Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ipsy Review - May 2016

Each month Ipsy sends out lots of glam bag variations and lately I've been getting some bags with insane values. Overall I've used about half of the stuff I've gotten. Still pretty good right? Hopefully I can find some new favorites this month.

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products (mostly makeup) in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping)
Fun Extra: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints which can be redeemed for bonus items.

Hikari Shimmer Bronzer Quad - Radiate (0.25oz full size value: $17) - I'm not really a fan of shimmery bronzers to begin with, and this quad has two of them. The matte colors are nice though, and the pink can be used as a blush as well. Alternatively, these can be used as eyeshadows which is probably what I'd end up using it for.

SLMissGlam Small Contour Brush (Value: $13) - I've gotten 3 brushes in the past 3 Ipsy bags. Not that I'm complaining; I love brushes. I always say that I could never have enough brushes, but I'd like to modify that statement. I could never have enough eye shadow brushes. I currently use five for whites, peach/pinks, blue/purples, browns, and blacks, but if I could have a brush for every color I would. I think I'm good for the larger brushes though, thanks to Ipsy.

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara (0.10oz value: $7) - It's mascara. It's buildable. It won't clump, flake, or smudge. Unfortunately, I gave up on mascara.

The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Lip Balm (0.16oz full size value: $7.50) - First of all, I apologize for the bits of fur in the above pic - my dog felt the sudden and urgent need to run across my Ipsy spread. This lip balm is infused with shea butter, pomegranate, rose hips, and vitamin E to keep lips soft and moisturized. People love it because it has all the stuff your lips want and nothing it doesn't. I love it because it's not sticky and it smells like citrus.

Epice Hydrating Mask (1oz value: $10.50) - Formulated with Kaolin clay, this mask is perfect for oilier skin types because it attracts and absorbs impurities. I'm a fan of anything carbon- or clay-based because my nose and chin are like tiny oil factories :(

I'm also a fan of this bag. Isn't it adorable? I love the snap closure and while I'm normally not big on picture designs, I have to admit the landmark theme is pretty cute.

I'm proud to report that Ipsy is continuing its insane value trend and that I'm still getting my money's worth with this subscription. I thought it'd be a bust because nothing caught my attention at first, but then I saw what was in the mask and tried the lip balm and...win!

Click here to try Ipsy for just $10 a month. It's one of the most affordable beauty subscriptions and lately the value has be ah-mazing!

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Squix QBox Unboxing - May 2016

What: Squix QBox contains 3 full-sized household cleaning products. Boxes are fully customizable so you know what you're getting before it ships out
When: Ships monthly
Cost: $14.98 per month to continental US (price includes shipping!)
Fun Extra: Squix also has a shop if you want to order more of a particular product. Each box/purchase will earn you QReward Points which can be redeemed for discounts on products.

I'm sort of crazy when it comes to cleaning. My kitchen needs to be spotless every night before bed. If I'm throwing a party and the last person leaves at 2 am, I need to clean up before going to sleep even if it means I don't crawl into bed until 5:00. But it kind of works out because I'm a tidy type of partier. The more I drink, the more I feel like cleaning. Yeah, wth right. And ugh, waterspots. Can't stand them. Every chrome fixture in my house needs to be free of them. So when I saw this cleaning sub I thought it was right up my alley. 

Squix offers your first box for 50% off (no code needed) but I was able to use a My Subscription Addiction code to get it for free (I just had to pay $4.95 shipping), and it also came with a spring Squix gift bag. The box shipped two days after I placed my order and arrived in about a week.

Squix has some of the best packing I've seen in a subscription box. The box was sturdy, there was a sturdy cardboard topper, and lots of bubble wrap to protect everything inside. There wasn't any info card, but you can look up the product on their  Here's what came in May's Squix:

May's Squix Box
Since the box is customizable I already knew what I'd be getting. Squix offers lots of familiar brands but I wanted to try something new to me. I haven't had the chance to use any of these yet, but I will as soon as my current cleaners run out.

