IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2021 Unboxing

That’s right my darlings. We have reached the section of the month where unboxings sort of take over as subscription boxes start to arrive. This month has been strange as subscriptions that have been running late arrive early and the ones that usually arrive early are running late.

Apparently several of my packages have decided that they really like Smyrna, TN and have no desire to leave. I have no idea why. But it is one of the mysteries of the postal service.

The bag

One of the subscriptions that has been running late in the past few months is IPSY. Which is why I was surprised when my Glam Bag plus arrived mid month instead of towards the end. But arrived it has. Now normally I don’t say much about the draw string bags that now come with the IPSY Glam Bag plus subscription. It used to be actual makeup bags, now it is just a drawstring bag. I only mention this one because it actually feels a little less cheaply made than many in the past. I will actually be keeping this one and adding it to my travel kit. I like to keep underwear in small bags when I travel. I also was take too bags, one for clean and one for worn. And If I am traveling for a longer stretch I put a plastic ziptop bag inside the bag for the worn underwear just to keep everything super fresh until I can get to a laundry.

But that is besides the point.

What is to the point is that this is a $25 per month subscription. Or at least was. In October the price goes up to $27 per month. I have to say that given that IPSY hasn’t been spectacularly fabulous in the past few months, I’m not really sure how I feel about the price increase. I’ve had an IPSY subscription for a really long time, in one form or another and when I work out my end of year subscription evaluations and decide what subscription is going through with me to the next month, I never really considered dropping IPSY completely. This year that may change.

But on to the September products. In the Glam Bag Plus you receive five full sized products. Two they choose for you and three you pick from a selection. Let’s start with the two products they chose.

The first is the Murad Clarifying Oil Free Water Gel. In general I like Murad products. Currently in my skincare line up I have a Murad Toner that I am absolutely loving. The thing is, this moisturizer is designed for acne prone skin. While I am currently using an acne clearing product in my line up, I typically only need them once a month for hormonal break outs or if my skin has a reaction and breaks out. At the moment I am settling both at the same time, but that is a different story.

Because of this I tend only use acne fighting products once a month and rely on pore clearing masks to help with any clogged pores in the interim. The Clarifying cleanser from Murad is one that I will reach for periodically and it works really well, but I can only use it two days in a row before my skin dries out too much for me to use it. It is from the same line as this cleanser so I suspect it will be the same. I will hold the moisturizer until the current acne fighting one I am using (Neuralyze renewal complex, if you are curious) is finished, but that will take a while. It is a great brand, it is a pricy brand, and if you have acne prone skin it is a fantastic line of products. I’m not entirely certain it is going to be for me.

I know that is a lot to say about the first product, but for the moment it is important. One of the things that I always liked about IPSY is they pay attention to the beauty profile and your choices. I went back and looked and deliberately chose rarely for acne fighting products. Now one can say it is a fluke and perhaps I will end up enjoying it. However the second product they chose for me was also an acne fighting one.

The second item in my bag this month is the Neogen Dermalogy Intensive Blemish Care Foam Cleanser. Again, I like Neogen. I’ve tried a moisturizer from them that I really love. And to be fair I did put that I love cleansers because it is my most used category of skincare products (I also put that I love moisturizers for the record which I suspect is why they sent these). It’s the intense blemish control that I have issues with. So I will plan to try both of these when it seems appropriate, but suspect that before that comes around I will be passing them along to a younger relative who has this as more of a concern.

So now on to the three items I chose. I’ll be honest, while I do like the items I chose, the selection this month was awful. I literally chose the one product in each category that I thought would be okay.

The first is a Radiance Enzyme Scrub from the brand Juara. It is supposed to minimize pores, brighten, exfoliate and smooth. And I think by now we all know I love my exfoliators both chemical and physical. I try to limit them so I don’t scrub myself into a bad skin place, but I do enjoy them. Plus I don’t know all that much about this brand. I used a hand cream from them and while it worked nice I remember the scent being strong enough to make my eyes water. so it will be nice to try out something else.

The next item was a lip balm from the brand Mischo Beauty. I vaguely recall trying something from them a while back, but I can’t actually remember what it was or how I felt about it. I think it might have been a nail polish. This tinted lip balm looks good, has no scent to it and is in a shade that I very often use. So it could be a very good thing.

Lipstick swatch above, blush swatches below

The final item in the bag this month was a set of liquid blushes from the YC Collection. I was very relieved to open them and find they had do foot applicators. When I looked at them on line they just have liquid dots of product next to the contain so I was worried it would be just a liquid pour. I’ll be honest though, the swatches doo not enthuse me. They both look a little orange in tone. I love blush in… well pretty much any formula though, so I’ll try them out, but I’m not so certain these colors will work for me. Perhaps once blended they will surprise me.

I did choose two add ons this month as well and to be honest, those are the two products I am the most excited about receiving. Well, I say two products, but I mostly just ordered two of the same thing. It’s the Tatcha Rice Cleanser. So at least I know I’ll have one cleanser I can use in this lot. It just more than likely won’t be the one IPSY Chose for me.

I know not every month is going to be fantastic with every subscription box. However it has been a rough year for IPSY. I hate sounding down on subscriptions, especially one that I have really loved for so long, but there may be some serious end of year reevaluation where my subscription is concerned if this sort of trend continues. There are after all many other subscriptions out there. Perhaps, it is time for a change.

LovelySkin

Unboxing the September 2021Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription

Here it is, a small blue plastic mailer has arrived in my mail box and it is postmarked New Jersey. You know what that means, my darlings. The September Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription has arrived. Now this month they did increase the price. Before the subscription (with shipping) came to $8 per month. Now, with shipping it is $10 per month.

As each of their lip balms retail for $10 and you receive two lip balms per month. So it is basically double the value, so I don’t mind the increase. And I do like the lip balms. In fact these have been my go to standard for lip balms for a while. I love the formula and the scents and tastes of the lip balms. i always keep a tube on my desk and all winter you will find them tucked into coat pockets and purses in my world.

