Unboxing the BoxyCharm Premium for November 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the August 2022 Boxycharm Premium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LovelySkin

Unboxing the July 2022 BoxyCharm Premium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the November 2021 BoxyCharm Premium

Good morning my darlings and welcome to the unboxing of the November Boxycharm Premium. I have to say I was sweating on having this one arrive while I was out of town for Thanksgiving. I am so glad it arrived in time. This moth the cost of Boxycharm Premium went up. This box is now $39.99 (with tax it comes to $43.89.) This is one of those things where I can see the reasoning behind the price increase, but I’m not sure what that means for me keeping the box. I want to give it a few months at the new price to see how it settles in and how I feel before I make my decision. Usually I make decisions about boxes in December, but I might actually let this get past the Holiday Boxes (Christmas and New years) before I make my final call on it. Mostly because the December and January boxes of most subscription boxes tend to be really good. But before final decisions can be made, let’s see what the November box holds.

We are going to start with the two items I actually chose during choice. The first is the KVD Vegan Beauty Lock it Powder Foundation (retail $37). I have an older version of this in a shade I can only wear in the summer time so I was happy to choose a lighter shade of this in the new packaging. The new packaging is refillable too, so I am extra excited to see it. I remember this being a good foundation, but it has been a while so I look forward to trying it out again.

The second item I chose was the Sutra Beauty Rejuvenating Hair serum (retail $45). I’ll be honest, I chose this because I forgot about Boxy choice and came in late. Many of the items were already out of stock and this was the best item left. The bottle is lovely and I do like hair serums, so we will have to see how it performs.

The first surprise item is the Peach and Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist (retail $29). I have used the Peach and Lily glass skin Serum before and liked it. I have also used the cleansing balm from the brand and loved it so I am very excited to have another product from them to try out. I love that the bottle is a nice heavy glass bottle too. The spray is nice and the scent is very light, so hopefully it will sit nicely on the skin.

The next item is a makeup item and it is the Rodial Blush Drops (retail $50). Rodial tends to be on the pricy side. I have used their skincare before but I don’t think I’ve tried any makeup from the brand. I enjoy both cream and liquid blushes so this should be fun to try out. And I am glad they are putting more makeup in the boxes now. There are a few items from Rodial that I love, but it isn’t a universal love for the brand. It will be interesting to see which way the blush leans.

The fifth item in this month’s box is the Girlactik Rose Oil Petal Gloss (retail $20). It is a nice lip oil with rose petals suspended in it. It is pretty and the oil feels nice. I also like that while it doesn’t smell overly rose, it also doesn’t taste overly rosy. At least not on a trial test. I tried a rose oil lip scrub a while back that was just horrid due to the rose flavor. This seems to hold the flavor in check, for which I am grateful

And finally we have the Riddle Oil Original Roll on oil (retail $50). This is a small roll on perfume that quite honestly doesn’t look full size. It looks like a deluxe sample. But as this box only has full sizes then I’m going to guess it is actually full size. I love perfumes and lord knows I do not mind spending the money on them I have several in my collection that are in the $120 range so I know that they can be small but expensive. I think because it doesn’t look like a full sized bottle I have a hard time thinking of it that way. Perhaps once I will use it, I will see the value.

Size and price claims aside, I think this was a pretty good box. Was it spectacular? Not really. And I think because this was the month where the increased price kicked in, I expected spectacular. I sort of expected them to prove without a shadow of a doubt that they were worth the price increase. Instead I am still on the fence.

Do I like the box? Yes. Am I happy to have these products? Also yes. Am I blown away? No. Am I certain this box is worth me spending the new increased price on it? Not yet. But this is why I will be giving them a few months. At the moment I know there are shortages. I know shipping isn’t great. So even though I wasn’t blown away, I am pleased with this box and hopefully as things smooth out, Boxycharm will get better. If not, there is an entire list of boxes out there I want to try. I will just pick one from the list and give it a go.

Shop Gifts Under $100 on Cratejoy

The Daily: October 4th, 2021

Oh Monday Monday, so rainy and so surprisingly warm. At this time of year that feels so strange. It feels like each rain storm that passes through should knock off a couple of degrees from the total instead of adding a layer of swampiness to the air. So strange.

