Unboxing the Macy’s Beauty Box for January 2022

Oh Macys. I always love your beauty box, but this month, you gave me anxiety. Sometimes having access to all of the tracking information can drive you a little bit mental. This Macy’s Beauty box is $15 per month ($16.46 with tax) and is usually a really good Beauty Subscription.

They tend to lean towards more high end products. I really like this because often the products they send are ones I would really like to try, but don’t want to experiment with at that price range. If I like them, I’ll end up buying them, but honestly I like to try even drug store products before I pick up a full sized version. I just don’t like buying any product and then have it go to waste because I simply didn’t like it. I’d rather try out the sample first. with the higher end products, this personality quirk also helps me save a bit of money.

Usually Macy’s charges for their Beauty box around the 27th of the Month before (charging in December for January’s Box) and then they send the box out the first or second week of the month. This month I was Charged January 3rd (Which I suspect had more to do with the Holidays than anything else). Then later on the 3rd I received an e-mail saying the boxes would be shipped late that month. Again that isn’t an uncommon thing. But then I received a tracking number on the 4th saying it would arrive on the 14th.

I figured they weren’t running as late as they thought. Then on the 14th it claimed to be at my local post office but was listed as delayed. It was out for delivery on the 18th and then it actually arrived on January 21st. I’m sure that mostly has to do with the post office and not Macys. It just felt a bit like a saga to get it here.

So what arrived in this box the Post Office seemed intent on keeping for themselves? Well the first item out of the box would make me want to keep it for myself. It is a travel size of the Elemis Cleansing Balm. I can’t be mad at a subscription that sends and Elemis Cleansing Balm. At least not on the month they send it. This is hands down, my favorite cleansing balm. And I am happy to have it in any size.

The second item out of the box is a deluxe sample sized tube of the AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream. It is a classic and it is a fantastic hand cream. With AHAVA I am hit or miss with their other products, but their hand creams are fantastic. This one has a really light scent and is not only super moisturizing but excellent for those with a sensitivity to strongly scented skincare products. After trying out the Bloom and Blossom, the low scent is actually kind of nice.

The third item is one I have seen before. It either arrived in this subscription box or a Birchbox. I can’t remember which, but I am very pleased to have it. This is the Clarins Total Eye Lift. It is a great product and I enjoyed using it. The biggest issue is that there was almost no product in my last tube. I tried it for two days I believe, before it ran out. This one feels just as light. I’m going to roll it into my line up right away simply because I don’t think it is going to last more than a couple of days and I know I like it so i might as well clear the sample out while using up the discontinued Bright Eyes I am currently working through. Plus when samples are so small I always worry the air in the rest of the tube is going to make the sample go bad. I’m sure it won’t but I’d like to just like to go ahead and use it up rather than have it kick around the drawer for later.

Continuing on there is the Youth Haus Glow and Go Gold Eye recovery Eye patches. While I have never heard of the brand, I do love eye patches. This is a single set so I will put it with my other single sets. I really need to actually use the single set ones. I usually just buy a pack of my favorite brand, use them and then just re order forgetting that I have singles from subscription boxes. I may make a concentrated effort to work through them to see if any of them are as good as my standard and deserve to be ordered in a full sized box as well. Regardless, I am always happy to see another set of eye patches.

Moving along is a box that dominates this month’s subscription items and I think it may be a full size. It is a set of the Babor HydraPlus Hydration Ampule Concentrates. It says there are seven Ampuls, so a week’s worth if you are using them daily. When I went on the website they seemed to sell the boxes in the same size as full sixed (for $29.95 on one of my favorite sites The Skinstore), so I think this is the full sized item. Which is kind of awesome for a $15 beauty box. The description sounds like they are amazing for winter dry skin, so I may be trying these out soon. As the cold settles in, my skin just dries out more and more. So perfect timing from Macys. Someone there was thinking.

Usually there are two perfume samples in this box, but this month there was just one. It is the Beautiful Magnolia from Este Lauder. This is a brand that I think everyone recognizes. They have been around for a long time and I know there heaps of long term fans out there. I have to confess, I don’t think I have ever tried anything from the brand. I vaguely recall something that might have come in from a subscription box, but i think I might have passed it on. Or if I tried it I have no recollection of it. which is kind of strange since they are so well known. I think my Aunt has been using their foundation since before I tried out my first lip balm. And you know I love trying out perfumes. I will definitely have to give this a go. And perhaps look into more Este Lauder trials at some point. It just feels strange to realize I’ve not tried the brand when it has been a part of my little corner of the world for so long.

But that my darlings is the January Macy’s Beauty Box. It had to fight it’s way through the postal system to arrive here, but I have to say it was worth it. There are products I know, love and will use as well as products that I am really looking forward to trying out. This was a great month. Actually most of the Beauty Subscriptions are having a really good January. I know I’ve sounded very up about my subscriptions this month, but it seems like everyone is just intent on making January a really good month. I don’t know if it is a start the new year off right sort of plan or a determination to make 2022 a really good year, but I hope that they can keep it up.

And possibly sort out shipping.

The bar has been set pretty high for subscription boxes this year. I can’t wait to see what February brings.

BeautyCareChoices.com

Unboxing the January 2022 Glossy Box

That’s right, another unboxing as my Glossy Box for the Month of January has arrived. (if you want to try the January Glossy box, the site has a code FIRST15 which will let you try your first box for $15)And it’s a good one. Before we get into the box, a little but of basic info, the box is $21 per month, if you sign up for longer commitments you still get to pay monthly, you are just obligated not to cancel for the length of time you ae a member. I liked this box a lot when I paid $21. I liked it enough to sign up for an annual membership. So I get the box for $18 per month and in general I love it for 18 per month. It is a mix of full and sample sized items.

