Unboxing the July 2021 Glossy Box

Guess what?  My Glossy Box for the month of July finally arrived.  This is actually the second month in a row that they were late getting things shipped.  I actually don’t mind that much, especially as they sent me a message letting me know that it was going to be shipped later. I think they had some kind of product shipping delays because one of the items in the box isn’t what is listed in the booklet.  I also know August is usually a really big month for them as it is their Birthday month so I’m guessing planning for that might have taken some time away.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, the Glossy Box Link in this post is my referral code link so if you happen to join Glossy Box, I think I get glossy points.)

Regardless the box is here.  For those that don’t know Glossy Box is a monthly Beauty Box subscription.  It is usually a $21 per month subscription but if you sign up for a year then you can get it for $18 per month.  With the yearly subscription you can still pay for it each month instead of one lump sum.  If you are not a subscriber you can use the code TREASURE16 to get your first box for $16. 

Let’s talk about the substitute item first.  In this month’s treasure themed box, the first item listed was an eyeshadow duo from Cleo Noir.   Have tried several things from them in the past and really like the quality of their products.  I haven’t tried their eyeshadow and it would have been nice to give it a try. 

blush swatch

Instead I received a small illuminating blush from Ciate London.  I can’t actually be mad about that as I have a deeper blush from Ciate London and it is one of my favorite blushes.  I don’t mind having a new one in a different shade at all.  I know I will end up using it. 

The second item is one of the full sized items and it is a brush duo from Elaina Badro. (I couldn’t find this exact set to link to so the link is just to their general website). One is a blender and one is an eyebrow brush.  Both brushes I will use.  They are a lovely aqua color and appear to be quite good quality.  They are listed as having a retail value of $34 which I think is a bit pricey for two eye brushes. Its more what I would expect for a larger face brush. But they are pretty and of good quality so I will use them. 

The next item is a sheet mask from Purlisse.  It is from their Blue Lotus line, the Blue Lotus and Seaweed Treatment Mask to be exact..  I have always had good luck with products from the line and I’m sure I will like this mask as well.  I don’t get all that excited about sheet masks, but I do like them. And I like Purlisse.  So all in all not a bad edition to the box.

Likewise the Verso eye cream is nice to have as well.  I like Verso.  They are a great clean brand.  The eye cream is a deluxe size and as it takes so little eye cream when you use it, I know I will take a really long time to work through this.  I actually have two additional Verso Eye cream samples in my collection so I may just end up passing this one on. 

It is a good eye cream though.  Also if you are into clean skincare, they are a brand you might want to check out as they are usually reliably good. Their foaming cleanser is actually fantastic if you are looking for a clean cleanser to try.

Finally there is a travel sized spray bottle of Batiste Volumizing dry shampoo.  I know lots of people rave about it and it is a decent dry shampoo.  It does leave a white cast and it has a very strong floral and slightly chemical scent, but it is a nice drug store option.  In the days before my local drug store started carrying Cake Dry Shampoo, if I ran out of Klorane and needed something quick, he Batiste is the option I would go for. 

Now that Cake products are available near me I would grab it instead.  But this makes a good affordable option available in many local stores.  My issue isn’t really the white cast (which can be brushed out) but the scent and the fact that always leaves my hair looking a little too dry. It no longer looks greasy but it does have a lot of fly aways.  If I don’t use a dash of something like Moroccan Oil on my hands over my hair then I look like I am standing too close to an electrical charge.  Which always struck me as a strange combination of elements.  My hair is greasy so I dry shampoo it, then have to apply oil to make it less dry.  It works in a pinch and lord knows I love Moroccan oil (although I always get the light weight Moroccan oil despite having thick hair.  I find it works better on my fine hairs.)

But that is really beside the point.  The Batiste is a good emergency back up product.

I don’t know about this month.  Usually Glossy Box is one of my favorite subscriptions and even when Boxycharm and Ipsy have gone off track I can count on being excited by Glossy box.  This month was just sort of blah. Maybe it is because I pretty much know every product in the box this month.  Usually there is at least one item I have never heard of or never had a chance to try.  The products are still good, it just lacks a bit of the excitement of discovery that I have come to associate with Glossy box.

However not every month is going to be a subscription box’s best month and as Glossy Box so rarely disappoints , I’m willing to give this too them and hope they are back on track next month. And as next month is their 10th birthday month I am sure they will do something special for it.  The August spoiler they have in this month’s brochure lists an Elemis product in next month’s box.  It looks like the Pro Collagen moisturizer.  So already next month is looking exciting.  After all when am I not excited to see an Elemis product?

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Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for July 2021

That’s right my darlings, today we continue the theme of the week of subscriptions. To be honest, I didn’t think IPSY would arrive this week. I received a tracking number towards the beginning of the month (July 10th) and it never updated. At least until yesterday morning when suddenly it changed to Delivery today by 9pm.

For those who do not know, IPSY Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription. Inside you receive fife full sized products. They used to come with a makeup bag, now they come with a cheap drawstring bag. July’s drawstring bag seems to be slightly better quality than many in the past so either they’ve upgraded or this one just happened to be nicer. Either way I don’t consider the bag as adding any value to the subscription so the less said about it the better.

Let’s move on to the products, shall we?

As for the products, IPSY chooses two and you are allowed to choose the remaining three products from a limited selection of items. Each choice option has about five or six options to choose from. Some months it is a hard choice, other months, not so much. This mont was not great but not really bad either. I felt like I had options and I did get to choose the one I prefered not as the best of a bad lot, but as options I actually preferred.

Let’s look at the two choices chosen for my by IPSY. The first was from Dr. Brandt Skincare and it is the pores no more® PORE PURIFYING CLEANSER (retail $36). I’ll admit, my thoughts are split on this. I like Dr. Brandt products actually and have used several of them. I have never actually received this cleanser so I am looking forward to trying it out. However this particular product has made the rotations for quite a while now. I;ve seen it appear as options in bags numerous times so it sort of feels like a remainder. I like it, but it still feels like a left over.

