Honeybee Gardens Buzz Box October 2016 Review

Honeybee Gardens October 2016 Buzz Box contents

Honeybee Gardens October 2016 Buzz Box contents

The Honeybee Gardens Buzz Box is available monthly and does not have a subscription model, so there is no commitment with this box. Most boxes have some level of customization with makeup shades, so it’s easy to make sure that you get products in shades that you like. Boxes were $24 each when I purchased this one, but earlier this year Honeybee Gardens raised the cost to $27 per box to ensure that the quality of these boxes remained high. All products are cruelty free, and most are vegan and gluten free. These have quickly turned into a favorite box for both Coco and myself, though I couldn’t get her to pose for this month!

In the October 2016 Buzz Box, I received:

My box was worth $75.95, which is a great value for a $24 box! This box sold out really quickly when it was released.

The Rock the Smokey Eye Shadow Palette by itself was worth more than what I paid for the box! There were three eye shadow palettes to choose from for this box, and I really like bold and dark colors so I chose this one. Here are swatches of the colors:

These colors all go on very easily and stay on for quite a while. I really like these, though I’m still trying to learn how to blend eye shadow, so they’re a little difficult for me to work with because they’re so bold. I’m trying, though!

This is a good quality brush! I tried it with blush and foundation and it wasn’t working very well with those for me (not enough coverage for foundation, not enough control for blush), so I’m still trying to figure out how I can best utilize it. It is a very sturdy brush, though, so if you know what you can use it for (unlike me), it’s worth it.

I love Honeybee Gardens mascara! I like a very natural-looking mascara, and this mascara in Black Magic does the job for me. It’s not big on volume or length, so if you’re looking for a natural mascara that smells great and does a good job defining your lashes without adding to them, this is a great mascara to use.

Like the mascara, the blush in Tea Rose has made its way into my regular makeup routine. Here’s a swatch:

Swatch of blush in Tea Rose

Swatch of blush in Tea Rose

I just love this color on me. It’s very natural-looking and it lasts all day. I really recommend this blush!

I love pumpkin, which is great because this mask smells strongly like it! It was very tingly on my skin and did a great job of cleaning my skin for me, and the delicious smell sold me on this mask. I loved this.

Overall, this was a great Buzz Box! I liked everything, though the mascara, the blush, and the facial mask were my favorites.

Stay tuned for more October 2016 reviews! Thanks for sticking with me!

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Goodbeing October 2016 Review

Coco sniffing a Goodbeing box

Coco sniffing a Goodbeing box

What’s this? An October review? Look! I did it! I got past September like I should have done months ago! Oh well. Coco looks cute with the box, so it’s worth it, right?

Goodbeing specializes in “healthy beauty products, non-toxic cosmetics, natural wellness & sustainable, toxin-free living goods.” Their boxes typically come with five samples — some are large samples while some are full-sized products. Boxes ranged from $18 to $21 a month when I started my subscription, but their subscription model has changed and boxes now range from $9.95 to $24.95, depending on what subscription option you choose. Goodbeing customizes boxes based on your profile, and there is also an option to request vegan-only products in boxes (though they note that vegan boxes may still contain products with beeswax).

October 2016 Goodbeing box contents

October 2016 Goodbeing box contents

In my October 2016 Goodbeing box, I received:

My box was worth $54.85, which is pretty good.

Good Medicine Ashes Reincarnation Cleansing Grains

Good Medicine Ashes Reincarnation Cleansing Grains

The Good Medicine Ashes Reincarnation Cleansing Grains work very well as a cleanser, but they’re so messy! I really like how these make my skin feel, but I’m impatient and don’t like having to do a lot of clean-up and this stuff does require clean-up after use because it’s hard to keep it from getting everywhere. I really like this, but I don’t use it very often because I often don’t have the energy to use it.

Pure Anada Eye Shadow in Close to Cocoa

Pure Anada Eye Shadow in Close to Cocoa

Lots of shades of Pure Anada eye shadow were possible options in this Goodbeing box, and I feel like I got Close to Cocoa because it’s nearly the same name as my cat! Other people have said that this shadow has a lot of fallout, but I didn’t experience this. It went on evenly and had some sparkle to it, which I loved. Here’s a swatch:

Swatch of Pure Anada Eye Shadow in Close to Cocoa

Swatch of Pure Anada Eye Shadow in Close to Cocoa

This color looks great on me! It also stays on well and looks good late into the day. I’ve gotten some good use out of this eye shadow.

