Saturday, December 10, 2016

October 2016 Julep Maven - Dark And Stormy Nights - Unboxing & Review!

Another month of Julep Maven! Minus when I first subscribed, I think this has been my longest streak of not skipping a month; I really appreciate Julep upgrading my subscription to be customizable, while still letting me pay the original price.
I ended up with quite a lot of products this month! Along with my three base items, I added three extra items, got a freebie item for doing so, and Julep gave everyone who got a box in October an additional special holo topcoat!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

October 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Season's Best - Unboxing & Review!

I don't know if it's always been this way, but I just discovered that Allure lists the credits for the front and back cover photos of the Beauty Box mini mag next to the spine on the page with the Letter From The Editor. I think it's a photographer credit (there are two models on the cover, but only one name credited), but still--no more mysterious photos!
The October 2016 Allure Beauty Box shipped a bit late this month due to a special limited edition item. Allure sent out an e-mail letting everyone know that the boxes would ship late; I did start to worry when it got to October 17th and I still hadn't gotten a shipping notification, but my box arrived safe and sound two days later. On a side note, the Allure Beauty Box is probably one of the least consistent boxes when it comes to ship/arrival dates; when I first subscribed, it came almost on the 1st of the month, but now it can be anywhere from the first few days to within the first two weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 2016 Birchbox - Revive & Restore - Unboxing & Review!

One of my favorite things about subscription boxes is the mystery; the idea that you might get something worth a lot more than you paid is very appealing! While I now appreciate both mystery and non-mystery boxes (I always spoil the Allure Beauty Box for myself, but I never look to see what I'm getting in my Birchbox nor Ipsy Glam Bag), I still love the little thrill I get when opening a mystery box.
...which makes it especially weird when I go with the non-mystery curated Birchbox! I really liked the items in this box, which is why I went with it instead if my regular mystery box, but I kind of regret it since Birchbox tends to sell these boxes in the store for $10, so I could have gotten this box and a normal Birchbox for only $20. Hmm.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set - Swatch & Review!

When I first saw that Kat Von D was going to come out with a mini set of Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks for the holidays, I was super excited. I really like Kat Von D (KVD) as a brand, I've always heard good things about her liquid lipsticks, and I've enjoyed using the few that I have (I've never owned a full size, but I have a couple minis). I purchased this kit the day it launched at Sephora online and, at $49 for eight minis, the kit is a great deal (each mini is about half the size of a full size lipstick, which retail for $20 each).
I was feeling oddly apprehensive about this purchase while it was shipping and, while I do still think this is a good kit for people who love KVD and the Evelasting Liquid Lipsticks, it fell a little short for me and, spoiler alert, I ended up exchanging it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sugarpill Kim Chi Liquid Lipstick - Swatch & Review!

We're living in a golden age for indie makeup; thanks to the internet, it is very easy for a smaller company to get their name out there and for consumers to get their hands on more niche products that may not be quite so readily available from mainstream companies. With the rise of consumer desire for more unique products, smaller indie companies can grow and thrive and turn into what I like to call 'semi-indie' companies; companies that still make products in smaller batches or that are not sold in retail stores, but that have corporate offices and a larger staff of people to help them run their business. One of my favorite semi-indie companies is Sugarpill, a super cute cruelty-free brand from California owned and operated by a very lovely lady named Amy (she goes by Shrinkle on social media). Sugarpill makes amazing cosmetics; they're best known for their eye shadows, but they recently branched out into lip products. I already own and love one of their liquid lipsticks, the elusive Trinket, so I was very happy when they announced that they'd be releasing a second called Kim Chi.
 I was prepared to fight tooth and nail to get it when it launched, but due to the issues I had when ordering Trinket (this was when it was limited edition; they've brought it back as a permanent color), I was given a special code to order it early. Yay!

Darling Clandestine Early Fall Release Haul - Dewlap Valentine, Fire Eater, Dulcinea, Hotel Clandestine Set - Review!

Like most people, I like to smell good. But smelling 'good' just isn't enough...I need to smell magical. Smell is a very important sense to me, and I love exploring new and interesting fragrances; there are some really great mainstream perfumes out there, but generally, they all tend to blur together and nothing ever really stands out to me. Which is why I prefer to purchase indie fragrances!
Out of all the indie fragrances I've tried, my favorites by far come from Darling Clandestine! There's just something about them; they're complex and interesting, and they invoke a lot of memory and emotion. Evonne, the owner/creator of Darling Clandestine (DC) is master at her craft, and she and creates some very impressive blends!

September 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month - Comic Book Girl - Unboxing & Review!

