September Birchbox Review

I was really excited to get my September Birchbox because my last few had been just okay, but this month's had a bunch of samples that I was really excited to get!  Much to my chagrin, upon receiving the box I found that one of the samples had leaked.  Later I found that another one was defective.  I contacted Birchbox, who has always had excellent customer service, and they promised to rectify the problem by sending me an entirely new box!

My replacement box is still on its way, so this review is for my original box.  I love the new design they unveiled, which was done because September is their birthday month (they're four years old now!).  I'm not sure if this is a permanent change, but I hope it is because the boxes are really cute!

The theme, fittingly, was "Fresh Paint."  Not only does it symbolize an anniversary for them, but also the changing of the seasons that September brings.  The informational card also promises more surprises all month, and I know one of them is their Customer Appreciation Day tomorrow.

Even though two of my samples were damaged/defective, I still really loved this box.  I think this is one of my favorite boxes ever, and I've been a subscriber on and off since Birchbox launched in 2011.

  • Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel - When I saw that this was going to be in my box I was so excited; I've seen it in other peoples' boxes and it was something I really wanted to try.  My first use didn't go so well, but I think that's because my skin was still just the slightest bit damp from washing.  I'm going to give it another chance because I just really like what it can do.  I suppose it would help if I said what it does--it's a gentle exfoliating gel that you apply then massage the skin, causing it to kind of "bead up (for lack of a better description)" and carry away dead skin cells with it.
  • Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray - This was the sample I chose to have in my box when Birchbox sent out the sample selection options, so naturally I was really excited to try it.  Unfortunately this is the defective sample; when I go to spray it the nozzle doesn't work, it just drips down the bottle and onto my hand.  For now I'm just pouring a small amount onto my hands and applying it that way, but once I have an old empty sample spray bottle I'm going to transfer the nozzle onto it to see if that works.
  • Temptu S/B Highlighter - This sample is so tiny!  The shade is "champagne shimmer" and it's a liquid highlighter.  I prefer solid highlighters, but I was interested in trying this one out because I thought the shade was really pretty.  It might be that I'm just not applying enough because I don't want to use up all of the sample in one use, but I wasn't impressed by the effectiveness.  I couldn't really tell that it was there at all (I used it on my cheekbones).
  • ChapStick Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Moisture & Renew - I'm not a fan of the ChapStick brand (I don't like their formula, always feels too waxy), but I think this is an interesting product.  One end is a moisturizing balm, the other is a "renew" for revitalizing lips.  I gave this to my boyfriend to try and he liked it a lot.
  • Acure Organics Day Cream - I love Acure Organics and I like how ample this moisturizer is in size.  It smells great, too; the scent is citrus-y and light.  It feels really light on my skin and is probably a product I would purchase a full-sized version of.
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah - Harvey Prince is another favorite brand of mine, and their Ageless scent is great (pink grapefruit, mango, and sandalwood).  The instructions on the tube say to not use a sponge with this, since it would lather and exfoliate best when applied directly to the skin.  I found that it didn't, so I still used my loofah sponge with it.  I absolutely love the scent, though!  Oh, and this was the sample that was damaged.  The cap wasn't on securely and it leaked inside of the box (photo below).

Bottom Line: Even though this box had a few technical issues, I was so happy with the selection (and with Birchbox's amazing customer service, I really didn't expect an entirely new box!) that I can't be mad.  I hope that all of my boxes have products this relevant to my interests from now on!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Post contains referral links.

Wet Shave Club Review

As a lady, I do not have facial hair, so I wouldn't normally consider a box like Wet Shave Club.  I do, however, have a boyfriend who has a beard who would be able to put a box like this to good use, so when Wet Shave Club asked me if I'd be interested in doing a review, I said yes.

Wet Shave Club sends a monthly shipment of traditional shaving items, and the box I'm reviewing contains the same items that everyone receives during their first month.  Subscriptions are $29 a month, or $24/month for three months, $22/month for six months, or $19/month for a full year.  Shipping is free for all options within the contiguous U.S., and is $7.99 for Canada, and boxes ship the same day you place your order!

Each starter box comes with a safety razor and shave brush, along with two packs of razors, matches, two bars of soap, and a bottle of aftershave.  The box is packaged very nicely and contains a welcome card.  Mine also had a handwritten note about the box, but that is because this box is for review purposes (I'm not sure if each order comes with one or not).

