Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ipsy - June 2014

Pretty in Paradise
The Subscription: Ipsy Glam Bag

The Cost: $10 a month (free shipping)

The Products: Full size and deluxe samples of makeup and beauty product

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray 1.52 oz - $0.91

I have wavy/straight hair, so I love using sea salt sprays to boost my natural curl. This one smells great, so I can't wait to try it! 

OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil - $13

I have dark straggly eyebrows, so this shade was perfect for me to fill them in. Although it seemed a bit dark to be considered "universal" in my opinion. The picture online also looks different than the product we received, so maybe this is actually their brown eyeliner?? Either way, it's a very soft product. I will probably have to sharpen it after only two uses.

NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee - $5

Meh. I have a TON of lip gloss, so I don't really need more. I tested this one with a q-tip and the color was nice, but I thought it was sticky even though the description says it's not supposed to be. I think I'll be swapping this as I have similar shades already.

Be a Bombshell Lash Out Mascara - $15

There has been a lot of talk about this mascara this month! Many people have been complaining of a chemical smell and irritation with use. The mascara I received has a very noticeable smell when you open it, so I have decided not to risk trying it. Be a Bombshell has issued this message on Facebook informing subscribers that they are going to re-test the batch 0310 issued to Ipsy.

Realtree for Her Perfume Sample .16 oz - $.05

I hate perfume samples. I'm very picky about scents, especially since I'm migraine prone, so this is up for swap!

Overall this bag had a value of $33.96. While this wasn't my favorite bag, the bag itself (which was a collaboration with Rebecca Minkoff) and the Dream Waves Beach Spray make it worth it!

Birchbox - June 2014

Birchbox is a makeup and beauty subscription box that typically sends 5 samples each month. Four of those samples usually revolve around a central theme, while one is a "beauty extra". This month's theme was "Away We Go".

The Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $10 a month

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Reward Points: Birchbox has a wonderful rewards program where you get 1 point for every $1 spent in their store (even if you use your points toward a purchase!) and you get 10 points for every product you review from your monthly boxes. For every 100 points you receive, you get $10 in credit on their site. Birchbox also offers extra incentives to earn more points, by making purchases from products that were featured in the boxes that month, etc. Even if you only do the reviews, the points quickly add up!

Dust off your carry-on. It's the season for road-tripping, destination-hopping, and of course staycation-ing. That's why we're bringing you travel-ready samples, on-the-go inspiration, and much more. It's only appropriate that this month we're kicking off our partnership with JetBlue. We've created exclusive amenity kits for their new Mint Experience - now you can find us (and our samples) 35,000 feet in the air! Closer to ground, we've included a fun travel quiz in your box. Take it and share for a chance to win your own getaway! - Blue skies ahead, Katia, Hayley & the Birchbox Team

Lierac Paris Micellar Cleansing Water 50 ml - $4

What: Rich in botanicals, this alcohol-free liquid removes makeup while soothing sensitive skin.

I travel a lot since my boyfriend and I are long-distance, so this is going in my travel bag! It has a pleasant scent as well!

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara .39 oz - $20

What: Celeb makeup artist Mally Roncal designed this to give you flamboyant, va-va-voom lashes.

I love that this is a full sized mascara! Normally Birchbox samples are really small, but lately they've been adding larger & full size samples, which I love. I just opened the Model Co mascara from Popsugar, but I'll use this one next!

Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream .25 oz - $2.38

What: Celebs and health professionals alike swear by this all-natural, all-purpose salve. 

How: Use as a face cream, eye gel, hair masque, to moisturize, fight wrinkles, and treat burns and bruises - that's just the beginning. It's even known to heal psoriasis and eczema.

I was expecting this to be a cream-like product based on the name, but it actually looks like a hardened version of petroleum jelly! According to Birchbox, you're supposed to warm it up in your hand, to soften it into oil and then apply to skin or hair. I love that it's made up of only six natural ingredients as well (olive oil, beeswax, honey, pollen, royal jelly, and bee propolis).

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine .079 oz - $9.29

What: A long-wearing stain from the NYC-based designer that gives unbeatable moisture and shine. 

I have way too many lip colors already, but this was a very flattering shade when I swatched it using a q-tip. I may end up using it!

What: Best-selling spritz that mingles cheerful citrus with floral notes. Well, hello there!

I'm not a fan of perfume samples as I'm fairly picky in terms of scents. I've already sampled this particular scent and wasn't a fan, so this will be up for swap! Since there wasn't a volumetric measurement on the sample, I also wasn't able to calculate a value.