I love that it comes with the items wrapped in tissue with a little ribbon around them. I know it doesn’t really affect the value of the products but it does make me feel like I am opening a present every month. Sure it is a present I bought, but it still feels like a gift. usually there is a pamphlet with the box telling you all about the items. This month there was none, so I’m just going to wing it.

The first item in the box is one that I believe I received last month in a Look Fantastic. I used it, loved it and am happy to have another one. It is the Moisturizing Foot mask with Lavender from the brand Le Mini Macaron (the link goes to the site, but I think I’ve actually seen them for sale at Target as well). In the winter it is an ongoing battle to keep the skin of my feet hydrated and this mask was a really big help just before the Christmas Holiday in giving my feet a much needed moisture bomb. It feels a little strange, but it is really hydrating for the feet.

The next item in the box is a full sized pack of Julep Love your Bare Face Brightening Cleansing Cloths. I have mixed feelings about this. I love the brand Julep and I have even tried their Cleansing Cloths. They are really good and take everything off without leaving your face feel stripped. they ae great cloths and I really enjoy using them. I have however cut cleansing cloths out of my routine because I don’t like the waste. I will use them. And I am happy to have them because I like them. Its just that when I use them i realize how convenient it is to have them around. And then I have to remind myself not to buy them again. However I did just get an eyeshadow palette in with a glitter shadow in it that I am dying to try. having the disposable clothes means that my Makeup Eraser won’t end up infused with glitter, so there is a definite plus to it. Its just one of those thing I love but know I shouldn’t use. So I’ll have back and forths with this until they are gone. But it is a nice product, it is full sized and I will use it.

Annoyed with my internal debate yet? Don’t worry, moving on.

The next product I have also heard of and am quite excited to try. It is the Philip Kingsley Bond Builder. It is a sample size. this product is designed to help with split ends. I’ve used Phillip Kingsley leave in conditioners before and loved them. This one seems to be a pre shower treatment. I think I’m going to have to look it up, especially as it is also a split end treatment. I’m actually quite excited to try it out. With my hair and the small size I doubt it will be more than one treatment, But I am looking forward to giving it a go.

The next sample sized tube in this months box is Anto Brightening Serum from Codex Beauty. I think I have received a moisturizer from the brand a while back, but i don’t think Ive used it. I’ll have to check. Either way I have heard of the brand but know very little about them. It is always nice to find out more about a brand. I seem to have a lot of brightening type products coming my way lately. Perhaps it is the season. Brightening for winter, self tanner for summer maybe?

There is one more small little tube in this month’s box and it is the Day Dreamer Cleanser from Blume. I know they are an organic brand but while I have heard about them I have never tried anything from them and am really looking forward to trying out this cleanser.

There are two more items in this box. The first is a Black Marble Facial Roller. It is a good size and looks well made. It is from the brand Afterspa. I have several of their products lurking in various places around the house. While I do have several jade and quarts rollers, I to like that this has the double roller. One large one on the top and one smaller one on the bottom for smaller spots. while I like using the Jade Rollers in general, for me they are amazing in the summer time. They actually help me roll away some of my heat headaches. Having several I can keep in the fridge and then take out as needed is not a bad thing. Plus the black marble does look kind of cool. And with the gold metal parts it looks quite elegant as well.

And finally we have an item from invisibobble. But it is not the usual trio of hair ties that look like they were kidnapped from a telephone cord recycling plant. Oh no, this is something different. It is the Invisibobble Bun Star. It is basically a thin spiral of plastic that you can use to wrap around your hair and keep your hair in a bun. I suspect the buns in the pictures with the product are much neater than mine will ever be, but I still look forward to giving this a try.

Over all I have to say I was very pleased with this month’s selection of products. This box felt full and all of the products inside are ones I want to use. I may have a little angst about the disposable cloths but i will use them anyway. I just won’t repurchase. Over all I am very pleased with my January Glossy box. What a great box to start out the new year.

Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for January 2022

It is time to unbox the first IPSY Glam Bag Plus of 2022. (If you click on my IPSY links and then subscribe I do get points but otherwise the links are just to IPSY in general, they are general reference links every customer has not an affiliate link)) The Glam Bag Plus is $28 per month ($30.73 with taxes) For this you receive five full sized items. Two are chosen by IPSY based on your profile and three you choose from a selection of products. Some months they do better with this than others.

This month I really liked both of the products they selected, but the choice sections weren’t that great. Some months their choices are iffy and I want every item in their choose section. and then some months they hit it out of the park with both their choices and the ones they have you choose. There really isn’t any consistency with that and I think that part of the issue may simply be due to shipping related issues because they were, pre-pandemic, really good with that sort of thing. I think external forces may have thrown them off their game a bit.

Before we jump into this month’s products, i have a comment about last month’s. In my December IPSY a product was left out. I was sad and contacted IPSY. They were all over it and I was sent the missing product immediately. My e-mails were answered in a timely manner and with no fuss and I got my product. There is a lot to be said for customer service and I am really happy with IPSY’s Service. I just thought they should get a bit of recognition for that. But now, on to the box.

