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Subscription Box Review – Margot Elena Discovery Box – Winter 2018 Box

Everything that came in the Winter 2018 Margot Elena Winter Discovery Box

Before I say anything else, I want to acknowledge that yes, this is a very late review for this box. In fact the Spring box is about to ship, or may already have for some people. My box didn’t arrive until well after Christmas, and Christmas is when I typically stop reviewing until I start back in September of the next year. Then I got busy with doing things to my home. But what can you do, life happens and you move on.

I honestly did not want to just skip reviewing this box. I think people aren’t really aware of this subscription box on say the level they are Fab Fit Fun, and that box is just not for everyone. I know it wasn’t for me. So I wanted to try to review a good quarterly lifestyle box that I thought people would like as an alternative.

So today we will be taking a look at the Margot Elena Discovery Box for Winter 2018. Spoiler alert – I really love this box, so I am actually considering reviewing this box all the time, rather than just once like I usually do for most subscription box reviews. This review will be done in the typical way I review subscription boxes, however if I continue to review this box it will be review slightly different. I will link anything you can purchase on the Margot Elena Website. So let’s get to it…..

 

Service Name: Margot Elena Discovery Box

 

Price: $49.99 if you pay quarterly, and $179.99 if you pay annually.

 

Where Is It Available: the contiguous United States, this does not include PO Boxes or APO Military Mailboxes.

 

Who To Get It For: This is great for anyone looking for a lifestyle box. Especially great for anyone who loves the Margot Elena Brands. Even if you think you are not familiar with her brands you may be. Brands of Margot Elena include – Lollia, Tokyo Milk, The Cottage Greenhouse, Library of Flowers, Love & Toast, and Me Life + Home.

 

What You Get: Every three months, or four times a year, you will receive a box filled with products from the various Margot Elena brands, including some items exclusive to the box. All products will be full size and will total over $200.

This is a lifestyle box, and the items you receive could fall in many categories. You might get anything from fragrance to home décor to clothing items and so much more.

 

Drawbacks: I must say that for me personally there isn’t any drawbacks to this subscription box. I mean, yeah like any box that contains fragranced products there are going to be some items I can’t use. But the good news is the items I can’t use are highly giftable. I can easily save myself some time on shopping for a few Christmas gifts.

But I also realize drawbacks can be subjective. So I tried to think of what some of them might be for other people. Seeing as this a quarterly box, the price is $49.99. That is more than your average monthly box. If you are on a budget, that might be a drawback for you.

Also, while the idea of items being pulled from very select brands are a selling point to me, I can see that it might be a drawback for some people. It definitely limits what can possibly be in the box, and for me that is a plus. I like knowing it’s going to be from brands I am most likely going to like the style of. But if you are looking for a broader range of things, maybe its too limiting.

 

The Details: Your subscription arrives in a branded box. It is a cardboard box, but there will be no doubt that it is your Margot Elena box. It arrives looking like this:

How the Margot Elena Discovery Box.

Photo taken from the Margot Elena website.

I had to share the picture of the outer box from the Margot Elena website because 1. mine was covered in shipping labels and labels from my mail box. and 2. like a savage I couldn’t wait to rip into mine before I took pictures. Don’t judge me.

When you open it up you will immediately see a few things.

First look at the inside of the Margot Elena Winter Discovery Box

First thing laying on top was a letter. I thought about sharing a picture close up of it, but it’s really just a letter of the reasons the items included in this box were chosen. It was definitely a sweet touch to the box, but I didn’t think it would translate for this review.

Just behind the letter you can notice a picture on the inside of the box.

Theme for the Margot Elena Winter 2018 box

It says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” and then it says that the Winter 2018 box marks the one year anniversary of the Margot Elena Discovery Box.

This little graphic card is really there to mark the theme of the whole box. brands I also think it’s a fair representation of the Margot Alena brands in general. They are filled with art work and the esthetic of Margot Alena herself.

Just under the letter that was included all the items are wrapped in a printed Lollia tissue paper.

Lollia tissue paper

Yes, I ripped into the paper too. There was no waiting for this box.

Now lets take a look at what you all really want to see, what was tucked under that paper.

I managed to avoid most of the spoilers for this box. But this first item was the one thing I had already seen, and I was pretty excited about receiving it but slightly worried at the same time.

Front of the Margot Elena Peacock Silken Kimono

Back of the Margot Elena Peacock Silken Kimono

This is the Margot Elena Peacock Silken Kimono, and it has a retail value of $60. This, along with a few other items, were created exclusively for the Discovery Box. As I said, I was quite looking forward to this, but I was also hesitant. I love peacock prints and feathers, and well anything peacock. But this is a one size fits all item, and I think most plus size ladies can relate to the dread of a one size fits all piece.

However, I am happy to say that this piece actually did fit me at a size 20W. I would wager to say that it should fit up to at least two sizes larger. I will be posting pictures on social media a couple of day after this post goes live. I will make sure to include some of me wearing this for those who want to see how it fits on a plus size body.

The Kissing Bell frm Margot Elena

The next thing that came out of the box, I actually heard way before I saw. It is called The Kissing Bell, and it came with a little note card that explains what it is and the tradition behind it. It has a retail value of $14. This was also an item exclusive to the box.

Now this isn’t really my thing. I love the color, but I’m not really into decorating for the Holidays. With just my husband and I, and spending the actual days at other places, it just seems sort of pointless for me to decorate. So most likely this will be passed on to someone else.

Tokyo Milk Dark Fragrance Duo Novacaine & Tainted Love

Next I found this little set. It is the Tokyo Milk Dark Fragrance Duo of Novacaine and Tainted Love. This set retails for $18. These aren’t really fragrances I can use myself, but I have a few friends that really love these sorts of fragrances. So I think this would make a great birthday gift for someone.

This item is currently sold out on the Margot Elena website, but you can sign up to be notified when it is back in stock.

Peacock print Hand-Glazed Stonewear Mug

A peek inside the peacock mug

When I pulled this item out of the box, I may just have squeed a little bit. This was my favorite item in the box. It is the Margot Elena Hand-Glazed Stoneware Mug, and it has a retail value of $14. And yes it is the same peacock print that is on the Kimono. This was exclusive to the box, so unfortunately you can not purchase one for yourself.

Tokyo Milk Signature Stationary Trio

Stationary in the Margot Elena Discovery Box

Tokyo Milk Stationary with sparkle

While this isn’t my favorite item, it would be hard to top the peacock items, it is something I had hoped would be in the box. Several of the Margot Elena brands have things like card stock and fabric and various other printed good, and I really love all of it. This in particular is the Tokyo Milk Signature Stationary Trio. The detail card include in the box says the set retails for $15. However, I do not see this available as a set. Each card retails for $5.50.

I included a couple of up close pictures of the cards so you could see that they have a subtle glitter accent. I don’t think it even shows up well on the Margot Elena website, but you can sort of see it

White Pine & Balsam Travel Candle from The Cottage Greenhouse

The next item out of the box is this White Pine and Balsam Travel Candle, and it has a retail value of $12. The travel size doesn’t seem to be available anymore, perhaps it is a Christmas only item. But you can still get this in a full size candle.

This is the only item in the box that felt any real disappointment in. That isn’t because it’s a bad product or anything, it mainly because of my allergy. The two scents listed are both things I react to. They don’t really say what type of balsam, so maybe I could have the worst allergic reaction ever. I was worried enough about it that I haven’t even taken the lid off of it, hence why there is no pictures of the inside.