The second item chosen for me I am actually excited to try. it is the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer (retail $30). I have tried several products from Juice Beauty and really liked them. There was a serum a while back that I loved and was very sad when it ran out. The only item I think I’ve tried from the brand that i didn’t like was the bar of soap and I think that is mostly because I don’t care for bars of soap in the shower and not because the product was bad. So I am happy with seeing this moisturizer in my bag.

The first of the items I choose I was very happy to see as it is one that I have thought about adding to my shopping cart numerous times. The only reason I hadn’t actually pulled the trigger on it was because I am trying to whittle down my masks and not buy any until they are a respectable number. (I actually have a lot of small sample sized mask tubes I’m trying to clear out.) But here this mask was as an option so I snapped it up. It is the Go-to-Skincare The Removalist Mask (retail $36). I know it is a detoxifying clay mask. of course I am going to want to try it. What can I say, clay masks are a weakness.

I’m sure I could have worse ones.

The second item I chose was the DR. EVE_RYOUTH Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Hydrabright Night (retail $90). You know i love night creams. I know a lot of the time I use my regular moisturizer and when it needs a little help I roll in a night mask to help out the moisturizer. But truthfully, I really like having a seperate night moisturizer. I’m not entirely certain why. I don’t have a problem using serums in both the morning and the night, or essences, or toners or cleansers, but something about moisturizers. I really like having a seperate one for night time use. I;ve found a few I like well enough, but I haven’t found one that I find super fabulous. Honestly, I have never heard of this brand before, but I do love Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. so hopefully this will prove useful.

And finally I chose one makeup item from the choice items and it is the Beauty for Real Golden Hour Mango Butter Eyeshadow Palette (retail $36). I have tried a few Beauty for Real products, although not many. I am still trying to decide how i feel about the brand. Their mascara was absolutely fabulous. I remember thinking it wasn’t going to be because it had a small dinky little wand, but once applied I used every single drop and was very sad when it came time for the mascara to depart. The other products I tried from the brand were more or less forgettable. So I chose the palette to see which category it fell into. Also in all of my categories it was the only makeup item.

so that was my July 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus. Again I have mixed thoughts about it. I like the products and i am looking forward to trying them out, however once again it was heavily weighted towards skincare. I like skin care. Dare i say I even love skincare. However for a while now there has been a lot of skincare. It would be nice if they would just lean towards makeup a bit more. At least until I can use up a few more products. At this point in my beauty profile I have every makeup item possible checked and listed as send me frequently, so it should help with the product selection. Hopefully. And really I can’t be mad at this bag. I am interested to try all of the products I received and it is a good selection. I think I am just facing a little skincare burn out. Otherwise, IPSY was better this month than it is been in the past few months so I am hoping this is an upward trend.

Next month Is a Glam X month so my glam bag plus will be upgraded for the quarterly box. This is the third one they’ve done. Each quarter the Glam Bag X is a collaboration with someone. The first was Patrick Ta and it was fantastic. The second was with Khloe Kardashian and it was not good at all. In fact I felt a little cheated for paying the upgraded price for that month. This third Glam X is a collaboration with Halsey. I have my fingers crossed. Since it is new I am giving it a full year before I make my final judgement call on whether or not i want to keep it. In fact each year in November and December I review all of my subscriptions to see which ones I will be keeping in the following year. Usually there are a set few that stay and others that are evaluated. Usually Boxy and IPSY are the two pillars that remain, this year I am going to have to have a good hard think about both of them. But for now, I have products I enjoy so July was a decent month.

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Unboxing the July 2021 Boxycharm Premium

That’s right, my Boxycharm premium has arrived. For those who don’t know premium is the $35 per month category of the Boxycharm beauty Box Subscription. They have several tiers. Their base box is $25 per month and then they have a more expensive Quarterly Luxe box. I’ve actually had all three tiers and after playing around with them for a while, I decided the tier that consistently had the most products I wanted to try was the premium category. I let go of the other tiers and if there is something that shows up in one of the other tiers that I like, I wait and usually it will show up in one of the monthly Boxycharm add ons or pop up stores.

Thus far it has been a good system for me. There was a slump for a while, but the premium category has gotten better and is now back to being a pretty good box. This month was a Brand Take over for Boxycharm Premium. That’s right this month was the Boxycharm Premium X Novina Anastasia Beverly Hills Box. And I have to say, I am pretty happy with what I recieved.

First up is the Novina Pro Pigment Palette Volume 1 (retail $60). I am very happy to have this palette as it has several bright colors that look fun to play around with. I know typically I go for more neutral looks but at the moment I am swamped with neutral colors.

I am very happy to have some color to play around with. I did swatch a couple of the shades after opening it because i just couldn’t resist and they made some gorgeous swatches. They feel buttery soft and look highly pigmented. I know they can sometimes apply differently than they swatch, but I was rather impressed with the swatching.

The second item in my box this month was the ABH Loose setting powder (retail $38). I loe powder. I do. I know some people love highlighters but I really love powders. I will sometimes go without foundation, but i will still usually put a dusting of powder on, even on my no makeup days.

I have never tried ABH powder before, but I am looking forward to it. I am actually quite impressed by the size of the container as well. It is a relatively large setting powder. I can’t wait to dive in and try it out.

The third item is the ABH Lash Brag Mascara (retail $25). Again I have never tried any ABH Mascara’s before and am looking to give this one a go. I just cleared out three mascaras from my open mascara collection.

I couldn’t resist opening my favorite Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir yesterday so I think I am going to wait a little while before opening this one. (by the way, this mascara is currently on sale. Instead of the normal $27 the sale price is $13.50. It is one of my absolutely favorite mascaras and I can’t recommend it enough – especially when it is on sale.) I want to roll off at least one more mascara from my open products before I open up a new one. It is supposed to be a volumizing mascara so I am looking forward to trying this out. The ABH link will take you to the ABH website (no affiliation with me) if you want to see the wand. I just didn’t want to open this until I was ready to use it. The wand on the site does look nice and fluffy which is always a plus for volumizing mascara so I have high hopes for this one.

