April Color Me Monthly Review

Color Me Monthly has been on my "subscriptions to try" list for a while, and I finally decided to subscribe when they ran a promotion to get your first box for only $1.  I'm really glad I did, because I was very impressed by my first shipment!


Color Me Monthly normally costs $7 a month for one nail polish.  This is a really good price, since I usually buy Zoya and their bottles cost $8 each.  I think it's a reasonable and competitive price for nail polish.  I was attracted to Color Me Monthly because their polishes are cruelty- and toxin-free, and also really pretty!

My polish arrived in a standard cardboard box with the above message on the inside flap.  It was packed with tissue paper to ensure it wouldn't be damaged during shipping.  I truly was full of anticipation as I was peeling back the tissue paper to see what color was inside!


April's polish was a beautiful lavender hue called "Chiffon."  The box also had a small informational card inside that described the color, and it said: "graceful elegance, like you are floating on air woven from softness."  There was also a spot to swatch the polish, which I did, but the photo came out blurry so that's why it's not posted above.  I will be posting swatches of the polish on my actual nails in a separate post.

I tried the polish on and right away I knew I would love it.  The formula was very smooth and applied evenly, and I only needed two coats for it to be sufficiently opaque.  Color Me Monthly's polishes are definitely on par with other popular brands, and in my opinion are even better because they're cruelty- and toxin-free.


Bottom Line: If you're a nail polish addict like me, I highly recommend Color Me Monthly.  Their polishes are wonderful and affordable, and I love being surprised by what color I'll receive each month!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

March Nature Box Review and Coupon

Nature Box is quickly becoming one of my favorite subscription boxes.  They have a wide selection of healthy snacks to choose from, many of which are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and more.  You can choose which snacks you want, or you can let them choose for you if you like surprises.  I subscribe to the five snack box, which costs me $19.95 a month.


I prefer to choose my own snacks each month because snack time is no joke for me!  I take these bags to work for those in-between-meals cravings, and they're definitely enough to sate my hunger and curb the cravings.  There really are so many snacks to choose from, so I don't anticipate running out of options anytime soon.


The Baked Peppery Potato Fries didn't last very long.  I honestly wasn't blown away by their flavor, but they were good enough that I finished off the bag within two days!  I think what I liked best about them was their crunch.  They're basically little breadsticks with a little bit of pepper flavor.  They were a great replacement for my usual vending machine bag of chips.


I wanted to try the Teriyaki Twists because I love teriyaki flavor because of the whole salty/sweet combination it has going on.  These were okay.  They definitely tasted good, but I think I would have preferred them if they were gluten-based and not rice crackers.


I was very disappointed with the Firecrackers!  I love, love, love all things spicy, so I was so excited to try them.  In reality, they hardly had any flavor at all, let alone a spicy one.  I'm not exaggerating--they tasted like they had no flavor to me besides whatever flavoring the rice base gave them.  I wouldn't recommend these, they were just too bland.  I think Nature Box should rename them because the description is misleading.


I really liked the BBQ Kettle Kernels, and so did my dad.  They have a great crunch and just enough barbecue flavor.  They were super easy to eat--meaning, you could eat a lot of them very quickly before even realizing it!  These also were a good substitution for chips for me.


The Apple Orchards Granola was my favorite snack this month.  I love apple flavors, so I had a feeling I would love this.  I'm used to crunchy granolas, but this one was actually very soft.  I didn't mind it, I just wasn't expecting it.  You could definitely taste the bits of apple, and the almonds added a nice crunchy counterpart to the soft granola.


Bottom Line: If you like snacking as much as I do, you can't go wrong with Nature Box.  I highly recommend this service.  It's very fairly priced and offers lots of customization options!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

March Little Black Bag Review - Bag #1

I shipped two Little Black Bags in March after not having bought one since January.  I was mostly bored and they started having sales (since they're "merging" with Pose, but basically they're going out of business.  Read more about it on their Tumblr).  This bag wasn't my favorite, but it only cost me $26.43 overall.


