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Glossybox – August 2014

Glossybox - August 2014

Glossybox - August 2014 - contents

August marks Glossybox’s birthday and this year the company is turning three. Happy Birthday, Glossybox! Let’s have a look at the products in this birthday edition.

Überliss Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner

Full Size: 12 fl oz each, $23.90 (shampoo), $25.90 (conditioner)
Sample Size: 2 fl oz each, $3.98 value (shampoo), $4.32 value (conditioner)

Glossybox - August 2014 - Überliss Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner

Finally a shampoo without sulfates! And this set is supposed to be moisturizing, too. These also smell great and are the prefect size for traveling. They will definitely be put to good use next time I’m going to Germany this winter.

Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

Full Size: 1.7 fl oz, $85
Sample Size: 0.34 fl oz, $17 value

Glossybox - August 2014 - Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream

I’m always up for trying out new skin care so this moisturizer is right up my alley. It seems a bit heavier than my preferred day creams but I might just use this in the evenings.The ingredients list is pretty short and all of them check out ok. No nasties, just the good stuff.

I am a bit taken aback about Elsor’s use of the term “active ingredients” for the ingredients list provided on their website. It makes me wonder whether there are any inactive ingredients Eslor isn’t telling us about. The term is used incorrectly anyway since none of the ‘active’ ingredients listed are considered a pharmaceutical drug by the FDA. It never sits quite right with me when a company does that because they usually use this as a marketing trick to make the consumer believe that their products work better (are “more active”) than other, similar products on the market. Anyway, I’m giving Elsor the benefit of the doubt here and will test this cream to decide how well it really works.

Kryolan Highlighter

Shade: Cashmere
Size: 0.15 fl oz, $18.95

Glossybox - August 2014 - Kryolan Highlighter

Although this is marketed as an exclusive release for Glossybox, it seems to be identical to Kryolan’s Illusion highlighter albeit with a slightly prettier lid design. I don’t use highlighter very often but as a newly converted cream blush addict, I’m excited to give this cream highlighter a try. The color looks light enough for my skin tone and it has a nice sheen to it without being glittery. I also think it’s the perfect size for those of use that don’t use highlighter on an everyday basis and it’s compact enough to also work well for traveling, which is always a plus for me.

Sparitual Nail Laquer

Shade: Magnify
Size: 0.5 fl oz, $12

Glossybox - August 2014 - Sparitual Nail Laquer

This bubblegum pink nail polish is so not my color. This will get traded.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

Shade: Black
Full Size: 0.07 oz, $16
Sample Size: 0.035 oz, $8 value

Glossybox - August 2014 - Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

I received this eyeliner before in one of my Birchboxes and I really liked it. It’s super easy to use so I’m happy to have another one.

Overall I found this box to be a bit anticlimactic. It’s a really good box with a very nice mix of products but none of them knocked me off my feet. For Glossybox’s birthday edition I was expecting a bit more, perhaps. More bells and whistles, if you will. Maybe a box with a special design to mark the occasion. Product-wise, they were definitely on the right track with the moisturizer and highlighter but they could’ve included some more high-end products instead of the shampoo, conditioner and nail polish. But that’s just me. I’m still really happy with what I received, aside from the nail polish, and at a total value of almost $65 I definitely got my money’s worth.

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The Top Ten Tag

The Top Ten Tag

I saw this tag a couple of weeks ago over at English Rose from Manchester and it looked like a lot of fun. This tag was originally created by Jessica Vannan at Pretty Chit Chat and consists of your top beauty product for each of the ten main makeup categories. If all my makeup disappeared overnight, these are the products that I would repurchase in a heartbeat.

1. Foundation

I don’t even have to think twice about this one. My clear winner in this category is the Estée Lauder – Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup (1 fl oz, $37). It ticks all the boxes: natural finish, medium coverage, long-lasting. Check, check, and check. I reviewed this foundation previously here.

2. Powder

Another clear winner: the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45). It’s so finely milled that it never looks powdery and it just gives my skin a healthy glow.

