Look Fantastic Beauty Box October 2020 Unboxing

The arrival of the beauty boxes continues.

The Look Fantastic Beauty Box is a $19 per month beauty subscription.  I have to say it is one of the boxes I am always eager to see and this month was no exception.  This month’s box, a sturdy cardboard I always end up reusing, was a beautiful blue tone. In my opinion the dark and light blue color contrast is just beautiful.  It is also one of my favorite colors. The prices listed in the pamphlet are actually listed in pounds rather than dollars as it is a British based subscription. To keep things honest I will list the prices in pounds and then do a conversion at the end of the post as a tally, that way if my conversion is wrong there is still the listed price with the product.

But as with most things, it is what is inside that counts.  So let’s see what is in this month’s box.

First up is the E Cooking overnight Foot Cream (Retail 8.10).  I love the brand e cooking.  They are vegan and dermatologically tested. Every product I pick up from them I have absolutely loved.  They are also one of those brands I need to remember more often.

Shop Prime Day Deals at Ecooking!

They are one of those quiet killer brands; excellent products that aren’t showy, but do fantastic things for your skin.  I am very happy to give the foot cream a try. 

The glass jar is lovely and I like the thought of having it on my night stand for a while.  The product smells a bit like Vicks vapor rub from the menthol included in the product. While I am not a fan, my baby doll loves the scent.  As it is on my feet and far from my nose, the scent is less of a concern than in another product.  I put my feet through a lot of stress as my most consistent workouts involve walking.  I’ve tried a lot of foot creams and thus far the Soap and Glory Foot cream has retained its title and place in my night stand.  It will be interesting to see how this one stacks up. 

The second product in my Look Fantastic box this month was actually last month’s spoiler.  Each month the pamphlet teases you with one of the items that is going to be in the upcoming month’s box.  The By Terry Baume De Rose Flaconnette (retail 14) was the September spoiler.  It is essentially a clear lip gloss.  I’ve tried it before and it is a really good lip gloss.  The problem is that the rose scent is so overpowering that I just can’t take it.  As it is a lip product, it is right under the nose so there is no avoiding the scent. It is strong and it lingers.  So I won’t be opening it and I will be passing it along to my mother who absolutely adores this lip gloss and it’s scent.

I will however get much use out of the Glov Hair wrap (retail 14.99).  It is as the name suggests, a hair wrap.  It is soft and sturdy and big enough to actually cover all of my hair. 

I really like hair wraps, especially when the material is good.  I’ve tried many cheaper hair wraps and end up preferring my towel.  This may give my towel a run for it’s money.  I am very much looking forward to using it.

Speaking of the bath there was a Bubble T Earl Gray Bath Tea (retail 5.99) in my subscription box this month. I am always willing to try new bath products.  While I love the Kniepp products I use, there are limited scents that I will buy from them (although those scents I buy routinely) and it is nice to try something new.  I’ve heard of Bubble T but never tried their products so this should be fun.  Hopefully it won’t be as bergamot forward as actual Earl Gray tea. 

This month there was one variable item and that was with the eye masks.  There were two types you could receive, one was from Starskin and the other from Beauty Pro.  I received the Starskin (retail 4.25) one and I am really looking forward to trying it out. 

I’ve used a Starskin sheet mask before but never the eye masks.  I am really starting to love eye masks.  I started really using them when my eyes were getting puffy from the rag weed and found many of them worked well at relieving the puffiness. So it’s nice to have a new one to try out.

Finally there was a deluxe mini size of the Balance Me Bakuchiol Serum (retail 11). Bakuchiol is apparently a plant based retinol alternative. I’ve just started looking into retinols so it will be interesting to see how this works. 

I tried a Balance Me Vitamin C serum recently (which I think also came in a Look Fantastic Box).  It worked well, but smelled like lemon pledge (at least to me) which I couldn’t get past.  (I know, my nose causes so much trouble.) I’m holding off opening this serum until I actually use it so it doesn’t go bad, but hopefully it will work as well as their Vitamin C without any troubling scent.

Okay so that was my $19 Look Fantastic box for October.  I have to say I am very happy with it.  There was one product I won’t use.  It makes me very sad because the product is nice but the scent just kills me.  So the end value in pounds is 58.33 which according to my currency converter (okay the internet’s currency converter) is $76.11 which is a pretty good value.  As I did with boxycharm I am going to have to take off the 14 pounds from the price as I will be passing along the By Terry lip Gloss without using it, so that would bring my personal total down to 44.33 or $57.84 in US dollars. As everything that remains will be well used, I am rather pleased with what I received in the box.  Its a rather nice return on my $19 box. And to be fair I know my mother will giggle with glee when she gets the By Terry lip gloss so I can’t really be too sad about not using it. Its just that rose scent. It is a strong one.

I am a big fan of this beauty subscription.  I also like the Look Fantastic website and often do a lot of my shopping there.  They have weekly deals going on and is one of the reasons I started keeping a list of products I like. Currently they are doing their Exclusive! 22% off Sitewide Sale (use code PREMIER). Today is the last day of that sale. There are also two other sales that are for today only: the 3 For 2 on Christophe Robin and the 3 For 2 on Grow Gorgeous. No codes are needed for either of those but the sale ends at 5:59 pm EST. And until Halloween they have mystery boxes on sale. There are three: a $20 (worth $100), $30 (worth $200) and $40 (worth $300). If mystery boxes are your thing they are worth looking into for you this month.

Look Fantastic also has an advent calendar this year, which sadly has already sold out.  I was planning on talking about them in an advent calendar post that will becoming on October 19th, but alas it is too late.  However all is not lost.  They currently have the Holiday Beauty Chest still available.  Since the Advent Calendar already sold out, I wanted to make sure I mentioned it in case it sells out before the 19th as well.  Next year I think I’m going to have to do my advent calendar post in September just to make sure all the information is out before things start selling out.  I just have a hard time turning my thoughts to the holidays before the summer heat breaks.  This year it held on longer than usual so I am a little behind. But the Beauty Chest is definitely worth looking into as an Advent Calendar alternative for those interested.

As a final mention the sneak peek for the November box was posted on the back of the pamphlet and next month’s box will feature a Naobay Detox Oxygen Light Cream worth 16 pounds. I’ve never heard of them before, but I am always up to try a new moisturizer. For now, I am going to enjoy October’s box.

September 2020 Look Fantastic Beauty Box: The Birthday Box

Happy Birthday to Look Fantastic!September marks their sith’s year in operation and they adjusted the look of their box to suit. Personally I love the gold lettering. For those who don’t know Look Fantastic is a monthly Beauty Box that costs $19 per month. It is based in the UK and one tat I really like. Sometimes I get brands that I know and love, while other times I learn about brands I’ve never heard of, even if they are quite popular elsewhere.

The box is made of sturdy cardboard and the items inside are wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker so it is always like unwrapping a present when it arrives. I also like that the outside mailer, once you peel off the international customs plastic bit, is fully recyclable. And by that I mean it is the kind of cardboard that would not only go into the recycling bin, but that I can tear up and add to my personal compost bin.

Which I do.

The interior box I use for storage.

