Friday, June 24, 2016

Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag Review - June 2016

What: Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag contains cute nail polishes and body care products from RH's upcoming collections
When: Ships at the beginning of each month
Cost: $11(mini) - $22(large) for month-to-month subscription, cheaper with prepaid plans. Nail-, Body-, or Soap-only bags also available for $12.50 month-to-month. Free shipping for all subscriptions.
Fun Extra: DIY mystery bags are also available: RH sends you everything you need to make two of your very own nail polishes or glitter toppers!

I think Rainbow Honey has really stepped up their game over the past couple of years. While their featured scents still lean heavily on the fruity side (which I have absolutely no problem with!), once in a while you'll come across a dessert- or floral-inspired one. And their nail polishes are as pretty as ever! I'm glad I re-subscribed and am already considering extending my pre-paid plan :)

Strawberry Peach Sangria Perfume Mist - sweet and summery strawberries and peaches blended into a light rose wine . You had me at Sangria. Also strawberries and peaches are my two favorite fruity scents so I don't think there's any way I wouldn't have liked it. And guess smells even better than it sounds. Nothing really sangria-ish about it but I'm gonna let that slide because I think the scent of wine would have taken away from the sweetness. I'm going to use my rewards points to get a full size version of this mist. I should also note that this perfume is alcohol and paraben free. This baby has Win written all over it.

Melon Cucumber Breeze Perfume Body Balm - classic cucumber melon essence with a Rainbow Honey twist. I haven't unwrapped this perfume balm yet since I'm currently using the perfume mist, but this body balm has the added benefit of nourishing skin. RH's body balms contain vitamin E and shea butter, and now in a warm weather-friendly formula just in time for summer! Cucumber melon is the perfect summer fragrance and I have high hopes for this one.

Mai Tai Shea Butter Soap - a lush blend of  island cocunuts, pineapple, orange and rum. Sooo I think I have a problem. I keep buying bar soaps because they smell good, but I never get to use them all because each one lasts sooo long. And I guess that could be a good thing, but when you have 50 bars of soap (plus 10 months worth of liquid soap/body wash from B&BW) it's kind of difficult to go through every single one. I think tiny soap bars like these are perfect - they smell good yet won't take forever to use up. That said, this soap smells alright but isn't one of my favorites. It definitely doesn't come close to strawberry peach sangria! I guess you could say it's like a mai tai, minus the coconut (but honestly I've never had a mai tai with coconut in it anyway, and I live in Hawaii).

Strawberry Peach Sangria Nail Polish - this cool, strawberry peach creme nail lacquer with holographic glitters and iridescent shimmer is a stunner on the beach or holding a glass of your favorite summer drink! This is my new favorite scent in paint form and I am not the slightest bit disappointed. The shade is exactly how I pictured it would be, and the added red, white and iridescent glitters make it even prettier. I would be wearing it right now if it weren't for slicing my finger right by my nail while cutting carrots the other day :( Acetone will probably make me cry. Looks like I'll be keeping my current manicure for the next couple of weeks!

Melon Cucumber Breeze Nail Polish - our creamy melon cucumber nail lacquer is accented with glitters and shimmers to bring out the sweet breeze of this iconic summer essence! Again, this is exactly how I envisioned cucumber melon nail polish to be. This one's got some chunky light blue and white glitter that might require some fishing out, but even if you don't get any you'll still have the smaller red and dark blue glitters to make your nails look pretty.

So what's the verdict on June's mystery bag? Well if it wasn't already obvious, I'm kind of in love with the strawberry peach sangria scent and it's going on my To Buy ASAP list right now. I'm also glad that both nail polishes contain glitter because I'm a glitter fanatic and Rainbow Honey is my go-to place for glitter polishes. This is exactly why I re-subscribed, guys!

If you love fun novel indie nail polishes as much as I do, RH is reasonably-priced, and their soap and body line is something worth looking at, too. Their mystery bags are a fun way to introduce yourself to what they have to offer, and you can subscribe to that here. Or pick up a prepaid subscription to save a few bucks.

