Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag X for May 2022

It is May and May is an IPSY Glam Bag X month.  The Glam Bag X is a Quarterly upgrade.  For the Glam Bag X months the cost is $55 .  In these bags there are eight products, three of which you get to choose from a set list.  This month was interesting for me.  In their choice items they generally feature a makeup bag.  As I remember when the makeup bag came as a standard part of IPSY instead of a choice item I generally don’t choose it. This month I actually chose the bag as one of my items. It is listed as retailing for $18.

There are two reasons that I chose this bag from the items offered.  The first is that there were no other items in this selection category that I actually wanted.  I can’t remember what those options were, and I actually need to start writing them down each month as part of my evaluation of the subscription process, but I do know that none of the other items appealed to me. 

inside the bottom of the bag

The bag, while I am not really a florals sort of person, did sort of appeal to me.  I think it is more the shape rather than the print.  I like the under bag storage area for makeup brushes and I really like the clam shell shape with the flat bottom.  It means I can stash a small palette flat if I wanted to which is sometimes nice. The bag itself is nice and something I will get use out of.  I still wish it had been more of a choice rather than the only option I was interested in for that category.

Since I started with the choice Items, I’ll go ahead and continue with them.  My next choice item was the Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence (retail $48).  To be honest I have no idea what else was in this category because I was going to choose this regardless. 

I really enjoy having an essence in my skin care routine and in general I like Sunday Riley Products.  The ones that aren’t targeted for my skin type clearly don’t work for me but the items that are targeted for my skin type I really love. From everything I have read about this, it seems like I am the target so I have high hopes for this product and can’t wait to try it out.

The third item I chose was the Let Me Glow Illuminating Serum from Keys Soulcare (retail $26 ).  I have the mask from the Keys Soulcare line that is going to be put through its paces starting next week.  It was going to have its first use post this Friday with Face Mask Friday but I am having to postpone until next week). And I am interested in seeing how the brand performs.  I know it had a lot of hype when it came out and the glass containers are lovely and feel very luxe.  My skin loves niacinamides.  I can’t wait to see how it performs.

And now we get to the items that IPSY chose for me.  The first up is the Dew of the Gods Claydate Healing Face Mask (retail $42).  You know I love a good clay mask.  It is also spot on for my profile.  So IPSY knows that I love a good clay mask.  I can’t remember if I’ve tried any products from Dew of the Gods.  I think they had something in Boxycharm a while back.  I don’t think it ended up in my box thought.  I do know it is listed as a clean brand so that makes me very happy to give it a try.  I have noticed though that most of my masks are now in the hydrating category. 

I think I used up most of the masks that fell into the detoxifying category.  They tend to be the ones I reach for first.  Soon I am going to need to do a mask inventory and see what I have.  I might need to do a sample sized round up to clear out some of the smaller tubes and then find out what I am missing.  But that is for later.  For now I am pleased with this mask in my Glam Bag X. I like it when IPSY remembers my profile.

The next item made me smile slightly because it makes me feel like the universe is listening to me when I’m not paying attention.  This product is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner (retail $24).  Recently I said that I was pleased to get a toner in a subscription box because it isn’t a category that is often stocked and that I end up picking up on my own.  Now it seems that it is stocked.  For the first time in a long time I have more than one toner.  I’m used to having extras of other categories (I have eye creams galore at this point) but almost never extra toners.  Now I do.  I like First Aid Beauty and look forward to trying out the Oat based toner. As most of my toners tend to be witch hazel based it should be interesting.

And now we move into makeup items.  The first of these is the Sunset to Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette from Iconic London (retail $62).  I really like the colors in this palette.  They are very spring moving into summer wear and look light and fresh.  I have tried a lot of Iconic products but never their eyeshadows.  I am very much looking forward to trying this out.  There are 20 pans and it looks like it will be fun to play around with.

One of the things I love about subscriptions is that I get to try out brands I have never heard of and products that I might not buy on my own.  This month there is a product called Lip Treat by TYS Beauty (retail $30).  From the description it sounds like it is a nourishing lip plumper.  It has peppermint and ginger extract in it as well as vitamins B and  E. 

Which I can’t lie makes it sound like it is committing a crime.  But also like it will be hydrating to the lips. So maybe it breaks into your lips and hydrated, like a burglar who does your laundry and refills your ice trays. I do like lip plumpers even if I am not always a fan of lip glosses so it will be interesting to see where this falls during use. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. But it is a brand I have never heard of and I look forward to trying them out as well.

Finally we have a brand that I know well and a product I have used several times in the past.  It is the Wander Beauty Glow Ahead Illuminating Face Oil (retail $42). I have used many tubes of this and am always happy to have another one.  And this is actually it’s time to shine.  In the summer time I tend to go more with tinted moisturizers than actual foundations and I also layer fewer products on top.  Putting a drop or two of this on my skin , letting it absorb for a minute and then moving on to the tinted moisturizer, gives a great subtle glow to the skin and a little extra moisture for the days when you are going to be spending time in the sun. It is a great product and I am thrilled to see it.

