Glossybox Fighting Pretty Special Edition Box, $40

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Little Miss Rosie is enjoying her new boxing gloves that came in my Glossybox Fighting Pretty box!  She says I need to get a second set so she can box the other baby bunnies.

Glossybox, a monthly beauty subscription, puts out several limited edition boxes throughout the year.  The limited edition boxes typically cost $40 and are put out for a holiday (they always do a Mother's Day and Holiday box), but this time, they've worked with Fighting Pretty to put together a box that benefits the cancer charity.  All proceeds from the box go to Fighting Pretty, a charity that sends care packages filled with beauty products and accessories to women fighting cancer.  Given that the charity is all about pink, I assumed that this was strictly for women with breast cancer; although the founder, Kara Dolce, survived breast cancer, Fighting Pretty will send boxes to women fighting any type of cancer.  It can be hard to feel pretty or confident when you're battling cancer (or any serious disease), so getting a special package like this in the mail can really make a person's day.  Each package they send out contains a teeny set of pink boxing gloves, which I'll tell you about below.  I may be wrong, but I think this is the first time Glossybox has worked with a charity to put out a special box.  I'd love to see them collaborate with other charities in the future.

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Here's what came in the Glossybox Fighting Pretty Special Edition Box:

The box was worth an amazing $269.14!  Glossybox promised these boxes would be worth more than $250 and they went over that by quite a bit!  Given that Glossybox has been advertising values that were quite a bit higher than what subscribers were receiving in their monthly boxes, I'm happy to see that they didn't make that same mistake with this special box.  All of the Fighting Pretty boxes contain the same products, although the color of the nail polish and lipstick vary.  I wasn't really sure what value to give the teeny boxing gloves, but $5 seems about right.  There are three skincare products, a nail polish, and two makeup products, so I'm happy with the box composition.  I love that all but one of the products is full size!   

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The first product was the Deco Miami Nail Polish in Not Your Fortune Teller, a gorgeous deep purple color.  Unfortunately, the top wasn't screwed on tightly, so it was dried out when I opened it.  In the picture above on the right, you can see that it was half empty when it came.  Thankfully, the box the nail polish came in held the cap on enough so it didn't spill throughout my Glossybox and ruin everything.  I've tried Deco Miami polish in the past and have liked it.  I sent Glossybox a message about the dried out nail polish and they responded quickly and said the would send a replacement.  I hope they send the same color as I really like the one I got.  I've been trying to thin this out with acetone so I can make it usable, but it's still on the goopy side.

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Swatch of Borghese Eclissare ColorStruck Lipstick in Swoon

Swatch of Borghese Eclissare ColorStruck Lipstick in Swoon

The next product was the Borghese Eclissare ColorStruck Lipstick in Swoon.  The box had a little matte peach dot on it, so I thought I was going to hate this color.  It's hard to tell in the pictures above, but this is absolutely packed with sparkle.  I love this color.  I wish it were a shade or two darker, but it's okay that it's notWhile I wouldn't say this lasts quite as long as OCC lip tar, the staying power this lipstick has is impressive, especially considering it is not a liquid.  This never would have been a color I would have chosen myself, but it ended up being just about perfect for me.  That's one of my favorite things about beauty boxes -- sometimes, they'll push you outside of your color comfort zone a bit and you'll end up loving a color you didn't think you could wear.

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Swatch of Doucce Brow Filler Pencil in 615 Light Brown

Swatch of Doucce Brow Filler Pencil in 615 Light Brown

Glossybox loves to put Doucce products and brow pencils in their boxes, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I got a Doucce brow pencil!  This pencil is okay, but nothing special.  I do like that there is a little brush on the other end of the pencil so you can blend the color out and get your brows in shape.  The color is called Light Brown, but it's more of a medium brown.  This probably wouldn't work all that well for people with black eyebrows, but it works well for my medium-to-dark brown brows.  I prefer liquid or gel brow products like Benefit's Gimme Brow to pencils.

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I was quite surprised that Glossybox would include a $142 full size moisturizer in the box!  EMK Beverly Hills Supra Face Cream is a lightweight moisturizer that smells heavily of bananas.  The scent goes away as soon as its absorbed into your skin, but, if you hate bananas, this might not be the moisturizer for you.  It contains something they call Bioplacenta, a plant-based placenta ingredient (didn't know plant placentas existed) that is supposed to fight signs of aging, repair damaged skin, and hydrate and oxygenate your skin.  I liked this, but I don't see myself spending $142 for a new one.  Since it's a big, full size jar, I'll be able to use it for an extended period of time and see if it gives me amazing results, but I'm definitely skeptical that this is works significantly better than moisturizers a third of the price.  If I finish this jar and think it is the most amazing thing ever, I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath.

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I've gotten Biossance The Revitalizer in a Glossybox before, but it was a teeny bottle.  It's nice to have a full size bottle of this!  The only ingredient in this is squalane.  Don't worry, though -- this is plant-based squalane, so no sharks were hurt to make this!  This is an extraordinarily lightweight, unscented oil that absorbs quickly and can be used on your face or body.  It isn't greasy at all and it is so moisturizing.  This is going to be great to have around in the winter.  This is full size and goes for $58, which is a little pricey, but I think it's worth it.  At $40 for this box, even if you want only the Biossance The Revitalizer or the EMK moisturizer, you'll get your money's worth.

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The final beauty product was the Fango Essenziali Purify.  This is a pinky-grey mud mask and, truthfully, it doesn't smell very good.  You only have to leave it on for five minutes, though, so the scent is tolerable.  This contains antioxidants and it's supposed to deep clean your pores to help kill of breakouts.  You can use this on your face and body, but I would probably only use it on my face.  This made my face feel soft, clean, and smooth.  Glossybox sent a Fango Essenziali mask out last month and Fango is owned by Borghese, so they've been all about the Borghese products lately.

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They also threw in a set of mini pink boxing gloves with the Fighting Pretty logo on them.  They're pretty cute, but I have no idea what I will do with them.  Fighting Pretty sends similar boxing gloves in every box they send to women battling cancer.  When the founder of Fighting Pretty was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, her friend's mom who had had breast cancer gave her a pair of little pink boxing gloves to remind her to be strong and have hope.  She found them to be inspirational and she passed them along to someone else fighting cancer when her treatment was finished.  I think it's really sweet that the founder wants to give these to all other women fighting cancer.  They might seem like silly little tokens, but, if you're in pain, feeling tired, feeling hopeless, and you can't see a light at the end of the tunnel when you're undergoing treatment for a disease, if there is anything that gives you the smallest bit of hope or strength, then it is the most important thing in the world.  

I absolutely loved this special edition Glossybox!  I wish the monthly boxes were even half as good as this box.  This is a great way to treat yourself and benefit a worthy charity or, even better, to treat someone in your life battling cancer (or any disease, really) who could use a pick-me-up.  When you're undergoing grueling, invasive treatments, it's hard to feel attractive, so the packages Fighting Pretty sends out are a great idea.  If you want Fighting Pretty to send a care package to a woman in your life who is fighting cancer, you can sign them up on the Fighting Pretty website.  They suggest you donate $30 for each package you want sent.  The packages Fighting Pretty sends out contain beauty products, inspirational trinkets, a journal, a scarf, and, of course, the little boxing gloves, so they're different from this special Glossybox.  I highly recommend getting this box before it sells out.  I bought one for my mom as her birthday is coming up, and I'm thinking about buying myself a second one as the products inside would make great gifts.  

Has anyone else gotten this box?  If so, what did you think?  Did you love it as much as I did?  What color nail polish and lipstick did you get?  Did anyone else get dried out nail polish?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

Kloverbox Review, August 2016

Kloverbox, $25 per month (US only)

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"There's no clover in Kloverbox?!" Poor baby bun thought he was going to get a treat.  Don't worry, I had some yummy hay for him once he was finished modeling.

