Unboxing the Boxycharm (formerly IPSY Glam Bag Plus) for April + the April 2023 Beauty Boost

It is finally here! My IPSY for April 2023. Officially it is now called the Boxycharm box. Because instead of taking the opportunity to rename everything when the two officially combined the company decided to be as confusing as possible. My guess is they thought this was honoring both boxes so no one got left out, but personally I think that instead of the two boxes being friends they should have done a Wonder twins Activate moment and just renamed everything for the NEW Box.

But clearly I am not a part of their marketing team. I am just a subscriber. I’m not even an affiliate. I pay for this box each month. I believe the box is listed at $28 but when all is said and done with taxes and everything else the box costs me $32.91 each month. Assuming I don’t have any add ons. And I can’t lie, I almost always have an add on. This month i couldn’t resist adding on the Dr. Brandt Mineral Mask. I’ve used it before and it is an amazing mask. So I ordered it again. I also finished two jarred masks this month so i felt a little better about adding one back in. But that is an add on I pay for separately and then it just ships with my box. My Beauty Boost also ships with the box. The Beauty Boost is officially $15 (I pay $16.87). And with the beauty boost you get one additional full sized item that I believe is supposed to be worth over $40. They choose and item for you but if you really don’t like it then they have a couple of options.

I was thrilled with this month’s Beauty boost. It is the JLO BEAUTY That Fresh Take® Eye Cream (retail $49). okay for one I love eye creams. I have found a couple I like but i am still searching for the one. Also i have not tried anything from JLO Beauty and I am curious. the jar, gorgeous. Hopefully the produce will be as well and who knows maybe this will be the one. Either way, i am very happy with this month’s Beauty Boost. It is well worth the $15 ($16.89).

And now on to the box!

With the new Boxycharm box I get five full sixed items for my subscription price. Two of the items are chosen for me and three I get to pick from a limited selection. Let’s look at the two chosen for me. First up we have the Natasha Denona Alloy Eyeshadow Palette (retail $48). I like Natasha Denona eyeshadows. They are highly pigmented and last all day. Generally speaking I find them a bit over priced. So I am always extra happy when they are in the box. This is one I don’t have and the colors are ones I will use.

The second item Boxycharm chose for me was the Saturday Skin Carrot + Niacinamide Moisturizing Cream (retail $45). Interestingly last month (or possibly the month before) I chose the night cream from Saturday Skin. I chose it because I adore the exfoliator and wanted to try something else. i have not opened the night cream but it is in the ready and waiting line. I might just pair it with this and do a day and night from Saturday Skin in my skincare line up. Either way I am thrilled this was in the line up. My skin loves Niacinamides and I can’t wait to give this a try.

In the categories I was able to choose from there were fewer options that interested me. I found one i really liked in each category and I am excited about trying them out, but in each section the item i chose was the one item in the offered selection that I wanted to try. Which is fine I really do like the products chosen, but there is a perverse part of me that wants to sit and mentally debate over two exciting options rather than just choosing the one that appeals to me.

I’m sure it is a deficiency of character. I’ll work on it another time. For now, the products I chose. First from Skin Proud is the Smooth Talk 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum (retail $13.95). You know I love hyaluronic acid so for me this was a good option in general. I do also like that it is a relatively inexpensive HA serum as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love high priced skincare. Actually I love most skin care so that really isn’t an accurate statement. what I don’t always have is an affordable alternative to some of the high end products I like. I’m not talking about dupes I am just talking about ingredient based options. I like Hyaluronic acid based serums. It would be nice to know there is one I like that works and isn’t too pricy. I don’t know if this will be it because I not only haven’t tried the serum, but i have never heard of the brand before. But i have hopes.

And you know I love trying out new skincare.

Next we have the Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Nude Beach (retail $32). I love the Bobbi Brown shadow sticks. I have two and I will happily add one to each of the next year’s Boxes to build a collection. They go on smoothly, last all day and are just fabulous. I was happy they had a shade I don’t have and so I chose it.

And finally we again dip into the eyeshadow realm with the Fenty Beauty Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in Smoky (retail $30) All of these shades are ones I will use and ones I like. In fact i chose it partially because they looked like shades I would get a lot of use out of. The second reason is because I wanted to try the shadow Formula. I tried shadows from Fenty when the brand first came out and I thought the shadows were good, but the shades in that palette weren’t ones I was going to wear. I tried it out a couple of times to get a feel for the formula and then passed the palette on because I knew I wasn’t going to use it. (It was well sterilized first and this was well before 2020 in case anyone is freaking out about it).

This month’s Boxycharm was definitely eyeshadow heavy for me. And I am about to have a deep eyeshadow declutter because I desperately need a clear out. However I am very pleased with the shadows chosen for my box. The last couple of boxes for me have been sort of skin care heavy. Partially by choice. I like makeup and I love playing with it, but I adore trying out new skin care. However skincare does pile up so it is noce to have a makeup heavy box.

For me this box was worth it when I sat the $45 Saturday Skin moisturizer in the box. It covered the cost of the box for me. The full retail for my box ended up being $168,95. The Boxycharm/Glam Bag Plus box is supposed to be worth up to $200. The prices vary based on what items you choose. So $168 is great value for the box. Plus I chose items that i will use and that interest me. So for me this was a nice box. I very much enjoyed it and am happy with my subscription.

Next month is the first ICON box release. It is a quarterly upgrade. It has eight full sized products. This month it is being Curated by Anastasia of Anastasia Beverly Hills. I love the brand. There are spoilers out on the site if you want to take a look at possible options for the May Icon Box. While i like the spoilers I have to say I am a little annoyed that they started the Icon Spoilers in March and seemed to sort of ignore the April box. It was really difficult to find spoilers and they weren’t mentioned as much. I am hoping that it was just the furor of the combining of the boxes and not something they will continue with going forward. Hopefully they will give this box the attention it deserves moving forward, because this Boxycharm was a good box that deserves attention.

Criminally Crafted for the Unlawful Appetite

Free Bag of Biltong or Jerky If You Spend $5 with code BAGONUS2022

The Daily: February 27th, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. My babydoll had a sinus infection this weekend and is actually home today still recovering. The antibiotics took out the infection but it always leaves him exhausted so he called in sick today.

It is always interesting when he is home sick. He likes to think he is an island, isolating and stoically suffering in silence. In reality I will end up seeing or hearing from him about every fifteen minutes as he wonders where things are, like the tea which is always kept on the same shelf in the pantry and had for the past five years. I also get asked how much water to put in the electric tea kettle and where the blankets are. I always find it amusing to find that as soon as he is ill he suddenly forgets where everything is and reverts to grumpy three year old mode.

At the moment he is sleeping so the house is quiet. I am trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake him. He had some soup before taking his nap so I should be good for a while.