Admittedly it did make me feel better about spending the extra time walking last week. That was nice. I felt a little vindicated for ducking out of the office to spend time in the sun. And now that it is rainy I get to catch up, because I certainly am not walking today. The park is flooded and the air is something that you can take a bite of.

So it is me and a you tube workout this afternoon.

Plus a lot of paperwork i put off last week.

I’m also starting to think about some of my subscriptions. To be honest I thought I had it figured out. I was pretty sure I knew what I was going to do in the upcoming year and which subscriptions I was going to drop. Then BoxyCharm sent and e-mail stating that the premium category was going to have a price increase in November. Instead of $35 per month it will now be $39.99. The other categories are staying the same. At the moment I am on the fence. I could say that the Premium category was worth $35 and I have been enjoying it, however I am not sure that it is worth keeping for $40. The new pricing goes into effect in November and I think I will be keeping the subscription through the end of the year unless something happens, but I will be watching the next two months to see if the price increase is worth it to me. $40 is edging into quarterly box territory and I am beginning to wonder if maybe a quarterly box like Fab Fit Fun might not be an interesting change.

Admittedly it might just be an interesting change while I whittle down my skincare stockpile. In generally I am thinking about adjusting some of my subscriptions so it isn’t just Makeup and skincare coming in, mostly because it has been so skincare heavy for a while and I really need to use up some of my skincare. Just some things I’ve been thinking about as I plan for the upcoming year. Thinking about Boxycharm has lead me to use the Hello Charmer eyeshadow palette today.

Today’s look:

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique Vegan Bronzing Stick

Blush: Colour Veil Gel Blusher from Illamasqua

Highlight: Milk and Honey Palette from Beauty Bakerie

Powder: Ciate London The Extraordinary Powder

Eyeshadow: Hello Charmer Eyeshadow Palette from BoxyCharm

Mascara: Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Lips: bareMinerals Mineralist Lipstick in Perception

Brows: Brow Bar by Reema Brow Kit

Setting Spray: Laura Geller Spackle Mist Restore

I’ll be honest, today was mostly about testing out the gel blusher and the highlighter palette with an actual foundation instead of a BB cream. Last week I used both the Milk and Honey Palette and the Illamasqua gel blusher with a bb cream and they performed well. They were both able to blend down and work as a sort of natural look with the BB cream I was using.

But while I love knowing I have products that work with BB creams for a natural look, I didn’t know how they’d perform with an actual foundation, would they be too subtle to work out? The Colour Veil came through like a champ. I really like the way it looks with the foundation. It is able to blend in and add the touch of color without either standing out like a clown or disappearing completely.

The Milk and Honey Palette I am not so big a fan of. There are four shades and I’ll rotate through them, but the one I used today, the golden shade Queen Bee’ing, lost it’s color as it blended and just left glittery specs behind. I’m not really feeling it. I’ll keep playing but this isn’t turning out to be my favorite set of highlighters.

I do love the lipstick though. The color makes me feel fall and the bareMineralist lipstick formula is nice. As it is a bullet style lipstick it doesn’t dry down all the way so there are some lip prints at first. If you wait about 20 minutes, it is dried down enough that there are only hazy lip prints, and with a color this deep that is kind of impressive. As a lipstick it does loose color over the day, but it is still there at the end of the day. (Admittedly the greasier your lunch is the faster it will disappear. The grease just seems to break it down a bit more.) And even if the color fades at the end of an eight hour day, my lips feel nourished instead of dried out. So I am a fan. But then all of the products I’ve tried from the Mineralist line have been pretty spectacular.

But now me and my spectacular lips need to get back to work. All the things I put off to enjoy the sun yesterday have returned to my desk. And they brought friends. I still regret nothing. even if I will have to work a little later tonight.

Unboxing the BoxyCharm Premium Box for August 2021

This seems to be the month where subscription boxes just sneak into the house. Maybe they have all decided to go incognito through the mail. As with this month’s Birch box, I didn’t get an e-mail saying that the August Boxycharm was on the way. It just showed up on my doorstep.

Surprise! Boxy is here.