As far as Glam Bags go, this was a pretty good one for me.  The selection categories weren’t that great but I did end up with things I like.  I’m always going to be a little salty that the bag counts as an item.  But it is a nice bag and it is one that I will happily use. It irks me more that there was nothing else in that category that I was interested in than it does counting the bag as an item though.  Even with the slimmed down choices, I really did end up with some great products. As I will use them all, I consider the value worth it, but for those looking for monetary value, let me do some quick math. 

The bag was $55 and the value of the products inside comes to $292.  For me, that was a decent value for the money.  It is even better since I will use all of the products inside.  This month there were some old favorites and familiar names.  There were also some new to me products I am looking forward to trying out.  It did lean more heavily towards the skincare, but I really don’t mind that. There was enough makeup to keep me from feeling overwhelmed so yeah, I am over all happy with this month’s Glam Bag X from IPSY.

Keys Soulcare

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 Underclub for May 2022

The Underclub has been one of my favorite subscriptions. For $15 per month you receive one pair of luxury underwear. There are different tiers of course, different prices and one I think where you receive three pairs a month. There is even a new bralette subscription available. For me, the one new pair a month is absolutely perfect. It is a once a moth treat but I never feel like it is too much.

Many of you may realize that thee was not an unboxing posted for April. It isn’t because I took a month off, it is because my subscription was never sent. Apparently the package was never picked up. So I am trying to work that out with The Underclub. I know they are changing over their website at the moment and I think because of this communication is slow, but it is progressing. I will keep you posted on how that plays out.

One of the reasons that I adore The Underclub is that they are very size inclusive. They have the extra small sizes as well as the much larger ones and it is easy to adjust the sixing of your subscription. I went from a 3X down to a 2X and it was just a few clicks and the changes were made. I also like that everything comes in this wide size range. You can go on find something you like in the main store and not be shunted off to a small plus sized section with a limited amount of products. And they have some adorable things in their on-line shop in addition to their subscriptions (members get a discount of course.) Some of their sleepwear and cami sets are just fabulous.

This month’s pair of undies comes from their own line of underwear (The Underclub brand). They do have other brands as well. I really like the quality of the Under club pieces. As usual. I opened the subscription as soon as it came. The package is a simple plastic mailer that easily fits in the mailbox. After opening I inspected for loose threads and pulled stitches. I found none. Then it went in the wash and after coming out, I inspected it again, still no pulled threads or dropped stitches.

This set is a lovely deep purple with a really nice pattern to the lace. The material itself is whisper soft and the underwear fits perfectly. (the lace is also see through, which is why there are no try on pictures, I love you but there are limits to photos I am willing to post). The waistband is fitting but not too tight and it falls in just the right place to be comfortable wearing all day. There is a little cut out in the back as an added decorative element. I think it looks nice which is a good thing as I have seen this detail appear more and more lately. Over all I am very pleased with this set and am already looking forward to next month.

Of course hopefully April will get sorted and that will be here as well. I will definitely keep you updated on the customer service and missing subscription replacement policy. As they have been really good with everything else I am interested to see how that works out. For now, I am enjoying May’s subscription and happy to keep the Underclub subscription in general.

Unboxing the May 2022 Glossy Box

That’s right my darlings, subscription boxes have started to arrive. The first in this month, is Glossy Box. I received my tracking info really early this month and poof, there it was. For me, I tend to get my Glossy Boxes early one month and then late the next and then early again. I’m sure it is some sort of internal mailing system because it is so regular. And theoretically this should be an early month but it was really early this month.

Normally I don’t say a lot about the boxes themselves other than to comment on a special design or to point out that I often reuse the boxes as they are sturdy and the perfect size to corral small items. This month the color was peach instead of the normal Glossy Box Pink but in addition, the box lid came with a mirror in it. Which I thought was nice. (I kept the sticker covering it on to cut down in glare for the pics but it is a nice mirror). The mirror goes along with the theme of Perfectly Imperfect and is part of the you are fine just the way you are, message of the box, which I can get behind.

There was also a sheet of stickers focused on self-love. The mirror has You are Beautiful in English, French, German and I think Dutch. There are also assorted language stickers with the same message. And if you are going to know a phrase in multiple languages You are Beautiful isn’t a bad one.

There are five items in this month’s box so, shall we just dive in?

The first Item is from a brand I am always happy to see. It is Elemis. This is just a brand that always works well for me. I don’t think I have every tried anything from them I didn’t like in use. Occasionally their Rose scented products can be a bit much but they work well enough I am willing to ignore it. (especially in a sample size). This Elemis product is the Pro Collagen Energizing Marine Cleanser.

