Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Mantry Box - Retox

Mantry is a new subscription box geared towards men but it's food products and the way I see it is woman eat food too so I signed up.  The price per month is $75.00 with shipping included.  The advertise that they will send 6-8 full sized items curated to fit the modern man's lifestyle.  The products are 100% made in America, even the hand made wooden crate the items are shipped in.  It looks like they have changed a little bit and are more consistent with their pricing and billing. 

Each month the Mantry crates have a theme and this months theme is Retox (boozed infused products)

If you noticed I didn't do a review of the January box and that's because I never received one.  I emailed the company and was told it was error on their end and they would ship it out right away with a couple of extras for in the mix up.  It's been two weeks since the email and it's now the last day of February and I haven't received my January box yet.  Now I'm annoyed. 

This subscription ships to the US and Canada however for Canada it's an extra $25.00 shipping fee.

The good: 

Packaging: Comes in an awesome little crate.  This can be used to store all kind of stuff.  I'm currently using one to store extra beauty products and one for miscellaneous small gifts I've purchased.    

Products: Full size specialty food products. 

The not so good: 

Price: It's a high priced monthly subscription and the value fluctuates.      


Contents of the Mantry crate.  The crate itself was a little lighter than the other crates.
  

Contents with approximate retail price listed.  ALL products are full size.  

Reginald's Bourbon Pecan Butter from Sabot, Virginia. Value = $7.00

Creminelli Whiskey Salami from Salt Lake City, Utah. Value = $14.00

Brooklyn Brine Hop-Pickle from Brooklyn, New York. Value = $11.99

Jack Rudy Tonic from Charleston, South Carolina. Value = $16.00

Ovenly Bacon Caramel Corn from Brooklyn, New York. Value = $5.25 - this definitely had some spice on it and bacon flavor.  A little went a long way with this which is probably good since I'm sure it's not a low calorie snack.  

Scarpetta Tuscan Vodka Sauce from Lynn, Massachusetts. Value = $6.99

The total value of this Mantry box is $61.23.  As you know I like it when the value of box is at least what I paid but will make exceptions in the cases of gourmet or specialty items.  I would consider the Mantry box a gourmet box and it includes items that can't be easily found.  I still wish the value was in the $10 range.  All the items in this month's box look delicious.  I'm not a gin drinker but I do like vodka so I will probably make myself a vodka tonic with the Jack Rudy.  We've had Creminelli salami before and it's delicious, I'm sure the whiskey will also be great.  I love pickles and just finished off a jar of homemade pickles a friend made.  I might put this vodka sauce on the pasta from the Gourmet Spotting box and call it a meal.
 
Verdict: I wish the values were a tad bit higher but I do like the products.   

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February ipsy Bag - Get Red Carpet Ready

Ipsy formerly called Glam bag sends out 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.  I've been with them for a year now and I this one constantly has a high product value w/products that I use. 

This months theme is "Get Red Carpet Ready"

This subscription is available to the US and Canada. 


The good:

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.

Discounts: The almost always offer a discount on any additional purchases you want to make. 


The not so good:

Skip a month? There is no option to skip a month.  You have to cancel.

Ipsy Treasures.


Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

package of 4 Lash Card. Value = $2.80 (10 pack $6.99)

.5 oz. pixi Flawless & Poreless pore minimizing face primer. Value = $14.57 (1.01 oz. $29.00)

.04 oz.? MICA Beauty Cosmetics gel eyeliner.  Value = $6.67 (.18 oz. w/brush $30.00)

.17 oz. pop Beauty Smoky Lash Kapow smokey black mascara. Value = $12.42  (.25 oz. $18.50)

.07 oz. Coastal Scents eye shadow sample 4 colors (dark goldenrod, sunbeam, golden globe, dark golden olive). Value = $3.49 (full size single color is .04 oz $1.99)

Black patent makeup bag.

The total value of this months bag is $39.95 not including the makeup bag.  I'm not too excited about the lash cards because I know how to put on my mascara without them.  The face primer is ok but honestly I have a bunch of that right now.  I'm always into trying new mascara and I actually like the colors of the eye shadow and don't mind the small size.  I like gel liner but thought it was odd that they didn't send the full size product that included the brush.  Come to think of it there was no full size products in this bag which was very odd.   

Verdict: Ipsy is consistently a great all around inexpensive beauty subscription.  I renewed this one. 

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

February Seasons Box

Have you heard of SeasonsBox yet? This is another new monthly subscription service but they focus on lifestyle items that focus on the current season.  SeasonsBox  is based out of Canada and they will send 3-5 luxurious full size seasonal must-have products for your home, body and spirit.  For this service you can sign up monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually.  The monthly price is $29.95 plus $4.95 shipping.  If you sign up for the 3, 6 or 12 month subscription you get a discount of anywhere from $5-$69.80.

