Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 Birchbox Review: Oribe Curated Box

I signed back up for Birchbox when I saw that one of their January boxes was going to feature all Oribe products. I'm a huge fan of the brand and the chance to get a bunch of samples for only $15 was too good to pass up.

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

I had a Birchbox subscription for years but I unsubscribed after my stash of beauty samples became too large. The Birchbox model has changed a little since I last received a box, most notably, they cost $15 per month now instead of $10. Supposedly they're including more high end brands and bigger samples now, but I haven't noticed much of a change in the types of samples sent (through other peoples' reviews).

The box itself is bigger now, with a slide-out bottom like the Birchbox Man (I guess it's called Birchbox Grooming now) boxes. You can save them and stack them up for storage, but I decided to just recycle mine.

Now for the good stuff! The Oribe box had five samples with bonus foil packets. I absolutely love Oribe but their products are pricey, so I only buy them every once in a while. This box featured some that I hadn't tried before, so it was a great way to try them out without having to spend a lot of money.

  • Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse: This mousse "delivers crunch-free volume and body." I actually didn't notice much of a difference in my hair after using this, so for $39 per bottle for a full-sized, I would probably not bother purchasing this.
  • Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray: This product is a favorite. I like to wear my hair in loose waves and this provides just enough hold and shine to keep them looking great.
  • Dry Texturizing Spray: I love this spray, too! It provides more hold than the Apres Beach spray and is part dry shampoo, too, so you can apply to your roots for volume and oil control.
I believe these minis retail for around $22 each, so they've already paid for the price of the box and then some.

  • Signature Shampoo and Conditioner: These bonus foil packets have lychee extract and macadamia nut seed oil to hydrate and add shine to hair. They don't have sulfates, so it didn't lather that well for my thick hair, but I know Oribe's products are all high quality so I had no doubt that this provided good cleansing. My hair felt soft and clean after.
  • Supershine Moisturizing Cream: This cream is great for styling. It works as a leave-in conditioner and also adds some hold for styling, plus smoothing and shine.
  • Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream: This balm protects against heat and humidity to provide long-lasting sleek, straight styles. My hair was so smooth after using this!

I cancelled my Birchbox subscription after receiving this box because I knew I only wanted to get this curated Oribe box. With the higher price point of $15 now, I think there are other boxes out there that provide better samples for around the same price.

Bottom Line: I do think the Oribe curated box was a great deal and I would definitely purchase a box like this again in the future. I got to stock up on more samples of their texture and wave sprays, plus try the creams and mousse. I'm very happy overall with the sample selection.

Monday, January 27, 2020

January 2020 Book of the Month Review

Most of the January Book of the Month selections were just so-so to me, but I ended up picking a horror/thriller novel that was pretty great!

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

Book of the Month is only $14.99 per month for a brand new hardcover book, or $149.99 for 12 months ($12.50 per book, savings of $30 over the monthly plan). You'll be able to choose from five new releases and can add on as many books as you want for $9.99 each. If you choose the yearly option, you can redeem your credits for any book on the site. The monthly selections are hand-picked by a panel of judges and sometimes even feature pre-releases!

You can skip your box at any time and your credit will roll over to the next month. You can also easily cancel your subscription at any time through a link in the account page.

I almost skipped for January, but I decided to give The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James a try. Here's a synopsis:

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnĘžt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

This book was really entertaining. It was a bit predictable and had some common tropes in it, but overall it was a good read. It had good pacing and the story kept me interested throughout.
Bottom Line: There are so many great books being published all the time, so having Book of the Month present five of the best each month is perfect for me. This month's title was really fun and I'm looking forward to the February selections!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

FabFitFun Winter Editor's Box 2020 Review and 40% off Coupon

I signed back up for FabFitFun because I wanted to get the Winter 2020 box, but I signed up too late and ended up getting the Winter Editor's box instead. It still had some fun items inside, though!

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

FabFitFun sends a box of lifestyle items worth $200+ every quarter for $49.99. Every item is full-sized and you can customize which items you receive. Membership also includes members-only sales, FabFitFun TV content, and access to the subscriber community.

Each box contains eight to 10 items and you can choose what you receive (or be surprised). Seasonal members can choose items from three categories, and annual subscribers can choose from all of the categories. Annual membership is $179.99 per year. Shipping is free with all subscription options.

This is a review of the 2020 Winter Editor's Box. The Editor's Box is for people who begin their membership in between seasons when the current box is sold out (hence, why I received this box and not the Winter Box). It's filled with items picked by the FabFitFun editors.

