Friday, May 31, 2013

May 2013 Julep Box - Full Collection - Set the Stage

The Roaring Twenties!!! As soon as I saw the theme for this box, I knew I had to upgrade. :)

I absolutely loved the entire contents of this month's box! Such a beautiful mix of nail polish shades.

From left to right:

1. Millie - Boho Glam - Vintage Indigo Creme

2. Gabrielle - Bombshell - Smokey Mulberry Creme
I am wearing this shade in the video and it is such a great colour. The formulation is perfect - easy to apply and opaque in 2 coats.

3. Alice - Boho Glam - Antique Lilac Shimmer
This is my only lilac shimmer polish and I can't wait to try it!

4. Coco - It Girl - Oxblood Creme

5. Myrtle - Classic with a Twist - Flapper Red Creme

6. Clara - It Girl - Opaque Peach Creme

7. Zora - Classic with a Twist - Frosted Pink Pearl
I've worn this shade as well and thought it was gorgeous.

8. Zelda - Bombshell - Pink Champagne Metallic
This is one of my favourite metallic shades ever! It looks like subdued rose gold in certain lighting and is not at all streaky.

9. Paris - It Girl - Multidimensional Glitter Holographic Topcoat
I wore this as a "glitter gradiant" (as best as I could do, haha) and this is a beautiful glitter polish. It definitely reminds me of the luxuriousness and over-the-top-ness of the 20s.

What made me love the May collection even more were the products that were included! We received 6 mini lipsticks. The packaging was gorgeous as well!

Here are the lipsticks that were included in the New York Trio:

1. Lady in Red - Matte Crimson
This is supposed to be a universally flattering red and I'm excited to test that claim!

2. Satin Doll - Sheer Poppy
This looks more like a coral shade to me but I'm not complaining! It is a very sheer lipstick.

3. Tea for Two - Sheer Nude Shimmer
This is the only shade I've tried so far and I liked the scent but found the formulation a little drying. This is the sheerest lipstick of them all and I find it similar to a very lightly tinted lip balm.

The lipsticks in the Paris Trio had more pigmentation but I think I prefer the warmer tones of the New York Trio.

1. Lady in Red - Matte Crimson
This shade was included in both trios.

2. Charleston - Sheer Cranberry

3. Sweet Lorraine - Sheer Bubblegum Pink

Last but not least, we received a sugar smooch lip scrub in the upgrade box - take a look at this packaging!

Overall, I thought this was a very well thought out collection! One thing that was missing in the upgrade box were the little flower hair clips (these were included in the smaller, subset boxes). I contacted Julep and the customer service was great - the hair clips will be shipped out to me.

Julep is $19.99 including shipping but you can preview months and skip as many boxes as you want. There is a promotion going on right now where you can type in FREEBOX to get your first box at no charge. I believe you only have to pay shipping of $3.99. If you are interested in signing up to Julep and don't mind using my referral link, I would earn points and send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: I paid for the May Julep box with my own money.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

April 2013 Beauty Box 5 - Unboxing and Review

I think this is my last April box that I need to catch up on... the good news is that I've cancelled a bunch of boxes so hopefully I'll be able to keep up with my blog posts going forward! :)

I thought the April BB5 was alright - not my favourite but there were a couple of products I really liked. Here is what I received:

1. The Brush Hanger

This product didn't really do anything for me. I have so many brushes that one brush hanger is not going to help me with my brush cleansing routine. I'd much rather use the brush guards we received in our February BB5. This went straight to the donation pile.

Full size // 1 small brush hanger // $4.69

2. Model Co. Illusion Lip Enhancer Kit

Model Co. has made a number of appearances in the BB5 but I don't really mind because I've been enjoying the products. I'm not sure why this product is called a "kit" when it is essentially a box containing a lip liner... perhaps because there is a sharpener built into the cap of the liner? Anyway, I'm not complaining because this is a beautiful and creamy nude liner. I'm not sure it does anything to enhance my lips but I do like the formulation and the colour. It looks like this might be a discontinued product but I'm not 100% sure as the Model Co. website is currently under construction.