The first item out of my IPSY box made me smile. It is the Polaar Eternal Snow Youthful Promise Cream. (retail $57.48 although AllBeauty currently has a 50 ml jar – same product amount as the tube – for sale for $38.55, and the little ceramic jar is quite adorable too.). It made me smile because I just received a sample size of this cream in this month’s Look Fantastic. The picture is the full and sample sized tubes next to each other. When I finished the sample size I was trying out the past two weeks I rolled in the Eternal Snow Sample as my day cream. I Started it Saturday and thus far i absolutely love it. It is light weight and fast absorbing. My skin feels great honestly. I’m not actually surprised. At this point I have tried several Polaar products (and have a few samples in my drawer I want to try) and their products have always been very good. I will definitely be using this cream once the sample size is used up and I am happy to have it waiting in the wings.

The second item IPSY chose for me was the Girlactik Cranberry Sugar Face Scrub. (retail $28). It is a new Product from the brand and the only thing resembling skincare on their site. I’m always a little curious when brands start branching out and you know I really like sugar scrubs. I also really like cranberry so hopefully this will end up being a win for both me and the brand. It is certainly a possibility. And I for one how it is realized.

The third item I took out of my box was the FoxyBae 12 in 1 Magic Daily Leave in Mask. ($15.95) I really like FoxyBae. I have used both their hair masks and their spray leave in conditioner (the large size of this also comes in a spray form). This mask (I opened it) is a leave in conditioner and it has the same scent as all of the other FoxyBae Products I’ve tried. It is like an almost baby powdery scent mixed with a light floral scent. I really like the scent and as their masks and other leave in conditioners have always worked well for me, I am really looking forward to trying this out. I especially like that not only is it a leave in conditioner you can apply to wet or dry hair, but it is also a heat protectorate so you don’t have to add a second product in when you use it. I am very much looking forward to this hair mask.

The next item is also a skincare product (this month was pretty skincare heavy) the item I chose was the Sonage Collagen Boosting Serum (retail $48). I don’t think I’ve ever tried Sonage products before, or if I did they weren’t that memorable. I chose this product specifically because it is a topical Collagen product. I know Collagen is important to hair, skin and nail health (as well as joints I believe) and it is really good stuff. I am just not sold on a topical application. I’m not entirely sold on the internal supplements either to be honest. This isn’t to say either the internal or topical treatments don’t work. I just haven’t done my research. And I haven’t tried any products because I simply didn’t purchase them. Now I have a collagen product I will do my research before using it and then try it out. And to be fair there was nothing else in the category that sort of jumped out at me so I thought it was the perfect time for a little research.

And now we come to the fifth product and it is a makeup item. It is the So Pretty Palette from Formula Z. (retail $25) I’ll be honest I chose it partially because it was a makeup item and partially because I had never heard of the brand. The other part was the copper glitter. Oh my darlings I suspect i will be making a mess with this in the very near future and possibly regret this decision as the glitter goes everywhere. But it is copper glitter. And I was helpless to resist. So I will be giving this palette a try. Soon, very soon. Possibly today.

Yeah that copper glitter is going to get me in trouble. I can tell.

While those were all of the items in my official January bag, you may notice another item poking it’s head out in the pictures. That is the Grace and Stella Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It is a sample size and I picked it up with my points. Each month IPSY gives you points for reviewing the items in your bag. I tend to forget about them and then dip into the account and see that I’ve accumulated a lot. Because let’s face it, I like to review things. I also Like Grace and Stella. Their energizing eye patches get me through every allergy season. I always stock up every spring. This year though, they have a new eye patch to their line up so I may stock up and then add in some of the new ones to try. But seriously, if you get puffy allergy eyes, give those eye patches a try. Ten to Fifteen minutes under the eyes and not only takes down some of the puffiness, it makes you feel more awake. And counterbalances the not so awake feeling sinus meds can leave behind. In a nice, topical sort of way.

Of course since I like them so much I tend to go on the site, order my eye patches and leave. So when I saw the HA serum was in the points rewards, I snapped it up. I like HA serum, I like Grace and Stella. If I like this serum, I might add it to my shopping list when I do my spring ordering. And since I haven’t rotated in a second serum to my line up like I planned, this one might just go straight into the skincare line up.

But that is is for my January IPSY. It was a good mouth for me. Choice selection was a little on the thin side, but I ended up with products I want to try, so I really can’t complain. Plus now I have no excuse to put off my collagen research. all in all, two thumbs up for IPSY this month. It was well worth the price of the subscription and I think it is a great start to a new year.



Unboxing the January 2022 Look Fantastic Beauty Box

Look Fantastic has been one of my favorite beauty boxes for a while now. It consistently gives me a good mix of items. I receive brands I like and love as well as brands I have never heard of. They tend to lean into the skincare side rather than the makeup side, but they also include body and hair care items. Most of the time the items are deluxe sample sized products but they like to throw in a couple of full sized items in now and again as well. The price of the box is $19. I go with an annual subscription. It still charges monthly but the cost is lowered to $16 ($17.56 with tax). And for me, it is always worth it.

This month was a little interesting. The theme is Wellness is the Way and as always the box comes with a booklet detailing the products and giving you insight into the featured ingredients as well as giving a spoiler for the following month’s box. It is actually a really great way to find out about some of the ingredients in the products you are using. It isn’t all inclusive but it does provide great information and is an excellent way to ease into finding about more about the things you use.

And knowing the February spoiler is nice as well. In February 2022 all boxes will include a Pixi Glow Tonic. It the Exfoliating Toner. In my opinion it is the best of the Pixi Toners. It is certainly my favorite. Oddly though it is really hard to find. All of the stores near me love to carry the Rose toners, but this Glow Tonic is usually missing. I don’t know if everyone loves it as much as I do and just empties the shelf before I get there, but I am happy there will be one sent to me next month.

