Good morning my darlings and welcome to a bright and crisp Monday morning. Today it actually felt like October when I woke up. Early October , but still the dew was frosting the tips of the grass so I think we can safely say summer is behind us.
This weekend my October BoxyCharm Premium box arrived and there is a lot to talk about. There are changes with Boxycharm as well as the box. The major change is that this is the last month that this box will cost $35. Starting November 1st the cost will increase to $39.99 per month. I know they are just trying to get around saying $40, but really that’s what it is.
Part of the increase is due to shipping charges being raised. And I get that. They have also promised new changes. At the moment the only official change is the changing of the name Add ons and Pop up to Drop Shop. But I am willing to give them a few months to see what other changes they might come up with. The price increase is not an automatic end for me. Officially I usually make my do I keep or do I let go decisions about subscriptions after I receive Decembers boxes and before I am charged for January. So that gives me two months of receiving Boxycharm at the higher price to see if I still want to keep the subscription.
I’m okay with that. Two months is a decent time to see about possible changes and to listen for some upcoming ones. So I feel I will be better able to make a decision then. While Boxycharm has had its ups and downs, over all it is a subscription I enjoy. If it continues to be one I enjoy, I’ll keep it. It is really a very simple equation in the end.
But what was in this month’s box? Let’s see shall we?
Let’s start with the two items I chose. First off though I would like to mention a change to the premium choice this month. With premium you are allowed to choose two items. Usually the categories are a mix of items, but this month the first category was all skincare and the second was all makeup. Which I kind of liked. I don’t like mentally debating with myself between the skin care item and a makeup item. I like that the choice was separated out.
The first item I chose was a skincare item and it was the 111Skin Antioxidant Energising Essence (retail $100). In general I like 111Skin. Sometimes they are a bit over priced and sometimes I find the price justified. It really depends on the product. For me their worst products still work well with my skin so I never really mind getting something from the brand. And this is somewhat timely as well. I have been using the Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Essence. I love it not only as an essence but as a general skin soother. The bottle I am using actually emptied this morning. Partially because I am now no longer the only person using it. My Babydoll likes it as well. Which is why I went ahead and ordered a second bottle. It will go in the medicine cabinet, mostly because he will uses something to sooth his skin if he can think of it as medicine rather than skin care, but that is a battle I have been fighting for years with him. Now I just put the skin care for him in the medicine cabinet and he’ll use it.
Regardless, I am ready to try out a new essence and am happy to have this one on hand. It will be rotated into the line up soon. Probably this evening, actually.
The second Item I chose was the Lys No Limits Matte Bronzer (retail $18). I really like the sleek triangular packaging and can not wait to give it a go. It just looks so nice in the package. It is also a pretty large pan so it should last a while even if I decide I love it and want to use it every day. And I haven’t tried anything from the brand before. It is always fun to try out new brands. As it seems like it is really well priced, I am hoping I like it and possibly like other items form the brand.
The next item I pulled out of the box was also a makeup item. This was the Benefit Cosmetics Georgia Golden Peach Blush. (retail $30). I have the Benefit Gold Rush Blush and I absolutely love the formula. So for me this was spectacular to see and I am really hoping the color works well for my skin. I will be trying it out soon. I am also happy to see makeup items in this month’s box. While I have a deep love affair with skincare, I have so much of it right now that I really just wanted something new in the makeup category.
Continuing with the makeup, I aloo received the Tarte Maneater Plumping Gloss (retail $19). I love a good pluming gloss and while I have never tried a tarte lip product I do like other products from them And to be honest one of my favorite mascaras from them is from the Maneater line. And if my recent lip declutter wasn’t enough of a clue, I really like lip products. So over all, not a bad choice for my box.
Dipping back into skincare we have the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Citrus Brightening Cleanser (retail $35). I can always use a good cleanser. It is the one category I am always guaranteed to plow through as I use cleansers at least twice a day. I also like Vitamin C and I am a fan of the brand Perricone. Their eye cream is fantastic and I really like their no makeup makeup lip gloss line. I’ve never tried their cleanser, but am happy to give it a go.
And finally we come to the Dew of the Gods Filla Collagen Under eye pads (retail $20). I’ve never heard of Dew of the Gods, but they seem to have a lot of products in the Boxy add ons or rather the Drop Shop, this month. I am a fan of under eye masks as they are lifesavers during allergy season. The ones I tend to use are depuffing and a fall and spring staple for me. I’ve not used collagen ones, but i am willing to give them a go. i like that there are ten in the container and that it is a metal tin so that I can keep them together more easily. Also i just like little metal tins.
So over all this was my BoxyCharm Premium this month. I was rather pleased with it. My $35 brought me $222 worth of products if you are looking at a strictly monetary exchange. More importantly to me, the items are ones that I will use and that I am actually looking forward to using. While I do want there to be value for my money the use is the better value for me. I like to see trusted brands and I like to be surprised by new ones. I like to see products that interest or excite me and I like to find things that I might not have found or picked up on my own. All of these are the reasons I buy subscription boxes and this month, Boxycharm ticked all of these boxes for me. It will be interesting to see how things proceed as we move into November, but for now I am willing to keep my subscription and see what Boxycharm has planned.
Oh my darlings, the October Birchbox has arrived. And with it, decision time. Last year I signed up for a full year’s commitment to the Birchbox Subscription. The agreement to keep it for an entire year meant that I paid $13 ($14.27 with tax) instead of the regular $15. I was still able to pay month to month, which was something I really liked. I just had to agree to continue paying for twelve months. And the October 2021 box is box number 12 of the subscription. So in addition to looking at this month’s post, I will be looking back over all of the boxes for the past year to decide if I want to keep this subscription for another full year or if I want to go month to month or if I just want to let it go completely.
Before we look at the big decision, let’s start with this month’s box. As always there is a selection that is made on the 27th of the month. At this point in time the selection process is choosing one item from four options and letting Birchbox build your box around it, choosing their curated box or paying your subscription fee and letting that fee go towards the purchase of something from their on-line store instead of getting that month’s box.
I chose the curated box because I didn’t know if I was staying so I didn’t want to go with credit and I didn’t really like any of the four options given to me. Thee were also two items in the curated box that I was curious about.
