ipsy Review, February 2017

ipsy, $10 per month (add $4.95 shipping for Canadian addresses)


Little Apple loved hanging out in the ipsy bag!  She thought it was the perfect size for her.

ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription.  It costs only $10 per month.  Subscribers receive five items per month plus a cute makeup bag.  ipsy customizes the products based on subscriber profiles, but they tend to be heavier on makeup than skincare.  You'll get a mix of both drugstore and higher end brands in an ipsy bag and most items are deluxe sample size and occasionally even full size. 


Here's what was in my February ipsy:

My February ipsy was worth $94.50!  I think that is the highest value ipsy I've ever gotten!  I got a nail polish, two makeup products, and three skincare products.  Normally, you get only five products in an ipsy bag, but they counted the two sheet masks as one product.  The bag wasn't all that cute this month.  They usually have a Valentine's Day-themed bag in February, but this was a denim bag with orange trim.


I can't believe I got a $48 full size product from The Organic Pharmacy.  This is a lip and eye cream, so it isn't very big.  The cream is a little thick for an eye cream.  I find it works better as a lip cream.  I could see paying $48 for an eye cream, but not $48 for a lip cream.  This is moisturizing and felt good on my lips, but it is very expensive.  


I love Trust Fund Beauty nail polish, so I am always happy to get another one.  Trust Fund Beauty nail polish is vegan and 10-free.  ipsy has sent me a few full size Trust Fund Beauty nail polishes over the years.  This time, I got $12 Latte, a medium brown with an almost purple tone to it when it dries.  It's definitely not my favorite color.  I prefer sparkly nail polishes and not creme finishes.  This chipped faster than Trust Fund Beauty nail polish usually does on me.  


This is the second time in the past few months that ipsy has sent me Soo Ae masks.  Soo Ae is a Korean mask company.  The Soo Ae Green Tea mask was very moisturizing and smelled good.  The Purifying Black Charcoal Mask is anti-aging, hydrating, and brightening.  I liked the charcoal mask more, but both masks were nice.  You can buy Soo Ae masks at Target, so they are easy to find if you like them.

Swatch of NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard

Swatch of NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard

I haven't really liked many NYX products I've tried, but I actually liked the NYX Butter Lipstick.  Lifeguard is a somewhat dark red that is a beautiful, flattering color on me.  I was surprised that it stayed on most of the day.  It was a little staining, so even after it had worn off, I still had color on my lips.  This is fabulous for a $6 lipstick.  I highly recommend it.  This works better than most expensive lipstick I've tried.  It's not as good as liquid lipstick, but it's great for a cream lipstick.


Finally, we have the Bellápierre Volume Lash Waterproof Mascara.  This mascara is a new product from Bellápierre.  Usually, I'm not a big Bellápierre fan.  You see their products in boxes constantly.  This mascara surprised me, though -- it gave me a lot of length and volume and didn't clump at all.  The packaging looks really cheap for a $20 mascara.  The tube looks more like a $6 mascara from Cover Girl, but it works well, so I have no complaints.  

February was a great month for ipsy!  Not only was the value really high, but they also chose some great products for me.  My favorite products this month were the NYX Butter Lipstick and the Bellápierre mascara.  I never thought I would love NYX or Bellápierre products, so this was a surprise.  I liked the Soo Ae masks and thought The Organic Pharmacy Lip and Eye Cream was okay, but a little expensive for what it was.  I love Trust Fund Beauty nail polish, but $12 Latte wasn't my favorite color and it didn't hold up as long as their nail polish usually does.  Overall, though, I'm very happy with my ipsy this month.

What did you get in your February ipsy?  Did you love yours as much as I loved mine?

DermStore BeautyFix Review, February 2017

DermStore BeautyFix, $24.95 per month (US only)


Marco thought he was going to be modeling for BunnyFix.  He was disappointed by the lack of carrots and parsley.

DermStore BeautyFix is a subscription box that sends subscribers $100+ worth of products each month.  All subscribers receive the same products with perhaps some scent or color variation.  Most months, you'll get multiple skincare products, a makeup product, a beauty tool, and sometimes a hair or nail product.  You'll get at least six products, sometimes as many as eleven.  BeautyFix is very heavy on skincare and is great for women who are 30+ and interested in fighting signs of aging.


Here's what I got this month:

My February box was worth $153.88.  There was no beauty tool this month.  They didn't have one last month either, so perhaps they aren't going to be doing that anymore.  We received only six products this month, four of which were makeup, one of which was a lip balm, and then a sunscreen.  It definitely wasn't your typical month for BeautyFix!  We did get three full size products, though.


First, we have the Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer in 01 Luminous.  BeautyFix has had a lot of full size Juice Beauty products in the past year.  While you see certain brands often in BeautyFix, they're overdoing it a bit with Juice Beauty.  A lot of people hate Juice Beauty, so it's definitely risky for BeautyFix to include their products so often.  While it says 01 Luminous on the packaging, I can't seem to find any other primer color that Juice Beauty has.  This is a very thin, translucent primer that gives your skin a bit of glow and provides a good base for your makeup.  Unfortunately, if you use full coverage foundation, you're not going to see the glow this gives your skin.  I prefer my primers to be a little thicker -- this is almost like water.  I'll use this up, but I wouldn't purchase it.