Kloverbox is back!  While Kloverbox technically never went away, they stopped sending me boxes to review in May, so I am happy to be getting it again.  Many readers had commented to me that Kloverbox was coming later and later in the month, sometimes even getting one month's box at the beginning of the next month, and that the quality had gone downhill.  As Kloverbox had always been a favorite of mine, I was disappointed that it wasn't what it had been.  I was so happy to get an e-mail from the new owners of Kloverbox telling me that they were sending me a box this month.  I asked whether the shipping would continue to be as late as it has been the past few months and they told me they are going to get them out more toward the beginning of the month.  I got this box on the 23rd, which is a lot earlier than it has been coming, and it sounds like they're aiming to get it out even earlier in the coming months.  They also said that they wanted to get Kloverbox back to the way it had been, with lots of high quality natural beauty and lifestyle products.  There had been some items in Kloverbox over the past six months or so that I had thought were a little surprising and strange and not at all what I would expect from Kloverbox, so I'm excited to see what the new owners will do.  I think this will be a good change.  Don't get me wrong -- I like Kelly, the original owner, a lot and think she is a fabulous person -- but either she lost interest in Kloverbox or just didn't have the time or energy for it and the quality suffered.  I encourage subscribers who have canceled or have been thinking about canceling to check out the reviews over the next several months and see if it's back to the being the box it was a year ago.

Kloverbox sent me this box free of charge for review.

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Here's what was in the August Kloverbox:

The August Kloverbox was worth $47.78.  That's almost double the price of the box, so I'm happy with the value.  I like that three of the four products are beauty products but that there is also a product that isn't beauty-related.  I've always love that Kloverbox had a mix.  This month's theme was Relax, Renew, Refresh.  The products fit the theme well.

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As you probably know, Juice Beauty isn't my favorite company.  I've gotten their Smoothing Eye Concentrate in another box before and actually liked it, so I was happy to get another one!  It doesn't have that annoying scent that so many Juice Beauty products have and it's very hydrating.  I used up the full bottle the last time I had it, which is rare for me.  This is my favorite Juice Beauty product of the many I've tried.  My mom loves Juice Beauty and I am swimming in eye cream right now, so I'll probably send this up to her.  As far as eye creams go, this isn't extraordinarily expensive and works well, so I'd recommend giving this a try.

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My favorite product this month was the SimpliMandi Minty Peppermint Foot Scrub!  It smells so good!  It says it's a peppermint scrub, but it smelled more like spearmint to me.  I checked the ingredients and it contains both peppermint and spearmint oils,, so that explains the scent. I, personally, much prefer spearmint.  This is a very moisturizing sugar scrub that contains coconut, olive, and castor oils, raw cocoa butter, and raw shea butter.  It suggests using it on your legs and feet, but it says you can use it all over your body if you want.  It made my legs feel so soft and smooth.  It was very exfoliating and hydrating.  I was looking at the SimpliMandi website and they have so many fabulous looking products and I want to try them all!

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Kloverbox sent out a Kiss Me Honey lip balm in December -- that one was mint, and this one is coconut.  Coconut was the perfect choice for summer.  The main ingredient in this lip balm is beeswax, followed by coconut oil and it contains antioxidants and vitamin E.  The lips are often left out when it comes to anti-aging routines, so I like that this will help you keep your lips looking young.  It has a nice, strong coconut-y scent.  Emily absolutely loved it and has claimed it.

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The final product was the Touch Organic White Tea Bags.  I like that Kloverbox has always included at least one food or lifestyle item in boxes.  I love beauty boxes, of course, but getting little treats and cute things for the home is always fun.  I've gotten teabags in boxes before, but never a full box of tea, and I've never gotten white tea before.  White tea is green tea that has been fermented a little and mixed with silver tea leaves.  According to Touch Organics, white tea has more antioxidants and is less bitter than other teas.  I've never been much of a tea person, but I had Emily tried this and she enjoyed it.  

I'm liking the direction Kloverbox is going and I'm hoping the new owners will really turn the box around.  The SimpliMandi foot scrub was my favorite product in the box, but I liked all three beauty products and Emily liked the tea.  While I hadn't received Kloverboxes from the past few months, I saw what was in the May, June, and July boxes and wasn't all that impressed.  I think this is a big improvement already.  If you've recently canceled Kloverbox or if you've been thinking about canceling your subscription, what do you think?  Are you liking where Kloverbox is going?  For those who have canceled, are you thinking about resubscribing?  One month may not be enough to go off of, but I recommend checking out my reviews over the next couple of months and seeing what you think.  I'll always have a soft spot for Kloverbox, so I'm feeling very optimistic.  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

Play! by Sephora Review, August 2016

Play! by Sephora, $10 per month (US only)

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I love this baby bun's little ears!  It's too cute!

Play! by Sephora is a relatively new subscription.  It started about a year ago and was available only to people in certain cities, but they have since expanded the subscription nationwide.  The subscription is still very popular, of course, as it is run by Sephora, so there is a waitlist.  Every couple of months, they open up subscriptions.  At $10, this is one of the more afforable boxes out there (which is surprising for Sephora!).  The products are all things you can find in a Sephora, so no drugstore brands here, but the sample sizes are often on the small side.  The value seems to usually be around $40, so it's worth more than your average Birchbox and less than your average ipsy.  Subscribers get five makeup, hair care, and skincare items, plus one perfume sample, for a total of six items each month.  Previously, all subscribers had gotten the same things, but they started having some variations beginning in July.  Last month, they had boxes for combination/oily skin and dry skin.  I'm not sure how they decided who got which box this month as the products that varied were the eyeliner, the perfume, and the eye cream.  Each month, subscribers also get a card that they can take to any Sephora store and get an extra 50 Beauty Insider points with any purchase and an invitation to a Play Date inside a Sephora store.

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Here's what came in my August Play! by Sephora box:

The August Play! by Sephora was worth $42.16.  The variation with the Algenist eye cream was worth almost $12 more because they gave you a bigger sample of a product that was more expensive than the Caudalíe eye balm.  The theme this month was The Eye Openers.  I like that four of the six items were eye-related, but that not all of them were.  Six eye products (or five eye products plus a perfume) would have been a little excessive.  

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The first product was the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara.  A lot of people love this mascara, but I am just not one of them.  I've tried it before and had a lot of issues with it clumping, so I always give it away whenever I get a new sample of it.  It's pitch black, which I like, and the mascara contains proteins and amino acids to stimulate hair growth.  This is supposed to be both lengthening and volumizing, but I find it gives more volume than length and I need the opposite.  So many people swear by this mascara, so I'm not sure why it is so horrible when I use it.  It makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong!  

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The Lancôme Éngergie de Vie is a liquid moisturizer that is too lightweight for me.  It doesn't feel all that moisturizing on my skin.  While I thought I might like a lightweight moisturizer as I'm feeling like a greaseball right now, this doesn't seem to do anything for me.  It's supposed to be energizing and give you a glow, but I didn't notice those effects.  I also didn't like the scent of this product.  I usually try to find something good to say about a product, even if I don't personally like it, but I can't think of anything nice to say.  Did anyone have better luck with this product than I did?

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Swatch of Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite

Swatch of Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite

The Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite is a gorgeous color, although it doesn't really look like pink granite to me.  It's not quite as pigmented as I would have liked, but it's very buildable and is a color that should be flattering on most complexions.  It held up all day and looked just as good at the end as it did at the beginning.  This is the first time I've tried MUFE eyeshadow.  I'm impressed by it and would love to try more.

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I absolutely love CLEAN perfumes, so I was looking forward to trying their new CLEAN Reserve line.  I was so happy I got the Blonde Rose instead of the Warm Cotton.  I have the Warm Cotton from their regular line and it's okay, but definitely not my favorite.  The Reserve line is made from sustainable ingredients, so it is a little pricier than their regular line.  I assume the perfumes smell about the same as the perfumes with the same scent name in their regular line, but I haven't tried them side by side.  Blonde Rose is a floral musk and had more of a masculine smell than I was expecting.  It was okay, but it isn't something I would buy or wear often.  I also didn't find it to be very long lasting.  I thought I was going to love this scent, so I was a little disappointed.

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Swatch of Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game

Swatch of Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game

All subscribers received Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencils in either Flirting Game or Love Affair.  I got Flirting Game, a taupe, which was okay, but I would have preferred to get Love Affair, a plum.  The tip of my pencil was broken off when I got it.  I tried to stick it back on, as you can see in the picture, but it fell off again when I actually used it.  They eyeliner looked great on me and held up all day.  I was impressed by this product, especially considering it is a $10 Sephora brand eyeliner.  I was a little surprised that they didn't send us full size liners as it is their own brand, but the sample size is big and should last for a while.

