Monthly Archives: August 2012

August Birchbox

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So I’m a little behind in reviewing my August BB, but I’m finally getting around to it. This month’s theme was “Beauty School.” I have to say, for the first time, I am a little bit underwhelmed with my box. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’ll get back to that though. First, here’s what I got:

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The Beauty School card is actually a cute little booklet that has a few cool tips and tricks. The other card explains this month’s BB partnership with Pencils for Promise, intending to use a portion of all purchases this month to build a school in Guatemala, which I think is pretty cool.

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The card with the contents of the box is the back of the little booklet.

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OK, so here’s the breakdown of my box:

Schick Hydro Silk razor: I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I didn’t mind getting this. Razors can be expensive, so getting a free one is not a bad deal. HOWEVER, I DID NOT like this razor at all! The first time I used it, I didn’t get a close shave and I had like 4 nicks. I always put the little plastic cover back on the razor when I’m not using it, so the second time I went to use it, all the moisturizing whatever it is leaked out of the razor and into a big sticky goop in the plastic cover, which the razor got stuck in and was practically glued into the cover. So I was left with a big sticky boogery moisturizer goo blob on my razor. BOO! Honestly, I’ve tried lots of different, more expensive razors, and nothing works as well as my good old Bic Soleil disposable razors. Also, I don’t know if I’m thrilled about getting items that I can get at Wal-Mart in my BB, which is supposed to be high-end samples. As long as they continue to be “extras” in addition to my samples, I am ok with it.

Comodynes tanning stuff: I wasn’t too thrilled about this. I received 2 of the face tanner packets and 2 of the tanning towelettes. My main issue is that the face product is a gradual tanner, while the towels are not. I feel like I would have an uneven color. I also look kind of silly when I’m tan; it’s not exactly natural looking for me. BUT, I feel like I’d be willing to maybe try the towels on my legs…I don’t know. I don’t want to be half tan….

DDF Brightening cleanser: So this one I wasn’t really happy about. My profile says I have sensitive skin. They sent some people a version of the cleanser for sensitive skin, but not me. There is actually a sunburn warning on the back of the bottle, stating that the cleanser has ingredients that can increase risk of sunburn. Yup, that’s just what I need. Takes me 5 minutes to burn in the sun to begin with. I don’t think I need something that INCREASES that risk!

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur: This smelled good, but basically just like a watered down version of the regular Viva la Juicy, which I really like. I got a sample of it in my first box and I liked it so much that I bought some at Gordman’s (way cheaper, of course!). I think I’ll stick with that one, but it was a nice smell. Light and flowery.

Beauty Fixation Make-up Remover Swabs: I actually really liked these! I have read that a lot of people were unhappy about these and thought they were junk, but I really liked them! I always get mascara on my eyelids, or have eyeliner mishaps, and these are great for fixing those little mistakes!

So here’s why I’m kind of bummed about this box. I feel like BB has sort of gone off the rails a bit in the past couple months. Last month, there were crazy shipping disasters, but even with that I ended up with 2 boxes last month (my box was lost, they sent me a new one identical to the one I was set to receive, then I ended up with another one at the end of the month!), and I loved that box! This month the shipping issues seem to be happening again. I was fortunate to get mine fairly quickly. What I’m not happy about is that they seem to have completely disregarded the profiles they ask us to fill out (so that our samples are “tailored” to us). My profile says that I’m fair skinned, and my skin concerns are sensitivity and sun-protection. So I get sunless tanner and a cleanser that makes it easier for me to get a sunburn. Part of the BB experience is trying new things, and maybe you might not always like the things you get, but that’s the gamble of it. What bothers me is that they promise samples that are tailored to each person’s needs. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t make that something that they base their service on. I’ve seen many people post this month that they have gotten things that just don’t make sense, like curly hair products for girls with straight hair, wrong foundation colors, etc. I want to get things that I can at least try, even if I’m not a fan afterwards. But I don’t want to pay $10 for a box of things I can’t use! That being said, this is the first box I’ve gotten that I have not been THRILLED with! I have loved my previous boxes! I don’t really know what went wrong this month, but it seems I’m not the only one who had the same issues I did. I think the issue is that they are a relatively small company, and they have BLOWN UP very quickly. I think maybe they are just having issues keeping up and trying to make everyone happy. I’m in no way ready to give up on them. Again, this is the only box of 5 that I haven’t liked, so that’s no reason to quit, but I do hope they get all their kinks worked out! I still love you Birchbox, but please, get your act together! ๐Ÿ™‚

Little side note on a unrelated topic. I am a huge fan of Maybelline Great Lash mascara, so when I found out about the limited edition colored Great Lashes, I had to try it! I got the purple, and I LOVE it! Same awesome Great Lash formula, with just a hint of purple. Not enough to make me look like a club kid, but just the right amount to stand out in the sunlight and give a nice pop of color. TRY IT!!