Let's take a look at the September 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month!
Glamour Doll Eyes is an indie cosmetic company that makes a variety of face and eye cosmetics, with a focus on loose shadows. It was one of the first indie companies I was introduced to, and one of the first (if not the first) that I purchased from. While the Of The Month wasn't my first indie subscription (I used to get the Rainbow Honey monthly mystery bags, though I never actually subscribed), it's the one that I've been getting the longest (over two years now!).

Friday, October 21, 2016

September 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - Glamazon - Unboxing & Review!

The September 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag is here (...it's been here for a while) and my bag had a very good variety of samples, including brands and products that I have and have not tried before.
Admittedly, most of my excitement from this bag comes from the nail polish; if all my bag included was the polish I would be happy, and if my bag didn't include the polish...I might not be quite so pleased with it. That's not to say that most of the products aren't good, they're just not to my personal taste.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

September 2016 Birchbox - Go Forth And Multitask - Unboxing & Review!

For some reason, it seems like September was the 'multi-tasking' month for subscription boxes. Granted, 'multi-tasking' is a pretty easy theme for a makeup/beauty box, and lots of boxes share similar themes during holidays and certain times of the year, but I don't really see the connection between the month of September and multi-tasking products. Very intriguing!
Almost all the products this month are relevant to me and something I'm interesting in trying (I'm not going to be able to try the conditioner and styling cream because they have argan oil; if they didn't I would totally try them out), but this box really fell flat value-wise. Hmm.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

September 2016 Play! By Sephora - The Unbasic Basics - Unboxing & Review!

Time for the September 2016 Play! By Sephora box! Well, technically, the time for it should have been a month ago, but I need to stop making these 'lol I'm late' jokes...even though I just did.
A very interesting collection of products this month; some I am very excited for, others not so much. There was some variation again this month and, unfortunately, I ended up with the variation that I did not want. I'm interested in figuring out how Sephora decides who to give what to; is it random? Is it based on what you have in your beauty profile? I know Sephora is still tweaking this service (though maybe not any more since they opened it up to pretty much everyone), so perhaps they'll introduce customization/sample choice similar to what Birchbox does. One can only hope!

September 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Speed Dating - Unboxing & Review!

Well, I didn't get the posts about my September subscription boxes up before the end of September, but it's still early October and I haven't gotten any October boxes yet (this was true when I started writing this post, but I got busy and was unable to finish it at that time and now it's not quite so true)...so I still feel somewhat on time! Somewhat...(not at all anymore, really).
Since it tends to be the first box to arrive each month, let's talk about my September 2016 Allure Beauty Box! In past posts about this box, I've mentioned, mostly in passing, that there have been some issues with this service, specifically with customer service and new subscriptions. I've been lucky so far and have generally enjoyed this box, but this month things finally caught up with me and I ended up being disappointed.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 2016 Julep Mystery Box - Rock Your Look: Color Play - Unboxing & Review!

It's been a hot minute since my last Julep Mystery box; I used to love to get these boxes because you got a lot of products for not a lot of money, but the last few I've gotten haven't been very impressive. Plus, I already own a ton of Julep nail polishes and I've been reluctant to try a lot of their newer makeup due to not-so-favorable previous experiences, so I wasn't confident I'd be getting my money's worth. I'm not sure what made me get the September mystery box, especially since it was makeup-heavy (I found a coupon code that dropped the price from $24.99 to less than $20, which was a big part of my decision...), but I am extremely happy that I did since this ended up being one of my favorite Julep mystery boxes ever!
The theme for the boxes this month was 'Rock Your Look' and Julep gave you two options: Classic Beauty, which included more traditional, neutral colors, and Color Play, which has full of bold, bright colors. I went with the Color Play box because I love bold makeup, plus I already own all the neutral makeup I will ever need!

Sephora Favorites Scouted By Sephora Kit - Review!

What's one thing that would make me love the Sephora Favorites kits even more than I already do(well, besides more products for less money...)? Making the boxes holographic!
Oh yeah, look at those rainbows... Sephora switches up the design/theme of these boxes every now and then, and it looks like for the fall, and possibly the holidays, they're going with holographic lids with die cut cardboard labels. Très chic! Admittedly, a shiny box doesn't always mean a better product, but when I already trust that it's going to be good, it doesn't hurt; Sephora could packaged these kits in kraft paper boxes and I would still buy them.

The kit I want to show you in this post is the Scouted By Sephora kit; this is a skincare specific kit that highlights brands and products that are new or uncommon. I have definitely not tried any of the products included in this kit and some of the brands are completely new to me!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Besame Cosmetics Cake Mascara + Kat Von D Beauty Addiction Beauty Insider 500-Point Reward - First Impressions!

