Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Klutch Club Box

Klutch Club is a monthly subscription service for health & fitness.  I know, I know....another subscription.  Everyone has their weakness and this is mine I guess.  Could be worse right?  Klutch Club ships their boxes out on the 15th of every month.  The boxes contains over $50 worth of products or services such as snacks, new workouts or body care regimens to try.  Currently Klutch Club contains products curated for woman but rumor has it KlutchMen is coming soon.  You can sign up monthly, quarterly or yearly.  The montly price is $18 a month, quarterly is $51.00 or $17 a month and the yearly is $192 or $16 a month.  Shipping is included in all of these prices. 

The good:

Healthy: This box is totally dedicated to health and fitness. If you're just starting to get active this is a fun way to try new products or fitness regimens. 

Need a gift: Have a health nut friend or want to encourage someone? Send them a month, 3 month or yearly subscription.

Information: They send a little info card on the products included in the box. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: No skipping a month option. 

Coupons: I really don't like it when companies send giftcards that require me to spend money and they include that in the overall value of the box.  What's even worse is if the coupon is for something I won't use. 

This is the box.  It's about the same size as a shoe box.  It was tapped with an "open here" sticker.  I "opened here" before I took the picture.  I guess I got too excited since this was my first box.    

I opened the first flap and this was the message.
                                                                                                                  Ohhhh how exciting! 

All my Klutch Club treasures. 

Contents of box. 

.1 oz tube of Yu-Be moisturizing skin cream from Japan. value = $1.33 (full size is 1.2 oz $16.00)

.25 oz sample of African Black Soap by Savvy Boheme. value = $0.30-$0.37 (full size is 4-5 oz. $5.99)

1 Journey Bar, coconut curry flavor. value $1.67 - I really wanted to like this but it was just awful.  I love coconut and I like curry but this confirms that those 2 things shouldn't be mixed together in a whole grain bar. 

1 package of Crum Creek soy nut mix. value $5.50 - Tasty little nuggets. 

One month subscription to mybarre3 online workout program - ballet, yoga and pilates workouts. value $15.00

$25.00 Gift card for Body Language Sportswear

$30 giftcard for OG Sack

The total value of this box is $23.87.  If you include the gift cards then it's $78.87. The gift cards are a nice gesture but here is the issue I have with them.  On the Body Language Sportswear website the cheapest thing is $50 and that's for a bra like top that.  Capri-type work out pants are in the $70 range.  So even if I purchased the least expensive thing I would still be spending $25 plus shipping.  I didn't see anything on their website that I would be interested in buying for those prices which makes it totally useless to me.  The OG Sack website offers various tote/backpack/messenger bags priced at $65.00 plus $8 shipping which means I would be spending $43.00 additional.  I might consider the OG Sack because it actually looks very practical  and has some cool features on it but I'm still on the fence about it because I would like to see it before I buy it.  I'm excited about the barre3 workouts because I've been wanting to try it for a while now and since it's free for a month now I have no excuse.  I'm very curious about the coconut curry bar.  I'll be honest the title doesn't sound appealing but things have a way of surprising you.    

Verdict: It's interesting and minus the gift cards I like the items I received.  I'll be curious to see what next month brings.  

I am an affiliate for Klutch Club. This does not affect my opinions in any way. I purchases these subscription boxes myself. 

June Eco-Emi Box

My June Eco-Emi box is here.  Yay!  I like the little foo-foo-ness of this box, the pretty note card, the packaging, the little flowers inside.  Eco-Emi is a monthly subscription service for that sends a minimum of 5 eco-friendly/concious products to your door for $15 a month w/shipping included.  The products range from beauty, household, food, etc.   

The good:

Price: Eco-friendly product samples can be difficult to find.  I appreciate being able to try these products for a fraction of the price of purchasing full size. 

Eco-friendly: Every little bit helps

Variety: Not just beauty products.  You get food, home, drinks, etc.

Want more: Sometimes they have left over boxes that they sell after the subscriptions have been sent out.  The cost of these is $15 w/shipping included.  Kinda cool if you really like or know someone that would really like that months box. 

Information: They put a card in every box with information on the products as well as the price.  The also include a pamplet on a organization.  This month is the Animal Legal Defense Fund. 

