The Daily: February 2nd, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. Today feels just a little strange. Every time I look out the window there is a different weather pattern going on. It was raining , then it was sleeting, then it was snowing and then it was raining again. At the moment we are getting a rain sleet mix where the droplets his as they make impact with the glass of the window but melt to rain right away as though the ice was just kidding.

It is like the weather just can’t make up it’s mind today.

I did make a choice today though. No a big one, it was my IPSY Glam Bag X choice. At the moment I am doing the IPSY Beauty Boost. For $15 per month you get one extra full sized item. I think it is supposed to be worth $40-50+. I’ll have to look at the exact details. This is the third month for the boost. December was first and IPSY chose the Kate Somerville Retinol that is currently in my skincare line up. It was actually a really good choice for me. Last moth they chose the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk R palette. I wasn’t really enthused with it as I am usually on the fence about most Fenty products. They are never bad actually they are usually just okay and pretty forgettable. I am however liking the palette much more than I thought i would and will probably get a lot of use out of it. And it was certainly something I would not have picked up on my own. I also liked that they were switching between skincare and makeup. And yes I know two times wasn’t enough to tell, so I was really curious as to what they picked.

Interestingly they did something different this month. They chose an item but then they had a section in choice where if I didn’t like what they selected then I could trade it out for one of the other items. The Item they chose for me was the Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolite Waterfacial which seems to be an over night mask. Since I have only tried one sample from Drunk Elephant and know nothing of most of their products (other than that everyone was raving about them a few years ago) I kept the selection they made. However I really like that they are allowing you to swap out items now as that was the one thing I wasn’t crazy about.

I actually didn’t mean to talk about IPSY so much, but I felt it was worth mentioning. I also liked the rest of the bag this month as well and I am more excited for this month’s IPSY than I have been for a while. I know it is an X month so those are always a bit over the top, but last month’s box was really good as well so thus far they are really hitting 2023 strong.

This is the year I am really reevaluating all of my subscription boxes to see what I really want to keep. I am even trying a few new ones out to see what combination of products I like and what I am willing to let go. I actually signed up for the Cohorted Subscription box. February will be my first one. It will be interesting to see if it is worth it. and since it is a new subscription I’ll probably go ahead and do a full post here instead of just posting the box on IG. Anyway, enough with the subscriptions, lets move on to what I used today…

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: KVD Vegan Beauty Good Apple Balm Foundation

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

Blush: Cotton Candy Champagne Blushlighter palette from Beauty Bakerie

Currently Beauty Bakerie is having a massive sale up to 40% off for the next two days. the product links will take you to the site.

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette

Mascara: Benefit Cosmetics They’re real magnetic Mascara

Lips: Beauty Bakerie Liquid Lip Whip and Illamasqua Lip Liner

Today I started with the Tatcha Liquid primer. I really enjoy it. It is one of my top primers. I still love the balm formula of Tatcha just a little bit more, but then I just really love Balm style primers. This is a really good primer and on the skin it feels a lot like the balm version a you put it on. I wanted a primer that I know and love when I started playing with the KVD foundation so that is why i chose it.

This Good Apple foundation is interesting. It has been a while since I used a foundation that oxidizes. This one does. It looks a little light on me when I apply it, but after a little while (an hour or so) it oxidizes and then looks like it is the right shade for me. It isn’t a perfect shade match, but it does okay. I think I notice it more because I have gotten really lucky with shade matches recently. It makes the not quite shade stand out more to me. while this foundation looks good on most of my face after a little while I really start to notice it settling into fine lines. I had a phone conversation about an hour after I applied the makeup. the conversation lasted about 20 minutes. When I was done I had to use the restroom and I looked in the mirror and I could really see it settling around my mouth and emphasizing the lines. it is something I am going to have to watch.

The Milk Makeup Bronzer is from my use up box. It is a sample and I want to purchase the full size but won’t until I use up the sample. I am trying to use one item from the box each day so this was my choice today. it is an easy choice since I really like it.

I also really like the Beauty Bakerie blush in the Blushlighter palette. Oddly it has enough shimmer for me that I don’t really want to reach for the highlighters. i like the highlighters, and i will use them with other blushes, but just the blush from this palette was good for me. I also couldn’t resist the Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip. If you are looking for liquid lips that dry down enough not to leave lip prints everywhere but not so much as to dry out your lips then i would suggest checking out the line. I did use the Illamasqua lip liner to smooth out the edges but that was mostly because I noticed a not so smooth bit after the lippie dried. It was just easier to correct with lip liner and I really like the Illamasqua formula. I also like that the color blended well.

My shadow was from the Naked Honey palette. I love this palette. it applies well, blends well and looks good. I think the trick with Urban Decay is to find whichever palette they offer that suits you and go with that. I loved their original Naked palettes but a lot of their others just don’t have a color story that appeals to me. Admittedly I may still pick up their Prince palette. On the other hand I have a friend who adores their Cyber palette and doesn’t like anything else. I think once you find the palette from them you like, it is a great palette to use. Mine happens to be the Naked Honey. I can wear the brown tones every day and I have a weakness for the bronze shimmers.

And so i used the palette today.

and that my darlings is me today. Over all it is a quiet one. Phone calls and e-mails but mostly just me and the computer at my desk. There is a whole lot of editing going on. nd now, I must get back to it. Have a great afternoon.


Unboxing the Look Fantastic Beauty Box for November 2022

This month’s Look Fantastic Box has the theme of Party Prep. Usually i don’t pay too much attention to the themes but this month it seems to relate. This Box is $19 a month if you are on a month to month plan, I get it for less with an annual subscription. So I pay $16 per month ($17.59 when all is said and done) and while some boxes are better than others, I have always felt the box is worth what I pay.