The La Roche-Posay Rosaliac CC Cream is a tinted moisturizer and also works as a lightweight foundation, primer, and sunscreen.  This was quite thick and I found it was difficult to apply evenly.  The color also didn't really work for my skin as it was a little too dark.  This definitely wouldn't work for people with dark complexions.  If you have a light-medium skin color and don't need full coverage foundation, this might work for you.


While the SmartFX Volume Extend Mascara gave me lots of length and volume, it also clumped a lot.  I used this for only a couple of days because the clumping was just too much.  I tried using a little lash comb to separate the lashes, but it only made it clump more.  This contains vitamin B5 and hydrolyzed silk protein to hydrate your lashes, so I was excited to try this and ended up being very disappointed.


By Terry's Baume de Rose has a cult following, so I was looking forward to finally trying this product.  This is an anti-aging, moisturizing, and smoothing lip balm.  It has a very strong rose scent.  I like rose scents, but I don't really like having the scent on my lips.  I prefer my lip balms to be either unscented or to have fruity or minty scents.  That said, this is a very luxe lip balm that feels great on my lips and was perfect for the cold, dry winter.  I would never pay $60 for lip balm, but I'll enjoy using this while I have it.

Swatch of Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Satin in Cashmere

Swatch of Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Satin in Cashmere

We got the Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Lip Satin in Velvet, a bright red, in the December box, and now we get it in Cashmere for February.  Cashmere is a mauve rose shade and gives you a semi-matte finish.  While I'm sure subscribers who thought the Velvet color was a little too bold loved this month's color, it wasn't the color for me.  I loved the red and found the formula to be amazing, so I was a little sad to get a boring color.  BeautyFix calls this a lip gloss, but it's more of a liquid lipstick formula.  It doesn't last all day, but it lasts for most of the day.  This color was definitely a My Lips But Better (MLBB) color.  If you want something that looks natural but evens out your lip color and gives it a tiny bit of extra pinkiness, you'll love this color.  


Finally, there was the SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 34 Sunscreen.  Some subscribers received tinted versions, but I got the plain formula.  While it's important to use sun protection year-round, there really isn't that much sun in upstate NY this time of year, so I don't usually use sunscreen in the winter.  This is anti-aging and evens out skin tone in addition to protecting skin from the sun, and it can be used on the face or body.  Normally, I would save this for the summer, but this has an expiration date of 03/17, and some subscribers said that theirs expired in 01/17.  I will probably still save this and try it out as I have heard mixed things about how long past the expiration date sunscreen will work.  It is unlikely to be dangerous, but it might not be quite as effective.  I have heard that subscribers who complained about the expiration date were sent other SkinMedica products to make it right.  In my experience, DermStore does have fabulous customer service.

This definitely wasn't my favorite BeautyFix box.  I liked the By Terry Baume de Rose, but the other stuff wasn't for me.  The Juice Beauty primer was okay and the Kevyn Aucoin lipstick was nice but wasn't my color.  The mascara formula and the CC cream didn't work for me at all, and I haven't used the sunblock yet, but it will be expired by the time I do.  This is probably my least favorite DermStore BeautyFix box ever.  

Did anyone else get the February BeautyFix?  Did anyone get expired sunscreen?   What did you think?

Glossybox Review, February 2017

Glossybox, $21 per month (has many international versions)


Henry is looking so grown up!  He still likes helping me with my boxes, though.

Glossybox is a beauty box that sends subscribers five to six products each month.  The samples are often full size or deluxe sample size.  You tend to get more skincare than makeup in this box, but there is always a mix.  You used to get products from high end brands in Glossybox, but now I often haven't heard of the brands.  Discovering new brands is fun, of course, but I would like to see products that I can actually purchase if I like them.  Glossybox likes to include products from European brands that don't sell their products in the U.S., so, if there is a product I really like, I may not be able to buy it.  There is a lot of product variation, so some subscribers receive boxes that are worth much more than those other subscribers receive.


Here's what I got in my February Glossybox:

My February Glossybox was worth $96.16.  The value is better than that of many recent Glossyboxes!  We got a nail product, a hair product, a skincare product, a perfume, and a makeup item, so we had a really good mix this month.  It appears that all subscribers received the perfume, the water pack, and the nail product, but the other two products varied.


First up is the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat.  I've gotten this product in a box before, but I liked it, so I'm happy to get another one.  This is a strengthening base coat that has the palest pink tint to it.  I swatched it on a fake nail above so you can see just how light it is.  You can wear it alone or you can top it with nail polish.  When it's the only thing I have on my nails, I can only see the pink tint in natural light as it is very faint.  I find that if you leave it on for a few days, it gets pinker and milkier looking over time.  I've been hard on my nails lately as I've been painting them constantly, so I've been using this and it has helped them look and feel healthier and stronger.  I definitely recommend this product.


The Estée Edit is a new line from Estée Lauder.  The Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack is a mask that you can sleep in or, if you prefer, you can apply it to your face and rinse it off after fifteen to twenty minutes.  It's supposed to hydrate your skin and make it look more radiant.  I used it overnight and found it made my skin feel very hydrated.  I didn't notice any brightening effects, but I'd probably have to use it multiple times to see a difference.  

