Friday, September 8, 2017

August 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping within the US)
Fun Extras: You can review your products each month to earn points which can be redeemed for bonus items. You can also purchase the products you love straight from the Ipsy website.

Lately, with the baby on the way (*surprise!*) I haven't been able to incorporate much of anything into my beauty regimen. Everything's either "this is bad for baby" or "that may exacerbate the problem." Add that to the fact that anything I can use has been making me break out like a pubescent schoolgirl and it makes for one pimply-faced, acne-scar-riddled lady. No pregnancy glow here! Because of that I haven't been able to try out new makeup shades or the latest cleansers so I apologize in advance if I give zero input from personal experience. :(

I am currently stuck in a love-hate relationship with August's makeup bag. Love the style and gradient, can definitely do without the words. But moving on...

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay - This gel cleanser foams up when you apply it and the combination of red clay and rosemary oil keep skin balanced. Apparently pregnancy amps up sebum production which makes my already oily skin somewhat of an oil slick. They say clay and charcoal cleansers are great for oily skin. I have mixed feelings about that claim based on past pre-preggo experiences, but right now I'm at a point where my glycolic acid cleanser is keeping my face at a (bit below) happy medium and I'm afraid to change ANYTHING at the moment.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara - I've tried this before and while I don't have anything against this particular one, mascaras in general are not really my thing. I've never met one that actually curls and lengthens like it claims to. Next.

Naked Cosmetics Translucent HD Finishing Powder - Again, I'm not overly impressed with translucent powders. The way I see it is if you've tried one you've tried them all since they basically have the same silica/talc ingredient list. Don't get me wrong - I never leave the house without it, but I've already got enough to last me a lifetime.

theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow/Luminizer in Kuwakaribisha - TheBalm has got to have some of the cutest sample packaging (I love magnetic cases) but the sample inside is always so tiny you can barely get anything on your brush, especially the blushes and bronzers. But I deal with it because I do love the pigmentation I get from their products. They're subtle yet you can still tell it's there. I'm not a huge fan of luminizers but I could definitely get some use  from this as an eyeshadow.

Sundays Nail Polish in No. 28 - Sundays is a nail spa in NYC that also has its own product line featuring cruelty- and 10-free vegan nail polishes. No. 28 is an earthy lavender gray that's perfect for the transition from summer to fall. I'm definitely using this the next time I do my nails.

Verdict: Maybe I'm just bitter that I won't be able to use the cleanser anytime soon or that I already have a ton of setting powders and shimmery peach eyeshadows, but I wasn't overly impressed with August's glam bag loot. I will say that I'm very happy with the nail polish though, because while I do already have a bunch of purples, I don't have a dusty purple quite like this one. And the nail polish alone costs $18 sooo I guess that makes up for being underwhelmed.

Sign up here to get started with Ipsy. For only $10 a month you'll get five items inside an exclusive makeup bag along with access to loads of online coupons from the featured brands as well as discounted prices via the Ipsy website. 

Note: This post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

August 2017 Stickii Club Cute Sticker Pack Review

 What: Stickii Club is a sticker subscription that sends an envelope full of Cute, Retro or Pop themed stickers every month (you choose which category when you sign up). This review is for the Cute pack.
When: Ships on the 11th or 22nd of each month depending on your signup date
Cost: $10 per month (free shipping to US; $1.25 to Canada, $2.00 to anywhere else)

Stickers are always more fun when they follow a theme and when I found out August's theme would be Alpaca and Dinos I was ecstatic. When I first heard of alpacas years ago I didn't understand what the big deal was. They were kinda cute, but then again so are dogs, and at least I can have a dog as a pet. THEN I saw a picture of how petite they really are - an adult is barely taller than 5' (i.e. my height!) whaaaa--??! That automatically added cute points because everybody likes munchkin-sized animals. And fun fact: you can even potty train them so they can be pets, after all!

