October Beauty Box 5 Review

The Beauty Box 5 for October featured products for a Girl Boss. There four full-sized items this month (five total, hence the name), with some familiar brands and new favorites for me!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Beauty Box 5 costs $12 per month and shipping is free to U.S. addresses ($3 to Canada). Each box has five deluxe samples and full-sized items ranging from skincare to makeup to haircare, and more!

I really liked the variety in this month's box. I like a good mix of fun and practical, and this theme definitely delivered on that. Here's what was inside:
  • Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil ($18, full-sized) - I've used this Chella pencil before and I love it for lining the inner corners of my eyes. You can use it wherever you please, but the info card also suggest using it to line your waterline and accentuate your cupid's bow.
  • Colour Me Fragrances in Femme Red (price unknown) - This is a small sample vial, but a full-sized bottle retails for $10. The other possible option was Femme Gold, which has notes of fruit and citrus. I got Femme Red, which is floral and spicy. I'm on the fence with this one--I like it, but it's strong. It's definitely a "night" scent.
  • Emery + Ivory Custom Nail Appliques ($12.99, full-sized) - I love getting nail appliques and the design I got is just my style (see photo below). 
  • Real Her Moisturizing Lipstick in I Love Myself ($18, full-sized) - I have so many lip products, so I didn't open this right away, but the shade is a nice nude. The formula is a mix of gloss and matte that leaves lips moisturized and pigmented.
  • Amlactin ULTRA Hydrating Body Cream ($2.99, full-sized) - This is a nice little travel-sized body cream. The Amlactin brand is great for me, especially during winter, because my skin gets really dry. This is specially formulated to combat Keratosis Pilaris, a condition that cause rough patches of skin.
Bottom Line: Almost every item in this box was full-sized, which is a great deal in my opinion. I'm really excited to try the Emery + Ivory nail appliques, and I know the Amlactin lotion will come in handy. 

October The Happy Life Rocks Review and Giveaway

I have a slight obsession with bath and body products, especially bath bombs. Okay, it's more than a slight obsession. My linen closet has one shelf of actual linens, and the rest is full of lotions, body washes, and candles. I knew that The Happy Life Rocks was going to be right up my alley!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

The Happy Life Rocks is a little box of happiness that sends pampering products made with natural ingredients and essential oils, without any harsh chemicals. Each box may contain candles, wax melts, soaps, and bath bombs that were specially selected for that month.

There are three payment plans:
  • Monthly: $25 per month
  • Three Month Prepay: $75 every three months
  • Six Month Prepay: $137.50 every six months
  • 12 Month Prepay: $287.50 every 12 months
When I typed in my address (NY), a shipping charge of $8.32 was added, so I think shipping costs will depend on where you live.

The box is medium-sized and packaged with recyclable materials. I have to admit that the little flecks of yellow paper kind of got all over, even when I was trying to be careful while unpacking it, but they did help protect the items and are easy to recycle. I always appreciate when boxes use recyclable packaging.

There was also a card with the following quotation on one side:
Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. - Mae Jemison

I was so giddy when I was opening this box because I loved every item! I really was making "ooh!" and "ahh!" sounds as I went through everything! There were five items total with a good variety of scents.