Overall this box had a value of $35.67. This was another great month from Birchbox!

Popsugar Must Have - June 2014

New Boxes & Information Cards

First Look
The Box: POPSUGAR Must Have

The Cost: $39.95/month

The Products: “Must have” lifestyle items for women selected by Popsugar editors. Categories may include home, beauty, fitness and food.   

Coupon: Use code REFER5 to save $5 off your first box

Emily Griffin's The One and Only - $28

Look no further - your fun Summer read is here. New York Times best selling author returns with this highly anticipated novel of an unlikely romance and lifelong friends set against the backdrop of Texas football. You won't be able to put it down.

I haven't read any of Emily Griffin's books, so I'm excited to read this one!

SachaJuan Shiny Citrus Body Lotion - $24

After a long day under the sun, your skin needs hydration. Using Swedish oats, this lotion reduces the appearance of wrinkles and calms irritation - keeping your skin replenished all Summer long!

Some people commented that they thought this smelled like lemon dish soap. While I see where they are coming from, I find that the smell reminds me more of the kind of lotion you get in hotels. While it's not my favorite scent, I don't think it smells bad and the fact that it's lightweight is perfect for summer.

Turkish-T Beach Towel - $32

The Turkish-T towel acts as a lightweight beach towel by day and as a glam wrap by night. It's loomed from the world's finest cotton, so trade in your overused beach towel for this chic alternative. 

I already received a Turkish towel in the Resort box, but I'm happy to have another. This one can also be used as a blanket, wrap or scarf instead of a towel. I will say that the Resort one is of much better quality than this one, but I love and will use both!

You Smell Lemon Wet Wipes - $6

Finding time to freshen up just got easier. These naturally antibacterial wipes are not only durable, but also gentle. Throw these in your bag before your endless adventures ahead.

Wet wipes are always nice to have on hand and I love that these are made with natural ingredients. They smell great too!

Special Extra: Native Union Gift Card - $15

Native Union creates unique and simple designs for everyone in the digital age. With this $15 gift card, peruse the site full of geek gadgetry to find something that fulfills your techie dreams. 

Since everything on this site is much more expensive than the gift card, I most likely won't be using this. I gifted the monocle I received from Fancy to my brother for Christmas though and he loves it. 

Lollies Basic Hair Ties - $8

Spruce up your ponytail instantly with Lollies. Made from swimwear fabric, they'll look cute on your wrists, and we love that these braided ties don't stretch over time like your average hair bands. 

I love these. My biggest problem with hair ties is that they stretch, so I'm looking forward to using these and I love that they look like bracelets when on your wrist.

One Potato, Two Potato Hawaiian Barbeque - $2

Say Aloha to savory Hawaiian Barbeque kettle chips. Cooked with all-natural ingredients and packed with flavor, these chips serve as an amazing party snack. We warn you, they're addictive!

At first I didn't think I was going to like these since I usually hate BBQ flavored chips, but these are delicious and addictive as they warned! I may have to buy more!

Overall this box had a value of $100 without including the gift card. This was another great month of Popsugar for me! Can't wait to see what's in store for July!

Glossybox - May 2014

 The Box: GlossyBox

The Cost: $21/month (you can save more by signing up for a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription)

The Products: Deluxe and full-size beauty products

Coupon: Get $2.75 cash back through Ebates

Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolue .24 oz - $8.47

Rose Anonyme, a breathtaking seductress, caught in a stolen love affair between light and dark, Turkish Rose Absolute sparkles and intrigues beneath notes of spicy ginger, enwrapped in sultry veil of velvet oud, Indonesian patchouli, mystic papyrus and Somalian incense.

I thought I was going to love this scent since I love the smell of roses, but this was too strong and not floral enough for my taste!

AERIN Beauty Rose Hand & Body Cream .5 oz - $4.76

Indulge with AERIN  Beauty's Rose Hand and Body Cream, a silky, lightweight cream that drenches skin with moisture. A delicate rose scent reinvigorates your spirits, while AERIN's floral infusion of magnolia and peony helps soothe and soften skin.

Now this rose scent is more my style. It's definitely delicate compare to the perfume!

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer .5 oz - $13.24

Get (even more) gorgeous with this gentle, pre-makeup base. Scientifically formulated to allow your makeup to "automatically" glide over the skin, Auto Pilot helps to prime and soothe the complexion for that flawless finish and helps makeup last even longer.

I've already tried this product in the past. It's not my favorite primer, but it works well and I'll use it!