I am currently subscribed to the Premium category of Boxy Charm. They have the Base box which is $25 a month, the Premium (which I get) for $35 and the Quarterly BoxyLuxe which I think is $50. At one time I had all of them and after monitoring the items I received I realized I was most consistently happy with the products in the Premium category so I dropped the others and kept the $35 box. In general I have been pretty happy with it. Occasionally some months are less exciting than others, but you get that with every subscription. But for me the Premium category has been consistently decent.

So let’s see what came in this month’s box.

The first item is one I chose and that is the Wishful Honey Balm Jelly Moisturizer (retail $49). I love so many of Huda Beauty’s products and I really wanted to try out something from their sister skincare line (Wishful) so I was excited to see this as a choice item. I rotated in a sample size of a moisturizer for night time use this week in my skin care line and since it will be an empty container by Friday I have been debating what product to replace it with. I might just add this in to try it out. But I was happy to see it as a choice option.

The second choice was mostly a line of Vesca Products. I had never heard of Vesca, but I am always willing to give a new brand a try. I could have sworn I clicked on the bronzer, but in my box was the Soft Sun Radiant Skin Primer and Luminizer (retail $30). I am never opposed to a primer. I suppose I was thinking bronzer and my hand automatically clicked on primer. (or there was another mix up).

The swatch above the primer is for the Zoeva Lippie below

I tried this on my hand and it looks like it is going to be quite the luminizing product. I suspect I am going to have to pair it with a definite matte foundation to balance it out. But I will give it a shot and see how it performs. It should be fun to play around with , and I am happy there was some makeup in the box.

Speaking of makeup there was a Zoeva Powerful Lip twist in the shade Rhea (retail $$14). I like the size of the lip rayon and I think I can make the color work, but it is a very soft formula. Just trying it on my hand bent the tip of the crayon nearly sideways. So I’ll have to be careful with it. Or possibly put it in the fridge for a few minutes before using it.

This month there was a Rainforest Mist Hairspray from Voir (retail $26). I do not use a lot of hairspray to be honest. I generally keep a travel sized bottle in with my hair products and the trial sized bottle lasts for pretty much ever. I did clear out an empty travel sized bottle from my drawer of hair care items the last time I sorted products so I don’t think I actually have any hair spray in the house at the moment.

Now I suppose I do, for any hairspray emergency that comes up. This one has a nice fine mist of product and has a scent like a high end hair salon. I’ve never heard of Voir before, but this looks like it could be a pretty decent product. Perhaps in the fall when the humidity lowers I’ll come up with some hair style that needs hairspray so I can give it a try. Right now not only is it too hot and humid, but my hair is too long and heavy to wear down. Most of the time when I curl it (and thus using hairspray) I wear it down. So the Voir awaits fall.

ohe last two items in my Boxy Charm this month were both skincare tools. The first of these is the Luxe + Willow Phoenix Rose Gold Quartz Vibrating Facial Massager (retail $79.99). I have a context beauty facial massager that is built along similar lines. The big difference is that the top is a bar instead of a quartz disk. While I like the vibrations of the tool on my face, I don’t like that bar, especially under my eye area. It feels a little too hard and angular. I suspect I might like the rounded disk a lot more. I really do like the facial vibration tools. I enjoy the Fereo as a cleanser and I think I will really like this. I actually can’t wait to try it.

And finally there is a plastic bag filled with three reusable rounds from LaRuce Beauty (retail $24). I have several brush sets form them and they are nice. The brushes are a bit overpriced, but nice enough. These rounds actually seem perfectly priced, which is nice to see. These three are all fuzzier than any of the facial rounds I use. The package recommends that The white be used to remove makeup, the gray for toners and serums and the black for washing the face. I think the black one would be very good for washing the face. I might use the gray with toners, but I would be hesitant to try them with serums as it looks like it might absorb more product than a regular reusable round due to its extra fluffiness. I think the white one, as well as the other two when it comes down to it, would be good at removing makeup. It will be interesting to see how long that fluffiness lasts and what effect it has. I like that they can be added to the washing machine. I’m going to give them a good try with a variety of different uses and see how they perform as well as how they wash. I’ll have to get back to you on my thoughts regarding them after they have been given a fair trial.