Full size // 1.5 g // $20

3. La Fresh Instant Body Smoother

I love trying new wipes so I didn't mind receiving this product at all. I will probably save these for the next time I travel.

Full size // 18 wipes // $9.99
Sample size // 2 wipes // approx. $1.11

4. Jean Pierre Cosmetics Oil-Absorbing Facial Tissues

Oil blotting sheets come in very handy for me - I use at least 1 sheet every day but will probably be reaching for them more in the summer - so I was happy to try the sheets from this brand. Jean Pierre Cosmetics is an inexpensive drug store brand but I thought these tissues were great.

Full size // 50 sheets // $1.99

5. Brazen Cosmetics Organic Mineral Eyeshadow in Birthday Suit

My favourite item in the BB5 this month! I love this eye shadow... I've been wearing it every day and it is a perfect neutral base colour for my eyelids. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in it but I don't detect it on my eye so I'm also comfortable wearing this shade to work. I couldn't find this product on the website but I read on the Brazen Cosmetics blog that this is a new shade. Hopefully, this shade will be part of the new eyeshadow launch coming June 1st! :)

Full size // 5 g // $7.49
Sample size // 3 g // approx. $4.49

I initially thought this box had a very low value but the Model Co. product bumped it up a bit so I'd say the value was still there considering that this is the least expensive box out there if you buy the one year subscription ($100 so it only works out to $8.33 per box).

// Approximate value of the products in the April 2013 Beauty Box 5: $32.28 //

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service that promises 4-5 beauty samples in each box. It ships out of Austin, Texas. The samples are shipped in relatively small cardboard shipping box. The current dimensions of the box are approximately 6.5 inches x 4 inches x 2 inches and the box fits easily in my tiny condo mailbox.

If you wish to join Beauty Box 5 through my invitation, I will earn a credit and send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: I paid for this subscription with my own money.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

April 2013 Starlooks Starbox - Unboxing and Review

I am so so late with my April Starbox review! Hopefully, this long weekend will allow me to catch up with my beauty box blog posts. The theme for the April Starbox was Festival. I was really excited for this box so let's see if it lived up to expectations!

The box itself this month was lovely but I didn't think the colours really fit with the festival theme. I was imagining something lighter in colour and more bohemian. That being said, I do like that the boxes are different every month.

Here are the contents of this month's Starbox (in order of appearance in the video):

1. Quartz Crystal

Starlooks provides us with quartz crystals in every Starbox (except December 2012). They are supposed to attract energy and help maintain focus. The other idea is that subscribers can collect them in a glass jar to eventually build a brush holder. No photo this month but I think you've seen enough of these in my previous Starboxes! :)

2. Mint Aloe Vera Lip Balm with SPF 15 // 4.25 g // $5

I thought I would love this lip balm when I initially applied it because I really liked the scent and the texture. Unfortunately, this lip balm tastes quite sweet and flavoured lip products are not to my liking. I will be passing this to my husband as he doesn't mind flavoured lip balms.

3. Tender Gloss Lipstick in Trinity // 3.8 g // $11

I've been hoping for another tender gloss because I love love love the texture and the formulation of this lip product. I wish the shade I received was not so shimmery but I suppose it looks alright on and will be very nice for the summer. I don't see myself reaching for it a whole lot but I'll try to remember to use it at least a few times this summer! The top of my lipstick was smushed so that's why there's a chunk missing in the below photo.

4. Lash Boost Mascara Base // 8 g // $15

It doesn't look like this product has launched yet on the Starlooks website... I love that Starbox subscribers get to try brand new Starlooks products! I like the packaging for this product - the tube is very sleek and feels luxurious. I was very hesitant about this product because of all the little fibers... the fibers in the Julep mascara tended to get stuck on my upper waterline causing a whole lot of eye irritation. Thankfully, I've used this product a handful of times now and I haven't had any issues. I have to say that it definitely does work and my eyelashes are noticeably thicker and longer when I use this product. However, it does tend to make my mascara look clumpy so I'm iffy about the product overall. I find it looks great on video but probably less wonderful in person.

