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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blood is the New Black (May 2013)

I recently got my bargain bag from Blood is the New Black, and I was pretty pleased! (I got the men's bargain bag in XL, since they didn't have a women's one in my size at that time).

This is the first shirt I took out, and it alone would have been worth the $25 cost of the bag to me... BEST. SHIRT. EVER. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that, since I got several compliments on it and was asked where I got it while I was out the other day =P ...will have to keep an eye on Demonbabies!

Not something I would have bought on my own, but good for lounging.

Not sure why, but this one's growing on me, despite being pretty ugly!

I like this one a has a melancholic feel to it.

The design is neat, but not something I would have bought myself.

It might be my imagination, but it seems like the shirts all fit a little differently, despite them all being XL and having the same shirt type.

At any rate, it was a good use of $25! =D

Bag Score: 5 on 1-5 scale

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blood is the New Black

Information out of date? Please contact me at!

This is the general review page for Blood is the New Black. Each time I review them, it can affect its total score. I will award a score of 1 (awful) through 5 (awesomeness) on each of the following: content, value, uniqueness, shipping, customer service, and perks.

Service Type: Online store

About: Blood is the New Black is an online clothing store that sells mostly t-shirts. Their shirts feature artwork from emerging/underground artists, whom you support by buying their tees. My review(s) of them will be pertaining to their mystery "Bargain Bags" in their sale section - $25 for five shirts that are from the current or past season. You have to check back frequently as they'll run out of certain sizes or types of shirts for a while (waiting for another boyfriend tee bag!)

Cost (in USD): $25 for five shirts - which considering that full price for their shirts is $40+ each, not bad at all! And in my last bargain bag, I got some shirts that are still going for full price in their store!

Shipping From: Los Angeles, CA.

Shipping Schedule: They say they take 7-10 business days for processing and shipping before you get your package (in the US), but it didn't take nearly that long for me to get my bag.

Countries They Ship To: Looks like they'll ship to any country.

Bonuses: Free shipping if you order stuff adding up to $100 or more, but other than that they don't appear to have a rewards program.

Customer Service: N/A - I haven't had to contact customer service.

Individual Product Reviews: May 2013

Total HM! Score:
Content: 5 Shirts seem to be well made, and are definitely unique. Value: 5 You can get shirts in the bargain bag that retail at their store for $40+ each...and in each bargain bag  you get five shirts for $25! Uniqueness: 5 The artwork on the shirts is made by artists who aren't well known and mainstream. Shipping: 5 Shipping is faster than stated. Customer Service: N/A I haven't had to contact customer service about anything.  Perks: 2 Apart from the bargain bags and free shipping over $100, they don't offer anything as far as rewards, etc. Which is a shame considering how expensive their full-price shirts are.

Total Score: 4.4 on 1-5 scale

Monday, June 3, 2013 May 2013

Heeere's my May 2013 Goodies box! If you can't see it in the image, they included a card with the code "SKIPTHELINE" so you don't have to wait for them to send a subscription invite!

Cat not included!
 Box Contents (value rounded to the nearest quarter-dollar):

California Olive Ranch Olive Oil packets x2 - value $1.25
Sour Power Straws in strawberry - value $1.00
Sour Power Straws, assorted - value $1.00
Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce - value $1.50
Numi Moroccan Mint tea - value $0.50
Kathie's Kitchen sea salt pumpkin seeds - value $1.00
Beanitos chips in white bean with sea salt - value $1.00
Zico coconut water - value $4.25

Total Approximate Box Value: $11.50

I also got a bag clip and a coupon for Wholly Guacamole. Not bad for a $7 box!

I don't like coconut water, so of course I got a honking liter of it! I've been drinking on it, but, eh, it's still coconut water. It might be good (or at least tolerable) flavored or as an ingredient in a fruity drink.

I do like to use olive oil in cooking, although I haven't cooked in a while. The California Olive Ranch packets will definitely get used though.

The other item I haven't tried yet is the Numi tea. It's caffeine free, and with my erratic schedule I've been having to rely on caffeinated drinks lately =P I like tea, though, so I will also use this.

The Sour Power Straws got eaten pretty quickly though! I like gummy candy anyway, and these were nice and soft (and sour!) They don't have that waxy taste/consistency like some brands do.