Oddly enough, I have another deluxe sized sample of this cleanser in my to try line up. (I have a bit of a back log with cleaners at the moment as it seems everyone was putting them in subscription boxes for a few months straight. Which I don’t mind as it is one product I know I will get through, it is just taking me longer.) But as the deluxe sizes like this generally last about two weeks, with two I can do a full month long trial. which is nice. So I will pair them together. At this point I think I might actually have enough Elemis Samples to do a full Elemis Line up. Which could also be fun. I haven’t done one of those in a while.

But I digress.

Happy to have the cleanser.

I am also thrilled to see the second Item, which is the Aceology Rose Petal Mask. I’ve been trying a lot of Aceology products lately and I really like them. However all of the masks I’ve tried from the brand have been peel off masks. This one isn’t. It is a hydrating mask that (according to the booklet blurb) can be used for 10-15 min before being washed off or even worn over night if need be. So I am very much looking forward to testing that out.

The third item in the box was the one sort of makeup item. It is the BFF Grow and Groom Brow Gel. Despite the name I don’t think it actually makes your brows grow. The blurb makes it sound more like a clear brow gel. It is from The Beauty Crop. I tend to have mixed results with the brand, but I am willing to give it a go. And as this weekend my bangs had grown too long and were driving me crazy I took a scissor to them (and cut a bit too much actually) so my brows are once again visible and I will be using brow products in the next few weeks. To be honest, when my bangs are longer I tend to forget about brow products and just run a spoolie through them to make sure they haven’t gone crazy. I do like that this brow gel is clear though so it can be used by everyone.

The fourth item in the May Glossy Box is very timely. It is the Maria Mila Invisidry shampoo. It is full size and as the name suggests, it is a dry shampoo. While I tend to only use a little dry shampoo in the winter to keep my bangs from looking greasy before meetings, I tend to go through a lot of it in the summer time. It is the curse of living in a hot humid climate. There are several months where a walk to the mail box will cause freshly washed hair to look greasy and unwashed. And washing my hair after every step out of doors is simply not feasible. I actually put an order in to Klorane for my annual summer restock this past week. I have never heard of Maria Mila, but I am always happy to give a different brand a try. So I look forward to trying this out as well.

And finally we come to a body care item, the last item in the box. After all what would a self care themed box if it didn’t have something for the body. This is the Daily Concepts Body Scrubber. It is full sized and I have to say I am happy to see it. I have the small round body scrubber that I keep in my shower and it is currently reaching the end of it’s life. It lasted quite a while but I reached the conclusion this weekend that it had about given it’s all for me and needed to be replaced. While not the exact same thing, this will serve as a perfect replacement, preventing me from needing to go and purchase one this upcoming weekend. So for me, this was perfect timing.

For me, this month was a decent box. It is interesting and contains items I will use or enjoy testing out. I will even keep and use the box in more than just my usual storage capacity. It was not the most exciting box Glossy Box has ever sent out, but it is nice. There are enough items I hadn’t tried to be interesting, and a few essential staples as well. I would have to say that this month it was definitely worth the price of the box and more. Exciting is all well and good, but items I will use are even better.


Unboxing the Look Fantastic April 2022 Beauty Box

I know, It is late in the month for this Look Fantastic Beauty box, but they did send an e-mail letting me know that it was going to be mailed out late, which I really appreciate. I don’t mind that actually. They let me know when I could expect it and it gave me a nice treat at the end of the month. Since most of my subscriptions arrive closer to the beginning of the month it is nice to have a little something at the end. And yes I do know that this is technically the beginning of may but it did come in on Friday so it did make it here before the end of April. Plus I’ll soon be receiving May’s box.

But now, we need to talk about April, because April was a good month.

The first Item I pulled out of my April Look Fantastic box is from Molton Brown. I love Molton brown shower gels and I really like the travel sized bottles. And this is a scent I haven’t tried. It is the Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily. I did open it to take a sniff however there is one scented product in the box that I think might be overpowering it. So I am not entirely certain I am getting the correct scent from it. I will happily be trying it out in the shower though and will report back in.

The heavily scented product is a full size of the Heel Repair with tea tree oil from Australian Body Care. I have never tried anything from Australian Body Care. In fact I don’t think I have ever heard of them. And to be honest, I am not always a fan of Tea tree oil.. Don’t get me wrong, it works fantastically well, I just don’t care for the scent. However this is a product for my feet, and since my feet tend to stay far from my nose I am less picky about the scents, especially at this time of year. That’s right my darlings, the sandals are coming out and the assessment and repair of the feet needs to begin.

As this is designed for extremely dry heels I am more than willing to give it a shot, because my feet need all the help they can get. So this is timely, even if the scent is a bit over powering. Surprisingly when looking in the book a different tea tree product is listed. The pamphlet lists a 10ml bottle of tea tree oil from the brand instead of the 100 ml heel repair I received. I’m guessing there was a swap out, which I am okay with a I would much rather have the heel repair.