Swatch of Eve by Eve's Flawless Finish Mineral Powder in Blush

Swatch of Eve by Eve's Flawless Finish Mineral Powder in Blush

Not all subscribers received an Eve by Eve's product this month, and those who did could receive one of several different products from the company.  Glossybox says that you could get a cream blush, a gel eyeliner, a powder, a mascara, a lip liner, or an eyebrow pencil.  I got the Flawless Finish Mineral Powder in Blush.  Eve by Eve's has a few different powders.  Those who received the Mattifying HD Loose Powder got a full size product worth $58, but those of us who got the other types of powders just got a deluxe sample size.  You'd think they would have given everyone the same size.  The full size is worth more than $30 more than the one I got, so that's a huge difference in value.  The powder I got was in the color Blush, which is the darkest powder they make.  It's a light tan color and it is too dark for me to use as a powder.  I might be able to get away with using it as a contour, but that's about it.  The powder goes on smoothly and works well.  I wish I had gotten the Mattifying HD Loose Powder, though.


The spoiler for the February box was the Jeanne Arthes L'eau de Rose Eau de Parfum.  This perfume was made especially for Glossybox.  Jeanne Arthes makes low-end perfumes, so this was quite disappointing.  While there are lots of great beauty products at lower price points, perfume is one product you can't go cheap on, in my opinion.  I would have much rather have gotten a deluxe sample size of a high end perfume than this full size cheap perfume.  There is no subtlety to this fragrance -- it hits you over the head with rose.  There are no top notes, mid notes, or base notes.  It's all just really strong rose.  If you know a teenager who loves rose scents, then they will probably love this perfume.  I love rose, but this perfume left a lot to be desired.


The final product was the Schwarzkopf Professionals BC Bonacure Moisture Kick Beauty Balm.  To use this, you're supposed to work a small amount into damp hair, then let dry.  It has some added heat protection, so you can blow dry if you desire.  I didn't notice any additional moisture or shine after using this.  Did anyone else have better luck with this product?

The February Glossybox was okay.  I really liked the Perfect Formula nail product and The Estée Edit mask, but the other products weren't my favorites.  The Schwarzkopf hair product didn't seem to give my hair any added moisture, the perfume smelled cheap, and the powder was okay but didn't really work for my coloring.  This isn't the worst Glossybox I've gotten, but it's also far from the best.  My subscription expired in October and I've been using my Glossydots to get boxes since then.  I've used up all my Glossydots after this box, so I have to decide if I want to resubscribe in March or if I should just stop getting Glossybox.  Glossy was one of my favorite boxes for a long time, so I am a little sad when I think about no longer getting it.  It has gone downhill over the past year, though, so I don't know if it is worth it to resubscribe.  I have a little time to decide, though.  

What do you think?  Should I resubscribe to Glossybox or just let my subscription end?  What did you think of the February box?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Terra Bella Box Review, February 2017

Terra Bella Box, $32.95 per month (free shipping to US, see site for international shipping rates)


This sweet baby bun loved playing in the squiggles!  

Terra Bella Box is a monthly natural, cruelty-free beauty box that features products made by small businesses.  Subscribers receive three to four skincare, hair care, and/or bath products per month.  All subscribers receive the same products.  Terra Bella has started a second box, The Makeup Edit, so if you prefer makeup products to skincare, then that might be the box for you.  You are also able to switch back and forth between The Makeup Edit and Terra Bella if you want.  The Makeup Edit is $29.95 per month, so it's a little cheaper than Terra Bella.  

Terra Bella Box sent me this box free of charge for review.


Here's what came in the February Terra Bella Box:

The February box was worth $51.59, which isn't a bad value for the price of the box.  We got two bath products, a body product, and a skincare product this month, and all were full size.  


The first product is the Formulary 55 Shea Butter Soap in Love Potion #9.  This bar smells soooo good!  I don't normally like bar soap, but I've kept this and am actually using it because it smells so good.  It's made of shea butter, so, unlike most bar soap, it's very moisturizing.  The scent is a combination of Italian bergamot, smoke, amber, Peru balsam, jasmine, musk, honey, rose, and champagne, according to the website.  It smells quite floral.  The scent is very strong, so it may not be for all people, but I love it.


The Voesh Pedi in a Box Ultimate Six Step in Aloe Aloe contains six one-time-use packets to give you a complete pedicure (minus the nail polish).  You get a sea salt soak, callus remover, sugar scrub, mud masque, massage cream, and moisturizer.  You start off with the sea salt soak, which also contains aloe and olive oil.  It doesn't tell you how long to let your feet soak, but 10-20 minutes is probably good.  After soaking your feet, you apply the callus gel to any calluses you may have, let that set for three to five minutes, than you can use a file or pumice on your calluses.  The third step is the sugar scrub, which you massage onto your feet and lower legs and then rinse.  You then dry your feet, apply the mud masque, let set for three to five minutes, and rinse.  Finally, you apply the massage cream and massage it in and finish with the moisturizer.  This left my feet feeling very soft and looking pretty.


I always love getting a Feeling Smitten bath bomb!  I almost don't want to use them because they're so cute.  The Confetti Cake Heart Bath Pop smells yummy.  It has a very sweet scent to it.  It made the bath relaxing and softened my skin.  


Finally, we got the Jersey Shore Sun Anti-Aging Lip and Hand Polish in Vanilla Bean.  I got this in my LaRitzy box back in July, so this isn't my first time trying this product.  Jersey Shore Sun's Anti-Aging Lip and Hand Polish in Vanilla Bean is an exfoliating brown sugar scrub.  I haven't tried it on my hands, but I tried it on my lips and loved the results.  It made my lips feel extra soft and smooth.  It's hard in the tube, so you'll have to warm it up (either by rubbing between your hands or putting in a warm water bath) before using this.  It smells quite strongly of vanilla, which isn't my favorite scent, but it goes away after you rinse it off, so I can live with it.  At $25 for an ounce of this stuff, it's quite expensive for a sugar scrub.  It has vitamins and nutrients so it has anti-aging properties in addition to being exfoliating, but it still seems like a lot of money for what it is.