Alterna CAVIAR CC Cream .85 oz - $8.50

A miracle leave-in product that delivers ten benefits (moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection and light hold) in one easy step, leaving hair perfectly polished.

I don't use leave-in products often, but the next time I use sea salt spray or style my hair, I'll use this!

Revive Intensite Volumizing Eye Serum .1 oz - $70

This advanced formula helps visibly plump, rebuild volume and re-contour the delicate eye area. Significantly diminishes the look of dark circles and under-eye bags, making eyes look younger, brighter and illuminated.

I don't have bags or wrinkles, since I'm only 24, but I could definitely use some help with dark circles, so I've been using this! My only issue so far is that the pump seems to pump out way more product than necessary with each use. Given the price point though, I'm glad I'm able to test this product because something tells me I won't be purchasing in the future. ;)

Lancer Lift Serum Intense .17 oz - $55

Intense Life Serum utilizes pure gold and Stem Cell Recovery Complex, an exclusive plant stem-cell compound that delivers firming and lifting effects to skin. The electromagnetically neutral gold and moisture-holding molecules support skin's natural cycle to look smoother, firming and younger.

I don't need a product like this at this point in my life, so I will be swapping this. Considering the price point though, I doubt I'll ever use such a product!

Bergdorf Goodman Gift Card - $25

Glossybox also included a $25 gift card this month that just recently expired on the 15th! Hopefully everyone received their box in time to use the card (Glossybox is notorious for horribly delayed shipping) and if not, that their customer service is able to remedy the situation. This gift card could also be used on the Neiman Marcus website as well. I chose to order the NEST Vanilla Orchid & Almond Candle. After the gift card, it only cost me $9! A steal in my opinion!

Popsugar Must Have - May 2014

The Box: POPSUGAR Must Have

The Cost: $39.95/month

The Products: “Must have” lifestyle items for women selected by Popsugar editors. Categories may include home, beauty, fitness and food.   

Coupon: Use code REFER5 to save $5 off your first box

Summer is fast approaching and we've got all the goodies you'll need for your best season yet. This box will give you a head start on feeling rested and energized for your upcoming activities and weekend getaways. Get bikini-season-ready with these food and fitness must haves. To look and smell like paradise, try out these beauty products to unleash your inner sun goddess. Finally, after a long Summer day, sleep soundly with this eye mask to recharge for your next adventure! - Lisa Sugar, Popsugar Founder & Editor in Chief

Must Have Beauty: Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser - $45

If a beach vacation isn't in the cards this year, why not bring a little piece of paradise to you? Smell Bent's St. Tropez Perfume turns your summer into one fabulous beach party. Escape to your favorite tropical island with the intoxicating blend of jasmine absolute and fresh coconut aromas. It's a relaxing beach day in a bottle!

This was the one item from spoilers that I was most uncertain about. Perfume can either be a hit or miss with me, especially since some fragrances give me migraines! Luckily though I love this scent! It does kind of remind me of sunscreen, but I wouldn't say that it smells like sunscreen. To me it smells like summer, which I love.

Must Have Home: Zing Anything Citrus Zinger - $17

Quench your thirst in a refreshing new way. With the Citrus Zinger by Zing Anything, you will never go back to plain water again. Press lemons, limes, or any water for an energizing drink. This zinger will keep you hydrated even on scorching hot days. Perfect to take to yoga, the office, or better yet, the beach!

I actually already have a citrus zinger from my fancy box. I've only used it a few times. I feel like it only really works for citrus, or am I doing something wrong? Either way this one is up for swap. Popsugar also included a coupon for 10% off + free shipping. 

Must Have Fitnesss: Tone It Up - $15

Give your metabolism a boost, and get fit with the ladies from Bravo's Toned Up. For those of you who are always on the go or can't make it up to the gym, this Tone It Up DVD will be your new obsession. Since each calorie-blasting workout is only 30 minutes long, you can fit in a quick session before your next beach day or vacation. Sculpt and tone your body to unveil your sexiest self this season.

I love workout videos, so I opened this up right away. I can tell I'm out of shape though. I need to get back into a routine!

Must Have Home: Kerry Cassill Eye Mask - $24

Summer is the season for relaxation. But with the days getting longer, sometimes it's hard to get the beauty rest we need. Now with your printed Kerry Cassill eye mask designed exclusively for Popsugar Must Have, you can sleep peacefully. It is made with soft voile cotton, so you'll find out why sweet dreams are made of this!

