Le Tote

Le Tote is a clothing rental service that a friend at work recommended. She had a free month for a friend so I decided to try it out. I ended up not returning it in time and got charged so it wasn’t exactly free…but here’s my review!

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It comes packaged very nicely with a addressed return envelope. It’s $60 per month and you can get as many packages as you want during that time. You could have a new box every month! You favorite things on the website then you can swap out things in your box for those if they are available. I swapped out every clothing item in my box to get what I wanted.

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Ava Penelope Dress – This would cost $64 to keep. I went outside the box with this super bright orange dress. It’s more preppy than I would normally pick too. It was fun to wear once but I would’t want to keep it. All the clothes come dry cleaned, but they had a strange chemical smell to them that I disliked.

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Eight Sixty Floral Wrap Blouse – $60 to keep. This was my favorite thing in the box but I still wouldn’t pay that much to keep (I’ve been spoiled by my Anthro discount). There was also a little tear at the hem so I couldn’t anyway. The style was pretty flattering though.

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Collective Concepts Stencil Butterfly Top – $44 to keep which I think is a more reasonable price. I don’t have many wrap tops in my closet so I wanted to try the style out. I love the color and print.

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Octavia & Co Aqua Stones Fringe Pendant – $38 to keep which is pretty reasonable for costume jewelry. I love the colors but it’s just sort of an awkward shape that I didn’t wear much.

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Noir Luxe Button Tassel Earrings – $18 to keep which is very reasonable! I wore these once, they just weren’t really my style.

Overall I didn’t love Le Tote. The styles seemed geared more to someone who works in a office and the brands seemed like you could find them at Dillard’s. Also I was getting my tote during the summer but I had a hard time finding summer styles – barely any sleeveless items or casual dresses! I also would rather get clothes that I keep than rent them – that’s just an odd concept to me. I guess it would work for some people but just not for me.

March 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is still a pretty new sub box and they have just opened up sign ups for more subscribers. It’s only $10 a month and you get six products including a perfume sample each month. They include a really nice booklet with information and a “play pass” you can take into a Sephora store to get a one on one tutorial (I have never used this feature). I love the brands they pick!

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Sephora Collection: The Perfectionist Airbrush Sponge – This sponge is available in pink or purple and I’m so happy I got purple (it’s my favorite color and my Beauty Blender is already pink)! This is almost half the price of a Beauty Blender and I bet it works just as well. It has two tips to help with getting in corners and blending. It is reusable and works with any liquid or cream foundation. I’ll be honest that I haven’t tried it out yet.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil – This is a product I’m a little wary of trying. I like Smashbox products but I don’t like to use oils during the day for the finish they leave. This oil has 15 essential and plant oils to moisturize prior to makeup application. It says that it sits on top of the skin and also sinks in to moisturize. I just read that it has lavender oil which I have read is bad for your skin…so I don’t think I’ll be buying this one but I will give it a try.

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Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk – I really wanted to like this one but it was a little too light and powdery for my taste – maybe not floral enough? This scent has “notes of bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk”. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – This is a liquid liner that waterproof and high pigment with a brush tip. The brush is different than a traditional felt liner and will not fray. I haven’t used it yet but I love liquid pen liners to create a bold look and haven’t tried this brand yet.

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – This is the second time I’ve tried this cleanser and it’s a good one. Just your basic gel cleanser that smells like cucumbers. It’s very gentle and removes makeup without stripping the skin. It also is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. The full size is pretty pricey so I wouldn’t buy it myself.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield – This is a three in one product that is antiaging, a primer, and has SPF. I really wanted to like this because it sounds great, but I didn’t like the gel texture. It reminded me of the Smashbox best selling primer. It also pills when you apply it which is awful.

Overall I’m still loving this box and all the brands I get to try! I’m excited about the full size sponge too!

February 2016 Birchbox

Birchbox is the original beauty subscription box that comes once a month for only $10. I’ve been getting it for almost three years and I still love it! You have the opportunity to pick a sample each month or be totally surprised. They also have a box you can pick and know every item you will be getting. The boxes are based on a profile you fill out but I have found they are not very customized. This month I let everything be a surprise.

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ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Lip Liner – I wear lipstick a lot but liner is something I never use. Therefore I haven’t touched this but it looks like it would be a really neutral color.

