Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Savor Soap Mini Haul Review

I admit I've never really been one to drool over bath products (aside from the scrumptious B&BW dessert scents) but I was recently introduced to whipped soaps and BOOM! all of a sudden I realized there was a whole world of indie soap brands out there thanks to Kelly's Evolution of a Foodie blog. She does great comprehensive reviews of indie bath & makeup brands and I love reading them. A few weeks ago I received my first Haus of Gloi order and was so impressed with the presentation and level of personalization. I would've written a review on that as well but you know, holiday preparations and all. Oh and I was lazy. Just know that the Hearth whipped soap from Haus of Gloi is divine and I'm using it everyday. It's autumny without the spice (because cinnamon and cloves make me gag). 

Then I learned about Savor soap. When I visited their Etsy shop I wanted everything. Every single whipped soap scent sounded yummy and made me HUNGRY (there's also bar soaps, mists, and lip balms if you prefer those). It took me an hour to narrow down my list to just three choices (that was the limit I set for myself ahead of time to prevent my wallet from going hungry). The turnaround time for my order was wicked fast considering it was the holiday season and I received a tracking number within two days. The package shipped via USPS and was on my doorstep in another three business days. 
So exciting!! It's like my own little Christmas present
Something had leaked a bit in transit and was starting to soak through the paper so I opened the package right away instead of admiring it a little while longer. But I was kind of confused when I unwrapped everything because each jar was individually wrapped. So what was leaking? I guess it could be that the cap on one wasn't screwed on tightly before sealing and the contents somehow managed to get past the plastic wrap, but it's no big deal because a couple swipes with a damp cloth and everything was okely dokely.

Oh, and sorry for the horrible dark photos in this post; I've got zero camera phone photog skills.

Strawberry Cheesecake Creme Fraiche Whipped Soap (2oz mini: $4.50) - I was most excited about this scent so I opened it first. It's cheesecake for heaven's sake. This scent is very sweet. I can see how some may think it's sickingly sweet, but since I love ANYTHING dessert-related, I like it. It's not exactly cheesecakey but it still flies with me - this smells exactly like the liquid amoxicillin aka "bubble gum medicine" I took as a child before I knew how to swallow pills. I remember that my brother would get it often and I'd always sneak a spoonful here and there when no one was looking just because it smelled and tasted so yummy. Unnecessary dose for me, one less dose for him. I was a rascal little kid. As far as texture goes, Savor's whipped soaps are more dense than airy, something I've learned to expect with whipped soaps. It's not how you'd picture a "whipped" soap to be if you've never tried it before. But it's definitely airier than a cream, that's for sure.
Creme Fraiche whipped soap in Strawberry Cheesecake

Pumpkin Marshmallow Creme Fraiche Whipped Soap (2oz mini: $4.50) - I'm generally not a fan of autumn-y scents because cinnamon seems to be in everything and I cannot stand cinnamon-scented or flavored things (unless it's cinnamon sugar, then that's a whole 'nother story). I don't mind pumpkin being in everything fall-related, but alas, cinnamon and spice (think cloves and cardamom) make me an autumn grinch. This particular whipped soap scent is described as everything fall minus the cinnamon and spice. Since I totally missed out on being festive last season, I figured better late than never. I picked this up and - ohmygosh, this smells SO yummy. Like pumpkin pie (which I don't mind eating because the cinnamon is overshadowed by the pumpkin). The texture is a bit thicker than the strawberry cheesecake one but it lathers really well and smells delish.
Creme Fraiche whipped soap in Pumpkin Marshmallow

Red Lychee Bubble Tea Creme Fraiche Whipped Soap (2oz mini: $4.50) - I was wondering how they'd make a soap smell like bubble tea because I don't even know how to describe what bubble tea smells like. But they pulled it off. You mostly smell the lychee but it's a smidge creamier than straight up lychee fruit. Then you catch a whiff of soap so it's pretty refreshing. I forgot to snap a pic of it but this is a layered soap; the top is white and the bottom is pink and there are tiny red beads scattered throughout the entire thing. The consistency of both layers is similar to the strawberry cheesecake soap - it's thick but spreads evenly and lathers well when water is added.
Creme Fraiche whipped soap in Red Lychee Bubble Tea

Savor also included a sample bar of soap in the scent Gingerbread Cookies. Again I'm not the biggest fan of gingerbread scents because of its spiciness so I was kind of hesitant to take this out of the bag. But it doesn't smell like gingerbread at all. I guess you can catch a tiny hint of ginger but it's more like ginger candy than gingerbread. Actually, now it smells more floral than spicy altogether. I don't know, my nose is tired. I don't think I'd buy this in the future, though.