Needless to say it has been a very disjointed day. But he is feeling better so tomorrow he will go back to work and I will catch up on everything I missed today.

Today I am actually thinking about the Boxycharm/IPSY merger. For those who don’t know, IPSY and Boxy announced their official merger last week. IPSY has three levels. Glam bag, Glam Bag Plus and Glam Bag X. They also have the beauty boost that can be added to any category. The Glam bag will be stay the same. The glam bag plus is being renamed Boxycharm and is the same as the Boxy Base Box. If you have IPSY Plus and the Beauty Boost then it is the same as the Premium Boxycharm, and then the Glam Bag X and Boxycharm Luxe box will be the same and they will be calleted ICON Box.

It isn’t actually much of a surprise that they are merging. IPSY bought Boxycharm a while ago and since then there have been so many duplicates and issues that streamlining seemed to be the best logical course for them to survive moving forward. I think what I find interesting is the timing, at least for me. I have IPSY Plus with the Beauty Boost. I did have the Boxy Premium as well. I just cancelled the Premium because February was just so irritating. While March is going to be the last Glam Bag Plus with the merger official in April, I am really glad I went ahead and cancelled Boxycharm premium. As it will end up being the exact same thing I currently get from IPSY it was actually good timing for me.

I have also decided that i will be posting my IPSY unboxings again, especially for the next few months. March will be the last IPSY and then it will be the merged box, so I kind of want to follow it as things progress. And most of why I wasn’t posting was because I wanted to see how I felt about the subscription because I knew I wasn’t keeping both Boxy and IPSY which is no longer an issue really.

I also realized that I hadn’t used a couple of the makeup items I recieved in my Glam Bag X so I picked them for today’s makeup.

Today’s Look

Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective primer

Foundation: Hide Invisible Oil Free Foundation

Bronzer: Scott Barnes Contour palette

Blush: Axiology Color Cream Multi Stick

Setting Powder: Item Beauty Powder Hour In the Clear

Eyeshadow: Mosaic by Trendbeauty

Mascara: PurFully Charged Mascara

Brows: Grande Browfill Volumizing Brow Gel

Lips: Pat McGrath Labs Heart Shaped Lip Gloss

Okay we start today with my all time favorite primer. I love the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer. It fills my pores and provides a nice smooth canvas for the rest of my makeup. I can’t say enough good things about it. It is a little on the pricy side, but i have to say it is well worth the price and I will repurchase anytime it gets low.

I have to say i really do like this HIDE foundation,. it is weightless and it blends beautifully. I mostly chose it because it performs well without me thinking about it, which is something i need when trying out a new contour.

This contour palette from Scott Barns was in my Glam Bag X in February. The powders are soft and highly pigmented. They seem to blend well. I have heard of Scott Barnes but this is the first time i have tried anything from the brand. It is good quality, but I will be honest, I don’t exactly contour. I just use this as bronzer. There is a shade Frame, that works perfectly for me. As the seasons change I will more than likely shift shades, but i suspect this palette with have two shades I will use as bronzer and if I use the other shades it will be for a quick eyeshadow. It is just the way I apply makeup. I think I am going to have to remind myself to use this actually. It is a good formula though. It is just large enough it will be stored in a lower drawer and I will have to make an effort.

I went for the Axiology Cream color today as blush. I have a third Axiology product to start testing, but i just couldn’t resist reaching for this as my cream blush. It is just so easy and this is a good shade for me. I know, I’ll start rotating soon. But I do love this.

I picked up this Item Beauty powder because I really liked the brush powder combo in the stick. It took a little while to get the powder to come out, but after i did it worked well. I love that it is refillable as well. So once I have finished with this powder i can replace the powder and keep using the brush. The powder itself is okay. I don’t know if Item beauty sells the powder separately but I could easily see me replacing it with one of the powders I have on hand and just continuing to use the brush. I am really happy with this purchase and i think that when traveling this will be fantastic.

This weekend I realized I had several eyeshadow palettes i picked up but haven’t really spent time testing. So I decided to look at them and see what appealed to me. And this morning the mint green shimmer appealed to me. The rest of this palette is pretty basic in colors but that minty green i just had to try. The brown mattes I used underneath it blended really well. As everyday shades they worked realty well. The shimmer layered well on top, but it didn’t blend with anything. I do like the spring colors in this so i may play with it for a little bit. The shadows do tend to crease a little bit, but they are worth playing with I think.

I love the Grande Brow Fill. it is a good basic brow gel and since my bangs are covering my brows it is just enough to keep things tidy, which is all I need.

This was the first use of the Pur mascara. After the Uoma it isn’t dramatic at all. It is sort of your basic every day mascara. The wand was a bit on the prickly side and it is just okay. I will probably use up the sample and not repurchase.

And then there is the lips. The Glam Bag X had two heart shaped lip glosses from Pat McGrath labs. The formula feels really good on the lips. It doesn’t dry down at all so there are a trail of lip prints all over my coffee cup and water glass. The lip prints stopped when the lip gloss was completely worn off. I reapplied for the pic. I like the formula when i am not drinking anything. I don’t know how much i will use them though because even though the colors and formula are nice, the little brush is kind of annoying and the shape of the heart makes it hard to get product on the brush. It is one of those nice looking products that isn’t that practical. I’m glad i tried the formula, but I suspect these will end up in a drawer and I will forget about them.

And that is my makeup today. It is a mix of the reliably good, the okay and the meh. Kind of fun in it’s own way. But now it is back to work for me. I have a few things I want to try to get done before my babydoll wakes up. Thus far there is still silence from the living room. He fell asleep to Sherlock Homes. Which means I am probably good until the credits roll. It is the music for the end credits that tends to wake him up. So I am off. Have a great rest of your Monday my darlings.

The Daily: February 9th, 2023

Today my darlings is an interesting day. I know I usually talk about fitness, gardening and the general meyhem that is my life but today I am going to talk about Boxycharm.

My February box arrived. And while I decided to post the majority of my subscriptions on IG instead of here this year as i try to sort things out, I am going to talk about it here. Don’t worry it won’t be a product by p[product break down. So, yesterday my Boxycharm Premium came in. There were four fantastic , can’t wait to try items and two that hit my annoyance button. One of the products I was looking forward to trying is skincare and I will use it when I get to it, but the three makeup items in this month’s box I used today for my look. I actually really liked all three. However there are still the other two items.

Now I know subscriptions are always hit or miss. There are always going to be products you are more excited for and products you don’t particularly like. That is just the nature of subscription boxes. This particular box is listed at $39.99 on the site. When all is said and done with the taxes and fees I pay exactly $46.07 for each premium Boxycharm box.

