Boxycharm August 2017 | Review

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Boxycharm is a primarily makeup-based subscription box. For $20 each month they promise 5 or more full-size items. Occasionally a skin or haircare product will be included, but for August I got five makeup items.

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Even opening this box was a delight! Every time I just think, Wow! Look at all the cool items I’m getting – Boxycharm always has such a variety within each month, but I do know that they tend to repeat similar items across months – for instance, all subscribers are getting an eyeshadow palette from the July box all the way through December 2017.

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Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Volume II: $36 Retail Value

This eyeshadow palette is so beautiful! What immediately struck me when I first opened the box was just how big it was! Sometimes I know sub boxes can inflate this value, and this particular palette was actually on sale for $18 for a bit, but it really is something I would pay full price for.

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This was my first-ever swatch, so hopefully I will get better with practice, but I wanted y’all to see all the shades – I think they’re all really beautiful for a neutral palette and the color looks so nice as well. They were fairly pigmented but did show up on my skin a lot better when I switched to swatching with my finger instead of a brush. I can’t wait to experiment with looks for work.

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The Beauty Crop #GRLPOWER Liquid Lipstick in Date Night: $15 Retail Value

This was my second favorite item in the box, because I am on a huge liquid lipstick kick right now. This one was a great color for me, and only a little drying. It also applied very evenly and easily, which can be a problem for me with liquid lipsticks. I have already been wearing like every other day. I did have one nitpicky complaint though – whenever I unscrew the lid, it makes a weird squeaking noise, but it might just be mine!

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This item was actually a variant, which is common for Birchbox. This month I believe there were four different boxes you could receive. I actually got my favorite of the four because I also got the next item which I love.

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Bellapierre Gel Eyeliner in Ebony: $15 Retail Value

As you can see, mine came melted (it is August, after all). This has happened before when I’ve ordered Birchbox, and they have always been responsive to me and offered to replace the item and ship it with my next box, but I did not feel like hassling with them for this and instead I just sharpened the pencil past the melted part and it worked just fine.

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Royal and Langnickel Moda Pro Brush Set: $26 Retail Value

I left these in their individual wrappers because I am planning on gifting or swapping them, so I can’t comment on how soft they are, but I do love the texture of the handles! And they look very nice, so I definitely think the value here is fair as well.

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Pur Cosmetics Pro Eyelashes – $14 Retail Value

I didn’t open this box either since I typically don’t wear false eyelashes, and I already have two other sets right now, but these do look very high quality and natural.

Bonus: Since I was having to deal with this guy messing with all my stuff the whole time I was taking pictures, I thought I’d include one of him, so here’s a kitty for your viewing pleasure!

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Total Retail Value: $106

I absolutely feel like Boxycharm is the best box out there for what you get versus what you pay for – the value of this box is more than 5 times what you paid, so it’s basically like getting each of these items for 80% off. If you’re a makeup addict, and especially if you love eyeshadow palettes, this box is a must-have.

 

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FabFitFun Starter Box | Review

FabFitFun recently made a cool offer to a number of their subscriptions – they could invite three friends who they thought would like to try FFF, and send them a starter box for free! A lovely person I know sent me one, so I thought I’d do a review. (FFF did charge $2 for shipping, but I mean, come on! That’s practically free even still.)

The box took quite a while shipping, but I (im)patiently waited and it came in the mail Monday morning.

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As you can tell, I still need to work on actually taking the photos before I open the box.

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My box contained two items – I know from reading about others’ starter boxes that some of them contained a total of four items – two similar to this plus the Jook and Nona Inspire Necklace and the Marrakesh Hair Oil – but honestly, I was not disappointed about that. It’s two free items! That’s two more free items than I had yesterday 🙂 It seemed like FFF might have had these items as extra stock, and this was a good way to pass them out to potential new subscribers.

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Pure Cosmetics Buff Collection: $50 Retail Value

The Buff Collection features 12 eyeshadows inspired by the smoky eye, and it’s a very neutral palette (much like Pure Cosmetics’ other collections). It also includes a two-sided brush, not sponge, applicator.

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There are three matte shades and nine shimmer ones. The colors all look really great for a neutral palette, and really seem to go well together. I did not swatch it because I may plan on gifting or swapping it.

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Gypsy05 Roundie in Pink Paisley: $50 Retail Value

This roundie is huge! And it has so many possible uses – as a beach towel, wrap or small tablecloth, to name a few. And the pink paisley design is one that wasn’t available in the Spring FabFitFun box, so it’s even more exclusive. It does look more purple than pink in person though. I really think the pattern is quite beautiful. I didn’t pull it all the way out for the same reason I didn’t swatch the eyeshadow, but here’s a picture of the full thing:

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Wow! $100 Total Retail Value

If you signed up for the Starter Box, you were put on a trial for a few weeks, and when your trial expired you would be automatically signed up for the next box, in this case Fall. I already cancelled my subscription, not because I didn’t like the Starter Box but just to take it easy on my poor wallet, since I already subscribed to two other boxes (that I plan on reviewing here too!).