I loved the Daily Concepts Your Dual Texture Scrubber! I really like having a rough scrubber, so the rough side of this was perfect for me. It has a little tag on it with words that fade away when it comes time to replace it:

Tag on scrubber that says "It's Me Time"

Tag on scrubber that says “It’s Me Time”

I haven’t used this scrubber a ton because the only liquid body washes I’ve had recently are the little sample bottles that came in my August and September Goodbeing boxes. That being said, I liked it so much that I bought a facial scrubber from Daily Concepts and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of that.

Annmarie Radiant Skin Silk Lotion

Annmarie Radiant Skin Silk Lotion

This is a lightly-scented lotion that’s really moisturizing. I wasn’t sure about the small size of the container at first, but a little of this really does go a long way. I’m not sure I would buy this lotion (though maybe as a treat), but I definitely like having the sample to use up!

Osea Ocean Cleanser

Osea Ocean Cleanser

You might recall that I just reviewed the Osea Ocean Cleanser in my Petit Vour September 2016 review. I absolutely loved this cleanser, so I was very happy to get another one! I want to use this as my regular cleanser, but I haven’t had to buy a full-sized bottle yet because I’m still using up the travel bottles.

I loved the October 2016 Goodbeing box! The Osea cleanser and the Pure Anada eye shadow were my favorites, but I liked everything in the box. It was a good month!

More October 2016 reviews coming up — stay tuned!

Petit Vour September 2016 Review

Coco with my September 2016 Petit Vour box

Coco with my September 2016 Petit Vour box

Coco had to wear a Cone of Shame at the end of September due to an infection in her foot. It looked silly, but she’s adorable!

Petit Vour is a vegan beauty box that sends you four items a month for $15. There is some variation in products based on your beauty profile, but everyone generally receives the same types of items. It’s a pretty inexpensive for a vegan box, and everything inside is cruelty-free!

September 2016 Petit Vour box

September 2016 Petit Vour box

In my September 2016 Petit Vour, I received:

Osea Ocean Cleanser (travel size worth $16; full size is $44)

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit (full size worth $14)

Adorn Mineral & Organic Hydrating Cream Foundation in Fair (small sample worth $4; full size is $65)

Odacité Serum Concentrate in The Pimple Remedy (small sample worth $3; full size is $32)

My Petit Vour box was worth $37, which is more than twice what I paid for it.

Osea Ocean Cleanser

Osea Ocean Cleanser

I adore the Osea Ocean Cleanser. It smells very citrusy and feels wonderful on my skin. I use this as my regular cleanser most of the time now, and while I haven’t gotten through enough of it to buy a full-size yet, but I plan to in the future when I’m in need of more cleanser.

The Meow Meow Tweet deodorant smells delicious! I hadn’t tried a cream deodorant before getting this, but I found that I really like it. I love grapefruit and felt really good using this deodorant, and since you only need a little bit, this jar lasts for quite a long time. At $14 for the jar, it’s well worth the cost!

The Adorn Hydrating Cream was okay, but it was really hard to get the sample out of this little jar! For a foundation, it’s really difficult to try this sample out to see whether the coverage works. Here’s a swatch:

Swatch of Adorn Hydrating Cream in Fair

Swatch of Adorn Hydrating Cream in Fair

This was an okay color on me, but I have blueish undertones and the foundation was a little too yellow for me. I don’t mind using this little jar as a concealer, but I don’t think I’d spend $50 on the full size at this point.

I have pretty bad acne, so I always appreciate the opportunity to try a new acne product. The Odacité Pimple Remedy works pretty well, I think. I have a skin-picking disorder which makes it difficult for me to accurately see the results of the product I’m using, but my skin at least seemed to calm down after I used this.

Overall, I loved my first Petit Vour box! The Osea cleanser and the Meow Meow Tweet deodorant were my favorites, and I liked the other two products.

Guess what? I actually finished all of my September reviews and I can start reviewing a new month’s stuff! Yay! Stay tuned for October reviews — I’ll get caught up eventually, right?

Birchbox September 2016 Review

September 2016 Birchbox

September 2016 Birchbox

Look at me writing three posts in one week! I’d give myself a pat on the back, but technically I should’ve been doing this almost a year ago, so I don’t think I QUITE deserve it yet.

Birchbox is an affordable beauty box that costs $10 a month and usually contains about five samples. It’s often compared to Ipsy because of the similar price, though Birchbox focuses less on makeup than Ipsy and the samples tend to be smaller.

September 2016 Birchbox contents

September 2016 Birchbox contents

In my Birchbox, I received:

My Birchbox was worth about $46.87. I had to throw out a guess about the value of the perfume sample and I’m not sure whether the Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek is full-size or not because I can’t find sizes online, so the value could be lower if it isn’t full-sized.