Four of the items felt premium and the other two sent me through the roof. So let’s talk about those. The first of the annoyance items was a single shadow from Dose of Colors. I like Dose of Colors. They have great shadows. I however have this same single shadow from them already. Actually I have three of this single shadow. One came in a $13 IPSY bag, where a single shadow is an appropriate item to receive. The other came as an item in a previous boxy Charm Premium and annoyed me at the time as it felt like it shouldn’t be in a premium box. Perhaps I am wrong, but in the context of subscription boxes I tend to view single shadows as sample sized items. I know you can buy single shadows as single shadows but in a subscription box they feel like, ‘here is a sample shadow so you can get a feel for the formula and perhaps buy the full palette.’ So it felt out of place in the Boxycharm premium to me, and it was a repeat annoyance.

The second item in my box that just hit the annoyance button was the Refreshments Body Cream. It is certainly full sized. It is in fact quite large. IPSY started the refreshments line as a separate service. I tried the items when they were released and they are pretty basic formulas. They actually feel like something I would get my ten year old niece who is interested in beauty. She no longer wants the ‘little girl’ barbie and tinkerbell themed products beauty products, but she isn’t allowed to wear makeup yet and still has a few years before breakouts cause the need for skincare items. That is how that product line feels to me in general. Others seem to like it so more power to them, it isn’t for me.

In general you do get products that aren’t for you in subscription boxes so I would normally just have rolled my eyes, set it aside and given it to my niece. However for the past few months, Boxy has been sending me invitations to join Refreshments. It is usually a first month free thing and this same body cream was offered as a free incentive. And yet here it was counting as an item in my premium box. Somehow that just hit me as one annoyance too many.

And I realized how many little annoyances there had been.

One of the reasons that I stopped posting some of my long term subscriptions is that I wanted see which ones I would keep and which ones I would let go if I wasn’t posting about them. I also found several I want to try out and to do that I needed to let some go (both because they get expensive and because too many subscription boxes equals far more product than I need). I have had both Boxy and Ipsy for so long that to let either go was hard, but this box made it easier, so I have canceled my Boxycharm Box. Perhaps i will return, perhaps I won’t.

I do know that I felt really good when I did cancel it.

I know some of you aren’t into subscription boxes, personally I love them. And I know some of you do as well, so I just wanted to share my thoughts as to why I cancelled my Boxycharm. I will aslo start to post reviews of the newer subscriptions I am trying out. But for now we will move on to todays look, featuring three items from February’s box.

Today’s Look

Primer: Beauty Bakerie Butter Primer

Foundation: Bite Beauty Changemaker Foundation (discontinued – from the use up box)

Bronzer: Milk Makeup Bronzing Stick (sample from the use up box)

Blush: Axiology Multi Use Color Cream in True

Powder: By Terry Hydra Powder (sample from the Use up box)

Eyeshadow: Ciate London Royal Edition

Mascara: Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

Lip stick: Ace Beaute Pout perfect liquid lipstick in the shade Manifest

Lip liner: Huda Beauty Lip Contour in trophy wife

Okay, first the Use up box. At the beginning of the month i choose products that I want to use up and clear out of my makeup collection. They aren’t bad products they are just products that are either close to being used up and i want to do a final push to use them up or they need to go for other reason. There are three today, the Bite Beauty Foundation is fabulous, but it is discontinued. I think I have three more uses tops before the tube is empty so I want to clear it out this month. The Milk Makeup Bronzer and the By Terry Powder are both sample sizes. The Milk I want to use up so i can justify purchasing the full size. the By Terry is not my favorite setting powder as it tends to leave white marks that it takes a bit of work to blend in, which I find a little strange since I adore By Terry’s Pressed powder. So I will be using up the last of this and not repurchasing, hopefully this month.

The Axiology Multi Use color Stick is a product I am currently testing out and absolutely adore as a cream blush. As a stick it is really easy to work with. I dot it on my cheeks and then blend out. It belds really well, but do one cheek at a time. Dot it on the cheek blend, switch to the other cheek and blend, then see if you want to build it up more. if you dot it on both cheeks and then go back to blend it blends less well. It will still beldn but you can feel it start to set up. So one cheek at a time. also go slowly because it is quite pigmented. it is very buildable though, so start light and then add to get the pigment you want.

The Beauty Bakery Butter primer was in my Boxycharm It was a choice item actually. You know I love primers and I love balm style primers. I haven’t tried one in a stick format though. This one glides on smoothly with the stick and then I used my hands to massage it in. it is white streaks when you apply it but the whit goes away as it blends. I was very impressed with application and thus far it is doing really well for a first wear. And like all Beauty Bakerie products it is adorable. It looks like a stick of butter with the tablespoons measured out on the side. I know I will be reaching for this often.

The Eyeshadow was also from Boxy Charm as well and it is the Ciate London Royal Edition. I say it and thought, oh it is going to just be blues and purples. Then i opened it and I got really excited to play with it. Too excited actually as i think I layered on a few too many colors. i started nice and soft with the everyday neutral shades and then I saw the bronze. And then i wondered about the blue shimmer and I perhaps did not do the palette justice as I layered shimmers on top of an everyday look, but I couldn’t help myself. And in the end it just ended up looking vaguely silvery and shimmery. It has actually been a while since i have been this excited to play around with a palette. I was like a three year old not knowing which toy to play with first. I’ll temper the excitement and test it out properly, but I did go a little shimmer crazy today.

I opened a new tube of the ABH Lash brag today as well. I used up he older tube and let it go. I opened it because I wanted to compare it with the Uoma beauty mascara actually. they both have similar fluffy wands and fabulous results. But I didn’t remember the ABH clumping quite like the UOMA beauty so I wanted to have them going at the same time since I marked down when I opened the UOMA and can do a timed comparison.

and then we get to the lips. The Ace Beaute lipstick came in the BoxyCharm and the packaging is stunning. It is very black and gold art deco. The wand is really long which was surprising although i should have expected it to be the length of the bottle. the shade did wash me out a little so I blended it with the Huda beauty lip contour (very creamy) and together they made a really nice everyday wearable shade for me.

Over all I am really happy with todays look. I did go a little crazy with the shadows because I just kept seeing ones I wanted to try. Luckily it is just me working at my desk today so no one will really notice. I am going to have fun with this palette though. I do want to mention that the three products I tried from Boxy today I really loved. And that has been what has kept me signed up to the subscription for so long. It is also what kept me ignoring, or trying to ignore, the little annoyances. They are small so it feels petty to complain about them, but like little splinters they get under your skin and cause major irritations. And I think this year, I am less inclined to put up with some of those minor irritations than i have been in the past. I have noticed that applies to a lot of things in my life right now, not just Boxycharm. It is causing some interesting changes to my world and I have to say it feels really good when those minor annoyances are cleared away. I suppose that is my thought for the day, if there is something minor annoying you, regardless of what it is, maybe it is time to stop telling yourself that it is a small thing you should ignore because it is too petty to address. There is a disproportionate amount of relief in clearing it away. At least that has been my experience.