5. Mineralized Loose Powder with SPF 15 // 15 g // $19

At last, a setting powder! I received the powder in translucent nude and I've been really enjoying it. I use this product every day but I tend to only use it on my T-zone. The powder itself is very soft but I find translucent powders (all translucent powders but especially mineralized loose powders) do tend to leave a pale cast on my face if I am not careful when applying it. This product comes with a little powder puff but I find it a little stiff so I prefer to use my kabuki brush. This was my favourite item in the April Starbox.

Overall, I thought this month's Starbox was just alright. There have been a number of boxes that have really wowed me but this was not one of them. Nevertheless, I have purchased a 6 month subscription to Starbox (to save on shipping fees) so we'll see what the next 6 months bring. For international subscribers, if you pre-pay for 6 or 12 months, you will be charged for the lower shipping rate of $4.50 per box rather than the new rate of $7 per box. Interestingly, Starlooks mistakenly sent me two boxes this month so I was able to send a couple of the products to one of my friends on YouTube so she could try some of them. I kept the second lipstick for myself as I had already swatched it (in the shade polish).

Did you receive a Starbox this month? If so, what did you think of the products?

// Approximate value of the products in the April 2013 Starbox: $50.00 //

The April edition of "Why, Marci!?" has not been posted yet so I will update this blog post when it becomes available. Updated to add the video below! :)

The May theme is Tribal... hmmm... I'm intrigued by this one.

Note: Canadians who wish to subscribe to Starbox have to contact the company directly to get set up. I signed up by filling out the information on the contact form and a representative got back to me very quickly. I asked them to call me and I gave them my credit card information over the phone.

Note: I paid for the April Starbox with my own money.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Bit of Spontaneity to Kick Off the Long Weekend

Yesterday, as I was heading to work, I decided I needed to get my hair trimmed. My split ends are a nightmare and my hair has been extremely dry and brittle in between treatments. So I made an appointment.

Then today, as I was heading to the hair salon, I decided I wanted something more drastic than a trim. I get my hair cut so rarely that I always want my visit to result in a noticeable difference... so I am not very good at sticking to a plan of just trimming my hair, regardless of how much I like the length. Check out how much I cut off! Holy macaroni, I had a lot of hair.

Let's just say hair stylists are always surprised by how much I want cut off. :) I absolutely love the new length... it is so much lighter and looks so much healthier! While I loved my long hair, now that I see the side-by-side comparison, it looks like I was drowning in hair. My hair stylist flat-ironed my hair so it looks extra sleek and smooth. I'm going to add some texture later! I can't wait to play around with my new 'do. :)

When you get your hair cut, do you usually play it safe and get a trim or do you like to to get a lot cut off?

Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 BlushPretty Beauty Board Haul

The BlushPretty Beauty Board was one of my favourite events last year so I was super excited for another amazing event this year. This event allows beauty lovers to become beauty editors for the day - testing out samples, speaking with vendors, and providing feedback. There are also products available for purchase at prices below regular retail. For the price of admission, you also got to munch on yummy hors d'oeuvres and delicious MANcarons... plus you received a sweet swag bag to take home! I wish I saw more of the pulled pork sandwiches and fancy hot dogs... I certainly didn't need any more food but boy did I want some! :) This year, the event was held in Loft 404, a quirky loft space with a lot of character. It was extremely hot and busy when I first arrived at the event but cooled down as the day went on and as the event cleared out a little. The music was great and there was a really nice vibe to the event. I fell in love with the space, especially with the beautiful dressing room. I wanted to go in and try on some of the vintage goodies!

The rest of this post is going to focus on my Beauty Board haul! I purchased a few things (some are not shown as they were for a swap), won 3 prizes in the raffle draw, was given a few products when walking around, and of course left with a great swag bag!