Next up we have the ABH Brow Definer. (retail $23). I find this lash pencil interesting actually. It has a flat angled end that looks like it would work quite well on my brows.

At the moment i am testing out the Billion Dollar Beauty brow products, so I will have to delay opening this as well (for about a week or so) but I will be trying it out soon as I am curious to see how well the flat angle works. Plus as my bangs have grown out again I can play around with brow products and even if they end up looking crazy no one can really see them so it is the perfect time to play.

There is a setting spray in the box this month it is the ABH Dewy Set setting spray (retail $26). I’ve never actually used a dewy setting spray so I am not sure how I will like this one. Even though I am trying to use up the Farsali, I will be using this setting spray today I think, just to test it out. That way if I try it and really don’t like the dewy spray, I can pass it along to someone else quickly.

I do have to say, I like the sparkly bottle and I know it sounds strange, but I really love the twist and lock sprayer. I have a couple of setting sprays I have to keep out on the dressing table because they leak if they are laid down in a drawer. This loos like it would not in any way leak. It may, but it looks designed not to. Plus with the lock, you can put it in your luggage without having to find the cap. I am the queen of losing caps for spray bottles. If I manage to hold on to one of those little caps for more than a week, I am always shocked.

Finally there is a brush in my box this month. It is the ABH A 30 Pro brush Domeo Kabuki Brush (retail $24). I love kabuki style brushes. I really enjoy brushes with the soft, yet densely packed bristles and this looks like it is well made. It is also a smaller size with the end of the brush so it looks like it will be quite useful in getting ready.

All in all I am rather pleased with the selection of products this month. They are all items I will use and enjoy trying out. If the setting spray is too dewy I’ll pass it on, but that is really the only minor consideration in my Boxycharm Premium this month. For me the value is in whether I will use the products and that value is certainly there. If you want a monetary value, for my $35 I received $196 worth of product. So there is good value there as well. I think this actually marks three really good premium boxes in a row. It looks like, at least with the premium category, Boxycharm is back from their slump. Here’s hoping they can continue on this path. If they do, I’ll be a very happy camper.

Unboxing the Macy’s July 2021 Beauty Box

I can’t lie, over the past year Macy’s beauty boxes has become one of my favorite subscription boxes. It costs $15 per month ($16,78 with tax) and it generally contains at least five products. Often it contains more and usually the products are from luxury brands.

While they don’t always have a bag with the subscription (sometimes replacing the bag with something like a mini flat iron for example) this moth there was a beauty bag included. It is a plastic bag with tropical looking leaves on it that seems to go well with the theme of Fun in the Sun. The bag is a good size and looks well made. Because it is plastic inside and out it is the sort of bag I tend to put bath products in when I travel (shampoo, body wash) as those items seem to leak more often than many other products I travel with and the plastic is easy to rinse out.

But as with every subscription, the bag may be nice, but it is what is inside that counts. The first item out of the bag this month is the Coola Sunscreen in SPF 30. It is actually the Coola Sun silk drops. In addition to the sunscreen, the serum is infused with hyaluronic acid (one of the skincare darlings of the moment). I’ve generally had pretty good luck with Coola products. They protect the skin well and don’t cause me to break out. And you know I love hyaluronic acid, so this is definitely a product i want to try.

The second Item in the bag this month is the Clinique Moisture Surge Auto Replenishing hydrator. It has been a really long time since I have tried a Clinique moisturizer. I remember trying one a number of years ago and found it was far too moisturizing for me. At the moment I am sort of in my oily phase. It give this moisturizer it’s best chance of working, I might hold on to it until the weather changes and my skin starts craving moisture. It has been a really long time since I gave Clinique a try and I am happy to have a sample to try now. I suspect I will like it’s moisture providing formula once winter arrives.

I will have a harder time setting the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion to the side. I have used several Shiseido products before and they have always performed fantastically for me. It is a brand that I have never been disappointed to try. with the Coola in this month’s Macy’s Beauty Box and the Supergoop in Birchbox, I now have several different sunscreens to try out so I may just start rotating them into the line up to see how they perform. It will give my Volition Prismatic Sunscreen a bit of a rest (and me a break before I have to reorder it again). I actually can’t wait to try this sunscreen out.

There is something for the hair this month as well. It is the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti Frizz Blow out butter. Alterna is a brand I have used before and tend to like how they perform. Their Caviar line has proven nice for my hair as well, especially in the shampoo and conditioner. Actually if I remember correctly the shampoo was nice but the conditioner was fantastic. It has been a while though so I’d have to try them again to be certain. I do remember I liked one a lot more than the other thought. I am happy to get to try something else out of the Caviar anti-aging line though. Like the Clinique though, it may have to wait for the end of the summer.

In the summertime I tend not to use my hair dryer all that much. What I tend to do is to let it mostly dry and then spray the Color Wow Dream Coat on it and use my hot brush to activate the pretectorant serum. The Dream Coat works fantastically well in protecting against the humidity frizz. I just generally find it too hot to use my hair dryer in the summer. By the time my hair is dry I am sweating. So this blow out bitter will be set aside until the fall when I once again start using my hair dryer. I am happy to have a chance to try it though.

I am super excited to report that there are two lip products in this month’s bag. The first is from Grande Cosmetics. I really like their liquid formula actually and have several glosses from the, This one is a light pink Hydrating Lip Plumper. While I have used their lip glosses I haven’t used their lip plumpers and am looking forward to giving it a try.

The second lip product is from Yves Saint Laurent. It is a tiny little stick lipstick. It is a long wearing lipstick infused with hyaluronic acid. It is in a beautiful red shade and if the shade is actually on the bottom I will have to get a magnifying glass out to read it. But I adore red lipstick and have been on a more or less permanent quest to find the right shade of red. I feel like Goldilocks sometimes actually. This is a little too pink,. this one is a little too orange. It is a process that involves a lot of trial. I have found a liquid lipstick in the red I want (it is an Elf Liquid lip actually in Red Vixen) but I am still holding out for the perfect red in a traditional bullet style lipstick. Because some days you don’t want a liquid lip. I have my fingers crossed for this one.

