Birchbox Haul

If you don’t know, Anthropoloie online carries a lot of beauty and hair care products. A coworker returned a Klorane conditioner (because she accidentally ordered 2) so I decided to try it out. I had recently colored my hair and this is a conditioner for blondes to I decided to go ahead and order the matching shampoo to have a set.

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Klorane Shampoo with Chamomile – Klorane is a French brand and I have tried a few of their products before thanks to Birchbox (I really like the Mango shampoo). Whether your hair is dyed or not, this is designed to brighten and prevent brassiness. Something I didn’t know is that chamomile is a natural brightener! This has a nice floral and honey scent and I like it. I probably wouldn’t order again (pricey) but it was fun to try out. The weird part is that the shampoo is HUGE in comparison to the conditioner.

Klorane Conditioner with Chamomile

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Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner – To round out my BB order, I decided to try a new toner. I have never used Origins before and this toner gets 4.5 star reviews on BB, and a blogger I follow recently had talked about it. Sadly this gets a bad review on Beautypedia for the ingredients (it’s alcohol based and tested on animals). That’s why it’s always good to do your research! It has a lot of fragrances and plant oils like mint which can also cause irritation. I have used it one time and did notice a strong scent but it did not irritate my skin. I think I’ll stick to Paula’s Choice next time!

I got a great mystery sample pack with includes Benefit They’re Real Mascara and Rusk Heatshift Re-Styling Cream. I already know I like the mascara and I’m not sure about the cream. It is a product that reduces blow dry time and to restyle your hair. I would try it out and basically consider it a blow dry cream. Overall not the most exciting haul but there you have it!

 

Sephora Hauls

Sephora during the holiday season always has great gifts with purchases. Back in November they had my favorite GWP which is a makeup bag full of samples. You got to pick from four options and it was a great mix of items and brands. I decided to place an order to make use of a giftcard and to get the GWP!

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Some of my favorite items included the Nars Audacious Mascara, Stella Stella McCartney perfume (which I just ordered), and the Glamglow Thirstycleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser (which I have also since purchased the travel size). So there were some real winners here!

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This is the Dr. Jart BB It’s Cold Outside set. I picked it because I needed a backup foundation and I have sampled this BB cream before from Birchbox and really enjoyed the coverage and SPF it has. The kit (no longer available) includes the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 , Firming Sleeping Mask (which I can’t find on Sephora), Ceramidin Cream and Dermaclear Micro Water. The cream was new to me and is made with ceramides which help retain water. It does not have SPF so I have used it a few times at night. It’s nothing super special to me but it does moisturize. The Micro Water I have gotten a sample of before in Birchbox I think and I haven’t come around to the idea of cleansing my whole face with it, but it works well as an eye makeup remover. The Firming Sleeping Mask I have used a few times and the instructions say you are to put it on about 10 mins before bed and to wash it off in the morning. It has a gel/serum like consistency. Overall I liked this set because it is the same price as a full tube of the BB cream but you get extra stuff!

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This was a random thing I added on to get free shipping and it turned out to be really good! This is an oil in gel lipstick remover by the Sephora brand which I am not seeing on their website now. Bummer. You put it on, wait about 10 seconds, wipe it off with a tissue and BAM your lips are clean. It works with lipstick and liquid lipstick really well, but not as good with stains.

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These were my free sample add ons!

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This was the next GWP that I was drooling over. I LOVE this stuff! Benefit Gimme Brow

is my go to for just a little more definition, color and a groomed look. It’s for when I’m too lazy to use pencil to fill my brows in (basically every day) or want a more “natural” look. It’s a mini so it didn’t last long but was totally worth it.

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So this is where the real fun happens – a whole set of DRY SHAMPOOS! This is the Extend Your Style kit (no longer available) and has 7 shampoos to keep you clean in between washes.

First up (from left to right) is my personal favorite of the bunch and one I have sampled before thanks to Birchbox. Amika Perk Up is really one of the best I have tried. The packaging is a colorful swirling print that makes me happy, and it smells amazing! It has natural rice starch to absorb oil without weighing you down. This really works and does not leave me greasy or with residue.I would for sure order more. *Note all of these are on the pricey side and would be a supplement to my go to drug store pick*

Next up is Alterna Haircare Cleanse Extend which has a mango coconut scent. I thought I would really love this one for that reason but it wasn’t in my top 3. I agree that it’s translucent but it is a little sickly sweet and has a slight greasy feel for me.

