Ipsy August 2017 Glam Bag

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Price: $10


Agust2017_3My August Glam Bag. I resubscribed to Ipsy two weeks ago, and this was the first bag I received.

Can’t say I’m wowed. The only reason I resubscribed was because it seemed like they stepped up on the variety of brands… but these are brands I’ve been getting from Ipsy since 2014. Nothing new.

Adorable bag as always.

Agust2017_5Shade of TheBalm shadow/luminizer I got: Kuwakaribisha

Agust2017_4Swatches. Leftmost is Kuwakaribisha, and the rest are individual swatches of the Hikari bronzer. Cute colors!

Agust2017_1I noticed they changed from a pink envelope to a gold one.

Hope September is better.

Birchbox November 2016 Review + Changes to Point System

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Price: (as always) $10


bb_november2My November Box.

bb_november6November’s theme is “The Finishing Touch,” which is fitting as I’m probably not going to renew BB in 2017.

Before I delve into my review, I wanted to inform you guys about the new points system in Birchbox.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-23-12-pmAlthough I’ve loved BB for nearly two years now, I will probably cancel my subscription after my December box, and here’s why:

  • They changed the point system. Now a review will not get you extra +10 points (which ends up being equal to a dollar). That’s 50 extra points ($5) gone.
  • You will earn points for spending money in the shop and referring friends. (+50 points for the first five reviews you make after the changed system)
  • You don’t have to wait until the points accumulate to 100 to spend it. But again, it’s much harder now to earn points.
  • Tiny samples + Not the best customization system.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-45-pmThe reason I swore by Birchbox was because of the points. The tiny samples in itself didn’t justify the $10 price tag for me, even with free shipping. The extra 100 points you used to get for every two box equaled to $10, a nice sum that could be used towards purchasing tried-and-true samples.

Now those perks are gone.

There’s no reason for me to fork over 10 bucks for minuscule samples, especially as the only “big” samples I get are stuff I don’t even use, like dry shampoo and hairspray.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-36-pmThat being said, I will miss the old system where I used to wait for every box, mulling over what samples to purchase. That notion of the unknown was a part of what made this fun for me. But as of now, I can’t justify its price tag. That’s $10 more that could’ve been spent on something I definitely know I’ll enjoy.

On to the review.

bb_november3What I got.

I’m actually pretty happy with all the product choice this month. It’s something I know I’ll use up.

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  • That tiny Jane Iredale sample makes everything look big, but I assure you, everything is tiny (with the exception of the hair conditioner). Nice balm though.
  • The Gimme Brow is absolutely adorable, and props to the cute packaging, but it’s the size of my index finger. (But lovely product. I have used a FS Gimme Brow before, and it helped my sparse brows a lot)
  • The Juara sample smells lovely, a bit like a mix of vanilla-chai & almond? I should look into this once I power through 2 years worth of body cream.
  • I’m wary of the Marcelle, as I’ve broken out before, but I’m always game for moisturizer. Especially one that’s multi-action.
  • The R+Co cleansing foam conditioner felt a bit heavy on my hair, but it seemed to clean everything pretty well.

bb_november5Comparison with my other tiny lip samples. You’ve got to admit they’re adorable.

With the Marc Jacobs sample, you get 1g (0.03oz) of product.

With the Jane Iredale, it doesn’t say… I’ll have to bury it in my front yard and hope that come next spring, it would’ve grown into a wonderful lippie tree. (=lipstick seed goals)

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day 🙂

bb_november7PS: They changed up the packaging! The tabs make it much easier to take apart. Nice touch.


How was your November Birchbox? Did you enjoy everything in there? Will you renew for 2017? What do you think of the new points system? 

Spring ELF Gift Exchange Box :)

springelf5I recently participated in a gift exchange “ELF” (like secret santa kinda elf, not ELF the brand) and it was so much fun! Thought it’d be nice to post what I received from my lovely elf.

springelf1My box arrived March 21, in the form of a Nordstrom Rack box bearing several “fragile” notices!

