strawberry fig filling. These are actually delicious, and while I don't usually buy bars like these, I would not be opposed to eating them again.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum - I love serums.  I'm all about skincare these days and I am always excited to get a great product. This serum fights dullness and fine lines while hydrating. It smells great and I love the organic ingredients! This is one of my favorite products this month, for sure!

Baublebar Elephant Ring Tree - How cute is this?? It's an adorable little ring holder. I don't really wear rings, but I like this so much I don't care! It looks adorable on my dresser. They have other animals available, and I kind of want to get a few more to keep him company!

Dogeared Lucky Horseshoe Make a Wish Necklace - This is a really cool concept. It's a wishbone charm on a thin cord. When you wear it for the first time, you're supposed to make a wish. Then, when the cord wears out and falls off, your wish is ready to come true. Such a cute idea. It's a little short, almost like a choker on me, but I like it and will wear it often. I've already made my wish!

Activeforever Fusion Exercise Ball - Okay, this is obviously a terrible picture, as it hasn't been inflated yet. But this is a small stability ball. I need to start pilates and yoga again big time, so this will come in handy!

Brokedown Blue Ikat Scarf - The star of the box - a gorgeous blue printed scarf. I love it and have already worn it several times! It's soft and not too thick or thin, nice and flowy and just beautiful. This is the star of the box for me!

Overall, I am super pleased with this box! It is probably my favorite I have received from them. I am so excited to see what April brings!

Here's the Brokedown scarf being worn. I so love the shade of blue!

What do you think of this month's box?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Birchbox - March 2014

Now that it's nearly April, I'm trying to get caught up on everything I'm behind on - namely, posting my March subs!

Birchbox is normally one of the first to ship and arrive. This month, however, they seemed to have some issues. Mine shipped out super late and ended up getting here even later.

Now, each month, Birchbox updates their site with your box contents every month on the 10th. I try to avoid peeking, but often, I look anyway. This month, I looked at my box contents and was SO EXCITED...there were several items I was really excited about!

Then, my box finally arrived...and it was a completely different box. Ahhh.

Anyway! March's box has a theme of "Spring Forward", which I am so so ready to do. This has been the longest, coldest winter of all time and if I see one more snowflake, I will cry.

Here's what was in the box I actually received!

Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion - This is a light, fresh smelling lotion. It's not bad. I'd not spend the money on the full size, and I have lotion up to my ears, but the sample will be used. The brand and scent remind me of hotel lotion (and this brand is carried in some hotels), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not an exciting product, but not a terrible one.

Control Corrective Cucumber Bead Cleanser and Oil Free Healing Lotion - These are nice. The cleanser is gentle and the beads are smells like citrus and cucumber and really does leave my face soft and fresh. The lotion is also nice - not too heavy. It doesn't have a strong scent. I have already used these up! They are nice, but don't beat out my favorite skincare products.

Obliphica Professional Intensive Hair Serum - I have hair oils and serums coming out of my ears. However, they are something I use every day and I'm always happy to try a new one. This one smells amazing (kind of like cotton candy) and it really does leave my hair sleek and shiny. I actually prefer it to the Redken and Moroccanoil that I am currently working through. I don't know that I'd buy it full price, but I am happy to use up the sample.

Air Repair Rescue Balm - This is a multi purpose balm that can be used on skin or lips. I'm not crazy about it. It feels heavy and greasy, and the results are no better than a typical balm. I will use it on my cuticles, but there is no way I would buy this.

Inika Eyeliner in Green Lagoon - This is an organic mineral eyeliner pencil in a really pretty shimmery green. I like it, it is springy, creamy, and gorgeous. I have liners for days, but this one will be used up. I like the mineral ingredients! This is definitely my favorite item in this month's box.

Overall, I don't dislike this month's box, but I am not excited about it the way I was the box that was listed on my account. Products are fine, but just a little lackluster. I'm sure most of that is because I had my heart set on the other box, and if this had been my original box, I would have been happy with it!

As always, if you haven't tried out Birchbox yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link.

