Thursday, February 13, 2014

Popsugar Must Have February 2014

Popsugar Must Have February 2014

First Look
This month's Popsugar Must Have box had a "pamper yourself oh and also it's Valentine's Day" theme.  This was the month that people could get for $20 using the awesome 50% off code released a few weeks ago.  That made this box an excellent deal for some people, and it caused some of those who paid full price to have a few issues with the box.

PSMH February 2014
Me? I'm indifferent.  This just confirms to me that not renewing my subscription after it expires in March is the way to go.  I already signed up for FabFitFun which is $50 quarterly.  (Get $5 off the Spring box using code ZOE or EARLY5.)

Dial Vitamin Boox Lotion Infused Body Wash
I'm just going to get this one out of the way.  This body wash polarized the internets.  It is listed as a "Special Extra" in the booklet, and is not supposed to count toward the total value of the box.  Fine.  Birchbox does this all the time- they feature drugstore items in addition to the normal content for the month.  I don't have a problem with BB or PSMH doing this.  As long as it is a bonus, great.

Some people found the inclusion of this body was to be insulting.  They felt it devalued the box as a whole, and would have been better to just omit it all together.  It inflated the box weight significantly without contributing to the value.  That's their opinion, and they are entitled to it.

I am just happy to stockpile more bodywash!  This one smells like kiwis and isn't too girly.  
$3?  Price may vary depending on stores and current sales.

Whew!  Onto the "real" stuff...

Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum
Last month Ipsy included a sample of face lotion from this brand in my bag.  It was just ok.  This is better.  Normally when I read "face serum," I think of a thinner, gel-like product.  Serum?  Right?  Something with some viscosity to it? 

No.  This is a mixture of oils and oils alone.  I wouldn't call that a "serum," and it totally squirted all over the place because I was expecting something with a little more heft to it when I pushed on the pump.  Oh well.  Nomenclature notwithstanding, this is a decent mix of oils.  It is mostly safflower, with argan, sweet orange (which contributes the most to the scent), apricot and rosehip seed oils.  It also has vitamin E.  That's it.  No additives or silicones or anything.  It was a little on the heavy side on my skin, and took a little longer than I'd like to absorb, so I won't wear it in the morning.  At night,  this is great.

20 mL is $23.99 on Nourish Organic's site.

Sugarwish Mini Red Cinnamon Hearts
Cinnamon hearts always remind me of my mom.  There were very few candies in the world that our family did not enjoy, but as far as I remember, she was the only one that liked these.  I thought they were too spicy for my delicate baby mouth.  I've since aged a couple decades, and discovered that these are indeed delicious.  They are also small, which is good.  And not chocolate, which is better. 

I don't like chocolate.  It's ok if that makes you not read my blog anymore.  

Sugarwish is a mail-order candygram company.  You send a gift card to someone and they pick out the candy they want, and Sugarwish sends it to them.  The smallest size you can gift is 4 1/4lb bags for $25 including shipping.  They have the kinds of candy you normally see in the bulk-candy mall stores.

The candy hearts we were sent are 1/4lb, giving them a value of $6.25.  I definitely wouldn't pay that much for cinnamon hearts, but they did come in a cute box with a bow.  Packaging is everything!  There was also a 20% coupon. (I also think it's kinda cute that Popsugar included another company with sugar in the name!)

k. hall designs Peony Travel Candle
This is such a cute candle!  I love the tin, I love the scent (I wouldn't normally like a floral), and I will definitely burn this.  Very appropriate for a pampering/Valentine's themed box.  Would a jar candle have been better?  Yes.  But I'll make do.

$11 on k hall designs' site.

ModelCo Lip Pops Duo Lip Gloss and Lipstick
This is a dual-ended lipgloss and lipstick combination product.  Both ends smell like strawberry to me.  The gloss is clear with a little shimmer, even though it is tinted pink in the bottle.  The lipstick is a brown-leaning medium mauve color which will be flattering on most people.  I managed to leave the lipstick twisted-up after this picture and smushed it into the cap.  That is what I get for taking pictures of my stuff while on too much cold medicine.

I could not find this product individually on ModelCo's website.  It looks like this is the nude lipstick/ striptease gloss combination included in this set.  The set is $49 and includes three of these combos and a mascara.  