In fact this is the subscription I use to stock up so that I don’t end up with dry cracked lips in the winter. There is something I really like about seeing a stockpile of lip balms. It makes me think, ‘wow I really need to use those up’. Because of that thought I tend to reach for them more, and apply the product more and thus have fewer chapped lips in the winter.

However it does take me more than a month to get through one lip balm. And each month comes with two, so this is one of those subscriptions that I frequently dip in and out of. I keep it around for a few months and then let it go as I work my way through the balms I have. It is one of the reasons I tend to subscribe to this service through Cratejoy rather than look for it on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Website. It is super easy to find, sign up for and cancel. And I sign up and cancel at least once a year.

This will probably be my last month for a while as I am starting to look at my lip balms and thing, yeah I have enough for a while. I know it is a bit early, but I want to actually restart the subscription again around January. I noticed that I tend to stock pile enough to get me through the winter, which means I sign up for the subscription in the spring and keep it through the summer. It means I get a lot of watermelon, Strawberry and lemonade flavored lip balms. This year I want to try out some of the wintery versions instead.

But September is most definitely autumn, so what lip balms arrived this month?

First off both are labeled Lip conditioner and aromatherapy.

The first is Citrus Zest. It is lemony but has a slightly different scent and taste from the Lemonade lip balm (which I actually really enjoy). It smells as though lemon and lime were blended together in this vegan formula.

The Second lip balm is the Petite Vanilla. As you might expect it smells of vanilla, but has no real taste to it. The scent is actually more like a vanilla pod than the faux vanilla that you get in a lot of beauty products. It is lighter and less cloying.

Now while I tend to pay attention to the scent of lip balms because they are placed on your lips which are just under your nose, these are labeled aromatherapy. I’ll have to look into what the scent of vanilla and citrus are supposed to do mentally, but I can tell you that the scents of these are a little bit stronger than their normal lip balms. So I can see why they are a different line.

Personally, I rather like both of them. I can sort of see the Vanilla edging into fall scents, but I’m not certain about the citrus. Admittedly seasonality is not always the point. One thing i really like about this Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription, besides the lip balms, is that the products sent out tend to be their new releases. It is not older product the brand is trying to get rid of, but new items they just released. Earlier this summer we received two products from their new Spritzer line of lip balms and now we have the aromatherapy ones. As Autumn deepens I’m sure there will be more seasonal scents. And while these don’t scream fall, they are good lip balms and I will very much enjoy putting them to use.

Unboxing the Look Fantastic September 2021 Beauty Box

Okay, everyone take a deep breath.  Guess what arrived?  My Look Fantastic Beauty Box for September.  I know!  It has been so late the past few months I wasn’t actually expecting it.  I received the e-mail saying it was on its way with the date to be updated later.  Then the next morning the box was on my doorstep.  When I looked back at the tracking info the site claims that it should arrive at my place sometime next week. 

So there are still some crossed wires in the system, but hey I got my box before the end of the month. So I’m happy. 

I’ll be honest, when I opened the box I looked inside I thought, hmm, not the greatest month.  I saw an eyeliner, a couple of tubes and a face mask.  Not the most exciting things in the world.  And then I took a deeper look.  The more I actually looked at the box, the more excited I became. 

Let’s start with the one thing I was happy to see at first glance.  It was the Christophe Robin Hydrating Melting Mask. There are three brands of hair products that Look Fantastic introduced me to that are now in my list of favorites: Percy and Reed (I always have a tube of their Wonder Balm), Grow Gorgeous (Any time I see the shampoo and Conditioner from the Intense Line on sale I stock up, it is rapidly becoming the shampoo I use when I am not testing other shampoos) and Christophe Robin.

I know, if you look at my older posts I was a bit down on the Christophe Robin sea Salt Scalp scrub.  Then I realized I was using it wrong and now, it is on my top ten list.  If you are having a dull hair week or you think that you have too much buildup of other products on your scalp, pick up a jar of this and take one day out of your week, use the scalp scrub instead of shampoo and really lather it up and massage the scalp.  It does wonders for the hair and removes build up from the scalp.  After, I generally use a hair mask as a conditioner to the scalp scrubs shampoo.  Lately I’ve been reaching for either the Klorane Nourishing moisture mask or the Mane Club’s Cry Baby mask. They both pair well.  Since I now have a Christophe Robin Mask to try out I may pair it with the Christophe Robin scalp scrub and see how that works.  So first product in I am super excited about.

The second item I expected to be disappointed by.  It is an eyeliner by 3inA. Even though it has a brown packaging there are so often black eyeliners of all varieties in subscription boxes that I find it really hard to get excited about them.  This is not black it is brown.  And it has a really fine felt tip pen tip.  And it applies smoothly and the swatch lasted on my hand overnight without smudging.  I finally had to put a dab of makeup removing oil on my hand to get it off.  Then it came off well, but I had to deliberately remove it.   I may have to give this one a chance.  I’ll admit, I haven’t really been wearing eyeliner for a while.  Part of it really is the season.  It is hot and humid where I am and eyeliner can melt with sweat or get smudged as I squint in the bright light. So in the summer I almost always skip it. 

But summer is ending.

And it isn’t a black eyeliner.  I am actually quite happy to give this a go.

And then came the third item.  It is the Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant.  I’ll admit, I saw it, thought body scrub and was inclined to move on.  Not that I don’t like body scrubs, but in general they aren’t that exciting. Except this one is.  It isn’t just a take into the shower and scrub down kind of body scrub.  It is formulated for bumpy and really dry skin.  While they say it is good for relieving the ‘chicken skin’ look, I have a patch of overly dry skin that I have been trying to deal with for years.  It is on my left forearm and it drives me crazy.     Apparently this is something you put on, scrub with and then let sit for a few minutes before washing off.  I’ve never heard of this product before and it is quite a great deal more interesting than I thought it was at first sight.  I don’t know if it will help me out, but I am very eager to give it a try. 

This leads us to the next tube of cream in this month’s box.  It is the SVR Palpebral Cream.   I have heard of SVR before, in fact I have a moisturizer sample in my collection that I have yet to try.  I have to admit I did have to look up the word Palpebral.  It turns out it is a word that means the upper and lower eyelid.  See, we all learned something.  Unless of course you already knew that and then you my darling deserve a gold star. It is not just an eye cream but an eye cream that you can use to reduce redness and irritation around the eyelids.  It also has hyaluronic Acid, and Omega 3, 6 and 9 inside.