Beanitos were another big hit with me! They have a slightly different taste from typical tortilla chips (in a good way). Our Homeland carries Beanitos (although not a big variety), and I picked up the pinto bean ones, which are also good. Definitely will be buying these in the future, too. They're also delicious with melted shredded cheese on top..mmmmmmm!

The salted pumpkin seeds were okay, nothing too exciting or special - I don't typically buy pumpkin seeds and they're not exactly my favorite food, but these made a good snack.

My least favorite item out of the box was definitely the raspberry chipotle sauce! I don't like raspberries and I don't like fruity and spicy tastes together, so unsurprisingly I don't like this sauce. I tried it as a dipping sauce with chicken and quickly went back to my staple sweet and sour sauce (did I mention I don't cook a lot? =P) This is purely a personal preference though, so if you like that type of flavor, then you might like this.

In all, I thought this was an excellent box (it introduced me to Beanitos after all!) The things I didn't like are more about my personal taste and don't necessarily reflect the quality of the products, so I'm not counting them against the box score. I'm loving my Goodies Co subscription! They've introduced me to all kinds of tasty things I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Box Score: 5

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Little Black Bag (May 2013), Pixi

I recently got my first Little Black Bag shipment! Obviously it was heavy on the Pixi products. I'm a fan of eyeshadow pens in general, so I've gotten two more of theirs.

Out of my original bag (after trading):
- Pixi Lid Last eyeshadow pen in Graphite Glint - retails for $18
-Pixi Lid Last eyeshadow pen in Peach Pave - retails for $18
-Pixi Fairy Light Solo eyeshadow in Gilded Olive - retails for $15

-Pixi Lip Blush in Youth - retails for $18
-skyn ICELAND Icelandic Relief Eye Pen - retails for $20

Total Value: $89
Total Spent: $50.78

So...not a bad deal! I had a lot of fun with the trading too, although I've heard that the trading was better before they changed.

Bag Score: 5 on 1-5 scale

Read more about LLB here!

Now I want to talk about Pixi =)

Like I said, I love eyeshadow pens anyway, and these were no exception. ...Then the day came when I wore down the point and needed to get more product out. Since they're plastic, I assumed that you would twist the bottom to make more come out, like other plastic eyeshadow pens. Well, that didn't work, but luckily before I broke it in my attempt to twist it, I did a little research online. Apparently you have to sharpen them. That sounds weird to sharpen plastic, but that's what you do. Now, the rather crappy thing is that the Lid Last pens are too fat to go in most makeup pencil sharpeners (even the ones for "big" pencils). I think I'd read online that there may be a few non-Pixi sharpeners that some people got to work, but that's the exception. Otherwise your only choice is to buy the Pixi brand sharpener. Target carries Pixi products, but neither of the two Target stores I checked in NW OKC carries the sharpener. Online I found it available on the Pixi website and on Birchbox. I like to order things off Birchbox on a regular basis anyway, so I ordered it from them. I just find it kind of irritating that Pixi made it so that you have to buy their sharpener. (If anyone knows specifically which other brands/kinds out there that can sharpen these things, please let me know!) But, well, I still like the pens (plus I have three of them now so I might as well get the stupid sharpener, heheh).

I like the Fairy Light Solo eyeshadow, too. It goes on easily and I really like the Gilded Olive shade I went with =)

The Lip Blush is ok, but not my favorite lip product. It's felt tip, so it feels like I'm coloring my lips with a magic marker (which I guess I kinda am)! The color doesn't go on very bold, but that's not necessarily a bad thing depending on what you're going for. I might try a different lip product from them in the future, but probably not another Lip Blush.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Julep - Hooray For May Mystery Box

Why yes, yes they are!
I got the "Hooray For May" mystery box from Julep (not part of the subscription, but an optional special edition). I'm still new to Julep - so far I've gotten one subscription box and one mystery box from them. These special boxes cost $24.99 ($5 more than a subscription box), and are supposed to contain $70-$200 worth of products. There's several versions of these boxes that they send out, and apparently if you're lucky you can get one that has more products in it than the others.

I got version 3. If anyone would like to share what they got in different versions please comment and let me know! =D

With this box you get one polish in a little bag that, according to Julep, you can either give it to a friend or keep for yourself. I'm keeping it for myself of course! This one was "Zora", a pale pink.

