Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

This post contains an ipsy referral link, product links are for information purposes & I do not receive any kind of compensation for these.  This is not a sponsored post.


Beauty rocks at Ipsy and so did this month's bag!  I got five items and a really cute record themed bag so let's check them out!


pop! goes the shadow by Elizabeth Mott in Champagne, Full Size $12.99: This item alone is more than the entire ipsy bag, proving that this is one great subscription!  I like the clear packaging and this shimmery color would make a great base color.  It needs a primer if you don't want to have to use several swipes.  It was nice to find such a pretty and usable color included, but for a few dollars more I can get a MAC shadow and in my opinion those are far superior in performance.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil Travel Size in Black Velvet, Full Size $20: This is travel sized but nearly full size so it was great to find it inside of my cute record themed bag this month.  Urban Decay is super popular and on the more expensive side so I had yet to try anything by them.

On a side note, I needed a new eye liner and almost bought one last weekend but then remembered that so many beauty subscription boxes seem to send eye liners that people complain about it.  My makeup collection is fairly small, one of the main reasons I got into monthly subscription services so maybe in time I will think that too, but for now I was ecstatic to get an eye liner in both my April Ipsy and BB.


Coastal Scents Medium Eye Shadow Brush, $2.49: I was surprised by just how affordable this brush is!  It will be great for shading the crease and highlighting the brow bone.  I needed a bush just like this so it's a good addition to my collection and holds up nicely in comparison to my MAC brushes. Not the same by any means but still quite nice.

Starlooks Luscious Longwear Lip Pencil in Naked, Full Size $14: Another full sized "sample" from what I can tell, that retails for more that the cost of the bag!  This is supposed to be a nude color but not for me.  It looked kinda pinkish orange and not in a good way.  However, it's perfectly fine for lining and filling in my lips to add staying power for lip stick so it will come in handy.  I would have been happier with the Apple Pink Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm or the Mary Kay Jelly Lip Gloss so hopefully Ipsy will sample those in the months to come.


dr. brandt microdermabrasion, Full Size: $78: I previously got this sample from Birchbox but never tried it because, seriously seventy eight bucks?!  I didn't think the sample was enough to let me know if did all the amazing things it supposed to do and I wasn't going to be ordering a full sized product unless I knew for sure it would deliver.

However, I have used this once so far and a little goes a long way so the sample size is actually more generous than it might look at first glance.  I was really happy with how smooth my skin felt afterward.  I would use with a gentle touch while massaging because it did make my cheek quite red for awhile.  Now that I have two samples to work through, I'm really going to be able to put this to the test.


So that was pretty much awesome with three full sized products and one just about with the Urban Decay.  This was great for the price and I will get use out of everything.  At first I thought Ipsy pretty much beat Birchbox but when I take into consideration that with the review points I earn at BB that box only cost $3, well I have to give it up to Birchbox.  Both subscription services were well worth their $10 price!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Citrus Lane: April 2014 Box Review

This post contains affiliate links, which save you and me both $$$ :) As always, I'm very appreciative if you decide to sign up and use my link. You'll save 50% off your first box if you do!


This is our second month as subscribers to Citrus Lane and this time my little guy knew just what this box on the front door step meant, goodies for him!  Today is the LAST day to take advantage of the semi-annual sale at Citrus Lane with up to 44% a subscription.  Once you see what we got I know you are going to see what a deal that is!


Tools and Things from Green Toys: The actual set comes with more in it, including a tool in which to put all your pieces.  This mini configuration was created just for Citrus Lane so I can't give a suggested retail value but it was certainly an immediate hit with my 33 month old.  He loves his Green Toys vehicles and this is already a favorite toy company in our household.  These contain no BPA, phthalates, PVC, or external coatings.


Green Eats Tumbler 2 Pack, $5.95: He's becoming more and more interested in drinking out of real cups, he loves the getting to use the little paper ones in the bathroom.  I wasn't sure what our options were for study kid sized cups and then these came, perfect!  He loves them and now wants to only drink out of them.  He's pretty cute doing it too, see what I mean?

Like the Tools and Things set above, these are also by Green Toys, an environmentally friendly toy company that uses 100% recycled plastic milk containers to make tumblers that has no melamine, BPA, phthalates, PVC, or external coatings. And yes, they are dishwasher safe too!

On a side note: LB will be rocking this smile until his front permanent teeth come in.  He fell and smashed his face into our wood floors.  I even picked a wood splinter out of his mouth right after it happened.  One tooth has such a big chip, I thought it was been pushed up into his gums!  Our dentist said it was a best case - worst scenario, meaning that yes he chipped his tooth and possibly damaged the other.  But, it's purely cosmetic as the roots weren't damaged and they didn't get pushed up into where the adult teeth are developing.  The chip will last until it falls out and the tooth next to it might eventually turn grey but will in time fall out too.

Oh it was "exciting" around here last week.  My oldest also fell, she did it off her new scooter and cried so much I thought she broke a leg/ankle.  Several of the neighbors came out onto their decks and were ready to run out to help she made such a commotion.  Turns out she just cried really really loud and there was barely a scrape but after those two heart racing events I told them I needed a break from all that!


The Prince's Bedtime: Paperback & CD set ($9.99): This title from Barefoot books is one we don't already own, we have a rather extensive library due to my teaching days and gifts from family.  One thing I was worried about when joining a children's subscription service was that most of the books I had seen others get in previous boxes we already owned.  So it was very nice to receive this one since Barefoot Books is a publisher that can trusted to feature really quality tales and illustrations.  I like how this one comes with a CD and it's still reasonably priced for a combo.