So that was this month’s Boxy Charm. My $35 box had $222.99 value to it. For me the value is in whether I will use the items and I have to say I will. I may not get as much use out of the hair spray, but it does fill a gap in my current products list and I would have bought hair spray in the fall once the weather cools down. So it means I don’t have to buy hairspray now. The rest of the items I am looking forward to trying out. All in all I am actually pretty satisfied. There were two makeup items, one hair care item, one moisturizer and two skincare tools. Over all it was a pretty good mix of products. I am certainly happy to keep Boxycharm Premium for another month.

Beyond Clean Beauty. Ogee is plant powered, vegan, gluten-free, GMO free and certified organic ingredients.

OGEEORGANICS10 for 10%

Spring Into Clean Skin Campaign – Shop Curated Bundles

Unboxing the July 2021 Boxycharm Premium

That’s right, my Boxycharm premium has arrived. For those who don’t know premium is the $35 per month category of the Boxycharm beauty Box Subscription. They have several tiers. Their base box is $25 per month and then they have a more expensive Quarterly Luxe box. I’ve actually had all three tiers and after playing around with them for a while, I decided the tier that consistently had the most products I wanted to try was the premium category. I let go of the other tiers and if there is something that shows up in one of the other tiers that I like, I wait and usually it will show up in one of the monthly Boxycharm add ons or pop up stores.

Thus far it has been a good system for me. There was a slump for a while, but the premium category has gotten better and is now back to being a pretty good box. This month was a Brand Take over for Boxycharm Premium. That’s right this month was the Boxycharm Premium X Novina Anastasia Beverly Hills Box. And I have to say, I am pretty happy with what I recieved.

First up is the Novina Pro Pigment Palette Volume 1 (retail $60). I am very happy to have this palette as it has several bright colors that look fun to play around with. I know typically I go for more neutral looks but at the moment I am swamped with neutral colors.

I am very happy to have some color to play around with. I did swatch a couple of the shades after opening it because i just couldn’t resist and they made some gorgeous swatches. They feel buttery soft and look highly pigmented. I know they can sometimes apply differently than they swatch, but I was rather impressed with the swatching.

The second item in my box this month was the ABH Loose setting powder (retail $38). I loe powder. I do. I know some people love highlighters but I really love powders. I will sometimes go without foundation, but i will still usually put a dusting of powder on, even on my no makeup days.

I have never tried ABH powder before, but I am looking forward to it. I am actually quite impressed by the size of the container as well. It is a relatively large setting powder. I can’t wait to dive in and try it out.

The third item is the ABH Lash Brag Mascara (retail $25). Again I have never tried any ABH Mascara’s before and am looking to give this one a go. I just cleared out three mascaras from my open mascara collection.

I couldn’t resist opening my favorite Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir yesterday so I think I am going to wait a little while before opening this one. (by the way, this mascara is currently on sale. Instead of the normal $27 the sale price is $13.50. It is one of my absolutely favorite mascaras and I can’t recommend it enough – especially when it is on sale.) I want to roll off at least one more mascara from my open products before I open up a new one. It is supposed to be a volumizing mascara so I am looking forward to trying this out. The ABH link will take you to the ABH website (no affiliation with me) if you want to see the wand. I just didn’t want to open this until I was ready to use it. The wand on the site does look nice and fluffy which is always a plus for volumizing mascara so I have high hopes for this one.

Next up we have the ABH Brow Definer. (retail $23). I find this lash pencil interesting actually. It has a flat angled end that looks like it would work quite well on my brows.

At the moment i am testing out the Billion Dollar Beauty brow products, so I will have to delay opening this as well (for about a week or so) but I will be trying it out soon as I am curious to see how well the flat angle works. Plus as my bangs have grown out again I can play around with brow products and even if they end up looking crazy no one can really see them so it is the perfect time to play.

There is a setting spray in the box this month it is the ABH Dewy Set setting spray (retail $26). I’ve never actually used a dewy setting spray so I am not sure how I will like this one. Even though I am trying to use up the Farsali, I will be using this setting spray today I think, just to test it out. That way if I try it and really don’t like the dewy spray, I can pass it along to someone else quickly.

