Since I have been so busy lately, I am really needing to catch up on my subscription box posts! First up, Sephora Play.
This sub has a special place in my heart because it was my first subscription service and got me hooked on the idea of a monthly package full of surprise goodies. Since signing up, I now also have Boxycharm, Ipsy, FabFitFun, and will be getting my first Macy’s Beauty Box this month. And therein lies the problem…
Overall, I have come to notice that the Play boxes really don’t seem to compare to my others subs anymore. I have been seeing repeats of some products, I have received items in some boxes that were advertised as GWP online a few weeks prior (Sephora has so many codes for free gifts with 25/35$ purchase it’s insane sometimes), things like that. I’m starting to get burnt out on the same types of products over…and over..and over… But I digress. Let’s do some quick reviews and recaps. 🙂
My May box was good. My favorite product was the trèStiQue highlight stick (which I now own the full size of! 😁 Full brand blog post coming soon!). I surprisingly used up the whole Rahua hair mask and really loved it, I kind of want to buy the full size but can’t decide. The Belif product I used once and got rid of, it dried me out (shocking!), The Tatcha and NudeStix are both still on a rotation (don’t use them much, bit they are getting used).
I was apparently busy enough in June that I didn’t even take a photo of my box (or I accidentally deleted it….my bad), so I snagged this picture from the site My Subscription Addiction. I was pretty underwhelmed with my June box, not going to lie. Three items I re-sold: the FAB moisturizer, the perfume, and the IGK. The three I kept were the Ouai oil, the Porefessional (this sample was so freaking tiny I was honestly shocked. They have got to be kidding with that…) and the KVD liquid lip (the only product I really liked out of the whole box). I’ve used each of those maaaaaayyybe 1-2 times. Maybe. For all the talk Porefessional gets, I was not super impressed with it, I didn’t notice a difference between it and other primers I own. The KVD is a lovely summer color, so that was nice to receive.
And then we come to July’s box. This one was the box that basically gave me the hard push to seriously consider cancelling my subscription. I’ve gotten the rose face mask before, so I’m kind of over that. I will use the Briogeo, after all I received a full size bottle in my FabFitFun I fell in love with the formula. The lippy isn’t really for me but I’m going to give it another shot. And then there’s the Caudalíe…UGH. The Caudalíe is over HALF EMPTY. I thought it felt light and when I held it up to the light I basically saw no product. Why am I paying for practically empty containers? That really irritated me after getting the miniscule Porefessional sample in June. Second month in a row of lackluster products.
I will still be getting August’s box, as I haven’t cancelled yet, but after that I may call it quits. When I’m spending money on these boxes, I understand it’s a gamble. They are randomly selected products, and are supposed to be a surprise and introduce you to new brands and such. I just keep getting let down by this subscription. Half full products I could have gotten for free with my last online order are a sad thing to find in a box you paid money for! Samples you can basically get one or maybe two uses out of are a big of a turn off. I’m beginning to wonder if my $10 a month would be better used elsewhere. I will update you all on what I decide after I get my August box (watch, that one will be bomb and make me stick around, haha).
Also debating keeping Ipsy, but that is another post for another day!
Recently, I was selected to try out several products by Influenster. The products were all part of the Shimmer VoxBox campaign, and I was THRILLED when I opened the box to find several items that I knew I would love.
The item that stood out the most was of course the full size (!!!!!!) Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! hair mask. I have tried small samples of this in the past and loved it, so I was estatic to get to try it out consistently. I love this item, and really feel that it helps to keep my hair in great shape.
Next up, the Impress manicure. Honestly, I hate press on nails. They have always been uncomfortable and fall off within a day or so, which basically made me assume I would hate these as well. Surprisingly, I love these so much I have continued to wear them on a regular basis! They lasted a week (would have lasted longer if I hadn’t started to pick at them) and the variety of different styles they have is awesome.
The rest of the items were pretty average for me, they didn’t stand out too much, but I still really enjoyed trying these out for free. Such a great deal! 🙂 Thank you Influenster!
Work starts again tomorrow (well, I guess it’s actually today now) and I’m so worried about not waking up to my alarm that my body has apparently decided to combat that by still not being tired.
You can’t sleep through an alarm if you never go to sleep!
5:30 am wakeup, come at me, bro.
Thank God the kids don’t come back until Tuesday. My goal of not drinking coffee all year may get ruined before it has a chance to start.
I honestly am excited to get back to school, although as per usual I have a TON of anxiety about this school year. The last one wasn’t the best, so I am determined to make this one a great one, it needs to be a palate cleanser after this past school year.