I have to admit I was a little bummed when I realized I had subscribed with an Editor's Box, as some of the items in the Winter Box were really what I wanted but were no longer available. That being said, this is still a pretty good box and I'm happy with what I received!

My box had nine items from eight brands. Here's what was inside:

  • Stone Cold Fox Hard Back Notebook ($30): I know journals are trendy right now, but I can't imagine spending $30 on one. This has a pretty floral pattern and lined pages inside,'s just a notebook? I'll definitely use it for journaling, I'm just amazed by the retail price.
  • Winky Lux Mini Latte Kitten Palette ($20): This palette is so cute! The shades are coffee scented and have warm, beautiful colors. This is one of the items I chose for myself.

These shades are exactly what I love in a palette! This is perfect for travel, too, due to the small size. I also love the kitten motif.

  • Giadzy Copper Plated Measuring Spoons ($16): These are from Giada De Laurentiis's collection and, while it isn't the most exciting item, I do cook a lot so these will come in handy.
  • Mighty Patch Invisible by Hero Cosmetics ($18): I've seen acne patches like these in other subscriptions but have never tried them, so I'm curious to see how these work. Unfortunately adult acne is still a thing I have to deal with, so I'm sure I'll get the chance to use them sooner or later.
  •  Grown Alchemist Bundle ($63): This bundle contains the Deep Cleansing Facial Masque and Vanilla and Orange Peel Hand Cream. I chose this bundle because both items are perfect for my routine. I have dry, cracked hands all throughout winter and oily facial skin. I haven't tried the mask yet, but the hand cream smells lovely and provides deep moisturization.
  •  Rene Furterer Karite Hydra Hydrating Shine Mask ($36): I thought this was a face mask at first but it's for your hair. It's infused with shea oil for optimal hydration and smooth locks. I have a few other moisture masks to get through so I'm going to wait to open this, but I will definitely put it to good use.
  • Victorialand Beauty Skin-Loving Treatment for Eyes and Lips ($55): Whoa, this is another item with a hefty price tag! It's a cream for the delicate skin around your eyes and lips (not for application on lips). I've used it a few times so far and it does feel quite luxurious and soothing. I chose this item because it was the best option out of the three I was given by FabFitFun.

  •  Summer & Rose Rosie Snakeskin Tote Bag ($58): This was the third item that I got to choose for myself, and I went with a handbag because, well, I love bags! This one has sturdy faux snakeskin with an interior pocket. It's well made and I think I'll put it to better use during the warmer months when I'm out and about.
I'm happy with my Winter Editor's Box, even though I really wanted the Winter Box. The total retail value of everything I received is $296.
  • Visit FabFitFun to subscribe
    • Use coupon code FAB40 for 40% off your first box -- only $29.99!
Bottom Line: FabFitFun is probably my favorite quarterly box! They send a good variety of high quality items, and I like that you can choose some of the items. I might upgrade to an annual membership so I can choose everything in my box.

Friday, January 24, 2020

VLR Stylist Review and Coupon

VLR Stylist is a new online styling service that offers a one-on-one shopping and styling experience! I tried out their service and had a great time from start to finish.

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

VLR Stylist is an online styling experience that lets you connect and chat with a stylist in real time or schedule an in-person appointment for a one-on-one shopping experience! They'll help you create the perfect wardrobe with pieces you already own, taking you shopping and giving personalized fashion advice and suggestions.

The way it works is, after you create a free account you can choose between the following three styling services:
  • Online Styling: Starting at $25 for one-on-one interaction, access to a virtual closet feature and personalized product recommendations
  • Events and Activities: Starting at $50 for one-on-one interaction, specific and custom outfit options, and pre-purchase options available.
  • Wardrobe Detox: Starting at $100 for one-on-one interaction, wardrobe evaluation and a customized shopping experience
You can do each of these services as a one-time purchase, or you an also sign up for the following recurring packages:
  • Stylist Buddy: $25 per month for six months + 30 day free trial for online styling and virtual closet
  • Stylist Friend: $50 per month for six months for online styling, virtual closet, and event and activities styling
  • Stylist BFF: $100 per month for six months for online styling, event and activities styling seasonal wardrobe detox priority bookings, and virtual closet

I got a chance to try the VLR Stylist virtual styling service and it was so much fun! I worked with the CEO and founder, Victoria, to create a new look. The four images above are the outfits she put together for me after chatting online in the virtual styling closet.