And with that thought I will leave you, it is back to work I go. Have a great afternoon my darlings.



Unboxing the BoxyCharm Premium for November 2022

My Boxycharm Premium for November 2022 just arrived and I have to say this was a bit of a strange one. The day before I received my tracking e-mail I received another e-mail stating that the Kate Somerville Moisturizer i chose would be sent separately and that an additional product would be in my box to make up for it. My guess is that either there were supply chain issues or the wrong box was packed and sent. However when it arrived there were the usual six items and I received a tracking e-mail that the moisturizer was on it’s way separately.

For those that are unfamiliar with the Boxycharm Premium Category, this is a subscription that includes six full sized items each month, two of which you get to choose during choice and while I believe it is advertised as $39.99 once all of the taxes and fees are paid I am charged $46.07 each month for this subscription.

Shall we see what was in this month’s box?

The first item I received it, I believe the makeup item for the missing moisturizer. It too is a Kate Somerville product and it is the EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser. (retail $44). Oddly enough I do have a sample of this cleanser in my foil packet collection at the moment. I think it came from a Sephora purchase. Some acne cleansers I can use and some I can’t. I will be trying out the sample and if it works well with my skin then i will keep this for times when i break out (and as we are heading into the season of richer foods, that won’t be long) If the sample dries out my skin too much i will send it along to someone who might make better use for it. It is a good sized tube though.

The second item which I did choose was the Iconic London Precision Duo Contour pot (retail $29). I chose this mostly because I didn’t want the other option. I can’t remember why. I just remember choice wasn’t that exciting. I am actually interested in this though. One of the contour pans is a powder and the other is a cream. The powder looks to be the right color for me. I’m not s sure about the cream but i am more than willing to give it a try. And I do like the little round pot. I think it looks kind of cute.

Next up we have a set of two lip liners from Saint Luxe (retail $30). I like lipliners and i am glad they came in a set of two. When i swatched them though one was a bit on the pink side and the other was really brown. They feel pretty smooth and creamy though. I might be able to use them to help alter lip products whose color needs a little help, but honestly neither color is that appealing to me. I also suspect that once i put them away I will end up looking at the brown lip liner and think it is an eyeliner. It is just a brown eyeliner sort of shade. I just find the shades to be an odd choice for a duo and while I am interested in testing out the formula I am not certain how much use i will actually get out of them.

Next up we have an item I am actually really excited by It is the Wander Beauty Wanderess Escape palette. (retail $42). The last Wander Beauty palette I had I used a lot and then a shadow broke (because I dropped the palette and it landed badly). I continued to use it until it was just unusable. I love that it has the bronzes and browns and golds. I also love that pink shimmer and that pop of blue. I am looking forward to giving this palette a go.

I am not exactly that excited by the Complex Culture Executive Level mascara (retail $28). Complex Culture is a sister brand to IPSY. And I have received many items from the brand. The packaging is always beautiful but the products tend to be so so. They are never bad. But they are also never good either. They are mostly forgettable. They tend to be the kind of product you use while it is there and then let it go without another thought. I’m sure this mascara will be fine as well. All their products are. Who knows, maybe this one will surprise me and it will be really great. We shall see.

The last item in my box this month is the Skin Inc Sculpt Lift Bar. (retail $125). It is one of those battery operated face sculpting tools. I think this makes the fifth one I’ve had in a subscription box this year. the shape of the end is a little different in each one and I have to say this curved end does look like it will be more comfortable than the bar ended one I have and might even be as comfortable as the rounded quartz ended one I have. Will it work? Yes. Will it be a good tool to sculpt the face like a battery operated gua sha? Yes. Am I somewhat annoyed that its $125 value makes up the bulk of the perceived value of this box especially when Boxy Charm sent me two nearly identical tools already this year? You betcha.

I know these tools are nice and I have one that I do like and use. I have also passed on four others. The people I passed them to like and use them. I just don’t need another one. I also think it is over priced and, while in general it does annoy me when things are over priced, it bothers me more knowing that this is the item they are going to use to inflate the value of the box when they say that for your subscription price you receive this mush worth of product.

And so i am not adding up the monetary value of the items in the box. I have listed the prices above for each item so if you want to add them up feel free. I will not do so in protest for this tool.

Having said that, I really like the eyeshadow palette. The palette is very much a daily wear set of colors for me. I am looking forward to trying out the bronzer/contour as well. I may be able to use the cleanser, or I may pass it on. I may love the mascara but I suspect I won’t. I know the lip liner colors aren’t for me but at least I get to try out a new formula. There is a little bit of excitement over the two items I like but i have to be honest for me, this month Boxycharm fell a little flat.



Unboxing the Boxycharm Premium Box for October 2022: The Tarte Takeover box

I have to say it has been a while since I thought of Tarte Cosmetics. For a while they were everywhere with the Shape Tape and then they seemed to fall off the radar. As there are several products that I do enjoy from the brand it is nice to see them get some notice again.

For those that don’t know Boxycharm is a beauty subscription. They have a regular base box and a premium box with a Luxe box coming out quarterly. I tried all of the levels and the one that consistently had the products I was most pleased to receive more often was the premium box and so that is the one i chose to keep while letting the other tiers go. With all of the taxes handling fees etcetera I pay $46.07 per month for this box. The box is listed as being $39.99 per month. I always find it nice to see actual costs when all the fees are added as well as the listed price. The listed price for the base box is $27.99. I don’t currently receive it but I imagine the fees are about the same as they are with the premium box.

So what was in my Boxy Premium X Tarte box?

First off there was only one skincare item. It is the Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer. (retail $39). I have tried one skincare item from Tarte’s Awake line. It was a serum and I remember it leaving my skin feeling nice but i don’t remember seeing any results. It was a while ago though so I don’t remember a lot about it. A moisturizer is always useful, especially as we go into the dry season for my skin. And I think it will be interesting to try something out from their skincare line. I just won’t open it until I am ready to use it.

The second item in the box I was very excited to see. It is the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara. (retail $24). I love this mascara. It is actually my favorite Tarte product. It performs really well and makes my lashes look fabulous. While i don’t usually get that excited about mascaras in general, I am pretty pleased with this one.

brightener and liner swatches

The third Item I am not that excited to see but i think I will get some use out of. It is the Double Take Awake micro liquid liner and brightener. (retail $25). I don’t wear a lot of eyeliner these days, but i am looking forward to using the brightener. I had a white eyeliner I used for brightening my water line but it has gone MIA.I suspect I will get more use out of that end of the double sided product than I will the liner. I also think that if i take the pencil out to use the brightener i might actually be tempted to use the eyeliner more simply because it is out. We shall see. perhaps my makeup will change. only time will tell.