  • Candle in Morning Mimosas - This smells so good! It's has sweet and juicy notes of orange and will be nice to burn during the winter to remind me of summer. There is no size listed on the jar, but my best estimate is that it's about 2 ounces.
  • Fizzy Bath Bomb in Bed of Roses - I love bath bombs so much, but unfortunately flowery scents (especially rose) make me sneeze like crazy. I wouldn't go so far to say as I'm allergic but I usually can't use them. It's too bad, because this bath bomb is really pretty. You can't tell from the photo above (my fault), but there are rose petals within it.
  • Scented Wax Melts in Morning Mimosas - This is a good sized wax melt with six pieces, so it'll last a while.
  • Fresh Handmade Soap in O' Honey Child - I love handmade soaps because they're always so pretty, and this one is no exception. It's made with shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, glycerin, and cosmetic grade colorants. The fragrance is light and sweet.
  • Soap Mesh Saver Pouch - I wasn't sure what this was at first, but it has an opening in it and I think you use it to store your soap in between uses in the shower (or wherever you decide to hang it). It'll allow the soap to dry out without making a mess.
Bottom Line: I'm very happy with this box-- it had all of my favorite things: soap, a candle, wax melts, a bath bomb, and a handy accessory! I think it's a great deal and I love that everything is made with natural ingredients.
Since I can't use the bath bomb, I'd like to give it away to one of my readers. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. This sweepstakes is open to residents of U.S. and Canada aged 18+ only. I will be shipping you the prize directly.

BriAA Skincare Review

I had just run out of cleanser when I got the chance to try some products from BriAA Skincare. Their line merges cutting-edge science with the simplicity of nature to create products that help keep skin looking its best!

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

I received the GENESIS Hydrating Cleasing Gel and Ready Reviving Polishing Mask to try, along with smaller foil packets of some of the other BriAA products. I love their bright red and gold packaging!

Before I get more into the specific products, here's more background on BriAA as a whole. They're based in Israel and their patent-pending Holy Land Phyto-Active Synergy Complex (HL-PAS Complex) is the backbone of their line. It's an optimized blend of phyto-active (plant-based) ingredients that help renew and restore your skin. All of their products are also cruelty-free. It's never too early to start using anti-aging products, and they have everything from eye serums, masks, and day and night creams for a complete skincare routine.

I really like the GENESIS Pure Hydration Cleansing Gel! I noticed a reduction in redness, which is one of my biggest complaints, after using it for only a week. To me it felt like a mix between a cleanser and a face oil, but it was very light. There wasn't a big lather, but it still removed my makeup well and left my skin feeling totally cleansed. Daily use promotes cell regeneration and it also prepares your skin for more intensive treatments, such as a mask.

The Ready Deep Revitalizing Polishing Mask is the first step in BriAA's Ready, Set, Rejuvenate line. There are three steps total, and although I didn't receive full-sized versions of the other two, I was able to try the complete series using the foil packets (keep reading for more on that).

Although this is an exfoliating mask, it's pretty gentle without losing efficacy. The exfoliating beads are soft and did a good job of leaving my skin feeling polished and fresh after use. It's meant to be used once a week with the other products in the set.

The foil packets contained, as previously mentioned, the full Ready, Set, Rejuvenate line, the Renaissance AM and PM Age Defying Creams, and the Illumination Eye Serum.

I enjoyed pampering myself with the Ready, Set, Rejuvenate products. You start with the gel cleanser, then move on to three different masks. The Reviving Polishing Masks exfoliates, and then the Preparatory Thermal Mask and Invigorating Lifting Mask work to strengthen the skin's elasticity and resilience. After washing off the polishing mask the instructions said to apply the thermal mask and the lifting mask right after each other, so that you had both masks on your face at the same time. The lifting mask left a nice warming sensation that subsided after a minute or two, so I think it would be safe to use on sensitive skin. If you have really sensitive skin you might want to test this out on just a small patch of skin before applying it to your entire face.
Bottom Line: Overall the BriAA Skincare products have given me positive results after only a few weeks of use, and I'm excited to keep using them! I was happy to see that they reduced redness and left my skin feeling really great.

October BookCase.Club Review and Coupon

Back in elementary school one of my favorite times (okay, my absolute favorite time!) was the Scholastic Book Fair. I have always loved books and still can't get enough of them. BookCase.Club is a fantastic book subscription that brings me that new book excitement that I used to have as a kid during book fair time!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review. Post contains affiliate links.

NOTE: The Tsum Tsums in these photos did not come with the box, but I added them as fun props.