The first item out of the box this month was hard to photograph because it is metallic and just reflects light like crazy. It is the Color Wow Dream Coat in a travel size. It is a product i really enjoy using to smooth down my hair and make it glossy without flyaways. I will say though that i have thick hair and I spray very little. If you have fine or thin hair, it can weigh down your hair if you use too much so go cautiously. Because my hair is so thick it works fantastically well for me. I love that it is travel sized too because I tend to use this sot of thing when i am traveling more than I do at home.

I think that might be because I travel for holidays though. And holidays have lots of events. regardless, the travel size is fabulous.

The next item in my box, I can’t say i am all that excited by. In fact i will probably pass it along to someone else. It is the Bondi Sands Pure Sleep Tanning Mask. My skin picks up the sun well. Occasionally I will use a tanning product on my legs so they match the rest of my body but there is no point in me using a tanning product on my face. I simply don’t need it. I do like Bondi Sands though and when i use tanning products on my legs, they are the brand I go for. So good brand, just not something for me.

The third item in the box is a primer. And you know how much I love primers. This one is from Avant. I am not entirely sure how i feel about Avant to be honest. Their products are usually really nice but usually very over priced. And I never see them anywhere but in subscription boxes. Don’t get me wrong their lip balm was fantastic and I really enjoyed their moisturizer. I am also really looking forward to trying out the Avant Pro Perfecting Collagen Touch eclat Primer that is in this box. I am just not sure how i feel about the brand in general. I am pleased to have this in my box though. Especially since it is a makeup item and I have never tried anything but their skincare.

Next up we have a six pan Mini Reloaded Velvet Rose eyeshadow palette from Makeup Revolution. I really like the browns and golds in the palette and looking at it I can see several looks that would be quick and easy to create with it. (I opened the lid so the plastic wouldn’t glare). I also think this small palette would be good for travel as well so I am very happy to see it,.

The final two items in the box this month are tools. The first is an eyeshadow brush. There were options this month. I received the Luvia Cream Shader brush. I have used brushes from this brand before and find them quite nice. Plus I can always use another shader brush It is the final item that I am really happy to have in my box this month.

It sounds silly but I use (and tend to lose) these clips a lot. These are the Brushworks No Crease hair Clips. While I haven’t tried the Brushworks versions I have these creaseless style hair clips from about four other brands floating around my house. They are amazing for pulling back my bangs while I am doing my makeup. They are also an item that no matter how many times I purchase them, they always seem to disappear. I really like them and am thrilled to welcome two more into my collection.

And so that was my Look Fantastic Box for November 2022. Pretty much everything goes along with the theme of party prep, but to be honest it is less about the theme and more about the fact that besides the facial tanning mask every other item is one that I will definitely use. For me that is way more important than the actual theme. For me this was a great box this month. Was it worth the cost i paid for it? Definitely. Well done Look Fantastic.

Unboxing the Look Fantastic Box for October 2022

And so we wind up the October subscription Boxes with the Look Fantastic Box. It is a $19 per month subscription box although if you sign up for a longer subscription you can get the box for less. I have an annual membership (but still pay monthly) so my box is $16. While some months are better than others I have never regretted the annual membership and I have always found that the box exceeds my $16 cost.

This month has been interesting with Look Fantastic. When they released their advent calendar i swooped in and ordered it right away. I think that they started sending them out because I keep getting e-mails saying mine is delayed due to shipping. Since I thought the Advent calendars wouldn’t ship until November I wasn’t looking for it and at first thought my subscription box was delayed. But it is the Advent Calendar. I do hope it comes soon because I want to share it with you so that if you are looking into getting it yourself you can see it before you decide. But we shall see.

In addition to boxes and advent calendars Look Fantastic has an on-line store. They have deals going pretty much every month. Currently they have 50% off Christophe Robin products. It is one of my favorite hair care brands so I thought I’d share that with you. It is well worth signing up for e-mail announcements so you can stock up on some favorites for less.

But now it is time to jump into the box. The first item I smelled before i opened the box. It was actually the spoiler for this month and until I smelled it I forgot all about it. This month you could either get the Rituals of Sakura candle or room spray in your box. I received the candle. The candle is adorably cute and comes in a frosted glass candle holder. I don’t know why I find this size candle so adorable but I do. The scent is fantastic. I had the body wash from this Rituals line and adored it. This candle scent is exactly the same. As it gets colder and winter really settles in I know i will enjoy this spring time scent as a reminder of warmer weather to return. especially as it is supposed to be a brutal winter this year. Even without that it smells fantastic.

The second Item in my box is a deluxe travel size of the Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Night Cream. It is a 20mL size so I should be able to get several uses out of it. My skin has always done well with Korres products actually. I am picky about my rose scented products but Korres always keeps their scents kind of mild so it should be fine. I can’t smell anything through the metal seal. At the moment I will be leaving the seal on, however I am almost finished with my current skincare trials so I might rotate this in as a night mask once i write up that review.

Next in the box we have something from Paradoxx. I am happy to see that it is a different product from the one I seemed to have received in every other subscription box. I ended up with three or four different sized containers of the same deep conditioning hir mask from Paradoxx. while I love that hair mask, it will be nice to try something different from the brand. This is the Moisture Conditioner. It is, well, a conditioner. It is 50mL so I should be able to get a feel for the product with several washes. I don’t like that it is just the conditioner. I like to try paired shampoo and conditioners. I’m sure at some point I will have a lone shampoo i can try it with. At the moment I have used up all of my single shampoos. I went on a testing rampage with samples of hair care products in September so there are few remaining in my collection.

