Snack Time: Chomps Chomplings Original Beef Mini Sticks

Chomps just sent a package containing a variety of their delectable treats to try out for the purposes of review and I am simply thrilled. As many of you know, I have been working towards a healthier me. Part of that does include losing weight and getting more active.

The bulk of my workout time, especially in the summer when i am attempting to beat the heat for my outdoor activities, is in the mornings. I split my calories out throughout the day, but because of the heavier morning activity, I generally find that if I don’t have a snack in the afternoon I will over eat at dinner and if I do have a snack it is easier for me to not only not over indulge at dinner time, but not snack at night.

I allow myself one snack per day and If I’ve had my snack between lunch and dinner I don’t feel like snacking at night. And as snacks at night tend to be in conjunction with the television and tend to be mindlessly consumed,. it is much better for me to have that afternoon snack.

I also find I choose better snacks if i eat them in the afternoon. Fruit, cheese, nuts, protein bars and meat snacks are my go to while at night snacking seems to lean towards chips and cookies.

Today’s snack was one of the Chomps Original Beef Mini Sticks. As I generally choose a snack for the week, I will be eating them throughout this week. (At least until Friday anyway). While there were many tempting flavors in the box sent over, I wanted to start with the original so I know what to compare the flavors to.

The first ingredient on the list is Grass Fed and Finished Beef. They are fed a vegetarian diet, raised in a free range environment and there are no antibiotics or added hormones to the beef. There are no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, no nitrates or nitrites added and there are zero sugars. In addition there is no gluten, nuts, soy, milk, pork or fillers. For me this means that I am simply getting good beef with seasonings.

And you can taste the goodness in the stick. It has a nice snap to the bite and the meat is lean enough not to be greasy but contains enough fat so that the stick does not feel dry. A lot of the time you can very easily get dry feeling meet sticks if too lean a cut is used. Chomps seems to balance this nicely. The salt balance is nice as well. It is not too salty which can also occasionally happen. As salt and fat equal flavor, often times when the meat is lean too much salt is added. This didn’t have that problem.

The texture of the stick itself is also nice. It is not mealy and it it is not too hard. It has the perfect snap to the outside but then is a softer beef stick inside. For me that is how I like my beef sticks.I’m not a huge fan of the hard all the way through sticks and I don’t like too mealy of a texture inside. This was honestly how I like my snacks.

The original beef stick was quite frankly delicious.

I really like the smaller sticks in the Chomplings bag. It means that first off there are enough sticks in one bag to serve as the snack for the week (six sticks per bag). The smaller stick is also just enough of a snack that I feel I’ve gotten enough of a snack without being shorted. It is the perfect snacking size. In addition it contains 4g of protein to get me through the afternoon and there are only 40 calories to each stick. Because of the slight richness to the stick it feels like a treat but the calories won’t blow my daily calorie count. I was very impressed by the original flavor of the Chomps Chomplings Original Beef Mini Sticks and I can’t wait to try out the additional flavors.

Currently the Chomps site has a 25% off discount going on for their Prime Day Deals. If you are interested in stocking up on some quality meat products (they have more than beef) I would recommend checking them out. I certainly enjoyed the Original flavor. Time will tell if the additional flavors measure up to the original.

Chomps

Unboxing the June 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I know, occasionally I am a contrary soul.

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


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Using the Grown Alchemist Mandarin and Rosemary leaf Body Cream

I have to admit, I was quite surprised by this body lotion from Grown Alchemist.  A while back I received a night cream from the brand in a subscription box.  As I am always on the lookout for a good night cream I tried. It.  While it worked very well, it was so highly floral that I made it halfway through the tube and then set it aside to use something else.  I will return to the night cream some point soon so that it doesn’t spoil and can be used in a timely fashion but I needed a break from the scent.  I think it may be a product I roll in and out of my skin care line up just to use up because that floral was just so intense I couldn’t take it on a nightly basis.

I expected the body cream to actually be more intense.

Oddly enough it isn’t. 

The Grown Alchemist Body Cream is in the scent mandarin and rosemary leaf.  I saw the rosemary on the list and thought it would dominate and the cream would smell medicinal.  It doesn’t.  The mandarin and rosemary balance really well.  The rosemary keeps the mandarin from being too sweet and the mandarin keeps the rosemary from being too medicinal.  In addition, while it does have a noticeable scent when first applied, it fades back fairly quickly.  If you lift a hand to your nose, you can still smell it, but otherwise it fades away to nothing. 

The softness remains.  The cream absorbs quickly and not a lot of cream is needed to hydrate the skin.  It isn’t greasy and keeps the skin hydrated for quite a while. 

I actually really like that it is a body cream that isn’t too sweet.  Many of my body lotions smell like candy as they have vanilla in the mix.  While I don’t mind this, it is nice to have a bit of a change.  The rosemary gives it a slightly earthy note and combines with the orange to feel and smell really fresh. While I wasn’t terribly enthused by this cream to begin with, I have to say it has won me over.  I am far more impressed with this than I was with the overly floral night cream. I am very glad I tried it and I would definitely consider adding this to the list of body lotions I would repurchase once it runs out.