The theme of the box the February box is LOVE Yourself.   

This subscriptions ships to US and Canada.

The good:

Products: You get full size products and they send an email before shipment to let you know what's going to be in the box.  This is helpful if you want to skip. 

Variety: It's not limited to beauty, health, food, etc.  There is a variety of items in each box. 

Themes: I like the theme boxes and I like this this one will focus on seasons, holidays or occasions. 

Referral program: If you refer a friend you get $5 and they get an extra product in their first box. 

Skip: If you aren't into the box that month you can log into your account and skip.  Awesome!

The not so good:

I can't really think of anything. 


This is the cute box with a pretty pink ribbon. 

Seasons Box Treasures.   

Contents of SeasonsBox with approximate retail value:

Kaia Naturals Bamboo Facial Cleansing Clothing 30 pack. Value = $17.99

Bambu Earth Sugar Cookie Body Glow. Value = $18.00

Dream organics Rose Water. Value = $22.00

Galerie Au Chocolat Fair Trade Bar in maple crunch.  Value = $5.00

The total value of this months Season's Box is $62.99.  I thought this was a great box and the value is incredible!  I wash my face every night and while I'm very loyal to Neutrogena facial cloths I'm always open to trying new things.  I like that the Kaia products is made of bamboo and has good stuff for your skin in it.  Hopefully it does a good job of removing all the makeup.  I can always use scrubby stuff and of course chocolate will never go to waste in my house.  The rose water is something I don't have a lot of experience with but the description card says it's good for your skin to reduce redness or set makeup. 

Verdict:  Great subscription for full size products. 

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Conscious Box Valentine's Day Box

Conscious box is a subscription service I had previously subscribed to but dropped it a couple of months ago.  I liked the products in the box but it's $19.95 a month and I had other boxes I wanted to keep.
Recently I got an email saying Conscious Box was selling special Valentine's boxes for $19.95.  This was limited to 100 boxes.  I like the products that Conscious box sends so I purchased a Valentine's Day box.


This is the box.  It's someones belly button with a rose in front of it.  Odd

The lovely note card inside. 

The Valentine's Box treasures. 

Contents of Valentine's day box with approximate retail value: 

Happy Squeeze Super Pomegranate, Blueberry & Apple snack. Value = $1.75

.5 oz. Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil. Value = $1.05

2 oz. Savvy Boheme Bliss Facial Cleansing Oil Value = $9.99

small sample of African Black soap. Value = ??

1 oz. Kate's Magik Aphrodisian Fire Aromatherapy Massage oil. Value = $4.00

.13 oz. Good Clean Love Almost Naked Personal Lubricant. Value = $0.87

Kallari 85% Cacao Farmer Owned Organic Chocolate. Value = $5.99

Desert Essence Organics Coconut Lip Tint. Value = $5.99

(2) Equal Exchange 55% dark chocolate mini bars. Value = $0.81 - These were ok but I didn't feel like they had a lot of flavor.

Health Warrior Chia Coconut Bar. Value = $1.57

Swipes Lovin' Wipes. Value = $0.75

Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium supplement mix.  Value = $0.50

.33 oz. LaLicious Coconut Cream Body Butter. Value = $1.48

1 packets EBOOST Natural Energy Booster Mix. Value = $1.40

.25 oz. L'Ecuyer's Gourmet 3 butter chocolate mint soap. Value = ??

Coupon for buy one get one free Happy Squeeze pouch.

The total value of this box is $36.15 not including the African black soap or chocolate mint soap.  I thought there was fun stuff in this box.  I love dark chocolate so I was happy to see this in the box.  The coupon is for BOGO Happy Squeeze and says it's available at Wal-Mart.  I hope I can find it somewhere else because I never shop at Wal-Mart.  More chia products to try and I think I tried this before and I don't remember if I liked it or not.   

Verdict: I though this box had some cool stuff in it.  I would purchase a specialty box again. 

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

February Sample Society

Sample Society by Beauty Bar is a monthly service for beauty products that promises 5 fresh deluxe sized samples from luxury brands designed for multiple uses.  You also receive a coupon each month for $15 off a $50 purchase from Beauty Bar and a 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  The cost for this subscription is $15.00 a month.

The good:

The samples: You get deluxe sized samples from luxury brands.   

Information: They include a booklet with beauty tips  

Magazine: You get a free 12 month subscription to Allure magazine.  If you already subscribe they will extend your subscription and if you don't want it you can mail in a form for a refund on the value ($12)

Coupon: They send you a coupon with each box for $15 off a $50 purchase.  The catch is your order has to include at least one item from a brand you received that month.  It doesn't have to be the item you received just the same brand.

