Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Birchbox Review - December 2013

Happy New Year's Eve!

This post is kinda late, but better late than never, right? As long as I review December's box before the year ends then I say it's not too late. I received my Birchbox in the mail the day after Christmas - it would've been so awesome if I got it on Christmas Eve, kinda like the last present under the tree. :) Oh well, I'm happy it didn't get lost in the mail amid all the parcel craziness. I must apologize for all the dark yellowy pictures in this post. These pics were all taken after dark, and indoor lighting is apparently no match for natural daylight.

Instead of Birchbox's usual bright pink outer box, this month's box was designed to look like a gold Christmas present. How cute! The inner box was also different for the holidays:

I've been so busy with holiday stuff lately that I barely had time to try out the samples I received in my box, so this might be more of an overview of what I got rather than an actual review of the products. But I'll update as I try em out. I was hoping I'd receive at least one of the spoilers announced for the December box, but no such luck :( Especially The Honest Company Healing Balm or Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion. Oh well, better luck next time.

Elite Therapeutics Elite Creme
This cream contains manuka honey and avocado oil to soothe and hydrate skin. It has a pleasant citrus scent to it and is not overly oily, so you don't feel trapped in a cocoon of moisture. The 1 oz. sample size was also generous for a moisturizer. Score! However, I didn't notice any hydrating effects on my skin. But then again, it's not very cold and dry where I live so my skin rarely gets dry and/or sensitive.

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner
I'm not a fan of liquid eyeliners because (a) they're messier than pencils and (b) I don't have a steady hand. Give me liquid liner and I'll show you what makeup's worst nightmare looks like. That being said, I must commend Eyeko on making a smudge proof product. I swatched it on my hand and immediately tried rubbing it off. No can do. It stay put all day. However, due to my jerky hands I probably won't be using this anytime soon. Sorry, Eyeko, it's not you, it's me.

Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream No Suds Shampoo
This shampoo is supposed to clean your hair sans suds with the help of honey and lemongrass extract. It doesn't contain detergents so you don't have to worry about any damaging adverse effects when shampooing your hair. Me? Well, I like suds. I guess I shouldn't knock it before I try it, but I don't like my hair feeling squeaky clean when I wash it because it gets tangled. The suds make the tangles seem so much more manageable. On the up side, at 2 oz, this is a very generous sample size.

Update 1/13/14: I still prefer suds. This has lasted me three uses so far and I can't get over not having lather on my hair. It's fine for non-workout days when my hair is not a bird nest nightmare, but add in some (okay, lots of) tangles and my fingers get annoyed and stuck from feeling every single knot. Furthermore, the shampoo tends to leave your hair literally feeling squeaky clean, definitely not what I'd like to feel, as I link squeaky clean to a lack of natural hair oils.

La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes
These wipes are intended for wiping away makeup on-the-go in order to avoid a cosmetic faux pas. Unfortunately, I don't wear makeup very often so I probably won't get a chance to try this anytime soon. I am rather picky with makeup removers, though. A lot of the ones that work well are too oily for my liking, and a lot of the ones that aren't oily don't work well. We'll see how this measures up.

Update 2/27/14: Okay, this is looong overdue, but I tried these out a while back and it's great! Did its job and didn't leave an oily residue on my face. However, I never carry extra makeup with me, so if I get a smudge here and a blob there, I just create a really epic story to tell anyone who might ask rather than remove and reapply makeup before anyone discovers my fiasco. 

Twistband - in Silver
This was my lifestyle extra for December. Honestly, this was a bit of a dud for me. Twistbands are wide so that they don't leave an ugly crease in your hair from wearing a ponytail too long. Yeah they're cute, and I really like the silver color because it matches anything I might be wearing, but it really does not match my lifestyle. I wear ponytails when helping to coach wrestling, and I'll need something that can withstand tugging and pulling and being twisted and retwisted into 10 ponytails each practice. In other words, I need something I can buy in bulk for cheap because I go through about one rubberband a week. I suppose I could use these exclusively for non-strenuous circumstances, but that'd mean carrying around a Twistband and a plain ol' hair tie everyday, and that's just too much accessorizing for this Plain Jane.

