Sunday, June 1, 2014

Julep Hello Summer Beauty Box Review

Julep is currently doing a new box for new subscription members. Here is the information they provide on the box:
"Your free gift includes Kajal Eye Glider, Julep Lip Gloss in Graceful, and three nail colors: Kayla (Bombshell), Mariska (Classic with a Twist), and Raegan (Bombshell). Each month, log into your Maven account between the 20th-24th to preview the next brand-new, can’t-miss Maven collection. During that selection window, you can customize your box as much (or as little) as you’d like. You’ll be billed for your box on the 27th, and we’ll ship it soon after. Get 20% off and free shipping on after you join. Cancel anytime.”

 The cost: Free (just pay shipping) $25 a month after; you may cancel anytime

Kayla - $14
Mariska - $14
Raegan - $14

These colors definitely scream summer. I already had two of these colors, but its always nice to have an extra one, especially with 2 girls that LOVE to have their nails done up!

Julep Lip Gloss in Graceful - $18

I still don't care to wear lip gloss, so I will be handing this off to my niece or possibly trading it off.

Julep Buffer Blocks - $1.00

These were not listed in the add on their page, so they were a great little bonus

Kajal Eye Glider with Sharpener - $19?

I gave this a value of $19 because I could not find the item on their site, but the value of the box is said to be $80, which would mean this has to be worth $19 to reach that value.
I love this eyeliner. It goes on easy and lasts all day. It has a dual tip, so it is brown and black.

The bottom line:

The value here is approximately $80. I wouldn't spend $80 on these items, but for $2.99, I am very pleased!

Do you subscribe to Julep? If not, will be snatching one of these up before they stop selling them?

Quick update

Hey guys. So, I have been away for a while and just thought I would give you all a quick update before I jump into my subscription reviews. On March 15, my little brother unexpectedly passed away. As you can imagine, this has been a very difficult time for my family and I. There have been some other issues I have had to deal with during my hiatus, but losing my brother has by far been the most difficult.

I want to extend a sincere apology to you readers for basically falling of the side of the Earth for a few months. Hopefully I can get back into the groove of things quickly.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Happy Trunk February 2014 Review

The Happy Trunk is a monthly subscription service for kids. They send you a box with craft projects for children in one of two age groups 3-7 and 7-11. I ordered a 3 month subscription for the 3-7 age group for my 4-year-old daughter.

The cost: $19.95 per month
I only paid $24.00 for my 3 month subscription on black friday, which means each of my 3 boxes are only $8 each.

I have had a few issues with Happy Trunk. First they tried to tell me that I could not use the code to get 60% off a three month subscription AFTER I gave them my payment information and received a confirmation email. They wanted me to pay another $14, to which I said no way and asked to cancel my order. They decided to let me keep my subscription at the price I paid ($24). One of my boxes was missing an item, but they fixed that issue. Then, when I didn't receive my February box, I contacted them and was told my subscription was up and they tried to sell me on renewing. When I pointed out that I had only received 2 boxes (December and January), and I had ether missed November's box (I signed up November 29th) or February's box, they sent me the February box, which I received on the 6th, the sixth of MARCH!

The first look

The four project cards

'About Me' journal

This project included everything you need to make a 4 page journal about yourself, or anything you want to, really. My daughter decided to do her favorites. She is only 4, so writing is not something she has learned just yet. So she drew her stuff and I wrote in a quick description from her. She then covered herself with the remaining stickers, which is always fun!

Tye Dye Me

We haven't done this one yet, but I am interested to see how it works out. Basically, you color your cut out man, then drop water onto him with the dropper and the colors spread, and looks as though he has on tie dye clothes.

How I Feel Today

This was my daughter's favorite (maybe she should add that to her about me journal lol). Basically, you attach eyes, nose, mouth, and eyebrows to a circle, put it on a stick and you can move the features around. She likes to twist the pieces all different ways to make funny faces then looks in the mirror and tries to make the same face. It has made for some great photos!

More About Me

The bonus activity this month is a measure tape to measure your height. I think she lost the tape before I even had the chance to show her how to do it.

Well, I have reached the end of my 3-month subscription and I don't think I will be getting another box. While it is perfectly fine and my daughter enjoys it, I can find tons of projects online for us to do within any budget limit. Its just not worth the hassle to pay $20 a box when I have a history of them attempting to renege on a coupon code, missing items in a box, and a missing box!

Birchbox February 2014 Review - Replacement box

My February box was messed up during shipping. I reached out to Birchbox and they sent me a replacement box with different products to make up for it.

The first look. As you can see, they included the oil again, but this time it didn't leak! It is the only repeat sample in the box, too!

Harney & Sons Wrapped Tea Sachets  - $1.00 (2 sachets)

I really don't like tea, not this kind. I like a nice glass of southern-style sweat iced tea (only the kind my mom makes) and water, that's all I drink. So I will be passing these on to my great grandmother.

Joan Vass L'eau de Cristal - $5?? (sample)
OPI Sheer Tints Color-Tinted Top Coat - $2.25 (sample)

There was no size on this tube of perfume, so I a completely guessing on it. It costs $75 for a 1.7 oz bottle. So I guesstimated this sample to be around .1 to .12 of an ounce.
I have never seen tinted top coat like this. I haven't used it yet (I am still rocking my lace manicure!)

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil - $2.00 (sample)
Dr Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner - $11.25 (deluxe sample)

Birchbox doesn't sell this pore refiner on it's own but instead includes it in their camera ready kit. Other sites do sell this on its own though. It really does minimize the appearance of pores and lasts all day! There is a reason they have been selling it for 6 years!

