STEAMCREAM Review: Shu Tin

I am all about moisturizing, especially during the winter months.  I know the polar vortex has been pretty brutal all across the country, but I can say for certain that it's been absolutely frigid here in western New York.  I hate having dry skin, and these cold temperatures make it even worse because there's hardly any moisture in the air to spare.  I find that my hands are especially scaly and itchy this time of year, which is why STEAMCREAM has been a lifesaver for me!


STEAMCREAM is a cruelty-free moisturizer that's gentle enough to use on your face, or you can use it all over.  The brand is a UK staple, and the product recently became available in the States as well.  They use a unique steam process that locks in moisture, making the handmade cream a lightweight emulsion that is easily and effectively absorbed into the skin.  Only the best ingredients are used, including an oatmeal infusion, lavender essential oil, and organic jojoba oil (a full list can be found here).


I chose to review the beautiful Shu tin, as I was drawn to the gorgeous, bright pattern.  The STEAMCREAM website describes the design as, "Vermillion red, the intense colour of fine Japanese lacquerware, and in the makie tradition, delicately adorned with golden flowers."  I love that each STEAMCREAM tin is a limited-edition design that can be reused as a container for rings or other trinkets long after the cream is gone!


I've been using the Shu STEAMCREAM on my face, hands, and body and it really has worked wonders.  I love how silky smooth it feels when I apply it, and I appreciate that it absorbs nice and quickly.  Some people may not like that it's in a tin and not a pump dispenser, but I personally prefer the tin because I feel like it's easier to use when I'm in a hurry to get ready in the morning.  They're also nice and portable, and I plan to take one of my tins (see my previous reviews here) with me when I go on vacation to Florida next month.




Bottom Line: STEAMCREAM is an excellent moisturizer that delivers on all of its promises.  I love that it's cruelty-free, made from natural ingredients, affordable, and incredibly effective.  I recommend STEAMCREAM to everyone I know!

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by STEAMCREAM.  I received no monetary compensation.

January Orange Glad Review

My amazing friend Linze (the one who bought me the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette for Christmas!) surprised me with a gift subscription to Orange Glad, too!  My birthday is three days after Christmas, so the palette was for one and the Orange Glad boxes were for another.  Basically, she's awesome, and I can't wait to surprise her with some great stuff for her birthday in March.


Orange Glad is a food subscription service that costs $15 per month plus shipping and handling.  They send a mixture of amazing sweet treats, so this is the perfect box for me!  It was actually on my list of subscriptions to try, so I was super excited when Linze told me she bought three months for me.


January's box contained five different products, all of which were ah-may-zing!  I absolutely loved every single one of them.  There aren't may treats that I won't enjoy, but some of my favorites are caramel, coffee, and cinnamon flavored, all of which were in this box.



  • Just Desserts Sour Cream Coffee Cake - This was the first snack I tried, and I took them to work to split with Linze.  I can't even describe how absolutely perfect they were, but I'll try: the top was crunchy and crumbly, and the cake itself was so soft and moist.  The all-around flavor was just fantastic, I want to buy more of these for sure!
  • Clairesquares Buttery Shortbread Square - Along with the coffee cakes, this cookie was my favorite item in the box.  It looks plain, but it was so damn good!  The flavor was perfectly buttery and sweet and I just loved it.

  • Uppercrust Mini Rolls - These little cinnamon rolls were so cute!  Orange Glad recommended heating them up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, which was a good call.  I shared these with my family and they were enjoyed by everyone.


  • Sweet Lydia's Caramel S'More - I loved the packaging for this and I was really excited to try it because I love caramel.  I sadly will report that it was just okay, but by no means was it disappointing.  I guess I was hoping for a caramel that was nice and gooey, but it was less noticeable than I would have preferred.  That being said, s'mores are also not my favorite dessert, so that's probably why I didn't enjoy this as much as someone else might.
  • Divine Chocolate Milk Chocolate Bar - Divine was the only brand in the box that I was familiar with from prior experiences, and I was so glad to see the milk chocolate bar included because they make delicious chocolate!  It's fair-trade certified, too, so that's definitely a plus.

