Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Subscriptions Premium Spice Box Review

Back in September I reviewed my first Spicy Subscriptions box, and I joined their referral program.  Thanks to two new members using my referral link to join, I earned a free spice box.  This time it was one of their Premium boxes, and it had lots of goodies inside!

*This is a mature post for adult intimacy products.  If you wish to continue, please click "read more."

Save Money With Save1 & Help Those in Need

I recently was contacted by Carol of Save1, and she introduced me to their fantastic company.  I'm a huge bargain shopper, and I rarely shop online (or in stores most times, as well) without some kind of coupon.  I love getting a great deal on something, and despite my friends poking fun at me for always having coupons, I'll continue to do it for as long as those deals are out there!

Up until I learned about Save1, I mostly used sites like Retail Me Not to look up online coupons.  But now that I know about this alternate, I'll definitely use it instead.  Each time you use a coupon or special deal through Save1, they will use a portion of their commission to provide a nutritious meal for a hungry child.  At the time of my writing this post, their website states that they have provided 91,259 meals!  You can watch the video below for more information about them, in their own words. Welcome Video from Josh Cearbaugh on Vimeo.

My financial status is average, I'd say; I come from a typical middle-class family.  Sometimes it's easy for me to overlook the fact that there are families out there who are struggling just to put food on their tables, because I get caught up in my student loan payments, etc.  But who am I kidding?  Yes, I have bills; and no, I'm not independently wealthy, but I have enough to pay those bills and spend a little on myself here and there.  Why not contribute some of that to those families who really need it?  Using Save1 is so easy, and I'd much rather use their coupons and deals to save me a little and to help others in need.

If you're a bargain lover like me, I urge you to try Save1.  They have deals for a ton of brands that I shop in plenty of categories (ranging from apparel to computers and more), and they're adding more every day.  They provide their meals through feeding partners that need to meet specific criteria.  They currently have four feeding partners: Action Against Hunger, Feeding America, Feed My Starving Children, and Project Peanut Butter.  You really can't go wrong here.  I've read through their FAQ and the story of how Save1 came to be, and I really believe that this is a cause worth supporting.  Check them out!  I'm sure you'll find some great coupons to put to use.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  I was contacted by Save1 about blogging about their program, but I was not compensated for this post in any way and the honest opinions here are entirely my own.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Earth's Beauty Eyeshadow Review and Swatches

I received three Earth's Beauty eyeshadow samples in my January Daily Dose of Green box, and I was really excited to try them because I love trying new natural cosmetics.  I didn't get around to swatching them as soon as I originally though I would, but my review is finally here.

The shades I received were, from left to right in the above photo: Moonstone, Lavender Dust, and Pebble. I really wanted to love them because, like I said, I enjoy supporting companies that use natural ingredients.  Earth's Beauty developed their mineral cosmetics for those who have sensitive skin or allergies to traditional cosmetics, and they use ingredients such as arrowroot and iron oxides.  They contain no titanium dioxide or nano particles.

Even though I tried to love these eyeshadows, I have to be honest and say that they were not for me.  I found them to be too loose and difficult to work with, which is due to the arrowroot mentioned above.  I think the loose quality would work well in a face powder, but not so much in these eyeshadows.  It was difficult for me to even swatch them; they didn't have very good color payoff.

Moonstone is a very light yellow, and it's difficult to see in the swatch because it's pretty close to my skin color and undertones.  Lavender Dust reads more as a maroon than a purple, which wasn't what I expected since it looks pretty purple in the jar.  Pebble is a nice gray, which I think would work well in a smokey eye look.

Bottom Line: I wouldn't purchase these eyeshadows, but I would be willing to try other Earth's Beauty products.  I like that when they say they use only natural ingredients, they mean it (and that they are cruelty-free).  I would definitely try their lip glazes and face powders.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Little Black Bag Review (Bag #1)

I ended up opening two $29.95 Little Black Bags this month--I have a problem!  This is the first time I've ever opened two bags in one month, and will probably be the last.  I usually limit myself to one a month at most, but this month had a special promotion.

But before I get ahead of myself, here is what I got in my first bag:

  • Street Level Domed Satchel in Burgundy, $88
  • Tatcha Aburatorigami, $15
  • Goose Creek Candle Co. Pillar Candle in Sugar Plum, $12

I was happy with this bag, but it wasn't my favorite one I've gotten.  The bag was not my first choice, I couldn't trade for one I really wanted, but I do like this one quite a bit.  I don't have any red bags so I liked the color, and I like the shape because it can be professional or fun.  It's constructed well, but it had a big dent in the front (watch my unboxing video for more details on that).