It is well known in the fashion industry that style and trends are cyclical; what was cool once will inevitably become cool again if given enough time. Apparently, this holds true in makeup as well, as is evidenced by the new (old?) Besame Cosmetics Cake Mascara.
Once a popular form for mascara, cake mascara has fallen out of fashion and liquid mascara in a tube, the kind you see everywhere from almost every cosmetic brand, has become the norm. I don't think I've seen a cake mascara readily available for purchase until now and perhaps, if this one does well, other companies will release their own versions.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mini Ulta Haul! - Michael Todd, e.l.f., & More!

A few weeks ago, I needed to pick up a new toner. I thought about just repurchasing my favorite, the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, but being me, I wanted to see what else was out there. I was already on Ulta's website (that's where I get my Mario Badescu products from), so I looked around and a toner from Michael Todd caught my eye. It was online only, so I had to purchase it from the website, which meant that I had to add more products to get to the $50 threshold for free shipping...and then I had to add more products to get free shipping after using my coupons and, well, now you get to see a mini haul!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hum Nutrition - Runway Ready - First Impressions!

I recently did something slightly outside of my comfort zone and I purchased a beauty nutritional supplement from Hum Nutrition.
Besides Flintstone vitamins, pro-biotics, and some fiber gummies, I don't have much experience with nutritional supplements. I tend to be wary of supplements since the FDA doesn't have much control over them in regards to either effectiveness or, and more frighteningly, safety. If I try a new product on my skin and I end up having a bad reaction or if I don't like what it's doing, I can just wash it off and stop using it, but if I ingest a new product and things start to go bad, it's a bit more complicated.

So what made me decide to give these supplements a try? I know it's silly, but it's because Hum Nutrition is carried by Sephora. I feel like I can trust that the brands Sephora chooses to carry are well-known/well-loved and are brands that have a high rate of satisfaction and good customer service.

August 2016 Play! By Sephora - The Eye Openers - Unboxing & Review

Right now, there are two beauty products that are always welcome in my subscription boxes: nail polish and skincare (especially eye products). So you can imagine how excited I was to see that the theme for the August 2016 Play! By Sephora box was The Eye Openers and that it included two skincare products, one of the specifically for eyes, along with three other eye-based color cosmetics.
Hmm, I didn't even notice how monochromatic this box was until just now!

August 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month - Road Trip - Unboxing & Review!

When I was little, I used to love road trips. Now that I'm older, I'm not quite as fond of them (I now have a tendency to get carsick and require frequent pit stops), but I still like the idea of them; of riding in a car when it's bright and sunny with the road stretching on before me. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see that the theme for the August 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month was a road trip; it was unexpected, but it brought back a lot of good memories.
I will admit, I'm not 100% positive that the theme is supposed to be Road Trips since Glamour Doll Eyes doesn't explicitly say it is, but based on the imagery and names, I think it's a pretty good guess.

August 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Wake-Up Call - Unboxing & Review!

You guys think I can get through the rest of my August boxes and actually get my September boxes posted before October? ...yeah, I don't think so, either.
But that doesn't mean we're not going to try! This is my August 2016 Allure Beauty Box; Allure has been quite up and down recently and for me, luckily, it's been mostly on the 'up' side (my September box, however, is definitely a 'down', but we'll get to that later in a separate post).

The theme for August is Wake-Up Call, and, surprisingly, I think Allure did a great job curating products to match.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

August 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - Sugar Highness - Unboxing & Review!

The theme and bag for the August 2016 Ipsy Glam was aborable. When I saw the bag spoilers many moons ago (actually, it was probably like...two moons at most), I thought that this was going to be a great bag. When people starting posting their bags on Instgram, my excitement remained because there were some interesting products that I wanted to try/already knew I would.
Unfortunately, my bag was a bit of a let down; the bag itself is cute, and I'm always up for a nail polish, but the other products (minus the eye liner) are a little on the 'meh' side.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

August 2016 Birchbox - Can't Stop, Won't Stop - Unboxing & Review!

There have been a lot of changes at Birchbox--some good, some not-so-good--and it's been interesting to the see the gradual evolution of both the subscription service and the company as a whole.
The August 2016 Birchbox feels like a return to the old days; the July box was a little worrying since I only got four deluxe products and two foil packets and it seemed like Birchbox was trying to cut corners, but it seems like we're back to the standard five deluxe sized samples. There is a lot of competition in the beauty subscription world, and it seems like Birchbox is trying their best to stay on top.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Allure Beauty Thrills - Fall/August 2016 - Unboxing & Review!