The Underclub June 2021 Unboxing

The first of the June Subscriptions has arrived.  I love that The Underclub is always the first subscription to come in each month, at least for me.  It always feels like a little something fabulous to get the month started on a good note.

For those that don’t know, The Underclub is an underwear subscription.   They have several tiers, I am in the single pair for $15 per month category.  I felt that for me, one new pair of undies per month was just about perfect.

I actually chose this subscription for several reasons.  The first is that I just flat out love pretty undergarments.  I really do. And to be honest, my love of pretty underwear has nothing to do with anyone else.  I have always felt that if I am wearing pretty undergarments I feel pretty.  I has nothing to do with anyone else opinion or appealing to anyone else.  It just makes me feel pretty and more self confident if I know I am wearing pretty underwear.

Silly? Maybe.  But it doesn’t stop it from being true. 

As I gained weight I found that undergarments became a little less cute and a little more utilitarian.  Not that there weren’t attractive larger garments out there, I just didn’t seek them out.  It was almost as though I felt because I didn’t look how I wanted to look I didn’t deserve the pretty underwear.  And while it is not a good attitude to have, it is sadly an attitude that does have a lot of external reinforcement.

When I started on a healthier journey, more than weight loss and healthy diet and exercise, I had to get a healthy mind set and reexamine a lot of my behaviors and reflections.  I knew that pretty underwear made me feel more self confident, yet when I looked in my underwear drawer there was not a lot of pretty going on.

So I decided to change that. 

Since I love subscriptions I went looking for an underwear subscription and The Underclub is the most size inclusive of the subscriptions I looked at.  The diversity appealed to me and I have to say thus far, the underwear has not disappointed. 

The subscription comes in a light pink mailer and inside the undergarments are enclosed in a separate internal bag.  While I still wash them before wearing them, I love that they are so contained. I know I generally tend to reduce waste, but this is one instance where I am fine with a little extra packaging. 

Once opened, I have to say, I very much like the pair that came this month.  They are a bikini cut (you can choose the cut of underwear you prefer from their list – I said anything but thong so mine varoes a bit).  They are black satin with a lace front.  The lace front has a lovely scalloped top edge instead of just a straight line of elastic which I think makes them look  just a little more special.  It is a really nice detail.  The lace is super soft, which I love, because let’s face it no one wants scratchy lace on their underwear.

As always I found no loose strings or slipped stitches when I first inspected them.  They went from the mailer into the wash and came out with no loose threads or stitches.  And of course the creases from being folded in the packaging fell out in the wash so they looked even better.

As always, the fit was perfect.

They are beautiful and comfortable to wear.

I was very happy with the set I received.  The quality is always there, the materials are always good and quite frankly I have never had any complaints with the product. They always mail out the subscription either the first or second of the month and then charge you for the upcoming month on the 11th.  (so June 11th I will pay for July’s subscription).

The closest thing to an issue I have had with this subscription is they were late sending the e-mail with the tracking number.  But this month that might just be because the post office was quick with the delivery.  Usually my Subscription arrives around the 7th. This month, the subscription arrived on June 4th and the e-mail with the tracking number arrived in my inbox on the 5th.

Which quite frankly isn’t that big a deal. 

Or even really a problem.

I really do enjoy this subscription and quite frankly I love the collection of underwear I am building.  I am always delighted to reach into my underwear drawer and pull out one of the pairs I received from the Underclub.  These are items that I can consistently reuse and honestly bring me joy for months after I receive them. 

In addition to the subscriptions, they have a lovely on-line store that they are consistently adding to.  Not only are they nice to look at, but I love the fact that every garment they have listed comes in my size.  I know that  doesn’t sound like a big deal but it kind of is.  There are so many websites where I know my size for their items, however the items they produce in my size are extremely limited.

The Underclub has all of their items in their wide range of sizes from the extra small to the extra large and everything in between.  So when I look for garments I am not shunted off to a small little section of the site and given a limited number of options.  With The Underclub I  can just go to their main site and look around knowing that if I fall in love with something they will have it in my size. 

I absolutely love that.

I also like many of their items.  I am still loving the pink and red valentine’s day set (underpants and bralette) and there are so many more that I love. In fact they recently came out with an elements collection that is absolutely stunning.  They have several new sets for June.  In addition to underwear they have several sleep wear sets.  I am personally eying the Room Service Short Sleeve PJ set.  In the summer time I like to sleep in sleep shorts and those look absolutely adorable.  I suspect that I may be treating myself to an early Birthday present.  My Birthday is at the end of June, but they have quite the Summer Sale going on right now.  So it is a good time to stock up.

Underwear Packs discounted 20% off, just use the code PACK20

At the moment they also have the Limited Edition Undervention box which includes a selection of items worth $275 which members can purchase for $175. (non-members $218.75).  The PJ set I want is actually a part of the box and I am trying to decide if I want to go ahead and just get the whole box.  It is very tempting. I may have to look at the budget and see.  But if you are looking to stock up on some great products, you might want to check out this limited edition before it is gone. Thus far everything I have gotten from them has been of excellent quality and has fit perfectly.  I’m sure their limited editions will be just as fabulous. 

