Hello Charmers Palette Review

maybe a black background wasn’t the best idea for the pic

This was my makeup bag palette pick for the week. Not only did this palette come in a Boxy Charm box, but I believe it was the first palette Boxycharm did on it’s own instead of as a collaboration with someone else.  Hence the name Hello, Charmer!

All of the shade names are ones relating to some aspect of Boxy Charm.  As the last few palettes I’ve talked about didn’t have shade names, I’m just relieved these do.  It’s much easier to talk about a specific shade, such as Cup’of Joe rather than the brown shade on the far right of the second row.

It is a really good mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters, which I like.  They all have their pros and cons.

Top row of swatches

First the Mattes. The Matte shades are Boxy, Spoiler, Unboxing, Premium and Cup of Joe.  As far as colors go, it is essentially three neutrals, one white and one red. Premium and Spoiler are both transition shades (depending on your skin tone with Cup of Joe being a nice brownish shade that is excellent for deepening the crease. It doesn’t swatch terribly well but it is quite pigmented on the eyes.  The shades are all highly pigmented and layer well.  They are also super powdery.  This is a messy pan to work with and you will definitely need to tap off your brush before applying and be prepared for some fall out during application. 

Second row of swatches

Once placed though, they stay in place throughout the day.  Just be aware that application is messy.

The shimmer shades are, to be honest more metallic looking than shimmery in many cases. They too are highly pigmented and blend really well.  They aren’t as powdery as the mattes.  They feel very creamy and they stay in place well.  They are not subtle.  Just no that. While you can create everyday looks with the mattes, the metallic shimmers are a pretty intense pop. If you work in a conservative office, you might be able to get away with using sneak peek and exclusive, but the others are definitely after hours shades.

There is one glitter shade and I don’t know if you can see, but my pan of Swipe Up already has a dip in it.  It is the smoothest glitter I have ever applied.  While it does go on without any glitter glue, I would advise using a somewhat sticky eye primer with this one.  (Or don’t let the concealer you use in place of an eye primer set too much so it is still wet.  It can use a little something to hold it in place.  It doesn’t need glue though and stays in place well.  I ended up with a little glitter in strange places on my face by the end of the day, but for the most part after a full day of wear it was still where I put it.

The mattes like spoiler are quite powdery

This was a really fun palette to play around with this week.  And it is surprisingly more versatile than I expected it to be.  I thought I would just have wild eyes all week, but if I stuck to the mattes I could go for a neutral look.  If I wanted sparkly, well, I could get that too.  While the mattes are good, they aren’t my favorite formula with that fall out.  I have the same shades in different palettes so they aren’t unique but the shimmer s and glitters more than make up for it.  And you can see that they were chose mostly to be a back drop for the more spectacular shades.  If it weren’t for the powdery bits I’d give it a ten, with the powder it’s still an eight and a half, and that’s not bad.  Clearly this palette is staying in my collection for a while.

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May 2020 BoxyCharm Premium: A Review

My Premium BoxyCharm Box for May 2020

For those who don’t know Boxy Charm is a beauty subscription.  The premium tier is $35 per month and for that price you are supposed to receive six full sized items with a minimum retail value of $120. This month’s theme was Mother Nature. I’ll be honest, I was not happy with my May box.  Generally I really like Boxy Charm.  They have a few months here and there where the box isn’t the greatest, but even then it is still fun to get. Other times it is super amazing.

For the record, I really hate writing negative reviews.  Usually even if I don’t like a product or a box, there are enough positives about it that I can see it working for someone else.  This month was different.

Now here’s the deal.  All of the products in this month’s box are ones I like.  The products are fine, but this isn’t a product review, this is a subscription box review. Even though each product is individually fine, it is their sum taken as a whole that makes up the subscription box and determines whether or not the subscription is worth paying for.  

This month not only did the box not feel premium, but when I opened it my first thought was ‘They must have forgotten to pack something.’  The box felt incomplete. It was light weight and the items sort of rolled around looking a little lost in the large box. Even when I counted the items and read over the card, I still pried out the bottom of the cardboard to make certain nothing else was hidden because it really felt as though something was missing. I think I would have felt that even if it was a regular box.  The fact that it was a premium one made it even worse.

But let’s get into the box. 

We’ll start off with the high note of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (retail $30). It was the item I chose for this month’s box.  It is gorgeous.  It looks luxe.  I love the packaging and it felt very premium. I look forward to using it.

The second item was the Pure Heals Centella 90 Ampule Serum (retail $28). I’m always up for trying new skin care.  At the moment however I am completely awash with skin care so it is going in my skin care drawer and will be used at a later date.  I am happy to have it to try, but lately there has been so much skin care in subscription boxes it is really hard to get all that excited.

Next there was the Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara (retail $29).  It is a good mascara.  I’ve used it before and really like it. It is actually in my top five mascaras. It is one I would purchase on my own. In subscription boxes, however, mascaras always feel like filler. It is something that gets added in because there are already several higher priced items in the box. I got a mascara last month as well, so even though I like this mascara, I wasn’t terribly excited to see it in the box.  I do hope this means there will be more Kevyn Aucoin in future boxes because I really like the company’s products and would love to have more of them to try out. Again this nothing against the product.

The next item in my box was the tarte sugar rush best bud lip butter balm (retail $12).  Do I like tarte?  Yes.  Is it pretty? Yes.  But it is a lip balm.

I like lip balm. 

I currently have a lip balm subscription with Jersey Shore Cosmetics. (incidentally even though their lip balms are also $12 each, their monthly subscription for a four pack of lip balms with tax and shipping comes to $13.  I actually received this month’s JSC subscription on the same day as Boxy Premium which invited direct comparison, just so you know where I am coming from.)