I do have to say, I like the sparkly bottle and I know it sounds strange, but I really love the twist and lock sprayer. I have a couple of setting sprays I have to keep out on the dressing table because they leak if they are laid down in a drawer. This loos like it would not in any way leak. It may, but it looks designed not to. Plus with the lock, you can put it in your luggage without having to find the cap. I am the queen of losing caps for spray bottles. If I manage to hold on to one of those little caps for more than a week, I am always shocked.

Finally there is a brush in my box this month. It is the ABH A 30 Pro brush Domeo Kabuki Brush (retail $24). I love kabuki style brushes. I really enjoy brushes with the soft, yet densely packed bristles and this looks like it is well made. It is also a smaller size with the end of the brush so it looks like it will be quite useful in getting ready.

All in all I am rather pleased with the selection of products this month. They are all items I will use and enjoy trying out. If the setting spray is too dewy I’ll pass it on, but that is really the only minor consideration in my Boxycharm Premium this month. For me the value is in whether I will use the products and that value is certainly there. If you want a monetary value, for my $35 I received $196 worth of product. So there is good value there as well. I think this actually marks three really good premium boxes in a row. It looks like, at least with the premium category, Boxycharm is back from their slump. Here’s hoping they can continue on this path. If they do, I’ll be a very happy camper.

Hello Charmers Palette Review

maybe a black background wasn’t the best idea for the pic

This was my makeup bag palette pick for the week. Not only did this palette come in a Boxy Charm box, but I believe it was the first palette Boxycharm did on it’s own instead of as a collaboration with someone else.  Hence the name Hello, Charmer!

All of the shade names are ones relating to some aspect of Boxy Charm.  As the last few palettes I’ve talked about didn’t have shade names, I’m just relieved these do.  It’s much easier to talk about a specific shade, such as Cup’of Joe rather than the brown shade on the far right of the second row.

It is a really good mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters, which I like.  They all have their pros and cons.

Top row of swatches

First the Mattes. The Matte shades are Boxy, Spoiler, Unboxing, Premium and Cup of Joe.  As far as colors go, it is essentially three neutrals, one white and one red. Premium and Spoiler are both transition shades (depending on your skin tone with Cup of Joe being a nice brownish shade that is excellent for deepening the crease. It doesn’t swatch terribly well but it is quite pigmented on the eyes.  The shades are all highly pigmented and layer well.  They are also super powdery.  This is a messy pan to work with and you will definitely need to tap off your brush before applying and be prepared for some fall out during application. 

Second row of swatches

Once placed though, they stay in place throughout the day.  Just be aware that application is messy.

The shimmer shades are, to be honest more metallic looking than shimmery in many cases. They too are highly pigmented and blend really well.  They aren’t as powdery as the mattes.  They feel very creamy and they stay in place well.  They are not subtle.  Just no that. While you can create everyday looks with the mattes, the metallic shimmers are a pretty intense pop. If you work in a conservative office, you might be able to get away with using sneak peek and exclusive, but the others are definitely after hours shades.

There is one glitter shade and I don’t know if you can see, but my pan of Swipe Up already has a dip in it.  It is the smoothest glitter I have ever applied.  While it does go on without any glitter glue, I would advise using a somewhat sticky eye primer with this one.  (Or don’t let the concealer you use in place of an eye primer set too much so it is still wet.  It can use a little something to hold it in place.  It doesn’t need glue though and stays in place well.  I ended up with a little glitter in strange places on my face by the end of the day, but for the most part after a full day of wear it was still where I put it.

The mattes like spoiler are quite powdery

This was a really fun palette to play around with this week.  And it is surprisingly more versatile than I expected it to be.  I thought I would just have wild eyes all week, but if I stuck to the mattes I could go for a neutral look.  If I wanted sparkly, well, I could get that too.  While the mattes are good, they aren’t my favorite formula with that fall out.  I have the same shades in different palettes so they aren’t unique but the shimmer s and glitters more than make up for it.  And you can see that they were chose mostly to be a back drop for the more spectacular shades.  If it weren’t for the powdery bits I’d give it a ten, with the powder it’s still an eight and a half, and that’s not bad.  Clearly this palette is staying in my collection for a while.


Sign up for Paddywax emails and save!

