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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.


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BoxyCharm April 2020 Review

April 2020 BoxyCharm

Subscription boxes are interesting beasts.  Some months are good, some months not so good.  Other months I suspect BoxyCharm has a fleet of drones keeping my house under surveillance. This was a good month where I suspect the drone army. But first what is BoxyCharm?  Well it is a beauty subscription service where for a monthly fee of $25 you receive five full sized beauty products. 

As I said earlier, this month I suspect surveillance.

The first item I pulled from my box (post postal decontamination and handwashing of course) was the Original Makeup Eraser in Sunset (retail $22). Now anyone who reads my posts regularly knows I love my Makeup Eraser.  In fact I may have loved it a little too much for a little too long.  It is one of the original pink ones.  It’s been used and washed so many times the pink is less than vibrant now and there is a spot I’ve used to wipe off mascara one too many times for it to all wash away. But has served me well and well past the recommended number of washings it was supposed to survive.

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Admittedly that spot can no longer be seen as my darling dearest spotted it in the wash last week, thought it was just an extra hand towel and used it when cleaning up from a lawn mower repair. Incidentally, he was THRILLED with the way it wiped the oil from his hands. While I’m sure in the wash most of the oil should come out, with this new one now in my possession, I can let him have that one permanently for clean up while I use the sunset one.

So everyone wins.

The next item I pulled out of the box was the one I chose and it was the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Cleansing foam( retail $32). I love trying new cleansers and I have liked every product I have ever tried from Elemis so for me that was a definite win.

Another love for me is the Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face Primer.  I am a sucker for a good pore filling primer.  I often (especially in the summer) wear just a primer under powder rather than full foundation, especially when I know I’m going to be outside a lot and have gone heavy with the SPF. Oddly enough although I have used the Pearl Primer for a really long time, I have never gotten the regular original primer. Clearly the universe (or BoxyCharm) decided to correct that. I am very pleased by that correction.

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This month the Iconic London Illuminator  (retail $41) was also included in my box.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the all over illumination as I feel it tends to make me look glowy and more oily but I am trying to remember to try new things and besides, my computer screen is very non-judgmental on the days where there is no video conferencing. Recently its been treated to increasingly more elaborate looks done with my Stila liquid eyeshadows so a little extra glow to the skin shouldn’t phase it.

Finally the fifth item was removed from this month’s BoxyCharm box and it was the Lavish 5-piece Neon Eye brush collection.  (retail $29.99).  I was very glad to see it and again began to suspect the presence of Boxycharm drones as I had to let two of my smaller brushes go this week and I realized that I was keeping an old dried up eyebrow pencil for the sole purpose of using the spoolie on the other end.  Now I do not have to keep it and I have several small brushes to use.

With the Sunset Makeup Eraser, the neon colored brushes and the glow-y illuminator, I can sort of see the festival theme for this month in the items.  Some months I can’t see how the products tie into the theme.  Over all I am very pleased with this month’s box.  Not only did I receive $156.99 worth of product for my $25, but I received two items that can replace broken or misused pieces in my daily life, two products I really want to use and one product that pushes me a little out of my comfort zone.  All in all, I am very happy with BoxyCharm this month.


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Boxyluxe Review March 2020

The Boxyluxe Box for march 20202

It is time to talk about Boxycharm.  March was, as you might know already, a Boxyluxe month.  For March instead of a $25 box, if you are a Boxyluxe member you are charged $50 and get a box containing seven to eight full sized items. I’m going to be honest, this month I had some rather mixed feelings.

Those mixed feelings started well before I actually got my box actually. When the time for choice came around, I eagerly logged into the Boxycharm site.  I knew that Tarte Tarteist Pro Remix was one of my options and as I adore Tarte’s eyeshadows I wanted to make sure I got signed up to receive it.  I did.

Just the box because the shattered shadows were everywhere.

However during luxe months you get to choose two options.  Your options for your second item varied depending on what you chose for your first item. For my second choice I could choose between large rhinestone covered hoop earrings I knew I wasn’t going to ever wear or a set of gold colored stainless steel straws.

Yup that’s right, I said straws. Sadly I decided it was the better of the two options and I figured I could put them in my bag of Christmas stocking stuffers if nothing else. Regardless it was not an inspiring choice and left me feeling a bit flat.  Still I was looking forward to other items.

The first item I was looking forward to was the Tarteist Pro Remix palette(retail $49).  Like I said I love the formula on Tarte eyeshadows. Unfortunately, a couple of the shadows were broken in transit. It was a sad thing to open.