Coola Cucumber Moisturizer with SPF 30

Coola Cucumber Moisturizer with SPF 30

The Coola Cucumber Moisturizer was okay. I’m not big on the scent of cucumbers, but it felt nice on my skin and having the SPF was pretty nice. I wouldn’t buy this, but I didn’t mind having it.

Liz Earle Face Polish and Cloth

Liz Earle Face Polish and Cloth

The Liz Earle Face Polish was okay, but I wasn’t really impressed with it. You’re supposed to put it on, wet the cloth with hot water, and then lay it on your face before wiping the face polish off. It cleaned fine, but it didn’t feel any better than the face wash I’d been using, and as someone without a non-portable washing machine, I can’t really wash the cloth often enough to use this regularly. It’s fine, but it’s not really something I like to use.

I wasn’t very impressed with the Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Tint, either. Here’s a swatch:

Swatch of Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Tint

Swatch of Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Tint

The color was okay on me, though I don’t really like using peach that much. This looked much better on my cheeks than my lips — this is not a good lip color on me. It also smelled kind of funny. After getting a Han lip and cheek tint in my Goodbeing box that smelled delicious and that I really loved, this product fell flat in comparison. I haven’t used this much.

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

Apparently acknowledging that I dye my hair automatically means that I should be sent hair products despite that I marked that I did not want any. I didn’t like the Oribe Glaze. It weighed my hair down and smelled weird. I used it up to give it a chance, but I really wasn’t impressed.

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner samples

Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner samples

I wasn’t impressed with the Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner samples I received, either. These smelled as funny as the glaze did, and they had a really weird texture, especially the shampoo. I’m picky about my shampoo textures as much as I am by smells, so I was thrown off by this. My hair didn’t feel clean after using this.

Unlike most everything else in this box, the TOCCA Florence perfume smelled okay. It’s not my favorite scent, but I don’t hate it and I have used it a few times. It has a clean scent to it. What DID throw me off is that they named a perfume that is supposed to be reminiscent of Paris (which I have traveled to, and I agree that it DOES remind me of Paris) after a city in Italy. I don’t get it.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with my first Birchbox. I had a couple of products that I didn’t hate, but nothing really wowed me. I hoped that my October Birchbox would be better, so I gave it another chance despite a rocky first month. Maybe after reviewing my samples, they’d get a better idea of what I liked?

Quick Review: Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Midnight Cowboy

Ulta Beauty packaging for Urban Decay eye shadow in Urban Cowboy, the 2016 Ulta birthday gift.

Ulta Beauty packaging for Urban Decay eye shadow in Midnight Cowboy, the 2016 Ulta birthday gift.

Who likes birthday gifts? I like birthday gifts! In 2016, Ulta gave their members Urban Decay eye shadow in Midnight Cowboy ($19) as their free birthday gift. I have a September birthday, so I got mine in September of last year.

I’d never tried Urban Decay eye shadow before because I couldn’t justify the expense, but this is really good eye shadow! It goes on smoothly and lasts a while, and I just love the sparkle. Here’s a swatch:

This color is really flattering on me! It’s a neutral and isn’t the best for a bold look, but as an every day eye shadow, this is fantastic! I use it pretty often, and when my mom’s birthday rolled around in October, she got her free eye shadow and gave it to me so I could have another when this one ran out.

What’s your favorite eye shadow?

Ipsy September 2016 Review

Coco was a little shy with posing with my September 2016 Ipsy bag.

Ipsy provides five makeup products in a cute bag each month for $10. Not all of their products each month are cruelty-free so I have to do a bit more research when receiving this bag than when I receive Goodbeing, for instance, but a good many of their products are cruelty-free, so unless I get extremely unlucky I probably won’t receive more than one or two non-cruelty-free products a month, if that.

In my Ipsy bag, I received:

My Ispy bag was worth about $71.99. I estimated the cost of the Tarte mascara based on the prices of the travel-sized and full-sized tubes available, and I’m not certain that the tre’StiQue stick and the Crown Brush linked are the exact same products, so the value may be slightly different.

I wasn’t impressed with the Tarte tartiest lash paint mascara. The opening is so huge that I was actually under the impression that I broke the tube when I first opened it, and very little of the product comes off of the wand on its way out of the tube, leaving a lot of extra mascara on the tip of the wand. As a result, this went on really clumpy and it didn’t look good at all. I don’t know what they were thinking with that packaging decision.