May 2020 BoxyCharm Premium: A Review

My Premium BoxyCharm Box for May 2020

For those who don’t know Boxy Charm is a beauty subscription.  The premium tier is $35 per month and for that price you are supposed to receive six full sized items with a minimum retail value of $120. This month’s theme was Mother Nature. I’ll be honest, I was not happy with my May box.  Generally I really like Boxy Charm.  They have a few months here and there where the box isn’t the greatest, but even then it is still fun to get. Other times it is super amazing.

For the record, I really hate writing negative reviews.  Usually even if I don’t like a product or a box, there are enough positives about it that I can see it working for someone else.  This month was different.

Now here’s the deal.  All of the products in this month’s box are ones I like.  The products are fine, but this isn’t a product review, this is a subscription box review. Even though each product is individually fine, it is their sum taken as a whole that makes up the subscription box and determines whether or not the subscription is worth paying for.  

This month not only did the box not feel premium, but when I opened it my first thought was ‘They must have forgotten to pack something.’  The box felt incomplete. It was light weight and the items sort of rolled around looking a little lost in the large box. Even when I counted the items and read over the card, I still pried out the bottom of the cardboard to make certain nothing else was hidden because it really felt as though something was missing. I think I would have felt that even if it was a regular box.  The fact that it was a premium one made it even worse.

But let’s get into the box. 

We’ll start off with the high note of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (retail $30). It was the item I chose for this month’s box.  It is gorgeous.  It looks luxe.  I love the packaging and it felt very premium. I look forward to using it.

The second item was the Pure Heals Centella 90 Ampule Serum (retail $28). I’m always up for trying new skin care.  At the moment however I am completely awash with skin care so it is going in my skin care drawer and will be used at a later date.  I am happy to have it to try, but lately there has been so much skin care in subscription boxes it is really hard to get all that excited.

Next there was the Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara (retail $29).  It is a good mascara.  I’ve used it before and really like it. It is actually in my top five mascaras. It is one I would purchase on my own. In subscription boxes, however, mascaras always feel like filler. It is something that gets added in because there are already several higher priced items in the box. I got a mascara last month as well, so even though I like this mascara, I wasn’t terribly excited to see it in the box.  I do hope this means there will be more Kevyn Aucoin in future boxes because I really like the company’s products and would love to have more of them to try out. Again this nothing against the product.

The next item in my box was the tarte sugar rush best bud lip butter balm (retail $12).  Do I like tarte?  Yes.  Is it pretty? Yes.  But it is a lip balm.

I like lip balm. 

I currently have a lip balm subscription with Jersey Shore Cosmetics. (incidentally even though their lip balms are also $12 each, their monthly subscription for a four pack of lip balms with tax and shipping comes to $13.  I actually received this month’s JSC subscription on the same day as Boxy Premium which invited direct comparison, just so you know where I am coming from.)

But in a box like this, a lip balm is still a filler item.  Like mascara it is something that gets added to the box when the value is already high. Will I use it?  Yes, it’s a nice lip balm. But that’s not why I get BoxyCharm.

Following the tart lip balm was the Milk Make Up Glow oil lip and cheek (retail $15).  Again, I like Milk. There are several of their products I use and repurchase on a regular basis.  I’ve even used this product before and loved it.  It is an excellent lip oil and gives the cheeks a naturally flushed look for a no make up makeup look.  It’s a great product. 

And if it was full sized, you might be reading a different post.  Despite the fact that one of BoxyCharm’s claims to always provide only full sized products, this was a travel size. I won’t lie, I felt cheated.  The size of it made it feel like a chubby lip balm, which it kind of is, but it also made it feel like a quick add on not a featured product. which is not something I like saying about Milk because again, I do like their products.

So at this point I am looking at the last item in my May box to not only get the value for the box in the way Boxy Charm is known for, but to make up for two filler items and a travel sized product.  A tall order in general and one not really fulfilled by the final item; a set of Battington Beauty powder and contour brushes. 