Limited Edition- Undervention Box ($275 of intimates, yours at $175)

For now, I am enjoying my June set and trying to decide between just the sleep set or the entire box. It’s time to spend a little bit of time with the calculator and budget to see what is possible, because you know, deep down, I want it all.

The Empties of May

The empties of May

Hello my darlings and welcome to a brand new month.  I hope you had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend.  May was an interesting month for Empties actually.  A lot of them were sample sizes, but there were a few full sizes.

I’m actually going to start the empties with a full sized product that I am very disappointed to run out of.  It is the Color Wow Dream Cocktail Coconut infused Hair Serum.  I absolutely loved this and have already ordered a replacement.  It was initially sent to me by Color Wow to try out and I have to say I am hooked.  You put the serum in your wet hair and then when you blow dry it , the heat activates the product.  It made my hair so soft and silky and gave me fewer fly aways.  Like I said I have already reordered this and will be keeping a bottle in my standard products retinue. 

In the bath I used the Andalou Naturals Citrus Sunflower Shower Gel .  This travel size lasted quite a while as you only need a little dollop to get a lot of suds.  It has a scent that smells like the shells of sunflower seeds mixed in with a light citrus scent.  I know that sounds a little strange but that is my best description.  It is a nice and very light scent.  The shower gel worked well and the scent dissipated quickly.  My skin felt clean and hydrated.  I would definitely consider purchasing this in the full size.

This month I tried a sample size of the La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 50.  It is a mineral  sunscreen so there is a little bit of a white cast until you rub it in.  It does feel a little waxy.  I really liked this on my neck and upper chest, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it on my face.  I will actually be picking it up in a full size though as I really like it for everywhere except my face. 

There is one empty facial oil this month and it is the Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening Ampule.  To be honest I didn’t really notice any brightening from the product and  while it was an okay product, it isn’t one that I would repurchase.  It was just okay and I have tried several products that are better than just okay that I would repurchase first.

There were two serums in this month’s bin, one is a sample and one is a full size.  The sample size is the Loum Pure Serenity Golden C Serum.  To be honest it worked really well.  My skin looked and felt fantastic while I used the sample.  It is however highly fragranced.  It smelled like a very floral perfume. 

Not a skincare floral, a perfume floral.  While I was okay using the small sample I am not entirely certain I could use this on a daily basis with a full sized bottle.  It is a product I am on the fence with though.  I really liked the way it worked.  The scent is the only thing that gives me pause.  If it weren’t such an expensive serum, I might try a full bottle and if I couldn’t get through it just pass it on.  However it is quite pricey so I would have to really think about it before committing.

The second serum was sent by Influenster and it is the L’Oreal Midnight Serum.  This serum started off strong.  The first day was fabulous.  After two weeks of trying it, I absolutely adored it.  After about a month though I wasn’t seeing the effects as much as I did in the first two weeks.  And byt the end of the second month when the bottle was empty, I was ready to see it go.  The only thing I can think of is that my skin was lacking something that the serum provided and then once my skin stocked up on what was missing the serum became irrelevant.  I can find no other explanation.  In those first two weeks it was fantastic.  However after using the endite bottle, I don’t think I would purchase another one.

I finally managed to work my way through the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil.  It was an interesting product.  It works really well but smells intensely of CBD oil.  After a while I stopped minding the scent so much and just concentrated on how fabulous it worked.  Because it really did work well.  It is one of those products that I wouldn’t mind using again if it happened to come my way, but it isn’t something that I would intentionally seek out.  I am glad I used it and I really like how it works. It is just the scent that keeps me from automatically repurchasing.

Oddly enough I loved the scent of the Akar Skin Balance Toning mist.   I also loved the orange glass bottle.  It worked well enough as a toner, but the product wasn’t my favorite.  It had the tendency to make my face feel a little sticky. It was a decent product and I wouldn’t mind using it again, but it isn’t something I am going to seek out as a must have. It is more of an if it is there I’ll use it kind of product.

There was one eye cream in the batch and it was the Perricone MD Soothing and Hydrating Eye Cream.  I really liked this eye cream and would not hesitate to repurchase it.  Interestingly enough I think I might like the sample size better than the full sized version.  One of the things I really liked was that the eye cream came in a tube with a very small hole to let product out. 

Since so little eye cream is actually needed, this was perfect.  I could dispense just a little bit of product and so this tine tube lasted a really long time. I know the full sized version comes in a jar. I’m sure the product works just as well, but I really like the smaller tube for eye creams.  But I would still purchase the jar.

Finally, we come to the moisturizers.  There are three, two sample sizes and one full size.  The first Sample sized moisturizer is the Neogen Dermalogy Probiotic Youth Repair Cream.  I really enjoyed this moisturizer.  It is very light weight and smells vaguely like candy.  It was very moisturizing and very well suited to the warmer months when you want a lighter moisturizer.

The second sample was the Arrow Radiant Skin Moisturizer.  I know Arrow is a brand that is owned by Birchbox and this sample did come to me in their subscription box.  It was okay.  To be honest that is all I have to say about it.  It was okay.  It wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t good.  It was just okay.  Fine to use in a pinch but utterly forgettable. I’d use it if there was nothing else around, but it isn’t something I’d order a full sized version of.