There is one makeup item in this month’s Box and it is a highlighter in a magnetic pan from Luvia Cosmetics. I know Luvia is a clean and vegan brand and I believe i have tried something from the brand before, although what that is currently escapes me. I am always happy to test out new to me brands though and i love that the pan can easily slip into a magnetic palette.

There was a variation in the next product. This month you could either receive a makeup brush cleanser or a makeup sponge cleanser, both from ISOClean. I received the makeup sponge cleanser which I am really happy with.

Before I left I cleaned all of my makeup brushes but forgot about the makeup sponges so when I traveled I just packed a new one and when I got back I had a new one from Shop Miss A come in that I wanted to test out, so I just started using that. So I have to sadly admit to a bag of very dirty makeup sponges that need to be washed. That may be tonight’s post dinner activity. So at least i will get to put the cleanser to the test very quickly.

And finally this month’s box came with a two pack of the Magnitone Wipeout Swipes. I love these things. I have a bunch of them and have been using some of them for over a year to take the place of disposable cotton rounds. This far they have washed up well and none have reached the point where they can’t be used. When I wash them I have a net bag. I just put them in the net bag, close it and toss it in the wash. After i spread them out to air dry rather than put them through the tumble dryer, but they have really lasted and I am very happy to have two new ones to add to the collection.

This month the October Box did come with a pamphlet. while everything was listed and there is a QVC code with each in case you want to order the full size, other than the name and value of the size received in the box there is no real information about any of the products. There is a two page spread on applying highlighter and then a short article about the benefits of scents in the home with a short rose oil ingredients break down. All of which is nice, but I would prefer if there was just a little bit more information on the actual products themselves. There is a sneak peek for the November box which is the most exciting thing in the pamphlet actually.

Next month’s box will have wither an Avant Pro Perfecting Collagen Touch Eclat Primer or a Colour Wow Dream Coat Spray. While I tend to think Avant is a bit over priced, I really do like their products and wouldn’t mind trying out their primer. I have used the dream coat before and in fact keep a bottle handy. It is fantastic for making your hair look shiny and glossy without weighing it down. Personally i wouldn’t mind either option and I am thrilled that one or the other will be arriving In the November Box.

And so my darlings this has been the October box. I believe this is my last subscription box for October and quite honestly I am happy to end on a high note. Tonight i will give the Iso Clean a try, I will probably light the candle to see how far the scent travels if nothing else and I will add the Magnitone wipes to my collection of reusable makeup wipes. the other three products will have to wait for their first trial but they will be used. As always I ask myself if I find this subscription box worth keeping. And with Look Fantastic I always say yes. This month it is a definite yes. Every item inside is one that I will use. For me, that makes this Look Fantastic box well worth the cost.


Unboxing the October 2022 Glossybox

That’s right my darlings, my October Glossy box arrived. If you’ve been following along you know that in the past few months there have been some issues with shipping. One month i even was sent a replacement box instead of that month’s box. Despite that, Glossy Box has remained one of my favorite subscriptions. While some months are always going to be more exciting than others, they remain consistently good. I always get items I can use and often I am introduced to brands i don’t really know along with seeing a few favorites.

The box costs $21 per month but you can get it at a lower cost if you subscribe for a longer period of time. You will still pay per month (if you want, you can also choose to pay for the whole year in one go). I signed up for the annual box and pay $18 per box. For me it has always bee worth the cost of the box.

So what did I find when I untied the ribbon and peeled away the tissue paper?

Well the first thing I found was a full sized Makeup Eraser. That’s right. A full sized Makeup Eraser. It is in purple and is quite lovely. I have use Makeup Erasers for years and adore them. they last for ever. I had the original pink one when it was the only color of Makeup Eraser. I would probably still be using it if my babydoll hadn’t gotten motor oil on it while fixing the lawn mower. Oddly the oil came out but the scent of the oil remained. As it was quite a few years old at that point I decided to just replace it. The replacement is now several years old and still going strong but a second one to rotate into the mix is not a bad thing and will likely extend the life of both.

while i will occasionally use makeup wipes if they come in a subscription box, for the most part I have eliminated them and just use the Makeup Eraser. I just love it. And actually I have been eyeballing the Disney Villains set for a while but they just came out with a nightmare Before Christmas set that I think is fabulous. its a set of seven and while they all look good, I really want the Oogie Boogie one. Not sure what that says about me, but there you have it.

I love the little stars impressed in the powder

But there are other products in the box. So I forced myself to put it aside and see what else was inside. The first item is a mini Bamboo Bronzer from Ciate London. I have a full size of this bronzer and use it quite often. it isn’t highly pigmented but it is is buildable. I tend to reach for it when i am doing a more natural look and want to keep things soft. As I have this in a full size I may just put this in my holiday travel kit. I kind of like traveling with the mini products like this. Not only do they save on space but the sturdy packaging means it is less likely to break.

There is another makeup item in this box and it is the Give them Lala Beauty Drenched Lip Quencher. I don’t know a lot about Give them Lala Beauty in general. I tried a mascara from them and it was okay but not really that memorable. the most memorable part was that the cap of the mascara had a faux marbling look to it that somehow just made it look dirty. I kept trying to wipe it off. This has the same faux marbled lid. From the description this product is supposed to look like lip gloss but feel like a lip oil. which should be interesting to test out. while i still think the faux marble is a design misstep, I am interested to try the product. And like the Makeup Eraser, it is a full size.

There is one skincare item in this months’ box. It is the French Bine Bark Serum from Skin Inc. It is a travel size but large enough that I will be able to get a feel for the serum. it is supposed to reduce fine lines, which is always a yes from me. I know I’ve tried something from Skin Inc but at the moment i can’t remember what it was. I have a positive mental association for the name of the brand so I imagine whatever it is worked well. I’ll have to scroll through my notes and try to figure out what the product was though. I will say this serum does look quite pretty in the bottle.