Mrs. Jones' Soapbox All-Purpose Disinfecting Spray ($10) - This all-natural sanitizer is made with lemon juice, castile soap, borax, baking soda, citric acid, vinegar and grapefruit seed extract which means you can spray your kitchen counter with it and not worry about your kid licking it later. Okay well your child shouldn't be licking kitchen counters but you get the idea. You can really smell the lavender essential oil in here - it's way better than having my whole house smell like bleach! Major plus: since there's borax in here this MIGHT help get rid of cockroaches and ants too :)

Milstein's Floor Cleaner & Disinfectant Concentrate ($6) - Think all-natural Pine-Sol. This hard floor cleaner can be used straight up to clean up pet accidents and tough messes or it can be diluted for a more gentle clean. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a huge fan of the scent. It smells like a pine-y fart. There's vinegar and borax in here - does that equal a fart? Hopefully it's not so bad once it's outside the bottle...

e-cloth Glass & Polishing Cloth ($8) - Microfiber cloths will always have a place in my house. Remember my weird obsession with keeping shiny surfaces shiny that I talked about earlier? This cloth will definitely come in handy with mirrors, glass tables, and chrome fixtures. I'm that crazy lady who keeps a microfiber cloth in the bathroom to wipe down the shower fixtures every night. E-cloth, welcome home!

Every QBox also comes with a free gift. This month subscribers got liquid handsoap and a fruit/veggie wipe:

The MSA promo code I used also included a spring gift bag on top of the free gift. I thought it'd just be a bunch of foil samples but I was so wrong. Here's what the gift bag included:
Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes - Lemongrass Citrus Scent (full size)
iKlear Microfiber Cloth (6"x 6")
Milstein's All Surface Cleaner & Disinfectant Spray (4oz)
Apera Fit Pocket Wet/Dry Bag
Squix $5 gift card

Aside from all the extra free stuff I scored from the gift bag, my selections for this month's QBox was still valued at $24. But since you can customize your own box I guess value doesn't really have as much weight. I think the appeal is the huge variety of natural cleaning products that you can't always find at your local stores. All the brands in the QBox itself were new to me and I'm looking forward to using the Mrs. Jones spray on my entire kitchen.

If you want to sign up for QBox you can do that here and get 50% off your first box (no promo code needed). Or if you just want to browse their store you can do that too. Sadly, I just found out when I placed my order that Squix is in the process of downsizing their QBox shipping destinations. They are only shipping to the continental US and are ceasing deliveries to AK, HI, and Puerto Rico. That means this was my first and last QBox and they have since placed an indefinite pause on my subscription. I'm not sure if the same applies to non-QBox orders, but just a heads up in case you may be affected by this change in their shipping policy.

Note: Referral links were used in this post. This review reflects my honest opinions on these cleaning products.

Monday, May 16, 2016

3B Box Review - May 2016

What: The 3B Box (short for Beyond Beauty Borders) contains 4-5 deluxe or full-sized beauty samples from Korea, Japan, or Taiwan
When: Ships during the first week of each month
Cost: $12 per month (free shipping!)

Each month 3B Box sends (mostly skincare) goodies from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Asia takes their skincare seriously, and they've got a plethora of creams, essences, serums, masks (and so on...) to prove it. You'll sometimes find a makeup item or tool in a bag, but the skincare far outweighs the makeup stuff. This month, for example, has ALL skincare and no makeup. Not that it's a bag thing, especially when you don't wear makeup everyday. Besides, isn't natural beauty better anyway?

Aritaum Fresh Power Essence Sleeping Pack - I'm SO glad 3B provides info cards with the items because the only thing I can read on here is 'honey.' Oh, and the volume. Honey is supposed to be good for acne prone skin due to its calming and anti-microbial effects, but I've never gotten around to using anything containing it before. This is a pack that you apply at night, go to sleep, then rinse off in the morning. I don't know about you, but I'm a busy sleeper and will often roll over several times during the night and wake up facing the opposite direction. And who wants honey (and ants) all over their sheets? Yeeeah I'll probably put it on a few hours before bed and go to sleep with a clean face. :)

Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence - More bee! This little bottle contains 50% propolis extract from black bees. Bees collect this resinous stuff and use it as a sealant or glue, so I expected this to be viscous as heck but it's not too thick and it's not sticky. It also contains royal jelly and honey extracts for hydration and to combat redness.