The first item in the box that interested me was the Strawberry and Poppy Seed Natural Cleansing Bar from Dr. Botanicals. In general I don’t go for cleansing bars when looking for facial cleansers. The one exception is the black soap from Erno Laszlo. I absolutely love that cleansing bar. It is the only one that has won me over. However, I have been receiving more Dr. Botanicals products in subscription boxes lately and they have been killing it. I have been very impressed by the brand. I also like that they are not an expensive brand. While I like many expensive products and with skin, hair and body products I don’t mind spending the extra money to get what i want, it is always nice to have a good reliable moderately priced brand that you can turn to. And honestly for me that brand is rapidly turning into Dr. Botanicals.
This cleansing bar was the first thing I smelled as well as the first item I took out of the box. A waft of strawberry and poppy seed greeted me as I opened the box. It was kind of nice.
The second item that I really wanted to try was the Sunday Riley Light Hearted SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen. I am always looking for a few good sunscreens. I love my Volition Prismatic Luminizer, but it is nice to have options. and I really like the brand Sunday Riley. My skin tends to do well with most of the products I have tried. I actually have several that I will repeatedly repurchase. Good Genes actually tops the list. Fantastic AHA. I think the sunscreen might be a new release. I haven’t heard of it before, so I am glad to try it out.
The third item in my box is the Comfort Zone Hydramemory cream. It is a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid in it. And we all know I love my hyaluronic acid. Or more accurately speaking the fine lines around my eyes and the stress crack across my forehead really like hyaluronic acid. I have tried many Comfort Zone Products in the past but honestly can’t remember if this is one of them.
Comfort Zone for me is one of those brands that works well enough that I can’t complain about them but not great enough for me to really remember them. They tend to fall into my category of ‘I’ll use them if they are here but i won’t go looking for them.’
It isn’t a great category, but it isn’t a bad one. I will put this in my samples drawer and at some point I will use it. I’m sure it will be fine. Not spectacular, but fine. Because of my designation I tend to fid Comfort Zone Products priced a bit high. On the card the full sized version of this is listed for $68. I find that a little high for something not bad, but easily outpaced by many drug store products.
In this month’s box there was a Gel-ous Cool Down Wash off mask from Fila. Now perhaps this is a well known skincare brand I have never heard of, but when I hear Fila I think Sportswear, most specifically shoes. This skincare has the same logo on it so I’m guessing the sportswear company branched out. I’ll have to do a bit more research, but I do like masks so this could be interesting to try.
And finally we have the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil. I have a bit of a past with Balance me. I have received many samples of various products and they always work really well. My skin loves them and is happy. My nose hates them and is miserable. I am a very scent oriented person and with every balance me product there is always a point where my nose just can’t take it. I love their samples because it is good skincare so I want to use it but I can only take the scent for the duration of the sample not in he full size. But I haven’t tried their oils. Usually I wait until I am ready to use a product before opening it and trying it out, but I am getting ready to need an oil so I thought I might as well just go with this one. Plus I was too curious not to open it.
The product is a roller ball which I really like in an oil. I would love if more facial oils came with roller ball applicators. I rolled out a little on my hand and it does have a slightly herbal scent with possibly a hemp note to it. At least i think that was hemp. I’ll double check once I start using it. But whatever it is, the scent is lighter than most of their products and I actually like it. If it works as well as the other products Balance Me produces then we might have a winner. I am happy I get to try this out.
October was a pretty good box. In general this year, Birchbox has been pretty good. I have received several samples that I have enjoyed trying, some were brands or products I’d never heard of and would never have found on my own. There were however a lot of repeats. Part of that may be this year as many subscription boxes have struggled. However I had a Birchbox subscription before and well before the current issues started repeats were an issue with Birchbox.
I’m fairly certain the whittled down choice options are also due to current circumstances. When I opened my subscription there were between two and three box options as well as the four samples to choose from. There was also a product swap where a full sized item instead of your box was an option. As this year has gone on more and more of the options have dropped off. while it is understandable, it does affect my perception of the choices. That is as much a reality as shipping issues.
The biggest issue however is the cost I pay. I know the difference between $13 and $15 isn’t that great. But at $15 I start comparing it to other $15 boxes, like Macy’s Beauty Box. That is a $15 box and in a side by side comparison, Macy’s usually comes out on top and Birchbox feels like it is lacking something. With the $13 price my brain things, ‘well yeah, but it costs less.’ I have no problem paying $13 for this box. I feel that it is worth that price. I do feel that if I were to pay $15 each month I would constantly be making the comparison and i would become dissatisfied.
So for me a month to month option isn’t an option. For me to keep this box I would have to sign up for another full year. With so many other subscriptions that I want to try, I don’t think I will be signing up for another annual subscription to Birchbox. I think it is time to let this subscription go. At some point I may come back to it, as it is a good little box. But for me October will be my last Birchbox for a while. It is time to try something new.
That’s right, the subscription boxes are starting to come in. Can the middle of the month be too far behind? Look Fantastic is a UK based subscription box that costs $19 per month if you are on a month to month subscription. I have an annual subscription so my box is $16. I always find the box worth it actually. As it comes from the UK often times it has brands that I’ve either never heard of or don’t see all that often. Look Fantastic also has a shop that is always running specials and deals on various products. So even if you don’t subscribe, it is well worth popping over to the site to see what’s on sale.
This month’s theme is Treat yourself: Time for your Monthly R&R. The first item I gravitated towards was the Rituals product. what can I say, the golden color called to me. I have received a lot of bath products from Rituals in subscription boxes, in fact one is still in my shower as we speak. They always smell luxurious and leave my skin feeling pampered. This isn’t a bath product though. This month Look Fantastic sent a body cream. The scent is orange and cedar which I think sounds interesting. Normally i am not a fan of getting body creams since I have so many of them, but as I have never tried a Rituals body Cream i have to say i am curious. I have high hopes for this one. It is the Ritual of Mehr. As I just finished a body lotion, this one is going straight to the shower to use post bath. I’ll let you know how it works out.
The second item I was even happier to see. Ecooking is one of those brands I don’t think we hear enough about. It is really good skincare that tends to fly under the radar. If you ever see their foot cream, snap it up. You won’t be sorry. It’s scent is a bit strong but it can take down the toughest of calluses. This month there is a gentle cleansing gel in the box. it is a really good sized pump. The pamphlet doesn’t say if this is a full size or not but it is 125 ml which is much larger than a sample size. If it isn’t a full size then it is at least a deluxe or travel size. I am very much looking forward to giving it a go.
