Monday, July 28, 2014

Sundown Naturals Review

I know that taking a daily vitamin supplement is good for you, but I hate traditional vitamins because they're usually giant pills (and I can't swallow giant pills).  I was happy once vitamin gummies for adults became more widely available, and Sundown Naturals is a company that offers plenty of options for pill-averse people such as myself!

Sundown Naturals offers a variety of healthy vitamins and supplements for the whole family, from immune system support to energy boosting.  To determine which supplement best suits yours needs, you can take their Gummy Match Quiz.  I was matched up with the B12 Gluten-Free Gummies, which boast 500mcg per service of vitamin B12 for energy support.  The bottle has three yummy flavors: mixed berry, raspberry, and orange.  Check out my quick video below for more information.

What I like best about these gummies is that they really are quite natural, as the brand name suggests.  They do not contain any artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives.  They're also free from gluten, milk, lactose, soy, wheat, and fish; making them great for people with food allergies as well.

Bottom Line: I would definitely purchase more vitamins from Sundown Naturals in the future!  The B12 Gluten-Free Gummies I received tasted great and were fun to eat, and gave me a boost of B12 to help stay focused and energized throughout the day.

*Disclaimer: I received this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. You can join Smiley360 here!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Harry Shum, Jr Quarterly Review #HSJ01

I've been interested in Quarterly boxes for a while, but never subscribed to any of them because of the price tag.  When they announced that Harry Shum, Jr. would be curating a box, I decided to finally give one a try.

Quarterly boxes ship four times a month (hence the name), and they have various celebrities and personalities as their curators.  There's probably at least one box to suit your interests, maybe more--other curators include Bill Nye, Pharrell Williams, and Andrew Zimmern.  I finally decided to subscribe to Harry Shum, Jr.'s box because I'm a fan of his on Glee, and when he promised "technology, toys, and art," I was intrigued enough to purchase a box.

Quarterly boxes cost $50 per shipment, so if you stay subscribed for a full year that equals four boxes for $200.  This is definitely a more expensive subscription, but what I like about them is that the curators take the time to really choose items that they are passionate about and want to share with people (or so they say).  I'm not sure how much thought really gets put into each box, but it was interesting for me to see what Harry included and why.

  • Wayfarer Socks by Richer Poorer - Socks are not an exciting item, but I do like a good pair of tall socks.  Harry said he picked them "because I love the design and I thought they'd be suitable for gentlemen and ladies."  I probably won't get much use out of these until the fall, but they're really soft and I bet they're just as comfortable.
  • Stickr Tracker - This is my favorite item in the box.  It's exactly what it sounds like--a sticker you put onto an item you commonly lose (keys, wallet, etc) and it syncs to an app on your phone so you can keep track of said item.  The item I misplace most is my phone, which at first I thought was problematic because if I need to use the app on my phone to locate the phone then I'm out of luck.  But I also have an iPad Mini, so I'll just install the app on that.
  • Lay 'N Go - This bag is one of those items that I would never think I needed, but I can see it coming in handy when I travel.  I was playing around with it last night and couldn't quite figure out how to fasten it (and there were no instructions), but basically you place all of your items in it and it folds up around them.
  • Signature Photography by Kelly Masumiya - This photo by one of Harry's friends, Kelly Masumiya, is autographed and inspired by "Singing in the Rain."  I think it's a really interesting photo and the fact that it's signed adds a nice touch.
Bottom Line: I didn't bother to look up the retail values of the items, but I'm satisfied with this box.  Before receiving it I was unsure whether I would cancel after the first box, but now I'm curious to see what Harry includes for the next shipment (in October).  I'll probably stay subscribed for another quarter or two!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Review & Coupon

I have to admit that, up until recently, I was not that diligent about daily sun protection.  If I was going to be out in the sun for a long period of time I would load up on sunscreen, but when it came to just daily tasks where I'd be indoors most of the time (work, grocery shopping, etc.), using sunscreen usually didn't take a huge precedence.  I know this is a really bad practice, so I've been trying to be more mindful of using sun protection even when I won't be outside for extended periods.  Luckily, I discovered the dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 daily moisturizer at just the right time!

This medium-weight moisturizer contains an upgraded formula that accelerates the product's SPF from 30 to 50 while using 50% less chemical sunscreen agents, made possible by an advanced oleosome technology.  Oleosomes are naturally-occurring spheres of emollient oils and Vitamin E found in safflower seeds.  They deliver the active ingredients found in this sunscreen directly to the skin's surface and release them over time to ensure maximum benefits.  In addition to sun protection, the Dynamic Skin Recovery moisturizer also reduces hyperpigmentation, stimulates collagen synthesis, and regulates collagen degradation.

I've been using this as my morning moisturizer for a few weeks now and I love it!  It's described as medium-weight, but I find it to be quite lightweight, and it absorbs into my skin very quickly with no feeling of greasy residue.  The dispenser is an air-tight pump and it gives just enough product each time, so you don't have to worry about wasting any.  It has a very light scent, but I don't think it's anything that would overwhelm someone who was sensitive to scented products.

  • Use coupon code Summer25 for 25% off of any purchase of $150 or more at (valid until July 31, 2014).

Bottom Line: I would highly recommend this moisturizer, not only does it work well with my oily/combo (but also sensitive) skin, but the SPF 50 is excellent protection.

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by iFabbo and dermalogica.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July Beauty Box 5 Review

Beauty Box 5 isn't a new subscription service by any means, but July's box was my first experience with it.  If you haven't heard of them, they send five deluxe samples and/or full-sized products to your door for only $12 a month!

July's theme was "defining moments," which focused on all of the big and little things in life that bring us joy.  As I said previously, the box always contains five items (hence the name).  Shipping is free to U.S. addresses and an extra $3 to Canadians.  You can also shop for full-sized items of the samples they send in their shop.

  • Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara ($7.99) - This mascara has a lacquered formula, which means that it delivers volume and definition while lifting lashes.  It also doesn't smudge or flake.
  • Hask Argan Oil Intensive Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment ($2.49) - I love Hask hair products, and these masks are fantastic!  They make my hair feel so baby soft after use.
  • Nicka K New York Nail Color ($4.99) - I've never used this brand before, but I love the bright red color!  I can't find a name for the shade on the bottle, but in-person it looks exactly like it does in the above photo.  It's formaldehyde-free and boasts a clean, smooth finish.
  • Body Drench Candy Licious Lips ($3.99) - This is my favorite item in the box.  I think everyone got different flavors, and mine is "Grape Lollipop."  It smells and tastes really sweet and it reminds me of the lip balms my mom used to buy for me when I was younger.  It's made with beeswax, coconut oil, and vitamin E.
  • H2O Plus Bath Aquatics Shampoo (~$1.48) - At first I thought that this was a body wash, but it's clearly a shampoo.  It smells really fresh and reminds me of the beach.  It's made with Icelandic moss, watercress extract, and provitamin B and is gentle on fine hair and sensitive scalps.  I have itchy scalp issues, so I'm hoping this works well to fight that.
Bottom Line: July's Beauty Box 5 contained four full-sized items and had a total value of $20.94!  This box is a lot of fun and definitely worth the affordable price of $12.

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Beauty Box 5.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

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.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

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.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

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.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

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.