But in a box like this, a lip balm is still a filler item.  Like mascara it is something that gets added to the box when the value is already high. Will I use it?  Yes, it’s a nice lip balm. But that’s not why I get BoxyCharm.

Following the tart lip balm was the Milk Make Up Glow oil lip and cheek (retail $15).  Again, I like Milk. There are several of their products I use and repurchase on a regular basis.  I’ve even used this product before and loved it.  It is an excellent lip oil and gives the cheeks a naturally flushed look for a no make up makeup look.  It’s a great product. 

And if it was full sized, you might be reading a different post.  Despite the fact that one of BoxyCharm’s claims to always provide only full sized products, this was a travel size. I won’t lie, I felt cheated.  The size of it made it feel like a chubby lip balm, which it kind of is, but it also made it feel like a quick add on not a featured product. which is not something I like saying about Milk because again, I do like their products.

So at this point I am looking at the last item in my May box to not only get the value for the box in the way Boxy Charm is known for, but to make up for two filler items and a travel sized product.  A tall order in general and one not really fulfilled by the final item; a set of Battington Beauty powder and contour brushes. 

Before I even mention the retail value of these brushes lets go over something. Last month, I received the 5 piece Lavish eye brush set (which I love by the way and will be posting a review on soon) It retailed for about $30.  The month prior I believe I received the brush trio from Alamar Cosmetics. Those are also great brushes.  A few months ago (late last year sometime I can’t remember which month) I received a set of the Boxy Charm Brushes.  They are fabulous as well. These brushes set the bar relatively high for the kinds of brushes I expect from BoxyCharm.

These Battington brushes have soft bristles, and really light weight cheap feeling metal handles. In addition, the handles are really fat. It is like gripping one of those chubby pencils little kids use when they are starting to learn how to make letters for the first time.

Because I have so recently gotten brushes from BoxyCharm, I had plenty of items to compare them to. In fact a direct comparison was inevitable.  The Alamar and BoxyCham brushes both beat these hands down for quality and usability.  The bristles are fine. I can’t complain about those, but I do not like those handles. Even if you neglect the quality issue, the fat handles are not for me. There needs to at least be a dent or something in there for better gripping. I know I have relatively small hands to begin with, these just made my hands look tiny and they felt awkward to use.

If the set of two was listed as retailing for $30 I would consider that fair value for the duo. I wouldn’t consider it a particularly good value, but I wouldn’t think I was being rooked. When I looked at the card and realized they were listed as retailing for $90, not only was I floored, but I was kind of mad.

If you add up the retail value of everything in the box without the brushes it comes to $114.  With the brushes it comes to $204. Boxy Charm Premium is listed as having a minimum value of $120 per month unless it is a brand take over month.  This was not a brand take over month. I understand that not every month is going to be a super fabulous month.  Subscription boxes are a gamble. Sometimes you get products you want, other times you get products that don’t work for you. I kind of like the gamble which is one of the reasons I purchase subscription boxes instead of just putting the cost of the box towards a product from Milk or Kevyn Aucoin.  Sometimes I get products I would never have purchased on my own and I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone with them. Sometimes the new products become favorites that I repurchase on my own again and again. Sometimes I try them for fun and decide they aren’t for me.

This month not only am I disappointed, but I sort of feel as though someone at BoxyCharm is taking revenge for not letting them win at Dodge Ball in elementary school or something.  (Admittedly I never defeated anyone at dodgeball. I always deliberately missed because I wasn’t a big fan of actually hitting other people, so maybe it’s vengeance for not helping them win.)Its like they put in the item I chose, selected the cheaply made over priced brushes and then added enough items to consider it complete.

While I have noticed that the boxes that come the month before a Boxy Luxe Month are never the greatest, this was a new low.  It should have been a warning not to expect too much when they started showing spoilers for the June Luxe month at the end of April.  That should have been the moment when expectations were lowered for May.  Maybe that’s it.  They were so excited about June that they rushed through May. But quite frankly if they aren’t going to pay that much attention to Premium the month before a Luxe box then maybe they shouldn’t have a Premium category. 

At the moment I am not happy, and at the moment am seriously considering cancelling my Premium box. I am willing to concede that times are a little strange with everything going on in the world. That is at this moment one of the primary reasons I am not automatically cancelling my Premium subscription. Truthfully, if it was any higher than $35 I probably would have cancelled it, but as I would have paid more than $35 for the products in this box that I like, I’ll let it ride for a few months to see if it is just a sign of the times or a continuing trend. The premium tier is also less than a year old so they still may be working out a few details and learning to juggle their various subscriptions. So I will be watching and at the year mark (which was my initial re-think marker for this subscription) I will decide if it is worth keeping or not. As I have loved having BoxyCharm, even in the somewhat boring months, I really hope this is just a sign of the times and a temporary slip up.

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BoxyCharm Premium April 2020 Review

BoxyCharm premium is a $35 per month beauty subscription box offered by (unsurprisingly) BoxyCharm. Inside the box each month are six full sized beauty items. This month was a pretty good month for me. It was heavily weighted towards self care (be it skin or hair) than it was makeup which was a bit surprising as I tend to think of BoxyCharm as makeup heavy. Oddly enough despite the multitude of eyeshadow palettes available in their selections this month, neither my regular BoxyCharm nor my Premium this month had an eyeshadow palette. While I don’t mind, as nearly every box I’ve ever received from Boxy has had some form of eyeshadow in it, it was just surprising.