Birchbox Screen Cleaner
This was actually a plug for the Birchbox app rather than a December box item. On the flip side of the card pictured above is a chance to get 20% off your next Birchbox Shop purchase for downloading the iPhone app. I hope Birchbox comes out with an Android app soon so I can get 20% off too. :) And what better way to advertise your app than to give out a practical freebie? On one side, this little guy is a screen cleaner that can cling to your phone or case using the other side. While I think it's a really cute and clever way to advertise, I probably won't be using it because with the way I treat my phone, it won't last a day. I stuck it to the back of my phone for 2 seconds and when I lifted it off there was all this dust and junk stuck on it already. I guess that's what happens when you throw your phone all over the place.

Overall this box was just okay for me. I could possibly see myself using the Elite creme and maaaybe the twistband if I ever run out of hair ties, but chances are I won't even use those because the climate doesn't get dry enough to dry out my skin and I always keep an abundance of hair bands at home. I'll have to see about the makeup wipes the next time I decide to wear makeup (could be anywhere within the next two weeks to the next two months though). But since my previous three boxes have been great, I'll let this one slide and stick it out for the new year. If you want your very own Birchbox, sign up here to subscribe!

Note: Post contains referral links. I purchased this box with my own money and was not compensated in any way for this review.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Baribox Review - December 2013

Merry Christmas everybody! Hope Santa brought everyone tons of fun and goodies!!  I was totally looking forward to Xmas dinners and parties but just had to get food poisoning on Xmas Eve. Bummer. But I'm still happy because C spent the whole time pampering me and making sure I got better. Thanks C! Now on to the review...

Thanks to the holiday season and a short budget, I decided to rediscover my domesticated side. Homemade sweets and handmade cards are the way to go when you don't have a whole lot to spend on shiny toys and brand new electronics. Well actually I've been practicing my baking skills for the past few years so that's nothing new. What is new is my renewed interest in crafting. I've always appreciated handmade works of art but have never been able to find the time to keep up with such a hobby. So I guess it's pretty odd that even though I have less time on my hands now between work and helping to coach high school sports, I somehow manage to find time to squeeze in crafting -- I guess the holidays can do that to you.

But, I digress. With my renewed thirst for crafting knowledge and materials, I stumbled upon a new crafting subscription called BARiBOX. According to their website, each month you receive a carefully curated selection of paper-crafting products to use. Based on what I've seen online Baribox doesn't appear to be a value box where you receive a greater value of product than you pay for. Rather, I see it more as a box that contains (almost) everything you need to complete a paper craft project.

Baribox costs $12.99/month including shipping, but you can also choose a 3-, 6-, 12-, or 15-month plan. The cost per month goes down a few cents with the extended plans, so I decided to pick up the 3-month plan for $38 ($12.67/box). Based on the shipping table Baribox provided, my box wasn't supposed to go out until February, but I got an email just 3 days after I signed up telling me it was on its way! What's even better is their shipping. Baribox ships via UPS Mail Innovations, and in my personal experience things shipped via Mail Innovations take for-ev-er to reach me in HI (we're talking 2-3 weeks from the east coast). So you can imagine my surprise when I received my much-awaited package in just 5 days! I must commend them on their cute packaging. I didn't get a picture of the tape used to seal the box, but it had cute gingerbread men on it. And then there was this cute sticker on the box as well:

Inside was a welcome card on top of the neatly wrapped goodies. I love when a company takes care in packing their boxes. I also like that the sticker didn't tear the tissue paper, so I can reuse it for a project, or maybe just to wrap a belated Christmas present...

Also with the welcome card was a little "welcome packet" which included a pencil, pin, and a code for 20% off a 3-month subscription.

Studio G Christmas Stamp & Ink Pad
I guess it's my fault for not subscribing to this box earlier, but this stamp would've been great to use with my latest Christmas card-making adventure. I also don't have this color ink...I think it's silver? I haven't opened it yet, but really curious to see what it looks like on paper.

