July 2020 Boxycharm Premium Unboxing

July 2020 BoxyCharm Premium

Morning my darlings, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know we are just beginning August, but my July boxes came in late this month so there is one more to cover and that is the BoxyCharm Premium bag. I have to say, it didn’t entirely feel premium this month. But lets get into the items inside and well talk about them as we go.

First up is an Neon Orange Jelly pouch with pompoms (retail $20). Now I will say that with IPSY I get a makeup bag every month. So I’m not opposed to seeing a bag in a subscription box, but unless it is a really good bag, I tend to think of it as an add on, a bonus rather than an item. This month, the pouch counted as an item in my premium box.

I can’t say I am too happy about that, especially as the pompoms are small, cheap looking, and already beginning to fray. It’s an okay bag. Not my favorite as I generally find the ‘jelly’ plastic tends to split along the stitching after a few months of use. Had it been an extra item, I would have been okay with it, but it wasn’t.

Next up, I pulled out the Morphe and Manny MUA Glam Palette (retail $20). Okay first up, I really like Manny MUA. I find him fun and entertaining to watch. I’m not a big fan of Morphe. Politics aside, while their brushes are pretty nice, I don’t find their products to be that great in general.

I am just not a fan of their shadows. Plus, this was one of those palettes that was released and flopped big time, so seeing this in a subscription box sort of feels like someone hit a remainders sale. Morphe isn’t a brand I would expect to see in a premium box either.

Okay, don’t worry it isn’t all bleak.

The next product is definitely a premium product. It is the Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion (retail $40). Is it good lotion? Yes. Do I think it is over priced? Yes. Am I thrilled to get body lotion? Not really. However, I have had it before in a smaller sample and it is a good lotion. I like the pump and I will use it. I think for the price there should be a bit more product, but I like the product and will use it.

The next product I have very mixed feelings about. It is the Perricone MD No Makeup lipstick (retail $30). First of all it isn’t a lipstick, it is a tinted lip balm. Which I’m fine with, especially in the summer. But seriously, it’s not a lipstick. It is however one of the few lip balms that I will definitely say is well worth the $30 price.

Perricone, MD lip swatch

I really like the brand Perricone, MD. I generally find their products to be good and work well with my skin. I’ve tried quite a few of their products over the years and I can’t think of a single one that I would not repurchase again.

However, my box looked a bit crunched. And not in a got banged up in the box during transport way, but in the clearance shelf of TJMaxx sort of way. But that is only the box.

The product was fine. My concern with it though is that the expiration date on the bottom of the product says that it is going to expire in December of this year. Which means it is not a new product and I have only 5 months to use it before it expires.

Expiration date

I’ve had Perricone lip products before and that is the one issue with them. They are great and hydrating, far more skin care than makeup, but when they expire, they expire. They are prone to mold and funky smells the closer you get to the expiration date. These are not products you buy back ups to stockpile, they are buy and use now sorts of things. Well worth using, but they are serious about the expiration date. So I’m going to make a concentrated effort to use it before then, but despite being an excellent brand, these issues don’t lend themselves to the premium feeling the box is going for.

Moving on we come to the Kenia Ontiveros Beauty Set and Define Kit (retail $42). Personally I like face kits like this and thought it would be interesting to try. It was in fact my selection item for this month. Admittedly, it wasn’t a good selection month. It was this palette or two other palettes from this brand or a Brows by Reema face kit, if I recall. This is the one I went for as it seemed like it had more products I would use.

I am looking forward to trying it out. I had not heard of the brand though, so I went and looked them up. I don’t mind new brands, I like learning about products I may not have picked up on my own, I consider that part of the fun of subscription boxes.

They did have this kit on their website though and it was offered for $42. It also had a mirror inside it, which this one doesn’t. Personally, I don’t really care about the mirror. I’m sure it made the package lighter and easier to produce in the quantities Boxy Charm required at a cost that was not prohibitive. But that’s also sort of bugging me as well. Since there is a clear difference between the ones offered for sale and the ones sent in BoxyCharm, should the retail price be listed as the same?

I don’t know. Personally I go back and forth in my mind about that. While I don’t think that the mirror contributes to the products, it does contribute to the packaging and packaging does help in many cases to determine price. When I look at the palette, given its size, and packaging, I have to say it feels more like it should be in the $20 range. It doesn’t feel like a $42 palette. So again I’m on the fence about this one. I put it in this week’s makeup bag so I will be using it and testing it out this week. Maybe it will astound me with it’s quality and I will be able to say the price is justified, maybe not. We shall see.

Finally, we come to the last product in the box. And I have to say I was very happy to see this product. No there isn’t a however, I was just happy. (see I told you it wasn’t all bleak) It was the Laura Geller Line N define Dual dimension eyeliner.(retail $24).

I have been wanting to try this one out for a while actually, I just kept getting eyeliners from boxes so I never felt like I ought to go out and buy one. This has the pen tip eyeliner on one end and a crayon style eyeliner on the other end. Its been a while, but I have used Laura Geller’s eyeliner’s before and really liked them so I am happy to try this one out as well.

So there we have the July Premium Boxy Charm box. For my $35 I received $176 worth of product. For Boxycharm premium that is a bit of a low return on investment. Usually the value is much higher In addition, there were some issues and the box really didn’t feel premium. I recognize that there are currently issues beyond their control, but this seemed a bit like poor decision making met shipping issues.

I will say that I am very excited about the selection I already made for August’s box and I hope the rest of the items that come in the box are just as nice. At the moment my plan is to keep my Boxycharm subscriptions through September. I want to see if Boxyluxe is actually worth keeping and if the onset of the pandemic was the reason for the last Boxes issues. I was hoping to start changing things around in January, but if the boxes don’t get better, I may be switching things around earlier. We shall see.

Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

Aloha Glossy Box July 2020 Review

The July 2020 Glossy Box

Despite the normal arrival schedule of my subscription boxes it seems that they all came at once this month, and all at the end of the month rather than scattered about somewhere in the middle.  So after feeling ignored by the post office I now feel that they are showering me with gifts. 

Technically gifts I paid for as I pay for my subscription boxes, but let’s just enjoy the showering of goodies, shall we?

For those interested in the technicalities, Glossy box is a monthly beauty subscription where you get a lovely box sent to you each month filled with a mix of five deluxe samples and full sized beauty items.

In case you are counting and thinking, that’s more than five items, no your count is not off. This month we received an extra treat and received six items.  Your math is just fine.

The box is usually $21 per month, however if you sign up for a year you can get the box for $18 per month and you will still be charged monthly instead of having to pay in one lump sum.  This is actually the option I chose, after just a couple of months I knew I wanted to keep getting the box and they also have a tendency to sell out quickly (the Aloha box is completely sold out already but August looks FANTASTIC). If you are interested in trying it out, you can get 25% off your first box by using the code GET25GLOSSY. The code expires August first. 

Oh and if you do sign up, remember to rate your items.  You get points for the reviews (about $0.40 worth per review) and the money can be spent on the Look Fantastic site (FYI Look Fantastic is currently running a 20% off lipsticks for the week since the 29th is National lipstick day just use code LIPS20 the sale runs through August 3rd).  The points are not used on a segment of their site or a few select items, but the whole site.  You can apply it to whatever you decide to purchase.  And they have a really large online store. It’s really a nice little perk as you can save up your review cash for items you actually want rather than limiting yourself to a few select points items.

August is Glossy’s Birthday month so they have some surprises planned.  But before we get into that, let’s see what came in the July box.

