Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Little Black Bag - June 2013

In my Little Black Bag shipment from June, I got the Penny Sue Antwerp Shopper bag in black, All the Rage Stone bracelet in purple, and First Aid Beauty products (daily face cream, face cleanser, Dual Repair Power Serum).

I'm actually glad the review on this ended up being late, because there's a very annoying flaw about the Penny Sue bag that didn't immediately show itself. See the fake jewels down the straps? The prongs on their settings are super bendable, which means it's really easy for them to come open and lose the jewels inside, which aren't held in by anything else. I've already lost 4 or 5 of them, all but one I didn't know were missing until later. The bag itself is ok, but empty settings look really ugly! In August when I get my next VIP $10 credit, I'm going to try a different designer's bag.

The dud of my package is the All the Rage bracelet, which I gave up trying to trade for anything good. I'd rather have it than the ugly wristlet I started out with, though. The "stone" is actually plastic (not that they were deceptive about it), and it's really bulky for my taste.

As for the First Aid Beauty items (they were the "special" items that month), they're not bad. They're not particularly notable or awesome, but decent. Nothing I'd go out of my way to purchase with all of the other options I've been introduced to from subscription boxes.

I'm hoping that I get a better quality bag next time (not getting a Penny Sue again), but otherwise LBB is a very fun experience! Trading is addictive, and you get really good discounts (and they do offer plenty of high-quality brands).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

POPSUGAR Must Have - June 2013

I've decided that, for now at least, I'm going to stop posting retail prices and scores in my reviews. I'm sure everyone prefers that I do it that way, but it'll make it a lot easier on me to get these reviews out in a timely manner (unlike lately!)

Anyway, on to the POPSUGAR Must Have June review!

After the disappointing May box, I was very pleasantly surprised with June's! And I'm not even using everything in it! (And July's was even better, but that's for another time).

My clothing-related item was a scarf (the black and white striped and orange thing in the upper left). I don't wear scarves, ever. But I did decide on a good use for these scarves I'm getting - photo backdrop! Looks more attractive than my worn-out comforter.

The Madonna exercise DVD? Yep, still in its wrap stuffed underneath my bedroom TV. I'm sticking to going to the gym.

I liked the fit popcorn. Mine was parmesan and herb, and was pretty tasty. I chowed down on that pretty quickly.

The Quench the Thirst wintergreen mints are good, but I'm not a fan of the test-tube-like packaging. It seems like it would be prone to coming open in a bag (although it hasn't yet), and it looks a little weird to have a vial with small white things in it in your purse - especially since the entire label came off when I unsealed it.

Now on to the things I really liked =D

I was really glad to see the Juice Beauty products, especially the moisturizer! That makes the entire box worth it. I've gotten some samples of theirs before, and really enjoyed them. I also got the two shades of their CC cream. The "natural glow" seems to be lighter than "warm glow", but I don't really see a massive difference between them. Although I've been using the warm glow more since I've been using self tanners (which I've been getting samples of out the wazoo in my July boxes).

I really enjoy reading, so I was happy to see a book in this box - the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada. I hadn't read the first one yet, so I went to the library and read it first. I really enjoyed it (certainly makes my worst job look pretty good in comparison to working for Anna Wintour- I mean Miranda Priestly =D) I haven't started Revenge Wears Prada yet, because I've been reading Sylvia Day's Crossfire series, ahahaha.

Please feel free to let me know what you think - about the box, or about changes to the blog. :) Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Julep Destination Mystery Box - Miami

Back in June, Julep offered a Destinations mystery box - three actually: Laguna Beach, Miami, and The Hamptons. I went with Miami ("Glitzy, bold, energetic"!). I got Version 4.

Box Contents:
Rock Star Hand Creme - value $20.00
Strawberry Mint Lip Balm - value $8.00
Nail polish in "Drew" (hot pink) - value $14.00
Nail polish in "Esmeralda" (glittery emerald green) - value $14.00
Nail polish in "Tina" (light purple/lavender) - value $14.00

Total Value: $70.00

Awesome value - the box only cost $24.99!