I also don’t really know anyone in my immediate friends circle that I think would like this type of scented candle. So I haven’t really decided what I will do with it yet, but maybe it will go in a future give away or something.

A collection of Lollia products in the scent Wish

The last four items all sort of go together. They are all part of the Lollia line in the Wish scent. Now these are actually all individual items, and I am going to talk to talk about them individually, but I wanted to show all the items as a collection. The scent is described as, “Delicate infusions of Sugar Cane, Vanilla Bean, and Jasmine meet comforting Ylang Ylang and sheerest Amber Woods to leave skin deliciously fresh.”

Limited Edition Wish Bubble Bath

 

This is a Limited Edition Wish Bubble Bath, and it retails for $18. On the card that came in the box that is all it said. However on the summary that was posted in their blog, it calls it a mini size. But for a mini size, it is quite large.

And while the mini size was an exclusive to the box, this is still available in the full size on the Margot Elena website.

 

Wish Shea Butter Hand Cream from Lollia

 

We also received a Wish Shea Butter Handcreme that retails for $25. Unlike the Bubble Bath, this is a full size product.

 

 

 

 

Wish Bath Salt Sachet fom Lollia

 

Also included was this absolutely adorable Wish Bath Salt Sachet. It retails for $14. I think this might be the cutest and best smelling sachet I have ever seen. I honestly am tempted to keep on a shelf as decoration and never use it. But then I would feel bad for wasting it.

 

 

 

Wish Triple-Milled Shea Butter Soap from Lollia

 

 

And finally, the last item is this Wish Triple-milled Shea Butter Soap. It retails for $12. I know some people might not be excited over a bar of soap, but when I get one I can use, I really love it.

 

 

 

 

Everything that came in the Winter 2018 Margot Elena Winter Discovery Box

And that is what came in the Winter 2018 Margot Elena Discovery Box. That brings the total value of the box to $202.

 

Where To Sign Up: You can sign up on the Margot Elena website.

 

Final Thoughts: I really love this box. Everything is beautifully packaged. There is a decent variety of items. And I think the value is pretty great. Even though I may not use every item myself, I will be able to use it as a gift. And I do like everything. This is opposed to some of the other lifestyle boxes I have tried where I was left feeling like I only really liked about a fourth of the items. But everyone likes something different, so if this isn’t the one for you there is sure to be something out there for you.

 

 

 

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Subscription Box Review – Ladiee T Jewelry Monthly Earring Box October and November 2018

All the earrings I received in October and November

It is subscription box review again. I have quite a few of these I want to try to get  through before Christmas time gets here.  If you missed my last one, you can go back and check out the Black Unicorn Subscription Box review at your leisure. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.

A few months ago when I first started looking for subscription boxes to review for this year I had a few goals in mind. I wanted to find a variety of types of boxes, boxes in various budget levels, and boxes that in addition to being of interest to all of you would maybe make good gifts.

I have definitely shared some affordable boxes in the beauty category before, but not everyone is into makeup I do think this will by far be the most affordable subscription box I have shared as of yet, and I believe it is very giftable.

Because of the nature of this box and the variety that can come in it, I thought I would share what I got for both the months of October and November.

 

Service Name: Ladiee T Jewelry Monthly Earring Box

 

Price: $8.99 to $56.99 (This box has a large price range because of several box options and payment terms options. Prices may vary when you go to sign up if they are running a sale.)

 

Where Is It Available: This subscription is only available to US residents.

 

Who To Get It For: Anyone who loves jewelry, especially earrings. who has pierced ears. Age doesn’t matter as they have a box option for younger subscribers. This would also be great for someone who is just beginning to build their jewelry collection.

 

What You Get: There are three different earring boxes available from Ladiee T Jewelry that somewhat customizable to your own tastes and preferences. Here are your options:

Princess Collection for Girls – Each month’s box contains two randomly selected pairs of earrings that is age appropriate for girls between 5 and 10 years of age. Earrings in this box are deliberately kept small in size and are mostly studs.

Women’s Monthly Earring Packet – Each month you will receive one medium to large sized pair of earrings. Earrings sent will be based on your taste and style preferences chosen.

Women’s Monthly Earring Box – Each month you will receive two stylishly hand-picked medium to large pairs of earrings. Earrings sent will be based on your taste and style preferences chosen. (This is the one I will be sharing with you here.)

 

Drawbacks: If you like jewelry that is matching sets, this box won’t offer that. I don’t really see an option to find that on their main website either. So if that is a big deal to you, then this might not be the subscription for you.

 

The Details:

When you sign up you fill out a brief preference profile.

First you choose if you are subscribing for yourself or giving a gift. If you choose a gift subscription, then once you fill out the profile you will have the option to add a message that get emailed to the recipient once the subscription mails out.

First you are asked which subscription you want. Then you are asked about your metal color preference. No preference is totally an option here. Next you are asked about earring style preference, and again you can absolutely choose no preference. Finally you choose the length of the subscription you are paying for at once.

Every month the subscription arrives in a small cardboard box. (And again I would like to remind everyone to not worry about my safety, the mailing address shown is not my home address just the mail box I get my blog mail at. But I appreciate the concern people have shown)

The box the Ladiee T Jewelry subscription arrives in.

On the inside you will find your earrings individually wrapped as well as a small card, all lying on a bed of filler paper. The card just let’s you know about an opportunity to get an extra pair of earrings in the next month’s box by sharing it on social media.

Inside of the October Ladiee T Jewelry Box

This is the inside of the October Box

Inside of the Novermber Ladie T Jewelry Box

And this is the inside of the November box.

As you can see they pretty much arrive looking exactly the same each month.

For the month of October, here is what I received:

The earrings in the October Ladiee T Jewelry box.

One of the pairs of earrings for October

The second pair of earrings for October.

I actually really loved both pairs of earrings. Unfortunately they were both stud closures, and I can’t wear those. But at the end of the day that is fine. I got this subscription to review, and I have so many earrings. I gifted the red pair to one of the besties who I do steampunk with. Its kind of perfect for that kind of look. And the other pair I will also gift to someone or sell on my poshmark.

And now lets look at what was inside the November Box:

The earings inside the November Ladiee T Jewelry Box

One pair of earrings in the November box

The second pair of earring in the November box

These earrings are on French hooks, so I can actually wear them. So off to a great start for November. I did like the designs, and I will definitely wear them out. But I think I liked the designs in the October box more.

 

 

Where To Sign Up:

You can sign up on the Cratejoy website on the Ladiee T subscription page.

 

Final Thoughts:

I think this is a decent box for the jewelry lover. It’s certainly a good value. And I really think it would make a nice gift. I don’t really have any complaints. I felt like the whole process went smoothly and everything was shipped on time. Sometimes that is a big issue, especially for subscription boxes.

 

If you like the idea of this subscription box, but it’s not quite what you are looking for, here is a brief list of other boxes that may interest you.

Mint Mongoose – Must-have jewelry — your choice of silver, rose gold, or gold — delivered to you, every month!

Emma & Chloe – A surprise piece of French designer jewelry at your doorstep every month!