This month was the Glossy box Aloha theme with everything you need to feel like you are in paradise without getting on a plane. As I suspect it will be quite a while before I get on a plane, I’m okay with that.

First up, is the Soothing Hawaiian Facial oil from Monu Professional skincare. It is a deluxe mini and is described as a gentle facial oil that provides the ideal treatment to relax and comfort irritated and sensitive skin.  I have to say, between masks and stress, my skin is plenty irritated so this should be interesting to try. 

The second item in my Aloha Glossy Box is the full sized Exfoliating Dual Texture Scrubber from Daily Concepts (retail $12).  I actually already have one of these and am super happy to have a backup.  I really like this scrubber. 

It has a simple strap for your hand so it is easy to slip on and off and to change from hand to hand.  It is much easier to use than the scrubbing mit I’ve tried in the past.  It is the perfect size to fit comfortably in my hand and I only takes a little bit of body wash to lather it into a full froth.  I really like the gentle exfoliation side.  This is one of those products I picked up on a whim a while ago and really liked.  So I am always happy to have a back up of it. 

The Northern Light Smoothing Fluid from Polaar was in this month’s box.  It is a deluxe mini (retail $22) and I admit, I had to do a little more digging.  From the various descriptions it sounds like it is more of a serum than a cream. 

I haven’t opened it yet as I am already testing a serum and a cream and don’t want to open it until I al actually ready to give it a try.  It had vitamin c in it and is supposed to give you tighter pores and a more refined skin surface while protecting you from pollutants.  To me it sounds like a serum and I am always happy to have another serum to try.  I believe last month we received sunscreen from Polaar. 

There were two deluxe sachets of the Hask Monoi Coconut Oil conditioner in this month’s box.  Like the Daily Concepts, this is a product I have seen and used before. 

It is essentially a hair mask and my hair always comes out soft and shiny with both this and the Argon oil masks.  Even though it says the scent is coconut and gardenias, it isn’t overpowering and it is well worth the ten minute wait. Especially if you’ve been taking your hair out into the summer sun.

The Palm Balm from The Beauty Crop was a full sized item as well this month (retail $21). 

It is a 2 in 1 product which always has me suspicious, because I usually find that when a product tries for multiple uses it doesn’t often succeed.  But I am still willing to try.  This is a dual lip and blush in a peachy rose shade.  I’ve seen The Beauty Crop around, but I haven’t actually tried any of their products so this will be fun. The box actually came early enough that I was able to add this to this week’s Make up Bag so I’ll be reviewing it on friday and sharing my thoughts then.

Finally, the extra treat came from Freeman Beauty.  It is the Hawaiian Black salt Peel off mask. It has three to four uses in the re sealable container. I’m never sad about getting a mask in one of my beauty boxes. I used to get Freeman masks all the time as they were a brand always available at my local drug store.  I will admit it has been a while since I’ve used them though.  I am looking forward to seeing if they’ve changed.

I have to say this was a pretty interesting selection this month.  Everything seemed to go with the theme and all of the products are ones I am either excited to have around or looking forward to trying out. 

I will say though that I am glad that despite there being no break in the temperatures in sight, August leads us more into the autumn themed items. Well, with luck anyway. In an attempt to bring vacations to us it seems that there has been a lot of coconut scented items aimed in my direction. Don’t get me wrong I like coconut.  It’s not one of my top five scents but I do like it.  I just feel like I have been bombarded with it this year. In addition all the staycation themes sort of remind me that my actual vacation plans were cancelled. And I’m kind of ready to not think about that for a while.

Its a bit like when people try too hard to cheer you up. Its appreciated, but at some point you are just ready to be over it.

I suspect I am just ready for fall. This has been a pretty brutal summer weather wise (and other wise) and I’m just ready for it to end. I’ve started gazing longingly at some of my sweaters the other day. Admittedly, fall is my favorite time of year and it won’t feel like fall outside until at least mid to late September but at least next month might not be as coconut scented. Unfortunately it means people will soon be gushing about pumpkin spice. I know its a fall scent and it has it’s devotees, but I am really not one of them. I’m an apple cider and mulled wine kind of girl. And I have to admit, I like my coffee to taste like coffee.

And while August is too hot for sweaters, cider and mulled wine, it is the gate way to fall. Soon the summer will end. Still there is much to do before then so it is not quite time to pack away the sandals yet. Still, August with Glossy box looks like it is shaping up to be a good one, and I can’t wait.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box July 2020 Review

The outer box

My Look Fantastic box finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Look Fantastic is a $19 per month beauty box. This is actually my second box from them, although I’ve been ordering things from their site for a while. They have a really large on-line store and are tend to run monthly specials. Many of them start right now, for example from now until August 3rd there is 25% off Staycation Essentials with brands like Christophe Robin, St. Tropez, Westlab, to name a few. The link will take you to the full list of included products (its a long one). Plus, staring tomorrow (July 28th) and running through August 3rd there is a 25% off select Serums with code SERUM25. The list includes brands like NIOD, Elizabeth Arden, PIXI, and FARMACY. 

And for those interested in the Beauty Box, you can try your first box for a discounted price. You can get your first Beauty Box for $16 ($63 Value) with the code TreatBB. That code is valid from now through July 31st. 

In addition to their regular beauty box they also have occasional special edit boxes. The most recent one was with Sarah Chapman Skincare. It was announced only a few days ago and when I went to look up details this morning, it was already listed as being sold out. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier. I honestly didn’t think it would sell out that fast. I figured since it went on sale on July 24th that it would still be available on Monday, but alas it is not. Since they sell out so fast, I’ll try to get info posted as soon as I find out about it next time, because they do the limited editions fairly regularly and they are always excellent boxes.

So on to the July Box. First off this month was a return to the regular box format. Last month, came in a reusable travel pouch. Although I have to say, the Look Fantastic box is quite sturdy on its own and I will be reusing it for storage, so I’m perfectly fine with the regular box. The theme this month was Sunkissed with items specially curated for the ultimate at-home pamper in the sunshine!

So what was in my box?

Well, the first item I pulled out of the box was actually makeup. It was the Sleek Matte Me lippie in the shade French Fancy (retail $6.13). I have to say the shade is a little too pink for me but I have seen Sleek liquid lips around for a while and just never gotten around to using them.

I also like that it is a full sized liquid lip. While I don’t mind getting the trial sized liquid lips, I generally find they dry out fast and while you get an idea of how the formula works on your lips you don’t get a clear picture of how the product lasts, which for lip products you want as they tend to be around a while.

There is no real reason I never actually tried the Sleek lips, I just didn’t know anything about them even though I have played around with Sleek eyeshadows. I’m happy I now get to try the formula. I also like when there is one makeup item even if it is a skin care themed month.

The next item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the Erno Laszlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask (retail $7.17). I am always happy to see Erno Laszlo skincare in one of my subscription boxes. Their Firmarine Night Cream is one of my absolute favorite creams for helping to tighten loose skin in the chin and neck area. (As I’ve been losing weight this is an ongoing off/on concern for me) I’ve never tried their eye serum masks though so I am looking forward to giving it a go and reporting back to you about it.

This month also had a So Eco Large Eye Shader Brush (retail $9.22) in the box. I have never heard of the brand before but the bush feels good in my hand and I will certainly give it a go. It feels rather sturdy.

According to the package it is also made from bamboo with recycled aluminium & synthetic bristles, is Cruelty-Free & Vegan Friendly and has sustainably sourced packaging. In addition, the company plants 1 Tree Planted for Every 100 Products Sold. Not bad claims for a little brush. Hopefully, it will work as good as it sounds.

