Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Popsugar Must Have Review

The Cost: $35; $39.95 a month starting November 5th
The Goods: A variety of home, beauty, fashion, and food items.

The Wet Brush: ($14)  I was actually pleasantly surprised by this brush.  I usually don't brush my hair while it's damp because my hair becomes a giant matted mess when it's wet.  I noticed a lot less fallout and breakage when I used this brush versus my usual one.

Julep Freedom Topcoat & Millie Polish: ($18 & $14)  This is actually the first time I've used Julep polish.  I really like the dark, indigo color, but I was disappointed by the wear of these.  I used them with my usual base coat and had significant chipping within a couple days.

NYX Smokey Shadow Palette: ($7)  I love NYX shadows. They're really pigmented for the price, and these dark shadows work well as liners too.

NYX Liquid Brown Liner: ($6)  I don't usually wear brown liners, but this one is pretty dark so I might actually use it anyway.

Jane Tran Thin Metallic Bobby Pins: ($12)  These are pretty and all, but I'm not a fan.  They were difficult to use and pulled my hair out when I removed them.  No thanks.

The Can't Cook Book: ($16.76)  This would make a really cute gift for someone who isn't extremely comfortable in the kitchen.  In addition to recipes, it has everything from directions for mincing garlic to a guide to knives and tools.

Gorjana Bali Bead Bracelet: ($45)  Popsugar loves Gorjana.  Fortunately, I do too.  This is a really cute, delicate neon bracelet.  Gold jewelry is slowly growing on me.  I'll probably like it by the time silver comes back into the spotlight.

The Crispery Halloween Sprinkled Crispycake: ($3.95)  I'm trying to save this to take as a snack for my plane ride next week, but it's been SO hard to resist the temptation.

Stitch Fix Discount Code:  ($20)  This gives you $20 off if you purchase something in your fix.  I have mixed feelings about Stitch Fix, but maybe I'll give it another go.

This box was really "meh" for me.  Even though I'll use most of the things I got, none of the pieces made me super excited.  There's been a lot of backlash over the price increase, but I still enjoy Popsugar over all so I'll probably stick it out for a while longer.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October Ipsy MyGlam Bag Review

The Box: Ipsy
The Cost: $10
The Goods: 5 beauty items selected based on your beauty profile, packed into a makeup bag

This month's theme was Art of Beauty.  I love the makeup bag.  I think I'm going to do a bit of splatter painting on it.

Style Sexy Hair Spray Clay: ($4.77)  When I used this, I didn't notice any extra shine, but it did add a some extra texture to my hair.  I would have probably loved this when I had my hair shorter and layered.

Nourish Organic Body Lotion - Coconut & Argan: ($1.50)  This lotion is really light, soaked in quickly, and left my hands feeling super smooth.  I can't decide if I like the scent or not though.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster: ($12)  Confession: I had no idea what this actually was for.  Based on the reviews, it's magic for hyperpigmentation (not something I have) and fine lines.

Ofra Lipgloss Plumper: ($12)  Man, this stuff is thick.  I'm used to squeeze tube glosses being a lot thinner.  Once I finally got it smeared on, it had a nice tingle (not a burn like some plumpers.)  The color's a little dark for me for every day, but J commented that he liked it.

Zoya Mason: ($8)  Zoya is hands down my favorite polish brand.  This shade is a part of their Fall 2013 Cashmeres and Satins collection and I'm completely obsessed with it.

For $10, I got nearly $40 worth of product.  Honestly,  anytime I get Zoya I'm automatically thrilled with the month.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link

Friday, October 18, 2013

September Cult Cosmetics Blackbox Review

The cost: $24.95 
The goods: 3 bottles of nail polish plus nail art tools and other surprises.

Mash Nail Art Rhinestones: ($4.99)  I can't wait to attempt to use these, then accidentally spill half the container on the floor and still find them in the carpet 8 months later.

OPI Pure Lacquer Nail Apps - Blue and Gray Rattlesnake: ($11.95) I've never used the OPI brand nail strips, but I heard good things about them when they first came out.

OPI Jinx: ($9)  I think of all the texture polish, the sand-y trend has been my favorite.  It seems like it lasts a lot longer than normal polish.  I love this color, but I wish I'd had it to wear for the summer.

Color Club Haute Couture: ($4.37)  This is a fairly old color (2007 or 2008 I think) but it's unlike any colors I already owned.  It's a dark, plum-brown color that's perfect for fall.

Color Club Angel Kiss: ($10) The only reason I stuck around for September is because they said there'd be a holo polish.  I can't even describe how obsessed I am with good, linear holographic polishes.  I just want to paint my nails with this and stand in the sun and stare at it for hours.

Starting in October, Blackboxes are going to contain Cult Cosmetics' own custom line of polishes.  I've already cancelled my subscription, but I am interested to see how their new brand stacks up to the name brands they've been sending out.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Naturebox Review - A Healthy Halloween

The box: Naturebox
The cost: $19.95
The goods: 5 bags of healthy, tasty snacks

This box's theme was "A Healthy Halloween."