Perhaps the adjustment was because of my choice. Each month you are allowed to choose one item that you want in your box from a limited selection of items (usually 2 or three options are presented). The option I chose was the Kopari Coconut Face cream (retail $38). I chose it because I liked their toner and thought the face cream would be interesting. Also in my Scentbird subscription (which has both perfumes as well as some skincare and makeup items) I added the Kopari facial cleanser to my queue. It will be a few months before it comes up but as I have other face cream I want to try out, I have no problem waiting, especially as mid summer seems like the perfect time for something coconut scented. I suspect most of my summer travels this year will be virtual instead of actual so I can theme a tropical getaway in my backyard this year. I’m sure the summer will be hot enough to suit so all I need to do is add fruity drinks with little umbrellas and a few tropical scents and I’ll be fine.

But I digress.

Surprisingly in this month’s premium box there was a second moisturizer. It was the Lavido Age Away Replenishing Cream (retail $69). I’m not mad at it actually. I received the Lavido cleansing scrub in IPSY this month so I am actually using them as a pair at the moment. (I just finished my Tatcha trial and will post that next week.) I’m actually liking the cream a lot at the moment, I just find it surprising that two moisturizers came in the same box.

The next item I pulled out of my box ths month was the Farmacy Beauty Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask (retail $38). I have yet to try anything from Farmacy that I didn’t like. Last month I was disappointed that the cherry cleanser was only in the base box (which I didn’t get because it was a Luxe month, although last month luxe itself was somewhat disappointing). I was also disappointed that even though it was offered for sale in the ad-ons this month it was sold out before I could even log on, so alas, the cherry balm was not for me. That’s okay I still have the song Cherry Bomb stuck in my head, which isn’t a bad consolation prize. And I get to try out the Honey potion this month. I’m sure everyone knows how much I love masks and I have to admit, I have been plowing through them more since the stay at home order went into effect.

Next up, I received the IGK Hair Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray (retail $32). I like IGK and I have a lot of hair I need to tame into good behavior. I also have a few weeks of cool/warm weather where I can still wear my hair down if I choose. Once the weather heats up my hair is too long and thick to be left down. I was planning to get a cut before the summer hit but didn’t quite make it to the salon. Once heat hits my hair pretty much stays bundled on top of my head until fall. So I’ll either be trying this out double quick or waiting until the return of the chill. either way I love the brand and have high hopes.

Finally we get to the first of the two makeup items in my box this month. The first is Nudestix Magnetic Lip Plush Paints (retail $28). It looks like a very pinky nude that I’m not entirely certain will work for me, but I am excited to try out the formula. Plus I’ve started keeping various lip products whose color may not be the best for me on my desk. That way I can try out the formula and only my computer monitor will judge me. As I know where the power button is located, I don’t fear that judgement all that much.

And last, but certainly not least is the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Volume and Length Mascara.(retail $26). I am always on the hunt for a good mascara. At the moment I am finishing out a couple of travel sizes that have been in my collection a little too long, and then I will be testing out this mascara. I have to say it was really hard for me to set it aside and wait to test it. I have heard such fantastic things about it. But I need to clear out some space by using up the travel sizes.

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I’m being good. I don’t want to be, but I am.which will just make it more fabulous when I am done being good. At least that’s the hope anyway. Then I’ll get to celebrate extra space from the clear out, a feeling of virtuosity and a new fabulous mascara.

Yeah, I’m betting I crack and try it out before the week is over too. I’m just not that good at being good.

But I am trying.

So that was my BoxyCharm Premium this month. The total value of my $35 box came to $231. While I was somewhat surprised by the fact that I received two moisturizers, I am over all pleased with my box. I have no idea why the tag for this box is festival vibes as absolutely nothing in this looked even remotely festival themed. Even the plush paint lipstick is a very muted color. And that was the only color in the box. Nevertheless, everything in it is something I will use. For me, that increases its value, theme appropriate or not. While I love skin care, I am hoping that next month is a little more makeup heavy to balance out this month, but still, I’m very pleased by BoxyCharm Premium.

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BoxyCharm April 2020 Review

April 2020 BoxyCharm

Subscription boxes are interesting beasts.  Some months are good, some months not so good.  Other months I suspect BoxyCharm has a fleet of drones keeping my house under surveillance. This was a good month where I suspect the drone army. But first what is BoxyCharm?  Well it is a beauty subscription service where for a monthly fee of $25 you receive five full sized beauty products. 

As I said earlier, this month I suspect surveillance.

The first item I pulled from my box (post postal decontamination and handwashing of course) was the Original Makeup Eraser in Sunset (retail $22). Now anyone who reads my posts regularly knows I love my Makeup Eraser.  In fact I may have loved it a little too much for a little too long.  It is one of the original pink ones.  It’s been used and washed so many times the pink is less than vibrant now and there is a spot I’ve used to wipe off mascara one too many times for it to all wash away. But has served me well and well past the recommended number of washings it was supposed to survive.

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Admittedly that spot can no longer be seen as my darling dearest spotted it in the wash last week, thought it was just an extra hand towel and used it when cleaning up from a lawn mower repair. Incidentally, he was THRILLED with the way it wiped the oil from his hands. While I’m sure in the wash most of the oil should come out, with this new one now in my possession, I can let him have that one permanently for clean up while I use the sunset one.

So everyone wins.

The next item I pulled out of the box was the one I chose and it was the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam( retail $32). I love trying new cleansers and I have liked every product I have ever tried from Elemis so for me that was a definite win.

Another love for me is the Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face Primer.  I am a sucker for a good pore filling primer.  I often (especially in the summer) wear just a primer under powder rather than full foundation, especially when I know I’m going to be outside a lot and have gone heavy with the SPF. Oddly enough although I have used the Pearl Primer for a really long time, I have never gotten the regular original primer. Clearly the universe (or BoxyCharm) decided to correct that. I am very pleased by that correction.

