Friday, July 13, 2012

Beauty Box Bonanza!

Okay, so here's all of the info I've acquired about a lot of beauty boxes, as well as my own experiences with the ones I have gotten thus far.

Julep Maven

For $19.99 + s&h a month, you will receive over $40 worth of Julep polishes and beauty products. Once you sign up to be a Julep Maven you will take a style quiz. From that quiz Julep recommends a specific type of box for you. If you like that particular box, you don't make any changes. If you don't really care for what is inside that box you can change to one of the other style profiles. As a part of this subscription service they allow you to change your box each month if you wish to, which is a really nice feature because most beauty box subscriptions don't have this option. Everyone's first box is the same. Most include 2 nail colors and The Best Pedi Cream Ever, as well as some toe separators. The pedi cream is out of this world wonderful! Julep polishes retail for $14 a piece regularly, so with just getting 2 polishes a month you are already getting more than what you paid. Also, they have a coupon code to get your first box for $.01 (COLOR2012 OR PENNY). Julep's polishes are "4 free," meaning they don’t contain the carcinogens formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene or DBP. Also, as a Julep Maven you get Maven perks: 20% off all orders from the Maven Boutique, free shipping on all orders from the Maven boutique, extra discounts and coupons all year (just last week you could get 2 polishes and a pedi cream for $14!!), easy exchanges and returns, and there is absolutely no commitment (Skip any box and you won’t be charged that month. There’s no limit to the number of months you can skip. You can also cancel your account at any time.). The company also has superb customer service. They are prompt and very sincere. Julep definitely tries to do right by their customers. I love this subscription service and look forward to it every month!


For $21 a month, you get 5 travel-sized beauty products. Some months they will even send a full-sized product, like last month I got a full-sized mascara that normally retails for $20 (which basically paid for my box). Your box is a nice sturdy box that you can reuse, not a junky cardboard box. They take special to care to nicely wrap and package the products. You get a card that details the products that are in your box as well as their prices and then it tells you the total value of your box at the bottom. You also receive a little "magazine" discussing trends and products. My first box was nice and didn't disappoint. I got a full-sized mascara, 2 deluxe-sized samples, and then 2 travel size (but still good sized) products. I liked everything in my box except for the perfume sample, simply because it wasn't a scent I liked. You don't get to pick your box, it's a surprise each month. They have a system called Glossydots where you do reviews on the products you received to earn glossydots. After you earn 1000 glossydots, they will ship you your box for free one month. Glossybox also has good customer service. They are very accessible, I've had great responses just from posting on their Facebook page. The brands they send are "The crème de la crème of international brands and give subscribers exclusive access to global beauty trends." Overall, I was impressed with this box and look forward to future boxes


For $10 a month, you receive 4-6 deluxe samples from the best beauty brands. They have you complete a beauty profile in order to send you the products that best suit your tastes. Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase. The Birchbox points system is very unique in that you earn points for different things (doing product reviews, making purchases, referring people to join, etc) and then you can use those points towards Birchbox store purchases. You basically redeem them like money. I haven't received my first Birchbox yet, but I'm looking forward to this month's because they partnered with Glamour magazine and came up with a box based on the 5 senses. They give you sneak peaks of what is in your box each month, so you will have an idea of what could be in your box. I know this month Glamour was including these pretty neon ear buds in some boxes!

Sample Society by Beauty Bar

Similar to Glossybox and Birchbox, Sample Society costs $15 a month and you receive 4-6 deluxe-sized samples from mid to high-end brands. You also receive a $15 off $50 purchase when you buy something from one of the brands featured in your box (it doesn't have to be the product in your box, just anything from one of the brands). You also can sign up to receive a free 1-year subscription to Allure magazine, which is definitely a nice perk. Like the others, you can cancel this subscription anytime. I havent received my first box yet, but I'm excited for it because they feature some really great brands like Murad, Stila, and Oscar de la Renta, just to name a few.

Beauty Box 5

Like the aforementioned boxes, Beauty Box 5 costs $12 a month and you are sent 4-5 beauty samples. Like all of the other boxes they also send you information about tips and tricks for the products in your box. Your box is kept secret until you receive but they offer a nice mix of high end beauty products to some of the best kept secrets. When I joined I was intrigued by the variety of beauty brands, it was a good mix of popular and niche brands. You can cancel your subscription at any time. I am still waiting on my first box from this subscription.