BookCase.Club sends a curated book case to you every month for only $9.99! Their standard case comes with two books for that price, and shipping is $5. Two brand new books for only $14.99?! That's an excellent price, in my opinion.

There are eight different themes to choose from, all of which come with two novels, except for the Read to Me and Quarterly Cookbooks cases:
  • Thrill Seeker - mystery/thriller
  • Strange Worlds - sci-fi/fantasy
  • Read to Me - children's picture books (4 total)
  • Blind Date - paranormal romance
  • Booking for Love - romance
  • Quarterly Cookbooks - two cookbooks every three months

You can subscribe month-to-month for $9.99, as previously mentioned, or $28 for three months, $54 for six months, and $100 for 12 months.

I reviewed the Thrill Seeker case back in June of last year (you can read that review here), so this time I wanted to try the Strange Worlds Case. I've really been into science fiction and dystopian worlds lately, so I knew this case would be perfectly suited for me.

The books I received are The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce (hardcover) and Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher (paperback). I don't have a preference for hardcover versus paperback, so receiving one of each is fine by me.

Here's a blurb of The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit from Amazon:
Against the wishes of his family, David, a college student, takes a summer job at a run-down family resort in a dying English town. It was at this very resort that David's biological father died fifteen years earlier. But something undeniable has called David there, a deeper otherworldliness that lies beneath the surface of what we see. And as David joins an eclectic group of staffers, strange occurrences take hold, including the vision of a lonely, blue-suited man wandering the town.
And for Beyond Redemption:
Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken--men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest's own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates--The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left--have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there's one more obstacle: time is running out. When one's delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is: Who will rule there?
I think both books sound really interesting. Beyond Redemption definitely is more out-there, based on the blurb, but I can't wait to dig in to both!
Bottom Line: If you love books I highly encourage you to try BookCase.Club! They're a really affordable book subscription and they have plenty of themes to choose from, so you'll definitely find something to suit your fancy.

Introducing: Pura Vida Bracelets

You may have already heard of Pura Vida Bracelets, but if you haven't yet, I'm excited to introduce you to them! I love their affordable, stylish bracelets and I think you will, too.

*Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links.

Pura Vida Bracelets Monthly Club

I have always been fascinated by Costa Rica and it's one of my top dream travel destinations. "Pura Vida" means pure life in Spanish and is a philosophy in Costa Rica that encourages appreciating life's simple treasures. Pura Vida Bracelet's founders, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, embraced this philosophy on a college graduation trip to Costa Rica and beautifully represent it with their bracelets.

Pura Vida has tons of gorgeous, simple bracelets in plenty of different colors and styles. I love their understated design and I want to buy them all! I'm not just saying that because I'm in their affiliate program, I joined because I truly love these bracelets and I believe in promoting them! One of my favorites is the Rose Gold Crystal Flat Bar in Vanilla:

You can purchase any of the bracelets individually, but they also have a Pura Vida Monthly Club subscription! For only $14,95 per month you'll receive three hand-picked bracelets (up to $50 value) with free shipping to U.S. addresses. This is a crazy good deal, considering many of the bracelets on the site retail for more than $14.95! And no, you won't receive lower quality stock--all of the bracelets are chosen by Pura Vida's team of Instagram influencers and fashion stylists, so you'll definitely get something stylish!

But wait...there's more! Not only does Pura Vida have a huge selection of bracelets (did I mention they have a whole section of bracelets devoted to Charity, too?), but they also have clothing and accessories, like cute tank tops, hoodies, and pouches. They just launched their fall clothing line, too. Seriously, you have to check them out.

If you're on the fence about Pura Vida, I urge you to check out their website and browse their full stock of bracelets, clothes, and accessories. I really think you'll find something you'll like!

October Degustabox Review and Coupon

If you haven't guessed it by now, Degustabox has become one of my favorite food boxes! Each month is full of full-sized items and I love how affordable it is. October's box was excellent and I found a lot of new favorites!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review. Post contains affiliate links.