I’ll be honest, I know that Omega 3,6, and 9 are used for improving heart health.  My mother has heart issues and those are all things she looks for (and has for years) so they are familiar to me.  What they do to the skin around the eyes, I don’t know.  I’ll have to look it up before I open this product to use.  Because you know anything with Hyaluronic acid in it the fine lines around my eyes are down for. And sadly I picked up my ESPA eye cream this morning and it is really starting to feel light. It isn’t empty yet and eye creams only need a little with each application, so I still have a while.  I just hate to see it end as it is such a good eye cream.  Still it is nice to have something interesting waiting in the wings.

The face mask was the next item in the box this month and it is an anti aging sheet mask from Beauty Prcy.  I’ve never heard of the brand before, but I am always willing to try a new mask.  This one is infused with Collagen, Vitamin C and Aloe Vera.  I am not entirely certain that the collagen does anything.  I know it is a good thing in general, but I don’t think it can be absorbed topically. I’m not entirely certain of that though and will need to look into it.  Most of what I was researching about collagen was based on the efficacy of the collagen supplements for hair and nail health. So I wasn’t looking at topical applications at the time.  But again, I would have only been a side note.  I’ll have to investigate (if only for my own piece of mind).  I do know that despite the collagen and its absorption, my skin loves both Vitamin C and Aloe Vera so I suspect I will like this mask in general.

And finally we come to the last item in the box.  It is a By Terry Nourishing lip balm.  I have had one of these before and it is an interesting product.  The Shea butter and Vitamin E mean that my lips love it.  The intense Rose scent is, however a lot to take in.  You really need to love Rose to use this lip balm.  It feels fantastic and my lips are always healthier after a stint of using it.  But that rose.  It is intense.  If you love rose, great, you have found the very best of lip balms.  I’ll be honest, I like rose, but not enough to use this consistently.  I do have a use for it though.   It is the best anti-snacking device I have found.

I know, you laugh.  But if I think I want a snack and then apply this lip balm, I instantly don’t want a snack.  The rose scent is strong enough that it instantly kills any desire I have to eat anything. And when I lick my lips, the rose flavor kills any part of what remained of my thoughts about food.  It is simply so rose forward that rose is the only thing you can think of.  And while I enjoy flowers, smelling them rarely makes me want to eat.  I know that is a strange thing to say about a lip balm but quite frankly it is strange to have a lip balm that heavily scented with rose.  It does amazing things for the lips.  But it has a scent that has to be taken into account when you use this product.  For me, it is an amazing snack mode killer with the side benefits of loft luscious lips.  Quite honestly, I’m okay with that.  Will it be my new fave?  No, but since it is here, I will use it.  I suspect this holiday season everyone I k now is going to make up for skipping out on last year.  And sometimes my diet could use a little back up.

So that was this month’s Look Fantastic box.  I’ll admit, when I opened it, I wasn’t that impressed.  The more I looked at the actual products, the happier I became.  Was this worth the $19 subscription price?  Yes it definitely was and I am very happy to try out pretty much all of these products.  I may wait until the weather cools just a little bit for the eyeliner and I’ll wait until my current eye cream is finished, but everything will be used.  And I even found a couple of things I want to research.  And we all know, I love my research. So two thumbs up Look Fantastic.  This turned out to be a great box.

The Underclub Unboxing September 2021

It is time to unbox the first of the September subscription boxes and, I have to admit, one of my favorites. And that is The Underclub. For those that don’t know (or couldn’t guess), The Underclub is a luxury underwear subscription. They have a multitude of tier options. I go with the one pair of undies for $15 per month option. I find this gives me a nice treat but doesn’t become too overwhelming.

Personally I am a huge fan of pretty undergarments. It doesn’t matter what I am wearing otherwise, if I have on pretty underwear, I feel pretty. The underwear really is just something for me. While I work out in my cotton Hanes undies, once the work out is through I shower and change and as an everyday reward I put on a nice set of underwear as a special little treat just for me. It is kind of a, ‘hey you did a good thing, so here’s something pretty’ moment for myself.

The interior bag and lovely card that comes with it.

There are several reasons I like the Underclub. First, it brings a new pair of pretty pants to me each month to add to my collection. The second is that it is a very size inclusive subscription. I know I’ve said this before, but it still is something I love. They have Triple X sizes and they have Extra Small Sizes. There is no if you want to wear pretty things you have to look a certain way with this subscription.

Plus it isn’t just the subscription they have. There is also The Underclub store where they sell all sorts of matching sets of bralettes and panties. They have camisoles and sleepwear sets. And they tend to release new designs on a regular basis.

Receive 10% off purchases in the Underclub Shop with coupon code XTRA10

And the best part about the shop? All of those items are in their size inclusive range. So I know that when I shop I am not shunted off to a small section of items in my size somewhere on the site. I also know that I won’t see something I love and then realize they don’t have it in my size. I absolutely adore that.

But, my darlings we are here to talk about the September selection. This month came from the brand Toast. I’ve had several items from them before as it is a brand regularly featured in the subscription. As always the pair came in the plain pink mailer and incased the underwear in a smaller bag inside.

I know it is probably a little strange, but I really like that second bag. I think it is the thought of having the underwear contained if something happens to the outer packaging that makes me like it. I’ve had way too many packages become mangled en route and it’s nice to know that should there be a little damage to the package along the way, the pants will remain safely in their own little bag.

This month’s pair is black with stripes. The stripes are black and semi solid looking. The cloth between the stripes is sheer. (hence the reason you get pictures of the pants without me in them. I love you my darlings, but I’d rather not have pictures of me in sheer panties floating around.) In the back there is a small keyhole detail which I really like the look of. It elevates the style just a little bit and makes it feel like a little extra thought when into them.

Stripes

The underwear was creased from the packaging, but as I always wash before wear, it isn’t a problem. as always I looked for loose threads or dropped stitches before washing. There were none. They are of good quality. So I popped them in the wash with everything else and when they came out, I inspected them again.

