Unboxing the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus for July 2022

That’s right my darlings, it is time to unbox my IPSY Glam Bag Plus for July 2022. This subscription was $28 but this month there was a $1.99 fee added to it. With taxes my cost for this subscription is $32.91. I actually don’t mind the additional charge, however there has been quite a lot of overlap from the IPSY and BoxyCharm (mostly because IPSY bought Boxy) and I have been trying to figure out how to deal with it as far as my personal subscription list goes.

While I love subscriptions, I do pay for these myself and I really don’t need subscriptions that repeat products. For me a lot of the fun of subscriptions is trying something new. So for me, I plan to keep the quarterly Glam Bag X and skip the months between. The Glam Bag X comes in August so it won’t look like much of a change, but I will be skipping IPSY in September and October (then getting X in November and Skipping December). In December I always sit down and decide what subscriptions are going with me into the new year and which I am leaving behind. I am hoping that by going to quarterly I will skip some of the repeat products. In addition, I can put the money i would have spent on the IPSY Plus into trying out other subscriptions. This is the plan and we’ll see how it goes.

But first, there is the July IPSY Plus. Are you ready to see what was in this month’s bag?

First there are the two items that IPSY chose for me. The first of these is the Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45. It is basically a sun screen for oily skin. It does make the pores bur out a bit and looks great under makeup. I have actually used this before. I find it an interesting product.

While I am a bit more oily in the summer time than the rest of the year, I can only wear this sunscreen a few days out of the week. I am simply not as oily as it wants me to be. If you have oily/or acne prone skin then this is a fantastic product. For me, I can wear it if I know I am going to be sweating, but I can’t wear it that often or it will dry out my skin. It is a great product, I am just not it’s target audience and I will be passing it on to a friend. which I am okay with.

The second item IPSY chose for me was the Skylar Coconut Grove rollerball Perfume. I like roller balls for perfume actually and Skylar is a nice brand. I am a bit hit or miss with their scents. Some I really like others I really don’t, but they are a quality scent. I actually want to try out their Scent Club because they seem to feature scents there that sound like ones I would like. This roller ball is the size of the ones that come in their scent club and I think it is a really good size. (Plus i like actually seeing the size in person before signing up.)I am always happy to try it and since I long ago figured out that the perfumes I don’t like, my mother loves and visa versa I have someone I can pass it onto if it doesn’t work out for me. I am happy to give it a try.

Now we get into the items I actually chose. This month my selections were not good. And thins is actually one of the reasons I will be skipping some months. Most of the choices were simply for items I have either had in IPSY or in Boxy. If nothing else, I am hoping that skipping a few months will allow the selections to become more varied. There was essentially one item in each category that I wanted to try. there was one foul up this month, which I will cover first and then get into the rest.

You may notice that there is pictured the Soleil Mini Heat brush in the picture. Yeah, this was not my choice. I chose the LUCE facial Cleansing tool. I contacted IPSY and they are sending out the correct item to me so hopefully it won’t be a problem. It was just a minor moment of disappointment. I actually have this tool. I’ve tried it twice and really need to sit down and figure out if I am using it wrongly, if it is designed for different hair than mine or if it is just a useless bit of kit. I have long hair that is kind of thick. I suspect that it may work better on finer/thinner hair of a shorter length. It is a tool I will be testing more of and This particular one will be staying in the package and be passed on. If you have actually used this tool and have any thoughts, feel free to send them to me. It is one of those tools that make me feel very inept.

But moving on, my second selection was a trio of MOTD eyeshadow brushes. I like their brushes in general.. They are soft and tend to last a while. In all honesty though, I really do like the handles and that was why I chose them. Well that and it was the non repeat item in the category. I think they are very pretty and I am hoping that having a new trio of brushes will encourage me to go through my brushes and purge some of the ones that have really seen the end of their days. I have been putting it off for a while and I do have some that really need to go.

And finally there is a makeup item this month. It is a Bronzer from Kim Chi Beauty. I love the powder we had from the brand and I am looking forward to trying out the bronzer. It comes in a plastic heart with a mirror inside. I like that the compact opens and closes easily. I ran my finger across the powder and it is buttery soft and it looks like it will be a good shade match for me so I am looking forward to giving it a try.

