October Birchbox

The theme for October is fanfare – which is great because I’m getting back into all my favorite TV shows. Scandal, Parks and Rec, Once Upon A Time, New Girl…the list goes on and on. This month in terms of products was a pretty good one for me! Let’s see what I got.

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Mally Beauty High Shine Liquid Lipstick Pen – FULL SIZE product worth $20! This was my sample choice pick and I’m so glad I did. Petal to the Metal is a fun pink color and this is very similar in texture, style and smell to the Stila lipglosses. I like it and am so happy it’s full size.

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ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Black Mascara – I haven’t tried this out yet but I’m always happy to get a mascara!

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner – This is a thin mask that worked surprisingly well! I put it on my nose (where I have blackhead problems), left it on for about 5 mins, and it changed colors from clear to whiteish. Once I washed it off I found that it was super easy to squeeze some oil out. That makes a good product to me!

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Harvey Prince Petaly Noir – This is the fourth Harvey Prince sample I’ve gotten from Birchbox – they must love him at the headquarters. I’m not a huge fan of his though. This is a very dark and musky floral fragrance – not what I usually go for, but it was fun to try out.

Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel – I just didn’t like the scent of this. I prefer fruity or floral shower gels and this was neither. It will probably be swapped!

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Loren Hope Exclusive Lilac Mini Alex Cuff – This was my Birchbox Plus pick for the month – so I got a price break on it. The second I saw that it was purple I wanted it! And it is GORGEOUS! It fits perfectly on my small wrist too. I love her vintage meets modern take on it and that it is made in the USA. Check out some of her other designs on Birchbox.com.

The first sneak peek is already out for November and they reveal the sample choices and Birchbox Plus items. I am going to pick the Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask because I love tea and face products. They sell this brand at Anthropologie and the price for the full size is $58! It was a hard choice between that, the Amika hair mask, and the Juice Beauty green apple peel. The BB plus options did not interest me this month…so less money to spend! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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October Julep Maven

I really liked the Julep Maven colors this month so I had to get a lot! The box had a fun Halloween theme and really got me ready for the holiday!

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They included a $10 off coupon when you spend $20!

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Shailene – bewitched purple with gold flecks, this looks so vampy, dark and fun!

Dana – white with electric blue sheen (black light reactive), I didn’t have a white in my collection! This one is so pretty and if I ever go to a black light party it would be perfect! (This was an add on to the box).

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Nancy – silvery sage metallic, I just loved this fun silver green!

DeAnn – ripe loganberry creme, a gorgeous fall pinky red.

Now for the other half of my huge box – I added on the Mommy’s Little Monster box!

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Fun Halloween packaging and candy corn!!!

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Katerina – pixie multidimensional iridescent top coat, I gifted this one because I wasn’t crazy about it.

Tatiana – golden burnt orange microglitter, I don’t usually like orange but this is gorgeous! I will for sure be using this throughout fall.

Dahlia – goldenrod microglitter, also a very gorgeous color and I didn’t have any yellow in my collection

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Freedom Polymer Top Coat – This is a quick dry coat that apparently makes a gel like finish. I’m happy with my current Essie top coat so I gifted this to a friend.

Black Cat Decals – These are almost the main reason why I got the box – they’re so cute!!

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I had a lot of fun making candy corn nails with this month’s selections!

Swaps #1

In every subscription there will be some things you don’t love so much, and then some things that you see other people get online and that you don’t get. That’s why this amazing swap site on My Subscription Addiction was created – trade away things you don’t want for things you do! Here are the trades I’ve made so far, and then a short explanation on how to trade if you want to get started.

Trade #1

Here’s what I swapped:

Hello by Harvey Prince perfume sample

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Dr. Jart + Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm sample

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Here’s what I got:

Agave Healing Oil hair treatment sample

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Real Chemistry Luminous Three Minute Peel sample

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Both of the items I swapped I got in my Birchbox, and the Agave I got in Birchbox too and loved it! So I had to get some more – it smells and feels fantastic! I was really intrigued by the Real Chemistry product when it launched on BB. I like it – but it’s so expensive that I would never get the full size. I think the next month I actually got this sample in my BB!