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This month the Iconic London Illuminator  (retail $41) was also included in my box.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the all over illumination as I feel it tends to make me look glowy and more oily but I am trying to remember to try new things and besides, my computer screen is very non-judgmental on the days where there is no video conferencing. Recently its been treated to increasingly more elaborate looks done with my Stila liquid eyeshadows so a little extra glow to the skin shouldn’t phase it.

Finally the fifth item was removed from this month’s BoxyCharm box and it was the Lavish 5-piece Neon Eye brush collection.  (retail $29.99).  I was very glad to see it and again began to suspect the presence of Boxycharm drones as I had to let two of my smaller brushes go this week and I realized that I was keeping an old dried up eyebrow pencil for the sole purpose of using the spoolie on the other end.  Now I do not have to keep it and I have several small brushes to use.

With the Sunset Makeup Eraser, the neon colored brushes and the glow-y illuminator, I can sort of see the festival theme for this month in the items.  Some months I can’t see how the products tie into the theme.  Over all I am very pleased with this month’s box.  Not only did I receive $156.99 worth of product for my $25, but I received two items that can replace broken or misused pieces in my daily life, two products I really want to use and one product that pushes me a little out of my comfort zone.  All in all, I am very happy with BoxyCharm this month.

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Boxyluxe Review March 2020

The Boxyluxe Box for march 20202

It is time to talk about Boxycharm.  March was, as you might know already, a Boxyluxe month.  For March instead of a $25 box, if you are a Boxyluxe member you are charged $50 and get a box containing seven to eight full sized items. I’m going to be honest, this month I had some rather mixed feelings.

Those mixed feelings started well before I actually got my box actually. When the time for choice came around, I eagerly logged into the Boxycharm site.  I knew that Tarte Tarteist Pro Remix was one of my options and as I adore Tarte’s eyeshadows I wanted to make sure I got signed up to receive it.  I did.

Just the box because the shattered shadows were everywhere.

However during luxe months you get to choose two options.  Your options for your second item varied depending on what you chose for your first item. For my second choice I could choose between large rhinestone covered hoop earrings I knew I wasn’t going to ever wear or a set of gold colored stainless steel straws.

Yup that’s right, I said straws. Sadly I decided it was the better of the two options and I figured I could put them in my bag of Christmas stocking stuffers if nothing else. Regardless it was not an inspiring choice and left me feeling a bit flat.  Still I was looking forward to other items.

The first item I was looking forward to was the Tarteist Pro Remix palette(retail $49).  Like I said I love the formula on Tarte eyeshadows. Unfortunately, a couple of the shadows were broken in transit. It was a sad thing to open.

I was also looking forward to the NARS powermatte lip pigment (retail $25) as the NARS formula is one of my favorites as far as liquid lipsticks go.  It is comfortable to wear and very long lasting.  One of my favorite everyday lipsticks is the NARS liquid lip in the shade Paradise Garage so I was thrilled to receive another shade to try. The box listed the NARS powermatte lip pigment as being in the box, however it was not inside. 

I checked.  Twice.

So I sent an e-mail to Boxycharm and they are sending out a new Eyeshadow Palette and a NARS lipstick.  So I will get the two things I was really excited to receive, it will just be a little later in the month.

the PMD cleansing wand

The third item in this month’s box that I was super excited for was the PMD Beauty Smart Facial Cleansing Device (retail $99).  It arrived and had no problems in transit.  It even came with a battery so I didn’t have to hunt one down, which I really appreciate.  In the past I used a different vibrating cleanser and I really liked it.  I used it for a really long time actually until sadly, it could be used no more.  I never got around to replacing it.  I wasted no time in putting the PMD to good use and I really like it.  The handle makes it super easy to grip with slick hands, it has several setting s and a little protective plastic stand to keep it upright.  It is clearly the star of this month’s box and I will get a lot of use out of it.

Despite the shadow breakage of the Tarte Palette, the Boxycharm Hello Charmer palette (retail $39) in my box arrived intact and I have to say I am really loving the shades.  They are a beautiful range of colors that I am really looking forward to playing with.

I was less enthused by the nail polish duo from Deborah Lippman (retail $19)that was included in my box.  Not only are they smaller than the average bottle of nail polish, they aren’t in colors I particularly care for.  While one looks to be a pastel pink in the bottle and the other a red, in reality the pink is a hot pink and the red is a pink.  I tried applying them anyway thinking I could add a coat of glitter or something to work with the hot pink, and they didn’t really apply well either so I think I will be passing them on to a friend.  She has an eight year old daughter who will get far more enjoyment out of them than I will.

I was much happier when I saw the two small jars from Sol De Janerio in the box (retail $15).  One was the Traditional Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the other was the Coco Cabana Cream.  I use the Bum Bum Cream on the stretch marks on my stomach to help tighten the skin as my weight goes down.  I’ve been using it for about a month now and really notice a change.  So I was happy to receive the cream in any size. I’m pretty sure the small jar will be empty very quickly.  I had not tried the Coco Cabana Cream before and I have to say the scent is less appealing to me than the scent of the Bum Bum Cream.  As the scent is the only thing that is different about it, I will still use it, but it won’t be re-purchased like the Bum Bum Cream will. My only issue with this is that the two jars look like deluxe sized samples and BoxyCharm is supposed to provide only full sized products.  While this happens to be a product I love and will use in any size I can get my hands on, I would have preferred one full sized jar to what appears to be two deluxe samples.

