Friday, March 20, 2015

Savor Whipped Soap Haul #2

A couple of months ago I bought a few travel-sized creme fraiche whipped soaps from Savor. I realized that these soaps last surprisingly long because all you need is a dime-sized dollop since it lathers so well. I'm only on my second bottle (and these are only 2 oz containers!), but I couldn't wait to get my hands on more scents. They're all so yummy! This time I opted to go with the 6-pc customized trial size set. I haven't used any of them yet so I can't do a true review, but I wanted to share with you which scents I chose. Okay and maybe plug this company because Lisa's product quality is fantastic! All of Savor's products are organic/vegan so everyone can enjoy! In no particular order here's what I chose this time around:

Creme Brulee Creme Fraiche
Creme Brulee is a slightly custardy, caramelly, gentle and creamy scent, with a velvety richness you find in a decadent dessert.
This is one of Savor's top sellers, and it's no wonder -- it smells lovely. If you're a sweets person like me, you KNOW when something smells like dessert. This smells exactly like the real thing and I'm kind of hungry now. It looks like there's sugar mixed in throughout the soap so this can probably double as a body scrub. There's also a generous helping of raw sugar crystals to top off the container to make your mouth water even more.

Bananas & Cream Creme Fraiche
I'm not sure where this scent/description disappeared to on Savor's Etsy site, but this smells like a banana smoothie. Or banana Melona bars. (If you haven't tried them before you definitely should. It's like creamy fruit but in popsicle form. Mmmmm) I don't even eat bananas too much unless I'm cramping up or something, but I do want a banana dessert now. Banana flambe. And creme brulee. Together.

Cherry Whip Creme Fraiche
Indulge with Cherry Whip - a sweet and fruity ripe cherry scent with undertones of vanilla, sugar, and marshmallow.
This particular scent is part of Savor's Spring Collection. Whether that means it's a limited time offering I don't know, but I do know I was partly excited but partly dreading that this would have that fake hot cherry scent that turned me off from cherries in the first place. But no. It smells like maraschino cherries mixed with marshmallows, or as I would call it, cherry fluff. Fluffy cherries? I'm impressed. This is probably the first cherry scent that I like. It's sweet but not sickingly pseudo-sweet.

Honey Love Dust Creme Fraiche
Honey Love Dust blends deep cocoa power notes with raw honey, cocoa butter and vanilla scents. The result is a creamy, deeply romantic fragrance.
I can't tell if I like this scent or not. I can definitely pick up on the vanilla and cocoa, but the pink color throws me off. Nothing smells pink about it. And after smelling that creme brulee decadence, this doesn't compare. They both smell creamy and rich, but this scent isn't as complex as Creme Brulee. Perhaps I'd like it better if I sniffed this one first.

Apple & Vanilla Creme Fraiche
Apple & Vanilla gets it right for autumn. Warmth from the vanilla wraps you like a cozy sweater. Tart, crisp little apples reminiscent of cider and pie. A little woodsy, a little sweet, and highly scented.
If I didn't know better I'd think this was a car air freshener. Not that it's a bad thing because apple-scented car air fresheners are my favorite. I can't pick out the vanilla in here so it's just straight up fruity to me. I like fruity. The green apple scent is very fitting for autumn as the description states, but it doesn't have any spice in it so I think it's actually appropriate any time of the year.

Sweet Cake Jojoba Scrub Creme Fraiche
Sweet Cake is a delicious, frosting-like foaming bath soap, studded with skin-loving jojoba beads and generously scented.
Mmm cake. This was the reason I KNEW I had to get more whipped soaps. I saw it right after I had submitted my first Savor order and kicked myself for not seeing it earlier. Because #1: I like cake; and #2: IT'S GOT COLORFUL SPRINKLES. This whipped soap is available in two forms - with or without the sprinkles aka jojoba beads. Obviously I went with sprinkles. I tend to gravitate toward creamy frosting-y scents and this totally smells like frosting. I'm almost afraid it'll be sticky like the real thing when I use it, that's how convincing it is.

Also included was a sample soap in Lilac scent. I think this one is made with goat milk. Anyhow, it's too floral for me so I'll probably pass it along to my mom.