To be honest, this was a pretty good month for my where IPSY was concerned. Yes there was the mix up, but it will hopefully be remedied. The Murad doesn’t match my profile but it is a good product that I can easily pass on to someone else. Everything else I am pleased to have a chance to try. My main problem at this point are the repeats and lack of choice. Last month nearly everything was a repeat from Boxy Charm. As IPSY tends to introduce new products with the Glam Bag X I am hoping my decision to skip out on the months between will help remedy some of that overlap. At least that is the hope.

I know that next month’s Glam Bag X Creator is Alicia Keys so I am looking forward to seeing what arrives with that bag. I’m guessing there will be at least one item from the Keys Soulcare line. As I have tried a few items and really like them. I am quite pleased with the choice and hope to try something new. After all trying new things is my favorite part of subscription boxes.



Unboxing the July 2022 BoxyCharm Premium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the July 2022 Look Fantastic Box

That’s right, the subscription boxes keep coming. It is that time. There will be a bit of a break after this as the rest ship a bit later. This month’s Look Fantastic is called the Sunshine Edit. And I have to tell you right off the bat, as soon as I opened it a lovely summery scent wafted up from under the tissue paper. But before we get to that, a few of the basics. This is a $19 per month subscription but you can lower the cost by subscribing for longer. I have an annual membership but still pay monthly. My fee is $16 per box. while some months are always going to be better than others, I have never regretted keeping this subscription or going to annual. It is always worth the $19 but feels like a steal at $16.

So what is inside this month’s box?

I’ll admit the first thing I went for when I peeled back the tissue paper was the item that smelled so lovely. It is the Foamie Papaya Body Bar. It is a Papaya and Oat Milk bar of soap that has a ribbon on it to hang in your shower. I love the scent of papaya.

Oddly I love the smell more than I like the taste. The taste is a bit strong for me and ends up tasting a little on the perfume side. But I love the scent and am thrilled to have it in soap form. I also love that it has oat milk in it. My baby doll gets skin irritations from his allergies and oat milk based soaps really help him with taming that so this will be well used and possibly fought over.

The second item I took out of the box is the spoiler from last month as well as the only makeup item in this month’s box. It is it BY Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. It is a travel sized powder. I am perfectly fine with the size since I don’t know much about the brand. I am glad they send something from By Terry that wasn’t the rose oil lip gloss which I’ve gotten a couple of times in boxes. (it’s the only thing I’ve tried from them. That was a very intense rose. I have seen this powder in the Dermstore and really wanted to try it out but was worried everything the brand had would come with that overly intense rose scent. I am happy this doesn’t smell like rose. I did open the powder. It is very finely milled and sent up a dust cloud when opened. It will be interesting to see how it performs.

Item number three was the Minetan After Sun Gel. I am actually really pleased by this. I thought Minetan only did sun-less tanning products. It is nice to know they have an after sun gel. It is something that soothes skin after too much sun and cools sunburns. As one of it’s chief ingredients is Aloe Vera which I use to treat sunburns, I have high hopes this will be good. I have worked hard not to get sunburns this year, but post sun soothing is always handy to have around, even without the burn.

A full sized Scalp Scrub from Umberto Giannini was in the box this month. I have never heard of Umberto Giannini before as a brand, but I do love scalp scrubs. I recently finished the Christophe Robin Sea Salt scalp scrub and will soon be restocking. I’ve bought that several times and will buy it again. It will be nice to try a different scalp scrub though. This one has pictures of pineapples on the front so perhaps it will be more tropical and fit well with the papaya soap.

Next, we have the Mio Future Proof Body Butter. Which I can’t lie did make me tear up a little. I received a tube of their shower gel in a subscription box a few years back and not only did I like it, but as my brother was looking for a new body wash and loved the scent of oranges I ordered a tube for him and have added it to his Christmas stocking each year since since he really liked it. I have not tried their body butter but look forward to giving it a go even though at the moment I am starting to get a stockpile of body butters. At least this one is travel sized and can be used up fairly quickly. Soon we will see if it is as good as their body wash.