Beauty Army

Beauty Army is a more unique beauty box subscription because it allows you to pick up to 6 samples each month for $12 a month. They have you take a quiz and then offer you a variety of samples to choose from based on you specific needs. I like this service because you can tailor your box with the products you want to try. I have also heard other subscribers say that you can retake the quiz a few times if you want to try a specific product. Like the other subscriptions you can also cancel anytime. I'm still waiting on my first box.

Those were all the boxes I'm currently subscribed to right now. I've gotten 2 of the boxes and I cant wait for the others. I found a very in-depth list of all the different subscription boxes you can purchase on Fantabulously Frugal. It also includes some reviews for each of the different boxes as well, so you can make an informed decision before purchasing. Check out the list here --->

Hope all of this information helps you decide if and which boxes are for you!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Bringin My Blog Back... Yeah!

(Sing title to JT's "Sexy Back"... sounds better :)

So, I'm bringing my blog back! I'm excited! More or less life happened and I quit right after I got started. Lately though, I've needed something to help relieve some stress in life and I thought my blog would be a perfect way to do that. I know in my life I offer a lot insight, ideas, and creativity to my personal acquaintances, so maybe I can offer something to the people who might read my blog. I still have a passion for all things beauty related and I feel like my skills and abilities have actually been honed and are much better. More than just beauty related information, I have decided to branch out to all the different passions in my life. I love to cook, so I will share recipes and tips. I'm an avid reader, so I want to share what I'm reading. Pinterest is a new obsession of mine and I've found so many interesting tips, tricks, and ideas for every part of my life on it and I want to share it with everyone.

Some recent purchases for review and FOTD:
MAC Hey, Sailor!
Loreal Colour Riche Balm
Makeup Geek cosmetics
OPI Spiderman collection
Butter nail polishes
Hair care goodies
My first Birchbox
And More!!

I'm hoping to have my first new posts up soon, I just have a few health and personal issues that I'm wrapping up right now. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned for some great things!! Talk to you soon :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars Review

As a part of my recent Sephora haulage I purchased the Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars set. I have a few things here and there from Smashbox, so when I saw this set for $29 had some things I've been wanting to try I jumped on it.

What it is:
A collection of superstar products—all in portable travel sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on the go!

What it does:
Smashbox superstars now come in perfectly portable sizes. Get your all-time!

This set contains:
- 0.17 oz Bionic Mascara In Jet Black - Travel Size
- 0.19 oz Mini Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss
- 0.25 oz O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color - Travel Size
- 0.25 oz Mini Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- 0.123 oz Mini Fusion Soft Lights In Baked Starburst

Bionic Mascara in Jet Black
I'm extremely picky when it comes to mascara. Once I find one that works, I stick with it. I have decent lashes, but I definitely need mascara to make them pop. I liked the way this mascara felt on. It wasnt too stiff or smudgy. It lasted through the whole day with just a little smudged under my lower lashes. It definitely thickened my lashes. It didnt do much as far as length went, which is one thing I like for my mascaras to have. I didnt love the brush as it was kind of large. I prefer brushes that taper at the end, so I can get into the corners with minimal mess. Overall, the mascara was nice, but not nice enough to replace what I normally use.

Mini Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss
I liked the lipgloss. It definitely gave my lips that shiny, sexy look. It wasnt too sticky, but after I'd had it on for a few hours it got kind of gritty feeling. I loved the look of it though. It was just a pearly white shade, which gave my lips an ultra glossy, shimmery look. It will definitely look fabulous with a smokey eye.

O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color
I have been wanting to buy this forever. For.Ever. I'd read mixed reviews on it, some people like it, others not at all. I didnt want to buy a giant thing of it and then decide meh, dont like it so much. So the travel size was the perfect thing for me. It's a clear gel, that once applied to your skin and rubbed slightly begins to change color into a bubblegum-berryish kind of shade, depending on how long you let the color develop. Then you just blend it into your cheeks. I found that starting out with a little and adding more to get the desired color is the way to go. You also need to let it sit for a moment on your skin so the color can develop. Blending it in too early means that you have to keep applying to get the pretty flush. I loved the color on my skin though. I'm very fair and freckled, and this was a pretty "I just went for a walk" shade. I love the consistency of the gel, it reminds me a lot of Smashbox's primer, very smooth and delicate feeling. I really liked the blush and once this little sucker's gone, I'm definitely going to have buy a full size tube.

Mini Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Amazing. I love the way my skin feels with this. It makes for the perfect foundation application. I was able to use even less foundation because it went on so smoothly. My skin felt amazing all day yesterday. I havent put it through the sweat test yet, but no matter how it holds up to that, this is definitely going to be a new staple for me. The way it made my skin look, and then how flawlessly my foundation went on gets this blonde's seal of approval without a doubt.