I like to think of Degustabox as my monthly grocery booster. They always send foods that I can work into my weekly meals, plus snacks for when I just feel like having a treat. Each box will have at least 10 full-sized items and costs $19.99 per month with free shipping. You can earn rewards points by reviewing the items and referring friends, and if you reach 100 points you can exchange them for a free box!

Degustabox is big. It's always packaged securely with plenty of bubble wrap to keep everything from breaking. I've never gotten a box that had a broken or leaking item.

You'll also find an informational sheet detailing all of the products, plus fun stuff like recipes and games on the other side. This month's sheet had recipes from Barilla on it.

Since I just mentioned Barilla, I'll start there:

  • Barilla Marinara Sauce ($2.39) - I think most people are familiar with Barilla's sauces, as they're readily available in most grocery stores. I really love their marinara and will definitely use this for an upcoming dinner.
  • Jones Soda in Pumpkin Pie ($1.79) - I love Jones Soda and their unique flavors, but I'm hesitant to try this. I know pumpkin/pumpkin spice is everywhere now, but I'm not so sure I want my soda to taste like it. That being said, I'll still give it a try. Maybe it'll just taste like a cream soda?
  • Numi Tea Sampler ($3.99) - Numi is one of my favorite tea brands. Their teas are high quality and delicious. The sampler contains one of each of the following: Aged Earl Grey, Rooibos Chai, Breakfast Blend, Gunpowder Green, Jasmine Green, Orange Spice, Moroccan Mint, and Chamomile Lemon. The Moroccan Mint is one of my all-time favorites.
  • Energems ($5.99) - These are little bite-sized energy supplements made from dark chocolate and caffeine. They also have vitamins B and D. The instructions say to take three of them for 133 mgs of caffeine, but so far I've just taken one at a time along with my morning coffee.
  • La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Flour Tortillas ($2.99) - These came at the perfect time because I was going to buy some for flautas. They're the first non-GMO low carb tortilla, with four grams of net carbs and three grams of protein.
  • Barilla ProteinPLUS Pasta ($2.39) - Barilla's pastas are equally good as their sauces, and this one has 17 grams of protein from all-natural, vegetarian ingredients.
  • Hometown Bagel Bagel Chips ($1.99 each) - These are exactly what they sound like: chips made out of bagels. The flavors are Garlic (red bag) and Everything (green). I used them like crackers and dipped them into a chutney. The flavor is light and they had a great crunch!
  • Palo Popcorn ($.99 each) - These were definitely my favorite item this month! The flavors were White Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Cheddar. They're non-GMO and made with pure coconut oil, and I think that's what set them over the edge for me. The flavor was so rich and the popcorn felt soft, I don't know how else to describe it, but it was like buttery smooth instead of dry and hard like some popcorn is. I definitely want to buy more of this!
  • Wasa Thins ($2.99) - These sesame and sea salt crackers are nice and light and have seven grams of whole grains and 80 calories per serving.
  • Lovely Candy Superfruit Chews ($2.49) - These candies are so good! They're non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and made without high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. Each chew has pieces of real fruit in it, which you can clearly see when you open them. The flavors are cranberry, raspberry, and blueberry.
  • Crown Nut Sriracha Almonds ($1.99) - I'm not the hugest fan of almonds but I love sriracha, so I'm curious to try these.
Bottom Line: The October Degustabox had a total retail value of $29.99. I loved trying the Lovely Candy and Palo Popcorn, and I also appreciate the practical items like the Barilla sauce and pasta.

Book Review: The Dim Sum Field Guide by Carolyn Phillips

I love dim sum. I have eaten a lot of it. No matter how much of it I eat, I want more! Even with I'll the dim sum I've eaten, I tend to stick to familiar dishes that I know I like. But now I have The Dim Sum Field Guide by Carolyn Phillips--the perfect little book to help me learn about and appreciate new dim sum!

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to See, Shop, Love! via Blogging for Books.