The not so good:

Skip a month:  There is a feature where you can put your account on pause.  I'm waiting to hear more info on that.  

Payment: You have to set up a recurring payment through paypal.  I don't like this because paypal makes you use your paypal balance before they take money from your checking/credit card.  I like to save my PayPal balance for misc eBay purchases. 

The box is a USPS priority mail box.  When you open the box this is what it looks like.  There is a decription card, a very pretty purple satin bag and a wrapped treasure. 

All my eco-consious treasures!

Contents of box.

Full Size .15 oz tube Eco Tints Lip Care in Rose Quartz. value = $4.49

Full Size 3.4 oz tube of Vitacare Vitamin toothpaste in Pomegranate flavor. value = $5.99 - this was pretty tasty and it left my teeth feeling really clean.  

1 bag of Mighty Leaf Tea, Iced Calypso Mango. value = $4.66

sample 3-5 uses size Rain Water Botanicals deodorant in Jasmine Wind. value = $1.00 - This worked well and I actually liked the scent, not too strong.  I like that it's natural ingredients.  I have an aluminum allergy which makes deodorant hard to find sometimes.  

Full Size .5 oz. Organic Indulgence Organic Orchard Pear and Fig body balm. value $5.95

1 pkg. Amazing Grass Amazing Meal in Pomegranate Mango. value = $2.99 - I'll be honest this frightened me a little, especially when I opened the package and it was a weird looking green powder.  I ended up mixing it with a zero calories Sobe drink just in case the taste wasn't so good. The texture was a little grainy even after shaking the bottle like crazy.  The taste wasn't as horrifying as I thought it was going to be but I'm sure the juice helped.  Not a bad little powder and it only had 110 calories with 10g of protein and 6g of fiber

1 pkg. Natural Vitality Organic Life Vitamins. value = $0.74 - This wasn't too bad.  I drank it straight from the package and it didn't ick me out. 

1 pkg. Natural Vitality Energy 28. value $1.04 - I'll be honest I didn't like the tast of this.  It was a little bitter and grainy.  The good part is there isn't a lot in there so you can just gulp in down in one shot and get the benefits. 

1 pkg. Pyure Organic Pyure Stevia Sweetner. value = $0.11 - This adds a lot of sweetness.  I added the whole pack to my tea (regular size cup) and probably could've got away with using half the pack. 

The total value of this month's box is $25.97.  Once again I received a variety of items that I'm excited to try out.  On a side note a few years ago I challenged myself to donate at least $25 to a charity once a month.  I have a few charities that I always donate to but and always looking for new ones. In every Eco-Emi box is a brochure for a cause.  This is great for me because it allows me to read about a new cause that I may want to donate to and it helps spread the word about it.  

Verdict: great all around box.  Can't wait for next month.  

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Eco-Emi.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.   

Friday, June 29, 2012

Diamond Candles

What the heck is a Diamond Candle?  That's exactly what I said when I first heard about it.  It's not a subscription company it's just a fun little product with a little gimmick.  Diamond Candles are large 21 oz soy candles with a ring in it.  Yep I said ring.  The company puts a ring inside each candle that has a value of $10 to $5000.  The rings range is size from 6-8 but you can't choose which size you will receive.  The price is $24.95 plus $5.00 shipping.  So it's a little pricey but you get a piece of costume jewelry out of it or if you're super lucky then a ring worth more than the price of the candle.  I think it makes a fun gift also.

This is how the candle comes packaged.  This scent is apple slice and smells just like apples.  

This is the ring inside the candle.  From what other people have said it's wrapped up inside to protect it.  I'm tempted to dig it out but I'm patiently waiting and burning the candle.  I'm glad it's not too far down though, so I don't have to wait long.  

The candle itself smells good.  I would recommend cutting the wick before lighting it though.  It was pretty long and created a lot of black smoke upon first lighting.  After it had burned down it seemed to burn pretty clean.  I was going to wait and post this when I had the ring but I decided I would let all of you sit and wonder just like I am.  So stayed tuned for an update on my Diamond Candle ring.  My guess is I should have that baby out by the end of the weekend.   

