Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ipsy June 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I'm pretty happy about this month's ipsy. In case you don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 per month, they send you 4-5 beauty samples and/or full size products. Ipsy is pretty good about including full size products every month and  this month is no exception. If you'd like to subscribe to ipsy, you can click here.

Here's what I got.

First up, I love the bag! Ipsy teamed with Rebecca Minkoff on this bag and  the result is a very cute bag with pineapples on it. I've always been a sucker for anything that even hints of Hawaii, so I'm very happy with this. Cute, right?

And inside the bag is the Skinn Olive & Enzyme Cleanser. I've read that some people have had breakouts from this product, but I think it's really meant for people with dry skin -- like me! This is billed as both a make-up remover and  a deep cleansing mask. I'm pretty impressed with the size of the sample. The 2 ounces has a value of $12.00 and smells really good.

I've gotten SO many Be A Bombshell products from ipsy, it's getting a little much. Having said that, it's a great brand. This is their Lash  Out Mascara in Intense Black. So the good thing is that it's a full size product and I like that. It has a value of $15.00, which is great. I've read a lot of people complaining about how terrible this mascara smells. Some folks are really disgusted by the smell. I've gotta say, it's not that bad. It doesn't smell like roses  or vanilla or anything, it's got a chemical smell -- but then  so do a lot of mascaras. After reading about the smell, I thought I'd have to throw it out, but I don't. It's fine. However, it does contain parabens, and I'm not too thrilled about that. So....meh!

Next up is a NYX Butter Gloss in Apple Strudel and I like it! I like the name "butter gloss" and I like the color. All good. Plus, it smells like candy -- and who doesn't love that! And this is yet another full size product for this bag. This one has a value of $5.00.

I'm not usually all that impressed when I see drugstore brands in  subscription boxes, and this is Dove's Pure Care Dry Oil for Hair. But the sample size of this is pretty good. The directions say you only use 3 to 4 drops at a time. This is a .4 FL OZ sample and has a value of $1.23. On the plus side for drugstore brands, if you like it, they're fairly inexpensive and you can often get coupons for them -- there's one right now at Dove's website.

And the last thing in the bag, WHAT? Another full size product. Yay! This is a Jesse's Girl liquid eyeliner in Carbon Black. As a child of the 80s, I appreciate the music reference. I  don't really use liquid eyeliners, but I'll give this one a try anyway. It has a value of $6.99.

All in all, the value of this $40.22 plus the bag and I got some pretty cool products -- even with the somewhat smelly mascara. Not bad for your $10 investment. Ipsy continues to be awesome. Yay!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Glossybox May 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Let me start by saying this is the best Glossybox I've gotten EVER!! And I've gotten some good Glossyboxes. Glossybox is normally $21 per month, however, I originally got a 6-month membership through Living Social for $90 and that made it $15 a box for me. At  the time, I could have opted for the 12-month subscription for $165,  but I was new to Glossybox and wasn't sure if it would be a good value. Now I'm kicking myself for not doing the 12-month subscription because that would have made it $13.75 a box. Oh well. Anyway, this month's box convinced me I absolutely had to renew my subscription (May was the last of my 6 months), and I just shelled out $220 for a 12-month subscription making each box $18.33. If you'd like to subscribe to Glossybox, you can click here. And right now, if you use the promo code HAIR, you will get a free Nioxin Diamax hair thickener ($50 value) with any new subscription. That deal expires on June 30, 2014 -- so order soon!

For the May 2014 box, Glossybox partnered with Bergdorf Goodman, and I LOVE them for it! Here's what the box looked like when it was delivered.

The actual Glossybox Box is always beautiful, and it is the one subscription box that I have always kept the box itself because it's so pretty and well made. It's usually pink, but this month it's a pretty lavender for their Bergdorf collaboration.

And here's a first look under the tissue paper.

In addition to the six (Yes six!) great products, Glossybox included a $25 gift card to Bergdorf Goodman!!! I cannot tell you how excited I was to discover this. If they'd send only this gift card, the $15 I paid for my box would be well worth it. You had less than a month to use this gift card before it expired so I wasted no time. Bergdorf always offers free shipping with no minimum purchase, so it was no problem to spend this. I think they only have one store and that's in Manhattan -- while it would have been easy enough for me to actually  to the store, it was even easier to order online. Almost everything at Bergdorf is super expensive unless you're buying Kiehl's products...YAY!! I love Kiehl's and I bought a $7 lip balm and a $21 moisturizer. With tax, my total after the gift card was $4.96. Can't beat that!!

Alright, so lets get to the products on the box. First was a 7 ml bottle of Atelier Cologne in Rose Anonyme. I'm pretty picky about perfume scents, but I love this!! I'm very pleased. The brand name is a little misleading -- this is Eau de Parfum. It is not a cologne -- that's just the brand name. The value of this little bottle is about $19.

Next in the box is a .85 FL OZ sample of Caviar  CC Cream Leave-In Hair Perfector by Alterna -- this helps provide moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection and light hold. Sounds like a little powerhouse and  I'm looking forward to trying it. This tube has a value of $8.50.

