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 Beekman 1802 Summer Subscription Box

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it feels more like a gift box than a subscription box

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diving into the July 2022 Glossy Box

Oh Glossy Box. This is one of my favorite subscriptions. It has bee for quite some time now. I always find something I love inside and it rarely disappoints. Until a few months ago I never had a problem with their customer service either. It was always spot on and quickly addressed any issue. For the past two months I’ve actually had to fight to get my box. I still think it is worth it but i am running out of patience with their customer service department. I only hope that whatever issues they have going on they work out soon.

So now that I have finally received my July Glossy Box, let’s see what is in it. This month’s theme is Dive in and the box itself is a dark blue with coral decorations that I actually quite like. In opening the box the first item I saw was the Verso Eye Cream #5. At the moment I am actually using this eye cream. It too is a deluxe sample but it is also now almost completely empty. So I am going to rotate this in almost immediately into my skincare line up so that I can possibly get a month of use out of the eye cream. Plus it is a really good eye cream so I am happy to keep using it. Surprisingly though this looks to be a late addition. It isn’t mentioned in the brochure but a Farm X serum is. This is an Avon brand and while I always like bakuchiol serum, I am not entirely comfortable having an avon product in a subscription box. (I still haven’t tried the moisturizer that came in one month). I live Avon actually. It was a big part of my childhood, but if I am going to purchase it, I am sure one of my neighbors sells it.

The second item I thought was also in the skincare realm. It turns out it is not. It is the Sunstone Hair revive elixir from Earth Harbor. I have several skincare serums from Earth Harbor and they look pretty much like this, so I am going to keep it in the box until I use it so that it doesn’t get jumbled. There is a delightful scent of Jasmine wafting from it so I am looking forward to seeing how it performs and if the scent remains.

There are two makeup items in this month’s box. The first of these is the Give them Lala Beauty Mascara. Normally I am not too thrilled by the arrival of mascaras, but as several of mine are nearing the end of their lives, I am actually in need of more mascara so this was actually really good timing.

The second makeup item the Peach Blossom Eye shadow Palette from Bellapierre Cosmetics. I like the size of it as it looks like it might travel well. It has a hard plastic case and is rather petite with big pans. I’m never really thrilled by Coral colored eyeshadow as it never looks right on me, but it does go with the theme and who knows this time it might prove fabulous. We shall see.

The next item is a cleo coco charcoal deodorant stick. It is about the size of a Milk Makeup Mini Stick, except that it is deodorant It is supposed to be full size which I find an odd size for a deodorant, Especially one that retails for $12. When I looked them up at Target, I found that this is not a full size. The size in the box is 16 grams The full size is 50 grams. That seems far more reasonable.

I received the scent Unscented and it is supposed to have all day odor control. While I will happily test it out, the size of it makes me doubt it will last the month. Perhaps I am wring and a little bit goes a long way, but I am withholding judgement until I try it. I am happy to try it out as I am always looking for new natural deodorants, but I do find the size concerning, especially as Glossy box listed it as full size.

And finally we have a canvas bag from Authentic Beauty Concept. It is a set of metal straws. One thin and straight, one thin and bent and one that is thick enough that I could use it for Bubble tea. There is also a brush to keep them all clean. I really like metal straws actually. I was using reusable plastic ones for a while but over time they collect scents and off flavors through repeated use. The metal ones don’t have that problem and they can be put in the dishwasher. Plus the set I am using right now are all thin and straight. It will be nice to have some options in sizing. I also needed a new straw cleaner. My old brush has seen a lot of use and needed to be replaced. So now I have a replacement.

Over all this was a good box this month. Even if it is July and it arrived in August. The only down side was in arguing with customer service to actually get the box to me in the first place. Without that, this would have bee a simply fantastic month. I have my fingers crossed that they sort themselves out soon.



Unboxing the July Bookishly Subscription

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

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

Shall we go on to the book?

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

According to Goodreads…

wrapped up on arrival

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

Goodreads

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

an older book but in perfect condition

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

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

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self care gifts

It’s the return of Birchbox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the Summer Fab Fit Fun Box for 2022

Fab Fit Fun is a subscription box I have been eyeing for a while. When the Summer box went on 40% off I figured I’d give it a try and then see how I liked it. The full price of the box is $49.99 but it is a quarterly box. If you have a seasonal membership Which I went with since I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it) then you get to choose four of your six items during customization.