If you're interested in Little Black Bag, please consider using my referral link.

More photos of my items after the "read more."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January Vegan Conscious Box Review

I really love Conscious Box for a lot of reasons, and I'm always eager to host reviews and giveaways for them.  I've shared a lot of unboxings over the past year, and as a thank you to some of their blogger partners Conscious Box sent us a free January box!

I received the vegan box, which was fun for me because before I was a subscriber to their "regular" service and had never gotten the vegan kind.  Aside from the regular and vegan choices, they now have a gluten-free subscription that will begin in February.  Check out my unboxing video below and scroll a little further for a list of what was inside.

  • Hail Merry Macaroons Choco
  • Simply Straws Handcrafted Glass Straw
  • Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters Berry Crunch
  • Happy Squeeze Treat Chocolate Pear
  • Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood
  • Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath
  • Dale's Raw Protein Bar Raspberry Hazelnut
  • MAAKOA Koopuwa
  • Bodhichitta Botanicals Cafe Macchiato Body Oil
  • Nutiva Hemp Seed
  • People Towels

I'm not vegan, but I appreciate the lifestyle and would purchase these items anyway.  As with a lot of my past Conscious Boxes, this one was a mostly food, which is okay once in a while.  The reason I cancelled my subscription after a year was because I was noticing less of a variety of items (i.e. a lot of boxes were mostly food), but I still think it's a great subscription for people who are interested in learning more about leading a sustainable lifestyle.

More photos after the "read more."

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Daily Dose of Green Review

My second Daily Dose of Green box was full of fun surprises.  I'm really liking this service so far, even though I'm only two months in to my subscription.

Sorry for the blurry photos this time around.  When I opened up this box the lighting was bad and I didn't have time to set up anything nicer.  But what's really important is that this box contained some great items!

  • Olive This World 25 Star Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
  • Health Warrior Chia Bar - Coconut
  • By Valenti Body Oil - Cafe Macchiato
  • Boulder Granola Chocolate Chunk Granola
  • Sunwarrior Vegan Protein Powder - Vanilla
  • Dr. Cleangreen's Handy Essentials Instant Hand Purifier
  • Blissoma Moisturizers - Awake and Smooth
  • Earth's Beauty Loose Powder Eyeshadow - Moonstone, Pebble, and Lavender Dust
  • B Natural Organics Daily Botanical Enzyme Peel
  • Original Sprout Miracle Detangler
Watch my unboxing video for a more in-depth review:

Bottom Line: I'm glad I subscribed to Daily Dose of Green.  If their boxes continue in this vein, I'll probably stay subscribed for a while.

More photos after the read more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

December Little Black Bag Review

I wasn't going to open a Little Black Bag for December, but then they had a promotion where you could have 12 days of trading and I gave in.  I figured that if I opened a $29.95 bag with 12 days to trade I could get the same value of items I'd get with a $49.95 bag.

This was my first experience with the $29.95 bag, but I can't really "count" it I guess because normally you would only get three days to trade with that price.  Trading was really slow, it seemed like not a lot of people had bags open--most probably opened them earlier in the month in order to receive them before Christmas.  But even still, I was happy with the items I got.

The total retail value of my bag was $120, so to get it all for $37 (with tax and shipping, tax because I live in NY) was definitely a good deal!

  • Goose Creek Candle Co. Pillar Candle in Moroccan Spice - $12
  • Collection 18 Collegiate Square Scarf - $28
  • Flea Market Girl Snake Ring - $12
  • BCBGeneration Sadie Tote - $68

I'm pleased with the quality of all of the items and the scarf is my favorite.  Watch my unboxing video below for a more in-depth unboxing:

  • If you'd like to try Little Black Bag, I'd love if you could use my referral link!

Check out more photos of my loot after the "read more."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Influenster Holiday Voxbox Unboxing

Even though I was sent the Crest 3D White Whitestrips Voxbox a few months ago, I'm considering the Influenster Holiday Voxbox my first true box of the year.  I was hoping to be selected for more campaigns than just this one, especially since they said they'd have "lots of exciting opportunities for the new year" last year, but oh well--for an entirely free program, I'm just glad I got at least one box.