One thing I also love about Look Fantastic is their on-line store. It is really large and carries a host of brands at varying price points in bath and body, skin care and makeup. They carry NYX Cosmetics, Pixi products, Elemis, Erno Laszlo, Caudalie, and Molton Brown. It is not limited to a few items or a once a month shopping it is an actual on-line store and they generally have weekly sales. For example starting today (9/9) and running through September 14th you can get 25% off award winning skin care. It is a really long list of brands on the sale list including brands like 111Skin, AHAVA, Dermelect Cosmeceuticals and e cooking. And starting tomorrow you can get 15% off sitewide with the code CELEBRATE. Given that you don’t need a code for the 25% off the select skin care items you could probably combine the two and get yourself a really good deal. There is also a 25% + 10% off Molton Brown, ReFa & more going on starting today as well, just use code SALEX10  

But enough about the company, lets get on to the box. The first Item I pulled out of the Birthday box was the spoiler for last month. Each month they tease you with one item for the upcoming box on the pamphlet included in the box. This month the product was a 15 mL tube of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. I was very excited by this because I have never had a bad product from Elemis. From their cleansers, to the exfoliating toner pads to the make up remover balm, it has all be fantastic.

I am still kicking myself for not stocking up on the Elemis oils when they were offered by BoxyCharm a while ago. I actually finished my Elemis Cleansing Balm in August and already miss it. So I was very happy to get another Elemis product to try.

The next item I picked up is from Illamasqua. I received the mini OMG Highlighter. I have primers, lip liners and a couple of lipsticks from Illamasqua and they are all very nice. I’ve never tried one of their powder products before so I am looking forward to giving it a go. I am deliberately not swatching it so that I can get a first impression next week when I add it to my makeup bag.

It looks to be a lovely gold shimmer though and I tend to lean more towards gold tones so I’m happy. In the September box subscribers could either get the Illamasqua highlighter or the Mary-Lou Manizer from the Balm. I’ve tried the Mary-Lou-Manizer before and it is a great product. I would have been happy with it, but I am glad I get to try the one I’ve never used.

I have to admit that my swatching restraint did not extend to the Diego Dalla Parma Mini lip pencil in the shade Antique pink. I never heard of the brand and I wanted to know if antique pink was going to be a Barbie pink (of which I’m not really a fan) so I swatched it. The formula is quite creamy and very pigmented. It is also a kind of dusky rose shade that is one of my favorites. While I did swatch it, I did not put it on my lips, I will reserve that for next week’s makeup bag as well. But I am pleased with how well it swatched on the hand.

The next item I took out of the Birthday Box was another squeezie tube and it was from the brand ESPA. I have heard of the brand and I know it is a well respected skincare company. By which I mean one of my cousins periodically gushes about them. I think they started out as a spa and then started selling their products if I’m not mistaken. I’ll look into more information about them before trying and reviewing the product.

The specific product that I received was the Pink Hair and Scalp Mud. (The other option was the ESPA Micellar Water Cleanser). The Scalp mud is a deep conditioning treatment for your hair and scalp. Given that I am not going out as much, I am trying to do as much recovery work on my hair as possible (not as much heat styling and many more hair and scalp treatments), this is a great product for me to receive right now. Plus pampering my hair with treatments is sort of my way of apologizing for any past mistreatments and my not so great hair cutting skills. My hair may no longer have layers, but it also has no split ends.

The next two items are both tools and both full sized. The first is a Luxie shading brush (thr 209 if you are keeping track). I have quite a few Luxie brushes. They are a good quality and last a long time. I also tend to use shading brushes a lot so having an extra one on hand is not a bad thing for me.

The second tool is the Brushworks Jade Roller. I know lots of people rave about the stone rollers as a way of pushing serums into the skin. Personally I find either a PMD Wand or one of the Fereo vibrating tools much better for that (especially the mini one.)

I do have a quartz roller though and I love using it for depuffing. I keep mine in the fridge and on mornings when allergens have taken me down I roll it on my face, starting at the neck and working my way up to the eyes.

It really helps bring down the puffiness from allergies. It is also fantastic on a really hot day. I love rolling it on the neck just under the ears, working up to behind the ears. I find that cools me down super quickly when I am overheated. I’ve been using it a lot this summer. Quite frankly it is better than any cooling sprays I’ve found. Just remember to keep it washed. I am very happy to have a second roller in the house as they are useful and it would be nice to have a second to trade out when the first warms up.

The final item in my Look Fantastic Box this month was something I at first took to be a magnet. It is not, it is one of those buttons you attached to the back of your phone to make it easier to hold. As my phone case has a built in metal loop, I won’t be using it, but my mom really likes them so I will be passing it on to her in the goodie box I am compiling for her.

Since I inherited skin from my father’s side, she and I have almost opposite skin concerns and different coloring so any product or makeup that I can’t use generally she can and visa versa so I save all the things I get in subscription boxes but know I won’t use for her. I was supposed to give it to her at Easter but we didn’t get together and we may be doing separate Thanksgivings as well this year so I may be mailing it soon.

So my quest for bubble wrap is soon to begin.

But that is another story. For now, this was my September Look Fantastic Box. I was very happy with their Birthday edit and if you are looking to join, I don’t think they’ve sold out of this month’s box yet. They frequently sell out around mid to late month because they are such a good deal. I received products I really like, a few from companies on my favorites list and a few from ones I’ve never heard of and all of which I am eager to try out. This month was a very good month.

Oh and for those interested, this month is also when the Look Fantastic Advent Calendars are available for pre order. They sell out super fast so even though it is September and still really skin meltingly hot, if you are interested in picking this one up you are going to want to get on the list early. (if it is a gift think of it as being proactive in your holiday shopping. whenever I do that it always makes me feel rather virtuous and grown up. Admittedly all pre-planning makes me feel that way, especially when it is successful.)

They are a little pricey, but utterly amazing and so completely worth the price. I received one as a present before and it was wonderful. It was from my babydoll and it was also somewhat tortuous. He holds a firm belief that advent calendars should be opened only one day at a time, never all at once. Mostly because if he opens them all at once he eats all of the chocolate in one sitting. While I was excited by the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar he was disappointed as it didn’t have chocolate.

So I got him a fancy chocolate one and then made him only open one a day. which he found quite a torture as well, so at least we were even.

While there was some makeup in the advent calendar, it is predominantly skin care based. There are some body care items as well I believe Molton Brown is in this year’s calendar. You know how much I love their shower gel.

To sum up, another great Beauty Box from Look Fantastic and Advent Calendars are now available for pre-sale. And a big Happy Birthday to Look Fantastic. I’m sure this will be their best year yet.

Is the Percy and Reed Wonder Balm perfectly perfecting?

I am a big fan of leave in conditioners.  To be honest, I have grown more fond of them now that I am trying to put in time sweating every day. While dry shampoo is great for touch ups and temporary fixes, my workout/sweat fests require more hair washing than when I am not trying to lose weight.  Especially now that I am using the walking trail for summer walks instead of the gym’s treadmill. 

I still use dry shampoo (quite a lot actually) but it is more a help after moderate workouts indoors (Yoga, wii fit, youtube videos) when I know I won’t be able to get to the shower until later or when I have a surprisingly rescheduled video call. I have somewhat long hair and it tends to be on the thick side. With dry shampoo I can rinse my hair every night, but only wash it every other night. When I don’t exercise I can skip two nights or washing. I have never been able to go longer without my hair turning into an absolute horror. 

I know that is a bit of a background but I thought it would help. The end result is that as I am now washing my hair more often than I am accustomed to, I use leave in conditioners, hair oils, masks and other treatments to help it out. Some are better than others. 

The one I’ve tried most recently is the Percy and Reed Wonder Balm. It came in my August Look Fantastic Box.  I have to say this was a really good box this month.  All of the products were ones I wanted to try out.  Some months are better than others in every subscription box, but August, Look Fantastic just sort of hit it out of the park in terms of product selection.