There were two products from NUXE in the July Look Fantastic this month. The first is the Crème Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream and the second is the Insta-Masque Exfoliating (retail $20.90)

I’ll admit I had to look the Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream up. In case you are wondering Prodigeuse just means extraordinary in French. And it is a day cream. As it is a large enough size that I could probably get at least two weeks’ worth of use out if it, especially if I use a different night cream, I will be testing it and writing up a review later. I really like that it is listed as a day cream. A lot of creams are listed as for day and night use but I’ve found my skin tends to need different creams during the day and at night sometimes, especially in the summertime. Plus I just finished my current day cream so I am more than ready to try a new one.

I am very happy to see both of these products actually, as I have seen NUXE around but I have never gotten around to trying it.

I will also be trying the exfoliating mask as well. I’m sure if you’ve read my posts for any length of time then you know I love exfoliators as well and will be happy to test it out. In fact one of the only things I like more than exfoliators in the skin care world is Vitamin C serums.

And lo and behold there is a Balance Me Vitamin C Serum (retail $13.52) in the July box as well. It’s like they know me. So I will of course give this serum a try and see how my skin likes it compared to other Vitamin C serums. At this point, I’ve tried out a lot of them it seems, some good, some mediocre and some that didn’t appear to do much of anything. It will be fun to see where this lands on the spectrum.

Finally we come to the last item in the July Look Fantastic box. It is the Le Couvent des Minimes Aqua Sacrae/Aqua Mysteri Soap (Retail $6.15). Oddly enough I just finished up my dispenser of Dirty Cow liquid soap so I was looking for another soap to take its place.

Given the amount of hand washing we’ve been doing lately soap just sort of does a brief pass through our house. I’m going to put this in the back powder room where I get ready in the mornings rather in the main traffic area in the hopes it might last a little longer, but I suspect that despite the fact it is a pretty good size it will not last long. I think the packaging is pretty so that might end up sticking around longer.

At least the size is large enough that I can get a feel for how well the product would do with my skin. I have to say, the extra hand washing has caused me to reevaluate both soaps and hand creams lately.

I had a supply of both soaps and lotions before the pandemic hit (both cheap and expensive) and had no problem using whichever I happened to pick up, but the skin on my hands has gotten dryer from all the washing and I have to say, I’ve been keeping track of products that help and products that don’t. Interestingly enough it hasn’t always been the expensive ones that come out on top. There has been a pretty good range of good and bad from all ends of the price spectrum.

I know that sounds strange, but soaps and hand lotions were always just there before. I used body lotion when I stepped out of the shower or bath and my hands were moisturized when I applied it. Hand lotion was something I used once in a while throughout the winter when my hands got extra dry. I keep a small bottle in my purse and trade it out regularly but don’t really think about it. Soap was something to kill bacteria. Neither were items I gave very much thought to. Isn’t it funny how things rise to your consciousness?

But that is another topic. For now we return to the Look Fantastic Box for July. I have to say I am pleased with the products in the box. I think the selection was nice and well thought out. I’m not entirely sure why a liquid lipstick was paired with a eyeshadow shading brush as that seems a little incongruous. However, I enjoy having both items so I won’t poke it too much. As far as value goes, I think I got a pretty good deal there too. For my $19 I received $63.09 worth of products. And in case you are wondering why most of the products aren’t listed in round figures, I’m pretty sure it is the currency conversion.

Personally, I always like to see things like $6.13 as a price. $5.99 always sounds like a marketing ploy in my head and $6.00 sounds very general, almost like it was plucked randomly from the air. Somehow $6.13 makes it sound like someone thought about it.

I know it is just the conversion altering the price tag assigned to it, but something in my brain still thinks – wow that’s exact, someone must have really thought that through. I think it’s the part of me that spent too long making budgets balance. Don’t worry, I don’t let that section of my brain make major life decisions.

So that was my July Look Fantastic and I have to say I am quite happy with it. Everything inside is something I will use and a couple of the items like the Sleek liquid lip and the Erno Laszlo Eye serum mask are things I am really looking forward to trying. (seriously though, if looking for a good firming Night mask, take a look at their Firmarine Night cream, really good stuff. Oddly enough I think I might have first purchased it through the Look Fantastic site during one of their skin care sales).

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Look Fantastic has some excellent upcoming sales this month on their site. I’ll keep posting them through the month so if you are looking to stock up on a favorite or try something new you can take advantage of the sales. I am so sorry I didn’t post the Limited Edition box info before the box sold out.

If it’s any consolation, I was going to order it myself and didn’t get a chance. Next time, I’ll know to pounce and pounce fast. (or are all pounces by definition fast? Can you do a slow pounce? Regardless there will be pouncing.) Like a tiger… who likes skincare. Okay, the metaphor needs work, but you get the idea.

I can hardly wait to see what Look Fantastic Comes up with for August’s box. And remember if you are interested in trying out Look Fantastic, you can get a discount on your first box if you order by July 31st and use the code TREATBB.

BoxyCharm Unboxing: July 2020

It seems like subscription boxes are finally starting to come in.  For a little while there I thought all of July would arrive in August.  Admittedly, I still haven’t gotten any tracking information on my Boxy Premium so August is still a possibility.  But the regular box did arrive.  For those curious the regular Boxycharm Base box is $25 per month and inside you should receive five full sized items. 

I’ll be honest, this month was not that exciting.  I found myself looking at the items and being somewhat disappointed in the box as a whole.  But let’s get into what arrived in the box shall we?

The first item was the one I chose way back on the choice day for the Boxy Base box.  My choice was the 111 Skin MAC Y2 Pollution Defense Booster (retail $135).  I have had an interesting time with 111 Skin (pronounced, I believe one eleven skin for those wondering) products. 

Some I really like, some I like, but wouldn’t choose over other products due to their really high price. In other words, their products tend to be good on the whole, but not all of them can justify their price tag. It will be interesting to see which one this will be.

This product is supposed to protect against blue light pollution (ie from computer screens).  I’ve never tried it before, but as a writer I spend a lot of time typing away at my computer so perhaps I will notice a difference.  Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure how you test for that.  So I’ll have to do a little research before I use it so I know what signs to look for when I try it out.

The second item in my box this month was the Hourglass Arch Brow Micro sculpting pencil (retail $28). Hourglass is a good brand and I am always up to try a new brow product.  It is nice that it is in here and I do like this product. I think it is great that it has a spoolie on one end so I don’t have to reach for another brush and can just use this. That is a really helpful trait for a brow pencil, especially when I am traveling. Not that I’m doing much traveling these days, but still it is nice.

Next up is the Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise palette (retail $30). I don’t always have the best of luck with Ace Beaute products, so I can’t say I was terribly excited to see this here. I usually end up passing them on to someone else.  Admittedly the bulk of what I’ve tried has been eyeshadows (I find the ones I’ve tried both powdery and splotchy).  But perhaps the bronzer will be better.

The fourth item in my July Base box was the Alamar Cosmetics lip gloss in Birthday suit (retail $15).  It is listed as a universally gorgeous pink diamond dripped gloss. On the lips it is a clear gloss with a slight pink tinge that is pretty much unnoticeable. Like the other Alamar lip products I’ve tried, it is a little sticky. 

It is a nice gloss that smells of vanilla (I think for the birthday cake feel).  It’s okay, but nothing fabulous.  If I am going to buy anything from Alamar cosmetics, it would be their brushes.  Their brushes are fantastic.  Their lip products are only okay.

