That’s right, the beauty box arrivals keep coming. This morning we are looking at Birchbox. Birchbox is a subscription that costs $15 per month. If you sign up for six months then you can get it for $14 and if you sign up for a year it is only $13. I am on the yearly plan at the moment (my year runs out in November if you are keeping track). With tax my cost comes to $14.27 under the yearly plan. You don’t have to pay for the entire year at once you simply agree to a year long subscription and then pay each month. I signed up for a year to give it a try and at the end of the year I will decide if i am keeping it or not.
Thus far it has been interesting. Over all I have been happy with the subscription but I think that I am happy with it at the $13 per month rate. I don’t think I’;d be as happy if I was paying the $15 rate and I think that is because at $15 it is almost a direct comparison to the Macy’s Beauty box. But each month has been different, so let’s see what five items this month’s Birchbox has in store for me.
This month I received the Clean Beauty Picks box. All of the items are clean alternatives to regular products according to the card. The first item in this month’s box is a sample of Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer. I have to say I am really excited to have a sample of this to try. I have heard a lot of things both good and bad about the primer and it will be nice to judge it for myself. In general I like a lot of Milk’s products. The Kush Lip glaze is something I keep on my repurchase list. And you know I love a good primer. I am looking forward to trying this one out.
The second item kind of made me laugh a little bit when I pulled it out of the box. One thing that Birchbox has been kind of mocked for in the past are their sometimes super tiy sample sizes. This PMS Soothing Oil sample size kind of brought me right back to that. I think what I found odd about it though is that the reason they usually put such small samples in boxes is due to the expense of the full sized item.
Birchbox has a tendency to put small samples of really expensive items in the boxes. This was a tiny sample of something that, in a full size, only retails for $17.95. Which made it seem a little strange to me. I’ll still try it, after all a roll on oil that relieves cramps would be an definite keeper in my medicine cabinet. I just found the size a little strange.
Next up is the Lighting Wand from Hero Cosmetics. It is a serum designed to lighter dark spots. The sample size is small but you are supposed to be able to see a difference after just one use. To test the claims I will try one use and see how the before and after look. Personally I rarely expect skincare to work with just one application, but the serum looks like it has maybe a week’s worth of product in it so perhaps if a single use doesn’t show any difference a week might. I’ll have to try it and see if it lives up to its claims. If it does I will be thrilled and add it to my line up of skincare heros.
Next we had something i was very happy to see. it is the Purlisse Matcha Green Tea + Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal mask. In general my skin gets along with Pur Lisse products. I used the Matcha moisturizer and really ended up liking it. It was one of those moisturizers that worked well for me in the transitional months where the weather was changing and the seasons had a difficult time deciding whose turn it was to rule. It didn’t do well in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, but it worked well with the fluctuations in temperature and humidity. While I haven’t tried the mask, I am always willing to try a new mask. Perhaps this one can be tried out this Friday.
And finally we have the Lemon Superfood All-in-one Rescue Butter from Dr. Botanicals. It is a body cream. I like Lemon and citrus scented products and I’ve tried a couple of Dr. Botanicals products that I liked. But I’ll be honest, it is rare that i actually get excited about body lotion. Or at least seeing them in subscription boxes. Sometimes I try them and the product is fabulous, but they just don’t really excite me. I will add it to the list of body lotions i plan to try and who knows, maybe its lemon scented fabulocity will astound me.
That was this month’s Birchbox. I have to say it kind of left me feeling a little flat. There are several products that I am looking forward to trying out. There are several brands i routinely buy and there are some new ones That I am curious about. I think that some of the sample sizes were a bit on the skimpy side this month. I am okay with it being a $13 per month box, but I think if I paid the full month to month price i would be kind of disappointed. This month even though the Macy’s Beauty box had small samples the box felt abundant, where as this just felt skimpy. I know it is hard to compare subscriptions but as these two are more or less the same price t is hard not to compare them, and this month, Birchbox just felt a little short.
Nadine West is a clothing subscription service. For $9.78 per month you can have items sent to you and if you like them you can purchase them simply by keeping them and letting your credit card be charged. Your styling fee of $9. 78 goes towards the purchase price. Each item you are charged for will have a tax added to it so you need to remember that when keeping items.
This is my third month and this month I realized two things.
The first thing I realized was that my babydoll is many things, a photographer he is not. When asked to take a photograph of me wearing the items from the bag he was amiable. He then took the pictures. I assumed that he could at least take pictures showing me wearing the garments and did not think to look at them. I did photograph each one separately as it was laid out on the bed. Which turned out to be a good thing. My babydoll had me stand in front of a brightly lit window so you basically see a dark silhouette of me. You can tell that I am not naked, but but other than knowing I am covered in cloth, there is no real detail. Only the image of the necklace I am wearing came out visible and I think that is because he came in close to take the picture.
The second thing I realized was about nadine West. This month they did manage to send me items that all actually fit me, which was nice. However almost all of the items were made from the same sort of soft, cotton jersey type cloth that I tend to associate with pajama pants. It is fine for a few summer dresses’, but an entire wardrobe of it seems a bit excessive. I don’t know if that is just my size that lets them believe all my clothes need to feel soft and pajama like, but I’m not really a fan.
But let’s look at the items that came this month and discuss. There were ten of them this month. The first item is the only item I am keeping. It is a cotton dress in teal and is good for wearing around the house and in the garden. The high waist comes in just under the bust and give is some form so that it isn’t a complete sack like dress.It is comfortable and I can wear it in the garden. It feels like a giant t-shirt when it is on. And to be fair, I probably wouldn’t purchase it if I didn’t have the subscription fee rolling towards it.
The second item is made from the same cloth and it is a one piece jumpsuit in olive green with tank top straps. Putting it on made me look like a beached whale.Or as my baby so thoughtfully put it, twice the size I am normally.