I ended up with four items total.  It only cost me $15.90 to open the bag, and then I added the rings for an additional $10.44.  I know the photo above has terrible exposure, but the dark black bag and the white other items made it difficult, and I was too lazy to really play around with it.

So the first item, the main item, was the handbag.  It's the Nila Anthony Studded Bucket Bag.  I figured it would be good for summertime, since it has a crossbody strap and is pretty big (but not too big).  This is the perfect type of bag to wear on day trips to the zoo, or any other place where I want to pack a few extra things like sunscreen and a water bottle but I don't want to lug around a heavy bag on my shoulder.


I had been eyeing the Cargo Argentina Lip Gloss Quad for a while and was finally able to trade for one.  I've heard a few horror stories of people getting used beauty products in their bags so I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn't happen to me.  I had also seen some reviews that said this quad was overpriced and not the greatest quality, but I liked the colors and I wasn't paying full price for it anyway so I still decided to ship it.  The glosses themselves are very soft, so don't jam your finger or brush into them.  Aside from that, they give a sheer color that I do enjoy and aren't too sticky, so I'm glad I got this.

I also was able to trade for the SPL Chai Latte Travel Tin candle, another item I had been wanting.  SPL is LBB's brand, and in my opinion all of their items are ridiculously priced.  They put the retail value of this candle at $20, but my question is -- if you're making them specifically for the site (where everything is on discount), isn't the retail value what you're actually selling it for?  Aside from that, this does have a really nice, warm scent.  The quality of the candle isn't the best--I found that it burns down but not all the way to the rim, so you end up with a bunch of the wax still along the sides.


Last, but not least, is the Catherine Stein Designs Owl Midi Ring set, which I absolutely adore!  These were released a day or two before my bag was going to close, so I just added to bag because I wanted them and didn't want to mess around with trading.  I think they're so cute and small enough that I can still wear them to the office and not look too crazy.  Since they're midi rings, they sit above the knuckle instead of below it.  Below is another photo of how the owl one looks on.


Bottom Line: This wasn't the best LBB I've ever shipped, but it certainly wasn't the worst.  I can't complain that I only amassed four items because the entire thing was so cheap overall.  My favorite item was definitely the owl ring!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Brilliant Earth Diamond Shape Style Challenge

Brilliant Earth is a jewelry company that crafts gorgeous rings from conflict free diamonds.  When they contacted me to participate in their Diamond Shape Style Challenge I was intrigued, since jewelry is not a topic I know much about.


First, a little background on Brilliant Earth: they were co-founded by Beth Gerstein an Eric Grossberg in 2005, who met at Stanford University.  When Beth was about to be engaged, she and her fiance Alex quickly realized that finding a conflict-free engagement ring could be quite challenging.  Eric soon joined the conflict-free movement to use responsibly-sourced jewelry as an effective tool for social change in developing countries.  Brilliant Earth is committed to ethical sourcing, exemplary service, first-rate quality of their rings, and partnering with advocacy groups to promote awareness about conflict-free diamonds.  Not only do they have a wide range of gorgeous rings to choose from, but they actively work to make the world a better place!


My favorite ring from their engagement collection is the above round-cut diamond, the 18K White Gold Petite Twisted Vine Diamond Ring.  I love the simple and beautiful design.  I don't often wear rings, but I do tend to gravitate towards round-cut stones.  I would style this ring with a classic outfit to match its elegance.


There are so many different designs to choose from on the Brilliant Earth website, I highly recommend checking them out and seeing what they have to offer!

Bottom Line: I have no wedding or engagement plans at the moment, but I'm so glad that I've been introduced to Brillliant Earth!  I will definitely keep them in mind for any future possibilities, since supporting conflict-free diamonds is an important cause.  Which design would you choose?

Influenster #FinditAtTarget VoxBox Review

I was excited to be selected to participate in Influenster's "Find it At Target" VoxBox program, because every box was going to contain a surprise product that, as the name suggested, could be found at Target.  The whole idea was to introduce people to the wide variety of things you can find at the store.


