Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beauty Fix - Winter 2011 [Box #1]

So after reviewing my second box first, I now have my first Beauty Fix box!

Beauty Fix seems like a really nice subscription overall. It's a lot different from some of the others in that it's not so much a subscription as a super-product box, and you get to pick your samples. There have been some customer service problems -- and a lot of confusion over whether discount code-users were actually subscribed, but all of those were resolved thanks to some great higher-ups, so my experience has been positive. I honestly would have shelled out the $29.99 (with another discount) for the spring season if they had added more than a few new items.

I got a lot of nice products in my other box, but this one actually was my first round of choices. I picked out:


(Please excuse the bad photo. Between lighting and the flat-bottomed bottles hating my curvy couch, I was just unsuccessful in photographing...)

1. Bioelements Pumice Peel - 0.25oz - $3.20
2. LaLicious - Sugar Kiss Moisturizing Body Scrub - 2oz - $9.50
3. Global Goddess Beauty i Divine Eye Color in "Darjeeling" - Full Size - $5.99
4. Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray - 4oz - $7.99
5. DDF Brightening Cleanser - 2 oz - $8.94
6. Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cleanser - 1oz - $5.60
7. LaRocca Skincare - C-Gold Reparative Primer - 1oz - $28.00
8. iQ Derma Clear Remedy Hydrating Lotion - 3.4oz - $15.00

 = $84.22

Not bad, huh? :)

I selected my products both for price and off of reviews of the products. I admit that I tried a few more expensive things than I may have if I went solely off of "things I want to try", but I'd rather get more bang for my buck -- and I can always pick up cheaper items.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quick Free Sample Update!

EgoTeas has a really nice offer for anyone with a blog or website out there!

They are offering a free tea sample to people who spread the word about their teas. Check it out here:
http://www.egotea.com/company/link_rewards.htm

What's your favorite kind of tea (or coffee, for you coffee-ONLY peeps)?

Sindulge - March 2012

I had another subscription box that I tried for a penny to share with you guys next. I subscribed to Sindulge, one of the newer monthly boxes out there.

Sindulge is a little bit different in that it has "tailored boxes" based off of a video or web-based consultation with one of Sindulge's consultants. Now, I have to admit that my box did not seem very tailored at all, especially compared with a lot of the other boxes I saw other subscribers had received. I had a long email conversation back and forth with my consultant, since only one of the products discussed actually was sent in my box. Long story short, I received a second month's subscription for free, though my consultant also said that products essentially are only sent out based on what supplies Sindulge has, and the consults may or may not therefore accurately guarantee what you receive... oh well. We'll see what I get next month, I guess.

So the box comes in a cute little envelope-box...


Inside, I received:


1. La Fresh - Waterproof Makeup Remover - 24 wipes - $5.98
2. Benefit - My Place or Yours Gina - 0.05oz - $1.80
3. Jouer - Lip Enhancer - Full size - $14.00
4. Youngblood - Eye Impact Quick Recovery Eye Cream - 0.01oz - $1.16
5. Youngblood - Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder in Warmth - 0.02oz - $2.00
6. Youngblood - Mineral Primer - 0.17oz - $1.42

Total = $26.36

I guess this is a worthwhile subscription. I'm a little tired of the La Fresh wipes, since I think this is the third time I've received them. The other products are okay, but they're the sort of thing that I had specifically said I did not actually want, either because of their color or because they are skincare products. However, I will have another month to evaluate them, and perhaps next month will wow me like it did for some subscribers this month.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Birchbox - March 2012 [Teen Vogue Box]

Finally, I have my Teen Vogue Birchbox!