The third item up was a t-shirt made form the soft t-shirt material. It is a nude color that really doesn’t look good on me and while the knot in the end is cute, it falls at the wrong location. While I could get away with the placement standing up, it is very awkward when sitting down.
There were two sets of pants in this box and I am happy to say they both fit tolerably well. However they were bag waist pants. with long flat drawstrings tied into a bow at the waist.
While they fit, the design added several inches to my waist and were not flattering. They were at least slightly stiffer material and not the t-shirt material.
Included this month was a light weight cardigan made from, you guessed it, t-shirt material. This at least had a texture to it. While I do like light weight cardigans to pull over myself when the air conditioning is turned too high, I have several more appealing versions of this already in my closet. So while I appreciate the thought, it too is going back.
The next item in the bag was a face mask, which quite frankly I already have in abundance at this point and see no reason to pick up here.
From here we go into the three items of jewelry sent. I tried asking them not to send jewelry, but received the message that they were unable to send clothing subscriptions without jewelry at this time. The earrings have a very lovely tree on them and they are rather nice quality.
I just didn’t really like them enough to keep. The bracelet is a plain golden band that reads ‘I love you to the moon and back’ However the opening was so small that I would have had to bend it to get it on my wrist. It has a heavy feel to it so it is a substantial bracelet.
The final item was the necklace and to be honest I toyed with the thought of keeping it. It looks nice, feels like decent quality for the price and looked allright on me. However i don’t think i would get enough wear out of it to justify the purchase.
Like I said in the introduction, this was my third month with Nadine West. I chose them because they have my size as an option for their subscription. However I am not impressed by the items they send in my size.
I am thrilled that they finally sent items that fit me. But I simply will not wear that many items made out of t-shirt material. And quite frankly i just don’t find their items appealing.
I think that this may be my last subscription bag from them for a while. Perhaps I will go back when/if I reach a smaller size, but what they send to me makes me feel both fat and frumpy. Neither is a good feeling and neither is one I really feel like paying for.
As most of you probably realize by now, I am a very scent oriented person. I also am not a one scent sort of person. I like having a library of scents so that I can adjust the scent i wear to suit my mood, an event I am attending, the season and even the time of day. I like knowing that I have warm and cosy scents to reach for in the winter and slight and airy scents to reach for in the summer. I enjoy scents that I can wear to an office and having those I reserve for a special night out.
As anyone who likes perfumes can attest, perfumes can be somewhat expensive. And just because you liked the perfume you sprayed and sniffed once in the store or smelled on another person, doesn’t mean it will work out for you.
For me, I find sampling perfumes essential to finding ones I am willing to purchase and add to my collection. While I pick up perfume samples in a lot of places, I also like being able to choose my own samples. I like reading the descriptions and imagining the scents and then choosing what is sent to me. For a while I had a Scentbox subscription and then Ilet it lapse for a while as I had a stockpile of perfume samples to try out and I wanted to clear out older scents. I Have managed to clear out a few scents and I decided June was the perfect month for once again enrolling in Scentbox.
For those that don’t know, Scentbox is a perfume sampling subscription. Each month for $13. 95 you recieve one 0.27 ounce sample of the perfume you put in that month’s line up. While they do offer a monthly selection if you don’t have something in mind that you want to try, you fill out the queue by picking out scents that appeal to you. Sometimes I go with their recommendation and bump my choice down the line a month or two, other times I choose a perfume that appeals to me.
There is a discount for those wanting to try the subscription for the first time. $9.72 for your first box. I’ll post the current deal below if you’d like to try it out.
There are several things I like about this subscription. The first is that each month’s sample comes in a reusable metal traveling case. You twist the tube and the spray nozzle emerges from the tube. They are really handy for traveling. The first month the metal tube comes in a nice box like the one pictured here. I believe that while you still get a new case every month, the subsequent months the box it comes in is smaller and more compact.
In addition, each month you are a subscriber, you earn Scentbucks for your subscription. These add up and can be put towards another purchase form their site. Not only can you purchase full sized bottles of the perfumes, but you can also purchase various bath and body care items, candles and wellness/cbd items as well from the site. These items can also be added to the list so if you decide one month you would prefer a body scrub to a perfume, you can choose that instead. If you are going out of town you can skip a month easily and one of my favorite things about this subscription is that each perfume is mailed with a return label so if you get the sample, spritz, sniff and decide that it isn’t for you, the sample can easily be returned for a different one with no issues.
I had to take a break so that I could work through my stockpile of samples, bt I am so glad I can once again receive a monthly sample to try out. This month I didn’t go for the suggested sample and instead went for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream. I know it has been around for a while, but I have somehow missed a large number of Marc Jacobs Perfumes. And I have to say the bottle has always appealed to me. In case you happen to like this perfume Sobelia has it on sale currently for 42% off.
The Subscription charges on the 30th of the month for the following month and all shipments are mailed out on the 7th of the month. My sample arrived safe and sound. However as I am completing a Zents Eau de Toilette trial, I will hold of testing this out for a little while. But that of course would be the perfume review rather than the subscription review. My selection arrived safely in a rose gold travel tube. I think each month is a different colored tube so they can be told apart at a glance. The glass tube of product is filled to the brim with scent. And I am very much looking forward to giving the scent a trial run. I am also looking forward to saving up my scent bucks to put towards a full sized bottle of perfume from the site. It adds up slowly, but with each purchase the amount grows and as it does, I get to test out many fantastic scents to find ones that I really enjoy wearing.
For me this is an excellent, cost effective way to try out perfumes, finding out if the scent is right for me and if it is one i want to live with long term. It helps me not waste either money or product and while I will occasionally take a break, Scentbox is a subscription to which I will always return.
This month I opened my Look Fantastic Box and the first thing I thought was “Wow, this smells good”. For those who don’t know, Look Fantastic is a monthly Subscription box that is from the UK and costs $19 per month. I signed up for an annual subscription and although I still pay month to month, I receive the subscription for $16.
