Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stickii Club Cute Sticker Pack Review - October 2016

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

This month is going by so fast. It seems like I just got September's sticker pack not too long ago. October's sticker theme is Adventure. Let's see what's in here, shall we?

What October sticker pack would be complete without a touch of Halloween? Those puffy ghosts are anything but scary - my favorite are the ghost bunnies. :) There's also a license plate washi tape sampler and a sheet of colorful washi stickers to stick wherever you please. Like your husband's toolbox, just because.

More colorful stickers! I love color. Look at those cartoon animals! The other two sheets are transparent square shaped stickers with home-related and Christmas themes. Doraemon also somehow waltzed his way into this month's sticker pack.

And finally we have these adorable people stickers. Stickii also throws in a bunch of singles to round out the pack. These aren't as colorful as everything else in the package, but they're still super cute.

I loved the COLORS in this month's sticker pack! The cartoon animals have already invaded my work desk. Sorrynotsorry. If you love stickers and cuteness, you can sign up for Stickii Club here. You can choose from three genres - Cute, Retro, and Pop, though all have some degree cuteness factor. Or better yet, pick up all three!

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

Bare Minerals 6-pc Mystery Collection Unboxing

A few weeks ago Bare Minerals released a 6-piece beauty surprise collection for $18 (valued at $110!). My makeup drawer is already overflowing and I really don't need any more but who listens to that little voice of reason, anyway? Besides, it's been a while since I last bought a BM surprise so why not?

One thing I should note about Bare Minerals mystery collections is that they contain mostly discontinued products. Not expired, but no longer in production. So you might expect to find last season's eyeliners or lipsticks in here. I suppose it's their way of cleaning house.

My order took three weeks to arrive which is not unusual when you live out in the middle of the ocean. I could tell it's been a while since I've ordered anything from them since I don't remember this pretty packaging complete with a sticker. It used to be just a baggie thrown in a box with brown packing paper.

Buxom Full-bodied Lip Gloss in Sweet Thing - Buxom is Bare Minerals' sexy makeup line mostly known for its lip products. I'm a fan of their stuff, but not so much this color. It's an in-your-face hot pink, much too bold for me.

Buxom Full-bodied Lip Gloss in Hello Lover - Similar to Sweet Thing but a little lighter, sort of a guava color. Still a bit BAM!ish but I'll see if I can pull it off. Apologies for the lack of swatches; wasn't sure if I'd be keeping or passing them on so I didn't open either.

Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind - Marvelous Moxie = my favorite lipstick packaging ever. It doesn't just snap closed, it locks closed. No more Coach wallet with accidental lipstick stains. *guilty* Then to open just push the little button and the top slides right off. The color isn't too shabby, either. It's a medium pink with satin finish that goes well with almost any look. Application is smooth and creamy. Definitely a keeper.
Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Speak Your Mind

Full Tapered Shadow Brush - When it comes to eye shadow brushes, I'll admit I'm not too knowledgeable about the tiny differences between the brushes. What's the difference between a full tapered shadow and contour shadow brush? I have no idea and therefore I use them interchangeably which is probably a cosmetic faux pas, but it gets the job done so I'm happy.

Eye Shadow in Breathless - This eye shadow looks pretty dark in the container but to my surprise it was actually very light and shimmery when swatched. In fact it almost blends in with my natural skin color. It's buildable though so if you want more intensity just keep layering it on. For reference that swatch below is three swipes of the shadow.

READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Promise - READY 2.0 palettes are comprised of 2 eye shadows that compliment each other. The Promise palette features Aspire, a shimmery nude cream and Vow, a mocha brown. Both are highly pigmented and go on smooth and creamy.

Wow, what a bargain! These may be discontinued products but that doesn't mean they're any less worthy. If you were to buy this season's equivalents you'd be spending about a hundred dollars. Plus almost everything in here (aside from the lip glosses) is in relatively neutral, work friendly shades. My favorite is the lipstick (I'm a sucker for great packaging) but I'll probably get the most use out of the mineral eye shadow because it gives you that no-makeup-yet-made-up look. I'm very happy with this collection, it was a good use of $18 :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pipsticks Pro Classic Sticker Pack Review - October 2016

  What: Pipsticks is a sticker subscription that sends you stickers from around the world. Depending on which plan you subscribe to, each sticker pack will contain 7-15+ sheets of stickers along with other fun paper extras. Sticker packs are marketed as either Pro (adults) or Kids and come in two sizes (Classic or Petite) for each demographic. This review is for the Pro Classic pack.
When: Ships at the beginning of each month
Cost: Pro/Kids Classic pack: $14.95/month; Pro/Kids Petite pack: $9.95/month (+$3 shipping for int'l customers)

Birds will always hold a special place in my heart. I had a pet cockatiel growing up that lived to be almost 13 years old. I miss my feathered friend so I was delighted to find birds in this month's sticker pack -- birds in costume as well as origami cranes. I folded a thousand cranes for my wedding senbazuru and these sticker cranes brought a smile to my face. :)
Reminiscing: our wedding senbazuru frame and closeup of the cranes used to create it. Looks just like the stickers!
I was also really glad to see koi stickers. In Asian culture koi symbolize strength and perseverance, both admirable qualities that I'd love to possess. I often see them depicted as beautiful paintings in peoples' homes. Several months ago my husband and I attended a Paint Nite and the painting of the night was koi. To this day I still can't believe we drew them because we are horrible at drawing but they actually came out decent. They may not make it to our living room wall but it was still a ton of fun to paint!
My Paint Nite koi :)
Halloween bats! Cute Halloween bats with big ol' eyes. This year I'm into the cute Halloween thing rather than the spooky stuff so these are perfect. And I'm not too much of a cat person but I thought those sheets of cat stickers were pretty darn cute.

