Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ipsy Review - August 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.

I guess last month was a fluke when Ipsy arrived within a week of the ship date because this month we're back to the normal two and a half week wait. :( August's glam bag has a"sugar highness" theme which made me smile because it made me think of everything happy like sprinkles and colorful candy and unicorn farts.

Hmm...there's something about this month's bag that goes surprisingly well with the sweet theme. It must be the use of colorful pastels. A pastel explosion is what I'd like to think a unicorn fart looks like. I suppose that means I like unicorn farts >_<

It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner - Black (0.35g, value $15) - No tugging? Check. Waterproof? Checkity check. It's smudge proof, too. I swatched this on my wrist and had to rub pretty hard with water for it to come off. My go-to eyeliner is Julep's When Pencil Met Gel but I'll definitely be using this one when I run out.
It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black
Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette (3g, full size, value $18) - I love ice cream and the fact that this has neapolitan in its name makes my mouth water. As you might have already guessed from the name, this trio has all the colors you'd find in neapolitan ice cream - a champagne highlighter, a chocolate-colored contour shadow, and a dusty rose eyeshadow base. The only thing I don't care for is that it's. so. shimmery. Too much for me to pull off. But in case you were wondering, here's what the colors look like:

In Transit Camera Close-up Mask+Moisturizer+Primer (20ml, value $27.50) - Lately Ipsy has been including one crazy expensive moisturizer almost every month. This is it for August. I don't know about you, but I can't exactly justify spending $40 for an ounce of moisturizer, even if it is a triple-tasking one. I'm glad I got this in my glam bag because I'm pretty sure I won't be purchasing the full one-ounce size no matter how magical it is.

Peter Lamas Supreme Radiance Complexion Booster (10ml, value $14.50) - This is another expensive find. This complexion booster is lightly tinted and contains light-reflecting particles for a luminous finish. It also contains retinol and salicylic acid to reduce fine lines while CoQ10 and Vitamin E help protect and hydrate your skin. 

Ciate Paint Pot - Dangerous Affair (0.46oz, full size, $15) - Ciate makes some of the prettiest colors with some of the most interesting names. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge fan of burgundy nail polishes. It's a very fall-appropriate color though, so I'm sure I'll have no problem finding someone who can get lots of use out of this one.

This month's Ipsy is an example of the super high value ($80!!) you can get for just $10. Lucky for me, I can get use out of most of these things even if I can't afford to purchase the full sizes later on. :( My favorite is definitely the gel eyeliner. I know, boooring - but I do love when I discover a keeper and this eyeliner is exactly that.

If you want to pick up a subscription click here to sign up. Makeup is EXPENSIVE and I think it's well worth the $10 even if you don't end up liking everything :)

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag Review: Just Nails - August 2016

WhatRainbow Honey Mystery Bag contains RH-branded nail polish and soap/body care items from upcoming collections. This review is for the Just Nails bag which comes with 3 polishes and a body care sample.
When: Ships at the beginning of each month
Cost: Nail-, Body- and Soap-only bags are $12.50/month. A Large mystery bag subscription containing a mix of items is $22/month, or you can get a Mini version for $11. Free shipping for for all subscriptions.

Last month Rainbow Honey shook things up a bit. Their mini mystery bag usually comes with two full-sized nail polishes and 2-3 body care samples, but July's collection was so lovely that they felt they just had to give us 3 full sized polishes - the same as the Just Nails sub. And as you'd guess along with the bag came an offer to upgrade to Just Nails at no additional cost. I love the fun scents that RH has been coming up with lately, but I also know that the whole reason why this company caught my eye in the first place was their fun glitter toppers and shimmery nail polishes. So I upgraded to Just Nails. From now on (or until I decide to revert back to the regular mystery bag) I'll be reviewing Rainbow Honey's Just Nails monthly mystery bag.

August's nail polish collection was inspired by endless summer days at the beach. Even though school's right around the corner (or in the case of Hawaii public schools, we're already a month into the school year) it still feels like summer, doesn't it? Well, the sunshine and warm breezes feel like it, anyway. Here's a taste of this month's upcoming polish selection:

Wild Arctic Nail Lacquer - super rich navy blue lacquer with frosty diamond purple shimmer captures the beauty and elegance of the Arctic Ocean!

Labor Day Nail Lacquer - no white after Labor Day? No problem! This off-white beauty is intensely speckled with gold in honor of the strength and prosperity of the American Labor movement!

Mauve of My Life Nail Lacquer - demure twinkling mauve lacquer so rich, so ladylike and not yet autumn!