The bottom line -

This replacement box had a value of around $20, which is pretty close to the value of the original box. But this box comes with something I am SO excited about, the pore refiner!

Bulu Weight Loss February 2014 Review

Bulu Box is a monthly health and nutrition subscription box. They currently offer two boxes, Bulu Box and Bulu Box Weight Loss. This is the review of the Weight Loss Box.

For February, Ali Vincent helped curate the box. I was a huge fan of Ali on her season of Biggest Loser! She did a great job losing the weight, and an even better job keeping off! 

On to the goodies!

The cost - $10 a month (less with a longer commitment)

Power Crunch Ultraburn
Plant Fusion

These are both protein powder samples, something I don't use. My husband likes this kind of stuff and he really liked these samples.

SoyJoy fruit bar
Shapeology Burn Blend
Chosen Foods Meta Powder

This fruit bar was pretty good! It is made with real fruit and whole soy, and taste way better than it sounds and looks!
We have gotten this burn blend stuff before and we don't do the diet pill thing so these got traded off for some makeup!
I think this fiber blend stuff hasn't been used yet and I don't know that it ever will.

For $10.00, I am pleased. This box was more for my husband than for me, but it was worth the money still!

February 2014 Birchbox vs. Ipsy

So I decided to do a beauty box match-up. Birchbox and Ipsy seem to be the best ones for this. They usually send out the same type of products, the same number of products (usually 5), and cost the same ($10). So let's get to it

Ispy February 2014

Birchbox February 2014

Round 1 - Lashes

Ipsy -  J Cat False Eyelashes
Birchbox -  Smashbox Cosmetics Full Exposure Mascara

I am not a falsies girl so I won't use these fake eyelashes. This mascara wasn't really a win for me, either. So from my perspective, they sit sort of even (birchbox has a slight edge). Value wise, even though the eyelashes are full size, their value is only $4, while the deluxe sample of mascara is worth a little over $7.

Birchbox wins this round

Round 2 - Nails

Ipsy -  Zoya Nail Polish in Dot
Birchbox - Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish in Kitten Heels

Both of these polishes are pink, but I love the bright pink more than the light pink. However, Ipsy's polish is full size and worth almost double birchbox's.  The color changing polish didn't work for me, which may be more my fault than it is Ruby Wing's.

This one is really close, but I have to give it to Ipsy.

Round 3 - Face

Ipsy - First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser
Birchbox - COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face

Here we have a face cleanser and a face sunscreen. I LOVE Coola and I have yet to try Ipsy's cleanser, so this may be an unfair round. They are both samples (although the Ipsy sample is larger) but value wise, Ipsy comes in at a little over $5 while birchbox is a little over $3.50.

I have to give it to birchbox. I just love Coola face products too much

Round 4 - Eyes

Ipsy - Jessie's Girl 9 Pan Eye Shadow Compact in The Eyes Have It
Birchbox - Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

This is a bit unfair too. If I ignore the fact that the Birchbox sample was ruined during the shipping process, it is still a pretty sucky item.

Ipsy knocks this one out of the park.

Round 5 - Misc. (lips and hair)

Ipsy - Pop Plump Pout in Peony Petal
Birchbox - Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

I won't use either of the samples so I am going to do this solely off facts and not my personal opinions. the Pop gloss has a value of $8 while the oil has an approximate value of $2.

Ipsy wins this one, too.

The Stats:

Ipsy - $30 value; 3 full-sized items; won 3 rounds (rounds 2, 4, and 5)
Birchbox - $18 value; no full sized items; won 2 rounds (rounds 1 and 3)

The bottom line:

Neither of these boxes stick out as a favorite for me, nor do they really have any stand out products. But, I am still pleased with them.
With that said, Ipsy takes it this month!

Ipsy February 2014 Review

Ipsy is one of my favorite beauty subscription services and it is one of the least expensive. They always deliver in terms of value and full-sized items. And their bags are ADORABLE.

The first look.

The cost - $10.00 a month 

Each month, Ipsy includes a makeup bag with each supscription. They are almost always adorable and always end up at the bottom of my 4-year-old's toy box or backpack!
I love the lining of this one!

Jessie's Girl 9 Pan Eye Shadow Compact in The Eyes Have It - $3.99 (FULL SIZE)
J Cat False Eyelashes - $3.99 (FULL SIZE)

I really like this eyeshadow. It has nice pigment and lasts all day. I really love this palette in particular because there are so many looks that can be done with the 4 color variations.
I don't do false eyelashes. I always end up with glue in my eyes, in my hair, in my mouth, caked on the false lashes....its always a huge mess that is so not worth it.

Pop Plump Pout in Peony Petal  - $8.00 (deluxe sample)
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser - $5.10 (sample)

I am not a lip gloss girl so this is going to the gifting/swapping pile
I am definitely curious about this cleanser. It smells pretty good but I am still testing out another skin product so I can't give this a review just yet!

 Zoya Nail Polish in Dot - $9.00 (full size)

 I really like bright, vibrant nail colors, so this soft pink is a little 'tame' compared to what I usually get, which I guess is a good thing. It also closely resembles a shade of Zoya polish I got last spring, but it is slightly different. I might use it, I might not. But Zoya polish usually stays on for a few of days without chipping and I love that!

The bottom line - 

I paid $10.00 for this bag and received around $30 in products. Not the highest value for Ipsy, but still a win for me! I will use 3 of the 5 products, which is okay I guess. I also received 3 full sized items, which I love! My little girl has already stolen the pink bag, maybe I will see it when she moves out for college!