*****UPDATE****** My candle finally melted enough for me to get the ring out.  **************   

So this is what the ring comes wrapped in. Looks kind of icky but I assure you it's just foil and wax.  It's a piece of foil and the ring is inside plastic.  I was so excited to see my ring I didn't wait for the wax to cool before opening it up.  I had to clean a little bit of wax off the ring but it wasn't a big deal. 

This is my actual ring.  It fits on my middle finger which is an 8.  I love the design of it and the color of the stones.  There are no markings inside so I have no idea what it's made out of or what the stones are.  The website says you can take it to a jeweler but I'll pass on that and just enjoy the ring for now. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Diamond Candle.  I purchased this item myself.  

June Gotham Box - San Francisco

Goodie, goodie Gotham Box time.  I really enjoy my Gotham boxes for a couple of reason.  #1 The products are local and different and #2 My heart will always hold a special place for the city by the bay.   For those new to my little blog of my subscription box addictions let me tell you briefly about Gotham Box.  For $20 a month (shipping included) Gotham Box will mail you a box of products from the "Gotham" aka city of your choosing.  Currently the cities available are San Francisco and New York.  For every box purchased they will donate a meal to help end hunger in that city. Each month, they will also double the number of meals they donate to the city that scores the most number of points.  So in addition to getting cool food products you help out a great cause. 

The good:

Support small business: The products are from small businesses in the area of your choosing.  I'm a big fan of supporting small and local when possible. 

Price: $20 isn't totally unreasonable considering you get hard to find specialty products. 

The not so good:

Multiple boxes: I picked the San Francisco box because that's where I'm from originally but I would like to try the New York box just out of curiosity.  On the website you can change your city but it doesn't appear you can subscribe or order more than one box.  It would be a  nice feature if they had leftover boxes at the end of the month to let subscribers purchase those.

Skip a month: No can do.  You can change your city or cancel but no skipping the month

Payment: You have to set up a recurring payment through paypal.  I don't like this because paypal makes you use your paypal balance before they take money from your checking/credit card.  I like to save my PayPal balance for misc eBay purchases. 

The contents came in a regular mailing box with packing peanuts.  How cute is the penguin tape they used to seal the boxes??  Inside was a card with information about the companies featured.  There was also a postcard of San Francisco's Alcatraz with a personalized note written to me from Jonathan (co-founder), so cool. 

Contents: Retail price in parenthesis. 

16 oz. bottle of Bay Area Bee Company honey from the mission. (13.99) - This is super cool.  Each hive is managed in various neighborhoods throughout S.F. and will take on different characteristics depending on the flora in the area.  The hives are managed without the use of pesticides, antibiotics or other chemicals.

1 Two Degrees Bar in chocolate banana. ($2.21) This company donates a meal to a hungry child for each bar sold. - I've had these before and honestly I didn't care much for them. A hile back I bought 6 of them because they sounded good and I liked that they donate a meal. Even though it was tough I managed to eat them all because I couldn't bear the thought of throwing them away and wasting food.  It just seemed to defeat the purpose of donating the meal. 

2.5 oz. bag of The Good Bean roasted chickpea snack in Smoky Chili & Lime. ($3.16) - I liked the texture of these little roasted chick peas but this particular flavor was pretty spicy.  I would like to try a different flavor. 

The total value of the box is $19.36 and I paid $20.  I think this is totally reasonable considering 3 meals were donated from the purchase of this box.  1 from Gotham Box, 1 from Gotham Box S.F. for having the most points and 1 from the Two Degrees bar.  I can't wait to try the honey and compare it to the honey I get locally in my area.      

Verdict: This is a definite keeper!     

**I purchase these boxes myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Gotham Box.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Summer Spruce Up Cravebox

This is not a normal Cravebox review.  This is a Summer Spruce Up Limited Edition Cravebox.  In addition to their regular boxes, Cravebox offers limited edition boxes several times a year.  What makes these limited is that there are only 1500 available.  You have to sign up on their website to be notified when these boxes are available.  From that point they choose 1500 people to receive a box.  The limited edition boxes cost the same as the regular Craveboxes which is $10 w/shipping included.  This is a one time charge for this specific limited edition box.  Future limited edition boxes include summer beauty, dog lovers, back to school and summer bbq.  