Bottom Line: I loved my first Orange Glad box and I can't wait to see what the February and March boxes will include!  I 100% recommend this box to anyone who loves sweet treats as much as I do.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Check out more photos of my January treats behind the "read more!"

January Bestowed Review

Bestowed is one of my favorite food subscriptions to review because they always include a great variety of health-conscious snacks that are also really tasty!  Their January box continued this trend with a theme of starting the New Year out strong with attainable resolutions for eating right.


Bestowed costs $19 a month, or $209 for an annual plan, with shipping included for both options.  All of the products are selected by Bestowed's founder, Heather Bauer, a nutritionist and author.  I've been pleased with every box I've reviewed, and I think the $19 price is a steal.  This box is especially great for people who want to try new brands but may not have access to a wide variety of health food stores or options.



  • Oatworks Pomegranate Blueberry Smoothie - This "bottle of oats" smoothie is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.  It mixes oatmeal with all-natural fruit and zero sweeteners for a fulfilling meal on-the-go.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm very curious to see what the texture and flavor are like.
  • Beanfield's Bean & Rice Chips in Pico de Gallo - These chips are delicious!  I've had other flavors from this brand before and I love them.  They have a great crunch and the pico taste was fantastic.  They're made from natural ingredients with four grams each of complete protein and fiber per ounce.  They're also certified gluten- and GMO-free.
  • Mini Coogies in Double Chocolate - When I first saw these I thought the name was so cute and funny, and I just assumed it was a playful way to say "cookies."  But then I learned that they're so named because they have real vegetables in them!  They contain carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli, but you can't taste it at all.  These are a really clever way to get kids to eat their veggies.
  • Rainbow Light Counter Attack - This supplement is meant to be taken at the first signs of "seasonal discomfort," and fights against sinus and respiratory pains.  Even if you don't get seasonal sicknesses, this herbal blend can be taken as a preventative measure to keep your immune system strong.

  • Mini Coogies in Oatmeal Raisin - See description above for the Double Chocolate bag.
  • EBOOST Natural Energy Booster in Berry Melon - I went on a rant sometime last year about EBOOST packets and how much I hated them (because I felt like I was getting them in a ton of boxes), but I approached this energy shot with an open mind.  It tasted kind of like cough medicine, but it was quick and easy to use in place of my morning coffee.  It's mixed with coconut water and contains minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, green tea and green coffee bean extracts.
  • Balance Bar in Dark Chocolate Peanut - I didn't care for the flavor or the texture of this Balance Bar, unfortunately.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.  I appreciate that it's made from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, though.
  • Salba Chia Boost and Skratch Drink Mix - Neither of these things were listed in the informational packet that was included in my box, so I'm wondering if they were extras.  I have received them in past Bestowed boxes, so I appreciate the spare samples!
This box also contained coupons for Nasoya Tofu, Reed's Culture Club Kombucha, and Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt.  I'll definitely use the kombucha and yogurt ones, but I'll be giving the tofu one to a friend.
  • Use coupon HELLOYUM77 to get your first Bestowed box for only $10!  This coupon code expires on February 15th.
Bottom Line: January's box contained great options for a healthy New Year!  I highly recommend Bestowed due to their commitment to sending quality products, along with a great variety to sample from.  You can read my past Bestowed reviews here.

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bestowed.  I received no monetary compensation.

Choose Dress First This Prom Season!

I know it's only January, but now is the time to begin thinking about prom season.  I remember in high school I would always start looking for my dress around this time, because if you waited too long all of the good ones would be gone!  This season, be sure to make Dress First your one-stop shop for your prom dress!



DressFirst.com has tons of beautiful dresses in lots of different cuts and colors, so they'll surely have one that will fit your sense of style.  One that caught my eye was the A-Line/Princess Sweetheart Chiffon Dress pictured above.  As a global leading online retailer for special event dresses, Dress First offers customers a wide variety of high quality dresses at affordable prices.  They offer savings up to 60% off of competitors' prices!