Before I even mention the retail value of these brushes lets go over something. Last month, I received the 5 piece Lavish eye brush set (which I love by the way and will be posting a review on soon) It retailed for about $30.  The month prior I believe I received the brush trio from Alamar Cosmetics. Those are also great brushes.  A few months ago (late last year sometime I can’t remember which month) I received a set of the Boxy Charm Brushes.  They are fabulous as well. These brushes set the bar relatively high for the kinds of brushes I expect from BoxyCharm.

These Battington brushes have soft bristles, and really light weight cheap feeling metal handles. In addition, the handles are really fat. It is like gripping one of those chubby pencils little kids use when they are starting to learn how to make letters for the first time.

Because I have so recently gotten brushes from BoxyCharm, I had plenty of items to compare them to. In fact a direct comparison was inevitable.  The Alamar and BoxyCham brushes both beat these hands down for quality and usability.  The bristles are fine. I can’t complain about those, but I do not like those handles. Even if you neglect the quality issue, the fat handles are not for me. There needs to at least be a dent or something in there for better gripping. I know I have relatively small hands to begin with, these just made my hands look tiny and they felt awkward to use.

If the set of two was listed as retailing for $30 I would consider that fair value for the duo. I wouldn’t consider it a particularly good value, but I wouldn’t think I was being rooked. When I looked at the card and realized they were listed as retailing for $90, not only was I floored, but I was kind of mad.

If you add up the retail value of everything in the box without the brushes it comes to $114.  With the brushes it comes to $204. Boxy Charm Premium is listed as having a minimum value of $120 per month unless it is a brand take over month.  This was not a brand take over month. I understand that not every month is going to be a super fabulous month.  Subscription boxes are a gamble. Sometimes you get products you want, other times you get products that don’t work for you. I kind of like the gamble which is one of the reasons I purchase subscription boxes instead of just putting the cost of the box towards a product from Milk or Kevyn Aucoin.  Sometimes I get products I would never have purchased on my own and I enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone with them. Sometimes the new products become favorites that I repurchase on my own again and again. Sometimes I try them for fun and decide they aren’t for me.

This month not only am I disappointed, but I sort of feel as though someone at BoxyCharm is taking revenge for not letting them win at Dodge Ball in elementary school or something.  (Admittedly I never defeated anyone at dodgeball. I always deliberately missed because I wasn’t a big fan of actually hitting other people, so maybe it’s vengeance for not helping them win.)Its like they put in the item I chose, selected the cheaply made over priced brushes and then added enough items to consider it complete.

While I have noticed that the boxes that come the month before a Boxy Luxe Month are never the greatest, this was a new low.  It should have been a warning not to expect too much when they started showing spoilers for the June Luxe month at the end of April.  That should have been the moment when expectations were lowered for May.  Maybe that’s it.  They were so excited about June that they rushed through May. But quite frankly if they aren’t going to pay that much attention to Premium the month before a Luxe box then maybe they shouldn’t have a Premium category. 

At the moment I am not happy, and at the moment am seriously considering cancelling my Premium box. I am willing to concede that times are a little strange with everything going on in the world. That is at this moment one of the primary reasons I am not automatically cancelling my Premium subscription. Truthfully, if it was any higher than $35 I probably would have cancelled it, but as I would have paid more than $35 for the products in this box that I like, I’ll let it ride for a few months to see if it is just a sign of the times or a continuing trend. The premium tier is also less than a year old so they still may be working out a few details and learning to juggle their various subscriptions. So I will be watching and at the year mark (which was my initial re-think marker for this subscription) I will decide if it is worth keeping or not. As I have loved having BoxyCharm, even in the somewhat boring months, I really hope this is just a sign of the times and a temporary slip up.


SPF 728x90

BoxyCharm Premium April 2020 Review

BoxyCharm premium is a $35 per month beauty subscription box offered by (unsurprisingly) BoxyCharm. Inside the box each month are six full sized beauty items. This month was a pretty good month for me. It was heavily weighted towards self care (be it skin or hair) than it was makeup which was a bit surprising as I tend to think of BoxyCharm as makeup heavy. Oddly enough despite the multitude of eyeshadow palettes available in their selections this month, neither my regular BoxyCharm nor my Premium this month had an eyeshadow palette. While I don’t mind, as nearly every box I’ve ever received from Boxy has had some form of eyeshadow in it, it was just surprising.

