Friday, June 27, 2014

Baribox Review - June 2014

It's time to get my crafty on with Baribox!

What: Baribox is a paper crafting subscription box service
When: Boxes ship monthly, usually during the second half of the month
Cost: $12.99/month

For some reason the box had some cement/rock crumbs rolling around in it. Baribox did just go through a management/location change. Maybe this was a gift to all subscribers so they can feel like they're actually there where all the action is happening? Anyway, the box:

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Corners (Value: $2.99)

I didn't own any Tim Holtz stuff even though I wanted to, and now voila! Hello, Tim! These are mini corners for use with canvas or photos. I do have a bunch of pictures waiting to be mounted on the wall from when we moved in (almost two years ago!), so if/when I ever get around to making my house look like a home I'll use these.

Melissa Frances Paper Doilies (Value: $1.99)

Cute, but I have no use for doilies. Would be very nice for placing silverware on if you're into that kind of stuff, but I'm not refined enough to do that. I don't even use coasters. Heck, I don't even use placemats. Might be why there's all kinds of mysterious food stains showing up on my table...

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Reinforcers (Value: $1.99)

Another Tim Holtz product. Adhesive reinforcements. Most of his stuff are inspired by all things antique as you can tell in the photo below. Unfortunately I stopped using reinforcements when they stopped being a requirement on the school supply list in 6th grade. I save money and use scotch tape instead. Call me cheap, but I'm sure every single one of you reading this has done it before too ;)

Sampling of the reinforcement adhesives

 Tim Holtz Distress Marker - in Aged Mahogany (Value: $3.49)

Aged Mahogany is just another name for brown. This is yet another Tim Holtz product, this time from the Distress line, and it's just what I needed! I've been looking for stamp markers and so far I have two. Whoop whoop.

Wool Felt Sheets (Value: ??)

I can definitely find something to make with this. It looks like some glue from something got stuck on the blue one though :( Or if I really want to be practical about it maybe I can use these to make padding for my cabinet doors since the silicone ones all fell off. 

June's Baribox had a value of $10.46 not including the felt sheets. When I first signed up, the value and variety wasn't there. Then it got better for a few months, but I feel that for the past couple of months it's been going downhill again. Three of the items were from the same brand and the value maybe broke even with the cost. Since we don't have a Hobby Lobby or any big chain crafts stores where I live, the cost of these things would be grossly inflated here, so in that sense this box would be a good value. But I do wish there would be a better variety of brands. I think I'll take a break from Baribox for now because there are some other ones I want to try. Plus I have yet to touch my craft box this year! 

Note: This box was purchased using my own funds and no compensation was received for this review

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Birchbox Review - June 2014

Birchbox time! Who's going on a trip this summer? Apparently it's high time to pass through those high altitudes. Birchbox is partnering up with jetBlue Airlines to give away 23 roundtrip airfares to anywhere within the U.S. June's box came with a little quiz to help you figure out which major city suits your tastes. Apparently I should go to San Francisco.

But wait! What's Birchbox?

What: A box of 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.

Obviously, June's theme is about taking trips (or maybe a staycation if that's your thing). That means travel-ready samples and on-the-go inspiration. Here's the info card:

Antica Farmacista Bergamot & Ocean Aria Body Wash (Approx. Sample Value: $2.50)

Mixed feelings. That's what I got from this body wash. Washes well enough, but it's like sniffing cotton candy - it only smells good in small quantities. This stuff smells okay, but it's kinda too sophisticated and might give me a headache if the scent lingers around post-shower. 

No. 4 L'eau de Mare Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner (Approx. Total Sample Value: $5.00)

Again, I'm not a huge fan of the scent. It smells like cologne to me. Cologne smells nice on a guy, not on my hair. But it's not a total bust. I'm not picky about having sulfates in my shampoo; in fact I like the lather. But this is sulfate-free AND it lathers nicely....!!....????? If I ever color my hair at least I know I'll be able to keep my color AND my suds. But still, the scent. Too strong. I could still smell it the following afternoon and I kept thinking some dude was standing nearby. As for the conditioner, that was a bonus that Birchbox threw in. The foil packet was barely enough to get me through one shower, but I think it left my hair feeling soft? Can't tell if it was for real or a fluke. 

Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner - Silver (Sample Value: $12.00)

Sorry. I can't pull off silver. Give me black, brown or blue and I can do something with it. But silver? I still haven't found a way to make it work on single eyelids (every time I read makeup tutorials and they talk about applying eyeshadow till the crease I'm like, "What the heck, what crease?! I lack those!!"). And I'm not a fan of funky, fashion statement ways to apply, so sorry Cynthia, we must part.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (Sample Value: $1.65)

Favorite. First off, this smells like lemons. Can you say yum? Secondly, don't fret if some accidentally gets in your mouth when you smile because it smells so awesome, because it doesn't taste bad at all (don't judge me). Sweet, actually. Plus, you can feel the beads dissolve into your skin while exfoliating. If I didn't already have a ton of exfoliates I might consider purchasing the full size. Or maybe I'll just purchase the full-size anyway. I love it that much.

The nitty gritty

Catherine Malandrino Fragrance (Approx. Sample Value: $1.50)

What's with the strongly scented stuff in this month's box? I prefer fruity and florals and this smells sophisticated. Not me at all. Scent-wise and real-life wise. I didn't even have to open up the envelope to catch a whiff - it emanated throughout the whole box.

This box was valued at over $22, which is a nice value, but it definitely was not one of my favorite Birchboxes. Three of the samples (not including the conditioner) were too heavily scented for my taste, and the color selection of one did not match my preferences. There was only one item I truly enjoyed. Oddly enough, that might be enough to keep me from calling this box a total disaster. It's rare that I'm ever tempted to purchase a full size product from the Birchbox shop, and the Suki exfoliate makes me want to do just that.

If you'd like to discover new high-end beauty products, pick up a subscription using my link. I'll get some points and you'll get a brand spanking new subscription! Everybody's happy :)

Note: Post contains referral links. I paid for this box with my own funds and did not receive any compensation for this review.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So I got a Twitter...

After years of falling behind the bandwagon I finally caught up. Follow me @pintsizedsimple

While you're at it go ahead and like my Facebook page that I also just started: Pint-sized and Simple

Right now I'm sad because I have zero friends so it'd make my day if you add me! Thanks in advance!

Memebox Hair & Body #2 Review

Yay! Yesterday my first ever Memebox arrived! Look at it, all pretty and stuff :) I ordered Memebox Hair & Body 2. It's sold out now, but it was selling for $23. I used my $10 signup bonus to get this box so I ended up paying only $13+shipping.

Some Memebox tidbits:
What: Memebox is NOT a subscription box. Rather it is a themed box filled with beauty products from Korea. There are several types of boxes: Memebox, Superbox, and Luckybox to name a few.
When: New boxes come out quite often, about every couple of weeks or so.
Cost: $15 - $39, depending on the type of box + $6.99 shipping (from Korea)

First off, I love the packaging. The goodies come in a sturdy simple but pretty pink box. Plus it's the perfect size to gift t-shirts and accessories. As soon as I ripped open the bag I caught a whiff of something yummy. I'll get back to that later. Here's the first look. Very pleasing indeed.

These products are all from Korea so chances are you've never seen most of these things before. So here's a better view of everything:

The names of the items might be easy enough to read, but that's just a front. Turn those suckers over and everything is in Korean. Although my friend insists that Korean is the easiest language to learn to read, I much prefer not learning and just reading the info card instead. So grateful for that card:

Kocostar Foot Therapy (Full Size, Value: $9)

Whoohoo! English instructions! This was the spoiler for the box. Weirdly enough it's part of the reason I decided to get it. I mean, these are "socks" you wear for an hour and "for the next few days dead skins will gradually peel off from your feet." How does that not sound intriguing?! I wanna see this baby in action!

Label Young Shocking Holjjuki (Full Size, Value: $21)

I'm not sure how this works, but it's a one-step body slimming cream. It supposedly removes unnecessary residues deep in the skin to result in a sleeker, more even textured body line. Huh? Does it slim for real or just make you appear slimmer? I can't read what the magical ingredient is. Maybe I better go invest in a Korean dictionary after all. The info card mentions that it uses heat to accomplish its thing. I'm guessing it slims through dehydration, so it's a short-term thing. Anybody wanna throw in some insight?