Dress First also puts your priorities first in regards to shipping, because they know that the last thing you need before your special prom night is a late delivery of your dress.  They ship worldwide with companies including DHL and UPS, and provide expedited shipping as well as budged-conscious options.  Their internally-trusted logistics providers give customers peace of mind in knowing that your dress will be handled with care and delivered to your door in a timely fashion.



Those who are new to online shopping may be wary of buying a prom dress online, but Dress First makes the experience incredibly easy.  They offer a safe and secure shopping environment, so customers' payment info is in safe hands.  Payment options that are accepted include credit, debit, wire transfer, Western Union, and PayPal.  Dress First also utilizes VeriSign's globally recognized payment technology, so not only is shopping with them convenient, but it's safe and trusted as well.

Bottom Line: I will be recommending Dress First to everyone I know this prom season, because they offer excellent customer service and their prices are fantastic.  I enjoyed browsing their selection of dresses, and I don't even have a prom to prepare for!

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  I received compensation through Sverve.

January Birchbox Review

My January Birchbox was one of the better ones I've received.  It contained four regular samples and one "Birchbox Find," and four out of the five were perfectly tailored to my interests.


January's theme was "Go Time," which was all about taking initiative in conquering new things.  Again, I rarely ever see any connection between the themes and the products, but I appreciate the sentiment.


I peeked at my products on the Birchbox website before receiving the box (as I always do), and I was excited about all of them sans the Juicy Couture perfume.  I hate perfume samples and I do have the option to receive no more than six perfume samples a year checked on my profile, but I wish there was an option to just say I don't want them at all.

  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle - When I went to try this out the spray pump wasn't working, so I took a video and emailed Birchbox's customer service department to ask if I could have a new one sent.  They responded saying that the pump was probably clogged and provided information on how to clean it out, which was nice of them, but why would a brand new sample ever be clogged?  I was a little annoyed by this, and I didn't want to mess around with cleaning it out, so I just found an old spray pump from another sample that fit the bottle and used that instead.  Regardless of that, I do like this product.  It smells great and since I heat style every day I'm always looking for heat protectants.
  • Inika Mineral Eyeshadow in Eternal Marine - I wasn't sure if I wanted to open this because I don't wear a lot of blue eyeshadow, but I looked around for some swatches and decided to keep it and use it.  It's more of a gray shimmer with a slight tinge of blue, so it's very usable to me.  I love that this brand is certified 100% cruelty-free by Australia's Choose Cruelty Free Organisation, registered with the UK Vegan Society, and have packaging that is made from recycled materials.  I'll definitely be purchasing more from this brand in the future.
  • Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy - So not only is this a perfume sample I don't want, it's also a repeat sample for me.  I don't like the way this smells, so I'm going to keep it for possible swapping in the future.
  • Nail Rock in Sequin Green - I was most excited to try this product because I love doing my nails.  It ended up being a disappointment, and I wish I had received a different kit that may have yielded better results.  My favorite color is green, so originally I liked the sounds of this.  I was disappointed to find that the nail polish included was clear (how boring!), since some of the other kits contained colored polishes.  I also found that the glitter/sequins were too big to really stick to the nail, so more than half ended up falling off within a day.  I'd be willing to try some of the kits that had smaller glitter particles, but I don't recommend Sequin Green.
  • Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion with Clary Sage - This was my Birchbox Find item, which means it's a drugstore brand that Birchbox thinks their subscribers will enjoy.  I'm on the fence about Burt's Bees for a few reasons (they're cruelty-free but owned by Clorox, plus some other things), but I was still willing to try this.  At first I thought it was a body lotion, but after reading more about the product I realized it was for the face.  It has a nice light smell and feels weightless on the skin.  I wouldn't purchase a full-sized version of this, though, since I prefer to support companies that are 100% cruelty-free.

Bottom Line: Aside from the Juicy Couture sample, I really liked this box.  The Nail Rock was disappointing, but it was still fun to try.  If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox, please consider using my referral link!