I'm hard of hearing, so I'm much more sensitive to light than sound when sleeping. I actually use one at my boyfriend's house as his computer light keeps me up at night and the sunlight from his large window wakes me up early in the morning. I sleep much better with a mask!

vbeaute Lip Spread Anti-aging Tinting Lip Gloss - $19

This was a gift for subscribers who ordered the resort box and had a delay in shipping. I'm glad they reached out to subscribers with a gift like this considering how late that box shipped. I have a ton of lip gloss already, but I love that it's anti-aging AND changes color to a shade that fits your skin tone best. On me it's a bright pink.

Must Have Beauty: Obsessive Complusive Cosmetics Pool Boy Nail Lacquer - $10

Kick your summer off the bright way with your pool boy nail lacquer from Obsessive Complusive Cosmetics. The polish is densely pigmented and delivers super-long-lasting results. Better yet, this quick-drying nail lacquer is 100 percent vegan and cruelty free. You'll want to debut your polish by the poolside all summer long.

I already have a ton of polish, but I'm looking forward to trying this one. Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere actually had it listed on her wish list awhile back! 

Must Have Food: Hi I'm Skinny Sticks Mult-Grain Sweet Onion - $4

Just because swimsuit season is approaching doesn't mean snacking should be off-limits. Luckily, these Hi I'm Skinny Sticks Multi-Grain Sweet Onion are a super tasty and healthy alternative to chips and cookies.  With 40 percent less fat than potato chips, 15 g of whole grains per serving, and under four calories per stick, you can satisfy your munchies guilt-free.

These were good, but I didn't think they were amazing. I would probably purchase them again though.

Overall this box had a value of $115, not including the vbeaute gift. While this wasn't one of my favorite boxes, I lucked out in liking the Smellbent perfume! Popsugar has been on a roll for me lately!

Ipsy - May 2014

Fresh Picks
The Subscription: Ipsy Glam Bag

The Cost: $10 a month (free shipping)

The Products: Full size and deluxe samples of makeup and beauty products

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask 60 ml - $12

This product makes my hair feel extremely soft and it smells very pleasant. There's almost a subtle scent of baby powder to me. I threw this in my travel bag and my boyfriend mentioned that my hair smelled nice last time I visited. He rarely notices any changes I make in my routine, so for him to say something is significant. ;)

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo #1 (Celestial & Opal) .07 oz - $3.92

I love these neutral shades and the fact that they are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and formulated without FD & C color, parabens and petroleum makes me love them even more. They aren't highly pigmented though, so if that's your preference you probably wouldn't want to purchase these. If you're like me and only want a subtle hint of color, this product is for you!

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub 1 oz - $16.25

 Yay! Another microdermabrasion scrub! I loved the dr. brandt one Ipsy sent last month and I may like this one even more. The sample size is very generous and all their products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, glycol-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free!

Hey Honey Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask 10 ml - $7

I love masks and honey, so this mask was made for me. It works a lot better if you use a moisturizer prior to using the mask per the directions. It is also paraben and SLS free. 

Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Anti-Aging Sunscreen .5 oz - $7.5

I know a lot of Ipsyers who received this product, didn't like it, but I actually didn't mind it! Yes, it is a little hard to apply and it does leave a whitening effect, but I found that by mixing it with regular lotion, those effects were minimized. It  also didn't leave me too pasty that a little bronzing body shimmer or foundation couldn't fix! I love that it's formulated without Retinyal Palminate (associated with risks of birth defects), Oxybenzone (associated with low birth rate and endometriosis in women), Parabens or Paba, Petrochemicals and Fragrance. It's also reef friendly, biodegradable, and cruelty-free.

Overall this bag had a value of $46.67. I love all the natural products this month and the gorgeous bag itself. I will definitely use everything this month!

Birchbox - May 2014

Birchbox is a makeup and beauty subscription box that typically sends 5 samples each month. Four of those samples usually revolve around a central theme, while one is a "beauty extra". This month's theme was "Freewheeling".