But what is this Wonder Balm? 

Well, according to the product page…

If you believe in miracles, pick up the Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm and watch the magic happen. An effective primer for your hair, this leave-in balm creates a versatile base for any hair-styling product which serves to enhance your ‘do. Ensure that your hair creations last longer by first applying the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm for more control and manageability, added moisture and shine, and greater definition.

I found this to be an interesting product to work with.  I know it is called a primer, but it is effectively a leave in conditioner, or at least that is how it applies.  From the description I almost thought it was a styling gel.  It isn’t.  I applied the balm to my damp hair after a shower, whether it was a night I was washing it completely or just rinsing the day and dry shampoo away. 

while I use more product when my hair is wet, if dry this is the amount I use to tame fly aways and give a pore polished look to air dried hair

It wasn’t greasy or heavy in my hair, even on days where I wasn’t washing my hair.  In fact on those days it really worked well.  It helped keep my hair from tangling or getting knotted. That is the big issue for me on the days when I am not actually washing my hair. I still have to rinse the it out but then it risks getting knotted and becoming impossible to work with. This wonder balm was amazing in preventing the tangled knots.

When my hair was freshly washed, it kept me from getting fly aways. At the moment I am not doing a whole lot with my hair.  Because I am spending a lot of time at home, I have been letting my hair dry naturally and only really using heat to style it when I know I have a video call. Other wise I have been giving it a break from a lot of heated styling and just using hair repair kind of products.  Occasionally I have to use the flat iron on my bangs when they become completely crazy, but for the most part, I’m giving my hair extended recovery time. I figured since I’m home, I might as well let my hair benefit from the lack of socialization. Its actually been kind of nice watching my hair become healthier the longer I let it go.

With this product, I did use it on my damp hair, let it dry and then combed through it and had a nice casual, healthy look.  I also found that a little bit of this product, rubbed on the hands and then smoothed over dry hair helped the look seem more polished when going in front of the video camera if I forgot and didn’t take the time with the dryer and flat iron. I just applied it to the top layer and then combed through with a fine toothed comb.   So far it has been working really well for me. 

I will say that the scent was something I had to get used to. It is the only real drawback. When first dispensed, the floral scent is a bit cloying.  Once in the hair the scent leaves though so I was not surrounded by the floral scent the entire day.  Actually once applied it sort of has the scent of a really nice salon.  Which is kind of nice as I’ve been trimming my own hair since April (with varying levels of success) and like the salon scent. 

I also have a newfound respect for hairdressers.  I always respected them but I don’t think I appreciated quite how much an art styling hair was.  All of my layers have grown out so my hair is one length now and there is no way I will be attempting layers on my own (even though my hair really needs them).  The bangs have been an especially fun challenge to keep trimmed and I am looking forward to passing that back over to a professional.

I was never meant to be a hair dresser.  I can tell you that right off. It is not where my skills lie. It is an area where I need to trust a professional. I thought about calling to schedule an appointment at my salon, because things were starting to open up near me. That day, the salon closed because of an outbreak. The entire staff was sent home for two weeks.

I decided practice makes perfect and I clearly needed more practice cutting my bangs so no salon for me.

It’s why my hair occasionally looks a bit wonky in pictures as of late.

My horrid hair cutting skills aside, the real question is would I buy this product?  I think the answer has to be yes. 

The scent is not a deal breaker for me as the cloying scent fades fast and the product’s pros vastly outway the one slight con.

The sample size I received in my subscription box is 30 mL and after almost three weeks of more or less steady use, I am about halfway through the tube. The full size of the Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm is 75 mL so I know it would last quite a while.  You really do only need very little of this product.  To do some simple math (in a very haphazard way) the 30 mL tube will last about six weeks making 75 mL last a little over 12 weeks.  As the full size is only $24 it is very reasonably priced and works really well. At the moment Look Fantastic is having a large Labor Day Sale as well.  And I checked, this Wonder Balm is currently 20% off (use code LABORDAY). Which would put the price at just over $19 for the full sized tube.  Not a bad price at all.

The labor day saes are still going strong. in addition to the Look fantastic one mentioned above – 20% off Sitewide with code LABORDAY, her are a few more sales to look into.

Trestique: We’re kicking off Labor Day early starting this Friday Sept. 4 until Monday the 7th EOD with a Wheel of Fortune offer to all customers. We invite everyone to spin the wheel on our web site and claim their exclusive prize! We have 6 offers running from 15% Off sitewide to 25% Off your new makeup routine (like one of our Essential 8 sets) to 25% Off sitewide. Just enter your e-mail address and spin to win – everyone’s a winner! (Customers can only use one email and may spin the wheel one per day).

At the same time, we’re also offering FREE SHIPPING and a FREE MINI CRAYON of choice for all orders of $49 or more.

trèStiQue: A makeup solution for your lifestyle

Celebrate Labor day at Elemis with 25% off site wide with code LABORDAY. Offer valid 9/2 – 9/7.

Purlisse Labor Day 2020 Deals

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Review

I have been a fan of Caudalie skincare for a long time.  I tried a sample of their Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and I was hooked.  For the longest time it was my go to moisturizer.  Then I moved and my skin’s needs altered due to climate.  On a subsequent move, I found I could still use it in the spring as my transitional moisturizer so for a long time I thought of Caudalie in terms of spring.  As in ‘Oh it’s spring now I get to use the Caudalie’ or ‘Oh spring is just around the corner, I need to make sure I’ve got the Moisturizing Sorbet on hand.’

Oddly enough, I never really branched out to their other products. I tried a few samples but none of them stuck the way the Sorbet had although I’m not entirely certain why.  I think it was the plethora of brands around me that I wanted to try everything. (I am still upset with myself for missing the Look Fantastic Caudalie limited edition box they did a while back. I have the worst luck in catching their limited edition boxes).

I remember trying out the Vinoperfect Radiance serum before, but aside from remembering I liked it, I couldn’t remember much.  So when it was in my Look Fantastic box in August I was very happy. 

Okay, I giggled and did a little dance. 

But no one saw me and you can’t prove it.

Before I tell you my experience with this serum, let’s see what I should expect. According to the product page…

A worldwide cult favorite, Vinoperfect Radiance Serum has captured the hearts of millions for its powerful anti-dark spot actions.

Both effective and natural, this skin-tone evening serum contains our patented Viniferine that is 62 times more effective than Vitamin C at boosting radiance and evening the complexion.

Suitable for all skin types, it works to reduce the appearance of dark spots, including pregnancy marks, acne marks, sun pigmentation and age-related dark spots, and prevents them from reappearing.

Its refreshing and subtle fragrance combines notes of citrus blossom, orange tree leaves, watermelon and mint.

Given my experience with the Sorbet Moisturizer, I already knew Caudalie knew how to make a cult favorite. So I had high hopes.

Now before I begin I want to say a word on packaging.  As it is a travel sized sample of serum it is in a squeeze tube.  The full sized version is in a glass bottle with a dropper. I know you are thinking, why is this relevant? Trust me it is.  This is a serum that is meant to be in a bottle with a dropper.  This is a serum with a relatively liquid consistency.  If you open the tube with the opening facing down, it will drip out of the tube.  Hold the tube up when opening, then turn over your hand to dispense. Otherwise you will waste product. As you can see in the photo it still leaks into the cap.

I tell you this because I made the same mistake and I regret every drop lost.

So once opening the tube and turning it the right way up so it didn’t drip, I took a sniff.  I know that occasionally my senses get a little wonky so bear with me. 

