Hauls, Reviews

Woman Seeking: The April Boxycharm

I recieved this month’s Boxycharm a little later than normal, through no fault of the company. You see, when I moved I didn’t think about forwarding my mail or packages, so it went to my parent’s house. No one mentioned that it had arrived and I forgot about it until a week ago. But it’s in my possession now! Yay! 

  
The April Bloom box was awesome! Once again, this month’s included products that could be varied from box to box. As I’ve mentioned before, I dislike this practice. From what I’ve seen, there were a two different scents of perfume, two different highlighters (either a shimmer brick or a loose mineral powder), and either a dual sided lip pencil or dual sided eye pencil, or a lipgloss. I’ve also seen some boxes with a Jang Ai jumbo lip crayon instead of the lip or eye pencil. I am not a fan of the variations because I think it can produce “product envy,” where you wish you had gotten the color someone else got. I especially don’t like that not only could the product be varied (ex: an Ofra powder or brick), but there was a trio of different brands you could receive for your third product (Vincent Longo, Model Co, or Jang Ai). All products were at the same price point, and I suppose you can only do so much with what you have, but this strangely bothers me. That being said, I would have been pleased with any of the different choices, and luckily I’m very happy with the ones put in my box!

  
Coolway Smoothing Lotion (full size) – this was the product I was least excited about,ms imply because I don’t usually have an issue with frizz. My hair is fine, thing, and stick straight, so I try to be careful with using products in it even when I do need a little something. The packaging makes it look cheap, like something you’d get off an infomercials do the pump is such that I couldn’t stop it mid pump, so I will pump out more than I need every time, which is a waste. The product itself is pretty nice. It comes out as a light milky gel, and instantly transforms to a slippery, watery-like consistency. I haven’t put it to use on my hair yet, but it dried quickly on my wrist and feels light enough to use on my hair without making it feel or look greasy or crispy. It also smells nice…kind of sweet, like a Spree. Not the worst product, not the best. To me, even if I get a product I dislike, the rest of the box more than makes up for the dud, so I have yet to feel as if I didn’t get my money’s worth. Also included was a promo code for the Coolway Hair website worth 35% off your purchase plus a free Knotty Girl brush (BOXY4U if you’re interested. Valid through May 15). 

  
OFRA Derma Mineral Powder in Pink Sapphire (full size) – I had a tough time capturing this with my iPhone but this powder is beautiful. I tried to show a thick swatch, an eyeshadow amount, and then blended in. Even though you can spot individual shimmer specks with your eyes (at least in person) , the powder is so fine and soft and blended in all at the same time. This will make such a pretty inner corner or lid shade, as well as a body shimmer when used with a fluffy brush. I’m not one that is big into cheek highlights, but if you are then this is definitely a ba-bam highlighter for you! A little goes a LONG way (my thick swatch is just my finger swiped around what was on the inside of the cap!) so I doubt I will finish this product in my lifetime. Two weird things 1) it’s promoted as a loose powder with natural sunscreen, yet nowhere on the box or product do I see an SPF level, which leads me to believe it’s so minimal it’s not worth labeling. If it’s going to be promoted as containing sunscreen, it should contain enough sunscreen to count. I know this is a common practice (many drinks claim to be “made with real juice” when a quick look at the label will reveal it contains 1% juice) but I never understand it. 2) The box says it’s “not labeled for sale in the State of California.” So odd. I wonder why?

  
Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Maple/Spring Rose (full size) – I love these colors! Sprin Rose is a light nude and perfect for his time of year, while the Maple will be great come fall and winter. This is such a good pencil for traveling as it gives you options yet takes up no extra space. You could also combine them for a subtle ombré or contoured lip. I tested this quickly before washing my face for the night, and it applied smoothly and seemed to be a fairly creamy formula. 

  
Harvey Prince Mini Roller Fragrance (mini) in Hello EDP – This was my second favorite product in the box. The packaging is so cute and chic with the black outside and pop of orange inside with the HP logo and carriage sprinkled around. I love when the INSIDE of a package has decoration. To me it shows attention to detail and makes it feel so lucky. The sleek black and glass rollerball feels very sophisticated as well. And the scent! It is right up my alley. It’s a fresh, citrusy floral scent that reminds me of Clinique’s Happy without being some kind of knock off. I’m very pleased and definitely see myself using this up. 