After the poor highlighter color choice I got in my Ipsy bag in August, I was glad to see a highlighter that was actually a decent color for me. Here’s a swatch:

This was a pretty decent highlighter! It wasn’t light enough to make a huge difference to my makeup, but it provided a little bit of shimmer so I have used it a little bit.

Whish renewing mud mask

Whish renewing mud mask

I really liked the Whish renewing mud mask! It’s kind of a mix between a mask and a scrub. It left my skin feeling clean and smooth, and I used up the tube. This isn’t my favorite mask ever, but it was worth using up.

I used this brush quite a bit because I liked the finger grips and the angle was great for blush, but conflicting sources say that this brush is made from “synthetic fibers” AND “goat hair,” and while I’m PRETTY sure this brush actually has synthetic fibers, Crown Brushes aren’t necessarily cruelty free, and I’m not super comfortable using it. I don’t use this brush anymore.

Waxing Kara Sweet Lips Organic Honey Lip Balm

Waxing Kara Sweet Lips Organic Honey Lip Balm

I love the Waxing Kara lip balm! This is a really lightweight lip balm so by itself it’s not super moisturizing, but it works REALLY well under lipstick. I use this one quite a bit.

This Ipsy bag was okay. I loved the lip balm, liked the mask and the highlighter, and didn’t like the mascara or the brush. At the time I received the bag I liked it a little better because I thought Crown Brush was cruelty free, but I don’t like it as much anymore.

Coming up next: September 2016 Birchbox! Stay tuned!

Better Late Than Never… Honeybee Gardens Buzz Box September 2016 Review

I am not consistent with my posting whatsoever, but I’m going to be scheduling a bunch of posts in the following weeks to catch up on my reviews. Again, a lot of these box reviews are pretty old, but for the most part the products themselves are still available so I’m going to review them anyway.

Now then…

After falling in love with the Honeybee Gardens lipstick I got in my August Goodbeing box, I learned that Honeybee Gardens has their own beauty box available, and I jumped on it! The Buzz Box is available monthly and does not have a subscription model, so there is no commitment with this box. Most boxes have some level of customization with makeup shades, so it’s easy to make sure that you get products in shades that you like. Boxes were $24 each when I purchased this one, but earlier this year Honeybee Gardens raised the cost to $27 per box to ensure that the quality of these boxes remained high. All products are cruelty free, and most are vegan and gluten free. These have quickly turned into a favorite box for both Coco and myself — Coco loves posing with Buzz Boxes every month!

My August 2016 Buzz Box included:

My August 2016 Buzz Box was worth $55.91, which is a little more than twice what I paid for it. Buzz Boxes also come with a different coupon each month, and the August box came for one for five free samples.

Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow in Drama Bomb and Dragonfly

Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow in Drama Bomb and Dragonfly

The two pressed mineral eye shadows were pick-your-own-shade, and I decided I wanted something fun to try, so I chose two purple shades that had a hint of sparkle to them. I really liked these! They are well-pigmented and stay in place well, and the sparkle was just noticeable enough for me. These are great eye shadows, and I was excited to try more shades in the future.

Swatch of Drama Bomb on top, and swatch of Dragonfly on bottom

Swatch of Drama Bomb on top, and swatch of Dragonfly on bottom

The eye shadow compact had spaces for the two eye shadow singles and two other singles. This is a pretty sturdy compact! I’m not a big fan of the eye shadow brush that came with it, but the compact itself is really nice. It was a little odd having two empty spaces in the compact, but I’d fill those up with eye shadows from future Buzz Boxes, so it’s okay.

Lip balm in Strawberry Champagne

Lip balm in Strawberry Champagne

I love strawberries, and was really excited to try this lip balm out. It smells wonderful and is moisturizing without being sticky, and I found it to work pretty well under lipstick as well as on its own. This is a lip balm that I reach for pretty frequently.

Bath bombs! I don’t get to use bath bombs very much because they’re kind of expensive for one-use items, and until I got this box I hadn’t tried any. I haven’t used all three of them yet (I am very slow with using up single-use items because I have difficulty separating myself with things and knowing that I can’t use them again when they’re gone), but I really liked the scents of the ones I did use. They’re not the most showy bath bombs, but they are fizzy and relaxing and I liked using them.

Organic Green Tea Creme Facial Cleanser

Organic Green Tea Creme Facial Cleanser

The Organic Green Tea Creme Facial Cleanser is a Buzz Box exclusive, though for a time they sold a few leftover bottles on their website. It’s lightly-scented and my skin really liked this! It’s a basic cleanser, and it does its job very well.