The only razors I've ever shaved with are the standard ones you buy at the drugstore, and prior to trying Wet Shave Club the same went for my boyfriend, Pete.  Pictured above is the safety razor; to use it you unscrew the top and place the razor, then screw the top part back on to set it in place.  The instructions that came with the box are sure to state that you should let the razor do the work--don't try to press it into the skin (results in ouchies), let the weight of the razor do the shaving as you glide it down.

The shaving brush is really fluffy; the bristles are slightly coarse, but understandably so.  The aftershave is from Whiskey Ink & Lace and is cedarwood scented.  I absolutely love the scent!  For those of you who are unfamiliar with aftershave, it's applied to help soothe the skin.  The razors are both from Gillette, each box containing five blades.  Wet Shave Club recommends replacing the blade every three days or so, so if you don't shave daily then you could stretch these out to last for quite a while.

Lastly, there are two bars of soap from Red Leaf (Oatmeal & Honey and English Coast scented) and a book of matches.  I honestly don't know what the matches are for and I didn't see anything in the instructions, so pardon my ignorance.  The soaps appear to be glycerin-based and Pete said they lathered well and felt really smooth.
Bottom Line: Overall, Pete really enjoyed using the Wet Shave Club products.  He was intimidated at first since he'd never used a single blade safety razor, but he didn't have any issues and came out nick-free in the end.  I like this box a lot because it appeals to low-maintenance guys as well as those who spend a little more time on their appearance.

*Disclaimer: This box was sent for review purposes.

New Memeboxes and Affiliate Coupon Code!

If you couldn't tell already from my myriad of reviews for them, I love Memebox!  I've gotten quite a few boxes that have all been wonderful, and now I'm here to share with you an exclusive $5 off coupon.

One of the newest Memeboxes is the WTF (Wonderful Treasure Finds) box, which features up-and-coming finds as well as cult favorites.  It's only $23, but with my $5 coupon you can get it for just $18!  Other great options are the Wine & Cheese Cosmetics box and the Banila Co. Superbox.

So what's the coupon code?  Use XUQ6 for $5 off of any order -- but since this is an affiliate code, you have to purchase through my affiliate link.  You can click here (or on any other link in this post) to do so.  Which box are you going to get?

Total Beauty Collection Jetsetter Grab Bag Review

Prior to today I had never received a Total Beauty Collection box; I had seen lots of review for them and they just didn't really seem to be worth the price.  I finally decided to purchase one a few days ago when I saw that they were having a huge sale, and I picked up the Jetsetter Grab Bag for only $16.

These boxes were on sale along with nine other collections (two of which are currently sold out, view them all here), and I chose the Jetsetter option because it had the best promised retail value of $65+ with eight total products.  I definitely am not disappointed by this box, especially because it was so cheap.  I was able to get it for $16 instead of the advertised $20 by using the coupon SALE20 (as I type this, it's still a valid coupon).

Since it's a grab bag, I'm assuming that not every box will contain the same items.  The shipping was free, and I was really impressed by how quickly it arrived.  I ordered it on the 10th, it shipped on the 11th, and it arrived today on the 13th.  I think that's the fastest I've ever received any box!

The box did not come with an informational card, but I'll do my best to describe each item.
  • Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Face Spa Mask - I've used a lot of Montagne Jeunesse masks in the past and I really like them.  This one is a paper mask, and while I prefer ones that aren't on paper I will still use this one.  It contains aloe vera and green tea to soothe and cleanse the skin.
  • Vapour Organics Vernissage 3-Free Nail Lacquer in Scandal - I love Vapour Organics, they're one of my favorite brands, but I do not need any more red nail polishes!  At first I thought this was a skincare item because I didn't realize Vapour made polishes, but when I saw the name "Scandal" I knew before I even opened it that it was going to be red.  I'm sure it's got a great formula, but I won't be using it because I posted it up for swap as new and unused.
  • Astara Biogenic Skincare Antioxidant Infusion - I couldn't find an exact product page for this, but it appears to be a moisturizer that soothes the skin.  The consistency looks kind of thick, so I might try this as a night cream.
  • LaLicious Vanilla Body Butter - This one is nice and self-explanatory.  I love body butters, I love vanilla, but I don't love the packaging of this.  At least it's small enough that I can use it all up in one or two uses.
  • Acure Organics Cell Stimulating Body Wash - Acure Organics is another one of my favorite brands, but I already have a bottle of this so I posted this for swap as well.  It's vegan, paraben-, sulfate-, cruelty-, and gluten-free, and has no synthetic fragrance.
  • NYX Roll on Shimmer in Pink - This is a little bit too bright for me so I also posted it up for swap.  It's a shimmer that can be used on the eyes or body.
  • Juara Candlenut Body Creme - I've never used any products from Juara before so I'm excited to try this.  I've also never heard of candlenut oil before, but according to the back of the package it is known for its high content of essential fatty acids (therefore, great for moisturizing).
  • Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - I had a sample of this a while ago but I never used it (I ended up swapping it), but I think I'll keep this one and give it a try.  It's an exfoliating mask that, if I remember correctly, is quite expensive full-sized.
Bottom Line: I've very happy with this grab bag and I'm glad it only cost me $16.  I think I still would have been satisfied if I paid the full $20, but it wouldn't have felt worth it for any more than that.  You can still purchase one of these (and other collections) at the Total Beauty site, and remember to use coupon SAVE20 for $4 off!  You can also get two for $30 using code 2FOR30.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Deux Lux Mystery Box Review