The last item in this month’s Empties bin is the full sized moisturizer the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream NACy2. I really enjoyed this cream.  It was very well suited to the day time.  It certainly wasn’t heavy enough to use at night.  It did exactly what it said it was going to do and it was a very nice moisturizer.  Because of some of the ingredients, it is a moisturizer that is more suitable for cooler temps than warmer temperatures so I wouldn’t use it in the summer time.  However I would definitely reorder it and use it in the winter time.

And that my darlings are the products I managed to use up in the month of May. There weren’t as many as there have been in past months, so this wasn’t a huge post. I actually like doing these every month, even when there aren’t a whole lot of products. It is nice to actually look at the products as they leave the house or get repurposed into something else and to actually take a moment to think about how I feel now that they are in fact leaving my skin care arena. I find it especially helpful to look at the sample sizes again and decide if I really want to try the full size. To be honest I completely forgot about the Neogen until I saw the tube and went ‘Oh yeah, I really liked that one.’ Hopefully you found it useful, or at least somewhat informative as well.


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Unboxing the April 2021 BoxyCharm Premium Box

It has arrived!  My BoxyCharm premium.  This month it was a bit of a struggle.  There was no news for a long time, no tracking, no e-mails.  I texted the help line and the next day I received a tracking number as my box finally left the warehouse.  After that, it fairly sped through the system to arrive on my doorstep.

Everything arrived safe and sound.  This month we were allowed to choose two items for the premium box.  The first Item I chose was the Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Over Night Repair Concentrate

I have been looking for a good night cream for a while and have had mixed results.  I’ve only tried out Wander Beauty’s makeup and never their skincare.  So even though we have been well stocked on skincare from subscriptions, this is not a category I have a lot of product in and I wanted to try Wander Beauty’s skin care, so That’s why I chose it.

The second item I chose was the Nars Blush in Angelika. What can I say?  I like blush and I really like NARS.  For me it was a no brainer.  The only issue was that I couldn’t pick multiple blushes and had to choose one color. But now I have a new blush.

Blush swatch

I also have a new primer.  I received the Marc Jacobs Under Cover Blurring Primer. And you know how much I love a good primer.  Plus I really do like Marc Jacobs Products. Again another win for me and quite frankly something I was very excited about. 

I will say the excitement continued when I opened the Eloise Beauty Rose Gold TearDrop brush.  I mean just look at that.  How stinkin’ pretty is that?  Very is the answer.  And that is the type of foundation brush I prefer.  It kind of reminds me of my 999 Master blender. 

It has a different shape but the same sort of dense bristles.  And I like having more than one foundation brush to rely on.  Hopefully this one will perform as well as it looks.  If so I will be thrilled.  I know this came up in a past Luxe Box and it was one of the items that made me wish I was signed up for the Luxe box.  I am actually really thrilled to have it here. 

Speaking of seeing before, I received the 111 Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment masks (5 Pack).  I received this set last year or maybe the year before.  I can’t remember the month, but I did receive them.  I am also now down to my last mask. 

They are a bit heavy so you have to lay down when you wear them to keep them from sliding off, but they are worth it.  My skin always feels so soft and hydrated after wearing them.  While never thrilled by a repeat, I can’t say I am sorry to have another pack.  I will definitely use them and I already know I enjoy them.

The final item in my boxycharm Premium this moth was the Dose of Colors Eyeliner.   And guess what.  It is not a black eyeliner.  I repeat, it is not a black eyeliner.  It is green.  As I currently have enough black eyeliners to draw a line around the country I am very happy that it isn’t black. 

A non-black eyeliner

I look forward to trying out the formula and I have to say it is a very pretty looking liner. I also have to admit it took me a while to figure out that you didn’t twist to get the product out but just pulled off the cap.  Yeah, it kind of took me longer to figure that out than it should have. But for those playing with it, the pointy end is a cap.

I have to say I was thrilled with this month’s Boxy Charm Premium.  I think it might actually have been the best box I received this month.  I love that it leaned into makeup more than skin care.  Don’t get me wrong, I love skin care, but the past year it seemed that every box was heavy with skin care. 

It is nice to see some makeup again.  And really the makeup was NARS, Marc Jacobs and Dose of Colors.  So brands I know and love and products I can’t wait to play with.  Boxy Charm may have been slow out of the gate this month, but they certainly finished with a bang.  Fabulous box this month Boxy Charm, two thumbs, way up.


The Underclub April 2021

I love the double bag for the Underclub

This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite subscriptions. The Underclub is a monthly luxury underwear subscription service. While they have multiple tiers, some with more than one set of underwear, I went for the $15 per month option. It is exactly $15 no tax or shipping added. For this price I receive one pair of undies each month. It ships on the first and charges on the 11th. I actually received April’s pair on Thursday April 8th (there was a shipping delay adding two days to delivery) and I was charged for May’s set on April 11th.

I initially chose this subscription service to try for three reasons. The first is that I really like subscriptions. I really do like the surprise package in the mail and the ability to try new things.