I was hoping to get some makeup or skincare items to play around with.  When I received my box I had no idea what would be inside based on the shape and the weight of it.


I ended up getting a Fudge Urban Iced Raspberry & Vanilla Styling Mousse.  To say I was disappointed when I opened my box would be an understatement.  I can't be mad at Influenster since I knew ahead of time that the items were going to be random, but this is one thing I have zero use for.  Looking at the other brands on the info card, there were definitely some others I would have preferred to receive.

I couldn't find any definitive information on whether or not Fudge Urban is a cruelty-free brand.  It's an entirely new brand to me, so Influenster and Target did achieve their goal of introducing me to a brand new item.  Unfortunately it's just a type of product that I don't use.  My hair is very thick already, so I don't need mousse.  This one does smell nice (it's very sweet), and I like that it is a heat protectant as well, but the one time I tried to use it, just for the sake of this review, it just made my scalp feel itchy by the end of the day.

Bottom Line: I think this product would be great for someone who needed a little extra volume boost, but, like I said before, my hair is already pretty thick so I don't need much help in that department.  I still think that the Find it At Target VoxBox program was fun, though, and I'm curious to see what other people received!

*This post is sponsored by Influenster.

March Sapphire Soul Balance Box Review

I first learned of Sapphire Soul and their Balance Box through Twitter; their account was on my sidebar as a "recommended for you" user to follow.  I'm glad I saw it, because their boxes are wonderful!  They kindly sent me the March Balance Box to review.


Sapphire Soul is "a subscription box for body-mind-soul balance," and it arrived in a large brown box with their logo affixed to the side.  They have two options available: the small Balance Box is $28 a month, and the large is $48.  The large box includes a piece of crystal healing jewelry.  Sapphire Soul donates a portion of all of their sales toward educated and empowering women, so not only do you get a box of great items, you can help others with your purchase, too!


The Balance Boxes can include candles, crystals, teas, essential oils, and other healing and holistic items.  My box contained eight items total.  I was very impressed by their packaging; they even included an insert that listed their eco-friendly packaging practices.


Let's take a look at what was inside:
  • White Sage: This item (in the upper left-hand corner) can be burned and used to "wipe" negative energy out of your house and make room for the positive.  It smells very nice and reminds me of incense.
  • Tea Tree and Lemon Essential Oils - These pure oils smell wonderful and the sample size is very generous (considering a little goes a long way).  The lemon essential oil can be used to cleanse fruit, cook with, flush toxins, disinfect, and neutralize odors; as well as provide anti-depressant and energy boosting properties.  The tea tree essential oil can be used to treat blisters, burns, colds, cough, dandruff, ear and nose infections, fungal infections, skin rashes, sunburns, insect bites, viral infections, warts, and other wounds.  I've used this on my scalp before and I love the tingly feeling it leaves!  There were two little slips of paper that gave details about each of these oils, and they stated that the lemon is for balancing the solar plexus chakra and the tea tree for the throat chakra.
  • Stash Mint Iced Green Tea Powder - This is a great little on-the-go tea packet.  I love Stash teas, and I haven't tried their iced varieties so I'm sure this will taste great.
  • Reiki Energy Charged Candle in Joy - I love candles, so I was glad to see one in the box.  This votive came with instructions on how to charge the candle, as well as an affirmation to say while charging it.  It's scented with essential oils of plumeria, jasmine, and sandalwood.  It smells wonderful!  I could definitely use more time spent reflecting on things I should be happy for in life, so I'll put this candle to good use.
  • Royal Dream Detox Bath Soak - This is my favorite item in the box because it just smells so heavenly.  It contains epsom salts, peppermint and lavender essential oils, as well as chamomile, rose hips, rose powder, rose petals, blue cornflower, and hibiscus.  The dried flower petals look beautiful within the mixture, so I bet this would make for one amazing bath.
  • Citrine Stone - This stone "purifies and strengthens one's will."  It also attracts prosperity and is known as the "merchant's stone," and cleanses and eliminates built-up poisons in the body.  It is used for balancing the sacral and solar plexus chakras.
  • Chanakara Vanilla Honeybush Tea - This herbal tea is "for gathering strength and power."  It's made with African honeybush, sweetened with vanilla and orange peel.  I think it sounds delicious and I will probably brew it up tonight.
I am very impressed with the Sapphire Soul Balance Box!  I think the selection of items was very good, and I liked that it presented me with new options for holistic healing.  I especially like that each box contains a newsletter with information on the items, as well as more information about Sapphire Soul.  My box was actually missing the newsletter, but Allison (the founder and owner of Sapphire Soul) sent me a copy via email to read.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend the Sapphire Soul Balance Box, I think it's a great way to learn more about holistic healing and I was very impressed by the variety of items in their March box.