And finally we have something for the hair. This is the Vor Secrets in the snow soft styling foam. It is a travel size but I am actually happy about that. I have tried the Vor hairspray and liked it so i have high hopes for this, but i tend to be picky about hair styling products. I will try just about anything and some I like better than others, but the list of products I will repurchase for styling is pretty short. I have a much longer list of masks. For the past few years actually the only styling foam I have repurchased has been the Oribe Grandiose Plumping Mousse. I actually just ran out of it a few weeks before I went on my trip and never got around to replacing it. As the winter is when i most use it, I am happy to try out something new before reordering.

And that has been my October Glossy Box. Was it worth the cost? Um, yeah. It really was. everything else aside, the Makeup Eraser cost’s $25 so that more than pays for the box. Everything else is just a bonus item. In case you didn’t figure that out from my gushing response to finding the full sized Make up Eraser in the box. To be honest though, I am looking forward to using the other items as well. the Makeup Eraser was just a tough act to follow and I did see it first. For me This October box was a very good Glossy Box.

Bad Never Looked So Good with the Disney Villains 7-Day Set Exclusively at!

Unboxing the September 2022 Look Fantastic Box

Look Fantastic is a $19 per month beauty box based in the UK. With an annual subscription you can shave a few dollars off the price and still pay on a monthly basis instead of paying for the entire year at once. This is what I do. I have had this subscription for several years now and while some months in a subscription box are always better than others, I have never been disappointed by this box. They also have an annual advent calendar which always sells out fast. For subscribers the calendar is on sale now and for non subscribers it will go on sale October 1st. It sells out every year. Usually I miss it but this year I actually jumped on it when it was up for pre release so I will be getting that this year.

I like to only get one advent calendar for myself each year. Occasionally I will cave and get a second smaller one. But the issue is there are so many really great ones out there that i often debate which one I want to pick up and then find the Look Fantastic one has sold out. This year i decided to just go ahead with it because the spoilers looked good so I made the decision early.

But that won’t come until November. However soon they will be available for all so if you are thinking about it, those are the dates.

But back to this month’s box. Recently Look Fantastic has been playing around with the layout of the brochure they put in the box. They have always had articles about various topics. They actually have one about Collagen this month that I am looking forward to reading. They articles break down popular ingredients and other skincare and beauty themed issues. The articles on skincare topics are fantastic if you are just getting into skincare and trying to get a handle on a very large and complex range of products and ingredients. And as September is Skincare Awareness month it is all about skincare. Which I like.

However they don’t really break out the products in the pamphlet any more which I’m not too crazy about. they have one page showing what was in the box with the one variation item and that’s it. No info about them. Which I sort of miss. They do have the spoiler for the October box though and it is very exciting, well at least to me. In the October box you will receive either a Ritual of Sakura candle (25 g) or The Ritual of Sakura room spray (50 mL) The Sakura line is Rituals cherry blossom scent and I loved the body wash from that line and am looking forward to either the candle or the room spray. Actually after trying out the body wash I thought about buying the room spray simply because how fantastic the bathroom smelled after my shower. I would be happy with either one actually.

This Month’s Look Fantastic I was looking forward to mostly because of the spoiler from last month too actually. It was the Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. It is a toner from a clean skincare brand. It is 100 mL so it is a travel size (the full size is 250 mL). It is a good sized broduct and basically you use it like a toner. I have used it before and really enjoyed it. I am thrilled to have another bottle here.

The next two items are a set of shampoo and conditioner. The set does count as two of the items in the box but i am okay with that as I would rather have the paired set of shampoo and conditioner. Especially since it is a brand I have not heard of before. It is Bleach London and it is the Reincarnation Shampoo and conditioner set. They are 75 mL each so that is plenty for several washes and will give me a good idea of how the product performs. It is an nourishing and restoring set and as we edge into cooler months my hair will need more nourishing products. (the central heat tends to dry my hair out a bit over the winter) so for me this is a good product to try as we head into the fall.

Next we have an eye mask set from Elemis. These are the Pro Collagen Hydra Gel Eye masks to be specific. I love Elemis and have tried loads of products from them. I don’t think I have actually tried out any of their eye masks. Which is strange when I think about it as I really love Eye masks. So I look forward to giving this a go.

The next item is also a very timely product. It is the Nail HQ cuticle oil. This was actually the one variation in the box. If you didn’t get this one then you would have gotten the Solar Oil nail and Cuticle oil from Essentials. I’ve never tried either brand but they are both full size and they both are the same size. I’m sure there are some differences, but I don’t know what they are. I am happy to have a cuticle oil in right now. The gardening season is coming to an end and no matter how much i wear my gloves my hands always get dried out and messed up a bit by the time the garden is ready for winter. During the summer I tend to forget the oil and just use heavy duty hand lotion. I went to get my cuticle oil left over from last year this weekend and found I didn’t secure the lid tightly enough and it leaked out slowly over the summer and I needed a new one. So for me this is extra fab.

And finally we have the Disciple Dreamy Skin Retinyl Night Oil. It is a small bottle but with oils it really only takes a few drops. According to the label it reduces pigmentation, lines and pore size. If it does even half of that i will be thrilled with it. It is also listed as vegan and cruelty free which I like as well. I’m guessing retinyl is some how related to retinol. I’m not sure and will look into it prior to trying it on my skin. I’ll have to look into that and get back to you. Retinyl wasn’t one of the ingredients broken down in the pamphlet.

