Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Petit Vour Review

Oops, this review is a little late!  At least it's still August, though.  This is my fourth Petit Vour box, and I really enjoyed the items they sent this month.

The total value for August's box added up to $46.41.  One thing I really like about Petit Vour is that they include the exact item values for each product on the informational card, so you don't have to bother with figuring out the sample's value based off of the full-sized price.  Plus, this box only costs $15, so I definitely got my money's worth yet again.

The first product I noticed was the Enfusia Dead Sea Bath Salts ($2.99) because I could smell them right away.  The scent is Gardenia, which is not something I would normally choose for myself, but these actually smell wonderful.  I don't often take baths, but I could see how these would be perfect for a relaxing soak at the end of the day.  According to the informational card, they're full of natural calcium and magnesium and are enriched with ocean proteins and essential oils.

Next up are the Shorganics Lavender Lemon Lip Balm and Unscented Body Lotion ($4).  I love getting lip balms, and this one smells great and is nice and smooth.  It's smells more strongly of lavender than lemon, but I really like it nonetheless.  The lotion is also very nice.  I like getting lotion samples because they're perfect for sticking in my purse.  The Kroma Makeup Botanical Lipstick ($29) is a full-sized product and the most expensive item in the box.  The shade I received was "Margarita," and it's similar to the color of my lips so this is a nice nude shade.  I like it better than most lipsticks because it's nice and moisturizing.  Also, this brand is not to be confused with the Khroma line by the Kardashian sisters (it's much better).

The Bodyography Veil Foundation Primer ($10) is my favorite item this month!  I'm currently using benefit's The Porefessional as a primer, but I recently learned that they aren't actually a cruelty-free brand, so once I use up the tube I won't be buying more.  Bodyography's primer arrived at the perfect time, and is pretty comparable to benefit's.  It's a little less thick, but does the job just as well.  Petit Vour also included a packet of Kelapo 100% Virgin Coconut Oil ($.42).  The last time I received one of these I didn't know what to do with it, and a lot of people suggested that I use it in my hair.  I did, and now I love using it!  It leaves my hair feeling so rich and moisturized, so this packet will definitely go to good use.  It can also be used for cooking.

Bottom Line: Petit Vour has been doing an excellent job of sending cruelty-free and vegan samples each month.  I highly suggest subscribing!  They are also now shipping to Canada for only $25 a month.

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Friday, August 23, 2013

iFabbo Social Medial Conference: October 12, 2013!

The iFabbo Social Media Conference is coming!  It's being held in San Francisco on October 12, 2013.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend, but I wanted to share the information for those of you who may be interested.

Blogging conferences are a great way to meet new people, network, and learn new techniques to benefit your blog.  The iFabbo conference will feature six panels topics such as how to monetize your blog, build your brand, expand your network and reach, and much more.  There will be plenty of guest speakers to listen to and industry heavyweights to network with.  Visit the conference page by clicking here for full details.

Tickets cost $50, $100, or $175, depending on what package you wish to purchase.  I won't be attending since San Francisco is on the other side of the country for me, but if iFabbo ever holds a similar conference on the East Coast I would love to attend!

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

August Birchbox Review

This month's Birchbox theme was Finishing School, which I thought was interesting because last August's was Beauty School.  School is on everyone's mind come August, so I know it's a common theme, but I still found the similarities intriguing.

Overall I'd rate this box a 7 out of 10.  Most of the items were good, practical picks for me and will get used, but none of them were all that exciting.  I was excited when I found out I was getting one of the Stila lipsticks, but the color was just too red for me.  You still can't go wrong with Birchbox's $10 a month price, though, and I do think they've made quite an improvement in tailoring products based on my user profile since the last time I was subscribed.

My box contained four beauty samples and one "beauty extra."  Two of the products were foil samples, as you can see, but sometimes that's the best way to package skin care products, so I didn't really mind.