In my Boxycharm this month was also the Becca Skin Love Glow Glaze Stick (retail $28). It is an ultra-sheer translucent highlighter.   It is a very subtle highlighter as opposed to the other two highlighters that came in the Boxy Premium this month.  It is the kind of highlighter you can easily wear with a more natural look to just give you a hint of a glow.  Or at least that is how it is marketed.  I tried it on my hand, but haven’t worn it yet.  I can now safely say I am well stocked on highlighters.

not sure if the glow stick will look glow-y or just greasy on the face

The final item in my box is of course the gold colored stainless steel straws from Bombshell Baker (retail $21) which for now I will be leaving in the packaging.  I suspect they will end up in someone’s Christmas stocking come December.

So the end tally is one product, the straws that kind of annoyed me to get, a nail polish duo I’m giving away, a nice shadow palette and an excellent cleansing wand.  I’m waiting on a replacement for a shadow palette and a missing lipstick, received two small jars of very excellent body lotion and my third highlighter of the month. Like I said at the beginning, it’s a mixed bag.  The items I like, I really like, the items I don’t, I really don’t and there are a couple okay items in the middle. But at least I get to look forward to replacement products arriving later in the month.  As those are the ones I was excited about in the first place, once the initial disappointment fades, it is actually something to look forward to.  While it was still a decent box, I have had better from BoxyCharm. It feels almost like they were so excited about the Fenty Premium box that they let a couple of things slide for Boxyluxe.  As it is a $50 box, I kind of expected better. The final total is $295 for a $50 box.  So while they did clear their $250 goal for product value, I still have mixed feelings about the box this month.

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March 2020 Boxycharm Premium Review: The Fenty Box

The much anticipated March 2020 Boxycharm Premium Fenty Box

BoxyCharm Premium is a $35 per month beauty subscription and each month comes with about six full sized products. Usually the products are from a variety of brands but this month Boxycharm went with a full box of Fenty products.

I have to say, while I have seen Fenty in stores and on commercials, I have never purchased any Fenty products. As with any well hyped product thought, I have to say I was curious. Ever since it was announced, every one was buzzing with it and talking about the products.

The first item in the Fenty box was the one I heard the most about. It was the Killawatt Freestyle highlighter in the shade Trophy Wife. (retail $36). It is gold. Bright gold. It swatches well. Oddly the color blends in but the glitter, that stays, and spreads. I wiped off the swatch with one hand to see how it blended in and now my entire arm is glittery. I am little concerned with how well it will stay in place because of that, but only time will tell if it is a great highlighter or a traveling glitter bomb.

The next item in the box was the Match Stix Shimmer Skin Stick (retail $25) and mine was in the shade Confetti. Despite the many uses claimed by the product, it is a shimmery purple cream highlighter. While it is a cream product instead of a powder and a very different shade from the official highlighter, I have to say I’m not terribly thrilled with getting two highlighters in the box. It is a nice highlighter and it seems to blend well with none of the glitter fall out of the other one, but I wish that if they had shades that could be used as blush (which was one of their claims when advertising the elements of the box), they would have gone with those shades rather than just two highlighters.

Admittedly the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette made me feel better. The package is beautiful, although now covered in fingerprints. So if I go missing, or am accused of a crime, you know where to look for a full set. While I can take or leave highlighters, the shadow palette is a good one. The colors are shades I like and am eager to play around with. I did a quick swatch of the colors. I started from the left hand side and swatched each row left to right. As you can see in the above picture in the box, the colors aren’t in two straight rows but on a diagonal. The colors feel soft and creamy and I am looking forward to playing with them to see how they work on the eyes.

Inside the box was the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (retail $19). It is a clear gloss with a bit of shimmer. I have to say it may be my favorite new lip gloss. It is shiny with a bit of shimmer, but it isn’t sticky at all and it smells like walking into a high end patisserie. It is that pastry cream with a hint of vanilla and the dep down belly knowledge that this is going to taste good. Although it doesn’t taste like anything, but it does smell good and sort of makes me feel like I’ve had a pastry. Sort of aroma dieting. I personally love the lip gloss.

While interesting, this is not a color I will turn to often

As we all know my love of lipsticks is sometimes shameful, I was very much looking forward to the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick (retail $18) included in the box. While I am coming around to lip glosses as more than an anti snacking device, I love matte lipsticks. They are my go to. I will say that when I tried the lipstick, the formula was very nice. It was creamy and matte and everything I look for in a lipstick. It was however in the shade Clapback which is an odd blue tone. while there are some who can pull this shade off on the daily, I am not one of them. While the formula is an excellent one and it is highly pigmented, the color was just a bad choice. It just sort of says ‘we put the colors that weren’t selling in retail venues in your box to get rid of them’. I really wished they chose a color more people can work with instead of a left over.

That isn’t an entirely premium feeling.

Finally the last item in my box was the Invisimatte Blotting Paper (retail $16). It is a cute holder and will probably live in my purse for quite some time. I don’t have very oily skin and I rarely use blotting paper. It is good to have around for the occasional usage, but it isn’t going to be something I reach for very often.

Over all this was a mixed box for me. I really like getting to try several Fenty products. I will use the purple highlighter. If they were going to brag about it being useful as a blush, I wish they sent a blush shade, but I will use it. The gold Trophy Wife, if I’m honest, will more than likely end up as eyeshadow rather than a highlighter. I just don’t need that much glitter on my cheeks. I love the shadow palette and the gloss.

I like the formula of the lipstick so I may try out another color at some point in time, but I won’t lie, it was a disappointment. Clapback is a color meant to stand on its own. It is not something I can work with or blend down with another color. It is what it is, and that is a disappointment. while the blotting paper was just, meh.

It is also somewhat telling that this box arrived at my house March 5th. I am still waiting for my regular March Box to arrive. I have not at this time even received notification that it has been sent. I know everyone got the same products, with only a few shades differing so it was easier for them to put together, but it was clear that in the color variations it was a completely random choice and not one with any individual consideration. I get that. From a business/logistics perspective it makes sense. If color choices were a little different, I would feel very different about the box.