Next there is a Maracuja juicy lip balm (retail $21). You know i love lip products. This balm is a gloss. I suppose that is where the juicy bit comes in. I swatched it and while there is a little color, it is sheer. And very much like a lip gloss. I have heard very good things about this so I am looking forward to trying it on the lips.

I am also looking forward to trying out the breezy cream blush. (retail $24). I am really starting to enjoy crema blushes a lot and this looks like a really nice shade. If I recall this is one of the items i chose and this is the shade I will wear. Which sounds obvious but sometimes the swatches on the computer don’t look the same in real life.

blush swatch before blending

And yes the pan looks swatched. I opened it and couldn’t resist seeing how the color swatched. Then I remembered i hadn’t taken the photo. It arrived new and pristine, I just couldn’t resist. It feels nice and creamy and it blended well on the hand there is also something about the oval shaped package that I like. I’m not entirely certain what, but I do like the look of it.

And this brings us to the final item in the box. It is the Sunrise Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette (retail $30). This palette was designed for Boxycharm, although to be honest I think designed might be a bit strong a term. It is a pretty standard looking basic palette of neutrals.

a swatch from the bronze shade Icon (middle row, far right)

That is not actually a complaint as I do love a good neutrals palette and will probably give into the temptation to try it out today. I couldn’t resist swatching one of the bronze shimmers and it swatched beautifully actually.

Tarte palettes tend to be a bit hit or miss in formula. I have a couple of Tarte palettes that are just beautiful and fantastic to use. I have had others where the shadows weren’t so fabulous. I don’t know if they play around with their formulas a lot or what but i end up either loving or struggling with their formulas where eyeshadows are concerned. there doesn’t seem to be much in between. If this is one of their good formulas I will be excited for the neutral palette, especially with that bronze shade. We’ll have to see how that performs in use.

but that my darlings is the October Boxycharm Premium X Tarte box. Monetarily the value of the box is $163. This is more than the $46.07 I paid for it and in that respect I am happy. More than the cash value though are the products. While knowing the value is nice, a subscription is only with the cost if you are going to use the items inside. For me, this was a pretty good box. I received a favorite mascara and get to try out a new cream blush. I am curious about the moisturizer and interested in the lippie. I have my fingers crossed with the palette and while i know I will use the brightener I might be tempted into the eyeliner. For me, I will get use out of every item in this box. that makes it a very worthwhile box indeed.

Unboxing the August 2022 Boxycharm Premium

The Boxycharm Premium is a $39.99 per month subscription box. Each month you receive six full sized beauty items, two of which you pick from a limited selection of items. There are several different categories of Boxy Charm. I have at one time or another tried all of them and I ended up finding out that for me, the premium category consistently sent me items that I actually wanted to use. And for me that is the point and the value. It really doesn’t matter how pricy the items are if you aren’t going to use them. While some months are clearly better than others, over all the Boxy Charm Premium has been consistently well worth the value to me.

This month’s theme is From Dusk ’til Dawn. Some months the theme actually fits the products, some months it doesn’t. This month i can sort of see where they are going with the theme, but it is a little bit of a stretch, and for me, not all that important. So Shall we start with the two items that I chose for the box?

The first of these items is the Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera (retail $36). I know, I am well stocked with cleansers at the moment but truthfully nothing else in that choice category appealed to me and I have to admit that I was curious. I have the Alpha H Liquid Gold which is just as fab as everyone raves about, but I have heard of nothing about any other product they have. I don’t know if the Liquid Gold is so fabulous everyone forgets about anything else or if that happens to be their one really good product where everything else is just okay. I thought this was a good way to decide. I also like that it is a really good sized cleanser. it is 165 mL which is a nice amount of product and more than enough to let me form my own opinion about the cleanser.

The second item I chose was the Lawless Beauty Forget the Filler Lip Plumping Line Smoothing Gloss (retail $25). You know I can’t resist a good lip plumper. Its shameful I know but I do love the tingling and the scent of peppermint most of them have. I also really like to see if they actually work. Some feel like they are going to work by stinging the lips but doing little while others work beautifully. Plus I have been really good about not buying lip products lately. After my last lip declutter I realized how often I just add a lippie to the cart either in the grocery or on line and I am trying to curb this, But I figured subscription box choices didn’t count. In addition I have never tried anything from Lawless Beauty even though I have seen them around. I think there might be something in my IPSY bag this month as well so at least I’ll go into the fall knowing a little bit about the brand. That way I can say I at least learned something over the summer.

The first item that Boxy chose for me I was actually very happy to see. It is a pack of the Popmask Sleepover Self warming steam masks (retail $20). These are pink and rose scented but otherwise they seem to be like the other self warming masks from Popmask. I have used them before (the Starry Eyed Surprise ones – the link will take you to my fill review actually). Everytime I use them I tend to lay down thinking, this will be a nice restful moment, and then i fall asleep. So at least this one claims to help with sleep problems. The ones I have used were all unscented so it will be interesting to see how the rose scent works with the warming mask. It might be too much or it might be nice. I look forward to finding out.

The next item accounts for most of the listed retail value. It is the Kat Burki Nutrient C Eye Cream.(Retail $90). It is the most expensive item in the box. I can always use a good eye cream (especially now that I have cleared out a lot of the eye cream samples) I know Kat Burki is a well respected Skin care brand and I did try a foil packet moisturizer from the brand a while back and really enjoyed it. The eye cream is in a nice glass bottle with a pump. i tend to like eye creams with a pump mostly because it keeps the cream away from the air. You don’t use a lot of eye cream each time you use it so they tend to last a while and keeping air away from it while using it helps it stay fresh longer. So I am pretty pleased with this eye cream in my box.

There is one hair care items in the box and it is the Playa Monoi Milk Leave In conditioner (retail $24). I tried something from Playa a while back. The product worked really well but I absolutely could no stand the scent. I remember being really upset because it was such a good product that I tried repeatedly to get past the scent and just couldn’t do it. I did spray this into the air and it seems to have a much lighter scent so I am hoping the scent remains light and pleasant and that it works as well as the other product I tried. (I think it was a dry shampoo or something of that nature).

Plus I do like leave in conditioners. At the moment i am trying to work my way through all of my sample sized hair masks and leave in conditioners so that I can not only clear out some space but be ready for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. (Now is the time where I go through samples like crazy so I can make the naughty and nice list and know which products I want to try out in the full size or make sure to all ways have on hand.) So for now this full size will have to wait just a little but, but I am encouraged by the scent and the fact that the last product I tried from them worked so well.