I was so excited when I received an email saying my entry was chosen to receive the Summer Spruce up box.  Don't get me wrong I'm not super excited about cleaning but I am excited about products that will make cleaning easier and quicker.       

I'm not going to break down the good and not so good for this since this is their limited edition box.  You can read about the montly Cravebox subscription click here

My summer cleaning treasures!

Contents of box with retail price

1 pair of Mr. Clean Bliss Gloves (latex-free)  $3.99 - These are super soft inside, I'm actually a little excited to use them. 

12 oz. can of Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish $4.95 - I used this (with the dawn cloth) to clean my black  gas cook top and since I was so happy with the results I went on to clean my white porcelain sink.  Both look shiny and clean now!  It was a little drying to my hands, I guess I should have worn the gloves. oops  

4 oz bottle of Sprayaway Glass Cleaner $2.49

1 Dawn Duo Sponge Cloth. $1.00 - great the with the bar keeper's friend.  Washed up nicely and will last many uses.  

Coupon for 1 box of Glad Tall Kitchen Bags. $5.49

The total value of my Summer Spruce up Cravebox is $17.92.  Not too shabby.  I have heard really good things about the Bar Keepers Friend stuff so I think I'll tackle my cooktop with that.  I'm always looking for a good glass cleaner so I'll try that on my car windows.  I don't normally wear gloves but maybe I should start so my nail polish will last longer.  I'm very happy with this box even though cleaning is not really my favorite thing. 

Verdict: This was totally worth the $10 I paid!

** I am not not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Cravebox.  I pay for these boxes myself.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June Beauty Box 5

Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service for beauty products including makeup, skin care, fragrances, nail care, body care, beauty tool and just about anything else beauty related.  They have three ways to subscribe.  You can pay monthly for $12 a month, or quarterly $30 which brings the price down to $10 a month or yearly for $100 which brings the price down to $8.33 a month.  Shipping is included in these prices. 

The good:

The brands.  Well known brands including some eco-friendly ones.

The pricing structure.  I like the options they have, monthly, quarterly and yearly.  Even the quarterly gives you a little bit of a discount. 

Like surprises? Boxes ship out on the 15th of every month and you never know what's going to be in it.  I like surprises so this is a positive for me.  Also since this ships out in the middle of the month you get a little treasure towards the end of the month.  Most monthlies ship at the beginning. 

Information: They have started including an information cards on the products in the boxes which I love

The not so good:

Skip a month. Currently there is no option for this.  If you want to skip you have to cancel.

My treasures!

Contents of June box.  Full Size price and size listed in parenthesis. 

.02 oz. Blinc Eyeliner. value $2.60 (.21 oz $26.00) - This was very wet and tricky to put on .  The good thing is it lasted all day even in hot weather.  I tried peeling it off at night which didn't really work, it more starting flaking off.  I did come off easily with a Neutrogena facial towel

Full Size .07oz. The All Natural Face Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow in Orange Ice Storm. value $3.50 - I love this eyeshadow.  It's so pretty and simmery.  I love the way it looks and how it went on.  It didn't really last the whole day though. I work in an office setting and at the end of my 8 hours it had pretty much faded out.    

Full Size 50 sheets Blum Naturals Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues.  value $2.99

.06 oz. Everyday Minerals Girl Friday Blush. value $4.99 (.17 oz. $10.99)

1 Comodynes Easy Peeling New Face Effect. value $1.62 (8 pk $12.99)

I received 5 items 2 of them full size and the total value of my box this month is $15.70.  I have received items from The All Natural Face in my eco-emi box and I really like their products so I'm excited to try this.  The facial tissues will be nice for the summer time.  I'm not to into blush so it may be awhile before I try this.         

Verdict: I'm going to continue with this subscription because paid for the year and I like the variety of items received.  

**I pay for these services myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Beauty Box 5.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Kara's Way Box

I have discovered another monthly subscription service for beauty items and this one is eco-friendly.  Kara's Way cost $15 a month with shipping included and the promise to send 5-10 samples in each box.  What I like about these type of boxes is being able to try the products.  Natural, organic, vegan products sometimes tend to be a little more expensive than traditional beauty items.  This is a nice way to try the items without have to buy a full size item and pay full size price. 