However, while all the usual information is in the booklet, not all of the products that arrived in my box were listed in the pamphlet. They list four products and leave the other two as mystery items. Let’s look at the four items listed first.

The first item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. It is a 10mL sized spray and it is designed to help you sleep. I’ve tried this before and something in it made me sneeze my head off. On the other hand, my mother adores this. In fact anything This Works, I generally just send her way. the only thing from the brand i kept was the hand sanitizer. Which was a great moisturizing formula but so strongly scented that it needs to be used in an open area. I’m not upset about getting this. It is a good product, just not for me and I know my mother will use every drop.

The second Items in the box is the Bloom and Blossom Hands Up Anti-aging hand cream. It is a sample size. the perfect size to keep in a purse actually. I have tried the Bloom and Blossom lip balm which also came in a Look Fantastic box and I didn’t like it. I ended up talking to my cousin about it and she agreed it was not a good lip balm, but she absolutely adores their hand creams. So I’m happy to get a chance to actually try the hand cream. I have my fingers crossed that I like it more than I did the lip balm.

Next up we have a variation item. In the box you could get either an AHAVA Mineral Shampoo or a Mineral Conditioner. I have the conditioner, which I am actually quite excited by. their hand cream is fantastic and while their skincare isn’t quite for me, I have never tried any hair care products from them. I honestly didn’t know they made hair care products. So this is extra exciting.

The fourth item listed in the pamphlet is the Skin Chemist Rose Quartz Lip Plumper. At first the rose had me a little concerned as rose and lips aren’t always the best of friends, but the rose in this seems to apply to only the color and the fact that it has a slight pink tint when applied. It has a very peppermint-y scent which I am all in favor of. I have never heard of the brand nor tried anything from them so I look forward to giving them a try.

And now we go off into the wild blue yonder of mystery items. Neither of these two items are listed in the pamphlet. One is full sized and one is a deluxe sample. The full size (at least from what I can figure out) is the Bubble T Lavender T body wash. I have tried bath salts and bath fizzies from Bubble T and liked them both so I am looking forward to giving the body wash a try. Through the sealed cap the scent of lavender with a slight hint of lemon comes through. I’m going to leave it sealed until I use it, but Bubble T seems to favor strong scents. What I can smell of it though the seam seems nice though.

And finally we have the Polaar Eternal Snow Youthful promise cream. I find it kind of amusing that they have put this into my Look Fantastic box this month as IPSY also chose this item for me this month. I haven’t gotten my IPSY box yet, but I double checked the site and it is a full size of the same cream. Which is kind of nice. Thus far i have tried the Polaar sunscreen, and night cream. I enjoyed them both actually. I have another moisturizer from Polaar in my samples bin as well. Since I know I have a full size of this coming, I may give the Sample size a try first to see if I like it or If I should pass on the full size. It is kind of nice being able to try it without opening the full size. Although as I’ve liked all of the other Polaar Products I’ve tried I’m sure I will like the Eternal snow as well.

I don’t know if Look Fantastic is planning to keep this surprise option or not. I think it may just be for January. Or they could be trying something new. When it comes to Look Fantastic I am an enthusiastic consumer, not an insider so I can only guess. I can say that this month’s box has kept me as an enthusiastic subscriber. It is a great mix of the familiar and the new and while I may be passing on the pillow spray, it is going to someone who will love it. All the other items will soon be tested and tried by me, perhaps making it onto my favorite’s list.

Unboxing the January 2022 BoxyCharm Premium

Once again it is time to look at the monthly BoxyCharm Subscription. They have several tiers. I am subscribed to the premium tier which is now $39.99 per month (it comes to a little over $43 with tax and everything). I have had at least one version of Boxycharm for quite sometime at this point. At one point I had the base box ($25) the premium and the Luxe Box (quarterly). I had them all at the same time to see which one I preferred and as I found I was getting more products that i would use or wanted to try most consistently in the premium category, that is the one I stuck with.

For me this tier just worked. And I couldn’t keep all of the tiers indefinitely. Not only was it costly, but it was far too much product coming into the house at the same time. For the $40 cost, of the premium Box you receive six full sized items. During choice day (which happens to actually be today, January 10th at noon) you get to choose two of the items in the box. We’ll look at the first two items I chose for this box first.

The first item I chose was the bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil. I used to use this all of the time. I love bare minerals, but I did get away from using a lot of their face products. They are a great brand though and I am thrilled we are seeing more of them these days. Their lip products have been popping up more and more often and I absolutely adore their bounce and blur blush. I may have to use that today actually. Seeing the Mineral Veil (finishing powder) on the selection list was like having an old friend pop up unexpectedly. It was nice to see.

The second item I chose is one I have never used before it is the Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the Wishful skin care line in general. I’ve received a couple of products in subscription boxes and want to start rolling them in to try out. I’m sure they will be fine it just takes me a minute to think about skincare from a makeup company. Sometimes it is fabulous, sometimes not. (wishful is part of Huda Beauty). But I am always willing to try out a new cleansing balm. I have just opened one though so it will be a little while before I get to this one. But I am happy to have it waiting in the wings.

And now we get into the surprises. And for me they are surprises as I didn’t really pay attention to any spoilers for January. I meant to, I just never got around to it. And honestly, I kind of like the surprise.