More cats! These cats, the leaves, and the pretty skulls were all designed by Pipsticks founder Maureen. She's so crafty. Then there's more animal stickers and a sheet of flower stickers adds a girly touch to the pack.

September's Pro Classic sticker pack was pretty full. There were 13 sheets of stickers along with several singles tossed in. I think my favorites are the koi and crane stickers. Think these stickers are pretty? Click here to sign up for Pipsticks by 10/14 to get October's pack. You can use my link to get $5 off your first order. If you already have an account, don't forget to check out the Pipsticks shop to pick up past sticker packs and other fun collections!

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

Ipsy Review - September 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.

Ever since I started subscribing to Ipsy I no longer buy cosmetics at the store. And that's a good thing because that gets expensive fast. And it's a fun perk to get a new makeup bag each month. I use them to hold pretty much anything - pens, stickers, first aid kits. And sometimes even makeup ;) Here's this month's bag:
It completely eluded me at first, but on second glance I noticed that the four ladies spell out IPSY. Clever.

Now on to the contents!

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme - I don't own any lip plumpers so this was a fun first for me. Apply the gel like you would lip gloss using the doe foot applicator, wait a few minutes and voila! You have fuller lips with a bit of color. No need to apply actual gloss later. Not to mention this smells yummy, too. I didn't notice much difference in terms of fullness but I did notice that my lips were pinker, even though it's not very obvious in the photo. It tingles a bit after application which is probably what brings about the color due to increased blood flow, which in turn will make your mouth appear swollen-- er, plump.  Just a side note that some people may be sensitive to the formula/tingling sensation so try it out on a small area first. 
My lips before (top) and after (bottom) applying Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Teaser - I can't find this exact shadow online, but it looks like a matte chestnut shade (sorry, photo added a whole lot of pink somehow). It's super close to my natural skin tone and I'll get a ton of use out of this because it'll give me that no-makeup makeup look which is what I go for when I'm at work. The formula is buildable and it's also easily blendable so it would make a nice canvas to build upon, too.
DLS eyeshadow in Teaser
Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum - This serum contains Avene thermal spring water to relieve tightness and fine lines from parched skin. Good to keep in mind as the days get colder.

Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment - I have to admit, the term "PhD" sounds so much more fun when there's no books involved. This treatment smooths, volumizes, conditions, strengthens, and polishes hair which means more good hair days and less shedding. I could really benefit from the strengthening part - I need to sweep my bathroom everyday because my hair keeps breaking every time I brush it. It's amazing I still have any hair left on my head. 

tre'StiQue Mini Highlight Stick in Maldives Luminescent - This is a cream-gel highlighter that glides on smoothly and leaves behind subtle shimmer. I'm sure it goes on lovely and blends well too, but I'm hesitant to put on anything that makes my oily face look dewy because the last thing I need is more shine. If I want contour I'll just use a light matte shadow. 

September Glam Bag Verdict: This may be my favorite Ipsy in a while because I'm actually looking forward to using more than half of the products. So far my favorite is definitely the Too Faced Lip Injection because it's so fun and smells good enough to eat! If you want to subscribe click here to sign up. Even if you don't like everything in your glam bag, I still think it's definitely worth $10. Besides, who knows, maybe next month will blow you away :)

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

Serendipity by LLB Review - September 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 (free shipping)
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!

I've been getting dog and beauty boxes for three years and thought it might be fun to add a home or lifestyle box to the mix. As you may know, these types of boxes can be pretty pricey so I was thrilled when Little Lace Box launched a cheaper box for their in-between months. I signed up and here I am with my third Serendipity box. Like beauty boxes, these boxes can be hit or miss - I loved everything my first month but was on the fence with the last box. Let's see how September's box compares.

Boot Cuffs & Socks (RV $6-7) - These cozy, thin quarter socks are perfect for ankle boots. It's made of 80% cotton and features a breathable design so you don't have to worry about stinky feet at the end of the day. The only thing I'm worried about is my dogs finding it. No matter where I hide my socks (gloves too), they always manage to find it and start a game of tug of war which usually ends with holes in the fingers and toes. :(

Karista's Kitchen Spices - Matcha Sea Salt, Korintji Cinnamon, Smoke Sweet Paprika (RV $6 per packet) - I recently rediscovered my kitchen (sadly we've been in a take-out slump for the last couple of years...yikes) and have been trying to refine my cooking skills. Whether I've made any progress is debatable, but one thing's for sure - everything tastes better with spices. But they aren't cheap. That's why I'm so thankful that Karista's spices came my way - cinnamon, paprika, and sea salt with a twist. There were also some recipe cards using each spice. I think I'm most excited about the matcha sea salt! *drool*

Kilner Square Clip Top Spice Jar, 2oz (RV $6) - Ahh this is such a cute jar! It has a clip top and a rubber seal to make it airtight. I would totally put all my spices in these if I had enough space in my kitchen. Buuut I guess I'll settle for using it for the spices I use the most since those have the most contact with moisture.

I forgot to snap a photo of it but there was also a promo offer from Handwrytten, a service that makes life a little easier by sending handwritten greeting cards on your behalf. Judging by the sample with the promo code, I think it really is handwritten. Unfortunately, all of my close friends and family know I have horrible penmanship so they'll know it's not really from me. But if you have a million wedding thank you cards to write to distant relatives, click away and save yourself a week of hand cramps!

I'm so happy that this month's Serendipity is reuniting me with my kitchen. I can't wait to try the recipes and pick up some more spice jars. :) I think September's boxes are out of stock, but you can still pick up any of the items from the LLB shop by following the product links. If you sign up for a subscription now your first box will come in November.

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