And so that was my look fantastic box. It was a mix of products from brands I know and love as well as a few new surprises to try out. It was skincare heavy, but Look Fantastic does tend to be skincare heavy in general and as it is a skincare awareness month box, I wouldn’t expect it to be anything but skincare heavy. Personally I love trying out new skincare and finding what works for my skin, not just in terms of products but in terms of ingredients. So I am very pleased with this month’s box and am actually looking forward to trying everything in it.

Unboxing the August 2022 Look Fantastic Box

My August Look Fantastic Box has arrived. Oh and before I forget Look Fantastic is having a 25% off Labor Day sale. They have a really good on-line store that I tend to use a lot when shopping. Also their waitlist for the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar just opened up. Signing up to the waitlist doesn’t obligate you to buy it just sends you information about release dates. They always sell out fast so if you are interested in this one getting on the waitlist to find out when sales starts really helps out.

But back to the August box. This is one of those boxes that I always find interesting. It is a UK based subscription box that costs $19 per month (you can get it for less with an annual subscription, which I have. So my price is $16 and I never regret getting the box for that price). what I like about this box is that many of the samples are from UK brands and often I find products I didn’t know about.

Oddly I have had the best luck with hair care products from this box. I was introduced to both Christophe Robin and Percy & Reed through this box and both have become standard brands for me with products that I use and reorder. (The Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scrub and the Percy & Reed Wonder Balm – which is actually on sale on the Look Fantastic Site and where I tend to pick it up – are two of my always stock products now. I highly recommend both.)

love that color

This month there are two hair care products in the box. One a shampoo and the other a conditioner. The Shampoo was actually last month’s spoiler product. It is the Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo. A few Months back we received a styling Cream from this brand. It is a full sized styling cream so I have not tried it yet as I am trying to clear out some of my sample sized hair care products at the moment. This is a deluxe sample sized shampoo, though so it might be tested sooner rather than later. It is a brand I hadn’t heard of prior to receiving it in this box so I am glad I have both products to try out. It lets me get a better feel for the brand.

the foil packet and the trial size I already owned

The conditioner is a foil packet. It is another brand I have really only tried through Look Fantastic as well, Philip Kingsley. I absolutely adore their Bond Builder (the ends of my hair will often get a little dry and not so fab looking and just a little bit on the ends worked wonders). This Foil packet is for the Elasticiser. It is a deep conditioning treatment. I have this same product in a deluxe sized tube. The tube contains half of the amount of product as the foil packet. (40 mL as opposed to 20) As the tube will have about two uses worth of product in it,. I am not upset about the packet at all. I may put it in an empty container just so I don’t have to try and fiddle with the foil pack with wet hands, but i am excited to try out the deep conditioning treatment. Plus thus far I have liked everything I have tried from the Philip Kingsley Brand. They seem to work reliably well with my hair.

In this month’s box is a Jade Green Gua Sha from Glov. I have quite a few of these in various materials from a multitude of subscription boxes. This one is pretty and feels both good and substantial in the hand. With Gua Sha’s they seem like a strange little tool, but they actually do some good work. The trick is that you have to use it consistently to see any results. I will generally use them for a couple of weeks and then I’ll start slacking off or forgetting and all the previous effort will go down the drain. There is a relaxing ritual to it if you can get in the habit. Do I need another one? no. Will I pass this on to someone else? Probably. But it is a nice quality tool to get in the subscription box so i am not mad at it.

The next item is also a skincare item and it is the Allies of Skin 35% Vitamin C Perfecting Serum. (As this is a serum that retails for$139 it more than pays for the box, currently this is on sale at Lovely Skin for 20% off if you are interested). I think I might have tried something from the brand before, at least the name has a familiar ring to it. I do like vitamin c serums and I love that it is in a glass bottle with a pump. Vitamin c tends to loose efficacy the longer it is exposed to both sun and air so the pump means i am not opening and closing the bottle all of the time. And the solid orange color of the glass bottle protects it from sunlight. I look forward to giving this a try. especially as it is a full sized item.

The last two items are makeup items. this does tend to be a skin and hair care heavy subscription but there is usually one make up item in each box. Or at least that is how the past few boxes have been. this one has two. The first is a full sixed Eyeko Double Act Shadow Stick in Cookies and Cream.

I actually got this exact same stick in an Allure Box a while ago (March 2022) and it is fantastic. One is a bronzy shimmer and one is a more silvery shimmer and it is really great to pear with an all matte palette or even a single matte. I tend to use it with my single shadows. I’ll grab a single matte shadow for a quick look and pair it with this shadow stick. The swatches are from the stick I already have in use. As this one is a repeat I will be passing it on. It is a really great product though and one I really like.

and finally I have The Balm Meet Matte Hughes Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Honest. It is a trial size and it is a little on the pink side for me, but i am still thrilled with it. I have several palettes from The Balm and I love their shadow formula.

For a long time Their Bahama Mama Bronzer was my go to as well. I have however never tried out any of their lippies. and you know how much I love finding new lip products. So even though it is a little pinker of a shade than I prefer I will be trying it out and seeing how I like the formula.

And that was my Look Fantastic Box for August. The products I like and it was certainly worth what i paid for it. My only issue is the booklet that comes with it. It is a 19 page booklet. Two of the pages are details about products. This month they gave descriptions about thee of the products, one of which I did not receive. one of the pages is about next month’s spoiler. It is the Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, which i am quite excited for. The rest of the pamphlet has good information. There is a spread about using the Gua Sha and lots of good ingredient information. I just wish they had broken out more of the products in the box. Even if there are variations, the booklet is large enough to break out more of the items.

As far as complaints go though, that is a small one. This month featured brands and products I am looking forward to trying out so over all I am happy about what I received, even if I have to look up the items elsewhere.

