Play! by Sephora Review, February 2017

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


Mickey is just the cutest baby bun!  He's a pretty good model.  

Play! is Sephora's monthly beauty box.  At $10 per month, it is very affordable.  All of the products can be found at your local Sephora, so, if you really like something, it's easy to get more.  Each month, subscribers receive a makeup bag, a mix of five makeup, skincare, and hair care products, plus one perfume sample.  Sephora customizes the boxes somewhat based on profiles you fill out upon subscribing.  You also receive a card that will get you fifty extra Beauty Insider points with any purchase at a Sephora and an invitation to a Play Date, which is an event held at select Sephoras for subscribers to go and learn more about the products in that month's box.  Unfortunately, there are very few stores that have the Play Date, so you may not have one in your area.  There is a waitlist for this subscription, but they open it up every month or two.


This is what I got this month:

My February Play! was worth $36.11.  At over 3.5 times the cost of the box, I have no complaints about the value.  We got three makeup products, two skincare items, and a fragrance.  It appears that all subscribers received the Clinique moisturizer, the Origins eye cream, the Too Faced Lip Injection, and the Sephora Collection mascara.  Some subscribers received a Bite Beauty or tarte lipstick instead of the NARS, and some subscribers received Prada Candy or Tom Ford Neroli Portofino instead of the Marc Jacobs perfume.


Previously, Sephora had sent out white cotton bags with different prints on them each month.  Recently, they've begun having bags of different materials and colors.  The plain white cotton was so easily stained, so I am very happy they are changing the bags.  We got a dusty rose sateen bag this month.


The Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer is not only a moisturizer, but also a primer.  This reminds me of a slightly creamier version of a silicone-based primer.  I normally hate silicone based primers, but the texture of this is smoother and blends into my skin better.  While you can use this at night, they recommend you use it before you put your makeup on in the morning.  It is supposed to blur imperfections and mattify skin.  I generally prefer to use a separate primer, but this works surprisingly well as a primer.  It seems more like a primer than a moisturizer, though, and didn't quite give me the hydration I needed.


The Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream contains both ginseng and coffee.  Caffeine helps with puffiness around the eyes, so I always like when my eye creams contain it.  This product is supposed to be brightening also.  It helped with puffiness, so I was happy with it.  I've heard some people complain that this irritates their eyes, but I didn't have that issue.  If you have sensitive eyes, be careful when trying this.

Swatch of Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake

Swatch of Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake

I've tried Too Faced Lip Injection before, but this is my first time trying the glossy version.  This product really does give your lips added fullness, so, if that's what you need, this might be perfect for you.  My lips are already quite full, so I stay away from lip plumpers.  Some people who use it say that it burns and makes their skin red, so I recommend a patch test before using it.  This was a little bit tingly, but it didn't irritate my lips at all.  Too Faced describes the color, Milkshake, as a nude, but all it did was make my lips a shade lighter and add some glossiness to them.


This is the smallest mascara sample I've ever gotten!  I'm always surprised when Sephora sends us small samples from their house brand as it seems that it would be pretty easy for them to send up full size versions of their own products.  The cap on this is the patterned end of the tube above, which makes it very hard to use.  It's hard to get a good grip on it because it is so small.  This gave me a lot of length and some volume with no clumping.  This washes off with water only, so, if you love waterproof formulas, this definitely won't be for you.  You won't want to wear this on a rainy day.  

Swatch of NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound

Swatch of NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound

Sephora often sends out lip products in Play!, but I thought it was a little strange they sent out two lip products this month.  The NARS Velvet Lip Glide is a long-lasting liquid lipstick that goes on easily and doesn't bleed.  The color was MLBB (My Lips But Better), so it was too subtle and boring for me.  I know a lot of Play! subscribers get tired of the bright reds and pinks, so those who like the more subtle colors were probably pretty happy this month.  I liked the formula, so I would love to try this in a color that works better for me.


Finally, we have the perfume sample of the month, Marc Jacobs' Divine Decadence.  This is the second sample I've gotten of this perfume recently.  It is Marc Jacobs' latest fragrance, so they're pushing it.  This scent was not for me at all.  It was very strong and almost masculine on me.  Marc Jacobs lists the notes as champagne extract, orange blossom, bergamot, gardenia, hydrangea, honeysuckle, saffron, vanilla, and amber.  This was one of those rare perfumes that I hated so much I had to wash it off immediately.