Trade #2

Here’s what I swapped:

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Set

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Here’s what I got:

Toni & Guy Sea Salt Spray

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pur~lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

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I already had the Liz Earle set from a BB Limited Edition box so I was ready to try something new! The sea salt spray smells pretty good but sprays a lot! Like makes my hair kind of wet. This pur~lisse product is pretty expensive and had been in a billion subscription boxes this summer – none of which I get. I was really excited to try it and I really like it! A very nice smooth texture.

Trade #3

Here’s what I swapped:

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

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Here’s what I got:

Julep Tammi

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The Shiseido product didn’t get good reviews from Paula’s Choice so I decided to get this funky fun lemongrass shimmer color from Julep! I’m actually about to put it on with some black cat decals for Halloween!

Trade #4

Here’s what I swapped:

Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner

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Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Wash

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Here’s what I got:

The Aloe Source Jojoba Radiance Cleansing Polish

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Julep Green Tea Facial Blotting Paper

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So I had already gotten the Benefit liner from Sephora and it was a bigger sample then this one from BB. The body wash I actually already have from a hotel so I wasn’t that excited about it. I had gotten a sample of another The Aloe Source product in BB and really liked it, and I love cleansers so this was a win! This cleanser is pretty fun and works good. I love blotting papers and most Julep products and these work great so another win.

Trade #5

Here’s what I swapped:

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

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Body Drench Candy Licious Lips Lemon Drop

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Here’s what I got:

Water For Elephants (paperback)

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You might think I hate lemon from this swap but I really don’t! I REALLY wanted to try this Suki cleanser because it is another one of those cult products I see on blogs so I actually ordered a jar of it in a set from BB so I didn’t need this little sample. The lip balm was from Beauty Box 5 and just seemed like a cheap brand that didn’t excite me. I however LOVE books and I have seen this movie and thought it was great. I am so excited to read this soon.

I had been putting swaps off for a long time because it just made me nervous! But once I got it figured out it’s pretty easy! I work at a place that does shipping regularly so it’s convenient for me because they have small boxes and bubble wrap. I print out my own shipping labels through PayPal and it’s pretty cheap! Liz has made her swap site easy to use too. You can search by item, box, or just browse recently added items. I encourage you to swap or gift some of those samples that are just lying around – you never know what you might get!

Random Samples

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve tried out some different samples and products that I thought I would share with you.

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I got both of these sample from my brothers girlfriend who loves makeup as much as I do. The Urban Decay Perversion mascara is pretty good! It has a nice fluffy brush and really lengthens my lashes and comes off easily with makeup remover. The Dr. Brandt pores no more is a cult favorite product that I have seen a lot on Birchbox but have never tried before. It is similar to many other primers I have sampled in that it is sort of oily and I do not like the texture very much on my face. The exception is that is is colored but does not really tint the face. It does provide a smooth base for makeup.

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My brothers girlfriend loves this line of hair care! I also just found out my hair dresser carries the complete line. This small bottle of oil came with the bigger bottle she bought and she let me have it as a sample. It smells AMAZING! A little goes a long way on my wet hair after a shower and it makes it feel very smooth and moisturized. Maybe one day I will try out their shampoo or conditioner.

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This sample of Weleda skin food lotion I haven’t used yet but got for free from Target! They have a site just for samples – currently you can get a sample of Dial Acne Control Face Wash and Body Wash! Just enter your shipping info.

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A friend introduced me to this funky chocolate shop that makes artisinal dark chocolate. Dude, Sweet Chocolate has locations in Dallas and Fort Worth. All their chocolates are handmade in small batches. You can sample anything you want to in their shop! This Stag Party Fudge has Jim Beam whiskey in it and tasted amazing! My friend also likes their hot chocolate and chocolate salami.