The fifth and final item in my bag is the Make Waves liquid metallic eyeshadow from Beauty by Popsugar (retail $23).

It didn’t look the best when I pulled it out of the box, but following the instructions, I shook it and it became less stagnant pond water esque in the tube.  The hand swatch came out okay after several swipes of the wand. That one swatch has about five brushes of product on it instead of a single swipe swatch. I’m not sure how that will translate to eye application but the color did turn out well on my hand eventually. Maybe it will do better on my eyes.

As I know, swatches aren’t always reliable.  I’ll give it a go and see how I feel about it then.  I wasn’t a fan of the regular Beauty by Popsugar shadows I tried, maybe I’ll like this one more.

I think the reason I find this a little disappointing in my bag is that a single shadow always seems like something you’d get in a $12 IPSY bag, not a Boxycharm $25 box.   I was disappointed when I received a single KVD Vegan Beauty Shadow in my Boxycharm and it is one of my favorite single shadows.  So I really think it is the single shadow appearing rather than the brand or shade.

So this month I received five products in my Boxy Charm Base Box.  Two of them I am excited by three I’m reserving judgement on.  The overall retail value of the July box was $231, which isn’t bad for a $25 box.  Admittedly, one of the items made up the bulk of the value and the rest of the items just sort of fluffed it out.  Maybe that’s why it seems slightly disappointing.  It feels like I got a lot of filler in my box.  That’s no reflection on the companies or their products, it is just a reflection of how the box felt when I opened it.

It is a sensation I have been feeling more and more with the Boxycharm base box lately.  It has me on the fence with the base box although I still like the premium one.  Or at least I have, I’ll have to see what turns up this month.  Because of the extenuating circumstances of the pandemic I’m willing to cut people a little more slack than usual as they try to readjust with their shipping and product orders, so I won’t be cancelling.  I am however starting to consider opting out of the base box and just keeping premium. For now, I’ll allow the readjustment time and hope it gets better.  Fingers crossed that the base box will arrive and be fantastic.

IPSY Ultimate Review: July 2020

Despite looking like someone sat on it, everything in my box arrived intact.

This month I felt as though I was stalking the post office when it came to subscription boxes.  Especially with IPSY.  I received the shipping notice on the 7th of the month but then nothing else.  I kept checking back and nothing was updating.  Finally, I checked in with USPS and they claimed to be waiting for it to be dropped off. They never updated. I’m pretty sure even a few days after I received my box they are still claiming to wait for it.

I know everyone else has been going through similar things this month as well as it seems nothing is really coming  in on time (with the exception of my Kristopher Buckle package which came much faster than I actually expected it to. Maybe they know something no one else does.)

But finally it arrived and I can stop trying to pull up the tracking information.  I think IPSY might have also switched delivery services as a different one from usual was listed.  But none of that is the point.  Shipping has more in common with a spin of the Wheel of Fortune game show wheel than a regulated system these days.

IPSY is a monthly beauty subscription service.  They have several tiers.  I receive the IPSY Ultimate box which includes one make  up bag, eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items for the price of $50.  This is the first year of this particular tier and it had been a bumpy year.  They seem to be getting better lately so lets see what this month’s long awaited bag looks like.

The bag itself is interesting.  It is square, which is a bit unusual and it is quite roomy.  The design isn’t my favorite and I don’t really like that it doesn’t have a handle on it, but it is fine.  I probably won’t be keeping it.  My mother’s church puts together toiletry and self care kits for the homeless who use their soup kitchen and they are always looking for little bags to contain the items so any bag I don’t keep ends up donated there. So even if I don’t like it, the bag won’t be wasted.

The first full sized item in my bag this moth was the AWAKE Glow Pill Super Serum (retail $39). I love serums so I am always pleased to have a new one to try out.  I believe AWAKE is a sister brand to Tarte, but I could be mistaken on that. 

Either way I have never tried this serum and look forward to testing it out.  It claims to be a light weight gel that makes skin softer and more hydrated as well as banishing fine lines, pores and dark spots.  Sounds like a tall order but I am looking forward to trying it out.

The next item in my bag this month are the Beauty For Real SHADOW STX 24-7 Eyeshadow Duo in Midnight Marathon and Ever Starstruck (retail $38). Since My IPSY box came in Friday afternoon I decided to add these and the Seraphine Botanicals Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow & Blush Palette (retail $42) to my Make up bag for the week.  I’ve never used shadow sticks before so this should be fun. They are both shimmer shades so I’d have to pair them with something else.

I kind of wish one was matte so I could make a better attempt at a single look with just the stix but I will at least get to see how they fare with other shadows.  I’ve also never tried Seraphine Botanicals before.  I know they’ve been around in IPSY bags before but somehow they never seem to end up in my bag until now.  So now I get to try them.

I am also adding the Il Makiage Brow Pen in the shade Truffles (retail $22) and the OFRA Highlighter in the shade Glazed Doughnut (retail $30) to my makeup bag this week.  While most of the items in my makeup bag this week are from the Kristopher Buckle Collection, these items will help fill in the gaps for items that didn’t come in the kit. Plus, I get to use some of the newly arrived items instead of waiting until next week. So bonus for me.

This month I also received a full sized set of 8 Hair masks from Foxybae (retail $28.95). I’m not entirely sold on the individual packaging, but I tend to really like Foxybae Hair products.  Their Flaminglow leave in conditioner is well worth picking up.So I am definitely looking forward to trying this out.

I was very pleased to see a full sized Purlisse Beauty Blue Lotus product in my box this month.  I was doubly pleased as the 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk (retail $36) is the only item in the Blue Lotus line that I haven’t tried.  It was the one element left out of my full trial of Blue Lotus and I am happy to fill in the gap.

The last full sized item in my IPSY Ultimate box this month was the CIATÉ LONDON

Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer (retail $28).  It was the item I selected, because you know I love my primers. Plus it was the best of the offered options when it came time to choose.  Incidentally for those of you who get IPSY a reminder, choice day for August’s bag is this week, July 23rd actually.  They always have choice up at 9 am EST. I love that it is a consistent time.  After the befuddlement with Boxy’s choice day this month, it is extra appreciated.

So I have yet another Ciate London product in my growing collection.  At this point I think the only categories I am missing are an eyebrow product and a bronzer.  I’ll have to check but if that is the case I may have to order them and then just do a full face of Ciate in my weekly makeup bag.

So now that we’ve covered the full sized items it is on to the four deluxe sample sizes.  These aren’t listed with prices so alas I can not offer them to you.  But I can tell you what they are.

First up is the Belif  The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I am always happy to have another moisturizer on hand to try, even if it is a small size.  I am almost finished with my Volition Celery Green Cream so I’m going to have to choose my next moisturizer soon anyway. 

It will have a lot to live up to as I really liked the Volition Cream. I am not sure if I’ll use the Belif moisturizer next, but I think I may choose one of the trial sizes I have stashed away.  I noticed the other day I am getting quite the collection of mini moisturizers in my skincare drawer. They usually have enough product for two weeks in them so I might try to work my way through them and see if any of them deserve a full sized month long trial.

But that is a decision for later. Moving on with IPSY I received a perfume sample from Catherine Malandrino this month.  It is in the scent Special Moments.  I’ve tried a perfume from her before so I am pleased to try another one. 

I also like that it is a good sized sample and not one of those tiny little tubes.  There is plenty for a week long trial and I am always happy to try out a new perfume.  I actually have several perfumes I need to post reviews of as well. I really need to catch up on posting those.