The first surprise is a mask from Juice Beauty. It is the Bamboo Pore Refining Mask. I tried a small sample of this before and it made my skin feel amazing. The sample I tried was only enough for one use though so I am interested to see how it performs over time. I find this mask really interesting though. It is designed to be used twice a week but you only keep it on your face for about two minutes. That’s right, a two minute mask. I’ve actually been looking for a mask to use during the week so I may actually choose this one for the week days, using it Monday and Wednesday while still keeping my Friday Face Mask. December was the month of Sheet Masks and I did a pretty good job clearing a lot of them out, but I think I want to focus on one product for a while. But again that is something to think about later. For now, I am just happy to see the mask in my January Boxycharm.

The next item sort of sounds like it is trying to bridge the distance between Makeup and Skincare. It is the LYS Beauty Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer. It is a primer, and you know, I love a good primer. But this is a serum packed with skincare ingredients ( the little blurb wasn’t specific on what those ingredients were, but I will have to take a look to see what they are before I use it.) The thing is that to see results I would have to commit to using this primer daily for at least a month. And if I’m doing that, it has to be a good primer. I don’t mind the skin care benefits because at the very least it will help my skin out on the days I use it. And the benefits might make me want to use it more. But it will have to also be a good primer. So that will be an interesting test to see how it performs both as a primer and a serum. For now I have to say I do love the packaging. While it is a tube, the top is shaped like a triangle so it stands up on it’s own. I always find the primers that stand upright easier to stash in the drawer and they tend to be the ones I reach for more often. Plus they don’t leak that way. So all in all an interesting product. I’ve also only tried the Bronzer from LYS so I don’t mind trying more from the brand. Especially as it was a pretty good bronzer.

The last two items are both makeup items. The first is a lip pencil from Persona Cosmetics. It is a lovely color and it felt creamy when I swatched it. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it, but for me lip liners and eyeliners aren’t things I get terribly excited about seeing in boxes. It is a nice lip liner though and I am sure I will use it.

I am more excited about the Ather Beauty Desert Sunset Eyeshadow Palette. I know it is much easier to get excited about an eyeshadow palette than it is a lip pencil. And the sahadows do look nice. I just feel like I have been flirting with Ather beauty for a while. I’ve seen it in other people’s boxes and I know it was a possibility as a brand in mine, but it never actually appeared in any of my subscription boxes. No matter what the Ather Beauty product was, it was never in my subscription box. So it is nice to finally try something from the brand. It is also nice that this was a very makeup heavy box this month. Skincare will always be my first love, but the skin care supplies were piling up. They are now getting back under control.

And of course just to be peevish I’m sure that in a few months (If they stick with makeup heavy boxes) I’ll start to miss the skincare. Everything has it’s rotation. This past skincare heavy turn simply lasted a bit longer than anyone was expecting. I think that is why people have been rather critical. Over all I am very happy with this month’s selection of products. I was happy with the choices I made and I am pleased to try some new things. Over all, January is a pretty good month for Boxy Charm premium and yes, I felt that my selection of products was well worth the $40 subscription fee. I thought about shifting to the base box instead of keeping the premium, but for now, I think I am going to stay with the premium as it still has the type of selectin I want to see.

La Roche-Posay- ACD

The Underclub arrives for January 2022

That’s right the first of the January subscriptions has arrived. And no surprise it is the Underclub. This month they actually mailed the subscription early to make up for postal delays. That’s right, I received an e-mail notification and tracking number December 28th. Oh yeah, they saw the swamped post offices and the upcoming New Year’s Holiday and mailed out their subscription a couple of days early to make up for it.

Is it any wonder they are one of my favorite subscriptions?

well that and their size inclusivity and great underwear. I will say that this month’s selection does not photograph well. Which is a shame. As always when I receive my selection, I look it over to check the quality. As always The Underclub passed with no loose strings and no missed stitches. I know, to some that sounds bizarre, but it is part of how my grandmother taught me to shop for clothing. Any garment, from undies to winter wear parkas, had to have the stitching studied before a purchase decision could be made.

I still find myself unable to stop myself from checking the stitching on ever garment that comes into my house. The Underclub passed and went off to the wash before it could be worn. Because again, as per grandmother’s edict, no clothing can be worn until it has first been washed. I once asked her why. Her eyebrows (plucked to thin little arches and mostly the product of an eyebrow pencil) shot up to her hairline and her eyes went wide.

“Things happen in factories.”

To this day I am uncertain what unspeakable evil she thinks goes on in the packaging department, but I wash my clothes before wearing them, just in case.

the band is slightly darker than the rest of the material.

Not that I suspect The Underclub of unspeakable evil. Quite the contrary. I think they are quite fabulous. This months selection (from the $15 per month category of their subscription service) looks very plain in the photograph. It is simple black material with a silkier black edging on the outer edges. Nothing very earth shattering. However once on, they fit perfectly and are perhaps the most comfortable set of undies I have put on in a long time.

Perfect fit, fantastic comfort.

I recently changed the size of my monthly selection as I lost enough weight to go down a size. (The changing of the sizes was super easy. Two clicks on the account page and I was done. Also their size guide has always been spot on for me.) And these fit me absolutely perfectly. They may not be the fanciest set in the drawer, but I am thrilled to have them. They look nice on, they have a classic appeal with no frills. I like the look of the black on black design actually. It is a subtle, understated difference that appeals to me. But it is the comfort that has this month’s Underclub selection doing a lap in the winner’s circle. This is a set I will truly enjoy wearing for a long time to come.


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The December 2021 Smartass & Sass T-shirt Box

This is my second t-short from Smartass and Sass and I have to say i am very impressed with the quality. Smartass and Sass is a subscription service that has a regular box, a t-shirt only box or a big box that has both the regular box and the t-shirt inside it. I decided to try out the T-short only box for a while because I absolutely destroyed most of my t-shirts this summer. Admittedly several of them were on their last legs but a harsh summer of sweating it out on the walking trail did not aid their longevity. Now I need to rebuild their numbers before the summer sun returns. The t-shirt subscription is $15.95 ($19.90 when the shipping is added).