The third item in my Look Fantastic Box this month I’m pretty sure pays for the box several times over. It is the Avant Hydra-replenish Lip Balm. It is a full size and while the value is given in British Pounds if I do my handy dandy conversion chart this lip balm is worth a whopping $70.56 (it was 56 pounds sterling in case you want to do your own conversion.) I had to check that twice, but those were the numbers given. I’m sure it is a nice lip balm. Most products I’ve tried from Avant are really nice. The one exception being the rose oil lip scrub which to be fair worked really well and left my lips feeling soft and fabulous but tasted like I had decided to use a heavily perfumed bar of soap as a lollipop for the day.

However, that being said there is nothing that is ever going to get me to say that $70 for a lip balm is acceptable on any level. I don’t are how fabulous it turns out to be, that is over priced for a lip balm. I will use it, and i will feel fabulously fancy doing so, but it will never be repurchased. Still It might be fun to try out, and as shocked by the price as i am, I do like lip balm. (I’ve also been trying one out that I absolutely can’t stand and wouldn’t mind setting it t the side to try something new).

Moving on we have a Philip Kingsley product this month. It is the Elasticizer Booster Restoring Conditioner. I’ll have to read up to see if it is a regular conditioner or a leave in one before I use it. I don’t mind seeing this at all. I recently tried out the Bond Builder from Philip Kingsley and found it fantastic. I will happily give this a try.

Also thrilling this month is the Verso Hydration Serum. I adore the Verso eye cream and their night cream so I am thrilled I get to try another product from the brand. I haven’t tried the hydration serum. It has niacinamide which works well for me. The Verso eye cream is actually the eye cream i compare all other eye creams to so if this works even half as well as that it will be a winner in my book.

Next we have a foil packet of an Aveeno Moisturizer. It is the Oat Gel Calm and Restore Moisturizer. It is mentioned no where in the pamphlet. Usually when we get a foil packet in a Look Fantastic Box it is an extra item they throw in. There are six other items so my best guess is that it was an extra seventh added but not mentioned. I don’t mind it, however it is for Normal to Dry skin.

While my skin may be considered normal to dry in the depths of winter, we are leaving that behind. I do like Aveeno though so this will either end up being passed along or added to my collection of foil packets and used when the weather once again turns cold. I’ll try to pass it on so it can be used quickly but there is always the possibility i will forget.

And then finally we have the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner. It is a travel size but it is probably the item I am the most tickled to see. I love Elemis products. I have never had an elemis product I didn’t like. From the Cleansing Balms, to scrubs to moisturizers to oils.

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However I don’t think I have actually tried out any of their toners. hence one of the reasons I am so delighted. I love a good toner. I am half way through my Murad toner so when I am finished with it I may roll this in. Also I love the scent of apricot. For me apricot just screams summer too so it is very timely.

This was my box and while it did come very late in the month, it was a really good box and I am thrilled to have it. with the exception of the foil packet of Aveeno which is not targeted for my skin type, I am thrilled with every other product and very much looking forward to trying them out. And really that is the mark of a good subscription box. The value for your money is important of course, but for me the value lies in whether or not I will use the items or not. This is a box i will happily use. And to be honest I am already anticipating my evening shower and my first use of the Molton Brown Gingerlily.

Oh and in the back of the pamphlet that came with this months box was the sneak peek for May. It is from Rituals and it is the Ritual of Karma Body Shimmer oil. I’ve tried out a lot of shower gels, body creams and body exfoliants from Rituals but never a shimmer oil so I am looking forward to that. For now I am just going to enjoy the products that I have. The Heel Repair is moving to my night stand for use on my feet before bed, the Molton Brown is moving to the shower, the verso and Elemis are taking their places in line waiting for their turn in my skin care line up and the Avant is staying on my desk so my lips can try out a $70 lip balm. Oh yes my darlings, this was a very good box this month.

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Unboxing the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus for April 2022

Good morning my darlings.  It is time for another unboxing.  The Ipsy Glam Bag Plus Has arrived.  This subscription is $28 per month and brings in five full sized items. It also comes with a draw string bag.  Sometimes I like the bag, sometimes it annoys me.  This month I like the look of the bag, but it feels almost exactly like the shower cap I received in the Macy’s beauty box.  To be honest I liked the bag for the $13 bag much better. 

But I am always so so about the bag.  They went from having an actual makeup bag to the drawstring one, buit honestly, most months I’d rather they just leave it off.  Maybe not send a drawstring bag and then once a quarter send an actual makeup bag.  But no one really asked me. 

Bag aside I am thrilled with my products this month.  I received three makeup items and two skincare items. Let’s cover the skin care first.