Finally there is a perfume sample. Each month macy’s Beauty box includes at least one perfume Sample. This month it is Versace Dylan Turquoise. I will add it to my collection to try out. For the past few weeks I haven’t been wearing any perfume as I have just been sweating so much it seemed pointless. As I am switching more to gym workouts than walks in the sun, I will be going back to my once a week perfume sample trials. This one will definately be placed in the line up. I actually hope I like it because the full sized bottle just looks absolutely beautiful. I won’t add it to my collection unless I like the perfume, but I really do like the bottle.

For now, that was my July 2021 Macy’s Beauty Box. I have to say I am very excited about several of the products. For me this was a good month. I love the fact that there was both skin and hair care with a little bit of makeup. It was a nice mix. Admittedly anytime a red lipstick appears i am excited so it was pretty easy for me to like this month. But there are several products I am very much looking forward to trying out. A couple I will have to put to the side as for my skin and hair, this isn’t the right season for their use. But it gives me something to look forward to when the heat turns. Other than the heat actually turning of course. Over all I am once again impressed by my Macy’s Beauty Box.

Unboxing the July 2021 Birchbox Beauty Box

We have reached the point in the month where subscription boxes have started to arrive.  So brace yourself for a slew of unboxings.  They really do seem to come in waves.  The Underclub and Jersey Shore Cosmetics came at the beginning of the month and then mid moth the bulk of subscriptions arrive with a few stragglers trailing towards the end of the month.  The first in this mid-month block is Birchbox.

For those that don’t know Birchbox is a $15 per month beauty subscription.    There is a discount if you sign up for a longer term.  In order to give myself a full trial of the subscription I signed up for a full year and pay $13 per month ($14.27 with tax). Each month you receive five sample sized products to try.  I believe my subscription runs until October so that is when I will have to decide if I want to keep the subscription or not.

Usually Birchbox provides several different avenues for options.  You can choose one item from their list of choices to be included in their box and they will build around it, you can choose one of their curated boxes or choose not to receive a box and merely have our subscription fee go towards something in their store.  Often there is the possibility ow swapping your box for one single full sized item.  I’ll be honest, by the time I manage to log in to make my choice, the full sized item is almost always sold out.

This month there was no full sized swap option.  There were individual choice items but none of them appealed to me.  There was also only one box.  I think they are trying to lean towards more clean beauty items so the box was a Clean Beauty Picks theme.

This month instead of coming in a box, the items came in a mesh makeup bag.  It is a nice bag, sturdy and usable.  It is quite nice actually.  The bag is the sort of one I tend to throw my reusable makeup rounds in when I put them in the wash so they don’t get lost in the clothing. While nice and reusable, I did find them a little overly enthusiastic about the bag.  Earlier in the month Birchbox sent an e-mail detailing fifty ways you could reuse this pouch. 

As a spoiler, most of them involve using it as some sort of pouch.

So nice, but a little over hyped.

And it is about the elements within isn’t it?  So lets give them a look.

First up we have a familiar favorite with the Sunday Riley CEO Brightening Serum.  I think I have several sample sizes of this serum in my skincare drawer at the moment.  I think at least one of them came from Birchbox.  It is a good serum though so I am not overly upset to see it. It is a serum I will always happily use. I just have seen it many times before. 

The next item is the Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion in SPF 50.  I’ll use it, in fact I may even give it a use this week.  Over all I haven’t been massively impressed by Supergoop in the past, but I am always happy to try a new sunscreen.  At this time of year it feels like I just go through it so fast.  Mostly because of the length of time I end up spending outside. I don’t think I’ve tried the Play so it will be interesting to see how I feel about the formula.

The third item in my box I am also on the fence about, due to the brand. The brand is Arrow and it is a brand owned by Birchbox. While I don’t have an issue with them sending items from their own brand, I haven’t had the greatest luck with Arrow products. They are okay. None of them have been bad. They generally perform well. They are just also very forgettable. For me they tend to be a brand that I can use if I run out of something. I tend to think of them as place holder products. Something to use when I run out of something and haven’t yet picked out a replacement.

But this month they did send a lip oil. I do have a fondness for lip oils so perhaps this is the month where Arrow shines. The color of the lip oil is Enhancing Pink and that is actually an accurate color. Swatching it just looks like a shiny spot on the skin, hence no pics of the swatch, but it does have a barely noticeable tint that enhances the natural pink of my lips. So I will use it and perhaps, this is the moment when Arrow finally has a product i really love. I will keep my fingers crossed.

The fourth item in this months beauty box is the Megababe Space bar Detoxifying charcoal underarm bar. Which is a long title that I’m pretty sure means soap. A soap designed for your underarm and to help with odor, but still it is a small bar of soap. I’ll happily give it a try, but to be honest, it doesn’t actually excite me.

And finally We have a shampoo from Davines. It is the SOLU Shampoo designed to remove the residue of styling products from your hair. I find Davines an interesting brand. I tend to really like their shampoos and conditioners, but don’t really care for any of their other products. I haven’t used this shampoo before and am happy to give it a go since I have had good luck with their shampoos before. This is also a good sized sample so I can get several washes out of it which will help me determine how I feel about the product.

I actually just re-ordered a bunch of hair masks from The Mane Club (mostly Crybaby as it is my favorite and added a new bottle of the One Hit Wonder Spray while I was there) and with the masks, I like to use them in place of conditioners on the day I use them so I don’t mind having a seperate shampoo with no paired conditioner (although in general I really do prefer to try out sets just so I know that my hair feels the way it does because of the product and not because The Mane Club’s hair masks always make my hair feel nice. I’ll have to remember to think about the shampoo separately, but I have high hopes.