The good:

Products: You will receive natural, organic and or vegan items for a fraction of the cost.  It's a great way to try products out without spending a ton of money. 

Price: $15 is very reasonable.  This month I received 5 items and 4 of them were full size.  That made each item $3 each. 

Availability: Each month if you go to the Kara's Way website they have a link to purchase the items in the current box.  Often there is a discount. 

The not so good:

Skip: No option to skip a month.

My treasures came wrapped up in green tissue.  The tag has wildflower seeds in it.  You can place it in dirt, water it and watch the flowers grow. 

All my treasures.  Nice variety. 

Contents of my June box.  Full size price and size listed in parenthesis. 

Full Size Sante Mascara Endless Lashes No. 3. value $22.00

Full Size Sante Eyeshadow Stick No. 8. value $15.00

Full Size Alba Pineapple Quench Lip Balm. value $2.99

Full Size 100% pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.. value $10.00

.5 oz. Olivenol plus Skin Solutions moisturizer. value $4.94 (2 oz. $19.75)

The total value of this box is $54.93.  What an amazing value in this little box.  I can't believe how many full size items they sent.  4 of the 5 items were full size.  That is above and beyond what I expected.  I'm always looking for a a good mascara so I'm eager to give this a try.  I just read an article about using caffeine products on the eyes to reduce puffiness so this was nice to receive to try. 

Verdict:  Yes, yes!  Amazing box.  Can't wait to see what next month offers. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Kara's Way.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

June Little Black Bag

It's Little Black Bag time!  This is so addicting.  First of all I want to thank all of you that have used my referral code when signing up.  That was so awesome of you!  I hope all of you are enjoying your LBB experience as much as I am.  

Haven't joined the Little Black Bag club yet?  Want to know more?  Let's me explain.  Little Black Bag is a new subscription service with a twist.  It's sort of confusing to talk about but once you get going it's easy. There are people that open several bags a month.  I've really been trying to limit myself to one a month and have so far been successful.    

In a nutshell you join the monthly service and pay $49.95 plus $4.95 shipping and tax (CA & NY) which brings the total to roughly $59 or you can do a one time bag purchase for $59.95 plus $4.95 shipping and tax (CA & NY).  You pick out one item to put in your bag from the gallery of at least 200+ items ranging in price from $12-$105).  The deal on the bag is for $49.95 or $59.95 you will receive at least $100 worth of items.  So once you pick out your one item you click add to bag and the company picks out 1-3 more items to put in your bag so it's value is at least $100.  Now the catch is you don't get to see what those other items are until you pay for your bag.  They show you the brand and value so you can look through the gallery to see what the possibilities are.  The items will change depending on the value of the item you pick out.  Once you pick out your item and purchase your bag this is where the twist comes in .  You are not obligated to keep any of the items in your bag you can trade them with other members on the Little Black Bag website for items in their bags.  This goes on for 7 days.  Once the 7 days is over your bag closes and ships. Now if anytime during those 7 days you are happy with your bag and want them to send it to you just click ship my bag and off it goes to your happy little hands. 
The trading part of it sounds more confusing than it actually is.  Say you get a necklace picked out for you that you really don't like.  You can go into the gallery pick something you like and offer to trade it for something in your bag.  You don't actually talk to the people you are trading with it but you just put your trades out there and hope someone else with an open bag accepts.  Tons of trading goes on so don't worry about not being able to trade your items.  I have never kept the item I started with and haven't had any issues trading items I'm not a big fan of.

The good: 

Like to shop? The definitely fills the shopping need.  It feels like you are shopping every time you check the website to look for items to trade with other members. 

The value:  Your bag is guaranteed to be worth at least $100.  My lowest bag was $164 and as high as $400. 

The brands. The brands are well very well known.  Kenneth Cole, Disney, RJ Graziano, R&Em, Gorjana, Sakroots, and many more.  

Multiple treasures:  You can score multiple treasures and use them for gifts at a fraction of the cost. 

Variety. They have handbags, sunglasses, cell phone cases, iPad cases, earrings, wallets, nail polish, home :items, etc.  You will find something you like. 

Skip a month? Don't want a bag with month? then skip it.  The company sends and email on the 1st of every month and you have 5 days to decided if you want to skip or open a bag.  If you forget to skip for some reason they will charge you for that month but you will get double the items the following month. 