  
Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette (full size) – I, along with many, consider this to be the pièce de résistance. I’ve seen and heard about Coastal Scents for a while now, but couldn’t bring myself to order something I had no experience with, so I was so happy to see this included. Many say this has dupe shades for Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette, so I was even more excited because I was considering using one of my UD gift cards to buy the Naked 3 just a week before. The colors is watched were so pigmented and beautiful. It’s also very slim and not too big, meaning I could take this on aa trip without having it be outside of my makeup bag. The packaging is simple cardboard, so I will have to  take care not to squish it. Seven of the twenty colors are matte, including a light creamish shade, a black, a variety of browns, and a gorgeous cranberry. So. Much. Yes!

April’s box continues my love for Boxycharm. I don’t know how they manage to ale money when I paid $21 total (which covers any taxes and shipping) for this month’s box worth $146.90! Yes, there are some quirks that aren’t my personal favorite (the variety of products different people get), but the box itself is top notch. I can’t wait for next month. I’ve been having problems changing my address online and have had to email Customer Service (there is no phone number available to contact them, they truly are online only) and I’m curious to see how their CS operates. Hopefully everything gets resolved easy prays because so far I’m a huge fan of Boxycharm!

XOXO, WSM

Update: Not even a full two hours after contacting Boxycharm’s Customer Service, I received a reply that they had fixed my shipping address! I’m highly impressed because it is Friday, and the little confirmation pop up I got when I sent my email said to expect a reply within 24-72 business hours. Thank you Venus and the Boxycharm team!

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Woman Seeking: Target Beauty Box 2015

A short time ago I saw a blogger/Instagrammer (I can’t remember!) post about the Target Beauty Box being available, so I jumped online and ordered myself one. For $5 and free shipping, I figured why not? Although these boxes are currently unavailable, I thought I would do a mini overview on what I received and my first thoughts. I haven’t tried all the products so I can’t do a full out review, though I’m sure as time goes on I will do one product reviews or have some of the products in empties videos. Here are my thoughts so far!

  
First, this isn’t a subscription. This is a one time beauty box offer. I ordered it directly of the Target website. It also arrived very quickly, in less than a week! This was a huge plus for me, as I dislike waiting for packages to arrive for weeks. As you can see, it comes in a sleek black cardboard box with “Target Beauty Box” on the outside. When you open it up there is a description card listing the products and how to use them. There were four sample/travel size products and one full size product. All the travel sizes were impressive, except for the Neutrogena. At 0.25 oz, it looks a little pathetic nestled among the other products, but I’m assuming you must not need to use much at once. And really, at $5 for the whole box, I’m not complaining the least bit! Also included were two coupons: one for 20% off and a complimentary gift at DermStore.com, and one for $3 off a beauty department purchase of $15 or more at Target. I’m not sure if I’ll use the DermStore coupon, but the Target coupon will come in handy. After removing the inserts, the products are loosely wrapped in red tissue paper, a nice touch that makes it feel quite special, in my opinion. 

  
The first product that caught my eye when I pulled back the tissue paper was the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System w/Marula Oil & Biotin Shampoo. Oh man what a long name! The bottle is 3.2 fl oz worth of product, which for me means it will last for a while. Definitely more than one time use, and long enough for me to get a real feel for the product when I try it out. I did tear off the protective foil on the inside and it smells wooonderful! It reminds me of some kind of Bath and Body Works product, but I can’t put my finger on which at the moment. I don’t know much about this brand, but the bottle claims the product is cruelty free and includes organic and “ethically trades ingredients sustainably produced.” So there is that. It also has no sulfates, parabens, synthetic ingredients or synthetic colors, among other things. Honestly, it just smells so good and I can’t wait to use up my current shampoo so I can test this out!