Anywho, now for the meat of my post! Early wakeups are never fun, especially for a night owl like me who struggles daily with being a morning person. The time zone I work in is also an hour ahead, so that throws my mornings for a loop as well. By about the 3rd month of school, I have dark bags under my eyes, an ever present ponytail, and will opt out of wearing real pants to work in favor of leggings at least twice a week. I have two fur babies to care for in the morning before I undoubtedly leave the house approximately 9 minutes late for work. The few times I have went without some makeup to work I was asked at least two times in each class period if I was sick.
So, how do I combat the craziness? A simple hair, skincare and makeup routine does the trick. Here is what I try to stick to:
Step one: attempt to style hair the night before. I try to throw my hair back in sme braids after I shower each night so I have some loose waves to work with in the morning. Also helps to avoid using a flat iron daily.
Step two: a great micellar water. I’ll just swipe a cotton pad over my face in the morning to cleanse and use a touch of moisturizer to cut down my usual skincare routine. I do the bulk of my skincare at night so I can wind down from the day and make sure I can sleep in those extra 5 minutes.
Step three: make products multi-purpose. I have a small caddy for makeup on my bathroom counter. I try to make sure everything in there is something I can use for more than one purpose. I use bronzer as eyeshadow. Cream blush can double as lipstick. Quick brow routine rounds things out, as I don’t have to impress students with Instagram brows (as if I have enough brow hairs to do that…hahahahah. Funny.) Simple, fuss free makeup is important. 5 minute face, because that’s usually all I have time for. I recently got very familiar with a makeup brand that is based around a 5 minute face called trèStiQue that once I start using up some other makeup I have had sitting around I will be using daily, too! All stick makeup. Love it. 🙂
Step four: hydrate. The one thing I do in the morning and all day long is make sure to drink tons of water. As a teacher, it’s hard to stay hydrated because I’m constantly talking, walking around class, and I can’t leave to pee whenever I want. But if there was one thing that helps me to avoid looking as burnt out as I feel by the time Christmas break comes, it’s hydration. One bottle by the time I get to school, and I try to make sure I have to refill after every other class period to keep on track with my daily goals.
Well, this is probably the most random post I will every have on here I hope, but it did the trick of helping me get a bit more tired! Here’s to a great school year!
Oh man, has it really been three months since I last posted?!? Shooooooooot. How does that even happen?
Well, for one, the last month of the school year was insane. I can hardly believe that it was as busy as it was. My students were struggling with staying motivated in the last few weeks, impatiently waiting for the final bell that would say “it’s summer!!” and wearing me out as a result. I had students participating at the state level for livestock judging (PROUD FFA ADVISOR RIGHT HERE!!) that my husband and I were helping them prepare for, and all other manner of craziness was happening. I wasn’t even out of school a week before I was meeting with students to prepare for county fair week activities, setting up online classes for some students, and going back to the school to work on my classroom a bit. When your last day of school is the 2nd of June, the rest of the month tends to zoom by as well.
July was a whirlwind of events as well, with friends coming into town for 4th of July celebrations (that actually happened on the 8th, silly Paris…), to my husband being gone for work trips for almost 2 full weeks. Dillon’s stepfather had a knee replacement so I was helping my mother-in-law out a lot, feeding cattle before going into her beauty shop to paint since she had to stay home with her husband. For those two weeks I spent most of my time covered in various shades of paint (and destroying a few shirts and workout pants in the process!).
It seems that before I could blink it was the end of July and now I am in full blown stress-mode getting ready for school to start (ALREADY?!?! WHY?!?!). Teachers are back in the classrooms on Aug. 7 and students come back the following day. Doesn’t seem real that I will be starting my 3rd year of teaching! Time has flown.
I am HORRENDOUSLY far behind on the blog posts I wanted to write, so these next few posts may be a bit action packed. In an effort to catch back up, I will be posting next week a blog about my last few Sephora Play boxes (and the fate of that subscription…), followed by a post about my recent Ipsy bags and how I am going to decide the fate of that as well. I will have my seasonal FABFITFUN box review, along with a blurb about my first Add-On purchase and how happy I was with it, as well as an upcoming in-depth review on the new brand I am seriously considering dumping ALL my other makeup for (seriously, I like it so much I want to put a ring on it, no joke..). Just waiting for one more package to arrive before I finalized that blog post review. 🙂
I have recently won a giveaway containing a VERY sought after, popular, divisive, out of stock product, the moment that arrives I will start playing so I can get my thoughts on that posted as quickly as I can.
All in all, this summer has been a whirlwind, and I appreciate all of you who have stuck around despite my radio silence! I promise you I will get back to posting WAY more regularly.
In the meantime: SURVEY TIME!! In the comment section below, what kinds of posts are you wanting to see? Tutorials? One brand reviews? Like I said, I have lots of content bouncing around my head I need to get written, but I want ideas and requests from you lovelies!