Next up is the Napolean Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer. This is a half ounce sample.  I don't use foundation, so I'll be giving this to a friend who does. I've always heard foundation primers are great, but they're wasted on me. This sample has a value of about $13.50.

Just so that we haven't forgotten that this is a Bergdorf Goodman box and that means HIGH END, the next product is Intensite Volumizing Eye Serum from ReVive. The full size .5 OZ of this goes for $350!! That makes this .1 OZ sample worth $70. Wow! This is an anti-aging serum for your eyes that's supposed to turn back the hands of time. I'm almost scared to use it, it's so expensive.

As if that wasn't enough, the next product is the Lancer Eye Contour Lifting Cream. I guess when I run out of ReVive, I should use this. This 5 ml sample of this anti-aging eye cream has a value of $32.30. Um...I'm already bowled over by the value in this Glossybox.

The final product in the box is absolutely adorable. It's a mini luminous lip gloss from Chantecaille. I love the color and I love the tiny packaging. This gloss has a value of $6.53.

I'm almost scared to add up the value in this box. I love every single product in here and I got to buy a Kiehl's lip balm and moisturizer too! The total comes to a whopping $174.83.

Let me repeat that.......$174.83!!!

Glossybox and Bergdorf Goodman outdid themselves on this box and I love them for it. Yay!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ipsy May 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
This May 2014 ipsy Unboxing post is long overdue! I love Ipsy -- it's pretty much always a great value. Ipsy costs $10 per month and they send you a bag full of 4-5 beauty products every month. You usually get a mixture of samples and full size products. And it always arrives in a pretty metallic pink envelope. Ipsy was actually my very first subscription box (or bag in this case). Once I got a taste of the fun surprises you get every month, I was hooked! If you'd like to subscribe to ipsy, click here.

One of the cool things about Ipsy is that they always send everything in a cute little makeup bag -- so you end up with a nice collection of little bags. Here's this month's bag. I like it. :)

And here is a first look at everything that came inside the bag:

I'm pretty pleased with the selection I received this month. With summer upon us, there's some good beach stuff in here. First up, here's something I've received before (I believe it was in a Birchbox). It's the Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray. When you consider that this is just water, it seems a bit pricey, but it's great to have this with you at the beach or really anywhere you are on a hot day. Value on this spray is about $4.35. Love it!

Next up is another great item for summer -- it's Hang Ten Classic Sport Natural Sunscreen SPF 50. YAY!!! I cannot get enough sunscreen this time of year. This is the perfect size to throw in your purse and I love that it's a nice and high SPF number. I'm a firm believer in protecting your skin -- I do not worship the sun. I love to be outdoors, but you will never find me sunbathing for the sake of sunbathing. At the beach, I always have an umbrella shading my beach chair and always always always use sunscreen! I'm also very happy that this is made of organic ingredients and is paraben free. This is all good. :) A 6 ounce tube of this goes for $12.99 -- so that makes the value of this 1 ounce sample $2.17.

The next thing in the bag is the Pur~lisse Pur~moist hydra-balance moisturizer. My skin is dry, so I always need moisturizer. This is a pretty pricey one, so I'm kind of excited to try it. A 50 ml tube will run you $55, so this 15 ml sample has a value of $16.50.

In addition to moisturizers, the other thing I am constantly applying and always seem to have several of in my big are lip balms. So the next item, Olive Lips from Olive Natural Beauty in Refreshing Rosemary is well received. I'll be happily throwing this in my bag. I use whatever lip balm I find in there first. Value on this lip balm is $5.95.

And the last thing in my bag is Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo. I received Duo 2 which has the shades Moonbeam & Unicorn. I like these two colors -- I can wear them without looking like a clown. That's always good. Value is about $4 on this duo.

All in all, I'm really happy with my ipsy bag this month. All totaled up, this is a value of $32.97 PLUS the bag itself. That's a fantastic value for the $10 paid. So...YAY!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Escape Monthy May 2014 Unboxing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I've gotten a ton of subscription boxes the last couple of weeks and one of them was Escape Monthly. They bill themselves as a "Vacation in a Box." They choose a destination every month and send you products  associated with that location. I'm all about travel, so this sounds like a no brainer for me. It is kind of pricey though. It costs $49.95 per month and they don't seem to have a deal on their site for a discount if you subscribe  to multiple months. I hadn't heard of it until I saw it on Living Social, where I bought a 3-month subscription for $97 -- making each of my boxes $32.33. Still fairly expensive, so it better be good! The good news is that even if you don't find it on Living Social, you can get $10 off every month for the life of your subscription if you use the code YOURESCAPE at Another cool thing is that every month they choose one subscriber to win a trip to the current month's destination.

Here's a first look of the box when it arrived:

This month's destination is California. I'm pretty partial to international destinations, so I'm a bit disappointed.

