February Birch Box

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When I received my February Birch Box in the mail I was excited. I mean this thing was heavy which for Birch Box was a first. I couldn’t wait to dive in. I had no idea what I was getting. I know you can see what you are getting in most subscription boxes but I really love the surprise of it all. Birch Box is $10.00 a month (I bought one year to get one month free), and after you review your products you receive a $5.00 credit. So for me, I consider this a $4.00 a month subscription. Birch Box generally sells high end product which I love. Even though the samples aren’t always huge, they give me a great idea of what to expect when I’m ready to splurge.

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Bain de Terre Passion Flower Shampoo and Conditioner. These are what was making my box heavy! The full sizes are $12.00 each. I don’t feel like doing my calculations to figure out the sample values right now but I will say these are big enough to last about 2 weeks. Which I am cool with. I won’t be buying them because although they smell great, they don’t do anything special for my hair.

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I also got this small Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish. The full size is $10.00. I am prob going to swap this. I am not a fan of Ruby Wing.

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The last 2 items are Joan Vass’s L’eau de Amethsyt ($75.00 full size) perfume and Previse Hydromilk. I don’t mind getting perfume samples in subscription boxes, I may be the only person that doesn’t mind it. I like being able to try out a perfume for a week, see if I get any compliments, and see if it irritates my skin. Then I either pass them on, order a full size, or throw them out. Total win. This was a very strong sweet floral scent that I felt was overpowering. I work in a small office and I’m pretty sure my coworkers senses would be offended by this perfume. I threw this one away. The Hydromilk is a small sample same in size to the Juara Candlenut cream I tried last month. I like getting moisturizer samples but this one is so small it doesn’t give me enough of an idea if I would want to buy the full scent. It covers half a leg. That’s not enough to judge something by or decide to spend $48.00 (!!) on. That’s a lot for moisturizer. I need a better sample to risk spending that kind of cash.

So although this wasn’t my favorite Birch Box, I got to nix a perfume off my try list, swap a polish for one I’d like better, and have 2 weeks of shampoos. Works for me!

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January Glossybox

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Oh yes. Another January review. I received this on the very last day of January, so it’s doesn’t count that it’s late. I’ve only now started using all the products. Glossybox is $21.00 and features higher end deluxe samples and full sized products. Glossybox has some of the prettiest packaging of all subscription boxes and truly makes you feel like you are opening a luxe gift.

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The Original Beauty Blender- $19.95. Obs it’s not in the box. I already started using it and I didn’t want to show my concealer covered blender so I chose to photograph the box empty. We saw this as a preview for January and I was so excited. This is a must have beauty product.

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Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash -$5.67. I love all body washes. Seriously. I haven’t met one I haven’t liked. 

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Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Casual Sea Salt Texturizing Spray -$6.25. I want to love sea salt spray. The name alone makes me want it to work. This smells great and I had high hopes. But I have very very fine hair and all this did was make it feel dry and brittle. I was so sad because I have yet to find a product that gives me the volume I need.

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Vichy Aqualia Thermal 48 Hour Hydration Moisturizer -$9.18. I really like this cream. It’s the perfect size to try for a couple weeks to decide if you want the full size. It has a very light scent and is a great night cream. It also didn’t make me break out. I can’t say that about every product I tried this month. In fact, one product I tried had me embarrassed to show my face at work for a week.

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Bellapiere Cosmetics Mineral Blush -$20.00. I hate mineral products. They are messy and get everywhere. The dust gets all over my face and clothes. This, however, was awesome. I guess because it is a blush it doesn’t matter that it gets all over my face. It is the only mineral product I will ever use. The color is a warm rose with a slight gold shimmer. It’s beautiful for summer. I love it. I can imagine this will look better with a slight tan.

January Beauty Box 5

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So it’s late February and I am finally reviewing my January Beauty Box 5 box. In my defense, I signed up in February and as part of the promotion I received this January box free of charge and also a discount on a 1 year subscription. That means I will only be paying about $9.00 a box. Usually Beauty Box 5 costs $12.00 and promised 5 deluxe or full size products.

ImageSwissco Bath & Shower Exfoliating Gloves -$5.00. These are wonderful. I’m sure everyone has owned a set at one point. I was due for a new pair so I was so happy to get these.

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Jergens Daily Moisture moisturizer -$.33. & H2O Spa Body Wash in Lotus -$1.36. The moisturizer is in my purse because it’s the perfect travel size and is a great moisturizer. I haven’t tried the body wash yet because I have a few to get through first, but it smells amazing and reminds me of summer.