So the first thing I did was log in to the virtual styling room, which was a chat room, to speak with Victoria and let her know about my current style and my style goals. If you have a question while your stylist isn't currently online, you can still send a message at any time and they'll get back to you as soon as they can. It really is having a personal stylist at your fingertips! Above are two screenshots of our chat, to give you an idea of the things I talked about during my session.

I told Victoria that I have a pretty simple style and I usually wear jeans and t-shirts, but I wanted to elevate my basic look for going out with friends or something I could wear to work. I ended up choosing the first look, the black blazer with the striped shirt. Here is what Victoria put together for me when she recreated the outfit:

She sent me a black blazer, white and black striped sweater, and beautiful long necklace. This is so my style! I was incredibly happy with this outfit. The sweater is from Forever 21 and the blazer and necklace are from Francesca's. The sweater is super comfy but still looks dressy when paired with the other two items.

Here's how it looks on me:

I'm so happy with this outfit! It's totally my style and definitely something I can wear as a daytime look while grabbing coffee with friends or to the office. Victoria did an excellent job of nailing my style and recreating this outfit.
  • Visit VLR Stylist to learn more and sign up
    • Use promo code SSL20 for 30% off one online Wardrobe Detox session and a welcome gift
  • Connect with them on Pinterest and Instagram
Another thing to note: All new subscribers will receive one month free of the "Stylist Buddy" package ($25 value) -- no coupon code needed!

Bottom Line: VLR Stylist is a really fun way to update your wardrobe, or get new inspiration for items you already own. Chatting with the stylist was easy and so convenient, since I didn't even have to leave my house!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Everydaze Korean Skincare Review

I'm a skincare fanatic and I love finding new Korean beauty products to try, not only because I'm Korean, but because they work! Everydaze is a new skincare brand that has products to help you glow from the inside out.

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

Everydaze currently has three products available: the Diamond Drop Hydrogel Eye Patch, Gold Charcoal Hydrogel Eye Patch, and Essential C's Konjac Jelly Peach supplement. They also sell accessories, including headbands, eye masks, and mirrors.

The eye patches are mini masks for the undereye area. They retail for $34 (currently listed at $28 on the Everydaze website) for 60 patches.

The Diamond Drop Hydrogel Eye Patches are made with brightening diamond powder, caffeine, and galactomyces to de-puff and regenerate the sensitive skin under your eyes and restore a youthful glow. The gel patches feel so soothing, especially if you leave them in the fridge when not in use.

The Gold Charcoal Hydrogel Eye Patches are an anti-aging blend of gold, charcoal powder, and adenosine to detoxify, stimulate collagen production, and increase elasticity. They tighten and lift skin while drawing out impurities.

The Essential C's Konjac Jelly were new to me, but I found they're a popular weight-loss supplement in Korea. They're a low calorie substitute for sugary snacks and are peach flavored. They're made from naturally-derived konjac in jelly form, which aids in weight management and satiety. It is fat free and has 10 calories per pouch. You can get an individual pack for $3 or a box of 10 for $30.

There's also an added infusion of collagen and Vitamin C to enhance your skin from the inside out. Collagen provides joint and muscle support and improves skin's elasticity and Vitamin C boosts the immune system.

I was a little wary of trying these because my only other experience with konjac is using a konjac sponge, and I couldn't really get behind the idea of eating the fibrous plant. I squeezed the contents into a cup and found that it didn't resemble the sponge at all and was instead a clear jelly. I wouldn't recommend drinking/eating these straight from the pouch, since the jelly comes out in clumps and could be a choking hazard. They tasted fine and had a strong peach flavor, but I have to admit it wasn't my favorite snack.
Bottom Line: Everydaze has a fun line of skincare products and I really enjoyed using the gel eye patches. The Essential C's supplements are a unique product to add to your beauty routine, too!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

January Gramma In a Box Review

Gramma in a Box started off the new decade with a box featuring New Year's and Football crafts!

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

Gramma in a Box is a cookie and candy craft subscription that sends you everything you need to make three crafts to share with your family and friends. Each box you'll receive supplies to make 15-20 individual treats and every month has a different seasonal theme.

All of the ingredients you'll need are included, save for household items like a dish or spoon you may need to mix up some melted chocolate, etc. The crafts are easy to do and are great for all ages, making it a fun way to share time and love with your family and friends!

Here are the pricing options:
  • Monthly: $20 per month (first box is only $10)
  • Three Months: $55 every three months (save $5)
  • Six Months: $110 every six months (save $10)
  • 12 Months: $220 every 12 months (save $20)
Shipping is free to the U.S. and taxes are included. If you want to cancel, do so by the 25th of the month. You can also try one box for $20 without a renewing subscription.