It came in a normal Birchbox, but with a special sleeve:


Inside were:


1. Essie - Luxeffects "As Gold as It Gets" - Full size - $5.00
2. Kate Spade New York - "Twirl"  - 0.05oz - $2.25
3. Kérastase - "Elixir Ultime" - 0.16oz - $1.80
4. Tarte - "LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint" in "Lucky" - Full size - $24.00
5. Twistband - Hair Tie - 1 tie - $2.00

Total = $35.05

This was a great Birchbox! I am really glad that I had opted in on the Teen Vogue offer. I do wish that there was a signature "Lifestyle Extra" like in the regular boxes, though I suppose the Twistband could count for that.

I do like that I received a matte Tarte gloss, though I am hoping to trade it for the nude or an orange/beige/red/gold toned one... I really can't get away with pinks. :\

What was in yours?

Conscious Box - March 2012


I have a lovely March Conscious Box for you tonight! I have to admit -- I was completely overwhelmed by the size of the items in this month's box!

In the box was:

1. MixtBag Yellow and Blue Corn Tortilla Chips - 1.5oz - $0.44
2. Morning Sunshine Breakfast Cookie - 1 cookie [Coupon Code with no shipping charge/not pictured] - $2.00
3. eBoost Pink Lemonade Packet - 1 packet - $0.98
4. Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers -.5 oz - $0.33
5. Olbas Lozenges - 1 lozenge - $0.24
6. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - 1 packet - $1.50
7. Java Juice Original Coffee Extract - 1 packet - $0.98
8. Good Kind Coffee Creamer -  2oz - $1.80
9. Tea Forte Minteas - 1 tin -  $1.87
10. Olivella Body Lotion - 0.1oz - $0.10
11. Healthy to Go! Acai Energy Boost - 1 packet - $0.67
12. Tera's Whey Pomegranate Cranberry Goat Whey Protein - $2.17

Total = $13.08

Soooo... I feel really bad, because I was actually really impressed by this month's Conscious Box. I know I'm going to use almost every item in here, and they are exciting because they're things I'll actually enjoy using. Still, this was worth a lot less than the other boxes, and while it covered the "price" of the box at $12, usually I prefer subscriptions also to cover the cost of shipping in the value of the products (especially since most services "roll in" the price of shipping into the monthly cost, period). 

I really hope to see next month wow. I have a lot of friends that I know are giving Conscious Box a shot, and I hate to see that it might be losing its luster in any way! Still, everything in here is great, and I think a lot of people are going to really find this an appealing box. :)

EDIT: As one of my lovely readers pointed out, the box does also come with a $5 and a $15 "gift card" to some sustainable-sensitive companies. However, when I went on the sites to spend them, I noticed that all products (with shipping) came to a good amount higher than the gift cards' worth, forcing you to spend some money to use your cards.

As standard practice, I tend not to count discount codes or gift codes when they come in boxes, but in this case, it does really add to the value of the box if you find something on either website that you really like!

Product Review - Derma E "Very Clear Problem Skin Cleanser"

I have another Natural Grocers sample to share with you today! I had built up a good two week supply of the "Very Clear Problem Skin Cleanser" samples which they had available, so I finally decided to give them a try.

I really like this product! I have to admit -- I use it along with an acne-treatment exfoliant, but even so (and even without being really committed to using it regularly), I have noticed a definite improvement in my breakouts. I am rather surprised. For some reason, I have developed a weird mental hangup on cleansers -- if they do not exfoliate, for some reason I think they do nothing, as if they are blocked by dead skin. It only recently occurred to me that I could exfoliate first.

It washes off with no apparent residue, and I actually like the tea tree oil scent. It has not really cleared up the blackheads I battle, but it does seem to do a very good job controlling blemishes. I admit -- I am a little worried that they will come back before I buy a full-size!

As a side note, it does seem to be sold now under a new name -- "Clear Skin 1 Problem Skin Cleanser". It redirects now to this product on Amazon. If anyone knows for sure this is the case, please do comment below.

Product Review - Soothing Touch "Peppermint Rosemary Herbal Salt Scrub"


I'll have a few other posts this weekend, but to start, I had a short and quick product review for you guys.