The second reason was that I wanted to try some subscriptions that weren’t makeup and skincare based. I am trying to branch out more into lifestyle and clothing subscriptions.

Plus, one thing people don’t tell you when you start working out is that no matter what underwear you are wearing, it is going to take a beating. I generally pick up packs of Hanes Cotton Undies for workout wear but I like to have nice underwear when I am not working out and in my initial workout phase, I didn’t realize I needed to switch out my undies like I switch out my regular bra for a sports bra so a lot of my nicer underwear didn’t survive. So it is nice to build up my collection again.

And thirdly, when I went looking for sizes, the Underclub was very size inclusive. They not only had a size that fit me, they had models that weren’t Victoria Secret Standard. They were all beautiful women but they were also real women. I know that I do not look like a Victoria Secret model in my underwear. I know that even if I get my body down to a healthy weight I will not look like that. Which is perfectly fine. How boring would the world be if we all looked alike? I like that The Underclub recognizes that and markets for real world bodies.

Waist detail

I also like the quality and styling of the undergarments as well. This month’s set of pants was quite lovely. On the surface they look like plain black undies. They are made of a kind of net material. The front has an inner liner, the back does not. The Brand is MOD by Parfait which we have seen before.

This set, like every set I’ve received fit perfectly. So if you are looking for your size, follow the size chart. I measured myself, took my inch measurement to their chart and have not had an issue with fit. It is a spot on size chart, which is really nice when trying to find your size. And while I am on the heavy end of the spectrum, they do have extra small for those of you on the other side. They have a pretty wide array of sizes which is again one of the reasons I chose to try out the subscription in the first place.

With this month’s set, I was very impressed by the quality of the elastic around the waist band. I know that sounds very strange to say, but most of the underwear I’ve received thus far has less of a stout waistband, The thinner waistband suited the style and the elastic was thinner because of design. This pair has a thicker waistband and a correspondingly thicker elastic. The elastic doesn’t constrict too tightly and you can tell it is the sort of elastic that will last a while. It is an oddly difficult balance to find. The elastic fit properly and didn’t leave marks on my skin.

As with all the underwear, it went straight from the packaging to the washer and then I tried it on. There were no loose strings or missed stitches wither before or after washing. The garment was well constructed. Like I said before it fit perfectly.

My one issue was that there was not a liner on the rear as there was for the front. I understand the styling and looking at it, I really like the way it looks. However, I did wear them sitting at the desk while working on the computer and ended up with a net print across my rear end. It wasn’t in any way uncomfortable, just oddly textured skin when i stripped down for my shower. I was momentarily puzzled, then realized it wa from the pants.

Over all I am very pleased with this pair and happy to keep the subscription another month. I am still wearing the Valentine’s bralette and pants set. They have been in rotation since February and they are holding up quite well even though it is more delicate looking than untehr sets. It looks just as good now as it did when it arrived. I really like the bralette, I just have to remember it is in no way designed for exercise and change accordingly. It does fit well though and looks great when working at my desk or generally moving around. It just doesn’t have the support i need for workouts (which isn’t surprising as it isn’t a sports bra). I still have my eye on the minty green pajama set (pictured above) and now they have a Birthday three pack available. In fact each month they seem to come out with a new set in a different style and the list of ones I want just keeps getting longer.

While I am drawn to the mint green Pajama set mostly because I am starting to transition from my winter pajamas into more summer themed sleepwear, I also like the bra and pants in the same material and style. I’m actually torn as to which one I want to order as they both look really nice. Soon I will start inventorying my spring and summer clothing so it may end up being a decision made on what survives the purge. I have some spring and summer clothing that is now a little large on me and some that is just worn out from seeing too many summers. So I may make the decision after, but seriously how cool is that set? I think I may have said the same thing last month but it still remains true. I just really like the color and design of it. And if you are just looking for undies, they have great bundles as well as individual sets. I’ll link the birthday link below.

Personally, the more I receive from this subscription the more I like it. They are size inclusive and don’t make me feel badly about myself because I don’t fit a certain mold. They recognize that everyone deserves to feel pretty, which I love. If I am wearing pretty underwear, even if no one knows it, I feel pretty all the way through, which I’m sure reflects in my attitude and self confidence. while pretty underwear doesn’t fix everything it is often a great personal boost.

I like that they are always coming out with new designs and that every piece i’ve had from them is a quality piece. Plus it is a really good monthly surprise. Overall I just really like this subscription service. If you are looking to expand your underwear collection, this is definitely one I would recommend looking into. I for one will be keeping this one for a while.

Birthday Gift 3-Pack

April 2021 Macy’s Beauty Box

Good morning my darlings.  The April subscription boxes have begun to arrive.  First in the mailbox this month is Macy’s Beauty Box.  It is a $15 ($16.46 with tax).  I signed up for this box and December of 2020 was my first one so this makes the fifth that I have received.  Thus far I have been really impressed by the items they have included.  Each month has been very much worth the price of the box and I have to say, it is one of the subscriptions that I am really excited to find in my mailbox each month.