February was just an okay month for Play! by Sephora.  I hated the perfume sample, but I thought all the other products were good, but not great.  I liked the NARS lip formula a lot, but the color wasn't for me.  The Origins GinZing cream was my favorite product this month.  The Clinique moisturizer worked better as a primer than a moisturizer.  The mascara wasn't bad, but it was just so hard to use with the teeny wand.  While I don't need a lip plumper, the Too Faced Lip Injection works pretty well as long as your skin isn't too sensitive.  I liked the January Play!  a lot more.  

What did you think of the February Play! by Sephora?  Did anyone else get one of the other variations?

Petit Vour Review, February 2017

Petit Vour, $15 per month US, $23 per month for Canadian orders, and $25 per month for other international addresses


Isn't little Apple just the cutest? She loved checking out the Petit Vour box, but she was sad there were no bunny friends printed on the box this month.

Petit Vour is a vegan, cruelty-free beauty box.  Each month, subscribers get four sample size products.  They are often heavier on skincare than makeup, but there is always a mix.  Oftentimes, subscribers get the same products with some scent or color variation, but Petit Vour has had some box variations recently.  You can e-mail them to get a profile to fill out if you subscribe so that they can better customize your boxes. 

Petit Vour sent me this box free of charge for review.


Here's what I got in my February Petit Vour:

My February Petit Vour box was worth $40.  That's 2.5 times the cost of the box, so I'm very happy with the value.  We got a hair product, a nail product, a skincare product, and a makeup item this month, so we got a lot of variety!  It looks like all subscribers received the same products this month, although the type of Konjac sponge and the color of the eyeshadow varied.  Normally, the box is a hot pink with bunnies on it, but we got a medium pink box with no bunnies on it that came inside of a plain brown box this month.  I hope they go back to the old boxes.


I've gotten the St. Tropica Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask a number of times before.  To use this, you warm it up in the microwave, apply to your hair and let set for 20 minutes, then rinse.  It makes your hair very soft and shiny, but it is a little difficult to rinse out, I find.  If your hair needs some serious hydration, though, I highly recommend this product.


I love konjac sponges, so I'm always happy to get a new one.  I got the French green clay sponge, but subscribers received a variety of konjac sponge types.  Konjac sponges are made from a tuber, so this is all vegetable fiber with French green clay mixed in.  The green clay is meant for oily and combination skin and is supposed to tighten pores and draw out dirt.  To use this, you wet it until it softens, then you can massage your face with it, either by itself or with a small amount of facial cleanser.  It is gently exfoliating and always makes my face feel soft.  My favorite konjac sponges are the charcoal ones, but I was happy to try the French green clay sponge.


I've tried AILA nail polish before, but this is my first time trying the 3-in-1 Nail Color Remover Wipe.  This is an acetone-free nail polish remover that also contains argan oil to hydrate your nails and cuticles.  I've never found an acetone-free nail polish remover that was all that effective and this was no exception, unfortunately.  If you work really hard, you can get regular nail polish off your nails with this, but forget it if you have glitter polish on.  This was moisturizing, but I need something a little stronger to get my nail polish off.

Swatch of Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick in 02 Mist

Swatch of Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick in 02 Mist

Finally, there was the Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Shadow Stick in 02 Mist.  This color is pretty close to my skin color, as you can see above.  This works as a highlighter shadow for the brow bone, but I wouldn't use this on my lid as the color doesn't show up all that well on me.  It went on easily, had good pigment, and lasted all day, but the color wasn't for me.

This was an okay month for Petit Vour.  Last month's Petit Vour was phenomenal, but this month's wasn't quite as good. I loved the konjac sponge, liked the hair mask, thought the eyeshadow was okay, and didn't really like the nail polish remover.  Everything besides the hair mask was new to me, though, so it was nice to try the products, even if they didn't all work for me.  

What did you think of the February Petit Vour box?  Did anyone get a different konjac sponge type or eyeshadow color?

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?