I'll estimate $12.25 for this by itself.

ncLA Polish in Rodeo Drive Royalty
What could be more massacre-themed than blood-red nail polish?  Not much, and I'm happy to have another ncLA polish to try out.  We got one over the summer in another PSMH box, and I really liked it.  However, that one was a creme formula, and this one is more of a jelly.  I prefer the creme!  This went on unevenly and was tricky for even me to apply.  My bottle does have a wonky brush, though.

Rodeo Drive Royalty in bright light, 2 coats
This picture is a little lighter than the polish looks in real life.  It is closer to the bottle color.  I'd say it is the color of blood before it has a chance to oxidize- like when you are getting blood drawn into a small tube.  That color.

This is $16 on the ncLA site.  They also call it a creme and that it is cran-apple colored.  They may be less-morbid people than me.

Gorjana Brooks Jewelry Roll
This is this month's "big ticket" item: a faux leather jewelry roll from Gorjana + Griffin.  It is a poppy-red color, close to the zipper pulls in the next picture.  There are three zippered compartments inside and it is held together by wrapping some ties around the thing and kinda tying it the best you can.  The edges of that tie are not stitched onto the back of the pouch well, at all.  I also have random glue splotches around the zippers on the inside.  

Gorjana Brooks Jewelry Roll, inside
I don't feel like this would make traveling with jewelry any easier for me.  I don't often bring much with me, and what I do bring, I wear.  I have a small container I put it in while I go through security, and then it goes back on.  I will probably use this as a clutch, instead.  My iPhone fits in a pocket, and I can put my cards and cash in the others.  Voila.

This is $45 on the Gorjana website and this exact color doesn't seem to be listed.  PSMH also included a $25 off-your-next-full-priced-order coupon code.  I have two of these now, and will never use them because shipping is too expensive and I can't combine the codes with each other or with sale items.  If you think this is something you would be interested in, please let me know in the comments! I will email you one of my codes! I have two! Two people can get $25 off codes!  Yay!

PSMH February 2014

All together, this box had a total (approximated) value of $117.49.  More importantly, I'll actually use and enjoy everything included.  I still probably won't renew my subscription.  I'd rather try out other boxes!

Popsugar Must Have is $40 per month, with slight discounts if you prepay for a certain number of months ahead of time.  You get 6 (sometimes with +1 bonus) full-sized items from various categories.  It is a very diverse subscription and you never know what will be included.  It consistently has a value of over $100.

If you want to try PSMH for yourself, please use my referral link here.  I'll get a free month for every so many people who join using that link.

This post contains items purchased by me.  No special consideration or compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.  This post contains referral links to PSMH and FFF. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Swaggable: Bombshell Big Hair Powder

I belong to a site called Swaggable which sends you new products to try out in exchange for a review on their site.  It is minimal effort and you get to try something new every now and then.  Not bad.

I put this hair powder on my wish list, and it was sent to me.  I've since seen this brand at Marshall's/TJ Maxx and drugstores.
Rock Your Hair Bombshell Big Hair Powder
I really wanted to like this product, and it did add a lot of volume to my roots.  However, it made my hair a little too sticky for my liking.  It was like powdered hairspray, if that makes any sense.  Sorry, no picture of the disaster that ensued.

If you like big hair, and/or teased hair, and/or bouffants/puffy styles, this might be for you.  It's definitely NOT a dry shampoo.  It does what it says, I just don't apparently need or want a product like this.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. The item in this post was received for free from Swaggable in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birchbox February 2014

Birchbox Review, February 2014: Collaboration with Us Weekly

Birchbox February 2014
This month, I didn't recognize the red outer packaging in my mailbox, but it turned out to be my February Birchbox!

February 2014 Birchbox First Look

The first look was a little disappointing.  I had no idea what to expect this month, as boxes hadn't updated and I don't watch the sneak peek videos BB posts.

OPI Sheer Tint Top Coat in Be Magentale With Me
We will start with the item that caught my eye.  It's no secret that I love nail polish, so I immediately was drawn to this mini OPI bottle.  It's the same size as you would get in their 4-packs of mini colors, 3.75 mL.  Normal polishes are usually 15 mL, and Julep polishes are 8 mL for a size reference.

This is one of OPI's new sheer tint top coats.  They suggest wearing alone for a sheer wash of color, or over another polish to change up its look.