Inside the pink roll

While I believe prior to December Macy’s Beauty Boxes always came with a small makeup bag, for the past few months the makeup bag element has been substituted for other items.  In December there was a reusable plastic container with travel sized containers and I believe January’s bag was hair product themed so instead of a makeup bag they included a mini hair straightener. There has always been something that replaces the bag. Personally, I am okay with the substitutions. I like makeup bags, but there are realistically only so many you can use. This month, we actually received a makeup bag.

I kind of like it.  I wish the zipper went down the sides a bit so the mouth could open wider making the insides more accessible, but it is a really cute little bag that can hold quite a lot of items. I like the iridescent blue and the almost cracked mirror look.  While the bag does come with an information card, the card says nothing about the bag itself.

The card does give some pretty good information on the products and it also lists the theme as Red Carpet Inspo. Usually Macy’s does a pretty good job linking the theme to the products so it will be interesting to see how it relates.  Let’s dive into the pink tissue sausage roll shall, we?

I’ll admit, the first Item out of the bag made me happy.  It is a sample size of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer.  You know I love primers. They smooth the canvas of your face so that you may paint your daily masterpiece upon it.  A good primer can make even a not so great foundation better. This is one that I have wanted to try.  However it is on the pricey side, so I held off hoping I would get a chance to try it out before actually purchasing the primer. 

I know, I love trying products before I buy them. I’ve mentioned that about a zillion times before. Because here is the deal, it doesn’t matter if it is a very expensive luxury brand or a discount drugstore item, a product is only good if it works for you.  And you don’t know if it works for you until you try it.

There have been several products everyone raves about (both drugstore and high end) that just performed horribly for my skin and there are some that just really work well with my skin type that other people can’t stand to use.  Playing around with samples rather than listening to marketing is a better way to determine if something works for you.

Which is one of the reasons I love subscription boxes.  Now don’t get me wrong, I saw the YSL logo and the pretty, pretty gold flakes and I really wanted to take it home with me. Hence the delight that it is a sample in the bag.  I will gladly use the sample and see how I feel about the product after a week or so of use. And you know I am going to have to give it a go this afternoon when I put on my makeup. So you’ll get a first impression soon.

But on with the bag.

The second Item was a small Makeup Eraser. It is so small and cute. I really like Makeup Erasers.  They let me stop using makeup wipes and thus reduce the amount of trash that I produce and have become an essential part of my skincare and makeup routine.  While I do use makeup removing balms and oils, I apply the balm and oil to my face use the Makeup Eraser to help me out. It keeps the wash cloths from becoming mascara stained and keeps me from having to do any harsh scrubbing on my face. 

And the Makeup Eraser always washes up clean.  I’ve had mine for over a year (maybe 2 for the current one I’m using, I lost track) and after the wash it looks practically brand new.  The colors have faded a tiny bit, but there are no stains.  I can’t actually say the same thing for the PMD Cloth I received in a Boxycharm a few months ago, but that is another tale to tell.

Thus far I was as happy with this box as I have been with every other Macy’s box I’ve gotten. 

Then out rolled two black gel pencil style eyeliners. One is Natasha Moor’s Kohl it Magic Eyeliner and the other is Clinique’s Quickliner for eyes in Intense Ebony. I swatched them both and they look slightly different but feel the same on the skin.  I’m sure there are differences between them that I will find out once I start wearing them.  I’m sure that they are both fabulous.  But here’s the thing.  Its two black eyeliners in the same box. The same color. The same type of formula. It seems like a bad decision.

I have to say I was not all that happy with the Bodyography tapered blending brush either.  The ferrule is a little loose already and it feels a little cheap.

Next up we have the two perfume samples.  The Macy’s box tends to come with at least five items and usually includes two perfume samples.  This month the samples were both from Jimmy Choo.  One is the New I want Choo which looks interesting and the other is Jimmy Choo Man.  I will give that a sniff and see if it is unisex enough for me to wear or if it needs to pass to someone else but I am always happy to have new perfume samples to try out.

I have to say as much as I love the YSL Primer and the Makeup Eraser, this isn’t one of their better boxes.  Sadly I might have thought differently if the brush wasn’t wobbly and one of the eyeliners was in a shade other than black. 

Then I would probably have been a little happier.  But the brush was cheap feeling and there were two black eyeliners.  And as the boxes have been really good in the past few months, I just really expected more. I still think it is a good box for $15 and I am still glad to have it, but I feel it just isn’t as good as the other Macy’s boxes I’ve received in the past few months.

It’s still a good solid three out of five for me, but that is really because I love Makeup Erasers and am always happy to have another one in any size and because I really wanted to try out the YSL primer. Still a three isn’t all that bad all things considering.  It is solidly middle of the pack. It only feels like a letdown because the past few months have hit high fours and fives.


Makeup Eraser

Goat Milk Hand Cream with Dionis

I’ll admit I wasn’t terribly enthused when this arrived in one of my IPSY bags. Partially I was irritated as I specifically told them in my profile that i didn’t want hand creams. The reason I didn’t want hand creams isn’t because I don’t use them. I do. Quite often. Several times a day in fact at this point.

