Allure Beauty Box November 2020 unboxing

Recently the Allure Beauty box got a make over.  The spectacular $15 per month box became $23.  As it was a pretty reliably good box at $15 I along with many others were very excited.  The October box was the first box at the new price and it was somewhat disappointing.  The main reason being that the only thing that really changed about the box was the price.  It stayed the same, but just cost more. At a higher price, the spectacular box, became less spectacular.

I decided I was just going to cancel.  When I went to cancel Allure offered me two months at the original price (of $15 instead of $23) to see if they could entice me to stay.  I figured why not. Essentially that is a long winded way of saying that even though this was a $23 box, I only paied $15 for it.  I will also get the December box for $15 and then decide after three months of the new box if it is worth keeping at the new $23 price. So this is the second month of the newly priced box and month two of my three month trial. 

So let’s see how they did this month.

The first item in my November Allure Beauty Box was the Dermelect Self-esteem Beauty Serum. It is full size and retails for $42.  I have tried this serum before and it is very much worth it’s price tag.  This is one of those serums that is suggested for face and neck, but I really just used it on my neck.  I have many other serums for my face, this one, really helped tighten the skin on my neck and I really loved using it. I actually had it on my list of things to pick up during the holiday sales, so I am very happy to have a bottle sent to me in my box. Incidentally if you are looking at sales, they have a 20% with any $50 order with code BFE20, 25% off any $100 order with the code BFE25, and (you guessed it), 35 % off with any $150 order using code BFE35.

The next item I pulled from the box was the Josephine Cosmetics Eye Dazzle liquid eyeshadow in the shade Leona. (retail $30).  I believe this is the second of the three full sized items in the box.  It is a nice bronzy shade on the skin when I tested it out and it seems like it would apply well.  I’ve seen the brand when poking around on the Petit Vour website, but I have never tried it. Which is fine, I like trying out new to me brands. If I like this I will look more into the brand, especially since I know Petit Vour specializes in clean beauty. I think the packaging looks sleek and pretty.

I am not a huge fan of liquid shadows, but I will use them occasionally and I like the ones with square bottoms as they stand up easily which seems to keep them longer or at least not to spill in the drawer.  I have a few from different brands at this point.  The Stila ones I have I generally use to finish out a look generally for parties. But I have several others I’ve gotten in subscription boxes that I never reach for.  I may have to pull them all out and do a liquid eyeshadow test.  I think that all of them are on the metallic scale as this one is, which is why I just consider them toppers.  Nevertheless I will try it out.  Who knows, It may prove to be a favorite.

The third item out if the box was also a full sized item and it was the Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Moisturizing lip mask. Retail is listed at $22 however on the Mana Kadar Site it is listed as $19. That could also be because this is the week the Black Friday sales start.  I’ve tried Manna Kadar products before and some I liked others I didn’t (which is standard with most brands).  I haven’t actually tried their lip mask before, but I am always down to try a new lip mask. As I apply a lip mask everytime I put on a face mask, I tend to use them a lot so I am always happy to see a new one come my way. well if they work I am happy to see them. I’ll have to try this and see.

I am also always happy to see eye masks and there was an eye mask set in this months box as well.  It is the Skinmedica Instant Eye mask.  I have never tried anything from Skinmedica so there is nothing I can compare them to.  I’ve not actually heard of the brand actually.  But I am willing to give them a try. 

This summer I fell in love with eye masks as a way to refresh tired eyes and reduce puffiness quickly during allergy season so I am happy to test out as many brands as possible to find the best brands for me before next allergy season hits.  Thus far Grace and Stella’s energy drink for your eyes eye masks and the Erno Laszlo eye masks are in the lead of that particular race. I look forward to seeing where the Skinmedica Instant Bright Eye Mask places.

Next out of the box is a travel sized bottle of Neogen Dermalogy Real Ferment Micro essence.  I know the spoiler from the Look Fantastic November box featured a product from Neogen but other than that I hadn’t heard of the brand before.  And the November Look Fantastic box is still making it’s way through the postal system to me at the moment. I am interested to know what effects the rice and yeast ferments have on the skin.  I am just starting to incorporate essences into my skin care routine and look forward to giving this one a test. Like everyone else Neogen is having a sale right now, Free shipping with any $30 order plus a free gift when you spend $30. There is also a trial kit of some sort offered when you spend $50. I just ran across it when pulling the site up for this post and thought I’d pass it on. And while I’m at it Look Fantastic is having their pre Black Friday sale with up to 50% off a whole host of brands and products. At the moment they also have a limited edition Black Friday Beauty box for sale. It costs $45 and is worth over $195.

Baut to return to the Allure Beauty Box, the next item inside is one I have used before and absolutely love.  It is the Nature lab Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub.  It is a really good scalp scrub.  I tend to use dry shampoo a lot between washes (my favorite being from Klorane in case you were wondering) and I find that a once a week scalp scrub really helps remove all of the residue the dry shampoo can leave behind.  And it sounds silly, but a healthy scalp help creates healthy hair.  This is one of my favorite scalp masks at the moment.  As it also makes my hair super shiny and soft. So I am happy to see it. 

There is a sheet mask in this box and it is from When.  It is the Last Choice sheet mask. (Oddly enough this mask wasn’t on the When site so the link will just take you to their selection of sheet masks) Every Allure beauty box I’ve gotten has had a sheet mask so seeing one isn’t a surprise.  I think I have seen this brand before from them.  I can’t remember what I thought of the mask though, which usually isn’t a good sign.  Still I will give the mask a go and see how I like it. 

Finally there is a moisturizer sample in the box.  It is the Acure Ultra Hydrating 12 hour facial Moisturizer. I like that it comes in a pouch with a spout so it is clearly a step above a foil packet and a lot easier to use.  Especially, since there is enough in the pouch for multiple uses.  Acure and I don’t have the best of relationships. I had a very bad experience with their shampoo and conditioner and have not been impressed by some of their other products.  Perhaps this one will be different.  I will certainly try it and see, perhaps this will be a fantastic product. And trying things you might not pick up on your own is part of the fun of subscription boxes at least for me.

So that was my November Allure Beauty box.  Now there are some very good products in here.  The Dermelect Serum and Naturelab scalp scrub are both in my top tier of products listed for repurchase. And there are several items that I am looking forward to trying.  But in evaluating the box I need to look at it as a whole if I am to decide if I want to keep the box or not. 

The difficulty I am having is that this box is not really substantially different from what it was before the price increase.  I will say it is better than the October box. But it still feels like a really good $15 beauty box and not like a $23 beauty box. I can’t exactly pin point why I feel that way.  Maybe it is because it doesn’t feel like they upgraded the box when they increased the price.  I will say that while I like the mix of products, November’s box isn’t rally convincing me to continue my Allure Beauty Subscription. I will see what arrives in December before I make my final decision, but unless December shows that this is clearly a new and improved box, I don’t think this subscription will be going forward with me into 2021.

Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

November 2020 BoxyCharm Premium Unboxing

I am going to come right out and say it.  This was one of the better boxycharm boxes they have had in a while.  At least as far as I am concerned.   Boxy Charm Premium is a $35 per month subscription tier of the BoxyCharm world.  For this $35 I am supposed to get six full sized products. Let’s see what products they sent this month.

First up is the Grown Alchemist Night Cream (retail $125).  I believe everyone received this product in their boxes this month.  As so many of my creams lately have turned out to be fantastic day creams but not so great at night, I am always looking for a good night cream.  I have heard of Grown Alchemist but never tried anything by them.  While I like the look of the paint tube container for the night cream, it will be interesting to see how it works in practice.  I can see both the possibility for great good and great evil inside it. And that is just the packaging.  Regardless, I am ready to give it a test and happy to see it in my box.

The Smashbox Photo Finish fresh setting powder (retail $39) was my choice item this month and I’ll admit I was intrigued by the fact that you spin the dial to loosen powder from a solid surface.  I don’t know how it will work but it did make it to the house early enough that the powder made it to my makeup bag this week so I will let you know on Friday.