My first experience with Savor is definitely a positive one. From TAT to shipping to the product itself, this was a perfect transaction. After submitting my order Lisa sent a short thank you message which scored brownie points with me. I love when merchants make you feel worth their time. So which of the three soaps was my favorite? It's hard to choose since they're so different - there's sweet, savory, and refreshing. But I'd probably have to say the Strawberry Cheesecake one because it reminded me of my childhood. Like any indie brand, these soaps are a bit pricier than a typical one you can get off the shelf at Target, but the variety is mind-blowing. Plus it makes you feel nice to know you're supporting small businesses. They'll definitely be getting my business again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Birchbox Review - December 2014

I like pleasant surprises. Like finding a Birchbox in my mailbox on Christmas Eve. What perfect timing :)

What: Birchbox contains 4-6 samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products
When: Ships on the 10th of each month
Cost: $10/month or $110/year upfront
Fun fact: Birchbox has an awesome points system where you can review products or make purchases from the Birchbox shop to earn points. Every 100 points gets you $10 credit in the BB shop.

Okay I know it's almost a week past Christmas eve, but that's how lazy I am during the holidays. This box was sitting on the table for dayssss but I just kept looking at it and then got lazy and took a nap. I blame the food.

Birchbox scored automatic brownie points for December before I even knew what was inside because the box is just SO pretty. I'm normally not a fan of polka dot patterns but I love the azure/silver combo plus the dots are all different sizes so it just looks like snow in my eyes. :) 
December's theme is "Decked Out" and contains festive samples to help get the celebrations started a bit early. There's also a $10 coupon for Gap - no strings attached, no minimum purchase. It's been ages since I've set foot in any Gap store so I guess it's about time I see what kind of stuff they carry nowadays.
December info card
Davines Naturaltech Replumping Shampoo, Conditioner & Superactive (Total sample value: $23.00) - Davines is an Italian hair cosmetics company whose products are found primarily in salons and spas (and now Birchbox). I've tried the Davines brand before in my September box and was impressed with how hydrating the OI conditioner was. The Naturaltech line is new for me and I'm excited to see how it compares to the OI products. These are all referred to as "replumping" which means they should...add volume? According to the shampoo and conditioner product pages they're supposed to compact hair and add elasticity. Does elasticity = volume? I'm especially curious about the Replumping Hair Filler Superactive. First of all, I wasn't even sure what that meant. Hair it for bald spots? Davine's product page explains that hair will look compact, replumped, and shiny. Not to mention have longer lasting hold. So it's part hair spray? The overall gist I'm getting is that this set is intended for limp hair. Mine is anything but. Sure, it lacks style, but it's already pretty thick and at times frizzy. I wonder if replumping thick hair will result in a bouffant?

Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon 24Hr Mascara (0.14oz sample value: $11.60) - Okay so I've got these annoying hooded eyelids that make my stick straight eyelashes point downward. Like, a lot. Even if I curl them, they straighten out with the first swipe of mascara and stare at the ground again. Every single mascara that promises to hold a curl has totally failed me. Until now. You won't believe how ecstatic I was when this only made my eyelashes point halfway down instead of down down dowwwn. It doesn't quite hold a nice curl, but it's a heck of a lot better than other mascaras. My only beef is with my wallet. It doesn't really want to part with $29 just for a tube of mascara. I can't say I blame it, either. Twenty-nine is pretty much the same as saying $30, and there is no way I'd ever hand over $30 for 0.35oz of cosmetics, no matter how great it works.
I love this little wonderbrush and formula
Manna Kadar Lip Locked - Lucky (0.01oz sample value: $0.20) - This is a tiny tube. That's okay, though, because it takes me forever to get through lip products anyway. This particular Lip Locked stain got rave reviews. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not too familiar with stains, but I didn't care for it as much as everyone else seems to. It felt too oily for me. I personally don't care if my lip glosses have staying power or not because I really don't mind reapplying if I need to (in reality I just end up throwing on some lip balm by the end of the day and I'm cool with that). That said, this stain does last longer than a lip gloss, as it should. I licked my lips several times before the color even started to fade. But it was no match for happy hour - martini in one hand and pupus in the other. The color was completely gone by the time I got home :(
Swatch of the Manna Kadar Lip Locked stain in Lucky
SeaRx Microdermabrasion Face and Body Scrub (0.30oz sample value: $2.50) - I got this in Ipsy a couple of months ago. My thoughts? It's alright. But nothing special. This is a microdermabrasion scrub made with minerals derived from the Dead Sea. I thought it'd have a salt abrasive because (duh) Dead Sea. But that doesn't seem to be the case. The grit doesn't really dissolve like sea salt should. Like other facial scrubs, this should be used 1-2x a week to exfoliate and reveal brighter skin. I personally prefer more abrasive scrubs because those tiny microbeads don't seem to do anything for me in terms of exfoliation, but if you have sensitive skin you may want to give this a shot.