Over Christmas, I found a sample of Soothing Touch's "Peppermint Rosemary Herbal Salt Scrub". I've been using my little sample since then. I have a mixed review, but I think my "issues" are really just my-skin peculiar, so I'm going to start by saying that I do like the product overall. :)

I like the smell and texture of the salt scrub, though it disappears very quickly when used on wet skin. I always use a apricot/walnut shell exfoliant, so I have become really accustomed to being able to achieve a substantial amount of scrubbing power. I think this still exfoliates pretty well.

I also think that this is supposed to be very moisturizing, and has the essential oils to accomplish this. However, I have fairly oily skin, and although I could be incorrect, it felt like it was hard to get the product off. Again, this could be intentionally left-over to moisturize, but without knowing that for a fact, I have to say that it felt like it clung to my skin after I'd "washed" it.

The smell is very nice, and I do think that it kept my skin smooth. People with dryer skin might really like this product; if you don't mind the "moisturizing" aftereffects, other skin types should, too.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Product Review - eBoost

Hey guys!

I have a quick and dirty product review for you. A couple of weeks ago, I finally used the eBoost packet that came in my December Birchbox. Wow!

I am no stranger to "fizzy water additions". I have a mother and a good friend who swear by Emergen-C packets, so I have a large stash of those. However, this was MUCH better!

#idonthavethefactstobackthisup, but I'm pretty sure that the zinc in this (which a lot of people swear by to fend off viruses) kept me from getting a cold. Everyone in my immediate vicinity at both workplaces, my family, and friends kept getting a nasty head cold, and I have zero immunity to such things. My sinuses were doing the awful "let's start burning" thing (which has never before NOT led to a cold), and yet, after I made up this on a lark, it went away!

Long story short, this stuff is tasty and pretty awesome. It also has some caffeine, which is perfect for me. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beauty Fix - Winter 2011 [Box #2]

A few of you may be wondering where Beauty Fix #1 is. I haven't posted it! I actually subscribed twice to take advantage of the amazing $19.99 offer. This one I shipped to the place where I would be staying for break, and these were my "second tier" items (or "second half of the first tier" items). Hence, Box #2. I will post Box #1 when I am back at home.


Look at all the pretties! In this box, I selected:

1. Jonathan - Finish Control High Shine Flexible Hairspray - 10oz - $26.00
2. La Roche-Posay - Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel - 6.76 oz - $21.13
3. LaLicious - Sugar Kiss Moisturizing Body Scrub - 2oz - $9.50
4. Juice Beauty - Oil-Free Moisturizer - 1oz - $13.85
5. LaRocca Skincare - C-Gold Reparative Primer - 1oz - $28.00
6. Kinerase - PhotoFacials Sun Damage Reversal System: Daily Exfoliating Cleanser - 2oz - $18.40
7. Kinerase - PhotoFacials Sun Damage Reversal System: Night Moisturizer - 1oz - $41.41
8. Goldfaden - Daily Scrub: Red Tea Infused Daily Exfoliant - $24.50

=  $182.79

Wow.

So, if any of you are by chance interested in joining, let me know and I can have an email referral sent to you. :) Comment below or email me at caryatidcouture@gmail.com and I will hook you up! This would be amazing for me, because I won't be able to afford this subscription later on without a little help, and two referrals earns me a free season.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Polish Review - Hard Candy "Beetle"

Happy Sunday, everyone! I have a break week coming up. Anybody else?






However, to get you through your Sunday, I have a special polish review for you! I picked up Hard Candy "Beetle" last fall. Isn't it gorgeous? (#5, in the center)

This is a stunning multichrome shimmer-foil that goes between a dark fuschia purple (most visible above), olive green, and a brown-copper. I have heard it compared to Orly "Space Cadet" a few times as well as a few other polishes that are escaping my brain at the moment. I personally don't have any dupes, but I know that it is the dupe for some expensive polishes out there!