 It's that time of year when everything, from our tiny window boxes to the giant trees in the park, is bursting into action. with this much freshness and optimism in the air, is it any wonder we can't seem to sit still? Accordingly, we're tossing out the rules and taking a playful approach to everything from our beauty routine to our weekend wear. In addition to this month's samples, we're bringing you an exclusive shopping offer from Kate Spade Saturday. Their fun-loving designs bring the spirit of Saturday to any day of the week - what's not to love about that? As always don't forget to share your pictures with #Birchbox - and visit to see how other subscribers are using their samples! xoxo - Katia, Hayley & Team Birchbox

The Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $10 a month

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Reward Points: Birchbox has a wonderful rewards program where you get 1 point for every $1 spent in their store (even if you use your points toward a purchase!) and you get 10 points for every product you review from your monthly boxes. For every 100 points you receive, you get $10 in credit on their site. Birchbox also offers extra incentives to earn more points, by making purchases from products that were featured in the boxes that month, etc. Even if you only do the reviews, the points quickly add up!

Coupon Code and Giveaway for Supergoop!

Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Volumizing Shampoo 1 oz & Condition for the Ultimate in Lightweight Hydration .25 oz - $4 and $1.06 respectively

What: This sulfate-free, botanical-rich cleanser creates bouncy, bodacious hair.

I really liked this shampoo. It smells great and it's volumizing without stripping your hair dry. I only wish there was a bigger sample of conditioner to try with it! This foil packet didn't even cover all my long hair for one use!

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream - Acai Grapefruit 22 ml - $2.93

What: A shea butter-packed shaving cream in a fresh new scent.

I'm not sure what it is about this brand, but I'm really not a fan of their sugary-candy scents! This is a nice product, but I prefer my ECO shave cream.

CoTZ Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 - $2.47

What: Oil-free, mineral sunscreen that blends in sheer for a matte finish.

I loved this product. Not only does it provide a higher SPF protection for the summer than most makeup products offer, it also provides the perfect amount of coverage. I will probably purchase this in the future. I just wish the sample size was bigger!

Lifestyle Extra: All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults (2 gummies) - $0.33

What: These delicious gummies provide essential nutrients without artificial flavors.

I wouldn't say these were yummy, but I love that they are free from artificial flavors. I will definitely purchase these in the future to have on hand.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Purple .07 oz - $18

What: Perfect for spring, this high-gloss, semi-sheer lip color glides on buttery-smooth. 

When I first saw this, I thought there was no way I'd wear this. I'm not very bold in my makeup and prefer nude tones, but I swatched this on my hand and it was more sheer and pinkish than it looked in the tube. If you use a slight hand, it's very flattering!

Overall this box had a value of $28.79, not including the coupon. This is definitely one of the better months in my opinion!

Julep Maven - May 2014

Julep Maven is a nail polish and beauty subscription box. Every month they have 5 different boxes you can choose from or you can upgrade to get the entire collection. These boxes are Classic with a Twist, Bombshell, Boho Glam, Modern Beauty and It Girl. You are able to view the products each month on the 20th and have until the 24th to make your selection or skip if you don't like any of the boxes. This month's theme was the Fresh Twist Collection. Since I wanted to take advantage of the extra points this month, I decided to go with Boho Glam .

The box: Julep Maven

The Cost: Julep raised their prices this month, along with the option to upgrade to Maven Luxe, where you have complete customization of your boxes. Boxes are now $24.99/month (My Maven) or $39.99/month (Maven Luxe).

The Products: Nail and beauty products

Coupons: 25% off the Brilliance Glycolic Hand Scrub & $10 off your next order of $20 or more

Julep Plie Wand - $25 ($20 Maven)

I was excited to try this since I'm terrible at painting my nails with my opposite hand, but I actually found this awkward to use! Maybe I'm not doing something right?

Julep Plie Wand Precision Brush - $3

The Plie Wand also came with a precision brush, but I've just been using the brushes that come with the bottle. It just seems too much of a hassle to use this brush each time and then cleaning it, etc.

Julep Plie Wand Creativity Kit - $10 ($8 Maven)

I was excited about these as well, since my creativity skills are basically nonexistent, but when I cleaned them with nail polish remover as per directions, the black part formed a coating. (See picture below). I use non-acetone nail polish remover, so I'm not sure what caused the reaction!

After one use! :(

Julep Nail Color in Paulette - $14 ($11.20 Maven)

This is a very pretty purple shade. I love the hint of shimmer as well. 

Julep Nail Color in Jeanne - $14 ($11.20 Maven)

I was expecting a pastel blue from the online swatches, but it actually goes on darker than it appears. It's a pretty color, just not what I was expecting. 

For those of you who are wondering, all Julep polishes come with a removable cover to make it easy to swatch the top of the lids. This concept also allows you to use the plie brush with the original brush that comes with each polish, rather than having to use a new brush each time!

Overall this box had a value of $54.40. I still haven't gotten used to the plie wand yet, but I loved the color collection this month!