I loved the Turbinado Sugar Scrub! This was another Buzz Box exclusive. It didn’t have much of a scent to it, and I primarily used it for exfoliating my legs before shaving. I loved the texture of this scrub, and was very happy with it.

Overall, I adored my first Honeybee Gardens Buzz Box! I loved everything in it. This box hooked me in and made me excited to buy the next month’s box (which I will hopefully review sooner rather than later — I’ll get to October 2016 eventually, right?)

Goodbeing September 2016 Review

Hello! I have not updated in quite some time and I am VERY behind on reviews! This is what I get for wanting a master’s degree!

Theoretically, I could just skip ahead to my most recent beauty boxes and pretend to be all caught up, but I think I’m just going to keep working chronologically through my past boxes. Even though I received several of my boxes months ago, I still find merit in reviewing the products from these past boxes because I’ve found so many amazing things in them. For a while still, you’re likely to see posts about some pretty old boxes. Eventually I’ll catch up.

Little Coco was very happy to investigate my September Goodbeing box for me!

Goodbeing specializes in “healthy beauty products, non-toxic cosmetics, natural wellness & sustainable, toxin-free living goods.” Their boxes typically come with five samples — some are large samples while some are full-sized products. Boxes range from $18 to $21 a month, depending on what subscription option you choose; longer subscriptions cost less per box. Goodbeing customizes boxes based on your profile, and there is also an option to request vegan-only products in boxes (though they note that vegan boxes may still contain products with beeswax).

In my September box, I received:

My box was worth $59.88. The amount on the EO deodorant wipes card was given for 3 wipes, but since I only got 2 of them I took the amount on the card, divided it by 3, and then multiplied it by 2 to get my amount.

First up we have the EO organic deodorant wipes in lavender. I really like the smell of lavender, so I’m happy I got that scent! Though I’ve had these for several months, I haven’t actually tried them — once I’d taken these photos, I tucked them in a pocket of my backpack for emergencies. Better safe than sorry!

The Han Cheek & Lip Tint in Rose Berry smells delicious! It has a vanilla scent to it, so I liked this right off the bat. The formula is very smooth and just a little bit shimmery. Here’s a swatch:

han_swatch

Swatch of Rose Berry

I found that this was a better cheek color on me than a lip color; though it looked nice on my lips, too, I tend to like having a bolder lip, so oftentimes the subtle nature of this tint won’t do for me. I really like this on my cheeks, though! I also rather like just having it on my lips because it smells so nice.

The Marley’s Monsters facial rounds are so cute! The flamingoes and the doughnuts are my favorites. Though I really like these, I have a hard time remembering to use them and wash them because I don’t have a lot of them and I don’t do my laundry very frequently. These are very soft, though, and if I had more of them I would probably use them more frequently. The person who makes these lives in the town next to mine and I believe is setting up a new store soon, so I might get some more of these at some point in the future.

The Yuni No-Rinse Body Cleansing Foam is an interesting product. The scent was a little hard to pin down; it was kind of peppery in nature. I haven’t had a real chance to use this; I’ve pretty much been holding onto it until I eventually get dragged on a camping trip, as that seems like it would be the most useful time for this.

In September, Goodbeing added a new “Pick Your Product” feature, allowing subscribers to pick 1-2 products for their box that month. Since I really liked the Zatik Lavender Licorice Toner from my August box, I picked the Zatik Bearberry Bilberry Complexion Toning Organic Elixir for my September box. I didn’t find out until I’d already made my selection, but it turns out those two products are made to be used together.

The Bearberry Bilberry Elixir has a woodsy scent to it, so it didn’t smell quite as nice as the lavender licorice toner; the scent wasn’t strong enough to be off-putting, though, so it was okay. After using these two products together for a while, I did notice some reduction in my acne scars on my face. That was pretty much exactly why I chose this product in the first place, so I was very happy with it!

When I got a Red Flower Ocean Purifying Body Wash sample in my August box, I mentioned how I’d like to try other scents before buying. Imagine my surprise when the Red Flower Icelandic Moonflower Purifying Body Wash showed up in my September box! Turns out I got my wish. The timing was pretty good, too, as I’d nearly run out of the sample from my August box and was in need of some more body wash. I think the presence of the bonus sample in this box was accidental.

I liked this! I think I liked the scent of the Ocean Body Wash a bit better than the Icelandic Moonflower, but both smelled nice. I really like this formula, and I think that made up for liking the scent a little bit less than the previous sample. For something I probably wasn’t even supposed to get in my box in the first place, this was a nice thing to get.