I think this order covered the majority of the scents that spiked my curiosity. These are 2 oz minis (the full size is 8 oz), and each takes about a month to go through. Judging by my calculations I should have 6 months of smelling like I ate dessert while showering. My favorite of the bunch is either the Creme Brulee or Sweet Cake. I was certain I'd love Sweet Cake the most, but Creme Brulee really blew me away. I'm least crazy about Honey Love Dust, but then again that's probably only because it carries the same richness as Creme Brulee and my mind was pre-blown by that  one. I seriously can't stop sniffing these whipped soaps. Some of the Sweet Cake got on me by accident (or was it??) and now I can't stop sniffing my hand! I said it before and I'll say it again. I 100% recommend Savor. The turnaround time is lightning fast considering they make soap in small batches, shipping is reasonable, and Lisa is super nice!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ipsy Unboxing - March 2015

I really like how Ipsy's timeliness has been on point as of late. What used to take three weeks now only takes one. Happy dance! I also like surprises so I resist the urge to peek at my bag each month. This month I was especially good and didn't even look at the spoilers so I had no idea what the theme was or what brands I might get. Turns out this month is about Flower Power, you know, with spring just around the corner and all. But according to my allergies spring started two weeks ago.

What: Ipsy Glam Bags contain 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month
Fun Extras: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints, which can be redeemed for monthly bonus items.
Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer - Medium shade (0.13oz value: $10) - Two things I noticed when I first used this cream concealer: 1) the medium color is a shade too light for my skin, and 2) all you need is a teeeeensy bit to cover up a blemish. Here, I swatched it for you (and ended up covering a 2" square area with that amount):
Sorry you can't see much of anything; that blemish looked so much darker in person
But the staying power is there. I washed my hands about 10 times since that swatch and I still see some concealer in my skin lines.

NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick - Hunk (0.16oz full size value: $6) - Subscribers could have gotten one of three shades: Hunk (purply merlot), Little Susie (dark pink), or Pops (nudish mauve). Of course I got the purple one. I've read that this color starts off pretty sheer, but that's up to one's own interpretation. I think I'd much prefer Pops.

Vintage Illuminating Face Highligher - Crystal Pink (0.07oz sample value: $13?) - If you like pink highlighters I guess this is the way to go. It's supposed to go well with pink and coral blushes. This looks like half-size (full size goes for $26 on the Vintage website), which is generous considering how long it takes me to go through highlighters. However, I have golden undertones so I'm not sure if I'm talented enough to make this work for me.
Here, this shot is truer to color than the above one

Pur-lisse Pur-delicate Soy Milk Cleanser and Makeup Remover (1oz travel size value: $6.40) - Remember when Purlisse made its way through sub boxes with their sunscreen and moisturizer? Well, they're back. This time with facial cleanser. Not just any facial cleanser; 4-in-1 facial cleanser. 1. It washes your face without drying it out; 2. It removes makeup; 2. It calms and soothes skin with white tea; and 4. Blue lotus extract makes skin soft and supple. I have enough cleansers to last the next three years so I think I'll pass this along to someone who needs it more than I do.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion (0.25oz sample value: $8.80) - Fight fine lines with Dr. Brandt's oil-free lotion packed with apple stem cells and retinol to maintain cell activity and stimulate cell turnover. And oily-skinned people, rejoice - this guy won a 2013 Allure Best of Beauty award for "Best Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin." I think I'd be more excited about this if I didn't already have a billion anti-aging lotions waiting to be opened. But that award does make it sound a bit more appealing...

The Bag - Meh. Very fitting for the Flower Power theme, but it's too busy for my liking. I like boring. Besides, I'm not a floral person to begin with; if anything I like cartoon drawings. Maybe cartoon flowers would do:
Or better yet, cartoon flowers with feelings: 

So the verdict - a resounding WOMP WOMP. This bag was a dud for me. I had shade issues with three of the items, and the other two were okay but not exciting enough to make me want to keep them. If I didn't already swatch the concealer I'd be finding new homes for everything. But hey that's the name of the game when you get mystery bags, right?

If you want to subscribe to Ipsy click here to get on the wait list! You won't be charged for your first bag until you get off the list. And for $10 you really can't beat the value, especially when everything you get is a deluxe sample or bigger. Not every bag will be a hit as you can tell from this review, but it evens out over a few months. If you like exploring makeup and skincare, you've got nothing to lose!

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

BarkBox Review - March 2015 + Get A Free Box!

Like clockwork, our Barkbox arrived on the 16th of the month. This is probably one of the most reliable subscription services I have ever encountered. From shipping to the quality of items, I'm never disappointed.

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!