J Grace & Co – Little Black Box – Jewelry Subscription

Running With Scissors Jewelry & Accessories – Where GOTH, GLAM, and GORGEOUS unite! Jewelry & more you won’t find elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Subscription Box Review – Black Unicorn Subscription Box November 2018 “The Wolf Box”

November 2018 Black Unicorn Subscription Box

Today I bring you another subscription box review. If you missed my last one, you can go back and check out the Macy’s Beauty Box review at any time. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.

My last few reviews have been aimed at beauty boxes, but there is a lot of different types of subscription boxes out there. So, I wanted to make sure to get a few non makeup boxes reviewed this year too. I went on the hunt for some unique boxes, new boxes, boxes I hadn’t really heard a lot about, but boxes that still included things that interested me. It didn’t take me long till I came across the Black Unicorn Subscription Box.

I mean they kind of had me with the name. After all I do dress up as a black unicorn for Steampunk Symposium every year. It was meant to be, right?

 

Service Name: Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Price: $25.00 a month or $75.00 for three months, plus shipping.

 

Where Is It Available: This box is available internationally. Be aware you pay shipping and any customs fees due.

 

Who To Get It For: This box is meant to be targeted at people in alternative lifestyles. If you consider yourself Goth, Punk, Steampunk, Lolita, or even Wiccan this box may be of interest to you or alternatively the person you are gifting it to.

 

What You Get: Each month will have a theme. All items included will pertain to that theme in some way or another. Each box will include a crystal or other magical item, some sort of DIY item, and one or more items from a featured Etsy seller or small business. Types of items that will be included can range from home décor to accessories and everything in between.

 

Drawbacks: Since this box does not have once consistent theme, and items can come from a broad range of categories, there is a much higher chance you may receive items you don’t like. Also, if you don’t typically like the types of items you find on Etsy, this may not be the box for you.

 

The Details:

I often start this part off by showing you the boxes these arrive in. However, this particular subscription arrives in a plain brown box. No identifying logo or anything, and I really didn’t think you guys would be interested in seeing that.

So lets take a look at what came inside the box.

November 2018 Black Unicorn Subscription Box

In addition to what is pictured above, each box also includes a card insert that tells a little something about each item you receive. It also includes any pertinent information about the box.

As I said previously, each month the box has a different theme. This month’s box, November that is, is “The Wolf Box”. So most things in the box will relate to wolves in some way or another. I personally was quite happy with this month’s theme. I have really loved wolves since I was a teenager.

An added benefit with this box is that some of the proceeds go to a different charity each month, and this month’s proceeds was going to be donated to a charity that works towards Wolf Conservation. Once you are a subscriber you can join the subscription box Facebook page and you can make suggestions on charities you would like to see supported.

The DIY item in the Black Unicorn Subscription

 

DIY Stark Wolf String Art – Obviously this is the DIY craft project for this months box. It was created to be similar to the wolf that represents House Stark in Game of Thrones. For me this is an item I wasn’t personally crazy about. I don’t have a lot of extra time for crafting, so when I do it I am very particular about what crafts I want to do. This will most likely get passed on to my niece who loves to craft.

 

Custom unicorn beanie made for the Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Black Unicorn Beanie – This was the one item that was not related to the theme, but of course is related to the box. This item I was really excited about. I don’t wear a lot of hats, but beanies are one of the few that I can and do wear occasionally. And well it has a unicorn on it, and you guys know me and unicorns, so there is that.

 

 

Hand painted cork coasters in the Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Howling Coasters – This is a set of four coasters. They are made of cork and then hand painted with the wolf picture on each one.

This is an item that I felt torn about. On the one hand I really like what they are, or would have if they had arrived looking as they were intended to. Mine, and from my understanding, several other people’s warped. You can see this in the second picture that is from the side. Now of course I let the owner of the subscription box company know. She actually offered me and
Side view of the warped coastersothers several options, including the option for a partial refund. I actually chose to not take the refund because I wanted money to be able to go to the charity.

I decided to just chalk this up to something that  just wasn’t for me. That happens sometimes, and its a chance you take with subscription boxes. But I was just relieved to know the owner handled the situation well.

 

 

Crystal of the Month in the Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Magic Crystal – Every month’s box includes a crystal or similar item. I’m not sure if the card always refers to it as the Magic Crystal, or if that is just what it is calling it this month.

This month’s crystal is an orange calcite. According to the card this particular stone was chosen because, “Wolves are known to be extremely loyal to their packs, and this crystal enhances relationship connections, between you and your family. This crystal is also great for camaraderie and achieving goals, portraying
orange calcite compared to a mac lipstick bullethow the pack works together to survive in the wild.”.

I have also included a second picture of the orange calcite to help show the size od stone I received. I have it placed next to a MAC lipstick bullet. Of course due to the nature of the item, there will be variety in shape and size that people receive in their boxes.

This is another item I loved receiving. I have always loved crystals since I was a little kid. I find them fascinating and have a bit of a collection.

Vinyl VHS sticker in the Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Wolfen Vinyl Sticker – This was the item from the featured small business of the month. The business is Vinyl Hell Stickers Co. This was a custom designed sticker for the Black Unicorn box and it was based on the thriller film Wolfen. This is another item I wasn’t a fan of. I’m just not a fan of stickers in general. But again one of my nieces might really like this, and I think it could be put in her Christmas stocking as something fun.

Bad Wolf earrings in the Black Unicorn Subscription Box

 

Bad Wolf Earrings – The final item in the box was this pair of Bad Wolf earrings. If you are a Doctor Who fan, then no doubt you recognize the term. And of course I am a doctor who fan, and I was stoked to get these earrings. One of my steampunk costumes is doctor who themed, and I will definitely be wearing these with it.

 

 

 

 

Where To Sign Up:

You can sign up for the Black Unicorn Subscription Box on Crate Joy. You can find their page at https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/black-unicorn-subscription/. They do offer multiple subscriptions, so be careful to make sure you are signing up for the correct one.

 

Final Thoughts:

In this particular box I was happy with half of the items, and with the other half, most of those items can be used as gifts. Personally I feel okay with that at the end of the day, especially knowing that part of what I spent goes to a good cause.

With this particular type of box, I think it is just par for the course that you have some months where you really love everything, and other months there are going to be some stinkers. Hopefully there won’t ever be any months where you don’t like anything.

Tell me in the comments what you think about this box. Would you/have you tried this box?

 

Now if you like the idea of this box but it’s not quite what you wanted, you might want to take a look at these other boxes:

Accio! – the first and only artisanal subscription box 100% inspired by the Potterverse.

Running With Scissors Jewelry & Accessories – Where GOTH, GLAM, and GORGEOUS unite! Jewelry & more you won’t find elsewhere.

Goddess Provisions – Monthly box with crystals, aromatherapy, natural beauty products & spiritual tools

 

 

 

 

 

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Product Review – Burt’s Bees More Moisture Baobab Shampoo And Conditioner

Burts Bees Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

This is the fourth in a series of Shampoo and Conditioner reviews. I will be reviewing a Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner. Don’t forget to check out my last review on the Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner.

My Hair And Scalp Type

(notice this section will be in every shampoo and conditioner review for reference. This is for convenience so you do not have to look back at earlier posts)

My hair is very thick and coarse. It tends to be very dry, and can turn brittle if I wash it too often or don’t condition it enough. But my hair is reasonably healthy outside of that, as I do not use heat on it very often and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability.