Overall, I was happy with my September Goodbeing box. It wasn’t quite as good as my August box was, but I did like all of the products to at least some degree. The Han Cheek & Lip Tint in Rose Berry and the Zatik Bearberry Bilberry Complexion Toning Organic Elixir were my favorites from this box. This box left me feeling excited for my future boxes!

Ipsy August 2016 Review

ipsy_bag_cocoposing

Coco poses with my August 2016 Ipsy bag

Coco insisted on watching me open my bag in order to make sure everything in my first Ipsy bag was safe. Luckily, everything in my bag is cruelty-free, so the only potentially unsafe part of this bag is my own ineptness with makeup!

Ipsy provides five makeup products in a cute bag each month for $10. Not all of their products each month are cruelty-free so I have to do a bit more research when receiving this bag than when I receive Goodbeing, for instance, but a good many of their products are cruelty-free, so unless I get extremely unlucky I probably won’t receive more than one or two non-cruelty-free products a month, if that.

ipsy_bag_cocosniffing

Coco sniffing my August 2016 Ipsy bag. Silly kitty!

In my Ipsy bag, I received:

Overall, my bag was worth about $62.41, which is nice for a $10 bag. I didn’t like everything in this bag, but the products I did like were worth over three and a half times as much as I paid for it, so I’m happy.

ipsy_bag_full

August 2016 Ipsy Bag in Purple

This month’s bag came in one of two designs. I got the purple one, and the other was teal. I’m not a big fan of this month’s bag, though I did like the purple one a tiny bit better than the teal. I’m not really here for the bags anyway, though, so this is fine.

ithaircare_full

IT Haircare 12-In-One Amazing Leave-In Treatment

Let’s start with the IT Haircare 12-In-One Amazing Leave-In Treatment. When I filled out my Ipsy profile, I specified that I don’t like hair products and I don’t want any, so when I saw that they were sending this to me anyway, I was a little miffed.

After using it, though, I am super glad that Ipsy ignored that part of my profile for once.

Because I received it, I decided that I should try it out anyway. I hate putting things in my hair, generally. I sometimes style my pixie cut with gel if it’s misbehaving. Hairspray should just die. I’d never tried leave-in conditioners of any kind, though, and I didn’t think I’d like it.

But, hey, after a single use of this stuff, my small dandruff problem completely disappeared. So there’s that.

You’re only supposed to use a pea-sized amount of this stuff, so this tiny travel bottle is going to last me a while. It smells decent (nothing special, but better than a lot of hair products), and my hair feels nice after using it, so I’m going to keep using this. It’s supposed to be volumizing, but I have relatively thick hair and didn’t notice any extra volume (which is good). So good job, Ipsy. This was a good call, despite ignoring my profile.

Don’t do it again.

jerseyshore_full

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner in Vanilla Coconut Cream

love vanilla coconut, so Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner in Vanilla Coconut Cream was a bit of a treat for me. This balm is really good at moisturizing my lips when they feel dry, so if I’m lying around the house on a Saturday and my lips feel parched, I’m likely to reach for this.

This stuff does not play well with lipstick. If you want to moisturize your dry lips before putting on lipstick, you’re better off using something else. This stuff goes on rather thick, and my lipstick was basically sitting on top of it and wasn’t staying in place very well. If you’re not planning on putting on lipstick for the day, great. This will work well for you. Otherwise, try something else.

lordberry_full

Lord&Berry 20100 Maximatte Crayon Lipstick in Intimacy

Lord&Berry’s lip crayon in Intimacy was a new one for me. I’ve had plenty of lipsticks, but never a lip crayon before. Intimacy is just a little tiny bit darker than my actual lips, and it is very matte in color. A swatch is below.

lordberry_swatch

Swatch of Intimacy

Overall, the lip crayon was one of my favorites from this bag. Matte doesn’t always look great on me, but I liked how this looked. It was also easy to apply, and it had great staying power. I didn’t feel like I needed to touch it up throughout the day. If you want a matte lip crayon, this one might be for you.

nyx_full

NYX Liquid Illuminator in Gleam

The NYX Liquid Illuminator was where Ipsy dropped the ball for me this month. This came to subscribers in one of two colors: Sunbeam, a light pearly color, and Gleam, a more peachy color. Instead of paying attention to subscribers’ skin tones when doling these out (something that’s just a little bit important when dealing with highlighter), Ipsy apparently chose colors randomly. I am extremely pale and was hoping that I would end up with Sunbeam, but because of this randomization, I ended up with Gleam, and the results were rather disastrous.