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Anyone else have a Clarisonic Mia and love it? My Mema got me and the other ladies in my family one of these a couple of years ago for Christmas. I use it only once a week but it is very effective. Immediately my skin feels exfoliated, fresh and smooth. It works well with any mild cleanser – recently I’ve been using it with my Philosophy Purity face wash (also a Christmas gift from Mema – she knows I like skincare!).

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Have you ever tried Jamberry? Recently my sorority sister Lori, and some other people I know, have started selling it. It’s a direct sales company and you can buy the nail wraps from the website or from one of the consultants. The wraps on my nails I got as a free sample, then I ordered the stripes on the left. I particularly like to use them as accent nails. You find the wrap that matches the width of your nail, peel it off, heat it up with a hair dryer (or little heater they sell), put it on your nail and smooth out, trim off excess, then file in a downward direction to seal it. Since it was my first time I felt like I didn’t seal it very well, but they did stay on my nail very well. They say they can last up to 2 weeks. There is a wide range of patterns, styles and colors. I recommend them if you want a cool style, or nails that last longer than polish.

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I tried my first Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment a couple of years ago and loved it! I got the Rose color, but they have a wide range of sheer gorgeous shades. These little sticks go on very smoothly, have a great scent, moisturize, have SPF 15, and have a beautiful color. Sounds great right? It is! I got this mini color, Petal, as a sample in a kit from Sephora a year ago. I just started using it regularly and fell in love with it. Right now at Sephora there are some amazing kits from Fresh with these lippies in them. These are fabulous for presents – keep one for yourself and gift the rest!

Hope you enjoyed my little review!

My Subscription Addiction Quarterly Box #MSA01

You may know from reading my blog that My Subscription Addiction is my favorite blog for keeping up with all subscription boxes. The blogger of the site, Liz Cadman, has opened so many boxes that she knows what works in a subscription and what is a dud. She has fantastic taste and particularly likes organic beauty products. Basically shes awesome and recently came out with a subscription box of her own on Quarterly. I knew this was gonna be good so I signed up, and not long after it sold out! Her site is very popular! For $50 her box comes once a quarter. Here’s what I got for fall.

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This box included a letter from Liz about why she picked each item and the price breakdown for each.

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Raw Naturals Candle in Chai Latte, $24 – This is my favorite item in the box! Chai Latte is my favorite drink from Starbucks so I love the smell of cream and spices. It’s all natural and has a wood wick for a fun crackling sound. I have already burned it many times!

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Simonetta Infinity Knit Scarf, $25 – This was my least favorite item in the box only because of the color combo. I’m not a fan of brown or red and there were other colors that went out that I liked better. But oh well, it will make a great Christmas gift! It is very soft and infinity style.

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Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, $65 – The packaging from this brand is so beautiful I had to take several pictures! Also I would never buy a face wash this expensive so it’s fun to get something indulgent like this in a box. This is a cleanser/exfoliator in a powder form. You wet your face then shake some power into your hand, wet it, and massage over face. The powder is pretty fine, and does not have a strong smell. It took my makeup off well and left my skin feeling soft and clean.

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Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss, $15 – There was a few colors that went out and I got Guava which is a sheer red. It is not sticky at all, has a light scent and is completely natural. I like it!

CARDAMOM+COFFEE BODY SCRUB

Fig + Yarrow Cardamom + Coffee Body Scrub, $22 – My sample came without a label on the front so I decided to use this picture. This scrub is made with organic and all natural ingredients and has many skin benefits. There’s glycolic acid for natural exfoliation; cocoa, coconut and shea butters are highly moisturizing and nourishing; and castor oil is good for skin detoxification and repair. At first the scent of coffee really hit me and I wasn’t loving it. I sued it on my arms and hands in the sink and it felt great, but left my skin really dirty and my arms tinged brown and with coffee bits on them. I finally wiped all that off and it really did feel moisturizing, and then the scent of cardamom came through and I liked it. The full size isn’t something I would buy myself so it was fun to try this out.

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Also included were three coupons to Tatcha, Fig + Yarrow and Just Fab shoes. I haven’t used any of them but they were a nice addition.