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The final product was the Caudalíe Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm.  Subscribers got either this eye balm or the Algenist Eye Renewal Balm.  Those who got the Algenist balm got a considerably bigger sample -- 0.23 oz. versus the 0.16 oz. Caudalíe, so it was almost 50% bigger and worth almost $12 more.  This didn't have any scent to it and it was a very lightweight eye balm.  It contains resveratrol and hyaluronic acid, so it will moisturize and fight signs of aging.  It's also supposed to lift the skin, reduce puffiness, and minimize under eye circles.  I liked this eye balm quite a bit.  I noticed some brightening effects and a reduction in puffiness.  If you're in the market for a good anti-aging eye balm, this is worth a try.

This might be the best Play! by Sephora I've gotten so far.  I liked all the products except the Lancôme moisturizer and the UD mascara.  The CLEAN perfume wasn't my favorite, but I'll use it once in a while.  I loved the Caudalíe eye balm, the Sephora eye pencil, and the MUFE eyeshadow, so I'm quite happy with my August box.  Next month's theme is The Unbasic Basics.  I'm not really sure what they mean by that, so it'll be a surprise.  

What did you think of the August Play! by Sephora?  Did you get the same products I did?  Did anyone like the Lancôme moisturizer?  What do you think will be in The Unbasic Basics box next month? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Beauteque Mask Maven Review, August 2016

Beauteque Mask Maven, $15 per month plus $3.95 shipping US (ships internationally, check website for shipping rates)

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This little girl didn't love hanging out in the Mask Maven bag as much as other bunnies have.  She's a little on the cranky side, though.

Beauteque Mask Maven sends subscribers nine masks each month.  Most of the masks are from Korea, which is known for its fabulous skincare, although sometimes there is a mask from another Asian country.  In the past, most of the masks were sheet masks for the face, but there was always at least one mask that was different -- either a liquid or a powder mask or for a mask for a body part other than the face.  This month, though, all nine masks are facial sheet masks. 

Beauteque sent this to me free of charge for review.

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Here's what came in my August Beauteque Mask Maven:

My August Mask Maven was worth about $24.01.  I wasn't able to find the Beauty Friends masks for sale online, so I estimated their value to be about $2.50.  Mask Maven values are always higher than the cost of the subscription, but they're never extremely high.  The value in this subscription is in the curation -- you get to try a variety of Korean masks that are often difficult to find in the US without spending tons of money.  Each month, Mask Maven has a theme and this one is Post-Race Cooldown.  

There are only so many masks Emily and I can try before I write the review, so I'll tell you how any mask we tried worked.  For any that we haven't had a chance to try yet, I'll let you know how it's supposed to work according to Beauteque or the mask company's website.

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We haven't had a chance to try out the Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution mask yet.  This mask is supposed to be deeply hydrating.  I love Dr. Jart+ products, so I wanted to save this for the winter when my skin needs some serious moisture.  I'm pretty sure this mask is going to be amazing, so I'm saving it for when I need it most.

Emily tried the Saference Skin-Rx Moisturizing Mask.  She said the liquid in it was excessive and the mask was thin.  She did find it to be very moisturizing, though.  She just wished it wasn't dripping wet.  

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Emily used the Beauty Friends II Coenzyme Q10 mask.  This mask is supposed to promote collagen production and lessen damage from UV rays.  She said this one wasn't as drippy as the last mask and that she liked it more.  It made her skin feel tight (in a good way) and hydrated.  She thought her skin felt extra smooth after she used it.

I tried out the Beauty Friends II Royal Jelly Essence mask.  This had a strong royal jelly smell to it, which wasn't surprising, but I didn't love the scent.  Royal jelly is fabulous for your skin, so I always love trying products that contain it.  This mask has lots of antioxidants and helps with collagen production.  My skin looked quite radiant after I used it, so I was very happy with it.  My skin really needed this, so it came at the perfect time.

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The It's Skin Glow Cream Mask Sheet is a brightening mask that also gives you some added hydration.   We haven't had a chance to use this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  Once my face has mostly healed from the horrible breakout I just had, I'll use this to try to get rid of those annoying little dark spots pimples leave behind.

The Missha Real Solution Collagen mask is supposed to both brighten skin and fight signs of aging.  I haven't used this one yet, but I've liked Missha products in the past.  This will be another mask I can use after my face is healed up to try to even out my complexion again.

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Yadah masks have shown up in a lot of Mask Maven bags recently, but I like them, so I'm okay with that.  I used the Yadah Honey Moisturizing Mask Pack.  Besides being moisturizing, this is also brightening and nourishing.  This had a slight honey scent to it.  I like that Yadah masks usually fit my face pretty well.  This did give me some brightness and my skin felt so soft after I took this off.

We haven't had a chance to try out the Yadah Cactus Soothing Mask Pack yet.  This mask protects your skin from damage and is hydrating.  I love cactus and aloe products, so I suspect I will like this mask.

The last mask was the My Beauty Diary Imperial Bird's Nest Mask.  The ninth mask this month was a surprise, so other subscribers didn't necessarily get the same one.  I've gotten this mask before, but I can't remember if it was in Mask Maven.  This mask is supposed to fight signs of aging, smooth out and brighten skin, and moisturize.  This is called a bird's nest mask because they collect spit from swiftlet nests and use it in the mask. 

I loved the August Mask Maven.  I always enjoy trying out new masks and finding out which companies and ingredients work best for my skin.  I wish the masks hadn't been quite so hydration-heavy this month as hydration isn't something I need in August, generally, but Emily always needs it, so they'll get used.  

What did you think of the August Mask Maven?  If you subscribe, what was your mystery mask?

Glossybox Review, August 2016

Glossybox, $21 per month US, has many international versions

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Meet Cappy!  He's such a little sweetheart.  He's checking out the August Glossybox.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but he has pretty blue eyes.

Glossybox is a monthly box that sends subscribers five to six items per month.  Glossy used to send everyone the same products, but they now have a good amount of variation.  The subscription has really gone down hill this year.  It's very disappointing.  Box values used to be in the $75-$100 range regularly, but, lately, it's been more in the $50-$60 range.  They've also been posting ads recently that have been completely false (more on that below).  I used to be a Glossy fan girl, but I'll probably be canceling once my year subscription ends.  

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Here's what came in my August Glossybox:

Screenshot of the Glossybox website taken 8/22/16

Screenshot of the Glossybox website taken 8/22/16

My August Glossybox was worth $51.98.  As you can see in the screenshot of the Glossybox website that I've posted to the right, they say that the value of the August box will be $70+.  This is the second month in a row that they've done this.  Last month, Glossybox originally sent out an ad stating that all boxes would contain a Nuxe shimmer oil and be worth $95+.  When neither of those things turned out to be true, Glossybox tried to say the ad was meant only for certain people and not for everyone, even though the ad clearly said "every box" and was sent directly to my e-mail inbox. They then changed their website to say that July boxes would be worth $60+.  Mine wasn't even worth $60, let alone $95.  I complained about it and they sent me a palette to try to make up for it, but I really wanted the Nuxe shimmer oil.  This month, I've sent them another message about the fact that their site clearly says boxes will be worth $70+ while my box is worth only $51.98.  I got a response asking me if something was missing from my box.  I wrote back and explained to them that all the products listed on the card were in the box but that the value of the box they sent me is almost $20 less than what they advertise on their site.  I have yet to get a response to that and I doubt I will.  Others have posted pictures and reviews of their boxes online and the value of their boxes looks to be very similar to that of mine.  In my message to Glossybox, I told them that most people would be very happy with their box worth $51.98, but, when they're advertising $70 values, then people are going to get upset.  If they hadn't said that the boxes would be a certain value, people wouldn't expect that.

 

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The Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil is quite strongly scented, but it works well if you can get past the scent.  Emily has been using it in her hair and found it was able to smooth out her hair well.  She has one little piece of hair that never likes to stay down and this was able to get that hair in line.  She wasn't a huge fan of the scent, but she was willing to overlook it because it made her hair look so good.

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The De Bruyère After Sun Lotion is supposed to be used after you've been in the sun all day and your skin needs some hydration and nourishment.  This has a very beachy sent from the monoï oil that is in it.  The formula is extremely thin -- it's more of a liquid than a cream.  It was very moisturizing and felt great after being on the beach all day.  The scent was stronger than I would have liked and it lasts quite a while, so this wouldn't be the first after-sun product I reached for.

