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BoxyCharm BoxyLuxe Subscription Box Review — December 2018

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My first BoxyLuxe arrived yesterday!  I’m so excited! I’ve been a subscriber of BoxyCharm for over a year. The regular BoxyCharm box is $21 a month. BoxyLuxe is a once-a-quarter upgrade option you can add to your existing $21-a-month Boxycharm subscription. So for an additional $28.99, you’ll get the Luxe items, and be paying a total of $49.99 for that quarterly box.

Here’s what I got this month:

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I have to say that my first impression was wow! This box is so much larger than norm BoxyCharm and it was packed full. The products are basically what you need for a full face of color cosmetics, eyeshadow, blush, highlighter, mascara and a lippie. Plus, a beautiful brush set and skin care and a bath and body product!

Here’s a closer look and my thougts of each item:

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When I found out this was in the box, I was so excited!  I was still on the waitlist for BoxyLuxe, but I was so hoping I would get off in time for this box.  I’ve never tried Violet Voss.  I am going to review this on my blog later this month (after I’m done with all of my gift guides).  But I have tried it yesterday and today, and spoiler alert — it’s as gorgeous on as in the palette!

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This is a highlighter and blush palette.  I think the shades are pretty, but it’s strange that the product is in strips and not square pans.  It will be difficult to get face brushes into it.  I will probably give this away to someone for Christmas.

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I’m so happy to receive both of these variations.  My shade of lip gloss is Flaming Hot. It’s a shimmering purpley pink with glitters.  It’s so gorgeous on! It will be really nice for holiday parties and my anniversary, which is next weekend.

The LORAC mascara is so fun.  When you apply the blue primer, your lashes are blue!  Colored mascara usually doesn’t show up on my, but this did.  And with the mascara over it, my lashes had so much volume.  I will keep and use both of these products.  And I love that they are from brands I know and like.

IMG_2676 This is such a gorgeous set!  It includes 8 brushes, and they are so pretty and soft!  I’m good on brushes right now, but this will make an amazing gift for a friend (who hopefully isn’t ready this right now)!

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I was happy to see this as well.  I’ve heard such great things about this cram and am looking forward to using it.  I’m not the biggest fan of the strong scent, but I can get past that if it’s as good as I hear.

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I have tried Spongelle before years ago, I think in a PopSugar box.  They are sponges with body wash in it.  They are so foamy and smell amazing.  A really nice addition to my shower routine. This is in the shape of a star and was made for BoxyCharm.

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It’s hard to tell, but this is a small and very cute straightener. I’m not sure if I will give this away or keep it.  Hmm.  I think I might keep it.  We got to choose between a straightener and an eye shadow palette, so I decided to choose this. I think I might need a small straightener for travel!  It folds up nicely into the felt case, too.

IMG_2681  This makeup bag is very nicely made, but I don’t see myself using it.  I will give it to my 23 year old daughter. I think she will like it.  I will probably give her the charger, too.

So, my first BoxyLuxe was a hit!  Out of the 9 items received, I will keep and use 6 of the products and give away 3.  Wow!  I usually only keep one or two of the 5 BoxyCharm products each month.

I really recommend BoxyCharm and BoxyLuxe so far.  You can subscribe here.

Do you subscribe to BoxyCharm and/or BoxyLuxe?  What did you get this month and what do you think?

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Ipsy Glam Bag Plus Review — November 2018

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Hi all!  I recently received my second Ipsy Glam Bag Plus ($25 USD), the November box. I received my first box in October.  You can see what I received for that box here.  It is a box that will always include 5 full-sized items.

I had looked in my Ipsy account and saw what I was getting again this month.  I wasn’t happy.  I had seen three spoilers — an IT Cosmetics eye shadow palette, an Ofra highlighter and a First Aid Beauty cleanser (all great spoilers). I didn’t get any of them.

Here is what I received:’

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tarte Make Every Moment Count Cheek Palette ($32 USD)                                                            SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream  ($20 USD for 2.5 oz)                                                SLMISSGLAM Eyeshadow Brush Trio – ($45 USD)                                                            Makeup Geek Foiled Lip Gloss in Set List– ($12 USD)                                                          dr. brandt needles no more NO MORE BAGGAGE eye de-puffing gel – Retail Value $42

This is a pretty blush palette from tarte.  I’m good in blush right now, but this will make a nice gift.  I like that there are three shades. I was hoping to get the IT Cosmetics palette, because I have been wanting to try it.

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This is the one item I’ll use from the box. I received a smaller container of this cream in a BoxyCharm this summer. I really love it.  It’s so hydrating without being greasy and the scent is a delicious pistachio caramel.