My scalp goes back and forth between dry and oily depending on the time of the year and the products I have used. My biggest struggle with my scalp is from the allergic contact dermatitis caused by my allergy to Balsam of Peru. This causes a dry, scaly, itchy coverage on the scalp that looks a lot like dandruff. I have never been able to get it fully cleared up on my scalp. At its worst, when I have a reaction to something, it also burns and can blister.

 

The Product

Burts Bees More Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

This is the Burt’s Bees More Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner with Baobab. I purchased mine at Meijer’s, but they don’t seem to currently have a website to link to. So I have linked to Amazon. Of course it is also available on Burt’s Bees website and some of the places Burt’s Bees products are sold. Each bottle is 10 fluid ounces, and it sells for anywhere from $7 to $8 depending on where you buy it at.

There were a lot of reason I wanted to give this a try. Most of all I had not seen this products before and I really wanted to give some product out of the more natural category a try. There are some things on the label that really intrigued me, which will be a big part of the discussion in several ways.

 

How It Performed

Burt's Bees More Moisture Shampoo

Moisturizing shampoos for me, at best, usually means not drying. I rarely find one that I actually find moisturizing. In fact there is only a few that I can think of that is actually moisturizing, and most of those are more oil based. This really performed well on my hair. It was moisturizing, it wasn’t oily, it left it soft and manageable. I really like what it did for my hair.

Burt's Bees More Moisture Conditioner

The conditioner performed well also. I would say it verged on almost being too moisturizing for me, but not quite. I definitely don’t need to use a hair mask with this one. And just a little bit goes a long way. That is probably the first hair product I have felt that way about, but its true.

Overall I would say that I am very happy with the way this shampoo and conditioner performed for my hair. And I think most people who have very thick, course, and dry hair will like it. I would not recommend this for anyone who has fine, thin hair or anyone who struggles with their hair being limp or oily.

 

The Allergy Affect

Before I say anything else here, let me say that I have not had a reaction to this product. It hasn’t improved my scalp from previous reactions, but it has not caused a reaction either. This is a very distinct difference that perhaps only other with contact dermatitis will understand. For the rest of what I want to say, there is a bit of a story involved.

When I am trying to decide whether to give a product a try there are always a few things I do to make that decision whether I think it will cause a reaction or not. Two of the top things are reading the ingredient list and smelling the product. I have probably mentioned this many times over the years.

I smelled the product and no alarms went off. So I read through the ingredient list, and again no alarms went off. But I did notice something interesting I had not seen on any of the other products I have tried. In the ingredient list it has fragrance, and right by it is a little asterisks mark. When you look at the bottom to see what the asterisks is about, it says natural fragrance. When I smelled the product it had that very natural kind of smell like many Korean products do. This had me intrigued, so I visited their website for more information.

Looking at their product page didn’t really give me any more information than the bottle did, so I decided to look around the rest of their website. After much searching I found no information that directly answered my question, but I did find on their contact page a link that says it is to email them about product and ingredient inquiries. So of course I sent them and email.

I messaged them and let them know that I am a blogger and that I was working on a review of their product and why fragrance information was important. I of course let them know what product I was reviewing, and I asked for information about their fragrance mix used. The initial reply I received was an automated response saying they needed more time to research my question. But when I got the actual response from a person, this is where my problem started.

The first response I got back from Burt’s Bees was odd, to say the least. All it said was, ‘Thank you for your patience. So we can help, would you mind providing the UPC for the product in question? We look forward to hearing from you.”. Now remember my question was a general question about fragrance for the anyone, not one specific fragrance, and definitely not about me having a reaction to the product I purchased. The response I got was more what you expect when you have told the company you had a reaction to the product.

So I responded  back to them, not with an answer to their question, but I just sent back a message saying I was a little confused why they needed that to answer my question. Did they perhaps misunderstand what I was asking. I mean, this should be a simple answer from them. They are not creating a different fragrance for each bottle of moisture shampoo they make.

I did get another response back from them, and I felt just as frustrated by this one as the last. Their response read, “Thank you for getting back to us. The majority of fragrances in Burt’s Bees products are natural, composed of proprietary blends of essential oils and natural extracts. We ask that you please consult with your doctor before using our products. If you happen to have an allergy to a specific ingredient, please provide the name so that we can let you know if it is in the product.”. Again, I didn’t have a reaction and wasn’t asking for that reason. And even if I had, with a allergy to something like Balsam of Peru, it’s not as simple as just saying I am allergic to Balsam of Peru.

First of all most doctors and health professionals don’t even know what that is, I don’t expect someone at a beauty company to know. You can literally react to hundreds of things that are chemical twins to Balsam of Peru. And people with my allergy don’t all react to the same things. So admittedly I was very frustrated when I sent my last response back to them. I sent back a simple question. “Did you even read my initial email?” I never received another response from them.

 

Final Thoughts

I have really mixed feelings about this, and a lot of it has to do with the email exchange. On the one had I think the product was excellent, but I have said many times how important customer service is to me. And the email issue isn’t just that they didn’t want to tell me what their fragrance is, but that they indicate that you can ask and then rather than directly saying in the beginning that they can’t share that sort of information. (I am guessing that is what all the dancing around the subject is about. I would hate to think they are really so incompetent that they can’t read an email and comprehend it.)

So I am at that point where does the product outweigh the behavior of the company and my frustration with them. But I suppose only time will tell with that. I am still testing out shampoos and conditioners. Maybe I will find something I like better.

Tell me in the comments if you have tried this shampoo and conditioner. I would especially love to hear from any of you with contact and fragrance allergies. And don’t forget to let me know if there is a specific shampoo and conditioner you want me to put on the list to try out.

 

 

 

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Subscription Box Review – Mask Mistress From NY KBeauty October 2018

Everything that was included in the October Mask Mistress Subscription

It is time for another subscription box review. Today we will be looking at the Mask Mistress box. It is a newer sheet mask subscription box. This will most likely be the last beauty related subscription box review for the year, everything else will be in other categories unless something arrives as PR to review.

If you haven’t seen it already, make sure to check out the last subscription box review of Macy’s Beauty Box. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.

 

Service Name: Mask Mistress (This is from NY KBeauy, but they have more than one subscription box you can get.)

 

Price: $14.99 a month plus shipping. I do believe the shipping cost is the same for everyone, at least everyone in the US, as they ship in a priority box. I paid $7.55 for shipping.

 

Where Is It Available: This box ships worldwide.

 

Who To Get It For: Anyone, including yourself, who loves skin care. Especially for those who love sheet mask, K beauty in specific.

 

What You Get: You are to get 10 Korean sheet masks every month. (They don’t specifically say that you get extras, but as you will see there were some bonus items sent with my package.)

 

Drawbacks: I didn’t feel like there were a lot of drawbacks for me, but I can see a couple of things that might be for some people. If you are looking for a mask subscription filled with things that you can then easily pick up at your local Ulta, Sephora, or other US retailer that carries sheet masks if you like them, this may not be the subscription for you. Also if you are looking for a customized mask experience based on your skin type, this isn’t going to be it, you will find a more general use types of masks in this subscription.

 

The Details: At least for right now this subscription arrives in a priority mail box.

Mask Mistress subscription arrives in a priority box.

This isn’t uncommon for newer boxes, so don’t be surprised if this changes later on. But do keep in mind that once subscription boxes start paying for their own printed boxes, while they may be cute, that often runs the price of the subscription up. (Side note: Before I get concerned emails: no, that isn’t my home address showing on that package. It’s a mailbox that anyone can find on my blog contact page.)