3. Concealer

I really enjoy the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer (0.24 fl oz, $24) for use on the dark circles under my eyes. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect concealer to cover those acne scars on my cheeks. If you have any recommendations please feel free to leave them in the comments.

4. Blush

Up until a few weeks ago I would’ve nominated the NARS blush in Deep Throat for this category but lately I’ve been loving the tarte Cheek Stain in Flush (0.5 oz, $30). It’s just so effortless. Just a few quick dabs on each check, a little bit of blending with my fingers and done.

5. Bronzer

I don’t really use bronzer. I don’t even think I own one so I have to pass on this category.

6. Highlighter

Another beauty product I don’t really use on an everyday basis. I do like to use a bit of highlighter on top of my cheek bones when I go for a night out and for that my product of choice is theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (0.3 oz, $24).

7. Mascara

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to mascara and I like to try news ones all the time. The Eyeko Black Magic (0.29 fl oz, $24) mascara is one of my staples, though. I reviewed it previously here.

8. Eye Shadow

I never used to use eye shadow very much but the Sumita Beauty Eye Shadow Pencil (0.084 oz, $18) has quickly become a staple in my routine ever since I received it in my June Glossybox. It’s so easy to use: just a few swipes on the lid and a bit of blending with my fingertips. It’s a beautiful taupe color with just the right amount of shimmer that makes it perfect for everyday use.

9. Brows

I have naturally very thick and dense eyebrows so I don’t use any brow products aside from a pair of tweezers to plug them into shape and a pair of short scissors to trim them. Done.

10. Lip Product

I really like the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms (0.1 oz, $17) for everyday use. My favorite color is Super Strawberry because it’s a great my-lips-but-better shade. It gives my lips a nice flush of color and shine without being over-the-top.

Now, here comes the fun part: I tag YOU. Yes, you! I would love to read about your top ten beauty products. Just leave a link in the comments.

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Birchbox Made Me Do It

Birchbox Made Me Do It

Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of my subscription with Birchbox. During this time there have been ups and downs but I always enjoy receiving that little pink box in the mail.

Birchbox as a discovery service is really all about getting to try beauty products you wouldn’t normally purchase and finding new favorites. Today I want to reminisce about the beauty products that made the cut for me and that I ended up purchasing as full sizes.

The Amika Nourishing Mask (16.9 fl oz, $40) to this day is still my favorite hair mask. It smells amazing and makes my hair super soft. I use this hair mask almost weekly but I only need such a small amount that even though I’ve had this large jar for over a year, it’s still half full.

The Jouer Matte Moisture Tint (1.7 fl oz, $38) used to be my holy grail foundation for a pretty long time. It still has a firm place in my foundation rotation but it has been pushed off the pedestal by the Estée Lauder Double-Wear Light Stay In Place Makeup. I love the coverage and finish of the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint but the color I’ve been using, porcelain, is a bit too light over the summer months. I will probably pick this back up once my summer tan fades.

The Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (0.07 fl oz, $16) was the first time I got to use a felt-tip eyeliner. You all probably know by now that eyeliner isn’t my forte but this one makes it really easy to draw a nice line, even for a n00b like me. I actually didn’t repurchase this for myself but rather got it as a gift for a teenage relative who’s really into eyeliner. I figured since I enjoyed this one, that she would as well.

Although I didn’t receive the Almay Oil-Free Makeup Remover Sticks (24 ct, $4.89) in one of my Birchboxes they’re pretty much identical to the Beauty Fixation Make Up Remover (24 ct, $5) that I got in one of my first boxes. These cotton swaps are filled with makeup remove and when you break off one side, the liquid saturates the cotton on the other end. These makeup remover sticks make it super easy to fix mascara smudges, especially around the lash line.

My Birchbox sample of theBalm Put A Lid On It (0.4 fl oz, $18) was the first eyelid primer I ever tried. I thought it worked pretty well so I bought the full size. I have since tried other eyelid primers but really don’t have strong opinions about any of them mainly because I don’t use eyelid primer very often. This tube will probably last me for a very long time but at this point I’m not sure if I would purchase it again.

