Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Eco-Emi Box

My July Eco-Emi box is here.  Eco-Emi is a monthly subscription service for that sends a minimum of 5 eco-friendly/conscious products to your door for $15 a month w/shipping included.  The products range from beauty, household, food, etc.  I really enjoy the variety of items they send.  It's not just food, beauty etc.  You get a little bit of everything.  It's something everyone is your house could enjoy.   

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 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. 



Look how cute everything is in my box.  It's like treasure boxes within a treasure box.  





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

Full Size 1.41 oz. Think Thin Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts Crunch Bar. value = $1.69 (10 pack $16.90) - Pretty decent bar but a little messy to eat.  The chocolate was a little melty and a couple of nuts fell off.  I would buy this again. 

2 Pomegranate deodorant towelettes by Crystal Essence. value = $0.42/ea (24 pack $9.99) - I could see using this for traveling or to keep on hand in a locker, purse etc but a spray would be better for everyday use.  I have been using the Crystal unscented spray for several years and am very happy with it.   

Full Size DeVine Lip Shimmer in Merlot. value = $4.50 - This is very nice but sadly it didn't taste like wine, ha ha.

2 oz. bottle of Hugo Natural Lavender Essential Mists. value = $4.33 (8 oz. $12.99) - The boyfriend liked the smell of this and he doesn't normally like stuff like this.  I sprayed it over the bed thinking it might help with relaxation. I don't know if it helped but it certainly can't hurt and the room smelled good.

2 packets of Yogi Tea in soothing caramel and raspberry passion. value = $0.31/ea (16 bags $4.99)

.75 oz. Biggs and Featherbelle Polar Bar (eucalyptus & lavender) soap. value = $1.07 (3.5 oz. $4.99)

1 bottle of iChill relaxation drink. value = $4.00 (2 pack $8.00) - the boyfriend and I shared this even though it's supposed to be a single serving.  I got in bed and felt sleep within minutes but I didn't notice that I sleep better or longer.  The boyfriend said he didn't notice anything but he doesn't have any sleep issues anyway.

.25 oz. packet of Agave light sweetener. value = $0.20 (11.75 oz. $9.18)

.14 oz. packet of Blonde Coconut Sugar. value = $0.05 (16 oz. $5.19)

.15 oz. Seaweed Bath Co. Lavender Body Cream. value = $0.32 (6 oz. $12.89) - This seemed nice but was as creamy as I had hoped for. 

.15 oz. packet of Calm plus calcium vitamin packet. value = $0.28 (8 oz. $14.97)


The total value of this month's box is $17.90  Once again I received a variety of items that I'm excited to try out like the iChill - a drink to help me sleep, interesting.  New deodorant towelette? very interesting.  Merlot lip stuff. yes please!  Tea - always nice to have.  The one thing I missed is this box is a brochure for a charity or cause.  In all the other boxes there has been something but not this one.    


Verdict: great all around box with lots of variety.


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

July Glossybox

Glossybox is new to the US and made it's official debut in May of this year.  This is a monthly beauty subscription service that advertises for $18.33-$21.00 a month they will send 5 travel size beauty items.  You can sign up monthly for $21/month, 6 months for $115 (breaks down to $19.16/month), or yearly for $220 (breaks down to $18.33/month).  Shipping is included in all of these prices. The price is a higher than a lot of the other beauty companies but they say they include luxury items.  The company ships their boxes towards the end of the month so you will receive it at the end of the month or the beginning of the next month.  At first I thought everyone received the same box, but that's not the case.  There has been some variation in the boxes but I'm not sure how the company based what to send to who because until recently the little beauty survey you take wasn't working. Since the survey is now working maybe people will start receiving more personalized boxes.   

The good:

The brands: They have well known quality brands like OPI, Zoya, Burberry, C.O. Bigelow, Ahava, Sebastian and other brands specific to other countries. 

The sizes: They send deluxe size samples and a couple of items were full sized.

The box: I know it's just a box but it's a really nice sturdy box in a nice shade of pink.  The only logo is on the top and it's not very big.  That makes this box perfect for reusing for a gift box. 

Information. They provide information on the products you receive and how much the full size is priced at.  I like knowing this info up front and not having to search for it. 
Free stuff: If you provide feedback on your products you earn Glossydots which will eventually earn you a free box. 