Deux Lux is one of my favorite handbag brands, and I probably would have never even known about them had it not been for the now-defunct Little Black Bag.  Their purses and accessories were always incredibly popular on LBB and I was able to trade for/purchase quite a few, but I have a problem and I can never have enough!  Every so often they'll hold a sample sale at their flagship store in NYC, but since I can't just go to New York on a whim I usually just sit in my apartment, wishing I was there to snag a ton of purses at awesome prices.

But luckily for me (and other DL fans that aren't so close to the city), with this past sale they offered a Mystery Box!  It cost $40 and promised to include three random items, and of course I bought one.  I probably should have gotten two because it was such a great deal.  The only thing I didn't like was that I never got a shipment notice or a tracking number, but the website said it would ship within three to five days, so I just waited and hoped that they would make good on their promise.  I think this took about six days to get to me after I bought it, but that's not too bad.

My first item is the Wink Mini Messenger, which retails for $90 on the Deux Lux site.  It's my favorite item from the box; I love crossbodies and this one is really cute.  I love the stitched detailing and the gold chain strap.  It's small, but it definitely has enough space for your cards, keys, and a few makeup items.  I have a DL Empire Card Case from a Little Black Bag purchase that would fit perfectly in this bag!

I also got a wallet, but I don't know what it's called because it's no longer for sale on their website.  I love the way it looks, the faux snake print and gold detailing is really pretty.  All of the Deux Lux wallets of this size have the same design, they zip open and have three compartments with eight card slots (there's a photo of the inside of the wallet further down in the post).  My best guess on the retail value of this is around $60, since that's what the other wallets are listed for on the site.

Last up is the High Line Clutch, my least-favorite item in the box.  I'm not a clutch fan to being with, and I don't really care for the design (it's also quite big at 9" x 14").  It kind of reminds me of a bad pair of jeans.  Regardless, I'll still use this as an iPad case or to store makeup or something when I travel.  I can definitely find a use for it.  The retail value is $85.

Bottom Line: I hope Deux Lux has Mystery Boxes every time they have a sample sale from now on!  I will absolutely positively be buying many more if they do since they are a fantastic deal and I love being surprised.  If I had purchased each of these items individually, it would have cost me $235.  I'm not sure what price they were sold for at the sample sale, but it doesn't really matter to me because I'm very happy that it only cost me $40 for them.

View more photos of the bags after the "read more."

Memebox Global #14 Review

I ordered this Memebox Global #14 so long ago that when it arrived I had totally forgotten that I even purchased it!  This is actually the first Memebox I ever purchased, but usually they ship a month or so after they're initially listed on the site for sale (sometimes longer), so that's why it had slipped my mind.

I chose Memebox Global #14 because at the time the reviews I'd seen for their Global boxes were better than the themed boxes (it just seemed like the products in the Global boxes were more relevant to my needs and preferences).  Since then Memebox has come out with plenty of themed boxes that I loved, but the Global boxes are still fun because the items inside are a total surprise.  This box is no longer available, but it had a price tag of $23.  You can view current Memeboxes at their shop.