Each month you get five items generally travel sized but occasionally full sized. What I like about this is that I tend to receive brands that are not in a lot of US based subscription boxes. I find this subscription to be a nice way to try out brands that I have never heard of or heard of but never really seen or tried out. This month is Eco Month for Look Fantastic and each product was chosen to go along with this theme.
The first item out of the box was a reusable Gentle Facial Buffer made by the ecologically responsible brand SO ECO. The product is all natural and the packaging is 100% recyclable. I really like these kinds of buffers although to be honest I don’t use them on my face. I tend to use them on my body as I find them a little too harsh for the skin of my face. It is relatively soft, but still, I think this is more of a body product for me. And There is even a body wash in this box for me to use it with.
The second item in the box is the item I smelled when the box was first opened. It spells amazing. It is the Rituals Ritual of Jing. It is actually an exfoliating body scrub, which I absolutely love. At the moment I am using another Rituals body product. It’s a foaming cleanser.
Once I’ve used that up (it is nearing the end of the product) I will roll this into the bath time line up to try out There wasn’t a specific reason listed as to why this is considered for the Eco Friendly box, but it is a great brand that I love using and I am looking forward to testing it out. I’ll make a note about it being eco friendly though so when I do get around to testing it out, I can do my research on that and hopefully come up with more information. For now I just know that it smells fantastic. I also love that it is a good size. With body products so often the sizes are one or two uses. This one is large enough that I can use it for a while and truly get a feel for the product which I appreciate.
The next item in the box was the Balance Me Pre and Probiotic Cleansing milk. I have tried many Balance Me products. While they always perform excellently, for me the scent is what causes me to not want to buy the full size. Hopefully this will work as well as all of their other products and smell fantastic to boot. I always have high hopes for Balance Me products. So I have my fingers crossed for this one.
The fifth item out of my box this month was the ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer. ESPA is a brand that works well and I have never had any scent complaints with. The products always perform beautifully for me and I am always happy to have another eye cream on hand.
To be honest, I actually like the sample sized eye creams almost better than the fill sized ones. Full sized eye creams tend to come in jars, but the samples come in tubes. With the tube you can dispense a tiny amount without exposing the rest to air and without having to dip your fingers in the pot. Plus you really only use a little bit of product with eye creams so the samples usually last a long time. I am very happy to have an ESPA Eye cream ready and waiting for its turn to be used.
There was one sort of cosmetic item this month and it is the Dr. Lipp Tint. It is 100% natural and pigmented with red radish. I have tried the regular Dr. lipp before and absolutely love it. It is amazing on really dry chapped lips. I can’t wait to see how the tinted version works. What I find interesting is that this is another one of those products that works better almost in a sample size than the full size. The sample sized is perfect for lip use. The full size is almost too large. At least with the regular Dr. Lipp Nipple balm. As Dr. Lipp is something I tend to keep in my purse all winter long, I am looking forward to giving the tinted version a try and perhaps extend its use out of the chapped lips repair category.
And finally last, but certainly not least is the Philip Kingsley Styling Finishing Touch. It is a hair product and it is designed to fight frizz. Until I started getting this subscription, I had only heard of the brand, but never seen it in real life. It just simply wasn’t sold where I was looking. Or if it was I didn’t see it. I’ve recently been using a leave in conditioner from the brand. It performs beautifully but is a little too coconut-y for me. Hopefully this comes with a different scent to it. I am looking forward to getting a chance to try this one out.
So that was my June Look Fantastic box. Personally I think this was a pretty good month. Look Fantastic always tends to go a little heavy on the skin care, but I am happy they balanced it out with body care and a hair care item as well and quite frankly I am looking forward to using all of the products that arrived this month. It wasn’t a flashy sort of month but each of the items are ones that will see a lot of use.
This Month’s Macys Beauty box was a little bit interesting postal wise. I checked the tracking number and saw the expected date of arrival. Then on the travel log for the package I got to watch two separate post offices play a game of hot potato with it. It went to and from the same post office about four times before they finally got tired of bouncing it between them and sending it on.
I’ll admit, when it arrived, I expected the worst.
The package was surprisingly only slightly dented and when I opened it up the dropper on the serum bottle was bent but still worked and the spray cap for the dry shampoo was knocked off. It popped right back into place and the product worked just fine. I am a little worried about the air seal on the serum so I may be using it this week just to make certain it doesn’t go bad.
But before we get into the products, this subscription is a $15 ($16.27 with tax for me) per month subscription and each month you receive five sample sized products. They tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum and because of this subscription I have tried a lot of luxury brands that interested me. I really like that as I enjoy trying things out before I invest in the full size. I find it helps me to not waste either month or product.
In addition some of the products that have been sent in these boxes were complete unknowns to me. Some of them were from familiar brands and new product releases, others were things that I knew and loved already. It has thus far been a really good box. And the products generally go really well with the theme.
Speaking of, this month’s theme is Expert’s Choice. Each item included is something that critics have raved about.
Since I already opened the serum, we’ll start with it. The serum sample is the Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate. I have heard a lot of rave reviews about this and I did try out the eye cream in this line as well. I really liked the eye cream actually and put it on my must try in a full size list. Because the dropper is a little damaged and I opened it to see if it still worked, I will probably be using this serum this week just so that it doesn’t go bad. I don’t think there is more than a week’s worth of serum in it so I think I can take a break from the serum I am currently using to try it out. Quite frankly I can’t wait to see if it is as good as the eye cream and it’s hype.
The second item was the Dry Bar Detox Shampoo. This is not the first time I have tried this dry shampoo and it is a good one. I actually just finished a bottle of my favorite Klorane Dry Shampoo (nettle for dark hair) and haven’t was thinking of working through some of my travel sized dry shampoos as I have a lot in stock. Since I had to open it to repair the nozzle and see if it worked, I might just keep this one out. It smells nice and as it’s been a while since I’ve tried a Dry bar product it will be interesting to shake things up for a bit.