The last Item in my box this month was an either or product. You could either receive a Cetaphil Gentle skin Cleanser or a Beauty Pro Clay Sheet mask. I got the Clay sheet mask and I am pretty happy about it actually. I know, I’m not the biggest fan of sheet masks, but I have used a couple of clay sheet masks and I enjoyed them a lot. So I am hoping this is a good one. And yes they are basically peel off clay masks. And you know how I love clay masks.

If you are interested in getting this box and are a new subscriber then you can get your first box for just $16 (use code HELLO) They almost always have a discount code each month posted on the page so if you decide that this box isn’t for you but then a few month’s later see one that is more your style you can usually find the code there. Right now their on line store is also having a 25% of sale with code LFSALE. Oh and the spoiler for next month is the Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense which is described as a super charged Hyaluronic acid serum. and I am all for hyaluronic acid. Plus while August will be brutal heat wise here, soon after we may head into cooler temps and then I will need the extra moisture products. So it will be nice to have something like that on hand.

And that my darlings was my July Look Fantastic box and for me this month was pretty fantastic.



Unboxing the Vinyl Post subscription

As you know I have been looking into several different subscription services lately as I shake up my personal subscription list and this is one that caught my eye. Most of my records tend to be classical in nature. Part of that is I like listening to acoustic music when I am working. If the song has lyrics I just start listening to the lyrics and sometimes stopping my work to analyze them. And when I am writing I find it slightly distracting. Some of the records I picked up randomly and some I inherited from my grandfather. I enjoy listening to records actually.

Not exclusively of course as that would take up way more space than I have to afford my musical collection.

When I saw this Vinyl Post Postcard Single subscription I thought it was really interesting. It also reminded me of the single records that my Dad showed me he collected from magazines a long time ago. All told this subscription was $7.99/ month. For that price you get an envelope mailed to you that is the size of a Christmas card. Inside is a plastic storage bag including three items. One item is a post card, with a link to download music, The second is in information card with some basics about the musician and song lyrics to the enclosed single on the back. There is also a link to hear more from the band. The third is a post cared sized record of the single from the musician. In this case Glitter Party’s Endlessly (which from the info seems less like a band and is listed as “a solo recording project of Sam Cohen).

The record containing the single feels a bit like a photo paper that has been laminated. It is thinner than a record but when I pit it on my turntable it played well. The hole in the center was a little tight so I was concerned it would rip going on, but it didn’t. And the tightness as well as the size helped keep it on the turn table as it played. I am very glad it came with the plastic sheath in which to store the single ‘record’ as I suspect that given the thinness of the imprint and paper a single scratch would pretty much destroy it. In the sheath I’m sure it will be perfectly safe.

I love the concept of this and I enjoy supporting emerging artists in pretty much any field. I actually enjoy the thought of getting a new song mailed to me every month and I could easily see myself building a pile of these songs with my regular record collection. The downside of this subscription is that it is just the general indie artist category. I think that everyone is sent the same song each month. And not all songs are going to appeal to all people.

I found this song to be okay. I may listen to it again, I may not. I didn’t really love it or really want to seek out more about the musician and his other works. But who knows, next month they may send a song I absolutely love. I think that this is going to be a very subjective subscription. And the length of time I keep the Vinyl Post Single Subscription is going to depend on the frequency of which I like the songs. But I absolutely love the idea of this subscription and thought it was a fun one to try out. It also looked like an interesting way to find more songs that i might not have run across on my own. If you are into music, this might be something you might want to give a try.

Oh if you are looking at trying something new, Cratejoy is having a Christmas in July sale. you can get 30% off a lot of subscriptions with the code JOLLY30. It’s one of those places I love poking around just to see what sort of subscriptions I can find.