Pear Praline Crunch: These are frosted pecans and cashews with a pear flavor.  I don't particularly like pear, but I love regular praline pecans.  I took these as a flight-snack this weekend and my dad ate almost the entire bag.  I think it's safe to assume he enjoyed them.

Honeycomb Sunflower Kernels:  I like sunflower seeds, but hate cracking the shells.  J's a regular sunflower seed fiend, but he didn't much care for these.  I think they are amazing.  They're lightly sweet and a little bit salty. 

Flax Crostini Bites: These were the most surprising item for me.  I expected them to be bland and boring and dry, but that wasn't the case.  They're actually lightly herb-y and perfectly crunchy.  I need to get some more Laughing Cow cheese, because I think these would be great with it.

Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels: I can't decide if I like these or not.  The flavor of them is good, but they're a bit too big and puffy for my personal preference.

French Toast Granola:  Possibly my favorite snack this month.  It's not overly sweet, but it has a subtle maple syrup taste.  They suggest sprinkling it into your yogurt or regular oatmeal, but I've just been eating it as dessert.

I absolutely adore Naturebox.  They're slowly introducing the ability to choose what you get in your boxes every month, but I kind of like letting them pick for me.  Sure, I might get some things I don't like but there have been several items I would have never picked for myself that I wound up loving.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September The Jungle Stand

Every month, the Jungle Stand sends you a "tasting bar" for $9.92.  It's designed to be a themed, blind taste testing experience. 

 I was a bit worried about the blind aspect since I'm vegetarian, but I was happy to find that they include color-coded nutrition facts.

This bar had flavors from Jamaica, the Philippines, and India.

Once you've sampled the items in your box, you match the colors up to this info card to learn more about what you just ate.  (Alternatively, you can be a chicken and match them before tasting them.)

Jamaican Jerk Spice Nuts:  J and I both knew instantly what these were.  It wound up being J's favorite - the spice was noticeable, but it wasn't overbearing.  (The saltines are included to be a palate cleanser between tastings.)

Sweet Jamaican Jerk Pops:  J's not a fan of popcorn in general so he was kind of "meh" on this one.  This was my absolute favorite, though.  It was sweet and clove-y, but had a spicy burn at the same time.  I would totally eat this again.

Fish Crackers from the Philippines:  J tried these and actually guessed that they were pork rinds.  He also didn't believe me when I told him they weren't.

Vegetarian Salt and Vinegar Chicharon from the Philippines:  I bit into one of these and immediately double checked that I hadn't overlooked a meat ingredient on it.  It was light and airy and had a salty, savory taste.  Not bad, but not my favorite.  J didn't care for it much at all.  

Khatta Meetha from India: This was a kind of bland snack mix.  J and I both agreed that while it wasn't bad, it just didn't really taste like much at all.

Cornflakes Mixture from India:  We ate this right after the previous one and honestly couldn't tell that much of a difference.  There were different items in the mix, but overall the flavors were extremely similar.

Even though J didn't fall in love with any of the flavors, he still said the experience was worth well over what I paid for the box.  (He guessed that it was $13 a month.)  Even if we had wound up hating everything, I think that the Jungle Stand still makes for a fun activity on a lazy night in.

Monday, October 7, 2013

September Bonjour Jolie Review

Bonjour Jolie is a subscription box designed to help you "pamper your period."  They send you your monthly feminine hygiene products, gifts, edibles, and pampering products.

I was stoked that September's theme was Go Vegan!

SerendipiTea: ($3.50)   Ruby Slipper, Once Upon a Tea...the names of these teas are so cute.  The pouch in the middle is a reusable pouch for steeping.

Desiderio Chocolates Gourmellow: ($2.50)  Since going vegetarian, I haven't missed meat that much thanks to Morningstar Farms and the like.  I HAVE, however, missed marshmallows. (Random, right?)  This bar was OMGdelicious.  It's like a chocolate covered marshmallow and a chocolate truffle had a love child.

Always Radiant Feminine Wipes: ($.32)

Puur Body Lip Balm - Sweet Vanilla: ($3.50) I just clicked around their etsy shop and I think I might have to place an order.  They have some awesome sounding scents and flavors - from Kentucky Bourbon to Pumpkin Pie.

Sunny Day Botanicals Lotion - Pomegranate: Their shop doesn't seem to be available - I'm not sure if it's just temporary or what.  This lotion smells delicious though.

Just U Relax Bath Tea: ($2) I hate companies who use "U" for you.  It's almost as bad as ending words with Z instead of S.  That said, I've never used a bath tea so I look forward to trying it.

Just Pure Minerals Bronzer - Glow: ($1)  This is a really tiny sample, but mineral cosmetics tend to last a super long time.  It's a really pretty peachy color that would probably work as an eyeshadow as well.

Personalized Silver Necklace: ($16)  I'm took the colored bead off of my necklace and now I love it.  It's really delicate and doesn't look like cheap jewelry.

Not pictured: my monthly products and Advil.

Even though Bonjour Jolie is a "time of the month" box, I think I most look forward to the food items that they pick out every month.  I don't know how they find such tasty goodies, but they nail it every month.