I was blessed with pretty awesome lashes so when it comes to mascara I’m easy to please. Every once in a while I come across one that just hits it out of the park. The Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (0.29 fl oz, $24) is one of those. It took some time to get used to the brush but at this point I love everything about this mascara: it separates, defines, volumizes, curls, and lengthens, and all of that without smudging or flaking.

To this date I purchased the full sizes of  6 samples I received in my Birchboxes. That might not seem like much considering that I’ve been with Birchbox for almost two years. However, some of my favorite discoveries have been makeup products where the sample sizes were so generous that I’m still using them to this date. Blushes, lip sticks, eyeliners, and nail polishes simply take a long time to use up.

It might also come as a surprise to some that no skin care items made the cut. Looking back at my box history I haven’t really received all that many skin care samples and the samples that I have gotten from Birchbox are generally too small to really make a determination about whether or not the product would work for me. I’ve received plenty of bath & body and hair care items but they’re generally not special enough to pay the hefty price tag.

Overall, I think Birchbox has done a pretty good job over the past two years and I’m looking forward to my monthly boxes in the future. Now, I’ve they would only stop sending me Color Club nail polishes…

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Love It Or Leave It? Empties #5

My empties bag has been getting a bit full lately which means that it’s time to show you all what beauty products I’ve used up over the past month.

Skin Care

Empties #5 - Skin Care

REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk

Full Size: 5.1 fl oz, $28
Verdict: Love It

This has been my go-to cleanser in the mornings and I wouldn’t want to be without it. Of course I already bought a new bottle. You can read my full review here.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Full Size: 1.3 fl oz, $39
Verdict: Love It

Another staple in my morning skin care routine. I love how light-weight, yet hydrating this moisturizer is. I didn’t waste any time to purchase the full size when I ran out of this sample.

Caudalie Grape Water

Full Size: 6.7 fl oz, $18
Verdict: Like It

This is a nice hydrating toner but I prefer something that contains a higher amount of beneficial ingredients. I like that it comes in an aerosol can that sprays a very fine mist. I might buy this again in the future to use throughout the day for a refreshing boost of hydration.

H2O+ Aquafirm+ Eye Lift Concentrate

Full Size: 0.5 fl oz, $38
Verdict: Like It

I haven’t had much success with eye creams in the past and this one is no exception. It certainly doesn’t work any miracles on my dark circles but it has a slight shimmer to it that helps to brighten the eye area.

Makeup

Empties #5 - Makeup

Too Faced Size Queen Mascara

Full Size: 0.5 fl oz, $21
Verdict: Like It

This used to be my go-to mascara for a long time but I’ve since found others that I like a bit better. This is by no means a bad mascara, though. I still have a couple of these that I will gladly use up but I’m not sure if I would purchase any additional ones.

Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara

Full Size: 0.28 fl oz, $30
Verdict: Leave It

This mascara does a pretty decent job but it also smudges very easily and I end up with raccoon eyes by lunch time. Not cute. At this price range I was expecting much more. Don’t waste your money.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Full Size: 0.29 fl oz, $24
Verdict: Love It

One of my new favorite mascaras. I was really sad when this sample ran dry so I purchased the full size when Birchbox sent me an offer code recently.

Hair Care

Empties #5 - Hair Care

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Full Size: 6.73 fl oz, $7.99
Verdict: Love It

I love Batiste dry shampoos. They’re hands-down the best dry shampoos I’ve ever used. Unfortunately, I go through them crazy fast – about a bottle every two to three weeks. Luckily they’re not too expensive.

Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment

Full Size: 8.5 fl oz, $17.50
Verdict: Love It

This is a really nice leave-in treatment that is supposed to prevent and seal split-ends. I love the scent and it does a great job at fighting dry and frizzy ends. The price might seem a bit steep but you only need about one pump per application. This bottle has lasted me well over a year and I used it pretty much after every hair wash. Well worth the initial investment.