English Laundry Signature for Her (~2ml approx sample value: $2.80) - I'm going to be honest. I don't know what this smells like. I haven't taken it out of the sealed envelope because I'm not planning to wear it. C complains that 99.5% of my perfumes give him a headache so I've succumbed to not wearing any. From what I can smell through the envelope, this smells floral with a hint of musk. But I could be totally off-base because my nose sucks and all perfumes are either fruity or floral to me. Actually, sniffing this through the envelope is giving me a headache now. Nope, definitely not for me.

So was December's box a wonderful Christmas present after all? First off: I love the variety in here: haircare, skincare, makeup for eyes and lips, and even some fragrance. This is probably the highest value box I've had in a long while at $40 thanks to the Davines Superactive. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be getting use out of it because I don't have limp hair. I think the Mirenesse made this whole box for me and if I didn't already open the lip stain, the mascara be the only thing I'd be keeping. Definitely not one of my favorite curations, but Birchbox is safe for now. I'm trying to cut down on boxes, we'll see if it makes the cut in a few months.

Do you like what you see in this box? If you want to sign up for a Birchbox, use my link and start discovering some awesome beauty products.

There's also a points special going on now -
NEWYEAR5 - Spend $30 and get 20 extra Birchbox points
NEWYEAR10 - Spend $50 and get 50 extra points
NEWYEAR20 - Spend $75 and get 125 extra points
But hurry, this deal ends tomorrow (12/31)!

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions contained within this post are my own.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream Review