Note: No referral links were used in this post, just my honest opinions :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Walmart Beauty Box - Summer 2016

   What: Walmart Beauty Box contains samples of beauty products from major drugstore brands. Multiple versions are available for different age groups - this review is for the Trendsetter box.
When: Ships once a season (March, June, September, and December)
Cost: The box itself is free, but there is a $5 flat shipping fee

If you're looking for an affordable beauty subscription, you can't get much more affordable than Walmart Beauty Box. This box comes out once a season and is free; you just pay $5 shipping. Okay so I guess that means it's not actually free, but it's a great way to find out of there's a cheaper alternative to those big name beauty products you're currently using. The boxes arrive at the beginning of each season, and seeing as how today is the first day of summer, I'd say this one came right on time. 

Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Diamond Color & Radiance Shampoo and Conditioner - I think something similar to this came in a previous Walmart box. Same brand but for a different hair need. This shampoo/conditioner duo is made especially for color-treated hair. It contains Ultime-4-Complex - a unique combination of pearl essence, panthenol, refined protein and keratin - to keep hair protected and hair color looking fresh.

St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub - I think this also came in one of last year's boxes. I'm not too disappointed though; I love apricot scrubs. And walnut scrubs. Anything abrasive. But if you have sensitive skin you might want to steer clear of anything using pits as a scrubbing agent because they can be pretty harsh. But oh! this smells heavenly.

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion - In my house there's a moisturizer in every room. My poor husband suffers from incredibly dry itchy skin that no doctor can seem to relieve. So far plain ol' Vasoline has done better at quelling the itchiness than all those fancy prescriptions. It helps for a couple of hours but since he uses it so often it's been making his skin break out. This lotion is water-based but also contains micro-droplets of petroleum jelly to give you the best of both worlds. I hope it works!

Lady Gaga Fame Eau de Parfum - Meh. Another thing that came in one of last year's boxes. I'm not a huge fan of perfume unless it's fruity or sweet. But here's the scent breakdown in case you're interested:
Top Notes: honey, apricot; 
Middle Notes: saffron, orchid, belladona; 
Base Notes: incense, musk

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup - Medium - I'll be the first to tell you that my legs are far from flawless. They're too short and covered in scars from surfing and sports and surgery. But they're perfect to me because it shows my eventful childhood and is the first thing lots of people notice about me (I guess I just have an average face, haha). I'll use lotion to deal with dry skin on my legs but other than that, I'm leaving these stems alone.

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Toothpaste - Clean Mint - Toothpaste is something we go through really quickly so I'm glad we've been getting some in the past couple boxes. Just a heads up though that whitening toothpastes are not for everyone. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, toothpastes with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide may cause teeth to hurt or gums to bleed or develop abrasions.

Incoco Coconut Nail Art Nail Polish Appliques - Desert Rose - Squeee! I love getting anything to do with nail polish and I've recently started collecting nail polish strips. Zero mess and dry time = more time to get things done. One problem though: I SUCK at trimming those guys. There must be a secret that I haven't learned yet..? Oh well, practice makes perfect.

While I am underwhelmed at the number of repeats in this box, the non-repeat items make up for it since I'll be using most of them. The nail strips themselves are worth $5 so at least I made up what I paid to get the box. I'm also excited to see if the Vaseline lotion is finally the answer to my husband's itch woes, and I'm more than happy to put off buying toothpaste for a bit. :)

There are still more summer boxes available! Click here to sign up. This review was for the Trendsetter box, but you could get a Classic version according to which age group you fall in. Some people reported being able to select which box they got but for some reason I wasn't able to do that from my account.

Note: All opinions contained within this post are my own. Post does not contain any referral links.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3B Box Review - June 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!)