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These brushes are great quality.  I’m a little overloaded in brushes, so I will probably give these away. It’s a good brand, thought

IMG_2507I received this in BoxyCharm this year and didn’t like it at all.  It’s so thick and dry and irritates under my eyes.  I don’t know what I am going to do with it.

IMG_2509 This is a pretty fall color, but I don’t wear metallic lip products.  I will probably give it away.

So, this month was a bust for me.  It was $25 and the only thing I’ll use is the $20 cream. I will give the rest of this away.

I have cancelled this box, but maybe I’ll try it again sometime next year.  I’m afraid if they continue with the variations, I won’t get the items I want, which is what can happen in these kind of subscriptions.

Do you get Glam Bag Plus?  What did you get this month?

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BoxyCharm Subscription Box Review -September 2018

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Hi all! I received my September  BoxyCharm this week.  I wasn’t as excited as I usually am.  I don’t know if you’ve heard that they have released a larger box called BoxyLuxe.  On the day it released, I got up early and tried for 5 hours to subscribe.  I didn’t get it and am on the waiting list for December’s BoxyLuxe (it’s quarterly).  So, I’m a bit salty towards BoxyCharm right now and am trying to decide if I want to keep the subscription.

Boxycharm is just $21 a month for 5-6 beauty items, most of them full-sized.  It is a nice  way to try new makeup and beauty tools.

This month I received:

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I just want to say that I’m not going to swatch any of these because I will be giving most of it away to friends…

This Laura Geller baked blush is in the shade Tropic Hues.  It’s a pretty shimmery coral/pink.  I think this would be really pretty in the spring/summer seasons.  I have tried Laura Geller blushes before and they are very nice — light and shimmery.

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I love LORAC lip glosses.  They are so comfortable and not sticky at all. I haven’t tried their liquid lips.  I wear nudes and pinks, so this isn’t for me, but I have a friend who will love it!

The eyeliner has a tiny pizza cutter like roller  on the applicator. This is to roll it on your eyelids.  I am not an eyeliner expert, but I tried this and it’s really hard to use!  I’ll see if my daughter can figure it out.

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This is the Pretty Vulgar Nightingale palette.  It’s a cool toned, smoky palette.  I think this will be really nice for fall and winter!  I have these types of shades, so I will be passing it on, but it’s pretty and the packaging is fun!

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This is the one item I’m keeping out of the September box. I LOVE theses brushes!  The green handles are fun and the brushes work really well.  I have already used these.  I really enjoy getting quality eye brushes!

So, I think this is a nice box.  The items will make great gifts.  I think I may be on product overload, though.  I think I’m going to keep BoxyCharm until December to see if I get the next BoxyLuxe.

Do you get BoxyCharm or did you get BoxyLuxe this month (lucky)? What did you think of the September box?

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BoxyCharm Subscription Box Review –August 2018

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I received my August BoxyCharm so early this month. I’m very excited about that!

Boxycharm is just $21 a month for 5-6 beauty items, most of them full-sized.  It’s an amazing way to try new makeup and beauty tools!

This month I received:

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I was so happy to get these eye masks! I have seen them reviewed and thought they looked fun!  They are gold foil on the outside and a cellulose fiber that delivers hyaluronic acid and more! They look so cute on and when I removed them, my eyes looked amazing!  Very smooth, bright, and my dark circles were reduced! Love!

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The style of these lashes are Siren.  I don’t wear lashes, but they are pretty.  The band is really thin and I think these would actually fit my eyes.  These might come in handy later, so I’ll hang on to them.

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This Adesse New York oil includes Vitamin E, shea oil, sweet almond, and jojoba oils.  This has a light scent.  I haven’t used it yet because I have a cuticle oil I forget to use. I think I might give this away.

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After I received this palette, I told my daughter who is leaving for college that I had a nice, neutral palette for her.  Then I showed her this.  She laughed so hard!

This palette is very good quality.  It has sturdy packaging and a really nice mirror. The colors are obviously very bright.  I am going to try them out soon and may do a review of the palette alone.

I will have swatches of this, the brow cream and the lipstick below.

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Bang Beauty Chocolate Eyeliner — I don’t usually use eyeliner.  I use shadow to line my eyes.  But I do like gel eyeliner.  I don’t wear black often, so this might be nice for every day. I will try this out.  (But I don’t think it will work with the bright Laura Lee palette)!  IMG_1798

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Action, vivid orchid cream.  This is such a creamy lipstick that feels so good on! And the color is so pretty.  But it’s not really for me.  I like nudes or pinks.  I have tried it out, so I will keep it.  Who knows, I might use it (and this will go with the Laura Lee palette!)