The third item in my Macy’s Beauty Box this month is the Clarins Total Eye Lift Concentrate. As I am in the middle of an eye skin care trial I will have to wait to try this out, but I am actually looking forward to using it. I’ve tried several products from Clarins before and have always liked them.
Currently, I am using the Instant Perfecting Primer and absolutely love it. Most of what I’ve tried from Clarins has been Moisturizers and face washes so an eye cream will be a different category to try. I can’t wait to see if it performs as well as the other products I’ve used.
There was a fourth skin care item in my Macy’s Beauty Bag this month and that was the Retinol Ceramide Capsules From Elizabeth Arden. To be honest I don’t think I have ever tried anything from Elizabeth Arden. I’ve seen them around, but I have never picked up any products. I’ve actually seen this exact product and thought it looked interesting, but still never picked it up. I think that was because I wasn’t too certain about the individual capsules. Now that it is here of course, I’ll give it a go. Perhaps the premeasured doses will be exactly right.
There were two makeup themed items in the bag this month. The first is a tiny sample of the Giorgio Armani Liquid lip. I have gotten one of these tiny samples before in a different shade and I have to say while I still find the tiny size laughable, I really do like the formula of the lipstick so even in a tiny size, I am happy to have the product. And it is a nice color that I think might suit me. So that’s always a plus.
The second makeup item is the MAC Fix + setting spray. I’ll be honest I have setting sprays but I tend to forget to reach for them unless I know I am going out. If I am getting ready for the day and know I will be sitting at my desk for the bulk of the day, I don’t generally bother with setting spray.
I always use it when I know I am going to be running around where there are other people though. And I always pack it when I travel. I tend to really get on well with MAC products so I look forward to giving this a trial. I might try using it this week and then adding what remains to my travel bag if I know it works well. And then if it does work well eventually getting a full sized bottle. My current setting spray is the Benefit Porefessional Super setter but it is always nice to have options.
Most months there are two perfume Samples included in the bag. This month both come from Ralph Lauren. One is Polo Deep Blue and the other is Ralph Lauren Romance. At the moment I am leaving them sealed and adding them to the cache of perfume samples that I have yet to try out. They will be added to the drawer and then like all perfume samples they will be worn and evaluated to see if they make the cut to be added to my collection.
Usually there is a makeup bag included in the Macy’s beauty bag. Sometimes they supplement other items in for the bag and this month they added the Beauty Supplements Box.
I have to say, I’m not mad at it. The box is hard plastic with tightly sealed latches and a rubberized seal so that if it is in a makeup bag and something leaks it won’t get into your supplements box. Inside the box are two additional little boxes divided into compartments.
While I have my vitamins, I also always travel with some Ibuprofen and because my babydoll has rather bad allergies I have started adding a few back up Benadryl for him just in case he forgot his allergy medicines. This is a well thought out and well-designed box that will be getting quite a lot of use in my personal travel kit. I am quite happy with this month’s substitution for the makeup bag.
So that was my June Macy’s Beauty Box. Was it worth the $15? Yes, it most certainly was. Everything in the box is something that I will use. Many of the items are products I have wanted to try out and quite frankly I am very pleased with the selection of items this month. This is definitely a subscription box I will be keeping.
The first of the June Subscriptions has arrived. I love that The Underclub is always the first subscription to come in each month, at least for me. It always feels like a little something fabulous to get the month started on a good note.
For those that don’t know, The Underclub is an underwear subscription. They have several tiers, I am in the single pair for $15 per month category. I felt that for me, one new pair of undies per month was just about perfect.
I actually chose this subscription for several reasons. The first is that I just flat out love pretty undergarments. I really do. And to be honest, my love of pretty underwear has nothing to do with anyone else. I have always felt that if I am wearing pretty undergarments I feel pretty. I has nothing to do with anyone else opinion or appealing to anyone else. It just makes me feel pretty and more self confident if I know I am wearing pretty underwear.
Silly? Maybe. But it doesn’t stop it from being true.
As I gained weight I found that undergarments became a little less cute and a little more utilitarian. Not that there weren’t attractive larger garments out there, I just didn’t seek them out. It was almost as though I felt because I didn’t look how I wanted to look I didn’t deserve the pretty underwear. And while it is not a good attitude to have, it is sadly an attitude that does have a lot of external reinforcement.
When I started on a healthier journey, more than weight loss and healthy diet and exercise, I had to get a healthy mind set and reexamine a lot of my behaviors and reflections. I knew that pretty underwear made me feel more self confident, yet when I looked in my underwear drawer there was not a lot of pretty going on.
So I decided to change that.
Since I love subscriptions I went looking for an underwear subscription and The Underclub is the most size inclusive of the subscriptions I looked at. The diversity appealed to me and I have to say thus far, the underwear has not disappointed.
The subscription comes in a light pink mailer and inside the undergarments are enclosed in a separate internal bag. While I still wash them before wearing them, I love that they are so contained. I know I generally tend to reduce waste, but this is one instance where I am fine with a little extra packaging.
Once opened, I have to say, I very much like the pair that came this month. They are a bikini cut (you can choose the cut of underwear you prefer from their list – I said anything but thong so mine varoes a bit). They are black satin with a lace front. The lace front has a lovely scalloped top edge instead of just a straight line of elastic which I think makes them look just a little more special. It is a really nice detail. The lace is super soft, which I love, because let’s face it no one wants scratchy lace on their underwear.
As always I found no loose strings or slipped stitches when I first inspected them. They went from the mailer into the wash and came out with no loose threads or stitches. And of course the creases from being folded in the packaging fell out in the wash so they looked even better.
As always, the fit was perfect.
They are beautiful and comfortable to wear.
I was very happy with the set I received. The quality is always there, the materials are always good and quite frankly I have never had any complaints with the product. They always mail out the subscription either the first or second of the month and then charge you for the upcoming month on the 11th. (so June 11th I will pay for July’s subscription).