If you're not familiar with dim sum, it's a Chinese cuisine involving lots of little dishes. It's similar to tapas in Spain. It usually consists of bite-sized portions of things like dumplings, rolls, and steamed buns. There are lots of different dim sum dishes, and as I said before, I'm not familiar with all of them. If you're new to Chinese cuisine it can be intimidating reading the menus, which is where The Dim Sum Field Guide comes in.

This book is so cute! It's small, about 5 x 5", so you could easily slip it into your purse or inconspicuously carry it into a restaurant. It has descriptions and hand-drawn illustrations of more than 70 types of dim sum, and they're categorized by savory and sweet (and broken down further into subcategories like baked, steamed, fried, etc.).

This book is incredibly informative. They hand drawn illustrations are extremely detailed, so even if you don't know the names of what you want, you can easily identify them through these pictures. The pages contain the most common names of each dish, along with other spellings and pronunciations.

When I think of a field guide, I think of a nature book. Take a field guide for birds, for instance. It should have a picture of the bird, the name of the bird, the scientific name, and information on how to identify it. This book has all of that information, but for food. I think the presentation is so creative! As you can see in the photo above, there's an identification section that describes what the dim sum looks like and provides more information about it, plus more information like basic fillings and different types, or "species."

Looking through this book makes me hungry. It not only gives incredibly detailed information on what each dim sum looks like and is made with, but it also gives background on its origin and history. Even if you're not heading out for dim sum, this book is a fun read that's packed with information.
Bottom Line: I love this book and I'm so glad I found it! I'm definitely taking it with me the next time I go out for dim sum, and I already have a bunch of new ones from this book that I want to try!

September Play! by Sephora Review

My Play! by Sephora review is late again this month, but I still wanted to share my thoughts about the box. September's theme was "The Unbasic Basics," and when I saw the spoilers for it I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Basics can be pretty boring, but this box turned out to be pretty good!

*Disclaimer: This box was purchased by See, Shop, Love!

Play! by Sephora costs $10 per month for deluxe samples of products available at Sephora. I've really enjoyed these boxes, as they give me access to higher-end products that I normally wouldn't buy. Subscriptions are still on a wait list, but be sure to sign up if you haven't already because it seems like they've been opening up subscriptions more often lately.

Last month's box was just okay to me, so I was hoping this one would be more exciting. I was much happier with this month's samples and I felt there was a really good variety. Here's what was inside:
  • Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia - Atelier Cologne makes my favorite perfume (Vanille Insensee), but I wasn't sure if I'd like this one because I generally don't like florals. This isn't in-your-face floral-y, though, so I actually liked it quite a bit. It has notes of bitter orange, pomelo, blackcurrent, magnolia, Bulgarian rose, saffron, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk. I think the woodsy base notes were what attracted me to this.
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation - This is an oil-free moisturizer that's really light and silky. I love the texture and the way it feels on my skin! It works to soften, brighten, and even out skin tone.
  • Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell - The shade is a cool pink (see photo below) and looks flattering, but I have so many lip products already that I posted this for swap instead of trying it. The formula is supposed to be moisturizing and creamy.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel - I wouldn't purchase a brow gel because I feel like it's non-essential, but I am happy to receive one in a box because I'll still use it. This is nice and lightweight and holds brows in place without feeling too sticky or rigid.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper - I love Kat Von D's products but I've never used the Tattoo Liner. I've heard great things about it though, and it's waterproof with a brush tip. I haven't used it yet since I save liquid liner for special occasions, but I'm excited to try it.
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector - Living Proof is another favorite brand of mine, and this solution gives a full week of softness and shine. I've used it once and it definitely made my hair feel softer, but I wouldn't say it lasted for a whole week.
Bottom Line: This month's Play! box featured some brands I love, plus had some new products that I really enjoyed. The only downside is that the full-sized versions are pricey, but at least I get to try them through the box.
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