Studio G Snowman Mini Punch & String
I can already think of lots of crating ideas for this punch! Maybe for next year. Never too early to start planning! And I can always find a use for the string. What's great is that it contains basic colors that are fitting for any occasion.
Studio G Loose Extra Fine Glitter
You can't really tell from the picture, but this set contains black, silver, and a light blue glitter. This is the first light blue I've owned, and I'm excited to try it out! 
Blank White Note Cards with Envelope
I love blank white cards because you can make a card for practically ANY occasion. (In fact, I just bought a pack of blank white cards just before I got this in the mail!) Now that Christmas is over, I guess I'll have to use these for something else...hmm, whose birthday is coming up next? :)

Overall I am satisfied with this month's box. I can use all the products I received (some of them probably not till next Christmas, but I'll still use them). The only complaints I have is that all of the products were from Studio G. I would love to see a bit more variety in the boxes, especially from companies whose products I don't normally see in the stores. Also, although I'm pretty sure this is not a value box, it'd still be nice to see me get my money's worth in products. A quick calculation in my head tells me that I received about $7-8 worth of items but paid over $12 for the box. Maybe since Baribox is still fairly new, they're still trying to establish strong partnerships, so I'll see how the next couple of months goes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Barkbox Review - December 2013

The other day was an awesome delivery day. I got THREE boxes in the mail! The first was a shipment of poop bags (500 to be exact) I ordered from Coupaw during their Black Friday sale -- they were less than $0.03 a piece! How awesome is that?! The second was my first ever BARiBOX, a paper crafting subscription box that I've been super duper eagerly awaiting. I'll make a separate post about that one later. And last, but definitely not least, was our beloved Barkbox. I continue to be impressed with Barkbox's quick shipping, even during the holidays (I'm also impressed with Baribox shipping, but more on that later). Without further ado, let's dive in.

This month's theme was sharing. We share everything with our pups-- treats, beds, secrets, and kisses. And this box contains more of that good stuff to carry us to the new year. Here's what we got:

Wigzi Pocket Bone
Before I review this let me start with a little back story: A couple of months ago Barkbox started sending out online box review forms (it was the first time they sent me one, anyway) and asked what I'd like to see in future Barkboxes. I mentioned that Macho really enjoys working for his treats so more treat dispensing toys would be perfect. Based on this month's Barkbox reviews I've seen online, it seems like all the medium dog boxes came with a different toy, most of them plush. I don't know if Barkbox actually read each review and tried tailoring the toy to match each dog's tastes (though I'd like to believe they did!), but I'm so glad I received a treat dispensing toy rather than a plush one (he loves those, but he rips the stuffing out of em in no time). But anyway, on to the toy...

This bone has two pockets you can stuff with treats. And it's dishwasher safe! It also floats so you can continue playing your game of fetch in the water. The middle section is really flexible and can withstand bending and pulling. I didn't really have any treats that would fit nicely but I squeezed one in anyway. He got it out instantly and lost interest, so I stuffed it again and threw it, expecting Macho to run after it like I was throwing away his favorite toy. Unfortunately, he just kinda watched it sail through the air then turned his attention right back to the box and zeroed in on the one thing that caught his attention:

Barkworthies Junior Bully Stick
This one has only one ingredient: 100% beef bladder. Treat makers use everything in dog treats - ears, hooves, peepee, liver, tendons, and now bladder. Well at least nothing on the animal goes to waste. This was a 6" piece that's supposed to be long lasting, but pups finished it in less than 10 minutes. He did love every second of those 10 minutes though. He's such a sucker for chews.

Hare of the Dog Rabbit Recipe with Red Apple and Dandelion
Fluffs first tried rabbit in his Barkbox a couple of months ago, and from the looks of it I think he likes it. He likes apples for sure. Not sure about dandelions though. Not even I've tried them before. I guess we'll have to try it and see.

Wet Noses Big Bone - in Peanut Butter & Molasses
This is such a cute company name. And that picture! Love it. Although Macho didn't pick this out of the box first, I'm pretty sure he'll like it. He loves peanut butter. But then again he hasn't been into biscuit-type treats lately as much as the jerkies and animal chews...Oh no, my boy has turned into a total carnivore!

Plato Eos Turkey with Cranberry Treats
I haven't opened these yet, but there's a little window on the back of the bag and by the looks of it, I think the furball will find these deeeeelish. These treats look like chunks of juicy meat, almost like a jerky nugget. I'm pretty sure it also smells as great as it looks. I think I'll save these for when Macho is super good and goes an entire day without getting into trouble. I might be waiting quite a while, but if these are as great as I think they are, it'll be worth it.