Our time line went:

  • Sign-up: 02/26
  • Drawing Pairs: 2/28
  • Pairings Posted: 2/29
  • Wishlist Exchange: 3/01 ~ 3/06
  • Shopping: 3/07~3/20
  • Shipping with tracking: 3/21 ~ 3/27

Recommended budget was “$25 +shipping + 3~5 deluxe beauty samples,” but I think we all went over that.

springelf3Everything was so carefully wrapped; it was heartwarming.

All that bubblewrap!

springelf4Love this. One more sign that says fragile.

springelf5This is what I received. I absolutely love every single item here. I’m uploading this post to my “Beauty Box” category, as I consider this a one-time beauty box tailored especially for me 🙂

My elf and I corresponded through PM, where we shared a lot of background info/likes/dislikes/hobbies etc. The theme of this box was “location,” as we were supposed to share regional goodies as well as cosmetics. I was sent items related to West Virginia, while my elf was sent items of Korean and Michigan origin. 

springelf6I figured I’d showcase the items by their respective categories and explain the reasoning behind them, to show how thoughtful this box really was.

springelf10“Bath & Body” related items. I’ve been addicted to baths since last year. I know too much will dry out my skin but I can’t help it!

  • Philosophy – Fresh Cream Body Lotion (my all time favorite body lotion)
  • Palyfrog Soap Co – Bath Bomb

springelf9“Blue” items. My favorite color is blue, especially navy and cerulean.

  • Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour – 461 Blue Satin (gorgeous color!)
  • Navy Sparkly Makeup Pouch

springelf8Delicious looking goodies from West Virginia!

  • West Virginia Fruit & Berry – Apple Butter
  • The Candy Factory – Chocolate Fudge (Already gone. I’m on a sugar high, chock-full of fudgy goodness)

springelf7“Cosmetics” samples. I love blush, and was sent three blush related samples! The rest were deluxe samples I knew I loved (NUDE, Dior), and awesome lip & body samples.

  •  Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin (I love this, but can’t get over that price tag!)
  • Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee
  • MakeUpForEver HD Blush – 410
  • NUDE Detox Gentle Brightening Enzyme Fizzy Powder Wash (love)
  • Sephora Colorful Blush – Sweet on You
  • Honest Beauty Lipgloss card
  • Original Handcrafted Lip Balm
  • Morning Whisper – Silky Smooth Body Lotion

springelf13And this beautiful postcard of West Virginia 🙂

I wish I included something like this in my elf’s box!

springelf11Last but not least, Sonny Angels.

I collect them, especially the animal versions. My elf kindly got me another to add to my small but growing collection! I think they’re adorable.

springelf12It’s the one on the very right, the adorable buffalo!

This was my first ever ELF gift exchange and it certainly won’t be the last. I’m happy with my new goodies, and sincerely hope my elf likes her package, too.


Have you ever participated in an ELF gift exchange? What kind of presents did you give and/or receive?

 

Birchbox March 2016 Curated Box Review

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Price: (as always) $10


This March, I forwent sample choices in favor of the curated box for two reasons:

1. Scant choice. There were three sample choices:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Shampoo & Conditioner (foil)
  • Dry Shampoo (one that’s been offered at least three times before)

2. The Milk lip sample. I was curious about that brand!

march2016_1I love the box design. It’s adorable, like a bubblegum wrapper or a kitschy wallpaper.

The boxes are one of the reason I adore Birchbox. They’re awesome for stashing samples and other knickknacks; plus, they double as great gift boxes!

march2016_2This month’s curated box is titled: “Ready For Anything.”

The idea behind this box is that it’s “perfect for pulling together a look in no time flat.” While I don’t fully agree, I like that feeling of readiness it seems to embody.

march2016_3This is the list of the five DS samples:

  • PARLOR® by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
  • MILK Makeup Lip Color in C.R.E.A.M.
  • Smashbox Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio in Filter
  • Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads

march2016_5Save for the Parlor hairspray (I have way too many samples now), these were all items I was excited to try/receive. Despite that spray, I should’ve been pleased with this box.

march2016_6For example, Kiehl.

Their Midnight Recovery Concentrate didn’t jive with me but I have a soft spot for their lotions. Very moisturizing. Granted, it’s small, but these mini tubs are wonderful when you’re on the road or stuck in a 14 hour flight.

march2016_7Wilma Schumann eye pads. I love receiving eye pads because I know they’ll get used. Never seen a dramatic change, especially with onetime use, but they feel very refreshing, nice and cool.

march2016_9Smashbox Trio. Color scheme is a tad bit boring, but I like boring, neutral palettes. Plus, this apparently doubles as a contour palette.