Mask Mistress subscription box is wrapped up inside tissue paper with a thank you sticker holding it closed.

When I got the box open, this is how everything came out. Everything was wrapped up in this pink tissue paper with Korean writing on it. And one of the bonus items was at the bottom semi wrapped in the paper. A thank you sticker was holding it all closed.

Everything that was included in the October Mask Mistress Subscription

Now lets take a closer look at the individual items sent. As always I will link to any of the items I find for sale individually in case you are interested in purchasing an item rather than the subscription. This box did not have a detail card with prices of the products, so there really isn’t anything to compare it to on that end.

Choosy lip mask in honey

 

This is a Honey Lip Mask from Choosy. I looked for this everywhere I shop, the only place that I could find them to purchase was at Amazon, and so that is where I have linked to. On Amazon a 5 pack sells for $14.99 with free prime shipping. But I will say that if you can find them somewhere else, they will probably be cheaper. This brand is sold at essentially a Korean dollar store, ant they cost about a dollar or less in Korea. In fact the one sent to me still had a sticker on it with the price. It had 1000 Korean won. Converted, that equals to 88 cents in the US.

Kocostar Lemon Slice Mask

 

This is a Lemon Slice Mask from Kocostar. Again, the only place I could find this currently in stock was on Amazon. There you can buy a two pack for $7.22. From what little I know about this brand, the price seems accurate.

 

Tomato slice mask from Kocostar

 

We received a second slice mask in this months Mask Mistress box. This time it is a Tomato Slice Mask from Kocostar. And as you might have already guessed, I could only find this in stock on Amazon. There you will find a two pack for $7.00.

 

The Bano Baby Face Injection Mask came in the October Mask Mistress

 

This is the Baby Face Injection Mask from Bano. And surprise, surprise, I could only find it on Amazon. On Amazon you can get a ten pack for $18.00.

 

 

Dr. Snart Anti-pore Clinic

 

I am not really sure what they are considering the name of this mask, so I am just going to tell you what the whole long thing says. This is the Dr. Smart Anti-Pore Clinic Double Zone Effect Pore Care Mask from Sense Of Care. And at this point you shouldn’t be surprised I could only find this on Amazon. On Amazon you get a 10 pack for $20.00.

Honeysuckle Lifting Mask from Mamonde came in the October Mask Mistress

 

This is the Honeysuckle Lifting Flower Lab Essence Mask from Mamonde. Believe it or not, this mask is actually available in more than one place. I have linked to YesStyle because they offer the best value selling them individually for $3.51. But they are available on Amazon in a 5 pack, if that is easier for you.

 

Real Barrier Extreme Cream Mask

 

This is the Extreme Cream Mask from Real Barrier. YesStyle has this mask available in three options, a pack of one, five or ten. One sells for $4.41, but if you are going for the ten pack it is cheaper to purchase over on Amazon.

 

On The Body X Kakao Friends Sheet Mask Moisture

 

So this mask has very little English on the packaging, but it did have enough to be able to search for it. The name on the back says this is ON: The Body X KAKAO Friends. There is a picture on the front that indicates this is for moisture. I searched all of the places I was comfortable recommending purchasing from and I was unable to find this mask.

Lavina Green Tea Essence Mask

 

This is the Lavina Green Tea Essence Mask. I could not find this mask on any of my trusted sites either.

 

 

 

Mamonde Rose Moisturizing Flower Lab Essence Mask

 

We have a second Mamonde Flower Lab Essence Mask in the October Mask Mistress subscription box. This time the mask is Rose Moisturizing. This sheet mask, like the other one from this brand, is also available on both YesStyle and Amazon. On YesStyle you can purchase it individually for $3.51 each, and that is what I have linked to above. But you actually get your best value for this mask on Amazon where you can buy a five pack for just $11.00.

Missha Honey Sheet Mask

 

This is the Missha Airy Fit Honey Sheet Mask. They are sold individually on YesStyle for $3.51.

 

 

 

Fresh Vita Cool Jelly Mask from SNP

 

The final mask we received is this Fresh Vita Cool Jelly Mask from SNP. I could only find this one on Amazon. Amazon has this mask in a ten pack for $21.00 with free prime shipping.

 

 

There were also some samples sent in this box.

Samples that came extra with my Mask Mistress October box.

 

The deluxe size sample I received is the Anti Dryness Camellia Deep Cleansing Foam from Dr. Young. In the plastic packet there was about ten packets of various Dr. Young products.

 

 

 

 

Because I couldn’t find a couple of the masks, and we have no book guide from NY KBeauty telling us the value of the mask, this will just be my best guess or a rough estimate of what I think this bag is worth had you bought all of these masks individually. I am not including any value on the samples sent because I don’t know if that is a regular occurrence and even if it is, this is supposed to be a sheet mask box. With that being said, my best estimate is this boxes value is $44.00.

 

Where To Sign Up: The Mask Mistress subscription is powered by Cratejoy, so you can find it along with many other subscription services on Cratejoy’s Website.

 

Final Thoughts: I think this box is a pretty decent value for this month. You are suppose to get ten masks, and they actually sent twelve. In what was sent there were three masks that I can’t use because of my allergy, but that is pretty typical from any mask subscription I have tried. And since they sent two extra masks, I can’t be too mad about it. I was exceptionally happy that there was only one mask in the whole pack that I had tried before, the whole point of getting a mask subscription for me is trying new things.

 

Other Subscriptions Of Interest: I am adding this as a new section to these subscription box reviews. I am limited on how many I can do each year due to time and finances. I try to balance out what I review with what I am interested in enough to spend money on with what I think the majority of people might be interested in reading about. I am sure that the things I pick don’t  suit everyone’s budget or needs, so I thought I would start adding a few recommendations of alternatives you might want to try if the one I review isn’t quite right for you.

So here are some similar subscriptions that may be of interest.

Mask Maven from Beauteque – get 9 sheet masks a month for just $15. You can also check out my previous review of the Mask Maven subscription.

Face Mask Tonight – Get a more personalized mask subscription. Choose your skin type and the amount of mask you get each month. Get 4 masks for $11.99, 8 masks for $19.99, or 12 for $24.99.

 

Tell me in the comments if you have tried a sheet mask subscription before. Which subscription did you try?

 

 

 

 

 

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Subscription Box Review – Macy’s Beauty Box September and October 2018

How the Macu's Beauty Box arrives

I have another subscription box review for you. If you missed the last subscription box review, we took a look at the new beauty box Yes! Oh Yas!. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.

For this review we are going to take a look at two moths from a box at once. We will be looking at the Macy’s Beauty Box for the months of September and October of 2018. I wanted to take a look at both months at once because by all accounts everyone has said that the September box was unusual for this subscription.

 

Service Name: Macy’s Beauty Box

 

Price: $15 a month and no charge for shipping (You do get a Macy’s coupon in the box each month that does help offset the cost a bit)

 

Where Is It Available: Direct quote from Macy’s website:

Macy’s Beauty Box is currently only available in the 48 contiguous United States. We cannot ship to PO Boxes, APO/FPO/GPO address, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. Territories at this time.

 

Who To Get It For: This box doesn’t really offer gift subscriptions, but you could order it for someone else with a bit of finagling. You can also get the box for yourself. This box is best for someone who prefers a skin care heavy box and enjoys trying more high-end products. While any age can use it, it does appear the majority products are more targeted towards women 40 and over.