I was also looking forward to the NARS powermatte lip pigment (retail $25) as the NARS formula is one of my favorites as far as liquid lipsticks go.  It is comfortable to wear and very long lasting.  One of my favorite everyday lipsticks is the NARS liquid lip in the shade Paradise Garage so I was thrilled to receive another shade to try. The box listed the NARS powermatte lip pigment as being in the box, however it was not inside. 

I checked.  Twice.

So I sent an e-mail to Boxycharm and they are sending out a new Eyeshadow Palette and a NARS lipstick.  So I will get the two things I was really excited to receive, it will just be a little later in the month.

the PMD cleansing wand

The third item in this month’s box that I was super excited for was the PMD Beauty Smart Facial Cleansing Device (retail $99).  It arrived and had no problems in transit.  It even came with a battery so I didn’t have to hunt one down, which I really appreciate.  In the past I used a different vibrating cleanser and I really liked it.  I used it for a really long time actually until sadly, it could be used no more.  I never got around to replacing it.  I wasted no time in putting the PMD to good use and I really like it.  The handle makes it super easy to grip with slick hands, it has several setting s and a little protective plastic stand to keep it upright.  It is clearly the star of this month’s box and I will get a lot of use out of it.

Despite the shadow breakage of the Tarte Palette, the Boxycharm Hello Charmer palette (retail $39) in my box arrived intact and I have to say I am really loving the shades.  They are a beautiful range of colors that I am really looking forward to playing with.

I was less enthused by the nail polish duo from Deborah Lippman (retail $19)that was included in my box.  Not only are they smaller than the average bottle of nail polish, they aren’t in colors I particularly care for.  While one looks to be a pastel pink in the bottle and the other a red, in reality the pink is a hot pink and the red is a pink.  I tried applying them anyway thinking I could add a coat of glitter or something to work with the hot pink, and they didn’t really apply well either so I think I will be passing them on to a friend.  She has an eight year old daughter who will get far more enjoyment out of them than I will.

I was much happier when I saw the two small jars from Sol De Janerio in the box (retail $15).  One was the Traditional Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the other was the Coco Cabana Cream.  I use the Bum Bum Cream on the stretch marks on my stomach to help tighten the skin as my weight goes down.  I’ve been using it for about a month now and really notice a change.  So I was happy to receive the cream in any size. I’m pretty sure the small jar will be empty very quickly.  I had not tried the Coco Cabana Cream before and I have to say the scent is less appealing to me than the scent of the Bum Bum Cream.  As the scent is the only thing that is different about it, I will still use it, but it won’t be re-purchased like the Bum Bum Cream will. My only issue with this is that the two jars look like deluxe sized samples and BoxyCharm is supposed to provide only full sized products.  While this happens to be a product I love and will use in any size I can get my hands on, I would have preferred one full sized jar to what appears to be two deluxe samples.

In my Boxycharm this month was also the Becca Skin Love Glow Glaze Stick (retail $28). It is an ultra-sheer translucent highlighter.   It is a very subtle highlighter as opposed to the other two highlighters that came in the Boxy Premium this month.  It is the kind of highlighter you can easily wear with a more natural look to just give you a hint of a glow.  Or at least that is how it is marketed.  I tried it on my hand, but haven’t worn it yet.  I can now safely say I am well stocked on highlighters.

not sure if the glow stick will look glow-y or just greasy on the face

The final item in my box is of course the gold colored stainless steel straws from Bombshell Baker (retail $21) which for now I will be leaving in the packaging.  I suspect they will end up in someone’s Christmas stocking come December.

So the end tally is one product, the straws that kind of annoyed me to get, a nail polish duo I’m giving away, a nice shadow palette and an excellent cleansing wand.  I’m waiting on a replacement for a shadow palette and a missing lipstick, received two small jars of very excellent body lotion and my third highlighter of the month. Like I said at the beginning, it’s a mixed bag.  The items I like, I really like, the items I don’t, I really don’t and there are a couple okay items in the middle. But at least I get to look forward to replacement products arriving later in the month.  As those are the ones I was excited about in the first place, once the initial disappointment fades, it is actually something to look forward to.  While it was still a decent box, I have had better from BoxyCharm. It feels almost like they were so excited about the Fenty Premium box that they let a couple of things slide for Boxyluxe.  As it is a $50 box, I kind of expected better. The final total is $295 for a $50 box.  So while they did clear their $250 goal for product value, I still have mixed feelings about the box this month.


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March 2020 Boxycharm Premium Review: The Fenty Box

The much anticipated March 2020 Boxycharm Premium Fenty Box

BoxyCharm Premium is a $35 per month beauty subscription and each month comes with about six full sized products. Usually the products are from a variety of brands but this month Boxycharm went with a full box of Fenty products.