Overall this month wasn’t the most exciting month for me. I love the Sunday Riley CEO serum, but already have several samples of it. And while I am always happy to use it, I kind of like trying some new things. There were three items I am ho-hum about and then a shampoo I am excited to try. I really hate to feel down about a subscription box. And truthfully there is nothing really bad about this month’s box. It is just a little blah to me. Perhaps when I get into using the products I’ll feel more excitement, but Birchbox has had much better boxes in the past. Hopefully next month, they will bring back a little excitement. For now, July was good, but not overly exciting.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box July 2021 Unboxing

I have to admit, I was very concerned for my Look Fantastic Box this month. I came back from my short walk yesterday to find it by the door.  It looked as though it had been stomped on.  Usually my Look Fantastic Boxes are in quite good shape considering their long and arduous journey.  Look Fantastic is a beauty box based in the UK.  If you are on a month to month plan the box is $19.  They have three month, six months and annual plans, each one going down in cost the longer you are subscribed.  The 12 month plan is $16 per month which is what I have and I always find it well worth the $16. 

If you are looking to try it out you can get your first box at a discount to see if you like it.  Just use the code LF10 for 10% off your first box.

Nothing was actually damaged.  The box was a little crushed because it was the travel bag this time and not the hard cardboard box, so the edges crumpled a little but the products were fine.

This month the theme is Wanderlust and to complement the theme the products come in a reusable travel bag.  It is a sort of leather look plastic with one side having a clear window.  It is the perfect size for putting into a suitcase.  They usually do one of these summer style bags each year.  Last year it was an aqua color and had two clear sides.  That one I didn’t travel with (mostly because I didn’t travel, but it was perfect as a garden tool.  I put a wet wash cloth and a few ice cubes in the bag and took it with me when I worked in the garden.  It was perfect for keeping cool while I worked and it didn’t leak.  The bag still looks and works great actually.  It is a bit on the dirty side from its time in the garden but I have been using it this year as well as last year and will continue to use it for quite some time to come. 

This year’s bag is white and looks more like something I will keep for traveling. But it is what is inside the bag that counts.  So let’s take a look at the products. 

The first item in the bag is the Grow Gorgeous Intelligent Haircare Defense Anti-pollution leave in Spray.  According to the pamphlet, it is supposed to shield your hair from heat damage, colour fade and external aggressors.  Grow Gorgeous is one of those brands I didn’t really know about until I started getting this box and it is rapidly rising in my estimation.  I have an overnight hair mask from them that I absolutely love and I recently picked up a set of Shampoo and conditioner to try from them during The Skinstore’s Grow Gorgeous sale.  Also this morning when I looked at Boxy Add ons they had a different set of shampoo and conditioner from the brand that I picked up at 50% off so I can try that as well.  I am almost finished with my Zents shampoo and conditioner (although I will definitely be repurchasing those) and I wanted something new to try.

But I would never have tried this brand without this subscription box.  I think that is one of the benefits of getting a box from outside the country.  But It is clearly not the only item in the box.  The second item I pulled from the box is the Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturizer. 

Anyone who reads this regularly knows that I am a huge fan of Elemis products.  I am thrilled that I get to try one from the Superfood line that I haven’t tried.  My only issue is that in the booklet the product described it the Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter, which I was actually really looking forward to trying.  The packages of the sample sizes look exactly the same, but they sent me a different one.  I will still use it and see how it works out, but I kind of would have preferred the cleansing butter.

The next item in the box this month was a small tube of the Illamasqua Beyond Liquid Highlighter in OMG.  Some of you may find that familiar if you read my daily posts where I list out the makeup I used that day and my thoughts on it.  The Illamasqua Beyond Powder Highlighter in the shade OMG is one of my go to products. It is a beautiful highlighter that can be used to create a stunning gleam or blended into a soft glow.  I haven’t tried the liquid form of this highlighter but look forward to comparing the two. Incidentally if you are shopping Illamasqua products you can get 25% off from new orders on their website with the code ILLANEW25

The fourth item in the July box is the Mine Tan Body Skin Cucumber gradual tan. It is a face and body spray with a gradual tanner and a refreshing scent.  To be honest most of my body gets far too much sun as it is, and doesn’t need the help.  However, I generally wear jeans and pants so my legs are ghost pale. 

In fact, I am pretty sure they can be seen from space. I could probably signal aliens by putting on a pair of shorts and lying in the grass in the backyard.  While it normally doesn’t bother me, as the summer progresses the skin color difference between my legs and upper body is very noticeable when I do wear skirts and dresses so I have been looking for products to address this.  I have a couple in the line up and I think this might work well.  I am not certain how far I’ll get with the small spray bottle, but it should be enough for at least some preliminary thoughts.

Moving on to item number six there is a Revlon Lipstick. It is full sized. It has been a while since I have tried any makeup products from Revlon and I am always happy to see a new lipstick (as my dressing table can surely attest).  I don’t mind that there is a drug store product in her as I like having a few products that if I like I can run out and pick up rather than order on line.  And as I haven’t tried a Revlon Formula in a while it might be nice to see if I like it so that there is another brand I can just pick up a color I like on impulse when I am shopping.

Finally, there is a Starskin VIP 7 second Luxury all day mask. It looks like something you slip over your fingers and rub across your face rather than a sheet mask you apply over the skin in, well, a sheet. It is supposed to refresh and rehydrate your complexion.  I will have to look into it a bit more before I use it to find out what it is actually supposed to do.  I might actually set up a Friday masking day for a Friday full of odd masks.  I have one for the hands from Starskin as well which might go into that category.  I’ll have to take a look at the details and see what can be done.

But for now that is my July 2021 Wanderlust themed box.  While there was a minor snafu with the Elemis Product, everything in here is something I want to give a try and am interested in using.  All Subscription boxes have high and low months, this in my opinion was a definite high and I can’t wait to test out the products inside. With Look Fantastic I really like that all of the samples are of a size large enough to give me a good idea of how the product will perform. I like that there are some of my favorite brands mixed in with brands I’ve never tried. I also like that there are often things I would never think to pick up on my own. Like the Starskin VIP Finger mask thing. I know that if I saw it in a store or flicked past it on-line I would be interested but probably wouldn’t buy it. Now I get to try it and see if it is worth buying.