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

December Little Black Bag Review

I decided to open a Little Black Bag for December (I actually bought two) because I only open when there's a purse I really want.  This time it was a Deux Lux crossbody, and if you've been around my blog for a little while you'll know that Deux Lux is one of my favorite brands!


I received a four item bundle that cost me $45.90 after shipping (I also got a Goose Creek candle that isn't pictured above).  I really love the purse, and the socks and earrings will be put to good use as well.


The Deux Lux Laurel Canyon Small Messenger in Teal is the item I opened with, and it has a retail value of $115.  I bought another small messenger from Deux Lux (the Bowery B-Sides) off of eBay shortly before receiving this one, and it has basically the same shape.  I was a bit concerned because the top flap of the Bowery doesn't lift up very far and the bag itself doesn't stretch too far, but this one is roomier.  The bottom has a zipper that expands, so I'm able to fit a lot more into it.  I'm really happy with this bag!


I know that the Lemon brand socks have been pretty popular with LBB users, but I was never really that interested in them.  I shipped this pair because trading was horribly slow, as usual, and I couldn't really trade for anything else.  These are the Lemon Farmhouse Herringbone Knee-Hi socks and they are really nice quality.  They're super soft and I do like them, but I can't say I would have bought them otherwise.


Another item I received because I couldn't trade for anything else was this pair of earrings by Robert Rose, the Oval Stone Drop Earrings.  They only retailed for $8 I think, so clearly no one was willing to trade down that much, but I'm actually very happy with them and didn't mind shipping them because I think they're pretty.  I don't like to wear earrings that are too long, and these dangle but are just the right size so that they don't get in my way or irritate me.


My final item was the Goose Creek Candle Co Winter Splendor Large Jar Candle.  I love it!  I'm a total candle hoarder and I've gotten other Goose Creek candles from LBB before, so I knew they were good quality.  This one smells just like Christmas--the notes I can pick out the most while it's burning are pine and a slight hint of spice.  It's 26 oz and has a burn time of 150 hours, so it will last me for a while.

Bottom Line: In the past I would have been able to get a better bang for my buck and more items on LBB, but I'm still happy with this bundle.  All of the items were good quality and things I'll use, so I can't complain too much.

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

Click the "read more" for more photos of the Deux Lux bag.

Escape Monthly Colorado Box Giveaway [CLOSED]

Escape Monthly is a "Vacation in a Box," and for $49.95 they'll send you a box of curated items that reflect a different destination each month.  January's destination is Colorado, and the box will feature items from local small businesses such as Whitegirl Salsa, Colorado Aromatics, Jackson's Honest Chips, and Pike Peak Rocks.  Escape Monthly has offered a free box to one of my readers, so if those companies pique your interest, enter to win the Colorado box below!

Items featured in the Napa and Oregon boxes
  • The cutoff date to receive the January box is the 15th, so if you'd rather just purchase one outright you can do so at the Escape Monthly website.
  • Use coupon code COLORADOESCAPE for 20% off for the life of your subscription!

This sweepstakes is open to U.S. residents aged 18+ only.  It begins on 12 January 2014 and ends at 12AM EST on 18 January 2014.  One winner will be selected at random via the Rafflecopter widget and notified by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or a new winner will be chosen.  Escape Monthly is responsible for shipping the winner their prize.  See full Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Escape Monthly.  I received no monetary compensation.  Post contains affiliate links.

Olfactif December "Evening" Collection Review

I learned of Olfactif from browsing around the blogosphere, and when they ran a "first box free" promotion for Black Friday I decided to give it a try.  For $18 a month, they'll send you a collection of "three niche fragrances in deluxe-sized samples."  If you've read any of my early Birchbox reviews, you'll know that normally I detest getting perfume samples in those boxes.  That is still true, but since this box was free I figured it was at least worth giving a try.


December's collection was titled Evening, and I thought all of the perfumes matched the theme perfectly.  I also loved the packaging of the box: it's sleek and all black, and you open it by pulling on the tab to slide out the samples.  The box was so pretty that I held onto it, just in case I ever thought of a way to repurpose it.