Once again no loose strings or problem spots. And so I tried them on. I have to say, something a little magical happened. They were a little loose. I know that sounds odd, but even though I keep working out, at the moment my weight loss has plateaued. I haven’t measured my self for a bit, but I have noticed my jeans getting looser and that I have been reaching for clothes that were a little tight before and finding them not so tight.

keyhole detail

So it isn’t that this underwear is off size. Actually every pair I’ve gotten from the Underclub has fit me perfectly. I think I might actually need to go down a size. I think I am going to go onto the website and adjust my membership so that I am down a size. I know it sounds very optimistic, but these pants are a little loose, and knowing that I have gone down a size for next month will help me keep from getting discouraged with my plateau. After all if I can go down an underwear size then what I am doing is working regardless of what the scale actually says.

And if next month is too tight, I can always change it again (although I really don’t want to). So the subscription not only provides me with a lovely post work out reward for myself, but it actually may help me stay on track. Now there is a side benefit I never expected. Yet another reason I am very much keeping this subscription around.

Unboxing the August 2021 Look Fantastic Beauty Box

To be honest as it is nearly the end of the month, I wasn’t sure I should post the unboxing. I don’t believe August’s box is still available to order. However I thought that for anyone who is trying to decide if they want to start a Look Fantastic Subscription, the post might be of interest. I believe if you order now you would be getting the September Look Fantastic Box, but check the website to be certain before you click on the buttons, if you decide to sign up. There is a spoiler for the September box and it is the By Terry Baum De Rose Flaconnette. Which looks basically like a lip gloss. It has a value of $14 so I don’t think it is a full size but a deluxe sample.

The box itself costs $19 per month, less if you have a longer subscription. As I generally enjoy this box quite a lot I do have an annual subscription and pay $17 per month. while some months are of course better than others, I always find something I really like in this box.

Currently Look Fantastic has a Labor day Sale going on in their on-line store : 20% off with the code LABORDAY.

And I know with autumn just beginning, not everyone has shifted into holiday mode yet, but The Look Fantastic Advent Calendar pre ordering begins September 1st (this Wednesday). It is always a fantastic Advent Calendar. Last year it included items from Molton Brown, Natasha Denona, Elemis and Charlotte Tilbury if I am not mistaken. It does lean more towards skincare, but there are still several makeup items in the calendar. If you are looking for an advent calendar this year, The Look Fantastic one is one I would recommend. Last year they sold out in pre order and never made it for general release, so you might want to keep an eye out or sign up for reminders on the site if you are interested in picking this up.

But on to the August Box.

The first item in this month’s box I smelled before I even saw it. It is the Bubble T Rhubarb and Custard Bath Fizzer. I have tried several bubbleT products and have liked them all actually. And it is getting to the time of year when I start thinking about restocking my bath supplies. As much as I love baths, in the summertime, I stick to showers. the thought of sitting in a bath in the summer here rarely even crosses my mind. All of the bath related items I have gotten from Subscriptions have been set aside in anticipation of the cooler fall weather. I love bath time in the cooler temps and I also love the scent of this bath fizzer. I am very much looking forward to the first soak of the season and as I have not yet restocked any of my bath fizz yet, then I am glad to have at least one on hand.

The second item in my box was a makeup item. It is the Ciate London Glow to Illuminating blush. I really enjoy Ciate London’s products and I currently have two blushes in use from the brand. One is also from the Glow to line and came in last month’s Glossy Box. If this is a different shade, I will keep it and happily use it. If it is the same shade, I will be passing it along. It is a really good formula and I am pleased to see it. Even if it is one that I have, I know I can pass it on to someone who will love it.

The third item I will be passing on. It is the AHAVA smoothing body lotion with Kale and Turmeric. For me I find AHAVA to be good. I generally like them. In fact I have tried this body lotion and liked it quite a lot. My mom on the other hand LOVES the brand. They are her go-to brand for skincare items and she is always delighted with them. So since I like them but am not in love with them, I tend to pass all AHAVA products that come my way unopened in her direction. So even though this one isn’t for me, I know it will be absolutely loved.

The next item we come to is the Filorgia Age Purify Intensive Serum. I actually have an eye cream from the brand in my collection of eye creams to try out. For a stretch of time every subscription box had eye creams in it (or at least it felt that way) so I am slowly working through them. The Filorga one is rather large so I wanted to clear out some of the smaller tubes first before settling into a trial with it. I have heard fantastic things about them and am happy to have a serum from the brand to try out as well. I look forward to putting that into my skincare rotation.

The Skimonos Radiance Recovery eye Sheet Mask will be used very soon. It is designed to reduce the look of fine lines and puffiness. Right now grass pollen is high in my area so puffy eyes are kind of my standard. As my workouts included walks on the walking trail I have been using eye masks post walk and pre makeup for the last few weeks to sooth my eyes. I am always happy to try out a new mask for the under eye, especially at this time of year.

And this finally brings us to the Glov Mask remover. It is a microfiber cloth sewn into a square with a pocket for your hand. Apparently it is supposed to remove masks with water. Like a Makeup Eraser for masks, I suppose. I’ll have to give it a try with this week’s masks and see how it performs. If it works well I will be happy to welcome it into my collection of beauty tools. I’ll have to get back to you on it’s performance.

So that was this month’s Beauty Box from Look Fantastic. It was later than expected. However, Look Fantastic did send me an e-mail telling me it was going to be late and then kept me updated on the progress of the box. In addition because it was so late they ended up crediting me $10 in the Look Fantastic Store. So I am okay with this month being a little late. I am disappointed that it didn’t come early enough for me to share it with you in time for you to order it for yourselves if you were interested, but I am not disappointed in the contents.

For me, this month’s beauty box worked. The Bath Fizzer is timely as I am just beginning to restock my bath time products for the up coming cooler weather. The eye mask is needed as allergies are in full season and I end up using eye masks almost daily at this time of year. Two of the items I will be passing on, not because I don’t like them but because I know they will be better loved elsewhere. The final two products I am excited to try out. So over all I am happy with this box. And the one benefit of it coming so late is that hopefully it will seem like no time at all before the September box arrives.