This is definitely a subscription I will be hanging on to, especially knowing that next month’s spoiler is a Ciate London Blush.  Currently the Ciate London blush I have is one of my favorites so having a new one in a different color is very exciting.  I am also trying to decide if I want to try and pick up the August Limited edition box Look Fantastic is putting out.  It is a LookFantastic X Omorovicza box.  I’ve tried a couple of products from the brand before and they were absolutely fantastic.  They were quite pricey though.  It would be fantastic to be able to try several more products before committing to buying the full sized ones. 

They also have a limited edition box partnered with Revolution this August.  All of their limited editions sell out super fast so if either of those appeal to you keep your eyes peeled for release dates and pounce as soon as you are able.  There have been several in the past that I just managed to miss. Fingers crossed that this time I can manage to catch the Omorovicza box.

Even if I don’t I am pleased with this month’s Look Fantastic Box and looking forward to seeing what August brings.

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A little Jersey Shore Lip Balm

Oh yes, it is that time again. It is time for the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. At just $5 (plus $3 shipping for a total of $8) this is currently my least expensive subscription box. For your low subscription price you receive two lip balms per month.

I have tried to find the subscription link on the site but even though they talk about it on the blog I tend to have a hard time finding it there, so I go through Cratejoy to find them. It is super east to sign up for Cratejoy and I have to say I find myself poking around on there often just to see what new subscriptions appear.

The Jersey Shore Cosmetics one is a subscription that I sign up for every year, and keep for a few months before letting go while I work my way through the lip balms. How long I keep it depends on me. Sometimes I use the lip balms fast, or accidently leave them in my pocket and send them through the washing machine, or lose them in a purse, while other times I keep it on my desk and slowly work through them.

I generally keep the subscription until I feel like the lip balms are accumulating faster than I can use them and then I take a break. When I last subscribed, the subscription cost more and sent four lip balms in a package so I kept it around less. Two balms is actually more my speed and I might actually use them enough that I won’t feel overwhelmed.

Summer is usually the time when I sign up and then I end up leaving the subscription just as they roll fall flavors and scents out. Last year i missed the spiced pear and was annoyed, but as I was swimming in lip balms I couldn’t justify it. With only two per package, I don’t think I’ll be swamped as fast this time and will get to linger in the subscription until the fall.

I personally like the formula of the Jersey Shore Cosmetics lip balm formula. It is soft and hydrating. It is also vegan and both paraben and phthalate free. It glides on easily and smoothly without tugging at the lips, fairly melting into them, and even when it is gone from the surface, my lips feel hydrated. On the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website their vegan lip balms are sold for $10 each, so getting two for $5 or even $8 is a really good value. Plus, I know I will always go through them.

I think one of my favorite things about the subscription though, is that it never feels like left overs. The two lip balms I received in this month’s subscription are Peach Apricot Spritzer (which smells a lot like a peach bellini) and Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer which still smells of strawberry, but has a slightly more effervescent scent to it than the regular strawberry lip balm making it lighter and fresher in scent.

The Spritzer line is one of the latest released for Jersey Shore Cosmetics. Which means that the balms included in the subscription are among their newest releases, not the products that failed to sell last season. How cool is that?

Plus, they are really good lip balms. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.

Since I find it easier to locate the subscription on cratejoy, the links are to the cratejoy subscription site. For those interested Cratejoy just started a mega sale. It is the Summer Christmas in July Sale. If you are looking for something new to try, now might be a good time.

Cratejoy’s Biggest Sale of the Summer: Save 30% off hundreds of subscription boxes with a 3+ month prepay using code HOHOHOT30 from 7/11-7/17.

Unboxing the July 2021 Underclub Subscription

That’s right my darlings my July Underclub subscription has arrived. It is always the first of the monthly subscriptions to reach me and personally I love the kick off it gives to the month. I have always been a fan of pretty underwear. No matter what else I am wearing or what else I am doing, it makes me feel pretty when I wear nice undergarments and that in turn makes me feel more confident.

As you know I love subscriptions of all varieties and I looked into a bunch of Underwear subscriptions. The underclub was the most size inclusive. It has sizes running from extra small to triple X and has a wide variety of styles. I have never been disappointed in the quality. While there are several subscription tiers to choose from the one I subscribe to is the $15 per month level. There is no tax or shipping, it is a straight $15 fee and for this I receive one pair per month.

Inner package

This month was a pair of soft pink boy shorts. As always they come in a discrete pink mailer and inside have a second plastic bag containing the underwear. I really like the thought of my underwear being twice bagged. I still wash it before wearing it the first time, but I like the double bagging nonetheless. I always check the garment for loose strings or missed stitches both before and afte wearing and I have to say, I haven’t found a single one yet.

In addition the pairs from previous months are still wearing well. While I like adding underwear to my collection, one pair a month is about all I need to feel special but not feel overwhelmed. This soft pink pair is a nice color and a great fit. it is plain this month with only an understated ‘Underclub’ stitched into the waistband. As the last few months have been on the lacy side, I am happy to have a pair that looks a little more sporty. I am certain I will get a lot of use out of them.

July’s selection just out of the packaging

Once again, I am pleased with the month’s selection and thrilled to maintain my subscription. I also love that my subscription gives me a members discount in The Underclub store. There they sell not only the individual underpants, but they sell multiple packs, bralettes, sets and even a some shorts and cami sets.

band detail

I have a set with the bralette and matching underpants and the bralette is just as good a quality and wears just as well. And they are as size inclusive with everything on their site. There is no wondering if a particular item comes in your size as everything comes in a wide variety of sizes. If you aren’t a ‘perfect’ size – not that perfect actually exists, but you know what I mean – you can still shop in their main store without being shunted off to a small corner with fewer options.

It is one of the things that brings me back to the site time and time again, even just to window shop. It makes me feel good to know that every option I see, is an option I can order. They add new items to their story just about every month. The current new item is Eco lace, Lace made from recycled fibers. They look quite amazing, and if I can get an amazing pair of underwear and feel good about it on several levels, even better. when you go on the site they usually have a monthly code offer for a special they are running. I believe this month uses the code FREEBRA.