Terra Bella put out another fabulous box!  My favorite product was the Formulary 55 Love Potion No. 9 bar soap, but I loved everything.  If you use all the products this month, your skin will be soft from head to toe!  This is one of the better Terra Bella Boxes I've gotten.

Birchbox Review, February 2017

Birchbox, $10 per month (US only)


This adorable two-week-old baby bun was too photogenic, so I couldn't choose just one picture!  

Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty boxes.  At $10 per month, it's also one of the most affordable.  Subscribers receive five to six products each month.  Birchbox has you fill out a profile when you subscribe, which they supposedly use to choose the products for your box.  You usually get more skincare than makeup samples and the sample sizes tend to be on the small side.  Each month, Birchbox gives each subscriber the option of choosing a product for the following month's box, choosing the curated box, or leaving everything to surprise.  They offer three to five different samples to choose from and sometimes the samples are the same type of product (e.g., different types of mascara or moisturizer), sometimes they are the same product in different colors, and sometimes the products are completely unrelated.  If you choose the curated box, you know exactly what you'll be getting, so there are no surprises with that one, but, if you like everything in that box, it's worth it.  I find that the curated boxes usually ship earlier in the month and often have high values. 


Here's what I got this month:

My February Birchbox was worth $34.63.  That's about 3.5 times the cost of the box, which is not bad at all.  I chose the curated box this month, so I knew what I was getting in advance.  We got two skincare products, a hair care product, a makeup item, and a perfume sample.  


First up, we have the Vasanti Eye Wonder 2.0.  I found that this definitely helped with puffiness.  I've been sick recently and haven't been sleeping well, so I got this at the perfect time!  The full size version of this comes with a ceramic tip so you can apply it directly to your eyes and massage it in.  The sample size, of course, does not have that tip, so you have to apply it with your fingers.  I imagine it works better with the ceramic tip, but it still worked well for me.


I love Acure, so this product is one of the reasons I chose the curated box.  I believe I've tried the Purifying Fruit Peel in the past, but it's been a long time.  This peel uses bitter cherry, blue agave, and papaya to exfoliate the skin.  You apply a thin layer to your face, let it set for five to eight minutes, then rinse.  The exfoliation is gentle, so it shouldn't irritate your skin.  It left my skin feeling soft and smooth. 


The other reason I really wanted the curated box was because of the CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron Eau de Parfum.  I love CLEAN perfumes, so I always want to try the new ones.  CLEAN Skin is one of my favorite perfumes ever.  Reserve Amber Saffron has notes of bergamot, armoise artemisia, mandarin oil, rose, lily, raspberry, musk, saffron, and amber.  I wasn't sure if I would like it as amber isn't one of my favorite scents, but I ended up loving this!  It was a warm scent and is very sexy.  It's perfect for Valentine's Day!  I might end up buying the full size version of this.

Swatch of The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Saucy Marsala

Swatch of The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Saucy Marsala

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Saucy Marsala has fabulous pigment and okay staying power.  I am pretty picky about my lipstick, but I liked this one a lot.  The formula was hydrating, which is great in winter.  You definitely don't want a drying lipstick when your lips are already chapped from the cold!  Marsala is a very flattering color on me, so the shade was perfect.


Finally, we have the Bumble and bumble. Bb Repair Blow Dry.  I've gotten this before and have never had much of a use for it as I don't blow dry my hair.  It is supposed to help with split ends and protect from heat.  I just chopped my hair off, so I don't really have any split ends right now, and there's no heat to protect my hair from.  I've heard good things about this product, though, and I've loved other Bumble and bumble. products I've tried.  Has anyone had good luck with this product?

I'm happy with my February Birchbox.  The curated box was the right choice for me.  I almost left my box to chance.  I'm so glad I didn't!  The perfume was my favorite product in the box.  It's rare that a perfume is my favorite thing in a box!  I also loved the Acure peel and the Vasanti eye cream, and thought that The Beauty Crop lipstick was quite nice.  The hair product wasn't for me as it doesn't work for my hair type right now, but I've never been disappointed by Bumble and bumble., so it probably works well.  

What did you think of the February Birchbox?  What did you get?

Kloverbox Review, February 2017

Kloverbox, $25 per month (US only)


Teeny little Mickey, a two-week-old Holland Lop, enjoys modeling!  I love the one-paw-forward pose.

Kloverbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle box that focuses on natural products made by small companies.  Each month, Kloverbox has a loose theme and sends subscribers a mix of four to six beauty products, home goods, cleaning products, and/or pieces of jewelry.  This is a great way to discover small businesses that you probably wouldn't encounter on your own.  All subscribers get the same products with occasional color and/or scent variations.  Kloverbox changed owners over the summer, so, if you subscribed in the past and were bothered by the late boxes, you'll be happy to know that the boxes are always coming in the middle of the month now!

Kloverbox sent me this box free of charge for review.  The link above is my affiliate link.


Here's what we got this month:

The February Kloverbox was worth $63.89.  That's a little over 2.5x the cost of the monthly subscription, so the value is definitely there.  We got a jewelry item, a body item, a snack, and a candle/body item.  This month had a Valentine's Day theme.