Also making it to my makeup bag this week and arriving in this November BoxyCharm Box was the Pur 4-in-1 skin perfecting powders face palette (retail $32).  I love the thought of face palettes.  The all in one that saves space and makes it easy to get ready.  Thus far it hasn’t worked out too well for me but I continue to hope.  We will see how this palette does in it’s makeup bag test.

Another item I believe everyone received this month is a new launch from Cosmedix.  It is the Skincare brush set (retail $25).  I have been using a silicone spatula brush for my masks for a while now. 

I picked it up from Amazon for less than a dollar a while back and it has been working fabulously well.  I’m happy to give a more expensive brush set a go.  I like that on the spatula looking one there is a smooth side and a textured side.  I am a little less certain of the flat brush.  It is composed of actual bristles.  I’m going to try it with a couple of my creamier masks and see how it performs.  I’ll have to get back to you on that.  I am curious but I suspect it might not be as fabulous as the flat silicone brush.  But I am willing to try.

Next up is the Dose of Colors Block Party single eyeshadow (retail $20).  It is an old cold kind of shade which picks the light up very well.  I like the Dose of Colors formula even though I don’t have many of their eyeshadows. 

I think this color is one that I might incorporate into my Holiday looks actually.  This year we may be staying home but we will be festive for the video calls.  There will also be cocktails via the video calls, but that is another story. 

And New Year’s may see me on the couch with my baby doll but even if I go with comfy pajama pants, I will still be rocking a new pair of shoes, a glass of champagne and at least one sparkletastic eyeshadow.  Will this be it?  We shall see.

Finally we take the last item out of the box and find it is the Realher lip liner duo (retail $25). Am I super excited about a lip liner duo? Not terrible, however I don’t have a red quite this shade (and need to buy one because I have several red lipsticks this shade)) and the second one is a lovely neutral.  They both feel creamy and I have lately been really liking the Realher products that I have been using. In fact the Dream so Big Palette is on my list of products to pick up. I am going to have to do a bit of a palette declutter before I do though. But the shades in that palette just look so nice. I also want to try out their lipstick formula. They are actually having a sale on those right now so I might be talking myself into the set sooner than the eyeshadow. Lip products, my eternal weakness. I linked the sale at the bottom of the page for those interested.

That was the contents of my BoxyCharm premium this month.   So I paid $35 and received $266 worth of product. While that is a good return for my money, I am more pleased by the fact that everything in this box is a product that I can use.  I love setting powder and have high hopes for the Pur Palette.  I love eyeshadows and was looking at ones specifically for festive looks, which this is certainly sparkly enough to qualify as.

And actually I was contemplating buying one of the shades of lip liner that I received this month.  When I first started getting Boxy Charm there were months when it would arrive and the majority of the items in the box were ones I had either just run out of or had been looking at picking up.  At first it made me think that BoxyCharm might have hidden cameras somewhere in my dressing table. Then they kind of went off the rails a little bit.  This box felt a bit like the old Boxy Charm was returning. Which is kind of amusing as they have now been bought by IPSY. I have to say, it is still a nice feeling.

RH Week of Beauty Steals – Matte Lipstick Collection- 12 Matte Lipsticks for $35

IPSY November 2020 Ultimate Glam Bag Unboxing

This Month’s Ipsy was an interesting one. For those of you who are unfamiliar with IPSY it is a beauty subscription service.  They have three tiers: Glam bag for $12, Glam Bag Plus for $25, and Glam Bag Ultimate for $50 per month.  I am currently subscribed to the Glam Bag Ultimate.  In this bag I am supposed to receive one makeup bag, eight full sized products and four deluxe sample sized products. I should also point out they recently announced this subscription will be cancelled and in January replaced with the Glam X tier. Oh how things are changing.

In addition there was other big IPSY news this month as Ipsy has now acquired Boxy Charm.  Yup, two of the biggest rivals in the subscription box game have merged.  I currently have one Ipsy subscription and one Boxy Charm Subscription.  I did have multiple Boxy Charm subscriptions, but dropped both the regular Boxy charm and the Boxy Luxe because I was becoming somewhat disappointed in my boxes.  I figured The Boxy Charm Premium was the box I had the most success with and the one I would keep, not only for the subscription to the box but for the access to Boxy Pop up that it gave me.  Moving forward it will be interesting to see how everything shifts due to the buyout.

But that is not the point of this post, the point is the Ipsy November bag. 

The bag itself, I have to admit I do like.  Sometimes the makeup bags aren’t really to my taste.  I always have someone to pass them on to so it isn’t a big deal if I don’t like them, but it is nice to have one that I like and will use. I really like the contrast of the brown and the pink this month.

The first item that I pulled out of my bag this month was the one I got to choose.  It is the Byroe Bell Pepper serum (retail $110). I picked up two other Byroe products from a Boxycharm add on a while back. One is an essence and the other is a serum (tomatoe instead of bell pepper).  I have to say I started using the essence a couple of days ago and am thus far absolutely loving it.  I am very pleased that I got to add another Byroe product to my list of products to test.

The next item was the first of my samples. And when I say sample, I mean sample. It weighs in at 2 mL or 0.07 oz. By contrast the Juliet has a Gun perfume sample from last month was 0.28 oz.  The bag is supposed to feature deluxe samples, but to be honest there is nothing deluxe about this sample. Kind of a letdown really, even before I open it to see if I like it or not. It has been a long time since IPSY has sent me a sample this small. This sample is the Crabtree & Evelyn, Evelyn Rose Femme de Force Scent.  While I love perfumes, it has been a while since I had one this small to try out.  It feels a bit more like a giveaway sample rather than something that should be in the bag.

My next sample product was the H2O+ Hydration Oasis Refreshing Gel Moisturizer. It is a decent sized sample.  I have had this sample from Ipsy before, but it was quite a while ago.  Currently I also have a second sample of the cream in my skin care drawer waiting to be tested and tried out.  Both sample tubes seem pretty full.  Maybe I’ll combine the two and see if I can actually get a full trial out of the multiple samples. Over all, I am not super enthused about this (mostly because I don’t think I was over the moon about the moisturizer last time I tried it) but I am not mad about seeing it either. Over all I am rather neutral about seeing this moisturizer in my November box.

I will confess I am a little annoyed by the next item it is a set of six Super Beau’tea Sheet Masks from Honey Jarret (retail $18).  I think the reason that I am slightly annoyed with this is that it has been an item that you could choose from the points rewards section for a while.  I had (and still have) a bunch of points to use up and so I’ve been lurking and the set was just listed as sold out October 30th and now it appears in my November box. That makes it feel a little like a left over.  I will still use the masks, and I’m sure they are fine and I am glad it is a six pack, it just isn’t all that exciting a feeling to see them. But maybe I will try them and they will be so fantastic I will forget that they were remainders.

My third full sized item of the month is also a masking set, this is the I Dew Care Mini Scoop set (retail $20).  It features a set of three ice cream inspired travel sized containers of masks. I like masks and I am always willing to try out new ones.  I think I tried a peel off mask from I Dew Care a while back, so it will be interesting to test out more from the brand.  Since there are three, I’m not upset by the travel sized products as it is a set.  I would probably have preferred one full sized over three travel  if it was from a company I was more familiar with, but as I don’t know their products well I am okay with the travel sizes.

Moving along to my fourth full sized item it is the Laboratoires Filorga Optim-eyes eye cream (retail $49). I love eye creams, mostly because I am a chronic insomniac and like to not have everyone see it.  Subscription boxes have been hitting the eye creams pretty hard lately though so I have at least four others to try as well.  I do look forward to trying out this eye cream but as it takes me so long to actually get through an eye cream, it may take a while to work my way over to this one. I am however very pleased by the product. I am also kind of amazed that it is such a large product. It dwarfs my other eye creams, yet another reason I may clear a few of them out before trying this one out. I suspect once I open it I will be using it for quite a while.

I am also pleased by the full sized M.A.C. Cream Sheen Lipstick in Sweet Sakura (retail $19).  It is a stunning red and I am always on the lookout for a good red that looks good on me.  And I think everyone knows at this point that I love all sorts of lip products. So this was a good fit for me.