I've grouped the photos by type of product for the most part so I will indicate where I got each product. The first set of products is from the ever generous Farleyco! We received:
  • Flexitol Blistop // swag bag // 32.5 ml (full size) // $7.99... This product is supposed to help prevent blisters. I've tried this product once already and I think it works! Apparently, runners also use this product to prevent chafing so my hubby has since claimed this product for himself!
  • Splat Hair Chalk in Dusty Rose // swag bag // 3.5 g (full size) // $8.99
  • Real Techniques Your Eyes Enhanced Starter Set // raffle prize // 5 brushes (full size) // $19.99... I was SO happy when I won this prize! I wanted to buy the Core Collection at the event but it was sold out by the time I got to the Farleyco booth. Thankfully I still get to try some of the brushes.
  • Montagne Jeunesse Zap Them Peel-Off Mask in Ginger // swag bag // 10 ml (full size) // $1.99... I hope there's enough for 2 applications so my hubby and I can try it together! :)

Next up are some products from Pelle Beauty and Kaia. I really enjoyed chatting with the ladies about their respective brands!

I've only tried a few Pure + Simple products but I've really liked all of them so I was super excited when I saw travel sets for sale at the beauty board. I thought these travel sets were a good way to try 4 different products at a pretty reasonable price ($25). I bought a set, my hubby got a free set, and we also got a little something in our goody bag!

My hubby loves bar soap so I find myself trying quite a number of them. Dot and Lil makes some of the best bar soaps I've ever tried... the scent is wonderful and they lather amazingly well!

Next up is my favourite type of product ever... lip products!!

A close second favourite is... nail polish! :)

Last but certainly not least, here are a few miscellaneous items from the beauty board!

The Beauty Board is an event held in Toronto and is organized by the amazing Stephanie from BlushPretty. Tickets were $35+tax and we received a great swag bag as a parting gift. This year, the value of the swag bag was around $150! A big thanks to Stephanie and Elaine for organizing such a great event. I had an amazing time testing out different products, chitchatting with fellow bloggers, YouTubers, vendors, etc., shopping for little goodies, munching on yummy hors d'oeuvres, and bopping to music!

Just a heads up for next year that there are usually a limited number of early bird tickets to this event at a discounted price... if you're interested, be sure to sign up with BlushPretty to be notified for the next event.

Note: I paid for a ticket to this event.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Care Package!

One of my lovely YouTube viewers, Tammy, offered to send me her POREfessional recently as she hears me rave about it all the time but it doesn't really work with her skin type. I was extremely appreciative already... so she definitely surprised me when she send me a care package chock full of amazing goodies!!

Here is what she sent me:

- Benefit POREfessional // 22 ml & 2 x 7.5 ml
- Benefit Stay Don't Stray // 2 ml (estimated)
- Estee Lauder Time Zone Anti-Line / Wrinkle Eye Creme // 5 ml
- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair // 7 ml
- Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara in Extreme Black // 2.8 ml
- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer // 7.1 ml
- NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer // 2 ml
- Biore Nose Strip
- Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Skin Indulging Body Cream // 5 g
- Philosophy Purity Made Simple // 6 ml
- Bath & Body Works PocketBac in Bat Bite Apple // 29 ml

Beyond beauty samples, Tammy also included a few of her favourite teas because she knows what a tea kick I've been on recently. :)

- Yama Moto Yama Organic Green Tea
- Yogi Green Tea
- Simply Food Jasmine Green Tea
- Numi Berry Black
- Numi Aged Earl Grey - I've tried this tea already and it is amazing!!
- Tea Leaves Imperial Earl Grey - I've tried this one too and it was really good!

Thank you so much, Tammy, for your generosity and thoughtfulness! I can't wait to try the rest of the goodies you sent me! :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

April 2013 Empties

Here we go with my April empties!

* = Disliked the product - would not repurchase
** = Liked the product - might or might not repurchase
*** = Loved the product - would repurchase

1. Asira Shampoo
Source: Hotel product
Thoughts: I finished another one of these in April. The scent of this shampoo was alright but it did not do anything special for my hair.
Rating: *

2. H2O Plus Bath Aquatics Natural Spring Shampoo
Source: February 2013 Beauty Box 5
Thoughts: I liked this shampoo a lot. The scent was nice and it did a good job cleansing my hair.
Rating: **

3. Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque
Source: Glossy Party TO
Thoughts: This masque made my hair soft and shiny. I loved the scent and also liked that you only have to leave it in your hair for up to 7 minutes. Quick and effective!
Rating: ***