The third item this month is the Filorga Oxygen glow Creme. It is a sample size of their moisturizer. I am always happy to try out a new moisturizer. I have an eye cream from Filorga waiting for trial, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. So even though i have seen the brand (and actually have products from them) I haven’t tried them out yet.
Dr. Botanicals had been making appearances in subscription boxes lately and quite honestly I am not upset about seeing another product from them. The ones I’ve tried have performed really well and over all it is a pretty affordable brand. I am always happy to discover affordable brands that work really well. This month we have the Turmeric Mask. I think I’ve used a moisturizer and a hand cream but not a mask. Both the Pomegranate moisturizer and the Lemon hand cream made it onto my list of repeat purchases so we will see if the Turmeric makes the cut as well.
There were two hair products in this months box, rounding out the products. One is the Philip Kingsley Bond Builder. It is a split end remedy. Philip Kingsley is one of those brands that is kind of pricy, but always sort of leaves me ambivalent. The Leave in conditioner works well enough to use if it is around, but not well enough to actually purchase over other products. Perhaps this Bond Builder will be one of their better products and lean me towards them a bit more. I haven’t tried it and I am always looking for ways to improve the health of my hair.
I will certainly get a lot of use out of the Vintage Cosmetics scrunchies. The yellow is a bit bright for me, but the material is soft and not likely to pull and the elastic underneath feels strong enough to hold my hair in place. Plus this summer I had issues with the elastic bands tangling in my hair so I tended to wear the scrunchies I had more than the bands. Many of the scrunchies did not survive the summer. So it is nice to have some replacements.
So that was my October Look Fantastic Box. Was it worth the price? Absolutely. Look fantastic has always tended to be skincare heavy and the theme is kind of skincare based anyway so i can’t be upset about the lack of makeup. Makeup isn’t really Look Fantastic’s strong suit. Some times they do hit it out of the park with the makeup though. Just not this month and not very often. To be honest, Look Fantastic is where I have found some super fabulous hair care products and brands that I didn’t know existed. Hair and skincare are where this box shines. And this month, I think they did pretty good. I definitely got my $16 worth.
Oh my darlings, my IPSY bag arrived in the mail. Can you believe it? I can’t remember the last time my IPSY subscription arrived this early in the month. It is a Halloween miracle.
So shall we see what’s in the pretty pink mailer?
First off we have the bag for the month. I like the print. i think it is very appropriate for the month. I also wish it was on an actual makeup bag. I’ve mentioned my disappointment in the drawstring bags already. i think it feels more objectionable this month since I not only like the print but IPSY’s price went up. This Glam Bag Plus is now $28 per month ($30.73 with Tax). I know it is because postage and product prices have gone up, and I do understand that, but it does make the bag feel extra cheap.
But let’s face it, I am never really going to like the draw string bags.
And it really isn’t about the bag anyway. So lets get into the products.
The first item out of my bag I really can not complain about. The Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep serum is always going to be welcome at my house. I know it can be used all over my face, but quite frankly when I get this serum, I mostly use it on my neck. It has made it into my skin care line up many times in the past and will continue circling through the line up. I finished my most recent bottle a few months ago and have it on my to be repurchased list. Now it is here again and i don’t have to repurchase it. So we are off to a good start this month.
The second item in my bag this month is also welcome. It is the Wander Beauty Staycation Hydrating Mask. I had a sample size of this not too terribly long ago and really enjoyed it. It is very hydrating though so for me this is actually quite timely. It is the kind of mask I can use in the winter but can’t really use in the summertime. As it is October and the weather is sort of on the turn, soon I will be leaning into my hydrating masks. Since I enjoyed the sample i used, i am happy to try the full size out.
The third item that was chosen for my by IPSY this month was also the one makeup item in my bag. It is the Roen Cake Lash mascara. Oddly enough I have managed to blaze through a large number of my stockpiled mascaras. For a while it felt as though I was drowning in them. I even had a separate mascara stash. Now the few mascaras I have that are unopened have been mixed in with my other unopened products and no longer need their own drawer. To be honest i was hoping to whittle them down enough so that I can try out the My Little Mascara Club. I’ll probably still try the subscription out soon, but until then I have another mascara to try and as my stockpile is down, I’m not mad about receiving this. The lip gloss from Roen is the only item I’ve tried from the brand so i am happy to see what their other products are like. I won’t open it though until I am ready to use it. The wand on the website looks pretty good though.
I’m also happy there was at least one makeup item this month.
The next two items are items that I chose. The choose selection was pretty poor this month, but I was actually pleased to see these two items. The fist is the Murad Skin Smoothing Polish. You know I love a good exfoliator and Murad is a skin care brand that I trust. I am currently using the Annmarie Skincare Kaolin Clay Exfoliator but it will soon be used up and I am happy to have another exfoliator on standby.
Finally we get to the Tokyomilk French Kiss Perfume. I was very happy to see this as I am a fan of the Brand. one of my favorite winter perfumes is #85 Novacaine from Tokyomilk Dark. That one is both a winter scent and a night time scent. From the first sniff this seems like it would be more of a day time scent. I am actually looking forward to trying it out. (Also on the add ons I ordered another perfume from the Tokyomilk brand and I’ll be trying that one out as well).
There is one thing that concerns me a bit with the perfume though. It is a bit on the small side. I have it next to the regular sized bottle that i ordered from the brand. It is significantly larger than the bottle that came from IPSY. While I am happy with the size for a perfume the comparison does bother me a little since IPSY PLUS is supposed to be full sized items. It is possible that the bottle sizes for the brand have changed as I have had my bottle for a little while.
Size issues aside I am very happy with my bag for this month. It is heavy on the skincare which is slightly disappointing, but all of the items are ones that I will use. So I am actually quite happy. I do hope that next month leans a little more towards the makeup side of things, but really this is one of the better plus bags that they have sent in a while. It makes me very happy. It also makes my decision on what subscriptions to keep in the new year and which to let go a bit more difficult.