Nails

Empties #5 - Nails

Up & Up Strengthening Nail Polish Remover

Full Size: 6 fl oz, $0.97
Verdict: Like It

There isn’t much to say about nail polish remover. This one does the job and is super cheap. I’d buy it again.

OPI Start To Finish

Full Size: 0.5 fl oz, $12.50
Verdict: Love It

I use this as my base coat and it does a great job. It goes on very smoothly in a thin, even layer and dries very fast. I purchased a new bottle a while back when this one started to run low.

OPI RapiDry Quick-Dry Top Coat

Full Size: 0.5 fl oz, $12.95
Verdict: Like It

This top coat dries super fast which makes at-home manicures a breeze. My only complaint is that it can dry a bit streaky. I recently purchased my second bottle when BeautyBrands had a deal on OPI nail polishes. You can read my full review here.

Body Source Simple Luxuries Crème Vanille Smoothing Hand Cream

Verdict: Leave It

This hand cream was part of a gift set I got a few Christmases ago. I think that this is a Kohl’s store brand and isn’t a permanent offering. At least I can’t find anything about this brand online. It doesn’t really matter because this hand cream isn’t anything special. It smells nice and isn’t too greasy but it doesn’t moisturizer at all.

Bath & Body

Empties #5 - Bath & Body

Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap

Full Size: 8.75 fl oz, $6s.50
Verdict: Love It

Virtually all of my hand soaps come from Bath & Body Works. I love their scent range. This one was limited edition for last winter and was one of their lighter scents – fresh but still a bit sweet. I liked it a lot.

Philosophy Pink Grapefruit Shampoo, Bath, and Shower Gel

Verdict: Like It

This bottle was part of a set I got last fall. The pink grapefruit scent smells really nice but, unfortunately, isn’t part of the permanent range. I’d consider buying this again in the future if Philosophy ever brings back the scent.

Dove – Go Fresh Restore Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant

Full Size: 2.6 oz, $4.19
Verdict: Love It

Dove Go Fresh is my go-to deodorant and I love their new Restore line with blue fig and orange blossom scent. I plan on purchasing this one again in the future.

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Recent Repurchases #3

Recent Repurchases #3

I’ve been doing pretty well with my beauty product low-buy  but I ran out of a few favorites recently that needed to be replaced.

The REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (5.1 fl oz, $28) is a firm staple in my skin care routine and I rarely use any other cleanser in the mornings. Once I started to run low I didn’t waste any time to pick up a new bottle. When REN renamed this cleanser they also gave the bottle a face lift. They got rid of the inner bag that used to hold the product and went with a more conventional airtight pump design. I didn’t really mind the old design but this new one is a bit more sleek and modern.

After many months of serving as my favorite mascara, the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (0.29 fl oz, $24) I received in last year’s September Birchbox ran dry. Although my makeup stash is overflowing with mascara, Birchbox lured me into this repurchase with a coupon offer. I’m holding back with opening it until I make a bigger dent into my stash but I’m happy to have it as a backup.

I’ve raved about the Batiste Dry Shampoo (6.73 fl oz, $7.99) a few times before. It’s hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. I didn’t waste any time to replace it when I ran out. I decided to go with the paisley scent since I found the cherry scent a bit too artificial.

Although my initial review of the OPI RapiDry Quick-Dry Top Coat (0.5 fl oz, $12.95) wasn’t all that positive, I’ve really been growing to love this top coat. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out the best way to use it but by now I wouldn’t want to be without it. My last bottle has been running low and the remaining product has become a thick, goopy mess so when BeautyBrands had a special on OPI polishes I decided to purchase a replacement.

What have you been repurchasing recently?

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February Favorites

February Favorites

February Favorites

February Favorites

I’ve really been getting into skin care lately, in case you couldn’t tell, so this past month has been one of skin care trials and discoveries. Naturally, my favorites list is full of skin care items with a few makeup and bath & body items thrown in for good measure.