Unboxing The Underclub for July 2022

We have reached the second full week of the month and subscription boxes are starting to arrive. The first to arrive is The Underclub. I love this subscription for its size inclusivity, they go from XS to 4X I believe. There is also no upcharge for larger garments. All of their sizes are the same. It is also the same in the store too. You don’t have to go off to some small dark corner or their on-line store where a few items marked plus sized live, often with an extra charge for the size increase. Nope, the whole website features everything in every size.

I also love the underwear and the quality of it.

I am on the Underclub’s one pair per month plan for $15. They have different tiers where you can receive more pairs and possibly even a bralette. For me one pair is plenty. I love having pretty underwear. I know that may sound a bit strange to say. But I have started loving it more as I have been working out more.

inside the package the underwear is contained in a small bag.

Here’s the thing, when I wear pretty underwear I feel confident and pretty. It doesn’t matter what else is going on. It is an instant confidence boost. It doesn’t require anyone else to see it. I know it and it makes me feel good. It always has. when working out, it is best to wear plain cotton undergarments that have few if any embellishments. when lace becomes sweat soaked it can turn into sand paper really fast. There is exfoliation and then there is lace burn around the legs of your bikini underwear. Not fun, recommend avoiding.

Also there is the extra laundering of workout underwear. I put it on to work out. I finish the work out and it, along with my other work out clothes, go into the laundry, a fresh pair of underwear going on with the rest of the post shower clothing. So work out underwear needs to take a beating.

There is something magical about coming out of a post work out shower and putting on a nice, lacy pair of underwear. It feels like a reward for putting in the effort. As silly as that sounds, it is my daily reward to myself. and when you are doing long haul weight loss those little rewards come in very handy.

But lets look at this month’s pair. The photos wash out the color a little bit but this pair is a light blue lace. They are bikini style and have a scalloped lace edge. I love the look of a scalloped lace edge. I have to admit it.

As always I inspected the pants when they arrived, looking for loose strings and missed stitches. There were none, I then sent them through the wash and inspected again. Still no problems. These are very well constructed garments. This pair has an added cut out detail in the back. For some reason the last few pairs I’ve received have had this. I’m guessing it is a popular design. I have to admit I like it more for practicality than looks (although it does look nice). Some of my lacier underwear can be hard at first to tell which is front and which is back. These you can tell the difference blindfolded.

And while i don’t take my shower blindfolded sometimes I don’t have my contacts in while in the shower so orientation by touch can be somewhat important. (Because a lot of my exercise is outside sometimes sweat mixed with sunscreen can cloud up my contacts, so I take them out for cleaning or replacement before the shower, in case you ae wondering).

I really like this pair and all told The Underclub is one of my favorite subscriptions. The garments always fit perfectly and they feel good to wear. I have never had a pair that wasn’t worth the subscription fee, and July’s is no exception.

Unboxing the Bookishly Vintage and Coffee for July 2022

I have recently been reviewing all of my subscriptions and looking at the ones I want to keep moving forwards and possibly some others to replace them. I love subscription boxes and services. I know that I spend more time talking about the beauty ones than anything else, but I am finding myself drawn more to non-beauty subscriptions.

And occasionally I poke around on Cratejoy just to see what is available. I recently came across this Bookishly one and as coffee and books are two of my favorite things, I thought it might be fun to give it a try. There are several different types for this service. There is this one which is listed as the Vintage and coffee, there is a coffee and classics and there is a sci fi/fantasy and coffee as well.

I believe you can choose tea instead of coffee if you are so inclined.

I can be somewhat picky about my sci fi and fantasy and at this point I have a rather large classics collection, so I decided to try out the vintage one. The subscription is a UK based one and I believe it is run through a small book shop. In the title I marked this as the July subscription, but it may actually be the June one. The first order of the subscription ships out within 2 hours according to the site, and the following ones ship out the 20th of the month. The subscription charges to your account on the 8th of the month. I did put this as the July post because I suspect that the one that is mailed out on the 20th won’t reach me until the beginning of August. I could be wrong, and if so then we will have two July postings for Bookishly as I already know I will be keeping it for a few months at the very least. As for cost, the cost o0n the site is listed in pounds (as is natural for a UK subscription) when all is said and done with the international fees ($0.81) and everything (Shipping flat $3 fee) the cost to me was $17.12.