My favorites this month are Wild Arctic and Labor Day. Together they remind me of the beach. I'm most definitely going to do some shoreline nail art with these two colors!
L-R: Wild Arctic, Labor Day, Mauve of My Life

Fleuriste Perfume Mist - Also included was a perfume mist that can be used on skin or hair. Fleuriste is a dewy blend of ripe pears, bright florals and blonde woods. It is quite rejuvenating, but it kind of reminds me of the locker room showers - a blend of nondescript shampoos and body washes. It's not a bad thing in general, but I just don't want to be reminded of the gym and all the fun things I could be doing while I'm stuck at work everyday :(

The August Just Nails mystery bag is definitely reminiscent of the beach. No glitter toppers this month but I do like the Labor Day polish because it reminds me of sand. The gold flecks add some welcomed color and shimmer and I have nothing like it so far in my nail polish collection.

If you like fun glittery nail polishes as much as I do, Rainbow Honey is reasonably priced, and if you like sweet juicy fruity scents you'll love their soaps and body care products. You can subscribe to the monthly mystery bags here.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

3B Box Review - August 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!)

I've been getting 3B Box for about a year now and have come to a couple of conclusions: 1) I will never go without a cleansing oil again. Ever. I have an oily face and cleansing oil has done wonders for stopping the blackheads and breakouts. I have 3B to thank for introducing me to this godsend. 2) I love emulsions but absolutely hate emulsion sample packaging. More on this in a bit.

Hera Waterin Gel Serum - This brand is new to me and according to their website, this serum contains pinitol extract which is excellent for regulating and retaining moisture levels in plants regardless of environmental conditions. Pinitol is found in carob which apparently can survive for 25 years without water. Say whaaat?

Etude House Age Defense Essential Softener - Skin softeners are like toners and rehydrate your skin after cleansing so that it's better prepared for the rest of your skincare routine. This one has a slightly gel-like texture but smells like soap. Perfumed soap. I'm not a huge fan of the scent :(

Tonymoly Floria Nutra Energy Emulsion - I. hate. emulsion. packaging. Can someone please tell me why emulsion samples, which are kind of like thin lotions, are always in an unsqueezable plastic bottle? Packaging gripes aside, the scent of this isn't too bad. I don't usually care for floral fragrances but this one is also refreshing. It feels light on my skin yet moisturizes without leaving it feeling tacky. Perfect thing to finish off the summer months.

Goodal Waterest Lotus Water Cleansing Tissues - I love cleansing tissues and keep a pack in my bathroom, purse, and in my desk. They're perfect for cooling you off on hot days. Each one of these sheets is soaked with naturally fermented lotus flower water to cleanse and moisturize your skin, leaving you feeling refreshed.

Leaders 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution Mask - Acai is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize the damaging effects of environmental stress on skin. According to the package this bio-cellulose mask is "drenched in a full bottle of botanical extract-packed serum." Wow. That's a lot of goodness. I like how these types of gel masks cling to every curve of my face making sure it drinks up as much of the good stuff as possible.

So it seems like everything in this month's box was centered around skin hydration. I do like to keep my skin moisturized but I find that using an emulsion twice a day is more than enough to keep my skin happy. I even have to use masks sparingly because most of them are so intensely hydrating that my face will remain tacky and greasy until I wash it the following morning. Those wipes will definitely get a lot of use though, especially with how scorching this summer has been.

If you think you'd enjoy getting Asian beauty goodies in the mail every month, you can subscribe to 3B Box here. You'll get mostly skincare but you'll find some makeup and tools pretty often too. And for $12/month including shipping, it's one of the most affordable Asian beauty boxes out there.

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stickii Club Cute Pack Review - August 2016

What: Stickii is a new sticker subscription that sends an envelope full of Cute, Retro or Pop themed stickers every month (you get to choose the category!)
When: Ships on the 11th or 21st of each month depending on your signup date
Cost: $10 per month (free shipping)

A few months ago I picked up a planner from Target and using it has rekindled my love for stickers. I was a self-proclaimed sticker hoarder back in grade school and I needed to have all the cute ones. Apparently not much has changed since then. I could not ignore Stickii Club when I stumbled across a photo of their July puppy-themed sticker pack. I love puppies. I have two corgis who mean the world to me (I wish were still puppies but eh, their adult selves will do). When I saw that there were corgi stickers in the July pack I was all over Stickii's website like flies on honey. Then I saw how cute their previous months' offerings were and could not pass up picking up my own subscription (sorry, wallet). August's theme was "Edible." As in all things delicious. Cute food? I'm in!

Frozen treats, sweets, and...eggs. Gudetama to be exact. He's a cute guy, but those desserts though! How can you not want a cupcake after looking at that selection?!! The popsicles are glossy puffy stickers and were entirely effective at making my mouth water on this hot summer day. There was also some wide washi tape with what I think are desserts on it but I'm not totally sure.