Overall this month's box was okay. If the pup still enjoyed biscuit-type treats as much as he used to I'm sure I'd appreciate it much more. Also he didn't seem to enjoy the Wigzi bone as much as I thought he would. I guess he prefers a bigger challenge when trying to get treats out from a toy. But we'll definitely still use all of them; it's pretty rare for him to turn down anything related to food or playtime. If you're interested in starting a Barkbox subscription for your own pup, use my link to get $5 off your first box! Enjoy!!

Note: Post contains referral links. All reviews are my own and I did not receive any compensation for this review.

Birchbox - Mystery Sample Pack

A few weeks ago I ordered some stuff from Birchbox (ALL food items, might I add. Zero beauty stuff. I know...wth, right?) and, just like the last time I ordered full-size products from them, I got my order in about a week. Why can't my monthly box get here as quick? Anyway, I wanted to share what I got in my Mystery Sample Pack (free with any $35+ order, $10 otherwise). I've heard some mixed reviews about the sample pack; some like the value, others think it's a total waste. It was my first time getting one so I had no idea what to expect.

Harvey Prince Eau Flirt
Birchbox describes this scent as "sweetly mischievous." I honestly smelled nothing sweet about it. I tend to gravitate toward the fruitier but subtle fragrances. This one was way too much for me. My first thought that came to mind was Hmm...incredibly seductive. Since I am on the opposite side of the spectrum from seductive, this will most likely go in my set-it-and-forget-it pile.

Mally Evercolor Starlight Watercolor Eye Liner - in Sailor
Normally I'm not one to swoon over makeup products - especially eye makeup. Sure, it looks nice, but I lack the time and patience to spend time applying eye liner/shadow and mascara every morning before stepping out of the house. But this waterproof & smudge proof eye liner really piques my interest. It claims to go on smoothly like a gel but stay on like a pencil. I am the absolute worst at using gel liner so I usually use a wet angled brush with a bit of shadow and pass it off as eye liner. Easy to apply, but horrible at staying put. I think I may have to give Mally a try. It glides on nicely and is a super dark navy blue that I think looks more like black, my favorite eye liner color. Retailing at $15, I think this is a steal that made the mystery pack totally worth it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Birchbox Review - November 2013

My November Birchbox

It's finally here! I got the email on the 6th saying my box was shipped out and it arrived 20 days later. I do wish it would get here before Birchbox sends me emails each month showing me exactly what's in the box I should've already received, but oh well, at least it's here. For the first time I made a conscious effort not to peek in my account and to immediately delete the emails that show what items I'm getting before getting a close look at them. Didn't work though; with all the reviews I've been reading, I kind of already figured out what I got based on what I did glimpse in those emails. Aarghh! Well on to the November box.

This month's theme is "More Good" and focuses on ways to bring more good into your life through more giving, more thoughtfulness, and more thanks. In addition, Birchbox is donating a portion of proceeds to No Kid Hungry, a nationwide charity working to end childhood hunger. Brownie points to them for helping out fellow Americans who aren't as fortunate!

Here's what this month's box contained:

Tocca Crema da Mano - Cleopatra scent
Although I already have a million tiny bottles of hand cream and lotion, I still love trying out new fragrances and formulas. I thought the grapefruit and cucumber scent combo was sweet yet subtle-- no getting a headache from this one. I also thought it moisturized without making my hands feel too greasy.

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
Apparently there are 10 ways this little guy can be used! I read the tutorial and my favorite uses will probably be to highlight high areas by blending with foundation, and to apply it to the waterline to widen eyes. I'm a fan of multi-purpose products so I'm excited to incorporate this into my makeup routine (if you can call wearing makeup 3x a month a routine). This pencil blends really nicely and matches my skin tone perfectly. Bonus: I hear this doodad lasts forever!

Color Club in Top Shelf
I received a nail polish in my first Birchbox, and to be honest I wasn't too thrilled about receiving another one. As much as I want to enjoy wearing nail polish and getting manicured like the rest of my friends, I don't want anyone looking at my ugly nails. And with a golden hue sporting a name like Top Shelf, come on, that just screams high class. So not what my nails are worthy of. 
TOP Shelf? Sounds very classy.
Besides, I normally wince at gold clothes and accessories (yes, even yellow gold jewelry. I'm more of a white gold fan). HOWEVER, I decided to try this out just because I was bored, and guess what? I love this color. A single coat of this bad boy is perfect for my liking. It's very neutral and looks subtle, so I can enjoy looking at my nails without anyone else noticing them. I applied a second coat and decided that was too much for me; after two coats it starts to look like the color in the bottle. As far as texture goes, it goes on kind of thick, even after wiping the excess off the brush. It also looks streaky when applied, maybe because it's so thick, but since I'm not a nail polish aficionado I don't mind at all.