And what did I get for my subscription cost?

Well I received a small bag of coffee and a paperback book. The coffee is PerkuLatte Coffee Co and the variety I received this time was Colombian Cauca Piendama. It was roasted on the 5th of May according to the bag and has flavor notes of cacao, caramel and apple. There were enough grounds in the bag for two separate pots of coffee. (I used a 10 cup French press and I tend to like my coffee strong, if you are doing your own comparison). I have to say I did notices some chocolaty notes with a hint of caramel-y sweetness to tone down some of cacao’s bitter notes. I can’t say I noticed any apple notes. But otherwise the description was pretty good. The coffee was quite good as well.

I took down one of my fancy coffee cups for the brew. I know this is the sort of cup that is usually doctored with a bit of brandy (and for the second pot I did add a little bit of cognac for a Sunday afternoon treat. But even without the alcohol that cup just feels good in the hand so I needed little encouragement to use it. (And really why should tea have all the pretty china?)

As for the book. The one I received was Graham Greene’s The Lawless Roads. Greene wrote both thrillers, novels and some serious works that I read is school. I think the Third man is one a more people are familiar with. I have read The quiet American and The Ministry of Fear. The Ministry of Fear is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it actually. I had not heard of The Lawless Roads, but I do like the author so I am looking for ward to it. I already started the intro and his writing is so easy to fall into. It is definitely from a different era though.

And hence well into the vintage category (Green lived from 1904-1991 in case you were wondering). I also love that the book was wrapped up in paper like a little present. It made it feel just that much more special.

book wrapped up

So I am well pleased with both the coffee and the book. The book is about Travels in Mexico and the coffee is Columbian. I don’t know if there is any thought to the pairing of the two or if that is incidental. I do know I enjoy both. The book clearly wouldn’t be the same for everyone, but I can say that the book is in good condition, no markings and no torn bits. It has some age to it, but it is not worn out. As I often think the same of myself i am fine with that.

There is a small paper bookmark that also came with the book. I don’t know if that is standard, So I’ll have to see about that moving forward. It is just a thick paper book mark with a Madam Bovary quote on it – “I feel torn to pieces by a rage of love.” As I read the book I’ll see if it relates to the book or if it is just random, but as I am only on the introduction, that too will wait.

I am well pleased with this Bookishly subscription. I know it is my first one, but I love the thought of getting a surprise book once a month. Something i may not have picked up on my own or may not have even come across. I know there is always the possibility that I will get something that I don’t really feel like reading, but I do read a wide variety of books and topics and even if I don’t like the book, I have a bag of coffee with two full pots worth of grounds inside ad my local library takes donations for their annual book sale. So it can never be all bad. I am already looking forward to what gets sent on the 20th. And to be honest, anticipation of a subscription is almost as much fun as getting the subscription. It has been a while since I have anticipated a subscription this much. Which is yet another reason for me to revise my subscriptions list. But for now, this is one I think I will keep around for a while.

Shop Mystery and Escape Room Subscription Boxes on Cratejoy

Unboxing the June 2022 GlossyBox

Coming in just under the wire is the June Glossy Box. I can’t lie, this box caused me great angst this month. Normally this is one of my favorite boxes and any time i have had to e-mail customer service they have been great. This month was a little different. Around June 20th I realized my Glossy Box had not come in so I sent a note to their customer service asking when boxes would be shipped.

I received a message stating that orders charged by the 5th and ship by the 12th. The entire message made it feel like I was at fault for not sending an e-mail on the 12th to ask if the box had been shipped. I was a little irked, but I probably should have checked on the box sooner and at least now I know when i should check. I sent a message back saying that I had not been charged and had not received a shipping notice. I received a much more polite return e-mail telling me that June’s boxes sold out and that my subscription would start with the July box.

I pointed out that I had been a member for several years and it wasn’t a new subscription. They again told me that June’s box was sold out and that my subscription would start with July.. The same day, my account was charged for June, I received a tracking e-mail and two days later the box was on my doorstep. It is the June box but there were some substitutions. So now that we’ve settled ourselves with customer service, let’s look at the June Box. First lets take a look at the items covered in the pamphlet that came in the box.