Hello Everybody Spa Vita Berry Shampoo and Treatment (Deluxe Samples, Total Value $5)

So THIS is what was making the entire box smell good. It's a "treatment for restoring vital moisture and twinkle shine" with the help of its 10-berry extract containing cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, along with some other fun names like cloudberry and maquiberry. None of them are strawberry. I guess there's no cosmetic side effects of my favorite berry. It is strawberry-scented though, so I'm still happy.

Vidanail L.vida Lavender Oil (Full Size, Value $10)

At first I thought this was nail polish with fun stuff inside, but when I looked closer (and finally read the info card) it was actually oil. I'm guessing for your cuticles? There aren't any instructions on the box, and all the info card says is that it nourishes and protects nails. Oh, and that the lavender pieces inside make for a fun visual effect.

Evas Cosmetics Body Net 7Days Project - Berry Complex (Full Size, Value $6)

I'm not sure where they get the brand name from because I can't find it anywhere on the bottle! According to the info card this was randomly selected from 7 available themes/scents. I got Saturday's body gel. Whaa--? Each gel (and smell) corresponds to a daily treatment, for example grapefruit detox or honey nourishment. Saturday's scent is berry complex. More berries! I'm not complaining though, berry scented things are my fave.

Boutique Bebe Hair Salon Argan Oil Essence (Full Size, Value $31)

Holy moneybags Batman, this thing is expensive! Two ounces of this liquid gold is over $30. I have so many hair oil treatments piled up in my drawer already! I can't use argan oil more than twice a week or else my hair starts getting crunchy, even if I wash it daily, so I probably won't get to this one for at least another few months. I guess I have no excuse for dull hair anymore.

All totaled this box had a value of $82. Whoa. Sooo worth that $13 I paid for it. Even if I had paid the normal price it's still a huge steal! I'm really excited to try the Foot Therapy and Vita Berry duo. With all these samples I'm getting from boxes (plus the ones from Sephora), my cosmetics drawer is two layers deep with stuff, and C is starting to complain that he can't find his things anymore. Oops.

Did you get a Memebox Hair & Body 2? What item are you most excited about? Remember to use the code SHIP4CHEAP2 to waive shipping on one box when purchasing 2+ boxes (excluding value sets). Or use MEMEBUNDLE3 to get $5 off on orders over 3 Memeboxes.

Note: This box was purchased using my own funds and reflects my honest opinion.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dog Beach Day!!

Yesterday was our monthly corgi club meetup and I was especially excited because we were going back to Dog Beach!! The last time we went we had so much fun

Macho usually rather play the part of dog park greeter and sniff dogs as they enter and exit the park instead of taking part in dog chases, but he's been getting better at socializing. It took him a while to get in the groove yesterday, but soon he was running around (sort of) with the rest of the corgis.

Notice someone is missing from the above picture. Pebbles is anti. She shied away from every dog and tried hiding between the nearest human's legs. Wuss.

Corgi butts drive me nuts
Macho used to be terrified of the water, and while it's still not his favorite thing in the world, he'll eventually man up and get in as long as there's no waves (so I guess he's still kinda a wuss too).
Testing Tasting the waters before jumping in
Pretending to swim. On all four legs.
We were hoping that Pebbles would be like a normal corgi and splash around in the water. Unfortunately, she's more scared of it than Fatboy was. She chose to watch the other dogs have fun from afar. Again I say, wuss.

You could tell she wanted to jump in but was just way too scared. So C helped her out by holding her above the water. I wish I had taken a video of her doggy paddling two feet before she even touched the water.

It's so c-c-cold!
After a whole 0.5 second of her legs being submerged we lifted her up and she ran far, far away. She ran all the way to the parking lot and preferred to hide behind a pitbull for protection. Then when the pitbull tried befriending her of course she freaked out again. Skittish little thing.

Meanwhile, the other corgis were having a blast.

When it was time to pack up Pebbles was SO happy to leave but Macho wanted to go back in the water. Maybe he's finally over his fear? Can't wait till the next time we get to beach it!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Total Beauty Ultimate Sampler Collection Review

Last week I heard about Total Beauty's Ultimate Sampler Collection and I just had to buy one. It's still on sale here and boasts an $80 value for just $17 with free shipping, even to AK & HI! (I used a 15SAVE promo code to get 15% off, making it $14.45, but I don't think it's valid anymore) Included are nine full-sized and deluxe sample sized beauty favorites from past Collections. Since I hadn't purchased a Total Beauty Collection before I wasn't too worried about receiving duplicates of stuff. The items were revealed before purchasing so I knew it'd come with a full-size Pur-lisse Pur-Moist moisturizer. I heard lots of good things about this bad boy so even if everything else turned out to be duds I'd still be happy.