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The ‘That Awkward Moment’ Compact is just a small mirror for a movie promotion. I brought it to work and threw it in my desk. I needed a mirror there anyway!

Epic Blend Hemp Coconut Lip Balm -$3.39. When I saw I was getting this I was so excited. I love coconut everything. Then I tried it and hated it because it smelled weird and not what I expected. Now I am completely addicted to it and use it constantly. Weird, huh? It’s easily my favorite lip balm I’ve ever used.

In the box we also received a $5.00 cuticle oil by Nubar, mine is vanilla scented. I must have been pretty excited it about it because I forgot to photograph it and I have been using it daily. lol. I’ll be honest that it hasn’t really done a lot for me and I haven’t seen any results. But keep in mind I live in Wisconsin and it is freezing cold here so my hands are as dry as can be.

All in all, this box was so amazing for me. I realize these are super high end expensive samples, but they are all things I will happily use and I cannot say that about all the expensive stuff I get from other boxes. I especially love this box because it was free. 😉

January Blush Box

It always takes me forever to do a Blush Box review despite the fact that it is usually the first box I receive each month. It’s also the most packed full of goodies. The cost per month is $26.95 with shipping and always has a great value. I must have forgotten to take a first looks picture. Whoops!

The first item I saw when I opened this box is called a Leedee. You can get it for $8.70 on Amazon. This is a tool used to exfoliate the skin while showering. You must use it in water or it won’t work. Either way this didn’t work well for me. I have very little results and it was time consuming but at least not painful. I find using exfoliating gloves to work much better but this was cool to try out.

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This is the second Klorane product this month and I am so happy about that! This is a full size leave in cream with desert date. It retails for $16.00 and works so well I am excited that this is full size (4.22 oz!) This will last forever!

And the other product is called Harmonized H2O for digestive health. This is another full sized product (3.38 oz) that retails at $30.00! However.. yeah not so excited to use this. I don’t really need any help in that department and I don’t wanna be poopin my pants. haha. I did try a splash to see what it tasted like and it has no flavor so that is good.. Now that I have it.. nobody better piss me off. I have arsenal. hah!

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This is a tiny little Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper in Toyko. Despite being tiny this lipstick is gorgeous and will last at least a month or 2. I want the full size but it is $25.00!  I can’t justify that considering I have a drawer full of lipstick.

Also included is Goldfaden MD. Wake Up Call Overnight Regenerative Facial Treatment. The full size (1.7 oz) retails for $80.00 but this is a smaller sample at .16 oz. I haven’t tried this yet because I have a bottle of a diff. night cream I’d like to get through first.

ImageI received 2 foils for Cetaphil as a bonus with the purchase and isn’t included in the actual Blush Box, they usually include a foil or small sample each month. Cetaphil is a great tried and true product used by thousands. I really like Cetaphil and have this facial wash in it’s full size. But I am excited to try the lotion with it.

Last and not least is Glytone Essentials Hydrate Eye Cream. This stuff is great and I’ve been using it daily. I really don’t have a lot of lines yet so I couldn’t say if this helps any for that, but it’s a lovely gentle moisturizer for the eyes that has the finest sheen. This is also another full sized item that retails for $38.00!

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So as you can see, 4 full sized items, 2  deluxe samples, and a bonus small sample for only $26.95! Considering that the 4 full sized items value came up to almost $100.00 alone, I’d say that’s a pretty amazing deal! I may not use 2 of the items, but the value of the ones I will use far surpasses what I paid.

January Birch Box

Birch Box is so different. They are the first subscription box that I have ever tried. At $10.00 a month Birch Box seemed like a proper investment. Little did I know it would spark an obsession to subscriptions that will never feel quenched. I want them all! Seriously, if I were rich, I would get every single last one of them with no regrets. I had considered canceling my Birch Box subscriptions after a few particularly bad months but I figured $10.00 isn’t that much, and after you review your products you do get $5.00 back in credit so I held back. I am so glad I didn’t cancel! I had seen some spoilers of other people’s boxes for January and I was so excited to see what was in mine.

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Now the obvious stunner is this red glitter Nail Rock set. It’s a full sized item that retails for $7.00! I was so excited about this. But then I started thinking about the obvious problems.. loose glitter.. removing glitter from the nails.. red glitter covering every surface of my home. I haven’t tried it yet. I love glitter. If the world sparkled I’d be happy forever. But that’s not realistic. I am going to wait until Valentine’s Day and wear this for a night on the town. And probably not again.