If you go with an annual subscription then they let you customize all six. I can see the lure of being able to customize all of the items in the box but personally I like a little bit of a surprise. One of the reasons I wanted to try this out was because it isn’t just skincare and makeup. There are makeup and skincare items, but thee are other items too. While this is the Summer box, they have just released spoilers for the Fall box. Since I signed up for the Fall Box so late I don’t think it is actually available, but I figured it would be nice to have this as reference.

So let’s look at the choice items first. My first choice item was a pink vegan leather bucket purse from the brand Samara. I don’t know the brand, but the bag itself is well made. Most of my bags are either a larger style or a small clutch type purse so this does actually fit a gap in my purse collection. I like the length of the strap. It has a simple push closure with a metal bit that goes through the hole in the bag. I suspect that over time this will widen but for now it works well. As most of my purses are also either in bright colors or dark ones, the pastel is also something I don’t have so it is nice to have something a little different.

The next item I chose from the options was a set of three prep bowls from Pier 1. They are ceramic and in nice muted tones. They are the perfect size to fit in the palm of my hands and the flutes along the side fit my fingers well so they are easy to grip without slipping. Since we go out to eat maybe once a month I do a lot of cooking so I know these are going to be put to good use.

The third item that I chose was the New Balance Ab Exercise Wheel. Oddly enough I have been trying to incorporate more ab workouts in my routine and I was looking at a similar wheel to add to my collection of workout tools. Plus I have a weakness for exercise tools. Some I end up loving, others are just a waste of space, but I never know which category it will be until I start using it.

So I was very happy to add it into the box. It came together very quickly and seems quite sturdy. I will be giving it a full trial to see if it is a piece of kit worth keeping around or something that will just collect dust, but am am happy with the selection.

The fourth item I selected was a makeup item. It is the Illamasqua Gel Sculpt stick. I really like Illamasqua Highlighters and I adore their gel blusher, but I have never tried out their gel contour stick so that’s nice. I was surprise by how dark looking the stick was so i tried it on my arm. It applies much lighter and blended out well It also smells really good which i didn’t expect. I think it will be an interesting product to try out.

The other two items were chosen for me The first of these is the AHAVA Essential Day Moisturizer. It is for normal to dry skin. My mother uses this moisturizer and swears by it. She absolutely adores it. But she also has drier skin than I do. I may just pass this along to her since for me it might be okay, but for her i know it will be a hit. I love the fact that the squeeze tube top has a plastic seal around it so that there was no problem in shipping.

The final item also came in a tube and has a plastic seal around the lid. It however will not be passed anywhere. It is tie Replenishing Moisture CC Cream from Alterna. It is from their Caviar line of hair care products. I used the shampoo and conditioner set from this line a while back and loved it. I think I might have tried a small sample of this leave in conditioner before but I am not entirely certain. However since I loved the shampoo and regular conditioner from the line I am thrilled to be able to try out the leave in conditioner.

There was a magazine that came with the box. it has QR codes to scan for more information about the products and perhaps as I start using them I will. Beyond this there isn’t much printed in the magazine about the items. I think this might be because of the number of variations you can choose and the fact that some people can customize their entire box. I get that, but it would have been nice if they had just a sentence or two about each item that you could get. There is a a nice skincare guide along with summer self care and there were a couple of recipes. One of them is for oven baked Coconut shrimp. I make coconut shrimp every once in a while but I tend to fry them rather than bake. I might give the baked version a try.

One thing I really like is that they have a fitness tracker in the magazine with a link to a printable version. While I use the My Fitness Pall App I really like a piece of paper where I can just check things off. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing more if I can put a check mark or draw a line through something when it is complete. The app record is nice too, but there is just something I find deeply satisfying about marking things off with a pen.

So that my darlings was my first Fab Fit Fun Box. As I said I decided at the end of the season to sign up so I suspect a lot of items had run out by the time I logged in. Fall will be my first box as a seasonal subscriber. It will be interesting to see if they stick to their posted shipping deadlines and what the choice categories look like. I enjoyed the Summer box, but I also got it for 40% off. It was certainly worth the discounted price. Because of it though I am going to keep the membership for at least another quarter and reserve judgement on the value until the next box. As the selection for the fall box is in mid August, there isn’t terribly long to wait. i just have to remember to take notes during choice. But I am happy with this first Fab Fit Fun Box.



Unboxing the July 2022 BoxyCharm Premium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the July 2022 Look Fantastic Box

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

So what is inside this month’s box?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Unboxing the Vinyl Post subscription

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unboxing The Underclub for July 2022

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

I also love the underwear and the quality of it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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