Living Proof is a brand that I have tried several of their products before including somehow their dry shampoo. Their Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is in my top 3 – it has their signature scent which is hard to describe but is slightly floral. It has no residue, is free of sulfates and parabens (if that matters to you), and leaves my hair feeling really clean. *Note I just sprayed this on my husbands head so he could feel the intense sensation of dry shampoo and how great it is and he said “I never have to shower now.” Yeah me neither*

If you don’t know about the Drybar then you are missing out. I have been a total of three times and each as been great and I have left the salon with the best looking and smelling hair. The Detox Dry Shampoo was created to extend your blowout and is in my top three mainly because of the scent. It comes out a little chalky (they made a separate one for brunettes that’s how you can tell!) but I just rub it in or brush it out. The smell puts it in my top three though – it’s addicting like delicious cupcakes!!!

Sally Hershberger is a brand I am not as familiar with. Their 24k Supreme Stylist Dry Shampoo is supposed to be voluminous but I just find it to be sticky and leave my hair feeling a little greasy. Nothing great about the scent either. It has low stars on Sephora so I know I’m not the only one!

Klorane is a brand I am familiar with thanks to BB and I have actually gotten this as a sample before and am using their shampoo and conditioner now (review to come later). A lot of people really like this Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk but I am not one of them. It’s not too greasy but does leave a white residue that I have to rub in. I don’t love the scent either – it’s light but just not my fave. I’ll use it up but I won’t buy more.

Lastly we have Bumble and Bumble’s Pret-A-Powder which I was really interested in trying out because B and B is a super prestige brand (I have some of their hairspray and really like it). I have never used baby powder as dry shampoo so this was hard for me to get used to. I found it difficult to get an even coating and to get rid of all my oil. It has a soft powdery scent and does add volume but the application is just too difficult for me. I would rather spray and go! It still gets a lot of good reviews so maybe I just need to give it a few more tries.

There you have it – one of the most in depth dry shampoo reviews you will ever read! Thanks for sticking it out till the end, and if you have questions leave them in the comments!

October Play! by Sephora

This is my very first Play by Sephora box and it is amazing! The theme was skincare which I love to try out. I’m very impressed with the amount of samples and the quality for only $10. The packaging was also very nice.

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They included a very nice booklet spotlighting each product with tips on how to use them.

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Sephora Pearl Mask -This is a full size item and a nice inclusion. I’ve only used one sheet mask before and it wasn’t my favorite experience but I’ll still give this one a try. According to the website the pearl version ” Perfects and brightens with natural-origin pearl to create high luminosity. “

Fresh Black Tea Toner – I love the Fresh brand for their lip products but I haven’t tried any face products. I love the packaging first off – the bottle is so cute and made of glass. This feels really nice going on my skin. This is supposed “to provide 24 hours of moisture and significant protection from environmental stressors while evening skintone and refining skin texture. ” I like that it has interesting ingredients such as black tea, blackberry leaf extract, rosewater, and lychee seed extract. It’s very expensive at $48 a bottle – twice what I would normally pay. So it was fun to try but I will not be purchasing.

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Atelier Cologne Collection Azur Mandarine Glaciale – This is a citrusy fresh fragrance with notes of mandarin, ginger and veviter. Apparently this scent is exclusive to Sephora. I’ve read that all the scents by this brand are unisex…so unfortunately this scent is not for me. I like more flowery smells.

belief The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – This is a Korean made product which is very popular in beauty circles right now. It is sort of gel like and absorbs very well with no fragrance. I picked up this interesting info from the website “This dermatologist tested product is free of mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, and fragrances, and animal origin ingredients. The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb was the number one selling product in Korea’s highly competitive selective beauty market across all categories. “

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Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Day Tint SPF 15 – Dr. Jart+ is one of the more well known Korean skin care brands and I have used a few of their products before, but not this one. This is a multitasking products that tones, moisturizes, and provides blemish coverage. You can use it alone or under BB cream. It only comes in one color and it is too dark for me. I don’t see this need for this under my current makeup. In case you’re wondering what Ceramides are “Ceramides are essential lipids found in the surface layer of the skin that help maintain the integrity of the skin and retain moisture.”

