Memebox Special #6 Whole Grain Review + Coupon

Memebox (pronounced "Mi-mi-box") is quickly becoming one of my favorite beauty box services for a lot of reasons.  My favorite thing about them is that they have so many different boxes to choose from!  I also love that since they're a Korean beauty service, they expose me to products that aren't otherwise readily available in the States.

When I first heard about the Special #6 Whole Grain box, it didn't quite pique my interest.  I thought, "whole grain?  That's an odd ingredient for beauty products."  But thinking more about it now, I realized that these products are actually quite suited for my skincare needs.  I have sensitive skin that's prone to eczema, and whole grains are great for soothing that.

At only $23, this box is an incredible deal.  The first thing I noticed before opening it was how heavy it was!  I always get excited at that because I equate that with having lots of products.  Upon opening it, it was clear that my hypothesis was correct--this box is packed with great items!

  • Purederm Invigorating Foot Scrub Walnut ($4) - I love foot scrubs; I find it so relaxing to exfoliate and treat my feet (like a mini-spa experience).  This one contains a blend of walnut shells and apricot seeds that gently exfoliate calloused feet.
  • Purederm Daily Moisturizing Hand Mask Oatmeal ($7) - This product is another win for me because I hate having dry hands.  I'm constantly using hand creams, so I'm sure this treatment will give me long-lasting soft skin.  It's enriched with oatmeal to deeply nourish dry hands.
  • Purederm Rice Bran Collagen Mask ($5) - This 100% natural pulp mask is rich in rice bran extracts, plant collagen, and vitamin E.  It works to brighten and smooth out dull complexions.  I don't often use these types of masks (I generally prefer liquid ones), but they do force me to just sit still and relax!
  • Purebess Galactomyces 80 Eye Cream ($20) - This is my favorite product in the box, simply because I think it will last me forever!  It's full-sized at 50 mL (~1.7 oz), and since you only need to use a very small amount of eye cream per application, you're getting a ton of product in this bottle.  I'm not familiar with galactomyces, but apparently they work to lock in moisture and rid your pores of residue.
  • Purebess Galactomyces 100% ($15) - This 100% concentrate of galactomyces is an essence that helps to clean out the pores, reduce fine lines and signs of aging, and deliver an all-over glow.  The instructions say to use it as the first step of your skincare routine.
  • Herbclinic Rice Bran Powder ($8) - At first I thought that this was a nutritional supplement, but it's actually a powder that's meant to be mixed with oatmeal, black bean or brown rice, and milk and then used as a mask for the face.  It promises to deliver nourishment and instant revival to tired skin.
  • Grinif Natural Oatmeal Scrub Bar ($9) - This bar is listed as 100% organic and hand-made.  It contains oatmeal, rice bran, shea butter, and jojoba oil to nourish and moisturize the skin.  Since it's an international product the organic label isn't verified by any organizations such as the USDA, but I'm still willing to give it a try.
  • Purederm Anti-Stress Heat Therapy Mask Oatmeal ($12) - I was really excited to try this warming mask, but I found that it was too harsh on my skin.  I ended up with a bunch of red spots from the heat after using it, but I'm sure this would be great for someone with less-sensitive skin.  When applied, this relaxes the pores and removes residue clogged up inside of them.
Bottom Line: This box had an overall retail value of $80!  That's an excellent value for a box that only costs $23.  Memebox recently restocked this box, so if you're interested in picking one up, you can do so here.

Even if this box doesn't quite strike your fancy, I highly recommend browsing the options Memebox has available.  You can use coupon code TXIXL1672P for $5 off any order, valid through the end of July (one-time use per customer).

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Memebox.  Post contains affiliate links.

New Memebox Options, 2 for 1 Boxes, + $15 Off Coupon!

Memebox has just released three new scent boxes: Floral, Tropical Fruits, and Sweet Shop!  All three are only $15 each, or you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 special Memebox is running and get all three for $30!

Even better, with coupon code TRYMEMEBOX you can take $15 off of any order, so you can get all three boxes for the price of one, really.  I don't need all three so I just purchased the Sweet Shop box, and after using the coupon code and the one Memepoint I had it only cost me $6.49!

  • Floral Scentbox: Feel positively lovely with this floral explosion in a box! Open this box and you’ll be transported to a field of delicate flowers and sunshine with beauty goods that burst with floral fragrances.
  • Tropical Fruit Scentbox: Has your booked-solid work and study schedule kept you from flying to your dream tropical island getaway? Dive into this tropical fruit scented box for a fragrant and exotic escape!
  • Sweet Shop Scentbox: Satisfy your sweet tooth with this 100 percent calorie free and 100 percent delightfully and deliciously scented Sweet Shop Scentbox!
Which box are you going to try?