Total Beauty Ultimate Sampler Collection


Pur-lisee Pur-Moist Moisturizer (1.7oz full size value: $55.00) - As I just mentioned, I've heard great things about this moisturizer. I love that it's unscented and doesn't leave my face sticky afterward.

Juara Candlenut Body Creme (0.17oz sample value: $0.79) - Candlenut oil is the star of this item, providing skin with loads of essential fatty acids. My skin doesn't normally get dry enough to need anything more than a simple lotion, so body cremes tend to be overkill for me. I'd pass this along to C, but he claims my samples smell too girly for a guy to use. Oh well, his loss.

Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Face Spa Mask (1 mask value: $1.72) - Montagne Jeunesse is a British company specializing in skincare. I first heard about them through Rebecca of Hello Pretty Bird and have been intrigued ever since. Supposedly you can buy them at Walmart but the ones in my area must have missed the memo. About this particular mask: It stinks. Literally. I'm not sure how to describe it....heavy musk? It uses Dead Sea salt and seaweed to soothe and rehydrate skin. I kind of suffered the 10 minutes I had it on, but it did leave my skin feeling really soft and smooth afterwards. I don't even wear masks but the variety and the packaging of Montagne Jeunesse's masks are so darn fun that I'm considering purchasing more. Just maybe not this particular one.

Cheesin' it, incognito style

The Honest Company Healing Balm (1oz travel size value: $4.32) - An organic balm containing organic oils and shea butter to moisturize skin, chamomile to soothe irritation, and beeswax to battle diaper rash. Works on eczema too. I guess this doesn't burn like other lotions?

NYX Color Lip Balm - in Merci (0.14oz full size value: $3.75?) - I think this might be a discontinued product? I can't find anything about it on NYX's website. This is a medium pink tinted lip balm that looks really pretty in pictures. I'd love to break it open and give it a try, but I already have so many lip balms open, and I'm currently using the Pixi Coral Crush one for when I want some color. I think I'll let it find a good home with someone who will actually use it sometime before the year ends.

Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm (0.15oz full size value: $2.99) - All-natural lip balm that goes green all the way down to the recycled packaging. It's packed with Vitamin E, which soothes and protects skin against free-radicals (aka damage). Again, sounds lovely, but I have way too many lip balms at the moment.

ALFAPARF Semi di Lino Cristalli Liquidi Serum (0.5oz? sample value: $5.50?) - This is a hair serum that is supposed to add shine and softness with the help of linseed extract and vitamin E. I'm kind of picky with hair serums; I've only tried one that doesn't weight my hair down and make it feel greasy. I'm curious to see how this one compares.

NYX Roll On Shimmer - Blue (0.05oz full size value: $4.00) - Honestly, I've never tried shimmers because I'm not really into that stuff to begin with. I thought these things were subtle sparkles to give you a dewy look. But based on swatches I've seen, this one looks way too intense for my liking. I have a hard enough time just venturing into non-neutral eye shadows.

Tata Harper Floral Essence: The Power of Rose (0.1oz? sample value: $4.00?) - This limited-edition moisturizing toner mist hydrates skin with hyaluronic acid while the rose aroma calms emotions. A Triple Rose blend balances, refines, and protects by soothing and hydrating skin, as well as reducing redness and the appearance pores. Sounds fun. I'm not a crazy huge fan of rose scent though.

Fun collection! This assortment of beauty products had a value of around $80. I'm super happy that I got the full-sized Pur-lisse moisturizer. I love it because it doesn't leave my face a sticky mess. I think I'm also gonna try out a few more Montagne Jeunesse masks - there's so many of them! I'm not going to use everything in here, but I definitely found a few winners that totally made the box worth it.

Did you get a Total Beauty Sampler Ultimate Collection? Which was your favorite product?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bulu Box Review - June 2014

Today I received my first ever Bulu Box! The scoops:

What: Bulu Box is a health, wellness, and (optional) weight loss subscription containing 4-5 premium samples. Two box curations: Regular and Weight Loss. This review is for the Weight Loss box.
When: Ships monthly on the 15th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping)
Extra tidbits: Earn points for purchasing Bulu Boxes/items in the shop, reviewing box items, and referring friends. Every 10 points counts as $1 credit in the Bulu Box shop

Boxes are normally $10 each but I was able to catch a deal for 50% off -- $15 for a 3-month subscription. That makes this bargain shopper a happy camper! Let's dig in!