What was in your box this month?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - March 2014

Wow, we're getting close to the end of March already, and I don't know where the time went! The weather still feels somewhat wintry, I still have the winter blahs. Ahhh.

Anyway, as always, Beauty Box 5 was one of my first boxes to show up this month!

Beauty Box 5 is another monthly beauty subscription service. Here's the breakdown!

Cost: $12/month (but they offer savings for purchasing longer subscriptions).
Ships to: The Continental US and Canada
Shipping: DHL Global Mail (final delivery via USPS), cost included.
Products: A mix of makeup, skincare, body care, haircare, and tools.

It usually takes my BB5 a little less than a week to get to me, once it ships. It ships toward the beginning of the month.

March's theme is "Out With The Old, In With The New". BB5 usually sends out a few varied items in their boxes, and I'm always excited to see which ones will be mine. Here's what I got!

Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime - This is an organic body butter with a tropical coconut and lime scent. I've mentioned before that I dislike the general coconut lime scent (I blame being around too many people when that scent was huge from BBW). Well, this body butter is an exception! It smells so nice and summery, and the texture is nice and rich without being greasy. This tub went right into my purse and I've been using it at work for a boost of energy and cheer, and to keep my hands and elbows soft! Love it!

Jane's Pick All Natural Handmade Bar Soap - This is a handmade soap sample! I'm actually not sure what scent mine is, but I think it might be Purity, as I can smell lavender and mint! I love this kind of bar soap, so clean and natural. This is a very relaxing scent and I like using it before bed to soothe me and help me get ready for sleep. I am impressed with the looks of the company, too, and will likely be placing an order to try more products!

H2O Plus Hand & Nail Cream - This is exactly what it sounds like. I really like this brand, and I LOVE hand creams. At my job, I use my hands constantly, and wash them often. As such, my hands are always dried out and irritated. I love a good hand cream to keep them happy. This one works really really well! It absorbs quickly and isn't greasy. The one downside is that it doesn't smell great - it has that typical lotiony smell to it. However, that is not a dealbreaker. It's a really nice cream!

Swissco Dual Sided Facial Pad - This is really cool. It's a face cleansing pad with softer side and a loofah-like side. I was really excited to get this! It's really important to me that I keep my face exfoliated!  I love that BB5 sends out tools and items like this, as many of my other subs don't do that often. 

Somehow, my computer/the internet ate the photo of my last item, so this one is from BellaPierre's site!

BellaPierre Cosmetics Makeup Base - This is a multi-tasking product that can be used as a concealer, illuminator, or eye primer/base. I love products like this! So far, I have used it under BB cream to camouflage problem areas and as a shadow base. I like it for both uses! It is a little sticky, which is actually a good thing, as it helps other products adhere. It's great with loose pigments. 

I've been using all of these products daily since I received them!

Overall, I am really happy with March's box! I love the range of items and brands, and as always, everything is super useful.

What did you think of this month's box?

*Disclaimer: I received a box free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Glossybox - February 2014

Man, I'm glad February is over. I love the month for the chocolate, but the weather...gah. It's no surprise that my Glossybox was the last of my subs to show up...some girls STILL haven't received their February box! Mine did show up about a week ago, but I've been behind on everything this month.

But, since I am home sick with the plague today, I figured I'd at least get something done.

February's box has a theme of "The Month of Love". They state that they aim to deliver a box filled with love and happiness every month, and that they hope each box serves as a reminder to take some time to primp and pamper yourself.

There were some variations this month! Here's what I received.

Anatomicals - Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer Wake Up Under Eye Patches - Okay, how cute is this name? This is the same brand that sent out a really great shower gel a couple of months ago, and they have such cute clever names. These are eye patches intended to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and eye bags as well as moisturize, nourish, and rejuvenate. I have issues with dark circles, puffiness, and natural fine lines, so I was super excited to get these. There are 3 sets of the patches. I tried one, and they were really nice - my eyes really did look and feel better, and they felt super cooling and soothing while on. Really happy with these!