Here are my swatches:

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On the left is the eyeliner.  I should have applied it with a brush because it was hard to do with my finger.  You can see the color and it was really difficult to remove so it  would probably last a long time on the eyes.

The lipstick is next.  It’s really pretty.  The next 6 shades are Laura Lee’s palette. From left to right is Issa Party, Damage Control, Karaoke, Dranks, Bottoms Up and Hungover.  I have tried one shade, Hungover in my crease, outer corner and under my eyes.  And it was gorgeous!  So I’m kind of excited about the crazy colors.

I think this month was okay.  I will use all of the eye masks and I’ll try out the palette and eyeliner.  I’ll keep the lipstick or give it to my daughter.  I’ll hold on to the lashes just in case I need them.  I will probably give the nail oil away.  I usually don’t keep as many products out of my BoxyCharm. So while I’m not blown away by anything, I will use some of it.

What do you think of these products?  Do you get BoxyCharm?  What did you receive?

 

Julep Maven July (& June) 2018 Subscription Box Review

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I am excited to share what I received from one of my favorite (and my oldest) subscription box,  Julep Maven.

This is the JuIy box, but I realized that I never photographed and reviewed the June box! So I found the products and I will include the photo at the end of this review.

I have been a Julep Maven subscriber for 5 years now.  And I love it!  You don’t have to take a box each month, you can skip if you want to.  Which is so nice if I’m short a month or if I’m not feeling any of the items.  The cost is $24.99 a month ($19.99 a month with a 3-month subscription).

I also love that you can customize your box.  When I first started subscribing, I could choose from curated boxes, but now, I get to curate my own! Here are the products I chose:

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Saundra Polish ($14) — Color description: Azure Seas Holographic Shimmer.  There were a bunch of fun shimmers this month, but I have a TON of nail polish, so I just chose one this month. Their formula is 5-free and vegan-friendly.

Rethink Your Shower Hydrating Body Cleansing Oil ($38) — An ultra-hydrating, lightweight body cleansing oil that reaches deep to dissolve impurities and prep skin for exfoliation, then rinses away to reveal silky, nourished skin. This smells amazing! Kind of citrusy.  But, I haven’t tried it yet.  It’s in my beauty room/office and I keep forgetting to take it into my bathroom.  I am excited to try it, though.

Don’t Leave Your Brows At Home – Cool Brown — Two-in-one tool with brow powder and an angled brush to fill in and define your brows. I can’t find this on the website right now.  It wasn’t a new product this month, but one I wanted to try.  I have been playing with it and am liking it okay.  I’m more used to an eyebrow pencil.    

And this is what I chose last month:

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Roberta polish ($14 USD) — Color description: Breezy Turquoise Shimmer

Two It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse ($20 each) in ULTAmate Nude and Blush.  Blush is shimmery, which I didn’t know until I purchased it.

Here are swatches:

IMG_1391 I really like ULTAmate Nude.  It’s so pretty on!  These are so nice, they don’t dry down all of the way and aren’t transfer proof.  But I don’t like drying lippies, so these are right up my alley!

I love this box and will continue subscribing! I love that I can choose from new or older products depending on what I want and need.

What did you choose for your June and July boxes if you are a maven?

 

BoxyCharm Subscription Box Review — June 2018

 

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My June BoxyCharm finally arrived! I have been waiting for it because this month’s box is so amazing!

Boxycharm is just $21 a month for 5-6 beauty items, most of them full-sized.  It’s an amazing way to try new makeup and beauty tools!

Here is what I received:

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I was excited to try these Luxie Brushes.  I have some travel Luxie eye shadow brushes I’ve received in another BoxyCharm.  I haven’t use them yet, but they are pretty.  I think I’m going to try these tomorrow.

I don’t wear false lashes. I’ve tried them years ago, but I didn’t really know how to apply them.  I like how wispy these are.  I’m going to hold on to them and maybe play around with them.

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This smells amazing! It’s such a cute little container.  It is a very hydrating, but not greasy cream.  Very nice for the summer.

This eye pencil is okay.  I’m not the biggest fan of pencils you have to sharpen, plus when I swatched it, it wasn’t very pigmented.  I put this in my giveaway pile.

I also put the Ofra lipstick in my giveaway pile.  It’s too brown for me.  But I really do love their lip formula.

This is the item I was most looking forward to this month!  These colors are so pretty.  The top 4 are shimmers that can be used wet or dry and the bottom 4 are mattes.