Glossy Box August 2021

Good morning my darlings. That’s right , it is an unboxing. I know, you are thinking, that we already covered the unboxings for the month. However there are two remaining. At least for me. This is one of those two, Glossy box was a little late this month, although not as late as it was last month. Of course last month, Look Fantastic was early and this month I just got the tracing e-mail on Saturday saying that it should be here by the 30th. But that is another story. My Glossy box has arrived.

An it was heavy this month.

The reason for the weight was soon apparent, but we’ll get to that momentarily.

Glossy Box is a $21 per month subscription. If you subscribe for a year, like I do then it is $18. You can still pay monthly or you can pay in one lump sum. I always find it worth the $18. I don’t always find it to be worth the $21, but it is always worth the $18. Well that’s not entirely true. Some months are super fantastic. Last month was okay and this month, well its a little surprising.

If you are interested in this box you can get it for $16 with the code DISCO16.

This month is Glossy Box’s 10th Birthday month. Last year they had a specially designed box for their birthday and I remember the box being absolutely fantastic.

This month the box was late and I just figured that it was because they were up to something special. The box was the normal pink and black box, which I happen to find aesthetically pleasing so there are no complaints.

So what was inside of this Birthday box?

Well the first item was what made it so heavy. It is a full size of the Cetaphil Sheer Hydration Replenishing Daily Lotion (retail $9.99). It is a good brand, I have used it before. if you have really dry skin then it may be good for you. I like the feel and moisture of it when I used the moisturizer (face), but am not a huge fan of the scent. Perhaps this will be better in a body lotion. My babydoll will use the lotion though, so it won’t go to waste and it is nice to have a full size. As I have a box of body lotions I am working through, I don’t really get overly excited about body lotion but it is nice. And quite heavy.

The second item in the box this month was from Hask. It is a packet of the Karatin Smoothing Deep Conditioner. I periodically pick up Hask Masks from the grocery store and I have used a shampoo and conditioner from the brand before. I don’t think it was this one though. They are good products. There is enough conditioner for several uses so I will have to put it into a glass container.

I find it is the only way not to make a mess with multi use foil packets. Just remember to label your jars. I frequently use this with the Mane Club’s Hair masks (highly recommend their masks – Cry baby is my favorite actually, really helps detangle). I just save a couple of the prettier looking moisturizer jars and reuse them for mask control. I use masking tape and a sharpie to label them so they can be easily reused repeatedly.

While the conditioner is nice, it is again not a super exciting product. And it always slightly irks me when shampoo and conditioner don’t come in sets. Maybe it is a Noah’s Ark complex but shampoo and conditioner always look like they are missing something if they arrive on their own and not two by two.

The third item I was very happy to see. It was the spoiler for last month and was a deluxe Mini of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. I am always happy to see an Elemis Product in any box. It is one of my absolute favorite skincare brands. They tend to cost a bit more, but I have never had a product form them that I didn’t like. They were the highlight of this box for me.

There are however three other items in the box. The next is the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle cleanser. Oddly enough as my Andalou Cleansing Milk is about to run out, I chose a smaller sample size of this cleanser to try out. The sample I will be opening tomorrow morning is a smaller tube while this is a deluxe mini. Glow Recipe is hit or miss for me. Some of the products I really love. Others, i end up struggling to see what all they hype is about. hopefully this one will prove to be on the fantastic side. we shall see.

The Invisibobble is another product that I am sort of on the fence about. I have a couple of them and they are okay but not the hear bands I always reach for. This box (retail $8) has a box of three and I have to say I do like that they are the slim version.

Pink is original, gray is new slim

I like the look of the thinner bands and I think that they may work better with my hair. I will have to give them a try, but I am interested. I also like that it is a full sized three pack instead of just one tie. The new ones are gray. I put it in the picture with one of my older original ones (pink) so you can see the difference between regular and slim. So I am cautiously optimistic about these hair bands.

The final item this month was the only makeup item in the box. Which is not that unusual as this does tend to be a very skincare heavy box. It is a full size of the KAB Cosmetics Juicy Melon Lip oil. (retail $21).

The lip oil is mostly clear with a small tint of color. to it. the scent is vaguely melon crossed with coconut. It isn’t bad, but I’m not sure why the coconut scent is there. The doe foot applicator is huge looking to me. In fact the entire lip oil looks incredibly large to me. I like the little dip at the end of the applicator though so it will be interesting to see how it performs when it is applied. I’ll be using it throughout the week and get back to you on how I feel about it.

doe foot

And that was it for the Birthday Box. I am excited for the Elemis and interested in a couple of the other products but I think because it was a Birthday box I expected something more celebratory. This just sort of felt a little flat. To be fair I wouldn’t mind this box at all if it were just a regular month. I know that sounds a bit strange to say. I think that because they kept sending out ‘Get ready for our Birthday’ e-mails that I expected something had a bigger wow factor. The products more than covered the cost of the box and I love that three of them were full sized. So I like the box, I just expected more this month.

If that makes sense.

maybe it is because last year they made a bigger deal of their birthday. I don’t know. Even after reviewing the box I’m still not entirely certain how i feel about this month. Usually I love Glossybox. So I am willing to let a puzzling month slide and then hope normality resumes next month. Although i have no idea what next month holds. There was no teaser on the back of the info card this month. Usually they share a spoiler of the upcoming box. This month there was none. So I guess all of September will be a surprise. Fingers crossed its a good one.


Erno Laszlo is having a sale. It is the perfect time to stock up. Personally, I love the original Black cleansing bar and thee Under eye masks. I have to admit some of their other cleansers and masks are calling to me as well. With 30% off I just might be able to justify it.

Dive into Summer Savings! 30% Off Sitewide with code FF30 at checkout.

August 2021 IPSY Glam Bag X

It is time now for the Quarterly IPSY Glam Bag X box.  Each quarter IPSY has the possibility of upgrading your Glam Bag Plus to an IPSY X.  There is a price increase though.  On the Glam Bag X months you don’t get your regular Glam Bag Plus.  The total cost is $55 ($60.36 with all applicable taxes for me). This is the first year of the Glam Bag X and the third box they have done.  The boxes come out quarterly releasing in February, May, August and November.  I’m pretty sure the months were chosen so that they didn’t conflict with the Boxyluxe Months. Each quarter IPSY partners with someone for the box.  The first box was with Patrick Ta, the second with Khloe Kardashian and this third box is with Halsey.