4. Vitabath Plus for Dry Skin Moisturizing Bath & Shower Gelee
Source: Glossy Party TO
Thoughts: I liked this as a bubble bath but it wasn't my favourite. I thought the scent was just average. The bubbles were nice and soft but went away quickly.
Rating: **

5. Algemarin Foam Bath
Source: Purchased by me!
Thoughts: My favourite bubble bath!! I love the spa-like scent. The bubbles are tiny and soft... they too go away quickly but this product turns your bath water blue so it still feels luxurious even without the bubbles.
Rating: ***

6. Gilchrist & Soames Stimulating Bath Fizz
Source: Hotel product
Thoughts: I liked this bath bomb - it fizzed well and smelled pretty nice. I didn't see this available for purchase on the Gilchrist & Soames website so not sure if this is a discontinued product or perhaps a hotel exclusive.
Rating: **

7. Lush Sugar Babe Sugar Scrub (I couldn't find this product on the website so I've included a photo below)
Source: This was part of a Christmas gift from one of my sisters
Thoughts: I wasn't a huge fan of this sugar scrub. I found it really rough to rub the scrub directly on my skin so I ended up breaking pieces of it off and smooshing it my hand before using it on my body. The scent wasn't anything special.
Rating: *

8. Lush Sakura Ballistic
Source: This was a gift from a friend
Thoughts: Even though I had this bath bomb for a very very very long time, it still fizzed nicely. The scent was alright.
Rating: **

9. Lush 17 Cherry Tree Lane Soap
Source: This was a gift from a friend
Thoughts: I thought this product was ok but my hubby LOVED it! He commented a few times about how much he liked the scent.
Rating: **

10. All Things Herbal Naturally Irish Soap in Dublin Mint
Source: March 2013 SeasonsBox
Thoughts: This might be one of my favourite soaps ever! It smells so refreshing and invigorating... and it lathers amazingly. Love love love!
Rating: ***

11. Villainess Soap in Scintillating
Source: Purchased by me (using Glymm points)
Thoughts: I liked the full size soap a lot better than the Glymm sample I used up in March. I think I may have had the Glymm sample for a little too long as the scent got a little funky. The full size bar smelled great and I liked that there were little exfoliating bits in the soap.
Rating: **

12. Dot & Lil Rose Soap
Source: BlushPretty / Dot & Lil Event
Thoughts: I love this soap! It smells amazing - just like rose but the scent is not at all artificial or cloying. It lathers up really nicely and I feel so girly when I use it. :)
Rating: ***

13. Dot & Lil Satsuma & Shea Body Butter
Source: BlushPretty / Dot & Lil Event
Thoughts: I really enjoyed trying this body butter. It is a harder texture than the Villainess body butter (which is probably my favourite) but it applies nicely and is non-greasy. I loved the scent of this - satsuma is always a winner in my books.
Rating: **

14. Whispering Willow Peppermint Whipped Shea
Source: January 2013 SeasonsBox
Thoughts: I didn't like this body butter. It was extremely greasy to the touch and left my skin looking like it was slicked with oil. I loved the scent but unfortunately the greasy texture was a deal breaker.
Rating: *

15. Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream
Source: February 2013 Topbox
Thoughts: I liked this moisturizer a lot... the scent and texture were both excellent. I used this sample as a night cream and found it a little too light for the winter but I am going to try it again in the summer when my condo is a little more humid. I think this would be a perfect night cream for the summer.
Rating: **

16. Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer
Source: Summer 2012 Bag
Thoughts: This is one of my favourite night creams that I've tried (BeFine Night Cream being the other one). It is a miracle cream for me. It leaves my skin feeling soft, supple, and rejuvenated in the morning. I think I will be purchasing this product as it works so well that I think it is worth the price... plus a little goes a very long way.
Rating: ***

17. Pure + Simple Calming Cucumber Mask
Source: July 2012 Topbox
Thoughts: I really liked this mask the first couple times I used it but I think I may have left it too long (bad bad habit) as the scent had gone very funky when I picked it up again. Thankfully, after using it again a few more times, I must have gotten to a part of the mask that hadn't been exposed to air because the scent went back to a fresh algae, seaweed, and cucumber combination. I like that this mask is light as I don't always want to apply a heavy clay mask. This one is perfect with a quick soak in the bath.
Rating: **