Okay today is a very special unboxing. Or technically unbagging, since my Underclub subscription always arrives in a slim mailer. You know I love the Underclub. For those who don’t know it is an underwear subscription. For $15 you receive a pair of underwear each month. They are always high quality and wear well.
In general I love this subscription because I always feel pretty if I am wearing pretty undies. It doesn’t matter what else is going on. My mascara can be smeared and my hair standing up at crazy angles, but as long as I have pretty underwear on, I feel pretty. So I always love getting a new pair.
I also love that they are size inclusive and their sizes range from XS to 4X. And that in their store every item comes in that size range. There is no wondering if the item you like is actually made for your size. It is. Always. Every item. Not just some small section of the store where there are fewer options.
I find this fabulous.
This month my Underclub subscription came with an extra card. In addition to the card they send each month reminding me that I am fabulous (which quite honestly sometimes just really makes my day) There was another card.
Tops Off with Underclub. The card is for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and comes with an astonishing quote from Johns Hopkins Medical Center. While you may or may not be able to read it on the photo, I’ll list it out again here. “40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.”
So check yourself ladies. Its a good reminder for us all.
On the back of the card is a set of helpful drawings to show you some things you need to look out for. Also for every instagram tagged with the The Underclub will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
However now it is on to the October selection. And here I have something fabulous as well. Last month my selection was slightly too large for me. It was, actually not the subscriptions fault. I actually lost enough weight that I wend down a size in my underwear. So I popped onto the site, logged into my account and with a few clicks changed the sizing. So this month’s pair is one size lower and I am happy to report, it fits perfectly.
Of course I didn’t wear them right away. I took them out of the package, inspected them for loose strings and missed stitches (I found none) and then I sent them through the wash. Once washed and dried, I looked them over again before trying them on.
They fit perfectly and are quite comfy. This pair is called The London Hipster in Porcelain. It is a light pink and while the crotch has a cotton lining, the rest of the set is a net fabric. The front has an almost transparent liner between your body and the net fabric, the rear does not. While I like them. I kind of wish the transparent material was over the back as well. I have another pair of undies in this fabric, Also from the brand MOD like these.
While they are super comfy if I wear them at the desk all day when I take them off to get in the shower at night, my behind is somewhat textured from the netting. This took me aback the first time I wore them sitting in a chair all day. I didn’t feel the netting all day so I wasn’t expecting it. I just would like the liner on the rear as well.
Otherwise, I really like this pair. They have a cute edging around the waistband and they fit exactly as I like underwear to fit. I love that changing the size was so easy and I am especially tickled that the smaller size fits me perfectly. That fact is going to keep me smiling for the rest of the day.
Okay my darlings I have a new subscription to share with you. Well it might not be new new but it is new to me. Tokyo Treat asked if they could send a box over for review and I said yes as soon as I looked it over. Their premium box is $35 per month (less if you go for a 3, 6 or 12 month option) and contains 17 separate items.
The box ships from Tokyo and this month’s box weighed in at 1.2 Kg. My order was placed September 30th, the box shipped October first and I received it Monday October 4th. Included in the box (as one of the seventeen items is a full sized drink, which I find kind of outstanding, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
First off, let’s look at the box. I opened it and the box was packed full of goodies. I think I am so used to seeing boxes this size with just a few items in them that I was actually stunned by the number of things inside. Right on top is the booklet that explains what is inside. And thank goodness for it. All of the items are from Japan and pretty much all of the information that is on the packaging is in Japanese. Understandably of course, it is after all from Japan.
However, I don’t speak Japanese.
Or I suppose technically read Japanese.
Luckily, the booklet is in English. There is a wide spread in the center of the booklet that explains each item in English. Even better there is a picture of the item next to the explanation. I know that sounds silly but there were very few items I could pick up and know what they were without having a picture. I was okay with the soda as it was the only liquid and the Kit Kat as Kit Kat is pretty much the same in every language, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell a Happy Halloween Fugashi from a Umaiwa Mentai Flavor.
This makes the booklet inclosed very important. I like that not only does the booklet include information about the snacks, but they have a little bit of fun Japanese information included as well so you can learn while you try out new flavors.
Because it is October the fun facts are about Supernatural Japanese Spirits. Namely the Kappa, Rokurokubi and the Tengo. When I was little one of my babysitters was an elderly Japanese woman. I remember stories involving the Kappa. The cartoon version in the pamphlet seems far less terrifying. And I love that I now know I can make friends with it by giving it a cucumber. I don’t remember that from the stories. I just remember the attacking near water part. And to be honest I don’t general wander around lakesides holding a cucumber. Admittedly I don’t generally wander around too many lakes. So I’m probably safe.
And next lake side picnic I’ll pack cucumber sandwiches, just to be on the safe side.
You know, just in case.
All in all it is a very well thought out and interesting booklet. But on to the treats!
First off is the Calpis Soda Grape. I like grape soda actually, it is one of the few sodas I will still drink now and again. I don’t drink it often because I simply don’t drink sodas that often. This one is pale purple and somewhat creamy looking. In the description it is listed as ‘classic fizzy and milky goodness’ so I’m guessing that explains the color. I have to say I am very intrigued by this. I think that cold might be a better choice for this so I am putting it in the refrigerator. I think I might actually save it as my Friday night treat, even if it is clearly non-alcoholic. Since our home happy hour is more about settling in to regroup after a long week and less about the actual cocktail, I’m okay with it. It is an interesting looking combination I haven’t tried before and should be a fun trial.
Speaking of interesting, there is also the item I could sort of identify in the box as well. It is a package of Apple Cinnamon Kit kats. There are twelve mini bars in the package. And I have to admit, while I was going to save a lot of these to try out as my snacks throughout the next few weeks, I couldn’t help but open this up right away. It smells like apple pie and tastes apple-y with cinnamon. In other words it is a kit kat that tastes like apple cinnamon. I suspect I am going to have to hide these from my babydoll. He is an apple cinnamon fiend and I can so see him inhaling the entire bag in one sitting. I’ll have to put the bag away and just portion it out so the bag lasts.
Next up, is the red and black magic gum. It is flavored with Japanese cola (I have no idea how that differs from normal cola) and apparently turns your tongue red and black. A part of me wants to try this and another part wants to pass it off to one of my friend’s kids with no warning and see what the reaction is. Sometimes being an adult is hard. Although as the child might get the sugar crazed starry eyes of the package, perhaps I best not chance it.