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Unboxing the August 2022 Birchbox

My August Birch Box has arrived. This box of sample and deluxe sample items is $15 per month ($16.46 with tax) and both your customization and your payment window are based on when you sign up. I signed up Mid-month in July so in August I was charged on the 16th and was able to customize my box that same day. I think the window for customization lasts for about three days. I am on the month to month plan since I am not certain how long i wanted to keep this box (i have had an off and on thing with Birch box for years). If you subscribe for a longer period, your subscription cost will be less.

The number of items in your box vary because it is fully customizable. You receive times for items. Birch box recommends items but you can remove them and replace them with other items in the list. last month there was a full sized item you could replace your items with but this time there wasn’t. Sometimes a sample will be worth one tile or if it is deluxe maybe two. I think the full size replaces all five items. So the number of items will vary and the choices are all yours to make. They do send one surprise item each month so I was able to choose four of my five items this month. For me, one of the items I chose was from Ouai and the surprise Item was also from Ouai.

Over the years I have tried several of their hair products and I really liked them. They tend to be a bit pricey so they aren’t my go -to hair care items since there are less expensive ones that I like just as much. But I do like them and am happy to have two samples, especially a they are two items I have not tried before. The item I chose from Ouai was the body cleanser in the scent Melrose Place. As I had not tried anything other than Hair products from them, I thought it would make a nice change.

The surprise item that BirchBox sent was the Ouai Detox shampoo. I haven’t actually tried their shampoos. I usually end up with leave in conditioners and masks from the brand so I am thrilled to try out a a shampoo. I am actually looking forward to trying both.

The next item I have tried before and love. I actually have a full size of this so I don’t mind having a sample as well to slip into my travel kit. It is the Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence. It is a good toner, but it works best as an essence. It really opens the skin up so that you are ready for additional skincare. I really liked this when I used it before and I think it is one of the best products the brand has to offer. Their other items are okay, but this is their rockstar.

This was a hair heavy month for Birchbox and the next item I have is the Luseta Biotin and Collagen Hair mask. I have tried the shampoo and conditioner from this Biotin and Collagen line and really liked it so I am excited about this hair mask. Plus I have been working really hard to clear out a lot of the hair mask and product samples so it will be nice to compare it to the others I am rotating through.

And Finally there is one makeup item in my box this month. It is the Milk Makeup Rise Mascara. I enjoy Milk Makeup Products and I really liked their Kush Mascara. I have not tried their Rise mascara so it will be interesting to see how this one compares to the one I already love.

And that was my Birchbox this month. Do I think it was worth the $15? Yes I do actually. I have several products that I really want to try out and one that I am ready know I love. I do wish that one was a little bit bigger. But that is always the case when I get samples of products I like. This one is large enough that it will work in my travel case. And as I am getting ready to pack my travel case, it is quite timely indeed. This was a good month for Birch Box and I am happy to keep it another month.

La Roche-Posay- ACD

Unboxing the Beekman 1802 Summer Subscription Box

As you know I love skin care so it was really only a matter of time before I went for an entire skincare subscription box. I am also beginning to look more at quarterly boxes. I actually find this an interesting box for me to subscribe to. A long time ago I picked up a book called Candy Everybody wants by Josh Kilmer Purcell and then I liked it enough that when I saw I am not myself these days I picked that up. (both great books by the way, I really enjoyed them). When I picked up the second book a friend of mine said, ‘wait isn’t that one of the Fabulous Beekman Boys?” And thus I was introduced to the show. It was hard to catch so I never managed to catch all of the episodes and would at some point really like to circle back and watch them again.

box closure detail, and yes, that is a goat on the snap

I enjoyed the show and it was with great delight to find years later the Goat farm took off (the site has a goat cam you can actually watch if you’d like). And that they now have a subscription. Aside from general nostalgia I like the look of the skincare and I like the transparency of their ingredients lists and that all of their products are good for sensitive skin. They are leaping bunny approved as well. This is my first box from Beekman 1802 so I am bound to be a bit wordy on this one.

The box is $65 per quarter and this is the Summer Box. The Summer Box Comes out in July so I am a little slow out of the gate. The autumn box releases in November, or at least i will get it in November. They charge you the same time as you sign up, so I signed up on August 4th so I will be charged November 4th for the Autumn box. The fee is a flat $65. No handling fees no extra shipping fees. Just $65. All of the products come from the brand Beekman 1802.

While I like that it is a brand box and I think they do have a wide enough array of products that there shouldn’t be a lot of repetition, this will be something that i am going to keep an eye on. I am hoping that they will rotate products and it will feel fresh each quarter instead of the same old things. As I have only tried their soap before I am actually looking forwards to trying out more from the brand. I will also be looking at how much (or little) I enjoy the products as well as if I find the $65 per quarter worth it.

So This quarter there was an item that was outside of the box which is why I think the mailing box was a little large. So let’s look at that first.

the item out side of the box was a package of Pure disposable facial cleansing wipes. While I am not a big fan of these because of the waste, they are useful and I really like that it is a 100 count package. That’s a lot of wipes. I will try them out, but I am really hoping it isn’t an item sent often. The problem isn’t that I don’t like wipes, I do. I really do actually, they are quite convenient. I just don’t want to get back into the habit of using them again now that I have sort of broken myself of it.

Now on to the box. The box itself is sturdy reusable cardboard. The lid is fastened down with an actual snap and lifts up (it has a paper hinge at the back). I don’t know if it is because so many of the subscription boxes just seem to toss items into a box or what but I have to say when I opened this I was momentarily stunned by the neatly placed array of products. I mean just look at it. It looks nice and neat and opening it I had to remember it was a subscription box and not a gift box that I ordered or that was given to me. It looks like a gift box you would get as a present and quite honestly it felt special opening it.

it feels more like a gift box than a subscription box

I honestly had the flickering thought of “wait, it’s not my birthday…”

which is a great feeling for a subscription box. There are several items for the body as well s for the face. Inside the box there are seven items (only one doesn’t look full size, which I think might be why the cleansing wipes were added. So there are a total of eight items in the box and only one looks not to be full size. I am ninety percent certain the box was supposed to have seven items.