I love the lip balm - the strawberry mint flavor is very nice - not a strong chemical flavor like some lip balms can get. And it's VERY creamy and feels very nice too!

I hadn't gotten their Rock Star hand creme yet, so I was happy to get it in this box. It has a pleasant but not overly strong scent and feels very moisturizing without greasiness.

I was quite pleased with the colors I got in this box! I had used Drew a few weeks back and had taken pictures, but - derp - I already deleted them off my phone =/ That's what I get for being so behind in posting my reviews. It's a very bright hot pink, which is how it looks in the bottle.

I've gotten a backlog of new nail colors, so I haven't tried Esmeralda or Tina yet, but I love green and purple - looking forward to seeing how these look!

Box Score: on 1-5 scale

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Birchbox June 2013

If you're a subscriber, you've probably noticed that Birchbox has recently went through a packaging and website redesign. It'll take some getting used to, but I like it! It seems they're trying to appeal more to their mens' subscribers as well.

June's theme was "Wanderlust". I never see too much of a central theme in their choice of products for the month, but as long as they're good products, I don't care =P

Box Contents:
(values rounded to the closest quarter dollar)
Klorane Dry Shampoo - value $6
Color Club nail polish in Reign in Spain - value $2
Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Cheeky Kiss - value $26.50 (the images of the ones for sale at the Birchbox shop look different, but by weight the one I received is actually I'm assuming it's full-size)
Oscar de la Renta perfume in Something Blue - value $1.75
Birchbox Nautical Hair Tie (white with blue anchors) - value $2.25

Total Value: $38.50

Great value for a $10 box! I was generally pleased with my items too.

The Klorane dry shampoo is pretty good - it's not overly powdery and does a decent job of  rebooting my hair without leaving a noticeable residue.

I haven't tried the Color Club polish yet (too much Julep and Knock Out to try out, heheh), so I don't have too much to say about it, other than I got my least desired color out of the four possible ones =/ It looks very bright for my tastes.

I really like my Mirenesse Glossy Kiss lipstick/stain! It's very smooth and moisturizing. If I ever need to get lipcolor again (with my subscription boxes I get, I don't think I will be running out anytime soon), I would try some other shades of this.

I like a lot of the Oscar de la Renta perfumes (Santo Domingo is possibly my favorite perfume ever), but Something Blue is not among my favorites. It's not bad by any means though. It's a fresh, floral scent.

I've noticed this type of hair tie has been popular lately, but I haven't gotten one until now. It doesn't hold my hair as tightly as my regular elastics and seems to slip off a little easier, but then again my hair is barely long enough to use any kind of elastics right now.

So, this month definitely had great value and decent products. I've yet to be disappointed by Birchbox so far, though.

Total Box Score: 5 on 1-5 scale

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

BzzAgent - Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles

I signed up for BzzAgent recently, and a few weeks ago I received my first product to review from them. It seems to be a nice program so far - you just sign up and answer some surveys and they will send you invites for getting products to review for free. I got my first invite very quickly - within a day or two of signing up.

I received a pair of the Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles, and several coupons for $4 off for them. I've already given away all the coupons - each pair retails for around $8, so the coupon gives you half off! Not a bad incentive to get friends and co-workers to try them.

And here they are outside of the package. They're designed to help take the pressure off the ball of your foot, and have a thick gel padding in the center. They claim that they are near-invisible even with strappy/open shoes, and that is indeed true  - can you see them in my heels in the picture below? =)

They're non-slip but don't have an adhesive, so it's easy to switch them to another pair of shoes. They say they don't cause shoes to feel tight, but I found this wasn't the case. In some of my heels that were snug to begin with, it felt really uncomfortable. I've mainly been using these in my high-heeled boots that I wear to work a lot, and they feel a lot better in those.