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Last month, Glossybox put a spoiler for the August box on the product information card and this was iit -- the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off.  This is makeup remover oil in a tube that you apply with a wand to your lashes, wait a minute, then wipe it off.  I don't generally use waterproof mascara, so I don't have much of a need for this.  My mascara comes off pretty well with my regular makeup remover and I can always use an oil-based remover if I need to.  I'm not sure why you would need to pay a lot of money for a teeny bit of oil-based makeup remover in a tube.  This just added an extra step to my bedtime routine that is already too long and didn't do anything for extra for me.  If you use waterproof mascara and you've tried this product, does it make removal a lot easier?  Is it worth it?  I just can't see paying $23 for a teeny tube of makeup remover.

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I've gotten Invisibobble in boxes before, but it's always nice to get a few extra.  The only ones I had were black, so the pink is cute.  Invisibobble is a hair tie that holds your hair back without leaving kinks in your hair and without ripping your hair out when you remove it.  I don't use hair ties that often because I keep my hair pretty short, but I like these and find them to be easy to use when I do use hair ties.  

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Swatch of Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Buttery Lip Cream in Exotic Fruits

Swatch of Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Buttery Lip Cream in Exotic Fruits

All subscribers got the Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Buttery Lip Cream in either Exotic Fruits or Guilty Pug.  I, of course, got Exotic Fruits, which is the most unflattering color on me.  Guilty Pug is a bright coral color, while Exotic Fruits is a very pale pinky-peach color.  The lipstick is moisturizing, but I couldn't bring myself to wear this color outside of the house.  It made me look sick.

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The final product was the Borghese Fango Brillante Brightening Mud Mask for Face and Body.  The mask is a bright pink cream and is supposed to brighten and even out the complexion of the face and body.  You apply this, wait five minutes, then rinse it off.  I've never tried a mask for my body before.  There isn't really enough of this product in the sample tube to do a full body treatment of this.  I used it on my face and found that it did give me smooth, glowing skin.  I don't really feel the need for a body mask, but I'll use it as a face mask.

Glossybox's sneak peek for next month wasn't an actual product.  They said that they will have an illustrator design next month's box.  They don't say who the illustrator is or what the box design will be like, but there are some pictures of roses, a bird, and a lock around the sneak peek, so I suspect that those are there as a hint.  Does anyone have any idea who this illustrator might be?  I usually like their special boxes, so the September box at least has that going for it.

I was pretty disappointed in the August Glossybox.  I don't know what is going on with the company, but it just isn't what it used to be.  I hope they are able to get back what they had, but it's not looking good at this point.  All of the products were okay besides the Trifle lipstick, but none were products I just had to have and couldn't live without.  The Too Faced Mascara Melt Off works fine as a makeup remover, but I just don't feel the need for expensive makeup remover that is only for my eyelashes.  I'm hoping next month will be better, but I'm not holding my breath.

What did you think of this month's Glossybox?  Did anyone get a box worth over $70?  If you got Guilty Pug, what did you think of the color?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

Petit Vour Review, August 2016

Petit Vour, $15 per month (US), $23 per month (Canada)

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My baby bun is striking a pose!  She really has this modeling thing down!  Petit Vour is one of her favorite boxes because they only send us products that aren't tested on her bunny cousins.  She wishes that the models on the box were lops like her, though.  

Petit Vour is a monthly vegan and cruelty-free beauty box.  Subscribers get four sample size makeup, skincare, or hair care products each month.  If you're new to vegan beauty, this is the perfect way to get familiar with the vegan beauty companies out there and find out which ones work best for you.  Vegan beauty products can be expensive and some are much better than others, so trying before you buy will save you time and money.  Petit Vour also has a points program that allows you to earn points to spend in their shop, similar to the points system Birchbox had before they overhauled it.

Petit Vour sent met this box free of charge for review.  The link to the Petit Vour site at the top of this article and to several of the products listed below are affiliate links.

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Here's what I got this month:

All subscribers received the first three items listed above.  The fourth item varied -- most subscribers received the BOX Naturals Luxe Cleansing Towelettes, but any subscriber who had an active subscription over a year ago when Petit Vour originally sent out BOX Naturals towelettes received the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream instead.  Petit Vour sent me both of the items for review, but regular subscribers will not receive only one.  For the boxes that had BOX Naturals towelettes in them, the value was $38.93; for subscribers who received the variation with the eye cream, the value was $52.26.  While I would have liked to have seen the two box variations be a little closer in value, I think it's a nice way for them to say thank you to long-term subscribers.  

Isn't the artwork on the product information card adorable this month?  I always look forward to seeing Petit Vour's card.  They have the prettiest cards in the business.  The little pineapples are so cute and it's such a summery design.

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I've liked other Formulary 55 products I've tried, so I was excited to try out their Sea Mineral Body Polish with Grapefruit and Rosemary.  This is a salt scrub with essential oils of grapefruit and rosemary.  I love grapefruit scented things.  I was quite surprised when I opened the packet and smelled nothing.  I figured once I made it into a paste with water, though, the scent would come out.  Even after I got it wet and scrubbed by body with it, there was no scent.  I reached out to Formulary 55 to find out if the scent is very faint or if it is possible that I got a defective batch that was missing the essential oils.  They wrote back within minutes and said that the grapefruit and rosemary oils were in there because they were good for your skin and that there wasn't much scent to the polish.  Although it didn't smell like anything, it was very exfoliating and made my skin feel extra soft.

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Swatches of Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo

Swatches of Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo

Petit Vour subscribers love Lily Lolo, so I was happy to see the full size Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo in the box.  The contour side of this palette is a matte medium taupe that is very buildable.  I built it up in the swatch above to make it easy to see, but you can make it look much more subtle if necessary.  The highlighter side looks a lot darker in the palette than it does when you use it -- it's a very pretty, shimmery pale peach.  I think these colors would be flattering on most complexions.  Those of us with pale skin can use a light touch with it, and those of us with darker skin can build it up.  No colors are universal, of course, and the contour side wouldn't work for anyone whose complexion is darker than medium brown.  This goes on smoothly and lasts all day.  This is one of my favorite contour and highlighter sets. I'm quite picky with my contour, but I love this product.

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The True Moringa Lavender Facial Oil contains only two ingredients -- cold pressed moringa seed oil and lavender essential oil.  This oil smells like straight up lavender, which isn't my favorite scent, but it's not the worst scent either.  The oil is a serum that is supposed to moisturize, reduce redness, and fight signs of aging.  It was extremely hydrating, but I haven't used it long enough to tell you how well it works for aging. I've felt like such a greaseball this summer, so I was a little nervous to put this oil on my face, but I had no need to be.  While I probably wouldn't buy this just because lavender isn't really my scent, I like how it made my face feel moisturized but non-greasy.  

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BOX Naturals makes towelettes that can be used all over the body in rosewater and lavender scents.  While the towelettes were originally marketed as feminine wipes, they're now also advertised as being great for removing makeup, cleaning your hands, or freshening yourself up all over.  As I have mentioned before, I don't like anything scented for the lady bits.  I do like this as a makeup remover, though.  I love the rose scent and it removes makeup well.  Last year, when I first reviewed BOX Naturals, I had a conversation with the owner of the company via e-mail and asked her why they couldn't make an unscented product.  I would have no problem whatsoever with an unscented feminine wipe.  She explained to me that making something unscented would have required an ingredient to cancel out the natural odors of the ingredients of the wipes and that they thought that the scent killing ingredient was more harmful than scented essential oils, so that was the reasoning behind it.  I'm not explaining it as well as she did, but that was the gist of it.  I hadn't realized that was how it worked, so I definitely understood their reasoning for the floral scents a little better.  While I won't personally use it as a feminine wipe, I would recommend this for just about any other thing you might need a wipe for.  They are high quality towelettes and get the job done.

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Those who were subscribers last year when BOX Naturals wipes were sent out got the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream this time.  I've never been a coffee drinker, but I love the coffee scent of this cream.  It smells so good.  Caffeine reduces puffiness, so it's one of my favorite things to see in an eye cream.  This cream also helps with dark circles and contains vitamins and antioxidants to fight signs of aging.  The sample size is pretty big and a little goes a long way, so this should last me a couple of weeks.  I definitely notice a reduction in puffiness when I use this.  While I hope you never cry, if you do, a good caffeine eye cream is the best thing to have around.  Caffeine eye cream was my best friend during my divorce!  It really does wonders.  