My poor stained, peeling nails and winter cuticles.
1 coat OPI on index and middle fingers (left two), nothing on ring and pinky (right two) fingers
It's interesting by itself.  1 coat is shown above, and you can probably get it a little darker with 2 or 3 coats, but I think that even with layering on the entire bottle, you could never get this polish opaque.  That's fine, I don't mind sheer polishes to be honest, but I know I'm in the minority.  That being said, I'm really glad I got the pink-tinted variation, and not the green or purple or yellow.  As it is, one coat by itself looks like I did a bad job removing red polish.  I can imaging the yellow tint, alone, looks like you just have the world's most stained nails!

The full bottle of this (15 mL) sells for $9.  3.75 mL is worth $2.25.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara Sample
I was really surprised to see a Smashbox product in my Birchbox!  I know that they have sent out mid-price brands such as Benefit and Stila, but for some reason this was a pleasant surprise.  I don't think I've tried this particular mascara before, but I have a huge backlog to go through before I open it.  It has a nice, full brush, so that will probably mean a lot of lash definition (no spider lashes/clumps).  

0.38 fl.oz. is $19, making the 0.14 fl.oz. sample worth $7.

eleven skin Refresh Cleanser
Here's where things got weird.  I have never heard of this brand (eleven skin), and it seems that this cleanser is part of their anti-aging skin care regimen.  The cleanser is available for purchase by itself, and it looks like it is $30 for 2 oz on the website (and $42 for 4 oz), but Birchbox has 4 oz for $30.  So, I'm not sure if I'm reading things correctly?  I was sent a 2 fl.oz. bottle.  

This is a thinner gel formula and smells like a generic plant-oil mix.  Top three ingredients are water, TEA-lauryl sulfate, and glycerin.  It looks like a generic cleanser to me.  There are some plant oils thrown in (mostly AFTER "fragrance" on the ingredient list), but nothing stands out to me.  I haven't tried it, yet, though.  Who knows? It may change my life (probably not).

Worth $15 going from BB pricing.

Agave Healing Oil Oil Treatment

Aaaaand, a little cardboard packet of hair oil.  I hate these cardboard samples almost as much as I hate caffeine headaches.  Which is a lot.  Also, this is not a novel product.  It is mostly cyclopentasiloxane (silicone in circle form) and dimethicone (more silicone, not in circle form).  There are some random oils thrown in, including some for scent.  It smells like a combination of cheap bubblegum and dollar-store potpourri. I already have a silicone-based, oil-infused hair product I love (OROFLUIDO!) and have no intention of switching.

On Sephora's site, 40 mL sells for $40, making this absurd packet worth $4.  I'm going to go dump this into a resealable container so I don't spill it all over the place. 

Smashbox Full Exposure Paper Samples
Sigh.  See how fast this box went downhill?  I was sad when I thought there were only 4 samples in my box, but then I opened up the little flyer at the bottom and was even MORE disappointed that BB/ Us Weekly thought that this "sample" would be a good idea.  Seriously?  If I'm careful, I might be able to use this once to get a full look going.  But, a small amount of shadow pressed onto cardboard does not, in my opinion, give you an adequate idea of what the actual palette will be like.  Yes, there are shimmery and matte shades included, in a range of neutral colors, but I would have been more excited about a mini pan of just one shade.  Ugh.

No value.

February 2014 Birchbox
All together, this box had a value of $28.25.  I'm not that excited about anything, just because there wasn't really anything *new* to me.  I already have a perfect-for-me face wash and hair oil.  I have too many mascaras and a sheer polish mini really isn't that exciting.  I'm not even going to mention the eyeshadow.  I'll review these on the BB site for 10 points each (assuming they let me review the shadows) and spend my points on something I actually like.  Remember, 100 points is $10 to spend! 

Birchbox is $10 per month for 4-6 samples.  For every item you get and review, you get 10 bb points.  Buying things from their shop will get you 1 point for every $1.  The point system, and the occasional amazing life-changing product, make this subscription worth it for me.  Even with lackluster boxes, like this month's, I will continue subscribing.  If you want to try it out, please use my code here.  I'll get 50 bb points for each referral.

This post contains items purchased by me.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and no special compensation or consideration was received for this post.  This post contains a referral link; see above for details.