My third sample this month is the Jayjun USA Green Tea Eye Gel Patch (Set of 3). I like that there is a set of three because it lets me get an accurate opinion through multiple uses. With skin care items often you need more than one trial to see if you really like it. Otherwise its more of a first impression than anything else.

Then finally, last but not least there is something for the shower.  This month I received a sample sized packet of The Coffee Scrub in French Vanilla.  I’ve seen this floating around for several months but it has never appeared in my bag.  I’m pleased I finally get a chance to try it. 

Over all I have to say I am rather pleased with my products this month.  It is a pretty varied selection of products which I kind of like.  It is a mix of makeup, skincare, hair care and body care. Some of the items I’ve seen floating around the IPSY-verse for a while, but they have never been in my bags before. 

I suspect that they are clearing out older inventory.  I know they have a major summer sale going on right now so perhaps that will clear out all of the familiar items and bring in new selections. 

Although I have to say some of the items in my box this month weren’t ones I’ve seen in IPSY in prior months.  I can’t say there is any one item that sent me over the moon this month.  There was no real wow factor item, but they all look like good items I will be happy to give a try.  And to be honest, I’m shopping less as I’m staying in more so it’s nice to have a new variety of items to try out. I think I’m actually appreciating my subscription boxes more now that I’m not going to Ulta to try out their testers or browsing the drug store aisles.

I think that, more than the delayed postal system is why I’ve been stalking the postal service on line this month. I’ll try not to check the tracking so obsessively next month.  Possibly. No promises.

Cashmere in Love

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My first Petit Vour Subscription Box: Reviewing the June 2020 Box

Petit Vour is a beauty subscription box that centers on clean beauty.  I’ve been aware of it for a while but I kept putting off trying it. There was no particular reason, I am just sometimes absent minded. In case you are wondering, I am trying to add and try out new boxes this year so it isn’t always BoxyCharm and IPSY. While I love them and will continue with them, I felt the need to branch out.

So Petit Vour is a monthly subscription box centering on cruelty free vegan beauty. They have two beauty boxes, the regular Petit Vour that is $18 per month and comes with four clean beauty products to try and the second is the PV Plus Beauty box for $25 per month.  It comes with 5-7 travel to full sized beauty products.  I decided to try out the $18 per month beauty box.  June was my first box and I have to say I was impressed with the compact size of the box. 

I know that sounds strange to say, but I like that there was very little waste with the box. Everything is recyclable from the box to the little cardboard scrunches inside.  As this is a box that focuses on clean beauty, I appreciated that they continue the theme with their packaging. And because of the way they do their packaging, it is not only recyclable, but it is safe to break up and add to my compost bin. Which I really like.

But what was inside my box?

First up, was the LipDrink Lip balm from Jane Iredale.  It is a full sized lip balm valued at $17.

I’ve tried Jane Iredale lip products before and I really like them.  I like the sleek silver packaging and the fact that the product smells like lemon balm. It is supposed to smell like lemon, but for some reason smells more like lemon balm to me. 

Maybe that is just me.  Either way I like the scent. It looks like pink lemonade though but only gives a barely noticeable blush to the lips. Its not really enough to call color but it is a little something. The fact that it is SPF 15 doesn’t hurt.

Next up is the Speak Deodorant  Cream.  It is a travel size valued at $12.  I’ve been interested in trying out some natural deodorants for a while but haven’t really gotten around to it. 

I suppose now that I actually have one in my possession, I have no excuse not to try it.  I will say that given the heat and humidity going where I am, it would definitely be a test. I’m pretty sure it’s a struggle for my regular deodorant.  Even though this is a travel size, I think that this actually has enough product to conduct a two week trial. I think two weeks is enough time to know if I like a deodorant.

I suspect two days will be enough time for those around me to know how they feel about my deodorant too. If it works, no one will know the difference, if it doesn’t, I’m sure I will hear about it. My loved ones aren’t the sort to let that type of thing pass. At least we are still social distancing so it will only affect the ones I love. And really, when planning a potential stink fest, you should really concentrate on the ones you love.

When I opened the Speak jar, the cream smelled sort of oatmeal like which I don’t hate.  I sense a trial coming on. I may have to be sneaky about it though to get a fair review from my Baby doll. His mom tried a natural deodorant a while back and it didn’t work all that well, so now he believes they are all the same. He’ll say it doesn’t work on principle. So I won’t tell him and see if he notices.

But for now we will move on to item number three. This is a Green Apple cleansing bar that comes from Juice Beauty.  It is valued at $3 and it smells exactly like a green apple.  I have used Juice Beauty Products before and found them to be pretty nice. I think that despite the small size of the bar of soap there is definitely enough of it for me to get enough uses from it to form an opinion if it.  (It is a little larger than a hotel soap bar, actually about like two hotel soap bars put together.)

There should also be enough uses in it for me to decide if I like the BKind Sensitive Skin Facial Scrub valued at $9.  I have to say it is a cute little tube and unlike a lot of small tubes it is packed full of product. There is very little empty air space in it. 

Finally there is the Lauren B Beauty Nail Growth Serum valued at $75.  I believe this is a full sized product.  I don’t know how well it works, but I look forward to giving it a go.  Nail and lash growth serums always intrigue me for some reason. Possibly because I like long lashes without wearing false eyelashes and I want long nails without wearing gel or acrylic. Okay so maybe it is perfectly understandable why they intrigue me.

When I take off my nail polish tonight I will take a picture and start applying it to my nails to see what happens.  I would be thrilled if it worked because my nails have really taken a beating lately.  It happens at the beginning of every summer.  Even with the gloves on I destroy my nails gardening until my plants are big enough that weeds are less of a threat.  Then of course I concentrate on chasing the neighborhood rabbits around with a hose to protect my lettuce beds. 

It’s the circle of life.

Or maybe just the life cycle of my garden.

I have to say I was really pleased with my first box.  In my $18 box I received $116 worth of products, two of which were full sized.  I’d heard of two of the brands, but the other three products were completely unknown to me so there was a mix of the familiar and the unknown. All of them are products I am excited to try out.

In addition, I can go onto the Petit Vour site and get points for reviewing, stocking the points to use on products.  I like the fact that these are clean beauty products.  I have to admit, I am still learning about a lot about clean beauty products and I really like being able to try out brands I’ve never heard of.  As this is my first box, I am not sure if they are more skin care oriented or if this just happened to be a skin care month. 

Either way I look forward to finding out.  And who knows in a few months from now perhaps I’ll give their $25 box a try.  For now I am happy to find out what more goodies the $18 box will bring my way.  It has definitely earned a few more months on my list of subscriptions.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

June 2020 BoxyCharm Luxe Review

The June 2020 BoxyLuxe Box

Four times a year, the regular BoxyCharm box is replaced with a larger one and the price doubles so it is essentially a $50 box (it’s something like $54 with tax).  There are also supposed to be more lifestyle themed items mixed in with the beauty. The last box, was not one of their better ones, so I was hoping for a good box this month.  Truthfully, I think this may be one of the best boxes I’ve received in a while.This month there were eight items in my box. 

The first item was more of a life style item and it was the Hallmart Collectables Satin Pillow and Mask Set (retail $50).  It is essentially a standard sized satin pillow case with a sleeping mask.  Mine came in a nice pink shade. 

Personally, I’m happy about that because the others featured were more animal print and I’m not really an animal print kind of girl.  I chose this because I actually do use a sleep mask every night.  I am a very light sleeper with chronic insomnia and the shifting light from someone driving down the street will wake me up. 