Overall I was very pleased with this box; the candle and face wash really stood out to me. I liked it so much that I signed up for the subscription before it sold out for winter. What’s great is that Liz has been asking for feedback on her site and what people would like to see for the winter box. I’m hoping for another candle, an eyeshadow palette, body creme, and a flavored hot chocolate! What do you think of the first My Subscription Addiction box?

 

September Birchbox

So last month I didn’t pick a sample and I wasn’t so thrilled – I traded most things but really should have traded everything. This month was much better and I’m keeping everything! Here’s what I got. Just a reminder that Birchbox is only $10 a month – I highly recommend it for their great points system and their large selection of brands. It is also easy to gift a subscription of 3, 6, or 12 months.

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This month marks their four year anniversary so they sent out one of three special box designs – I love the colors and pattern!

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As always it comes with a card detailing this months theme and the products listed on the back.

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A colorful bunch with great sample sizes!

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Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray – This product alone is worth more than the cost of the box – $14.50! This was the sample I got to pick and I’m so glad I did. It’s a brand that is new to me but now I have noticed that they also sell it at the JCPenney Salons (I work in their corporate office so I get a discount!). This has Omega 7 fatty acids and Macadamia and argan oils to give softness and frizz free shine. It also provides UV protection which is great for my fine and color treated hair. It has a super interesting smell which I really like. Kind of woodsy – and the scent really lasts. I have been using this a lot since I got it and it really does make my hair soft. A total win.

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Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel – I saw this product a couple months back in a video when they introduced this on Birchbox and thought it looked super cool. I hadn’t gotten it in my box yet so I swapped for it a few weeks back and then just as luck would have it, it shows up in my box now. That’s OK – I gifted the extra to my mom. So I tried this out and I like it. You put it on a clean face, let it sit for about 20 seconds, then massage it off for about 2-3 minutes. It didn’t sting at all, and I could feel little balls of dead skin coming off. Not a ton came off but maybe that’s because I use several exfoliating products already. Anyway it’s a fun product but I would never spend $48 on the full size version.

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Chapstick Dual Ended Hydration Lock Moisturize and Renew – This is a Birchbox Find – something extra that doesn’t replace one of your samples. I actually got another Chapstick product back in December and haven’t used it up yet – I would rather use lipstick or gloss! So I’m considering gifting it to a friend who might use it more. It is cool that it’s double ended with different formulas though.

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Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah – So this is a little shower gel that says it can exfoliate without a loofah – I tried it and I had to use a ton to get it to lather and cover my body. Next time I used a loofah and it performed a little better. I don’t love it as an actual body wash but the scent is great – pink grapefruit, mango and sandal wood. Even my husband commented that it smelled good! I could always save up for the Ageless perfume with my points.

Temptu S/B Hilighter – This champagne colored liquid hilighter has a beautiful pink shimmer. I don’t usually use a hilighter so I used this as an eyeshadow a couple of times and it is a great neutral color. This product is applied apart from their Temptu airbrush pod system that looks pretty cool actually.

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Acure Organics Day Cream – This was a surprise hit for me. First of all it’s a generous sample more than half the full size worth about $10.85. Second it smells AMAZING – like orange spice tea. It wakes me up and makes me feel happy in the morning. It melts into my skin immediatley to help firm my skin and fight off free radicals. Liz Cadman from My Subscription Addiction really likes this brand because they are made without parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and animal by products and with some cool technology in there too. Lots of other people liked this product too because it is currently sold out on the Birchbox website. The only drawback is that there is no SPF in this product or in any other Acure product I looked at. I noticed in other customer reviews that they were disappointed this didn’t have SPF either. It’s a day cream – of course we need SPF! If they put it in then the product would be perfect!

For October I was able to pick a sample again and I chose Mayy Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick in Petal to the Metal – it’s worth $20!

Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens - blossom

I also added on a Birchbox Plus item – the Loren Hope Lilac Mini Cuff.

What did you get for September or pick for October?