The wear on this polish was amazing. I only had the most minimal edgewear, and my nails are in horrible condition right now. Usually when they're short, they peel like a mofo. This one lasted so well! It wore for a week before I had the chipped polish urge to pick it off.

I LOVE this polish and look forward to trying other Hard Candy products in the future! You can probably find this polish at Wal-Mart, where I did.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beauty Army - March 2012

I lied to everyone! I said I was up to date on beauty boxes, but I received my Beauty Army box for March today!






This month, I had selected:


1. Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo- 1.76oz - $2.79
2. Control Corrective Medicated Pumice Wash - 4ml - $0.20
3. Cellceuticals PhotoDefense Anti-Aging Daily Skin Protector - .33oz - $7.42
4. Eye Prep FX Anti-Age Smoothing Primer - .16oz - $6.60
5. Babor Akinovage Anti-Stress Anti-Jetleg Cream - .5oz - $18.30
6. M.A.D Anti-Aging Transforming Daily Moisturizer - .13oz - $4.13

= $39.44

Always a great box! However, there have been some issues because Beauty Army has not received any new products in awhile. Hopefully there will be some new picks for April!

Birchbox - February 2012 [Vichy Box]

Last up, today, I have a special treat (for me)!

I was apparently not originally on the list of subscribers targeted for the Vichy Box. Frankly, I'm not sure why -- I have specified that I am interested in skincare products, and I am constantly looking for new choices in cleansers, moisturizers, and day/night creams...

Anyway, I emailed Birchbox, and they were kind enough to put me on the list to get a box. So, mine came a little bit later than the others (though I have to point out that they rush-shipped it!) but I finally received it yesterday in the mail, only slightly overshadowed by a letter telling me that I'd received a major grant for my summer work. :)


Shiny!


Woooot! I have to admit -- I am really excited about this box. These products seem VERY high quality! I can't wait to try them all, and I promise I will be providing reviews to all of you, too!


So, in the box were:

1. Aqualia Thermal Cream - $11.61 [Moisturizer - Daytime]
2. Lifactiv Night Cream - $11.61 [Night Cream with Rhamnose]
3. Purete Thermale One-Step Cleanser - $2.38 [Cleanser - Cleansing Milk, Toning Lotion, Makeup Remover]
4. Purete Thermale Eye-Makeup Remover - $0.87 [Eye-Makeup Remover]
5. Celludestock - $1.26 [Cellulite Treatment with Caffeine]

=$27.73

Nice set, isn't it? Especially for an extra free box? I can't wait to try these products. I'm so glad the night/day creams are large enough that I can actually get some good use out of them and evaluate them properly.

... also, any product that reminds you not to forget your decolletage makes me smile. :)
 
 

Love With Food - March 2012

Two more boxes to go to share with you guys today!

Yesterday I received my free Love With Food box. I was really looking forward to this: I love these kinds of food boxes, and I cook a lot when I'm not feeling too down. I was hoping that this box might jumpstart my cooking energy.

What's wrong with me this month? Am I getting too picky, or am I just striking out on subscriptions? I'm still waiting to be wowed by a February or March box. Here's hoping Conscious Box and Teen Vogue-Birchbox reinstall my faith in monthly subscriptions!


It comes in a cute little red box. I love the fifties theme! The company also donates a free meal to someone in need for each box, each month. :)


 


So what all was in here?



1. Southeast Asian Charcuterie - Pork & Turkey Flavors - $1.37
2. Organic Energy Bars by Kate's Real Food - $1.16
3. 73% Cocoa Dark Belgian Chocolate with Coffee by New Tree - $1.41
4. Fig Bar by Nature's Bakery - $0.83
5. Organic Popped Fuji Apple Chips by Yogavive - $0.60
6. Hemp Hearts - $0.26

= $5.63

... uh-oh. I think, Houston, we have a problem!