I thought August was a great month for Petit Vour!  The 100% Pure eye cream and the Lily Lolo contour palette were my favorite items, but I liked everything in the box.  While I thought the Formulary 55 body polish worked well, I do wish it had more of a scent to it.  The True Moringa oil was so moisturizing, but I would like it even more it smelled like something other than lavender.  The BOX Naturals towelettes are great for removing makeup, but their scent makes me not want to use them as feminine wipes.  It's strange how the only negative things I have to say about those products have to do with scent, but that's just how it worked out this month.  They are all good, high quality products, though, so if their scents (or lack thereof) work for you, then I'd recommend them.  

What did you think of the August Petit Vour?  Did you get the BOX Naturals wipes or the 100% Pure eye cream?  Did you have a favorite product?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

ipsy Review, August 2016

ipsy, $10 per month (US and Canada only; add $4.95 extra for Canadian addresses)

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This baby bun thinks her face should have been on this month's ipsy bag.  She says it would have been a much cuter bag and I agree with her.  I don't hate the August ipsy bag, but I certainly don't love it, either.  There was also a second makeup bag design this month with a woman with teal hair, but I liked the lavender bag a little more.

At $10 per month, ipsy is one of the more affordable beauty subscriptions.  Each month, subscribers get a makeup bag plus five items that were selected for them based off the profile they filled out upon subscribing.  Generally speaking, ipsy tends to be heavier on makeup and lighter on skincare than Birchbox is.  I find that ipsy's sample sizes are usually bigger than those of Birchbox, but ipsy has a mix of drugstore and higher end brands, while Birchbox doesn't include drugstore brands.  Ipsy's values are usually in the $45-$60 range, which isn't bad for a $10 bag.  Birchbox used to blow ipsy out of the water with their points system.  After Birchbox's extreme overhaul of their points system last month, ipsy's points system is now better.  You can review each product you get for 10 points (plus an extra 5 points if you share it on Facebook or Twitter).  Ipsy has a points shop where you can choose products to spend your points on and the product you choose will be sent out in your next ipsy bag.  While the shop doesn't have tons of choices, it has a number of options and they change often.  They used to have only a few things you could choose from and the items no one wanted would be available for months until they finally ran out and added something new, so there's been an improvement.  The best products go quickly, so check the shop regularly if you have points you want to spend.

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Here's what came in my ipsy Glam Bag this month:

My July ipsy was worth about $57.44.  I estimated the value of the bronzer because I couldn't find a similar product available for sale online from Beauté Basics.  For a $10 subscription, $57 is a great value.  Three of the five products were makeup, but that's ipsy for you.  Besides the three makeup items, there was a beauty tool and a hair care product, so I didn't get any skincare products from ipsy this month.  That's a little strange.  Skincare products are usually my favorite things to get.  

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Swatches of Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette Eyeshadows 

Swatches of Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette Eyeshadows 

The Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette is teeny and the packaging feels cheap, so I'm a little surprised by the price of this being listed as $17.95.  I don't know many people who would pay that much for it.  That said, I did like this mini palette more than I expected.  It had good pigment, no real fallout to speak of, and it was easy to work with.  I used the middle color all over the lid, the brown in the crease, and the light color on the brow bone.  The three colors looked great together.  I probably won't use this every day, but this is a great little palette for travel. 

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I was impressed with the sample size of the It Haircare 12-in-One Amazing Leave-in Treatment.  It was so big that I thought it might be full size, but it's actually one-third the size of the full size bottle.  To use this, you work a pea-sized amount through wet hair.  According to ipsy, the 12 things it is supposed to do for your hair are:  "Gets rid of 1. Frizz 2. Tangles 3. Brittle ends; Adds 4. Body 5. Shine 6. Health, Repairs 7. Dry hair 8. Damaged hair; Protects 9. Color-treated hair 10. Against heat 11. Against split ends 12. Against breakage."  The list probably could have been condensed a bit as some of the twelve supposed benefits sound the same.  I gave this a try and found it did make my hair look a little extra shiny, but it also gave me some volume, which I definitely don't need.  I'll probably give this to a friend who needs volume more than I do.

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Swatches of Beauté Basics 3 Tone Bronzer (dark color left, medium color middle left, light color middle right, all three shades combined left)

Swatches of Beauté Basics 3 Tone Bronzer (dark color left, medium color middle left, light color middle right, all three shades combined left)

This cheap packaging makes the Jelly Pong Pong packaging look fancy!  I thought it was strange that Beauté Basics doesn't seem to have anything like this bronzer on their website.  I'm not sure if it's new and they will be selling it soon, if it's old and it's been discontinued, or if it was made exclusively for ipsy.  This doesn't have tons of pigment and I had to build it up quite a bit to get what you see in the swatches above.  That said, you don't really want bronzer to have tons of pigment because you want your bronzer to be subtle.  This was an average bronzer.  Nothing about it made it stand out in a good or bad way.

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It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black

It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black

I can't go a month without at least one black eyeliner!  This month, the black eyeliner is It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner.  I don't believe It Cosmetics and It Haircare are in any way connected to each other, so it's just a weird coincidence I got something from each of them this month.  The It Cosmetics liner is a gel and goes on smoothly without getting caught and tugging on your lids.  Besides being no-tug and waterproof, this eyeliner also has anti-aging ingredients in it.  It's a little strange to have anti-aging eyeliner, but I guess it can't hurt to use it.  The black is quite severe and it doesn't blend out all that well.  I wish I had gotten a different color, but I like this more than most black eyeliners and will use it occasionally.

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The last product was the Beau Gâchis Pro Series Applicator Sponge.  This is a good size sponge and is similar to a beautyblender.  This isn't quite as smooth and soft as a real beautyblender, but it gave my foundation a nice finish.  I recommend using a smaller sponge around the nose as this one is a little big for detail work, but this is a good basic sponge.  

I've had better months with ipsy, but I've also had a lot worse.  I liked all the products, but none of them were absolutely amazing.  I will give ipsy credit for sending me only products this month that were new to me.  With as many boxes as I've gotten over, it's rare when one of the more mainstream boxes goes a month without sending me a product I've never tried before!  

What did you get in your ipsy bag this month?  Was it a good month?  What did you think of the bag?

Allure Beauty Box Review, August 2016

Allure Beauty Box, $15 per month (US only)

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My adorable little Rosie bun, a 6-week-old Holland Lop, is checking out the August Allure Beauty Box.  She's a little shy still, but very sweet.  Rosie is Emmett's niece, so she is extra special!  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but she has blue eyes and very pale tan spots on her back.  Her coloring is so pretty.

The Allure Beauty Box is a monthly subscription curated by the editors of Allure.  They've tried just about every beauty product out there, so, when they say something's good, it might actually be worth checking out.  Until a year ago, Allure had The Beauty Bar curate their boxes, but the curation substantially improved and values went way up when the Allure editors took over.  That said, being curated by the editors of Allure also means the products tend to be mainstream, so the box contents are often products you've at least heard of, if not tried.  If you're new to beauty boxes, this will give you a great introduction to the world of beauty.  If you're not new to beauty boxes, your Allure boxes will likely contain at least a product or two each month you've gotten in other boxes multiple times.  

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Here's what came in my August Allure Beauty Box:

My August Allure box was worth $102.16.  For a $15 box, the value is definitely up there.  There were some variations this month, though, and my box was the second lowest value variation.  All of the products were the same except the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush.  Some people got the Mally Mattewand Eye Brightener, which I believe ended up being full size and worth $25; some received the Pixi Glow Tonic, a small sample worth $1.74; others got the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, a small sample worth $8.16.  Variations are fine and all, but when you're advertising the most expensive of the variations in spoilers and then send out variations that aren't just a little cheaper, but a lot cheaper, you're going to have some annoyed customers.  I will give them credit for at least saying from the beginning that there would be variations, especially after last month's issue with Glossybox saying that a Nuxe oil would be in every box and then not delivering on that.  I really wanted to try the Mally Mattewand, so I was a little disappointed.  The e.l.f. brush was the product I wanted the least, but, of course, that's the one I ended up getting.