The sample of Make it Last Matte Charcoal setting Spray from Milani Cosmetics is also something I find interesting. I have heard of charcoal setting sprays but I have never used them.  I am rotating setting sprays through my makeup bag at the moment. 

As I have a couple of other setting sprays in my dressing table that I want to actually use up, I am not allowing myself to repurchase my favorite,the HA Spray, until I manage to use up at least one, or two of them.  So perhaps a peruse through the ingredients list and I will put this one into rotation. Quite frankly I like seeing setting sprays in my bag as they aren’t often included and I don’t have a stock pile of them. They are a rarer commodity than many other products.

This month I received a second full sized lip product in my bag and it is the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze in Chronic (retail $18). The pictures have it looking slightly green in color, but claim it is a clear formula.  It is also supposed to taste like sage extract and peppermint which should be fun to try.  I will be adding it to my makeup bag soon so that I can give it a try and let you know how that works out.  I have to say, I am kind of excited to try this.  It is one of those products I have looked at repeatedly and always talked myself out of purchasing.  Now I get to try it. For me, this is one of the benefits of subscription boxes.

Oddly enough I have also talked myself out of buying the Nomad Cosmetics X Tuscany Intense Eyeshadow Palette (retail $27) that was in my Ipsy Ultimate bag this month. I have the Berlin Underground Palette from Nomad Cosmetics and I really like the formula of the shadows and hoped that this palette would have the same formula. 

I liked the shades but as I had so many eye shadow palettes at the moment I talked myself out of buying it.  I am really glad to see it in my box this month and get a chance to play with it. 

My eighth full sized product this month was Outre by Use Me and Instant Repair Hair Mask + CBD (retail $38). I like getting hair masks although for the last few months they have all been in the sample sizes. 

That generally gives me one or two uses given the length and thickness of my hair, to see how I like them.  A full size gives me a much better feel for how they will work with my hair so I am happy to actually have a full sized product to try.

And finally the last sample included in my Ipsy Ultimate this month is Will Powder Blush in Stamina from The Balm Cosmetics.  As I received the Will Powder highlight in last month’s box, it is nice to have the blush to go with it. I always like The Balms products so am happy to have them arrive in whatever size they send.

So that my darlings was the November Ipsy Ultimate Glam Bag, or at least the version I received.  For my $50 I received, $299 worth of full sized products.  While there was a little annoyance with the sheet masks, it was only because I know they were offered as points rewards for so long before appearing in my glam bag.  I don’t have a problem with the masks themselves, and I do like that it is a set of six instead of two that they are claiming as full sized. 

All in all, the products in this bag are ones I will use, some of which I am very much looking forward to testing out. For me at least this was a pretty good month and I feel like I got my value’s worth.

I can’t wait to see what arrives next month as it is the last ever Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate. In January they are discontinuing the tier.  In the future there will be Glam Bag X.  Basically it is the Glam Bag Plus except for the months of February, May, August, and November.  Those months will carry an increased price ($55), all full sized products with no samples and 7-8 products. The products shone on the advert for the Glam X are also rather high end so it would be interesting to see how the product choice adjusts.

Personally, between IPSY and Boxy I would be very surprised if this is the last of the changes.  I expect there will be several more shake ups before things settle down. I can’t wait to see if they turn out to be good or bad. I have my fingers crossed as I hope this is a positive thing moving forward.

Holiday sales have begun, here’s one from HUM NUTRITION to help you from within. Personally I am a huge fan of their sleep gummies.

Early start to Cyber Week! Up to 50% off your first purchase when you buy 3 items on a 3 month refill with code SITEWIDE! Valid for orders between $29-$150. Valid 11/09-12/1.

November 2020 Glossy Box Unboxing

The first of the November Beauty Box subscriptions has arrived! Is anyone surprised it is Glossy Box?  Not me, they are very on the ball with the shipping. At least for me they always seem to come in early. and for some reason it is the one package that never seems to arrive looking like the posten used it for an impromptu game of soccer. Maybe they sense the sturdy box inside and realize it will defeat their efforts to cause shipping damage. Because let’s face it, this is a sturdy box that is meant to be reused and not busted up in transit. Currently several of my most recent Glossy Boxes are waiting to be used in shipping Christmas and Birthday presents.

As much as I have loved the themed boxes they have been doing in the last few months, I am happy to once again see the Iconic pink and black Glossy Box.  I just love the combo of the black and pink. My brother may be less pleased to see it when it arrives packed full of his Christmas goodies, but at least I know everything will reach him without being smashed.

This November’s theme is … (please mentally insert drumroll here, thank you)

DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF BEAUTY with Makeup& Magic.  This month it was proclaimed that all subscribers will get five beauty products.  I believe the proclamation was given by a herald and was festooned with a lot of here ye, hear ye’s attached.  At least in my mind (and if you think it was just a corporate memo sent via e-mail and not a man with a deep bass of a voice wearing colorful tights, you can keep your thoughts on said proclamation to yourself.  For those going along with me, the tights are yellow for some reason I can’t explain. Just so you know. I’d hate for your mental picture to be incomplete).

So, let’s see what these five beauty items are shall we?

First up is the LASplash Cosmetics Magic Palette (retail value $32).  Do you know, I have never tried anything from LA Splash?  I have seen them around for years.  Never once picked up anything by them. I have to say I like the looks of this palette.  The exterior looks very magic-y and in keeping with the theme of the month. The size is perfect for slipping into a makeup bag and while not the most out there exciting colors, I have to say these colors suit me just fine. 

This is a color story that is right up my alley. It will be very interesting to see how the shadows perform.  And I’ll be sure to put it in next week’s Make up bag to test out.  I really hope it does well as this looks like a range of shades I could easily wear. I can look at the mix and see several looks immediately that I could do.  Provided the formula is good.  So we shall see, but initially, I am very happy to see this full sized palette in my Glossy Box.

And what goes with an eyeshadow palette? A brush of course.  A full sized Spectrum Collections Limited Edition B07 Brush (retail $8.99) to be exact. I love when it looks like someone put some thought into putting a subscription box together. ‘Oh look there is eyeshadow in this box, lets add a brush to apply the eyeshadow’. It’s a little thing, but it rally does make me think that someone actually thought things through instead of just chucking items into a box. It feels like there was a plan. And plans make me happy.

I’m not entirely certain what makes it limited edition as I’ve never even heard of Spectrum Brushes before. It is a fluffy brush that feels good in the hand, has no bristles loose or falling out and appears to be good quality.  I’ll have to pop it into the Makeup bag and give it a test with the shadow palette, but I am never sad to see an extra fluffy eyeshadow brush in my Glossy Box.

Next is a set of Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks (retail $4.16). These I have actually tried before.  These were the very first eye patches I tried actually.  I saw them on everyone’s Instagram at the time and thought, why not give them a go. 

I remember thinking they were good but I didn’t see the point of all of the hype.  I think they were just so talked about at the time that any form of reality would have been a disappointment.  I’ve had several products like that where they are so talked up that no product in the world is actually going to live up to the buzz created. Generally i have to try the product again after the buzz dies down to get an accurate view of the product. It means I may not be first out of the gate with a new release, but it does mean I generally know exactly how I feel about a product, despite hype or disappointed hype.

While I don’t see bunches of pics with people wearing these any more, I have started to wear eye masks more since that first fateful test.  Let me tell you, when the ragweed was high in my area, the value of a good depuffing eye mask cannot be overstated. Since I haven’t tried this eye mask since the testing of the hype, I am really happy to have another set fall into my path.  Now I can try them just as eye masks and not as a trend and find out what I really think of them.  So even though it is not the highest valued item in the box, it is actually the one I am most excited to see.


My next item is an eyeliner. The Doucce Ultra Precision Eyeliner (retail $22) to be exact.  While eyeliners are never going to send me into raptures of delight (with a few notable exceptions) I am rather pleased to see this eyeliner.  A while back I had this eyeliner, or a version of a Doucce Eyeliner, and I remember loving it.

Ever after I was always very excited to see Doucce Products.  Then, I received an eyeshadow palette that was somewhat underwhelming followed by a mascara that was just okay and I dimmed on the brand. 