The January box had a New Year's and Football theme. The first project was New Year Sparklers and included melting chocolate, pretzel rods, and sprinkles. I melted the chocolate for one minute, dipped the pretzels into the chocolate, and then rolled them in the colorful sprinkles!

The second project was Game Day Crunch and included the leftover melting chocolate from the first project. The ingredients were smaler pretzel rods, popcorn, cranberries, candy coated chocolate bits, and peanuts (which can be skipped if you have an allergy). I mixed up the popcorn into the remaining chocolate in the bowl, then added in all the other ingredients and stirred them around to make a nice mix.

The third project always includes pre-baked cookies for decorating. The January New Year/Football Cookies came with blue, yellow, and brown frosting with the same colored sprinkles. The cookies are fresh and sealed in plastic, but it's recommended you complete the crafts within a week of receiving the box so they're at their freshest.

The cookies are easy to decorate and taste delicious! They're a butter/sugar cookie and are always a hit with my family.
Bottom Line: Gramma in a Box is a fun and affordable subscription and I look forward to making the sweet treats every month! It's a great way to treat your loved ones, whether they live near or far.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Kamedis Calm and Control Skincare Line Review

I've had issues with dry skin and eczema ever since childhood, and the dry winter air definitely doesn't help. Kamedis has a great line of hair and skincare products to help battle extra skin and dandruff any time of year!

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

Kamedis creates affordable products that help balance and restore troubled skin. They have products to combat acne, eczema, dandruff, itching, irritation, and redness. They're formulated with botanicals used in traditional Chinese medicine that are renowned for their ability to support good health. All of their products are dermatologist-recommended and cruelty-free.

The Hydrating Foot Gel-Cream is part of the Calm line and it instantly nourishes dry, cracked feet and heels. It has Chinese Rhubarb, which is one of the most popular botanicals in Chinese medicine. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergic, and antioxidive properties. I absolutely love this gel! It's definitely more of a gel than a cream and it glides smoothly over skin. It also doesn't take long to be absorbed into skin and leaves my feet feeling soothed. After using for just two weeks I've already noticed a difference in my dry, rough heels (as in, no more rough patches!).

The Eczema Therapy Cream is clinically proven to reduce eczema flare ups by 50 percent. It's a great treatment for extreme dryness, irritation, redness, itchiness, and rashes, even if you don't have clinical eczema. I love this thick, nourishing cream for my hands and all over after showering. Even though the formula is rich, it absorbs quickly without feeling greasy.

The Eczema Therapy Wash is a companion product to the Cream, and it calms and soothes dry skin that's prone to eczema. It's a rich, foaming gel that helps reduce extremely dry skin and itchiness without drying skin out further. Use in the shower and pair with the Eczema Therapy Cream for thoroughly soothed and moisturized skin.

The Calming Lotion is a cooling lotion-gel that immediately soothes, calms, and moisturizes targeted areas of dry skin. It's best for use on extremely dry patches, like ones that can form on your knees, elbows, or other eczema patches (mine were always on the top of my hands). It feels so nice and a little goes a long way.

Kamedis also has anti-dandruff products to treat your scalp. The Dandruff Therapy Shampoo is part of the Control line and it is clinically proven to reduce dandruff by 50 percent in just two weeks. I have had dandruff for as long as I can remember, and it's really annoying to deal with. I have to wash my hair every day, and using this shampoo makes me feel much better because it's so soothing and gentle, but still effective. It's free from steroids, tar, SLS, parabens, and dyes.

The Scalp Lotion is a companion product for the Dandruff Therapy Shampoo. It is also clinically proven to reduce dandruff by 50 percent in two weeks. The primary botanical ingredient is Soapberry, which is a natural detergent with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

This basically a scalp treatment that you apply to the scalp prior to shampooing. I left it on for about 20 minutes and then rinsed out before using the shampoo. My scalp felt soothed but not overly-dry after using, and I have noticed a significant decrease in itch and dandruff production!

One thing to note about all of the Kamedis products is that, since they're made with natural botanicals, they have natural coloring and scents. I found that the Hydrating Gel-Cream had the strongest botanical scent. It wasn't at all offensive or a bad smell, but it's not something you may expect from a skincare product.
Bottom Line: The Kamedis products I tried here have been life savers! The eczema products have helped keep my dry skin feeling soft and moisturized during these dry winter months, and the dandruff shampoo and treatment have helped balance my scalp significantly. I think they are a great deal and definitely worth a try for anyone looking to soothe dry skin!