Perhaps the adjustment was because of my choice. Each month you are allowed to choose one item that you want in your box from a limited selection of items (usually 2 or three options are presented). The option I chose was the Kopari Coconut Face cream (retail $38). I chose it because I liked their toner and thought the face cream would be interesting. Also in my Scentbird subscription (which has both perfumes as well as some skincare and makeup items) I added the Kopari facial cleanser to my queue. It will be a few months before it comes up but as I have other face cream I want to try out, I have no problem waiting, especially as mid summer seems like the perfect time for something coconut scented. I suspect most of my summer travels this year will be virtual instead of actual so I can theme a tropical getaway in my backyard this year. I’m sure the summer will be hot enough to suit so all I need to do is add fruity drinks with little umbrellas and a few tropical scents and I’ll be fine.

But I digress.

Surprisingly in this month’s premium box there was a second moisturizer. It was the Lavido Age Away Replenishing Cream (retail $69). I’m not mad at it actually. I received the Lavido cleansing scrub in IPSY this month so I am actually using them as a pair at the moment. (I just finished my Tatcha trial and will post that next week.) I’m actually liking the cream a lot at the moment, I just find it surprising that two moisturizers came in the same box.

The next item I pulled out of my box ths month was the Farmacy Beauty Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask (retail $38). I have yet to try anything from Farmacy that I didn’t like. Last month I was disappointed that the cherry cleanser was only in the base box (which I didn’t get because it was a Luxe month, although last month luxe itself was somewhat disappointing). I was also disappointed that even though it was offered for sale in the ad-ons this month it was sold out before I could even log on, so alas, the cherry balm was not for me. That’s okay I still have the song Cherry Bomb stuck in my head, which isn’t a bad consolation prize. And I get to try out the Honey potion this month. I’m sure everyone knows how much I love masks and I have to admit, I have been plowing through them more since the stay at home order went into effect.

Next up, I received the IGK Hair Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray (retail $32). I like IGK and I have a lot of hair I need to tame into good behavior. I also have a few weeks of cool/warm weather where I can still wear my hair down if I choose. Once the weather heats up my hair is too long and thick to be left down. I was planning to get a cut before the summer hit but didn’t quite make it to the salon. Once heat hits my hair pretty much stays bundled on top of my head until fall. So I’ll either be trying this out double quick or waiting until the return of the chill. either way I love the brand and have high hopes.

Finally we get to the first of the two makeup items in my box this month. The first is Nudestix Magnetic Lip Plush Paints (retail $28). It looks like a very pinky nude that I’m not entirely certain will work for me, but I am excited to try out the formula. Plus I’ve started keeping various lip products whose color may not be the best for me on my desk. That way I can try out the formula and only my computer monitor will judge me. As I know where the power button is located, I don’t fear that judgement all that much.

And last, but certainly not least is the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Volume and Length Mascara.(retail $26). I am always on the hunt for a good mascara. At the moment I am finishing out a couple of travel sizes that have been in my collection a little too long, and then I will be testing out this mascara. I have to say it was really hard for me to set it aside and wait to test it. I have heard such fantastic things about it. But I need to clear out some space by using up the travel sizes.

Wander Beauty: Unlock 15% off your first order with email sign up!

I’m being good. I don’t want to be, but I am.which will just make it more fabulous when I am done being good. At least that’s the hope anyway. Then I’ll get to celebrate extra space from the clear out, a feeling of virtuosity and a new fabulous mascara.

Yeah, I’m betting I crack and try it out before the week is over too. I’m just not that good at being good.

But I am trying.

So that was my BoxyCharm Premium this month. The total value of my $35 box came to $231. While I was somewhat surprised by the fact that I received two moisturizers, I am over all pleased with my box. I have no idea why the tag for this box is festival vibes as absolutely nothing in this looked even remotely festival themed. Even the plush paint lipstick is a very muted color. And that was the only color in the box. Nevertheless, everything in it is something I will use. For me, that increases its value, theme appropriate or not. While I love skin care, I am hoping that next month is a little more makeup heavy to balance out this month, but still, I’m very pleased by BoxyCharm Premium.


Save $25 Off Box of Style by Rachel Zoe (The Spring Edit) with Code SPRING25