Referrals: If you refer someone to their site and they make a purchase the company donates up to $30 to charity.  I thought this was a nice gesture.  My referral code is pixiepower. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel.

My Sample Society Treasures. 
                 

Contents of box with approximate retail value.

7ml LaROCCA Skincare Hibiscus Cream Cleanser with AHA. Value = $2.11 (120ml $36.00)

.05 oz. Immunocologie Treatment Creme Venomax. Value = $66.18 (1.7 oz. $225.00)

1 oz. Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse. Value = $3.65 (6.3 oz. $23.00)

FULL SIZE Exude Lipstick Creme in brown. Value = $29.00

.06 oz. Diptyque Eau de Toilette. Value = $2.18 (3.4 oz. $120.00)


The total value of my Sample Society box is $103.12.  Wowzer that's a high value.  I can't believe the treatment cream is so expensive.  I read the product info and it says it brightens and tightens skin and is for mature skin.  I woudn't consider my skin mature but I guess some people would disagree since I'm in my late 30's. At any rate I'll try it because why not.  I'm always good with getting hair stuff because I use it nearly everyday.  I've received the parfume before and liked it.  Face cleanser is always good for me since I use it everyday. 

Verdict: This box always has a nice variety of products to try. 


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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jewelmint - The 4 piece timeless mystery box

I recently received a request to post when mystery boxes come up for sale from various companies.   I would love to enable other mystery box addicts and post the information when I see it. 

This one is for Jewelmint - Now my take on the Jewelmint mystery boxes is they can be really good or really bad.  I've had fantastic boxes where I've received 7 pieces that I didn't have and loved all of them.  I've also received boxes where I received items that I already had. I've received unreleased pieces in my mystery boxes and I've received pieces that I know they couldn't give away.  Basically it's a gamble and you can win or lose big. 

This mystery box can be found under the "what's new" section on the Jewelmint website. 

The 4 Piece Timeless Mystery Box has arrived!

Your box is guaranteed to include at least 4 pieces with some including as many as 10!

BONUS:
Bonus offers include a mystery promo code for use on your next JewelMint purchase (Up to $100 value)!

*Offer valid while supplies last. Each box contains at least 4 pieces, and up to a total of 10. Absolutely no refunds or exchanges of any box, or box contents. Please note: Due to high demand for the Mystery Box in our warehouse, normal shipping times may be delayed. Please allow several extra business days for your box(es) to be shipped. Please note: purchases of multiple boxes may increase chances of product overlap. Promo codes will be sent to customers the week March 25th, 2013. Cannot be combined with any other promo/offer currently running for JewelMint.

Best of KLUTCHClub Box

KLUTCHClub is a monthly subscription service that focuses on health & fitness.  Every now and then they do a best of box.  The box is composed of the most popular products to date per the members of KLUTCHClub.  I ordered one over the holidays and was super disappointed in what I received because some of the items were coupons that I couldn't use because I had already used the ones from the regular boxes I received.  I didn't do a post on it because I was over loaded with other boxes that month.  I went ahead and ordered this one because there was a promo code available to get it super cheap (under $10 I think).  I figured I would blog about this one in case anyone is interested in future best of boxes.  It should be noted though, if you sign up for a "best of" box you are signing up for their subscription.  I believe you can cancel it right away though. 

This subscription is available to the US only but Hawaii and Alaska will incur an additonal shipping fee.


KLUTCHClub Best of Box.  


Contents of box with approximate retail price listed. 

 oz, Natural Vitality's Natural Calm Magnesium Powder. Value = $9.00

25 oz. jar Anatomy Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask. Value = $2.63

Box of 7 packets of Truvia sweetener.  value = $0.56

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

1 Twistband. Value = $2.00

12 oz. can of Zenify live stress free drink. Value = $2.16

1.76 oz. can of Psssssst Dry Shampoo. Value = $3.50

2 oz. bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. Value = $2.99

1 Journey Bar, coconut curry flavor. value $1.67

1 pk of 2 chews To Go Brand Acai Natural Energy Boost Chew. Value = $1.00

5 oz. Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Cleansing Bar. Value = $3.79

Devita softLINES Natural Eyeliner. Value = $14.95

sample container Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lip Gloss in Winterberry. Value = $0.99

Taylor's of Harrogate Green Tea w/Lemon. Value = $0.20

Taylor's of Harrogate Green Tea w/Jasmine. Value = $0.20

Taylor's of Harrogate Organic Peppermint Tea. Value = $0.22

Taylor's of Harrogate Organic Chamomile Tea. Value = $0.22

Soothing Music CD, World Groove Mix from Sequoia Records. Value = $16.98

Acacia Strength Tone Lengthen Workout Sampler CD (1 hr long). I would value this at $10.00
The total value of this box is $73.20.  I received two items that I won't use because I received them in my other boxes and one item I can't stand and won't touch (the CD, DVD and Journey bar).  So that brings the value down to $44.55 for me.  All the other stuff I will use and was happy to get so it was still a good deal for me. 