Item number one is a deluxe Mini of the Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing paste. I have never tried this product before but as I have more or less loved every Christophe Robin product I’ve tried, I am really looking forward to trying it out. I just finished up one of the sea salt scalp scrubs from the brand and will be ordering it. (The Skinstore routinely has both Christophe Robin and Grow Gorgeous (another fave hair care brand) sales so I am waiting for the next one to stock up – Their Fourth of July sale has begun so you might want to check it out if you are looking into stocking your own skincare). I did open the jar though and took a sniff. It is very Rose scented. I’m not sure how that will play out in my hair, but those with rose scented issues beware. It will be interesting to see how much scent stays in the hair from the paste.

The second item listed in the brochure that was in my box was the Pixi by Petra Peach Honey Blush Duo. It is a deluxe mini and according to the pamphlet…”sweep on the peachy pink and follow with a dusting of the golden highlighter. I suspect the peachy pink may end up being a bit light for me but I am willing to give it a try. While I have tried a few makeup products from the brand when I purchase form them I almost always purchase toners. The makeup I have received in subscription boxes and tends to be very hit or miss for me. They do make excellent toners though.

The third item listed in the pamphlet is a full sized body cream from Not Pot. It is the Banana OG Hemp body cream. It has a big fragrance free label on the side. It may be the most well sealed body lotion I have ever received. The entire tube was sheathed in plastic and it had an interior foil cap. Whoever sent this out was determined that it would not leak in transit. And it didn’t. When I finally released it and took a sniff I have to agree, there is zero fragrance. The label lists banana extract as well as sativa oil in case you are wondering why both banana and hemp are in the body cream’s name. I am kind of glad thee is no CBD scent, but at the same time I am a little disappointed that there isn’t a banana scent. I think it would be a nice summery scent that was different from the typical watermelon and coconut. But unscented is fine too.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The remaining two products in the box are not the same ones in the pamphlet. However the two items that are listed in the pamphlet I have received before. So I don’t know if the substitution was made because someone is keeping track or because they simply ran out of products. The two listed in the pamphlet are Comfort Zone’s ReNight Cream and Balance Me’s BHA exfoliating concentrate.

The two remaining products I received are the Astaxanthin Collagen All in One Gel from DHC and the Julep Love your Bare Face Hydrating Bamboo Water Cleansing Wipes. Interestingly enough I have received this gel moisturizer and a different type of Julep cleansing wipes from Look Fantastic. The DHC Moisturizer is nice. It is full size and has a water cream texture to it. It is actually really good for summer wear. I also like the burnt orange Ombre of the jar. It is a good product and I don’t mind having it appear again.

I’m never going to be thrilled by cleansing wipes showing up because I have taken them out of my routine. I do like the ease of using them, I just dislike the waste. Julep does make great wipes though. They moisturize the skin while removing dirt and makeup from your face. They are really good it is just a category of product that i specifically gave up using not because I really wanted to but because it was the right thing to do. Since they are here I will use them but i really wish subscription boxes wouldn’t send them.

For me this was a frustrating box. I was annoyed by customer service, more because it felt like they were giving me standard answers without actually reading the question I was asking and I do like when the items match the pamphlet. when they don’t it feels a little more last minute and like leftovers instead of a box someone thoughtfully put together. Whether it is true or not, I like believing that someone thought about the contents in at least a cursory way. I am happy with my substitutions though and am looking forward to trying them out. This month just felt harder than it had to be. Maybe I just felt it more this month because I so often really like Glossy Box and look forward to it. Or because I really needed June to be drama free for my own piece of mind. Either way I will still enjoy the products and I will hope that whatever the internal issues were this month they re resolved and won’t carry over to July.



Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for June 2022

In a lovely turn of events about the time I finished writing up my thoughts on the Boxy Charm Premium Box for June, my IPSY Glam Bag Plus arrived. As I mentioned in the Boxycharm unboxing, I am evaluating both subscriptions and trying to figure out if I need both.