I began to think, maybe that eyeliner wasn’t so great.  I will admit, when I took this out of the box, I had just stepped out of the shower and was wearing no makeup (I did get dressed before going to get the mail, I didn’t go starkers to visit the postman.) So since I had no makeup on, I tried the eyeliner.  It was just as lovely, creamy and easy to apply as I remembered.  I am very happy to have this eyeliner back in my dressing table.

The fifth item is actually a fifth and sixth item as two products came in a combo (retail for set $4). They are from Hero Cosmetics and are the Mighty Patch Invisible + and Rescue Balm.  While I absolutely adore my Peace Out Acne Dots, (currently they have a 15% off deal going on if you are interested), I am always willing to try new blemish patches.  Especially as these days I seem to have more and more blemishes that need patching.

I really like using the Peace Out Acne dots on those deep clogged pores that just sit there and mock any attempt I make to get them to come to the surface so they can be cleared away.  It will be interesting to see if these Mighty Patches work just as well (or possibly better). 

Paired up with them is a small foil packet of rescue balm cream which is supposed to speed up the healing after the patch has done its job. I like the thought of the one two punch and hope it works.  I suspect the rather stuffed foil packet will have more cream needed than I will need for a single use so I have a clean empty jar at the ready so that the foil packet will not create a mess when I open it.

So to recap, Glossy Box is a $21 per month subscription.  If you sign up for a year (which I do) then you pay $18 per month. In the November box I received three full sized items, one pair of eye patches and a deluxe sample duo of the Mighty patch and friend. The retail value of my items comes to $71.15.  I am very happy with that return and as every item in the box is one that I will happily use, I am very happy with my items. 

Now if you are not a subscriber and are thinking of giving it a try, you can get your first box for $15 using the code EARLY15. I would hurry because they tend to sell out of Glossy boxes very quickly.

In addition to this great deal from Glossy Box there are several other Singles day sales out there at the moment. One of my favorite sales actually starts at 11 am EST and runs for only eleven hours. Who is running this sale? Chantecaille.  That’s right, I said Chantecaille!  Take 25% off of the  Double Eleven Single’s Day collection with code CHANT1111. Shop best-sellers and iconic must-haves for eleven hours only.

All orders enjoy free ground delivery and samples of your choice!

I have to say I picked up one of their luminescent eye shades (smoky burgundy I believe) and to date it is the only eyeshadow I have ever used all the way down to pan.  The shade was gorgeous and the formula fantastic.  There was no fall out. Seriously, Zero. Fall. Out.  It is some sort of shadow gel formula that is super easy to blend, just hugs the eyes and stays in place all day. It was one of those shades I put on darker on the outer edge blended it paler towards the center and then called it done. I’m not ashamed to say that I almost cried when it was empty.  And then because the packaging was so beautiful I glued a mirror into the empty pan and used it as a compact in my purse. It is one of those brands that is expensive, but sooooo worth it. And yes the 25% off just makes me squeal with glee. I do so love a good sale, especially when it is on good products.

You want to know what else makes me dance?  Koh Gen Do is having a Singles day sale as well. From now until Midnight their award winning SPA Cleansing cloths and SPA cleansing water are both on sale for $11.11 each. I try not to use a lot of cleansing wipes just because of the waste, so when I get them I tend to hoard them and only occasionally break down and use them (whereas before they were in use daily, sometimes even multiple times daily). When I do use them these are one of the packs I reach for (the other pack I reach for is the AYAM Dead Sea Minerals Cleansing wipes if you are interested.  Those are the two I tend to keep around.) So seeing them on sale makes me happy.

Discover Koh Gen Do bestsellers

And finally, a third Singles sale, and again one I was happy to see.  Kristofer Buckle. Oh yes, he of the Triplicity Foundation stick and my super favorite Cashmere Slip lipstick (Shade Bardot is my go to although the formula is excellent throughout the line) has a sale.  It is a buy one get one free sale with the code SINGLES. And yes, two Cashmere slip lipsticks are soon to be winging their way towards me.  And yes they are both in the shade Bardot.  I have worn the one I have down to a little nub.  Even when I don’t add it to my makeup bag I have a tendency to grab it whenever I need a lipstick.  It is just such a fantastically comfortable formula to wear and doesn’t dry the lips out.

If you are looking to try out a bunch of products (and why wouldn’t you) I highly recommend the Vanity Kits.  They are on sale as well and all of the products are full size in the kits. I tried out the Vanity Kit 2 as it had the Triplicity foundation stick that I wanted to try and to be honest I will probably order the kit again when I use up the foundation stick just so I can also get the powder, lipstick and mascara with it. It is worth ordering when it is regular price.  With the sale on, it is time to stock up or pick out gifts.

Affiliate Exclusive | BOGO on Vanity Kits

I know there are plenty of sales going on today (this week, this month, this season) and I’m sure even with adding them to posts I have missed out mentioning several of note, but these are a few of my favorites. (and yes I am mentally hearing Julie Andrews sing ‘A few of my favorite things’ My mother adored the Sound of Music when I was a child and the sound track has been permanently seared into the back of my brain and pops out at strange times). So if you are looking to do a bit of shopping, hopefully this helps you out. Happy Shopping my darlings!

Petit Vour October Unboxing

Finally, it has arrived!  My October Petit Vour Box! 

I know, technically it isn’t late.  It arrived just on time.  The Petit Vour Beauty Box subscription (A vegan, Cruelty Free subscription box) costs $18 per month and features four products.  Occasionally there are five, but mostly it is four.  They do have a larger subscription tier for $25 that has 5-7 products in it. They generally mail out their subscription boxes by the 20th of the month.  Sometimes it is earlier, but usually not, so it is one of the subscription boxes that consistently arrives towards the end of the month.  Which I personally like.  It’s nice to get an end of the month package.  It just felt a little late this month because I checked the tracking so much.

I wasn’t obsessive, more curious than anything else.  Sometimes I feel like I am playing a strange game with the post office.  I get the tracking number and check in.  There is no information yet.  So I check back again later when they give me a range of dates.  ‘Cool,’ I’ll think, ‘I’ll just check back later to see when they narrow that down.’

Then I check back and the dates have disappeared.  So I wait and then check back.  The Post office will then list a date that is earlier than the previously mentioned range, which has me a little confused and I will wonder where they are shipping it from that it is able to get their earlier than they planned. I’ll check back on the day they have listed for delivery and the date will have vanished and a message stating there was a delay in transit and dates will be updated at some point later will appear, sometimes with a reminder about various catastrophic events that might affect shipping.

(And let’s face it, there have been a lot this year, I think we might only be missing an earthquake to round out our natural disaster collectors set.  Not that I want to complete the set.  I’m perfectly happy with an incomplete set. You hear me Universe? That was only a random thought, not a wish or a double dare.)

The post office will then not update anything until the message changes to Out for delivery on the day it arrives, which incidentally will be within the range of dates originally given.  Its almost like the Post Office is having a crisis of confidence. They start out strong and then start to doubt themselves. It is both oddly disturbing and fascinating to watch.  I’ve never seen an entire organization have self-esteem issues before. Which is why I have been checking the tracking numbers along with my initial run through my morning e-mails every morning. 

But in the end it did arrive on time, even though it seemed like they weren’t sure they could pull it off.  In the end they did.  Way to go USPS! I still believe in you.

In the October box there is a card listing the products there in, their retail values and a little something about them.  The back of the card was very October appropriate.  It stats ‘You are Pure Magic’ and looks like a Tarot card.  Not one of the actual cars, more like the back of the informational card that comes with a new deck.

So what was inside?  Well, first we start off with OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream.  It’s the full size, with a retail value of $48.  It is a light weight daily moisturizer that doubles as a primer.  I actually have a second one of these creams sitting in my skin care drawer as it was a Boxy Charm Choice (September, I believe)

I haven’t gotten around to use it and I am curious about the moisturizer and primer aspect of the cream.  I’m trying to work through the last of my sample sized moisturizers before opening a full sized one.  If I like it, then I have two.  Although I might actually pass the second one on to my cousin and see if she wants to try it.

