Monday, July 27, 2015

MovieBlox Subscription Review and Coupon!

I love sitting down to watch a good movie but I don't often do so because I can never seem to pick something good to watch. I'm decisive in pretty much every other area of my life, but when it comes to watching something I get overwhelmed because there are so many options out there. That's where MovieBlox comes in! Each month they'll send you everything you need for a movie night!

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

MovieBlox costs $20 per month for a DVD subscription or $23 for Blu-Ray. Each box will contain one new movie, popcorn, and candy, as well as a surprise extra! They also include a little trivia card with information about the movie you've been sent.  There are two box options:
  • MovieBlox Classicz - Includes anything from Ghostbusters to Old School
  • MovieBlox Kidz - Includes anything from The Goonies to Finding Nemo
Shipping is free but the box only ships to the U.S. You can skip a month or cancel at any time, too.

I chose the DVD version of the Classicz box. When you subscribe you also fill out a survey where you can tell MovieBlox your favorite genres and genres you don't want to receive. I think this is great because then you'll never have to worry about getting something you definitely won't like. I asked for Thrillers, and I also would have requested to not receive romantic comedies.

Here's everything that was in my box! I got another movie as my extra item so that's a pretty great surprise extra, I'd say. My main movie is Arlington Road. It's one I've never seen before so I'm excited to watch it. Here's a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:
Arlington Road is a 1999 American mystery thriller film, which tells the story of a widowed George Washington University professor who suspects his new neighbors are involved in terrorism and becomes obsessed with foiling their terrorist plot.
I'm moving into a new apartment on Saturday, August 1st and I'm sure I'm just going to want to sit and do nothing after moving everything in, so I'm going to watch this that night. I think it sounds really good!

I also received Notes on a Scandal starring Dame Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett. I love both actresses and I think the plot of this sounds great, too. My popcorn is an Orville Redenbacher's pop up box (perfect for eating straight out of the bag) and my candy is Raisinets. I don't love Raisinets, but I know my dad would like these so I'm going to pass them off to him. The box also had a trivia card for Arlington Road and a smaller business card for MovieBlox with their social media accounts on it.

Bottom Line: I think that MovieBlox is an excellent deal and a great box for a girl's night in, date night, or just a night by yourself! I love snuggling up at night and watching a good movie and MovieBlox takes the hassle out of trying to decide what to watch by sending movies from my preferred genre right to my door.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July Beauty Box 5 Review

The info card for July's Beauty Box 5 says, "You know when it's so hot that you can't even think about getting ready?" YES. I hate summer and I hate the heat! That aside, this month they've sent a box of goodies to help you get ready in a snap.

*Disclaimer: This box was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Beauty Box 5 costs $12 per month and contains five deluxe samples and full-sized products. I've found that they usually have at least two or three full-sized items in every box! Shipping to U.S. addresses is free and is $3 to Canada.

  • Love Life Skin Collection ($2.68 for .12 oz) - I am not a fan of foil packets (who is?), especially when it comes to skincare--they're just too small to really get any kind of sense on whether or not the product works with your skin. There are two each of the Restorative Night Cream ($.88 for .06 oz) and Intensive Recovery Serum ($1.80 for .06 oz), though, so that might be enough for me to at least use these for a week. I do like that the full-sized versions are pretty fairly priced.
  • Pur-lisse Flash Tattoos ($9) - These foil tattoos seem to be really popular but I'm way too old to be wearing them! I'm wondering if these were made just for the box because they're not available on the Pur-lisse website. They're a fun extra, though.
  • OFRA Lip Liner ($13 for .04 oz, full-sized) - I got the shade Glacier Pink and it's perfect. I've been meaning to get a lip liner but I've been lazy about it, and this one will work well as a base for most of my lip colors since it's close to my natural lip color.
  • OFRA Lip Gloss ($12.95 for .27 fl oz) - I got the shade Golden Rose. It's a pretty pink but it looks kind of light in the tube so I'm not sure if I want to open it or not. I'm afraid it might be too light/cool toned for my skin.
  • Nanacoco Nail Polish ($3.00 for .5 fl oz) - I feel like I've gotten a lot of Nanacoco nail polishes in my BB5 boxes. I'm not complaining because I love nail polish, but it might seem redundant to other subscribers who don't share my obsession. I got the shade Hope of Spring and it's a pretty green/teal shimmer.
The box also included coupons for Love Life Skin, Pur-lisse, and information on how to win a "Blingy Night Out" bundle from Gram & Tag.

Bottom Line: This wasn't my most favorite Beauty Box 5 ever but it did have items that I'll be able to use. I wish that the foil tattoos were a makeup product instead of an accessory, but I will use everything else they sent!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

SKINUE Skincare Review, Part II!