Verdict: The best of boxes are a risk if you're a subscriber but I was happy with this box.  

I am an affiliate for KLUTCHClub.  This means I earn a 20% cash commission if someone signs up for a subscription using my link. This does not affect my opinions in any way.  I purchases these subscription boxes myself. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February Blush mystery beauty box

Last week I received an email from Blush advertising their new monthly mystery beauty box.  It said you could make a one time purchase for $34.95 or subscribe monthly for $24.95.  It made absolutely no sense to me to pay $10 more when I could just cancel the subscription if I didn't like it.  Each month Blush says they will send a box full of products handpicked by their panel of beauty experts of mostly full size and some travel-size products worth at least $100.  Also it said enjoy a free gift with your beauty box and free shipping. This month they said the box would be worth $224! I don't know if they plan on saying what the value is every month or if they just did it for this month to get people to sign up.  The subscriptions are limited and this month is sold out but I'm sure some will open up next month.
Also I have to mention I ordered this on a Thursday and it was delievered on Saturday via USPS first class mail from Kentucky to California.  How's that for fast shipping! 

The good:

Size: There were four full size products in this box and they were premium products to boot!

Price: If they continue to send great products with a value of at least $100 that's 4 times the value.

Want more: Since they have a retail website reordering is easy. 


The not so good:

Price: This is one of the higher priced subscriptions but the products seem to be premium.

Skip: Their website is not user friendly.  I couldn't find an option to skip or cancel. 



Here are all the goodies in my Blush Box on my cute handmade placemat. 


Contents of Blush box w/approximate retail price listed: 

FULL SIZE Smart Lash eyelash enhancer. Value = $125.00

FULL SIZE Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray. Value = $29.00

Foot Petals Tip Toes. Value = $6.95

FULL SIZE Cattiva mascara. Value = $24.00

FULL SIZE Dermstore Lip Quench. Value = $12.00

.17 oz. Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester. Value = $15.00

.13 oz. SkinMedica Lytera skin brightening complex.  Value = $8.33

.5 oz. Hera Argan Oil. Value = $5.63

The total value of this mystery beauty box is $225.91.  They hit the value right on the mark.  My invoice said it included a free sample and a free mystery gift but there was nothing to indicate which items were the free sample and gift.  I wouldn't think they would include the "free" items in the value but I'm still ok with it because there are some great items in here.  I was excited to see the smart lash product because I've always wanted to try a product like this.  I've been reluctant to buy it though because of the price and I've heard you have to keep using it and I've heard horror stories about peoples lashes falling out.  I read the reviews on this and they are all great and I get to try it for a bargain price!  I've also heard the Skindinavia product works well but I'm not sure how often I would use it.  I have the lip quench and use it quite often so a backup tube is nice to have.  Foot petals always come in handy.   



Verdict: I'm very happy with this first box.  Can't wait to see next month's goodies. 


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

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February Julibox

Julibox is a subscription box for those who like the beverages of the adult variety. Each month Julibox sends out a recipes for two different cocktails and all the ingredients necessary to make them (minus any fresh fruit).  Each cocktail will be enough to serve two people so basically you get four cocktails per box.  Julibox cost $40 if you do a month to month membership and can go as low as $36 a month if you sign up for a 6 month membership.  Shipping is included in all prices.  The nice thing about the 3, 6 or 2 month memberships is they don't bill you in advance they still be you once a month.  I signed up for a 6 month subscription and this is my third box.

They say you can buy more of anything you like in their shop but when I clicked on their store page the only thing for sale were some older boxes which were all sold out. 

This months theme is Lovers and Revelers in celebration of Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras. 

The good: 

Like new drinks: This is a great way to try new drinks without buying a full size bottle of alcohol.

Need a gift: You can gift Julibox. What a better way to say thanks than with a cocktail.

Monthly billing: I like that if you sign up for 3 months or longer they still bill you monthly.  If you cancel before the end of the subscription term they will charge you $15.00 This seems like a fair deal to me.

The not so good:

Price: The price ends up being $9-$10 per drink which is right around regular bar prices.  The benefit is you can drink in the comfort of your own home. 

      This is the email that they send about a week before you receive your box.  It tells you what ingredients you will need to make your drinks.  I think this is great!