Have you ever eaten a watermelon slice down to the white? Not down to the part where it gets bitter, but into that first edging of white where the sweetness of the melon fades and there is just that clean fresh crispness before you get to the bitter part?  Where it is neither sweet nor bitter, just fresh?

That taste is how this serum smells.

I know not as poetic as the Caudalie marketing team’s description, but in my mind that is it’s scent.  To me it brought back some nice summer memories and I am glad I tried it out in the summertime. Especially because it is fantastically refreshing. 

This serum is light weight and absorbs quickly into the skin.  I liked to use it in the mornings since it had no issues going out in the sun and then use the products that made me more sensitive to sunlight at night.  There were a couple of days where I ran late and skipped the serum for the day during the trial.  On those days, I definitely noticed my skin was thirstier at night.  If I skipped the serum I ended up needing to use the extra moisturizing night cream instead of my regular moisturizer. So I’m pretty sure it helped lock in moisture.

I do have some sun spots on my forehead (a legacy from my time in Texas) and I have some darker acne scaring.  I think it is possible that there was some fading, more so on the sun damage than on the acne scars. I used the entire tube, but It only lasted a little less than two weeks. I believe to see a real difference I would need to use this for at least a month. Given how well it performed, I would have absolutely no problem using this serum for a month. While I like it and believed that given more time it would do exactly as it claims, I do think I will be picking this up in a full size and doing a longer trial at a later point in time. To me this is no surprise. It is easy to see how this is a cult favorite and I am glad Look Fantastic sent me a tube of it to try.

speaking of Look Fantastic the link to their 2020 Advent Calendar goes live today. it is a $640+ value for $110 and features brands like Elemis, Molton Brown, Omorovicza & more. It is well worth checking out. I know it is a bit on the early side to be thinking of Advent calendars but they tend to go fast. I got one a few years back as a gift and it was utterly amazing. So if you are getting it for yourself or giving it to a friend it is worth the price. the items always range from bath and body to skin care and a few makeup items. In my experience it is mostly skincare though, so if you have any skin care or self care junkies on your list, this is a good gift to look into.

And for those looking at the Look Fantastic Box, this is their Birthday month and will include a Brushworks Jade Roller, Elemis Pro-collagen Marine cream, Luxie 209 large shader brush, Diego Dalla Palma Mini Lip liner, along with two other mystery products. You can also sign up now and get the Birthday Edition Beauty Box for $16 ($95 value) instead of the regular $19 with the code BBTREAT.


The Make Up Bag: August 21st, 2020

The Makeup Bag used August 15-21, 2020

This week I tried to focus on items I never tried before so it was a week of first impressions.  To start off with I used the Ciate London Extraordinary Foundation in the shade 127 Y Bamboo. 

It turned out to be a great shade for my deepest summer tan, although the clock is ticking as to how long I will be able to wear the shade.  I liked the foundation enough that once I clear out some of my current foundations, I will be picking up a lighter shade. 

While the link above will take you to the full review the basic summary is that it is a good foundation that feels weightless.  It has a bit more shine than I like but is easily toned down by a matte setting powder.  I am still working my way through the Ciate Everyday Vaccay Setting powder (I have only a few more weeks and it will be used up) and it worked really well with this foundation.

Less well received this week was the Ciate watermelon burst hydrating primer.  Don’t get me wrong it is a good hydrating primer.  The Extraordinary foundation just needed a pore filling primer underneath it to look it’s best.  This was not that primer. 

I called in the Benefit Porefessional primer though and it paired amazingly well with the foundation. There were a couple of days where I didn’t bother with foundation because I knew I was going to just be running in and out of the heat all day.  On those days I tend to use a primer and a dusting of powder. 

In that application, I really liked the watermelon burst primer.  It locked the powder in place and didn’t let my skin dry out.  The primer also has a nice watermelon scent to it that made me crave Jolly Ranchers all week.  It just didn’t pair well with the foundation I chose this week as it required something pore filling and not hydrating. I will be keeping the ciate primer around and using it again when a hydrating primer is called for. As winter dries my skin, that shouldn’t be a problem.  That I’m keeping the Benefit Cosmetics Primer around goes without saying.

Get a free Benefit duffle bag with orders $100+.* Use code: GLAMONTHEGO. Valid through 9/4/2010.

My NARS sample sized bronzer in Laguna finally starting to show a dip in the center.

I didn’t have a new bronzer this week so I went with my small sample size of NARS Laguna.  I absolutely love this bronzer.  It is a great color and a wonderful formula.  However I am not allowing myself to purchase a full sized version until I use up the sample. I am actually starting to feel a dent in the center of the pan so I will be reaching for this periodically in an effort to use it up. Plus I can’t remember when I got the sample so I’m worried it might be getting a bit old.  And if at all possible I like to use things up rather than throw them out because they are expired.

The blush was new to me and came from the August Look Fantastic Box.  It is the bellapierre cosmetics mineral blush in the shade amaretto. It is a loose blush which I haven’t used in a while.  For a long time though the loose mineral blush from bareMinerals was my go to blush so I am familiar with loose blushes and actually don’t mind them.  It is easy to apply too much so there is some technique involves with the tapping out of product, so it did take me a little while to get back in the swing of things.

Once I did I really liked it.  The powder applied well, blended easily and stayed all day.  Like the foundation though, it is a product that works best for me when my skin is at its darkest tan.  I suspect this is more of a summer blush for me as once my tan fades, it might be a bit too dark. For now though, the color was perfect.  And luckily the product is good for 36 months so I don’t have to worry about using it up in the next month or so.  As Look Fantastic sent a full sized blush in the August box, it will last a while.

My concealer this week was the Pretty Vulgar concealer.  I really like the formula.  Usually I use the concealer as eyelid primer as well and usually the Pretty Vulgar formula is really good in that capacity.  The eyeshadow  palette I was working with wasn’t the best this week so I pulled in the Pretty Vulgar lid primer as back up.  It is like Velcro for eyeshadow. 

It did its best, but the shadow didn’t help it. As I am planning to practice working with cut creases, I will probably be keeping both of them around in the following week as I find them both useful for that.

So be prepared for repeats with those. At some point I am going to have to pick up a pretty vulgar eyeshadow palette.  I love their foundation and mascara as well as their concealer and lid primer, it seems only logical. 

Pretty Vulgar Cruelty Free Makeup!

Also they just came out with a new blush palette that looks really interesting. I’m actually debating whether to pick that one or a benefit cosmetics blush palette.  I can’t justify picking up both at the same time, but I will probably talk myself into one of them.

There is a full review of the eyeshadow palette I used this week that this link will take you to.  It is the Morphe + Manny MUA Glam Palette.  I was not a fan.  While not the greatest formula, it wasn’t horrific.  It was just boring and meh.

There are two highlighters in this palette as well and they too fell into the category of nothing special. I suspect in my next declutter, this palette will be one of the first to go bye-bye.

For my eyebrows I kept the Hourglass brow pencil around for another week.  I really like it and to be completely honest I just forgot to change it out when I swapped out my makeup for the week.so it was an accidental repeat.  I’ll be sure to choose something new for the brows next week to make up for it.

Both my mascara and eyeliner were new this week.  The eyeko lash alert mascara came in my Look Fantastic Box in August along with the blush. I have to say while it was a pretty good mascara with great lengthening abilities.  I prefer eyeko’s black magic mascara. However it was a good mascara. 

The go-to brand for eyes, focused on our award-winning mascaras, eyeliners & brows.