The closest thing to an issue I have had with this subscription is they were late sending the e-mail with the tracking number. But this month that might just be because the post office was quick with the delivery. Usually my Subscription arrives around the 7th. This month, the subscription arrived on June 4th and the e-mail with the tracking number arrived in my inbox on the 5th.
Which quite frankly isn’t that big a deal.
Or even really a problem.
I really do enjoy this subscription and quite frankly I love the collection of underwear I am building. I am always delighted to reach into my underwear drawer and pull out one of the pairs I received from the Underclub. These are items that I can consistently reuse and honestly bring me joy for months after I receive them.
In addition to the subscriptions, they have a lovely on-line store that they are consistently adding to. Not only are they nice to look at, but I love the fact that every garment they have listed comes in my size. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but it kind of is. There are so many websites where I know my size for their items, however the items they produce in my size are extremely limited.
The Underclub has all of their items in their wide range of sizes from the extra small to the extra large and everything in between. So when I look for garments I am not shunted off to a small little section of the site and given a limited number of options. With The Underclub I can just go to their main site and look around knowing that if I fall in love with something they will have it in my size.
I absolutely love that.
I also like many of their items. I am still loving the pink and red valentine’s day set (underpants and bralette) and there are so many more that I love. In fact they recently came out with an elements collection that is absolutely stunning. They have several new sets for June. In addition to underwear they have several sleep wear sets. I am personally eying the Room Service Short Sleeve PJ set. In the summer time I like to sleep in sleep shorts and those look absolutely adorable. I suspect that I may be treating myself to an early Birthday present. My Birthday is at the end of June, but they have quite the Summer Sale going on right now. So it is a good time to stock up.
At the moment they also have the Limited Edition Undervention box which includes a selection of items worth $275 which members can purchase for $175. (non-members $218.75). The PJ set I want is actually a part of the box and I am trying to decide if I want to go ahead and just get the whole box. It is very tempting. I may have to look at the budget and see. But if you are looking to stock up on some great products, you might want to check out this limited edition before it is gone. Thus far everything I have gotten from them has been of excellent quality and has fit perfectly. I’m sure their limited editions will be just as fabulous.
For now, I am enjoying my June set and trying to decide between just the sleep set or the entire box. It’s time to spend a little bit of time with the calculator and budget to see what is possible, because you know, deep down, I want it all.
For those that don’t know Glossy Box is a monthly subscription box. Usually it comes in a bink pox with black detail but this month was a yellow box with gold details. The theme is Let the Sub Shine so the yellow and gold is appropriate. Personally I think it is quite a lovely design. I love the little gold details on the inside of the box.
The cost is $21 per month, unless you sign up for one of their longer subscriptions. Personally I signed up for the annual subscription and pay $18. They still charge monthly so it is really easy to budget. At the moment you can get your first box for only $16 with the code SUNSHINE16. I love those sign up deals as it is a great way to find out if you are going to like a subscription before committing to it.
While I like Glossy Box, this month was a little strange. First of all it came much later than usual (however they did actually send an e-mail letting me know it was going to be late so I wasn’t left wondering where it was). Secondly, not all of the items I received in my box were the ones in the little pamphlet that came with the box.
Usually there are five items and this month they decided to add sixth item as an extra treat. The extra treat item was the Thermal Water spray from Uriage. While most of the year, I don’t really bother with spray water, in the summer I adore it. I keep a bottle of the Avene Thermal Spring Water beside the back door so I can quickly spray myself after worming in the garden. It is amazingly refreshing. I’ve never heard of the brand Uriage before, but I am certainly willing to give them a try.
But that was the extra treat. The first item listed in the brochure that I did receive was the Earth Harbor Helios Anti-Pollution Youth Ampule. It is a full size which is really nice. Lately it seems that there has been a lot of Earth Harbor appearing in subscription boxes.
I am currently using the Marina Ampule and I have an Aroura bottle waiting in my skincare drawer. I did see Red Algae listed on the label of this one and I I know red Algae was part of a Skyn Iceland Serum I tried a while ago. I really liked how it worked with my skin so I am excited to give this a try. (I’m also planning to reorder the Icelandic Youth Serum from Skyn Iceland, but that is another story)
The second item in my Glossy Box this month is something I’ve tried before. It is the Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt in the scent Dream Away which is Valerian And Hops. This is actually my go too bath salt scent and brand and I usually have a jar of it stashed in the bathroom. In fact I recently reordered a jar of it as I was out. It is a fantastic soak and a lovely scent to wind down the day with. I am always happy to have this in any size as I know it will be used.
Next out of the box is a product for the hair. It is the Aveda Nurtiplenish leave in conditioner. It is supposed to help protect hair from the damage of the sun which I have to say I am all for. I spend a lot of time out side in the summer time and my hair always takes a bit of a beating.
Aveda is a brand that I used to use a lot and just sort of got away from. It has nothing to do with the brand, it is still a good brand, I just wanted to try some new things. It is a tried and true brand for me though and I am happy to try something new from them.
Or maybe just new to me, I am not certain if it is a new release product, or merely something I haven’t seen before. Either way, I look forward to trying it out. I have recently been concentrating on whittling down my sample sized hair products so I have actually cleared out a lot of space for new ones.
Here is were the contents of the box go a little off script. According to the booklet that came with the box my last two items should be a Josephine Cosmetics liquid Highlighter and a Deluxe size of the Polaar SPF 50 Sun Cream. I’ve had good luck with both brands before and I am sad not to actually have them.
The first Item I received instead was the Nails Inc Nail polish in the shade Blossom Kisses. I actually really like Nails Inc. Their nail polish goes on well and lasts for quite a long time. However I already have this exact shade, which I also got from a Glossy Box almost exactly a year ago. So I will be passing it along. Had it been a different color, I would be super happy. But alas, it is not. I do know that it will be loved by the person I am passing it on to.