This is how the products are shipped.  There is plenty of packing material and each bottle is wrapped in tissue. I didn't take a picture but each drink has it's own color tissue making it easy to identify the ingredients.


This is the front and back of the included recipe cards.  They list all the things you will need down the the type of glass and how to mix the drink.  The even include a toast and rating area for you to fill out.  These are printed on heavy card stock and can be saved for future reference.  The also have instructional videos on their website to view. 



          
These are the ingredients for the two drinks.  They even included a muddler!


Cocktail #1 French 75

50 ml bottle of Bulldog Gin. Value = $1.99

50 ml bottle of Courvoisier Cognac. Value = $5.99

Jaume Serra Cristalino CAVA. Value = $3.99

The total value of this cocktail recipe is $11.97 for two drinks.  This drink can be made two different ways either with gin OR cognac and they included both alcohols. 

Cocktail #2 Strawberry Cobbler

(2) 50 ml bottles of Grand Marnier. Value = $4.99/ea.

Mionetto Prosecco D.o.c. Treviso. Value = $3.99

Muddler. Value = $4.00 (approximate)

The total value of this cocktail recipe is $12.98 for two drinks.

I made the Strawberry Cobbler the other night.  I would say it was good but there wasn't enough of it and it was a little sweet.  It would make a nice summer backyard cocktail. 


The total value in this box is $24.95.  That's about $6.24 per drink and the cost of the box is $9-$10 per drink. I like being able to try the drinks without having to buy full size bottles of alcohol.  Also it's nice to have the recipes they include for reference. I've made little notes so I remember what I liked and didn't like about the drink.   

Verdict: I'm liking this box more and more. 

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

Friday, February 22, 2013

February PopSugar Must Have Box

The PopSugar Must Have Box is a monthly subscription box that is geared toward many aspects of your lifestyle.  It includes, food, beauty, fashion, tech, and all kinds of other treasures.  The price of the box is $35 a month w/shipping included.  They also have 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions and each one saves you a little bit of money.  The products in the last 2 boxes have been just fantastic!  PopSugar advertises that you will receive full size and premium items worth over $100 (based on the manufacturer MSRP at the time acquired by Sugar).  This box contains a variety of products.  The booklet they has a sections with product information on each item which is super cool. 

I want to say thanks to Catherine H., Jannet Y., Barbara H., Merina G., and Ashley S. for using my referral link.  I received this months box free because of them.  You guys are awesome!

This subscription is available in the US only.  

The good: 

Products: Full size products as promised and a nice variety of beauty, home etc.  

Pricing structure: They have monthly, 3, 6 and yearly subscriptions.  Each one (except monthly) saves you a little bit of money.  

Referrals: The offer a generous referral program.  Refer 2 people get a month free.  5 people 3 months free and 10 people is 6 months free.  I've was super lucky and 10 people used my referral link so I got 6 months free.    

The not so good:

The price: $35 is a little high for a monthly box but you do get some really cool stuff with a value of way more than $35

Skip a month: There is no option to skip, only cancel. 

My treasures all wrapped up in pink. 

What a great box of goodies to go through!

            

This is the towel from Brokedown and this is what it looks like on.  Notice anything?  It's kind of hard to see in the picture but the one I received didn't have a pretty bow or lace trim. 

Contents of box with retail price:

Must Have Fashion
Brokedown Spa Wrap in white. Value = $84.00 - This is incredibly soft, I would've preferred pink and I'm disappointed that it doesn't have the pretty satin bow but this is still cool. I'm not a big fan of one size fits most /all stuff because usually it doesn't. 

Must Have Fashion
Hanky Panky rolled low rise thong in green. Value = $20.00 - really a green thong? AND it's low rise (which I hate) AND a one size fits most item.  I have no words. 

Must Have Food
Mariebelle New York's Tresor Box with cacao nibs. Value = $10.00?? - I couldn't find a price on these but the are really tasty and seem like a premium chocolate cacao item

Must Have Beauty
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Value = $8.99

Must Have Entertainment
Safe Haven Book and song download. Value = $7.99

Must Have Home
Connoisseurs Quick Jewelry Cleanser. Value = $7.92

Special Extra
Conversation Hearts Value = $1.00

The value of this months box is $139.90 give or take.  Great value, especially since I got this free because of my awesome readers!  I just really can't believe they sent a thong in this months box though.  Not everyone wears thongs and not everyone is one size fits most.  I like the spa wrap and I will probably use it every now and then but it's not comfortable enough for me to lounge in.  Also the picture on the website and flyer shows a bow but mine didn't come with a pretty bow.  Minor detail I guess but I think it makes a big difference.  I did think it it was cool that this was an item that was sent to subscribers before it was available for sale.  I keep hearing good things about the Revlon lip stuff.  Years ago they made a similar product that I used to use.  I just saw the preview for Safe Haven the other day and thought that looks like a good chick flick then low and behold I get the book.  I used to have some jewelry cleaner but I couldn't find it so I resorted to toothpaste for a quick job.  I'll have to give this a try on my silver items. 