I reviewed SKINUE's acne line a few weeks ago (read that review here) and now I'm back with more! These products are well-suited for everyone, so if the acne line wasn't relevant to your needs, SKINUE still has something to offer that I'm sure you'll love!

*Disclaimer: These products were sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

SKINUE uses natural ingredients to provide hydration, moisturization, and acne prevention. They even use camel milk obtained from Camelicious, the world-renowned camel milk farm owned by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates!

Above you can see the ingredients for the Massage Gel and Moisturizing Cream. Clearly the ingredients are not 100% natural, but there is a good amount of natural ingredients on these lists.

I gave the Massage Gel a try the day after a particularly intense workout. I applied it to my lower back and waited, but unfortunately I didn't notice much of a difference in my soreness. I'm afraid this just wasn't strong enough to combat my muscle soreness.

I was very pleased with the Moisturizing Cream, though. It's of a standard consistency for a lotion and can be used all over the body. I used it mostly on my hands and liked that it absorbed quickly and gave me long-lasting moisture.

The Hand Cream and Foot Cream are very luxurious and probably my favorite items out of the ones I've tried! They're super soft and creamy and feel great. The Hand Cream is made with aloe vera extracts and camel whey. It has a light scent and a fluffy, creamy texture. It absorbs quickly and really leaves your hands feeling soft and moisturized. The Foot Cream feels just as wonderful. Its texture is a little thicker, but it also absorbs quickly into the skin.

I also received the Brightening Cream and Argan Cream, but I can't find them on the SKINUE website so I don't think they are currently available for purchase. They are both facial moisturizers and have a pretty thick consistency, so I ended up using them as night creams. I liked them both, but I preferred the Brightening Cream. I felt that the Argan Cream was a bit too heavy for my oily skin, but I think it would work wonders on someone with drier skin than mine! Both creams didn't feel heavy or dense on my skin, I just felt that the Brightening Cream worked with my skin better than the Argan Cream.

Bottom Line: I think that SKINUE provides affordable luxury skincare products that work for a variety of needs. I had a wonderful experience with their acne line, and I also thoroughly enjoy the moisturizers and lotions I've reviewed here today. The Massage Gel was the only one that didn't quite work for me, but overall I think their products are fantastic!

Monday, July 20, 2015

July Birchbox Review

I was a little disappointed with the sample choice options for July's Birchbox. Usually the items available are varied, but this month subscribers had the option of choosing one of three shades of a Stila liquid lipstick. What if I don't want a liquid lipstick? Meh, anyway, my box was still decent overall.

*Disclaimer: This box was purchased by See, Shop, Love! Post contains referral links.

I liked the design of the box this month. I definitely remember them saying in a YouTube video that we should save our boxes for the entire year because if we do there would be something at the end of the year for us. I hope they keep that promise because I have a collection of seven boxes under my bed collecting dust...

I was pleased with my samples this month. Like I said, I was indifferent over the Stila lipstick, but I ended up putting it to good use. I opted for the coral shade because I figured if I didn't pick then they'd send me a color I didn't want, so since I was doomed to get one anyway I wanted to at least get a shade I would use.

  • Stila Look at Me Liquid Lipstick ($6.67 for .05 fl oz) - This actually comes as a trio that was made just for Birchbox. I chose the "Venizia" shade, which is a super bright coral. The other options were Bella (pink) and Beso (red). I already have Beso from a previous box and I don't wear pinks, so Venizia was the obvious choice. I love a coral lip. I normally don't wear lip colors that are so highly pigmented, but I recently performed in a gala concert so I wore this to it (see photo at right). It really does stay put! I had to reapply it a few times here and there, but overall the color doesn't fade very much at all.
  • COOLA SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray ($7.20 for .34 fl oz) - I love setting sprays and this also came at a perfect time for the gala! It did a decent job of keeping my makeup from melting off -- the bright lights on stage are going to make any face sweat -- and it also didn't smell horrible. I associate any kind of sun protection product with a wonky smell, but this one is nice. It has green tea and aloe and broad spectrum SPF protection.
  • Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray ($3.63 for 1 fl oz) - I also loved this product and used it for my gala look. It smells really good and gave my hair enough texture and hold that my curls didn't completely fall during the show. It moisturizers hair, too. I would definitely consider buying a full-sized bottle of this.
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid ($2.34 for .3 fl oz) - This was the only item in my box that I didn't like and had no use for. It's a moisturizer for very dry skin and I have very oily skin. I posted it up for swap because it wasn't worth even trying for me.
  • Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer ($3.73 for 1 fl oz) - I like Liz Earle because their products are made with natural ingredients and they're Leaping Bunny certified as cruelty-free. This has aloe vera, calendula, cucumber, and natural source vitamin E. You spray it on your face for an "instantly refreshing, reviving boost." I love it, especially for hot summer days when I need a spritz of something to refresh my skin! I will most likely end up buying a full-sized bottle of this.
Bottom Line: My July Birchbox had an approximate retail value of $23.57, which I think is pretty good for a $10 box. I liked almost everything and was able to put the samples to good use for my concert.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rachel Zoe Box of Style Summer Box Review

I usually don't buy subscription boxes that cost more than $30 or $40 unless they are really good, and most that I've seen that are above that price range usually aren't. I was intrigued by Rachel Zoe's Box of Style when it was announced, but I wanted to see what was in the first box before subscribing. Turns out it was pretty good, so I wanted to give the Summer box a try and I'm glad I did!