Dewytree Blackhead Out Nose Patch - I love nose patches. These pore strips are made with volcanic ash and charcoal (love these!) to pull out impurities. My husband constantly teases me and my bumpy nose. They're mostly sebaceous filaments but I'll get a blackhead every once in a while. Either way it's incredibly annoying. Pore strips buy me a couple days of happiness until my pores get clogged again. On a related note: is there a way to get rid of those oil yucks for good? Foam cleansing, oil cleansing, "pore shrinkers" and BHAs don't seem to be enough :-/

Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream EX - I kind of feel like I'm living large right now. Sulwhasoo is one of those brands that's pretty to look at and admire but I know I'll never ever buy. My budget begged me not to. This cream blends Korean medicinal herbs to firm up skin and stimulate collagen production. I'm going to savor every bit of this, and since my skin doesn't suck up moisturizers right away, I don't have to use too much so these packets will last me a while :)

Leaders Insolution Brightening Recovery Mask - This is a coconut gel mask that contains niacinamide to help with hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone. I've never tried a coconut mask before but I like pretty much everything about coconuts (except the stomach ache you get when drinking too much juice), and I like products with niacinamide so I think I have to use this mask ASAP.

I really like this month's bag.  Honey = win, nose patch = win, coconut = win. I'm interested in seeing if it's worth paying the extra $$$ for luxurious moisturizer because if it is, I may have to pay a visit to Vegas (which might also result in me buying dollar store creams for life, but let's look at the bright side here).

Click here to start getting 3B Box for yourself! This is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the Asian skincare routine, plus seasoned fanatics will enjoy the tried and true brands popping up in every bag. And for $12/month including shipping, you'd have a hard time finding a better bang for your buck in the States.

Note: All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Post does not contain any referral links.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ipsy Review - April 2016

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products (mostly makeup) in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping)
Fun Extra: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints which can be redeemed for bonus items.

Looks like I missed my goal of putting up this review by the end of April! (sorry!) I received the April glam bag during the last week of the month as usual and the items looked promising. Lately lots of my glam bags have been coming in with an insane value (about $40 worth of product for $10/month). Not sure why, but who am I to complain? ;)

REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream (1oz value: $27) - This moisturizer's claim to fame is that it will train your skin to become less sensitive to environmental pollutants like smog. Hm. It contains Omegas 3 & 7 for protection and calendula oil to soothe irritated skin. For this price it better have gold in it too.

Purlisse Blue Lotus+Seaweed & Blue Lotus+White Tea Sheet Masks (Value: $8 each) - Plump up skin with these Blue Lotus mask blends that deliver antioxidants and minerals to skin, leaving it looking healthy and radiant. You can throw these in the fridge or dip it in hot water prior to using them depending on whether you want to calm skin or open up your pores. 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme - Wonder (0.05oz value: $13) - I've been wanting to try Tarte's LipSurgence products for a while but never got around to ordering anything, so I'm happy one of them found its way to me! Maracuja oil makes these sticks glide on like butter and I'm digging the cool minty scent (doesn't tingle or taste minty, though). Wonder is a pretty poppy pink, but I think I'd prefer something lighter. Now I have a legitimate excuse to browse the LipSurgence collection. Naoo. ;)
Tarte LipSurgence lip creme in Wonder (poppy pink)
Luxie Tapered Highlighter Brush (Value: $24) - Ipsy seems to love sending out Luxie brushes, but I don't mind it one bit. I've grown to like their fluffy brushes with synthetic bristles. This is a highlighter brush that's great for contouring. It's pretty fluffy so I think I'm going to use it for bronzer.

Starlooks Cream Eye Shadow - Rose Gold (0.05oz value: ~$6) - I've tried and tried to love cream eyeshadows but I just don't. My eyelids become a cakey nightmare and they end up looking oily. I really wish I knew how to work with cream shadows though, because I would love to add a rose gold to my collection. //sad face

If you add up the value of this month's glam bag, it's probably the highest one I've ever gotten at over $80! I'm loving the texture of the lip creme, and that alone is worth more than what I paid, so I'm happy. The brush and masks have also found places in my home. The A/C is out at work so I'm looking forward to throwing a mask in the fridge and slapping it on my face when I get home! 

Click here to get your own Ipsy glam bag for just $10 a month. It's one of the most affordable beauty subscriptions and the value always exceeds the cost. Try it and if you don't like what you're getting you can always retake the beauty profile quiz to change up your preferences.

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