Since sample sized tubes like this generally have only about a two week supply of product in them, what I am going to do is keep this around and pair it with a volumizing mascara. I have several that are nearing the end of the time I am willing to keep them around and need to be used up before they expire. Doubling the mascara will give me the lashes I want and help me not waste product.

My eyeliner this week was the Wander Beauty skyliner in black.  It is a gel formula which isn’t my favorite formula however I have to say I was interested by the description.  It is infused with olive oil (and other oils) to make it extra creamy and smooth to apply.  I have to say it was.  It didn’t tug at the skin as I applied it at all and glided into place as it was supposed to.  The pencil even comes with its own sharpener. 

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The only thing I didn’t like about the sharpener was that you had to roll the product out quite far to get it to sharpen and I suspect at some point I’m going to end up snapping a chunk of it off.  That is the down side of the creamy texture; the point blunts really quickly so you have to sharpen it a lot.  I will say though once in place, you need a makeup remover to get it off of the skin. When applying it you have a very limited window for adjustment before you have to accept that it is set in place for the day. Over all a pretty good product though and one I am happy to have in my collection.

This week I continued to use down my I heart Revolution Setting spray.  I love this setting spray, it is just getting along in age and I am fairly certain it is either at or past its expiration date.  I can’t remember when I bought it to be honest.  However I have only about one more weeks’ worth of product in the spray bottle so I will be using it up this week and then trying out something else.

This of course brings us to the lips.  Here I must confess I had a change of plans after packing my makeup bag for the week.  This week I put a neutral C’est Moi lip gloss, a Bite Beauty Liquid lip and a Huda Beauty lip contour in my bag.  They were all neutral shades.  I balanced them out with an elf liquid lip in the shade red vixen and a Clarins water lip stain in the shade red water.

e.l.f.: Free shipping every Friday for loyalty

Once I tried out the eyeshadow palette and realized no matter what color combo I was going to try it was all going to come out as a basic neutral, I ended up balancing it with the elf and the Clarins and didn’t reach for the other lip products at all. So the lippies I did not use last week will go back to the makeup bag for next week.

The elf and the Clarins were both fantastic reds.  The elf dried down nearly instantly so any adjustments had to be made immediately or you were suck with them (or forced to get a cotton swab with makeup removing oil and work delicately).It never smeared or left lip prints behind and once on I forgot I was wearing it. I have to say elf has been killing it lately.  From this lip to the well thought out bite sized palettes, I am very impressed.  This red faded a little throughout the day but at the end of the day it was still a vibrant red. It was a deeper, more blue toned red than the Clarins.

The Clarins Water lip stain was a bright red, that oddly smelled of cherries. I found it a little odd but strangely appealing. The scent didn’t last all that long though. Once the water stain dried it was pretty much gone.  The lip water is applied with a little brush and as the name suggests, feels like you are brushing water on your lips.  I found that if you applied it lightly to the center and used a finger to smooth it over the lips, you could create a light wash of red color.  If you applied it all over the lips and just let it dry then you had a much brighter cherry tone. 

It took a little longer to dry than the elf, but once in place it stayed in place.  And when I say stayed in place I mean makeup removers could only dim it, not defeat it.  The next morning I woke with my lips still pink. For me it wasn’t an issue as I was putting the elf red vixen over it, but in general I had very pink lips this week. If I were going somewhere and I was going to be out and about with no chance to touch up my makeup, the Clarins Water lip stain is a formula I would reach for.  If you are interested you can purchase the Clarins Water lip Stain at All Beauty. They are currently having an end of summer sale with 50% off most (if not all) of their items. It is well worth checking out.

If you give the Clarins a moment to dry it will stay with you and not smudge a lick throughout the day. And something about it just feels summery.  Maybe it is the pink tone and the cherry scent.  Either way, one application and you can forget it is even there. I am definitely going to see what their color range for this line is because if they all perform this well, it would definitely be worth keeping them around.

As a bonus I should say that neither of these lip products smudged the inside of my mask. That’s how well they dried down and stayed dried down. And neither caused my lips to go desert dry either.

Before I close this post I want to mention some tools.  I am still using and loving the bdellium tools 999 master blender brush.  It fits perfectly in my hand and does wonders with my foundation application.  I know they have a bit of a sale going on right now so if you are looking for some new brushes, now might be the time to look into them.

Studio 950 Oval Multipurpose Brush

The makeup sponge I’ve been using is from Huda Beauty and I really like the balance it strikes between soft and firm.  The flat side has proven more useful than I would have imagined for when I do detail work with the pointed end.  It is over all a nice, well thought out make up sponge.  I plan to use it until I have to buy a new one and then, unless I try another one I like better, I will be repurchasing it.

This week I added the complex culture powder brush that I received in August’s IPSY box and I am really liking it as well.  The bristles are dense, yet soft and it is perfect for powder application.  I very much enjoyed using it with my loose powder this week.  I think I will continue to use the Alamar powder brush for my pressed powders though because it seems to work better with them than the fluffier rounded end brushes, but for loose powders I am happy to have this brush on hand.

Next Week’s Foundation

And that concludes my notes from the Makeup Bag this week.  Next week I’ll have a whole new slate of products to test out, including a sample of the Ken Gen Do Aqua Foundation.

It is apparently a makeup artist favorite (according to reviews)so we’ll see how well it works for a writer. As always I’ll be back for the afternoon face mask later today.  This afternoon I’m giving the Super Silver Haze purifying Mask from Makeupdrop a try.  Until then, have a great Friday.

August 2020 Look Fantastic Beauty Box Unboxing

Look Fantastic August 2020 Beauty Box

I just looked out my window and saw the mail man pull up. To my utter delight he got out of the car and placed a package by my door. Do you know what the package was? (well probably because you read the title). It was my look Fantastic Box for the month of August! The fact that nearly everything arrived the last week of the month in July makes this month’s early arrival feel extra special.

Like I won some sort of Karmic lottery.

But off to mail decontamination central my box went. (also known as my sun room). Outside packaging was stripped from the box and the interior box turned out on a clean surface.

Outer packaging was disposed of, hands were washed and finally I was free to skip gleefully into the house to see what goodies this month’s look Fantastic Box held.

Just out of curiosity is there a way to skip that isn’t joyfully? It’s not like you can skip morosely, can you?

Regardless, first some box details. Look Fantastic is a monthly subscription box based in the UK. It costs $19 US each month. Each month you receive six beauty products with a guaranteed value of over $60.

In addition, you get access to the Look Fantastic Store. There are thousands of beauty products there and you can always find a good deal. For example, this week is Hair Campaign week. Some of the offers include a Mystery Offer with up to 18% sitewide with the code MYSTERY18 (valid 8/11 – 8/18), a Flash sale on Jurlique with up to 40% off from now until 8/11 (at 8:59 am),a 50% off sale on Grow Gorgeous items with the code GG50 (from 8/11-8/12), a Flash Sale of 50% off Christophe Robin products with code CR50 (8/12-8/13) and a 50% off sale on Alterna products with the code ALTERNA50 (8/13-8/14).

Basically each day this week they will be running a different mega sale on a brand with a focus on hair products. If you are looking to stock up now is definitely the time. I can personally recommend anything in the Caviar line from Alterna. I have at one time or another tried all of them and I adored each and every one of them. I will actually be stocking up on the shampoo and conditioner when the sale hits, if the products are available.

But this is not about the products I am hoping to buy, it is about the six products in my Look Fantastic box this month. The first product I pulled out of the August box is the Percy & Reed Wonderbalm Serum ($16.66).