Verdict: PopSugar is a great box if you want more than just beauty products.  Although I'm a little disappointed in the one size items.     


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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

February Goodies Box

Goodies Co. is a monthly subscription company that sends out 5-8 trial sized food products for $7 a month w/shipping included.  Yep just $7 for this tasty little box!  I really enjoy these little boxes and how can you really go wrong for $7.00.        


The good:

Price: $7 is a very reasonable price to pay for a box of snacks to try.

Points: If you write a quick review on their website you can earn points for rewards.  It takes 300 points to earn a free box.   

Information: On the information card they have started including the price of the items which is great for my blog.  It's also helpful to have that information handy just for general knowledge.  

Want more: You can log onto their website and purchase the things you enjoyed from your box.  

The not so good:

Skip: No option to skip a month at this time. 

The theme of this months box is Better Together.  


Contents of box with approximate retail value:

1.15 oz. packet of Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams. Value = $0.36

1.15 oz. packet of Smooth Operator. Value = $0.36

1 oz. package of Nutty Bean ChickPz. Value = $1.50

2.3 oz. Nabisco Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip w/Reese's. Value = $1.75

.8 oz. bag of Enjoy Life Plentils Crunchy Lentil Chips in light sea salt. Value = $0.99 -  I didn't get to try these, the boyfriend ate them first. 

.78 oz. Snackwells Yogurt Pretzels. Value = $0.62

1 bag of J & D's Bacon Pop. Value = $1.33 - I managed to get about 3 pieces before the teenager absconded with this to her room.  It had a very slight bacon flavor, not really meat flavored but salty.  Not too salty though. 

The total value of my Goodies Co. Box is $6.88.  This is what I would call a break even box.  Last month the value was under $7 as well but again I'm not going to fret over a few cents since the values are approximate.  Besides I've never seen bacon popcorn and the teenager of the house is cuckoo for bacon.  Needless to say she and her friend ate the whole bag.  I can't wait to try the dark chocolate peanut butter!   

Verdict: This box is great and the price is right.  


** I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Goodies Co. I purchases these subscriptions myself. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Graze Box

Graze Box is a new food centric subscription service that was introduced to me by Jared over at An Asian ReviewsGraze doesn't sent out their boxes monthly they actually send them out weekly.  Graze sends out a box of four snack size containers of dried fruit, nuts, crackers, dip and dippers, etc.  The boxes are semi-customizable meaning you don't actually get to pick which items you want but you can rate the items you receive from love to never send me this again.  The cost of this weekly service is $5.00 a week with shipping included.   

The good:

Snacker: Are you a snacker like me?  These are perfectly proportioned snack size containers.

Nutritional info: The include nutritional info in each box. It's on the card in the package though, not the actual product.

Skip: Sort of.  They don't call it skipping, they call it pushing back but it works the same.  You can do this online through your account and it's super easy.

Price: The costs ends up being $1.25 per package.  You're paying for convenience but I gotta be honest it was super convenient to pick up a pack and throw it in my lunch bag this morning. 

Semi-customizable: You rate items and that's how they choose which items to send you. 

Referrals: They have a program where you can refer up to 4 people.  You get $1 off your next box or you can donate that $1 to charity. 

The not so good:

Nothing comes to mind. 



This is the graze box.  It's a thin cardboard box. 


This was the first box I received.  It had my four goodies and a napkin inside. 


This is my second box.

Nutritional information included in each box.  Love this!


Contents of my first box:

Summer Berry Compote with wholemeal shortbread dippers

Hot Cross Yum, sponge pieces, cinnamon and honey almonds and orange infused raisins

The British Barbecue, Rosemary crostini, mini basil bread sticks, fiery seeds and smoked almonds - Nice little crunchy snack but a little salty so have something to drink nearby.

Cookies & Cream, mini chocolate cookies, roasted hazels, white chocolate buttons and sunflower seeds

Contents of the second box:

Fruit & Seed Flapjack, rustic rolled oat flapjack with mixed seeds and dried fruit - I expected this to be crunch but it was super soft and oatmeally and delicious!