Mini Fusion Soft Lights In Baked Starburst
The powder can be used on your face to contour or highlight, or as eyeshadow. It contains five shades (golden tan/soft peach/tan/champagne/bronze shimmer) that work alone, layered over each other, or mixed all together. It gave me a nice glow without too much shimmer. I hate when powder deposits too much shimmer and you end up looking like a Cullen. That's definitely not my cup of tea. I mixed all of the colors together and swiped it over my lids, added some black liner with a touch of MACs Satin Taupe eyeshadow over the liner, and I was ready to go. It's definitely great for when you're in a hurry and dont want the fuss of using a bunch of eyeshadow. I really like that the products multipurpose. It's great for when you dont have time, or when you need to pack lightly.

Overall, my favorite products were definitely the Photo Finish Primer, O-Glow Cheek Color, and Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss. Those three products made the kit for me. The mascara didnt do much for me, but I knew when I bought it I probably wouldnt love it. The Fusion Soft Lights was nice, but like so many things I already have with my MAC MSFs. I really did love that it had the perfect amount of shimmer, but other than that, it didnt have that WOW! factor for me. I am glad I purchased the set though. For under $30 I was able to try 5 of Smashbox's products, you cant beat that! I ended up liking 4 out of 5, so no complaints here. I would definitely recommend purchasing this set if you're looking to try out Smashbox without paying too much. This blonde thinks it was well worth it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Haul, Reviews, and Catching Up

I have failed epicly at keeping up with this blog! I was staying decently active while my boyfriend was deployed, when I first started. Then he came home and we settled back into our hectic routine. Naturally, my blogging past time took the back seat. This past week I did my first BIG haul in over a year. It was so exciting for me since I havent hauled in so long. To make things better, Sephora was having their huge 15% off promotion, so I got a lot of things I've been lemming. My fabulous haul included:

-MUFE HD Microfinish blush in Nip Slip

-Kat Von D True Romance Palettes in Ludwig and Memento Mori

-Too Faced Eye Shadow Insurance Policy High Impact Eye Shadow Collection

-Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Runway Look

-Smashbox Cream Eye Liner Palette in Backstage

-Urban Decay Stereophonic 24/7 Set

-Smashbox Try Me Vol. 2 Smashbox Superstars

For being a Beauty Insider, I also got a deluxe sample of Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum and Sephora's Smoothing Primer. I tried the Michael Kors Very Hollywood already and I LOVE it! At first whiff I thought that it was kind of matronly and fussy. As time went on though I adored it. It's a very soft, seductive floral scent. It has key notes of mandarin, gardenia, and vetiver. It's a nice change of pace from my normal scents.

The first product I thought I'd review for you was the Stila Backstage Beauty Eye Shadow Palette - The Runway Look.

What it says it does:
"Stila takes Backstage Beauty front and center this fall with a couture-inspired eyeshadow palette, this luxe collection is high class all the way. The three-pan palette includes both matte and shimmer shades, plus an onyx kajal liner to define and complete your sultry stare."

This is the first Stila eyeshadow I've ever purchased. Sephora had it on sale for $20 so I figured what the heck. If I didnt like it, I'd just pass it on to one of my younger sisters. You got 3 eyeshadows in a black leather, mirrored palette and a small black kajal eyeliner (which I havent tested yet, other than to swatch, so that review is coming). I'm going to do a few FOTDs that show some of the looks you can achieve with this palette in the next couple of days.

The shadows are a matte vanilla, slightly shimmery medium brown, and a satin dark, almost plummy brown. At first, I was kind of thinking that I shouldnt purchase the set because, what do you know, 3 more neutrals to add to my already insane collection of neutral eyeshadows. But now all I can say is WOW! I'm so glad I bought this. The eyeshadows are insanely smooth and silky. The matte cream is really soft and not at all chalky like some matte eyeshadows are. The medium brown has the perfect amount of subtle shimmer. I loved the darkest shade because it looked fabulous next to my blue-green eyes.

I fell in love with this palette immediately. I know this will be the only eyeshadow I take with me when I travel because those 3 shadees are so versatile. It's super portable and you can create a variety of looks. Obviously the popular "Runway" look it's inspired by, a natural, everyday eye (which I sported today!), or a sultry, brown smokey eye when you want some glamour, can all be created with this little palette.