For a while I wasn’t using them as regularly and my hands became very dry and cracked from excess washing and the hand sanitizer chaser. So now I am back to using the hand cream. I have to say i was intrigued by the Goat Milk Hand Cream. While I have a wide variety of creams in my house I don’t have any that are goat based.

Not that I am opposed to the idea. I have a very fantastic goat’s milk soap that I pick up periodically and really love. I had just never tried a goat milk hand cream. So Despite having other options I decided to go for it and use it until it is used up. Only a little bit now remain and soon the tube is destined for the empties bin.

Before I tell you my thoughts on the Cream, lets talk a little bit about it. Dionis Goat Milk Hand Cream is sold at both Ulta and Macys. Ulta has the full size listed at $10 and the travel size (which I have) listed at $5. Currently Macy’s has the fill size on sale for $7.64. The Travel Size is 1 oz (28 g) and the full size is 3.3 Oz (93 g). The Brand website for Dionis has the hand cream in a large pump top container (which I find really hand for hand lotion) containing 8.5 oz (240 g) for $12.

So in general it is a reasonable price and you can get the cream in whatever size suits you from several locations. It’s always nice to have options. The links will take you to the brand site in case you are wondering (I have no affiliation and make nothing from the links) and the information about the product is also taken from the brand page.

So what do they have to say for themselves?

Dionis Lotion is a non-greasy formula that leaves your skin soft and hydrated. The lotion absorbs quickly, helping to keep your skin moist and beautiful. Use as needed, wherever you have dry skin.

Our rich and creamy body lotion, with regular use, will ease rough skin and make it smooth and silky without leaving a greasy residue. Our formula is made with natural Goat milk that is packed with vitamins and minerals used to nourish and help retain skin moisture, making it ideal for those of us with dry skin.

Our 8.5 oz. Body Lotion comes with a pump

Made in the USA
Paraben Free
Cruelty-Free

Dionis Goat Milk Skincare

I will say that my skin always reacts well to goat milk. I’ve tried a couple of different soaps made from it and generally find it gentle and soothing regardless of the brand so I had high hopes for a hand cream. And I was not disappointed. Despite the washing and the hand sanitizer, the rough and dry skin of my hands is gone. I was especially having issues with the skin around my joints and now, that is not an issue. The skin is soft and supple.

I was concerned that because it is listed as for dry hands it would be a heavy formula. It is nice. It is a very light weight cream that absorbs well and quickly into the skin. It feels almost as though it has a whipped texture to it. Almost. it is as light as a whipped formula, but massages in a lot more quickly. Like the claims made, it leaves no greasy residue behind.

I have noticed that with goat related products, they can smell a little, well, goaty. It is completely understandable, however this didn’t have that issue. It is listed as Vanilla Bean and it is definitely a vanilla bean scented product. There is no goaty scent to it at all. The vanilla bean is a little strong for me. It is very sweet when applied to the skin. Luckily, the scent does fade down once the cream is absorbed. Overall I have to say that I did like the cream and despite having other products to use, am rather sorry that the tube is now virtually empty. I will more than likely finish out the tube today and send it to the emoties bin.

I very much enjoyed using it and I think that I would definitely consider buying this product in a full size. I probably wouldn’t pick up a travel size to keep in my purse as the scent is really strong and I think using it in public would cause the strong initial scent to travel to others who might not enjoy the vanilla bean as much. I would actually consider buying the full sized pump top bottle to keep by the sink. Our kitchen is relatively open and the scent dissipates quickly. I also like keeping a hand cream near where I wash my hands so that the triple hand care can just become habit. Wash hands, dry, apply hand sanitizer and then add the hand cream. I think this is the way to keep germs down and my skin from drying out again.

For this, the pump top would be a fantastic option. In addition, my baby doll really likes the scent. He likes it a bit more than I do, but then he does have a stronger sweet tooth and things that desert is imminent when i use it. Once he got over his no creme brulee disappointment he used and liked the cream as well. As it is really hard to get him to use a cream regularly, I am more than happy to repurchase one that he thinks he will use. This very much argues for a full sized purchase in the near future. I also think that I may have to branch out and try some of their bath bombs, or body scrubs as well. Perhaps they too will be something my skin will appreciate. All of the products on the site seemed to be reasonably priced when i perused it so trying several products from the brand won’t be cost prohibitive. And at the moment I really need to stock up on bath bombs and other bathing products. I’ve been using up a variety of sample sized products in my bath and have almost cleared out my entire collection of bath time samples. Soon it will be time to make some full sized decisions.

But that is a tale for another day. For now, the Dionis Goat Milk Hand Cream goes on my list to repurchase. However it is one that will be used at home where the strong scent will just make my babydoll think of delicious desserts.

Indulging in the curiosity of the Walmart Beauty Spring 2021 Box

Have you ever seen something and thought, I just want to know? I have been seeing the $5 walmart Beauty box floating around for quite a while. It is one of those things that swims into the edge of my consciousness every now and again and then darts back out before i can focus.