When it comes to purchasing beauty products (or anything type of products for that matter...), there are very few people who wouldn't take the opportunity to pay less and get more. Basic economics, really. The Allure Beauty Thrills box, a tri-yearly value bundle of beauty products curated by Allure, was once the prime choice for this type of opportunity, to the point where they would sell out in less than hour and people would actually pay a premium to be able to pre-order them.

I'm a recent purchaser of these boxes (I started buying them last year), and while people who have been getting from the beginning have noticed a decline in quality, even I can see a very drastic difference in product quality and value from last year to this year. I thought about pre-ordering the 2016 boxes because of how happy I was with the ones I got last year, but I am very happy I didn't. The Spring box was a huge let down, and I believe it's one of the first boxes that didn't even sell out, months later (there were so many left over that Allure was selling them as add-ons to the Fall box for $24.99, almost half of the full $49.99 price). The Fall box (or August box, as the info booklet says) was significantly better, but I still debated on whether or not I was going to purchase it. I ended up justifying it by comparing the value of the products I knew I would use to the price of the box, but even then there were some disappointments.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kylie Cosmetics Mini Matte Liquid Lipstick Kit - Swatch & First Impressions!

I think one of the reasons why I never seem to win anything is that I use up all my luck when it comes to snagging limited edition products (technically, in this case, it was my husband who managed to purchase this, but since it was for me, I'm going to count it as both my luck and his speed skills).
For her 19th birthday, Kylie Jenner released a limited edition collection of products in special gold packaging. Along with some new eye products, a makeup bag, and a new lip color (among other things), she released a special mini set of six of her liquid lipsticks which included five current colors and the new birthday color, Leo.

There's a lot of hype, and a lot of differing opinions, around Kylie Cosmetics; I previously avoided purchasing anything from her since I didn't think the products were worth the price and aggravation, but morbid curiosity won out and I figured $36 to try six different colors wasn't a bad deal.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 Julep Maven + Add-Ons - Endless Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Let's continue my Julep streak (this is what, four or five months in a row now?) with my August 2016 Julep Maven box!
Along with my regular, customized box, I also added on three more products (and got a fourth product for free for doing so!). The theme for the August collection was Endless Summer and it was very holographic-heavy, though I ended up only getting one polish from it. I ended up going in a different direction this month and actually picked out some beauty products to try (normally, I stick to polish and nail/hand/body care).

Birchbox - The Best Of K-Beauty Kit - Unboxing & Review!

With the recent changes to the Birchbox rewards system (basically, no more points for reviewing your samples), I knew that I would be unlikely to earn a significant amount of more points, so I decided to spend whatever I had left in one fell swoop.
Lucky for me, Birchbox has a Best Of K-Beauty value set that includes some pretty interesting items, including two products that Birchbox doesn't even carry (when I purchased this, they didn't carry three items, but it looks like Birchbox added it in the interim)!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sephora Favorites Skincare Ritual Kit - Review!

Apparently, it's my goal to collect every single skincare-themed Sephora Favorites kits this year...
That's not true, I've missed a few already, but it sure seems like it, doesn't it? The kit I'm going to share with you in this post is the Sephora Favorites Skincare Rituals kit. This is a Sephora Inside JCP exclusive kit and I believe it is currently available, but I'm not sure. I randomly found this kit on a day it was on sale for around $22, so I thought it was older, but when I tried to look it up when I got home, I couldn't find any information on it (plus, it has a design similar to other kits I've seen released in the last year or so, so it couldn't have been that old). I hadn't seen it again at my local JCP, nor had I heard anything else about it, until Nouveau Cheap made a recent post about new Sephora Inside JCP sets and included this kit.

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Moon Child Glow Kit - Swatches & First Impressions!

I thought I was immune to the highlighter craze; I rarely ever use it in my daily routine and I have a lot of samples so I don't really feel like I need to purchase any. When the Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) Moon Child Glow Kit first came out, I basically ignored it; I wasn't interested in highlights to begin with, much less unnaturally colored ones.
But then someone mentioned Sailor Moon, I found out that you can also use it on your eyes and, well, here we are.

This is a beautiful highlight palette and I regret nothing!

Kat Von D #LockItRevolution Influenster Voxbox - Lock-It Concealer, Setting Powder, and Brushes - Review!

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to fully convey how excited I was when I found out I was going to get the Kat Von D #LockItRevolution Voxbox from Influenster.
Look at all those goodies! So excited! Trying to not burst into a meme because I'm an adult and find that can be kind of obnoxious so I apologize...