I do love the OSEA cleanser though (the review of which is actually being posted this afternoon oddly enough. So hopefully I like this cream as much as the cleanser. We shall see.

Next up s the Tinted Rose Lip Butter (retail $5) from Ellovi.  It is a highly concentrated lip moisturizer with just six ingredients that are pure enough to eat. At least according to the description.  While I do try not to eat my lip products it is inevitable that some will end up being consumed so I am happy they thought of that.

I did want to see what they meant by tinted though before I decided where to put the lip balm.  I have some lip balms I keep for use at the desk and some I put with lipsticks.  Mostly it depends on the pigmentation.  Very light pigmentation I can repeatedly apply at my desk without a mirror.  The more color, the more I need a mirror. It’s a simple dividing line.  From the product on my hand I can tell, this one, will need a mirror so it will probably end up in my makeup bag rather than on my desk. For those wondering, it doesn’t actually smell of rose.

The third item is the Citrus Shower Gel from Andalou Naturals (retail $3).  I believe I have a body cream from the same brand in my samples box.  I may get that one out next and use these two together as a cleanse and moisturize pairing.  Even though I do have the cream I haven’t tried it and it is the only reason I’ve heard of the brand so it will be interesting to give it a try. 

And finally there is the Derma E Naturals Essential Radiance Toner (retail $2.50). I’ve tried a few Derma E products before.  Some I’ve liked, others not so much.  Its sort of a hit or miss brand for me, but I am always interest in looking for another toner. It is like the category everyone forgets.  Although recently I have been getting a lot more toners in subscription boxes, so maybe someone finally decided they were worth focusing on. It could very easily be a treend I know nothing about. Regardless, I look forward to giving this one a try.

So that was my Petit Vour Box this month.  As you can see most of the value was in the full sized moisturizer.  I’m actually okay with that.  I think it is mostly because I only need a couple of showers to tell if I like a shower gel, a couple of weeks to determine if I like a toner and an afternoon to decide about a lip balm.  Moisturizers take more time. If you add it up my $18 box came with $58.50 worth of products.  All are ones I will use and try so there is no waste.  I have to say, October was a pretty good box.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Allure Beauty Box October 2020 Unboxing

The October 2020 Allure Beauty Box

Okay my darlings, buckle up this is going to be an interesting unboxing. The highly anticipated October Allure box has arrived. As you can see above, the box itself has changed. No longer is it the reusable box of yore but a cardboard mailer.

This was the first month of the NEW Allure Beauty Box if you will remember.  Originally It was a $15 subscription box which put it into competition with both Birchbox ($15)  and the Regular IPSY Glam Bag ($12). In October the price of the Allure Beauty Box went up to $23 per month.  With the price increase you are guaranteed six or more products valued at $100 or more (previously 5 products with a $70+ value) and at least three full sized items (previously 2).

While both Boxy Charm and IPSY have $25 boxes, those boxes are all full sized items (5 full sized items).  By contrast, Look Fantastic ($19/ month) has a mix of full and deluxe sample sized items as does GlossyBox ($21/ month).  Since I get BoxyCharm Premium and IPSY Ultimate instead of the regular boxes (and because of the sample and full sized mix) I am going to be comparing the new Allure Box to this month’s Look Fantastic and Glossy Box as they are its closest competitors. Just remember they are both slightly less in cost.

So let’s talk about what arrived this month.

Item number one is the The Nue Co Topical C (full size) (Retail $70). It is a vitamin C powder that you add to a moisturizer or mix with a little water.  According to the little write up in the magazine the powder is supposed to help prevent it from being too heavy on the skin. 

I can’t say I’ve ever had issues with serums being too heavy.  Moisturizers and occasionally oils, yes, but not really serums, but I can see the logic.  If you add it to your moisturizer, it is like you are only layering one product (sort of) onto your skin. I’m game to try it as I do like Vitamin C serums and I have never tried it in powder form. I am just going to have to look it up on the brands website to get more information when I do.  The Allure booklet tells you only what one of their beauty editors thought of it and doesn’t give you a lot of product information.

The next item in the box is the Verso Super Eye Serum (full size) (retail $65).  I like Verso products in general.  I’ve used several before and find it to be a really good brand. I pick them up now and again from Alyaka when they have sales. As far as eye cream goes, it is a good size and one that would take me quite a while to get through.  I have no complaints about that. Speaking of Alyaka, they too have an Advent Calendar out (and I forgot to add it to my advent post yesterday. I knew as soon as I posted I would find more, anyway you can click on the link to see it. It looks kind of amazing and Alyaka specializes in vegan and cruelty free beauty products. The advert with the photo of products is posted at the bottom of this post if you want to get a look at the goodies offered)

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

The third full sized item is the Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in Irene (full size) (retail $16). It looks to be a nice color and one I will use.  I like nail polishes. As I recently purged several no longer usable nail polishes from my collection I have plenty of space for it. 

However, it does not look full sized.  It may be full sized, but if it is I would take issue with Static Nails.  Since it is hard to get a visual on it by itself, I put it with two other nail polishes.  The Smith and Cult which retails for $18 and which came in a $15 Birch Box and a Nails Inc which came in a Glossy Box. It may be a pretty color, but it does not look full sized. Of course I haven’t tried it. It could be the best nail polish I’ve ever tried where one coat performs unexpected feats of magic. I don’t know and won’t until I try it. Yhis is however an unboxing. I sometimes forget to report back about nail polishes, but this one, I will be remembering to review. As you can tell in some of thes photos, I really need to take off my old polish and repaint them so a review may be coming fairly soon.

Moving on we come to the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP + Body Cream. It’s a sample so there is no price given for it, but the full 400 mL size is $19.99 and the sample is 15 mL so basic math gives us a value of $0.75. 

Now, I like La Roche-Posay products.  Their sunscreen is really good and very lightweight on the face and their cleanser is amazing for anyone with sensitive skin.  Well, it is good in general, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. (Incidentally their 20% off sale starts tomorrow, I’ll post reminders, but on 10/21 use the code EXCLUSIVE20, on 10/22-23 use code HURRY, and on 10/24 use the code SURPRISE to get 20% plus two deluxe samples.)

Enjoy 4 deluxe samples of your choice on orders $65+ Bonus! Free makeup pouch with orders $95+. Valid: 10/15-10/20.

Since you can now pick up an array of the brand’s products in Walgreens I tend to run out and pick it up when I find myself low on cleansers and don’t have another one lined up.  It is consistently good. I have even used this moisturizer before. 

This exact same size was given out as a free sample from Walgreens when the brand first started being sold there. It is a good moisturizer.  I prefer it on my body rather than my face as I find it a little heavy on the face, but it is a good product. As Allure claims that they are the box that sends products you can’t find anywhere else,  I can’t say I am wowed by its presence.

in this box

The same goes for the Dr Jartt Ceramidin Cream sample (again basic math $48 for full sized 50 ml Tube, sample size is10 mL with a value of $9.60) .  It’s a nice cream.  I’ve tried it before.  I’ve even had a sample of it from Allure before.

compared to previous sample

Admittedly the previous sample was a bit smaller in size.  But I have had so many samples of this cream from so many different sources that I have lost count of the number of times I’ve used or passed on these tubes of cream. Because it has been repeated so many times by so many different boxes, it doesn’t feel all that special.  And quite frankly it is an okay cream that I will probably not be picking up in the full sized versions any time soon. As this was their first higher priced box, I would have expected them to try to make it a little more special.

I will say that the Sigma Liquid Lipstick in Venom did feel special (full size $20, sample $4).  It is a beautiful color and I can not wait to try out the formula. I’m okay with it being a sample size. 

Would I have preferred the full size?  Of course.  If given the chance I would have made the lippie a full sized and the nail polish a travel sized.  As the nail polish already looks travel sized it probably would have looked ridiculous any smaller though.

My next items was the Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads (1 pair)($18 for 5 sets, 1 pair is $3.60).  I like eye masks and I am always willing to have another pair to try.  I have no complaints about this product. I look forward to using it and hope it turns out to be something I enjoy using.