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Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach

Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach

First up is the Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach.  I actually got an eyeliner that wasn't black!  It's a really dark brown, though, so it's not that far off.  I've tried Cargo's eyeliner before, and I've tried their Swimmables blush before, but I've never tried their Swimmables eyeliner.  The Swimmables line, as you probably guessed, is supposed to be waterproof.  The eyeliner went on easily and smoothly and lasted all day.  Although it was dark, it wasn't quite as severe as black eyeliner, so I liked the color.  I've never worn this eyeliner while swimming or in a rainstorm, so I can't tell you how waterproof it is.

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Can you believe this teeny tube of eye serum is worth $53?!!!  It's almost half the size of the full size, which goes for $115.  Fortunately, with eye serums, a little goes a long way, so this should last me for a good amount of time.  The Freeze 24-7 serum is supposed to moisturize the delicate skin around your eyes, plus make the skin look tighter and smoother for a few hours.  It contains amino butyric acid, which helps the muscles relax, plus aloe to reduce inflammation.  There wasn't any fragrance to it, and the product itself is thin and milky looking.  The skin around my eyes is still pretty smooth, so I didn't notice any real results.  While many extremely expensive products just aren't worth it, if this works as it says it does and you really want smoother skin around your eyes, I could see spending the money on it.  It's certainly cheaper and less invasive than Botox.  Whether it works as well as it says it does, though, I can't tell you.  Has anyone else tried it?  Was it effective?  Is it worth it?

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Next up, we have the Pur~lisse Prevent Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer.  I've gotten Pur~lisse moisturizers so many times in beauty boxes, but I can't remember if I've gotten this exact type before.  Besides being moisturizing, this also fights signs of aging.  It's very lightweight and a good choice for the summer.  I'd suggest using this at night and perhaps one of Pur~lisse's moisturizers that contain sunblock during the day.  This isn't fragrance-free, but the scent is light and goes away after it is absorbed.  

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The e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush is for use with liquid makeup and is supposed to give you an airbrushed looking finish.  This works pretty well for a $3 brush.  The bristles aren't the highest quality, but I wouldn't expect them to be at this price point.  I'm too lazy to bother with stippling most of the time, but this will be good to have around when I want to put in the extra effort.

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I believe this is the fourth time I've gotten Supergoop! Setting Mist with Rosemary in a box.  While I wouldn't use this as my only sunblock, this will give you a little added protection in case you missed a small spot or if it's been a few hours since you applied sunblock and need a boost.  This will set your makeup and keep in locked in for the day, plus it has a matte finish and helps with oil control.  Strangely enough, it smells like mint, not rosemary.  The scent is a little on the strong side, so, if you don't like mint that much, this won't be for you.  I like mint and everything, but, really, who wants their face to smell like it?  Although it could do without the minty scent, I still like the product and think it's the perfect setting mist for a hot summer day.  

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I've gotten the Wet Brush before, but I got the smallest size, The Squirt.  This is the Midi, in between The Squirt and full size.  Allure subscribers received either the color Stone Cold Steel or Bombshell Blue.  I can't seem to find my little Wet Brush, so I guess my ex must have kept it when I left her.  You can't begin to understand how well this works until you actually try it.  I'm lucky in that I have thick hair that is strong and never falls out, so I've always brushed my hair when it was wet with a regular brush and have never had problems.  You're really not supposed to brush your hair when it's wet, though, so that's where The Wet Brush comes in.  This glides through your wet hair and detangles it.  It doesn't even feel like your hair is being brushed.  I remember using one for the first time and thinking it didn't feel like it was doing anything to my hair.  I then looked in the mirror and saw that my hair looked smooth and perfectly brushed.  This brush really does work and, best of all, it's only $8.99.

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The final products were the Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner in Honey Treasures.  These weren't listed in the booklet Allure sent with the box, so they must be an added bonus.  Given that they are worth $0.54 each, it's good they're just extra products Allure threw in.  They smell good and work well for inexpensive drugstore shampoo and conditioner.  I like Garnier products and think they're some of the better drugstore hair care products available.  I don't see myself buying these, but I'll use the samples up.  

The August Allure Beauty Box was okay, but not amazing.  The value was up there and I liked the products for the most part, but there was nothing really special in the box.  My favorite product was The Wet Brush and my least favorite product was the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush.  I really wanted to try the Mally eye brightener, so that was a bit of a disappointment.  It's annoying that they advertised the Mally product and then sent most subscribers much cheaper items.  I'll give them credit for being upfront about the variations from the beginning, but I think the values of the product should have been similar.  I'm still on the fence about canceling Allure.  I said last month that if they didn't wow me this month, I would probably cancel.  While I wouldn't say they knocked it out of the park, it was an improvement over last month, so I'll probably just wait and see how September goes.

What did you think of Allure this month?  Which variation did you get?  

2016 PopSugar Must Have CFDA Limited Edition Box Review

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Emmett loves when I get PopSugar boxes because they're the only boxes he can still fit into!  Isn't he the cutest?  He isn't a baby anymore -- he's almost nine months old -- but he's my most special bunny, so I always love it when he can be a box model.  It's adorable that he stood up to have his picture taken.

PopSugar Must Have is more of a lifestyle box than a beauty box, but they always contain at least one beauty product.  In addition to their monthly boxes, PopSugar puts out maybe six or so limited edition boxes each year.  The box I'm reviewing today is their second collaboration with the CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America.  50% of the profits from this box go to the CFDA to promote US fashion around the world.  I admit, this hardly seems like the most worthy of charities, but I liked the box, so I got it anyway.  Normally, the box sells for $225, but I guess they didn't sell enough of them, so PopSugar put them on sale at GiltCity for $165.  I used a coupon code to bring the price down to $140.  The GiltCity deal is no longer available, but you can buy the box at full price on PopSugar's website using the link at the top of this post.  

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Here's what I got in my PopSugar Must Have CFDA Limited Edition Box:

The 2016 PopSugar Must Have CFDA box was worth $725!  That's $500 over the regular price of the box and $585 more than I paid for it.  You can't beat the value of this box.  It's not cheap, but, if you like the products inside, it's more than worth it.  Last year's CFDA box was disastrous, so a lot of people were wary of getting the box this year.  The CFDA box last year was worth considerably less than the value PopSugar had promised and the products inside were very strange choices for a fashion box.  PopSugar actually allowed people to return the boxes for a refund.  Beauty boxes never do that, so that shows you how bad it was.  Fortunately, they really upped their game this year and put out a much better box.  They also released a number of spoilers ahead of time so people would know what they were getting into.  The CFDA boxes sold out within two hours last year and they still haven't sold out months later this year, so PopSugar did some serious damage with the previous box.  I saw this box and wanted it months ago, but I didn't want to spend $225 on it.  I couldn't pass it up for $140, though!

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The first product was also the first spoiler for this year's box, the lemlem Split Cover Up.  I cannot imagine spending $198 on this beach cover-up.  This has an uneven hem, as you can see above, and the stripes don't match up, but that's how it's supposed to be.  Liya Kebede, the designer behind lemlem, is an Ethiopian designer, which I thought was a little strange because this is a CFDA box and they promote fashion from the US.  I learned that Liya Kebede is originally from Ethiopia and makes her clothing there, but she currently lives in the US.  This is a one size product, but, as you might imagine, this is certainly not one size fits all (or even most).  I am 5'3'' and it is rather short on me, so it would be very short on a taller person.  It also wouldn't fit most plus size individuals.  I've heard that people who have written to PopSugar and told them that the cover-up doesn't fit them have had their cover-ups replaced with a bigger size, but I don't know if the replacements are the same cover-ups.  I wish they had included something that everyone could wear regardless of size or at least asked for size information when customers ordered the box.  I'm sure the spoiler for this item turned off a lot of potential purchasers who knew the cover-up wouldn't fit them.  This wouldn't normally be my style, but it's a beach cover-up, so I don't really care what it looks like.  I should note that this is supposed to be dry clean only.  Who dry cleans a beach cover-up?!   You could probably get away with gently hand washing it.  I certainly wouldn't put it through the washer as the fabric is very thin and delicate.