18. My Beauty Diary Mexico Cactus Mask
Source: Purchased by me at T&T Supermarket
Thoughts: I am loving these sheet masks! They come with a plastic backing so they are easier to unfold than the MaskerAide masks. The thickness and texture were about the same as the MaskerAide masks; however, there was less leftover essence in the My Beauty Diary packet (which I didn't mind). The scent of the Mexico Cactus Mask is very light and fresh. Most of all, I love the price as I purchased 10 masks on sale for $13.99 plus tax.
Rating: ***

19. Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover
Source: Sephora bonus sample
Thoughts: This is probably one of my favourite eye makeup removers that I've tried. It is very gentle but effective at removing all my eye makeup. It didn't sting my eyes, hallelujah! This is a double layer (oil on top) makeup remover and I generally find these more agreeable on my eyes.
Rating: ***

19. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser with Vitamin C & Ginseng
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: I prefer my cleansers to have exfoliating micro scrubbers so I wasn't a huge fan of this product. There were a few "bursting beads" in the cleanser but not enough - this seemed like a basic gel cleanser to me. It worked well but I would not repurchase this product because there are other Clean & Clear cleansers I prefer.
Rating: *

20. Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: This was an easy empty because I found an almost-used-up packet of these when I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinet! I love these sheets.
Rating: ***

21. Lashem Measurable Difference Eyelash and Brow Enhancing Serum
Source: December 2012 Glymm Bag
Thoughts: I finished this product ages ago but lost the container until now. I thought this product was working when I first started using it. It must have been my imagination because I didn't notice any difference to my lashes as I continued to use it.
Rating: *

22. Julep American Beauty Volumizing Mascara in Black
Source: September 2012 Julep Box
Thoughts: I wasn't a huge fan of this mascara due to the little fibers in it. They would get stuck on my upper waterline and irritate my eyes.
Rating: *

23. Starlooks iPrimer in Clear
Source: September 2012 Starbox
Thoughts: I love this primer! It's easy to apply, has a nice scent, and allows my eyeshadow to stay all day. I think this is one of my favourites.
Rating: ***

24. Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipe
Source: Glossy Party TO
Thoughts: I finished 3 of these this month... I use them to clean my tweezers and my makeup.
Rating: **

25. Julep Acetone-Free Conditioning Nail Polish Remover
Source: August 2012 Julep Box
Thoughts: Not only do I love the convenience of the pump bottle, I also love the actual nail polish remover inside. It is gentle yet removes my polish quickly - much better than the Sally Hansen remover I used previously. The only issue is the price - it's pretty steep for not very much nail polish remover so I'll probably wait for a sale as Julep products do go on sale very frequently.
Rating: **

26. Rexall Quilted Rounds Cosmetic Pads
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: Pretty standard product - it was ok.
Rating: **

27. Vance Kitira Incense Cones in Peach Cassis
Source: March 2013 SeasonsBox
Thoughts: I liked using these incense cones but I probably won't be purchasing them because I prefer my candles and home fragrance oils. I think my days of burning incense are done! That being said, I did like the scent of these incense cones. There was a slight sweet fruitiness to them, which helped offset the incense scent. The cones themselves do not burn very long (under 15 minutes) but they do freshen up the room.
Rating: **

28. The Octavia Tea Company Emerald Spring Green Tea
Source: March 2013 SeasonsBox
Thoughts: This is probably one of my favourite green teas I've tried. It has a nutty aroma and doesn't taste at all fishy (I find some green teas do have a slight fishy flavour). I don't find this tea bitter but I do rinse my tea leaves before steeping. I also love this tea cold... yummy!
Rating: ***

29. David's Tea Jessie's Tea
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: This is a rooibos blend and I liked that there was lavender in the blend; however, I probably will not be repurchasing this because I don't like that it contains artificial flavour. The ingredients in this tea are rooibos, honeybush, coconut bits, lavender, blue cornflowers, and natural and artificial flavoring.
Rating: **