Lauren B Beauty Nail Couture in City of Angels - This is a brand new line of quick drying nail enamel that promises a high shine and chip resistant finish. The shade is a very sheer light pink. I do love trying new polish brands, but I am less than thrilled with this color - pale pinks like this always go on so streaky for me, and I don't care much for the look of the shade while worn, either. The formula does seem nice, but a different color would have made me much happier.

Sumita Beauty Kala Color Intense Pencil - This is a deep black long wearing liner. I actually have a travel size of this already, and it is a great liner - super dark and creamy and it really does last. I'd have been more excited for a fun color, but as far as black eye pencils go, this is a really great one!

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Serum Plus - This is a hydrating serum that promises to increase hydration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I love this really does make my skin look and feel nice and soft and hydrated. It's too expensive for me to purchase, but I will use the sample and be happy to try any of this brand's products.

Pureology Serious Colour Care Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier for Color Treated Hair - Okay, could they come up with a longer name for this stuff? Seeeeriously. Anyway, this is a hair treatment that promises 21 benefits and to prime and protect hair. Well, frankly it sounds like a lot of words that basically mean "leave-in conditioner and protectant" to me, but This stuff is okay. It feels a bit heavy on my hair, but it's not bad. I won't purchase it, but I will use the sample.

Overall, this was an okay month for me. I love the eye pads and the serum. I like and will use the liner and spray. The polish is getting passed along to someone who will use it, because I dislike the color. This was my last month of my 6 month sub, and I haven't decided if I'm going to resub for March or not.

What do you think of February's box?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - February 2014

One of my favorite things about subs is trying new things. I'm always super excited when a sub sends me something I have never tried before! Beauty Box 5 did just that this month.

I love Beauty Box 5. I feel they are often overlooked...not as many people have heard of them as the larger subs. But they always send me a variety of items and the items are always interesting and of good quality and it is always worth more than the $12 that you pay!

February 2014 is their 2nd birthday! I was really excited to see what was in their birthday celebration box!

Such a sweet little info card this month! I love that their information cards are nice and detailed, with pictures.

Rockstar Nails Caviar Nail polish set - This is a pretty purple nail polish with matching caviar beads. I was so excited to get this - I had never tried a caviar mani before! I did a quick caviar accent nail and shared with you how to do it below! This is a new brand to me and I really love the formula of the polish and the fun of the caviar. 

Every Beauty Makeup Remover Pads with Argan Oil extract - These are dry makeup remover just get them wet when you're ready to use them! I love this idea - I absolutely hate when my face wipes dry out! These have already found a home in my bag. I love discovering new items like this!

Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara - I've actually gotten this before, but a friend needed mascara (and my stash was huge) so I passed it along to her and never had a chance to try it! I'm excited to try it this time. I don't want to open it until I finish my current mascara, but I'll report back with my thoughts on it.

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Touchably Full shampoo and conditioner (2 packets of each): I'm always happy to try new shampoos and conditioners. I used one of these yesterday, and my hair does feel nice and soft and full. I really like John Frieda products!

I was really happy with the contents of my Beauty Box 5 this month! I was so excited about the Rockstar Nails set that I decided to play with it a bit! Forgive the terrible lighting.

I decided to do just one accent nail with the caviar, today. So I started by painting the other nails. The polish was really easy to work with - not too thick, not too thin. I saved the accent nail for last, because you want to put the beads on about 10 seconds after you paint that nail - before it gets too try, but allowing for a few seconds for it to "set" a bit.

There are different methods for applying the caviar. Some people pour it over the nail. I decided to pour some beads in a container and dipping my nail in. I poured in enough beads to ensure I could cover the nail easily.

 Next, I painted the accent nail, waited 10 seconds to allow it to set, a dipped it in. I moved the nail around a bit, making sure every surface made contact with the beads.

 Tada! The next step is to tap off the excess, and seal it with a topcoat. Such a cute and fun look!

Now, a caviar manicure is not something that is going to offer you a lot of longevity, so don't do it when you need your nails to look great all week. But it is a super cute and fun look for a night out or special occasion. I'm really excited to play with this set more!

Have you tried a caviar mani yet? What about Beauty Box 5?

Disclaimer: I received this box free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Ipsy - February 2014

Wow, somehow it's already March! I don't know how I got so behind on everything is month, but I can't say I'm sad to see spring approaching...HOPEFULLY.