About a month ago Memebox kindly sent me the Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream to try out and review. This debuted in the Green Food Cosmetics box which is now sold out. I was kind of regretting not picking up that box because the response to the DoYou cream was overwhelmingly positive, and even if the rest of the box was disappointing I would've still felt I got my money's worth. So you would not believe how ecstatic I was to receive this in the mail. I'm always amazed at how quickly things can ship internationally (well I guess it kinda makes sense now that we have those big things called planes). I wait three weeks to get a Birchbox yet it takes just two days to get cosmetics from Korea.
There were a couple of things in the plain brown box I received: the first was this beautifully wrapped smaller box. The other was a special gift that Memebox included as a fun extra (more on that later). Before I go on you must know that I am a sucker for nice packaging. You can mail me a lump of coal but if it's double bubble wrapped and placed in a small box tied with a nice pink bow then we're still cool in my book. This face cream had exceptional packaging. The box was neatly tied in a drawstring bag with the Primary Raw Seoul logo on it. Open the box and the first thing you see is this product card that I have no idea how to read:
Under the card is the cream itself (also packaged very nicely in a reusable jar) along with the heftiest spatula I've ever seen with a moisturizer. It's one of those that you just cannot bring yourself to throw away once the product is gone. I guess Primary Raw has accomplished their goal of being eco-friendly - I don't want to toss anything. I want to reuse all of these things!
Before I get into my review, here's a little background on the DoYou cream. Primary Raw Seoul is a Korean cosmetics brand that promotes the use of raw, natural ingredients, and the DoYou cream is its first featured product. If you're wondering why it's called that it's because DoYou loosely translates to soy milk in Korean (according to Memebox, anyway).
Unlike many traditional creams that are chock full of chemicals, all-natural DoYou cream is enriched with soy bean extracts, soy milk ferments, rice water, galactomyces, and other grain extracts. The result is a gentle hydrating formula that can brighten up dull, uneven skin for a healthier glow.
The DoYou cream-making process is pretty simple, really. Okay I lied. I have no idea if the process outlined below is simple. I also have no idea if this is even a picture of the process, but it looks like it is. I'm hoping somebody who knows how to read and translate Korean can help me out because this looks like it should be a pretty helpful graphic.
According to the graphic below, the end product also has a lot more of the good stuff than leading creams. I think. I'm totally assuming here. I see higher numbers per 100g in the big side which I'm guessing is the vitamin content in DoYou face cream. Again, please let me know if I'm totally off point and spinning myself a web of misunderstanding.
Now that I believe this cream is completely natural and contains lots of nutrients, it's time to take a closer look at the actual jar I received. This is a 100g jar and is a pretty hefty size for a cream. Memebox has valued it at $40 which is surprisingly affordable in terms of Memeprices, though my wallet begs to differ.
At first glance it looks like a water/gel type cream. I find that I prefer gel creams over typical creams because they don't leave my face feeling as suffocated and greasy. If anything my skin errs on the side of combo-oily so I prefer to not use stuff containing oils as much as possible. Yet my skin seems to be on a constant search for oil and will cling onto any that comes its way and will just leave it there on the surface - no absorbing whatsoever. It's as if my face thinks it needs a 3-millimeter thick security blanket of oil to protect it against the elements. Ugh.
Anyway. Here's what a glob of the gel cream looks like. It's a tiny bit stringy, but definitely not as out of control as the Enprani Bounce Cheese Cream I got in the Wine & Cheese Cosmetics box. As I hoped, it absorbs very nicely with no oily film whatsoever. One thing I noticed is that a little bit goes a long way. Either it spreads really well or I have a small face, but that tiny bit I have on my wrist in the picture above is actually enough to cover my whole face, though if you're planning on spending the day outdoors in the blistery wind you'd probably want to pile on a bit more. It's also highly moisturizing and will leave my skin hydrated all day. (We don't have cold, dry winters here so I'm not sure how well it fares in typical "winter weather" though) In fact, I think if anything it might be too much for my skin to handle. I've been using this twice a day for four weeks now and I noticed my face breaking out more. I'm pretty sure you don't purge with moisturizers, so I'm thinking this stuff is too heavy duty for my skin and will probably reduce usage to once a day for now and see how that goes.

The second item was a fun extra that Memebox sent. It's the only other item that Primary Raw has for sale on their website at the moment and is meant to emphasize the versatility of the cream jar. It's a DIY soy candle that uses the same type of high quality glass jar that the soy cream came in. Also included in the kit was the wax, wick, and essential oil.
According to Memebox these are the translated instructions:
1. Prepare the empty Do You Cream bottle: Soy Wax, wick, and essential oil.
2. Pour 100ml of water into an empty pot.
3. Place the empty Do You Cream bottle into the pot, and warm.
4. Fill the empty Do You Cream bottle with the Soy Wax, and mix with a wooden stick until mixture is smooth.
5. Turn off the heat, and wait until the mixture has slightly cooled, and mix in the essential oil.
6. Place the wick in the center of the mix and hold it in place using a wooden stick.
And here is the candle-making process in pictures:
100ml of water barely covered the bottom of the saucepan so I ended up using 200ml
I cut the block of wax into tiny pieces to make it more manageable
Fully melted soy wax
After adding the essential oil. The wick is held in place with two chopsticks
After about 30 minutes
Finished product!
The candle was definitely a fun addition. If I were to do this again I probably would have melted the wax in a different container and then pour it into the jar in order to avoid all that extra wax that sloshed up the sides during the melting process. I'm not sure if I'll be burning this in my house or passing it on to a friend because the essential oil had an overpowering rose scent and neither of us care for rose-scented things. The smell is a little subdued in the finished candle but would still make C's allergies act up big time. But I still think this was a very nice extra to include.

So my overall thoughts on Primary Raw Seoul? I like that they use natural ingredients in the facial cream and love the soft supple skin I'm walking around with. It's so nice to be able to touch my face after applying the cream without it feeling sticky or greasy. So far I am impressed with Primary Raw Seoul and will keep an eye out for their new announced (but not revealed) product coming out in 2015!

As always, here are some codes to use when doing your Memeshopping!