Peace, Love, and MAKE-UP! โค

Happy Birthday Julep–August Box

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Last Friday, I got my very first official Julep Maven monthly box. I am officially addicted. This is such a great service!! August marks the first anniversary of the Maven program, so they shared the love with the Mavens! Anyone who is as obsessed with polish as I am would absolutely love it! If you didn’t read my first post about Julep, here’s just a quick recap of what its all about: For $20 a month, you get to choose a box from 5 style profiles. You fill out a style profile, and you can either get the box for that style or choose a different one. Mavens get the newest colors Julep has to offer before anyone else, and at unbelievable deals! The polishes retail at $14 a piece, and each box includes 2 polishes and another product, usually a new product. The It Girl box is the only exception to this. It is a box for straight up polish lovers, and includes 3 polishes. Sweet! So here’s what I got for August:

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Pretty pink Happy Birthday box! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nice little note inside the box!

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And here is what came in my box! My style profile results were It Girl, and I also chose that for my intro box, but this time I switched it up and chose Classic with a Twist, because I really liked the colors. I love the options that Julep gives you. You actually have the ability to choose what you get, so you are never disappointed. You also have the option to add-on up to 3 of either the new product for that month, or any of the colors featured, for $5 a piece. I got a free add-on as it was my first month, so I added 2 polishes from other boxes that I really liked. So, time to break it down. My box came with 2 polishes and the new product for the month, the polish remover. It’s acetone-free, and comes with an awesome pump dispenser (no more spilling all over myself!). It’s a great product–removes polish easily and conditions nails so they feel nice and clean and wonderful! Also, the tote was a fun little bonus! I have turned my into a bag to hold all my polishes and manicure supplies! And NOW, on to the polishes!!

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On the bottom left are my add-on polishes, Isla and Melanie. The top right polishes are the ones included in my box, Alfrie and Felicity. As you can see, the new colors for the month are metallics and chromes. LOVE! I LOVE these colors! They are all great! and here’s what they look like on (please excuse my awful paint job, I wasn’t really taking my time.)

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From left to right:

Melanie — I love this color! It goes on very sheer with the first coat, but after a couple coats, it’s so pretty. I would describe it as almost a metallic denim color.

Isla — This is the only one I am mildly skeptical of, only because it seemed to be kind of streaky when I applied it, but I’m sure if I actually took my time, I would look great! It’s a really pretty bright pearl color.

Felicity — Really pretty yellow-gold.

Alfrie — This one is my favorite! Gorgeous dark metallic royal purple color!

So there you go, my August Julep haul. Seriously, if you love nail polish, this service is for you! Check it out!!

Peace โค

July Birchbox (Finally!)

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So, here it is, the first day of August, and I am finally reviewing my July Birchbox. July’s box was curated by the awesome people at Glamour, which I love! And boy, was this a crazy month for Birchboxes. I got my email saying my box had shipped at the same time of the month as it always does. After about 3 or 4 days, I checked the package tracking, and it said that it had been delivered to me. But it hadn’t. So, I waited a couple more days, and still no Birchbox, so I sent an email to Birchbox and told them my situation. After about 3 days, I hadn’t heard back, so I called the customer service number and left a message, and later that day I received an email back from them. They were super nice, and they apologized and immediately sent out another box, which I received right away! Little side note: Once the boxes ship, and maybe even a couple days before, If you log on to the Birchbox website and go to the page for your box, it will show you what is going to be included in your box. I know, I know, ruining the surprise, blah blah blah. Sometimes I just get excited and impatient. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anywho, I knew what was supposed to be in my box and I was pretty excited about it, so when they sent me a new box, I was happy that it was the box I was supposed to receive! Yay! Sooooo, I got my box last week, and just hadn’t gotten around to posting about it yet. Then yesterday, I got another box! The same exact box I had already gotten! Except in this one, my perfume sample was gone. The cardboard holder was there, but the actual sample wasn’t. I can’t really complain since I did get one in the first box. Point of all of this: They were just a little off their game this month. I read a lot of reviews about the July box, and as of yesterday there are people who have either gotten their boxes late or haven’t received them yet at all. I also read that they have had this problem before with curated boxes (this was my first, but they had previous boxes curated by Teen Vogue and Cynthia Rowley.) I’m not saying this to discourage people from Birchbox, in fact, quite the opposite! Keep in mind that the company is only a couple years old, and isn’t a very large company, so there’s bound to be a glitch or two every so often. Their great customer service totally makes up for that! Anytime there is an issue, they do whatever they can to make it right. So hopefully members will give Birchbox a bit of a break if they had any issues this month, because they WILL make it right.