30. David's Tea Cream of Earl Grey
Source: Purchased by me
Thoughts: While I liked this tea, I prefer regular earl grey without any added flavour. The ingredients in this tea are black tea, cornflowers, natural vanilla, and bergamot flavouring.
Rating: **

31. Numi Aged Earl Grey
Source: One of my YouTube viewers (thanks Tammy!!)
Thoughts: I loved this tea!! It was so bold and flavourful. I will definitely be picking up a box of this tea.
Rating: ***

32. Tealeaves Imperial Earl Grey
Source: One of my YouTube viewers (thanks Tammy!!)
Thoughts: This tea had a different aroma from the Numi Aged Earl Grey but it was still very yummy. I think I prefer the Numi a touch more but I still loved this one.
Rating: ***

33. Tazo Calm Chamomile
Source: One of my YouTube viewers (thanks Tammy!!)
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this tea as I love chamomile! I think I prefer plain chamomile a little more - this one was a blend and contained chamomile flowers, hibiscus flowers, spearmint leaves, rose petals, lemongrass, blackberry leaves, color (turmeric, riboflavin), peppermint leaves, sarsaparilla root, lemon balm leaf, licorice root, and natural flavor.
Rating: **

WOW! This blog post took a while... please let me know if you've tried any of the above products!

Monday, May 6, 2013

March 2013 Beauty Box 5 (Replacement Box)

I am extremely late reviewing my March BB5 because it actually never arrived. I had to contact customer service to send me a replacement and it arrived on the same day as my April box. There was no product card inside and I don't typically look at spoilers for BB5 so I had no idea when I opened the box whether I had received what I should have received. I had a feeling it was a mishmash of products because I recognized some of the samples as being from previous boxes. After doing a quick search on the March BB5, I realized I had indeed received a mishmash box. I wanted to try the Tree Hut lotion but I guess BB5 ran out of that sample... not that I'm complaining because there were a couple of products in my "March" BB5 that I had really wanted to try!

Here is what I received:

1. La Fresh Travel Wipes - Nail Polish Remover Pads

I've tried this product before and I really liked it so I was happy to receive a few more. These were included in the regular March 2013 BB5.

Full size // 20 wipes // $9.99
Sample size // 2 wipes // approximate value of $1

2. H2O Plus AquaFirm Eye Lift Concentrate

H2O Plus products are usually a win for me so I was happy to see this brand in my BB5. I received 2 of these samples in my mishmash box. The regular March 2013 box included two different samples from H2O plus - a eye lift concentrate and a body wash.

Full size // 15 ml // $38
Sample size // 4 ml x 2 // approximate value of $20.27

The rest of the samples in my mishmash box appear to be leftover samples from previous months.

3. Smith's Rosebud Salve

This was one of the products that I had really wanted to try. I've nearly purchased this product a number of times as I've heard so many good things about it. I was very happy to see this in my BB5!

Full size & sample size // 22 g // $7

4. Blinc Mascara in Black

This was the other sample I was really excited about because I had wanted to try it in the past. I've heard good things about this mascara from one of my friends but now that I've read the back of the packaging about the tubes, I have to admit I'm a little apprehensive. I don't like little fibers in my mascara and tubes that only come off with "lots of warm water and gentle pressure" sound a whole lot scarier. Maybe I'll do a first impression on this product.

Full size // 0.21 oz // $30
Sample size // 0.02 oz // approximate value of $2.86

5. Evie Evan Mini Moisture Creme

This moisture creme looks very rich and luxurious. While not the most exciting sample, I do enjoy trying creams and moisturizers so I was happy to receive this product from a brand I have never heard of.

Travel size & sample size // 0.5 oz // $13

6. Margania Argan Oil

I like that this product is 100% organic argan oil; however, I have a ton of argan oil samples that I have yet to use. I'll have to look up different ways to use argan oil to remind myself!

Full size // 60 ml // $32
Sample size // 2 ml (estimated) // approximate value of $1.07

7. Silk Naturals Eye Color

There were two little pots of eye shadow in my mishmash box! There are many many shades of eye shadow on the Silk Naturals website (285 to be exact) so I was very excited to see that both of mine were in wearable shades. I received Regent (deep teal suede that looks like a very neutral grey in the pot) and U R Cute (an unfortunate name but a very pretty light tan shimmer).