MEMEBUNDLE3 - $5 off when purchasing over 3 Memeboxes
MEMEBUNDLE4 - $8 off when purchasing over 4 Memeboxes
FREESHIPPING - Free shipping on orders over $70 from the Memeshop
FREE SHIPPING on orders over $30 from the USA Shop (no code required)
FREE SHIPPING on select Memebox Global merchandise (no code required)
USE MY AFFILIATE LINK for $5 off orders over $100 (discount will apply automatically if you use any of the Memebox links in this post)
USE MY AFFILIATE LINK for $10 off orders over $150 (discount will apply automatically if you use any of the Memebox links in this post)

And if you miss seeing Memebox boxes, there are still two left in stock as of this post:

Note: Post contains affiliate links. I received Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream complementary from Memebox for review purposes. This post reflects my honest opinions about this product.

Walmart Beauty Box Unboxing - Winter 2014

The Walmart Beauty Box made its debut this past fall. It's similar to the Target Beauty Box in that you receive drugstore brand items, but this box is free (well, plus shipping) and they don't reveal what will be in it beforehand. Since this was a marketed as a free box, initially I expected a bunch of foil packets. To my surprise (and delight), the fall box had a few deluxe samples and even three full-sized items! I knew that'd be hard to top so I was looking forward to what we'd be getting for winter.

What: Walmart Beauty Box contains samples of beauty products from major drugstore brands
When: Ships once a season (March, June, September, and December)
Cost: The box itself is free, but there is a flat $5 shipping fee

As with almost all start-up boxes, there was some confusion with the fall box regarding shipping. We weren't notified when boxes went out nor did we receive tracking info. I didn't get mine until about 6 weeks after I started seeing box reviews popping up. Fortunately, it seems Walmart learned from that experience and sent emails to all customers letting them know when winter boxes were being shipped AND they included a tracking number. Yay! And to my surprise it only took three days to get here :)

The first thing I noticed when opening the box was Play-doh. No really. The box reeked of it. Unfortunately, I'm not totally sure of the source because once I started sniffing around to investigate, my nose got accustomed to the scent and I couldn't smell it anymore. I guess that's a good thing though?

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Oleo Therapy Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner (2oz ea.sample value: $2.80 total) - I think it's safe to say that every Walmart box will include a shampoo & conditioner. On the bright side, at least we get the duo and not just one or the other. At one point (aka when I first started subscribing to boxes) I wished I had more travel size hair care products. Now my drawer is toooo full. The Oleo Therapy line targets dull, dry, or damaged hair with its 6 flower oil blend for intense nutrition and shine. These products shouldn't weigh down your hair, but if you have oily hair to begin with as I sort of do, I'm pretty sure any oil-infused product applied near your roots will make your hair greasier. But these smell nice :)

Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off! Make-Up Removal Cloths (7 ct. travel size value: $1.10) - These would be handy for wiping makeup off my face before practice since I don't like carrying makeup remover liquids or creams in my purse. Right now I just don't use makeup on days that I'll be helping out because I'm sure the last thing anyone wants is my foundation smeared on their shirt sleeves. These cloths are scented with honeysuckle and white tea. I can smell the white tea...I think...but overall I'd just call this scent "fresh." I haven't had much luck with finding a cloth that removes mascara without making me look like a raccoon, but this one claims to be effective for that purpose - we'll see.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder (no $ value) - It's always risky sending out skin-tone-specific samples because it's impossible to color match everyone. More so when you send out a single color instead of a palette of several choices. I'm pretty sure I don't know what color this is, but I'll take anything that's a warm golden hue. I'm guessing the point of this sample is to see if you like the formula, and if so then you can use the $1 coupon on the back to purchase a color of your choice. Dream Wonder is a whipped powder and this particular sample is a bit too cool for me (it's pinker in real life), but it has a nice powder to cream consistency that I'd go for.

Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion (0.14oz two sample foils value: $0.10) - Mmm...smells good. I don't know if it's my nose being weird again, but it smells sweet, almost like candy. This lotion is enriched with cocoa butter and vitamin E and is made for dry skin. Perfect for the winter months. My skin's not especially dry so it feels kind of greasy on me and didn't really absorb quickly, but I'm sure if your skin is thirsty it'll suck this right up. And I think I've solved the playdough mystery - the ink on the card backing smells faintly like my beloved childhood hobby. I guess mixed with everything else the smell just got overwhelming.

Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color - Maple Kiss (0.15oz full size value: $5.00) - I'm glad Walmart decided to include Maybelline's Buffs line of lipstick in the box instead of the bolder Vivids line since neutrals would probably appeal to more people. Unfortunately, I'm not a lipstick wearer so I won't be getting any use out of this. That's not Walmart's fault though. This is actually a very nice fleshy color that would add a touch of warmth to my natural lip color. Again, very appropriate for winter.

Jergen's BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream for Light Skin Tones (1oz sample value: $1.60) - I remember when this cream was making its way through sub boxes to the point where people began to roll their eyes when they received one. This is a cream that claims to perfect skin tone and texture within 5 days using its self-adjusting skin tone technology. So what's the special technology? Basically it's a self-tanner. It contains dihydroxyacetone which is used in lots of bronzers, so it basically hides fine lines and imperfections. I'm not really sure how much tanning it can do for me though since the color itself is lighter than my skin tone anyway.

Alright so I wasn't wowed by this box. If you compare it to the inaugural box, this one had about half the value ($10.60) and fewer things I would use. The drop in value was probably due to the Winter box having only one full-size item while the Fall box had three. And the remaining samples in here were very affordable items to begin with so they didn't add much value. It's a bit disappointing when the only things I can get use out of are the foundation one-use sample and the makeup remover wipes. I guess I can't hold that against Walmart though, since this box is customized solely on age group. But I am glad that they are putting out a box that allows people to discover affordable brands available at mass retailers because I'm 99% sure not everyone cares to buy a $40 facial cleanser when you can buy a decent one for $8.

If you want to explore affordable drugstore brands, sign up here to get a free box shipped to your doorstep each season. I'm not sure if the Winter box is sold out yet, but I'd wait for the spring box anyway. I think Walmart does a decent job of curating the boxes toward the season, and I'm guessing spring will contain items to freshen up our beauty routine.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this honest review.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bare Minerals Holiday Mystery Collection On Sale Now!

Bare Minerals has been having this 12 Days of Christmas thing going on where everyday they introduce one new insane value deal, and I've been doing a good job of resisting them all. And then they throw this at us. Normally their mystery surprise boxes go for $45 and contain mostly discontinued stock. This 10-piece Holiday Mystery Collection is made up of two smaller holiday collections for just $35 ($162 value)! I'm guessing these are current products if they are in holiday collections, or they're at least seasonally appropriate. AND rush shipping is just $2 more if you want it by Christmas! Wowza is right. Trying to decide whether or not to grab it. I'm so torn right now...

Also, today only, get a 5-piece mystery sample collection free with any $60 purchase (no code needed)! It's like you can get 15 new pieces of cosmetics just for purchasing a new $25 foundation. (I think I did the math right) And you know you'll eventually need to replace your foundation anyway sooo.....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barkbox Unboxing - December 2014 + 10% Off A New Subscription!

Oh. Em. Gee. Barkbox has done it again. Before I begin, I feel like it's worth mentioning that of all the sub boxes I've tried, Barkbox is the only one that really truly delivers month after month. It's the very first box I subscribed to and I've never been disappointed in a single one. My dogs have loved every treat they've gotten (but that's not saying much because they think cardboard tastes good). Sometimes we'll get toys that are too adorable and fragile for my monsters' jaws, but Barkbox customer service is one of the most responsive and accommodating I've encountered. Ever. They'll let you pick out another toy for free, no questions asked. That's Scout's Honor. I love Scout.

What: Barkbox is a subscription box for dogs filled with 4-6 treat, toy, and hygiene items. Boxes are curated according to your dog's size. This review is for a medium-dog box.
When: Ships monthly on the 15th
Cost: $18-$29 per month depending on the length of your subscription
Fun Fact: 10% of proceeds from each Barkbox goes to rescue groups! This month Barkbox is donating to the Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center.