The IPSY Glam Bag Plus subscription is $28. With taxes it comes to $30.73. However this month there was a message sent out from IPSY…

we will be adding a $1.99 handling fee to monthly Glam Bag and Glam Bag Plus shipments, starting with July shipments. We will also update the quarterly Glam Bag X price to $58 with an added $1.99 handling fee, starting with August shipments. – IPSY e-mail sent to subscribers June 9th, 2022

The Glam Bag X (Quarterly subscription was $55 ($60.36 with tax) in case you were wondering. Boxycharm added the same $1.99 S&H to their Pop Up shop items as well so I was sort of expecting something like that and to be fair the extra cost doesn’t bother me that much. Slipping the raised Glam Bag X fees in there at the same time is a little sneaky, but I am guessing they thought if they did the extra fee now and then in two months raised the price of Glam Bag X people would have been even more upset. So I can see the logic.

what bothers me most are the items in this month’s Glam Bag. Now i d want to be clear. The items themselves I actually really like and am happy to have. What bothers me is that all but one have been in Boxycharm. It is what prompted me to seriously consider if I needed both memberships. So let’s look at the items shall we?

There are five items in the Glam Bag Plus, two that they choose and then three that are selected from a group of options. The first item they chose for me was the Saturday Skin Rub a Dub peeling gel. It is a good product and I have used it before. I will happily use it again. I believe it was a Boxycharm item three months ago.

The second item that IPSY chose for me is the Ciate London Dewy Skin Primer. I received this in of of my boxy’s a few months back. I’ve been testing it off and on and am actually on the fence as to whether or not I like it. It is dewy look. If you are going for that look then it is fabulous. For me it might be a bit too dewy. But that will be decided later.

Now we get to the items that I chose. The first is a Natasha Denona eyeshadow palette . It is the Ayana palette and different from the palette that I received in Boxy this month. I love the formula of the shadows and I love the shades. And to be honest I have no problem with the same types and brands being in each box as long as the items are different. In this case, it is a different range of shadows so I am happy with it.

The second item I chose was the Vike Makeup Melt. I also received this in a previous Boxy. This link will take you to my full review if you are interested actually. I enjoyed the product and am happy to have another bottle as my first is about half empty. It works well and is quick and easy to use. It was also the only item in that categories choice selection that I wanted.

And now we come to the final item I chose and this one I have not actually seen in a Boxycharm Box. (It is however for sale in the Boxy pop up store) The other items in this selection category I did see there so I decided to choose the Lovita Never lost Necklace. It is a little gold charm imprinted with a compass design. The Charm is of good quality but the chain feels a little bit cheap. I’ll probably end up putting it on a different chain. I am actually quite pleased with the charm though and might choose the jewelry options more in the future.

To be fair i am pleased with all of my items and I look forward to using them, with the possible exception of the primer. The issue I have is simply one of repetition. If I am going to get exactly the same items from each subscription, why keep both subscriptions? Especially when the items in the bag or box are often for sale in either IPSY add ons or Boxy pop up. Would it not be better to pick one subscription and then just use the money that I saved by not having the subscription to pick up the extra items i might want from the store of the subscription I keep? Or to try out a completely different subscription service?

Thee is also the possibility of skipping months. Perhaps I might try skipping the months between the Glam Bag X months and only getting the quarterly bags. That too is a possibility. This month could also have been a fluke and next month completely different products might appear. I generally start evaluating my subscription list in November/December. I think I will probably keep both subscriptions until then, but monitor the items as well as which of their shops I actually use. This month I did pick up a few items from IPSY’s add ons where I did not from Boxy. It is going to be an interesting situation to monitor. For now though, I do like the items I have received and I look forward to using the,. There are no surprises which is a bit disappointing, but they are good products.

If anyone else is going through this sort of decision, I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can drop them in the comments or simply send me a message. For me it is watch and wait, but I suspect things will change in the new year.

Shop Best Selling skincare at PeachandLily.com!

Shop Peach & Lily!