And finally we end with the OFRA Cosmetics Signature Palette – Symphony (retail $34). I think this was created for a holiday special a year or so back. I remember thinking that it looked like a fantastic little every day palette and wanting to add it to my collection but then not being able to find it when I went to shop. I am rather pleased it is now here. The silver shimmer shade in the center is both a shimmer and a highlighter so that is a bonus, plus I like the brown and cranberry shades. Going into fall i reach for both of those colors a lot. And I enjoy OFRA’s formula, so for me this five pan palette is a nice win. I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it if it performs as I expect.

Over all this was a really good box for me. It wasn’t flashy but every single item in this box is one that I am looking forward to using. The retail value of the box in purely monetary terms is $229. The bulk of that really is the eye cream. However like i said above regardless of the retail value the box is only worth purchasing if you are planning to use the items. As every single item in this box will get used by me, this August Boxy Charm Premium box was definitely worth the value.

LovelySkin

Unboxing the July 2022 BoxyCharm Premium

Once again my Boxy Charm Premium snuck in without a whisper of a tracking code. I don’t know why by Boxy Charm seems to have stopped sending me tracking codes. This is the fourth month in a row this has happened. However as my box usually arrives around the time that Choice opens up, it is pretty easy to expect it. Anyway, I have the Boxycharm Premium subscription. I worked my way through all of the subscription levels trying to find the one that most often brought me more items I wanted and I ended up with premium. The official price is $39.99 and with taxes it comes to about $43 each month.

I feel that I do get my money’s worth with this box, although some months are better than others. With the Boxy/IPSY buy out, there are more overlap with products which is why I am making changes to my subscription. For now I am going to be keeping this box but only getting the IPSY quarterly X box (skipping the month’s between) and see if that works out for me. That is the plan for now. Everything might change in December when I do my subscription line up for the year, but for now that is where i landed.

So shall we see what is in this month’s Boxy?

Let’s start with the two items I chose. My choice for this month’s box was interesting. The first item I chose was the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue (retail $37). It is a tinted moisturizer. I love bareMinerals. Their bounce and blur blush is one of my favorites and I adore their Mineralist lipsticks. With face products (blush aside) I have only tried powdered product from them before. So I am looking forward to trying out a cream product. I have to admit that once I saw the bareMinerals on the choice list I didn’t really look at anything else so I don’t really know what it was up against.

Interestingly enough I had the opposite reaction to the second choice. Nothing on that tier really inspired me. I ended up choosing the Stone Street Soaphouse Geranimo Body Cream (retail $32) because I had never tried anything from the brand and it seemed like the best of the lot.

Nothing against it, but I am awash in body creams right now. I opened it to see and t was really floral. It is geranium-tastic in scent. I think my use of it is going to depend on how floral that ascent stays when applied to the skin. If the scent dies back and the cream performs well I’ll be happy to use it, but it was far more strongly scented than I thought it would be. That will be an interesting trial.

I have to admit, the third item I took out of the box didn’t thrill me, although it did start to interest me the more I looked at it . It is the Luxie makeup Sponge set (retail $40). I’m not a big fan of getting makeup sponges in subscriptions. I use them, but they aren’t a tool I use a lot. There are some products I need them for, but most of my products I don’t need them, so the ones I have last a long time.

Plus I tend to be specific in the ones I like. I like the ones with at least one flat edge as I find them to be the most useful with the way I apply my makeup. I do love Luxie Brushes though and I have never tried the sponges so I’ll try them. One feels like a regular makeup sponge. The one I find interesting it the other one that appears to have some sort of textured almost rubberized surface to it. That is the one I find interesting and the one I will look into.

The next item was a Lunar Beauty Eyeshadow Palette called Nude Prism ($48). I can’t remember if I have ever tried Lunar Beauty before. I think I might have but I’ll have to double check to be certain. I am really hoping it performs well because these shades are right up my alley.

It is something that if I like I can see myself getting a lot of use from. I knw it isn’t that exciting, but while I love the look of a lot of the brighter colors in the pans, I don’t tend to wear a lot of the brighter shades. I tend to dress more for meetings then dinner out with friends. I have a weakness for bronze shades though and there are three in this palette calling to me. It will be fun to play around with

There is one hair care Item this month; a shampoo and conditioner set. It is from Outre ($66 for the set). It is a repair and hydrate set incused with CBD. I remember trying an Outre hair mask a while back and liking it but I have not tried their shampoo and conditioner. I am always up for trying a new shampoo and conditioner.

And I do love when they are paired. In the summertime i tend to go with Argan oil and other repair type blends while in the winter I go for more volume and thickness inducing products (Like the Grow Gorgeous Intense set– The link will take you to the full collection if you are interested.) In the summer there is so much humidity in the air that thickening shampoos would just turn my hair into some sort of armor plated bouffant. As these are repairing I should be able to use them during the warmer months.

And finally we come to the last item in the box. I left it because I know I am just going to laugh at the retail value. It is an Avant product and their prices are always listed as so high it makes me giggle. The products are always good. For example their lip balm is one of the best that I have tried. it is also a $78 lip balm which is beyond the realm of laughable. I like getting Avant in subscription boxes and on sale in places like the Boxy Charm Pop up, but the retail prices are just so crazy.

With that intro, this month I received the Avant Skincare Blue Volcanic Stone Purifying and Antioxidant Cleansing Gel. (retail $110). It is a 100 ml sized tube. I am sure it will be a good cleanser, Avant’s products usually are good. I am also sure i would never pay more than a hundred dollars for a cleanser. I am looking forward to trying it out though.

All in all I have to say I am pleased with this month’s box. I love that there was a bareMinerals product and I am looking forward to trying out the Lunar Beauty Palette and the shampoo. I am interested by the textured makeup sponge and if the geranium can be tamed then the body cream will be good as well. I also know that once I open the Avant Cleanser the blue color and the reference to volcanos is going to have me thinking Blue Hawaii and humming various Elvis tunes as I wash my face. But there are certainly worse things. Over all Boxy Charm Premium was a pretty good box for me this month.



Unboxing the June 2022 BoxyCharm Premium Box

This month is going to be an interesting unboxing for both Boxycharm and IPSY for me. A while back, IPSY bought Boxy Charm. Since then there have been more products appearing in both boxes. Up until now, it hasn’t really affected me that much but this month’s IPSY had a lot of overlap. while I will deal with that discussion when IPSY arrives and I unbox it, I am really having to take a look at both subscriptions and see if I need to keep both. So while I am unboxing the products and will think a certain way about them, I am also thinking about the subscription more.