Using the sleeping mask is quite helpful.  My usual sleep mask is a silk one from WhisperSilk actually. Because I use it every night I thought having an extra around would help keep it from getting worn out as fast since I can swap them.  Which I am doing.  The Sleep mask is fine.  Personally I prefer the silk to satin, but it is nice to have a back up.  The pillow case is a little on the small side, but it too is fine.

In case you are interested: whisper silk

The second item in my luxe box this month is more than fine.  It is the Malin + Goetz Recovery treatment oil.  I love Malin +Goetz (retail $82).  Their grapefruit cleansing oil is one I consistently repurchase.

enjoy 10% off your first order + free shipping with code MGWELCOME at MALIN+GOETZ.

I actually tried a sample of this oil a while back and it was amazing, I just hadn’t gotten around to picking up a full sized version to give it a complete trial.  Once my current skin care test is through, I will be rotating this into my line up and personally I can’t wait.

This month there was another m. greengrass product.  I received the CBD Head to Toe cream (retail $56). A while back I received one of their oils in a boxycharm.  I liked the oil but it came with very little instruction on recommended usage.  I fumbled about and tried several different things, finally finding a method I liked.  I suspect I will have to play around with this cream as well. 

Part of the description makes it sound like it is a facial moisturizer while the name and the rest of the description just makes it sound like a body moisturizer.  I’ll have to see how I like using it and play around with it to see if it is going to be a face cream or a body one.  I do like that it comes in a nice pump though and look forward to using it in whatever capacity it ends up skewing towards.

The next item in my box made me smile.  It was the Purlisse Beauty Perfect Glow BB Cream with SPF 30 (retail $35).  I like many of Purlisse’s products. Their Blue Lotus Moisturizer is fantastic as is their Matcha Green tea Moisturizer.

A little while ago I picked up a small trial sized tube of this BB Cream to test. In th photo the small one is the sample I picked up and started using this week while the larg is the one that came in this month’s box. I planned to see if I liked it enough to purchase the full size.  The trial size is the one I am using this week as my foundation product trial.  Thus far I like it so I am glad I already have a full size on standby.  I am going to resist opening the full size until I’ve worked through more of my open products, but I like knowing it is around.

lip liner swatches, very creamy

The bodyography lip pencil set (retail $28) included two lip pencils in the shades Pouty and Rosewood.  Both are colors I would use and I am happy to see them.  The only Bodyography product I’ve tried was an eye pencil.  While it was a nice formula it was a teal color that I’m just not going to reach for.  These are colors I will use. 

I’m also trying to remember to use my lip pencils more.  I tend to remember them more in the winter and forget them in the summer.  I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe its because I tend to use more glosses in the summertime.  Who knows, but I do like using them when I remember. So I’m trying to remember.

The Tula Skincare Glow and Get it Cooling and Brightening Eye balm (retail $28) was in my box this month and it was one of the items I chose.  I am almost at the end of my Dr. Brandt eye cream so it was perfect timing for another eye product to appear in my life.   It is a stick formula which interested me.  I have heard people raving about Tula for a while.  I tried a sample of their face wash and while it worked well enough I found the scent a bit cloying. I’m hoping I like this better.  I’ll have to let you know.

Next we come to the Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner foaming Face Wash (retail $24).  To be honest, I don’t really know too much about Kylie Jenner products.  I was never a big fan of the show and while the lip products interested me I never got around to picking them up.

I’m sure eventually I will, but to be honest I am more inclined to pick up new colors from Lime Crime. But this is about face wash.  I am almost done with my Elemis Foaming Face Wash (which I love) so I might transition to this foaming face wash.

Admittedly the Elemis is a hard act to follow. But part of the fun of these subscription boxes is trying new products I might never have picked up for myself.  Sometimes I find new unexpected favorites.  So I will keep an open mind and give it a try.

Finally, we come to the product I was super excited to receive.  It is the Tarte Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette (retail $49). I know Tarte gets dinged for putting out the same colors in different formats and I know this is not a new palette. But I absolutely adore Tarte’s shadow formula. 

I have several of these colors in my favorite Tarte travel palette and I am really looking forward to putting this palette to use.  It was one of those palettes I wanted but never got around to picking up.  Now  I have it. I’m sure it will end up being in next week’s makeup bag. At the moment I am trying hard not to reach for it now. But I will do my best to resist. At the moment it is sitting with my new Too Faced Contour Palette waiting for it’s chance to be used. But my will is strong.

Well strong ish.

I have to say this was a pretty good month as far as the BoxyCharm Luxe Box went.    My $50 box held $352 worth of products.  All of them are products I will use or am looking forward to trying out.  After the last BoxyLuxe month I have to say, I am greatly relieved that the level has once again risen.  This month’s box is one I definitely enjoyed. It is in fact better than BoxyCharm has been for a while. This makes me very happy.

Amazon 2020

Reviewing BoxyCharm Premium for June 2020

June 2020 BoxyCharm Premium (and no the pickle jar wasn’t part of it)

Boxycharm Premium is a tier of Boxycharm and costs $35 per month. I have to say I was eagerly anticipating this month’s box.  Last month, to be blunt, it was a flop, would this be as bad or would it be redeemed? 

Let’s see shall we?

The first Item that appeared when I began unpacking the June Box was the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask (retail $49).  I’m sure by now everyone realizes that I love sleeping masks.  I love a product that works while I sleep. And this is one I have been wanting to try for a while. 

At the moment I am conducting a Volition Skin Care test, but as soon as I finish my month long trial and start incorporating other products in, this Glow Recipe sleeping mask will be added to my line up. I’m hoping it is as good as their Watermelon sleeping mask, If possibly less jelly like in consistency.

The second item was one I actually chose during the selection day.  It was the Milk Makeup Glow Oil Lip+Cheek. (retail $15).  I know some of you may be thinking, didn’t you get that in your last box, and didn’t you complain that it was travel sized?  Yes and yes. Well spotted. 

It was a different color last month and last month’s shade was one I could use on my lips, but wasn’t very good on my cheeks.  This one looks like it will be a good color for the cheeks as well as the lips so I might give it a try.

Of the selection items it was also the only one that really interested me.  And I like Milk Makeup so I’m not upset at having a second one.  I wasn’t too enthused with the selections, but that is another story.

The Billion Dollar Brows sculpting duo brush ($30) was also in my box this month.  It is a decent quality brush.  I’m not terribly enthused with double sided brushes as one side always gets smashed or if I use both sides then when I put it back in the jar of brushes product gets all over the other handles.  Usually with dual ended brushes I’ll pick one end to use and just forget about the other side.  But it is a decent brush and it did go with the next product. So I could see why it as chosen for the box. It does show that at least a little thought went into the box’s makeup where the last couple have seemed very random.

This was the Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette (retail $44).  As with most Too Faced products, the packaging feels super lux and the products smell absolutely delicious. The outer packaging has that soft touch feel that I absolutely love.  

I have held of swatching and playing with it because I want to get a solid first impression of it.  I will be adding it to this Friday’s makeup bag and trying it out next week so there will be a review of it soon. (Plus there is a limit to how long I can hold of playing around with it.)

It was very hard not to go ahead and add it to the bag this week.  I just kept wanting to touch the packaging.  So I was needless to say very happy to see this in my box this month. And I can see why it went with the Billion Dollar Brows Contour brush.  I may even use the brush with the palette.  I just don’t  like the dual ended part.