 

What You Get: Each month you are to receive five deluxe sample sizes(meaning no packet size samples), a bonus item (this could be a packet sample or perfume but usually a perfume), a collectible cosmetics bag, and a coupon to use on beauty products at Macy’s.

 

Drawbacks: If you don’t like getting mostly skin care in your subscription, this probably won’t be for you. Also, if you are not really a Macy’s shopper the advantage of the coupon that comes with this subscription is probably not going to actually make it worth it to you.

 

The Details: Every month your order arrives in a Macy’s box.  It’s the same kind of box any other Macy’s order arrives in.

How the Macu's Beauty Box arrives

When you open the box you will find your bag for the month and small brochure that has all the info on what you received.

Bag from September and brochure for the Macy's Beauty Box

The above picture shows how the bag from September came out of the box. The brochure for this box posts spoilers on the front, so if you are the type that likes to be surprised as you take your items out, you might want to avoid the brochure until you are done.

Inside the brochure you will find a list of the products you received. They also tell the price of the full size version. And inside the brochure is where your coupon for the month is located. (Just a side note about the coupons, they are usually $5, but sometimes they send out $10 coupons. You have about two months to use them. And you are not required to spend a certain amount. The only requirement is it be on a beauty purchase)

Now lets take a look at each of the months individually and what came with it, starting with September.

September 218 Macy's Beauty Box

In the background you can see the bag unrolled. It was quite large, and the first thing that was unusual about this month. It is a drawstring gym bag I think. Most of these bags have a theme, and this months was all related to things you use pre and post workout. Inside this months brochure was a $10 coupon. Here is what is in the bag from left to right:

  1. Donna Karen Cashmere Mist Deodorant – The full size which is 1.7 oz sells for $27. What you receive in the box is the mini size, which is 1 oz.. From what I can tell, you can purchase the mini size on its own. You can get it in a 3-Piece set. I estimate the value to be about $15.89 for this size.
  2. Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap – The full size is 16 fluid oz. and sells for $11. What was sent in the box is 2 oz. and can not be purchased at Macy’s. I estimate the value for this size to be $1.38.
  3. Yuni Shower Sheets – A 12 pack is the only thing available on Macy’s website. There seems to be a discrepancy between what the brochure says the price is, and what it is on their website. The brochure says $22, and the website says $15. We only received one in the box and I am estimating the value based on the price listed on the website. I estimate it to be $1.25.
  4. Sunday Riley Good Genes – This is available in two sizes on Macy’s Website, so I have linked to the search page that shows both. In the brochure they have the 1 oz, size listed, and that sells for $105. The size received inside the box was .17 oz., and I estimate the value to be $17.85.
  5. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm in Super Strawberry – A full size of this product is .1 oz. and sells for $18.50. The mini size that is sent in this box .04 oz. You can’t buy this on its own at the moment, but I believe there have been times you could at Sephora. You can get it in set, but that is it. I estimate the value to be $7.40.

Bonus Items: So it says you get one bonus item, but the couple of months I have gotten this, we received two. It has been fragrances both time, and each time they sent both a woman’s and a man’s from the same brand. This month it was from Jimmy Choo. The woman’s fragrance was Jimmy Choo Fever and the man’s fragrance was Jimmy Choo Man Blue.

My personal thoughts on this months bag is that, overall as a theme and the bag that was sent, it’s not what I like. There were some products I am happy to try. I had been wanting to try the Sunday Riley Good Genes, but finding it hard to bite the bullet and buy it without trying first. And the Yuni Shower Sheets seem like a good thing to me. I definitely have uses, just not for the gym. I do like Chubby Sticks, but this color and one other seems to be the only thing they put in sets, so I already have a bunch of this same color. I most likely will pass it on to someone or put it in a giveaway. Same pretty much goes for the bag and the rest of the products.

 

Now lets take a look at what arrived in the October box:

Macy's Beauty Box for October

October’s theme is all about the eyes, and I think the products make more sense in this box. Not that the previous months didn’t make sense to the theme, but this one you just don’t have to think nearly as hard about it. The makeup bag has a set of lashes on one side, and on the other side it says All About The Eyes. This months brochure included a $5 coupon to use. Now lets take a look at the products received, going left to right:

  1. Girlactik Precise Eyeliner Marker in Black Noir – This product was actually sent in a full size. That was a little surprising from a sample bag. It is .041 oz and sells for $20.
  2. Bareminerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer – The full size sells for $19. There doesn’t seem to be any information on how many ounces of product you get in a full size, so I can’t really calculate an estimated value for the sample. However, I can tell you the sample size is .05 oz.
  3. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex – The full size is .5 oz. It sells for $62 on Macy’s website. The size sent in this months box is .1 oz. I estimate the value of this item to be $12.40
  4. philosophy Purity Made Simple Eye Gel – The full size is .5 oz and sells for $24. This is another item that I am relatively certain I have seen available for sale in the mini size at Sephora on occasion. The mini that was sent is .1 oz. and I estimate the value to be $4.80.
  5. Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara – The full size contains .33 oz and sells for $25. The size received in the bag is .06 oz. I estimate the value of this item to be $4.54

Bonus Item: This month also came with two fragrance samples, one for women and one for men. This time both samples are from Calvin Klein. The women’s fragrance is Calvin Klein Women Eau de Parfum. The men’s fragrance is Eternity for Men

My personal thoughts on this months is slightly more complicated that the box for September. I love the bag that was sent. And overall, I think I will at least try most of the products. I thought it was nice there was a full size product included, and its price alone is more than the box itself. But there isn’t really anything in the box I felt excited about. I don’t hate the box, but I’m not ecstatic either.

 

Where To Sign Up: If you are interested in trying this box out for yourself you can sign up on Macy’s Website in the Beauty Section.

 

Final Thoughts: I have one more month coming for this box. I generally like to try boxes for three months before I make a final decision about keeping it or not. Honestly, I have already cancelled this one, but maybe next months will be so amazing it will change my mind about keeping it. I personally would have liked to seen an even split on makeup and skin care in this type of box.

Tell me in the comments below what you think about this box. Do you get this box?

 

 


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Subscription Box Review – Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018

The items included in the Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018 box

It’s that time of year again where I am back to doing subscription box reviews. I wanted to make it a point to start a few weeks earlier this year so you would have plenty of time to plan out any subscriptions you wanted to get for gifts this year.

This year I will trying my best to review subscriptions you haven’t heard about and the ones you are curious about. Today we are starting with a beauty subscription box I recently heard about on Instagram. They only started this year. So I am really excited to share it with you all.

 

Service Name: Yes! Oh Yas!. Today we are looking at what was sent for the month of September 2018.

 

Price: It is $14.99 a month plus $3.99 shipping for US residents.

 

Where Is It Available: It is available to all US residents and to Canadian Residents for an additional $9.50 for shipping.

 

Who To Get It For: Yourself or anyone else that loves makeup. This seems to be a great one for someone who is just starting their makeup collection or someone looking to try indie makeup brands.

 

What You Get: You get three to seven full-sized products every month. (I thought I had read when I signed up that at least one product was guaranteed to be a palette, but it doesn’t seem to say that now. However, looking at previous months and spoilers for future months, it seems to hold true. I guess they just aren’t  guaranteeing it now.)

As a bonus, the website currently says that any one who completes a full years membership with Yes! Oh Yas! will receive a free limited edition box worth $200-$400!