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

July Birchbox Review

This month Birchbox teamed up with Women's Health and my box was a total dud.  I know they can't all be winners, but I'd been so happy with my boxes lately that it was a little bit of a let-down to get one that was not even close to being as good.

I was excited for this box because I subscribe to Women's Health and they had an article in the July issue that showed all of the products they'd be featuring.  Of course, my box had none of the products that I wanted.  I even updated my beauty profile after June's box in hopes of getting a different variety of items, but so far, no good.

July's theme was "Power Up," and the boxes contained "samples to energize your routine."  I find that the Birchbox themes rarely have anything to do with the items inside, but I applaud them for trying.

My box contained four samples and one lifestyle extra.  I can't say I was excited to get any of these samples.  I also don't care for the extra little booklets they've been including recently; I find that they're usually full of unnecessary information and are a waste of paper.  This month's booklet had "12 bite-sized challenges," including "part your hair differently" and "up your sleep quality."  All of the ideas were things we've all heard before and I just don't see the point of including them (give me an extra sample instead, not a booklet).

  • NAOBAY Body Radiance Lotion - This is the only item that I was kind of glad to see, mostly because I'm always using lotion and the sample-sized ones are good for my purse.  This one smells nice (like lemon) and has "natural" ingredients, for the most part (there are still some synthetic ingredients included).
  • Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream - I do use eye cream on the daily, but getting eye cream in a beauty box is so boring to me.  I already have a bunch of them from various sources, and since you don't need to use a lot per application I won't have a need for this one for awhile.  I posted it up for swap.
  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect - Birchbox has been great about sending me heat-protectants, but I would like to get something different now.  This one is another product I'll be able to use, but it's nothing I got excited about.  I also don't like the way the Number 4 products smell.
  • Cynthia Rowley Beauty Black Eyeliner - I was originally going to post this for swap, but my current eyeliner is running low so I decided to keep it.  It glides on really easily, but it's very soft so I have to be careful not to press too hard when applying it.
  • SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults - These gummies tasted great, but the packet only contained two and the recommended serving is six daily.  It also costs $29.95 for a 30-day supply, which is absolutely outrageous.  I can go to Target and get a 50 day supply for $10, so there's no reason why I would ever purchase these.
Bottom Line: Not a great month for Birchbox, but I still love this service so I don't think I'll cancel any time soon.  I know not every month is going to be great; I just hope that August's box will include samples that are newer to me so that I can discover something new.

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

Fancy Mystery Box (Medium Women's Box) Review

I've always been interested in trying one of Fancy's boxes but they're just a bit pricier than what I want to spend right now, especially because the items are a little bit more (seemingly) random than with some other subscriptions, like Birchbox.  There's the original Fancy Box, which can contain any type of items for men or women, and there are also curated boxes from people like Tyler Florence and Kelly Rowland.

When I found that Fancy was offering free shipping on Mystery Boxes I figured it was the perfect time to give them a try.  I purchased a Women's Medium Box for $20 and was pretty happy with what I received.   Mystery Boxes are available in three sizes, $10 for small, $20 for medium, and $40 for a large, both are also available in men's or women's boxes.  I don't believe that the larger boxes have more items, I think the value of the individual items just increases with the box's "size."

When I first picked up my box I noticed that it was surprisingly light, and I felt a bit disappointed because I expected it to have a heftier weight.  This disappointment clouded my judgment a bit with the initial unboxing and I felt underwhelmed.  But after I actually considered the items a bit more I decided that this was a pretty good box for a mystery box, and that it had a great value.

  • The Fancy Wayfarers ($30) - Unfortunately I have terrible eyesight so I need to wear my contacts if I want to wear sunglasses other than my prescription pair, and I'm currently out of contacts.  I'm going to make it a point to schedule an eye exam though so I can start wearing cute pairs like these!  I love the wayfarer style and the tortoiseshell coloring is fun, too.
  • Sophie Sparrow Shark Tooth Necklace ($60) - When I saw the little bag in my box I knew it contained jewelry and I was hoping that it was a necklace.  I don't really wear rings and could care less about earrings, so I was very happy to receive this shark tooth necklace.  It's definitely my style and I love it!
  • Bib & Tuck Lip Balm - I have no idea what the retail value of this lip balm is, but I'm guessing anywhere from $3-$5.  It doesn't really matter to me, though, because I have a ton of lip balms already.  Normally I like getting more, but I know nothing about this brand and couldn't find anything about it online, so I'm guessing it's probably not made from natural ingredients.  I've posted it for swap.
  • ncLA Designer Nail Wraps ($16) - I've used these before and I don't like them.  I received a pack from Little Black Bag a while ago and I found that they didn't apply well and looked really cheap.  At first I thought that maybe the pattern on my first pair was an exception, but after looking at these I think that all ncLA nail wraps are printed with the same poor quality.  I've also posted these for swap.
Bottom Line: I liked and will use two out of the four items in my Mystery Box, which had a total value of $106 (not including the lip balm).  I would probably use the lip balm, too, if I didn't already have a ton of them.  Not a bad deal for only $20!  If you're interested in picking up a Mystery Box, you can do so by clicking here.