I could pop this in my pouch for emergency touch ups.

march2016_17Meh, but generous size. I could give this away to a friend who likes hairsprays.

march2016_10Which brings me to the Milk lipstick in color “C.R.E.A.M.”

This has got to be the smallest lipstick I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s beyond cute. There has to be a barbie somewhere missing her lipstick. Or (as liguriansea of BT mentioned) this is a lipstick seed that will eventually grow into a grand lipstick tree.

It looks so pitiful in my palm, like a baby bird trembling on the ground 😦

march2016_8I swear, that picture gives me the illusion that the other samples are huge, or FS. But you’ve all seen how small the Kiehl cream is.

march2016_11… it’s so small!

I can’t even gift this away. Nor does it seem significant enough to garner a spot on my dressing table. In my pouch? I’ll definitely lose it.

march2016_12The amount of product we receive is “0.4g/0.0014oz.” For comparison, the amount of product in a DS size Bite lipstick, is “2g/0.07oz.” Meaning this sample is 1/5th the size of a regular DS lipstick.

I tried to swatch it and this happens:

march2016_13Whomp whomp.

This is baffling to me. Considering that it’s a new brand, I figured Milk Makeup would send out wonderful samples that would live up to their claims. I realize the sample designs don’t necessarily translate to the full sized lipsticks, but is this really the first impression they mean to make?

march2016_14That being said, “C.R.E.A.M” is a rather pretty color.

It’s in that category of dusty, muted Rose that I adore. NARS “Dolce Vita” and Buxom “Sinful Cinnamon” comes to mind, though they aren’t really dupes.

march2016_15This goes on creamy matte, meaning it does accentuate my lip lines. But as long as you don’t have horrible dry lips like I do, it shouldn’t be a problem.

march2016_16Because I won’t be doing a separate review for this, here’s the ingredient list for the lipstick.


How did you like your March 2016 Birchbox? Did any of you have a good laugh over the tiny Milk lipstick? Would you purchase the FS?

March 2016 Target Beauty Box

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Cost: $5

Value: $17+


This was the monthly Target Beauty Box that went live on Feb 29 for a mere $5. As usual, it comes with free shipping and a complimentary $3 off coupon that can be used offline or online.

I absolutely love these boxes. They’re great value and I usually find myself using 80~90% of all items. As subscription boxes go, it’s a high number for me.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 8.08.29 PMOrder was processed on 2/29. Box shipped 3/01 and arrived 3/04 evening, four days earlier than the predicted timeframe.

Target box1This was a smaller, flatter box than February’s box, perfect for stashing samples. It arrived unscathed, unlike last time where my box had a huge dent on the side. (This could be the doing of my mailman, though; he has a penchant for chucking packages at doors 😦 )

Target box5Box theme is “Vacay Vibes,” with its contents described as:

“Must-haves. Can’t live withouts. Obsessions. As purveyors of all-things beauty , we at Target Style like to keep a lookout for what’s new and now. In this box, you’ll find a few of our favorites – just in time for spring break. Test ’em out and tell us what you think. And if you love them as much as we do, find the full sized version at: Target.com/BeautyBox.”

Target box6Product included are:

  • Hair Food Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
  • SinfulColors Professional Nail Color (Color differs for everyone)
  • you are AMAZING Juicy Grapefruit Body Lotion
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
  • Banana Boat Sun Comfort SPF 30 Lotion
  • nügg Face Mask (Differs for everyone; I received the “anti-aging”)
  • Caress Adore Forever Body Wash

Target box3Generous DS & FS items! There are eight products, which means you’re basically paying 60 cents for each item.

Target box4For five bucks, this was a complete steal. Other than the Caress Body Wash, I see myself using every item. I especially like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, Hairfood shampoo, and the Nugg Mask. Already tried the Nugg mask and while it tingles (may be uncomfortable for some), it leaves your skin fresh, moisturized, and even.

These boxes come out every month, so be on the lookout! They go fast, and when they’re gone they’re gone.