The not so good:

The price: This can be a little high for some people but if you want to receive known/quality brands it's worth it. 





Contents of box.  Full size amount and price listed in parenthesis.

30 ml. Alessandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm. value = $5.56 (100 ml. $18.50)

Full Size .04 oz. Ofra Cosmetics Universal Eye Pencil. value = $10.00

1.7 oz. Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Shampoo. value = $3.03 (8.4 oz. $14.95)

1.65 oz. Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Conditioner. value = $4.24 (6.6 oz. $16.95)

Full Size .34 oz. Senna Cosmetics Double Dose Lip Lacquer. value = $22.00

Bonus items - 2 packets .17 oz/ea. of Caswell-Massey Almond and Aloe Hand & Body Emulsion. value = $0.41/ea (10 oz. $24.00)


The total value of my Glossybox is $45.65  I'm excited to try the heel balm because as I stated before the summer isn't very kind to my feet.  Hy hair happens to be colored so the shampoo and conditioner is great for me. I overloaded with lip stuff and I never use eyebrow pencils so I'm not sure about these items.  Lotion is also handy and I like to carry it in my purse so this will be handy.  

Verdict: I'm still very happy with my Glossybox and plan keeping it as long as they keep up the great
samples.

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

July Bulu Box

Hello everyone.  I have discovered another monthly subscription box to feed my growing addiction.  This one is useful and good for you. Bulu Box is a monthly sample box that contains 4-5 premium vitamin and supplement nutrition samples.  These samples are for both men and women.  The cost of the service is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month.  June was the first month for Bulu box.  I found a promo code that allowed me to get this July box for free but I did end up subscribing for the year.   

The good: 

New products: Nutritional products can be overwhelming and expensive to try.  This allows you to try new products for a low price.  

Samples sizes: The sizes are really decent.  I received multiples of a few items which will allow me to try it a couple of times. 

Information: They include a card with the product information on it. 

Access to products: There are links to purchase the products on the Bulu website

The not so good:

Skip a month: No can do, you will have to cancel. 





Contents of box.  Retail price listed in parenthesis.

Detour Lower Sugar Whey Protein Bar. value = $1.39 - The boyfriend ate this, he said the outside was messy and it got all over his hands.  The inside wasn't dry but was kind of hard.  

4 2.5g packages of Coromega Omega3+D Squeeze. value = $0.51/ea (1 box/90 packages $44.99) - not too bad, orangey tasting with a slight aftertaste.  I recommend drinking a sip of water after or mixing it with something

2 packages of OlaLoa multivitamin packets in orange and tropical. value = $1.40/ea (5 pack $6.99) - I didn't care much for the fizzy taste of this but the actualy flavors were ok. 

4 packets of Green Tea Hawaii. value = $1.17/ea (1 box/60 packets $69.95) - I expected this to be green but it was orange.  Good flavor.  I always add more water than the package says to these kinds of things because I don't like a overly strong flavor.  I enjoyed this. 

ANS Performance HIT pills 21 pills/7 day supply. value = $10.50 (90 pills/30 day supply $21.41)

The total value of my Bulu box is $21.41.  Not too shabby for a $10 investment (again this box was free with a promo code).  I know some people will be leery about the weight-loss pills which adds most of the value to this box.  My feeling on that is be smart about it, read labeling and see if it's something you want to try.  If you're iffy on it, don't take it or talk to your doctor.  Bulu also has a disclaimer about talking to your health care provider before making dietary changes. I was happy to get the Green Tea Hawaii packets because I had been wanting to try it.  I'm always looking for a good protein bar and I take fish oil pills and a multivitamin so I will just try these in place of my regular pills.

Verdict: I'm happy with the products I received.  What a fun way to try a bunch of different health products.  Great value and can't wait to see next month's box.   

**This box was free through a promo code used.  I am not any type sponsor paid or unpaid for Bulu Box.  All subsequent boxes are purchased by myself. 

July 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.  Each month you receive 4-5 samples of beauty related items.  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.



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

.02 oz. Blinc Mascara. value $2.60 (.21 oz $26.00) - I didn't care for this at all.  It clumped up and my eyelashes felt like they turned into plastic. 

.53 oz. Bodyography Foundation Primer Clear. value = $15.96 (1 oz. $30.00)     

1 Spongeables Pedi-scrub Foot Buffer. value $2.99

1 pair of Natural False Eyelashes. value $7.00 - I was super excited to see these but they didn't come with glue.  really? now I have to buy some glue before I can try them.