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boscia Detoxifyinh Black Cleanser – This is a gel cleanser that warms on contact and is black! It de-clogs pores, and dissolves oil and makeup. I think it’s a solid cleanser!

boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal – This is an accompanying product to use with the cleanser. It’s hard to tell from the description but I don’t think you would use this on it’s own – only with a cleanser. You wet is and scrub it around and it is supposed to help with exfoliation and drawing out impurities. I found this sample to be a little too small to use easily. It also seems like something I don’t need. It was fun to try though.

Overall this was a great first box and I can’t wait to see more from Sephora. I just wish you earned Beauty Insider points for subscribing to these.

Birchbox From Korea With Love Limited Edition Box

Limited Edition boxes from Birchbox are my favorite! Korean skincare and makeup products are all the rage right now and it is something I haven’t tried very much of other than the big brands like Dr. Jart. This From Korea With Love Box is a great sampler to get your feet wet and try out some new brands. Unfortunately it is no longer available but there are a few other great Limited Edition boxes.

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Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask – This was the first sheet mask I’ve ever tried and it kind of freaked me out. The feeling of having a sheet over your face for about 15 minutes was a weird one and I don’t think I will ever pick it over a normal mask. I also did not like that you are supposed to rub in the excess after taking the mask off. I am used to washing my face off after a mask so that was strange for me. This made my skin feel a little weird – I’m not sure it it was because of the scent or the ingredients (egg whites).

Tony Moly Magic Food Banana Hand Milk – I was supposed to get two packets of this according to the website and product card however I and many other people only got one. I emailed the customer service and they said they would send me another one but I never got it. That was the only time I think I’ve been let down by Birchbox. On to the cream – I haven’t used it yet but I’ve read that it smells like banana  runts…interesting. It’s also available at Urban Outfitters and Sephora. (The full size is in a banana shaped bottle!)

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Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Escalator Mascara – I have SO many mascaras that I haven’t tried this one, but I love the packaging! There’s a little dinosaur on there! This mascara is unique in that it has a twistable wand to change that amount of length or volume you get.

Club Clio Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black – I have recently really embraced felt tip pen liners. They are so easy to use and make a really bold black line in a cute kitten shape. I can never have too many pen liners! (Swatched below)

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TonyMoly Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base – Is this not the cutest beauty product ever?! This is a white creamy stick that is kind of like a hilighter. I find it to be very moisturizing when I apply it under my eyes. Some reviews said it was too white, but I did not find that to be the case. It covered any circles I had pretty well. (Swatched below)

IPKN Twinkle Lips – This is a moisturizing balm that leaves a sheer wash of color. It reacts to your ph to give you a personalized pink color. On me it is pretty hot pink and I love it! This feels amazing on my lips and is such a great color. (Swatched below)

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These were my mystery sample pack items because I spend $35+. I have tried this Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator before and I really like it! It is a very fine microderebrasion scrub that really gets your skin clean. I am very happy to get another sample. The pony tail holder however is weird and I will not use it. I’ll include it in a future swap.

I really enjoyed trying some new Korean brands and products. I think the IPKN balm was my favorite discovery!

September Birchbox

My September Birchbox was a killer! It was packed full of fun goodies to try out. The theme was also all about subscribers, reminding us that we are beautiful. The box design was great! If you haven’t signed up for Birchbox yet you should – it is my favorite monthly box for only $10.

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English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her – I seriously love this perfume! I’ve never even heard of this brand which is such a great thing about Birchbox. The roller ball is now on my wishlist. It’s inspired by a country garden and has notes of quince, white chocolate, jasmine, rose and orris root for a floral meets woodsy interesting perfume! I can’t say enough how much I really like this – it’s not your average smell!

Juice Beauty Green Apple Sensitive Peel – This is a product that is a cult favorite that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. A peel uses chemicals to remove the top layer of skin for a smoother appearance. In this case it uses fruit derived hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate. I like that I got the sensitive version for my first time trying it out. The bonus is that it smells like apples!

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Pop Beauty Pop Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette – This is part of a larger palette and was one of the sample choice options for this month. It’s actually not the one I chose, but I am so happy I got it! I’m also sad I didn’t choose this as a sample when it was offered before! The eyeshadows are super pigmented and very soft and blendable. I’m not a huge fan of purples and grays, but using this has been very fun.

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Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturizer – I just got a little sample of this and I wasn’t wowed. Also at $46, the full size is way more than I would ever want to spend on a moisturizer. It was lightweight but nothing special.