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

Memebox Color Box #1 (Red) Review + Coupon

After trying my first Memebox (pronounced "Mi-mi-box") recently, I was excited to try more.  Memebox is a beauty box company that sends the best in Korean beauty, with a huge range of skincare and cosmetics to offer.  You can do one-time purchases of their limited edition boxes, or you can shop for individual products.

Colorbox #1 is all about Red!  I prefer getting color cosmetics more than skincare samples, so the fact that Memebox offers these color boxes is something that I appreciate.  This one is still available on their website and costs $15.  I think that's an amazing price for five full-sized products!  If red isn't your color, they also have blue and orange Colorboxes.

  • Cheek Room Two Color Lip Gloss in #6 Red ($12) - This cute lip gloss has two colors in one.  When I first opened it I thought the colors had separated, but then I read the informational card that came with the box and realized that it's supposed to be that way.  I think the packaging on this is adorably retro, and I think the color(s) will be flattering.

  • Dearberry Today Nail Lacquer in #21 Pink Sprinkling ($3) - I love nail polish so I was happy to receive one in this box!  I really like the color, it's a pink/red cream that applies "very thinly yet vividly," according to the info card.
  • L'OCEAN Eye Shadow in L-35 Red ($10) - I have to be honest, this scares me.  I've never in my life used, or even thought about using, a red eyeshadow.  I can't even think of a time when I would need to wear it.  But I'm sure a search of red looks will bring up something interesting to try, and stepping outside of my comfort zone isn't a bad thing to do!
  • Dearberry Flirt Lipstick in 08 Red Parade ($12) - Red lipsticks must be big in Korea because this is the second in two boxes I've received.  I rarely wear a red lip, but again, this gives me the opportunity to try something new (a photo of the actual lipstick are after the "read more").
  • Tosowoong Gel Pencil Liner in 04 Burgundy ($10) - I'm glad Memebox included this because I definitely need a liner when wearing lipstick.  I hope this pairs well with the Flirt lipstick because it's a little bit darker, but we'll see.  If not, I'll buy a lipstick to match it (photo of the liner after the "read more").
Bottom Line: This box had a total retail value of $47, which is an amazing deal for only $15!  I think Memebox is so fun, and I love that they have so many different boxes to choose from.  The only problem is that I want to buy them all, but that wouldn't be the most budget-friendly thing for me right now.
  • Use coupon code TXIXL1672P for $5 off any order (expires July 31st)!
*This post is sponsored by Memebox.  Post contains affiliate links.

Click the "read more" to see a photo of the lipstick and liner.

The Honest Company Essentials Bundle Review

I finally decided to try The Honest Company -- now that I have my own apartment, I have more of a need for the types of products they offer.  I started with the free trial bundle and decided to ship a full Essentials bundle after that.

The Honest Company was founded by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan, and they sell a range of household and beauty items that are free from harsh chemicals.  It's not a typical subscription service because you don't have to sign up for bundle deliveries, but it is cheaper to buy a bundle of five products instead of buying them individually.  I chose the Essentials bundle, and that means I can choose from any of their home or personal care items.  They also offer a "Diapers & Wipes" and "Health & Wellness" bundle.