This month I only I received 4 items but the total value of the box is $28.55.  I'm happy with all of my items except the lashes.  I'm excited about the lashes but not excited that I have to go buy glue before I can use them.  I hope the pedi-scrub works because summer does a number on the feet.  It says it's good for 5 uses. I hope so.            

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.

July Glamour 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 month Birchbox teamed up with Glamour magazine.  This box celebrated the five senses of summer that guarantees a multi-sensory experience.   

The good:

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

The price.  This month I received 6 items for $10 (actually I pay yearly so for me $9.16).  That breaks it down to $1.66 an item.  

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. I'm really curious about it.  

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. 



This is the box.  It has a special wrapping from Glamour.  

My Treasures!


Contents (Full size amount and price in parenthesis)

25 pack of Boscia Green Tea blotting linens. value = $2.50 (100 pack $10.00)  

Sample vial of Juliette has a gun Vengeance Extreme perfume. value $1.35 (100 ml $135.00) 

Full Size Stila Lip glaze in Lights. value $4.00 (set of 3 $12.00)

.5 oz. Gloss Moderne high gloss hair masque. value = $4.88 (4 oz. $39.00) 

Lifestyle Extra - 1 tin of Tea Forte minteas. value = $3.32 (3 tins $9.95) 

Lifestyle Extra - Birchbox exclusive neon green ear buds. value = $10.00 - I'm not sure these are worth $10 but that's what Birchbox values them at. - 8/19 update: definitely not worth $10, awful quality, sounded like a tin can in a bathroom.  horrible.  

The total value of my items are $26.05.  This isn't the best box they have ever sent but it's not too bad.  I've been using lip gloss/stick more so the Stila is good.  Since summer is so drying on the hair it's always good to do a little extra moisturizing during these months.  I swear I'm going to use the blotting papers and I put them in my purse but I never end up using them.  Ear buds, well I have a few sets already but I guess I can use these as a back up. 

The verdict:  It's still a good value and they send out good products in good sizes.  

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quaker Soft Baked Banana Nut Bar

I received a Quaker Soft Baked Banana Nut Bread bar in my complimentary Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox.  Free stuff? What? You can read all about my other Influenster boxes here, then sign up yourself.

This is a tasty little treat, especially warmed up.  I followed the directions on the package and warmed up my bar in the microwave for 10 seconds.  Yum-E!  This little tasty treat has only 140 calories and 5grams of fiber.  I thought that was great.  Perfect for a snack, carrying around in your purse, briefcase, car, putting in your desk, locker, etc.  I'll be honest, it doesn't taste exactly like a slice of mom's homemade banana nut bread but it has the banana flavor and is a decent substitute.  The retail price is $3.29 for a box of 5 which makes them about $0.66 each.  Tasty, good for you and affordable.  Wow.        

  

This is a stock photo because I ate the one I received before I took a picture.  I couldn't help myself.  




This is a box of 5 that made it's way to my grocery cart.



**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Influenster or Quaker.  I received this item complimentary from Influenster for review purposes. 

July Foodzie Box

This is the last month for Foodzie.  Joyus' acquisition Foodzie a couple of months ago so they will no longer be in existence starting August 1st.  They way it used to work is for $29.95 a month shipping included you could choose from 3 different curated boxes.  The choice for July was Seattle, Grilled Pizza and Raw Food.  I chose the Grilled Pizza box which will go nice on our new BBQ pizza stone and new BBQ. Energy Boost Box, Boardwalk Box and Backyard BBQ Box.  With Joyus you will still be able to purchase curated boxes but it will not be a subscription service.  


The good:

The products: The products are gourmet items.  Most of the items you would find in a specialty store not an everyday supermarket. 

The sizes: Full size or close to full size products.  This is great!

Choice: There isn't just one box.  It seems there is something for every ones taste. 

Commitment issues: You don't have to be a monthly subscriber to buy a box.  Boxes are offered to subscribers first but after the 6th of every month anyone can buy a box.  Subscribers receive benefits like free shipping in the marketplace and first pick at boxes.   

The not so good:

Skip a month:  There is no option to skip the month but they can pause your account for up to 3 months.