I had no idea what kind of theme to expect for March. I was thinking something relating to St. Patrick's Day, maybe dog beer or beer biscuits. Not real beer, of course -- have you seen the way they drink water?! I wouldn't let my dog waste a single drop of my beer.
But it looks like I was wrong. With spring just around the corner, instead of celebrating St. Patty's Day BarkBox chose to embrace the coming of warm weather and celebrate Island Paradise. While Barkbeard may have buried his treasure somewhere on a deserted island, Barkpups can have it mailed directly to their homes. In the words of my lazy fuzzybutts: Yay for humans doing all the work!
Etta Says! Bison Chew (Value: $3) - We are no stranger to this brand, but bison is something new to us. At least I think it is. BarkBox has introduced us to so many different types of meat that I can't even remember what the dogs have eaten before. Bad dog mom. These seem to have replaced the Barkworthies bully sticks as being the constant in each box. I think I preferred the bully sticks though; they last longer. I still have a hard time believing it's $3 for one. According to Amazon it should only be a dollar and some change.

SafeMade Pineapple (Value: $10) - A BarkBox exclusive! And a crinkly one at that. The dogs love crinkly toys. Sometimes I think they take after me; I like shiny and crinkly things. It doesn't take much to keep me happy. Candy wrappers are a total win. This pineapple isn't shiny, but it's crinkly enough to make the puppies happy. Plus there are SEVEN SQUEAKERS in here! If this doesn't make the dogs love me forever I don't know what will. The tag describes it well: "Tropical fun with a party of squeakers!" Party is right. It doesn't matter if no one else is invited to that party; Macho and Pebbles don't care. There's no double stitching on the seams so it'll most likely rip within the first 5 minutes of meeting the poopers' jaws. I'm imagining the craziness and fights that will ensue once I hand this pineapple to them. *sigh* I guess I shall hold off on that.

Grandma Bowser's Mai Tai Mango Passion Biscuits (Value: $6) - We've received several bags of Grandma Bowser's cookies in past boxes. The dogs have liked them all, but it's nothing they go nuts over. I think it's partly due to how hard the cookies are. It's a little hard to break them in half and it takes some gnawing for the dogs to crumble them into bite-sized pieces. I don't think I'd buy this on my own, but the dogs will definitely eat up whatever's in this bag. Not to mention I'll find out if the dogs like mango passion.
Close up of Grandma Bowser's Mai Tai Mango Passion biscuits
BarkMade Message In A Bottle (Value: $13) - If you have dogs I hope they're smarter than mine because my two clowns still haven't figured out how to squeak this bottle. The bottle itself is a squeaker (if you look closely you can see the tube part attached to the base of the bottle). The message inside multiplies the cuteness factor by 10. This bottle is another Barkbox exclusive and is made out of thermoplastic rubber which is what I prefer our toys to be made of because it's dishwasher safe and sturdy (though Pebbles has somehow managed to chew through a couple of our TPR toys :[ ).
My mommy made me balance this bottle for a whole minute before letting me have it.
She is evil.
Yeti Corp Golden Nuggets (Value: $8) - These have the same ingredients as Himalayan chews (cow milk, yak milk, lime juice), but for some reason these need to be warmed up prior to consumption. I've never given Himalayan chews to my dogs because they're so friggin expensive but I don't think they require any preparation (correct me if I'm wrong). However, these particular nuggets expand with heat. Barkbox made sure we knew that. In addition to the instructions on the package to warm this up before giving it to your dog, Barkbox reminded us on the info card AND sent an email to subscribers with heating instructions. If your dog eats it "raw" I guess it can grow with just the heat of their body temperature and may cause blockages. Or something.
When you warm it up it expands to almost twice the size and takes on a hard cracker-like texture.
I decided to let Pebbles be the guinea pig. She was happy to be one.
I want treat. I sploot for you. And drool too.
Treat me or I'll fling this at yo' face!
It was really crunchy and she thoroughly enjoyed every bite, but she paid for it by getting the runs. Not entirely sure if it was because of this nugget, but it's the only new thing she ate. Unless she found an anole in the yard or something. Because she'd totally eat that.

As usual, Barkbox did a fantastic job of curation. Almost every single item has something to do with treasure in paradise. It had a Barkvalue of $40 which is one of the higher valued boxes we've received to date. I'm laughing because it's been two days and the bozos are still trying to figure out how to squeak the bottle (seriously, they can figure out how to open their kennel door but can't make the bottle squeak??). I'm still debating whether to keep the Himalayan nuggets because of their inner plumbing issues (sad face), and I have yet to decide if I want to chance them destroying the pineapple. But I do like that we've been getting two toys in every Barkbox. We can never have enough toys; they *ahem, Pebbles* destroys them faster than we can replace them. Maybe a rope toy would be good. She shreds them too, but at least it takes her a couple days to do so.