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser – This product I liked more. It has a nice citrus scent and is a lightweight gel formula. It removes oil and balances the skins ph level. It left my skin feeling smooth and clean.

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Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo – This was my sample choice, purple shampoo! I love anything by this little known Italian hair brand, but it is on the pricey side so I haven’t purchased a full size yet. However I get my hands on as many samples as I can! All their products smell amazing like fresh cut flowers, and the scent really stays. It leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth.

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner – This conditioner is interesting because it is a thicker texture than normal conditioners. It has the same amazing smell too!

Overall there were so many products I loved in this box and 7 samples to review – that means $7 to spend on full size products (which you know I already did). It was such a winner and I loved discovering that perfume!

Birchbox for CEW Mass Appeal Box

Birchbox teams up with CEW each year to feature award winning beauty products. They offered a prestige box with higher end products and a mass appeal box that I decided to get. This box was $15 and is no longer available.

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Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths 10 pack – Wow more face cloths! While it’s not an exciting item, I have used a cleanser from this brand before and liked it so I’m hoping these will work well.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara – Another full size mascara – not too exciting but always welcome! The brush on this one looks interesting and like it potentially provide a lot of volume.

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Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands – Usually I love Burt’s Bees products (last year in this box I got a great lip gloss), but this one left me a little disappointed. The color was neutral which is not my favorite, and this formula I did not find moisturizing at all. There are other lip crayons out there that I like better.

Simple Skincare Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer – I like that right on the front of the package this says “no harsh chemicals, artifical perfume or dyes” which are definitely things I don’t want in a moisturizer. It is a super lightweight gel which I have never felt or used before. It’s a pretty cool product but the only drawback for me is that it does not contain SPF.

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Olay Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting Hydraswirl Eye Cream – I actually have received this product in a previous box and gifted it to my mom, but now I have one for myself! This is a swirl product that has a gel for moisturizing and a cream for brightening and illuminating. I don’t have a full size eye cream yet so this is a great addition to my collection.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – I have gotten something by this brand in a Target box before, and I believe it is a Target exclusive. This brand is all about the power of water. You put this mask on at night and wash it off in the morning. I have used it several times and it feels very nice. This sample size was very generous as well.

Overall I enjoyed this box but it did not wow me because cleansing cloths, mascara, and the eye cream are generally repeat items for me. I was hoping the lip crayon would be a win for me but it wasn’t. Compared to the Target box which was $5 this one seems overpriced! I usually love Birchbox Limited Edition boxes but this one was a bit of a mixed bag.

Birchbox Haul

I recently had a few hauls from Birchbox and thought I would share what I picked up. I was running out of these skin care staples.

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Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator – This light weight moisturizer is a must. Just as the name says it works double duty to eliminate wrinkles and acne. My skin feels refreshed and looks better over time after using this.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner – Paula recently named this as one of her must have products and I agree. This calms oily skin and reduces redness with antioxidants. It also reduces large pores and blackheads. I use this every morning after cleansing.

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This is what I got in my mystery sample pack. I love this Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm. It is actually a good color for my fair skin, provides coverage and has a high SPF. I am considering buying more or this great kit. Sumita liners are great and this one in Jaipur Gold provides a subtle color pop from normal black or brown.

Zeus Beard Shampoo Verbana Lime

Zeus Beard Shampoo Verbena Lime – My husband uses a beard shampoo daily and I bought this for him to try (Birchbox has a wide variety of men’s products too). It keeps his beard soft and clean and this one has a great tropical scent.

Votivo Candle - pink mimosa

Votivo Candle in Pink Mimosa – Birchbox also has home products. This candle has a great fruity tropical smell and is a blend of strawberries, mimosa and vanilla rum. It has a good throw and burns easily. It is a higher price point than BBW candles but is smaller. I believe the wax is higher quality though.

Found any good beauty finds lately?

Sephora Haul

I recently bought a few things from Sephora to take advantage of a weekly deal they were running where you got a free perfume mini with purchase – lately I have really been into perfume samples and my favorite brand was featured to I went for it. I also used a $25 giftcard I got through Shopkick. If you don’t use Shopkick you should! It’s and app and it is very easy to earn “kicks” just by going through lookbooks on the app, walking into stores (many I already shop at), and by scanning items. This is my third $25 Spehora giftcard I have redeemed. There are many other giftcard choices – my mom always gets Starbucks. Anyway enough about that – let’s talk about what I got.