  • Whish Exfoliating Body Wash - This guy is "coconut-rich" and slightly coconut scented and supposedly exfoliates with sugarcane and bamboo powder.  I used it with my bath pouf sponge thingy (so eloquent of me, I know) and I was disappointed to find that it didn't lather very well.  I suppose the whole idea of an exfoliating wash is to apply it with your hands so the scrub bits will be directly applied to the skin, but I feel like I waste too much product that way.  I wouldn't recommend this product.
  • Whish Hair Inhibiting Deodorant Swipes - This was my beauty extra, and even though it was an extra product I would have liked to have received at least two packets.  One thing I loved about this wipe was that it smelled amazing!  I applied it in the morning and it did work well as a deodorant, but it's not an antiperspirant.  I also can't find a definitive answer on whether or not Whish is a cruelty-free brand, so I wouldn't purchase these in the future.
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick - I received the shade "Beso" and it is a highly pigmented red.  It's perfect for a dramatic red lip, a la Taylor Swift, but I never have an occasion to wear such a bold color.  I'll keep it around just in case, though.  Stila is definitely a cruelty-free company.
  • OC8 Professional Mattifying Gel - This was the product that I was most interested in using because I hate my oily skin and I'm always looking for ways to balance out my sebum production.  I had high hopes for this since a full-sized bottle will cost you $41, but I'm disappointed to say that I didn't really notice much of a difference with it.  It promises to absorb shine for a full eight hours, so I applied it in the morning before work.  It did slightly reduce the amount of oil I felt on my face, but not enough to make me want to buy it.  I use Soap & Glory's Clear Here moisturizer and it provides about the same effects for half the price.  I'm assuming that OC8 is cruelty-free because it was reviewed at
  • KMS California FREESHAPE Hot Flex Spray - I like this spray, but it's nothing special.  The dispenser sprays nice and evenly which is always a plus, and it smells pretty decent.  I heat style every day so I'm always interested in trying new heat protecting products, and thumbs up to KMS California for being cruelty-free.

Bottom Line: While I wasn't blown away by any of the products in my August Birchbox, I will use most of them and they're good picks for me.  I'm excited to see what's in store for September!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Natural Style Secrets With Seventh Generation

If you've been around my blog for a while, you'll know that I prefer to use natural products whenever possible.  Seventh Generation has products ranging from household cleaners to their new line of skin serums, all made with natural ingredients, to help you green up your lifestyle.  I tested their new Firming Skin-Boosting Serum.

All of the serums contain pure, active botanicals that have a variety of different effects on the skin.  Their concentrated blends are plant-based and have no added water.  They are also free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, and Seventh Generation is a cruelty-free brand.  The Firming serum strengthens and tones with baobab.  I'm unsure which part of the baobab tree they use, but I'm assuming they mean either the leaves or the fruit.  It also contains carrier oil (apricot, almond, and grapeseed oil), brown algae, rosemary extract, and peppermint.  I definitely noticed the peppermint right away while using this; it smelled wonderful and also made my skin feel slightly tingly.

Overall, I think that this serum probably works great for the skin concern it's targeted toward, but it wasn't the best fit for me.  If I had a choice of which type of serum to choose, I would have gone with either the Clearing or Soothing one.  I found that I had to use this serum extremely sparingly, because if I used even just a bit too much it felt like it sat on my skin as opposed to being absorbed into it.  I would definitely be interested in trying one of the boosts that was better fit for me skin, though, because I have a great overall opinion of the Seventh Generation brand.

Fall Natural Style

With fall right around the corner (my favorite season!), I would work the Seventh Generation Firming Natural Skin Serum into my natural style routine by wearing it with the outfit above.  I think a boyfriend cardigan and skinny jeans are an easy and effortless way to look chic and stay warm in the cooler weather.  The boost serums will help make your skin care routine more effortless as well, because these are concentrated enough to work as a moisturizer and they'll improve the overall appearance of your skin.

*Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product from Lucky and Seventh Generation for use in connection with this blog.