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sapphire Soul.  No monetary compensation was received.

Birchbox Valentine's Day Prize Pack Review

I meant to post this review so long ago, but I've been kind of lazy with my non-sponsored reviews lately.  Better late than never, I guess?  Anyway, back in February Birchbox had a contest on Instagram where if you re-grammed this photo and tagged them in it, you would be entered to win the products in the photo.  To my delight, I was randomly picked as the winner!


As you can see from the photo above, the prize pack was comprised of 11 different items; some cruelty-free, some not.  I was actually pleased to find that most of them were cruelty-free, though.  I was actually most excited about the Chuao Chocopods!


I discovered Chuao Chocolatier through Birchbox and have been a fan of their chocolates ever since.  My favorite bar of theirs is the Firecracker, but I've always wanted to try their other varieties because they're so unique.  This box came with one each of Potato Chip, Popcorn Pop, Honeycomb, Firecracker, Salted Chocolate Crunch, Orange A-Go-Go, Spicy Maya, and Maple Bacon.  All of them were wonderful, but the Salted Chocolate Crunch is definitely a new favorite.


I liked how all of the products were pink(ish) in color, to keep in theme with Valentine's Day.

  • Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion - I've tried a few other Manna Kadar products before and I think they're great quality.  This lotion was a bit too sheer for my liking, but I will still use it for a light highlighter.
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in PYT - This is my first Deborah Lippmann nail polish, and I was excited to try it because I've been wanting to try one of their polishes for a while.  It wouldn't be my first choice in color, but the formula was very nice.
  • Color Club Nail Lacquer in Reign in Spain - I actually already have one of these polish minis from a previous Birchbox, so I'll probably gift this to a friend at some point.  Color Club is one of my favorite polish brands, and this bright coral is perfect for the upcoming summer season!
  • Jurlique Love Balm Rose - Jurlique is a new brand to me.  I've obviously heard of them before, but this was my first experience with one of their products.  I like this balm a lot as a moisturizer, unfortunately the rose scent triggers my allergies.
  • stila Convertible Color in Poppy - stila is no longer a cruelty-free brand, so I'll be gifting this as well.  This can be used on cheeks and lips, and I guess your eyes, too.
  • Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips - This moisturizer only contains one ingredient: medical grade lanolin.  The name is funny, but it's so-called because it was originally used by nursing mothers for, well, their nipples.  It can be used all over, and I like to use it as a lip balm.
  • benefit They're Real! mascara - Another product to add to the gift pile, since benefit is sadly not cruelty-free.  I've heard great things about this mascara, unfortunately I can't say I'd recommend purchasing it (there are lots of great cruelty-free mascaras out there!).
  • Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick - I can't remember the name of the shade and I'm too lazy to go look, but it's a light pink/red.  I don't wear lipstick, so I gave this to my mom.  I'm also unsure whether or not Elizabeth Arden is a cruelty-free brand, I found an email from the company that states they are, but I couldn't find any evidence on their website.
  • 12 Benefits - I was so glad to get a full-sized bottle of this hair treatment!  I received a sample size in my October Birchbox and loved it.  I use it before blow drying my hair as a detangler and heat protectant.  It also has a great scent!
  • Pinch Minimergency Kit - I got one of these kits in a PopSugar Must Have box and was less-than-excited about it.  This one at least has a cuter pattern on the bag than my last one, but it's still just an "okay" product to me.  I'm definitely not complaining since all of these items were free, and it is a useful little kit, just nothing that I was too excited about.
Bottom Line: I am so thankful to Birchbox for holding this giveaway, and am so glad I won!  They sent a great variety of items.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