Moving on there is the Pokemon Halloween Choco Corn which from the description sound like chocolate coated corn snacks and the Umaibo Cheese which is described as having a mellow cheese flavor. I’m sure I’ll mention this several times, but I really like the mix of sweet and savory treats in the box. It isn’t just a sugar bomb which very much appreciate.
Plus, you know I can’t resist cheese or anything cheese flavored. Except spray cheese. I can’t do spray cheese. It hurts something deep in my soul. Everything else I can sort of justify, but not spray cheese.
The largest item in the box also has the word Corn written across it. (Its in English so I can read it. Ha ha, a clue!) It also has a girl with corn snack cones on her fingers. I remember doing that with Bugles when I was a kid and I kind of hope these are a similar treat. The booklet describes them as having a buttered toast flavor, which I find really interesting. I know I keep saying the word interesting, but as I haven’t tried much of anything in this box before I’m having to picture what I think the taste will be like. I plan to oen and enjoy each item in turn and not just gobble them all down at once so interesting is sort of my fall back word for things whose flavor I can only guess but am looking forward to trying out.
One of the only treats in the box that was completely familiar to me was the Pocky. I get Pocky sticks a lot at the grocery store and the Strawberry is my favorite so I am thrilled to have a box. This isn’t just strawberry though, it is a strawberry and chocolate topping over a cacao base. Which is not available in the store near me. The only reason I didn’t open this right away is because I already opened the kit kats and I also feel a little guilty about contemplating using my friend’s kids to strike terror in their father, the dentist. So I will delay the opening until later.
The Mini Monster Fruit candy looks like a strip of sour rainbow candy the description seems to bear this out and as I like the fruity rainbow strips I am sure I will like this and a little candy in October is always appreciated. It is also a nice size for a piece of candy.
Happy Halloween Fugashi is only described as baked with wheat flour it is a light snack with a rich and slightly sweet flavor. I don’t know why the short and not very descriptive description makes me more curious. Perhaps it is the little witch with the green hair on the package. Perhaps it is just a savory treat I have never heard of. But I am kind of getting excited about all of the new things I get to try.
The Halloween Mochi Toro also looks like it could be a new taste sensation. It is described as ‘rice crackers with a crunchy and salty twist to break up your sugar rush’. At heart I am more of a salty savory type of person than I am a sweet sugary one. I really like that there are savory snacks mixed in with the sweet. I’m not entirely certain that the term Glutinous rice snack is all that much of a turn on there is a Holland Senbei for me to try and I kind of think the packaging is a bit on the adorable side.
We leave rice to go back to the corn snacks with the Umaiwa Mentai Flavor. It is described as light and crispy, two things I like in my snacks. The front of the package has what looks to me like tomatoes and basil. It could be something else entirely though. Maybe peppers and some type of green herb of which I am unfamiliar. There is zero English on the package so it is going to be one of those open and see type of things I think.
What is interesting is that one of the other items in the box is listed as Halloween Pizza snacks. It doesn’t have a picture showing pizza or tomatoes and basil on it so I can’t compare the two. It does have a ghost with a row of very sharp teeth on it. I don’t know why that bothers me. Perhaps because the fang toothed ghost looks so happy. Like he’s been snacking on trick or treaters. Maybe he’s the pizza ghost? Who knows?
Dipping back into the sweet we have the Maple Butter Beer Ramune Candy. They are described as fizzy with a rich maple butter taste. Quite honestly that sounds delicious. I think it is supposed to be a play on the Harry Potter Butter Beer. I’m sure it isn’t the same, but it still sounds tasty. The mini Strawberry Milk Choco Balls also sound pretty tasty. Each one is also supposed to come with a fortune in it. I am not entirely certain how that works or if I will be able to read any fortune that comes inside the treat.
I find myself oddly amused by the fact that they come in the same type of foil packet as my allergy pills. Although my allergy pills don’t taste of chocolate and strawberries and the only fortune they have is ‘If you take me before bed, you will be able to breathe through your nose all night long despite the pollen count’.
I know, not as amusing, but because we are in the strange in between season where it is too warm for the heater and too cool for the air conditioning, we have to sleep with the windows open a little to promote air flow. It also brings in the pollen, hence the allergy pills.
Next we have the Full Moon Pon which is a rice cracker with a salty and spicy soy sauce flavor. I’m not entirely certain what happened to the bunny on the front of the package, but I really want to try this treat out. It looks like a cookie, but it is salty and spicy. This could be fun.
The final treat in my box this month will definitely be fun. It is the Spooky Water DIY Candy Kit. Yes you heard that right. A DIY candy kit. And while I am pretty sure I could follow the pictures on the bak to mix it appropriately, Tokyo Treat has helped me out by including the Directions in English in the pamphlet. So there should be no issues. Apparently Strawberry gel, blue raspberry gel mixed with lemon gel make a grape candy gel. Which I find interesting. I also think that there will come a day very soon where sitting and mixing the candy might actually be a great stress relief. So I look forward to playing with it.
I know this was a bit of a long post to break out what came in the box, but there was a lot in the box. As this was my first time opening a Tokyo Treat box, I wanted to go into it to see what it was really about. I have to say I am quite pleased with this box. Not only is it packed full of products, they are products that for the most part are completely unfamiliar to me. Which means I get to try a whole range of products I didn’t know anything about and one of the reasons to enjoy this box.
I love that while there is some candy and a lot of sweet (it is after all the October/Halloween box) there are plenty of non-sweet items. As many of you may know, I do like an afternoon snack. Right now our stores are packed with oranges and satsumas so there is a lot of fruit that I am using as my snacks. I am actually alternating with some Chomps Cranberry Habanero beef sticks, since I always have them on hand.
While most of my weekly snacks will still come from those type sources, I don’t see any harm in rotating a few of these snacks into the mix here and there. It adds excitement and a little anticipation to the afternoon snack. And every now and again, you just need a little something different. I know the descriptions were a little sparse, but as these items are completely unfamiliar to me, I can’t really say much about them yet. I actually find the complete mystery of the flavors rather exciting. I am also looking forward to learning a bit more about Japanese snacks.