Need a gift? Send them their own little black bag.  You purchase the bag and the company sends the recipient and email saying they received a gift.  Who wouldn't love picking out their own treasures! and what a unique gift.  

Received your items but didn't like it:  LBB will let you return the item for an exchange or refund.  The refund will be prorated based on the number of items in your bag and price paid.  In an exchange you will receive another mystery item in your bag with a value of within $5 of the exchanged item.  I've done the exchange process and it was fairly painless.  I had to pay for the return shipping but once the company received the items they sent an email confirming receipt and I received items in my next bag of similar value.   

The not so good:

The price:  Yes $50 a month is a little pricey but if you break it down by item it's not so bad.  Also you can use it to find gifts or just skip a month.  

Pictures: They show pictures of the items and list the sizes but I would like to see them on a model (real or fake) to see the scale.  I have received a couple of pairs of earrings that were bigger than I thought they were going to be.   

Want more, more more:  You can only open one bag at a time however there is no limit to the number of bag you can open.

Time: In my opinion you need to really be on top of the emails to get the best deals.  I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I can check my email frequently can really stay of top my trading for the 7 day period.   

It's addicting.  Nuff said

My Little Black Bags arrived in a Big White Box.  The items are all wrapped up to look like little black bags.

Here are all my treasures.  I have a variety of items this month I'm excited about. 

Close up of my pink hoop earrings, bath salt and Kabuki Brush. 

Close up of my earrings, eyeshadow, eyeliner and diffuser. 

I've been eyeing these both these earrings for awhile.  I am SOOO happy to finally have them. 

Contents of bag.  Retail price listed in parenthesis.

R&Em Leopard Tote. value $68.00 - This is the item that I started with.  I didn't trade away my starting item this time!

Michael Marcus Mauvelicious Eyeshadow. value $23.00

Michael Marcus Trashy Cake Eyeliner. value $25.00

Truth Art Beauty Mint Blend Bath Salts. value $15.00

R. J. Graziano Pink Threaded Hoop Earrings. value $35.00 - love these!  I have the dark blue pair also

Robyn Rhodes Branch Earrings. value $68.00. I have bought Robyn Rhodes items before from her website and really liked it.  Very well made and super light.  The funny thing about these earrings is they were backwards on the wire.  I could have returned them since they would technically be considered defective but it was a quick fix to turn them around and I love these earrings.  I emailed the company to let them know about the issue though. 

Kenneth Cole New York Shell Drop Earrings. value $26.00 - These are more lime/yellow than the bright yellow they appeared to be on the website.  This is actually better for me so I'm not complaining. 

Kenneth Cole New York Sticks & Stones Earrings. value $22.00

Xela 8 oz. Pomegranate Diffuser. value $30.00

Mineralogie Kabuki Brush. value $21.00 - This is very soft.  It lost a couple of bristles the first couple of times I used it but nothing outrageous. 

Disney Couture "Believe" Hoop Earrings. value $45.00 - love these!

The total value of my LBB this month is $378.00.  To be fair though I had 4 exchange items worth $124, a referral item worth $28 (Thanks Heidi E.), a gift for sending someone a gift bag worth $18 and a gift from Klout based on my Klout score worth $45.00.  So really $215 and 7 items of my bag kind of don't count.  If you don't count those items then this bag was valued at $163.00.  I am still totally ok with that because it's way more than the $58 I paid and I got some really cool stuff.  I am very happy with this bag.  I got some items for me and some for gifts.  I don't plan on returning any of these items.  Everything is just how I thought it would be and I'm thrilled with all of it. 

Verdict: I love Little Black Bag and I'm sticking with it. 

**I pay for these subscriptions myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Little Black Bag

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June Beauty Army

It's Beauty Army time.  Beauty Army is I believe the only monthly beauty subscription where you can choose the samples they send to you.  They consistently have deluxe size samples from known brands and the value is always way over the amount paid.   

Here's how Beauty Army works.  You get to choose up to 6 items to try out from a selection of 9 items. The selection window is open for 5 days based on the day you signed up.  I happened to sign up on the 1st so my window starts then.  They updated their stock throughout the month so what's available on the 1st may not be available on the 10th.  The cost is $12 a month and that includes shipping. They also offer a yearly deal for $132 which means your 12th month is free dropping the price down to $11 a month.  