Add a FREE bralette to any new subscription with code FREEBRA

They tend to rotate the codes and offers as supplies rise and fall so double check the code at the top of the screen if you log in to see their current offer. And don’t forget to look into their store. They’re summer collection is really lovely.

Unboxing the June 2021 Boxy Charm Premium

That’s right folks, it finally arrived. Between you and me I was hesitant to believe my BoxyCharm Premium would make it to me before the month was out. However, it just squeaked in at the month’s end. For those who are wondering, the image above has the Boxy Charm box with the tic-tac Box on top of it, not because there is some sort of strange collaboration going on, but because I wanted to show the size of the box.

While the Premium box is usually larger than the regular box, this month it was quite small. In fact i’ve never gotten a subscription box from Boxy Charm in a box this small before. I’ve gotten things I ordered from Add ons in this size box though.

While I find it a little strange, I’m not mad at it. I actually like the fact that they seemed to look at the items they were sending and decided the normal boxes were too big. I would rather have a smaller box where everything was packed nicely rather than a larger box where everything was just rattling around and getting banged up in transit.

For those that don’t know, Boxy Charm Premium is a tier of Boxy Charm that costs $35 per month. For a while I had all of the tiers of Boxy. I had the regular $25 box as well as the quarterly Luxe box. Ultimately I decided that the box that consistently sent me more products that I enjoyed using was the Premium category, so that is the one I went with. Occasionally there is an item featured in one of the other boxes that I like and I will end up picking it up in the Add on Store or Boxy Pop up. Thus far I have been happy with the decision. Some months have been better than others, but you get that in every subscription. I know there has been a lot of complaining lately, and I am guilty of some of it, but Over all it has been a great way for me to try new products.

This month started off interestingly actually. I received an e-mail from Boxy well before my box shipped apologizing for the repeat item in my box this month in advance. They also gave me a $12 credit in the Boxy Add on store so I could pick up an item that I wanted. I did (and then some). I think I ended up ordering about five separate items this time around.

However when my box arrived I found that the repeat item is the Wander Beauty Do not Disturb Overnight Repair Concentrate. (retail $88). While the packaging on this one is sealed I have the one I just took out of the packaging beside it. The container is lovely and although i have just started using it, I find the product lovely. (it will make it’s appearance in this Friday’s skincare line up). If I like it then I am okay with having a back up, since I don’t have a lot of night creams handy, but I might leave it packaged up and send it to my mother as I am sending a care package of goodies to her soon anyway. I like the brand Wander Beauty and I usually have pretty good success with their products, so I’m not all that miffed about the repeat. Especially since they apologized before it arrived and gave me the credit

The next item I pulled from my box this month was the Floss Cheek and Lip tint (retail$22). I have tried a Floss liquid lip before and wasn’t all that impressed. However it has been a while and this does look like a pretty good color for the cheeks. I may have to give it a whirl as a cheek product. I tend not to double up on lip and cheek products. I just don’t like to do it. Usually I’ll choose one or the other. This one I will try on the cheeks and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll try it on the lips. I like the color on my hand and really hope it works on my cheeks as I could use another cream blush.

The third Item is an eye cream from Maapilim (retail $39). It is a large size for an eye cream even if the tube does feel about half empty. eye creams are always useful, however there was a spate of eye creams that I was getting and so I have quite a few items waiting in the wings to try out. Also eye cream takes a really long time to get through since you only need so little of it. It is good to have, but i can’t say I am all that excited by it. If i look at the website and the cream excites me then, fine, but it isn’t all that exciting.

Next there is a liquid lip from Zoeva (retail $15). I have tried their eyeshadow and I like it. I am actually quite fond of the Caramel Melange Palette from Zoeva. It is more of a warm toned cool weather palette, but I will be reaching for it repeatedly in the autumn and winter. I am looking forward to trying out the formula of the liquid lip if nothing else.

Upper swatch is Floss, lower swatch is Zoeva

And now we get to the two items I chose. The first is the Natasha Denona Transformatte Pore Vanishing Matte Foundation (retail $45 – when I went to the website to get the product link I saw it is currently 50% off if you are interested, I have no affiliation and it is just a general product link). You know I love trying different foundations and this one had some magic words for me.

Namely, Pore vanishing and Matte. I’ve never really been a fan of the dewy finish. I have products to brighten a foundation if it looks too matte, but I like to be the one in charge of deciding just how off matte I want to go. I think I might have chosen my winter shade again when i chose the color, but I think I can still make it work. I think I do that consistently because last year i ended up wearing tinted moisturizers for most of the summer instead of actual foundations so I’ve gotten out of the habit of looking at summer foundation shades. And truthfully once I’ve tested the foundations that are new to me, I’ll probably go back to tinted moisturizers for the summer as they are lighter on the skin in the summer heat.

I’ll play around with it and see. if it is too bright I’ll just hold it over for when my tan fades. But I think with tinted face powder it will be fine. And then I can see how pore vanishing it really is.

Finally, we have the item I was most excited for. In choice you could choose the Marc Jacobs eye product and I think it was a variance between an eyelash primer and the mascara. I’m not entirely certain of that. it could have been two seperate mascaras. Choice was a while ago. And I was blinded by the fact that the choice gave me a 50/50 chance of getting the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara (retail $27).

For the longest time this was my go to mascara. It was the one I would re order as soon as I hit the five month mark on an open mascara (I only keep them 6 months). I only stopped ordering them because I kept getting mascaras in subscription boxes so I had a stockpile of other mascaras to try out and I couldn’t justify ordering it when I had just a pile to use.

So I stopped even though I loved it. But now it has returned to me. The struggle not to open it up right away is real. I am getting ready to purce several mascaras (as they have reached the end of their lives) but I still have several new to me mascaras I want to try. I’ll have to review what I have open and what I want to try out before deciding to open this, but I am actually quite looking forward to opening it and using it again.