I will forgive a lot for a good lipstick.

Sadly it is their color choices that made me feel a little let down by this box. Double highlighters and a disappointing lipstick make this just an okay box, not a great one. And to be honest, given Fenty’s popularity and the amount of good reviews they have, I was expecting a great box.

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BoxyCharm February 2020 Review

February BoxyCharm Base box

This month’s BoxyCharm was really quite enjoyable.  For those who don’t know, this is the $25 per month box referred to as the Base box in the BoxyCharm Tier of subscriptions.  The box comes with five full sized products each month, one of which you can actually choose. 

Because I am still on a find a foundation kick, the next post on the great foundation quest up tomorrow actually, I chose the Becca Full coverage Foundation (retail $44). It is supposed to be a twenty-four hour foundation.  I’m not certain I want to wear a foundation for a full twenty-four hours, but it will be interesting to see what it looks and feels like on the skin.

The next item, or items I guess I should say as it was a trio, was a set of three Alamar Complexion brushes (retail $36).  They are densely bristled and soft to the touch. They are also in sizes I really like. They are termed complexion brush, bronzer brush and brightening brush.  I have to say I think $36 for the trio is actually a fair price.  I know I complained yesterday about the shadow brush set being marked as $40, but given the size and the quality of the brushes I think $36 is a fair price.

My BoxyCharm came with a setting powder this month and I am always looking for setting powders.  Even with no makup on, if I am going to the gym or something, I still give myself a dusting of powder to take off the shine, it is a habit that means I am always using up and running out of powder. This one was the Ciate London Everyday Vaccay Coconut Setting powder.  It is a loose powder and it is apparently not supposed to have the white cast that other Ciate powders have. I am working on finishing up a powder now so I will set it to the side and not open it until then as I don’t like wasting product. But it is definitely something I am looking forward to using and that I will get a lot of use out of.

Because really, even if the product is fabulous, if you aren’t going to use it, what’s the point?

The First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads (retail $16) made me smile when I saw it.  I love the brand First Aid Beauty as their products are always good.  The reason I smiled though was that I haven’t used toner pads since my early high school days when I was trying to combat rampaging acne.  I know that is not the use of all toner pads, but it is my mental association. Because lord, knows I used a flotilla of them in high school. Again I am trying to clear out a few open cleansers before I open these, so they don’t dry out and become unusable, but when I open them, I am certain there will be some nostalgic morning moments. It should be interesting.

Finally we come to the EVIO Beauty Refreshing Hemp Wipes (retail $10).  I’m really glad they labeled it $10 because it feels like a ten dollar sized pack rather than a large one. To be honest, the size on this almost felt like it was a trial pack.  Larger than a deluxe sample but smaller than a full sixed one.  I haven’t found anything to justify that opinion, but it is still what I think. Either way I am okay with the $10 price for the size, even though with way the name reads my first thought was why would I be refreshing Hemp. I know foolish of me. I have to say even though I try not to pick up makeup wipes, they are really useful to have around. It is especially useful as my dressing table is on the other side of the room from the bathroom so there is no water immediately to hand. I tried one already and really like it.  It isn’t the best at removing mascara, but it is good with everything else, especially correcting minor slips with product at the dressing table. I think I will really enjoy having them around.

What I found interesting about this month’s BoxyCharm box was that the card describing the contents and their values was sent via e-mail instead of in the box.  There was no mention of this change anywhere so I am not sure if it was an accident they moved to correct before people complained or if it is a deliberate choice to save costs and paper.  I imagine printing up the cars each months is a sizable chunk of change and time. Either way according to my electronic insert sheet, I had box variation #48.  The grand total of value for my $25 BoxyCharm box came to $128. I consider this a good box.  There was no one super expensive item (like the $100 creams or serums in other boxes) bumping up the price into a higher range. There were just good appropriately priced products, all of which I will actually use. I think I can definitely call this a win for BoxyCharm this month.

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BoxyCharm Premium February 2020

February Premium BoxyCharm Box 2020

I’ll admit, I was very excited for this month’s box. Every spoiler I saw looked interesting and while I knew what my one choice was, I like a bit of the mystery of not knowing exactly what will be in the the mix when it arrives. Incidentally I received version #22 of the premium box this month.

The item I chose was the Karity Picante Palette (retail $29). The colors looked like a good mix and many of them looked like ones I would use. Some of them liked like they would challenge me to use them because they were a little out of my comfort zone but not so far out that I wouldn’t be willing to try. while they look good in the picture they are absolutely stunning in real life. I look forward to foing a full review on this palette.

The second item I pulled out of this month’s box was the Korres Body Butter in the scent fig (retail $32). Everyone knows I adore Korres products. They are actually the very first non drug store skin care product line I tried. They have been around since 1996 and I think I made my first purchase from them in 1997. So I have a soft spot for them in general. I also love figs. When we moved into this house the first thing I planted in my garden was a fig tree. Although ‘tree’ was sort of optimistic at that point in time. It is getting there though. This year it was finally old enough that I managed to get three figs. Not the jam making explosion I crave, but a good start.

Since you know I have to sniff everything, I opened the cream and inhaled. I am pleased to say it doesn’t have the jammy sweetness I was braced for. Instead it sort of smells like the scent you get when you break a fig off the tree and sniff the newly exposed end. It smells very green with a hint f the sweetness that is contained within the fruit. I think I am really going to like using this cream. Which is a good thing as it is a really large tube of cream that will take me a while to get through.