With the increased price, there are increased expectations, at least on my part.  The first box (IPSY X Patrick Ta) was fantastic. The second box (IPSY X Khloe Kardashian) was a major let down. Let’s see what the third box with Halsey is like, shall we?

The first item in my IPSY X this month was the Herbivore Botanicals Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil (retail $48).  Herbivore is one of those brands that I have heard a lot of people rave about, but I honestly don’t know all that well.  There was an Herbivore Mask in a previous Glam Bag X.  I used it a couple of times but haven’t really used it enough to get a real feel for it.  I am happy to try something else out from the brand though.

The second item in this month’s box was an About Face Light Lock Highlighter.  (retail $32)  I was sort of expecting something from About Face as that is Halsey’s  brand and it would be quite strange if something form her product line wasn’t in the box. 

The packaging is beautiful.  I really like the cap that goes over the dropper.  It just sort of makes it feel a little more lux.  It also makes the liquid highlighter bottle rather large.  The highlighter itself is a lovely golden color, which tends to suit my skin tone better than many silver toned ones.  I am actually really looking forward to trying it out. 

The third item was the one I was most anticipating.  It is the Tatcha Silk Canvas Filter Finish Primer (retail $52). You know I love a good primer.  I have actually used this one before and really enjoyed it.  The last time I had this primer I used every speck of product before finally letting it go.  It is great under foundation, but I really liked it when I didn’t feel like wearing much makeup so I would just apply it and dust powder over and call it good. I am thrilled to have another one of these primers in my collection.   

The Nue co is a brand I have used before and rather like. This box had the Barrier Culture Cleanser.  (retail $42). I have never tried the Nue Co’s cleanser and am looking forward to giving it a go. I am always up for a good cleanser and it is one of those skincare categories that always gets used.  I may skip a serum now and again, but I always use the cleanser.

One of my choice items in this month’s box was the Laniege Lip Sleeping mask in Berry (retail $22). I have used the Laneige lip masks before and really like them.  In fact the one I used last was Berry.  It would have been nice to try the Apple Lime scent as I haven’t given that a go, but even though it was an option in the grand scheme of things, only the berry was in my choice section. 

But even without the scent choice, I am happy.  This is a mask you need so little of to coat your lips, so the product lasts a really long time.  And it comes with the cutest little silicone spoon to apply it.  With this mask I like the spoon not only because it keeps the mask from contamination by fingers, but it also lets you take out a smaller amount.  When I try to apply this mask with my fingers I always end up with too much and end up wasting it.  The little spoon is the perfect size for applying it cleanly and easily. 

This month I received a Fenty Beauty Mascara.  It is the Full Frontal Mascara.  (retail $ 24).  Those of you who read my daily posts know that I just finished up a tube of this mascara and sent it to the empties bin.  It is an okay mascara.  It isn’t fabulous.  It is a mascara I will use if it is here, but I won’t go looking for it when it runs out.  I will add it to my unopened drawer and eventually put it into circulation.  I am okay with having the mascara in the box.  It isn’t my favorite item, but it is a decent product.

Surprisingly, the last two items in my box this month, both choice items for me, weren’t even listed in the newspaper/pamphlet they sent with the box.  The first of these was the Elemis Skin Buff (retail $41).  I love Elemis and I am a big fan of exfoliators, so you know when I saw it on the list of options, I swooped in. 

I’ve used this product before and really liked it.  It is gentle enough to use once a week, at least for me.  I wouldn’t use it every day, but for a once a week exfoliation it is fantastic.  I will admit that the box looked like it had been through the wars by the time I excavated it from my Glam Bag X.  The box was crunched and beaten.  The product inside was fine so there aren’t any problems, but the box did look rough.

Finally there was the Saints and Sinners Hair Velvet Leave in conditioner.  (retail $20). I’ve tried one product from Saints and Sinners and I remember liking it but I can’t remember what the product was.  I think it might have been a heat protector, but I’m not entirely certain.  I am looking forward to trying out the leave in conditioner.  I really like leave in conditioners actually.

I thought it was a little strange that two of my items didn’t make it into the product information sheet.  However I really liked this box.  It is one of the better boxes we have received in a while.  It had a good mix of skincare, haircare and makeup.  In the selection categories, there were multiple products in each category that looked like items I would want to select.  In the past the options weren’t all that great.  This month was different.  There were options and I had to actually think about what I wanted to choose.  In addition the items chosen for me were based on my profile. 

The value ended up being $281 so it was well worth the cost of the box.  However more importantly to me the box contained products that I like and want to use.  There is nothing in this box that I won’t try actually.  There are a couple of things I am thrilled to receive.  In addition the box felt special. It felt luxe to receive.  As this is the first year of the category, I know there are going to be some bumps along the way.  I planned to give the box a full year to see how I felt about it and to decide if I wanted to continue on with it.  After May I was mostly certain that I was going to let this box go at the end of the year.  Now I am not so certain.  It was a fantastic box and I am very happy to have received it. IPSY has had a bit of a bumpy year this year, but the Glam Bag X from Halsey for the month of August, gets two thumbs up. Hopefully this is the start of an upward trend.


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Macy’s Beauty Box Subscription August 2021

It is time once again for the Macy’s Beauty bag. This is a $15 subscription that generally comes with five or more products and often comes with a makeup bag. Some months the bag is replaced by something else (a travel supplement’s holder, a mini flat iron), but there is often a bag.

This month there is a bag. It is a stiff mesh bag with the words Golden Hour on it. It is a cute little bag. Oddly it reminds me of the bags my grandmother always put into her luggage for clean underwear. Worn underwear had a solid bag so no one could see the items within but the ones were always folded into a bag that looked a lot like this. It had a pink sipper and a blue mesh to the bag, but it was pretty much the same thing. The bag is actually very well constructed and who knows, perhaps on my next trip I will use it for my clean undies.