The first item out of the box is the one I have used a version of before, it is the soap. I have used their regular Goat’s milk soap and loved it. This bar is the Goat Milk Body Soap with CBD. It is a large 9 oz (255 g) bar of soap. There is a light scent to it. My nose is mostly still stopped up so very little smell is actually making it through, but my babydoll claims it just smells like soap. which for him means something akin to Ivory or Dove unscented. So I am guessing there is no lingering CBD scent. The proof will be in the washing so I’ll find out in the bath, although I fully expect this bar of soap to be appropriated. Like Oat Milk, Goat’s milk is good for my baby’s skin as he has sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions. So at least one of us will get a lot of use out of it.

The second Bath item is the Sunshine Scrub which is a body exfoliant. I love body exfoliants (well I love most exfoliants actually) and I just finished up a jar so I am happy to see this. I actually prefer the product in a tube as with the jars I always end up getting water in them. The only catch is that some times the tubes will log up and be hard to use. It will be interesting to see how this works as a product and to test the packaging.

The third body item is called the Pure Goat Milk Body Serum. I’ll admit I had to read through the product information to figure it out. What it boils down to is that this is a clear body oil for use right after the shower in place of body lotion. I have actually been enjoying body oils lately. In the summer they are much lighter. I really like that this is in a pump top glass bottle. Not only is the glass bottle beautiful but some of my other oils are open top bottles and I really wish they had a pump. This does so as soon as my current bottle is finished I will be rolling this in for a try.

The other four items are for the face. The first is the Milk Primer. I know I was a little makeup excited as well, but it isn’t that sort of primer. from what i can find on the packaging it is a sunscreen that you apply with your skin care. It is SPF 35 (I prefer 50) so I will still add an extra layer of sunscreen before I leave the house, but I don’t mind having that extra layer automatically applied a part of my skin care.

There are two full sized Boosters, which are essentially serums, in this box. The first is the Collagen Booster and the second is the Smooth Booster. I’ll be looking more into the details once I start to use them (which won’t be until I finish my current skincare serum trial). Both are items that I can use in my skin care though. One boosts collagen production and firms the skin while the other is a BHA resurfacing serum (smooth Booster).

These Boosters can either be used alone or added to a moisturizer to boost the moisturizer. I think this is why there is a travel sized version of their moisturizer in the box. It is the Bloom Cream. It is 15 mL and I am pretty sure it is here so you can play with the intensity f the two serums.

Both boxes say that the serums are more intense if you don’t mix them. since everything in the box is more or less targeted to sensitive skin, it makes sense to have the Bloom Cream and to be honest I am never mad about trying a new moisturizer in a smaller size before thinking about committing to a full sized one.

So that was my first Quarterly Box from Beekman 1802. Was it worth the $65? Absolutely. It is full of products that I will use and that I am looking forward to trying out. The subscription felt like a gift when it arrived. It really felt like care was taken in putting it together and it felt special. It was a beautiful presentation and I have to say all of the bottles look and feel super lux. I can not wait to start trying out these products. A few I will rotate in quickly while others will have to wait until I finish out existing products, but I am actually very excited about getting to try out so many items from a single brand and I have to say, I am already looking forwards to November’s box from Beekman 1802.

Unboxing the July Bookishly Subscription

This is my second month receiving this Bookishly subscription and I have to say it is rapidly becoming one of my more anticipated subscriptions. Bookishly is, as the name implies, a book based subscription. They are based in the UK. There are different types of subscriptions, I signed up for the vintage book and coffee. they do have classics, science fiction, fantasy and various crime/mystery options. You can also choose tea instead of coffee. I have to admit I was curious about what books they would choose for vintage. So that is the subscription i went with. The subscription charges on the first of the month and ships out on the 20th. My package arrived on the 28th.

Each month I get a book, with a bookmark and a bag of coffee with two pots worth of grounds inside. At least it is two pots the way I make coffee. The company for the coffee is PerkuLatte Coffee Co. That is the same as last month. The type of coffee is different. This month we have a Guatemala El Boqueron with flavor notes of Blueberry, Cranberry and rose. I have not tried this particular type yet but it sounds interesting. I very much enjoyed the last one as it was good quality coffee. I like that they put the roasted date on the bag as well.

Shall we go on to the book?

I love that the book itself comes wrapped like a present. It somehow makes this subscription just a little bit ore fun to open. This month’s book is The Sea and the Jungle a travel and Adventure Book by HM Tomlinson. I have to admit, I have never heard of the book or the author (which is one of the reasons I wanted to try out the subscription, to bring books I might not find on my own to me).

According to Goodreads…

wrapped up on arrival

Considered a masterpiece of travel literature for nearly a century, The Sea and the Jungle is a wise and witty book of firsts: ostensibly a lighthearted story of a Londoner’s first ocean voyage, it is also a carefully crafted journalistic account of the first successful ascent of the Amazon River and its tributary, the Madeira, by an English steamer. First published in 1912, The Sea and the Jungle remains one of the most popular accounts of a traveler’s experience in Amazonia. As Peter Matthiessen observed fifty years later, ” The Sea and the Jungle is one of the few level-headed works in the literature of this region. . . . accurate and difficult to improve upon.”