It is oddly enough, a hair serum. From the description it sounds like a leave in conditioner. I have never heard of Percy & Reed but I am always ready to try a new hair product. I am very much looking forward to giving this a try.

The next item to emerge from my box is from a brand I know well. It is AHAVA and according to the booklet that came with the products it is one of two options for AHAVA products this month. I could have received either the Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion or the Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion in the scent sea-kissed ($5). I received the latter, which I am thrilled by.

I’ve had this lotion before and always enjoyed it. The scent is fresh and the product is just lovely. Actually there is an interesting thing going with AHAVA in my family. I absolutely adore the body lotion but am not the biggest fan of the moisturizer for the face. It is a fine moisturizer, but just a little too moisturizing for my skin.

However my mother adores all of the AHAVA face products. She uses the whole line and rarely uses anything else any more. She might try something on occasion, but she always goes right back to her AHAVA. Usually pretty quickly in case they think she might be cheating on them. However, despite her devotion, she doesn’t like the body lotion.

So any face products I get tend to go directly to her and any body lotion products she gets come directly to me. That way no product goes to waste and we are both happy. So I was very happy to get the body lotion because I know I will use it.

Next, is the Mio Skincare Sun Drenched Wash ($3). I went ahead and sniffed it. It smells like an orange creamcicle and I will happily use it. Actually I am running low on body wash.

One of my favorite body washes from the brand Thymes in the scent Rosewood Citron was being discontinued so I stocked up. It is one of those scents that both my baby doll and I can both use and be very happy with so I was sad it was discontinued. We have been slowly working through the stash I had in the linen closet and alas the last bottle is currently in the shower.

I was also informed that he is out of his favorite Dr. Squatch soap, so I’ll need to put an order in for that this week (I thought he had a few more bars left, but I was wrong.) But that is neither here nor there, I am pleased that I have a new body wash to try.

The fourth item in the August box is also a skincare one. I’ve noticed that these tend to lean into the skin care more than the makeup which is perfectly fine with me.

I love getting to try out new skin care. Especially since you never really know how it is going to work on your skin until you try it. That is one of the reasons I really like this sort of box. I don’t mind paying extra for a good product, but I would like to know it works well with my skin before I spend the money to buy it. Not only does it help with the finances but it prevents waste.

In this case I already know this product works well with my skin. I’ve tried it before and I am not ashamed to say that I did a little happy dance when I spotted it in my August box. This item is the Caudalie Vinoperfect radiance serum ($25). This and the Caudalie Vinosource moisturizing Sorbet are two of my all-time favorite skin care products. They both work fantastically well on my skin and like I said, I was happy to see them.

And relieved no one could hear my slightly evil sounding giggle of glee.

Oddly enough all of my giggles come out sounding slightly evil. Something I should probably ponder when I have a moment.

For now though there are two more products, both makeup rather than skin care. The first is the BellaPierre, Mineral Blusher in Ameretto ($20). It is a full sized powdered blush. It is rare for me to use a loose powder blush.

I used to use one constantly. It was the bareMinerals loose powder blush. I remember liking the control the loose powder gave me over the product. And this does look like it is going to be a good shade on me. So perhaps next week it will make it into my makeup bag for a good trial.

Finally, we have an item that will definitely be in next week’s make up bag and it is the eyeko Lash Alert mascara ($14). It is one of two mascaras that I could have received. The other was the eyeko black magic mascara. I have tried that one before and absolutely loved it, but I haven’t tried this one before. As mascara is the one make up item I am never without, I am always looking for a new one. Mascara is part of my every day trio; Mascara, Powder, and something for the lip, whether lipstick or lip balm depends on the day. If I had to pair my makeup down to minimalist standards that would be my trio.

Luckily, I don’t.

So that was my August Look Fantastic box and I have to say I am one contented kitten. In my $19 box I received $83.66 worth of products. Every single thing in the box is one I will get a lot of use out of, which is actually more valuable than if I just got a lot of products I won’t use, regardless of the value. There are two brands I have never tried anything from, some absolute favorites and some items from familiar brands I have never tried. Definitely two thumbs way up from me for the August Box. And it came early in the month so I can spend all of August trying them out. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think. And let me know what you think of your box if you are a subscriber. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the upcoming sales as well for those of you looking to stock up.

The Friday Face Mask with erno Laszlo

Welcome to the Friday face mask.  Today I did a little something different. Technically speaking I used the mask early and it isn’t a full face mask.  I did not sleep well last night and as a consequence this morning I awoke with puffy baggy eyes.  So since I was starting my day working at the computer, I decided to start off with an eye mask.  I went with the Erno Laszlo multi-task eye serum mask.  It came in my July Look Fantastic box and I have been looking forward to using it ever since it came in.

Look Fantastic:

I’ve used the Erno Laszlo  Firmarine night cream (Picked up from Lovely Skin during one of their sales a while back) and it was amazing.  I believe it is also carried by Look Fantastic on their store and they are always running some sort of weekly special so it is well worth looking into.

But I hadn’t tried any of their serums of masks.  So I started the day with the Erno Laszlo multi task eye serum mask under my eyes as I began working at the computer. So what is it supposed to do?

Get Glowing Skin with Erno Laszlo

A silky, All-in-one hydrogel eye patch formulated with a powerhouse of ingredients to tackle the major signs of under eye dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. The multi-tasking eye patch is soaked in serum powered by algae extract, vitamin B3, amino acids and allantoin to give immediate results under the eye area.

Each revitalizing mask conforms perfectly to the contours under eyes, helping our powerful actives penetrate more deeply: Glycerin: a powerful moisture magnet, attracts and holds hydration, helping fill in fine lines and crow’s feet for softer, smoother-looking skin, Vitamin B3: a natural illuminator, defies dark spots and discoloration by jump-starting skin cell renewal, Gotu Kola and other anti-inflammatories: calm stressed skin and improve circulation, reducing puffiness from allergies, pollutants and other assaults.

Lovely Skin currently has the six pack of these eye masks on sale for $38 in case you are looking to pick them up. They are of course also available on the Erno Laszlo site as well and probably a bunch of other places. The Erno Lazlo site not only has the six pack for $38 but they also have a two pack for $14. If you are just trying them out that might be a good option. I know I tend to try samples or smaller packs to see if I like them before I pick up the full sized version. (I just put an order in for Lovely Skin so it’s on my mind in case you are wondering)

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So I took the eye masks out of the pack and put them on my skin.  First off, they are the jelly like eye masks which I think always stay in place more securely and in general they seem to provide me with better results.  Or maybe I just think they work better than the paper ones because I just like them more.  There is something soothing feeling about the texture of the jelly masks. 

Mask on!

I will say that once I applied the masks I felt a cooling sensation.  There was no tingling, but it felt cool.  One of the ways I tend to deal with my under eye puffiness is to take the quartz roller I keep stashed in the fridge and roll it under my eyes because cold really helps reduce puffiness for me.  So I was really happy with the cooling sensation. 

I was also happy they stayed in place while I got some work done this morning.  Not slipping makes them extremely convenient. Then of course, it was time to peel them off.

I’m not certain how big a difference you can see in the before and after pics, but I can feel a difference. My eyes feel less baggy and the skin feels a little tighter.  While the masks were saturated in serum when I applied them, the serum appears to have all soaked in and the jelly patches were only slightly damp. 

One day I will get the alignment right, just clearly not today. Before is on the left and after on the right.