Parlor by Jeff Chastain Detangling Leave In Conditioner – I’ve come to really enjoy products by this Birchbox exclusive brand. This formula has vitamins, sweet almond extract, and nettle extract for shine, softness and heat protection. It is safe for color treated hair because it is free of sulfates and parabens. My favorite part is the scent – fresh juicy peaches!!!

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Hey Honey Take It Off Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask – I haven’t used this yet but I’m feeling like I need to because ever since I got back from Europe my skin has been going crazy. Who knows if it was the sleep deprivation, water change or using different travel products but I could use some exfoliation. This product is a mask you leave on for 15-20 minutes and then peel it off when it dries. It brightens skin with Alpha Hydroxy Acids and improves wrinkles and the overall look of skin.

UPDATE: I used this product this morning and I was surprised that it was completely clear! It also smelled like fruit and dried pretty quickly. It was easy to peel off and did not irritate my skin at all. It left it feeling soft.

Arrow Revive Cooling Cheek Tint – This is a new line by Birchbox which focuses on easy to use, on the go products. I much prefer powder face products to gel, but this one is oil free so maybe I need to give it a try. It says it won’t clog pores or streak.

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Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing – This moisturizer can be used morning or night and I actually took it to Europe. It has a light smell and consistency. It is full of avocado and olive oils to nourish and hydrate the skin. I enjoyed the consistency and feel, but not enough to order the full size.

Overall not my favorite box but there were still some good things to try out!

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This wasn’t in my box but I thought I would share my thoughts. A friend recommended this product and was kind enough to let me have her sample and I loved it! This is the IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer and it is currently out of stock so other people must have liked it too! IPKN is a Korean beauty brand that I know because I have a lip product from Birchbox that I really like. This primer has a creamy rather than gel like consistency and has shimmer pearl powder in it. You might be thinking that sounds weird and I was skeptical too, but it just makes your skin glow! Even with makeup over it, it still has a shimmery effect to make your skin look amazing. It also has SPF 15 which you know I love! It’s on my wishlist when it comes back in stock.

I hope you have a fun Memorial Day – I’ll be hanging out with my family and seeing Alice In Wonderland Through The Looking Glass.

 

February 2016 Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is a monthly sub box for $10! You get a fragrance sample and 5 deluxe beauty samples which I think is a great value. I believe they have recently opened up more subscriptions so sign up!

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They always include an awesome booklet about how to use the products.

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Tom Ford Black Orchid – This is a really pricey perfume – the rollerball is $45! I think I know why though: the main fragrance note is an uber rare and custom grown black orchid. Other notes include Black Truffle, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord, Patchouli. It’s a dark, woodsy, and fruity scent that isn’t entirely my style but is still nice. 

Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner – This is your basic black eyeliner but from a high end brand. It’s supposed to have the high intensity of a liquid liner – I won’t go that far but it is creamy.

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Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder – If you read my recent Sephora dry shampoo review then you know how I feel about this. I would much prefer a spray version so I might put this up for swaps. It’s also SO pricey.

Bare Minerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil-Balm – in Plumberry Pop. I was really excited to try this and the first time I did it was great. It is a nice color and really stays put. The next time I tried it however it balled up a little bit and made it hard to get an even coat.

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Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick – in N9 Copper Pink Satin. Yay for two lip products in one box! This is a really natural and neutral pink that really glides on. No problems, it’s a solid lipstick but not as fun to use as Bite!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara – I’ve tried this mascara multiple times and it’s a great one! Really happy to see it in the box!

Play! still continues to impress me with high end brands and generous size samples! It keeps me looking forward to seeing what I get each month!

January Birchbox

Birchbox is my original subscription box and I’ve been getting it for over 2 years. It’s only $10 a month and they let you pick one sample. The best part is you review your products for points and then use those to buy full sized products!

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They included these little stickers to put on the front of your box which I didn’t use but think are pretty cute. I like the bright colors they chose.

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Ciate London Nail Polish – It doesn’t look like this color is currently on Birchbox, but this is a great sample size! I don’t think I’ve used this brand before but I have heard of it. I swatched it on the sample card above – it’s a dark blue with metallic shimmer. Really pretty and I need to try it out soon!

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Cleanser – I loooove cleansers and I put this on my counter right away to try out. This was very fresh and fun! I don’t think I’ve used an aloe based cleanser before and I liked it! I agree that it’s gentle, got my makeup off nicely and smells fresh. No complaints here! I would purchase this in the future.