Value: Not consistent. The March box was incredible value ($51.75 worth of goods for $29.95), The April box value was $21.03 and May way $27.75 and June was $22.74.  I would like to see them consistently near the $30 mark.   





July Grilled Pizza box. 

The contents of my June box: (we used all of these ingredients and made a pizza)

7 oz. Smoked Pepperoni from VT Smoke & Cure. value = $6.75 - Nice spicy smokey flavor

2lb bag of 00 Flour. value $5.00 (I couldn't find any info so this is a guess) - I didn't have any yeast so I had to make a yeast-less crust.  It turned out like thin crust pizza but I prefer that so I thought it was pretty good. 

2 cloves of Black Garlic from Black Garlic in Hayward. Ca. value = $3.99 - These are soft so I smushed them up and mixed them in the marinara. I think I couldn've used more but I wasn't sure how strong it would be.  

16oz jar of Marinara sauce from Ooma Tesoro's. value $7.00 - Used this as the sauce, it was ok  but I beefed it up with some of the pizza blend below.

2oz bag of Pizza Blend from Whole Spice in Napa, Ca. value = $5.50 - mixed this in the marinara which gave it a little more flavor. 



The retail value of my box is $28.24.  This is one of the best box values they've had.  I'm totally excited about this box too.  I was almost running out of 00 flour so this was perfect.  I've never cooked with black garlic but I hear it's amazing so this is exciting for me.  The other ingredients look delicious and I'm sure they will make a great pizza.   

The verdict?  Bye, Bye Foodzie.  I'll be looking to see what Joyus has to offer.  

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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

I received a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Sunscreen in my complimentary Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox.  Free stuff? What? You can read all about my other Influenster boxes here, then sign up yourself.  

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration combines both moisturizing lotion and sunscreen in one.  It's broad spectrum  with UVA and UVB protection and is offered in SPF 15, 30 or 50.  

I have been using this for the past week on my arms and upper chest instead of my normal lotion.  This stuff is great.  I always use moisturizing sunscreen on my face so why the rest of my body.  I have sunscreens but they aren't moisturizing or good for everyday use.  The Hawaiian Tropic is perfect for that.  I can run my errands all day or put the top down on my convertible and not worry about burning or too much sun exposure.  

It has a nice light smell, nothing overpowering.  It feels like soft lotion and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy or dry.  I wear it all day and don't feel the need to reapply.  The product says the moisturizing will last 12 hours and that is definitely true.  I received a 2 oz size bottle but the normal size is 6 oz. and has a retail price of $8.99.  Totally reasonable for sun protection in my opinion!  

If you're thinking of trying a new sunscreen or lotion give this a try.  It's worth it.  

Ready to hit the beach, pool, outdoor concert or just everyday use.  

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Influenster or Hawaiian Tropic.  I received this item complimentary from Influenster for review purposes.  

July Look Bag

**********THE LOOK BAG HAS DISCONTINUED IT'S MONTHLY SERVICE**********

I was sent an emailing saying the company was no longer going to offer their monthly subscriptions and we would be refunded and not receive a July bag.  I haven't received a refund but I did receive a July bag. I'm guessing this is the last one I'll receive and hopefully refunds will be processed by the end of the month.  

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.




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

Full Size Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in color #24. value $18.00

.08 Ultraflesh Gold Standard Mascara. value = $7.88 (.27 oz. $26.00) 

1ml. Betsey Johnson Perfume. value = $1.53 (1oz. $45.00) - didn't have a real overpowering smell.  kind of fruity.  I wonder if you can even still get this though since Betsey Johnson declared bankruptcy

.24 oz. Bremenn Research Labs Miracle Cream (for the face). value = $9.07 (1.3oz. $49.00) 

"An Upcoming Trend" - each month we take to the beauty trenches and see what's upcoming trends out Look Bag subscribers just have to try out.  they sent 2 small bottle of nail polish one in blue and one in pink. value = $1.00/ea

The value of this bag is $38.48.  I'm excited to try the mascara.  I'm beginning to acquire quite a few lipsticks so I'm on the fence about this one.  I do like the color and mango butter sounds interesting.  The nail polish seems cheap to me because it doesn't say who made them.  Almost like something you would find at the dollar store.  

Verdict: This is the last bag which is ok by me.  The value is great but the products are just ok. 