Since the illuminator is supposed to blend rather well, I wanted to give it a chance by dabbing it on my collar bones to see if it’d look okay. It didn’t. This peachy color makes it look as if I am intentionally giving myself a sunburn — a very sparkly sunburn. It is literally exactly the same color I turn when I get a sunburn. I’m not even joking. Here’s a swatch:

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Swatch of Gleam. If Twilight vampires could get sunburns, they would look a lot like this.

The sad thing is I think I really would have loved this product in Sunbeam. I’ve never used any kind of highlighter or illuminator before, and it would have been nice to have the chance to try one in a color that would actually look good on my skin. I’m going to have to give Gleam away, though. There’s no possible way I’m going to be able to get this color to work for me. (I will give this stuff credit for having good staying power once it dries, and for being easy to wash off. The formula itself seems rather nice.)

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Rodial Smokey Eye Pen in Black

The Rodial Smokey Eye Pen was also a disappointment for me. I don’t mind trying new eyeliners, and I was rather excited to try this one because it seemed extremely pigmented.

This stuff smudges. This stuff smudges bad. Here’s a swatch (before I managed to smear it and get it all over my arms):

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Swatch of Smokey Eye Pen in Black

This is supposed to be used to get a smoky eye, but I couldn’t get it to work for me. I used a q-tip to blend it like the directions on the Ipsy website said to, but all that accomplished was removing almost the entire product from my eyelid. I tried multiple times, but it would not stay. I also tried using it as a regular eyeliner, but it was bleeding down my face in less than five minutes in a room-temperature space. I don’t know what it is about this formula, but it just would not work for me. Unless I can find someone who wants this, this is probably going in the trash.

Overall, I liked three out of the five products in my Ipsy bag this month, so I’m satisfied. I wasn’t expecting to find a cure for my dandruff just like that, but if it works, it works. After receiving this bag, I went ahead and edited my preferences on the Ipsy site. The way I see it, you can’t actually know 100% what kinds of products you’ll be happy to receive in your bag until after you’ve already received some and thought about them for a bit. I also read somewhere online that stating that you’re “set with your beauty routine” rather than “adventurous and willing to try anything” will make Ipsy stick closer to your profile and send you fewer rogue hair products when you specify you don’t actually want any, so I’m giving that a try as well. For my first month, I think things went rather well. Here’s hoping my next bag will be even better!

I Need To Start Somewhere: Goodbeing Box August 2016 Review

The idea for this blog started off when I got my first beauty box last month, and that box was Goodbeing‘s August box. I didn’t actually know that I was going to be doing this when I first got the box, so the pictures in this review are going to look a bit terrible. Pictures will get better in future reviews. They may or may not be good pictures, but they will be better.

Goodbeing specializes in “healthy beauty products, non-toxic cosmetics, natural wellness & sustainable, toxin-free living goods.” Their boxes typically come with five samples — some are large samples while some are full-sized products. Boxes range from $18 to $21 a month, depending on what subscription option you choose; longer subscriptions cost less per box. Goodbeing customizes boxes based on your profile, and there is also an option to request vegan-only products in boxes (though they note that vegan boxes may still contain products with beeswax).

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Goodbeing Box from August 2016

In my August box, I received:

That brings the box to a total value of $87.55. Not bad! All of the products in my box were vegan; while I’m not vegan and I’m not strict on using only vegan products, I really like using vegan products and I think it’s cool that Goodbeing deals with a lot of vegan companies.

The Zatik Lavender Licorice Clear Complexion Toner smells so yummy! I’ve never really used a toner because I just didn’t get into the routine of putting things on my face after washing it, so this type of product was new to me. Not only does it smell wonderful, but it also seems to be working really well with my skin!

My skin hates me. I’m a week away from turning 22 years old, and not once in the past decade have I had a single day where I didn’t have at least a handful of zits on my face. My skin alternates between being too dry and being too oily on a whim, and because I also have dermatillomania (compulsive skin-picking), my face is covered in acne scars.

I’ve been using this toner after washing my face before bed, and in the morning before I put on my makeup. It’s been evening out my combination skin; if my skin feels too dry after washing it, this stuff calms it down and brings it back to a more moisturized state. I’m also to a point where I have only a couple active zits on my face, and the ones that are there are in the “going-away-now-goodbye” stage. I’m floored. My skin hasn’t looked this good since before puberty. Granted, it still doesn’t look great (scars still exist!), but it just looks so much better. I love this toner!