I'll start off by saying that Ipsy has been on my chopping block for a while. It's not that the products they send out are bad, and it's always great to get full sized makeup...but as they tend to use so many repeated brands and very similar product types, it's just getting less exciting for me. And, as my stash grows, it becomes more and more unlikely that they will send me anything I don't have half a dozen of. I have enough points to cash in for March, and after that Ipsy and I will be taking a break, until I see them starting to bring in a bigger variety of brands and products.

That said, here's what I got for February!

Ipsy's theme for February is "The Look Of Love". That's always a good thing, right? I love Valentine themed things, pink things, love things! I was optimistic that Ipsy would make me happy this month. Well...

The bag itself is cute and simple. It is pink, with a slightly rounded top. It has a pink leopard print inside. I love pink, so I've already put this in my bag, it's perfect for holding the teabags I like to take to work with me.

POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini in Peony Petal - This is a mini lipgloss in a pretty pink color that promises to plump lips. Okay, I am not huge on lipgloss and I have a ton of them, so I was just going to put this aside and gift it. However, I started seeing ladies on Makeuptalk complain that theirs smelled terrible, like chemicals, gasoline, and burned rubber. Curiosity got the best of me, and I opened it...YEAH. So glad I didn't gift this. It smells like burning tires with gas poured on top. I would never put anything that smelled like this anywhere near my mouth! Apparently it is not the "normal" smell so these minis might have gone bad somewhere...but I have glosses that are years old and none of them smell like this. It makes me wonder what you're putting in there to make them smell so awful when they DO go off. I wasn't a big fan of POP beauty anyway, but now I will not be putting anything they make anywhere near my face. Ipsy is sending those who complain a replacement...I got mine today. They sent me another POP gloss which smells as bad as the first, and a Buxom gloss in Dolly, which does not smell and I'm happy to get. 

j. cat beauty eyelashes - Okay, Ipsy. I CANNOT APPLY FAKE LASHES TO SAVE MY LIFE. Why you keep insisting on sending them to me is beyond me, but please stop. If I try them, they are destroyed and wasted, the value is barely worth trading, and I don't have anyone nearby to gift them to. Just stop. I've pawned a dozen pairs of lashes off on people over the last year, and I've had quite enough. Send them to someone who will love them properly.

Zoya nail polish in Dot - It's hard to see the color in the picture, it is a very pretty baby pink. I was hoping for the purple shade they sent out, but this one is nice, too! I don't wear much baby pink polish, as I find it hard to work with (and I'm not that great with nail polish to begin with) but I like this one enough to replace my current light pink with it! I'm always happy to get Zoya, it remains my favorite polish brand.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser - This is a cleanser that contains red clay to unclog pores. I love a good cleanser, and I like this brand, so I was excited to get this! I've been using it this week, and it's really nice. I would consider buying it again once I use up some of my current stash of cleansers! I love the ingredients and the way it helps balance out my combination skin. A+ on picking this one for me, Ipsy.

Jesse's Girl 9 pan eyeshadow palette in The Eyes Have It (greens) - Well, you know I love eyeshadow, and these colors are gorgeous. However, I was a bit disappointed to get this. I had previously tried a shadow palette by Jesse's Girl, and the quality was just awful - patchy, no pigmentation, and hard to blend. I decided to try this one anyway, and while it isn't as bad as the other I tried, the quality is still not good. I will take it in to work and use it for "makeover days" with my residents. I love Jesse's Girl eye pens, but the shadows leave much to be desired!

This is just not a good Ipsy month for me. I love the cleanser and Zoya, so it's not a total loss (and those two items are worth my $10), but it definitely cemented my decision to cancel for a while after March (unless March ends up being amazing). I'm just looking for actual discovery, new shades, products, brands, etc and Ipsy is just sending me the same low quality brands and products over and over with the occasional awesomeness thrown in. It's great if you're trying to build up your makeup collection, but when you already have a lot, like I do, it really becomes more about discovery than quantity.

What do you think of this month's Ipsy bag?