Back on April 22nd I was able to participate in the event my local Sephora inside JC Penney was having for Benefit as part of their launch of the new GALifornia blush and Hoola Lite bronzer. I was so excited to be able to go since I haven’t tried a whole bunch of items from Benefit and I was curious as to how some of their products would perform.
Needless to say, I quickly fell in love with some of the products and had to make a purchase. There will be some mini haul details and reviews to come.
But first, my finished look. 🙂 The cast member gave me a beautiful, summery, light look. I was so excited with what my looked turned out to be.
Some of the products the cast member used on me are as follows:
Stay Flawless Primer
Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation
Hello Flawless Powder Foundation
Hoola Lite Bronzer
Dandelion Twinkle Highlight
Goof Proof Brow Pencil in 03
Gimme Brow in 03
They’re Real! Double the Lip in Juicy Berry
Seriously fell in love with this look! I made the splurge for a few of the products that were sure to sell out and and waiting to purchase the last few later on. 🙂
I hadn’t used any of the products before except for the Gimme Brow (mine was in the old packaging way back when), and the only thing I didn’t really fall for was the primer/foundation, but I feel that if the foundation was maybe set with a different powder, it might have been better for my skin. It felt SUPER hydrating, on my skin almost to the point that it was too dewy. I’m thinking I may try to get a sample of it to try it again in the future to for sure rule it out or not.
The products I decided to purchase were the Hoola Lite bronzer (I got one of the last ones my store had that day, my lucky day!), the Goof Proof Brown Pencil, and this ridiculously adorable ‘Sunday My Prince Will Come’ set that included several perfectly sized minis of a couple of the other products the cast member used along with two that she didn’t use but that I really enjoy after trying them out for a few weeks.
Details on the cute little kit are:
Mini size GALifornia blush
Mini size High Beam liquid highlighter
Mini size Gimme Brow in 03
Mini size They’re Real Tinted Brow Primer
As mentioned previously, I have used Gimme Brow in the past, before they re-branded everything with new packaging and all. I have always been a fan of it, and luckily it still performs beautifully. As someone with incredibly sparse brows (damn you brow waxing circa 2006, seriously THEY NEVER GREW BACK!), I have to do a lot to keep myself from looking like Mona Lisa. I really loved the way the Goof Proof Brow Pencil filled in my brows and how the Gimme Brow made my brows look fuller and held my few hairs in place. High Beam is a really pretty, satiny pink (as stated on the package) high light that really helps to make cheekbones and other high points on the face glow. The GALifornia blush is a glowy, golden pink color that brings SO MUCH SUMMERY LIFE to the cheeks. It is radiant. If you are in the market for a new blush, I highly suggest that you take a look at this blush.
Overall, I have quickly fallen in love with these different products and it makes me want to go out and get more products (looking at you, Double the Lip!).
I’m so thrilled that the SiJCP has these events so customers can better acquaint themselves with the different brands offered. Can’t wait for the next one!
A few weeks ago I received my Spring box from FabFitFun and have been using the time since then to try out the products and get a good feel for them. My first impression upon opening the box was oh.my.goodness! Why did I take so long to take the plunge on this subscription? It was an AH-MAY-ZING value for what I paid, and almost every single thing in the box has been well-loved and used on a regular basis.
For reference, the box comes quarterly and costs $49.99 (there are many ways to save $10 on your first box, one of which is clicking the link in my Disclaimers and Discounts section!) so it is a really good seeing as you get $200+ dollars worth of quality products each season.
Now for my review of this season:
First off, can we just talk about how pretty the design on this box is? Apparently, they have new designs each season, and I am quite excited to see how these evolve!
Okay, so now on to the lovely items that are away inside inside this pretty package. The listing includes…:
RealHer Lip Kit
Gypsy 05 Roundie
Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion
Deborah Lippman 2 pc. Set
Luv AJ Earring Set (some people received a cuff from Emerald Dove instead)
Briogeo Leave-In Conditioner Spray
MILLY Zip Pouch
Karuna Sheet Masks
Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies
These products are all high quality and can be easily integrated into your beauty routines and household use.
RealHer is a brand that donates a percentage of each sale to charities and focuses on empowering women through their products. Each one has an affirmation on it such as “I am Fearless” or “I Deserve the Best”. The formula of their liquid lipsticks is awesome, but drying (what liquid lip isn’t though?). It stays put all day… and I mean All. Day. I really love this kit, since it has a coordinating lipstick, liner, and gloss. That being said, the color I got looks quite strange on my skin tone in my opinion, not sure what makes it not sit quite right with me, but I am trying to learn to love it, hoping I am just insane and that it is just because it is a shade I am not used to wearing. The total cost of this kit is $48.00.