Unboxing the June 2022 BoxyCharm Premium Box

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

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

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

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

But now on with the box.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freedom Fresh Bricc Soap & Deodorant

Unboxing the Allure Beauty Box for June 2022

I told you, it is now subscription box time. Usually thy are scattered throughout the middle of the month, but allure came in right after Look Fantastic. There are six items in this month’s box. Allure promises six to seven I believe. And three of them are supposed to be full sized. This month we have four that are full sized I believe. The cost of the box is $23. I actually saw no spoilers for this box so it is a complete surprise this month to me. While some subscription boxes I have to go out of my way to avoid spoilers, this one I never seem to accidentally come across. According to the pamphlet, this is version 2.

So what does Version 2 hold?

Well the first item out of my Allure beauty box this month is the Symbiosis Tightening and Resplendent eye mask. It is a 0.50 oz size which I believe is full size. According to the pamphlet this size retails for $93. Given the description I wasn’t entirely sure if it was some sort of concealing eye mask or an eye cream. From the description it sounded like it might be tinted. So I did open it (plus I am almost finished with my current eye cream and needed a new one) It is a light weight eye cream. I can always use eye creams and I am very interested to see how it performs. I have had products from the brand but I think they are in my waiting to be tried drawer. I honestly didn’t realize it was that expensive a brand. But I am up for some tightening, hydrating, crows’ feet removal so bring it on.

Item number two in the box this month is a travel size of the belif Aqua bomb hydrating Body Moisturizer. I kind of find this amusing as for a while it seemed like all of the subscription boxes were sending out the Aqua bomb facial moisturizers. For me it was too hydrating for my skin type so I ended up using them as body moisturizers. They worked wonders on my elbows actually. It will be fun to try a belif moisturizer that is actually designed for the body on my body.

The next item in this month’s beauty box I am sort of on the fence about. It is a sample size of the Sephora Smooth and Blur Primer. I like primers. we all know i like primers, however this 5 mL tube feels almost empty. I did actually put it on the scale and with the tube included it came to exactly 5 mL. In general I tend to pick up Sephora brand items when I need to add a little something to make sure I get free shipping, not because it is something that I was looking for. Perhaps I will use it and see why it’s presence in this beauty box is justified, but I can’t exactly say it thrills me to have it in the box.

Moving on we have the Beautaniq Beauty Raindrench Serum. It is a full size with a value of $26. It has Hyaluronic acid and niacinamides, both of which my skin loves so I am happy to give it a trial run. Beautaniq Beauty and I have had out ups and downs before. I am hoping this is on the plus side. Since the serum does contain some nice ingredients I have high hopes for it.

I love that the next item is a Ciate London palette. It is the Everyday Vacay Palette and like the Everyday Vacay powder, it smells of coconut. While I am sure all of the shades can be used as eyeshadow, there is also one shade that would work well as a blush, another as a bronzer and a third as a highlighter. They’d make great eyeshadows too, but i do like the versatility of it. I also see some shades I can’t wait to try out. It looks a bit more neutral than summer fun but the rosy tones do brighten it up a bit. I look forward to trying it out.

And finally we come to a full sized lip scrub from Manna Kadar. (retail $10). I do like the lip scrubs shaped like lipsticks as they are really easy to use. I find they don’t last as long, ether because they wear down faster or I simply use them more. While I have a jarred one I am using up, I was going to restock my ELF lip scrubs as they are nice. I am always happy to try a new one and in the summer, I do go through a lot of them. I have not tried the Mana Kadar formula before but it has a nice light vanilla scent to it so that will be nice, preceding it works well of course. I look forward to putting it to the test.

To be honest i had kind of mixed feelings about this Allure Beauty box for June 2022. While I am looking forward to trying out the items in the box, I can’t say that I find it all that exciting. I’m happy to have the eye cream and lip scrub as they are both needed in my line up right now. And I like Ciate’s shadows. It is a more useful than fun or exciting box this month. Which is fine, I will use all of the items and I’m sure most of them I will probably enjoy. It is just lacking a little of the summer sizzle I suppose. And to be honest, I find the Sephora sample a let down.