First up, we had the Wrenn Jewelry The Becki Earrings in Rose Druzy with rose gold plating.  I've gotten these same earrings except in rainbow druzy with yellow gold plating in a different box and loved them, so I was ecstatic to get a new pair.  I think druzy, which is the effect you get when you layer teeny crystals over a colorful mineral, is just gorgeous, and I always wanted druzy earrings.  It looks like the druzy is just plain gold above, but, in certain lights, it has a pale pink cast to it.  It's beautiful.  Wrenn Jewelry has quite a few druzy jewelry options and their jewelry is of high quality, so I recommend checking them out if you love druzy as much as I do.


Cypress Skincare's Foot Love is a blend of organic almond, coconut, olive, jojoba, and castor oils with peppermint essential oil.  The oils are meant to get through tough, calloused skin, and the peppermint scent is very relaxing.  This left my foot skin feeling softer and the oil absorbed much quicker than I expected it to.  


The Isle Co. Soy Lotion Candle in Love Struck is not only a candle, but also lotion!  You burn this for a little while, then you blow out the flame and you can use the melted wax as body lotion.  It is 100% soy, no beeswax, petroleum, or paraffin.  Even after the candle has burned for an extended period of time, the wax isn't overly hot.  The oil was moisturizing and non-greasy.  You could use this wherever you need it (besides your face), but it would be especially perfect for a massage for your Valentine.  Love Struck is an almost tropical fruity scent, it seems, but it is hard to say for sure what it is because I can't seem to find a description of the scent anywhere.  Whatever it is, though, I love it.


Finally, we got two chocolate truffles from Rose and Basil.  The purple truffle you see above on the right is a white chocolate rose truffle filled with rose preserves and topped with a dry rose.  This, of course, tastes like you are eating a rose, so it was a little strange for me.  It was very fragrant and I just couldn't get past the rose scent.  While I know you can eat roses, I think of them as flowers, not food.  The second truffle isn't part of Rose and Basil's regular lineup, but my best guess is that this is their holiday spice and nut dark chocolate truffle.  That's what it looked most like and the flavor is about what I would expect for that.  I liked this truffle a lot more!  You can tell the chocolates are of very high quality.  The Kloverbox card noted that flavors may vary.

I'm happy with my February Kloverbox!  I loved the Wrenn Jewelry druzy earrings the most, but I also really liked the candle and foot oil.  One of the chocolates I liked, one wasn't quite for me.  All of these products go perfectly with the Valentine's Day theme.  The box had a beautiful, romantic feel to it.  What a great month for Kloverbox!

Goodbeing Review, February 2017

Goodbeing, $21 per month (free shipping to US; add $9 shipping for Canada, the UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand)


We have some two-week-old Holland Lops!  There are three in the litter, but I just put two of them together for photos.  They are too cute.  The darker one is the runt and it's my favorite.  I call it Mickey.

Goodbeing is a monthly natural beauty box.  Subscribers fill out extensive profiles upon subscribing.  Goodbeing seems to be one of the few beauty box companies that actually pays attention to those profiles.  It's clear they put a lot of thought into curating the perfect box for each subscriber.  Each month, you'll get four to five products.  Besides the expected makeup, hair care, and skincare products, you also sometimes get health foods and supplements.  Goodbeing recently began allowing subscribers to choose one to two products per month.  You don't have to choose any products if you don't want, but it's nice to have the option.  The one thing I find annoying about Goodbeing is that you get small product information cards for each product instead of one big card that has all the products on it.  They get lost easily.  I understand, though, that that helps make it so that Goodbeing can personalize boxes more easily, so I'm okay with it as I'd rather have a personalized box than one big card.


Here's what I got this month:

My February Goodbeing was worth $77.70.  That's over 3.5 times the price I paid for it, so I'm happy with the value.  This month I got a hair product, three skincare products, and a lip balm.  I'm a little disappointed I didn't get any makeup this month, but it's not a big deal.  My two product choices were the hair mask and the lotion.


First up, we have the Shea Radiance Keratin Deep Conditioning Hair Mask.  Shea Radiance is a pretty common brand to see in Goodbeing.  Normally, I wouldn't have chosen a hair mask for product choice, but I didn't really love any of the options for February.  To use this, you apply it after shampooing, put a plastic cap over your head, wait for ten to twenty minutes, then rinse.  This is supposed to make your hair smoother and stronger and is ideal for those with curly hair.  I don't have curly hair and, truthfully, I didn't notice much of a difference after using it.  My hair did seem a little bit softer, but that was it.  It may have made my hair stronger, but that's hard to tell.


The next product was Pangea Organics Facial Toner in Argentinean Tangerine and Thyme.  I love Pangea Organics products, so I was happy to see this as I had never tried their toners.  This toner is meant especially for oily to blemish-prone skin, so it was perfect for me.  The scent is okay.  This was non-drying for a toner and it did seem to help a bit with oil control.  


My second product choice was the MyChelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Radiance Lotion.  I have gotten this product before and loved it, so I was excited to get it a second time.  Normally, the product is light yellow at the beginning and darkens over time.  That's how it was the first time I got this product.  I found this to be very brightening and moisturizing but non-greasy the first time I received it.  Unfortunately, the cap wasn't screwed on properly this time, so the top came off when I took it out of the box.  Because the lotion had been exposed to air for so long, it was a dark yellow, almost brown.  I'm not sure if I should use it.  Goodbeing has excellent customer service, so they would probably replace it if I wrote to them, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.