The first skincare item is BUTTAH SKIN’s Tea Tree & Aloe Exfoliating Mask Scrub (Retail $22).  I recently tried the toner from the brand Buttah Skin.  It was nice.  It was a sample size so I didn’t use it long enough to be able to evaluate any results, but I liked using it.  I really like having something in a larger size since I am not that familiar with the brand (the toner was the only thing I tried from them).  Now you know I love exfoliators, but this seems like it is part exfoliator, part mask.  The back says to apply it and let it sit for five minutes before massaging and rinsing off.  Interesting, no? I’m sure it will be fun to try and give me a better feel for the brand.

The second skincare item I chose because I had such great success with another Mask of theirs.  This is the Juice Beauty Prebiotix™ Instant Flash Facial (Retail $52).  Oddly enough it is in the same product category as the Buttah Skin.  You put it on, let it sit for five minutes and then massage before rinsing.  It is a category I love and I really don’t mind having a second of this type.  Especially as things are heating up outside and ‘tis the season of clogged pores.  So a little extra help on hand isn’t a bad thing.  I will probably not be choosing an exfoliator for a while as I am now well stocked (especially with the Yensa Pumpkin and Tumeric Exfoliating mask on hand).

Speaking of Yensa the first makeup item in my bag this month is the Yensa Super Serum Silk Foundation. (Retail $45). I have been wanting to try this actually so I was tickled it was in my bag this month. I am currently testing out the Yensa BC cream Full Coverage Foundation (the review will be up on Thursday – spoiler, it’s fab).  I think I might try this right after as a comparison to see how the two products perform. But I am super thrilled to get to try it. 

The second makeup item is a six pan eyeshadow palette.  It is from Sandbar Beauty and it is The Mirage Palette (Retail $26). I have never heard of Sandbar Beauty but I have my fingers crossed for this palette.  It is a beautiful collection of shadows that looks like it would be perfect for an everyday palette for me.  Last time a palette looked so much like an every day for me palette it didn’t perform well.  I am really hoping this one will and I am going to think good thoughts and hope that it performs magnificently because I really like the look of it.

Yes I tore into the box. I love that the powder is wrapped in paper inside the box.

And finally the last makeup item in my Ipsy Glam Bag Plus is the Puff Puff Pass Set & Bake Setting Powder in 03 Translucent (Retail $18) from KimChi Chic Beauty. I loved watching KimChi on RuPaul’s drag race (All of which is on Paramount+, I tend to Binge watch Seasons) I have to say I am loving the look of this powder.  It came in a box and then inside the box it was wrapped oh so nicely in paper which made it feel like opening a present and Then when I opened the jar I saw that the powder puff included was an actually usable powder puff rather than a thin little sheet that was hard to grasp and won’t get used. 

an actually decent sized powder puff

This was an actual puff with a ribbon across the back for your fingers so you can actually use it as a powder puff is meant to be used. I hate when there is no strap across the back because it makes it really hard to use.  But this one has the strap and a useful puff.  So woo hoo!  I know that sounds silly, but it is a great attention to detail and it makes the product feel like it is way more expensive than the $18 listed retail price.  I cannot wait to use this powder.  I really hope it performs well.

This month in addition to my items I also had one points product and two add ons.  This month I used some of my stockpiled points to purchase The Balm and the Beautiful Palette from The Balm.  I always like The Balms shadow formula and thought it would be fun to get something in their Clean and Green packaging.  I am looking forward to using it.  And in add ons I added two skincare items.  I picked up a bottle of the Grace and Stella Hyaluronic Acid serum.  If it sounds familiar, I just finished another sample sized bottle and absolutely loved it in my skincare line up.  When I saw it on add ons I clicked before I even registered what I was doing.  The second add on is The Verso Night Cream with Retinol 8.  (the #3 cream). 

I have never tried a Verso Product I didn’t like so I picked this up.  And if it too sounds familiar, I do have a second tube that came in a different subscription box.  I’m hoping if I add them together I can get a full month trial out of them.  Although I am already in love with their eye cream, if you ever see that on the IPSY add on (or anywhere really) I suggest snapping it up.  It’s eye cream so even the sample will last a long time and it is absolutely fantastic.  Alyaka Beauty carries most of the Verso Line and it is well worth keeping a watch for sales.  It is a bit pricy but not over the top expensive.  It is a brand always on my watch list.

And that was my IPSY Glam Bag plus for the Month of April.  For me it was a fabulous month.  All of these are products that I will use and that I am interested in trying out.  If you are looking at the money aspect, I paid $28 and received $163 worth of product.  And more importantly they are all products I want to use.  Because let’s face it if they aren’t products you will use then the monetary value doesn’t matter. For me this was a very good month.

Next month my IPSY Glam Bag Plus will be replaced with the Glam Bag X.  This time around it will be curated by Madelaine Petsch.  I took a look through the items.  Several of them look amazing, like the Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence.  I have my fingers crossed for that one actually, and if it is not in my bag I am really hoping it’s in the add ons.  I have heard fantastic things about it and would love to give it a try.  But that is for next month.  For this month I am quite satisfied with my IPSY Glam Bag Plus.