Description: Meet a young prince who refuses to go to sleep! The entire kingdom comes out to lend a hand in this rhyming bedtime adventure. There is a hullabaloo of activity—jugglers juggling, magicians hypnotizing, dancers dancing—but it is the wonder of a good story that finally does the trick. Book with CD editions include story read by actor Jim Broadbent and includes two versions of the story: one with page-turn chimes and one without.


Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbena Dish Soap, Full Size $3.99:  We received a travel size and I love the smell.  My husband jokes that I like everything to smell like Lemon Pledge, but it's kinda true.  I just associate cleanliness with lemon scents.  I like this little size a lot for travel.  Parents of toddlers know that road trips can be difficult when your kiddo can only drink out of a sippy cup and you have to wash those suckers every night at the hotel.

Free Greeting Card from Treat: We also got a card with a code for a free card from Treat.  I have used them before and been happy with their designs and quality.  I will definitely put this to good use!

Overall: This box cost us $17.67 and I'm happy with the value and variety of items we received.  I think we definitely got more than the purchase price and everything was a quality item.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

April 2014 Birchbox Review


This post contains a Birchbox referral link, product links are for information purposes & I do not receive any kind of compensation for these.  This is not a sponsored post.


This month's theme is Rainy Days and I think it's also my best Birchbox ever!  I'm really excited for three of the items as they are all from brands I've never tried before.  Before we get started, I'll just mention that each subscriber got a card from the Birchbox 52 Bright Ideas for a Rainy Day set.  They are printed on heavy cardstock and each features a tip along with an original illustration.  I thought they were a fun little extra.

Okay, now let's dig in!  I'll list them in order of most excited to try on down...also, this month I used all iPhone pictures so I'm sorry for the less than usual image quality.


theBalm, How 'Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream (Full Size, $32):  I got the shade Pie and the packaging is oh so cute!  Yes it's kinda tiny but for some reason, this time it works!  I really wanted this last month, but ended up getting a fantastic Stila lip glaze, since this can be used on both cheeks and lips I don't think both would be included in one Birchbox, so I couldn't complain too much.  I'm excited to now get to try it out.

This creamy stain can be applied to either the lips or cheeks.  It's a little light in pigmentation for my lips but it's super cute as a blush and although I've had trouble working with cream formulas before this went on beautifully.


Cynthia Rowley Beauty, Black Eyeliner (Full Size, $16): Like the previous sample, this product has a top notch presentation.  The black and gold is just so luxe.  It glides on smoothly and if you work quickly you can smudge it a bit for a smokey look.  This product is a Birchbox exclusive and come in other colors like silver, charcoal, and violet...each of which I think would be other great ones to try!  I have used this twice so far and really liked how smoothly it went on.


Klorane, Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Full Size, $18): I have never tried a dry shampoo but they seem to be all the rage among the YouTube Beauty Mavens I watch.  I've been curious to see how they work so this is perfect.  I have only used it on the morning after a shower kind of day and I did think it brought back some volume.  I don't really like to go longer than that between washings but I may try just so I can see how it work then.  It a nice kind of thing to have on hand for hectic mornings.


nyakio, Kenyan Coffee Face Polish, Body Scrub & Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut (Full Sizes $34-55): These samples came in the form of the dreaded foil packs but they are packaged in a nicer way the normal, within their own fold out, as a higher end brand should present themselves.  This gives them a more substantive look that when foil packs are just randomly tossed in, that always looks cheapy in my opinion.  That being said, since it's a three in one kind of thing, this is acceptable as a sample but each one is more of a one use trial size.

  • Kenyan Coffee Face Polish (Full Size, $34): Face cleaners and exfoliant in one, this contains Kenyan coffee and jojoba to remove dull skin while lemongrass and neroli oils moisturize.  I just did a facial mask so I need to wait a day or two to try this one out.
  • Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub (Full Size, $55): Described as a blend of Kenyan coffee beans and nourishing oils exfoliates and hydrates, leaving skin renewed and ready for the day ahead: Think of it as skincare’s version of espresso.  If you are a coffee lover you will think this smells fantastic, be warned it has a very strong scent and is more of a black coffee smell and little bit much for my personal taste.  Sadly the sample isn't enough to use for your whole body to really get a feel for it, but it did make my dry winter legs feel a lot nicer and smoother.  To be honest, this is a bit too pricey for me to purchase full size when the one I like from B&BW is only $16 and comes with 3 more ounces.
  • Hydrating Kola Nut Collection (Full Size, $49): Birchbox says that - Just a few drops of the lightweight formula, a blend of eight oils and the African kola nut, last a full 12 hours. Its powerful hydration keeps our skin looking more luminous, even, and youthful all day long. While pricey, I feel like the full sized product would last quite awhile since you only need a little bit.  It felt a little odd to be putting oil on my face versus a moisturizer and I didn't think it did any better of a job than the lotions I normally use.  In fact, I think the lotions do a better job plus they have SPF so I am not tempted to switch for that reason alone.  More importantly, it had a very strong and distasteful scent.  It lingered after application and this was really not for me. 

The last thing I received was a Lifestyle Extra. This Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt KIND Healthy Grain Bar was way too salty for me.  I couldn't take more than two bites and it wasn't for my husband either.  We tend to have a low sodium diet so I think this was just the wrong flavor for us.  The Dark Chocolate Chunk or Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate might have been more successful for us.  These retail for $11.88 for a box of $15.

Overall:

I received three items that more than make this a top notch Birchbox for me!  I think they more than equal the $10 purchase price and since I get to review the nyakio samples individually I have seven items I can review for 10 points a piece.  That means my reviews will earn me $7 to spend in the Birchbox store and bring the cost of this month's box to just $3!!!

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