While IPSY has many tiers, after trial and error I found that the one that suits me the best is the Premium Category. The official cost is $39.99. With all of the applicable taxes the box comes to $43.89 per month when it all shakes down. One of my favorite aspects of the subscription is the Drop shop where I can pick up items that I may be interested in but not one hundred percent sure about at a discount. It is a pretty step discount and there have been many times I have purchased something in the drop shop to try out simply because it was reduced and there was less risk with the lower price, then fallen in love with it and purchased it for full price when I ran out. I have also found somethings I really didn’t want to repurchase, but the discount makes me more open to taking risks and I have surprised myself on occasion.

Prior Drop Shop (was called Add ons) had no shipping. when they started Mega Drop Shop it had no shipping if you ordered more than $25 worth of items. Typically I only add one item and it is usually around $9. Sometimes I will find more than one item that I want to try but usually it ends up being one, and often it will be the one item I saw a spoiler for but didn’t make it into my box. with tax and no shipping it still isn’t much. Shipping added, I’ll probably put the item back and think, well if it is there next month then maybe I’ll find something else to go with it and I’ll reach the $25.

It seems like now all of the Drop Shops have that $25 before you get no shipping and for me that actually lowers the value of the membership. I know that is a lot before we even get to the box, but it is something that weighs into my will I be keeping both IPSY and Boxy Charm or will one be let go and if so which one, decision. If you too are weighing this, I hope it helps (and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you feel like commenting)

But now on with the box.

We’ll start with the two items I got to choose. The first was the Korres Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream (retail $36). I have to admit I chose this as soon as I saw it and can’t remember even looking to see what it was paired with for choice. For years the Pomegranate moisturizer was my hands down favorite. I have been wanting to try this moisturizer for a long time. And I am just now finishing a moisturizer trial so this will be rolled into my line up as soon as possible. I am very excited to try it and I just love the pale green glass of the jar.

The second item I chose was the Dominique Cosmetics Silk Tone Cream Blush (retail $22). I have really been getting into cream and gel blushers lately. I have tried some eyeshadows from Dominique Cosmetics and I liked them but I don’t think the palettes stayed because the mix of shadows weren’t ones I would use. I was able to choose my shade and I think this one is going to work really well for me. And it doesn’t hurt that the packaging is lovely. Packaging may not be everything and I won’t keep a pretty product that doesn’t work, but I do like good products in pretty packages and look forward to trying this out.

I think there were three separate eyeshadow palettes that were possibilities this month for the premium so I was pretty sure I would be getting one of them. The one I received was the Natasha Deonna Cupid Eyeshadow Palette( retail $48). I have the cranberry palette and it is one of those palettes that I want to find a more prominent place for as I want to use it more often. it is small so it slides down out of sight. It is a great formula for shadow. Pigmented but very blendable. So I hope that this palette has the same formula. I do like the shades. I am a fan of the rosy but more neutral kind of palettes. And with this palette arriving (and the Urban Decay Palette I couldn’t resist purchasing this weekend) I will definitely have to do an eyeshadow declutter and reorganize. But I am looking forward to trying this out and am happy with it in my box.

Going along with the shadow is the Sandbar Beauty Shadow Light Eyeshadow Primer (retail $28). I tried a Sandbar palette (it came in an IPSY BAG) and I liked the formula and since that is the only thing I’ve tried from them I don’t mind trying something else. But here’s the thing. I’m not a fan of eyeshadow primers. I prefer to use a concealer if I am going to prime my lids.

The concealer is already shade matched to my skin and if you get a creaseless concealer it really helps prevent creasing on the lids under the shadow. (my current fave is the Dior Backstage Concealer, perfect match to my skin, creaseless and it has a brush applicator for easier control if you are using it on your lids, just remember a little goes a long way, I’m not a Dior Affiliate, although I wouldn’t mind being, it is just my current preferred.)

But as the lid primer is here I will try it out. Who knows, it may end up working better than my concealer.

To go along with my primed and shadowed eyes is the Patrick TA Beauty Major Volume Mascara.(retail $29). To be honest I thought I had tried it but then I realized that the outer packaging just reminds me of the Kevin Aucoin mascara. That has the Same sleek metal look but I think is in silver while this is clearly rose gold. I have a Patrick Ta Blush that I really like and I remember trying out and liking his cream contour. So I am very happy to have a mascara to try. Plus I have about three mascaras that need to be removed from rotation so having one to roll in is a good thing.

And finally we come to the last item in the box. It is the Shadow Moon Reusable shadow Shield (retail $15). It is basically a shield to stop excess powder flying over your face. As I tend to do my face makeup first, then end with the eyes, I like the thought of this. Looking at it i am pretty sure it will either end up loving this and considering it essential or try it out once and forget about it. It is one of those tools that has that sort of feel to it. I am not sure which it will end up being (and honestly isn’t that half the fun?) But I am game to give it a go.

All in all I have to say I really liked this box. The Sandbar Lid Primer isn’t a big hit for me, but that is just a category thing for me. I am really excited about the products I received and I honestly can’t wait to try them out. As far as cross overs go, IPSY had a Patrick Ta Glam Bag X, but I didn’t get the mascara and it was long enough ago that even if I had the mascara would have been used and gone by now so that doesn’t bother me for over lap. I also know that I am getting a Natasha Denona Palette in my PISY bag this month. It is however a completely different palette, so that over lap doesn’t bother me. As long as the products are good, and different enough not to be the same product, I am fine with a little bit of repetition.

The problem is keeping the products different enough. This month, Boxycharm did a good job of that. I am very happy with my box. For me, this was a very good month for Boxy Charm Premium.

Freedom Fresh Bricc Soap & Deodorant

Unboxing the BoxyCharm Premium for May 2022

That’s right, all of the subscription boxes seem to be coming in. The Boxy Charm Premium is now $39.99 per month and includes six items. Two of the items you get to choose from a limited number of select items. The rest end up being surprises. I tend not to look at the spoilers for Boxycharm as I kind of like the surprise. But is it worth it?

Let’s start with the two items I chose.

The first is the Tresluce Beauty La Flor De Mexico Eyeshadow Palette (retail $30). I have never tried any Tresluce shadows before so I am eager to dip a brush into them. I chose this because it looks like a beautiful selection of colors. There aren’t a lot of bright shades (at least not that I can see prior to testing, some may apply brighter) but it is an interesting mix of mattes, shimmers and metallics. So that will be fun to play with.

I absolutely adore that the mirror is just held into the palette by a magnet. I love that it can be taken out. And of course the palette packaging is beautiful. And I have to say this is a $30 eighteen pan palette that looks like it should cost more as opposed to a couple of other palettes I’ve had recently in subscription boxes that have higher prices and look like they should be much less expensive.

And yes the thought that it is a good deal does excite me. It is just a legacy of my upbringing.