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick was available in boxes in four shades: Bombshell, Romance, San Francisco, and Vintage Merlot. I received Vintage Merlot, which is a nice bold red. I’m a sucker for dark lipstick, so while I think all four colors are very pretty, the one I received was definitely the best choice for me. Props to Goodbeing for sniffing that one out of my profile!

This is my new favorite lipstick. Well, actually, now it’s one of my two favorite lipsticks… Not long after receiving this box, I placed an order with Honeybee Gardens for some of their other products because I loved this lipstick so much, and I also got another lipstick in the color Masquerade, which is a dark berry wine color.

Here’s a swatch of Vintage Merlot:

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swatch of Vintage Merlot

This lipstick is actually meant to work as both a lipstick and a lip moisturizer, and while most lipsticks I’ve tried fail at doing that (either not being very moisturizing or lacking pigmentation), this one does a fantastic job at both. This lipstick also goes on very smoothly; while I own an invisible lip liner that I use with most of my lipsticks, I am a very lazy person and will often just go straight for the lipstick if I’m in a hurry. Depending on what lipstick I’m using, this can often be a gigantic mistake and make me look like a clown unless I start all over (thus defeating the purpose of skipping the liner in order to move faster). This lipstick is buildable in color, making it a lot easier to look good with little effort (as opposed to looking like I just tried to eat a six-inch ball of wet acrylic paint in one gulp). I can make this look good effortlessly without liner. It also just smells so good! I really love it when my beauty products smell good; it makes me feel a lot happier wearing them.

Honeybee Gardens is one of my new favorites now. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with a lot more of their lipsticks in the future.

Andalou Naturals Instant Pure Pore Hydro Serum Facial Mask was also a new experience for me. I’d never used a sheet mask before, and I spent a little while eyeballing the mask in its packaging, debating on whether or not I felt confident enough to use it without tragically messing it up. Eventually I plucked up the courage and just tried it. (But first I set the little package on my kitty, Coco, because she was just sitting there as if she was intentionally giving me a photo op.)

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Coco the tuxedo cat “wearing” an unopened face mask on her belly

I really loved the scent of this mask! It was very fruity and sweet-smelling. The mask didn’t fit my face very well, but this is more likely because of my face than because of the mask itself; I am extremely short for my age (4′ 8″ tall), and I have a really tiny face, so the fact that it didn’t fit me wasn’t very surprising. The eyes were about the correct width apart, but the nose section of the mask was rather long and kept trying to cover up my nostrils. This meant that I had to keep adjusting the mask as I wore it, but I tried not to let it bother me too much. After using it I felt like my face had been well-moisturized, but my pores didn’t feel much cleaner, sadly. After the mask had been taken off for a while, my face felt overly oily. I didn’t hate this mask at all, but I don’t think the formula was right for my skin. I’d definitely be open to trying some of their other masks, though!

I haven’t tried the UVO Sun Protective Drink Supplements just yet. These are supposed to help protect your skin from sun damage and help soothe and repair skin after exposure to the sun. I’ve stayed pretty clear from the sun since I’ve gotten them, and I’ve been waiting for more sun exposure before using these since I only have three of them. If that doesn’t end up happening again this year, I’ll likely drink them after it starts to cool down more in order to repair what little sun damage I’ve gotten from the summer months. They’re supposed to be orange peach-flavored, and that sounds delicious to me!

Tribe Alive works with impoverished women to help give them safe employment and fair wages to alleviate poverty, and the Hand Dyed Shibori Pouch was created exclusively for Goodbeing. While this bag isn’t really my style, I do like what I’ve seen of the work Tribe Alive does, so it’s nice to see it in here. The bag is very good-quality, and think the colors are pretty as well. I might find another use for it, or I might give it to a friend. I haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet. There was also a discount coupon for Tribe Alive’s website in my Goodbeing box, which was nice.

Lastly, we have the Red Flower Ocean Purifying Body Wash. This was a special bonus product that I got using a promo code for a free extra item in my first box. It’s a very clean-smelling body wash, and now that it’s been almost a month I’ve almost used it all up! I’ve still got a few more uses left in the bottle. I’m not sure whether I’d buy this outright (I think I would probably want to test some of their other scents to find my favorite first), but I do really like it and I’m definitely going to use it all up.

Overall, my first Goodbeing box was fantastic! The lipstick and the toner were my absolute favorites, and there wasn’t anything in the box that I overtly disliked. The mask wasn’t a good match for my skin type and the bag isn’t really my thing, but I still liked them. I’m really happy with everything I got.

Just this first box already exposed me to two new products I’ve never tried before! Oy… I wonder what that tells me about my future boxes? I bet I’m up for some interesting products in my future.