  
Next is a sample of Neutrogena’s new(ish) HydroBoost Gel-Cream for Extra-Dry Skin. Again, at 0.25 oz it’s the smallest of the samples, but since I don’t have extra dry skin I’m not too upset. I usually save products like this to use around my nose when I have a cold, or as somewhat of an overnight moisture mask. This comes out a milky white color, and the name nails the consistency, gel-cream. When I mix my Clinique Dramatic ally Different Gel with the Lotion version during the winter, this is close to the consistency I get. I like that it’s very…water full. Not watery, mind you. It dried quickly on my hand and had just the slightest of scents. It includes Hyaluronic acid and is fragrance free, oil free, dye free, and non comedogenic. I’m hoping this will me a good product to use in the winter when my skin can get a bit dry, but the rich creams for dry skin are too rich for my acne prone skin. 

  
Next there is a travel size Extra Firm Control Hairspray from TRESemmé. I prefer lighter hold hairsprays but this is a good product to include for a general beauty box. I don’t have a lot to say about this, to be honest. I’ve used it before, and it works and is a nice product, it’s simply just more hold than I prefer. It will be nice to use for special events or to throw in a weekend bag if I don’t want to take my regular size hairspray. 

  
I showed this box to a friend, and she was most intrigued by the Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray from L’Oreal. This 3.4 fl oz sample is generous (the travel size from Urban Decay, for instance, is only 1 fl oz.). It’s sprayed evenly when we tested it, though it did have a “hairspray” smell to it, so much so I questioned if it w as actually for the face and not for hair. I haven’t tested it for real, simply spritzed it to see the force of the spray and if there was a scent. Makeup setting sprays are slowly making their way into drugstores, and I’m very interested in giving this a go. 

  
Last but not least is a full size lip product from Maybelline, the Color Elixir by Color Sensational Lip Color in (090) Rose. I love that the packaging shows the true color of the product, making it easy to find or distinguish if you have multiple colors of the same product. It kind of smells like Trix cereal, but it does not taste that way! I don’t notice the smell once it’s applied, but do notice it if I kiss the back of my hand and then smell my hand. This is a thick gloss that doesn’t feel sticky to me in the least, and gives just a bit of color. I’m not sure if darker or brighter colors would show up more intensely, but I was happy the Rose color was included since that is probably the color I would have picked out myself. I’m a fan of the applicator, as well. It’s soft and moves easily, whether I want a broad swipe of color or a more precise application. 

I think this is well worth the $5 I spent, and am happy I was able to snag one this year. I have a soft spot in my heart for Target, as I’m sure many of you do as well, and they did not disappoint me. A great deal, great products I’m actually interested in trying out, and speedy service. If I did ratings, I’d give this a 10/10! 

XOXO, WSM

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Woman Seeking: The Lowdown on Boxycharm

A few months ago I subscribed to my first (and only) beauty subscription box. Beauty box subscriptions seem to be all the rage these days, and for good reason. Beauty boxes allow a person to try out products for a discounted price. There are dozen of different box services, which can feature nail, makeup, hair, skin, and bath products in both travel and/or full sizes at a variety of price points. After a lot of research, I finally decided to subscribe to Boxycharm. I received my third box today, and decided to do a little review on my experience thus far. 

Boxycharm delivers 4-5 products to your door every month for $21. The products are nearly all full size, with one travel or sample size. The brands featured are brands that I usually haven’t heard of before, although there are products from more widely known brands included as well. Boxes are shipped out and received around the mid or later part of the month. Boxes are themed, which is fun, but because  the boxes are sent so late it can sometimes conflict or defeat the purpose of the theme. For example, February’s box was Valentine themed, including a heart filled nailpolish. Except, almost no one got their package in time for Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to wear that polish. So depending on how picky you are, that could be a bother. You receive an email letting you know your box has been shipped, and it includes a tracking code so you can follow its progress. I really like that feature. I always track my packages and while some companies are awesome at this, others don’t have this option, or it takes a day or two for the tracking to finally activate. The moment I receive the email I can begin tracking my box. So far, each box I have received has had a value of over $100. This is an incredible deal and I don’t know how the company manages it, but I’m not complaining! Included in the box is a product description for each item, and its value. I like that for the travel or sample sized item, the company includes the value of the sample, as opposed the price for the full sized version of the sample product. Did that make sense? I hope so. 