Here we have Part 1 of the alpaca invasion. Fluffy alpacas and sheep, and even shaved alpacas (but why??). The paper clip is a nice touch and it's the 2" jumbo size so I can get lots of use out of it at work. Imagine the look on my boss' face when I submit my next report with an alpaca on the front :)

Alpacas Part 2! And of course the puffy alpacas are my favorite this month not only because I'm a huge fan of puffy stickers but because those are splooting sheep in the bottom row, folks! I have two corgis at home so naturally I'm a fan of a splooting anything. Plus, look at that tongue: ↓

Next up are the dinos. Not quite as fluffy as alpacas but still cute as long as they look more like cartoons than vicious reptiles. I'm never really sure what I'm supposed to do with printed sticky notes; they're cute but you can't write anything on them...*shrugs* I'll probably end up sticking them on my dogs. I especially like the Sumikko Gurashi touch in the sticker sheet above. They're my favorite San-X characters and when you dress them up as dinosaurs you can't help but want to go out and buy one in plush form just so you can hug it.

Unfortunately, it's too late to catch August's dinosaurs and alpacas, and September's theme hasn't been announced yet but you can be sure it'll be something fun. Stickii has a way of making anything appealing; even if the theme were werewolves they'd find a way to make you want to snuggle with one. Click here to sign up for next month's sticker pack and remember you can choose from Cute, Retro or Pop, each for $10/month.

Note: No referral links were used in this post. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

July 2017 Pooch Perks Dog Box Review

I think I need to apologize to my dogs. I kept them waiting for their box for two weeks. They knew it was sitting on the table, but you know, corgis have short stumpy legs and it was next to impossible for them to get to it. Thank goodness I don't have genius dogs who can move chairs and boxes to climb onto kitchen counters and cabinets. Anyway. The reason I was holding it hostage was because two of the items were missing upon arrival so I contacted Pooch Perks and waited until they shipped them over before snapping photos and letting the dogs go nuts with everything.

What: Pooch Perks is a subscription box for dogs containing 2-5 treats and toys. There are three subscription options: Sample Pooch (2 past items), Popular Pooch (4-5 toys & treats) and Custom Pooch (includes options for just treats, just toys, heavy chewer, or no grains). Boxes are also curated according to your dog's size.  If your dog has allergies you can also note that down when you sign up. 
Note: If you signed up before February 2017, you're grandfathered into the previous subscription options. For reference, this review is for the older plan's Popular Pooch box (4 items) for a medium-large dog (35+ lbs).
When: Choose between monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly deliveries
Cost: $12-$32 per box depending on which subscription option you choose (+$5 shipping/box); ships anywhere in the US and US territories

This month's theme is Ice Cream Party! It's summer, it's hot, and hot days call for some ice cream. Well, in my house ice cream is a daily occurrence regardless of season but who's keeping track? Unfortunately, the dogs don't get to participate in the ice cream festivities. Until now, that is. Pooch Perks sent an entire box of ice creamy treats for the furballs - including actual ice cream. Furreals.

Puppy Cake Puppy Scoops Ice Cream Mix in Maple Bacon ($7) - There's no better way to kick off an ice cream box than with...wait for it...ICE CREAM!! If Puppy Cake sounds familiar that's because they made their debut selling cake mix on Shark Tank season 3. Unfortunately, no offers were made, but that just goes to show that you don't need to win a competition to be successful. Since then the company has expanded to include ice cream and cookie mixes. And this ice cream is super simple to make - just add hot water to the powder mix, freeze and voila! you've got a pint for your BFF. Now all you have to do is head to the store to pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry's for yourself, cuddle up with Fido and settle in for a night of Homeward Bound happy tears. 

PrideBites Ice Cream Cone Toy ($10) - If you thought you could never use the words "ice cream" and "no mess" in the same sentence, think again. This foamy cone is completely machine washable so if Stumpy McWaddles thinks it's a real cone and puts just a tad too much slobber on it, just pop it in the wash and it'll be good as new. Plus it floats so if it's extremely hot and can't your dog can't decide between ice cream or a beach day, he can have both. Bonus: the squeakers in here are sewn into pouches connected to the toy just in case your pup is a squeaker go-getter like mine is. ;-)

FouFit Freeze 'N' Float Ice Cream Cone and Pupsicle Toys ($8 each) - We've been getting these freeze & floats in the past three boxes and while they're incredibly adorable, they won't hold up to my dogs for a single day. The stitching is not reinforced so the seams will rip in no time. But if you have a gentle dog, he'll get hours of fun out of this toy. Just dunk it in water, freeze, and give it to him on a hot day.