Do Good While You Look Good: Companies That Give Back

Today's post was written by my very first guest blogger, Morgan Gray!  Morgan owns the blog Gray & Gabbana and contacted me to see if I would be interested in partnering with her to highlight ways in which fashion can help less-fortunate individuals.  I was more than happy to have her on as a guest contributor because her blog is a lot of fun and I really liked what she had to say about this topic.  Check it out below!

Every generation finds a way to make its mark on the world. For the millennial generation, philanthropy is everywhere, in the work we do, the music we love and even when we go shopping. Here are a few companies that empower their customers to look good and do good at the same time.

Photo courtesy of Warby Parker
Warby Parker sells great-looking eyewear at a fraction of the cost of many leading brands. Their vintage-inspired eyeglasses are popular, and they have a Buy-A-Pair-Give-A-Pair program that donates a pair of eyeglasses to someone in need for every pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses you purchase. They have given out more than half a million pairs of glasses so far!

OmniPeace has created a fashion brand with a humanitarian message. They support peace and education projects that are designed to help break the world’s poverty cycle. Every purchase of one of their products helps support their movement. A number of celebrities wear OmniPeace products, including Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. The company supports education initiatives and has built several schools in Africa, helps support the City of Joy center for victims of rape and violence in Congo, and feeds Somalian refugees through The Global Enrichment Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Project (RED)
By now, most people have heard of Project (RED). The organization has partnered with a variety of companies to sell branded (RED) products. When you buy a (RED) product, the partner company donates some of its profits to organizations fighting AIDS around the world. It’s a simple way to give back while purchasing things you want. (RED) partner companies include Starbucks, Head Tennis, Belvedere Vodka, Tourneau watches, Bugaboo baby products, Apple and many more. So far the company has contributed $200 million to the fight against AIDS.

These are just a few of the many ways you can use your shopping dollars to do good in the world. These companies, and many others, are using their profits to help in the fight against disease, poverty and war around the world. If it’s important to you, you can find many ways to give your money to companies that do good.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Léonie Blackhead Removing Mask Review and Giveaway [CLOSED]

I have oily/combination skin, so I love using masks that help to purify all of that excess sebum that builds up throughout the day.  I've been using the Léonie Blackhead Removing Peel-Off Mask for a few weeks now, and it's great at making my skin feel smooth and refreshed.

The aspect of this mask that was the most fun for me (and I'd assume for most others) was that it was a peel-off mask.  The instructions said to apply an even layer after cleansing skin, let it dry, and then peel off.  I want to point out that it's important not to skimp when using this, because if you apply it too thinly it will be difficult to remove.  The mask is entirely black, so it's easy to see where on your skin you might need to apply a bit more (meaning if your skin is still visible through the first layer, you should probably add a bit more.

I don't have too much of an issue with blackheads, so I can't comment on how well it removed those.  I can say that after using this mask my skin felt incredibly smooth and nourished.  It was easy to peel off, and any small bits of mask that I couldn't peel off I washed off using water.  I used this mask twice a week and I could definitely see and feel that it helped to remove dead skin.  This can also be used on the body if you have a need for that.

This mask is cruelty-free but not all-natural.  It contains minimal ingredients, which I like, but it does contain a small amount of methylparabens.  I am not as concerned with parabens as with some other synthetic ingredients, but whether or not you use them is your choice.  The active ingredients include charcoal, which helps remove blackheads and other impurities; grapefruit and lemon-peel extracts to that work as astringents; and rosemary extract, which works as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent.

Bottom Line: The Léonie Blackhead Removing Peel-Off Mask is a great option for purifying your skin.  It retails for $38, but is currently on sale for $26.  I had a lot of fun using this mask!

If you'd like to win a mask for yourself, enter using the Rafflecopter form after the "read more."
*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Léonie Skincare.  I received no monetary compensation.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August FAIR Treasure Review

I have thoroughly enjoyed reviewing FAIR Treasure's beautifully curated boxes, and the August box is the final one in my trio of reviews.  FAIR Treasure is a monthly service that sends fair-trade certified, handmade treasures from around the world straight to your door.  This month's box featured items made in El Salvador and Haiti.