Did I love this box?  No, but how can I complain -- it was free!  I was disappointed that there were repeat products in this box, but there were also some interesting ones.  Here's what was inside:

  • Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal - I thought I had taken photos of the products when I first got the box, but I guess I was mistaken.  I ate this before I took a picture, but I got the Cherry Pistachio flavor.
  • NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City
  • KISS Nail Dress in Babydoll - I found other blog posts saying that Kiss is a cruelty-free company, but I couldn't find any definitive information on their corporate website so I'm not sure about whether I should use them or not yet (even though I did try them in the past).
  • EBOOST in Pink Lemonade
  • Goody QuikStyle Brush - Goody is owned by Newell Rubbermaid, which is a cruelty-free company.
  • Sole Society Coupon

Watch my unboxing video for a more in-depth review:

A few more photos of my products are after the cut....

Epic New Year's Conscious Box Deal!

I'm excited to announce that Conscious Box has created a special offer that is only being promoted through a select number of bloggers, and I was chosen as one to share this deal with my readers: for today only, you can get your first month of Conscious Box for only $7.95, shipping included!  This is an awesome deal because the box normally costs $19.95 with shipping.

Here's a look at what I've received in past boxes (I was a subscriber for the past year, but am not currently subscribed):

Look good to you?  I know I thoroughly enjoyed receiving my Conscious Boxes.  They are filled with 8-10 (and sometimes more) lifestyle items that are all environmentally conscious.  If you want to see more, you can view all of my past reviews here.

  • Sign up for Conscious Box and receive your first month for $7.95 (shipping included) using this link!  This is not a referral or affiliate link and I don't receive any benefits from you signing up, I just wanted to share it with you because it's a service I truly enjoyed while I was subscribed!  This link expires tonight at midnight (EST, I'm assuming, although they don't specify) and is good for either the vegan or regular subscriptions.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December Glossybox Review (USA)

I've been wanting to try Glossybox for a while but I never did because I didn't want to shell out the $21 on top of the $20 I was already paying for Conscious Box.  I kept looking up other peoples' reviews, though, and I liked what I saw.  It's basically a more expensive Birchbox, so you're getting more full-sized products and larger samples.

I finally gave in to the box when they ran a promotion in November for 40% off, so my first box cost me around $12.  I'm so glad that I got the December box because I really loved it!  I finally got a video camera so I didn't have to film unboxing videos on my iPhone anymore, but I guess I'm not used to it yet because I just realized that somehow my video got cut off before I finished and this post has waited long enough, so I'm not going to film a new one.

Technical troubles aside, here's what was in my box:

  • Pleats Please Eau de Toilette by Issey Miyake - I've only ever gotten one perfume sample from a subscription service that I really liked, and this was not it.  It's very floral so I didn't care for it; I prefer scents that are spicy/woody (and sometimes fruity).
  • Acacia Protein Oil by Ecru New York Cosmetic Hair Care - I haven't used this yet but it's a small little vial (more photos at the end of the post) of oil, which I'm sure works the same way most hair oils do.
  • Luxurious Ayurveda Bath & Shower Oil by Forest Essentials - I haven't used this yet either, or even opened it, but I think I'm going to like it.  It's cruelty-free and I love using body oils in the winter because my skin gets even more dried out than usual.
  • White Tea Bath Salts by Heartland Fragrance Co. - These smell wonderful!  I don't take baths often so I'll probably use these as an exfoliant instead of bath salts.
  • Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray by Oscar Blandi - I really like this product.  It smells a little weird, slightly citrus-y but also just a little strange to me, but it's not so off-putting that I didn't want to use it.  I heat style daily but take my showers at night before bed, and a lot of heat protectant products are meant for wet hair.  I like this one because it's cruelty-free and meant for dry hair.
  • Storm Nail Lacquer by Zoya - ZOYA IS MY FAVORITE!  I was so excited to learn that there was going to be a full-sized bottle in this box.  Unfortunately I got a shade I already own, but it's still a gorgeous polish and I'm still glad I got it.
  • Cocktail Rings by JewelMint - Getting jewelry was a really nice extra, however I don't love the rings I received.  They seem really cheaply made; they remind me of something you might get out of a gumball machine, so I can't imagine anyone ever paying the full $30 retail for them.  One has a green gem and the other a brown one, and I'll probably wear the brown one before I'd wear the green.  I guess I forgot to take a picture of them, but maybe I'll edit the post with one if people really want to see it.

Bottom Line: I loved this box, hands down.  I didn't continue my subscription, though, because I'm not sure I want to commit to Glossybox at this time -- there are other services that I like better.  I'll probably come back to it at some point in the future if they continue to produce boxes like these.

More photos are after the "read more."