The Quarterly Good Office Box | Summer 2017 | Marie Mae Company

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First – a little background. Marie Mae Company sells socially conscious office and writing supplies. The company actually started a Business School which teaches classes and training for entrepreneurs each year – the inaugural Marie Mae Business School was in Rwanda. Each item you buy from this company provides one hour of training for someone. That’s incredible! I love how this company does more than just donate profits or money to a cause – they are making a tangible difference.

The Summer 2017 Quarterly Good Office Box is Marie Mae’s first foray into the subscription box world – it costs $49.95 and technically speaking, is not a subscription because you buy each one separately.

I signed up for their email list, and won a free box before they put them on sale. If you’re interested, you can buy one here. This was a giveaway, I was not given this box for review, but these are my honest opinions about it.

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Plain packaging, and the tissue paper is par for the course with subscription boxes nowadays. Also common is a booklet detailing the items included, but Marie Mae goes above and beyond here. The paper is stellar quality, with thick, glossy magazine pages, and the actual booklet not only lists the usual item details, it has a page giving you ideas for your new products, a page that discusses the Marie Mae Business School and more. Here are a few pictures:

Beautiful design!

The box includes:

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Ripple Coffee from Peru: $12.50 Retail Value

I love the packaging of this coffee, and medium roast is a blend most people can enjoy, but this is whole bean coffee so I haven’t opened mine yet because I will have to find a grinder somewhere first.

Coffee Scoop from Kenya: $12.00 Retail Value

This is my possibly my favorite item in the box, just for how unique it is! It’s hand carved from olive wood by artisans in Kenya, and the handle is bleached cow bone, carved to resemble the antlers of savanna antelopes. What a cool story! It also pairs so well with the coffee, making them feel like a higher value set.

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Notepad and To Do List Sticky Notes: $14.00 Retail Value

This is the most boring/possibly most useful product in the box. I actually love that the sticky notes have to do list checkboxes, because that’s most commonly what I use sticky notes for – now I have to learn how to write that small though!

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“Do Good” Print: $14.00 Retail Value

The RV on this feels a little inflated, considering it’s the words “Do good” printed on cardstock. The booklet suggests it would look great in a fun frame on your desk. I would probably pin this up on my cubicle’s bulletin board, but I save most of my frames for pictures.

Weekly Planner in Gray: $18.00 Retail Value

This planner includes a fitness tracker, gratitude journal and meal planner, and it has 26 weekly and notes pages. I love that this planner isn’t dated, so if you’re like me and sometimes go a few weeks between keeping organized, you can pick up right where you left off and not waste any pages! The planner is a good size, but thin and well-made. I’m excited to start using it.

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Spiral Notebook in Green: $28.00 Retail Value

This is the “hero item” of the box, and I cannot emphasize enough what high quality it is. On their site, Marie Mae sells a number of color options, but this box always contains the forest green notebook. The cover is extremely thick book cloth, with the words “Write with Purpose” in gold foil stamp, and the spirals are very sturdy. The size is 7.5″ x 9.5″, so it’s slightly smaller than a piece of notebook paper, and I love that. It feels like just the right size for me. I will definitely be bringing this to my work meetings.

Overall Retail Value: $98.50 

I feel like the box is a great value overall – you’re basically getting all these items for half price. I think Marie Mae really came out strong with this first box, and I am looking forward to seeing what the company has in store for future boxes! Interesting to note is that half of these items are for sale individually from Marie Mae, but they really don’t have a large product selection, so I’m not sure what direction they’ll go in once they run out of their products.

 

New Limited Edition Birchbox – “For the Bridal Party” Kit

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Birchbox has once again released a limited edition box without as much fanfare as they normally provide. This time it’s a wedding-themed box, but not for the bride! They collaborated with Style Me Pretty to release this “For the Bridal Party” Kit, and as someone who’s been a bridesmaid six times, I can attest to how sweet and thoughtful a gift this would be. It’s for sale here for $32.

At five items, there aren’t quite as many products in this box as there usually are in LE boxes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the cost.

This is the big-ticket item, a Dogeared Gold Bridal necklace. It’s a super cute sideways heart with a value of $64 on Dogeared’s site.

This candle probably feels the least “bridesmaid-esque” but maybe the scent will change my mind. It’s a Greenleaf candle in Cashmere Kiss, and similar Greenleaf tins have a value of $10.

Next up are two sample size items, Jelly Pong Glow Getter Highlighter and Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Tint. I’ve gotten both of these in my boxes, and I can tell you that the Jane Iredale is a VERY small sample, but I think these would be great for the actual wedding day.

The last item in the box is a May Designs custom bridesmaid card that you can personalize for whoever you gift this box to (or if it’s for yourself, keep it until you need an extra-special thank you card.