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The next product was the 3.1 Phillip Lim 10th Anniversary Limited Edition 31 Nano Second Pouch.  This was made exclusively for PopSugar.  It's made of high quality black leather and "Stop and Smell the Flowers" is printed in silver on the pouch.  It fit my iPhone 6s with an Otterbox Defender inside, but it was a bit of a tight fit.  I would still be able to put my keys, cards, or other small things inside the pouch with the phone, though.  This isn't really my style, but it is a nice pouch.  I think $195 is a little expensive for this product, but it is in line with Phillip Lim's prices.  My girlfriend's mom seemed to like it, so I gave it to her.

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Next up is the S'well Shadow Water Bottle, designed exclusively for PopSugar by Lizzie Fortunato.  I hate the design on the bottle, but it's high quality and works well, so I'll use it.  It's made of stainless steel and is supposed to keep liquids hot for twelve hours or cold for twenty-four hours.  It did keep the temperature of my drinks, but I didn't test it to see if it would maintain the temperature from twelve to twenty-four hours.  Has anyone tried it?  Does it really keep drinks hot or cold for that long?  Note that this is not dishwasher safe, so you'll have to wash this by hand.  

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Fragrance Gift Set, left to right: Silent St., Looking Glass, Hi-Fi, Drunk on Youth, Afloat, Rain Day, Something Wild, Ellipsis, Blackout, and 2am Kiss.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Fragrance Gift Set, left to right: Silent St., Looking Glass, Hi-Fi, Drunk on Youth, Afloat, Rain Day, Something Wild, Ellipsis, Blackout, and 2am Kiss.

I absolutely love the Derek Lam 10 Crosby Fragrance Collection Gift Set!  This is available for $95 at Sephora if you want this set, but don't want to buy the whole box.  Derek Lam is a designer who has branched out into fragrance.  Each perfume was inspired by what Derek Lam had seen out his window at 10 Crosby St. in NYC.  These perfumes are all very different, so there should be something for everyone, but that also means that most people aren't going to love every scent.  

I'll give you a quick overview of the perfumes from left to right.  The first perfume, Silent St., is a white musk and is my favorite perfume of the bunch.  It was very long-lasting, but wasn't overly strong.  It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite perfumes, CLEAN Skin.  The next perfume was Looking Glass, which was a very floral scent.  It had notes of magnolia and tonka bean.  I liked it, but it was faint after a couple of hours.  Hi-Fi, a perfume with notes of peony and narcisse, had soft but pretty floral top notes.  As I wore the perfume longer and the mid and base notes came out, it got a little stronger and it was a gorgeous scent.  This is another one of my favorites.  Drunk in Love is an apple and honeysuckle perfume, so it had fruity top notes with a hint of floral.  I liked this more and more as I wore it.  Afloat, which Derek Lam describes as having mimosa and orris notes, had a sweet floral top that I didn't like much at all as sweet perfumes aren't for me.  As the day wore on, though, very clean and fresh smelling mid and base notes came out and I ended up loving the perfume.  Rain Day, a neroli and vetiver perfume, had top notes that were fresh and floral but there was a bit of greenness to it. I don't like green florals that much, but the base notes smelled floral but not green, so I liked it more after wearing it for a little while.  After Rain Day, we get into the spicier perfumes.  Something Wild is a perfume with notes of cedarwood and vanilla bean.  I thought I was going to hate this perfume as vanilla usually isn't for me, but this wasn't that bad.  The top notes were all spice; once the top notes were out of the way, warm vanilla mid notes came through, and then the perfume finished off with base notes that were both spicy and vanilla.  Vanilla isn't a scent I would think of as "Something Wild," but it ended up working.  Ellipsis is a sandalwood- and jasmine-based scent.  There was a lot of sandalwood in the top notes, strangely enough, but the mid notes were floral and extraordinarily sweet.  I couldn't handle the sweetness and had to take it off soon after putting it on.  Blackout is an osmanthus and chai scent, and it is very spicy, warm, and dark on the top notes.  It mellows out a bit over time, but this is a bold perfume.  I didn't love it, but I liked it more than I thought I would.  Finally, there was 2am Kiss, a salty wood and crystallized amber fragrance.  This was sweet and spicy in the top notes, but the sweetness worked for this perfume and didn't bother me.  Go light with this perfume as it is quite strong.  I don't think I'll be wearing 2am Kiss often, but it's a sexy scent and will be perfect for some occasions. 

I liked most of the perfumes and would wear all of them except Ellipsis again.  The sweetness in Ellipsis was just too much for me. 

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I also love the Illesteva Leonard Sunglasses in Horn.  Everyone got the Leonard style, but the colors and lens types (mirrored or regular) varied.  I was hoping for mirrored lenses, but I like the pair I got.  I was looking at the many Leonard variations on the Illesteva website and I would have been happy with most of them.  It seems like a lot of people got tortoiseshells; I haven't seen anyone else post pictures with the Horn color in their box.  These fit my face well and were very flattering on me.  The case is huge and sturdy and it also comes with a little bag to keep the glasses in.  At $177, these glasses are worth more than what I paid for the box, so this definitely made the box worth it for me.

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I had thought that PopSugar was sending out the Elizabeth and James dry shampoo in Nirvana Black only, so I was very happy to see Nirvana White in my box.  Nirvana White is one of my signature scents, so I love having a dry shampoo that smells like it.  The dry shampoo works well, doesn't leave a bunch of white powder in my hair, and smells just like the perfume.  The bottle is huge.  I wouldn't want to spend $28 on it, but I'm happy it came in my box and it'll definitely get some use.

I'm very happy with my PopSugar CFDA box!  The beach cover-up and the Phillip Lim pouch aren't really my style, but I'll wear the cover-up when I make it to the beach and Emily's mom will use the pouch.  I absolutely love the other products.  The Illesteva glasses and Derek Lam perfume collection are my two favorite items in the box, but I also like the Elizabeth and James dry shampoo and S'well bottle.  I hate the design of the bottle, but I love how it works, so I'm willing to ignore that.  I think PopSugar learned from last year's mistakes with this box and made a great box this year.  There was a great product mix and the products were really fun.  I wish that they hadn't included a cover-up that not everyone will be able to wear, but I'm happy to hear they are willing to send a replacement to those who it doesn't fit.  I highly recommend it and look forward to next year's box. 

DermStore BeautyFix Review, August 2016

DermStore BeautyFix, $24.95 per month (US only)

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This baby bunny thought that the DermStore box matched her fur color well.  She's a six-week-old Mini Satin.  

BeautyFix is a monthly subscription put out by DermStore.  Subscribers receive at least six items per month with a minimum value of $100.  Oftentimes, the value is quite a bit over $100.  I always recommend this for women who are 30+ because it's usually filled with high end anti-aging skincare products.  Most months, there is one makeup item and one beauty tool, but the rest of the items are skincare products.  I've seen some months, though, where all the products have been skincare items.  You usually get at least one moisturizer per month, often two, and sometimes even three.  There's always at least one full size product, often two or more, and the rest of the products are generally deluxe sample size, although they sometimes have a teeny sample of an expensive product.  I've found the sample sizes to be getting bigger lately.  Boxes aren't customized for subscribers.  Everyone receives the same items with perhaps some color or scent variation.  This is one of the more underrated boxes out there, in my opinion.  It's a great way to sample a lot of expensive skincare products without making a big financial commitment.  Who wants to take the risk and spend $100 to $200 to find out that a high end product people rave about doesn't actually work for your skin?  This is always one of my favorite boxes to get.

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Here's what I got in my August DermStore BeautyFix box:

The August DermStore BeautyFix box was worth $170.41!  I'm definitely happy with that value.  There were two full size products this month.  I thought the product mix was excellent.  There was the one beauty tool (of sorts), one makeup item, a perfume, and then six skincare products.  I believe this is the first time I've gotten a perfume in my BeautyFix box.  It was the standard, teeny 1.5 ml perfume sample, but it was a ninth item, so, to me, it's just an added bonus.  