ImageI was also very excited to see this Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The 3.2 oz retails for $19.50 but this 1.06 oz still has a value of $6.50. I really enjoyed this dry shampoo. I was so lucky to get it when I did because for the last few days the city has been working on the sewer system which means no showers! This left very little residue and the usual white chalk was easily brushed out, leaving my hair looking fresh and clean!

The Juara body cream I haven’t touched yet. It’s a small sample (.17 oz). The full size is 7.5 oz and retails for $35.00. This is for severely dry skin. The only thing that irks me with Birch Box is that my profile does say clearly that I have oily skin and I keep getting moisturizers. Couldn’t they send me some oil blotting papers instead? Yes, I really have the oiliest skin ever. I will use this because at least it isn’t for the face. But I am saving it for summer.

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Most people hate getting tea in their boxes. I can’t get enough and this is actually the first time I have ever gotten tea. it makes me sad because I know I am one of the few that enjoys it! I used to hate tea but now all of a sudden my tastes changed! This Ahmad tea is so good! The English Breakfast is a staple in my home. And I loved the Lemon Vitality. It’s next on my Birch Box shopping list. I also got an Apricot flavor that I gave to my mom because she loves peach and apricot things. Birch Box sells 2 boxes of these teas for $7.00! This is actually one of the least expensive teas on the market, and genuinely one of the best! The samples only have a value of about $ .17 each but that’s okay! I was so happy to try a new flavor that I loved. Btw Birch Box also sells the cutest tea tins from Ahmad. I have bought all of them and proudly display them in my kitchen.

This mascara is by 100% Pure and I received the Black Tea color. I have seen mixed reviews on this but personally, I think this is fabulous and I intend to buy the full size. It’s pricey at $18.00 but this worked wonders on my lashes. People really need to realize that mascaras suit each person differently and stop complaining about them. You just need to find the one that works best for you and roll with it. I got the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara in one of my box, and every person I’ve seen seems to love it, but for me it’s the worst I’ve ever used but I am still glad that I got to try it!  The thing I love most about this mascara and all 100% Pure products is that they are organic, natural, and made from fruit and vegetable pigments. I worry about all the chemicals in products and try to get away from them as much as possible. I can’t wait to try the other products in this line!

 If you’d like to try Birch Box, just click one of my pictures to sign up!DSCN0316

ShopVault.com

Have you ever visited http://www.ShopVault.com ? You absolutely should and create an account. I discovered Vault when they ran a promotion about a year ago that allowed you a $25.00 credit with no minimum purchase when you create an account. And shipping is always free.  Of course I took advantage of this and immediately got a beautiful and better yet, free tank top. 

Something I didn’t expect by having an account with them? Every other month or so they credit my account with up to $25.00. When I say account, mind you, I don’t get spam from them. In fact, the only time I really get an e-mail is when they notify that I have a credit. Usually these credits do have a minimum purchase of $35.00 but still.. that makes an item only $10.00 total!  

Here are items that I have gotten as a result of all of my credits. 

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                                                                      Choke company ‘Deerhead’ tee -$26.00 Paid- $5.00 These tee’s are somewhat small but I would recommend anyone order from the Choke line. They are very high quality cute designs. Just order a size up!

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Choke Company ‘Anchor’ raglan shirt $35.00. Paid $10.00.  This shirt is one of my faves in my closet. It’s true to size. Such gorgeous material, bright in color, and I get compliments all the time on it! 

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Kohana Skin- Bamboo, Lemongrass, Coconut Milk, and Honey Lotion 8 oz. $17.00 Paid- $5.00.  

This is easily my favorite moisturizer right now. If you have ever tried Suki’s Lemon Sugar Scrub, that is what this smells like to a T. 

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Curbside ‘Great Horned Owl’ tee $30.00. Paid $5.00. Another beautiful tee shirt. Again, I’d say order a size up. But I would say that on any women’s fitted tee. I hate when they dig into my arm pits. hah.  

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Burnetie ‘Backdrop’ Women’s Sneakers $39.00. Paid $14.00. For 14 bucks.. can’t complain! I wear these to do house and yard work in. They are even kind of cute! 