And here's what was inside. First up is food. Who doesn't love food? We start off with IPS All Natural Egg White Chips. I've gotten these before in a Conscious Box. They're billed as chips with protein. They're decent. I wouldn't go out and buy these on my own, but I did break into them pretty quickly and polish off the whole bag (it's a small bag.) They retail for $1.99.


Next up is a tiny little box that contains 2 Nicobella Organics truffles. As soon as he saw what it was, my boyfriend wanted to steal them. I was nice and I shared. These were delicious! I wish there were more than just two in this tiny box. They come in unique flavors like Ginger Green Tea, Pumpkin Chai and Lime Basil. For truffles, these are expensive. A 6-piece box goes for $13.50 on means my two truffles have a value of $4.50.

And we have yet another food item in the box and it's San Franola Cinnamon Almond Granola. I'm not a huge granola fan because I usually think it contains more calories than it's worth. If I'm going to splurge on the calories, I'd rather have ice cream or chocolate. Anyone that tries to tell you granola is a health food is either flat out lying or they haven't looked at the nutritional information ever. This granola actually looks a bit better than most when it comes to ingredients -- among other typical granola ingredients, it contains flaxseed and it's sweetened with stevia. The thing I don't like is that the one I got has a LOT of crumbs -- there are a few granola chunks, a bunch of almonds and then about half the bag is small crumbs. They're so tiny that you can't really eat this alone -- you have to put it on/in something like yogurt or ice cream. I dunno -- maybe it will be delicious and I won't mind the crumbs. The retail value of this single serving box is $2.00.

And the final food item in the box is Caliwater Cactus Water -- water from the Prickly Pear cactus. I like the idea of this because it's low in calories. The 11 ounce bottle only has 32 calories and it's sweetened with organic stevia.  I like the taste of it to -- it's crisp and refreshing. I didn't find myself wanting to chug it down like I do with iced tea -- I seem to like it in moderation. This single serve bottle retails for $3.50 -- though  you can get it a bit cheaper than that on Amazon.

Now for the non-food items in the box. The heaviest thing in the box is the Moon California Wine Country Travel Guide. This is pretty useless to me. I get that they include a travel guide in each box  and that's cute, but I will never use this guide. And even worse, this edition was published in 2011. This book is not even up to date. Bummer. Escape Monthly lists a retail value of $17.99 even though the price on the back of the book is $21.99.

Next comes the beauty items in the box! First up, Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Hand Cream. Yay! I think it's kind of funny that it claims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles -- but it's not a face cream, it's a hand cream. Are they trying to make us worry about wrinkles on our hands now? Don't we have enough to worry about on our faces already? But I am pretty happy about this hand cream. I've heard good things and have wanted to try it. This 2 FL OZ rube retails for $12.00.

Next is the Hugo Naturals Vanilla & Sweet Orange soap, and it smells SO good! I just keep picking it up to smell it. It has a retail value of $4.00.

Next is a premium sea sponge.  I'm not so sure about this. I generally use a washcloth. I've used loofahs before and I don't mind those -- but I still favor a washcloth. The thing about this sponge is that I don't like the feel of it dry. It feels like the foam inside of a couch cushion. Yuck. I'm sure it feels much better wet. Anyway, it has a retail value of $8.

 And the last thing in the box is listed as a bonus. It's a California Poppy kit. It's apparently everything you need to plant a field of poppies. It claims to have over 30,000 seeds in the bag and looking at it, I guess that could be true. It's a shame I live in a condo or I could actually plant these. The retail value is $7.

Alright, so what did I think of this box overall? I actually like most of what's in here. Food is always good -- and there is a lot of it in here. The hand cream and soap are great. I probably won't use the sponge and definitely won't use the guide book. I appreciate the poppies though I'm not sure what I'll do with them. But here's the problem -- the total value of this box comes to $60.98. Of that, $17.99 is for a guide book I won't use, $8 is for an overpriced sponge that I won't use, and $7 is for poppies that I have nowhere to plant. If you subtract out the guide book and the sponge, the value drops to $34.99 and if you subtract out the poppies, it drops to $27.99. There are a lot of inexpensive items in this box because they have so many food items -- and they're all single servings. No full size food items. Aside from the useless guide book, the most valuable item in this box is the hand cream. For people that paid the full $49.95 for this box, it was definitely not worth it. The $32.33 that I paid for it wasn't worth it either.

In the booklet that describes the items in the box, they give you a preview of next month by telling you what the destination will be, and next month  will be Las Vegas. Well that's disappointing. Not only are we still in the U.S., it's still the western U.S. That means the destinations two months in a row are in driving distance to one another. How lame. Where's my Italy box, or Spain, or Fiji? Give me something exotic -- not Las Vegas. Meh!

Well, despite the location next month, I hope they do better with the items in the box and make it more worthwhile. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Just Joined Smiley360

Want a way to try cool products for free? Here's a great one!
I Just Joined Smiley360: I just became a Smiley360 member! Discover and review exciting brands for free, too! Sign-up at #smileymember *Please remember the FTC requires you to mention that you received a free sample courtesy of Smiley360 when sharing.