For those of you who are looking for more tea time treats, the company does several different boxes. In the pamphlet there is an advert for the Sakuraco Box which seems to be more tea and tea cake sort of snacking products. This also might be interesting to look into if you are expanding your snack time repertoire and are looking for more baked goods than sweet and salty snacks like the Tokyo Treats box.
I do think that if you are interested in trying Japanese snacks or simply trying something new, this is a great way to do it. I’ll be honest, while I like that there are some familiar flavors like apple cinnamon and chocolate strawberry, I am far more intrigued by the things I have never tried. The Happy Halloween Fugashi, the Umaiwa Mentai Flavor, the Holland Senbel and the Full Moon Pon are all items I have no real preconceived notion of what they taste like or should taste like and I’m really quite excited to try them. I am also impressed with the size of the products in the box as well as the variation. Over all, it is a pretty impressive snack box.
This month Tokyo Treat is the first Subscription box that has come in and therefore the first I’ve gotten to open. It is packed full of goodies and quite honestly just looks like a lot of fun. I think that with all the new things to try, it just might be one of the most exciting ones.
I know my darlings, you thought that the unboxings for September were over. But even as I am contemplating letting several subscriptions go in the future, I am always on the look out for a few fun and fabulous ones. I came across this one and thought it sounded like something fun to try. So the last subscription review for the month is a brand new to me one.
Lips and Lather is a rather easy to understand subscription. For $13 you receive a lip balm and handmade artisan soap. They do ship world wide but it costs more if you are out of the country ($25 for international). Hence the name Lips and Lather. I really just came across the site looking for some Birthday soaps for my mother and saw the subscription box and went, “Oh that could be fun to try.”
I know, sometimes it is extremely easy to get me.
The company is a small business called Cut the Crap Organics. There is a short bio about the owner, Krista, on the About page but it doesn’t give a whole ;lot about the company.
On their website they have a lip balm for sale for $3.50 so I am guessing that is the retail price for the lip balm in the subscription. Their handmade soaps sell for $10 on the site. They have other organic products as well, but I mostly focused on the soap and lip balm. Honestly, it is a good price for both items and the subscription gives you a small discount off retail price, plus there is no added shipping or tax, you just pay the $13.
The subscription charges the day you order it and pretty much from then on, that is the day the subscription renews. At least that is how it seemed on the site. As this is my first month, I’ll keep you updated if that proves not to be the case. I kind of like that because you can choose more or less when you want the subscription to charge and or arrive. Most of my subscriptions charge at the beginning of the month (although when they arrive is anyone’s guess at this point) so for me it is nice to have something mid month.
There are a couple of discounts currently on the site at the moment:
-Free Shipping to the US on all orders over $35.00, Get one FREE Pumpkin Spice Latte Lip Balm: Add to cart and use code PSLTIME through the month of September and take 20% off all Handmade Soap with code SUMMERSALE
I have to say quite a few of their soaps look interesting as well as several of their other items listed, but for now we’ll focus on the soap and lip balm.
The card enclosed gives the theme for the September box as “the indulgent last breakfast before you take the healthy foods only” approach to your meals. So the lip balm is in the scent Blueberry Muffin. The lip balm itself is white with no color to it. It smells a bit blueberry and for an odd reason reminds me of the Fruit Stripe gum. You know the one with the Zebra on the package that always smells so nice, but loses flavor almost immediately?
The lip balm smells like a blueberry version of that for some reason. When you apply it, the balm is creamy and not overly waxy. There is the light taste of blueberries initially, but it fades quickly. It does leave the lips nice and hydrated, which is nice.
The soap is lovely to look at. It looks like a foaming cappuccino and has decorative coffee beans and a doughnut floating on the top. It is supposed to be coffee and doughnut scented. I get the slight hint of coffee, but mostly what I smell is a mix of castor and olive oil. Interestingly enough, once wet the soap smells a bit more almond-y than anything else. It lathers well and once the suds were rinsed off, my hands just smelled clean. There was no scent residue, or soap residue either, on them.
All in all I am rather pleased. I wish the scent of coffee was a little stronger as the castor oil scent isn’t my favorite, but it fades quickly so there isn’t really much of an issue.
The blueberry scent lasts longer and I like that scent so I’m fine with that. I like the look of the soap and it will be interesting to see how it wears. I will be keeping this at the very least for a second month, so when the next month’s subscription comes in I’ll give you an update on how this soap lasted through out the month. For now, I am happy I gave the Lips and Lather subscription a trial.
Let the horns sound and the crowds rejoice. Smyrna has decided to release my Glossy Box from the confines of it’s postal sorting world. I feel like I should take the box in my hands, lift it high and do a victory lap around the living room. I actually received a tracking e-mail for this box on the second of September. Which was extremely early for Glossy Box as they have been running towards the end of the month. By the sixth, the box made it to Smyrna, Tennessee. And there it remained. Apparently the postal service was as surprised as I was that Glossy Boxes were going out so early. The box arrived yesterday afternoon (September 21st).
At least I think it is the same box. I did message customer service so either they dealt with the blockage or Smyrna ate my original box and Glossy Box sent a new one out that bypassed the black hole that seems to be the Smyrna Postal sorting facility.
Regardless of the maneuvering, the box arrived and looked pretty good. No dents or scrapes. Nothing to indicate its struggles (or why there was a delay. I half expected the label to be torn or the address stained. It was not.) The box did feel very heavy though.
The heaviness was instantly explained when I opened the box and pulled out the first item. It is a full sized jar of DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All in One Gel (retail $49) That’s right a full size 120 g jar of moisturizer. Glossy Box occasionally does full sizes, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a full sized moisturizer from them. I’ve never heard of DHC as a brand before and I have no idea what Astaxanthin is, but I will look up both before I try it.
However delayed box or not, this was a great way to start out the box.
The fun continued with a second full sized item. This one was a body wash from Terre De Mars. It is the Reddition Body Cleanser. (retail $23) It is listed as a low foaming, aromatic cleansing gel with bioactive ingredients such as coffee, rosemary, verbena and aloe. I like all of those ingredients. I’m not sure how they will work together but I am willing to give them a try. I have also never heard of this brand so that too will be interesting.