Here are swatches:

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The shimmery shades swatch the best, they are so gorgeous!  The mattes (of course) don’t swatch as well on my arm, but they blended on my eye really nicely. I think this is gorgeous for some amazing eye-catching looks this summer.  I also think it will got into fall nicely, too.

So this month was a win because of the Alamar eye shadow palette.  I will also keep the lashes to try out, the brushes and the bum bum cream!  The eyeliner and lipstick will be given to a friend.  I think this is the most I’ve kept from a BoxyCharm!

Did you receive June’s BoxyCharm?  What did you think?

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is next Sunday.  Time to get shopping!

I have some great picks for Dad.  Below is a fun fishing subscription box, fragrance, skincare and a book:

Fathers Day Bass XL
Fathers Day Bass XL

 

Lucky Tackle Box is the #1 fishing subscription box in America, where you can sign up and receive a monthly package full of the hottest lures, tackle and products in the sport fishing industry.  I received a sample of the Father’s Day Bass XL.

Lucky Tackle Box ships once a month, with each box packed full of some of the top fishing lures, tackle and accessories in the industry. LTB has 10 different boxes for species ranging from Bass to Walleye, Trout to Fly Fishing.

Subscription plans are set up for 1-month, 3-month, 6-month or 12-month durations. The Regular box is from $15.99 per month and is approximately a $25 value.  The XL box is from 25.99 a month and is approximately a $40 value.

 

The KORRES assortment of Greek grooming essentials are formulated with clinically-proven ingredients that reflect the brand’s deep knowledge of authentic herbal remedies. KORRES identifies powerful natural ingredients and maximizes the effectiveness to address the skincare needs of men, from dads to grads. The ABSINTHE Men’s Shave Cream and MARIGOLD & GINSENG Aftershave Balm are must-have grooming items that are perfect for Father’s Day (and even the soon-to-be graduate).
  • ABSINTHE Men’s Shave Cream ($32.50 USD) : This richly textured shave cream helps your razor glide smoothly over skin to ensure a deep and comfortable shave. Absinthe Shave Cream is a brushless, non-foaming preparation and, as it is formulated at a milder pH than lathering creams—preventing skin roughness.
  • MARIGOLD & GINSENG Aftershave Balm: The light textured and nutrient-rich balm is made for after-shave care. Enriched with energizing ginseng and anti-inflammatory marigold, it reduces irritation commonly caused by shaving. Ginseng extract enables the delivery of nutrients—ensuring the healthy appearance of skin.
Annick Goutal Eau de Monsieur Eau de Toilette Spray
Annick Goutal Eau de Monsieur Eau de Toilette Spray

Annick Goutal Eau de Monsieur Eau de Toilette Spray ($162 3.4 oz) — An ode to masculine elegance. A perfume that combines the freshness of bergamot and Italian citrus with the warm and enveloping notes of sandalwood.

Blvgari Man Black Orient Cologne
Bvlgari Man Black Orient Cologne

Bvlgari Man Black Orient Cologne (3.4oz – $89, 2oz – $68, 1oz – $50) — Combines the strength of leather and oud with the sophistication of Tair rose, expressing a scent that is suave, heady and wild. Also combines the collection’s signature rum and tuberose with added thread of woods in each base with a new smokiness that evokes the scent’s Oriental muse.

Available at Bulgari stores nationwide; for additional information and retail visit Bulgari.com

Three Gorges Dam Front Cover
Three Gorges Dam Front Cover

Three Gorges Dam by Thomas V. Harris — New Yorker Michael Brannigan and the People’s Republic of China are concluding a triumphant week. The PRC’s top energy consultant has fallen in love with Australian geophysicist Kylie Ryan while traveling in Xinjiang Province. President Lao Ming is in Beijing hosting a game-changing summit with the United States. CNN is broadcasting the new reality: the Communist juggernaut has surpassed the United States as the world’s top superpower.

Brannigan’s train is retracing Marco Polo’s historic journey—when the Silk Road Express reaches the Far East’s Far West, his team of engineers will assist the Chinese in developing the world’s richest oil fields. As Brannigan heads deeper into the Taklamakan Desert, President Lao’s motorcade is approaching the end of its parade route. In a few hours, the president will arrive at the Hall of Purple Light to celebrate his victory.

All that changes in two blinks of an eye. Television cameras capture the crumbling of the Communist regime while China’s Young Turks and Fighting Monks rock the country. Caught up in the violence, Brannigan’s love affair meets a tragic end. Hostiles are raging and the Chinese miracle is self-destructing. In the midst of the turmoil, Brannigan returns to China for a hush-hush assignment at Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric facility. There, he overcomes his demons and finds lasting happiness. Everything is coming up aces.