The pkg as it comes in the mail (label on the other side) it fit easily in the standard sized mailbox

I loved the quality of last month’s t-shirt and this month is just as good. It is the soft cotton that feels as though it has been well worn and loved for a while even when it first comes out of the box.

And I have to admit, I do like the slogans on the t-shirts. As the walking trail is one place never have to look professional, I am perfectly happy with the sayings. This month is of course Poof, I lost interest. While I have thought this while sitting in many meetings, it is more appropriate for the walking trail

A little something extra?

And if you are wondering about sizes. I had to actually go down a size in their t-shirt sizing. They are really size inclusive and start off with an Extra small and go up to a 3X. Since I generally like my walking t-shirts to be large so I have some air flow while I am moving I started off with the 3X. It was the perfect size to sleep in but too big for me to wear on the walking trail. Since it was a new shirt I also didn’t know how much it would shrink. I tossed last month’s shirt in the washer and dryer and it didn’t shrink at all. So I went down a size. For me it is the right amount of baggy to wear on the walking trail.

They do have an accurate size guide when you sign up for the subscription and it is very easy to change your sizing once you have established your subscription. I’ve washed last month’s shirt several times and it hasn’t shrunk. I use warm wash and regular dry for the t-shirts. I washed this shirt before wearing and again, there was no shrinkage. This is my second shirt and thus far I am liking the subscription. For me it is a good way to build up enough t-shirts to get me through the summer walking. Plus the somewhat snarky thoughts on them sort of suit me.

Thank you cards. Some I’ll use, others not so much, either way I will have to choose carefully who to send them too.

In addition to the t-shirt, Smartass and Sass include one additional item with the subscription. Last month it was a glass nail file which I have gotten a lot of use out of. This month it was a set of four thank you cards. I like that they are all blank on the inside so you can write what you want. Given the sayings on the front I may have to choose carefully who to send the thank you cars to, but as they are not holiday themed, I can send them anytime during the year. There is probably one that I might not send, but I have friends who I know would appreciate the others. I am impressed that they didn’t make them holiday themed though. I saw the red envelope and though ‘I’ve already sent out my holiday cards’. So it was a surprise to open the plastic and see they were thank you car’s instead. And the saying made me smile. Hallmark, they are not. But sometimes, a little off beat is what you want. So I am pleased with having them and will be using at least three of them in the coming year.

Over all I am very happy with this subscription and I look forward to seeing what Smartass and Sass come up with in the new year.

Unboxing the December 2021 Macy’s Beauty Box

Ah yes my darlings, the December subscriptions continue. I think today is the last day though. I believe everything has now arrived. which is nice, because before New Year’s I want to do a sort of mini-purge and put things in a more organized or at least slightly more thought out location so I can more easily use up products that are almost empty and try out new things. And it is nice to have all of December’s new things in before I start to putting away and sorting process.

But that is an entirely different topic. This is a post about the Macy’s Beauty Box. It is $15 per month and I have to admit, this month they had me a bit worried. Usually the charge for the box posts to my bank around the 27th of the month prior. So I expected to be charged for December’s box on November 27th. when I wasn’t i thought maybe Thanksgiving had shifted dates around. I wasn’t charged until December 15th for this month’s box though. Which is odd because usually it arrives around the tenth of the month. I actually thought they might have decided I didn’t need December’s box.

I checked the website but by then they were already advertising for January’s box. while this has consistently been one of my favorite subscriptions for a while, getting information from Macy’s about it is awful. Even finding information about how to contact them about the box is a pain. With the Beauty box it is almost like they take a ‘you get what you get, so don’t bother us’ approach. The box is usually fantastic though so I just ignore customer service.

Usually the Macy’s Beauty box comes with a makeup bag. I have really liked the bags I’ve gotten from them in the past and they tend to be ones I reuse. I kind of like having a solid reusable item in my bags as well as the products I just use up and let go. Sometimes they replace the bag with another item. This month, they chose to replace the bag with a Sutra Beauty Travel Curling Iron. well it says it’s a curling iron but it is a curling wand.

Maybe it is just me but I always think of curling irons as clamping the hair between the metal where as the wands don’t have that clamp. I don’t mind it though, I like both, its just how I think of terms. The wand is from Sutra Beauty. I actually need to replace my curling iron at the moment. The travel one won’t work for every day use, but it is nice to have for the occasional curling of the ends. I will be playing around with it to see how it performs. which I am kind of looking forward to as I am trying to decide if I want to buy a curling wand or a more traditional clamping curling iron. So this actually helps me out in my decision making process.

The box this month also has a set of scrunchies. One is black and the other gold. The material is slick and shiny which isn’t my favorite, but they have a nice sheen to them and the elastic feels quite substantial. Also I killed just as many scrunchies this summer as I did t-shirts so I am actually running low on usable ones that look halfway decent. The scrunchie pile is another one I have to go through this week so that I am good for the new year. The two scrunchies aren’t mentioned in the pamphlet that came with the box, and there was no information on the bag they were in, so I don’t know what brand they are. I also think they might have just been a little extra something that Macy’s just tossed in. Either way, they are at least useful.