The Rusk PUREMIX Native Fig Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner I sort of have an issue with (at Ulta it is $26 for the set – here the math gets fun, 12 ounces is 354.882 mL the shampoo and conditioner are both 12 ounces so combined for $26 you get 709.762 mL. There is 10 Ml of shampoo and another 10 of conditioner in the foil packet which means the foil packet is valued at $0.73).

Again this is nothing against the brand.  I have used many Rusk Products before and I enjoy almost anything fig so that’s not the problem.  The problem is that it is a foil packet. 

First, of all I hate foil packets of shampoo and conditioner in general.  For me there is no middle line with that. There is no ‘well it is a really pricey product and this is a cost effective way to try it.’ No, I’ll let you get away with that for serums and well most any other product really, just not shampoo and conditioner.

I don’t care how good the dotted line is, opening them in the shower with wet hands is always a pain so if you don’t remember to cut them open before you get in the shower it just becomes a struggle.  And you have to separate the shampoo and conditioner first, otherwise you end up squirting both into your hand at the same time.  However, when you separate them, sometimes the packets tear weirdly and you end up with shampoo dribbling out of the side of the packet.  And then you have too much product to use in one sitting and if you try to keep it for your next shower so you don’t waste it then sometimes the edges dry out and get nasty so you just throw it away, or someone else uses the shower, ends up setting their shampoo on top of your semi flat foil packet thinking you just accidentally left the empty in the shower, thus causing a spluge of product on the wall.

No, no shampoo and conditioner foil packets.

I can tolerate foil packets for other products, but absolutely hate them for shampoo and conditioner.

But pet peeve aside, when you get a foil packet, it always feels like an extra.  Something they threw in as a bonus item. Now, it is the eight product in the box and technically could be considered as an addition.  It is listed as an item on the site and advertised as such not as a bonus.  It is even listed as a sponsored item. 

While the value is there, the included products having a value of $169.68, and there were more than the six promised items and technically three were full sized, it still felt like a $15 box and not a $23 one. 

By contrast Look Fantastic had six items this month and Glossy Box had five. These links will take you to my reviews of the boxes if you want to do a more indepth comparison of items. The value of the $21 Glossy Box was $91.44 and the $19 Look Fantastic Box had a value of $76.11. Despite this, both Glossy Box and Look Fantastic felt far more lux than this upgraded $23 box.

It isn’t one major thing, but a lot of little things that make me feel this way.  To be honest, once I received the box, I went ahead and called to cancel before the next box.  They did offer me a deal.  For the next two months I would get the old price.  So November and December I would receive the same box for $15 instead of the upgraded fee.  I suppose they are planning to get better and hope to convince me to stay when the deal is over.

I accepted the terms and they charged November’s box right away so I have prepaid ($15) for November.  I will then pay December regularly (still at $15).  That will give me two more boxes to decide if it is worth keeping around. As I was planning to reassess my subscriptions in December/January, I am fine with that. If they step up in the next two months, I may keep the subscription, if they don’t then I may cancel.

However, an interesting thing happened shortly after I had my conversation with Allure about my subscription.  I received an e-mail saying that the new price of $23 will take effect December 1st.  I don’t know if this means that enough people cancelled that they had to rethink the box or what.  I know that anyone else I talked to about their box this month was not happy so I imagine there was a lot of push back.

Personally, if I was increasing the price of a subscription I would make sure to knock it out of the park the first few months so people would get comfortable with the new price increase. Mostly because there are a lot of people who can justify a $15 box but who might be skeptical of something over $20.  This was not an out of the park hit.  There was no home run. And I will spend the next two months with a very critical eye to the box to see if it will be worth the price increase or if this box will not be following me into the new year.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

Ipsy Ultimate October 2020 unboxing

Today we start off the week with the arrival of the IPSY Ultimate Glam Box.  Ipsy has three tiers of Glam Bags (the Glam Bag – $12, The Glam Bag Plus – $25 and the Ultimate Glam Bag – $50).  Inside this bag I am supposed to receive eight full sized products, four deluxe samples and a makeup bag.

This month’s makeup bag is very much on theme for the month, which is Magic, and has a pseudo mystical gold design emblazoned on a black background.  The material is a nice faux leather type product and the zipper is nice with a gold toggle that does not feel flimsy. 

Makeup items replace the mystical symbols.  It feels an looks nice and lux.  I will say that as much as I like the look of it, I find these square makeup bags useful more for storing items like headbands rather than useful for makeup. 

They are good for travel, but I tend to put things like bathing products (shampoo, body wash) or skin care items in them rather than makeup.  I just find the shape harder to work with when dealing with makeup items. It is a good size for travel skin care and bath products though so I am happy to have it.

I will say that this is the month where the pandemic seems to have caught up with IPSY.  This October, I received three repeat items and a couple of the items were clearly ones that have been circulating in the IPSY-verse for a while.  IPSY sent me a nice e-mail basically saying ‘Sorry, Pandemic’, and then gave me some points to redeem to make up for the repeats.  The points are nice, but as everything in the redeem points section is something I already have, I’m going to hold onto them for a while. I’m guessing that’s also due to the pandemic. As long as I get to use them before they expire, I’m okay with waiting. Which is also why I currently have a lot of points.

But let’s get into what I received, shall we?

My first full sized item is the Air Repair Skincare Super Hydrating Eye cream (retail $24.50). I have tried Air repair moisturizer before and I really liked it.  I have not tried their eye cream and I’m sure I will enjoy trying it out at some point.  I am happy the tube looks to be packed with product as well so when I do get around to it, I will be able to do a full test.  I have several eye creams awaiting their turn for trial at the moment.  Because it takes so long to actually work through a tube of eye cream, it will take me a while to get to this one though.

The next item out of my bag was my first deluxe sample sized item and it is the Barefoot Venus The Vanilla Effect Instant Hand repair.  I know hand sanitizer is doing a number on everyone’s skin, but it seems like every subscription box has used this as an excuse to send hand creams. I literally have a box of hand creams to try out. 

I’m also sending them to people as stocking stuffers this year as well just to share the wealth because there is only so much hand cream I can use. I’m sure it is lovely hand cream, but I deliberately checked rarely send this to me, so having another hand cream appear is not exactly thrilling.  Still, at least it was a deluxe sample size and not a full sized product.

One of the products that has been seen in many people’s IPSY Bags but has never appeared in mine before is the Dominique Cosmetic Sweater Weather Eyeshadow Palette (retail $29). I like the shadows I’ve tried from Dominique Cosmetics before but usually don’t like the color stories and have a hard time figuring out what look to do.  This one looks like the color story is leading down a very clear path.  Despite the name, the pastels make me think spring more than fall. I also think $29 for such a small palette is a bit much, but I do look forward to giving it a go.

Another product that I am pretty certain everyone else except me has gotten before is the Dr. Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion (retail $58). I have seen it a number of times on lots of reviews, but I have never received it before.  As I like Dr. Brandt products in general, I’m happy to finally get to give it a go.  Besides, you know I love a good exfoliate.

My next full sized item was the Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore Tight Toner (retail $15).  I have in general enjoyed Glow Recipe products and I am looking forward to testing out a pore tightening toner. 

I will say that the bottle seems a little on the small side to be a full sized item though.  That is nothing against IPSY actually as several Glow Recipe products I’ve tried have that issue. Some of their packages just looks a little small for full sized items even though I know they actually are. I think it might be because in the ads they tend to feature the extra large versions (which they also sell). It gives the full sized items a ‘medium’ look to them. At least that is how it always seems to me. Still it is very nice glas packaging and as I also have the Watermelon Day cream and the night cream in my skin care drawer, I might just choose a section of time and have a watermelon themed skin care ritual for a month. I’ve had a sample size of the watermelon night cream before and really liked it, which is why I used Boxy Charm points to get a full sized version. Plus I’ve recently been using Glow Recipes avocado night mask and I wanted to do a comparison. so I am happy to have this.

My first repeat item was the Huda Beauty Lip Contour in Trophy Wife (retail $19).  I have this same shade from a few months back still in my dressing table.  I’m not mad at it though.  The formula is really nice and creamy and it tends to last a really long while on the lips.  The color is also one I will reach for repeatedly.  So as a repeat, I am okay with receiving it. I know I like it and that I will use it.