Also in this month’s box was the Living Proof Restore Repair Leave in (retail $30).  I used to use Living Proof products a lot, but I sort of got away from them and haven’t picked them up in a while.  I remember being fond of their shampoo mostly.  But it has been a while since I’ve used them.  I tend to gravitate more towards IGK and Klorane. Klorane is actually one of my favorite dry shampoos.  I go through a lot of their product.  But that is beside the point. 

I am happy to once again try a Living Proof Product. Especially as I can’t really remember why I stopped using them in the first place. Maybe this will jog my memory, maybe it will just be a good product to use. We shall see. Over all, I am pretty happy to see it.

Finally, we come to the box of Grace and Stella Anti-wrinkle +Energizing face masks (retail $25). The box was actually wedged into the bottom of my Boxycharm box and had to be pried out.  It just barely managed to fit.  At first it looked like a false bottom.  I actually tied this mask for last Friday’s Face mask post if you want to check out my review. 

I generally like Grace and Stella products and this one made me look like an ancient Mayan statue while doing great things for my skin, so I wasn’t mad.  I also like the fact that it is a full box of six face masks.  This feels like something that should be in a premium box.  If there was only one, I probably would have been upset.  But I like the six as it is clearly a full sized package.  I also liked the masks, so that helped my assessment.

So that was my June Boxy Charm Premium. I have to say I was far more excited by the products than I have been in the past couple of months.  I’m hoping that they are going to keep their standards high and that the lapse was because the world went insane and shipping was delayed rather than anything else. For my $35 I received a selection of products whose retail value was $193.  As I believe their promise is at least $170 for the premium, I am pleased with the value.  Even with my personal dislike of dual ended brushes, I believe I will end up using everything in my box. And let’s face it, that’s the true value of the box.  If you aren’t going to use the items, they are essentially worthless.  These are items I will use. So June was definitely a good month for Boxycharm Premium.

IPSY Ultimate Unboxing June 2020

The June 2020 IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag

I know it is a little strange that this box review is coming a little late.  After all, if you are familiar with my Make up Bag posts you’ll see that many of these items were chosen for this week’s bag.  I was attempting to get the Look Fantastic and Glossy Box reviews posted before those boxes sold out for the month. It didn’t work as they both sold out super quick but that was the attempt.

The IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag actually came in last Thursday so I was able to choose some of the items that arrived to test this week as I generally pack my new makeup bag Thursday night for the following week. So if you find the items familiar, that may be why.

This month’s bag

So for those who don’t know IPSY is a Beauty subscription service.  They have three tiers The Glam Bag ($12/mo), The Glam Bag Plus ($25/mo and the Ipsy Ultimate ($50/ mo).  I am currently signed up for the Ipsy Ultimate so that is what I am reviewing. 

In my box I receive a make-up bag eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items each month. IPSY started this tier in October of 2019 and to be honest it has not always been the greatest of subscriptions.  Some months they hit it out of the park and some month’s they completely tank.  So let’s see what June ended up being shall we?

This month the theme was Making Waves and the card that came with the box listed five tips to maximize your SPF.  While handy, I would have preferred more information about the products.  However even when they do list the prices, they only list the prices for the full sized items not the deluxe sample sized ones.  The prices I am using for this post are taken from the IPSY website.

The first item out of my June box was the Laura Geller Spackle Mist Restore with Coconut Water.  It is not only supposed to cool the skin on a hot summer’s day but to act as a primer to increase wear time.  It retails for $32. At the moment I have one decent setting spray and one that is very pretty but not very effective so I am happy to try out another one.  I put this in my make up bag for the week so I will see how it performs right away.  I generally like Laura Geller products so I’m expecting good things. Incidentally Laura Geller is having a sale at the moment. I’ll post the link here.

Laura Geller is helping you save this summer. Get Photo -Ready with the Perfect Filter. Take 50% off any Filter Product with coupon code “FILTER50” at check out. Add free shipping on all orders of $50+. Offer valid though 6/16.

CIATÉ LONDON also made an appearance in this month’s box with the Wonderwand Mascara in Black Magic.  It is a deluxe size and I will be setting it aside until I work through my already opened mascaras. I am trying to keep only three or four open at a time so I can use them up before they go bad.  I think I might actually have the full sized version of this already open, but will have to check.

As I finish the old ones I’ll rotate the newer ones in (or I’ll just get too excited to see one and open it anyway, I try to be good but I’m just not very good at it.) We’ve been seeing a lot of Ciate London lately and I am not mad at that.  I really like Ciate products.  I think I am missing a bronzer and a primer, but beyond that I may actually be able to do a complete face with Ciate products.  Who knows I may pick up those items and have one makeup bag from the same brand. And I have heard their bronzer is pretty good. Something for future me to think about.

Next up was the Huda Beauty Basic B Sponge (retail $17). It too was added to this week’s makeup bag to try out.  Mostly because the sponge I was using was at the end of its life.  I may have to do a tool review this week in addition to the palette and foundation posts as I also added the Laruce Beauty Essentials Brush Set (retail $154) that came in this month’s box to my weekly make-up bag. And yes you read that right it is a five piece brush set with a retail value of $154. I’ll have to let you know if I think it is worth it’s high price tag.

My next sample size was the Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil. While I had several break outs, I’ve been using the Peace Out dots on them for the past week or so and everything is pretty much cleared up.  So I will put this away to try on the next string of break outs.  With the way my skin reacts to stress, I’m sure it won’t take long for it to be needed. And unlike the Martian Toner, it has not been discontinued.

This month I received an IL MAKIAGE Infinity Long-Wear Matte Lip Cream in the shade Dreamy (retail $22).  It is full sized and was added to this week’s make-up bag so you won’t have to wait too long to hear my thoughts on it.  I will say right off the bat, the packaging feels super lux and made me want to use it right away. I swatched it immediately. I’m afraid it might be a little too pinky orange for me, but as I have never tried the formula I will be using it to see if I like the formula. I may augment the color with a lip pencil if I don’t like it, but it will be worn this week. (or has been worn this week actually and spoiler, I really like the formula, not so happy with the color.)

While not in my makeup bag, I did put the sample sized NAKED COSMETICS Lip Scrub in Vanilla Crème in my bathroom to try this week.  With the summer sun beating down and repeated sunscreen applications, I have been using lip scrubs almost as much as I do in the winter months so I was happy to have a new one to try. I’ll have to let you know if it makes the cut.

This month I received two eyeshadow palette in my IPSY box. The first I pulled out of the box was THEBALM COSMETICS AUTOBALM® PIC PERF (retail $26.50).  I was surprised to get two eyeshadow palettes in the same box, but also rather pleased.  I like The Balm shadows in general and I am curious to try the cream lid primer that comes in this palette. That’s right the neutral primer is a cream while the others are all powders. I have to say I kind of like that the primer is a little tinted instead of just being super pale white. But then again I spent most of the past couple of weeks realizing almost everything I have in my makeup drawer is my winter shade and not summer so there is that.

The Balm Palette

Another brand that has been cropping up lately in IPSY Boxes has been SHAINA B MIAMI.  This month brought the Mini Miami Blush and Highlight Palette It has two blushes and two highlighters.  I haven’t tried them out yet and it is one of the few items that didn’t make it into this week’s Make-up Bag.  Perhaps I’ll give it a go next week. The palette is considered full sized despite having mini in the title and you can see why as it has pretty large pans.  It retails for $20.