STICKERS WITH FACES you guys. The Gudetama stickers above also had faces but I think these are way cuter. The sheet on the right has puffy potato stickers on them. A whole sheet dedicated to potatoes! Well I guess if you can make one all about an egg yolk then you can make one about potatoes. I honestly don't have enough food-related items in my planner to use all of these (though I wish I did!), but maybe I'll stick them in random places in my house. Like the dog food container. Or the microwave. Or my husband's lunch bag.

I saved my favorite sticker sheet for last. These are puffy stickers with a variety of food on it. Mostly Japanese food. The first thing that caught my eye on here was the tempura with a face. Because faces. And because I looove tempura. Then I saw the sushi with faces. Then the dim sum, and ahhhhh I love these stickers!!!

I absolutely LOVED my first month of Stickii. Stickers are not cheap - especially puffy stickers, and this package had three sheets of them! Not to mention this subscription included mostly full sized sheets. I definitely think it's worth the $10 and if this is any indication of what I can expect in the Cute pack, I'm totally going to hold on to this sub for a while.

If you're a sticker or lover or just like to collect cute things, you can sign up for Stickii Club here. There are three sticker pack genres to choose from - Cute, Retro, and Pop - though all have some serious cuteness factor. And if you like what you saw in a previous month, you can pick up past sticker packs in their shop for $12.99 each. I'm soooo tempted to pick up the puppy one!

Note: No referral links were used in this post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Serendipity by LLB Review - July 2016

 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: $12.99 per box or a one year subscription (6 boxes) for $59.94 (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!

The first thing I noticed when opening up this month's box was the overwhelming fragrance. Lavender. I don't mind lavender-scented things, but there's a limit to how much I can tolerate. This box really tested that limit. 

LeBlanc France Parfum Sachet - Lavender (Value: $6) - The main source of the scent. It's overwhelming. Lavender is one of 4 fragrances subscribers could have received, the other three being rose, peony or lily of the valley. This sachet also comes in vanilla, though I don't think it was included in any of the boxes. That's too bad, since I would have preferred that over any of the others. The directions make it clear that the paper envelope should not be opened if using it as potpourri. Good idea. Unless you want your clothes to smell like lavender forever.

Pre de Provence Riche Hand Butter - Starflower (1oz full size value: $8) - Hold your horses, we're not quite done with the flowers yet! Next up is a rich hand creme in starflower scent, though I'm not sure what starflower smells like (tuberose, gardenia??). Sadly, while I do think flowers are pretty, I'm not at all a fan of floral-scented things. It's just too strong for my olfactory senses. But on the bright side, at least it's not more lavender (which was also sent out in boxes!).

Kitsch Double Layer Gold/Pearl Necklace (Value: $23) - I'm not much of a jewelry wearer, but when I do I usually prefer white gold over yellow. I'm not really a pearl person, either. BUT. Here they work nicely together. The mix of tiny pink and white pearls kind of gives the necklace an overall rose gold look at first glance, which I prefer over yellow gold, too. And each necklace has its own clasp so they can be worn layered or separate. I think I could get some use out of this piece. Here's a close up of those pearls:

MannaKadar Fantasy 3-in-1 Blush Highlighter Shadow (Value: $19) - Fantasy is described as a "nude blush pink" which I think is quite accurate. It's actually more pink/copper than the photo above.  Although this is a bit dark for a highlighter and too shimmery for me to use as a blush or bronzer, it'll make a pretty eyeshadow. Unfortunately,  I already have too many copper/nude shimmery shadows so this will be passed on to someone who can use it.

Boca Terry Spa Headband (Value: $4) - This headband feels luxurious considering it only costs $4.00. It's soft and has a strong Velcro closure that's pretty long so it should fit most adults' heads. This would be perfect for keeping hair out of your face when washing your face or during mask treatments. However, I'm very bad at keeping white things white. I can be the neatest person in the world, but the minute I throw on a white shirt or shorts I'll manage to lean against a dirty wall or something.  That's why I'll be passing this off to someone who isn't so terrified of wearing white.

LLB also announced its newest partner, HelloFresh. To celebrate, all Serendiptiy subscribers received a gift card for $50 off the first two boxes for new subscribers. I love gift cards and wouldn't mind taking advantage of this offer, buuut they don't deliver to Hawaii so it's useless to me. Up on the swap boards it'll go.

It pains me to say that I didn't love this month's box very much at all. The value is there, but I just don't see myself using anything other than the necklace. The perfume sachet is just too much. Floral scents give me a headache and I can feel one coming on right now. On the bright side, at least the necklace alone is worth more than what I paid for the box, right?

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