Next up is the Gypsy 05 Roundie blanket. This is amazing as a lightweight nap time blanket (I love my sleep!) I got a really cute pattern, I think I liked this pattern best out of all the options I could have gotten, so that was exciting. I like to fold this up when I’m not using it to drape it over the couch in my living room. They are available on the Gypsy05 website for $50.00. So just this product alone is worth the amount you paid for the box. Not a bad deal.
One of the items I was MOST excited for in this box was the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator. I have seen a lot of questions, feedback, and buzz about this product online in reference to what is different about the product in this pretty blue bottle compared to the normal black bottle you can get from Sephora or the Dr. Brandt website. Truth is, to my knowledge there is nothing different between the two. This is the age defying version, not the PoreDermabration which a lot of people seem to think it is. This is an amazing scrub which I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of in my February Boxycharm too, so I am thrilled I have a backup, since it has quickly become a ride or die skin care product of mine. This retails for $79.00.
For the mani lovers out there, this season included a cute little set form Deborah Lippman with two shades. I got the set with pink in it, called Shape of my Heart. This is valued at $19 dollars, and honestly the formula is nice (I didn’t have chipping for several days, which is surprising for me) but there is basically no opacity. I had to put on layer, after layer, after layer….just to get anything to show up with the pink shade, and the white shade I gave up on after 3 coats and still not having much opacity. Perhaps I got a bad set, since swatches I saw were more opaque, but if they are all this sheer, I definitely will not be buying this again.
The jewelry item I received was the Luv AJ Diamond Kite Crawler earring set, which is surprisingly cute despite me not really being an earring lover. Daily, I actually wear no jewelry besides my wedding band and engagement ring, but I enjoyed integrating this set into my outfits. When wearing these at work I got MANY compliments from students and coworkers alike, however, my ears ended up being sensitive to these. Not sure what exactly they are made out of but after wearing these for two days in a row my ears got red and sore. I might try the clear nail polish trick to see if maybe that helps me out. If not, I will trade with my sister who got the bracelet (she was actually REALLY wanting the earring set). As of this post going live, these are for pre-order sale in the Luv AJ website for $85.
The Briogeo Leave-In Conditioner in this box is literally the bomb.dot.com. It smells like heaven, and I can honestly tell a difference on the days I have used it versus day’s I haven’t (my hair is pretty dry and wavy). My hair has been steadily improving with each use. When I let it air dry, it doesn’t seem to get as frizzy and when I use a flat iron on it (I only ever flat iron my hair when it is totally dry) it is very soft and smooth afterwards. I think this is definitely a product that I will be repurchasing in the future once this bottle runs out. You can find it at Sephora for $20.
Perfect for use at the beach or brunch, this box also came with a super cute and sassy zip-pouch from MILLY. With phrases like “Beach Please” and “Slay All Day” these pouches make a cute statement piece for beach outfits and mall trips alike. This pouch holds a good amount of items, and is waterproof so you can even store a wet swimsuit in it. You can find similar products on their website for $45. This bag gets me all kinds of excited for trips out and about.
Sheet masks are a huge part of my skin care regimen lately, so getting the 4-pack of Karuna Hydrating+ face masks was a very welcome surprise. I hadn’t tried anything by this brand before, but I have heard lots of good buzz. I used one of these masks after using the Dr. Brandt microderm and holy cow was my face glowy! Right after removing the sheet my skin it felt a bit tacky, but then it dried and my skin was SO soft and smooth. I felt hydrated too, which is nice since my skin is usually pretty dry (although lately has been acting weirdly combo..). When my sister tried these, she had a bit of a reaction, getting small bumps on her face, so make sure to take a look at the ingredients to make sure there is nothing listed you might be sensitive to. You can purchase a single sheet for $8.00 or a 4-pack for $28.00.
The last item in the box was actually a bonus product, meaning it was not part of the
total value of the box this season, and I have read that those in Canada were not able to receive this item, which is a shame. Nature’s Valley Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies are a great way to easily and quickly boost some nutrient intake in your day and help make your nails and hair grow strong and your skin glow! These gummies are the newly improved ones, with a softer texture and a better taste than the ones I am used to. I had a jar already, but still cracked this jar open a bit to give these new ones a try. I have to say I like these improved ones quite a bit more, and am excited to finish off the jar I had already so that I have an excuse to take these new vitamins.
The last little bonus in the box was access to the new FabFitFun TV which is chock full of online workout videos that can be easily thrown into your schedule at the end of the day to help keep you active and healthy.
Overall, this was an amazing subscription box, I am so excited to get the summer box soon! If you are interested in joining FabFitFun, you can use the link in my Discounts and Disclaimers section for $10 off your first box!