But as always it is the products inside that actually count.

The first item out of my August Beauty Box was the Mario Badescu Cleansing Oil. Now I have heard of the brand and even tried a couple of their products. I think I have a facial spray in my ‘to be tried out’ items. But to be honest, I have never been really impressed with the things I’ve tried. They seem okay, but not really worth the major hype they seem to get. But once I have worked my way through my Peach Pudding Makeup remover, I will need another cleanser to take its place so perhaps this is the product that explains to me why so many people seem to rave about the brand.

The second item in my beauty box this month was the GlamGlow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. I have actually used this illuminating moisturizer before. It worked really well under a matte foundation to give it a little depth but it wasn’t very glowy. I remember liking the moisture level during the day but needing more at night. Mostly however I remember that is smelled like candy and every time I used it my babydoll thought I had some sort of hidden candy somewhere. I’d find him rummaging through my desk drawer looking for Smarties. I am happy to have another tube of this to use. I will also have to pick up some smarties to keep around while I am using it so that there are no disappointed faces thrown my way.

The Caudalie Vino Perfect Complexion Perfecting serum is one that I have used repeatedly and always enjoy seeing in a subscription box. This one is actually a fairly large sample. I have a couple of much smaller samples in my skin care drawer so I am not only happy to have this serum, but to have it in such a deluxe sample size.

The Coola Sunless tan I am a little less pleased about seeing. I like Coola Products in general. They make a very good sunscreen actually. And this year I have been trying out a few sunless tanning products, mostly on my legs so they match my arms, face and neck when I wear skirts. (I actually have a post about that coming soon.) But it seems strange to me to have a sunless tanning lotion in an August box. Also if you hold the Coola tube up to the light it is only about a third of the way full. Which means I might be able to get one leg, but not a second leg tanned with the amount of product in the tube. I might be able to blend out a bit of the farmer’s tan from my arms, but that is about it. So that was a bit disappointing.

There was a second makeup item in the bag this month and I have to say I was thrilled to see it. It is the Laura Geller Baked Highlighter. I have seen these before but never gotten around to trying them. According to the packaging it is designed to be all glow, no glitter. As the glitter is one thing I’m not a fan of in highlights, I am looking forward to giving this a bit of a test.

As with most of the Macy’s Beauty bags, this month there were two perfume samples. This month, they were both by Coach. One is Coach Blue and the other is Coach Dreams Sunset. Normally I wear perfume every day and so I tend to post a perfume review for any product I wear over a week. This summer has been so hot that for some reason I haven’t really felt like wearing perfume. So there have been several weeks with no scents decorating my wrists and neck. I am hoping the weather breaks soon so that I can get back to trying out and in general wearing perfumes more often. When I do, these will be in the line up to try out. Actually because Macy’s sends two samples more or less each month I have quite the line-up of products to try. Generally by the end of August, the heat will wane, or at least no longer feel obsessive enough that I avoid perfumes. Soon, my lovelies. Soon your scent will be released. Well some scent will be released. It might take me a while to work through all of them.

So that my darlings was this month’s Macy’s beauty bag. Over all, I was quite happy with my $15 bag. The sample sizes were decent sample sizes. The products are ones I am interested in trying. My only real complaint was with the mostly empty Coola and the sunless tan in August. Was it their most exciting bag? No. I’ve had months that were just fabulous with Macy’s. But it was all in all a pretty good bag. And as always, I am interested to see what they come up with next month because this is a subscription I am holding on to for a while.


Jersey Shore Cosmetics August Lip Balm Subscription

One of my favorite subscriptions is the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. Mostly because I really love The Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balms. What I generally tend to do with this subscription is to keep it for a few months and stock up and then cancel it while I work through my stockpile.

Then of course once my stockpile drops low, I open my subscription back up. The subscription itself is through Cratejoy. I found it while poking around one afternoon several years ago. The subscription has changed a little bit over time. There used to be tiers (1, 2 or 4 lip balms per month) but now they only seem to have the one tier.

It is $5 per month ($8 with shipping) and you receive two lip balms each month. The subscription always ships out by the 7th of the month and you are charged on the 11th of the month for the following month’s package. They are usually really good about sticking to the listed dates. The lip balms sent are the same lip balms they sell on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website. Those retail for $10 each, which makes this a great deal actually.

Yup, my frugal senses are tingling, Batman.

Or whatever superhero is in charge of savings.

Accountancyman? The Budgetator?

Actually, the Budgetator sounds like a potato with a coupon clipping habit.

I’ll work on my super heroes later.

In fact last month we received two of their newly released Spritzer Lip balms. The Peach Apricot Spritzer is one of my favorites and I think it is one I will end up reordering at some point. It smells just like a peach Bellini (sans alcohol of course). The spritzer part keeps the scent light and stops it from becoming too cloyingly sweet, which I like.

This year when I signed back up for the subscription (having worked through my stockpile once again) I realized that because I generally run out of lip balm in early spring, I tend to do my stockpiling in the spring and summer so those are the scents I end up using. My plan this year was to wait a little longer, possibly use up some other lip balms and then get some fall flavors/scents.

August is that strange borderland between summer and autumn. There is a great deal of longing for fall, or at least cooler weathers. Especially as you gather school supplies and realize that over the summer your desk has become a strange place where notes lay have buried under reports and where your Humidity control hair products mingle with your spray sunscreen. But at the same time, the heat has hit what we generally call The Dog Days. Where the heat and humidity combine to make you feel like you are in some strange giant’s stew pot.

Or at least that is how I think of August.

Oddly my lip balm subscription sort of reflected that. The two scents I received this time were Watermelon and Peppermint. Watermelon is most certainly a summer scent and one I have used quite frequently from Jersey Shore Cosmetics. I really enjoy it and am happy to have another one around. The peppermint I have had before and also enjoy. It is cool and refreshing, although peppermint seems to be associated with cooler months. Or at least that is what I am told when I question why peppermint scented body wash is only available for a few months out of the year. I love the scent of peppermint. I find it far superior to spearmint. I find it rather rude that peppermint gets restricted to the cold while spearmint gets to frolic throughout the calendar.