Cheddar Gorge, cheese cashews, baked herb bites and salsa corn sticks

Toffee Apple, sticky toffee sauce with granny smith apple slices

Tutti Frutti, blueberry infused cranberries, pineapple, cherry infused raisins and green raisins


The first thing I noticed about this was that it looked a lot like GoBites except they are less expensive and you don't get to pick your snacks per se.  These break down to $1.25/ea while GoBites is $1.99/ea and you have to order 14 at a time.  I wasn't sure I would like the weekly thing but I think it works out well because the packages aren't sitting in a pile waiting to be eaten.  I'm finding these are perfect to take to work and leave at my desk for a quick snack. 

Verdict: I'm really liking this one.  The combinations are great.  

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Graze Box.  This box was free through a promo code use, weekly subscription are paid for my me.    

L'Oreal Paris Magic Skin BB Cream review

Recently I was chosen by She Speaks to test out a new product.  She Speaks is a an online community were users can interact with each other to discuss and review products.  They also offer programs to bloggers where they send you items to review.  So if this is something that interests you by all means sign up with them. 

Back to the review.  She Speaks and L'Oreal sent me the new L'Oreal Paris Magic BB Cream in light free to review.  I don't wear foundation but I keep hearing about BB Cream so I was very interested in trying this.  This particular BB Cream from L'Oreal has multiple actions.  It's formulation to work as a primer, sheer foundation, color corrector and moisturizer.  This retails for $10.95.

Let's check this out.... 



This is the bottle. It seems small but I noticed a little goes a long way with this product. 
The first thing I noticed was how light the base was.  I could see little color beads in the cream but I thought there is no way this is going to match my skin.


I was going to try this on my face but I couldn't get a really good picture to adequately show you he results.  I happen to have a nice burn scar on my hand that I thought would work perfectly.  The picture on the left is the scar untouched.  The picture on the right is the scar with the L'Oreal BB Cream on it.  As you can see it did a great job of covering the scar up.  I know this is on my hand but I've used it on my face and it didn't feel heavy or greasy.  The cream itself doesn't leave you looking shiny as a matter of fact it had a matte finish.  Overall I think this did a great job of covering without feeling icky or heavy. 

Verdict: I'm not going to start using this everyday but I would use this for those special occasions when I want a little extra help with my complexion. 

**I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for L'Oreal Paris.  I received this item complimentary from She Speaks and L'Oreal for review purposes. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February Birchbox - Red Carpet Ready

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 Birchbox has a theme.  This month the theme is Red Carpet Ready.    

The good:

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

The price.  For $10 you can give yourself a little beauty treat.    

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!

The not so good:

Skip a month?  Currently there is no option to skip a month only cancel.

My Birchbox Treasures!


Contents of box with approximate retail value listed.

.1 oz. Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. Value = $2.90 (.5 oz. $14.50) - works great!

.05 oz. Juicy Couture Couture La La parfume. Value = $2.06 (1.7 oz. $70.00)

.035 oz. theBalm cosmetics, Mary-Lou Manizer. Value = $2.40 (.3 oz. $24.00)

2.3 oz. Tigi Rockaholic Fun Times Flexible Hairspray. Value = $3.93 (12 oz. $20.50)

Treat

Ghiradelli Milk & Caramel Square. Value = $0.50 - yummy

The total value of this box is $11.79.  That's a little low for this particular box but I'm unhappy with the items.  I will definitely use the hairspray and I ate the chocolate right away.  I'm getting quite the collection of parfumes but I will use them.  I saw the nipple balm and thought, what the heck?.  True to it's name it was originally formulated for nursing moms but it's a makeup artist must have now.  My lips have been super dry so I used this right away.  The first thing I noticed is the bottle wasn't completely full even though it was sealed.  I don't think it's a defect but rather how it's packaged.  Luckily a little goes a long way so it should last a couple weeks.

This is a box that I've been debating whether or not I should keep.  The yearly price is $110.00 which makes it $9.16 a month.  In the last 12 boxes I've received $346.41 worth of product which averages to $40.66 a month.  Some months are great and others are just so-so. 
The verdict:  I have one more box left before I need to make a final decision. 
**I pay for these boxes myself and am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Birchbox

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Yumvelope

Yumvelope is a subscription service centered around food and snacks.  Each month you receive a large USPS envelope filled with yummy goodies.  The cost for this service is $21 plus $3.00 shipping or you can sign up for a month to month subscription for a flat $21.00.  If you like what you get then you can sign up for 6 months for $126.00 w/shipping included and a bonus shipment (I'm guess that means an extra month free). With your payment they promise to all natural hand picked delicious items in each envelope.  Yumvelope has also started a meal donation program for each envelope purchased, and you know I'm a big fan of that. 

They have also recently changed the format of the info card that they send.  It now has the product name, three adjectives that they feel describe the product, the price and the website to re-order.  I really like this new format.   