Healthy Dogma Groovy Granola Bars ($6) - Holy moly these smell delicious - exactly like an apple and cinnamon granola bar. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty jealous of my dogs right now. These all-natural bars have no additives or fillers; it only has stuff you can find in your own pantry. We just ran out of last month's salmon biscuits so this came at the perfect time! Lucky dogs.

Verdict: I don't think we've ever gotten three toys in a Pooch Perks box before so playful pups, rejoice! Unfortunately, my dogs will rip apart the freeze n floats once it thaws. :( But the ice cream and granola bars? Yes, please. :) And if I find they absolutely love the ice cream, it looks like Puppy Cake does a $5 Fridays sale on cake and ice cream mixes. Suh-weet!

Click here to sign up for Pooch Perks. Don't forget to use the code FRIEND10 to get 10% off your subscription!

Note: This review reflects my (and perhaps more importantly my pups') honest opinions. No referral links were used in this post.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review - It's Gudetama!

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping within the US)
Fun Extra: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints which can be redeemed for bonus items.

You know it's going to be a fun month of Ipsy when the bubble mailer is so stuffed that there's packing tape holding it closed. In fact the bagspill photo above is even missing one of the items because I didn't notice it all scrunched up on the bottom of the mailer until later.

I'm sooo happy that Ipsy finally decided to team up with Sanrio. I'm even happier that they're featuring everyone's favorite lazy egg, Gudetama. Sanrio is one of those brands that you never grow out of because we all love cute stuff regardless of age, yes? And if anyone can make something cute, Sanrio can. I mean they somehow pulled off making a sunny side up egg look so adorable!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess (0.11oz, $10) - I get that it's summer and the season's all about achieving that sunkissed glow, but right now I have bronzer coming out of my ears. However, I don't think I own one with shimmer. It's on the subtle side so you can go light or build up to an intense glow depending on the occasion.

Bella Pierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder - My first thought was "Omg, a powder made out of bananas?! Noms!" and then I realized how silly that sounds. No bananas here; the powder gets its name from its yellow tone, though I think it looks more peach to me. Either way, peach and yellow colors target purple shadows like those undereye circles you get when your dog keeps shoving you off the bed all night and you don't get a single wink of sleep. -_- You can use this as a powder concealer or even as an eyeshadow base.
Bella Pierre Banana Setting Powder

Pacifica Island Life Eyeshadow Palette - Ipsy first introduced me to this brand and it's grown to become one of my favorites. Their formulas are so creamy and subtle yet buildable and is exactly what I look for in an eyeshadow. And bonus: this palette is an Ipsy exclusive!

Swatches of the Pacifica Island Life palette (L-R: skinny dip, coral sand, golden, treasure, sandalwood).

Tonymoly I'm Real Lotus Sheet Mask and Green Tea Sheet Mask - One of these masks was smooshed waay down on the bottom of the bubble mailer and went unnoticed until I was just about to throw it away. *whew* good thing I did one last check. :) I love Tonymoly's cutesy product packaging and am pretty sure I act like a total kid in a candy store when I visit the Tonymoly shop in town. These sheet masks come from the I'm Real mask collection featuring all kinds of ingredients: avocado (nutrition), broccoli (vitality), lemon (brightening), tomato (radiance), and way more. The lotus variety pictured above illuminates and the green tea mask purifies skin.

Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner - Yay, a toner made for oily skin! These last few months have been especially horrible to my already-oily skin and on any given day my face looks like an 8th grader just hitting puberty. This toner contains monolaurin to fight off oil-producing microbes and mattify your complexion (i.e. zaps the shine) so it's a good one to use before applying makeup. Heads up, though, it also has alcohol in it so make sure you use a moisturizer afterwards to prevent over-drying and subsequent amped-up oil production.

Also included was a mini mag announcing Ipsy's brand new Ipsy Cash program in which you earn cash back for buying your favorite cosmetics through the Ipsy website. You can opt to receive your "free" money in the form of a check or a Paypal deposit.