Now I will be the first to admit that I like a lot of high end products. I am also one to admit that I like a lot of low end products. I am both caviar and potato chips. (which incidentally is a really good combination. You need a dip of sour cream to cut through the salt bomb and choose a sturdy dipping chip, but it is actually quite a nice contrast of textures and flavors).

Plus as much as I do order most of my products on line, occasionally I forget to reorder and like to be able to run out locally to pick something up.

I also realized that while I will occasionally do a slow meander through Target, I only go to Walmart when I need something I know they have. The I go directly to where what i want is located, pick it up and get out as fast as possible. The Walmart near me is a bit of a zoo so by the time i make it through the parking lot i am generally ready to have the trip over with. As a consequence I have very little knowledge of their offered goods.

And I was curious as to what would actually be in a $5 beauty box.

First of all, it is no longer $5. It is, I believe $6.95. With tax it comes to $7.66. I always mark down the actual cost I pay in case you are wondering why one is a definite price. This is a quarterly box and the products are variable. When you sign up you take a short quiz. It is a fairly general quiz and not as in depth as something like Ipsy or Boxycharm, Not that either of them have been paying much attention to the quizzes lately, but that is another discussion. So the products vary from person to person.

The card that comes with the box lists a total of nine products and I received six of them. So it isn’t a huge variation. Before I move into the actual products I recieved, lets talk a little about ordering. This is a quarterly box. The Spring Box becomes available in February (or at least you are charged for it in February. The months you are charged are February, May, August,and November. However the system for shipping seems to be that as long as they ship it sometime in the quarter then it isn’t late. I placed my order in February and was charged immediately. I was sent a welcome e-mail with my general account information and then nothing until last week when the box shipped.

When it ships they send you an e-mail saying it shipped. To find out more you have to log into your account, go to the order and locate the tracking number. Clicking on the tracking number gives you the location but no dates on delivery expectations. It tells you when it left or arrived at a particular distribution center and that’s about it. I know I probably pay a little too much attention to tracking numbers than I probably should. So not having an estimated arrival date sort of made me twitch. I got over it, and my box did arrive about a week after I received the shipping notice.

So My box arrived. Lets see what is in it shall we?

First up is a Hello antiplaque and whitening toothpaste. It is in natural peppermint. I’ve heard of the brand Hello but not tried them and quite frankly didn’t know they were sold at Walmart. I am currently trying David’s Natural toothpaste (and am almost done with that review) so I will try this one out next. The tube is small but it is well filled and will no doubt be enough product to let me know how i feel about it.

The second item in my box was a little pot of cream. Moisturizer that is. It is the Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Hydrating Moisturizer. Honestly it is on my list of products to try. the only reason I haven’t picked it up is because I wasn’t sure it the Ultra Rich Hydrating Moisturizer would be too moisturizing for me.

The New REGENERIST ULTRA RICH MOISTURIZER Fragrance Free now available for Pre Order. Get the REGENERIST ULTRA RICH MOISTURIZER for only $28.99 plus free shipping.

I do love the regenerist line so I have high hopes. It is just the moisture level I have to worry about. i am very happy to give it a go in the form of a trial size. It is small but again it is large enough to let me know it I want to try a full jar.

I’ll admit the Tanologist Face and Body Drops aren’t all that exciting to me. Even with layers of SPF me and the sun get along and even though it is barely spring my time in the garden is already starting to bring me out of my winter pale. I’ll try it on my legs though as I don’t really get a lot of sun on them and they are much paler than the rest of my body. It is interesting and I don’t mind trying it but I’m not all that excited.

I am kind of excited for the Dashing Diva Gloss Ultra Shine Gel Manicure stickers. Its a pack of 20 nail strips. At the moment I am trying out a strengthening formula from OPI but as soon as that trial ends I might give these a go. They look quite interesting actually and I certainly wouldn’t have picked them up on my own.

There was one makeup item in my walmart beauty box for spring and it is the Hard Candy Hydrating Primer. We all know I love a good primer. the fact that it is Hard Candy kind of tickles me.

I remember the brand from long ago and it has been a really long time since I tried them. I think I might try out the primer for just nostalgia’s sake. If it works I’ll be tickled. But it isn’t a brand i’ve used in a long time.

My last Item I was actually impressed by. It is a pack of five cloth scrunchies from scunci’s Wild Primrose collection. Despite the name they are all in shades of brown. There are several I quite like the look of and to be honest my hair is thick and heavy so once the weather warms up, 90% of the time I tie it up and out of the way.

Right now I am wearing it down as much as possible because soon it will be tied up and not released again until fall. Having a new set of scrunchies going into summer makes me very happy. they probably won’t last though summer but they will be quite useful.

I have to be honest, I had very few expectations for the box. I didn’t actually even anticipate reviewing it. I thought I’d get a box of samples that were small and not really worth the cost of the box. I really just ordered it to see what it really was. I have to say I am somewhat impressed. I will actually use all of the products inside. I am actually excited for a few of them.

It was a very good mix of health and wellness, and beauty and the items spanned a variety of categories. I anticipated getting the box and cancelling right away. Now I find myself a little curious to see what the summer box coming out in May holds. Admittedly I may not get it until the end of June, but for now, I’m willing to give the box a chance.