Lately 3B Box has been my main source for Asian beauty products. I've been trying to make a dent in my growing pile of skincare items so I've really cut down on the number of monthly subs I get. I hate throwing away items once they're opened - even if I don't like it - so I end up keeping everything and trying to use it all up (of course if something causes an adverse reaction that's grounds for tossing it but thankfully I haven't run into that problem yet). I decided to keep 3B because I like that you get enough of a sample to see if you like it, but not necessarily the full size version. That way I can use up everything and have the option of purchasing more of something I absolutely love. Plus it's one of the most affordable K-beauty subscriptions out there.

Purpletale 5 Steps to Lovely Skin Sampler - Ooh this is convenient. Korean skincare can be pretty overwhelming at first because there are so many steps, each with its own bottle and purpose. This set contains everything you need in one place - a cleanser, ampoule, sheet mask, and creams. It even tells you which order to use them in. Use this first and once you are familiar with the steps you can branch out and try different brands. (or add more steps!) I should also note that you may want to add in a toner after Step 1. And for those already familiar with K-beauty: take this when you go travelling. It's SO much easier than squeezing 10 tiny bottles into your 3-1-1 Ziploc.

Skinfood Black Sugar Serum (Light) - Okay so your face is cleansed and toned, now what? There are a million and one serums and essences you can use for the next step, some thick and some not so much. Whatever you want to use is up to you and your skin. My skin prefers the lighter stuff, and this serum feels oh-so-nice. It contains black sugar and Cheongju, a traditional Korean wine. Together they quickly absorb into your skin to provide immediate hydration. It has a refreshing scent and I did not find it be the slightest bit sticky - a huuuge plus for me in this humidity.

Mirai Clinical Body Spritzer - This is probably the first thing I've ever gotten in a 3B Box that had an all-English description and ingredients list. Having a warehouse in the US probably has something to do with that. Mirai is a Japanese brand that focuses on the "less is more" concept. Their products contain as few ingredients as possible to reveal naturally beautiful skin. This spritzer has persimmon extract which fights body odor (including noneal odor, aka that "old people smell"...seriously, it says that) and leaves behind a fresh grapefruit scent. It's also worth noting that a bottle of this was given out to Oscar nominees at this year's Academy Awards. Haha, reading those last two sentences together made me chuckle. Teehee. Well it definitely has a hint of citrus in the bottle, but doesn't smell so great otherwise. Not to me, anyway. It reminds me of old spilt juice. I guess that could be better than noneal odor?

Milky Dress Premium Brightener - 3B Box almost always contains foil packets but unlike some other subs, they always include enough of the foils to last a week or more. Brighteners help to even out skin tone by lightening dark spots and circles to make your skin look healthy and youthful. To be honest, I have yet to find a brightener that gives any discernible results whatsoever, and I'm pretty sure my skin tone is far from perfect. But then again, I'm really bad when it comes to consistency in keeping a particular product in my routine. Yup, it could all very well be user error.

It's Skin Todak Todak Pack (Nutrition) - It's Skin makes several Todak Todak pack versions for different purposes including oil control, moisturizing, elasticity, and firming/vitality. This one has honey & coconut to soften and calm dry skin. It's a tiny pack, but a little goes a long way and one pack is actually good for two uses, maybe three. 

I think I'm most excited about the Skinfood serum. I've had very positive experiences with Skinfood products and I love that they're made with food ingredients. Because foooood. The Todak Todak pack also looks fun. I see 'em all over the interwebs but never got around to trying one. Now that I have one in my hands I'm so excited because they're ooey and gooey and who wouldn't want to put something that looks like Jello on their face?!

Subscribe to 3B Box here! You'll get fun things like jelly masks and silkworm finger ballsAnd for $12/month including shipping, you'd have a hard time finding a better bang for your buck in the US.

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Snack Review: Pure Protein Crunch

What kind of snacker are you? If you opened your pantry right now, would it be full of chocolate bars or granola bars? To many of us a snack is a snack. It's merely something to munch on when you get the urge to eat between meals. But lots of times the only thing within easy reach is a Hershey's Kiss or a doughnut (curse you, snack table!). But these 'junk foods' are full of empty calories and not much else - little vitamins, minerals, all that good stuff. They're not very filling, either. 