I used to use lip balm constantly before I really got into makeup, but now, I usually have lipstick on, so I use it only in the mornings before I put my makeup on or at night after I take my makeup off.  While I won't use the American Provenance Natural Lip Balm in Grapefruit all that much, I do like it.  Goodbeing pays attention to my profile, so they know I like citrus-y scents.   I like that they often send me products that smell like grapefruit and orange.  This smells so good and is very moisturizing.  Besides grapefruit, this is also available in peppermint and cardamom scents.  I would have liked the peppermint, too, but I'm not so sure about the cardamom.


Finally, we have The Seaweed Bath Co.'s Restoring Marine Serum.  This is supposed to be an anti-aging serum.  This smells okay and felt moisturizing, but it's hard to see anti-aging effects with a sample this small.  I was only able to get a few uses out of it.  Has anyone used this product for an extended period of time?  If so, how did it work?  I've liked other Seaweed Bath Co. products I've tried, so I'm sure this works well, but I can't tell for sure.

I liked everything in my Goodbeing this month.  The hair mask wasn't really for me, but I thought it was okay and would probably be better for those with curly hair.  I was disappointed that the MyChelle lotion wasn't properly closed in the box and had darkened considerably, but I've tried the product before and love it.  These things happen.  I wish the serum sample had been a little bigger so I had been able to see how well it worked.  The lip balm and the toner were definitely my favorite products this month.  I would say this was a good month, but not a great month.  Tomorrow is product choice day for current subscribers, so I'm looking forward to seeing what will be coming in my March box!

PopSugar Must Have Review, February 2017

PopSugar Must Have, $39.95 per month (US only)


It's Emmett!  Emmett loves PopSugar boxes because they're usually the only ones he can fit in.  He's too cute.

PopSugar Must Have is a monthly lifestyle box.  While PopSugar always has at least one beauty product per month, they also have home goods, accessories, jewelry, snacks, and sometimes even books.  PopSugar is one of the more expensive boxes, but its value is always over $100.  All subscribers receive the same products.


Here's what we got this month:

The February box was worth about $238.49.  There was a generic tube of eyelash glue, so I had to estimate the value of that.  That's almost six times the regular price of the box and almost twelve times the amount I paid as I got it when they had a sale going on!  You can't beat the value.  One of the products this month, the Revlon Love is On Super Lustrous Lipstick, was a sponsored extra.  We got a piece of jewelry, an accessory, three beauty products (four if you include the eyelash glue), and a snack.


First up, we have the Tribe Alive Foldover Clutch in Atitlán Brocade.  I got a Tribe Alive bag in my Goodbeing in August, so I was familiar with the company.  Tribe Alive pays impoverished women in developing countries fair trade wages to make their products.  This clutch was handmade in India.  It's beautiful and of amazing quality.  The fabric has a lot of weight to it and the stitching is perfect.  It's bigger than it looks in the pictures.  As you can see above, the two sides have different patterns.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with this, but I'll figure something out.  


The Kris Nations Love Script Necklace is too cute!  The Love pendant is so delicate.  It's really quite beautiful.  It's on a somewhat short chain, but I wouldn't want the pendant to be down too low, so it works.  You can't remove the Love -- it is chained to the necklace.  This is probably my favorite piece of jewelry I have gotten in a box.  


I've sampled the Juara Candlenut Body Creme several times before and loved it, so I was happy to get a full size version!  The product is somewhat thin, almost like a lotion, so it's surprising how hydrating it is and how quickly this absorbs into skin.  It didn't leave me feeling greasy at all.  Best of all, it has a light, beautiful scent to it.  This is perfect for winter.


False eyelashes have never really been my thing.  I find them difficult to apply, so I use them very, very rarely.  I tried putting these on and got glue all over my eyelids and ended up giving up and taking them off.  These are pretty and give you lots of length and volume, so, if you're better with false lashes than I am, these are nice.  Battington says you can use them up to 25 times if you take care of them properly.  These aren't natural looking, but they don't look as fake as some false lashes out there.


I've always loved Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but I wasn't sure what I was going to think of chocolate covered Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  This is a bar of crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch covered in milk chocolate.  This was scrumptious.  I wish it didn't cost $6!  The only way this could have been better is if it were dark instead of milk chocolate.  

Swatch of Revlon Love is On Super Lustrous Lipstick

Swatch of Revlon Love is On Super Lustrous Lipstick

Finally, we got a special sponsored product from Revlon, the Love is On Super Lustrous Lipstick.  We don't usually see drugstore brands in PopSugar boxes, but Revlon paid for this to go in the box and it is an extra.  The formula was creamy, went on smoothly, had amazing pigment, and it lasted for hours.  I was impressed. . I'm quite picky about my lipstick and never thought I would like a drugstore brand lipstick, but this one is fabulous.  The color is a bright, pretty blue-based red, so it may not be flattering on those of us who have yellow undertones instead of pink.  

The February PopSugar box is usually the best one of the year, in my experience.  This month's box wasn't as good as the past two February boxes, but I still liked almost everything in it.  The lashes are nice, but they're just not for me, so that was the only real miss in the box.  I loved the cute little necklace!  That was definitely my favorite thing in the box, but the chocolate was also amazing.   

What did you think of the February PopSugar box?  Did anyone have better luck with the lashes than I did?

Mommy Mailbox Review, February 2017

Mommy Mailbox, $33.95 per month (ships to Canada for $10.95 extra per month)


Little Marco is such a good model!  He loves hanging out in the boxes.