  • Recipe by Nature Golden Time Vita Capsule Essence ($42 for 40 mL) - This is a full-sized "vitamin essence" that I think is essentially a facial serum.  It is "packed full of vitamin capsules that will deliver deep nourishment and nutrition to your skin," according to the description on the box's informational card.  It works to balance oil levels, brighten the skin, and even out rough textures.  When I first used it I only used a drop or two, but even that felt too heavy on my skin, so I found that this should be used very sparingly.
  • Shower Mate Perfume de Whip Body Wash ($4 for 50 mL each) - When I first saw these they reminded me of something you might find at the dollar store, due to their packaging.  I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, though, so I'm willing to give them a try.  I thought I would like the "Pure White Blossom" scent better than the "Marilyn Red Fantasy," but I actually found the opposite to be true.  The other option was "Romantic Pink Garden," which I (obviously) did not receive.  I'll probably save these for travel since I already am pretty stocked up on body wash.
  • VOV Good-Bye Black Smudge Waterproof Mascara ($19 for 9 g) - Mascara is another thing I have tons of, so I put this up for swap.  This was randomly selected from three products (Lash Proof Mascara, Volume Proof Mascara, or Button Liner), and I received the Lash Proof formula.  I may have kept it if I received the Volume Proof, but the Lash Proof has a straight, thin brush and I prefer mascaras with more voluminous brushes.
  • a;t fox Fantasy Holic Lip & Cheek Designer Pencil ($7) - This was randomly selected from shades Sweet Orange, Lovely Coral, and Rose Beige.  I received Sweet Orange; I would have preferred Lovely Coral but this orange is more on the pink/coral side so I'm still willing to give it a try.  I like that it can be used on the lips or cheeks.
  • Sua Young Mineral Essence In Liquid Foundation SPF33 PA+++5g (~$5.65) - A full-sized bottle of this retails for $34, but the sample size contains more than enough to get a good feel for how well this product works.  I really wanted to like it because it offers more coverage than a BB cream while still being lightweight, but the color was too light for my skin.  It's free from parabens, alcohol, artificial fragrance and contains only organic ingredients.
  • Beauty People Miss 100 Super Waterproof Gel Liner Auto Pencil ($38) - I find it hard to believe that this liner retails for $38, but that's what the info card says!  I received the "Glimmer Bronze" shade, and I actually already have a set of these pencils with that color from the My Cute Wishlist Superbox, so I posted this for swap as well.  I do love these pencils though, they glide on smoothly and have great pigmentation.
  • Kocostar 4 Package Set ($20) - This set contained four products total: the Ggongji Hair Pack, Face Spot Mirror Patch, 5 Finger Nail Pack, and Foot Peeling Pack.  The Hair Pack is a mask that you need to tie your hair into a ponytail for, and since my hair isn't quite long enough yet I'll be saving it to try later.  If you want to use the Face Spot Mirror Patch, choose a day where you aren't going anywhere because you have to leave it on for at least eight hours (or, I suppose you could wear it while you sleep).  The 5 Finger Nail Pack is for your cuticles, and the Foot Peeling Pack is pretty self-explanatory.  I'm most interested in the foot and nails packs, but they both require more than 10 minutes of application time so I haven't used them yet.
  • Sally's Box 4SET ($14) - This set contained four paper face masks: the Love Recipe Apple Mask, Delight Ceramide Hydrogel Mask, Delight Collagen Hydrogel Mask, and the Delight Panthenol Hydrogel Mask.  I used the Apple Mask right away because I love all things apple, but I was disappointed to see that one of the first ingredients was alcohol (this is one of the few items from Memebox I've received where the ingredients were also listed in English).  As we all know, alcohol is incredibly drying for the skin, so now I'm wary of using the other three because I don't want to put harsh ingredients on my skin for that long.
Bottom Line: I was so impressed by this box; I couldn't believe how many products it contained for only $23!  A lot of them were full-sized, too.  I hope that Memebox releases more Global boxes in the future because I love their variety and would definitely purchase more.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  Post contains affiliate links.

One Direction Makeup Launch and Giveaway!

One Direction has launched their own limited-edition cosmetics collection and it's now available at Macy's!  The collection, by Markwins International, features the colorful style that the band is known around the world for.

"The Looks Collection" is made up of three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction's albums, "Up All Night," "Take Me Home," and their most recent "Midnight Memories" (the one pictured above is "Midnight Memories").  Each tin contains a set of colored cosmetics to match your personality, whether you're a party girl or more of a girl-next-door.  There's a Liquilights Glow Gloss lipgloss, which you can make glow under a UV black light, a palette of four velvety eyeshadows, Chubby color pencils that can be worn as a liner, shadow, or body crayon, Little Black Dress Mascara, and a nail polish.  The kits also include bonus One Direction stencils that you can use to decorate your tin or use on your body.