The next item was the Watermelon Glow Recipe Ultra Fine Mist (retail $28). It is watermelon-y although not as strongly scented as their face cream and night gel. The mist is ultra fine and it is quite refreshing. I think it is more of a summertime spray than a winter one but I suppose February is technically easing us into spring. We had snow over the weekend and are now being hit with waves of cold rain that seems upset it is just slightly too warm for it to be snow so it is hard to picture spring let alone summer. I can see this being kept in the fridge and used when I come in sweaty from the garden though. Over all it seems like a good product, just slightly off on the seasonality.

In my box this month, in fact in everyone’s box I believe, was the Hourglass ambient lighting blush (retail $40). I am always looking for a good blush. I have a lot of not quite right blushes, several I can make this work blushes and a few I like it but I’m still looking for more blushes. The closest blush I have to a staple in my makeup bag is my Benefit Gold Rush. While it is a great blush it also has a bit of gold sparkle to it. I like the sparkle but I don’t want it everyday which is the only reason I am still looking. This Hourglass looks like it has potential and I am looking forward to putting it through its paces.

This month Tarte made an appearance in Boxy Charm with the double duty beauty base tape primer($30). I personally welcome Tarte’s return as their products always work well on me. I also love primers. I remember trying the base tape a while back and I remember liking it, but I cant remember too much about it. It was before I started writing reviews and if I don’t write things down I tend to forget them. So that being said I look forward to retrying it to get a feel for the product.

Finally we come to the last item in the box. It is also the most controversial. It is the Faccia Skincare 24K Gold Foil Moisturizer. There seems to be a lot of dust up about this. For a while there was no website because it is such a new brand. Then there was a website but it had contradictory information on its ingredients list and then there was an issue with the price. While Boxycharm lists its retail value on their info card as $100, in other places it was found offered for sale for just a few dollars. At the moment I am wrapping up a skin care trial and because I am so curious about all of the drama I will be bumping this up the line to try out, so I will have a full review up as soon as I’ve had a chance to give it a full and fair trial. I find it interesting to see what people say about a product, but the truth is in how it performs on my skin, at least for me. so I’ll reserve judgement until then.

That was this month’s premium box and I have to say over all I am very pleased with it. All are interesting products I may nit have picked up on my own but enjoy and will look forward to trying out. The total retail value of this box ended up being $259, and yes that is with using the $100 cream from Faccia in the tally. It is not a bad return on a $35 box and over all I am happy with what I recieved. Even with the controversy regarding the face cream I am happy with the other products and the value they provide. I also have to say this month was better than January’s box as well.

And aren’t we all striving to get better?

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BoxyCharm Review January 2020

BoxyCharm Base Box January 2020

Boxy Charm is a $25 per month beauty subscription for the base box. If you are thinking ‘Hey Mimsy, didn’t you already review Boxy this month? That was the premium box ($35). I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about both of them, so currently I have both.

Now that we are all together in this, each month in the base box you are sent five (and on occasion 6) full sized beauty products. I have to say this month’s box was a bit skin care heavy.  I don’t mind, as I really like trying new skin care, but usually there is more of a weight towards makeup rather than skin.  I think it is an interesting trend.  I’ve noticed that IPSY has that as well.  Part of it, I’m sure, is my profile.  What can I say, I love skin care. But I think part of it is a growing trend towards more interest in skin care. 

I could of course be wrong and it just happened to be a skin care month.

The first item in my Boxy Charm box this month was the item I chose, and it was skin care.  Eye cream to be exact.  It was a choice between it or one of two eyeshadow palettes or an eye cream.  Neither palette thrilled me and I already knew I was getting an eyeshadow palette in the premium box so I chose the Dr. Brandt skincare 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream (retail $55).  I am almost done with my Pur-lisse Eye serum so I think I am going to finish that up before opening this one, but it should only delay its use by a few days. Then I will try it out. 

Eye cream is one of those things that I always think I have a ton of and then all of a sudden turn around and have absolutely none. I think it is because I use so little that it seems to last forever.  So it’s probably more perception than reality on that front. Regardless, I was very pleased to receive this tube and will soon be putting it to good use.

Next up was the Pretty Vulgar Undercover Concealer (retail $25).  I am actually running low on concealer so I was very happy to see this arrive.  I tested the sample BoxyCharm sent out a few months back and I received the shade that matched me. I’ve tried it a couple of days now and not only is the shade right, but I really like the formula of the product.

The third item in my January box was very familiar to me and I was pleased to receive it.  It is the Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Face Gommage (retail $28).  Yup, exactly the same one I got in my December IPSY.  Oddly in my premium box I had an IPSY duplicate as well with the Billion Dollar Brows kit. I don’t mind this duplicate at all and will not be passing it on.  I will be hoarding it so that as soon as the open one is empty I have a replacement.  I absolutely adore this product and am more than happy to receive a second bottle.

Next up was something I thought was a repeat as well, but it turns out it isn’t.  I received the Avant Skincare 8 Hour Radiance Renewal Sleeping Mask (retail $107). If part of that sounds familiar, or you think you’ve seen the tube before, then you and I think very much alike.  I thought it was a duplicate until I read the bottles.  Last month, I received the moisturizer from Avanti. 

Avanti from last month, and Avanti from this month. Although they look the same one is for day use, the other for night.

With the exception of some of the name details, It looks exactly the same as the Sleeping mask.  So when I get around to using it, I will use one during the day and one at night.  Since they are both rather expensive, I am happy to have both the day and night versions.  Well I will be if I like the formula anyway.  For that, only time will tell.

Finally, I pulled out the last item from my January BoxyCharm box and it was a Manna Kadar Beauty Lip Whip.(retail $21). I have to say, $21 is a bit pricey for a liquid lip.  I tend to bounce between one more expensive lipstick (DOSE at $18 per lippie) and a less expensive one (Colourpop $8) as my two favorite types. Which means that at $21 I have pretty high expectations. 