The Good:

The brands: You will get options from Joico, Weleda, LaRocca, Freeman, Barbor, StriVectin, etc. These are well known brands. They also say they use brands from emerging companies which is also fun.

The box/kit: I am very impressed with the little box it comes in. It's a well made sturdy reusable box hat can be used for gifting treasure boxes of your own making, keeping your treasures organized, etc.

The price: $12 Shipping included seems reasonable to me to be able to try a useful amount of product. Also you are picking the items out so theoretically you will always get something you will use.   

Customer Service: I've had to email customer service for an issue and they were very prompt in responding and fixing the issue.  They seem to really care about their customers happiness with their products. 

Skip a month: Not feeling it this month? unexpected bills? now you can skip the month. If you are a yearly member and skip the month then another month will be added to the end.  Yay! 

The not so Good:

Paying for the year. If you decide to take the plunge and pay for a year be advised there are no refunds for yearly subscriptions.  This really isn't unusual for yearly subscriptions though.   

This month they had an option where you could choose a mystery sample.  Everyone knows I like surprises so I went for it.  Only 5 of my items are shown here because I forgot to include one item.  It's in the next picture.  

My treasures!  The first picture was missing the Egyptian Magic and the mystery sample is mascara.  Yay!

Contents of box.  (full size amount and price in parenthesis)

.1 oz. Kellett Skin Care Clarifying Acne treatment.  value = $4.41 (1.7 oz. $75.00)

.3 fl. oz. Korres Guava shower gel. value =  $0.44 (13.53 oz $19.50) I think this should have been a bigger sample.  There isn't much in here. - This had a nice guava smell and lathered up nicely.  It was only enough for a one time use though. 

.1 oz. Egyptian Magic skin cream. value = $0.93 (4 oz. $37.20) This is also small but I'm told a little goes a long way with this.

.17 oz. Fiafini delicate cleansing emulsion. value = $1.22 (4 oz. $28.00)

.17 oz. Youngblood Mineral Primer. value = 7.13 (1 oz. $41.00) ) - I've used this before and I like it.  When you apply it to your face it turns to a powder like consistancy and smoothes out fine lines.  I like that it doesn't leave my face shiny or greasy looking. 

Full Size NYX Provocateur Mascara. value = $6.00

The total value of my kit is $20.13.  I've had higher values with this subscription but I'm happy with this.  My friend whose sign up day is in the middle of the month had some cool eye pad things as an option.  I'm hoping they will still be an option next month.  I was super happy that  I received mascara for my mystery item.  I'm always looking for a good mascara. 

Verdict: I'm very happy with all my kits thus far and will keep this subscription going.

**I pay for these kits myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Beauty Army.

Friday, June 22, 2012

June Birchbox

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service for beauty items like makeup, skincare, fragrance, etc.  Each month you will receive 4-5 generously sized samples and sometimes full size beauty products.  The cost of this service is $10 w/shipping included.  They also have a yearly subscription which is $110 for the year bringing the cost down to $9.16 a month..

Each months box has a theme and this months Birchbox theme is Jet Set.  It contains items devoted to products that will indulge your inner jetsetter.  Next month they are teaming up with Glamour magazine for a 5 senses Birchbox

The good:

The brands.  You will receive items from Benefit, Stila, Pur, Essie, Kerastase, Tarte, etc. 

The price.  This month I received 6 items including one full size item for my $10 (actually I pay yearly so for me $9.16)  

Like surprises?  You don't know what's in your box until you receive it.  When you sign up you take a little quiz and the items in the box are supposed to be customized to you.  I have seen pictures of other peoples boxes and they do receive different items.   

Discounts: They have a system where you earn points for referrals and things you buy.  The points allow you to receive discounts on future full size purchases from their shop.  They offer free shipping on items from the monthly box and a $5 flat shipping rate for items that don't qualify for free shipping.  This is a nice feature because if you want to order several different brands you get free or $5 shipping for everything. 