Enter below to win makeup autographed by One Direction!  Please see the terms and conditions on the giveaway form.  Be sure to check out the Makeup By One Direction Facebook page for more info!

*Disclaimer: This post is powered by BrandBacker.

Memebox My Cute Wishlist Superbox Review

Memebox has become well-known for their myriad of one-time purchase boxes, and Superbox #41 My Cute Wishlist may be their most sought-after box yet!  It sold out quickly after it launched and I can easily see why.  If you're a fan of Korean beauty and culture, then you're probably also a fan of cute things, which makes this box the perfect mix of both!

Memebox (pronounced "mi-mi-box") is not a subscription service -- each box is a one-time purchase and is only available until it's sold out.  They're constantly releasing new ones, though, so even if you miss out on one there's sure to be another that will suit your fancy on the way.  They send the best in Korean beauty, including skincare and cosmetics.

My Cute Wishlist is a Superbox, meaning that all of the items are full-sized.  Just like the name suggests, this one is full of only the most adorable products!  Superboxes generally cost around $29-$32, but the prices do vary.  You can view the current available Superboxes at the Memebox shop (there are also standard Memeboxes to choose from for a lower cost).  This box is sold out, but I bet if you took a gander at the current ones you'd find something to tickle your fancy!

  • Kocostar Split End Therapy ($6 for 8mL) - This hair mask contains eight types of amino acids that work to prevent breakage and static.  You apply it by putting your hair in a ponytail and then sliding your hair into the wrap, so I'm not so sure how well I'll be able to use this with my shoulder-length hair.  My hair grows quickly, though, so I might just save it for when it's a bit longer.
  • Etude Missing U Hand Cream ($5 for 30 mL) - This is my favorite item in the box because it is just so damn cute!  Each box was randomly given either the Pink Dolphin, Half Seal, Fairy Penguin, or Panda and I'm really glad I got the penguin because I think it's the cutest one.  The scent is my least favorite (cotton), but I just love the container so much that it doesn't matter!  The lotion itself is silky in texture and absorbs quickly.
  • Beauty People Snow White Special Edition Season 2 ($54) - Inside of the tin are five neutral-toned eyeliners, my favorite kind of colors for eye makeup (glimmer black, glimmer brown, glimmer bronze, glimmer gold, glimmer beige).  I've been playing around with them and I think they're fantastic--they apply nice and smoothly and have great pigmentation.
  • Pure Smile Neco Punch Point Pad Hibiscus & Lemon Grass ($2 each for 17 mL) - I'm glad that Memebox includes an informational card with all of the products and how to use them, because these had me stumped.  I know "neco" means cat, but that was about all I could puzzle out about these on my own.  Turns out, they're enriched with vitamin E, collagen, hyaluronic acid, arbutin, and hibiscus and lemongrass extracts to moisturize and control excess sebum.  You just place a pad over any trouble areas you have on your skin for five to ten minutes and let them do their thing.
  • a;t fox Moisturizing Gel Creams ($6 each for 10 mL) - From left to right in the photo above, these are the Jasoyup Tea Whitening Capsule Cream, Gyoolpy Tea Water Gel Cream, and Black Tea Lifting Cream.  The cupcake contains are beyond adorable, and the creams inside all target specific concerns (hence, their names).  I've used the Black Tea Lifting Cream and Gyoolpy Tea Water Gel Cream so far and I like them a lot.  I also like saying the word "gyoolpy."
  • Pure Smile Muddy Girl ($1 for 15g) - I could have gotten either the red clay or charcoal mask, and I received the red clay version.  I would have preferred charcoal, but clay is also great for oily skin like mine.  This is just a standard face mask packet.
  • Etude Sweet Recipe Candy Stick ($5 for 2g) - I received the scent/flavor "Oh! Orange Candy;" the other options were Seedless Strawberry and Sour Lemon.  It's a lip balm that's enriched with bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, and orange and lemon extracts.  It moisturizes well and doesn't feel waxy on my lips, which is one of my biggest pet peeves with certain lip balms.
Bottom Line: The My Cute Wishlist Superbox had a total value of $93, with the Beauty People eyeliners pulling most of the weight on that total.  The overall retail value isn't as important to me though as the fact that this box 100% delivered on its promise to be loaded with cute items!

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Memebox.  No monetary compensation was received.  Post contains affiliate links.