My skin also was only slightly damp when I removed them.  I patted the last of the serum in so there was no wasted serum.  While it clearly isn’t a replacement for a good night’s sleep, it does make me feel a bit more refreshed.  So from me, this mask gets a thumbs up and a place on the repurchasing list.  I think I would keep them until I need to look a little more bright eyed rather than use them every day, but I think keeping the Erno Laszlo multi task eye serum mask around isn’t such a bad idea. I’m really glad I tried these today. Thanks to Look Fantastic for choosing this to add to the July subscription box.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box July 2020 Review

The outer box

My Look Fantastic box finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Look Fantastic is a $19 per month beauty box. This is actually my second box from them, although I’ve been ordering things from their site for a while. They have a really large on-line store and are tend to run monthly specials. Many of them start right now, for example from now until August 3rd there is 25% off Staycation Essentials with brands like Christophe Robin, St. Tropez, Westlab, to name a few. The link will take you to the full list of included products (its a long one). Plus, staring tomorrow (July 28th) and running through August 3rd there is a 25% off select Serums with code SERUM25. The list includes brands like NIOD, Elizabeth Arden, PIXI, and FARMACY. 

And for those interested in the Beauty Box, you can try your first box for a discounted price. You can get your first Beauty Box for $16 ($63 Value) with the code TreatBB. That code is valid from now through July 31st. 

In addition to their regular beauty box they also have occasional special edit boxes. The most recent one was with Sarah Chapman Skincare. It was announced only a few days ago and when I went to look up details this morning, it was already listed as being sold out. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier. I honestly didn’t think it would sell out that fast. I figured since it went on sale on July 24th that it would still be available on Monday, but alas it is not. Since they sell out so fast, I’ll try to get info posted as soon as I find out about it next time, because they do the limited editions fairly regularly and they are always excellent boxes.

So on to the July Box. First off this month was a return to the regular box format. Last month, came in a reusable travel pouch. Although I have to say, the Look Fantastic box is quite sturdy on its own and I will be reusing it for storage, so I’m perfectly fine with the regular box. The theme this month was Sunkissed with items specially curated for the ultimate at-home pamper in the sunshine!

So what was in my box?

Well, the first item I pulled out of the box was actually makeup. It was the Sleek Matte Me lippie in the shade French Fancy (retail $6.13). I have to say the shade is a little too pink for me but I have seen Sleek liquid lips around for a while and just never gotten around to using them.

I also like that it is a full sized liquid lip. While I don’t mind getting the trial sized liquid lips, I generally find they dry out fast and while you get an idea of how the formula works on your lips you don’t get a clear picture of how the product lasts, which for lip products you want as they tend to be around a while.

There is no real reason I never actually tried the Sleek lips, I just didn’t know anything about them even though I have played around with Sleek eyeshadows. I’m happy I now get to try the formula. I also like when there is one makeup item even if it is a skin care themed month.

The next item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the Erno Laszlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask (retail $7.17). I am always happy to see Erno Laszlo skincare in one of my subscription boxes. Their Firmarine Night Cream is one of my absolute favorite creams for helping to tighten loose skin in the chin and neck area. (As I’ve been losing weight this is an ongoing off/on concern for me) I’ve never tried their eye serum masks though so I am looking forward to giving it a go and reporting back to you about it.

This month also had a So Eco Large Eye Shader Brush (retail $9.22) in the box. I have never heard of the brand before but the bush feels good in my hand and I will certainly give it a go. It feels rather sturdy.

According to the package it is also made from bamboo with recycled aluminium & synthetic bristles, is Cruelty-Free & Vegan Friendly and has sustainably sourced packaging. In addition, the company plants 1 Tree Planted for Every 100 Products Sold. Not bad claims for a little brush. Hopefully, it will work as good as it sounds.

There were two products from NUXE in the July Look Fantastic this month. The first is the Crème Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream and the second is the Insta-Masque Exfoliating (retail $20.90)

I’ll admit I had to look the Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream up. In case you are wondering Prodigeuse just means extraordinary in French. And it is a day cream. As it is a large enough size that I could probably get at least two weeks’ worth of use out if it, especially if I use a different night cream, I will be testing it and writing up a review later. I really like that it is listed as a day cream. A lot of creams are listed as for day and night use but I’ve found my skin tends to need different creams during the day and at night sometimes, especially in the summertime. Plus I just finished my current day cream so I am more than ready to try a new one.

I am very happy to see both of these products actually, as I have seen NUXE around but I have never gotten around to trying it.

I will also be trying the exfoliating mask as well. I’m sure if you’ve read my posts for any length of time then you know I love exfoliators as well and will be happy to test it out. In fact one of the only things I like more than exfoliators in the skin care world is Vitamin C serums.

And lo and behold there is a Balance Me Vitamin C Serum (retail $13.52) in the July box as well. It’s like they know me. So I will of course give this serum a try and see how my skin likes it compared to other Vitamin C serums. At this point, I’ve tried out a lot of them it seems, some good, some mediocre and some that didn’t appear to do much of anything. It will be fun to see where this lands on the spectrum.

Finally we come to the last item in the July Look Fantastic box. It is the Le Couvent des Minimes Aqua Sacrae/Aqua Mysteri Soap (Retail $6.15). Oddly enough I just finished up my dispenser of Dirty Cow liquid soap so I was looking for another soap to take its place.

Given the amount of hand washing we’ve been doing lately soap just sort of does a brief pass through our house. I’m going to put this in the back powder room where I get ready in the mornings rather in the main traffic area in the hopes it might last a little longer, but I suspect that despite the fact it is a pretty good size it will not last long. I think the packaging is pretty so that might end up sticking around longer.

At least the size is large enough that I can get a feel for how well the product would do with my skin. I have to say, the extra hand washing has caused me to reevaluate both soaps and hand creams lately.

I had a supply of both soaps and lotions before the pandemic hit (both cheap and expensive) and had no problem using whichever I happened to pick up, but the skin on my hands has gotten dryer from all the washing and I have to say, I’ve been keeping track of products that help and products that don’t. Interestingly enough it hasn’t always been the expensive ones that come out on top. There has been a pretty good range of good and bad from all ends of the price spectrum.

I know that sounds strange, but soaps and hand lotions were always just there before. I used body lotion when I stepped out of the shower or bath and my hands were moisturized when I applied it. Hand lotion was something I used once in a while throughout the winter when my hands got extra dry. I keep a small bottle in my purse and trade it out regularly but don’t really think about it. Soap was something to kill bacteria. Neither were items I gave very much thought to. Isn’t it funny how things rise to your consciousness?

But that is another topic. For now we return to the Look Fantastic Box for July. I have to say I am pleased with the products in the box. I think the selection was nice and well thought out. I’m not entirely sure why a liquid lipstick was paired with a eyeshadow shading brush as that seems a little incongruous. However, I enjoy having both items so I won’t poke it too much. As far as value goes, I think I got a pretty good deal there too. For my $19 I received $63.09 worth of products. And in case you are wondering why most of the products aren’t listed in round figures, I’m pretty sure it is the currency conversion.

Personally, I always like to see things like $6.13 as a price. $5.99 always sounds like a marketing ploy in my head and $6.00 sounds very general, almost like it was plucked randomly from the air. Somehow $6.13 makes it sound like someone thought about it.

I know it is just the conversion altering the price tag assigned to it, but something in my brain still thinks – wow that’s exact, someone must have really thought that through. I think it’s the part of me that spent too long making budgets balance. Don’t worry, I don’t let that section of my brain make major life decisions.