I was really happy to find that the samples were all in atomizer vials, because I hate the kind where you just uncap it and have to tip it over onto your skin.  Each sample will last for about 15-20 uses, per the Olfactif website, and if you fall in love with any of the scents you can use your automatic $18 credit toward the purchase of any of them.  This works out really well if you do end up wanting to purchase a full-sized perfume from the collection, because you will have gotten the sampler collection for free!


  • Night by Sarabecca ($78 for 50 mL): This debut scent from Sarabecca "sparks bright with a burst of spicy citrus in the top notes," with grassy vetiver and earthy patchouli to ground the scent with depth.  Other notes include lemon, bergamot, sage, and ginger.  I enjoyed this scent and appreciated that it wasn't too heavy or dense.
  • Au Lait by DSH Perfumes ($70 for 1 oz): I really enjoyed this one because I love sweet perfumes.  It is considered a "skin scent" because it stays close to the skin and projects only a slight sweetness, so you don't have to worry about walking around smelling too noticeably saccharine.  Notes include warm milk, sweet cream, ambrette seed, buttercream accord, tonka bean, French vanilla, and Special Formula X.
  • Black Angel by Mark Buxton ($195 for 100 mL): This was my favorite of the bunch -- it's spicy and woody and has notes that I really enjoy in a perfume.  I would consider purchasing a full-sized version if it wasn't so expensive (figures that I would like the most expensive one!).  Notes include mandarin, ginger, jasmine, orris, sytrax, patchouli, and amber.

I cancelled my Olfactif subscription after trying this first box.  I really did enjoy this whole collection and I appreciated that I was able to try high end perfumes for free, but the reason I didn't stay subscribed is because I don't shop for perfumes as much as I do for cosmetics or skin care, so I couldn't justify spending $18 a month on trying new ones.

  • Visit Olfactif to learn more and sign up for a subscription

Bottom Line: I think that this subscription is an amazing deal for anyone who loves perfumes and provides a great opportunity to find unique, niche scents!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Review and Swatches

My friend Linze spoiled me for my birthday this year and bought me the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, and I couldn't thank her enough!  She knows I'm obsessed with neutral eyeshadows and that I shop cruelty-free, so the thoughtfulness behind this gift made it all the more special to me.


When I first learned of this palette's existence, I thought it was called "Chocolate Bar" because it contained a lot of browns and other neutrals, but then I learned that it's also so-called because the shadows are mixed with actual cocoa powder!  I think that is so fun and unique, and you can definitely tell that they have cocoa powder in them because I can actually smell it in the shadows.


The outer packaging of the palette is a sturdy tin that's shaped to look like a candy bar.  As you can see from the first photo in this post, the inside has a mirror on the upper flap and 16 shades inside.  There is a plastic sheet covering the shadows with their respective names; I wish they had instead included the names underneath the shadows on the actual palette, but this works too.


The eight shades on the left side of the palette are perfect for classic neutral looks.  The shimmers have great pigmentation and are really soft, but one (small) complaint I have about this palette is that the mattes are just the slightest bit chalky and don't have as good of a color payoff as the shimmers.  I mostly use the mattes as blending shades, though, so it's not too big of a problem for me.


The right side of the palette has colors that are a bit more adventurous.  My favorite eyeshadow in the palette is "Amaretto," the one in the third column, second row.  It's a deep, rich, brown shimmer with hints of red and I just think it's absolutely gorgeous.  My least favorite is "Strawberry Bon Bon," first column, second row.  It's a bright pink matte that's very chalky and not flattering on my skin tone.  It's the only one in the palette I probably won't use often, but the others will all get a lot of use.

Bottom Line: I give this palette a 9 out of 10!  I love (almost) all of the colors, especially the shimmers, and I also think it's really fun that they're made with cocoa powder.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

See my swatches after the "read more."


GlobeIn Subscription Giveaway!

The GlobeIn Box offers a unique handmade subscription box experience, and they're offering See, Shop, Love! readers the chance to win a three month subscription!