I was less enthused about seeing the Naked Cosmetics four piece pigment set (retail $39.99).  I received these a while ago and I just didn’t get along with them. 

each is a square container

I don’t know if I am just not a loose pigments sort of person or if there was something amiss with the product.  It could be both, but the only thing I made with these pigments was a mess. 

These will be passed on without opening, hopefully never to return. I just opened the top of the box in case you were wondering what they looked like. They are little cuboid containers and the shades are nice, I just make a mess with them.

I found it strange in general that I received two eyeshadow products in the same box, but as I also received two blush products (sort of) I suppose the pandemic skewed the product selection in more than just repeat products.

Speaking of blushes, the first blush I extracted from my IPSY box was the OFRA cosmetics Blush in Blini (retail $29).  In general I like OFRA products and this is a shade I don’t have.  It is also a lighter toned blush which will work well for me in the winter when my tan fades.  As I looked through my blush collection this past week I realized that most of my blushes are more for my summer tanned skin rather than the winter pale version of me, so I am happy to give this shade a try. And luckily it wasn’t broken, although it was a close call. When I took it out of the box, the pan was rattling around. The man came loose from the plastic backing. It got a little banged around but didn’t break. I put a dab of glue on the back and it was fine, but I am kind of amazed that there was no breakage.

The second blush product is a deluxe sample of the blush-highlighter Will Powder in the shade Worth the Wait. It is from The Balm Cosmetics and I generally like their products.  I am also less worried about getting two blushes in this box as this may claim to be a blush-highlighter hybrid, but it looks like a highlighter.  I honestly can’t see me using this as a blush.  I’ll give it a go, but I’m guessing it will be more highlighter for me.

There was a perfume sample in my IPSY this month.  It is the Juliette Has A Gun Vanilla Vibes. It is a deluxe sample and the size is definitely a deluxe.  It looks like a jumbo version of the tiny perfume sample tubes.  Which looks a little strange to me.  I have no reason why it looks strange, maybe it is just because it looks exactly the same as the smaller ones so it looks like part of a 1950s radiation based sci-fi movie with the scale. 

I like perfume and now that the weather has cooled I am wearing it more.  I have an iffy past with the brand Juliette Has a Gun perfumes though.  Their descriptions always draw me in so I try them, but as many as I’ve tried, none of them have ended up appealing to me. I haven’t opened this one yet as I am finishing out a trial of ano0ther perfume at the moment, but I have high hopes.  I like the scent of vanilla.  So who knows?  Perhaps this will be the perfume from the brand that I actually like.

My choice item this month was the Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating Face Mask (retail $26).  I like Milk Makeup, I like masks… okay, I love masks…and I am intrigued by a mask in a stick formula.  I think this one will be a fun one to try. Of all the things in the bag this month, this is the product I am actually excited by.

And finally we come to the final product and the third repeat.  This is the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil (retail $38).  I’ve actually been using this one for the past few weeks and will be reviewing it later this week actually. 

the opened one

It is an interesting product, good but not one I really feel I need to keep a backup of in my skincare drawer. Very little is needed and it is a large bottle.  It will take me a while to work through the bottle I’ve got open.  So I may just pass this unopened one along so that it will get used in a timely manner.

So that was my IPSY Ultimate this month. Monetarily, I paid $50 and received $249.49 worth of product.  The $39.99 Naked Cosmetics shadows will be passed along without opening and I will be passing along the $38 oil Cleanser from Yensa. So the end value to me is $171.50.   I’m okay with the value to be honest. 

I will use the other products in the bag.  I am actually looking forward to a few of them.  I still can’t say I feel wowed by this month.  Somehow it still feels ‘just okay’.  It’s not bad, just okay. Perhaps it is the repeat products, but I kind of expected more. That has sort of been the theme for subscription boxes this month. I think it was because two of my boxes were each missing items and Boxycharm had items I wasn’t ever going to use. It just feels like everyone sort of felt tired when packing the October boxes. Well, except Look fantastic. they didn’t forget anything and it was a killer box this month. The disappointment is slight with IPSY, the disappointment is really based on so many repeat products in one box. and I’ll easily get over it as I put the products I plan to use to the test. It just didn’t wow me this month. Ipsy choice is this week so on the 22nd I’ll get to see if the wow factor is back. As IPSY has been really good lately, I think that the off month clunked a bit louder as well. Over all, Ipsy has been consistently good with me. I just hope that whatever kinks the pandemic threw into IPSY’s supply chain can be worked out by the time the November bag gets assembled. I like when I am wowed by subscription boxes.

For now, I have an interesting assortment of products to try, and several I get to pass on. Nothing was broken or missing. And at least I got an back up Huda Lip contour. As I’ve been using it quite a bit, I will probably need it sooner rather than later. Still, fingers crossed for November.

Lilysilk's Semi-Annual Sale

Look Fantastic Beauty Box October 2020 Unboxing

The arrival of the beauty boxes continues.

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

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

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

Shop Prime Day Deals at Ecooking!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 2020 Glossy Box Beauty Box Unboxing

This month Glossy Box has two boxes that were possibilities, Enchanted Spirit and Midnight Fantasy.  Clearly I received the Enchanted Spirit and I have to say the box is lovely.  Normally, I reuse these boxes for storage, but this one I am actually going to be using to ship some Christmas presents.  I think the twelve year old I plan to send it to will adore the box and put it to good use. 

Glossy Box is a $21 per month subscription box but if you sign up for a year (which I did) you get the box for $18 per month.  You are still charged monthly, which I like so you don’t have to come up with a year’s worth of subscription fees at once. If you are a new subscriber you can sign up and get your first box for $16 with the code BEAUTYTALES.

Thus far I have found it to be well worth the price. And because of the box, the ribbon and the tissue paper it always feels like unwrapping a gift. The pamphlet that comes with it is also substantial and breaks down each item by cost as well as how to use it, how much the full size will cost and where the full size can be purchased. It is a very well thought out pamphlet.

The items and pamphlet

I will say that this month there was one disappointment with the box.  I’ll cover it first and get it out of the way.  This month the Deluxe Mini KVD Vegan Beauty Studded Kiss Lip Cream Lipstick in the shade Love Craft (retail $14) was missing when my box arrived. 

I searched high and low, but alas it was nowhere to be found.  Which is a shame.  I like the KVD Vegan Beauty formula and from the picture in the pamphlet the color was one I would wear.  I have contacted Glossy Box about it and they will be sending out a replacement for it. I think it might be a different lipstick, but it is still a lip product so I’m okay with that.

So we move on to what actually arrived in the box.  First up, is the Ona New York Spotlight Radiant Glow Gel mask (retail $9).  It is a sheet mask.  I actually really like the gel sheet masks so I’m sure I will have fun testing this one out. I’ve never heard of Ona before so it will be my first experience with the brand which is nice. I love finding new companies as well as new products to try.

The next item out of the box was a full sized Earth Harbor Aurora Superfood Luminance Ampule (retail $32).  It is designed to soothe redness and reduce dullness in the skin.  I have never heard of the brand Earth Harbor, but I am a big fan of serums, essences and ampules so I look forward to testing out this.  I love that it is a full sized product too as that gives me ample time to try it out on my skin.  Especially since I’ve never heard of the brand before.  As the product seems very reasonably priced if I like it I may have to look deeper into the brand. I also like that it does include cannabis sativa as I have been trying out more and more products including the ingredient. It is actually an interesting ingredient. Some companies use it well, and for others it seems to be just the ingredient d’jour. It will be interesting to see what category this falls into. And yes at some point soon I will be doing a cannabis sativa, CBD ingredient run down in full.

One brand I know I like and was happy to see is Generation Clay.  That’s right, another tube of the Generation Clay Ultra-Violet Brightening Purple Clay mask ( retail $14.44) has appeared on my doorstep.  It is most certainly welcome.  While it is termed a deluxe mini, it is quite a large tube.  I actually just finished a tube of the Charcoal mask and it is labeled a deluxe sample and so much smaller It was 15mL while this sits at 50 mL.  This is one of those products I know I’ll use and am always happy to see. I know there are two masks in this box, but honestly I can’t be mad at it. they are two very different masks, a gel sheet mask and a clay based mask. I know I’ll use them both so I am okay with having them both.