Are you sad because your pup didn't experience Spoiled Dog Syndrome this month? Don't fret, humans! You can sign up here for as low as $18/month -- and get a free box tacked on to your subscription just for using my link! And if you and your pup are feeling especially selfless, you can even have BarkBox donate your free box to a shelter dog. This month all donated boxes are going to Eleventh Hour Rescue, a non-profit that saves dogs and cats from unnecessary euthanization.

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

Monday, March 9, 2015

Memebox Valentine's Day #2 Candy for Me Review

I've been slowly making my way through my Memepiles of stuff now that the number of Memeboxes being delivered to my door is few and far between. I ordered the Valentine's Day #2 Candy for Me box at the end of January and it shipped out the day before Valentine's from...Delaware? Even though the HQ are in San Francisco.

What: Memebox is not a recurring subscription box. It's a one-time-purchase box filled with Korean beauty products. Boxes ship from the US.
When: Memebox has been coming up with a few boxes per week. Most are revealed at the time of release, but a few remain a mystery.
Cost: Varies depending on box contents (usually 20-50% off retail value). Boxes are only available in the US. All orders over $30 ship free. This review is for the Valentine's Day #2 Candy For Me box.

When boxes shipped internationally from Korea I'd get them in about a week. Now that they ship from within the US I get it in about three weeks. How you figgah? So much for getting my items faster. I have a love/hate relationship with ground shipping.

I was always a fan of surprises so I like mystery boxes. Sadly, this was one of the last mystery boxes Memebox put out. Ever since they overhauled their company there have been only a couple of mystery boxes; the vast majority are revealed (or as Memefans call it, "Naked boxes"). The website also reveals the value of the box alongside the price so you know how much you'd be saving before you decide to pick one up. 

When this box went on sale and I read "candy-scented, wonderliciously made, and scrumptioius-looking" in the description, I was sold. Here, you can read it too.
Whether you're single or with someone, Valentine's Day is a good day to be a lady! It's because it's the one and only day where you can get away with some indulgent self-gifts for decadent, self pampering. Because you're so awesome, we gift you something super sweet! A box full of candy-scented, wonderliciously made, and scrumptious-looking Korean beauty skincare and makeup goodies that will sweeten up your year! Screw Cupid, who says you need a valentine to get great gifts on Valentine's Day?
I know most people have received their Valentine's boxes already but I resisted the urge to look at what was in it until I got mine. And here it is in all its glory:

This box cost $25 + $6.99 shipping but I ended up using a code and points for it. And it appears that along with the redesign of the Memebox website the "old" boxes somehow got kicked off because I can't find this box anywhere. Oh well. Based on the description I was expecting smell-goodies and maybe some cute stuff. Only one of them looked cute right off the bat, and that was a candy stick that was featured in a previous Memebox. Hope at least one of these smells good!

Valentine's Day #2 Candy for Me info card

Lassie'el Kiwi Brightening Yogurt Massage Mask (4ct. full size value: $6) - I've tried yogurt masks before and liked it so much that I bought the Ettang yogurt mask set from the Memeshop (it's no longer there but you can read my review on that mask here). Well. To be honest, I actually picked up the set because it was a peeling mask and I freakin LOVE peeling masks. This ones' a regular rinse-off type. Doesn't sound as exciting but that won't stop me from trying it. I've never met a brightening mask that actually brightened my complexion. Maybe I'm just a bright person to begin with. Hahaa I joke I joke. Kiwi, yogurt, hyaluronic acid, lactobacilli, and vitamins C&E brighten and hydrate skin to make it firm and plump. This set also comes with a cover...I guess if your face is small like mine then you can save some for later.

Shara Shara Berry Berry Cleansing Sherbet (70g full size value: $14) - Ooh fun. I love strawberries and I love sherbet. Sounds delish. This is a makeup remover. I have some reservations about makeup remover in tubs since you have to dip your hand in there, but I guess there are ways around that. And it's strawberry so it's not like a tub is a deal breaker. I do think this poor guy suffered some leakage issues in transit because the box was covered in oil stains. 
So yes, this makeup remover is oil-based. Since I'm lazy, I prefer wipes or one-step makeup remover/cleanser combos, but oil-based removers work so much better. *sigh* I suppose I can make an exception for berries and add a cleanser step. I haven't actually tried this yet so I don't know how well it works, but I did put some on my hand sans makeup and it has the perfect consistency. It looks viscous in the jar, almost like icing, but it melts once it hits your skin. A dime size amount should be more than enough to cover your entire face. Plus, it smells like freakin strawberries and that's awesome.