What's a better option? Consuming calories that come along with nutrients. High-fiber cereals, granola bars, and fruits all contain "good stuff" that helps your body function while also providing calories for energy. And if you live an active lifestyle you might want to opt for a snack with protein such as those from Pure Protein.
Why protein? Protein's main function is for recovery. It builds and repairs tissues (hair, muscle, skin, organs, etc). If you've ever looked around at the gym, you'll see lots of people drinking protein shakes after their workout to aid in muscle recovery and growth. But even if you don't want those big honking muscles, your body still needs some protein for routine maintenance. And if carbs and fats are scarce, your body will turn to protein for energy.
Pure Protein Crunch comes in two flavors, double chocolate and peanut butter. Each pouch contains 10 grams of protein per package, or about the same as 1 oz of chicken. Ideally you should eat at least 0.5 g/lb body weight per day, so while one bag won't satisfy your protein requirements for the day (unless you're 20 lbs), it sure helps in a very tasty way.
Double Chocolate flavor nutrition facts
Peanut Butter flavor nutrition facts
Speaking of tasty, these are indeed very yummy. I personally prefer it over that ounce of chicken. And what's not to love, you get to choose between chocolate and peanut butter. In my perfect world chocolate would be a food group and peanut butter would be a vitamin. Reeses would be a staple food. But I digress.
Pure Protein Crunch Double Chocolate flavor
These crunch bites remind me of pretzel M&Ms. Chocolately on the outside (or peanut buttery), crunchy and airy on the inside. Sadly it didn't fill me up, but in all honesty no snack ever does regardless of how heavy or fiber-rich it is. And speaking of fiber, you won't find much in here so you can't ditch the apple a day. It is a good source of saturated fat though, so if you're on a diet you might want to reach for something else to tide you over between meals such as Greek yogurt. If not, crunch on!

Note: This post contains referral links. I received Pure Protein Crunch complimentary from Smiley360 for testing purposes. This post reflects my honest opinions about this product.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag Mini Review - May 2016

What: Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag contains cute nail polishes and body care products from their upcoming collections
When: Ships at the beginning of each month
Cost: $11(mini) - $22(large) month-to-month, cheaper with prepaid plans. Nail-, Body-, or Soap-only subs also available for $12.50 month-to-month. Free shipping for all subscriptions.
Fun Extra: DIY mystery bags are also available: RH sends you everything you need to make two of your very own nail polishes or glitter toppers!

It's been a while since I've gotten a Rainbow Honey mystery bag, but thanks to an email about their revamped bags and new rewards program I just couldn't resist. I've always been a fan of their cute glitter toppers and fun bath & body products, but at the time I had more subscriptions than my tiny wallet would allow. I've since suspended a lot of subs and decided it was time to bring my beloved RHMB back into my life.

Organic Shea Butter - Shea butter is great for dry or chapped skin, and for me the moisturizing effect lasts longer than with a regular lotion or cream. This one is unscented so you don't have to worry about smelling like fruits or flowers all day.

Cuticle Balm - I don't know about you, but I think dry cuticles can be pretty painful especially when they start peeling. This stick of cuticle balm is enriched with the shea butter above to keep them healthy and moisturized. It's also unscented so it won't interfere with Rainbow Honey's scented top coats when you do your manicure. :)

Liquid Hand Soap - Summer Fruit Smoothie - I've been out of the Rainbow Honey scene for a while and this is the first time I'm hearing about their hand soap. It foams well and has a refreshing scent of melons, coconut and sugar cane. But mostly melons.

Perfume Oil Rollerball - Summer Fruit Smoothie - I love rollerball perfumes. There's no worry about getting excess spray on my bath towels and seeing my husband's face when he realizes he smells like a girl after his morning shower. And since I prefer smelling like fruits over flowers, melons are the perfect summer scent for me. Love this!