I have to say, while I have seen Fenty in stores and on commercials, I have never purchased any Fenty products. As with any well hyped product thought, I have to say I was curious. Ever since it was announced, every one was buzzing with it and talking about the products.

The first item in the Fenty box was the one I heard the most about. It was the Killawatt Freestyle highlighter in the shade Trophy Wife. (retail $36). It is gold. Bright gold. It swatches well. Oddly the color blends in but the glitter, that stays, and spreads. I wiped off the swatch with one hand to see how it blended in and now my entire arm is glittery. I am little concerned with how well it will stay in place because of that, but only time will tell if it is a great highlighter or a traveling glitter bomb.

The next item in the box was the Match Stix Shimmer Skin Stick (retail $25) and mine was in the shade Confetti. Despite the many uses claimed by the product, it is a shimmery purple cream highlighter. While it is a cream product instead of a powder and a very different shade from the official highlighter, I have to say I’m not terribly thrilled with getting two highlighters in the box. It is a nice highlighter and it seems to blend well with none of the glitter fall out of the other one, but I wish that if they had shades that could be used as blush (which was one of their claims when advertising the elements of the box), they would have gone with those shades rather than just two highlighters.

Admittedly the Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette made me feel better. The package is beautiful, although now covered in fingerprints. So if I go missing, or am accused of a crime, you know where to look for a full set. While I can take or leave highlighters, the shadow palette is a good one. The colors are shades I like and am eager to play around with. I did a quick swatch of the colors. I started from the left hand side and swatched each row left to right. As you can see in the above picture in the box, the colors aren’t in two straight rows but on a diagonal. The colors feel soft and creamy and I am looking forward to playing with them to see how they work on the eyes.

Inside the box was the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (retail $19). It is a clear gloss with a bit of shimmer. I have to say it may be my favorite new lip gloss. It is shiny with a bit of shimmer, but it isn’t sticky at all and it smells like walking into a high end patisserie. It is that pastry cream with a hint of vanilla and the dep down belly knowledge that this is going to taste good. Although it doesn’t taste like anything, but it does smell good and sort of makes me feel like I’ve had a pastry. Sort of aroma dieting. I personally love the lip gloss.

While interesting, this is not a color I will turn to often

As we all know my love of lipsticks is sometimes shameful, I was very much looking forward to the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick (retail $18) included in the box. While I am coming around to lip glosses as more than an anti snacking device, I love matte lipsticks. They are my go to. I will say that when I tried the lipstick, the formula was very nice. It was creamy and matte and everything I look for in a lipstick. It was however in the shade Clapback which is an odd blue tone. while there are some who can pull this shade off on the daily, I am not one of them. While the formula is an excellent one and it is highly pigmented, the color was just a bad choice. It just sort of says ‘we put the colors that weren’t selling in retail venues in your box to get rid of them’. I really wished they chose a color more people can work with instead of a left over.

That isn’t an entirely premium feeling.

Finally the last item in my box was the Invisimatte Blotting Paper (retail $16). It is a cute holder and will probably live in my purse for quite some time. I don’t have very oily skin and I rarely use blotting paper. It is good to have around for the occasional usage, but it isn’t going to be something I reach for very often.

Over all this was a mixed box for me. I really like getting to try several Fenty products. I will use the purple highlighter. If they were going to brag about it being useful as a blush, I wish they sent a blush shade, but I will use it. The gold Trophy Wife, if I’m honest, will more than likely end up as eyeshadow rather than a highlighter. I just don’t need that much glitter on my cheeks. I love the shadow palette and the gloss.

I like the formula of the lipstick so I may try out another color at some point in time, but I won’t lie, it was a disappointment. Clapback is a color meant to stand on its own. It is not something I can work with or blend down with another color. It is what it is, and that is a disappointment. while the blotting paper was just, meh.

It is also somewhat telling that this box arrived at my house March 5th. I am still waiting for my regular March Box to arrive. I have not at this time even received notification that it has been sent. I know everyone got the same products, with only a few shades differing so it was easier for them to put together, but it was clear that in the color variations it was a completely random choice and not one with any individual consideration. I get that. From a business/logistics perspective it makes sense. If color choices were a little different, I would feel very different about the box.

I will forgive a lot for a good lipstick.

Sadly it is their color choices that made me feel a little let down by this box. Double highlighters and a disappointing lipstick make this just an okay box, not a great one. And to be honest, given Fenty’s popularity and the amount of good reviews they have, I was expecting a great box.


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