That leaves me with the final item of the Bella Pierre Stay put Brow Gel. I tend to be a bit more of a pencil or powder brow person, when I remember to do more than tame them with a spoolie, but I am willing to give more brow products a chance. I will try it out and see how I feel about it.
And that was my May Glossy Box. It was an odd sort of box this month. They are good products and several I am very thrilled to have. I just find the non-listed contents strange. I think that this month, with the shipping issues and the contents issues, Glossy Box just had an odd month.
Not a bad month, just an odd one. I enjoyed it though and hope that in June, things work out a little better for them.
And the subscription box arrivals continue with IPSY. As a warning, I wasn’t as positive with this one as I usually am and there are some small rants throughout. While I love IPSY, I had a few issues.
This month was the IPSY Glam Bag X Month. IPSY has recently launched a quarterly upgrade to the Glam Bag Plus. The Quarterly bags come out February, May, August, and November. Those months instead of paying $25 for the Glam Bag Plus, you pay $55 ($60.36 with taxes).
Even though it is quarterly, that is a steep price for a beauty box and so I tend to judge it more critically. The first box was in February 2021. It was a collaboration with Patrick Ta and I have to say IPSY hit it out of the park with that one. It was fabulous. And it also set expectations pretty high for future boxes. There was no doubt in my mind that the box was worth the price.
This month, I’m not so sure. For Each Glam Bag X they choose someone to partner with. February was Patrick Ta and May was Khloe Kardashian.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. I never watched the show. I tried once and couldn’t really make it through the episode. It just isn’t my thing.
I’m even less of a fan after the whole freak out about the release of an unphotoshopped photo came out. But even though she chose these products and I have a hard time not rolling my eyes at the blog posts on the site dealing with Khloe’s Beauty Tips, it is really about the products. Therefore I am going to put her out of my mind completely.
So does this feel like a special $55 quarterly bag.
Normally, I would start with discussing the bag, but in the IPSY Glam Bag X if you want the bag you have to substitute it for one of your products. As all their other tiers come with bags as a standard feature I find this to be a little cheap on their part, which isn’t a good way to start out thinking of an upgraded bag. But that was their choice. I chose not to get the bag this month.
The first Item out of my Glam Bag X Box this month was the 111 Skin Gold Radiance Booster (retail $135). Okay, here is the deal. I like 111Skin. I really enjoy several of their products. A few of them I find overpriced, but they are in general good products. I actually have several 111SKIN Serums in my skin care drawer. Many of them came from IPSY.
In the $25 bag.
While I like 111SKIN and they are an expensive brand, they are seen often enough in the regular bags that I would have thought that they would try a different brand in the Glam Bag X. Or at least make this a variable. I believe this serum was something everyone received in their Glam Bag X. While I’m sure it is nice, I wasn’t excited by it simply because we see so much 111Skin in IPSY already.
The second item in my bag this month was the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (retail $53 – Although if you like this product currently it is on sale at the Skin store for $37, this link will take you to the site of the sale). I have tried samples of this hair and scalp scrub many times and I do like it. The first one I had included too many chunky salt crystals to get through my hair and too my scalp, but the second and third samples I tried didn’t have that problem so I am guessing the first was just a bad mix.
I like this scrub and am happy to have it in a full size. I actually chose this scalp scrub from the list of options. In the list of options for that category it was the only item I actually wanted to try or that I hadn’t tried before. This was kind of a standard theme for choice. Sadly it has also been happening in the last few regular IPSY Glam Bag Plus bags as well.
In the second choice category I chose the Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric oil (retail $40 although I’m guessing it isn’t the real retail full size as that one retails for $80 -$90 on most sites – I lurk the sales to pick up this oil). I really like this face oil. I have used it before and I am happy to have another bottle of it. It is very good face oil. And actually in the summertime when my hands get really roughed up by working in the garden, I tend to put a little bit on my hands before bed to smooth out the roughness. Not much just a drop or two to rub in especially around the joints and fingertips. It is kind of one of my summertime faves. So again, I am happy to have it. I am less than thrilled by the fact that it was the only option in that category that appealed to me.
Chosen for my by IPSY was the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Brow Pen (retail $22). As I’m sure all of you have noticed in my Daily posts where I talk about the makeup I chose for the day, most of my brow dilemmas involve finding a professional to tame them back rather than attempting to fill them in.
While I do use brow products, I favor powders and pencils to neaten up lines. Admittedly as my bangs are too long and in need of a bolder trim then I gave them this weekend, they spent a lot of time hidden. I tend to forget brow products all together. This brow pen, while I’m sure it’s fabulous, is not something I am going to use. I will pass it onto my mother who back in the day plucked her eyebrows down to a thin line and has been trying to build them up ever since. She’ll either love it or look like she took a magic marker to her face. Either way, I won’t be using it. While getting products that you don’t typically use is often the fun of subscription boxes, in my profile I have always had rarely marked for brow products and that is only because there is no never category. As I generally love ABH products and have quite the collection of other products i use frequently, this just isn’t one of them. It is a little frustrating to see a brand you like finally available in a subscription box and then get the one item category that doesn’t work for you.
I think that is where the annoyance lies actually. Because I’ve been trying to figure out why this month’s bag has just caused a low grade annoyance factor, despite having good products from great brands. I think it is because IPSY used to be really good at pairing items with your profile and for the last few months they sort of went off track. I suppose I hoped that for their quarterly upgrade they would actually pay more attention to the profile than they clearly did. It was made a little worse by the newspaper pamphlet that came with the box this month. It lists every item you could possibly get and several items that not only weren’t chosen but weren’t in my options are in my profiles top categories. I think I would have been a lot less frustrated had I not seen that.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
However now you get a break from my whining because the next product they chose for me was the Herbivore Botanicals Prism AHA + BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial (retail $58) which is very much in my top categories. I am so looking forward to trying this for my Friday Face Mask this week. It is a brand that I have been looking into for a while and have wanted to try, and it is a product that I really want to use. With that product they hit the nail on the head. It was in fact the highlight of the bag this month.