The final product in my Glossy Box this month was the Ciate London Loose Translucent setting powder.  (retail $18.98).  While there is a little flash back in pictures from this powder, it is a really good powder that I am happy to have around. 

It is a smaller size than the full sized version (obviously, as it is a deluxe mini) but there is still quite a lot of product in the container (7g of product versus 15 g of the full size).  And personally I really like using the deluxe minis of powder to travel with since they take up less space and contain a lot of product.  At the moment I have several open powders so I am going to set it aside for later use. 

I might end up using it in my everyday makeup bag, or it might end up in my travel bag.  At the moment, I disassembled my travel bag because I know I won’t be traveling for a while and didn’t want the products to go bad waiting.  Anything open I’ve worked on using up anything sealed I’ve left temporarily sealed.  For now the powder will wait until I have at least worked through a couple of open powders. But I am very happy to have it in my dressing table.

In the end even though I was missing a lipstick (which is being addressed) I really liked this month’s Glossy Box.  All of the products are ones I will use.  There are a couple of brands I have never tried like Ona and Earth Harbor and a couple of long term favorites.  Over all, not a bad mix of makeup and skincare. 

The full price of the Glossy Box is $21 but like I said earlier I get it for $18 as an annual subscriber and new subscribers can get their first box for $16 with the code BEAUTYTALES.  My annual subscription runs through July and I have no problem keeping this box until then and more than likely well beyond.  The value of the products included comes to $88.42.  And that does include the missing lipstick. As all of the products are ones I will use, and the lipstick is being replaced, there is no need to subtract anything from the value. I’ll keep you posted on the lipstick and what it turns out to be, but for now I’m giving Glossy Box the benefit of the doubt and feel confident they will deal with the issue. I’ll have to update you as that moves forward.  Over all I am very happy with my October Glossy Box.

Incidentally, Glossy Box also has their annual Advent Calendar available for purchase. They tend to sell out very quickly. You can click on the link just above to go to the Advent Calendar page (all other links take you to the subscription box). The advent calendar is $99 but subscribers get a $10 discount. Plus if you are a subscriber you can also put your Glossie credit towards the purchase of the advent calender. Just something to think about if you are looking to purchase an advent calendar this year. I am planning a post (to be up on October 19th) focused on the 2020 advent calendars so stay tuned. i just wanted to mention this one now as the Glossy Box Advent Calendar sells out quickly.

Unboxing the October BoxyCharm Premium

This month I decided to do something different with my Boxy Charm account.  For a while now I have been signed up for both Boxy Charm and Boxy Charm Premium, with Boxy Luxe once a quarter.  I decided to pair this down so I cancelled my regular Boxy Charm and Boxy Luxe and just retained the Boxy Charm Premium subscription.  It is $35 per month.

The reasons I retained this one and not the others is that I went back through previous boxes and realized that over all I was happier with the products I received in the Boxy Premium box more often than the regular box.  They more consistently had products I wanted.  Plus, I also realized that most of the items that I liked in the other boxes were offered for sale at discounted prices from either the add ons or the Boxy Pop up. So chances were pretty good that if I saw a product I really liked that I didn’t receive, I could pick it up then. So I chose the subscription box that had the most items I favored and figured there was a good chance I could just pick up anything else I really wanted in the add ons. we’ll see how that ends up working out.

So this is my first month with just one Boxy Charm subscription.  I have to say, it was an interesting box this month.  First off the box arrived looking like someone decided to use it for an impromptu soccer game.  It was beaten up and one side was re-taped somewhere in transit.  I was quite nervous when I opened the box and I have to admit, I went straight for the eyeshadow palette. 

This month I received the Illuminati Cosmetics x ISA Eyes Shadow Palette (retail $48).  Surprisingly not a single shadow was damaged.  No breaks no cracks no crumbles.  I have to say I was shocked it was in such good condition. 

I am also surprised at how much I like the color story of the palette.  When I saw sneak peeks of the palette, I wasn’t that impressed.  However in person, it looks like an arrangement of shadows I would use and just looking at it I was able to come up with several ideas of how to put looks together.  Hopefully the formula proves to be as appealing as the colors.

I was somewhat disappointed to find that even though the insert card listed the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer (retail $39), it was missing from my box.  While the shadow palette made it through unscathed, the Clarins was MIA. I was kind of sad as I was really looking forward to trying it out.  I did contact Boxy Charm and they immediately sent out a replacement product.  However, the replacement they sent was the Murad Toner not the Clarins.  They were apparently out of the Clarins.  That is nothing against the Murad Toner, I’m sure it is a lovely product.  I’m just a little disappointed.

You know how much I love primers.

Speaking of disappointments, I might as well mention the other disappointment of the box.  This month I received a pair of MAC Cosmetics 43 Lashes (retail $18).  They look lovely.  MAC is a good brand with many fine products.  I do not wear lashes.  I do not like lashes and in every survey Boxy Charm sends me I ask them never to send me lashes. So this product will be passed on.

Also being passed on is the Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Color (retail $21).  The formula is fine.  It isn’t the most long lasting liquid lip, but it isn’t drying and the colors are generally very nice.  I have a couple that I routinely use.  The one I received in this month’s box is in an orange shade that is particularly unappealing on me.  That’s the reason I didn’t swatch it for this post.  I’m just leaving it sealed and sending it to someone who might like it more.  It is a pretty good formula, not my favorite, but good.  I just can’t take the color.

Next up is the Go-To Skincare Exfoliating Swipeys (retail $35).  They are pre moistened toner pads designed to exfoliate.  I had something similar from Elemis which I loved and am currently using a version from First Aid Beauty, which I don’t particularly care for.  Since these pre-moistened pads tend to start drying out as soon as you open them, I am leaving them sealed until I finish out the First Aid Beauty.  Perhaps knowing there is another version to try as soon as I finish these will make me more diligent in using them.

Finally we come to the item I chose in this month’s box and I have to say it looks to be the hero of the box.  It is the Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation (retail $42). I have wanted to try this for a while and in fact I have been eyeing the Alyaka Kosas sampler kit for months. 

The only reason I haven’t ordered it is because I wanted to work through my open foundations first and eliminated some of them from the dressing table before adding more. Incidentally the Alyaka sampler kits are great ways to try out brands to see if you like their products before you purchase a full size of anything. I have gotten a couple in the past and highly recommend them. Incidentally, if clean beauty is your thing (or even if you just like high quality products) the Alyaka Advent Calendar looks amazing this year. I’ve put the link below, you can also click on it to just go to their site.

But now I have a full sized foundation oil from Kosas to try out , so clearly it was meant to be.  So let’s look at the box as a whole.  For my $35 my box was to contain $203 worth of product.  The $39 Clarins was missing but it is being replaced by Murad which I’m guessing has a similar value so I will leave that in the end price. It is just delayed arrival. Mac ($18) and Laura Geller ($21) are both being passed on so I get no real value from them.  Which leaves me with $164 worth of products that I will actually use. 

I know that is a different way of calculating price, but I decided that for me, this is a better way to decide what is of value to me.  While I did cancel the regular Boxy Charm (and Luxe) subscription, at the end of the year I will be evaluating all of my subscription boxes to see what is worth keeping and what I might want to let go.  There are several boxes out there that I want to try, but getting them all would just bury me in products and cost far too much.  So any product I intend to pass on without using, is going to get a $0 value in my estimations as I try to figure out what subscription to keep, what to modify and what I just want to cancel.  To be honest, while I like the eyeshadow palette and will enjoy trying it out, the Kosas foundation is the star.  I wanted to try it and now I have it to try. 

Would this be a different conversation if the Clarins product was in the box?  Possibly. But I am willing to lay the fault of the Clarins with the Postal service rather than Boxycharm and enjoy the products that I do like from this box.  Hopefully next month will be a bit better.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020