Full size // 5 g // $4.50
Sample size // 5 g (estimated) x 2 // approximate value of $9

Overall, I was pleased with my March replacement box - I think I may even prefer this to the regular box! In terms of my ongoing BB5 subscription, I am still very happy! I don't like how late the box arrives but the customer service has been very good and I've been satisfied with the variety, quality, and size of the samples.

// Approximate value of the products in the March 2013 Beauty Box 5 (replacement box): $54.20 //

As an aside, I noticed that it cost $7.70 to send me this parcel! I'm sure BB5 has a business contract with USPS to ship monthly boxes at a lower rate but still... yikes!

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service that promises 4-5 beauty samples in each box. It ships out of Austin, Texas. The samples are shipped in relatively small cardboard shipping box. The current dimensions of the box are approximately 6.5 inches x 4 inches x 2 inches and the box fits easily in my tiny condo mailbox.

If you wish to join Beauty Box 5 through my invitation, I will earn a credit and send heaps of good karma your way!

Note: I paid for this subscription with my own money.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

April 2013 Julep Box - Full Collection - Turn On The Brights

The April Julep collection was full of bright colours so I decided to upgrade yet again. Not only did I want the bright cremes, I also wanted try the Grape jelly and the dry shampoo. Here is my unboxing!

Here is everything that was included in the box...

... and my thoughts on the non-polish items:

Invisible Dry Shampoo
I've been enjoying this dry shampoo. While I still prefer my powder dry shampoo a touch more, the Julep one is easy to use, sprays on clear, and has a nice formulation. The scent is very light but still seems to keep my hair smelling reasonably fresh.

Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum
I haven't used this product enough to be able to tell if it makes a difference but I love the packaging and the way the product applies. The applicator is a brush similar to a Stila Lip Glaze and the serum itself goes on very easily. I prefer this product to the Julep cuticle oil because I actually find the cuticle oil a little messy.

Rock Candy Lollipop
I love candy so I could really appreciate the little freebie in this month's box.

There were 10 nail polishes in the full collection - here is a closer look at the pretty rainbow.

From left to right:

1. Janel - Bombshell - Pink Raspberry Frost
I am currently wearing this colour on my toes and it's a really pretty bright raspberry shade.

2. Avery - Classic With A Twist - Hot Pink Creme
I am wearing this shade in the video and I love it!

3. Jackie - Classic With A Twist - Maraschino Cherry Creme
This is a gorgeous cherry red that is very close to opaque in one coat. It looks like candy and has an extremely shiny, almost jellylike, finish.

4. Kaylen - Boho Glam - Neon Orange Creme
I was expecting this shade to be brighter and more neon but it applied closer to mid-tone orange shade (almost like an orange leaning coral). One of my viewers recommended that I applied a white polish as a base so I will give that a try next time. :)

5. Abbie - It Girl - Sunshine Yellow Creme

6. Mackenzie - It Girl - Sour Apple Green Frost

7. Lena - Boho Glam - Teal with Gold Shimmer

8. Ally - Bombshell - Electric Blueberry Frost

9. Eden - It Girl - Bright Violet Creme
This shade is also very pigmented and is a beautiful deep purple. Due to the neon pigments, it does apply a little on the matte side but I used this shade with the jelly polish (#10 below) and it looked amazing.

10. Candy - Boho Glam - Sheer Grape Jelly
This shade is very sheer on its own but it provides a beautifully shiny jelly finish when applied on top of a purple nail polish. I also want to try a jelly sandwich with this polish one day!

I am really loving this collection for the summer and can't wait to try the electric blue shade next. I am happy to have added Avery and Jackie to my collection - those are probably my favourite shades in this collection (no surprise since I am partial to red, pink, and creme polishes).

Julep is $19.99 including shipping but you can preview months and skip as many boxes as you want. There is a promotion going on right now where you can type in FREEBOX to get your first box at no charge. I believe you only have to pay shipping of $3.99. If you are interested in signing up to Julep and don't mind using my referral link, I would earn points and send heaps of good karma your way!

FTC: I used my referral credits in exchange for the April Julep box.

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