A while ago, Influenster asked me to pick out a concealer color that I thought would best match my skin that would be included in possible future Voxbox. They didn't give much more information, so I had no idea it would be for the new Kat Von D (KVD) Lock-It Concealers until just before these boxes shipped! I already love a lot of products from KVD, especially the Lock-It Foundation and Tattoo Liners, so I had high hopes for these new ones.

I was not disappointed.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mini Sephora Haul - Urban Decay Razor Sharp Liquid Eyeliner in Fireball and Tarte Tarteist Tools Best-Sellers Kit - First Impressions!

Who's ready for a haul?! It's kind of a small haul, so don't get too excited...but it's from Sephora, so it's okay to be moderately excited!
It always feels kind of weird when the thing you paid the most money for ends up being in the smallest box. This was one of those instances where I was interested in a product and willing to wait a bit before buying it, but ended up purchasing it right away mostly because there was a deluxe freebie that I really wanted. Sephora is good at getting  me like that...

This mini haul includes an Urban Decay Razor Liquid Eyeliner in the color Fireball (the product I was interested), a Sephora Collection Algae Sleeping Mask (the product to get my order total to $25+), the Tarte Tarteist Tools Best-Sellers 500-Point kit (the 'freebie' I was moderately interested in), and a deluxe sample of the Touch In Sol Metallist Liquid Foil & Glitter Eye Shadow Duo in Adelio (the freebie I really wanted!).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Darling Clandestine - Goldenscale Fragrance Oil - Review!

If you've read some of my posts before, you'll know that I have...unique tastes when it comes to fragrances. I find most mainstream perfumes boring, if not downright malodorous. Okay, that's a little harsh, but what is the beauty world without hyperbole?
Because I am so picky with my fragrances, I prefer to purchase them from indie perfumers. Specifically, from Darling Clandestine! Evonne, the owner/creator, has an amazing sense of smell and creativity and makes some pretty magical concoctions. My most recent acquisition is one of her newer scents, Goldenscale.

July 2016 Play! By Sephora - Effortless Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Just like fashion, makeup can be quite seasonal. You can always wear whatever you want whenever you want, but makeup trends do seem to change throughout the year: from soft, fresh looks in the spring, to bronze and bold colors in the summer, to deeper, autumn-color inspired looks in the fall, and finally to bright, crisp looks in the winter (especially around the holidays!). Along with trends, the needs of our skin changes throughout the year, which in turn changes the types of products we need/want to use.
Which leads us to the July 2016 Play! By Sephora box, which is themed 'Effortless Summer'. ...okay, most boxes right now have similar themes and, more often than not, you can argue that many different products fit this theme because it's pretty vague, but I do think that Sephora did a good job curating this box and included products that are very appropriate for the summer season.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

July 2016 Allure Beauty Box - One The Hunt (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) - Unboxing & Review!

One thing I've noticed about the Allure Beauty Box is that it seems to be more overtly sponsored than other subscription boxes. I'm sure that all boxes, at one point or another, have been paid to include a certain product and/or other types of advertisements like inserts and promo codes, but most are subtle and incidental (these types of partnerships aren't bad things; more often than not, we get bigger/better samples and coupons for products we'd probably purchase anyways). Allure isn't shy about it's partnerships and, in fact, has themed an entire box around one.
Can guess what the theme for the July 2016 Allure Beauty Box is? Actually, Allure announced it way before these boxes shipped, so it's not really a mystery...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

July 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month - Really A Mermaid - Unboxing & Review!

I'm going to be honest with you guys; I have no idea how to open this post. I was trying to do something clever and it just wasn't working (certainly not the first time this has happened...) and I've had this sitting on my desk for way too long now, so I'm just going to jump right on in!
I feel especially bad for not having a good opening since this is a great indie subscription service and I want to give it the recognition it deserves: this is the July 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month.

For July 2016, the Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month(GDE and OTM, respectively) is mermaid-themed! Mermaids are definitely a popular and common theme in the makeup world right now (and have been for a while now...), but in traditional GDE style, Vee (the creator/owner) puts her own spin on things...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid - Influenster Voxbox - Review!

And now for something completely different! Well, sort of. It's not makeup/beauty related, but it is a product I'm going to review, which is something that happens quite commonly here.
Recently (...again, sort of), Influenster sent me a sample of the ZzzQuil Sleep-Aid to try and review. I was kind of surprised that I was even considered for this box because most, if not all, of my activity on Influenster is makeup/beauty related. That being said, I actually do experience some issues with sleeplessness, so I'm part of the target audience for this product. Since this is a medicine, please take everything I say with a grain of salt and be sure to consult a physician before taking any new medications. Even over-the-counter medications can be unsafe when taken incorrectly.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016 - Review!