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

July Glam Bag

Hot Pink Metallic Glam Bag time again.  This is one of the first monthly subscriptions I subscribed too and I have to say it's been consistently a high value compared to the price.  I have had a few items I didn't care for but I figure better to try them inexpensively than pay full price and not like it.   With My Glam you receive 4-5 samples and a makeup bag for $10 a month with shipping included. If you sign up yearly it's $110 which brings the price down the $9.16 a month with shipping included.


The good:

The brands. They send out brands like Freeman, Urban Decay, NYX, Philosophy, Murad, Kiehls, etc.

The samples.  They seem to include at least one full size sample each month, which is nice.    

The packaging. Each month the products come in a cute makeup bag for all your goodies.


The not so good:

Skip a month? There is no option to skip a month. If you don't want to receive a bag that month you have to cancel your subscription and re-sign up if you want to start it up again. This could be a problem if there is a wait list to sign-up.

The price: It works out to $2-$3 an item which is reasonable for a couple of the items but a little overpriced for others.  So far in my experience it's all balanced out. 

The choice: You don't get to pick you items so you may end up with things that you might not use



This months theme is Greetings from My Glam "The land of beauty"  The bag arrived in their famous hot pink metallic mailer.  This is great packaging on their part, I mean who wouldn't be curious about a hot pink metallic mailer and who wouldn't love to receive one.  


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

Cute pink with rainbow stripes mesh makeup bag.  This is one of the cuter bags they've sent.  

.5 Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF15 Moisturizer. value = $11.18 (1.7oz. $38.00) 

.67 oz Nu-Me HydroPunch hydrating conditioner. value = $1.98 (8.45 oz = $24.99) 

10 Yes to Cucumbers facial towelettes. value $2.00 (30 pk $5.99) - These do a good job removing makeup, even mascara.  I still like my Neutrogena facial towelettes better. 

FULL SIZE Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in Jitterbug (bright light pink). value = $19.00

FULL SIZE Circus by Andrea's Choice nail polish in Somersault (yellow). value = $4.99 (this isn't for sale yet anywhere so I guessed on the price) 

Coupon for a discount on Hydro Punch or Pure Remedy Products and a coupon for 50% off any product at Nu-Me style.  

The total value of this months bag is $39.16 not including the makeup bag.  I'm not too sure about the nail polish since it's a yellow color.  I might use is for decorating or as an accent color but it's a little bright for my whole nail.  The towelettes always come in handy.  Moisturizer with SPF is something I use everyday so I was happy to see this.    


Verdict - I have a yearly subscription to My Glam so I will finish out my year and re-evaluate to see if I'm going to keep it.  So far though I'm enjoying the products.


**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for My Glam.  I pay for these subscriptions myself.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July Klutch Club Box

KLUTCHClub is a monthly subscription service for health & fitness.  KLUTCHClub 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 KLUTCHmen is coming in August.  You can sign up on their website to be notified of the launch.  I'm debating on signing up the boyfriend up for a box.  If I do I'll post a review here.  KLUTCHClub allows you to sign up monthly, quarterly or yearly.  The monthly 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. 



The box is about the size of a show box.  It has these cute little flaps on it and on the inside is a another box that pulls out. 



My tangible goodies! 



One additional awesome product (molecular gastronomy) and two coupons. 
Contents of box. 

3 Mighty Leaf Teas in green tea, earl grey and chamomile.  value =  $0.66/ea (15 pkt $9.95) - tea is always good and I like this brand.  

1st step liquid vitamin B12 complex.  value = $2.50 (2 pkt. $4.99) - this really does taste just like cherry juice.  I take B12 vitamins which is a tiny pill and while this was tastier it's a lot more expensive. 

1 package of The Breton Gourmet Shortbread cookie. value = $1.00 - very good shortbread cookie. 

7 packets of Truvia sweetener.  value = $0.08/ea

Pamphlet on Molecular Gastronomy with a packet of agar agar 1 pipette and a coupon for a free item with the purchase of a R-Evolution Kit.  value = $1.00

2 .7 oz packets of Zoye Soybean Oil. value = $0.14/ea

Nia Fitness coupons for 30-day online class experience, 40% off select products and $500 off 2012 Nia White Belt Training (cost is $1599). online class value = $30.00

Mineral Hygienics gift card for $15.00.  No purchase required. 