Verso Skincare - available at Alyaka.com

Unboxing the Allure Beauty Box for April 2022

Last month was my first Allure Beauty box in a while. It was a little different because they had so many gifts for signing up that it was hard to look past them to the regular box. This month is the regular beauty box, no new member add ons or extra perks. Allure costs $23 per month and has six to seven products, three of which are suppose to be full size. So shall we see how Allure did for April?

The first item was an item that I honestly didn’t think i would get. Allure leaked it as a spoiler, but then had so much response to new sign ups that they thought they were going to run out. So they added that if you signed up for the box before March 18th you would get it. I signed up on March 20th. Still I received the full size OSEA essential hydrating oil. OSEA as a brand is very hit or miss with me. What I like from them, I absolutely love. What i don’t like, is still good, just not my favorite. Which is not a bad place to fall. It means I will either adore this oil or just think its okay. I’m good with that. I also like that it is in a glass bottle and has a pump. I have this awful tendency to spill oils, or drop them with wet and sometimes oily hands, so that actually saves me from myself.

The second Item I have tried before although I think the sample I tried was much smaller. This is a deluxe sample I believe (it isn’t mentioned in the booklet.). It is the Elta MD Skincare UV Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF50+ It is water resistant, which my other sunscreens aren’t, so I am happy to have this one to add to my summer stockpile.

The sample sized Amika dry shampoo is a good dry shampoo. And while i did order my favorite dry shampoo as a summer essential I didn’t order a travel size. I like to keep one in my purse (mostly because even with clean hair, sometimes in the summer my bangs need a quick pick me up even if the rest of my hair looks fine). So this is perfect to add to the purse for summertime use. And I have used and like it so there will be no surprises with it.

The UVE makeup sponge is fine. I prefer sponges with a slanted edge but a makeup sponge is always useful. I’m sure it will come in handy at some point and an extra is never a bad thing to have. It isn’t all that exciting (unless there is something magical I don’t know about it) but it is nice to have.

for some reason it looks gold in the pic but pink in real life

I like the Saint Luxe Liquid glow. I think it might be a full size. At least it looks like it is. If it isn’t then i can’t imagine the full size being much bigger. I like the pink tint to it. The booklet suggests wearing it under a tinted moisturizer for a nice glow and the pink tinted highlighters are really good for that (at least with my skin tone.) and it is something I like putting under full matte products to help lighten them for summer. I can’t wait to see how this one performs.

Next there is a primer from The Beauty Crop. Specifically it is the Melon Jelly Dewy Primer XXL. I know, I love primers so you are expecting full excitement. The beauty Crop and I don’t always have the best relationship though. A few of their products I am allergic to and a couple I just plain don’t like. I will give this a shot though, however i will be reading through the label first and trying it out on my arm before it goes anywhere near my face. So we’ll go with cautiously optimistic to have a primer in this beauty box. I am unsure about the Beauty Crops sizes, but I think this might be a full sized primer.

And now we come to the final product. it is the Scratch Nail wraps. I have tried nail wraps before and they always end in tears. I like the thought of them, I like the idea of them and think they are a fabulous way to get fabulous nails. However I make less of a mess if I take out six nail polishes and a set of tiny brushes to do my own design. I know they are just stickers, but they are really strong stickers and I just never seem to get them to work for me. They are pretty, and I know someone who uses and loves them. So they will be making their way into someone’s Easter basket. The nail wraps are just not a product for me. I wish they were and I’m sure there is something simple that I am completely missing, but I think it best to pass them along. And maybe I’ll get my niece to show me how she gets them to look perfect. there will be eyerolling, but who knows, I just might learn something.

In the end I am pretty happy with this box and I think it was worth the $23. A few of the products I have qualified hopes for, but there are several I am looking forward to trying out. Was there anything that sent me over the moon? No, but it was a good solid box. If the OSEA proves fabulous I might be over the moon, but we will see. In the end I can say that I am pleased with the mix of products and the value and look forward to seeing what next month brings.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

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.

Unboxing the April 2022 Glossy Box

My Glossy Box has arrived! This subscription is $21 but if you go with an annual plan it is lower.  I have an annual plan and I pay $18 per month.  I have never been disappointed and always find the box worth it.  If you want to try it out you can get your first box for $16 with the code SPRING16  What I find interesting is that if the box comes late one month, then the next month I will get the box early. In March my box came late in the month.   So this month it came early.  Next month I’m sure it will be late in the month again.  I’m not entirely sure why, but it is consistent.  I don’t mind it, it is just something I have noticed with this subscription. As always opening this subscription feels like opening a present.  It comes in a sturdy pink and black box (which I tend to reuse)and all of the goodies are wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a ribbon.  