  • Honest Healing Balm - This was in the sample bundle that I ordered and I loved it, so I knew I wanted to get a full-sized bottle.  It's a very thick balm that's perfect for my overly-dry hands and feet, and a little goes a long way.
  • Honest Sunscreen SPF 30 - This product is fairly new, and since I needed a new sunscreen for the summer I figured I'd give it a try.  I went to the zoo this past weekend and used the sunscreen, and I have to say that I didn't like it.  It's too thick and sticky and I wouldn't recommend it.  I think I'll stick with my Badger sunscreen.
  • Organic Body Oil - I'm all about moisturizing, so I was excited to try the body oil.  It works really well and has a very faint scent.  I don't have much to say about this other than that I really like it, but if you're not a fan of oils you're probably better off going with the lotion.
  • Honest Face + Body Lotion - This was the only other product I sampled in my trial bundle that I decided to order a full size of.  What I like best about this lotion is its texture--it's very silky and smooth.  I haven't used it on my face (and won't), but it's great as a body lotion.
  • Organic Lip Balm Trio - My final product choice was the trio of lip balms, which came in "Plain & Simple," "Sweet Orange Vanilla," and "Lavender Mint."  I love lip balms and can never have too many, but these were just okay.  They can't compare to some of my more favored organic lip balms, but they're still better than waxy Chapstick.
This bundle cost me $41.90 after shipping.  It shipped from Pennsylvania and it got to me very quickly (only two days from their warehouse to my apartment) in New York, so I was happy about that.  Overall I'm happy with this bundle, but I'm not scheduled for another until August and I'm not sure if I'll order another one.  These products are decent, but I don't know if I like them enough to continue purchasing them when I can find them for comparable prices at stores near me.

If you're interested in trying The Honest Company I definitely recommend giving one of their free trial bundles a go (you just have to pay shipping).  Just FYI that the products you'll receive are sample-sized, not full-sized; something I wish I had known before I ordered a trial.

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

Makeup Brushes Need Love, Too

Makeup brushes are an essential part of any cosmetic routine, but if you don’t care for them properly they can be ruined very quickly. Some makeup brush sets are expensive (but not if you go to The Salon Outlet), but the longevity of your brushes can be greatly increased with proper care.

After you have invested in a good quality set of makeup brushes you need to protect your investment – keep them clean and washed or they will start to deteriorate very quickly. Another problem is that dirty makeup brushes won’t apply the makeup properly and can spread bacteria and germs.  Clean makeup brushes help to maintain a clear complexion.
  • Natural Bristle Makeup Brushes will last for years if you wash them weekly with a moisturizing soap. These are great for bronzer, powder and blush. A gentle shampoo can also be used to clean these brush types.  Gently massage the soap or shampoo onto the wet bristles to get a good lather, but make sure that you rinse everything out when you have finished.
  • Synthetic Bristle Makeup Brushes are more often used on liquid and cream products – lip gloss or liner, lipstick, crème foundation and blush. These need regular cleaning; if you use them daily then clean them every other day at least. These will need some sort of alcohol based cleaner to break down the grease from the cosmetics.  Even if you clean them regularly, they will need to be replaced every few months. Remember that germs love wet and moist conditions.
  • Powder Puffs are another favorite breeding ground for dreaded bacteria. They need to be cleaned thoroughly each week using warm water and soap.  They don’t last very long so will need to be replaced quite frequently.  The powder puff, which is often supplied with a powder compact, will not last as long as the powder it was supplied with so keep it clean, but then throw it out and buy another when it starts to show too much wear.

Lash combs, tweezers and eyelash curlers should not be neglected, either.  They are really simple to clean: all you need to do is spray them with the alcohol based cleaner you use on your synthetic bristle brushes and give them a wipe over.

Drying Your Brushes

Remember that bacteria breeds in wet places, so after you have washed your brushes you need to make sure that they are properly dried before you use them again.  After you have cleaned them, take a dry towel and squeeze gently around the bristles to soak up excess moisture. Some people are tempted to simply stand their wet brushes handle side down and bristles facing upwards in a cup, brush holder or other pot until they are dry, but this is not a good idea. Drying brushes this way means that the water leaks down into the area where the handle meets the bristles and can ruin the glue, causing the bristles to fall out of the brush.  Simply place wet brushes on a clean, dry towel on a table or other flat surface with the bristles hanging over the edge to help you protect the shape of the bristles.  Place your brushes close to an open window or a heater and they’ll be clean, dry and ready for action in no time at all. Remember, take care of your brushes and they’ll take care of you!

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by The Salon Outlet.  Monetary compensation was received for this post.

Soap Diamond Giveaway!

Earlier this month I reviewed Soap Diamond, a heart-shaped antibacterial soap that has a ring inside.  The soap itself is great quality and cruelty-free, and it looks so cute sitting in my soap dish.

Now, after about a month of use, I have my ring!  The soap itself isn't gone, but it started to show the crack down the middle where the two halves were put together, so I pried it open to get my ring.  It was wrapped in a plastic bag, so none of the soap was on the actual ring.  I'm so happy with the design--I love simple jewelry, so the ring I got fits my style 100%!  To learn more about Soap Diamond, check out my original review here.

The kind people at Soap Diamond have offered a soap for one of my readers to win!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway is open to U.S. residents aged 18+ and ends on Friday, July 4th (see the bottom of the Rafflecopter form for full terms and conditions).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Soap Diamond.