Then there's the other five polishes:
"Hilary" - gold-ish glittery
"Korin" - pea green
"Sheryl" - gold and sheer
"Lucy" - it was hard to tell exactly what color this was at first. It almost looks black in the bottle. When I actually put it on, it turned out to be a dark red (see last picture!)
"Glenn" - A really pretty red

I had a hard time deciding which to try first, so I went with Sheryl. It's a lot sheerer than I thought it would be, but still pretty. In the picture below, I think I ended up using three coats and it still wasn't really opaque:

That's been a couple of weeks ago, and today I decided to cut my nails and try another - I went with Lucy since I was curious what it actually looked like =P

Ignore the messiness! I don't really clean my nails up too well afterwards and the polish on my skin comes off well after a shower or two. Anyway, as you can see, it ended up being a dark red - really pretty!

This has been the third use of Julep polish for me so far, and I'm really pleased with them. They're pretty durable and with my previous two uses, I only had minor chipping by two weeks (I do use a clear top coat with them). My June box is on its way and I'm looking forward to it! =D

Box Score: 5 on 1-5 scale

Read more about Julep here!

Conscious Box May 2013

I was extra happy to get my Conscious Box this month, since I didn't get my April one! (At least they are providing me an extra month to compensate). This box was pretty heavy too, which is always exciting. =D I subscribe to the "Classic" box - they also have vegan and gluten-free subscription boxes.

They usually send a postcard with each box. (It's the flower and bee picture in the image above). Not sure if it's a random one or if everyone gets the same one each month. I don't have any use for postcards, but it's a nice touch I guess.

Box Contents:
(Note: For simplicity I've rounded them off to the nearest 25 cents)
Ultima Replenisher Health Drink packet in Lemonade - value approx $0.50
MRM Relax-All (packet of two capsules) - value approx $0.75
Orgain Healthy Kids Organic Shake in Vanilla - value approx $2
Healthy Hoohoo Feminine Cleanser packet - value approx $0.50
Earthpaste toothpaste in Wintergreen - value approx $7.50
Ecover Automatic Dishwasher tablets (2) - value approx $0.50
Somersaults Cinnamon Crunch snack - value approx $0.25
Dream Water shots (2) in Snoozeberry - value approx $6.50
BIJA tea packet in Lemon Ginger Echinacea - value approx $0.50

I also got some additional small samples (Earthpaste, Yes To Cucumbers sunscreen, and Herbamare) that I didn't think were worth trying to put an approximate value to.

There were also some coupons for things I don't really have any interest in, and I haven't been counting coupons towards the box value in my reviews.

Total Approximate Value (minus coupons): $19
Which is about what a Conscious Box costs. Not the greatest value for a subscription box, but I at least liked several things.

The kids' vanilla shake was pretty good, and had a satisfyingly rich taste for a "healthy shake" - meant for kids, but I enjoyed it =) There's adult versions of the shakes available too.

I've been using the Earthpaste fairly regularly. It's nice that it's full-sized! Not the best tasting toothpaste out there, but taste isn't exactly the most important thing about it to me.

The Dream Water came at a good time. I'd been seeing it in stores but hadn't tried it until recently. I'm currently working a ridiculously unstable schedule (NOT fun going back and forth between overnights and day shifts!), and when I try to sleep during the day, I get woken up a lot by hubby, the cats, the phone ringing, the doorbell ringing, etc. I really think this stuff works - it's a lot easier to go to sleep again when I've used one. I haven't used the MRM Relax-All capsules yet, but probably will soon because of the aforementioned reasons.

I liked the Somersaults snack a lot too. Usually cinnamon flavored things are either really sweet or have a kick to them, but these didn't, and didn't have a strong cinnamon taste to them. They were still tasty though!

Like many other subscribers I'm sure, I got a laugh out of the Healthy Hoohoo cleanser. I am not in the practice of uh, using specialized feminine cleanser, so I'm not sure if I'm going to try this out or not.

My least favorite item in here was definitely the Ecover dishwasher tablets. Ugh, they're worthless! I had to re-run the entire load because it left all kinds of food residue on my dishes (and I do rinse them off before putting them in the dishwasher). Back to using chemicals for me!

Box Score: 4