 

Drawbacks: For me there were not any with this box. However, if you like a box that has a mix of items (meaning not just makeup), maybe this would not be the subscription for you.

 

The Details: Your subscription arrives in a bag, at least this months did.

Yes! Oh Yas! Subscription arrives in a bubble mailer

I have seen pictures of previous months where they arrived in boxes, but I think most months they come in a similar bubble mailer bag.

One of the first things you should pull out of the bag is a note card with a list of products included and their prices.

Card with products listed that come in this months Yes! Oh Yas!

As you can see the total value of $119 by their calculations. Now as I am doing a post like this for a Subscription Box Review, I am often going to product pages to link to. And I think their calculations were off a bit. I think this months was actually worth a few dollars more, depending on how you look at it. I will mark the difference by the products as I found them.

This months subscribers received four items. Let’s have a look at what we got.

The items included in the Yes! Oh Yas! September 2018 box

Starting at the top and working downward:

  1. Aesthetica Pro Brush Series – This is a 3-piece eyeliner, brow & spoolie brush set. This sells for $45.00 on Aesthetica’s website.
  2. Chella Matte Lipstick Pencil – This pencil is supposed to last for hours of wear while keeping your lips soft and hydrated. I received mine in the color Naughty Nude. I do not know if everyone received the same color or not. It sells for $18.00 on the Chella website. This was an error on the info card sent which read $20
  3. Glo by Glory Glo Stix Semi-Matte Liquid Lipstick – I received mine in the color Honey Bun, its described as a Mocha Brown Nude. Again I am unsure if everyone received the same color or not. These sell for $18.00 on the Glo by Glory website.
  4. Naked Cosmetics Holographic Highlighter Collection – Six stunning iridescent shades. From rose quartz to ultra-violet, opal to emerald, and sapphire to gold. This palette sells retail for $39.99, but it is currently on sale for $29.99. This was the other item with a price discrepancy from the card. If we go by the original price the box is worth a few dollars more. If we go by the sale price, then its a couple dollars less. I suppose it could have been on sale for the price they listed on the card at the time Yes! Oh Yas! purchased it.

I think I personally am most excited about that highlight palette. But I don’t feel like I got any bad products in this box.

Let me give you a look at the colors of the products, so you can see what they really look like.

Inside the boxes of products I received in the Yes! Oh Yas! subscription

I really like that the palette has a magnetic closure. I don’t have to worry about it staying closed.

Make sure you are following me on Instagram and Facebook as well. I most likely will post some additional pictures there, possibly some swatches.

 

Where To Sign Up: If you are interested in trying this box out for yourself you can sign up on the Yes! Oh Yas! website.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall based on value and what I like I am very pleases with this subscription. I am actually able to use everything that I received, which is kind of rare for me in a subscription box. The value versus what you spend is just phenomenal. I don’t think I have tried any of these brands before, and I really like trying new companies. So I will definitely continue with this one at least for a bit to see how they progress.

 

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this box. Do you think this one will have staying power? Are you considering signing up? And as always let me know what boxes you want to see me review before December. I can do two more than what I currently have planned and I would love to hear your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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Product Review – Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal – Firming & Polishing Body Scrub

Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub

If you caught my post titled My First Order From Riley Rose, then you already know that I purchased this Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Firming & Polishing Body Scrub during that order.

Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub

In addition to being my first order from Riley Rose, this was my first time trying anything from the brand Vitamin Sea Beauty. And let me just say now, that is a totally cute name for a brand that uses ingredients from the ocean.

So there were a few things that initially interested me in trying this product. I do use a lot of body scrubs, especially in the summer time. They quit making my favorite one, and I had been struggling to find one that didn’t irritate my Balsam of Peru contact allergy. I usually, not always just usually, have good success with product contain kelp. The same really goes for charcoal. I didn’t see anything that stood out in the ingredient list that would trigger a reaction other than fragrance, and fragrance can mean a lot of things. I don’t react to all types of fragrance. So I felt pretty confident that this might work for me going in.

As you can see on the label this body scrub boasts a few claims. Here is what it says it will do:

  • Scrubs away dry skin
  • Smoothes knees and elbows
  • Clears blackheads
  • Perks up skin

I think the name also implies that it will have some firming properties.

What I personally am looking for in a body scrub. I need something that is moisturizing for my dry skin and that can exfoliate gently, but deeply. I need little to no fragrance, and I am always looking for something that doesn’t contain an ingredient that I will react to. I use scrubs year round on my legs after I shave or wax, and under my breast. You all know that area under your breast where you sweat and if you don’t exfoliate you start to get a rash. I increase my use in the summer because of heat and the an increase in shaving and waxing. I don’t typically get a lot of blackheads on my face, but I do get them on my shoulders, so if it works for that its kind of a bonus.

First let’s take a look at the actual product.

Inside the jar of Vitamin Sea Kelp and Charcoal Body Scrub

This was obviously taken after I had already used out of the jar a couple of time, but it doesn’t really change what you are able to see. You can see the charcoal bits in there if you look close. They have been milled pretty finely, so no big harsh pieces.

A bit of the Vitamin Sea body scrub on my finger

I wanted to get a bit on my finger for a close up so you could get a better idea of this products texture. It’s not like the typical salt or sugar body scrub where it’s really grainy surrounded by liquids. This has almost the consistency of a body butter with the scrub aspect from the charcoal in it. It’s unlike anything I have every personally tried. Even with this picture being so close up you can barely see the bits of charcoal because of how finely milled it is.

I have now used this product for about four weeks. And I use it four times a week approximately. I just leave it in the shower so it is convenient to use when I want. I even packed some in a travel jar when I went on vacation.

I have not had any allergic reactions to the product, which I am really happy about. Of course I am not using it near my face where most of my reactions happen, however I have had reactions in the past to products that got nowhere near my face. The fragrance is super subtle, and it does not linger on the skin after you use it. It smell a bit like the beach after a storm if you have ever been there for that. Definitely not like fake ocean scented candles or perfume, but more fresh and clean. It’s a bit hard to explain beyond that or maybe I am just really bad at describing scents.

I was exceptionally happy with how well it worked at exfoliating under the breast area without feeling harsh. I also think it does a decent job at exfoliating the places I shave. I don’t think it does quite as well as my past favorite I am trying to replace, but this comes closer than anything else I have every tried. As for blackheads, I noticed it does clear out any that are closer to the surface, but any that are a little deeper it doesn’t really touch. I really don’t think I see any difference in the firmness of my skin, but I also don’t think that I have very much skin that isn’t firm in areas I would use this body scrub.

Overall I am really happy with the Vitamin Sea Beauty Sea Kelp & Charcoal Body Scrub. I most likely will be repurchasing this in the future. If you are interested in trying this for yourself then or trying other products from this brand you can find them on the Riley Rose website as well as Vitamin Sea Beauty’s website.

Tell me in the comments if you have tried any of the products from Vitamin Sea Beauty and what you thought of them.

 

 



 

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Product Review: The Vivo Per Lei Collagen & Avocado Oil Sheet Mask

Collagen and Avpcado Mask from Vivo Per Lei

First I want to say thank you to Vivo Per Lei for sending me the box of Collagen & Avocado Oil Sheet Masks to try out. I think most of you who regularly read my posts know that I love trying new things, especially new sheet masks. And since I am using this month to concentrate on skin care as a form of self-care, the masks couldn’t have come at a better time.