One of the many aspects I love about FAIR Treasure is that they package smaller items within little brown boxes with ribbons.  I've saved all of them for when I need gift packaging in the future.

  • Beyond Borders Bird Wall Art - I love all things bird, so when I saw this inside of my box I was immediately drawn to it.  I anticipate moving into an apartment soon, so this will be a great addition to my wall decor.  It was made in Haiti by Beyond Borders, an organization that supports the movement to replace systems that oppress the poor.  They provide "dignified work and sustainable livelihoods" to the people of Haiti, and beautiful art pieces to consumers worldwide.  This specific bird decoration was created by Cineus Louime, who is described as "a man of quiet bearing and a slow, casual smile."  He is quoted on the informational card as saying, "With the help of God and my friends, I bring support to the members of my family.  My passion is to see my art grow day by day."  I love that we were given information on the actual artist this time, that is a first for me in my FAIR Treasure experience.

  • SEQUENCE Collection Love Knot Bracelet - All three of my boxes have contained jewelry, which is such a win for me!  I really like this bracelet because the style is unlike anything else I own.  I actually wore it today with a few others; it looks great by itself or stacked with other bracelets.  SEQUENCE Collection works under the motto "Spread light + love" and was founded by Ariela Suster.  They aim to create beautiful jewelry and accessories while helping to establish a creative presence that can give back to communities in El Salvador, Ariela's home country.  Sequence Workshop was born when Ariela paired with two young artisans named Natali Orellana and Oscar Bautista.  They recruited at-risk Salvadoran youth in Tepecoyo and gave them an alternative to the violent gang life that surrounds the community.  The workshop also offers theater, language, and various arts classes.

Bottom Line: I was so pleased with these beautiful items!  FAIR Treasure is a wonderful subscription because your money gets you unique, handcrafted items, but it also benefits fair-trade organizations.  It's definitely a win-win, and I plan on becoming a full subscriber in the near future.

Previous Reviews: June . July 

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Graze Box #2 Review

I raved about my first graze box to everyone I knew, and the second box was just as exciting!  I've only tried a few food subscriptions, but this one is by far the best.

If you haven't heard of graze, be sure to check out my first review, which I'll link to at the end of the entry.  This service is so affordable and offers you plenty of payment options, but my favorite part is that the snacks are all so yummy-looking!  I was pretty pleased with this assortment; I disliked one of the snacks but it was a personal preference thing as opposed to it tasting bad.


  • Super Fiery Seeds - roasted chili pumpkin and sunflower seeds
    I originally had these rated as "like" on my profile, but after trying them I realized that I didn't love them as much as I thought I would.  I wish that they had more seasoning on them and that they were much spicier.  They were definitely a good option for a salty snack, though; they're much better than reaching for potato chips.
  • Pomodoro Rustichella - cheese croutons, tomato, basil, and oregano almonds and mini tomato breadsticks
    I don't love almonds, but I still was excited to try this snack because I love cheesy-flavored things.  The mini tomato breadsticks sounded wonderful, too.  I ended up changing this snack to just "try" on my profile.  I liked it, but I didn't love it so much that I wanted to receive it very often (at least for now -- I'd rather try the other snacks first).
  • Toffee Apple - sticky toffee sauce with granny smith apple slices
    This snack was so yummy!  I love toffee, caramel, butterscotch -- all of that.  This was absolutely delicious and my favorite snack of the box.  The apple slices were soft but not too soft, and the toffee sauce was nice and sweet.  I changed this to a "love" rating after sampling it.
  • Love Mix - apricots, goji berries, and cherries
    I had never tried goji berries before so I wanted to give this one a shot.  I found that I don't like them at all after sampling this snack.  I wanted to like it because it sounds like a great fruit mixture, but overall they just weren't my favorite combination of fruits.  This was definitely a high quality snack, so I think anyone who likes these fruits would love it!

Bottom Line: My second box from graze was still a lot of fun to get, and I can't wait to get my third.  I still have it set to deliver twice a month because I think once a month would be too much time in between shipments for me.  I highly recommend this service!

Previous graze reviews: Box 1

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review.