The second item I chose this month is the Aavrani balance restoring Serum. (Retail $60). It is a toning serum and I am hoping it can be used as a toner. (I will doubly check before using) It contains cucumber, chamomile and witch hazel so I have pretty high hopes. I have an old fondness for witch hazel as it was such a staple in my house growing up. And for some reason toner is the category of skincare that I tend to get less in subscription boxes. I tend to purchase it separately since it is a rare item and I almost never have extra lined up in the drawer. In addition I have never heard of Aavrani before so it is always nice to discover a new brand.

The first surprise item is from Elemis. You know that I am neve mad at seeing an Elemis product in my subscription boxes. This is the Elemis Superfood Midnight facial (retail $50). I’ve never tried it but my skin has really enjoyed other elements of the Superfood line so I am looking forward to it. Plus we are getting into the time of year where I tend to go lighter on moisturizer during the day lest it sweat off and heavier with the night cream. So I am rather happy to have this cream around to try out. And for me, Elemis is always a nice surprise in a subscription box.

And you know what I also like? Lipstick. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem like I am happy when it arrives in the box, but lately there have been a lot of lip balms and clear glosses. Which they are nice, but not very exciting. This is the KVD Epic Kiss Vegan Butter Lipstick (retail $22). To be honest, while I love the KVD eyeshadow and cream contours I have only tried liquid lipsticks from the brand. I may be forgetting something along the way but I can not recall trying an actual KVD lipstick. So I am thrilled to give this one a go. I like the swatch so hopefully it will wear well too.

While not makeup, the next item in my box is makeup adjacent. It is a trio of Laruce brushes in a reusable zippered pouch from @servicedbye. (retail $50). I like Laruce brushes. I generally think that they are a bit over priced, but they are good quality. Admittedly as two of these are face brushes, this trio with the pouch isn’t as pricy as many of their other sets. It is almost $16.70 per brush which isn’t bad actually considering their quality. I am a big fan of their textured handles as they are very easy to grip even when you have slick hands. And the little bag is really nice for travel. I suspect the zipper slide won’t last very long, but it will be nice while it lasts and I like that it is reusable and not an immediate throw away.

Finally we come to the last item in the box. It is the Baseblue Cosmetics Dry and Wet dual action cleansing wipes. (retail $21). They are essentially individually packaged travel wipes. The dry ones are activated by water and they can be used to wash your face and take your makeup off. While I don’t mind keeping one of these in my purse or adding them to my travel bag, I am not a huge fan of the waste that such individually wrapped products create. while I will try them and test them, I think this is a product that I will use sparingly instead of letting it become an everyday thing. It is useful, but to be honest, I would much prefer a cleansing balm or a liquid/oil based makeup remover. But perhaps I will get into the details and there will be a recycling/biodegradable aspect I missed. For now I will go with interesting to try out and leave it at that.

So that was my May 2022 Boxycharm Premium. The retail value of my $39.99 box came to $233. As a return that is a pretty goo value for me. The fact that I will use all of the items is even better. Even though I dislike the waste of the individual towelettes they are useful. I have been needing to replace several brushes so the Laruce is welcome. Elemis always makes me happy and I am looking forward to trying out the KVD lip, Tresluce shadow and Aavrani toner, so for me, this box was a big win.

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Unboxing the April 2022 Boxycharm Premium

this month the box looks like a box of boxes. For those that don’t know Boxy Charm Premium is a $39.99 per month box. Inside there are six items. I believe the six description says six to seven full sized items but I can’t remember the last time there were more than six. That being said, this was a good month for me. To be honest, given my two choice items i knew it was going to be a good month. But let’s look into the box.

The first item I chose was the Murad Clarifying Oil Free Water Gel.(retail $46) It is a moisturizer. I received this in an IPSY and while I am a little concerned about seeing repeat items (and think it might ultimately lead to a choice to end one or the other subscription)when I saw this i snapped it up. I used this moisturizer last summer and it was fantastic. Last summer was hot humid and not fantastic for skin. this moisturizer gave me the moisture my skin needed and didn’t break me out. I am a big fan and I am thrilled to have this around for the summer.

The second item I chose was the Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum (retail $54). I am on the fence with Herbivore. The products I have tried have been pretty good, but not good enough to warrant all the hype I’ve seen about them. However I am a fan of Bakuchiol. in the summertime I spend more time in the sun and retinol can make me a little sun sensitive. Bakuchiol is like retinol without the sun sensitivity. So this is the perfect time for it to make its appearance. admittedly given the scandal over this serum I am curious as to how it performs. Apparently there isn’t as much Bakuchiol as they claim and the product has been discontinued. Which I am not so fond of either. So I’ll use it, but I know that it can’t be reordered.

The first item I didn’t choose was the Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Body Oil (retail $68). I will be honest, I have never heard of the brand, but i do like a good body oil. Again for me it is a great summer time product. I use it right out of the shower and it tends to absorb better than a lot of body creams. This has Almond oil and Vitamin E both of which my skin love. The bottle is a nice glass one and the oil itself has a nice light herbal-ly scent to it. when I opened it I noticed there wasn’t a regulator on the bottle it is just an open top so I’ll have to be careful with it, but I think, given the ingredients and the scent i will enjoy trying this out.

The next item I’m not so keen on. It is the My Beauty Brand X By Me black Liquid Eyeliner (retail $20). I’m not opening it, partially because it will dry out and I have several open eyeliners I need to work through and partially because one of the liquid eyeliners I am working through is this one. Or it’s twin i should say. I received it in a different beauty box a while back and used it then. It’s okay. It isn’t a super fab eyeliner but it isn’t horrible. I’m okay with getting another one and I will use it at some point, but it isn’t all that exciting.

I am much more excited by the Natasha Denona Cupid Cheek Duo (retail $42). and in case you ae wondering the swatch is from me, I wanted to see what color the blush was, it didn’t come pre switched. I have one Natasha Denona cream blush that I absolutely love so I look forward to giving this a go.

And finally we have the Endota Organics Hydrating Lip Balm. (retail $25). Again lip balm isn’t something I get excited about, but I will always use it, especially in the summer. I have never heard of endota organics and I am a little surprised that a lip balm is valued at $25. And yes, I know i will pay lots more for a lip stick, but somehow when you put the word balm on there I am always surprised if it is over $15. I don’t know why, but somewhere in my brain that is the max I consider okay for a lip balm. And I think it really is just the word balm. I’m sure there is a reason, but that is for some poor psychiatrist to figure out at some later date. I will use it and I always enjoy finding new brands. and who knows, perhaps after use I too will think the price justified.

So that was my April Boxy Charm Premium. I have to say, scandal aside, I really like the mix of products this month. Some makeup, some skincare, and some body care. Its a nice mix and most of these products arrive at the perfect time to be placed in the soon to be much warmer weather line up. Over all this was a very good month.