It is an injustice.

So I was happy to see the peppermint lip balm. I didn’t get to keep it however. My babydoll looked at it and said, “Is that for me because I ran out?”

I said yes. Because getting him to use any lip product has been quite the battle. He seems to believe that lips aren’t actually dry enough to need anything until they actually hurt. So if he will use the peppermint lip balm, I will happily give it over to him.

So that was my August Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription. I enjoy the two products I received and think they are well worth the price. I have already paid for September’s subscription and have my fingers crossed that there will be some fall scents just around the corner. If you are interested in this subscription, I would recommend that you go through Crate Joy to get to it. It is much easier to find. I have been all over the Jersey Shore Cosmetics website and it tends to be really hard to locate. With Crate joy it is quick and easy, plus it is easy to cancel when I have reached sufficient stockpile levels, and renew when levels drop. Plus, I can always poke around and see what other nifty things are on Cratejoy.

I’m also interested to see what changes Jersey Shore Cosmetics has going on. At the moment they have a sign on their website saying that big changes are coming. So that too will be something to watch.

Unboxing the BoxyCharm Premium Box for August 2021

This seems to be the month where subscription boxes just sneak into the house. Maybe they have all decided to go incognito through the mail. As with this month’s Birch box, I didn’t get an e-mail saying that the August Boxycharm was on the way. It just showed up on my doorstep.

Surprise! Boxy is here.

I am currently subscribed to the Premium category of Boxy Charm. They have the Base box which is $25 a month, the Premium (which I get) for $35 and the Quarterly BoxyLuxe which I think is $50. At one time I had all of them and after monitoring the items I received I realized I was most consistently happy with the products in the Premium category so I dropped the others and kept the $35 box. In general I have been pretty happy with it. Occasionally some months are less exciting than others, but you get that with every subscription. But for me the Premium category has been consistently decent.

So let’s see what came in this month’s box.

The first item is one I chose and that is the Wishful Honey Balm Jelly Moisturizer (retail $49). I love so many of Huda Beauty’s products and I really wanted to try out something from their sister skincare line (Wishful) so I was excited to see this as a choice item. I rotated in a sample size of a moisturizer for night time use this week in my skin care line and since it will be an empty container by Friday I have been debating what product to replace it with. I might just add this in to try it out. But I was happy to see it as a choice option.

The second choice was mostly a line of Vesca Products. I had never heard of Vesca, but I am always willing to give a new brand a try. I could have sworn I clicked on the bronzer, but in my box was the Soft Sun Radiant Skin Primer and Luminizer (retail $30). I am never opposed to a primer. I suppose I was thinking bronzer and my hand automatically clicked on primer. (or there was another mix up).

The swatch above the primer is for the Zoeva Lippie below

I tried this on my hand and it looks like it is going to be quite the luminizing product. I suspect I am going to have to pair it with a definite matte foundation to balance it out. But I will give it a shot and see how it performs. It should be fun to play around with , and I am happy there was some makeup in the box.

Speaking of makeup there was a Zoeva Powerful Lip twist in the shade Rhea (retail $$14). I like the size of the lip rayon and I think I can make the color work, but it is a very soft formula. Just trying it on my hand bent the tip of the crayon nearly sideways. So I’ll have to be careful with it. Or possibly put it in the fridge for a few minutes before using it.

This month there was a Rainforest Mist Hairspray from Voir (retail $26). I do not use a lot of hairspray to be honest. I generally keep a travel sized bottle in with my hair products and the trial sized bottle lasts for pretty much ever. I did clear out an empty travel sized bottle from my drawer of hair care items the last time I sorted products so I don’t think I actually have any hair spray in the house at the moment.

Now I suppose I do, for any hairspray emergency that comes up. This one has a nice fine mist of product and has a scent like a high end hair salon. I’ve never heard of Voir before, but this looks like it could be a pretty decent product. Perhaps in the fall when the humidity lowers I’ll come up with some hair style that needs hairspray so I can give it a try. Right now not only is it too hot and humid, but my hair is too long and heavy to wear down. Most of the time when I curl it (and thus using hairspray) I wear it down. So the Voir awaits fall.

ohe last two items in my Boxy Charm this month were both skincare tools. The first of these is the Luxe + Willow Phoenix Rose Gold Quartz Vibrating Facial Massager (retail $79.99). I have a context beauty facial massager that is built along similar lines. The big difference is that the top is a bar instead of a quartz disk. While I like the vibrations of the tool on my face, I don’t like that bar, especially under my eye area. It feels a little too hard and angular. I suspect I might like the rounded disk a lot more. I really do like the facial vibration tools. I enjoy the Fereo as a cleanser and I think I will really like this. I actually can’t wait to try it.

And finally there is a plastic bag filled with three reusable rounds from LaRuce Beauty (retail $24). I have several brush sets form them and they are nice. The brushes are a bit overpriced, but nice enough. These rounds actually seem perfectly priced, which is nice to see. These three are all fuzzier than any of the facial rounds I use. The package recommends that The white be used to remove makeup, the gray for toners and serums and the black for washing the face. I think the black one would be very good for washing the face. I might use the gray with toners, but I would be hesitant to try them with serums as it looks like it might absorb more product than a regular reusable round due to its extra fluffiness. I think the white one, as well as the other two when it comes down to it, would be good at removing makeup. It will be interesting to see how long that fluffiness lasts and what effect it has. I like that they can be added to the washing machine. I’m going to give them a good try with a variety of different uses and see how they perform as well as how they wash. I’ll have to get back to you on my thoughts regarding them after they have been given a fair trial.

So that was this month’s Boxy Charm. My $35 box had $222.99 value to it. For me the value is in whether I will use the items and I have to say I will. I may not get as much use out of the hair spray, but it does fill a gap in my current products list and I would have bought hair spray in the fall once the weather cools down. So it means I don’t have to buy hairspray now. The rest of the items I am looking forward to trying out. All in all I am actually pretty satisfied. There were two makeup items, one hair care item, one moisturizer and two skincare tools. Over all it was a pretty good mix of products. I am certainly happy to keep Boxycharm Premium for another month.

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