After getting used to them, I think they are pretty helpful. After working a full day and then running errands afterwards in heels, my feet would get really sore by the time I got home, but I've noticed that using the insoles have made a big difference. Ultimately I think I will continue using these.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Julep - June 2013 - Bombshell

I haven't been too active on my blog lately, but I have very good excuses! Hopefully I'm done with house disasters for a's been awful the past two weeks. Water leak under our slab foundation...the breakers to our AC melting..ugh. Yay for homeownership!

I got my June 2013 Julep box earlier this month - I decided to go with Bombshell this time!

Either they randomly decided to give me a card with the ingredients for salt water taffy...or their bonus surprise this month is taffy. (It was the latter =P)

Box Contents:
DD Creme in Light - value $28.80
Nail polish in "Raegan" (hot pink) - value $14
Nail polish in "Payton" (hot green) - value $14

Total Value: $56.80
(not going to bother adding in the value of the three pieces of taffy)

Pretty awesome for a $19.99 box!

And unlike Glossybox they actually pay attention to which skin tone you specify in the Beauty Bio! It's always nice to be able to use the items in your boxes =p I really enjoy the BB/CC/DD creams in general - they've replaced regular foundation in my makeup routine. Julep's has been pretty decent. It looks dark and a bit orangey coming out of the tube, but it ends up working really well for my skin tone. I may pick up their new concealer later on.

Close-up of Raegan and Payton...

Here's Raegan in action!

Another awesome Julep box...of course it helps that they let you know what you're getting ahead of time and give you a chance to skip or change beauty profiles before they ship!

Box Score: 5 on 1-5 scale

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Glossybox May 2013

I apologize for the lateness in posting anything - work and a plumbing leak took up most of my time this week =(

Anyway, on to the May 2013 Glossybox!

It came in a pretty, sturdy reusable box like always!

Box Contents:
(value rounded to nearest quarter dollar)
Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact in Amber Gold - value $16
etre belle Collagen & Aloe Vera mask - value $4
European Wax Center small foil samples x2 - difficult to put value on because of their size, but we'll say value is $2
My Prime mattifying moisturizer - value $11.25
Nicka K Absolute! solid perfume stick in Dream 42- value $15
Sebastian Volupt Spray - value $6.75

Total Box Value: $55

Not a bad value for a $21 box!

However, there were a few disappointments..
The Amorepacific compact came in "Amber Gold", which is WAY too dark for me. If Glossybox has you fill out a beauty profile (which includes your skin tone, and I indeed had it set to "Fair"), and they send out these types of products, why can't they send you an appropriate shade?
I also didn't care for the perfume stick. I liked the scent (Dream 42), it had a nice citrus smell to it - but it's like putting on deodorant! It leaves a residue and clumps up unattractively after wearing it for a while (like the underarm residue you can get from a deodorant stick!) I much prefer traditional perfume..

They gave each person two out of three possible European Wax Center packet samples - I received the exfoliate and the body wash. They seemed pretty nice, but the samples barely provided one use of each, so I couldn't get a really good feel for the products.

The etre belle mask was nice - it did seem to make my skin feel smoother/softer afterwards, but it seems like something you would need to use on a regular basis to get the most out of it.

I liked the My Prime mattifying moisturizer. It didn't leave my t-zone shiny like most other moisturizers and didn't have a greasy/oily feel to it. It's rather expensive though ($68 for the full size, which is 60ml!), so I'm likely not going to be purchasing it.

My favorite item out of the box is definitely the Sebastian Volupt Spray. Especially when I spray it on my wet hair before blowdrying, I can tell there's a big different in volume. I have fine hair so I like it a lot! It doesn't have too much residue either - it feels about the same as a light coat of hair spray. Definitely something I'll consider getting in the future!


This was definitely not my favorite Glossybox ever, but I get good boxes from them consistently, so I'm not too worried. Looking forward to the June box!

Box Score: 4 on 1-5 scale