My final verdict: I'm in love! I'm an eyeshadow snob, I will buy a lot but always end up going back to my tried and true favorites. Well those favorites were just given a run for their money. This palette is a must for buy for a Stila eyeshadow virgin or the hardcore makeup junkie. It's portable, convenient, versatile, and high quality. And at only $20 it most definitely is a steal! This blonde thinks you should check it out!

My next love was the Make Up Forever Microfinish HD Blush in Nip Slip.

What it does:
"HD Microfinish Blush combines mattifying and reflecting powders to create a soft-focus effect for a radiant complexion. Its ultra-fine, second-skin texture blends seamlessly, imparting a healthy glow that's hard not to notice." Nip Slip is described as a neutral pink.

First of all the color is gorgeous! It's the perfect flush for my porcelain skin. In the bottle it looks like it isnt as bright as it is, but once you apply it the color is a gorgeous shade of rosy pink. The blush has a very creamy texture and is blendable. The color payoff is buildable, using more or less depending on the color you're hoping to achieve. I found that half a pump is more than enough to give both of my cheeks a natural flush. A full pump was wayyyy too much. I applied it with my fingers, but you could also use a duo-fibre brush. It definitely left me with a healthy glow like they claim. (You can see what it looks like on me in my Stila Runway Palette FOTDs that are coming soon!)

My Final Verdict: Great buy! I'm definitely going to be purchasing a few more of the colors. Just remember that a little goes a long way otherwise, you'll waste a lot of product. Another blonde seal of approval!

More reviews and FOTDs will be coming! Have any of you tried the Stila Runway Palette or MUFE Microfinish Blush? What did you think of them?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Catch up!

So I have 2 FOTDs tonight. The first one is from Friday night. I went out to dinner and to see Valentine's Day with one of my good friends. It was a great night! The movie was cute, and it was so nice to catch up with her. While we were waiting for our table talking about baby names (she's pregnant:D), she randomly commented "I love your eyebrows. They look soo good." It was definitely a good eyebrow night! They can be so unruly sometimes because I have naturally curly hair, so my eyebrows follow suit.

The second look is from today. My family gets together every Sunday for Family Dinner. I didnt go to church or do anything productive today, so I got dressed up and did my makeup before I went over. I wore an olive green sweater, so I decided I wanted something that complimented the sweater, so I decided on purples and bronzes.

Anyhow, here are the looks, hope you enjoy!

Look #1
Valentine's Day

Loreal True Match foundation
Maybelline Expert Blush in Berry Sorbet
MUFE Camouflage Cream Palette in Shade 1
Mary Kay e/s in Whipped Cocoa for contouring (I love this color, it's the perfect shade!)

MAC Groundwork paint pot
MAC Satin Taupe, Sketch, Beauty Marked, Phloof, and Vanilla
MAC Coquette for my brows
MAC Blacktrack f/l
MAC Feline e/k
MAC Beguile Browset
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara

MAC Cult of Cherry lipglass

After the CoC lipglass wore off a bit, I put on some Valentine's lipgelee for the rest of the night.


Look #2:
Family Dinner

Loreal True Match foundation
MAC Gleeful blush
MUFE Camouflage Cream Palette in Shade 1
Mary Kay e/s in Whipped Cocoa for contouring (I love this color, it's the perfect shade!)
MAC MSF in Soft and Gentle

MAC Rubenesque paint pot
MAC Shale, Tempting, All That Glitters, Antiqued, Sketch, Carbon, and Ricepaper e/s
BE Onyx Liner Shadow
MAC Coquette for brows
MAC Feline e/k
Maybelline Lash Stiletto


These pictures were taken after a few hours, so the makeup is a little gerflunky. Still pretty though, imo.


And because I adore this sweater so much, here's a picture. My sister calls it my Mister Rogers sweater, but I strongly disagree. Mister Rogers never had his pockets blinged out like this! Haha :) I wore it with a black tank top and some distressed jeans and pirate boots. Cute outfit!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Look

My idea for Valentine's Day or anytime you want something soft and romantic. My color choice was inspired by my sweatshirt, which is a kind of heathered plum/burgandy color.


Loreal True Match foundation in neutral
MAC Crushed Bougainvillea CCB
MAC Bone Beige/Emphasize Sculpt and Shape duo
Bare Escentuals Warmth

MAC Stilife paint
MAC Thunder and Sketch e/s
Lancome Snap e/s
Mary Kay Whipped Cocoa e/s
Medusa's Makeup Vanilla Latte eye dust
Bare Escentuals Bark liner shadow
MAC Coquette e/s for brows
MAC Blacktrack f/l
MAC Feline e/k
UD 1999 24/7 e/l
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara

MAC Speak Louder l/s