Very adorably festive paper, Barkbox. Win.
On to December's box. I figured Barkbox would do something Christmasy and they did not disappoint. I noticed that lately we've been getting more toys which I think is great. Before, there would always be at least one toy in a box, but sometimes you'd get three treats which isn't a bad thing, but if you only have one dog that treat pile can grow quickly. My dogs (especially the little one) lives for destroying toys, and more toys each month means that the bigger one no longer has to entertain himself with empty water bottles because his toys are all de-stuffed and dismembered.
December info card
Apparently all of the Barkpups were on Santa's nice list this year *scoff Pebbles scoff* so they all get to open a box full of goodies this Christmas. I was a bad dog mommy and didn't buy anything for them so I'll be using this as their Christmas present -- What? They wouldn't know the difference. I may have to find a new box to throw these presents in though; this morning I smooshed a cane spider with the actual Barkbox :(

Think!Dog BarkMade Yuletide Log (Barkvalue: $12) - A Barkbox exclusive. A totes adorbs exclusive. My dogs would go apeshit over this thing. I'm not sure if there's stuffing in here but there's something semi-rigid and cylindrical lining the inside of this log and when you squeeze it, it makes a bicycle horn type of honking sound. I can picture Pebbles trying to wrap her mouth around this. It's about 3" wide and if Pebbles really tries, her jaw can probably JUST fit around it. But knowing her it'll probably get stuck in her mouth because she can't open her jaw enough to drop it so she'll be running around honking this thing for hours, not by choice. (Okay I lie, she'd most likely honk it all day by choice anyway)

Primal Freeze-Dried Beef Liver Munchies (Barkvalue: $6) - This treat has one ingredient: beef liver. I love single-ingredient dog snacks because then I know my dogs aren't eating loads of processed crap (though I'm very hypocritical because I personally love my processed foods). When we first started training Macho, he'd only listen to commands if he knew he was getting freeze-dried liver as a reward. And I liked giving it out because it doesn't smell bad and is easy to break into tiny pieces, but it's so expensive. Eventually I had to stop buying them because they were breaking my wallet. He'll be so happy to see his puppyhood favorite back in the house! These treats are high in protein and grain/gluten free (obviously) and is suitable for both dogs and cats. Or if your pet hates freeze-dried stuff, you can add water to rehydrate it and pass it off as a meaty treat for your happy carnivore.

Etta Says! Crunchy Rabbit Chew (Barkvalue: $3) - I highly doubt this 7" stick costs $3 which is why I called it the Barkvalue, as Barkbox sometimes tends to inflate prices a bit. The first time my dogs tried rabbit was in the form of an Etta Says chew, and to my surprise they loved it. Well I shouldn't say I was surprised because they eat a.ny.thing. But rabbit was never one of the things I considered to be a normal part of my dogs' diet. Then again neither is alligator. Or shellfish. But thanks to Barkbox odd sources of food never come as a huge surprise to me anymore.

Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Bulb (Barkvalue: $13) - Omigosh this is the cutest light bulb I've ever seen. I can imagine Macho and Pebbles zigzagging away trying to chase its erratic bounce when we play fetch. I'm fairly certain this isn't intended to be a fetch toy because it's a pretty heavy thermoplastic rubber toy and would probably cause them to see stars if it ever hit them in the head, but as long as you throw it past them and not at them it's okay right? Besides, I'm sure Pebbles hurts herself more (and doesn't notice!) when she runs headfirst into the sliding door or fence at full speed. It smells minty, I think on purpose, because I guess dogs like minty stuff? I dunno, my weirdos don't. But it's also hollow so you can stuff it with your treat of choice if your dogs are like mine and don't mind working for their rewards. And here's a comforting tidbit: 2% of every sale funds Planet Dog Foundation, a group that trains, places, and supports working dogs.

Safemade Holiday Tartan Bandana (Barkvalue: $8) - Now isn't this cute. Unfortunately, when it comes to accessorizing, my dogs are pretty braindead. They can't wear clothes if their lives depended on it. They think anything that goes over their feet/body/head/neck is food. Or a bug. And suddenly getting it off of themselves becomes the most important thing in the world. But if your dog is normal then this would be a great addition to your furry buddy's holiday getup. It's a reversible bandana that would go great with a pair of antlers. If I ever sedate my dogs enough to take a pic of that I'll post it.

It'll be a very merry Christmas for my Barkpups indeed. Their present has $42 worth of holiday goodness that I'm sure will delight them well into the new year. I think both of the toys are super adorable and I already know my furbutts are fans of both treats. My only challenge will be to get them to wear the bandana. Too bad it's too late to make a Christmas card. Oh well, for next year maybe. I'm sensing a "nailed it" theme....

If you have an adventurous dog, treat your bff (best furry friend) to new goodies every month. Sign up here and receive 10% off your new subscription of any length! Sadly, it's too late to get this Christmas box, but I'm guessing the folks at Barkbox have a great New Year's themed box in the works :)

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions expressed are my own.