12 oz. can of Cascal Fermented Soda in tropical flavor. value = $1.50 - I really enjoyed this.  I expected a weird taste but really it tasted like fruity soda water to be.  


The total value of this box is $53.82.  I didn't include the coupons that include an extra purchase (the $500 off).  I was very happy to see an actual gift card for the mineral hygienics instead of a $15 off if you spend X amount.  The only downfall is you have to pay shipping which starts at around $5.00.  The other odd thing is the coupon says you can use it to get a mini starter kit which is a $79 value.  I looked online and the starter mini starter kits are $29.99 and the full kits are $$59.00.  So I'm not sure where the $79 is coming from.  I'm SUPER excited about the molecular gastronomy kit.  This is not something most people would get excited about though, I don't think.  I actually have some agar agar in my pantry that I've been wanting to use and the booklet has some terrific uses for it.  I just may buy one of the R-Evolution kits because I think molecular gastronomy is fascinating.  The Nia fitness thing looks interesting and I have exercise A.D.D.  I get super bored doing the same thing so these little one month trials are perfect for me.  I currently have a knee injury but I'm hoping to use these soon.  I very much like this box, much better than last months.

Verdict: Much better box this month.  I hope next months is just as interesting.    

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Quarterly - Gretchen Rubin

Quarterly Co. is a slightly different kind of subscription box company.  It's not a monthly adventure but it's quarterly.  The way it works is you pick a "contributor" you would like to receive a curated gift from pay $25 and every 3 months you will receive your item in the mail from them.  With each gift you receive the story behind it.  The curators consist of CEO's, authors, chefs, world travelers, business owners, etc.  I signed up a couple of months ago and decided to pick two curators.  The first one I picked was Gretchen Rubin author of "The Happiness Project".  I thought who doesn't need more happiness in their life right?  The description read "Research shows that one way to enjoy a little hit of happiness, during your ordinary routine, is to receive a small, unexpected pleasure. The brain gets a bigger thrill when some little treat comes as a surprise, whether it’s a dollar found in the street, a free cookie sample—or an alluring box in the mail. (And not only do you feel happier; these boosts of happiness make you temporarily smarter, friendlier and more efficient.) The items you’ll receive will lift your spirits by making your life and home more beautiful, more productive, and more full of fun."  Now doesn't that fit me perfectly?...everyone loves a treasure, especially me! 
This truly is a surprise in the mail.

The Good: 

Interested: This is definitely a different kind of subscription. You could be receiving a treasure from someone who or whose work you admire.

Gift: This would make a great gift if there is someone on the list you know someone would like.

The not so good:

Waiting: You sign up, pay and receive a box about 5 weeks later.  The bummer is waiting that long.




This is the envelope inside.  You can chat about your item on Twitter using the #.  This one happens to be #THP03


This is the letter inside from Gretchen Rubin. 


Happiness Items.  


Magma Sketchbook. value = $14.35 on Amazon. Retail = $15.95 per Amazon

Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils 12 pack. value = $6.60 on Amazon. Retail = $11.68 per Amazon

Hmmmm.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I don't have a single artistic bone in my body when it comes to drawing.  It's a nice sketch book and I know Prismacolor pencils are really good quality pencils.  I'm just not sure I would use it.  I guess the whole point is to just relax and do it.  I just hate to waste a good sketch pad and pencils on bad doodles.  I'll have to mull this one over a little bit.  

Verdict: I like the idea of Quarterly but I think I'm going to cancel this particular one.  I still have Food 52 and I just signed up for another one (Veronica Belmont) so I'll report on those treasures in a month or so.  


**I pay for these boxes myself and not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Quarterly Co.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July Beauty Army

It's Beauty Army time.  Beauty Army I believe is 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 daily so what's available one day may not be available the next.  The price 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 but I had to find something to write here.  :)   


My treasures!  (the reason for the separate picture of the eye cream is because I forgot to include it in the main picture...oops)



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

1 oz. Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment. value = $9.51 (4.2 oz. $39.95) 

Full Size 3 oz. Freeman Beauty Vita-K Professional Spider Vein. value = $14.99 - This actually works, amazing!  