Each GlobeIn box contains up to three specially-handcrafted items from around the world, along with the stories behind the artists who made the pieces.  They have boxes for jewelry, decor, and home accessories, and subscriptions help to aid artisans who may not otherwise have access to the global market.  This subscription normally costs $29.99 a month (with free shipping), but you can give it a try for three months for free if you win the giveaway!



This sweepstakes ends on 1/31/2014 at 12:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the "Promotion Period").  It is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  GlobeIn is responsible for shipping the prize to the winner directly.  Please see the full Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the Rafflecopter form.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by GlobeIn.  I received no monetary compensation.

December Nature Box Review

I signed up for my first Nature Box back in November during their Black Friday deal; I can't remember what the exact price was but you could receive your first box for less than $2.  I am subscribed to Graze and I love it, so although I had known about Nature Box, I wasn't interested in trying it until this deal popped up because it's $19.95 a month, as opposed to Graze's $5 price.


Well that deal turned out to be an excellent loss leader for Nature Box, at least in terms of my participation, because now I'm hooked!  The first box came in December, so that's why I'm considering this December's box even though it shipped in November.  When you sign up they send you a discovery box filled with some of their most popular snacks; after that box you can choose the snacks that you want to receive.  This box contained a good mixture of snacks, considering Nature Box has no idea what your taste preferences are at that point.  I also realized that the portion sizes are much bigger than Graze's, so the $19.95 price was much better justified.


My first snack was the Oat Bran Dippin' Stix.  When I first saw them I thought, "ew, oat bran?"  I'm glad I gave them a fair shot, though, because they are delicious!  They're perfectly salty but not overwhelmingly flavorful--basically, they became the replacement for my mid-afternoon chip attack at work.


To satisfy a sweet tooth, Nature Box included the Dark Cocoa Almonds in my discovery box.  I didn't eat these because I don't care for almonds, but I offered them up to the rest of my family and they were a big hit!  I'm not surprised that these were delicious, I just wish I liked almonds more so that I could have enjoyed them.


I like to keep a bag of granola in my desk at work in case I ever forget a breakfast or just need a snack to tide me over until lunch, and the Acai Berry Crunch was a delicious new option.  My only gripe is that the acai berries were almost non-existent, save for a few tiny little pieces at the bottom of the bag.  The granola itself was sweet and had a great crunch, so I still enjoyed eating it.


I really wanted to love the Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas because I love the citrus chipotle flavor combination, but after trying these and a different brand of the same snack I realized that I just don't like dried chickpeas.  The flavor coating was wonderful, but I couldn't get past the weird sensation the chickpeas left in my mouth after I ate a few--almost like I had a coating of wax on my tongue.  I gave the bag to a friend who truly appreciated them.


My favorite snack of the bunch was a surprise to me: the Praline Pumpkin Seeds!  They were absolutely amazing.  I love pumpkin seeds, but I've only ever had ones coated in savory and/or salty flavors.  These tasted like a pumpkin spice latte, since they were covered in fall spices like cinnamon (I'm just guessing at that, since the ingredients only said "spices."  But I'm almost positive cinnamon was in there somewhere).  They had a great crunch and the coating was nice and thick on each of them.  I'm definitely going to be picking these out again for a future box!


I was very pleased with my first Nature Box, and I'm even more excited for my upcoming one because I was able to choose which snacks I wanted.  I picked the Orange Crush Granola, Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Everything Bagel Stix, Mango Almond Bites, and Santa Fe Corn Stix.  That box is on its way to me now, so look out for a review soon!


  • Visit Nature Box to browse all of their snacks.
    • Subscription options are $19.95/month for five snacks, $29.95/month for 10, and $49.95 for 20 bags.
  • Use my shareable coupon code 8CGT7 for $10 off your first order (this is not an affiliate code)!


Bottom Line: After trying Nature Box, I realized that it really is a great deal for only $19.95 a month.  You receive five snacks in generous portions, and since the packages were easily resealable they lasted me for the entire month.  If you're looking for more health-conscious snacking options, I definitely recommend this subscription!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.
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