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
This concoction combines papaya enzymes with microderm crystals to dissolve the nasties keeping dead skin cells intact and then sloughs off that dead skin. I've never tried a microdermabrasion scrub before (unless the exfoliating beads found in some face washes count), so I was surprised at how gently abrasive (does that even make sense?) this was! I could immediately feel the crystals scrubbing away at my face, but it wasn't harsh at all. Although I didn't notice any immediate change, C did. I know, seriously?..a guy?! For some reason my nose has always had huge pores and C likes to make fun of how rough it gets as a result (very loving relationship, yeah I know). Anyway, the first thing C said when he rubbed my nose for my daily dose of teasing was, "Hey!..Your nose is smooth...You're pretty!" (Again, our dysfunctional love at work.) I guess it did work. And if it'll keep him off my back, I'm gonna keep using it!

Chuao Chocolate - in Pop Corn Pop
I love chocolate and consider myself rather well-versed in trying different chocolate flavors -- strawberry, banana, orange, jalapeno, habanero, bacon, sea salt, etc. But this one was definitely a surprise. The description says that it has a surprising POP...what's that, right? Well, imagine eating milk chocolate and Pop Rocks at the same time. Very interesting. I'm not sure if I'd like to eat a full-size bar of it, but it definitely is something worth trying.

Overall I thought this month's box was excellent! I will use every single product (well, the chocolate's gone already), which is a first. I am especially happy with the microdermabrasion scrub and nail polish and am excited to try out the highlighter pencil. Also, I calculated the value to be about three times what I paid for the box, so that's also a plus. If you are interested in signing up for your own Birchbox, please use my link! Happy sampling!

Note: Post contains referral links. I purchased this box with my own money and did not receive any compensation in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Barkbox Review - November 2013

November Barkbox (and Macho's eager nose)

Yesterday we got our Barkbox in the mail. Yay! I'm always so excited for Barkbox time of the month because I love being surprised at the quality products I find in my mailbox just as much as my dog loves eating and playing with his new finds. This month's box was all about feasting - Macho's favorite! He was so excited to dig in that I barely had time to take pictures of his goodies, so I apologize in advance for the blurred, hurried photos.

The unboxing. Obviously, Pups is not the gentlest unboxer.

PetSafe Busy Buddy Pogo Plush Slap Happy Toy-Small Size
This stuffingless toy contains a plastic caging with a free-floating squeaker inside. The caging bounces back when compressed and is supposed to bring out the animal instinct in dogs by simulating a rib cage being crushed. It's a pretty graphic description, but it promises to be a dog's new favorite toy. That part was definitely true, as Macho would not leave the toy alone once he got a hold of it. I am pretty disappointed that the squeaker didn't last long at all - a whole 5 seconds - but Fluffypants was still getting a kick out of it long after it stopped making noise. I'm thinking the bouncy cage feel must have something to do with that. After all, Mr. Fluff is an avid chewer - the harder it is to chomp down on something, the more he wants to chew it.
Enjoying his toy long after he broke the squeaker (plus the remains of the Barkbox packaging)

Nootie YumZies Duck Jerky Chews
I've heard lots of good things about this brand so I'm excited to try these. Bunnybottom's never had duck before so it'll be interesting to see how he'll take to it. But if the past is any indication, he doesn't discriminate when it comes to meat. Also, the chews are shaped so that they can be broken into smaller pieces for smaller dogs. I'll be giving small pieces to Macho not because he's small, but because I know he'll get greedy if I give him a whole piece and he'll start expecting the whole thing each time. He's such a piggy.

Bocce's Bakery Truffle Mac & Cheese Biscuits
Before Barkbox, I'd never heard of this NY-based brand, but this is the third product we've received from them and I've grown very fond of their treats. These are the only guys who could make Macho eat mint (referring to Bocce's Green Juice biscuits we received in our first box as part of a Barkbox Facebook promo) and actually like it. They mixed it with kale, spinach (both are probably an "eh" in Macho's book), and APPLES (a definite "heck yeah" for him). Anyway, I digress. After he broke his squeaky toy and finally realized there were other things in the box, this was the first bag he picked up snatched. Once I got his jaws of life to release the bag he would not leave me alone until I opened it and gave him one - after he earned it, of course:
"Aww guys, why do you always have to humiliate me?"