As a reminder, the full subscription price after the free month is $14. It unfortunately is not even worth half of this! This was similar to my issues with My Platinum Box's first month, as well. Subscription companies need to remember that their first few boxes are critical to retaining subscribers. I'm very underwhelmed right now.

I like some of these products. I really do. But I am also a vegetarian, so I can't even use one of them, and will have to donate it to a friend. I wish I loved this... but unfortunately it looks like I don't.

I would be happy to try the box again as a free box to review, but for now, I have canceled my subscription.

 


Birchbox - February 2012

I have a few more subscriptions to share with you guys today. Next up is my February Birchbox. Honestly, I think I was jinxed this month! I could not have picked a worse selection for myself, after I saw all of the options. :\ Luckily, I think I will probably use most of the products, eventually -- I just wasn't excited, especially after I saw the other boxes that went out.




So what was actually in here?

1. Benta Berry - G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream for Boys and Girls - 3ml - $2.10
2. Colorescience Pro - Glow and Go Travel Puff - 1 puff - $10.00
3. Eye Rock - Designer Liner - 1 sheet - $9.16
4. LA Fresh - Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover - 2 wipes - $1.25
5. Nail File (Extra)
6. Green River Ordinance Digital Download (Extra)

= $22.51 in products.

Why do I feel so disappointed? It was definitely worth the money, but... :\

I think it's because of a few problems with each item. First of all, I really like the moisturizer sample, but it's so small, it's going to be hard to evaluate it next to the Chanel. Second, I don't really want to try a new product when I'm "on the go" with the foundation, and on the Birchbox website, my account showed that I would get a compact with the foundation. So it's not all that useful to me as a "to-go" makeup item, since I can't trust something untried when I'm on a trip (especially since 99% of light foundations don't work on me, as they are too dark). 

Third, while I like the idea of the eyeliner tattoos, I'm confused how to apply them (YouTube, here I come), and even if I can, there are only one or two designs that I can plan on wearing on a regular basis because they are so large. As for the makeup wipes, those are the kinds of things I expect to pick up for free anyway -- and two is not a deluxe sample. The lifestyle extras are super disappointing this month, too -- I don't really care for indie rock, though I'll go ahead and download/listen when I have some free time, and the nail file is cute, but I think a lot of people are trying to stay away from this kind of emery board in favor of glass and crystal ones...

What (better!) boxes did you guys get? I feel like they did not take my profile into account at all, and I really feel like I got the worst assemblage of products that was out there this month. I'm jealous of the girls with Zoyas and other really nice products!



Julep Maven - March 2012 "Boho Glam"

Hello, everyone!

First off, today, I have the March 2012 "Boho Glam" Julep Maven box. This was honestly the first time I ever considered skipping a month of Julep fairly seriously. Some of the colors appealed to me, but none of the combinations -- I definitely did not like all of the three in the It-Girl box, but I didn't really want another argan oil product, since I have Orofluido already. I did go ahead and get it, though if the selections are similar next month, I might actually break down and not buy the month! :O


It came in a cute little purple bag with an extra nail file. I lost my glass file, so I sort of wish they had sent another of those, but this is still handy. :)


You can see that Alicia looks very orange on this card...



Not so much in real life. It's a salmon pink, not a salmon orange, if that makes sense.

As for Portia, Portia is not only a teal-tinted clone of Vanessa, but I have a dead-on dupe for it. I'm going to save swatches for when I do a solo review of Portia, but as a teaser:


Yes, kids, that's a cheap Wal-Mart Pure Ice over there. Oh well. Hopefully next month will wow me?

Which style did you guys get?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pick Your Olympian Giveaway WINNER!

Sorry for the delay, guys!

I have a winner randomly selected for the "Pick Your Olympian" Giveaway! The winner this time around is...

... Erin S.!

Please get back to me at caryatidcouture@gmail.com by the end of the week to claim your prize!