The next item does come from a brand I know. It is This Works. It is a travel sized hand sanitizer. (retail $6). I’m actually running low on hand sanitizer so it is timely and useful. I don’t have a great history with This works. They make a pillow spray which is the first time I tried one of their products. While I am always looking for something to help me sleep better, this was not it. I think I ended up being allergic to something in the spray as I sneezed repeatedly until I changed out pillows. That being said, my mother adores the pillow spray. For a while it was in several subscription boxes and I sent all of them her way. she used them all and then started purchasing it regularly. I will try this hand sanitizer and as long as it doesn’t make me sneeze my head off, then I will happily use it. If it does, I will happily pass it on. So over all, I’m okay with this.
The David’s Natural Toothpaste I will be passing on unopened. (deluxe Mini retail $4.95). While travel toothpastes are nice to have, I really like the toothpaste I am using. I’m currently using the Crest Deep Clean and Gum Detoxifying toothpaste. It seriously makes my mouth feel cleaner than any toothpaste I have ever tried. And it is Crest so, I trust them. I actually did try the David’s toothpaste a while back. I love that it is peppermint instead of spearmint. I detest spearmint. I find it inferior to peppermint and wish that people would stop trying to confine peppermint to the winter holidays. The toothpaste was fine, but it wasn’t my favorite. It will be a nice addition to my babydoll’s travel shaving kit though. when I decided I didn’t care for the first tube he finished it out and liked it enough that I’m sure he’d use another one.
Next in my Glossy Box this month I received a set of Freeman bubble masks. One is a gel Bubble mask and the other is a water bubble mask. I’m sure there is a difference between the water and gel masks other than one being hydrating and the other detoxifying, but I will have to wait to open them to find out. They are not listed in the pamphlet that came with the box. Instead what is listed is a Daily Concepts Hammam mitt. It is apparently an exfoliating cloth. Apparently somewhere along the way a substitution was made. I’m okay with the masks, I just don’t now all that much about them. I’ve used Freeman products before and they are okay but not terrible fabulous. They are the kind of masks you use when you want to have a fun self-care day but aren’t looking for serious skincare.
Finally there was one little extra bonus added to the box this month. Inside the box are two packets of Four Sigmatic Hot Cocoa with Reishi. (retail $4, apparently the full sized pack of ten sells for $20). And yes Reishi are mushrooms. Here they are used to make this cocoa gluten and dairy free. It is a vegan cocoa mix. I’m not vegan, but we are edging into cooler temps and I do like hot cocoa. So perhaps when the weather turns I will try them out and see how they taste. I am always a little iffy about getting food items in a beauty box, but these are well sealed and an extra so I’ll go with it.
I’ll admit, I like this box from the opening of the full sized moisturizer and body wash. while I love full sized moisturizers, I have to say I am really happy with the full sized body wash. With sample sizes you generally only get one or two washes with them so it is hard to form an opinion. As this is a brand I’ve neve heard of, I like that I get to try the full sized bottle. Despite the delay I really did like this box and I most certainly got my money’s worth this month. I don’t think I mentioned it in the intro, but this box is usually $21 per month if you go month to month. I signed up for a yearly subscription and even though I still pay month to month I only pay $18. If you want to try Glossy Box I think this month’s box is still available. You can get you first box for $16 with the code RELAX16.
All in all, I have to say it was well worth the wait.
Usually this is one of the first subscriptions I unbox in the month. This month, it took a really long time to get to me. Like everything else, it seemed to enjoy hanging out in the Smyrna post office. One day I may just drive over to Smyrna just to find out what the attraction is. I’m sure it is fabulous but I only know it as a dot on the map and the place where my packages get tied up in the system.
Macys Beauty box is a $15 per month subscription. They tend to lean towards more high end products most months and Quite frankly that is one of the reasons I really like them. In the beauty box I have gotten several products that interested me but that I wasn’t willing to just pick up to try because of the price. The strength of this subscription box is that you can try those pricy items before you commit to a full sized product. I find it helps me save both money and waste less product.
The one thing you have to remember about this subscription is that it tends to charge on the 27th of the month. So the charge for September’s box hit my bank account on August 27th. Since most subscriptions tend to charge on the first, it is something to note.
With the beauty box each month there are generally two perfume samples. This month they are from Carolina Herrera One is Very Good Girl and the other is Bad Boy. Now that the heat is lessening, I will be going back to my perfume reviews so I will put these in the line up to be worn for a week. Even though one may be targeted at men, I generally find that many of the men’s scents I tend to like more than the women’s so it will make the line up.
This summer was just so hot and humid that I found myself avoiding reaching for the perfume. I just didn’t want to wear it. I think the most I did with my perfume collection this summer was dust the bottles. As a result I have loads of perfume samples to try out. Which should keep me busy until next summer actually. I even had to put my Scent Box subscription on pause until I went through more products. Which makes me a little sad as I really like them. I just need a chance to use more of the product up before I have more coming in. This was just not the summer of scent.
The first think I noticed when I opened my box this month was a card that said Oops, we had to make a substitution. The substitution in question was with the sheet mask. In the pamphlet that comes with the box, the sheet mask depicted is the Tony Moly I’m Hemp Calming Sheet Mask.
The second item is the Clarins Extra Firming Energy day cream. I am actually really excited to try this out. I really like having a separate day cream and a night cream in my skincare routine. I generally find that the products I like at night are too heavy for the day and the ones I like in the day aren’t enough at night. I know, it’s a simple equation. So I generally end up with two moisturizers in my skincare line up. And I am a big fan of Clarins products.
The next item in this month’s beauty bag is the Mineral Fusion Nail lacquer Sea salt Nail Polish. And yes I did say sea salt nail polish. Which is a new one on me. It is a very light pink colored polish which isn’t my favorite color and one that a lot of subscription boxes send. But I do find the nail polish interesting enough that I am looking forward to trying it. As with perfumes, I don’t use a lot of nail polish in the summer time. I just spend too much time in the garden for it to be worth the time. I generally tend to use nail strengtheners and cuticle oils throughout the summer and then paint my nails again in the fall. I have never heard of this nail polish before and look forward to giving it a go.
The last two products in this month’s beauty bag are both lip products. And we all know I love lip products. Which is why I just had to do a major lip product declutter. The first of the lip products is a Clinique Almost lipstick in Black honey.