This month I could smell something before even unwrapping it.  It smelled like a This Works product and when I unwrapped it, I was right.  Inside is a full sized Stress Check Sleep Lotion.  It is from this works and has a heavy scent, even through the sealed tube.  I am personally leaving it sealed and passing it on to my mother.  She adores all This Works products and uses their pillow spray every night.  I am allergic to something in their products and I can already feel my nose getting stuffy and the headache building. 

So I left the cream in the box and took everything else out while I put the box away.  And then I opened the window.  It is a very strongly scented brand and I think you either like it or you don’t No one seems ambivalent.  Anyone I talk to either loves it or hates it.  As I am currently assembling my mother’s Easter Basket so this will be going in there and I know she will be thrilled with it.  So even though it isn’t for me, I know it will be well loved.

The second Item in the box I will get a lot of use out of.  It is a three pack of Kitsch scrunchies.  They are satiny soft and stretchy.  I actually picked up a three pack last summer and wore them constantly.  They don’t pull the hair but are sturdy enough to hold my hair, which is pretty heavy.  By the end of the summer the satin was salt stained from my sweaty walks, but the elastic was still going strong.  I am very happy to have three more to use as we get into the summer months and my hair gets tied up more and more often. These are both lovely and useful.

The third Item in this months box I was thrilled to see.  It is the First Care Serum from Sulwhasoo.  It is a sample size, but I am happy to have this serum in any size.  It is an anti-aging serum that my skin just likes.  It works really well on reducing the fine lines and I will use every last drop of it.  It is one of those serums that I have purchased in the full size before and will again at some point.

I have never tried the Neolastin Revitalize and Firm Eye Cream, but I am never sorry to see an eye cream in one of my boxes.  I’ve tried other Neolastin products and I am more than happy to give this one a try.

While Glossy Box often has a lot of skin and hair care items sometimes they have makeup.  This month they have one makeup item and one that isn’t exactly makeup but not exactly skincare.  It is the Lash Food Conditioning Lash Serum.  It has a mascara like brush and is combed into the lashes nightly.  Since I use my natural lashes and not false ones, I am always eager to try out things that help my natural lashes out.  It is a sample size so I don’t know if I will get a full thirty day trial out of it, but I will try it out and hopefully the sample will last long enough to give me a good idea of how well it works.  I really like getting to try products like this before I commit to a full size. 

the tip broke in transit but it sharpened right back up easily.

And finally we end with the one makeup item for this month. It is a gel eye liner from Laritzy.  Normally I don’t get that excited by eyeliners because they are usually just black liners.  Some work better than others, but still just black. 

This is not black.  It is brown.  In addition it is a soft gel formula that is creamy going on but once it sets doesn’t smudge.  I’ve tried a couple of Laritzy gel liners before and really like them.  And it is nice to have a brown eyeliner for my collection.

And that was my April Glossy Box.  While the This Works will be passed on, I am passing it to someone who loves it.  Every other item in the box is one I will use and in a couple of cases eager to try out.  For me this was a very good month and well worth the price of the box. And I was actually able to get the Glossy Box Easter Egg this year (they have already sold out) So when that comes in I will open that and share it.  I’m hoping it arrives before Easter because the box would look perfect set out with the rest of the Easter things. I have my fingers crossed for that. All in all though I was just pleased I managed to remember to get the order in before they were sold out (for the first time ever! I usually forget and then realize I forgot after they sold out.) So I was very happy with this April Glossy Box and I am looking forward to the Easter Egg’s imminent arrival. Over all A good month for Glossy Box.

For a limited time you can get a little extra off as well, just follow the links below (with the assorted codes.)

30% off your first box with code GB30APR. Ends 4/30/2022. Subscribe today!


Unboxing the Macy’s Beauty Box for April 2022

The April Subscriptions have started to arrive and first to arrive is the Macy’s Beauty Box. It is a $15 beauty box ($16.46 with taxes). Inside you are supposed to get five plus items plus a beauty bag. Some months they substitute the beauty bag with something else. In the past the substitutions have been quite nice. There was a travel flat iron one month and a mini curling wand another. There was a bag of reusable TSA approved bottles.

Macy’s has been a great subscription in the past. I’ll be honest though, lately it has been slipping a bit. The last couple have been a bit on the disappointing side. with Macy’s though you have to cancel by the 10th of the month. If you cancel after the tenth of the month then you will still be charged for the following month. Because this is the seventh I did open my box and decide to cancel. This should be my last Macy’s box for a while. I realized that I was no longer looking forward to it. I used to really look forward to this box. I have actually occasionally been more excited for this box than I have been for the more expensive boxes I am subscribed to.