Enough of the boring stuff! Ready to see what I got this month? Good, ’cause I have pics this time!

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The card is included in each box, and gives you descriptions of all the products in your box and what the full-size price is. The first thing is the Alterna color protection fluide. I haven’t tried this yet, but only because I haven’t been styling my hair because it’s so darn hot! Maybe Friday for the Neon Trees show I’ll try it out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next in the box is the Blinc Mascara. This is the thing I was most excited about getting. It is a “tubing” mascara, which means….well, it’s all scientific and stuff, so I’ll use their description:

How it Works

This mascara doesnโ€™t just paint your lashes to make them darker and longer โ€” it uses a copolymer-based formula to create little tubes around each one of your lashes. And since itโ€™s not a paint, the mascara wonโ€™t flake, run, or smudge. When youโ€™re ready to remove it, each individual tube slides off in one piece โ€” no more black smears under your lashline!

This stuff is so awesome. I mean, super super super awesome. And they don’t lie; this stuff DOES NOT move once its on. This is the only mascara I have EVER used that is truly water-proof, smudge-proof, sleep-proof, rubbing-your-eyes-proof….you get the idea. It’s amazing. The sample was practically full-sized ( I figured it to be about 3/4 of the full-size), and since I got 2, I have a full-size and a half!! You can imagine how happy that makes me!! OK, so next is the Harvey Prince Hello perfume sample. Its a nice, summery flowery citrusy smell, great for day-time! The last beauty sample in the box is the Jouer tinted moisturizer. This was the product I was most surprised by. I absolutely LOVE IT!!! Like, I might have to blow all my points to buy the full-size in the shop. It’s amazing. My skin tends to get oily, so I really don’t like to wear foundations, and I tend more towards BB creams and those types of products. I’ve always liked the idea of tinted moisturizers in theory, but most just make my skin extra oily because of all the moisturizers. NOT this stuff. I was blown away. It dries to a powder-like finish. Even in the 100 degree heat, my face didn’t get oily. And it ALWAYS does. If you have oily skin, this is for you. Seriously. TRY IT!

There were 2 “lifestyle extras” (non-beauty products) in this box. I’ve read a lot of posts from people who don’t like these extras, because they aren’t beauty products, but I really like them. I think they’re fun little extras, and the beauty products that are included are well-worth it (I figured the approx. value of the mascara alone was about $21, 3/4 of the $28 full-size price. This MORE than pays for your box, and that doesn’t include everything else in the box). The extras this month were the Tea Forte Minteas, which was a full-size tin (they are sold in the shop in 3-packs). They are supposed to be energizing, and I don’t know how energized they make me, but they taste good, so I’m cool with that. I drink coffee, that’s enough energizing for me! The other extra was the Birchbox/Glamour exclusive earbuds. How cool are these?!? SO CUTE, with the neon pink and green!! I LOVE THEM! And, you can buy them in the shop for $10, so again, that pays for your box.

So with all the shipping mishaps, this box was totally worth the wait. I can’t wait to see what next month box brings! Also coming soon (like, hopfully today!) is my first official Julep Maven box! I have already gotten my 2 add-on polishes (I’ll go into that more when I get my box) so any time now! And, in a little over a week I will be getting my first Conscious Box! I’m SUPER excited about this one….stay tuned to find out all about it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love to all!!

Jamie