The second eyeshadow palette from DOUCCE, the Freematic Limited Edition Smokey Pro Palette (retail $65) to be exact, was the shadow palette I chose for this week’s Make-up bag. I’ll be reviewing it on Thursday so I won’t go into too much detail here, but I like that it is a reusable palette.  It also feels quite sturdy in the hand.

Finally, we come to the last item in this month’s Ipsy Ultimate. It was the item that I picked when given a choice.  Each month you get to choose one item from a few options.  As the past few months, my bags have been heavily skin care I decided to choose the makeup option this month to see if I could slide it the other way as I am trying to work my way through a bunch of skin care. If I remember correctly this was the only makeup item in my selection and I think I laughed that it was a makeup product from a skin care company.

The choice for the July item is June 24th at 9 am EST in case you are interested. It opens at 9am each month and remains open for 24 hours I believe. Last month the item I chose for this month was the DR BRANDT SKINCARE Pores No More® Luminizer Primer (retail $38). 

For me it seemed a no brainer.  I have a weakness for primers and the few items I’ve tried from Dr. Brandt I have really liked.  Their night mask is one I tried out and I know I will repurchase.  And yes, I added it to this week’s make up bag so you’ll be hearing all about it on Friday as well.

Over all I really liked this month’s IPSY Ultimate Box.  The items are ones I will use, that I like, and that I am excited to try out.  For my $50 purchase price I received $374.50 worth of items. 

Admittedly $154 of that was the five piece brush set from Laruce Beauty, but even so I feel it was a very good value.  It felt like a really good box to me. It is kind of interesting that it was so make up heavy this month when it has been so heavily weighted towards skin care the past few months. I didn’t change up my profile but this month I didn’t choose any of the skin care options during choice. I don’t know if that made any difference whatsoever, but that is how it ended up shaking out. Perhaps they just decided June was a make-up month.Either way I enjoyed my Ipsy this month and at the moment I am happy to continue my subscription for another month.

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It’s a World of Beauty from Glossy Box: The June review

Unboxing the June Glossy Box

Welcome to a World of Beauty with the June Glossy Box.  This subscription is $21 per month (although you can currently get your first month for $18 with the code Beauty18 – Just click on the link) As I am writing this the June box has sold out so there will be a substitute box should you order it, but if you order in June you will be primed for the July box. They ran out of boxes last month as well so I think this might be an ongoing situation for a while. Its a good box and a good way to try things when you aren’t browsing stores in person anymore.

In case you are wondering, yes this is a box I pay for myself.  This is my third month and recently Glossy Box made a change to their subscription plans.  If you sign up for a full year commitment you can get the box for $18 per month and you still pay for it each month instead of needing to pay for a full year in advance to get the lower price.  I know this is a bit of a spoiler but I liked the box enough to commit to having it for a full year.  I think it is worth $21 and I was more than happy to get it for $18. So this will be a standard box for me until at least next July.  After a year I’ll re-evaluate to see if I want to keep it. I will say after my first three months, I decided it was worth keeping around for a year.

So let’s get into the June box.  As I mentioned, this month’s theme was a World of Beauty. It features five different products with one little extra treat, each originating from a different country.

We start off in Australia with this month’s one make-up item It is a Liquid Metal Eyeshadow from Model Co and it is full sized (retail $19). Last month’s box was make-up heavy so I’m fine with this one being more skin care oriented.

Also, I noticed a couple of my Stila liquid eyeshadows were drying out so I started using them more and sadly had several reach the end of their lives, so it is a nice time for me to try a new liquid eyeshadow.  I’ve had mixed results with Model Co products before but I do look forward to playing around with this one. I’ll keep you posted on how it works.

Next we go to Greece and have the Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream (retail $18). I am always happy to see Korres.  I really like their products and have actually been using the mask from their probiotic yoghurt line.  It is a really nice mask and I look forward to trying out the gel-cream moisturizer.

It will be hard to top their pomegranate moisturizer, which is one of my favorites, but we shall see. Either way, I was happy to receive this in my box this month.

Then from Korea there was a packet of Tony Moly Peach Punch Cleansing tissues (retail $7).  Makeup wipes are one of my guilty indulgences.  I love having them around but I know they create a lot of waste so I have stopped buying them.

So I feel both guilty and happy when I see them in subscription boxes.  I hate that I like them, but really like having them around.  So I will be using them sparingly.  At the moment I have a pack open so these will remain unopened for a while and get tucked away in the drawer.  I’ve used Tony Moly cleansing cloths before and I really like them so guilt aside, I am happy to have them.

I was also happy to add another sheet mask to my collection.  Thus far I’ve received a sheet mask in every box so I’m guessing that is more or less standard.  This moth is the Rodial Vit C Energizing Sheet mask (retail $18).  I’ve never tried anything from Rodial before but I love Vitamin C, so I look forward to trying out. 

The next product in this month’s box was something I was thrilled to see.  It was Japan’s section of the world and was the Liposome Serum from Decorte (retail $22.50).  I once tried a small sample of this and absolutely loved it.  It was however one of those samples that only had enough product for one, maybe two applications if you stretched it. 

So even though I really liked it, I wasn’t sure how it would work over a more extended time period.  Now I have a larger sample to try and I can see how it works for my skin. Considering it is a pretty pricey brand, I like to be sure I’ll use it before committing to a full sized version of the product. 

(I know some of you are laughing because I do the same testing with drug store products before committing to a full sized as well.  What can I say, I just don’t like wasting products or money.)

This brings us to the bonus item in this month’s box. This consists of two small foil packets from High Beauty as the United States contribution to the World of Beauty. 

These are the High Five Facial Moisturizer and High Expectations Facial Oil. They only provide the prices for the full size, not the packets. 

Often I don’t like small packets like this because it isn’t enough of a sample size to see if I will like it over time (like the above Decorte comments). 

However, it is a bonus item and I often find that with anything infused with cannabis sativa it is the scent that is occasionally the issue. 

While I don’t mind the grassy kind of funk that a lot of CBD products have, sometimes they blend strangely with other skin care ingredients or fragrance will be added to balance the natural scent and that I don’t like.

I like how a lot of the cannabis based products perform, but I tend to be very scent oriented.  I have seen the High Beauty brand around and I have wanted to try it though.  I was just worried about the scent. 

Now I can try one use, and at least see if that is going to be an issue or if I should just try the products. So I’m very pleased with my extra treat.

In addition to the extra $10 off coupon code for a bra company called Lively. I’ve never heard of them but the bras do look pretty comfortable and I am looking to replace a couple of mine at the moment. The summer is always hard on my undergarments and working out adds an extra layer so having spare around is never a bad thing.

How cute is this paper?

So for my $21 box I received $84.50 worth of products and they are all products I am happy to see and use. All of them will be well used by me.  And in addition the sturdy pink box will be reused.  I really like the boxes and think they make great storage. 

I know it’s a little dorky of me but I’m kind of glad I’ll be getting at least a year’s worth of boxes to reuse.  I have a shelf in a storage closet that has all sorts of miss matched storage boxes at the moment.  As I sort through and tidy up, I kind of like having the uniform sized boxes as storage. 

I’m actually using part of the ribbons that come with the boxes as pulls attached to the boxes so they are easier to pull on and off the shelf. The other ribbons I use in my hair.  This month the tissue paper that came with the box was so adorable I am tempted to find a way to repurpose it.

I’m not a super crafty sort of person, so I suspect I will just end up lining the bottom of a drawer or something, but it is adorable paper. I think it is safe to say I really liked this month’s box and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what other months have in store. I suspect they will sell out just as fast as the previous two months.