There is a small container of the Belief moisturizer in this month’s box. This version is the The True Cream Aqua Bomb. Belief moisturizers are a beauty box staple. I have to admit that I kind of like the little top had sort of lid. Usually I just pass them on because they work better with drier skin than mine. However I am at the driest skin time of the year so i may give this one a go. Also there was a moisturizer malfunction this week and I am not opposed to rolling in a pinch hitter. This contains just enough product that it may get me through the rest of the week. Or at least a few days while I figure out what moisturizer to try next. I’ll get into more details with the skincare line up, but the end result is that while a belief moisturizer doesn’t usually thrill me, at the moment it is a quite timely arrival so I am more enthusiastic about it than usual.

The next item in this month’s box is the Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth and Blur Primer. It is not a new to me product but it is one I haven’t seen in a while. I used to love this primer actually. Then I moved on and haven’t used it in several years. I remember really liking it when I used it, but it will be interesting to see how it fares against the primers I am loving right now. I know the theme of this month’s box is Party prep, but it sort of has a bit of a throwback vibe to it, at least for me. First with this primer and then with the next item.

With this next item the throw back vibe continues with the NYX Butter Gloss. Incidentally NYX has a 20% sale going on on-line if you are looking to stock up. Again, for a long time this was a go to product for me. I had multiple shades. I wore them constantly and I loved the formula. I used many tubes until there was absolutely nothing left. But again, over time they were purged from my collection (through use and expiration date not because of issues) and now I can’t remember the last time I used a NYX Butter Gloss. I am actually looking forward to trying it out again.

While I do recall seeing the Tart Lash paint before, I have never tried it. It is one of the few Tarte Mascaras I have never tried and as I generally like Tarte mascaras, I am excited to give it a go. have the eyeliner from this line and it works really well so I have high hopes all around.

And it wouldn’t be a Macy’s beauty box if it didn’t include perfume samples. This month the two samples are from Dior. One is Miss Dior, which I have to admit is on my list of perfumes to try. I have heard some very good things about it. Plus you know I am always up for trying new perfumes out. the second scent is the Dior Sauvage. It kind of amuses me because I have seen this ad a ton recently. No matter where I am watching a show, if it has commercials chances are I will see an ad for Sauvage. Its like they are stalking me.

It is the commercial with Johnny Depp and the wolves. I always end the commercial thinking Johnny Depp looks puffy. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Johnny Depp. I think part of it is that I just re-watched willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory and so that version is fresher in my mind. I also think wow he looks tan, but that is also because he is so very pale in Willy Wonka.

Johnny Depp aside, it is interesting to get a chance to try a scent that advertisers seem so intent on selling me. Plus I tend to like a lot of the scents that are designated for men. But I am looking forward to trying out both scents.

And that was my Macy’s beauty box for the month of December. Was it the most exciting box? No. Usually I am much more excited about trying out the items sent to me. But we are also coming off of Novembers Box. November was a brand take over with YSL which was absolutely amazing, so it is hard to compete with that. I do have an interesting nostalgia vibe from it because many the products are former favorites. Exciting or not I will use every item in the box which, in my opinion, makes it a pretty good box. And the Sutra Curling wand will absolutely help me decide about a future purchase I will have to make fairly soon. At the moment I haven’t been doing much with my hair because my curling iron is unreliable. So the travel wand is both fun and useful for me right now. So I am very happy that Macy’s did not forget me and that I did receive my December Beauty Box. And I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with in January.

Look Fantastic December 2021 Beauty Box Unboxing

Oh yes, my darlings, it is the week of unboxing. while this usually does happen in a month, all of the subscriptions arriving at the same time, it seems especially fun to me that it is happening the week before Christmas. It’s like extra presents. That I bought myself.

But it is fun to unbox them.

Look Fantastic is one that I especially enjoy. This month I have to say I didn’t see any spoilers, mostly because it was so crazy that I didn’t even have time to think about looking, let along go and actually look. So let’s see what surprises we have in store this month shall we?

The first item is from Elemis. Do I have to say I love Elemis? I feel I say it pretty much every time it appears in the box. Or in my weekly skincare line up. They are just a good reliable (if somewhat pricy) brand. This month we have the Pro Collagen Energizing Marine Cleanser (currently this is on sale at Lovely Skin should you be interested in picking it up for less than the usual price.) Oddly enough I just finished up a moisturizer from this line. I took it home with me at thanksgiving. It was a fantastic day cream. I hope that I will like this cleanser as much as I liked the day cream. If so, I will be very happy.

The second item in this months box was the Starskin VIP Revitalizing Luxury Gold Foil Eye Masks. I’ve tried Starskin products before and liked them and I absolutely adore eye masks. I don’t know if I’ve tried foil masks before. But I am willing to give them a go. Hopefully they will turn out well and I will have another brand of eye masks to think about adding to my collection. I go through a lot of eye masks.

While Look Fantastic does tend to lean heavily into skin care, there were two makeup items in this month’s box. The first is a blush from Lottie London. I am actually really pleased to get this product actually. A while ago I received a Lottie London Bronzer in a subscription box. It performed really well, but the artificial coconut scent of the product made me want to avoid it. I wanted to try something else from the brand to see if all of their products were so heavily scented or if it was just that particular one. And if the non-scented products worked as well as the scented one. I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I did take a second to sniff the blush and there was no scent. The color is a bit bright but hopefully that will be able to be blended into something more wearable for me.

The second makeup item I am also thrilled to receive. It is the Spotlight stick highlighting crayon from Eyeko. Eyeko is generally my go to brand when I do wear eyeliner. When I wore it regularly, Eyeko was really the only eyeliner I used. I wear eyeliner a lot less and since I tend to think of the brand as only fabulous eyeliner I don’t think of them that often. I would love to find more products from them that I do like, if only to stop thinking of them as the eyeliner company.