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I don't think I'm allowed to have a month without getting at least one Juice Beauty product in a beauty box.  It's like black eyeliner!  I think it's a little strange that we're getting a full size Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive this month when DermStore sent us a full size Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer in the April box.  Juice Beauty isn't my favorite brand and there are lots of people who aren't big fans of the company, so putting full size versions of their products in boxes just four months apart may not have been the best decision.  I hate the scent of the products in the Green Apple line, so I won't touch their moisturizers.  Fortunately, my mom loves the scent, so those products usually end up going to her.  This might get shipped up to Maine, too.  This is an alpha hydroxy acid face peel that even those of us with sensitive skin can use.  Besides the AHA, which gives your face a deep cleaning and evens out your skin tone, it also contains aloe and vitamins A, C, and E.  I used this and, unless you count the scent, I didn't find it to be irritating at all.  When I tried Juice Beauty's Green Apple Peel Blemish several months back, it had almost no scent to it, so I was surprised by how strongly this one was scented.  It did leave my skin feeling smooth and looking bright, so I'll give credit where it's due, but I probably won't use this again as I really hate the smell and there are lots of equally good, non-stinky peels out there. 

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Luzern Laboratories Force de Vie Pure Oxygen Crème Luxe, an anti-aging moisturizer, is $154 for 2 ounces, so it's expensive.  DermStore sent us a 0.333 ounce container of it, worth $24.75, so, while it doesn't technically meet my standards for deluxe sample size (at least one-fifth of the full size), it is almost there.  There is no added fragrance to this, so those who don't like perfume-y moisturizers might like this.  I was expecting this to be a thick and heavy moisturizer, but it's light and perfect for the summer.  The first ingredient listed on the package is aloe, so they were really thinking of summer skincare needs when they made this product.  I like this, but would I ever spend $154 on it?  Never.  I see that it gets rave reviews on DermStore's site, but I didn't find it to be any better than moisturizers a third of its price.  Perhaps if you used it for an extended period of time, it would have fabulous anti-aging benefits.  If it did, then it would be worth it to some people, but I would want to see some proof before spending that much money on a moisturizer.

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When I say BeautyFix boxes usually have a beauty tool, I use the term broadly.  While most beauty boxes just throw in the occasional makeup brush and that's it for the beauty tools, DermStore gets creative and I love it.  I've gotten an eyelash curler (which I've gotten in other boxes, but the one DermStore sent was extra nice), a fabulous little makeup mirror, a travel makeup bag, a cooling gel eye mask, an eyebrow trimmer, and other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head, and now they've sent out an adorable cork pill box.  This is my first time getting a pill box in one of my subscriptions.  If you don't take pills or you already have a pill box you like, you can remove the plastic pill case and use the box to hold jewelry, small makeup items, or other little things.  There's even a good size mirror in the box.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there are some gold foil lines in the cork, which makes it extra pretty.  A lot of the beauty tools DermStore sent have been from Danielle Creations, and I'm a big fan of the company.  Their products are of high quality and are always pretty.  

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The next product was the Pangea Organics Facial Cream in Nigerian Ginger with Sweet Lavender and Thyme.  The ginger, lavender, and thyme combination made for a better scent than I was expecting and it wasn't overbearing at all.  The formula is very lightweight and didn't make my skin feel greasy.  This regulates your oil and fights signs of aging, while also being very hydrating.   I like that it keeps my greasy T-zone in check even in the summer.  At $40 for 2 ounces, it is much more affordable to than the Luzern moisturizer and it works better for my skin type.

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Swatch of Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow (Left, Sun; middle, Moon; right, Stars)

Swatch of Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow (Left, Sun; middle, Moon; right, Stars)

All subscribers were supposed to get the Vincent Longo Sex Lux Pax Trio Eyeshadow, and that is what's listed on the product information card.  It looks like a lot of people got the Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow instead.  It's pretty much the same thing, just different colors, so it's not a big deal, but DermStore should have been a little more careful with that.  I got the Sun Moon Stars trio in Rhythm Mix 2.  DermStore describes this trio as a grassy green color, a plum, and a dusty rose, but, to me, the color that is supposed to be grassy green is very much a light blue.  The sun, moon, and stars printed on the eyeshadow are meant to be a guide for how to apply this eyeshadow.  The pink, or sun, is supposed to go all over, from lash line to brow bone.  The blue, or moon, is supposed to be the crease color, and the purple, or stars, is supposed to go along the lash line and to be applied to the outer corner of the eyes.  I followed the instructions and liked the look a lot more than I was expecting.  Truthfully, I thought this was going to be a hideous mess as pastel eyeshadows aren't my thing, but it ended up looking really pretty on me.  The blue mixed with the pink that was underneath it to make a purple, so it really pulled the whole look together.  It didn't make me look like an Easter egg at all.

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Next up is the bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foam Mask.  While DermStore sometimes sends out teeny samples of crazy expensive products, I was a little surprised to get this microscopic sample of a product that was only somewhat expensive.  This sample is one-twentieth the size of a full size product and worth $2.80.  I used it once and had plenty, but, as the bottle is opaque and the pump doesn't screw off so you can see inside, I have no idea how much I have left and how many more masks I'll be able to get out of this little bottle.  This mask comes out as a pink gel, but, once you rub it on your face, it becomes a soft white foam.  It tickles a bit at first because of the foaming action, but it goes away pretty quickly.  You only need to leave this on for five minutes, so it's great for when your skin needs a pick-me-up, but you're short on time.  This mask hydrates your skin, brightens it, helps prevent damage, and fights signs of aging, so it does a little bit of everything.  I used it and liked the moisture it gave me, although with my skin being so greasy right now, this wasn't really the type of mask I needed.  

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Tocca has some gorgeous perfumes, so I'm always up for trying a new one from them.  Some of their perfumes aren't for me, but a number of them are fabulous.  I hadn't tried Liliana before.  Subscribers received various Tocca scents, so you may have gotten something different.  Tocca describes this perfume as having notes of bergamot, neroli, peach, muguet, gardenia, peony, sandalwood, musk, benzoin, and patchouli.  The peach, neroli, and patchouli made me a little nervous, but I couldn't really smell them in the perfume.  I got a fruity floral scent in the top notes and a clean, fresh, almost soapy scent in the mid notes.  I love the CLEAN line of perfumes (CLEAN Skin is one of my few signature scents), so the mid notes were very appealing to me.  The patchouli would have been a base note, so it's possible that comes out more toward the end and I just didn't notice it.  I hate patchouli, though, so I would have noticed it if it had been strong.  This is one of the better Tocca perfumes I've tried.  I wouldn't go out and buy a full size bottle of this, but I'll enjoy using it while I have it.  My one complaint about Tocca samples is that they don't have little spritzers attached.  It's so easy to overdo it with an open vial.

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Alterna's Caviar CC Cream is one of my Holy Grail products!  I've gotten samples of it before, but I had very little left and had been avoiding using it because I'd be sad once it was gone.  I'm happy DermStore sent us a deluxe sample size.  I don't use many hair products, but I love the CC Cream.  It's a leave-in conditioning treatment that you work into your hair after a shower.  It leaves my hair extra smooth, soft, and shiny.  You may notice that the tube says 10-in-1 Complete Correction.  Alterna says that the ten benefits are:  moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection and light hold.  It's not the cheapest product, but this is worth it if your hair needs some help.  If you're wondering why it is called Caviar CC Cream, it is because the product contains caviar extract, so this is not vegan.

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The final product was the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum.  This wasn't for me at all.  First, the bottle design allows way too much oil to come out, so that was annoying.  Neroli smells horrible, in my opinion, so I hated the scent of this.  Neroli is okay when blended into perfumes sometimes, but this is straight up neroli and it is not a good smell.  The worst part, though, is that it made me feel like a greaseball.  This says it can be used on combination and oily skin, but it didn't work for me at all.  I'd recommend this to people with dry skin only.  Has anyone with dry skin tried this?  If so, how did it work for you?  

I'm very happy with my August DermStore BeautyFix box!  The Juice Beauty peel and the Decléor Neroli oil weren't for me, but I was very happy with the rest of the products.  The Danielle Creations pill box and the Alterna CC Cream were my two favorite items, but I also loved the Tocca perfume and liked the two moisturizers, the mask, and the eyeshadow.  I thought that the bliss mask sample was a little small, and, of course, the Tocca perfume sample was small (although that's the sample size you'll get almost all the time in subscription boxes), but, given that there were nine items and six of the nine were full or deluxe size and the other small sample was worth about $25, I have no complaints.  DermStore is always a fun box to get and gives you a lot of value for your money.  I love trying the high end samples that I could never afford to buy.  

What did you think of the August DermStore BeautyFix box?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!