.25 oz. Indie Lee Lavender Daily Moisturizing Oil. value = $1.75 (4 oz. $28.00) 

.1 oz. Atzen Eye and Lip Emulsion. value = $7.50 (1 oz. $75.00) 

.33 oz. CellCeuticals NeoCell. value = $7.92 (2 oz. $47.50)  

.33 oz. Delizioso Skincare Mangosteen & Acai Super Anti-Aging Facial Cream. value = $19.33 (1 oz. $58.00)


The total value of my kit is $61.00.  Jackpot, and I got to pick the items I wanted.  I discovered a small spider vein on my knee the other day so this pick was perfect.  I've been using some of the other CellCeutical items and like them so I thought I would give this a try.  I'm always looking for ways to keep my hair healthy especially in the dry summer heat so I was happy the Macadamia Oil was an option.   


Verdict: I'm very happy with all my kits 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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Gotham Box - San Francisco

It's time for the Gotham Box.  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 $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. 

Information: They always send a little information card about the products you're receiving.  


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.  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. 

6 oz. bag of Chili Con Lemon Almonds from Nutty by Nature. value = $4.00

2.64 oz. Pink Pepper Citrus Chocolate Bar from Madecasse. value = $5.99 - very good, I could taste a little citrus but not any pepper. 

12 oz bag of San Franola Granola value = $8.00 - I've had this before and I liked it.  My only complaint is that is breaks up easily leaving you with little pieces of granola.  The little pieces are good for putting in yogurt.  


The total value of the box is $17.99 and I paid $20.  I'm totally ok with the $2.00 difference for a couple of reasons.  #1 These are items I've never seen in any of my local stores, including specialty stores and #2 a meal was donated.  I can't wait to try the chocolate bar and almonds are always a good snack to have around.        

Verdict: This is a definite keeper!     


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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

June Bulu Box

Hello everyone.  I was recently contacted by Bulu Box and they sent me a box of their goodies to review.   Bulu Box is a monthly sample box that contains 4-5 premium vitamin and supplement nutrition samples.  These samples are for both men and women.  The cost of the service is $10 a month or $110 a year ($10 savings) which brings it down to $9.16 a month.  This is the first box offered from Bulu box.  

The good: 

New products: Nutritional products can be overwhelming and expensive to try.  This allows you to try new products for a low price.  

Samples sizes: Most of the sample sizes are really decent. 

Information: They include a card with the product information on it. This is really important since their boxes contain supplement type items.   

Access to products: There are links to purchase the products on the Bulu website

The not so good:

Skip a month: No can do, you will have to cancel. 



The goodies arrived wrapped in tissue in a little box.  

Contents of box.  Retail price listed in parenthesis.

2 fish oil pills from Life Equals Omega-3. value = $0.42/ea (60ct for $24.99) - I took one and it gave me fish burps...for those who take fish oil pills you know what I'm talking about. 

Tube of Peach RevHoney, it has honey and freeze dried fruit for energy. value = $1.69 - This is basically flavored honey is a tube. I thought it was delicious but I always have tons of honey at home and could just eat that and get the same effect.  

30ct Pure Matters Vitamin D3 pills. value = $4.32 (90 ct $12.95) 

Nightfood bar, claims to satisfy late night cravings and help you fall asleep. value = $2.00 (6 pk $11.99) - So the boyfriend ate half of this and he was asleep on the couch about an hour later.  It was only 9pm also which is much earlier than his normal bedtime on the weekend and he slept 13.5 hours.  I ate the other half and slept for 9.5 hours.  There may be something to this.  

1 Cellucor Super HD pill. value = $0.67 (60ct $39.99) 

The total value of my Bulu box is $9.52.  $0.48 less than the price paid but that's totally reasonable.  The only thing that doesn't really make sense to me is the Cellucor pill.  It doesn't seem like one pill would be enough to really evaluate it.  I could be wrong though.  It could be an amazing little pill that has super noticeable effects.  There's only 2 fish oil pills but what I look for in fish oil is taste so this will be enough to evaluate.  The vitamin D is interesting because I actually know 2 people that have a prescription for vitamin D because they are deficient.  One of them is outside a lot but wears sunscreen all the time  I work long hours indoors so a little Vitamin D in my life won't be such a bad thing. 

Verdict: I'm happy with the products I received.  Interesting mix of products and I'll be interested to see what July brings.  

**This box was provided free to me by Bulu Box. I am not any type sponsor paid or unpaid for Bulu Box and my opinions are my own and not swayed by the company.