June 2014 Bulu Box

June Bulu Box info card

pur-Absorb Iron Supplements (Sample Value: $1.57)

These are liquid iron supplements. It has one (well technically two) ingredients: iron-rich natural spring water. There really isn't enough iron in one packet to qualify as a supplement by my standards (5 mg), but it is what it is. You can either drink this alone or add it to your favorite beverage for a mini boost of iron. Maybe I'll use this the next time I go to donate blood; the last time I got rejected because my iron was a smidge below acceptable :( (In my defense that week I had been loading up on my tea intake since I'm not a coffee drinker!)

Noxicare Natural Pain Relief (Full Size! Value: $26.95)

This is a pain relief cream that promises to do more than just numb sore muscles to mask the pain. The painkillers within work to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow to ease pain away. It contains a whole lot of plant extracts with anti-inflammatory properties - tumeric, rosemary, and ginger to name a few. I think I'll give this a shot the next time I overestimate my gym abilities (i.e. I think I'm stronger than I really am).

Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 Protein Powder (Sample Value: $0.88)

So this is protein powder, not weed powder like I thought at first. Well that's a relief. This packet contains 1/2 serving. I'm not sure why they didn't want to give a single full serving. Supposedly hemp protein is easier to digest than whey. I'm not a protein shake kind of person (I prefer to just drink a glass of chocolate milk or something after a workout), so I wouldn't be able to tell you if I noticed a difference between this hemp protein and the regular whey or soy types. Maybe I'll pass this one off to C since he drinks protein shakes regularly.

Kickbutt Amped Energy Ballz (Sample Value: $2.72)

The package says each contains two ballz, but I only feel one in there (haha...I couldn't have chosen worse wording). It's kinda like a PowerBar in candy form. There's protein plus caffeine and sugar. It does also contain creatine, but it's a very small amount (6 mg) and far from enough to cause kidney damage. I'm not sure if I'd trust myself eating hard candy while running (I'm that accident prone person who should never be running with scissors) so I doubt I'll be picking up the full size once these four (two?) ballz are gone.

Bach Remedy Rescue Pearls (Full Size! Value: $12.99)

Calling all stressed out folks: this one's made especially for you. Five flower remedies work to calm nerves and ease tension. I kind of feel like this is aromatherapy for your mouth. Does that even make sense? This is one of those curious things that I want to try just for kicks. I normally roll with the punches so I'm generally not a stressed out person anyway, but I want to witness the flower power. I'm pretty sure the serving size is one capsule so this allows me to stress out 28 times. This should last me a good year.

Shapeology Burn Blend (Sample Value: $1.33)

These capsules mimic the effects of high metabolism to result in higher calorie burn and weight loss. This sounds scarily similar to Hydroxycut. There's no ephedra in Burn Blend, but I'm always skeptical about using supplements that mess with metabolism if I can't find a whole lot of info on it.

Naked Wines Voucher
There was also a wine voucher from Naked Wines good for $100 off a $160+ order. This does sounds like a good offer, but right now I have nowhere to put 6 bottles of wine. Plus C will call me an alcoholic.

My first box had a good mix of items, from fat burners to pain relief to stress remedies. It had an awesome value of $46.44, with the highest valued item (Noxicare cream) being the one I'm most interested in trying. Pretty good for only paying $5, huh! The rest of the box is just okay. Even if everything else sucked, at least the pain relief cream would've still more than made up for what I paid. The only real bummer was the Shapeology metabolism pills. It sounds really sketchy and I'm on the verge of just tossing it (good thing they only gave two pills). C is really into his energy supplements (PowerBars, Honey Stingers, GU gels) for his long bike rides and protein shakes so part of the reason I picked up a subscription was to see if he could find any new favorites. Unfortunately he wasn't very impressed with this month's findings. But then again I should've expected that. He's picky when it comes to workout supplements.

If you're interested in getting your hands on a box of health and wellness goodies, sign up here to start getting your very own Bulu Box delivered right to your door every month!

Note: Post contains referral links. I received no compensation for this review.