Verdict: Is it odd that my favorite thing in here is the makeup bag? I mean it was actually a pretty good haul this month, but I just really like Gudetama. It's not even going to be used to hold makeup; I just found a whole bunch of gel pens in my old desk drawer at my parents' house so those are going straight in the Ipsy bag. Coming in a close second is the eye shadow palette. I don't even know why I keep collecting them. I have so many even though I hardly wear makeup, but they're so pretty! And then there's the toner. I'm so ready to get rid of greasy-face Sheri. I'm also kind of interested in the Ipsy Cash program. I took a quick glance at what's available and there's a lot of stuff to choose from. The deals are pretty good, too - you get 20% cash back on most brands but it goes as high as 30%.

Sign up here to get started with Ipsy for just $10 per month. You'll get five items inside a fun makeup bag along with access to tons of online coupons for more goodies from the month's featured brands right from your account. And don't forget access to Ipsy Cash as well! 

Note: This post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer 2017 Walmart Beauty Box Review

    What: Walmart Beauty Box contains samples of beauty products from major drugstore brands. Multiple versions are available for different age groups - this review is for the Trendsetter box.
When: Ships once a season (March, June, September, and December)
Cost: The box itself is free, but there is a $5 flat shipping fee

Is it just me or is the year really flying by? It feels like only a few weeks ago that I received my spring Me Moment box in the mail. To be honest, I still haven't touched anything in that box because I'm still making my way through everything else I've accumulated over the months years. And then all of a sudden summer's box shows up! I should note that I do like these reusable boxes that Walmart has been sending lately. Their shipping boxes have always been on the sturdier side, but this is an actual box with a cover and minimal design so I can use it to neatly stash all my extras (*ahem* the tons of shampoos and lotion samples I've been getting) without it being an eyesore.

Speaking of shampoos...

Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Dream Care Shampoo & Conditioner - Pantene was the first shampoo/conditioner I picked out for myself growing up (I felt so independent and adult-like!) and I stuck with it all the way until I graduated from high school. I haven't used it since and it'll be nice to take a stroll down memory lane after all these years. This duo smells sooo good (but I find myself saying that for almost every shampoo and conditioner I come across). It's formulated to strengthen hair and lock in moisture to provide intense hydration to every strand.

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - You can never have too many wipes! I keep a pack in my purse, one at work, and I even stash one in my truck for dog park days and use them to wipe my dogs' feet before they jump inside. They're gentle enough so they don't irritate Macho's paw pads (or my face) yet effective in getting off the dirt. 

Schwarzkopf Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel - I don't really know much about anything when it comes to hair gel except that it's goopy and sticky based on the last time I tried using one over 20 years ago. I'm sure gels have come a long way since then, and apparently they're no longer sticky or flaky, as this one claims. Oh, I have much to learn.

imPress Press-On One-Step Gel Manicure in Climb Higher - I can't find this nautical design on Walmart's website, but there are similar ones on there that I want to get my hands on, like now. These are adhesive press-on nails that can fool people into thinking you just spent $50 on a pretty gel mani. They're also supposedly waterproof so you shouldn't be losing nails one by one each time you take a shower. I'm kind of curious to test this claim because the last time I used press-on nails (with a glue) they started falling off after three days and I'm pretty sure my husband was traumatized when he glanced at my hand and saw some fingernails missing :O

Ecotools Mask Remover Sponges - Am I so far removed from the beauty scene that I didn't know people use sponges to remove masks? All this time I've just been splashing water on my face to wash it off. These reusable sponges are made with wood pulp to cleanly remove facial masks while exfoliating your skin.

And finally, the obligatory foil samples. I was actually curious to try out the makeup brush cleaner to see how it compares to soap and water. Annnd I'd still choose soap and water. The whole mixing gel and water for each brush thing was just too labor intensive and I didn't think it cleaned my brushes as well as soap and water does anyway.

Verdict: If it weren't for the adhesive nails then this box would be a bust value-wise. Aside from the shampoo/conditioner and facial wipes, I won't be getting much use out of anything in here, but I will be heading to Walmart to see what other mani designs they have so I guess I could count that as a win. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the Me Moment box, though. I guess I'll wait and see what fall will bring!

You can subscribe to Walmart Beauty Box by clicking here. The fall boxes start shipping in September, so sign up soon to get your name in on time!

Note: All opinions contained within this post are my own. Post does not contain any referral links.