Collagen and Avpcado Mask from Vivo Per Lei

Each box contains five individually wrapped masks.

Five individually wrapped Collagen and Avocado Masks from Vivo Per Lei

I pretty much have my evening skin care routine mapped out for the month. And I have been using the daytime to play with new products I want to test out and see what works for a good day routine. I don’t think there is any such thing as too much sheet masking. So doubling up on the occasional day seem like a good thing to me. Any excuse to use another sheet mask right?

Since I always have concerns about my Balsam of Peru contact allergy, one of the first things I always do is check out the ingredient list before using a new product. The only possible cause for concern here that I could see is that Parfum is in the list. That isn’t always a problem for me, but I just never know until I use the item in question. Since there were no major concerns, I felt good about going ahead with trying the product.

This mask from Vivo Per Lei in a lot of ways is very similar to any other sheet mask I have used, but there are also a few big differences. I will make sure to note them as we go along.

Per usual the instructions say to cleanse your face prior to use. The rest of the instructions is where the differences start to appear. First, it does not tell me to use a toner prior to using the mask. So even thought I typically would use a toner, I wanted to use the mask as the instructions directed. Next it says to take one mask pack, open, and apply to the face.

The first thing that I noticed when I opened the mask was that, even though the ingredient list says parfum, there was no strong perfume smell. I don’t think it really smelled like avocado either, but just a clean natural sort of scent.

The directions continue by saying to keep the mask on for 15 minutes. While I had it on I did feel something working on my skin. Just a slight warming and tingling sensation, nothing that alarmed me. Occasionally sheet mask do cause little sensations, the majority just feel cooling though.

Now here is where things were both surprising and really different from my perspective. It calls for rinsing the residue away after you discard the sheet mask. I am so used to patting it into the skin with the exception of the bubble masks I use. But again, I thought it was best to use these by the direction.

I am happy to report that I did not have an allergic reaction to the mask. I know I have at least a few people who follow the blog because they have the same or similar contact/fragrance allergies. It was moisturizing for sure. I’m not sure I saw any difference in firmness of my skin or fine lines, but it’s also one of those things I think you might need more than a couple of uses to see a difference.

Some things to note, that may or may not be of importance for you. It does have the FDA seal of approval on the box. The box does not have it, but on their website this product has the bunny seal that says it is not tested on animals. I was trying to figure out where the company was based at, but I am not 100% sure. After looking everything over its either the US or the Netherlands. The box says the product is made in China, but I do not believe it sold there or that the base of operation is there, otherwise I don’t think they could get the bunny seal.

If you would like to try this mask out for yourself or to what else Vivo Per Lei has to offer you can find their products on their website.

Tell me in the comments which Vivo Per Lei product you would want to try?

 

 

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Beauty Product Review – Farsali Volcanic Elixir

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

I am sure many of you are familiar with the brand Farsáli. Several of their products, like their Unicorn Essence, have become beauty blogger sensations and have blown up on social media. One product in particular I had not heard about was the Volcanic Elixir. At least I hadn’t heard about it till it landed in Sephora earlier this year.

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

Because of my personal experience with volcanic essence products in Korean Skincare I was extremely interested in trying out the Volcanic Elixir from Farsáli. If you have followed me either here on the blog or on my Instagram account for any amount of time then you know one of my all time favorite sheet masks is a Volcanic Ash Essence Mask from Esfolio. And while Farsáli is not a Korean brand, the ingredient concepts should be the same.

What The Product Does

I think when you spend any amount of time learning about Korean cosmetics you start to gain an understanding of what ingredients are used for. The great thing about Volcanic related products, in most cases like this one, they are good for all skin types and a full range of skin conditions.

So what does the brand say it does?

The properties of this oil are known to help regenerate skin tissue. The Volcanic Elixir, for this unique reason, can condition broken skin, and repair sun- and acne-damaged skin. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties — making it ideal for acne sufferers. What sets this oil apart from others, is a certain lipid called calophyllolide; which is not found in any other oil, and is a very strong anti-inflammatory.

The Volcanic Elixir aids in regenerating new, healthy skin. It can be used on acne and acne scars, dry and scaly skin, stretch marks, etc.

So it really seems like the possibilities are endless if you are at either end of the problem skin scale. I’m not sure that you would gain any benefit if you have normal skin, unless you have scarring from the past.

 

My Skin Care Needs

For me, as you know I have very dry skin with scaley patches and keratin build up in creases (the scaley patches and keratin build up are from my allergy and are not constant). Due to my Balsam of Peru allergy I am fragrance sensitive, and that includes essential oils. I am also sensitive to select other possible ingredients in skin care products.

 

What You Get

Your product comes in a dark bottle with a dropper. You get one fluid ounce or thirty milliliters of product. The Volcanic Elixir has one single ingredient, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, so no worries for my fellow contact allergy sufferers, unless of course that is your allergy.

I did notice all of Farsáli’s other products seem to come in a second size option, but this one does not. I am not sure if that is something they are planning on adding or not. There is no mention of it on their website, so if anyone knows please tell us down in the comments.

 

First Impressions

The very first thing I noticed when I got the bottle was how hard it was to open. I don’t know if I got a defective bottle or if they all are like mine, but you have to twist forever and then it suddenly pulls up and it makes it sort of messy. Putting the dropper cap back on seems just as difficult.

Once the lid was open the next thing I notice was the heavy natural, earthy smell coming out. If you are use to using fragrance free products or even some Korean products (depending on which kind) this is a smell you are probably already use to and won’t think twice about. This is noted on Farsáli’s website, so they do tell you before you buy. For those of you who have never tried a fragrance free product before, you may not be prepared. Some people find natural smells offensive. Personally I like them and find it comforting.

The other thing that really stands out about this product when you first start using it is the texture. You can somewhat see it in this picture:

Consistancy of the Volcanic Elixir from Farsali

It is an oil, but what makes it different is that it is very thick and has somewhat of a gritty texture. Now I can feel the texture with my fingers, but once I apply the elixir to my face I no longer feel it.

 

How To Use It

Like most oils and liquids, you want to shake this up really well before using it each time. The website recommends using it as a night treatment, almost like a moisturizer. I agree for the most part, though I prefer putting an actual moisturizer on over top of it.

I have seen a lot of people on the web saying this is a great face oil for makeup. No, that is not the intended use, and I really can not believe anyone would want to do that with the texture this oil has. While I don’t feel the texture once applied, I have to think that would mess with the look and feel of your foundation.

 

Final Thoughts

I have been using the Fersáli Volcanic Elixir for close to a month now. I use it about three to four nights a week, and I am considering using it on a nightly basis for a while just to see what happens. I will explain why.

I find that I really like the product. It does have a lasting effect on the dryness of my skin, however on the days I do not use it I see the symptoms of my contact allergy creep back in. So I want to see if I can get a more lasting effect if I do it every day.

But on the days I did use the elixir the night before, my skin looks wonderfully clear. Here is one I took and posted to Instagram recently that was on a day right after using the Farsáli Volcanic Elixir:

A picture of me after using the Farsali Volcanic Elixir

The bottom line for me is I will be repurchasing this product. I love that I don’t have to worry about what the ingredients are and that it is fragrance free. It works well on my skin. And it shows results.

If you would like to try this product out for yourself you can find it at the Farsáli website and on Sephora.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of the products from Farsáli and what you thought of them. Should I try something else from their line?

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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