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0.2 Meet Your Destiny Eau de Parfum – I’ve started to enjoy perfume samples more and more recently. This is described as a “clean, earthy unisex fragrance. Its bouquet includes top notes of bergamot and spearmint, middle notes of neroli and orange blossom, and base notes of sheer musk accord, Tunisian amber, white amber, oakmoss and French vanilla.” I usually don’t like earthy fragrances and like something a little more floral so sadly this wasn’t a win for me. 

TONYMOLY Delight Tony Tint – I thought I wouldn’t like this and put it up for swaps and totally forgot about it because I’m not a fan of a similar product called Stainiac by The Balm. Then one day I tried it out and have used it several times since. I feel like all stains of this type can be a little streaky, but this one has serious color and staying power! I got compliments both times I wore it. Also the full size is only SIX DOLLARS. SO CHEAP. p.s. they sell some things by this adorable Korean brand at Urban Outfitters. Also I think it comes in other colors just not on Birchbox.

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Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner – I have this same product but the skinny version and I really like it! It’s so nice to see a full sized product (it’s been awhile). I found the fat tip a little harder to use but basically the same result – a beautiful cat eye. We carry this brand at Anthropologie btw.

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Here I am sporting the liner and lip tint. Overall this box was an improvement because of the full sized liner. face wash and lip tint! Let’s hope the rest of 2016 is just as good!

December Birchbox

Birchbox for some reason has not been impressing me lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy opening a little package each month, but maybe it’s their curation of products or brands that leaves me feeling lackluster. Comparing it side by side to Sephora it leaves a little to be desired. Nonetheless the box is always pretty and I like that it is different each month.

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Kate Spade Walk On Air – I am generally not a big fan of Kate Spade fragrances. They come off too floral for me and this is no exception. “Notes of linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, soloman’s seal, bergamot, and Tunisian neroli fill out the top notes of this floral bouquet, followed by lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, Egyptian jasmine, crinum lily, white iris, and violet leaf.” It’s just too overpowering for my taste. 

Coastal Scents Formal Eyes Palette – I actually own a Coastal Scents palette from Birchbox and really enjoy it. It has nice color payoff, although maybe not as good as the Smashbox shadows I recently reviewed. This sample however was awful and barely showed up on my lid.

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Malin + Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask – At $48 they sure think they’re important! Made for acne prone skin it sounds just like Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil Absorbing Mask for only $19. It was a basic mask and not worth the high price tag to me.

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream – I got the scent green tea which is not very strong but still nice. This isn’t as thick as some shea creams I’ve tried but it’s a solid lotion with pretty packaging.

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The Balm Cosmetics Frat Boy Blush/Shadow –   This is probably my fourth The Balm sample and as always the packaging is super cute…but really tiny. I still feel like I can get enough to really sample it though (compared to the Laura Geller blush sample this is a joke though). This is a nice blush with a little bit of shimmer. I feel like the rosy shade would look good on all skin tones.

I didn’t get a sample I just loved or was really impressed with this month. I still love Birchbox though – racking up the points just for a quick review is totally worth it! I just ordered one of their new limited edition boxes today, so look for a review when it comes in!

Stitch Fix #2

Stitch Fix is a clothing subscription box that can come as often or as far apart as you want. You complete a survey about your style and what you’re looking for, then they charge a $20 styling fee and 5 items show up on your front door! You can link your Pinterest page so your stylist gets a better idea of what your style is like. There is also a place to leave notes if you are wanting something specific. This time I left specific notes and they really paid attention to them. Once you decide what to keep, your styling fee is subtracted from the total. If you keep all items you also get a 25% discount!

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This is the page with all the pricing information and discount total.

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They always include a styling page with a note from your stylist and pictures of how to wear your items. On the left is a casual look, and on the right a more dressy one. This can be good if you’re kind of new at fashion or are trying a new style.

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Skies are Blue Yancy Plaid Top $58 – I had listed that I was open to petite sizing and I think that worked against me with this top. The bottom is a little shorter than I’m used to. I had requested a plaid top just to throw on with jeans, but this one has a half placket which I don’t like. It made it had to get on and off. It wasn’t a great fit and sort of pricey so I didn’t keep it.