I am looking forward to curling up in my reading chair and reading. One of the reasons that I wanted to try pout this subscription was because a lot of my book choices have become stale. I find myself looking at the same books and same authors. Part of that is the situation. While my local library has gone through phases of being open and closed, most of the books I’ve taken out have come from their electronic lending library. Which is fine, but whenever I get in a rut with books, at the library I tend to just pick an aisle and wander slowly looking for something interesting that I’ve never checked out before.

an older book but in perfect condition

I have found some of my favorite authors and books this way. The library system does have recommendations but their recommendations rely on running an algorithm based on what you have checked out from their system before or are based on what books are popular in the area. If you base it on an algorithm then I just get more of the books like the ones I’ve already read. If you base it on what everyone else is reading then I just realize that my tastes tend to differ from many of my neighbors. At least according to the computerized system.

So for me this is a really good way to try out something completely random and from a different country entirely. I found this subscription by poking randomly around on Cratejoy and I am really glad I did. I also like that it reaches me at the end of the month. It lets me sit and read the book and about the time i have finished and am ready for a new one, the subscription arrives again. So for August it looks like I will be exploring the Amazon with Bookishly and sipping on Guatemala El Boqueron while I do. I’ll have to let you know how the blueberry, cranberry and Rose notes work out for me.

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self care gifts

It’s the return of Birchbox

I know, it was the subscription that both fascinated and irritated me all at the same time. I had Birchbox when it was one of the only subscriptions out there and when the tiny samples became too much, I let it go. Then they said they changed and offered a good deal so I gave them another year. At the end of the year, I canceled. There were many issues, however one of the things I liked is that I often did have samples that were different from the items I received in other boxes. even if the samples were small, it was nice to give them a try. I often found out about things I hadn’t known about before. However one of their issues is that they would offer selections that would be sold out before I was allowed to log in and I would often get repeats.

However Birchbox is under new ownership and the system has been revamped. After subscribing you are taken to your box. each item selected has a tile and they have one mystery item. The mystery item is one they select. I think that you can make the entire box a mystery box if you don’t want to know what is inside. Otherwise each of the items is a tile. You can go with what they selected or you can remove it from the box and go to their list of available items. You can then use your tiles to select from the offered items. Some items on the list are worth one tile, others two. There was one full sized item on the list that I think took four tiles. I am on the month to month plan as I test it so my box is $15 per month.

Because of this, you have a lot of freedom in your selection. The number of the products will vary and while you can accept their selection, you are not stuck with the one box that didn’t sell out. There is no information about the products in the box, but there is a QVC code to scan for more information or you can just go to your account and it lists the items you received with all of the details, plus ordering information if you want them in the full size. So what was in my July Box?

The first item is a mystery item. It is the Gentle Facial buffer from So Eco. I have had one of these before and I really liked it. It is a sustainable and ethically sourced reusable facial buffer. I love that it is a minor exfoliation, but not as much as using an actual exfoliating product would be. I did notice that they do stain though. On my last one I accidentally got some mascara and a little lipstick on them and the stains remained. I was testing a makeup remover that just didn’t make the cut. I tended to wash it by putting it in a mesh bag and putting it in the washing machine with my reusable cotton rounds. It worked well and the buffer lasted a really long time (over a year before it was worn to the point of needing to be let go). Just remember it stains and it is a great tool to have around.

The second item was the one item Birchbox suggested for me. I kept it because I was surprised by it. It is the Wander Beauty All inclusive shampoo and body wash. I did not realize Wander beauty made shampoo or body wash. I will be poking around their site to find out more. There is 55mL worth of product inside which is enough to get a feel for it. It smells of lavender which is nice. I am curious to see if it does prove to be more of a body wash or a shampoo. either way i am intrigued. I am also it is a large enough sample to test out and at least see if it is worth trying in the full size.

One of the items I chose is also for the bath it is the Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath and Shower oil. It is an oil that can either be added to the bath, or put on the skin before you shower and then rinsed off. Bath oils are not something new to me, there are several I like.

Body oils that you apply after your shower instead of body lotion are likewise not a new to me idea. I don’t think I have ever had an oil that I apply before the shower and rinse off. That was what interested me and why I chose it for my box this month. As a bath oil I don’t think it would last long, but applied directly to the skin I should be able to get a few uses out of it and give it a try. I am honestly quite excited by this.

Next we have the one makeup item I chose. The selections this month were heavily skincare, hair and body. I’m not sure if that will be a trend going forward, we shall see. This was in the box and I couldn’t resist adding it. It is the No Poreblem Primer from Touch in Sol. I have this in the full size and I do love it. I chose this specifically to add to a travel bag. Even if I am not wearing makeup I tend to put on primer, powder and mascara and this is a primer that works well for that as well as with makeup, so i am thrilled to have a sample size I can throw into my travel kit.

And finally this month i chose a hair product. It is the Amika Dream Routine Overnight Hydration treatment. I have actually tried this before and really liked it. It is great for mid winter when a combination of cold weather, less humidity and the drying of the central heating system have dried out my hair. I know a lot of people have drying issues in the summer, but for me that is a winter issue, so I will take this, and put it aside for use in the winter when my hair really needs it.

And so that was my July Birchbox. The subscription takes the day you subscribed as your starting day and the day moving forward where you will be billed. I signed up on July 16th so I will make my selections mid month and will more than likely receive this at the end of the month. I am okay with that actually. Most of my subscriptions arrive at the beginning or middle of the month. I kind of like having one that arrives later as an end of the month treat.

For me this was a good box and definitely worth the cost of the subscription. I got to choose the items so they are all ones I will use. There was a good selection during my time of choice and there were new to me products as well as familiar favorites. It will be interesting to see how thing progress moving forward but for now, I really like this box and am looking forward to the next one. Perhaps it is time for Birch Box to return.