*Disclaimer: This box was purchased by See, Shop, Love!

The Box of Style is curated by celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and costs $100 per quarter. It boasts at least $300 worth of merchandise. This Summer box is no longer available, but the Fall box will begin shipping on September 1st!

The box itself is pretty big, about the size of the PopSugar Limited Edition boxes if you've ever purchased one of those. Mine took a while to ship to New York from California, and I'm super impatient so it was hard to see other people getting theirs while mine still hadn't even shipped yet!

One nice thing about Box of Style is that they release a spoiler for the "hero" item (the most expensive item in the box) before the boxes ship, so if you like spoilers you can at least check to make sure you'll like the hero item. I love spoilers, so when they announced that the hero item for this box was a purse I quickly subscribed!

The box has six items and I really liked all of them. I peeked at full spoiler posts on other blogs because I'm not the type to wait to be surprised. I just can't deal. I like surprises, sure, but I also like spoilers!

I'll start with the big ticket item: the Cambridge Satchel Company White Leather Pushlock Handbag. (originally $148.23, now on sale for $74.11). Like I said, I subscribed after seeing this spoiler because I'm handbag-obsessed and I didn't have a white purse like this one. I thought it was super cute for summer and that I'd get a lot of use out of it. Turns out I didn't love it as much once I received it. Don't get me wrong, it's nicely made and roomy enough to carry your essentials without being too big, but I just wasn't in love with it overall. I posted it for swap and ended up getting a Deux Lux backpack I wanted in exchange, so it was still a win!

Another item I'm on the fence about is the Mara Hoffman Sarong ($98). This was made exclusively for this box and is really quite beautiful, but I'm not 100% sure it's my style. I rarely, if ever, am in a bathing suit so I have no use for it as a cover up. It can be worn in different ways, and I thought I might wear it as a scarf, but the pattern is a lot so I'm not sure what I'll wear it with yet.

I'm really glad that Rachel included a bunch of makeup and skincare items in the box, especially because two of them were from Too Faced!
  • Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer ($30) - I currently use the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil bronzer but I was more than happy to receive this as a backup. It's a little shimmery in the pan but doesn't look too outrageous once it's applied.
  • O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face ($44) - I'm really excited to try this; it's a spray on exfoliant. I've never used anything like this before and I hope that it's effective. I think you just spray it on, leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse it off.
  • Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Spice Spice Baby ($22) - I loooove the La Creme lipsticks! I usually don't wear lipstick because it's too drying, but these are so creamy and feel super smooth and moisturizing. I also love the shade, it gives just enough color but isn't too in-your-face.
  • Bristols 6 Nippies Skin ($26) - These weird me out a little bit and I could take them or leave them, but they're good to have in case I ever have a dress or top that I can't wear a bra with. You can also put them in your shoes for extra support.
Bottom Line: I really enjoyed the Summer Box of Style! I liked every single item (well, I'm indifferent about the Nippies), and was pleased with the curation. Even though I didn't end up keeping the purse, I still think it's a beautiful item that a lot of people will be happy to receive. The overall retail value of the box, if you include the original price of the purse and not the sale price, is $368.23!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Make Me Nails App Review

I love painting my nails and I usually don't keep any one color or style on them for too long. Unfortunately I'm not that great with traditional nail art, but luckily there's an app called Make Me Nails that lets me create all the designs I could ever hope for!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

Make Me Nails is pretty self-explanatory: you can use the app to make your own custom nail wraps! The app is currently only available for iOS (iPhone), so apologies to my readers who have an Android phone or otherwise.

Make Me Nails is the brainchild of television star and social media influencer G. Hannelius and content creator Lauren Jones. They teamed up with celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik and powerhouse brand Minx to bring the DIY nail wrap experience to life!

I took some screenshots to show you what the app itself looks like. As you can see, the design is very cute and girly! The first five are all of the premade patterns you can choose from, and the last one is what it looks like when you first open the app.

I found the app to be fairly user-friendly. The only thing I had difficulty with was figuring out how to delete a design once I realized I didn't like it. I thought I had to click the specific nail it was on first and then the delete button, but it was the other way around. Other than that, though, the instructions are pretty straightforward and the entire process was easy, including checkout.