For the last four years (starting in 2012), I've made it a point to purchase the Sephora Favorites Sun Safety kit every summer. Out of all the skincare products I use, sunscreen is pretty much the one product I can't do without (it's about tied with cleansers). I know I've talked up the Sun Safety kit for this year, especially because I was so impatient about it and ended up purchasing a few other kits and now I have a sunscreen hoard, so I apologize for how long it's taken me to post about it.
This kit is no longer available online, but I have still seen it in some physical Sephoras (Sephoras in JCP had their own mini kit; these, to my knowledge, were never available online and I've only seen them in stock once). I think it's pretty telling how long this kit has stayed in stock this year; the first year I purchased one, I got the last one in the store and I never saw them after that (I know I purchased it before June because I got it as a gift for my mom before my wedding). A lot of people have expressed concerns about the Sephora Favorites kits in general in regards to product size versus value and, after doing some research into past kits, I'm kind of surprised at how much the value has decreased.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sephora Favorites - Soko To Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Set - Review!

Okay. I'm so far behind with my blog posts that the product I'm about to tell you guys about is not even available any more. Well, technically, the products themselves are still available in full size, but the special kit they came in, along with some of the sample sizes, are not. I had an internal debate about whether or not I should still post about it and (obviously) I decided it was still worth it: you can purchase the products individually and Sephora seems to come out with a similar type of customizable skin kit every year, so it would be a good comparison if they do release another one.
This is the Soko To Tokyo Customizable Skin Care Kit and I was very, very excited when Nouveau Cheap posted that it had become available online. Sephora has released at least one other Sephora Favorites kit with the 'Soko To Tokyo' name, but that one was one customizable. There was a little bit of drama when Sephora listed it, then took it down right away, but they put it back up about eight days later and I made sure to grab one as soon as possible. Since this  is a customizable kit, there were initially thirteen products to mix and match and, with customizable kits like this, the best products 'sell out' fast. For $25, you get five products of your choice out of the thirteen. Each product is listed as having a $20 value; you add five to your cart, then add the kit itself for $25, which gives you a $100 'credit', bringing your total to $25 for everything. It's very convoluted, but if it works, it works. You could still purchase the kit even after some products sold out, but there were less options to choose from (I think Sephora took it down when there were less than five products available since the discount wouldn't work anymore).

July 2016 Birchbox - My Morning Routine - Unboxing & Review!

Starting in July, Birchbox changed some things with their subscription service: most notably, and the changes we were notified about, are the changes to their reward point system. One of the biggest reasons why I've stayed subscribed to Birchbox for so long is the reward system, and now...we'll have to see.
With that slightly ominous beginning, let's take a look at my July 2016 Birchbox! After getting the announcement that Birchbox was reworking their reward point system, I was curious if there were going to be any changes to the subscription service. As you can see, things are slightly different, and I'm not sure if it's for the better. ...which sounds just as ominous as my beginning. Hmm.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - Hot Summer Nights - Unboxing & Review!

Apparently everyone is feeling a little holographic this summer; even Ipsy!
Look at that bag! The products are alright, but I'm all about that holo. Okay, that's a little extreme, I'm actually quite pleased with that I got this month, but the holographic bag really adds something. Kind of unfortunate that it has those weird umbrellas on one side, though; I wish they had chosen a different pattern, or even just left it blank. The holo really speaks for itself.

My First Order From Live Love Polish - Color Club and Starrily Holos - Swatch & Review!

It's no secret, I love nail polish! It's my favorite beauty item to purchase and collect, and it's also the one that I wear the most often. I subscribe to quite a few nail polish-centric Youtube channels, one of which is Simply Nailogical. Recently, the channel hit over a million subscribers, so Cristine (the person behind Simply Nailogical) had a holographic nail polish giveaway sponsored by Live Love Polish. I had heard of Live Love Polish before, but for some reason, I had never purchased from them, which I now regret not doing sooner!
They even included a hand written thank you card! I don't have a picture of it, since I spilled pop all over it before I got a chance to take one..., but my polishes came in a sturdy box with a special foam insert that kept each individual polish safe and sound. Definitely a company that knows and understands the needs of us polish addicts!

After exploring the Menchie's Favorite Holos page (Menchie is one of Cristine's cats), I ended up purchasing three Color Club holos and, of course, Menchie The Cat from Starrily.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 2016 Julep Maven Box - Into The Sea - Unboxing & Review!