Twistix Vanilla Mint Dental Chews-Large Size 
These chews are wheat- and corn-free, which is good for dogs with allergies. So far the furball has lucked out and doesn't have any allergies that I'm aware of, but as I mentioned before, he isn't a fan of mint so I don't have very high hopes for these. But we'll see, maybe the vanilla can balance it out. Or maybe he'll view it as another chewing challenge and go to town on it.

Overall this month's box was pretty good. Not as great as the last couple of months - he's still intrigued by September's iQ Ball and October's Bumi - but I appreciate the continued high quality and value of the products this month (I blame the broken squeaker on bad luck and sharp teeth rather than low quality. I guess Macho just doesn't get along with free-floating squeakers).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smiley360 Mission - Carefree Liners

A couple of months ago I joined the Smiley360 online review community. Basically you take surveys to qualify for free product trials from various companies. If you qualify for and accept a mission, Smiley will send you the product free of charge (from what I've seen they're usually full-sized products), which you then review via face-to-face interactions, blogs, and social media. Although not everyone gets to take every survey that Smiley sends out, I've been getting about one a week - just enough to keep me on the edge of my seat hoping to qualify for a mission.

About a month ago I accepted my very first actual mission to review Carefree Acti-fresh liners. (If you click on my link you can get a coupon for your very own pack!) The site said the product will ship in about 2-3 weeks, and I got mine after about a month. About what I expected, considering it's probably shipped by ground across the country/ocean.

Carefree Acti-fresh liners and info card
I received two 20-packs for free in the mail in exchange for my honest opinion. One pack is to try out and the other is to pass on to a friend to try. I've always been a fan of Carefree because their liners are very absorbent considering how thin they are. According to the packaging these are supposed to conform more to your body so that you don't notice it, but I'm pretty brain dead when it comes to noticing things. Honestly, these feel pretty much the same as other Carefree liners I've tried. They're discreet, absorbent, and you forget it's there. Sure, I don't notice it, but when do I ever? Unless it's like a pillow or something. Not too sure what makes this one different from other Carefree liners, but it does its job and it does it well. And that's what matters the most, right?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birchbox Review - October 2013

My second Birchbox finally came in the other day. It only took 13 days to arrive here this month. I say only because last month's box took 20 days. I think I should just learn to accept the fact that Birchbox will take a while to arrive. My Barkbox subscription also ships from NY but only took two days to go cross-country. Oh well, I guess that's the difference between air vs ground transport.

For $10/month, Birchbox will send you a box of samples to try based on your beauty profile. Since I'm pretty low maintenance, I like products that are easy to use and that can be used on an as-needed basis. Of course you would think half the fun is being surprised when the box comes in and seeing if any of the items are to your liking, but like last month, my curiosity got the best of me and I jumped online to see what I would be getting. I must say I'm rather pleased with this month's samples:

theBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen
This lip and cheek stain is supposed to brighten up your face a bit to give you that bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed look. It seems like it took a lot of this tint to make even the slightest change in color on my cheeks. Maybe I'll try it on my lips one day, but so far I'm not sold.

12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment
I have lots of hair, which means lots of split ends and lots of frizz, especially in this humid weather we've been getting. This spray smells great and is supposed to help with the above hair problems as well as moisturize and protect it from weather, styling, and chlorine damage. I spritzed some on last night and haven't noticed any difference yet, but it's only been one day so we'll see.

Karuna Clarifying Treatment Mask
Ok, I've used shiso in my food before, but I never thought it could be used for skincare! Valued at $7 a pop, this mask is to be applied weekly to keep your complexion clear and healthy. Not sure if I'd be willing to pay a dollar a day to do the same thing that plain ol' face wash and moisturizer can do for pennies a day (yeah I'm cheap), but I'll have to try this out before forming any real opinion.

DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum
Something tells me the value of this month's box is through the roof. At $85 for the full size version, this serum works to minimize pores and fight the lines of aging using amino peptides. It smells great and goes on greater. It feels very smooth and light on my face. The only way I know I have it on is because the awesome scent is still lingering on my hand.

ChapStick Hydration Lock in Vanilla Creme
This is a Birchbox Find, which is a mass-market product that Birchbox thinks is awesome and will benefit all of its subscribers. Of course, this is in addition to, not in place of, regular Birchbox items. It's been a while since I've used ChapStick, but with winter right around the corner, now is the perfect time to try out a product that claims to lock in moisture for 8 hours. And the vanilla creme scent is just plain awesome. It actually smells yummy enough to make me crave some cream-flavored candy right now. We'll see if this ChapStick will hold true to its claim. So far so good...the true test will be at lunchtime!

Overall I'm impressed with this month's items. I haven't looked up the value yet, but it seems really high and I'm in love with the products' scents! So far I've been very pleased with the quality of products from Birchbox. Glad I signed up!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Barkbox Review - October 2013

October 2013 Barkbox

I love looking forward to the middle of each month because that means Macho's Barkbox is on its way. I love how quickly it ships here. This month was no exception - it traveled from NY to HI in two days! The fastest yet. Pretty darn good for free shipping!! This is our third Barkbox and I have never had any gripes whatsoever. Aside from the awesome shipping, the products are always high quality. What makes me like Barkbox even more is that they acknowledge every post on their Facebook page. How's that for making customers feel important? On top of that, this month we received our Barkbox one day before Macho's birthday - an excellent birthday present if you ask me.

Barkbox is a monthly dog subscription service that comes packed with toys, treats, and doggie lifestyle necessities based on your pup's size. I am currently on the six month plan which comes out to $19/month. So far the value of each box has been way over what I paid for it, and they are usually items which I don't see in the local pet store.

Fruitables Halloween Share Pack
I love that Barkbox included a Halloween themed item in this month's box. This pack contains 8 small bags of Fruitables dog treats in 4 flavors - Pumpkin & Blueberry, Pumpkin & Apple, Apple Bacon, and Grilled Bison. Sir Fluffybutt is currently finishing up a bag of Pumpkin & Blueberry that he received in his first box, and he's loved every single one of the Fuitables flavors he's tried, so I'm sure these will be a hit.

Baker's Best Autumn Harvest Dog Treats
The main ingredient in this one is goat liver. Never heard of goat liver dog treats before so this should be interesting. The pup loves liver in general though, so my guess is he'll scarf this one down with no hesitation.

American Dog Toys Fetch & Glow jr. Ball
This is a fun concept because this ball floats AND glows in the dark. Macho loves tennis balls, and six months ago he would've instantly accepted this as one of his top toys. But this past Easter we introduced him to squeaky tennis balls and now he refuses to play with any non-squeaking ball. (He still plays with them long after the squeaker is broken -- I think he just likes that the ball is squishy when he chomps down on it) He'll still fetch this ball, but he'll lose interest after one toss and move on to the other toy he received this month...

West Paw Designs Bumi
TWO toys this month? Say whaat?! Yup, spoiled Mr. Fluffypants received two toys this month. I wasn't sure if he'd like this one since it lacks the three things he likes most in a toy: 1) a squeaker; 2) crinkly paper; and 3) plush fibers he can pluck off with his mouth. But to my surprise, this is his new go-to toy during playtime. Bumi is a tug of war toy and Macho is a tug of war fanatic. Perfect! Even when we're not playing with him, he still manages to entertain himself with his Bumi:

Macho loves his new Bumi

Etta Says! Crunchy Rabbit Chew
Maybe I don't hit up a large enough variety of pet stores, but like the goat treats, I've never heard of rabbit treats before. I'm a little hesitant to give this to him, but for a silly reason, really. We like to tease Macho that he looks like a rabbit with his large ears, fluffy butt, and nub of a tail, so a part of me feels like he would be eating his own kind. I know, how silly of me, but I guess I have to come to terms with my irrationalities before giving this to him.

We really liked this month's Barkbox. I'm all for trying new things, and goat and rabbit treats are definitely new for me. After all, that's what this subscription service is for - to try new things that you normally wouldn't think of buying. If you're interested in subscribing to Barkbox, please use my link to get $5 off your first subscription and Barkbox will also give Macho a free month. It's a win-win situation!