Mommy Mailbox is a monthly box of beauty products, home goods, and snacks.  Don't let the name scare you away -- this isn't just for moms!  I've never seen anything in the box that could be used only by mothers.  The box reminds me a little bit of PopSugar in that it's more of a lifestyle box than a beauty box.  Each month, Mommy Mailbox has a different mom blogger curate the box.  This month's curator was Elena Sanchez and her theme was Romance.  All subscribers receive the same products.

Mommy Mailbox sent me this box free of charge for review.


Here's what I got:

The February Mommy Mailbox was worth about $94.67.  That's pretty close to three times the price of the box, so I'm very happy with the value.  I couldn't find the picture frame for sale online, so I had to estimate its cost.  We got a makeup item, a bath item, a skincare product, a home item, and a snack this month, so there was a little bit of everything.


Could this cupcake be any cuter?!  The Feeling Smitten Sweet Heart Cupcake Bath Bomb has a sweet smell to it, but I couldn't smell it once it dissolved in the tub.  The "cake" part is in a paper cupcake wrapper and is made of Epsom salt.  It dissolves quickly.  The "frosting" is a sugar scrub that dissolves more slowly.  I tried using the frosting as a body scrub, but it felt kind of rough and kept breaking apart, so I just threw it in the tub and let it dissolve.  My bath was very relaxing, but I wish this had more of a scent to it.


I got the Jersey Shore Spa Anti-Aging Whole Body Balm in another box several months ago, but I liked it, so I don't mind seeing it again.  The Whole Body Balm contains argan oil and vitamin E and it is supposed to moisturize and fight signs of aging.  Jersey Shore says you can use it on your face, lips, hair (to keep flyaways in check), cuticles, and all over your body.  It can even be used to remove makeup smudges when you're out and about and need to fix your liner or mascara.  This has a soft geranium scent to it that isn't my favorite, but it isn't bad.  It's the perfect size to keep in my purse so I have something for when my hands are dry and cracking in the middle of the winter.   While I like this product and find it to be very moisturizing and surprisingly non-greasy, at $45, it's a little on the expensive side.

Swatch of Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip and Cheek Rouge in Baccara Rose

Swatch of Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip and Cheek Rouge in Baccara Rose

We got a second Jersey Shore Cosmetics product this month, the Lip and Cheek Rouge in Baccara Rose.  I've gotten a number of Jersey Shore Cosmetics products over the years, but I think this might be my first makeup product from them.  Everything else has been skincare.  This has absolutely amazing pigment, as you can see in the swatch above.  The color is gorgeous and looked a little redder and browner on than it did in the tube, but the color was beautiful.  You can use this for blush (don't worry -- you can use a light touch and smudge it out, so it won't be too dramatic!) or lipstick.  This looked beautiful as a blush and stayed on all day.  Normally, I won't use the blush/lip two-in-one products on my lips as the color is never bold enough for me, but this ended up being the exception to the rule.  This gave my lips a beautiful pop of color.  Unfortunately, I had to reapply often on my lips, so I will probably just use it as a blush.  


The Isaac Jacobs International picture frame is so cute!  The bar with the loop on it on the right side of the frame slides down and "locks" to keep your picture in.  It feels sturdy and is the perfect size for your desk.


The final product was the Crave Artisan Chocolate Choco Dipped Graham Cookie.  This is a graham cracker dipped in dark chocolate.  I'm normally not much of a graham cracker person, but this was scrumptious.  This is high quality dark chocolate and it goes perfectly with the graham cracker.  I was a little sad when I finished this because I wanted more.  The print you see on it above it painted on with chocolate.  It's almost too pretty to eat.

Every product in the February Mommy Mailbox was a hit for me!  It's hard to choose a favorite product because I liked them all so much.  If I had to choose a favorite, though, I think it would be the chocolate followed closely by the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip and Cheek Rouge.  I always feel a little weird getting a box that says Mommy Mailbox on it, but this box definitely isn't just for moms.  I think most women would appreciate this box.

Did anyone else get Mommy Mailbox this month?  What did you think?

Julep Review, February 2017

Julep, $24.99 per month (free shipping to US; see website for shipping to Canada)


Little Marco is excited to model for the first time!  He was sick for a while, but he is doing much better now, so he finally felt up to modeling.

Julep is a monthly beauty subscription that contains a mix of nail polish, skincare products, and makeup.  Originally, Julep did only nail polish, but they've branched out over the years.  Subscribers are able to customize their boxes, so you can get all nail polish, all makeup, all skincare, or any combination of the three.  If you don't want to customize your box, Julep will put together a box for you based on your profile.  Each month, Julep releases a new collection of nail polish and then either a new product or new range of products.  You can choose any three of those or they also have a selection of products from past months that you can choose from.  You can also add on additional products at a discount.  Julep lets you skip a month or have a month of your subscription sent to someone else.  Besides the monthly boxes, Julep also has a secret store for subscribers and offers subscribers a discount on all of their products.  Normally, I don't like beauty boxes that feature products from only one brand, but Julep's skincare, makeup, and nail polish are of really great quality, so I make an exception for this box.


Here's what I got this month:

My February Julep was worth $102.40.  Normally, you get three products in your Julep box, but I paid a little extra to get add ons.  I wanted four polishes from the February 2017 Collection, plus two eyeliners.  Because I added on three items, I was sent a free gift, which was the Juliana nail polish.  I was supposed to be getting Opalescent Crystal Nail Rhinestones, but they forgot to put them in my box.  I contacted Julep and they said they were out of stock, but they offered to send a nail polish in its place.  Julep's non-nail polish featured product this month was the It's Balm Full Coverage Lip Crayon in a range of new shades, plus they had two new shades of When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner, Clay and Soft Black.  I didn't want any of those. 