I don't know why, but I'm a little surprised as to how long the mermaid trend has been holding out. Mermaids were huge last summer, and they're still quite popular. Not that that's bad or anything, mermaids are pretty neat, but with the attention span of the internet and social media, I expected some other mythical creature to be all the rage. Why all this talk about mermaids?
Because the Julep Maven box for July 2016 is subtly mermaid-themed! Since I can completely customize it, though, it's more so in name than in content, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Too Faced - Totally Cute Eye Shadow Palette - Swatch & First Impressions!

As I've touched on before, I am not immune to 'gimmicky' products. There are plenty of products that I've purchased solely for the packaging, name, and/or theme, without much thought as to whether or not the product itself was any good. Some gimmicky products that I have tried have been not-so-good, but many, especially products from Asian brands like TonyMoly and Etude House, have been great, with or without the gimmick.
Too Faced is one of those brands that straddles the thin line between 'gimmicky' and 'quality', and more often than not they come out on the 'quality' side. Their newest 9-pan eye shadow palette, Totally Cute, really pushes the boundaries of this line and is one of those 'love it or hate it' type of products.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills - Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette - Swatch & First Impressions!

When I think about the brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, the first thing I think of is not eye shadow. I think 'brows', then 'highlighters', then 'liquid lipsticks'...I don't think 'eye shadow'. Which is not to say they can't make good eye shadows/eye shadow palettes, I even own the Artist Palette, but it's not my go-to brand. So it was especially weird for me to fall head over heels for their brand new, first-ever permanent eye shadow palette: the Modern Renaissance palette.
Those colors! It's quite unique, especially in since the makeup palette world is saturated with neutrals, but even though it has some bright and different shades, such as the reds, it's a very wearable palette on it's own. I also loved the inspiration behind this palette; the shades and names are based off of the colors most used in Renaissance paintings. From the moment Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) released teaser images, I knew I had to have this palette. It released on the ABH website shortly after it was announced and I purchased it the first day it was available on Ulta.com.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

June 2016 Play! By Sephora - The Minimalists - Unboxing & Review!

Whenever I hear a theme for a sampler box is going to be 'minimalism' or 'minimalist', I get a little worried. I'm all for minimal makeup --80% of the time I'm wearing only pressed powder, if anything--but I've found that I'm not always fond of what are traditionally labelled as 'minimalist products'. When I heard that the theme for the June 2016 Play! By Sephora was going to be all about 'The Minimalists', I was a little worried.
While there are a couple samples I'm not a fan of (they were the some of the products that are associated with minimalism that make me think negatively about it as a theme, so I'm not surprised), I actually like how Sephora handled this theme and thought they included some interesting products!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

June 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Beauty And The Beach - Unboxing & Review!

We're getting close to the end of our vacation in far back month of June (at least when it comes to subscription services, there are still some things I got in June that I still want to blog about) with the review and unboxing of the...
...June 2016 Allure Beauty Box! Allure has had a lot of ups and downs recently with the Beauty Box service, both product selection-wise and customer servic-wise (I won't get into here, but if you look up the Allure Beauty Box reviews/spoilers on My Subscription Addiction you can read about it). This is not an 'outstanding' box, but it's definitely not as bad as some past boxes have been (I feel like I said almost the exact same thing about my June Ipsy bag; it sounds like June is a good month for being 'average').

This box also includes one of the more controversial products I've seen from this subscription service; I'll touch on it here, but again, if you want to read more, check out the spoiler/review pages for June on My Subscription Addiction.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

June 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month - Indie Subscription - Unboxing & Review!

Let's continue our journey into the past and take a look at another beauty subscription from June that I'm behind on reviewing:
The June 2016 Glamour Doll Eyes Of The Month! Dark and vampy for the month of June? Very unexpected and very unique; just what you'd expect from an indie subscription service!

I have no idea what the exact theme for June is supposed to be; I'm pretty sure it's based on some kind of fandom, but unfortunately, I have no idea which one. Regardless, this month definitely has a dark, vampy, gothic feel to it, which is in stark contrast to the summer/beachy vibes of all the other boxes I've gotten this summer.

June 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - Rebel Rebel - Unboxing & Review!

Let's go back in time a little bit, to the month of June 2016; summer was just starting, the weather wasn't too much different, and I had just gotten my June 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag.
I know this is a little late in coming, but life and work happens, plus I was waiting for my new light box to come in! We're stepping up our production values here. I'm still getting used to, and my camera is still a dinosaur, but I'm quite happy with how the majority of my pictures turned out.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Macy's Sun Essentials Kit - Review! - Not Exactly What I Was Promised...