There is also a reward system of sorts. You can collect “Charms” and redeem the for an extra product included in your next box. The product choice and value is available online, so it’s not a mystery grab or anything. You gain Charms by reviewing items, being a loyal customer (if you are an active customer for three consecutive months, that qualifies you as a loyal customer which gets you the bonus points, and this continues every three months), promoting on social media using the link provided online, or referring others (for example, my referral code is VXZvY212bklja2FBbUc0UGNhMVlubU9Rb0ZNN3MrZ1cyQ1NrZ01ZSnJnYz0= which is insanely long but what you can enter at checkout if you feel like it. I included a link at the bottom with my referral URL which is way more simple!). 

As I mentioned, I’ve received a total of three boxes so far. To give you an idea of what’s included, I’ll give you mini rundown of my previous boxes. 

January – Celebrate in Style ($124 USD value)

  • Beauty For Real – The Perfect Lip Pencil (full size)
  • Beauty For Real – True Color Lip Cream in Always There (full size) 
  • Mirabella – Face Prime (full size)
  • Pur-Lisse – Skin Sparkle Flash Tattoos (one sheet)
  • Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum (full size)

February – Kisses from Boxycharm ($68 USD + $36.99 CAD value) (<- They didn’t calculate the exchange rate for one apparently Canadian item, and I’m too lazy to do it myself!)

  • Modern Minerals – Duo Fiber Mini Round Brush (full size)
  • Mullein & Sparrow – Mini Facial Mask (deluxe)
  • ncLA – Nail Lacquer in Heart Attack (full size)
  • Jing Ai – Velvet Shine Lip Jewel (full size)
  • Mistura Beauty Solutions – C2P Complextion Corrector (full size)

March – Lucky Charm ($112 USD value)

  • Oscar Blandi – Hair Product (I received the Dry Shampoo) (travel size)
  • OFRA – Eyeliner (full size)
  • LVX – Nail Laquer (full size)
  • Tarte – Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Charmed (full size)
  • Previse – Nutrify Skin Type 1-6 Universal Tonic (full size)

One of the things that drew me to Boxycharm is that everyone gets the same items. There is no quiz to take that matches you up with a certain selection. Now, I understand that this could be a minus for some folks, as it means you may receive products that aren’t catered to you and won’t work with your specific coloring, skin type, or skin tone. For me, I enjoy the fact that I am not looking at what else someone got in their box and wondering how I have to answer to get their products instead of what I got. Both February and this month, however, did include random color selections, meaning (for example) someone could get one color and someone else could get the same product but in a different color. While I loved the color I got for the Jing Ai lip crayon (mine was Rasberry Ice, a beautiful pinky red), and Oscar Blandi hair product (so happy I got dry shampoo and not mousse, which was an other option), I’m indifferent about the LVX color (I got Lemondrop, which is ok, but I would have preferred the coral or mint instead) and am bummed by my OFRA eyeliner (I got Light Beige, which is such a weird color for my light self but would have been great for someone darker. I’m hoping to use it as a base for glitter liner or to make colors pop). I hope this random selection trend doesn’t continue too much. We all got the same color Lipsurgence and flash tattoos, which is the kind of thing I like. That way if I don’t like it, I simply don’t like it, as opposed to thinking “dang I wish I had gotten the other choice instead!” Knowing there was another option makes me feel like I’m missing out or wishing I could exchange it, while knowing everyone got the item and I simply don’t like it is somehow ok with me. 

Some of my favorite items thus far is the Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum, the Pur-Lisse flash tattoos, the mini round brush, the Jing Ai lip crayon, the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo, and the Tarte Lipsurgance tint. This isn’t to say I don’t like the other items, these are just the ones I’ve appreciated the most. There have been only two items so far that I really disliked, which I don’t think is too bad. 

What do you think? Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? Are you interested in reading my thoughts each month when I receive my Boxycharm? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, WSM

Click here to check out the Boxycharm site for yourself for more info or to sign up! The link is for my referral URL, just so you know =D If you don’t feel like using my code, you can simple Google “Boxycharm” or enter it in your search bar. This post wasn’t sponsored and all opinions are my own, on boxes I spent my own money to receive, for the record. 

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