Speaking of checkout, a set of wraps costs $12 and they ship internationally!

I decided to make one set of nails from the premade designs and another with a photo I uploaded myself so that I could report on both options for you. The floral pattern is the premade one, and the galaxy one is a picture I uploaded from my phone.

You really can use any image you want. The app gives you the option of taking a photo or uploading one that you already have saved. If you wanted to make wraps with your own face on them you could (no judgment here)!

I was impressed by the quality of the printing on the wraps. I've tried other brands before that were not great; they looked like they were printed on an old inkjet from the 90s. These, however, are really high quality! I was a bit worried at first because the galaxy ones I uploaded myself repeated at the tops, but it didn't end up mattering because you file off the top of the wrap anyway (the rounded edge is what goes along your cuticles).

And here's the final product! Please ignore my disgusting cuticles, I'm terrible at remembering to moisturize them. Anyway, I found the application process to be super easy. The wraps are basically stickers, but they adhere well and very smoothly. I've also used other wraps that did not go on smoothly and I ended up having ridges in them, but that was definitely not the case with these. It was also really easy to file off the edges.
Bottom Line: I'm very happy with my Make Me Nails experience! It took me a few minutes to find my way around the app, but overall I thought that it was easy to use and that the actual wraps are really high quality. I love that you can really make a wrap out of any image you want! Oh, and shipping was super fast, too!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stardom Crafts Liquid Chalk Markers Review

I love crafty things, but I don't get to crafting as much as I used to. When I was a kid I was always doodling or coloring, and I would have loved to have a set of the Stardom Crafts Liquid Chalk Markers!

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! for review purposes.

There are 18 markers in the pack and a good variety of colors. They're "dust free liquid chalk," which, to be honest, was something I had never heard of prior to using these. They have a reversible chiseled tip that dispenses just enough liquid, and they can be used on most non-porous surfaces. The ink has great staying power, but you can also remove it with a damp cloth if you're using these for something like a sign or a menu board.

I was very curious to give these a try because I had never used a product like them before. I always just had regular markers growing up. They're a lot of fun to use and I think they're great for kids, especially since they're washable on most (hard) surfaces.

The above photo shows what the markers look like before and after dispensing the ink. The purple one has a clean, white tip and the green one, obviously, has its ink dispensed. Upon your first use, just shake the marker for a few seconds and then depress the tip for a minute until the ink starts to bleed down to the tip. Once the ink is there you can start doodling to your heart's content!

Bottom Line: I like these markers a lot and I'll definitely be using them for future crafts. I think they're great for kids to draw with, but also could be useful if you have a restaurant or business where you have to change your signage a lot. They're perfect for writing daily specials with, or something similar to that.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

XANADU 24K Gold Serum Review

When I first saw the XANADU 24K Gold Serum I wanted to try it because, well, it's shiny! Serums are a really integral part of any skincare routine, and this one clearly caught my eye, so I was excited to try it out.

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to See, Shop, Love! in exchange for an honest review.

There's a lot of interesting stuff going on with this serum. It's made from a combination of botanical ingredients, high tech science, and 24 karat gold. It aims to moisturize your skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even out skin tone, repair sun damage, and provide a youthful glow.

The star ingredient is obviously the 24K gold! To be honest, I'm not quite sure what benefits it provides, other than looking pretty in the serum. The product page doesn't list anything that I can see. Other ingredients that do clearly have a purpose include vitamin C to brighten skin and combat wrinkles and dark spots, vitamin E to moisturize and heal, and rose extract to soothe the skin.

It also contains ingredients that are naturally found in your skin, including hyaluronic acid for moisturization, collagen to support firmness, creatine to supply energy to your skin cells, and beta-glucan to boost the immune system.

Lastly, the high tech science ingredients: palmitoyl oligopeptide is a peptide that stimulates collagen synthesis and skin repair, and something called epiderman growth factor stimulates new cell growth.

Like I said, there's a lot going on here. Basically, this serum is like most others I've tried in that it's a highly concentrated mixture that will help boost your skin's moisture and reduce wrinkles. I don't have any wrinkles (yet), but I'm all for preventive care.

Above you'll see that there really are flecks of gold in the serum. At first I wasn't sure if they would blend into my skin, but they definitely did. One pump was enough to cover my entire face, too, so the four ounce bottle will last you for quite a while.

I've been using this for about a month and it does leave my skin feeling smooth. I can't say I've noticed a ton of changes because I don't really have much to correct at the moment (wrinkle-wise and such), but my skin does feel well-moisturized after applying this serum.

Bottom Line: The XANADU 24K Gold Serum is a really fun product to work into your skincare routine! I think that it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated, which is all I can ask for in a serum at the moment.