The last two items in the box are both in the category of tools. At least that is how I would classify them. The first is the Hollywood Browzer, which is a dermaplanning tool. I actually use the ones from Favy and I have been loving them actually. I am happy to try out a different brand though and see how they compare. It is a tool I use and am happy to try out.

The final tool is a Satin Sleeping mask from Glov. I actually sleep with a sleeping mask every night. I am an extremely light sleeper and changes in light as cars go by the house actually wake me up. So for me a sleep mask is essential if I am to get any sleep at all. Not all masks are created equal though. In general I prefer an adjustable strap on my sleeping masks. I also tend to go with silk over satin, just because I prefer the feel. However I do have a couple of satin ones. I have several other Glov products so I am familiar with the brand and happy to give them a try. And it is always nice to have an extra of an essential item floating around.

It’s one of the reasons I have two pairs of ThinOptics Reading glasses floating around. Some things you can streamline, other times it is best to have duplicates. Reading glasses and sleep masks always fall into the multiples category.

Look Fantastic is one of my favorite boxes. As with all boxes they have their good months and their not so great ones. Sometimes it isn’t a matter of good or bad, but of what i can use and what I’m going to pass along. This month I’ll use everything and that, quite honestly makes it a win for me.

Unboxing the December 2021 Boxycharm Premium

Hello my darlings. It seems that all of the subscription boxes are arriving at the same time this month. I’m actually okay with that as it is really nice to get all the boxes in before the holidays. Or at least as many in as possible. In addition, with the increased price for the Boxy Charm Premium box, I am trying to decide if it stays in my line up. The price for this box is now $39.99 and I am trying to decide if I want to keep this box, or maybe switch down to the $25 box or simply cancel. The price switched last month (November) and in general I like to give subscription boxes three months of a trial after major changes before I decide what I am going to do.

Plus January is usually a pretty good month for subscription boxes. So it can’t hurt to delay my decision.

But part of that decision is based on this month, soooo let’s see what came in my box this month.

The first item that I took out of the box was one of the two items that I got to choose. It is the Bite Beauty Changemaker Supercharged Micellar Foundation. (retail $44). I have been wanting to try this out for a while and just haven’t gotten around to it. I adore Bite Beauty lip products. Their Agave lip mask is hands down one of my favorite products. It is only the fact that I am working through the Laniege Lip mask that kept me from restocking it this winter. Of course the Laniege one is good too, I just really love the Bite Beauty one and am happy that I get to try out their foundation. I kind of love when items on my list to try out appear in subscription boxes. It’s like someone is helping me with my to do list.

The second item I chose this month was the Byroe Fig Renewal Oil (retail $72). I am still trying to decide how I feel about Byroe to be honest. I loved the toning essence but the bell pepper serum fell a bit flat for me. Still I love figs and putting them in a product is an easy easy to get me to try it. Plus it looked absolutely stunning in the bottle. Over all I am pleased to see the brand back in Boxycharm.

And now we move into the items Boxy Charm chose for me. The first of these is the Stila Extreme Lash Mascara (retail $23). Normally I am not too thrilled by getting mascaras in subscription boxes because I almost always have a stockpile of them. However I looked around and I actually have very few mascaras left. Almost all of the ones I have open are soon to head to the empties bin and I have somehow managed to whittle my stockpile down to only a couple. So it turns out for me this is a very timely product. And I like the brand Stila. I haven’t used anything from them in a while, but I do like the brand.

I had much the same thoughts about the Elaina Badro Luxury Beauty Sponges (retail $34). I usually don’t like getting them on beauty boxes. I tend to only really use the ones with a flat sid that lets me angle into hard to reach spots. However one of these does have that angle and they are of a sort of velvety material I have never tried. In addition my current makeup sponge is about to be relegated to the trash and I needed to get a replacement, so I am more accepting of the makeup sponge than usual. I will probably still only use the one with the angle and not the regular tear drop shape, but I will get to see how the material works. So I’m not mad at it.

The next item I was tickled to see in my Boxy Charm. It is the Viseart Bronze Noix (retail $30). I love Viseart eyeshadows but i have not tried any other products from the brand. I am thrilled to get to try out their bronzer. And I love the little case the bronzer comes in. I know, I shouldn’t judge a product by it’s packaging, but I do like the Viseart packaging. The packaging won’t make me buy the product, but in this case, it doesn’t hurt it either.

And finally we come to the last item, or items I suppose I should say. It is a duo of lip liners from Evio Beauty (retail $24). The lip liners are creamy and in perfect colors for me to use. While I do have lip liners, I tend not to use them. Partially because I like creamy lip liners and some are stiff pencils, but mostly because the bulk of the lip liners I have don’t really match or blend well with my lipsticks. Some I have that I specifically use to change to color of lipstick formulas I like whose color is somewhat off, but that isn’t quite the same thing.

These two are creamy when tried on my hand and they are colors that match a lot of my lip products. So I’m pretty happy with them. Of course I still have to see how they perform. But the same can be said about all of the products in this box.

When looking at this box, I have to say I am very pleased. even the products that I would normally not be terribly enthused by I am actually looking forward to using. Part of that is timing, and part of it is the product. I need mascara and a new makeup sponge. I like the brand Stila and would like to try this mascara out. I am also interested in trying out the velvet type material of the sponge to see how it performs. And I am really thrilled about the bite beauty foundation. For me, this BoxyCharm Premium box was definitely worth the price.