The good:

Variety: There is a good variety of items.  

Discounts: The try and send a promo code for each product so you can order your favorite products at a discounted price.  

Size: They send full size or close to full size products which is always nice.  

Meal donation: For every Yumvelope shipped they donate a meal.  

The not so good:

Skip: No option to skip a month

Yumvelope Treasures! 



Contents of box with approximate retail price listed.  

1.7 oz. NUNU Chocolates dark chocolate and soft caramel chocolate bar. Value = $5.00

Barre Bar, pirouette cinnamon pecan bar. Value = $2.50

Morning Sunshine handmade really healthy satisfying all natural cookie. Value = $2-$3 per cookie. - This was a little dry, probably would be ok with coffee.

(3) Stash Tea, green tea, chamomile nights herbal tea, organic merrymint green tea, Value = $0.35/ea.

Kika's Treats Salted Crunchy Caramels. Value = $6.50 - I managed to sneak one of these and it was so good.  The caramel is semi-soft but the salty has the perfect crunch.

Garuka Bars, raw honey primal energy bar. Value = $3.00 - This was delicious! It's the perfect combo of honey, peanut butter and oats.   

The total value of this Yumvelope is $20.05-$21.05.  I can't wait to dive into this box!  I have to pace myself though for fear of a sweetness sickness.  The chocolate bar and caramels sound absolutely amazing!  I heard the boyfriend diving into the caramels last night and I told him he had better not eat them all.  There had better be at least one for me to try or I'm gonna start hiding the goodies!  I've received the Barre Bars before but in different  packaging, wonder if they are changing it.  The cookie crumbled a little bit but it feels soft and looks good.


Verdict: I've really been enjoying my Yumvelopes, I'm going to keep this subscription going. 


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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February Love With Food Box- Happy Valentines Day

Love with Food is a monthly subscription box for food.  The price is $10 plus $2 for shipping a month or you can sign up for a 6 month plan and shipping is only $1 or a yearly plan and shipping is free which makes the boxes an even $10.  In addition to yummy treats for every box sold they donate a meal to a hungry child. I've enjoyed all my boxes so I signed up for a yearly membership.   

Love with Food has provided a code for $2.00 for my readers.  Use code TREASUREVIP

Each month is a different theme and you will receive 5+ gourmet food items.   You don't get to pick you items so it's a complete surprise.  If you like what you get then you can log onto the Love with Food website and order the products at a special discount.  This months theme is Happy Valentine's Day     

Also this month I received an email saying they are celebrating of their one year anniversary and first Valentine's Day and as a thank you they are sending me a free one year subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray.  How cool is that.  The only thing is I already have subscription that doesn't end until later this year so I'm hoping they can just add the year onto my existing subscription.  

The good:

The price: $10-$12 is a reasonable price to pay for yummy treats AND you're donating a meal. 

Need a gift: You can send a 3 or 6 month subscription to a friend.  Who wouldn't love getting tasty treats in the mail?

Variety: You get a lot of variety in each box. 

Discounts: You can earn points for discounts off future full size product purchases by submitting reviews on their website or referring new members. 

The not so good:

Skip a month: Skipping is not an option.  If you don't want a box you will have to cancel. 

All my Love with Food treasures. 


Contents of box with estimated retail price listed:

Hagensborg Chocolate Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Piglet. Value = $1.00

Hagensborg Chocolate Milk Chocolate Caramel Truffle Piglet. Value = $1.00

.75 oz. package Funny Face Naturally Flavored Cranberries. Value = $0.60 - These are really sweet and delicious. 

1 oz. bag Bobby Sue's nuts. Value = $1.50

1 Millie's Savory Teas Tomato Basil Sipping Broth. Value = $0.86 - This was really not very good.  It was super salty and was like drinking salty watered down tomato broth.  I took one drink and tossed the rest. 

(2) .1 oz. Nektar Naturals Nektar Honey Crystals. Value = $0.20/ea.

Donsuemor Chocolate Madeleine. Value = $0.57 - Soooo good! Like a nice flurry chocolate cake in Madeleine form. 

.45 oz. Jer's Squares chocolate with peanut butter. Value = $1.00


The total estimated value of this months box is $6.93.  The value is a little low side but but there are some pretty cool specialty products in here.  I have a yearly subscription so the difference is only $3.00 which is acceptable considering the meal donation and the items that were sent.  I've had the piglets before and they are super yummy.  I've also received the nuts in another box at some point and enjoyed those as well.  I didn't like the tea broth at all but I'm glad I got to try it this way instead of buying a whole box.   

Verdict: Overall I love my Love with Food boxes so it's a keeper    


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