It swatched on my hand as a tinted gloss. The second lip product is the bareMinerals Mineralist Gloss balm. I love the color and I really like the bareMinerals Mineralist line. I have lipsticks and lip glosses from them and really enjoy the products. I am always happy to have lip products from bareMinerals.
Finally we have the bag that the beauty items came in. It is a purple-y green iridescent makeup bag. It is the clam shell style and the zipper opens most of the way down the bag so it can be opened really wide. For a small bag, it is actually surprisingly large inside and the large zippered opening makes it convenient for putting larger products in.
It is actually the perfect size for an overnight makeup bag. And personally I love the fact that it has a flat bottom and can stand upright on it’s own. That makes it so much easier to work with when you are getting ready in a hotel bathroom.
I really liked this month’s selection of products. All of them are items I will use ad the Clarins was a moisturizer I was studying to see if I wanted to give it a go so I am extra happy about receiving it. Over all it is a good selection of products. I would probably have chosen to replace one of the lip products with something else instead of getting two lip products in the same bag, but as I like both of them and will use them it is just a minor observation and nothing that really has me concerned. But then again, I do have a weakness for lip products. In general I have to say I am happy with my $15 subscription this month and definitely plan to keep the Macy’s beauty box around for a while.
Ah yes, the unboxings continue, for it is that time of the month when all of the subscriptions arrive. For those that don’t know, Birchbox is a $15 per month subscription box. Inside each box you receive five sample sized products. Occasionally there will be a full sized one. While the subscription is $15 per month, if you sign up for a six or twelve month commitment then the cost drops, even though you still pay by the month. I signed up for a twelve month subscription so I pay $13 per month ($14.27 with tax). In general I find it to be worth the $13. This is the eleventh box of the twelve in my subscription. Next month is the last one I have committed to purchasing and I am starting to look over the past years’ worth of boxes and decide if I want to keep the subscription for another year.
To be honest, I have had some issues with Birchbox. There are a lot of repeat items and even though they seem to have a lot of choice options they are often sold out before I can get onto the site to choose. Although recently they have had a lot fewer choice options available. Usually there are two boxes that you can choose between, or you can choose one item from a selection to be included in your box. You can also trade your box in for one full sized item or just skip the box, still pay for the month and put your box charge towards a full sized purchase in the store.
For the past few months there has only been one box choice and a lot of the time there is no full sized item to choose instead. I don’t know if there have been shipping issues or if it is an internal change. I also don’t know if it is temporary or permanent.
This month the box offered didn’t really appeal to me so I chose one of the items from the choice selection. The product I chose was the Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment from Sunday Riley. I have used this before. Many times actually. I have used the small sample sizes and I have used the full size one. It is a product that I really love and if it is an option, I will almost always choose it. I am happy to have this around in whatever size it appears. And as soon as I whittle down my skin care collection, this is one of those items that I will be reordering. My skin just looks and feels so good when using it. So as always, I am happy with this. It is however somewhat of a repeat item. While I don’t mind at all that this item is repeated, that is something I wanted to watch with this subscription.
The second item I am not entirely certain if it is a repeat item or not. It is the Balance Me AHA Glow Mask. In the past year I have seen a lot of Balance me products in subscription boxes, several in Birchbox. I am not certain if this is one I’ve received before or something new. I have a love hate relationship with Balance Me. Their products are great. They always work well. They have a great ethos and I really like their ingredients lists. However every product I have tried has had a really strong scent. Most smell like furniture polish or floor cleaner. That could just be me. But it is something I have noticed consistently. For me it is always a personal battle. I love the products but can’t take the scent. So we will see how this one fares and if it is the same a the other Balance Me products. But for now I remain on the fence about this one.
The third item I pulled out of the box this month really kind of annoyed me. It is the Re.fil Beauty Balm. Some of you may find this familiar. I received it a couple of months ago from Birchbox. It was a new launch for one of their in house brands. That month you had no option about receiving this balm. Your only option was to choose the color of your reusable container. Which is fine, but it means they know everyone received one. And the selling point of this product is that it is reusable and refillable. They sell the balm refills. The point of this product is to reduce the waste of plastic lip balm containers. If they sent one of their refill packs or made the refill pack one of the options then I wouldn’t have been annoyed. I think that the reason this product sort of annoys me is because they made such a big deal about this being a reusable container and they made certain that everyone received one that they could reuse. And now they are sending a second one.
It just bothered me.
But now my mini rant is done. Thanks for listening. We shall continue now with the unboxing.
I am happy about the last two products that came in this month’s box. The first of these is the IPKN moist and Firm BB Cream. I’ve used a couple of IPKN products before and really liked them. I think it will be interesting to try out a BB cream. Plus it is nice to get something other than skincare from the subscription. And yes I know that this month’s theme is ‘wake up to the skin of your dreams,’ but some change is nice.
The final item is the Onekind Dream Cream night time moisturizer. I am always looking for a good night cream and the few Onekind products I’ve tried have been really nice. So hopefully this will work out well for me too. I have to say I also like the kind of sleek clean packaging of the product as well. I find the packaging on both the sample and the full size aesthetically pleasing. I know that shouldn’t matter, but it is a nice addition. Plus I love squalane, so that helps too.
Looking at the products in the box, I have to say if it hadn’t been for the Re.fil product I would have been pretty happy. I’ll be passing it on because I already have a refillable Re.fil balm and I don’t think I need two. Again, if it had just been the refill pod or it was an option I would have been less annoyed. For some reason it really just bothers me.
I’ll get over it though.
Otherwise it was a pretty decent box of products. I have one that I love, two that I am interested in trying out and one that I am on the fence about. Seriously if Balance Me didn’t have a history of smelling like furniture polish and floor cleaner, I would be all over them. Perhaps sample size is the way to go with them, at least for me. I can generally tolerate the scent long enough to get through a sample tube. I never order the full size because despite the fantastic results, I know I would find excuses not to use them because of the scent. If scent doesn’t bother you, they are fantastic products.
Over all I am pleased with the box this month. I don’t know if it inclines me to keep the subscription for another year or if next month’s box will be my last. I expected by this time in the subscription to have a very clear answer. However Birch box has had more highs than lows this year. It will be an interesting decision. At least I still have one month left to decide.