So late as it was, this was my June Boxy Charm Premium. You know, I’m actually pretty happy with it. My one repeat product is one that I will either use or pass on with no issues (and they made it up with the credit). It was not overly skin care heavy which actually gives me a chance to use the skin care that I already have on hand and it included several products that i am eager to try out. I have my fingers crossed for the Floss Lip and cheek tint and I am vet excited for the new pore vanishing foundation. while I consider this box well worth my $35 as I will certainly use most if not all of the items, the full retail value of the box is $216 so there is little cause to complain on that account either. In the end, even with the repeat item, this was a pretty good box for me.

Gro-To Skin Care

Unboxing the June 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus

I know the last few months I have been pretty hard on IPSY, but the truth is they have been one of my favorite subscriptions for a long time. In general they are pretty good, which is why when they fall, it feels like they fall hard. IPSY is a beauty subscription with several tiers. They have a Glam Bag tier for $12 per month, a Glam Bag Plus Tier for $25 per month and a quarterly Glam Bag X that comes out, well, quarterly and costs $55.

This is the $25 per month Glam Bag Plus. With this tier you receive five full sized items. Two are chosen for you and three you get to choose from a slate of selections. Each choice has several options so it isn’t a blank slate choice, but there are five or so items in each selection category you can choose from to fill out your bag.

The subscription does come with a drawstring bag. the design is cute but really, I could do without the drawstring bags. I keep the ones I like so that when I travel i can keep undergarments in them rather than just chucking the undies in the suitcase, but other than that, I really prefer the makeup bags we used to get and always find the drawstring bags a disappointment.

I think part of the reason that I was upset with IPSY for the last couple of months is that my selection items were mostly items I already received in previous bags or flat out didn’t want. And they seemed to be paying no attention to my profile. This month there were many new selection items up that I had not seen before so choice was actually a choice which was nice. I didn’t just choose the one item I liked or didn’t have. In addition they seem to be paying attention to my actual profile.

So what did I receive? We’ll start with the items they chose for me.

The first of these items was the Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask (retail $69). We all know I love masks and I do try to use more regular face masks than sheet masks. I am still whittling down my collection of sheet masks but at the moment I am not buying any. I had to put my Facetory subscription on hold because I wanted to whittle down my collection actually. Although their Masking Monday’s usually get me as they put several masks on sale for $1 each Monday.

Most of the time I can ignore them but occasionally they put one that I know I love on sale so I end up stocking up. Which I can’t say I actually feel bad about. I’m whittling down the stack of masks that i acquired through subscription boxes and are just so so, but keeping the ones I really like on hand. Or at least that is the plan.

Regardless I am happy to give the Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask a try.

The second item they chose for me was the Christophe Robin Daily Hair Cream with Sandalwood. It is supposed to fight against split ends. I don’t have a retail price for this as I was supposed to receive an AHAVA moisturizer so that is what is listed in my Glam Bag Plus page of items. I can’t say I am mad at it though. AHAVA is always hit or miss with me, but since my mother loves them the way I love Elemis I usually just pass the products on to her unopened.

I have been trying out several Christophe Robin products lately and they are growing on me, so I am pleased to see how this works. While I have needed to cut my hair for a while as it has grown longer than I like, I almost never cut my hair in the summer (even when i have a stylist). My hair is pretty thick so I just keep it tied up for most of the summer and then have a cut in the Autumn once the heat breaks and I can wear it down again.

Admittedly usually that is when i sort have a shock at how much my hair grew over the summer. I think it is going to be quite shocking at the end of this summer. However having an extra product designed to protect the ends is very timely. I find the sandalwood scent an interesting idea though as I tend to think of the scent as warming and therefore belonging to the cooler months. I am trying to use up a few opened products first so I haven’t opened to take a sniff. Perhaps he scent will not be an issue.

I am still happy to see a product that is anti-breakage and anti-split ends (and from a brand I like) in my bag this month.

And now we enter the realm of choice. The first item in the choice section is the Viseart Petit PRO Deux (retail $39). I’ll admit I didn’t really look at what other options there were in this category, I just snapped up the Viseart Palette. It is a small travel palette that looks just adorable. The only reason I haven’t bought this on my own is that I always look at it and think that it is too expensive for such a small palette.

I actually have a regular Viseart Mattes palette and I absolutely love the formula of the shadows. They are highly pigmented and really easy to blend. I haven’t tried the formula for their shimmers yet so I am looking forward to that. But I have been eyeing the Viseart palettes for a long time and was thrilled to see it here. I know for some it was a choice a while back, but it wasn’t for me.

The next item I selected during choice was the REALHER Power Wear Probiotic Foundation in I Am Divine (retail $36). RealHer is a brand that I am really coming to enjoy. The three pan glow getter face palette I use a lot. I really enjoyed their mascara and eyebrow pencil. And when I remember to use them, their lip pencil formulas are really nice as well. I can’t wait to see what their foundation formula is like. I think I may have gotten a shade too light for the summertime, but I may try it out today and see if I can use tinted powders to darken it up, just so I can get a feel for the formula. As I have enjoyed pretty much every other product I’ve tried from the brand, I have high hopes for the foundation.

And finally the last choice I made was to select the WE ARE FLUIDE Otherworldly Palette (retail $18) from the selection. This one was a choice that I had to think about. There were a couple of other items that looked interesting and I already had an eyeshadow palette in my bag, but this palette looked like it had several colors I don’t have in my collection.

I keep trying to add more color to my eyeshadow palettes, but the last few colorful palettes I tried, I really didn’t care for. Since this had colors I didn’t own, I figured why not? Hopefully the formula works out because I would like to have something other than neutrals around for when I feel like playing around with color. I know I am mostly a neutrals person, but I do like to have options on the few days I am not.

I know, occasionally I am a contrary soul.

So that was my IPSY Glam bag Plus for the Month of June. I have to ay, I was really pleased with it. The selection of items was nice, the variety was nice and the items chosen went along with my profile. And while skincare will always be my first love, for a while it felt like subscription boxes were drowning us in it. I am happy to see makeup items returning to the beauty boxes. All in all I was thrilled with this month’s IPSY Glam Bag Plus and am really looking forward to seeing what appears in July.

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