March Nerd Block Jr. Girls Review

When I first learned that Nerd Block was launching a "Junior" box just for kids that would only include toys, I was intrigued.  I don't have children, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I still like to collect toys.  I figure I might have kids one day, so at least I'll be ready!  Anyway, March's box was the first, so read on to see what I thought of Nerd Block Jr. Girls!


I haven't tried to adult Nerd Block subscription, so this was my first experience with the company as a whole.  They ship from Canada, so I wasn't sure how long shipping would take.  Turns out, it was a lot quicker than some of the services I've subscribed to that are located within the U.S.!  I can't remember exactly, but I think this box only took three or four days to get to me after I received my shipping notification (they promise four to six delivery days via air shipping on their website).  My short shipping period may be because I'm only three hours away from their shipping center, but regardless, I was very impressed by how quickly it arrived.


Nerd Block Jr. is available as a box for boys or a box for girls, both cost $13.99 plus shipping.  The boxes are described as "epic toys for boys/girls ages 6 to 11!," but I'm a 25 year old adult and I still really enjoyed this box!  I decided to go with the girls box, but I very easily could have enjoyed the boys as well, I think.  Even though they're separated by supposed gender toy preferences, there's no reason why you a boy couldn't get a girls box or vice versa, it just depends on what toys your child prefers.


The box contained five items total, and the first one I noticed when I opened it was the adorable stuffed bear!  I recognized that it was from the movie Brave, but I didn't know much else because I haven't actually watched the movie.  The only complaint I have about the box is that there's no informational card that gives details about the items.
  • Brave Cub Plush ($8?) - Doing a Google search for "Brave Cub Plush" didn't prove to be very helpful, and I cut off the tag from the toy before writing this review, so I don't know the brand or retail value of this.  It doesn't really matter to me, though, because I think it's absolutely adorable and I really love it!
  • Mega Bloks Moshi Monsters Build-a-Monster ($7.99) - This build-your-own monster is named Katsuma, and I thought it was cute because it looks kind of like a rabbit.  I loved playing with blocks when I was younger, so this would have been right up my alley.  I'll still probably use it and put the monster on my desk at work!
  • My Little Pony Slap Bands (~$4, $24.99 for 6) - I remember slap band bracelets being so popular when I was in elementary school, and I guess they're making a comeback!  My Little Pony (the original iteration, at least) was also a very popular toy during my childhood, and I know it's become popular again not only with kids but with adults, too.
  • Mega Bloks Hello Kitty Blind Pack Series 2 ($2.99) - I like blind packs because I like surprises, and I also love Hello Kitty!  She's very cute and a classic toy icon.  The one that was in my pack was her dressed up as a mail carrier (kind of fitting, since I get so many packages!).
  • My Little Pony Tin Tastic Creative Activity Set (~$10) - My boyfriend had gotten a Tin Tastic set featuring a different character so I had seen these before, but I wasn't actually sure what was in them until I got this MLP one.  It contains two pencils, two erasers, and a sticker sheet.  I could see this being a really cute gift to give to kids before they went back to school, and the container could always be reused to hold other items.
Bottom Line: I loved my Nerd Block Jr. Girls box!  I won't stay subscribed because, although I thought all of the items were really cute, I can't justify receiving a box full of toys each month.  I definitely would have loved receiving this as a kid, and I would also definitely subscribe again in the future when I have kids of my own!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.