Nail polish in Ruby Sparkler - Since when did RH start giving full size nail polishes in the mini bags?! Oh, nevermind, I just read the bag description: "3 mini or 2 large new colors." This month is featuring the upcoming Sparklers collection. Ruby Sparkler is a red base chock-full of silver (maybe gold, can't tell) microglitter. Does this remind you of Dorothy's slippers in Wizard of Oz? 

Nail polish in Lemon Sparkler - Here we have a sparkly cream base that looks more white than yellow. Not sure why it's called lemon. Maybe it'll look more yellow once it dries? It's a pretty color though, and I'd wear this cream color more often than yellow anyway.

I'm impressed with the improvements Rainbow Honey has made since my last mystery bag. I remember they increased the size of their mini nail polishes right after I got my last bag, and it seems like they have also added a lot more bath and body products since then. I'm not overly excited about either of the nail polish colors, though. RH is my favorite source for glitter toppers, and I was hoping we'd get at least one this month. Oh well, there's always next month!

If you want to subscribe to Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag you can do so here. Or save a few bucks and get an extra month for free by picking up a prepaid subscription. Also, they just released their latest limited edition Mediterrania Trio for June, inspired by everything Grecian and Mediterranean. They're such beautiful earthy colors. You should really check it out!

Note: No referral links were used in this post, just my honest opinions :)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Serendipity by LLB Review - May 2016 + LLB Coupon

What: Serendipity by LLB is another box from the people behind Little Lace Box. It contains random treasures that weren't included in the main LLB but were too precious not to share.
When: Ships every other month (note this subscription is NOT auto-renewing)
Cost: $9.99 per box (shipping is included); ships anywhere in the US
Good to Know: Serendipity by LLB ships during the off months of LLB. So if you subscribe to both, you'll get something every month!

This is my first month getting Serendipity by LLB. I love the idea of "anything goes" and judging from past months it looks like you get a great value for your dollar. And with it costing only $9.99 w/ free shipping to HI of course I couldn't say no! Darn my lack of willpower.

Annie B's Handmade Popcorn (Value: $2) - When it comes to popcorn I'm easy to please. I'll even eat stale popcorn, as gross as that sounds. This is a mix of cheesy, caramel, and regular popcorn. I can't say there's anything that stands out about this popcorn, but it's still yummy and it's all gone.

Laguna Salt Company - Tuscan Rosemary (2oz full size value: $7) - Mmm...sea salt infused with the fragrant flavors of fresh sage and rosemary. LLB suggests using this on steak, chicken, or fish as an herbal rub or simply mixing it with olive oil for a dipping sauce for bread. My husband's grilling at least once a week (he loves it) so we have lots of chances to use this.

Pack-n-Go Insulated Tote (Value: $7) - How cute! This tote is shaped like a mini backpack. It feels well-made and even though it's not super roomy, you can easily fit a sandwich and drink inside - perfect for a short hike or a trip to the beach. There's also a shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free. I'm going to use this at my husband's next race.
Inside the pack-n-go tote
Alfresco Stemless Wine Glasses (set of 2 value: $8) - When we moved into our house my mother-in-law bought lots of dishware for us. Among them were a dozen wine glasses and a dozen champagne flutes. Then my coworker cleaned house and gave us four more wine glasses. But out of all those glasses none were stemless. I always wanted stemless wine glasses. And now I have two. When I drink I have a tendency to clean and I'd feel a lot safer washing these because it's one less fragile part for my inebriated self to break.

Modish Polish - Kim K. (0.5oz full size value: $12) - I'll be honest: I really don't keep up with the Kardashians. Whether or not this is her favorite shade of pink, I like it. It's kind of a nudey pink. Not too bright but not boring. Plus it's cruelty- and 5-free. Woot!