So that was my July Look Fantastic and I have to say I am quite happy with it. Everything inside is something I will use and a couple of the items like the Sleek liquid lip and the Erno Laszlo Eye serum mask are things I am really looking forward to trying. (seriously though, if looking for a good firming Night mask, take a look at their Firmarine Night cream, really good stuff. Oddly enough I think I might have first purchased it through the Look Fantastic site during one of their skin care sales).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Look Fantastic has some excellent upcoming sales this month on their site. I’ll keep posting them through the month so if you are looking to stock up on a favorite or try something new you can take advantage of the sales. I am so sorry I didn’t post the Limited Edition box info before the box sold out.

If it’s any consolation, I was going to order it myself and didn’t get a chance. Next time, I’ll know to pounce and pounce fast. (or are all pounces by definition fast? Can you do a slow pounce? Regardless there will be pouncing.) Like a tiger… who likes skincare. Okay, the metaphor needs work, but you get the idea.

I can hardly wait to see what Look Fantastic Comes up with for August’s box. And remember if you are interested in trying out Look Fantastic, you can get a discount on your first box if you order by July 31st and use the code TREATBB.

My first Look Fantastic Box: The Review for June’s Staycation Themed Box

The June 2020 Look Fantastic box

This month was my first Look Fantastic box. My plan was to try it in May, but the box sold out faster than I could order, so June it turned out to be.  The Look Fantastic box is $19 and every box is worth over $50.  Normally the items come in a regular box, but for June they came in a reusable limited edition travel bag (retail $15).  The bag and products are to go along with the theme for June. The theme is ‘pampering yourself from the comfort of home, taking your ideal Staycation’.

Considering all my travel for this summer was cancelled (along with everyone else’s travel of course) staycation is a theme I can get behind. I have planned out my own personal spa day and am setting up my own private oasis in the back yard.

It also doubles as a spot to monitor the rampant rabbit activity in my back garden.But there is no harm in multi-tasking. Or in defending innocent little salad greens with a hose. It’s on the shower setting rather than a direct spray so it is actually lighter than a lot of rain, at least here. Its the surprise of the water coming out of nowhere that gets them. And possibly the sound of my voice as I threaten them with roasting in a mustard based sauce. The natural pest control advocates recommend any sound to scare them away from the veggies, but with so many of my neighbors actually at home I didn’t want to cause alarm. “Don’t make me get my marinade,” is not actually a threat my neighbors feel the need to concern them selves about, although one did ask for a recipe.

But that is off topic. We are here to discuss a subscription box not my grandmother’s braised rabbit recipe.

So, even though the limited edition travel bag is sort of listed as an extra this month, I really like it and will get a lot of use out of it.  It is the kind of bag that is mostly plastic so it is ideal for liquid products since it can easily be rinsed out if something spills. 

This may sound a little strange but what I like to do with little bags like these are to put a wet washcloth inside and take it into the back yard with me when I am working in the garden. It keeps the wash cloth from drying out and it can be used to cool down in the summer heat.  Occasionally, I’ll throw a couple of ice cubes into it as well to keep everything really chill. It’s also really good for transporting wet swimsuits home from the pool without getting you bag all wet. And yes it is great for travel too. So I am happy to have it.

But what was inside my nifty little bag?

The first item was actually the spoiler that made me want the bag and decide that this was indeed the month for me to try it.  It was the Molton Brown Coastal Cypress Shower Gel (retail $11).  I really love the Molton Brown shower gels.  The issue is that because they are on the pricier side, I always end up buying the same one because I know I like it.

I always think, I should really expand my selection and then still end up buying the products from the rhubarb and rose line. (Incidentally, a super fantastic scent, the rose isn’t overpowering and the sweetness of the floral is balanced by the sharp tart notes of the rhubarb, I adore it.)

This way, I can try a new scent and see if I like it and possibly expand my buying options when I next place an order. I, of course, opened it and immediately took a sniff.  It is a very clean, fresh scent. I’m sure it will have the same luxurious feel of all their products so I can’ wait to actually use it.

Next up was the Rainbow drop brush from Glov (retail $12).  I will say, I’m not a big fan of this style of brush.  I like the size and the way it fits in my hand, but I think my hair is just a little too thick or too long or both, for this style to work well with me.  However, my baby doll spotted it sitting on the table and apparently he loves this style of brush.  So it is now his and he thinks it is fantastic. I’m also pleased because he tends to eye my subscription boxes in a curious way, so I’m happy there was something for him in this one.

I asked if he wanted me to get a box or two for him geared towards his likes but he declined. He is not big on surprises and if he gets a box he wants to decide exactly what is going to be in it ahead of time. which isn’t really the point of subscription boxes in my opinion. So he is happy with the occasional gift item, and the ability to raid my stockpile of samples when he needs a product, but doesn’t want his own box.

To each his own I suppose.

Moving on, the next two items are both summer time essentials.  The first is the Ploaar Very High Protection Sun Cream (retail $16.50).  I really like that it is SPF 50 and at this time of year I am very happy to have plenty of sunscreen around.  Also in the sunblock arena is the Ultrasun SPF30 Lip protect (retail $10). 

I absolutely adore having specific sunblock form my lips.  I have to say I wasted no time in deploying this product.  It has a slight sweet-tart candy kind of scent to it and it feels super lightweight on the lips.  I was worried it would feel a little heavy, but it doesn’t. It has no taste at all which is kind of nice and it is easy to forget that I am wearing it.  So often lips get forgotten in the sunblock arena and personally I don’t like the taste of sunblock so I’m happy to add this to my summer.

The last two items in my bag were both masks. The first was a travel sized tube of the Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask (30ml retail $7.50).  I’ve never heard of Josh Wood Colour before but I love masks and I will happily try it out and report back.

The tube feels completely filled with product and I am sure I will be able to get several uses out of it.  The last mask is a  sheet mask, the Shangpree Aromablend Calming Mask (retail $3) to be exact. I think this item varied in some boxes. 

As my sunburn recovery time seriously depleted my sheet mask supply, I am happy to have another mask available to me and can’t wait to see what the Aroma blend smells and feels like.

In addition to the items in the bag, and the bag itself this month, Look Fantastic also has an on-line magazine that you can read through.  I think they used to send a print copy, but personally I am perfectly happy with the electronic version.

I’ve only gotten a chance to read a few articles but I like that they tie in with the products and include a Shangpree (the sheet mask) interview as well as one with Josh Wood Colour DPS (the none sheet mask).  I like that the Josh Wood Colour one focuses on their new Shade Shot Gloss range, so I can learn not only about the products sent to me but other products available, especially as it is a new brand to me and it is nice to see what other products they have available or are coming out.

One thing I also like is that Look Fantastic also has a shop attached to their site. You can use the points you get from reviewing products towards purchases and it is a really big store. there aren’t just one or two items from a brand but a really wide variety. Also it is linked to Glossy Box (and why I was poking around and decided to try the subscription) so that your Glossy points can also be used over on the Look Fantastic site.I find this fantastic. I have been eyeing the Caudalie travel kit. It was out of stock when I last looked but I put it in my loves and received an e-mail this morning that it was back in stock. They also seem to run a lot of sales so even without a membership it looks like a site to watch if you are planning to stock up.

So, the end value of my $19 box ended up being $75. ($60 in products plus the $1 bag which I will get a lot of use out of so I counted it.) They promised at least $50 and gave me $75.  Personally, I am pretty happy about that.  I’m also happy about the fact that every item in my box this month is one that will see some use.  While I won’t use the brush, it is in good hands elsewhere in the house.  I received some products I was familiar with and some that were completely new to me.  It was a nice mix.  If this is the kind of box they send out, I think this is going to be a long term subscription for me instead of a short term trial.