Elizavecca Aqua Rising Steam Filler Moisture Cream (100g full size value: $46) - I have a tendency to only read parts of titles. In this case that part was STEAM so at first I thought this was a steam pore pack. And now even after reading all six words in the name I still can't make much sense out of it. Other than "moisture cream" I'm lost. The box has flames all over it suggesting that this thing gets warm. The Memecard says it "uses a unique technology to provide a surge of hyaluronic acid, minerals, and vitamins to instantly nourish stressed, dry skin." So, is the technology using heat to somehow deliver these nutrients? Well I tried this last night and I can tell you that there is nothing hot about it. :( It's hydrating, but not as much as most K-beauty creams I've tried. And that's a good thing. Usually I end up giving them away because they leave my face feeling greasy, but this one eventually absorbs into my skin and leaves it feeling nicely moisturized. The Memecard describes the texture as "chewy marshmallow gelato" which sounds unbelievably yummy, but to me it feels just like any other thick cream. This also has a subtle yet refreshing scent that I wouldn't mind on my face. So in conclusion, I like this but I still don't know what "Aqua Rising Steam Filler Moisture Cream" means. That dragon piggy is cute.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Candy Stick - Seedless Strawberry (2g full size value: $5) - I saw this in other boxes that I didn't buy, but holy crap I didn't realize how tiny it is. Without the cap it's the size of half a pen. As in, smaller than a ChapStick. Since it's called candy stick and I got the strawberry variety I was expecting this to taste like strawberry candy. And when the info card says it's enriched with things like bilberry, sugar cane, and sugar maple extracts, you'd think it tastes sweet. Ummmm not really. There's no taste whatsoever, though it does smell like strawberries. And unlike other lip balms, this one is really soft so it won't take five years to go down. How do I know it's soft, you ask? Well as I was taking pictures, I whacked the open tube by mistake and it went flying and hit a couple of obstacles along the way, leaving hot pink chunks on a chair and the wall. It landed on the carpet and now I also have a pink carpet. So color payoff? If it wasn't already obvious, this does effectively tint your lips. It's buildable so the more you apply the more intense the color. It starts off pretty sheer, so a couple swipes is good enough for me.

Rappol Nutritious Bio Ampoule Mask (3 sheet value: $18) - A pomegranate & hibiscus sheet mask? Interesting. As with virtually all sheet masks, this one claims to diminish fine lines and wrinkles while also evening out your complexion. I'd say 95% of sheet masks I've tried don't do any evening out of anything. These are pretty pricey for sheet masks and I'm not sure I'd ever pay $6 for just one. I guess that's the price you pay for having the word 'ampoule' in there. They better turn my skin gold or something.

This was a pretty decent box with a value of $89, though I'm not quite sure they really kept with the candy theme. I can see how the Shara Shara berry cleanser and Etude House lip gloss smell sweet like candy, but unless the masks smell or taste(?!) like it too, I'd say Memebox only half-stuck with it this time. But as I mentioned, the value is there; at least it's higher than the cost:value ratio of most of the current boxes. Perhaps it's because it's no longer a surprise, but none of the recent boxes have piqued my interest like before. On the bright side, Memebox is introducing a ton of new stuff to their shop almost daily. The newest additions are Dayeong Airbrushed Skin Set #21 (bright) and Set #23 (natural) from the Dayeong/Memebox collaboration. Each set includes an XO Black Stick Foundation and an XO Black face brush. The sets are on sale for $35 so get it while it's cheap!
 Dayeong Airbrushed Skin Set #21
Dayeong Airbrushed Skin Set #21
Dayeong Airbrushed Skin Set #23
And here are some March codes to save even more:

MARCHMADNESS - $20 off a purchase of $100+ (Exp 3/31)
And a couple of app codes:
XOMEME15 - Buy 3 or more XO Memebox products via the app and get 15% off (Exp 3/31)
BOXPARTY - Buy 2 or more boxes via the app and get $5 off (Exp 3/31)
Also check out the app for some App-only deals on selected sets!

Note: Post does not contain any affiliate links. The review reflects my honest opinions.