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Smith and Chang “Patria Forest Bath Salt’ $20.00. Paid $7.50. Birchbox has recently begun selling their products on it’s site. They are very high quality but this did dye my bathtub black..and my skin. :/

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Smith and Chang’s ‘Kumquat Blossom Bar Soap Set’ – $18.00. Paid $7.50. This came with 2 bar soaps. The packaging is exquisite and these smell like heaven. I hated opening one. I still have the other left.

Okay I’m going to stop now because I could go on for days about all the money I have saved on this site. Sometimes when they send me these credits I feel so guilty! Because I don’t really ever spend a lot more than the minimum purchase amount. And with the shipping always being free.. it’s really such amazing deals. Oh wait.. one last one.

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Naked Decor ‘Japanese Lucky Cat Pillow’ Originally $50.00, On sale for $37.50. Paid $12.50. Okay.. $12.50.. seriously!? Why aren’t you signed up already!? This pillow is so cute and the back is even cuter! It has a big cat face on it. Oh yes, you can use your credits on sale items.

Also, click the pictures to be taken to where you can purchase these for yourself.

That is all. 

December’s Sparaj box!

I love Sparaj boxes. Apparently I am not the only one because they are sold out until March. I was purchasing them one at a time although you can buy a subscription. Sparaj boxes are $40.00 a month and are one of the pricier spa boxes.Sparaj Box includes a hand picked mix of wellness products selected from grassroots artisans unique to Asia. I have this slight obsession with all things Asian. I am genuinely disappointed I did not order a longer subscription. But money is tight for me right now, so what can you do!

First look at December’s box was adorable! It was wrapped so nicely and I kept the scrapbooking stickers!

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So far the products that Sparaj sent out were packed in a small lovely tote bag. This month they were packed in a cloth backpack reminiscent of Santa’s bag!

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The first item is by Soap Box and is called the Scent Of Bangkok.  It retails for 200 Baht at http://www.SoapBoxBKK.com which comes out to   $6.11 USD. It is described as “Spicy Patchouli  complemented with refreshing Neroli and Cinnamon to create a sweet citrus smell that lasts on the skin for ages after you’ve washed. French red clay acts as a natural detox agent to help purify your skin.” I love the smell of this soap. It’s gorgeous and I don’t even want to open it, I just want to sniff it. (Creepy) But of course I will use this!

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Included was this ‘Face It Nail Pack’ foil pack. I don’t like that this box included 2 foil packs, honestly. For the price paid I think they could have included a bit more.  This is a  paraffin treatment mask that you place over your fingers, leave on for 15 min, and massage into your hands to soften them. I haven’t tried this yet but I did receive something very similar from Birchbox that worked great. I do not have a price on this because they do not sell online to US. You can check out their website at http://www.thefaceshop.com. They have such cute products I wanted to buy everything and couldn’t! Good thing for me though. I will estimate the cost of this to about $6.50 US based on the cost of the set I received from Birchbox. *UPDATE* Looking up The Face Shop on Amazon.com and I found so many products I want to buy. Oh lord. So so many.

The foil pack with the foot on it is by Nature Republic and is a peeling foot mask. It is a set of booties that you place on your feet for up to 90 minutes, rinse with warm water, and about a week later your foot calluses will fall off. I don’t know that I believe that! I haven’t tried it because my feet are in pretty good shape. Once it gets colder though I am sure I will appreciate this more. Again you can visit their website at http://www.naturerepublic.co.kr but they do not sell from this site but I did find them on Amazon.com in a 5 pack. The value of one is $4.28.

*UPDATE 1/1/14 – I tried this foot mask last night. I left it on for about 60 min before it started to burn. I’m sure it’s supposed to but I started getting this weird feeling thinking like what the hell chemicals am I allowing to leech into my body!? My feet still feel weird the next day! They are tingling and kind of itchy. Maybe I’ll update again if I see any skin falling off…

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The last item is this Botanique Candy Shop Diffuser. You can find it at http://www.botaniqu.com but I couldn’t find a shop to buy it from.   It retails for 940 Baht or $28.72 US. I just looked that up so that brings up the value of this box more than I expected. I don’t want to open this! I haven’t yet because I am still full on my Popsugar box’s Barr Co diffuser. But I think I will feel guilty using this. It is so freaking cute. I have the box displayed on my desk just to look at! It’s all things candy and girly that I love.

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So the products in Sparaj’s box totaled just over $45.00 and that is without the backpack. I supposed you can’t judge a product by it’s cover. Sometimes they are worth more than it seems. I was generally very happy with this box. I know I haven’t tried anything yet but that was in part that I was trying every product I could from every box this month! Boy they are starting to add up.