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Caudalie Favorites Set – This has been on my Sephora and Birchbox wishlist for a while. I love gift sets like this because you can try several travel size products without having to commit. This set includes: Beauty Elixir, Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, Hand and Nail Cream, Lip Conditioner, and Gentle Cleansing Milk. The Beauty Elixir is sort of like a refreshing toner and it has a very herbal spa like scent. The first time I used it it sort of stung my face which was weird. I have used it a couple of times since and it has not done that again. Overall I don’t love it. The Moisturizing Sorbet is a very light moisturizer and it feels very nice. I surprisingly really like the Hand and Nail Cream -it  has a very light scent and feels great. The Lip Conditioner is a plain lip balm that provides intense moisture. The Gentle Cleansing Milk you apply to a dry face and then wash off – I like it! This was a good set to try out some key products, but I’m still hooked on Paula’s Choice skin care.

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Sephora Collection Dry Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner – I decided to get this because my Beauty Blender solid cleanser was running out and this looked fun because it comes with a little scrubby brush. This has argan oil in it and a warm Moroccan fragrance – I love how it smells! I tried using the brush on my Beauty Blender and it tore it up a little bit. From now on I will only use the pink brush on makeup brushes. The cleanser seemed to work well though and I like the case it comes in.

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Tocca Simone Deluxe Sample – I have never met a scent from Tocca I didn’t like so I knew I wanted to sample this one. The website describes it as: Sparkling notes of the tropical frangipani flower cut through the salt sea air, as Simone unfolds into creamy layers of watermelon, ylang ylang, and blonde woods. I really love this! It is light and fun and reminds me a little of Princess by Vera Wang.

Sephora Collection Eco Biodegradable Sharpener – I got this because I have an eyeshadow pencil that is pretty big. This fits it perfectly and I love that it comes with a little stick to clean it out. I recommend this because it works and it’s a great price.

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Unfortunately I was hoping for the sample to be as big as this mini bottle I got from Birchbox a while a go. I was a little disappointed in the size but at least it’s better than a tiny spray vial! Currently Sephora has a promotion to get a bag of fragrance samples using code BELOVED if you want to try out some new scents!

Whole Foods Beauty Bag

Whole Foods recently released a one time purchase beauty bag. Whole Foods is known for their all natural and organic products so that’s what I was hoping for with this bag and I wasn’t disappointed! I really hope they release more of these in the future. Check your local store – there may be one left for $18.

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Rijigreen Beauty Bag – Each bag is different, with colored tassels and a liner made from a recycled sari. I searched through them till I found one I liked. They look like a great company that uses part of it’s profits for anti-human trafficking. I’m glad they chose these bags because they are very unique.

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They included a product card and a coupon for Biosil (which was not in the bag). I wish they had included coupons for the actual products in the bag – I would have used them!

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Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask – this mask is made with French green clay so you look a little like a monster with it on. It also has sea buckthorn oil and Moroccan argan stem cells to purifuy moisturize and renew. I’ve used it once and it felt very light and nice.

Giovanni 2chic Blackberry & Coconut Milk Ultra-Repair Shampoo – The only thing I didn’t like is that they didn’t include the matching conditioner! This stuff is awesome! The scent is amazing and lingers all day. This is for damaged, overprocessed hair. It’s a pretty big sample size and I have been consistently using it since I got the bag. Just this week I bought the shampoo and conditioner from Target because I love it that much.

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Pacifica Eye Shadow Duo – Some bags may have contained a lipstick (which I would have preferred) but it seems like only very limited stores got that variation. People have received this in their Ipsy bags before and I have read that this has very low pigmentation. The colors are “moonbeam” and “unicorn” and they are not my favorite so this will be swapped.

Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub – This was a nice scrub with very fine dead sea salt and volcanic sand. It’s also free of all sorts of bad stuff like parabens and sulfates.

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Gabriel ZuZu Luxe Mascara – I haven’t tried this yet because I have many other mascaras to try out but this looks like a bigger than usual sample size.

Trilogy Vital Moisturizing Cream – I really like this! The brand is new to me and apparently pretty expensive because this sample is worth about $30. It is very light and absorbs quickly, containing rosehip seed oil, marula oil and orange flower. It provides hydration and smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

I really hope they come out with more bags because I really enjoyed this one! I tried some new games and found a couple things I really like!