During the dark time when I was waiting for the 2016 Sephora Sun Safety Kit to come out (it has and I have it; I'll get a review up soon-ish), I purchased a couple different sunscreen/sun protection-themed sets, one of which was the Macy's Sun Essentials Kit.
This set was exclusive to Macy's, included a cosmetic case and nine deluxe-sized samples, and originally retailed for $38. I'm not sure when it first came out, but it eventually went on sale for $19.99, and then went on even more sale for $14.99, which is when I heard about it from Nouveau Cheap and when I purchased mine. I was pretty happy with this kit at first; it has products I like from brands I trust and for $14.99 it was a good deal. After doing a little more research, however,  I discovered that there are some discrepancies between the kit I received and the kit I was promised.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 2016 Julep Maven - Midsummer Light - Unboxing & Review!

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but ever since Julep opened up Maven box customization for me, my excitement and enjoyment of their subscription service has been rekindled. While I love a mystery box as much as the next person, when it comes to something as personal as picking a nail polish color, especially when it's only from a small collection of ten or so, I want to be able to chose what I want and what I don't (and to be able to opt out if nothing interests me).
Even though there have been some bumps in the road, and I don't always love everything that Julep puts out, the fact that they do let you skip your box as many times as you want is the reason why it's the subscription service I've been subscribed to the longest. And now it's even better that I can mix and match and make completely custom Maven boxes! For June 2016, I ended up with a fairly standard 'two polishes, one beauty product' box. (though my beauty product was not one of the new ones released for the month).

June 2016 Women's Target Beauty Box - Sun Kissed - Unboxing & Review!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am not invulnerable to hype. I've made more purchases than I'd like to admit because I thought something was rare or sought after and that, if I didn't get it, I would regret it and feel left behind. Or something like that... While the Target Beauty Boxes have consistently been worth the money and definitely worth checking out every time they release, I think I purchased the June women's box not because I liked the products, but because these boxes are getting more and more popular and selling out faster and faster each month.
I didn't get the Target Beauty Box for May because the products didn't appeal to me, and, honestly, the products this month don't really appeal to me either. One nice thing about the Beauty Boxes is that you know exactly what you're going to get before you purchase them, so it's entirely my own fault for getting a box that has a lot of products that I'm not interested in trying. Not to say they're bad, they're just not for me. I think I'm feeling especially put off from this box because it was $10; the men's box was only $5 and had a lot more products that interested me, including a razor worth about $10.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 2016 Men's Target Beauty Box - Looking Good - Unboxing & Review!

Normally, I don't purchase men's beauty boxes; I know that I won't get much use out of the products (not that I couldn't use them or anything, I just have so much of my own stuff to get through first!) and my husband isn't big on skin/body/hair care outside of showering and wearing deodorant, but the Men's Target Beauty Box for June was too good of a deal to pass up.
This box was only $5, shipping included, and look at all those goodies! Even if the only thing I get any use out of is the razor (my husband prefers to use his electric one anyways, so I'm claiming this one for myself), I'd still feel like I was getting my money's worth.

June 2016 Birchbox - Everyday Magic - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! I hope you guys had a great start to summer! For this post, I want to share with you my June 2016 Birchbox.
The theme for June is Everyday Magic, which goes along with the fact that Birchbox seems to have partnered with Benefit for this box (the theme of the new brow collection is 'magic' and the extra literature this month is all about the collection). They also included a newly repackaged and re-released Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel sample in the color of your choice in every box (though I did see an unboxing where they did not get a Gimme Brow, so I wonder if you only got it if you picked a color during Sample Choice...).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Zoya Summer 2016 Seashells Collection - Swatch & Review - PixieDusts Are Back!

Hello! If you know only one thing about me, it's that I love nail polish (well, that or I'm a makeup junkie, which is kind of the same thing). Nail polish is so much fun to collect and since it's full of solvents and chemicals, it pretty much never expires so you can hoard it for years; sometimes polishes will dry out, but you can save them with a thinner; the only times I would say that a polish actually goes bad is when it separates and you can't mix it back together, no matter how much you shake/stir it, or if it's a polish that has been used by multiple people, like the polishes in nail salons.

Throughout my nail polish journey, I've experienced many different brands, and one of my favorites is Zoya. I won't wax too poetic here, but Zoya consistently makes excellent polish, is five-free, and has a huge range of colors and finishes, including one of my favorite finishes ever, PixieDust. Unfortunately, my favorite polish brand discontinued my favorite type of polish finish, so I was pretty heartbroken, but Zoya has brought them back for their summer 2016 Seashells collection!
I picked up four out of the six colors on a special promo (I forgot what it was, but I think it was two for $10, up to a max of four polishes, which is why I only got four. Otherwise, I would have gotten the green color, too).