So I decided that rather than to give it a few more months and hope that it gets better, I would let it go and monitor the items in the months I don’t get and if I feel like I am getting more excited for it, then I will resubscribe. And I’ll be quite honest, one of the main reasons that I went ahead and cancelled was because of the Beauty Bag. Last month it was replaced with a really cheap notepad that I could not only pick up at the Dollar Store but would be surprised if the dollar store actually charged me a full dollar. This month they sent a shower cap.

I know April Showers and all that, I get it.

But it is a shower cap. It isn’t the cheapest shower cap I’ve seen, but it isn’t the best either. It is kind of a mid grade shower cap. It has a nice design on it but it isn’t exactly something I am going to get excited about. It’s a $2 shower cap.

But lets look at the rest of the bag. Usually there are five or more items included and then they add two perfume samples. This month they have five items and the one perfume sample included is considered a sixth item and is listed in the pamphlet (they aren’t always.)

Lets start with the perfume sample. It is from the brand Clean and is the Scent Rain. Which I’m guessing goes along with the April showers theme and the shower cap. Clean is one of those perfume brands that I have tried in the past and wish I liked more. I love the look of their bottles but often find their scents overpowering. i would love to find that this is one I like, so I will keep my fingers crossed. I will add it to the line up of samples I am working my way through and hopefully it will come up trumps.

The next item is a travel size of the Nail Polish Remover from Mineral Fusion. It is a non-drying and Acetone Free nail polish remover. I have tried it before as it is sold in the Publix where I get my groceries and I did like it. It has been a while since I used it and I am happy to give it another try.

The next three items are all body items. I’m guessing since you use them in the shower then it fits with the April showers theme. I’m not sure how the nail polish remover fits, but I can see the logic in these three. The first of these is the Mario Badescu Coconut Body Scrub. I love body scrubs. In fact i use them at least once a week. I try not to go overboard with them but there is just something that just feels so deeply cleansing about using a body scrub.

Well the right body scrub that is. Sometimes they leave a film on the skin which isn’t pleasant. But a nice body scrub is always fantastic. I’ll admit I am not the biggest fan of coconut, but this sample is only large enough to get me through one maybe two showers (although I think two might be pushing it) so it is not lily the scent will bother me for long. I do loon forward to trying it.

I am very happy to see the Rituals Ritual of Sakura foaming shower gel. I have used this before and I love the cherry scent. I also love foaming shower gel. This is a win for me and I am happy to have it. I also look forward to using it. Look Fantastic Actually has this offered for $12.50 and I almost bought it when I was on their site yesterday actually. It is a wonderful spring time scent. It has that cherry blossom scent without being too overpoweringly floral and overly sweet. Sometimes when cherry scents get too sweet they remind me of cough syrup. Or maybe those Luten’s cough drops. Either way not a scent that I want to bath in. This Rituals scent is light enough and fresh enough that it doesn’t lean in that direction. Plus I really do like foaming body wash. I’m sure it is a childish part of me that want’s to make Santa Clause beards in the bath with the bubble bath, but I still like it. But Speaking of Look Fantastic, they have a sale going on for their Grow Gorgeous Hair Care Products. Their Intense Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner are among my favorite hair care products of all time. I always stock up when they have a sale. It was actually why I was on the site. The sale last’s through the 12th I believe. The Link will take you there.

https://www.tkqlhce.com/placeholder-49800597?target=_top&mouseover=N

The Clarins Body Fit Anti Cellulite Contouring Expert cream was quite a surprise. I love the Clarin’s eye cream and they make a really great primer but I somehow missed the fact that they made body products. I have to say the directions are kind of amusing. The directions say “In large sweeping motions apply from Ankles to waist.” I laugh because of the size of the sample. I can tell you right now it is not covering my body from ankles to waist. I will use it on my cellulite dimpled midsection and if there is any left over I will try it out on my thighs but I don’t think this sample will cover more than that. I am looking forward to giving it a try though. I am a fan of Clarins and in general their products perform well for me. I just think I’m not going to cover a lot of ground with this sample. While this cream retails for $71 at the moment Allbeauty has it on sale for $44.10. (It is apparently 38% off. I’m not sure what the significance of the 38% off is, but I do like a good sale. And if I like this sample I may pick it up for a full size trial. I am always happy to get rid of cellulite dimples.

And this brings is to the final item in the beauty box which is the Tony Moly I’m Red Wine sheet mask. I like sheet masks, and I like Tony Moly. I have tried quite a few of their masks before and I have usually liked them. I haven’t tried this one and look forward to giving it a test spin.

many of the products in this box were nice. I am mostly excited about the Body Fit cream from Clarins and I am thrilled I get to test it out. I like the Rituals because I have used it before and know that I like it. And I really have nothing against any of the products in the box, except maybe the shower cap. I even get the shower themed, however this subscription is no longer one that I am excited to see each month so even though i really do like several of these items, I am letting this subscription go for a while. I may return, I may not, only time will tell. But for now this is my last Macy’s Beauty Box.