I also have to say this lippie did not meet those expectations.  I liked the color and put it on before going out.  It never dried down fully and when I went out to eat, I ended up with lipstick on my chin (I had to take a large bite to prove a point about the enormity of a hamburger, odd I know, but I ended up with lipstick in a dot on my chin which as I applied the lipstick several hours before eating, I did not expect.). I also ended up with a strange gathering of lipstick in the corners of my mouth which I’ve never really had happen before.  It was easily fixed, but still not something I want in my lipstick. The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t blot it enough. I blotted after applying though so maybe a double blot is necessary.  As I like the color, I’ll try again and see if I get better results.  But as of now, not my favorite lipstick.

With the exception of the lipstick, I am pretty happy with my subscription box this month.  Actually I was pretty happy with most items in all of my subscription boxes this month.  The cross overs were a little odd, but other than that, I was happy.  Personally, I like having nothing to complain about. Sure there is a suspicious part of me that thinks I might have missed something, but I’m okay with simply enjoying things for what they are. Perhaps the gods of chaos are playing with someone else this month. The final tally for this month’s $25 box was a retail value of $236 which is pretty good and surprisingly better than the premium. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

I may receive some compensation if the links posted below are used towards a purchase (the ones above are just links to product pages for reference not affiliate codes, in case you were wondering).

Bright Idea Vitamin C Line

Kristofer Buckle

BoxyLuxe December 2019

For those who don’t know, Boxyluxe is a four times a year upgrade from the regular Boxy Charm Subscription box. It is offered December, March, June and September. The regular cost of the Boxy Charm subscription is rolled into the price and an additional fee is charged so that that the luxe box costs $50. Even though Boxy Charm went up in price recently, the Boxy Luxe box did not, so the extra charge is a little less than it once was. This box is billed as a beauty and lifestyle box so some of the things aren’t going to be strickly makeup and skin care. This is my second Boxy Luxe box and mostly the life style section of the boxes seem to be hair care based, which I don’t mind.

I have a lot of hair.

This month there were two hair care items in the version of the BoxyLuxe that I received. (version #22) The first was the IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo (retail $27). The IGK Mistress leave in conditioner is one of my standard products so I was happy to see another item from their roster this month. I have to say that with exercising more, dry shampoo has become a huge lifesaver in my world. I have tried this once already and really like it. It is a more powerful dry shampoo than I have tried before, which works really well on just finished at the gym hair. It might be a bit much on just slightly oily hair though. I also like the fact that even though it left a little white cast on my dark hair, one quick brush and it was gone. The scent is also nice.

The second hair product I received was the Daily Concepts Daily Hair towel Wrap (retail $18). I actually have several of these and they work well at removing a lot of moisture from the hair so that dry time is quicker. While it is not a terribly exciting product (wow, a towel, great.) it is useful so I don’t mind seeing it.

The next product I wasn’t quite certain about. It was the M. Greengrass Dry Oil Spray in Beach Air (retail $36). It is a multi purpose dry oil spray. It is supposed to add extra moisture to the skin without leaving it greasy. So I’m guessing it is used as a spray for the body in lieu of lotion. It smells nice, but I haven’t tried it yet and will be interested to see how it is supposed to be used (with moisturizer, instead of lotion?). There was little detail with the product, so I will have to play around with it and get back to you.

In my box this month there were three other skin related products, although these were much easier to figure out. The first was the Saturday Skin Waterfall Glacier Water Cream (retail $39). It was actually my choice for the month during selection as I have heard good things about the brand and wanted to try them. I am adding it to my scheduled skin care product testing line.

I also received the Soy Face Cleanser from Fresh (retail $48). I have used this before and look forward to using it again. Unfortunately I have a couple of open cleansers right now and I want to use them up before I open it. so that will have to wait.

The third skin care item was also of my choosing and it is the QMS lip Line Corrector (retail $200). As last month I received the QMS eye cream, I thought I would try them together. In fact I have been using them together since the package came in and look forward to giving a full report once my test is complete.

In addition to skin and hair care products, there were three makeup items in this month’s box. The first was the Storybook Cosmetics Fairy Tales Little Briar Rose Palette (retail $55). The eyeshadow palette looks like a book and has interesting shadows that I can’t wait to play with. I am trying to concentrate on one palette a week, not only so that I can rotate through my palettes but so I can decide what palettes get to stay in my rotation. Last week I used the Natasha Denona Cranberry Pallette for my weekly Palette and will have a review up later today. This week I think I will be going with this Storybook Palette so look for a review next Monday.

Next I received the Ciate Confetti Highlighter(retail $32). I (like many other people apparently) received this in both my BoxyLuxe and Premium Boxes and BoxyCharm is sending me an additional product to make up for it. While I think the confetti look is more gimmicky than anything else, the golden color is nice.

Finally in this month’s Boxyluxe there was a Two Faced Melted Matte Lipstick (retail $21) in the shade You Better Work. It is a mostly brown lipstick. while the color may need a little doctoring to work for me, possibly used as a base for something else, I really like the formula. It is smooth and creamy although it does take a while to dry down completely.

All in all I was very pleased with the nine products in the December BoxyLuxe. I can see myself using all of them, although I still need to look into the dry oil spray a bit and wish that came with a little bit more of a description. the retail value of the box ended up being $476 which is not bad for a $50 purchase. Admittedly $200 of that was the Lip Line Corrector From QMS, but it is still impressive. This month I really liked both of my Boxy Charm boxes and really hope they can keep up this level of quality going into the new year.