Next up is the Mac Love Me Lipstick in Bated Breath (retail $21). Again, I love MAC as a brand and I love their lipsticks. They tend to crop up fairly often so it is a little less exciting to see it in the Glam Bag X. In addition, it is not an unusual color. I actually have at least five lip products in almost exactly the same shade. I’ll wear it, but again, I wish they had gone a little more towards rarely seen products and brands for the Glam Bag X.
This month they also had an eyeshadow palette. It was the One/Size Patrick Star Visionary Palette (retail $42). Now, I like Patrick Star and wish him well, but this is a really boring palette. The Olive Green Shimmer (second row next to the bright blue) is the only shadow I don’t have multiple versions of. It actually looks interesting. And yes I have been known to keep eyeshadow palettes because of one shade.
I haven’t tried the palette yet so it could perform magnificently and I could end up loving the palette. But to be honest looking at it, it is just kind of boring. Plus, there is the bottom edge. If you look at the picture you will see that the bottom edge isn’t straight. It is by design, the top of the palette has the angle in the other direction. So when closed there are points on either corner instead of a flat bottom edge. As I stand my palettes up in the drawer, I suspect this is going to end up really annoying me after a little while. But again, perhaps it will perform fabulously and I will love it and end up thinking the edge is quirky and fun.
But at the moment it is a bit of a disappointment.
Finally, we come to the last item. Again I chose this. This item was in my final choose category and again, there was no real competition for choice. I went with the Riki loves Riki Riki Cutie lighted makeup mirror (retail $60). The mirror charges with a USB cable which is nice. The mirror has three light settings: On, Bright and Seen from Space, which is also nice.
The plastic feels very cheap and thin and to carry it there is a cloth sleeve to slide it into. It feels like a $20 mirror not a $60 one and while it is currently in my purse, I’m taking bets as to where the mirror or the plastic surround get cracked first.
And that was my IPSY Glam Bag X this month. I know I did a lot of complaining this month. I hate when I do that. In general, I am able to positively spin most bags. This month just had so many irritants. And to be completely honest if any of these items showed up in my $25 bag, I would have been thrilled with the month. I would have been a very, very happy camper.
And I think that is a good chunk of my annoyance. It felt like a $25 bag, yet I know I paid $55.
There is no doubt that monetarily I got my money’s worth, these are expensively priced items. However, I suspect many of these items will be in add ons next month. What I’m trying to decide is if it is worth keeping the Glam Bag X or just stick with the Glam Bag plus, wait a month and pick up the one or two items that interest me in the Add ons.
That is actually the point of the mini rants as I try to gure out how I feel about the subscription as well as the products. while I will use and evaluate the products separately, this is ultimately about the Glam Bag X.
It is only the second month of this tier’s existence. Usually I give a subscription three to four months before I make a decision regarding cancellation. Mostly because even the best bags have an off month. Because this is quarterly I will give it the full year and then decide if this tier is going to follow me into 2022. And as annoying as May was, February was fantastic. And in general I really do like IPSY. The past few months have been a bit rough, but I’ve had at least one tier of their subscription box for quite a number of years and in general really like them. So for now I will keep the subscription, watch the add ons to see what filters in and hope that August mimics February and that May was just a one off.
And in case you are interested: The Skin store’s Memorial day sale has started (hence the lower price on the Christophe Robin. Brands like Grow Gorgeous and Skinceuticals are also on sale.)
For those that don’t know the Boxy Charm Premium is a $35 per month beauty subscription. Inside each box are six full sized items. This month’s theme is Flourish. I’ll admit that while I can usually see how the theme fits with the month at hand, I rarely see how the products fit into the theme.
The first Item out of my box this month is a box of the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye masks (retail $18). Surprisingly there are only three sets in the box. Given the size of the box I would have expected more. I have used the Rodial eye masks before and they are okay. They aren’t my favorite eye masks, but they work decently well. I find Rodial to be an interesting brand. I very much enjoy their serums and creams but tend to feel let down by their sheet masks and under eye masks.
It’s strange because they have to be similar products as they are all in the same Dragon’s Blood line of products, but there is a really big difference in performance. I’ll happily use these eye masks but when buying from Radial I tend to go for the tubes and bottles. Still Eye masks are nice especially during allergy season. I tend to use them right after my walks on the walking trail to help recover from the trees and flowering shrubs in the park.
The second Item in this month’s box is the Grown Alchemist Body Cream (retail $26). I have tried their night cream and while I liked their formula I found them a little too perfume-y for me. The body cream is scented with Mandarin and Rosemary so I am hoping that the lack of floral and the fact that it is a body cream will help with the scent. I actually just finished up a body cream so I am looking to try a new one. I will probably actually use this one after my shower tonight. I kind of like the fact that it is in a paint tube. It should make it easy to use every last drop.
My third item I am not terribly excited about. It is the Odacite BL + C Pimples Black Cumin + Cajeput Serum (retail $36). I’ve tried Odacite before and actually liked the product, however this is designed for problem skin. While I tend to get the occasional issue from too much face mask wearing, over all, I don’t have overly problematic skin. I get the occasional pimple but I find most problem skin serums dry out my skin very badly and cause more issues than they solve. So I will be more than likely passing this on to someone else.
Also being passed on to someone else is the set of three LaRuce Brushes I received.(retail $96) It isn’t that I don’t like them it is that I have two entire sets of LaRuce Brushes that I received from IPSY and I already have these three. They are good brushes, but they are a bit overpriced in my opinion. You can find my full brush review here if you are interested.
In general, I really like them. They were a featured product of IPSY for a while. I have noticed that since Boxycharm was purchased by IPSY the two are swapping products back and forth and I suspect there will be some overlap for a little while as they settle into things. I suspect this won’t be the last overlap. But they are good brushes, even if they are overpriced, and I’m sure someone else will love having them.