Birchbox is advertising a $92 value for this box, but like I said almost all of it is the necklace. They’re also offering a deal where if you purchase a gift subscription for someone, you can add this box for $29 ($3 off the regular price). This looks like a nice box that would definitely be appreciated by (sometimes) overworked bridesmaids!

Under the Sun Limited Edition Birchbox – First Impressions

As I’m sure you all know, I’m obsessed with Birchbox’s Limited Edition boxes. I’ve purchased the Modern Mermaid, Fall Fete and Home Sweet Homespun boxes and drooled over all the rest. Birchbox is expected to release its summertime box May 19, Under the Sun, and this one looks like tons of fun for those who just want to be outside. Take a look at the current Limited Edition offerings here.

Makeup’s up first with Cynthia Rowley’s Beauty on the Go Multi Blush & Bronzer duo. This is a cream-to-powder duo that’s perfect for travel. It also contains olive fruit oil to nourish your skin. This product looks great for a weekend vacay on the beach.

Value: $24

Laura Mercier’s Baked Eye Colour eye shadow is the next standout in this box. This shadow can be worn both dry and wet, and is smudge resistant for laying out at the pool (something I intend to be doing regularly this summer).

Value: $24

Another essential for pool-time is sunscreen. Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen has you covered with SPF 40 and a lightweight, hypoallergenic formula. It also says that it doesn’t leave a white residue, which is my biggest pet peeve with lotion sunscreens and why I typically use the sprays.

Value: $11.67 (The box comes with a travel size)

Pack all your essentials (or, if you’re me, just your wet swimsuit and towel) into this nylon classic Baggu bag. It folds up into a tiny pouch and is basically a reusable shopping bag.

Value: $9

These Knockaround sunglasses are perfect for those of you like me who tend to lose or break their sunglasses, but still want to be trendy in the sun. These have a rounded square shape and I like the polarization on them as well.

Value: $14.60

NCLA Swim Club nail polish has the best summer shades, including Bikinis and Martinis, a pastel pink that will come in every box. I would love to get a couple more shades of this to mix and match for my fingers and toes.

Value: $16

The big ticket item for this box is definitely this Chloe + Isabel Exclusive Medina Convertible Pendant Necklace. Only found at Birchbox, it can be worn multiple ways and I know I love the turquoise color.

Value: $38

Last but not least is a fun summer candy, Sugarpova flirty. Gummy lips in rainbow colors are great for snacking on the beach.

Value: $5

And there you have it! The only thing I think this box is missing is a cute beach towel, but the total value of this box comes out to $143, and the box will retail at $55. Will you be grabbing one?

UPDATE: This box is now available for sale here. Grab one before they sell out!

Birchbox December Review

Whew! What a crazy month December was. I love the holidays but I get so busy during this time, and usually I spend a lot of it sick as well. Regardless, I got another Birchbox (every month, they just keep coming like magic haha), and thought I’d share my thoughts.

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Birchbox loves the holidays too! And they have continued their complimentary adjectives on the shipping labels.

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I love the decorative boxes so much more than the plain brown ones, I hope they keep it up (I already know January’s box looks super cute!)

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This month’s box came with a $10 coupon to Gap, but there were too many restrictions for my liking (you had to claim it to get your code before Dec. 30, and it was only good in-store, and there is no Gap anywhere near me). Still, it was a nice addition and I hope Birchbox continues collaborating with other companies like this.

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Now on to the good stuff! This was a five-item box for me, the standard.

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My PYS (pick your sample) for this month was the Vasanti Kajal Extreme Intense Eye Pencil in Rose Gold. While that is one too many adjectives in the title for my liking, I have the full size of this in Electric Navy and love love love it! And the Rose Gold did not disappoint. It is such a gorgeous color, I often wear it by itself when I want more subtle makeup instead of eyeshadow. This is my fav item in the box, and what keeps my faithful to the PYS system.

I also got the Manna Kadar Lip Locked in the All of Me shade, and it’s a perfectly fine lip gloss but I don’t really like using the tiny samples of these, I lose them more often than not. It’s a great neutral shade to match my eyeliner, though.

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This is my most confusing product, even though I’m probably the only confused one. It’s Rusk Texture Spray, and it’s called a dry finishing spray and is supposed to add texture and volume, and smooth. I can’t figure out if this is a dry shampoo, a hairspray, a sea salt spray or something else entirely. (All right, I know it’s not a sea salt spray because it doesn’t contain sea salt, but it does do similar things to my hair.) It gets a B for effort, though, and I’m going to keep using it.

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Finally, my last two samples. I’ve seen tons of rave reviews about the Cuppa Cuppa tea mask, and while I think it helped my skin it burned some when I applied it. I haven’t used too many masks, but this one wasn’t my favorite. Also, while the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre sounds super fancy (I can’t even pronounce it), it left my skin feeling greasy and heavy.

So overall this was an average box but will continue to be worth it to me considering the points I get each month and the cute extras Birchbox is always doing. Check out my referral link if you’re interested in signing up!