My first ever Serendipity is a huge hit! I'm going to use (and eat) everything in here and am kicking myself in the butt for not signing up for the year subscription. Looks like I'll just have to lurk on LLB's site until July's box goes up for sale.

If you love Serendipity and want more, try Little Lace Box! And don't forget to use code LLB10 at checkout to get 10% off your first LLB!

Note: Post does not contain any referral links. Just my honest to goodness opinions on these cool finds!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pooch Perks Unboxing - May 2016

What: Pooch Perks is a subscription box for dogs filled with 2-6 treat, toy, and hygiene items. There are four subscription tiers; boxes within each tier are curated according to your dog's size.  You can also make special requests (heavy chewer option, allergy-conscious, box frequency changes) when you sign up. For reference, this review is on the Popular Pooch box (4-5 items) for a medium/large dog (35lbs+).
When: Ships monthly on your subscription renewal date
Cost: $20-$50 per month (shipping is free); ships anywhere in the US and US territories
Fun Fact: Want only treats or just toys? You can sign up for that for just $20/month! Also, $1 from each box goes to rescue groups. This month 's organization is Ralph's Place. Check out their page here.

This month the fun folks at Pooch Perks were inspired by Cinco de Mayo to make a Mexican-themed box. I doubt my dogs know or even care about special celebrations (except their birthdays), but themes are fun for us humans. 

Cycle Dog High Roller Squeak Ball (Value: $7.50) - Cycle Dog's toys are made from post-consumer recycled material and this ball feels surprisingly durable. Plus it floats and squeaks, and the treads in here help support healthy teeth and gums. Lately the only rubber toys that keep my dogs' attention are the ones with treats hidden in them; unfortunately, there's no hole in this ball to drop treats into.

Spunky Pup Spunky's Disc (Value: $7) - My dog Macho is awesome at catching a ball, but he's dumb as a doorknob when it comes to playing frisbee. No idea why. His sister Pebbles isn't any better. Throw her a ball and you'll never get it back. I have to give Macho credit though, at least he tries. At least this frisbee can be turned upside down and used as a water bowl if my poor furballs are hopeless. I also want to point out that neither of these rubber toys were on the info card (which listed two plush toys) which leads me to think the guys at Pooch Perks actually followed my special request for durable toys when I signed up. Brownie points!

Mexican Themed Dog Bandana (Value: $7) - My dogs like being naked. Pebbles will tolerate a certain amount of humiliation, but Macho will have none of it. He thinks even a bandage is too much accessorizing. It's a cute bandana though, maybe I'll use it to wrap something up.
Oh em gee this is SO embarrassing...
Exclusively Dog Taco Flavor Jerkeez (7oz bag: $7) - This is a pretty heavy bag that I'm almost certain weighs more than the 7-oz listed weight. I'm happy to see that real chicken meat is the first ingredient in these USA-made treats and that they are wheat, corn and soy free. Plus the pieces are flat and can easily be broken in half if your dog is on the smaller side.

Your Pet Chef Liver Detox Rox Treats (2oz bag: $10) - My dogs have never tried cod before so this will be fun. These are also jerky treats and contain just four ingredients: cod, red pepper, apple cider vinegar and kale. Macho's not a fan of spicy foods but they don't seem to bother Pebbles. She's always doing fly bys to my chili pepper plant and snatches a pepper each time. That naughty dog. These are a much better alternative.

Biscuit Bob's Homemade Apple Crisp Biscuits (sample) - Mmm apple crisp. My mouth is watering just reading the name of this treat. I'm sure it tastes nothing like the real thing, but as far as my dogs are concerned you can't get any closer than this.

I think for me the value in this month's box lies in the treats. It's not that the toys aren't good, but they just aren't a great fit for my dogs. But I have to commend the Pooch Perks crew on following through with my tough toys request.

Want to start receiving Pooch Perks? You can do so here. And don't forget to use code FRIEND10 to get 10% off your first order with any subscription plan!

Note: Referral links were used in this post.  This review reflects my (and my pups'!) honest opinion of the products.