There was one makeup item in my box this month and it was the Too Faced Melted Chocolate Eyeshadow (retail $21). It is a liquid eyeshadow with a matte finish. I have to say I am very much looking forward to playing around with it and seeing how it works with other formulas. The shade I received (and that I chose) is Amaretto. It is a slightly pinky neutral and a shade I can easily wear on its own on my eyes.
The final item was also a choice item for me and quite frankly I can’t wait to try it out. It is the Bloom Effects Royal Tulip Nectar Moisturizing nectar (retail $65). It can be used anywhere on the body but it is suggested as a sleep mask to repair the skins barrier. When I chose it, I thought it was a moisturizer, but I’m okay with a sleeping mask.
I think I find this interesting because I have never heard of tulip based skin care products. I am so excited to try it out and will be rolling it into my skincare line up asap. Also the jar is lovely to look at so it satisfies my beauty loving soul as well.
Overall it is a decent box this month. There are quite a few products I am looking forward to trying. It isn’t really the most exciting box, but it is still a good one. I think because last month the Premium box was so spectacular it feels a little bit like a letdown. It isn’t, it just isn’t as exciting as last month. I would have liked to have seen a bit more makeup though as I am well stocked with skincare. But with every subscription box you are going to have exciting months and non-exciting months. This was a steady and decent box. The retail value comes to $262 so monetarily I did get my $35 worth out of it. Sure $96 was for the brushes, which is far too much for these three brushes in my opinion. However the Bloom Effects Royal Tulip Nectar which I really want to try retails for $65 so just for that This Boxycharm Box was worth it for me.
Everyone do the happy dance, my Look Fantastic Box has arrived. As you may recall last month there were a few issues with my box. Namely that it never made it to me. For the longest time the tracking link didn’t update and then one morning when I checked in I had a message stating that Royal Mail declared the box to contain banned substances and had it destroyed.
Which was quite shocking in a beauty box.
I contacted their customer service and as it was so late in the month, Look Fantastic refunded the cost of the box. It was no hassle at all and I was quite impressed with their customer service. I am still curious as to what was considered so dangerous, but Royal mail has sent no further explanation.
I will say that I checked this tracking number daily from the time the link was sent to me until the very day it was delivered. This month it arrived safe and sound.
So what was in this months’ box?
Well the first item I took out was the Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream Gel . It is a moisturizer and the tube looks to be completely full of product so I should be able to get about two weeks of testing out of it. I’ve tried comfort Zone Moisturizers before and I haven’t been too impressed. Perhaps this one will surprise me.
The next Item I was happier to see. It is the ecooking Peeling Mask. Ecooking is one of those brands that doesn’t get a lot of ad time, at least I don’t see a lot of ads for them. However every product I have tried from them has been really good. If you have dry feet or even cracked calluses on your feet I highly recommend their foot cream. It smells a little bit like Vick’s Vapor Rub but it does amazing things for dry and calloused feet. Actually in preparation for summer sandal wearing weather I slather my feet with it and then put on a pair of socks before bed. A few nights and my dry feet are fantastically hydrated and sandal ready. I haven’t tried the peeling mask but I am very much looking forward to it.
The This Works Stress Check Kind Hands Cream I am less enthused by. I rarely get super excited about hand cream anyway, but the brand This Works and I don’t tend to get on. I know so many people rave about them (my mother included) but their products always seem to leave me flat. Except their pillow spray, that I was actually allergic to and had a massive sneezing fit when I tried it. I ended up having to change out pillows before I could sleep. I may end up just passing this along to my mom who will no doubt love it.
The Burt’s Bees Lip balm, while not terribly exciting is nice to have around. It is a good formula and I like Burt’s Bees. There were several possible options. I received the Watermelon Pasteque. It is a clear lip balm that smells like Watermelon. It is nice and I will definitely use it, but it isn’t hugely exciting.
I am interested in trying out the Dr. Botanicals Kiwi eye Serum. I recently tried their Pomegranate sleeping mask and I really enjoyed using that so I hope the eye serum performs just as well. I didn’t open it up , even though I dying to know if it does smell like kiwis. It is an all natural brand and once you open it the clock starts ticking. Even though I want to know about the scent I will have to wait until I am ready to roll it into my skin care line up to find out about the scent.
Finally there is a skincare tool in my box. It is the Silicone Exfoliating Pad from the Vintage Co. I have to say I am intrigued. I have seen these in stores for years but never picked one up. Now that I have one I think it will be fun to give it a try. It is a very soft silicone so I think it might actually be gentle enough to use on a daily basis. That is always the trick with anything exfoliating. I have some products I can use multiple times a week and some I can only use once a month. I can’t wait to see how this performs with my La Roche Posay Toleriane Foaming cleanser. Will there be more foamng? A deeper clean? I don’t know, but it will be fun to try.
So that was my May Look Fantastic Box. Was it the most fabulous box they have ever scent? Not really. However for me the ecooking Peeling mask and the silicon exfoliating pad make the box for me. The This Works hand cream I’ll pass along to someone who will love it, I’ll certainly use the Burt’s Bees Lip Balm and I’m willing to give the Comfort Zone a try. Even though it isn’t hugely exciting, it was still a good box and in my opinion definitely worth the price of the subscription.
And speaking of the cost of the subscription.
While this box is $19 per month (a pretty good bargain in my opinion) if you sign up for a year you can get the box for only $16 (plus tax) and you will still only pay monthly. You don’t have to pay the entire year up front. Which I personally love. And if you sign up by using my referral link then for a limited time you can get 20% off. I think I get credits if you use it , otherwise I have no affiliation. It has, for me, been a very good box. Even on month’s that weren’t exciting I’ve gotten good products that I wouldn’t have found on my own. And with the one exception of last month’s Royal Mail debacle, I’ve had no issues with the subscription. And even then their customer service took care of it right away. Personally, I still want to know what Royal mail deemed so dangerous about last month’s Beauty Box.