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MTLA Brett Textured French Terry Lined Legging $38 – I’m not sure why but I wanted to be a leggings person, which I’m just not. These have a fleece lining and you can’t tell from this picture but a kind of sweater pattern on it too. I tried them on and they seemed a little thin and they just weren’t my thing.

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Brixton Ivy Lawley  Cable Knit Open Cardigan $68 – I had requested a cream sweater and almost kept this one! It is a nice heavy weight, and has a really cool pattern on it. The price point is high so I didn’t. A few weeks later I saw a customer in Anthropologie wearing it and struck up a conversation with her!

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Octavia Alpine  Plaid Wrap Scarf $44 – The blanket scarf has been a big trend and I didn’t have one yet. I don’t know what I was expecting but this was way too big and overwhelming and it just wasn’t cold enough this winter to wear it!

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41Hawthorn Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer $78 – I had seen this on their Instagram page and had been wanting a navy blazer for a while! This is a stretchy knit fabric so it is more casual. I usually get a small but I’m really glad my stylist sized up on this one. I like the fun striped lining! I kept it and have already worn it several times with jeans and over a dress. I used some credit I had from referrals to get the price down.

Stitch Fix is a great option if you are too busy to shop or just feel like having a stylist! I like it because they do the searching for me and I get to see things I wouldn’t in the stores I normally look at. They recently added shoes and also have jewelry and accessories like purses. This was obviously a winter heavy box, but I hope to get a spring one soon with maybe some dresses! If you’re thinking about trying it out use my referral link please! As always, thanks for reading!

 

November Play! by Sephora

Play! by Sephora is only $10 and apparently not open to everybody yet. I live in Dallas and somehow was able to get on the list! So far it has been a great mix of brands and nice sample sizes. I have gotten a perfume each time so you should expect that. The November box was a great one for me!

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In each box you get a really in depth booklet that details each product and also has beauty tips.

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Stella by Stella McCartney – I was so excited to get this because it is one of my favorite scents. I think I had a little bottle of this back in high school, then I forgot about it and rediscovered it again. The main note is English rose because Stella, the designer, is from England. The other notes include Peony Flower, Mandarin, Rose Absolute, and Amber. It’s a really bold and dark floral which I love – very different than other floral fragrances. I really can’t get enough and will have to buy more someday!

Make Up Forever Hydrating Primer – This is a primer for normal skin to moisturize and balance skin. A primer is not really something I see as necessary but I did enjoy using this one. It does not feel plasticy or like I have a coating on my face. This primer sank into my skin and made it feel great.

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Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof – This is an electric blue color which I wouldn’t wear everyday but it’s fun to try out sometimes! This is a nice normal pencil that did stay on very well. In middle school I loved to wear a jade green liner only on my bottom lash line EVERY DAY. What was I thinking?!? I know better now that it’s all about moderation.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil – I’m not that into oils but apparently this one is the bomb. It can be used on hair, skin and nails. I have only used it on my skin and it’s pretty thick. There’s a lot of interesting info on the Sephora site about this product including this: “Pure Argan Oil is first cold pressed to ensure the best quality, highest-grade oil. It is housed in a recyclable glass bottle and purchased from women’s cooperatives in Morocco to support their social and economic welfare. These cooperatives work within a UNESCO biosphere reserve that ensures the protection and reforestation of Argan trees. ” It’s FANCY oil! It has vitamin E and fatty acids to hydrate skin. I’ve only used it a few times, but I think I will need to step it up.

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Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil – Y’all this is where it gets good! Bite is one of my favorite lip brands, but I don’t have many of their products. The color, Rhubarb, is amazing! It is a gorgeous plum rose that looks neutral yet adds a great pop of color. It stays on really well and provides high pigment (like the name says). I want to buy so many more of the colors! What I love about Bite is all their products contain reservatrol which is an antioxidant to fight aging, and the ingredients are food grade (because it’s going on your lips)! They all smell really good too – nice and fruity.

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream – This gets good reviews but I’m just not that into the plumping effect. Dolly is a mauve color but I find that it is practically clear. It’s all gloss with no shimmer and I guess I like a little shimmer. It feels weird and a little sticky on my lips. I was hoping to love this one but I just didn’t.

Overall this was a great box if only for the Stella perfume and Bite lip pencil! Those are stand out products that I would buy more of. What are you loving lately?