Need a gift? You can gift a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription or you can purchase a gift card in any amount.  There also have a nice option with the gift subscriptions where you can choose to have the 1st box shipped you for giving and subsequent boxes will be shipped directly to the recipient.  Great birthday/holiday gift!

Man in your life that likes surprises?  Birchbox now has boxes for men.  The cost is $20 a month or you can buy a 3 month gift subscription.  I don't know anyone who has received one of these yet but I hear they are going to have some great products in them. You can see a sample of what's in the Men's Birchbox here

The not so good:

Skip a month?  Currently there is no option to skip a month.  If you don't want a box that month then you have to cancel your subscription.  If you paid for the year you cannot cancel, you will continue to receive boxes until the paid year is up. 

June Birchbox Treasures.  

Contents of June Birchbox.  (Full size amount and price in parenthesis)

2 Comodynes Self-tanning intensive towelettes.  value = $1.87/ea (pk of 8 $14.99) 

1 Masqueology Pore Minimizing Mask. value = $8.00 (pk of 3 $24.00)

Full Size Stila One Step Bronze. value = $36.00

.04 fl. oz. theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen. value = $2.43 (.3 fl.oz. $17.00)

Lifestyle Extra - 1 Tilt quart size plastic bag. value = $0.94 (pk of 9 $8.49)

Birchbox Man Extra - .04 fl. oz John Varvatos Star USA cologne. value = $1.38 (1.7 fl. oz $55.00)

The total value of my items are $52.49.  I'm excited to try some of these items like the mask and bronzer.  I've used the tanning towelettes before on my legs and wasn't impressed but I'll give it another go.  My boyfriend doesn't wear cologne so I'll probably give the cologne sample away.  The plastic bag is ok I guess.  I'll be curious to see how it holds up.  Some people received Cynthia Rowley band-aids instead of a plastic bag.  I think I would've got more use out of that (bought new super sharp knives and keep cutting myself).        

The verdict:  It's still a keeper.  I'm very happy with the full size Stila product which makes the cost totally worth it.

**I pay for these boxes myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Birchbox

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June The Look Bag

***update7/18/12, Received an email stating The Look Bag is being discontinued while the company refocuses on The Look Store***

***update 7/2/12. The Look Bag is now accepting new subscriptions***

***update 6/24/12.  The website says they are overhauling their lookbag subscription system so they are not accepting new subscriptions at this time and to check back***  

The Look Bag. Yes this is another new monthly subscription for me.  I can't help myself, I love getting packages in the mail!  The Look Bag is $10 a month shipping included.  They also have a yearly option for $110 which brings the price down to $9.16 a month.  I was charged tax on my subscription but that may be because I'm in California.  They promise to send 4-5 deluxe to full size samples each month.  

The Good:

Price: $10 a month.  This is a good starting point for newbies or if you don't want to spend a lot on a monthly subscription.  

Discount: You get 20% off full size products from the store once you join. 

Need a gift: You can send a 3, 6 or 12 month gift subscription to someone

The not so good:

Availability: The offer a 20% discount on a full size purchase BUT I looked up all of the brands they send me on their website and they had either been discontinued or they didn't carry it. 

Skip: There is no option to skip the month.

June Look Bag

Contents of bag.  Full size price and size listed in parenthesis.  

.25 fl. oz. Atopalm Intensive Moisturizing Cream.value = $2.14 (3.4 oz. $30.00)

.14 oz. Snowberry Cellular Regeneration Night Cream. value = $8.67 (1.7 oz. $104.00)

Full Size Korres eyeshadow in sunflower and evening primrose. value = $16.00

Prescriptives Lip and Eye pencil sharpener. value = $3.00

Full Size Von Berg Lip Liner. value $25.00 but I found it online for $10-15.  This item said it was personal product sent to me based off of my beauty profile.  I have never used and don't plan on ever using lip liner so I'm not sure how they picked this off my beauty profile.  The only good thing about this is there is a lip brush on the other side I can use for my lipsticks. 

The value of this bag is $54.81. The value is certainly there but I have absolutely no need for a lip pencil.  The other stuff I will use and even though the pencil sharpener is kind of meh, I'm glad to have a spare to put in my travel bag. 

Verdict: I'm on the fence about this one.  Stayed tuned next month. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for The Look Bag.  I purchase these subscriptions myself.