Instead of sending a piece of candy this month, Julep sent a teeny sample of the Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil.  There was a card in the box advertising that you could get the product in your box next month, so I assumed it was a new product.  I looked it up, though, and they've had it for years, so I'm not sure why they are featuring this product right now.  I also bought the Dawnelle nail polish in the February Secret Store, but that was shipped separately from the subscription box.  I've included a picture of it below for you, though.

Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Graphite Shimmer

Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Graphite Shimmer

I absolutely love Julep's When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner.  I've been wanting a grey shimmer eyeliner, so I couldn't pass this up the Graphite Shimmer option this month.  The When Pencil Met Gel eyeliners go on smoothly and evenly and are much easier to use than most eyeliner pencils.  I love the formula.  It was slightly darker than I was expecting, but it did have a lot of shimmer and was a very pretty color.  Unfortunately, this eyeliner didn't hold up all day.  That surprised me as I've always had good luck with Julep eyeliner lasting all day.  I reapplied it once and then I was good for the rest of the day, so it wasn't a big deal.

Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Smoky Plum

Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Smoky Plum

I've also been wanting a new purple eyeliner, so I chose the Smoky Plum When Pencil Met Gel.  This is a very deep plum!  As you can see in the picture, it's close to black.  It was very pretty, though, and this color did hold up all day for me.  

Swatches of Julep Nail Color, left to right:  Dawnelle, Juliana, Ainsley, Della, Maylee, and August

Swatches of Julep Nail Color, left to right:  Dawnelle, Juliana, Ainsley, Della, Maylee, and August

Julep Nail Color in Maylee

Julep Nail Color in Maylee

Julep Nail Color in Della

Julep Nail Color in Della

Julep Nail Color in August

Julep Nail Color in August

Julep Nail Color in Ainsley

Julep Nail Color in Ainsley

I was planning on getting two nail polishes plus one makeup or skincare product, as I usually do, but I really wanted four of the nail polishes in the February collection, plus I wanted two more eyeliners, so I decided to buy a few extras.  If you buy three extras, you get a free gift.  Maylee, which Julep calls a "midnight navy with gold microshimmer," and August, described as a "chocolate cherry ghost shimmer," were the two nail polishes I wanted the most.  The other two I chose were Della, a "misted blackberry microshimmer," and Ainsley, a "feather grey with gold ghost shimmer."  Maylee, Della, and August look a lot darker in the pictures above than they are in real life!  Maylee is a beautiful navy, but it is hard to see the gold microshimmer in it.  Della is a medium deep purple that was a very pretty color on me.  August was a lot darker than I expected it to be, but it looks black in the picture above and it wasn't quite that dark. It was a very deep oxblood color with just a hint of shimmer.  Ainsley, the color I thought I would like the least, ended up being my favorite of the four!  It's a very pale grey, bordering on white, and the warm gold shimmer adds a lot of depth and beauty to the color.  I would never like a color like this without the shimmer, but the gold shimmer makes it really special.  Normally, Julep polish will last a couple days on me without chipping.  I'm hard on my nails, so that's pretty good.  Maylee, though, chipped after one day.  I don't think I was harder on my nails than usual and my accent nail was in Ainsley and that didn't chip, so I think the formula for Maylee might be a little different from most Julep polish.

Julep Nail Color in Juliana

Julep Nail Color in Juliana

Julep Nail Color in Dawnelle

Julep Nail Color in Dawnelle

Because I had three add ons, I got a free gift, which was Julep Nail Color in Juliana.  Juliana is a "pink grapefruit sheer iridescent" and is not currently for sale on the Julep website.  I'm so glad I went ahead and got the three add ons because the free gift ended up being my favorite nail polish this month!  This color is gorgeous!  It's a medium peachy-pink with a lot of shimmer.  It's sheer, but if you put on a couple of coats, it's pretty opaque.  The picture above doesn't do the color justice.

Julep subscribers have access to a secret shop once a month where they can buy products at a deeper discount than normal.  They often have nail polish they are discontinuing on sale for $5.  I bought Dawnelle, which is a "mixed-metal full-coverage microglitter."  This has teeny glitter bits that are gold, copper, and silver, and it's beautiful!  This held up longer than most Julep polish does on me.  A lot of glitter polishes are more like topcoats and the glitter is kind of sparse, but when they say full-coverage, they mean full-coverage.  Two coats of this and you have glitter fully covering the nail.


Instead of candy this month, Julep subscribers got a sample of Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil.  We got a one-time-use packet.  You apply this to a dry face and it removes makeup and dirt.  You then rinse with warm water.  This didn't leave a greasy residue on my face and it got all the makeup off easily.  I'll have to see what is available when the March collection comes out, but I might choose this for my box next month.

I love my February Julep box!  It's easy to love your box when you get to choose all your products, though.  The February nail polish collection had some beautiful options.  I was hoping to avoid spending extra money and getting add ons, but I couldn't help myself.  I'm glad I got three add ons, though, because I got Juliana as a free gift, which was my favorite of the nail polishes.  I wasn't overly impressed with the Graphite Shimmer eyeliner as it didn't last as long as Julep liner usually does, but the Smoky Plum stayed on all day.  I have no real complaints about the Julep box.  I think this is my favorite Julep box so far!