For moisturizers the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream (1.7 oz, $55) has been my go-to at night. It’s nourishing but not too heavy and it’s really been helping to replenish my dehydrated skin. In the mornings I’ve been reaching for the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (0.33 fl oz, $9.90 value). I love the sorbet texture and the light grape scent.

One thing I’ve been wanting to add to my skin care regimen for a really long time has been a hydrating but lightweight serum and my search has finally been successful. The Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 fl oz, $49) really fits the bill beautifully. It’s been adding that little extra bit of nourishment that my skin has been graving during this frosty winter but because it isn’t heavy or greasy it works well under makeup which is why it’s become a staple in my morning routine.

During the last few months I’ve been using the Jergens Shea Butter Deep-Conditioning Moisturizer which has been great since the polar vortex has been dominating our weather. Now that spring is around the corner I decided that I would like something a bit lighter and fresher. Along came the  St. Ives Intensive Healing Body Lotion (21 fl oz, $5.49). It has an understated cranberry-grape scent and a very lightweight consistency. On top of that it’s rich in antioxidants, 100% natural, vegan, and doesn’t contain parabens or phtalates.

I’ve been meaning to incorporate a body scrub into my routine for a while and this Philosophy Pink Grapefruit one (part of the Jolly Jelly Candy Set, on sale for $28) has been great. It’s been making my skin baby smooth and smells amazing. Since it’s a salt scrub it rinses very easily, which is awesome, but it’s not rough on the skin at all.

Lastly, the one makeup item on my favorites list is the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (0.29 fl oz, $24). It’s been the one that I’ve been reaching for constantly this past month. I just simply love the way this mascara makes my lashes look. You can find my previous review of it here.

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November Beauty Wish List

I received my Julep Maven box as well as my Whimseybox a few days ago and I’ve been wanting to post about them. However, with the days getting shorter I just haven’t had the chance to take some good, quality pictures of everything. I hope to do that in the next couple of days so I can finally publish those posts.

In the meantime let’s talk about what’s been on my beauty wish list lately.
November Wish List

Murad – Balancing Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 |PA++ $35

A couple of weeks back I visited my local Sephora store and one of the associates was so kind to give me a small sample of this moisturizer. It’s pretty hydrating but at the same time I like how light it feels. It also seems to do a pretty good job at keeping my skin clear. Moreover, the smell is great and it has SPF.

Formula X For Sephora – Theoretical $10.50

When the Formula X nail polishes were released at Sephora I had a hard time deciding which shades to try first because there were so many and they all looked amazing. I went to the store to look at the shades in person and fell in love with Theoretical. It’s a smokey lavender pearl – a nice neutral with a twist.

SKIN79 – BB Miniature Set Black $17

Ever since the BB craze hit the US I’ve been trying a few different brands without much success. I’ve been wanting to test some Korean BB creams to compare them to American brands. SKIN79 gets pretty good reviews and I like that this set includes four of their bestseller so I can try a whole bunch of them.

beautyblender Duo Set $39.95

Beauty bloggers have been raving about the beautyblender for quite some time. Even though I may be a bit late to jump on the bandwagon I figured that I should see what all the fuss is about. I like that this set includes two of them as well as a cleanser.

Eyeko – Mascara Wardrobe $28

I love the idea of the Eyeko Mascara Wardrobe – one mascara with three brushes. It makes the mascara pretty universal and also helps you in determining which one of the Eyeko brushes works best for you. Brilliant idea.

Philosophy – Jolly Jelly Candy Set $35

I saw this set at the Sephora store the other day and it smells delicious. I love that it includes shower gels and body scrubs because my shower routine hasn’t really been including exfoliation. Unfortunately I already own so many shower gels that I’m not sure I can justify getting this set but maybe I’ll end up finding it under the Christmas tree.

Formula X For Sephora – Supernatural $10.50

This is another Formula X shade that I really like. It’s described as an ashen perl. It looks slightly understated but the pearl finish gives it a bit more interest. It’s another great neutral and you all know how much I like neutrals.

What’s been on your beauty wish list?