Friday, October 31, 2014

October Cricut Mystery Box

Cricut is a personal electronic cutting machine used in card making, scrapbooking, and crafting of all types. Cricut started selling mystery boxes which when they contain the cartridges are a terrific value! The cartridges that are needed to use the machine run anywhere from $30-$60 a piece. As you can see, adding to your collection of cartridges can add up quick.

The description said: The October Mystery Box is the ultimate winter survival kit. The contents are a mystery, but the box includes cartridges and supplies to keep you crafting all winter long. This month's mystery box is over a $119 value.

The price of this months cricut mystery box was $29.99 plus shipping of $7.95. They usually have deals for shipping though so be sure and look for one.

This is the complete box.

The two cartridges that came in the box.

This is something I totally wasn't expecting but it looks pretty awesome. 


Contents of box: 

Knifty Knitter Assorted Loom Series. Value = $9.99

Knifty Knitter project DVD. Value = $9.99

Terrifically Tacky Tape. Value = $4.19

Cricut Replacement Blade. Value = $9.99

12x12 Standard Grip Cutting Mat. Value = $12.99

Merry and Bright Cartridge. Value = $29.99

Teresa Collins December 25th cartridge. Value = $29.99

The total value of this box is $107.13. Again this didn't meet the promised $119 value but it still had some great items in it for $33.00. One cartridge alone cost that much. When I saw the knitting kit I was confused. It has nothing to do with Cricut except it's made by the same company. The closer I looked at it though I thought it looked pretty cool. I don't know how to knit and I don't have a strong desire to learn but this thing looks like it will make it easy. Since I have it I'm going to give it a try, all I need is some yarn. This box also came with more cutting mats which I really don't need right now but they are handy to have. It also came with replacement blades for the cricut which will be good to have in back up. I was super glad the cartridges that came in this months box were ones that I don't have.

Verdict: If you are into Cricut and don't have a lot of cartridges the mystery boxes with cartridges in them is a great deal. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Escape Monthly Box - London

Escape Monthly combines two things I love which are traveling and getting treasures in the mail. Escape Monthly ships every month and includes full size products, travel guides, secret tips and special offers. Each box has a destination theme and every month one lucky member will win a vacation to the destination.  The price of this box is $49.95 a month with shipping included. Right now they are running a deal on their website where you can get 20% off the price of the box for life. This means the monthly box will cost $39.95 a month instead of $49.95.

Price: The price of the box is listed at $49.95/month. but they frequently are offered at $39.95/month. No option to skip.

This box is available in the US only and ships from Lake Oswego, Oregon. 

The good:

Products: You get full size products from the region of that month. 

Referrals: They have an ambassador program that pays you via paypal for members you refer. 

Travel: They give away a trip every month to the destination. There is a card in one box each month telling you if you've won. 

Info cards: These are so important and theirs is fantastic. It includes product info and price as well as info about the destination. I have noticed that the prices they list is not always accurate. 

The not so good:

Skip: So far I can't find anything on skipping.  

Price: The price is quite high for a monthly box.

London Escape Monthly Box. 

Contents of box with retail value:

Rick Steve's Pocket London Travel Guide. Value = $12.99

Soapsmith 3-piece London soap sampler. Value = $8.00 - These smell nice but I'm not sure they are worth $8. 

Westminster Caddy of English Breakfast Tea. Value = $11.00

Hill Custard Creams. Value = $3.00

Orico London Rush Hour Vibrant Dry Body Oil. Value = $7.00

Walkers Nonsuch English Creamy Toffees. Value = $4.50

London Diecast Taxi. Value = $12.00 - This is cute but I don't really have a use for it. 

Bonus:

Corkers Natural British Crunch, pork sausage and english mustard flavor. Value = $3.00

The total approximate value of this box is $61.49 or $48.50 if you don't include the travel book. I was really expecting a lot more from this box. I mean it has some things that are definitely London but they aren't exciting. Also the most expensive thing in the box (besides the travel guide) is a toy car. I don't really have a use for a toy car. The food stuff is fun and tasty but not knock you socks off exciting. I do like the body oils. I used to use Neutrogena Sesame Oil exclusively until I started getting subscription boxes and trying other things. I always like the way body oil feels though.

Verdict: Next month is Hawaii which they did last October. They said it's going to have different items than the last box but I'm just not that excited about it. I'm going to cancel this box for now.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oprah Circle of Friends Subscription

Ohhhhh boy, look who has a subscription service coming out. Oprah the queen of everything has launched O's Circle of Friends subscription. This isn't a monthly service but a yearly membership. The advertisement says the club features exciting perks to deepen your connection to the world of O. I'm not sure I had any type of connection to the world of O but I do like Oprah and I read her magazine.

There are three levels of membership which is nice, however the premier membership is the one that has all the perks.

I debated back and forth on which membership to get. They all come with a subscription to O magazine which is nice because my subscription expired a few months ago and I haven't renewed. I knew I wanted either the prime or premier membership because those are the ones that include a beauty box. I finally just decided on getting the premier one because I had a sudden fear of missing out. You get a surprise gift from the O list which always has awesome things on it and you get to test and keep products. Oprah is a advertising powerhouse so I'm hoping awesome companies are going to sign up to have their items sent out to her subscribers.





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Bestowed Box

Bestowed was created by nutritionist and author Heather Bauer in an effort to answer the question everyone had when it comes to health food.."which one of these is really the best?" Each month, Heather and her team of health and diet experts carefully curate 7-10 healthy snacks, beverages and lifestyle item and send them to you. Bestowed has also partnered with The Food Trust and for each box sold they supply a kid in need with a days worth of snacks. The price of this box is $20.00 a month with shipping included. They also have 3 and 6 month plans that offer a 10-15% discount.

Bestowed offered this box to me for review for the cost of shipping ($7.95).

Price: $20 a month w/no option to skip. Discounts for 3 and 6 months prepaid plans. 

This subscription is only available in the US and ships from New York. 

Bestowed is offering 10% off any subscription to my using LOVEHEALTHY. 

The good:

Variety: I liked that there was some variety to this box. It wasn't just limited to food or products, you get both!

Good size samples: The samples are full size or close to it.

Information: They include a sheet with product info and tips on usage.

The not so good:

Skip a month: I didn't see an option to skip a month.

October Bestowed Box


Contents of box with approximate retail value:

.5 oz. Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers. Value = $0.50

Gnu Foods Peanut Chocolate Chip FiberLove Bar. Value = $1.00

Gnu Foods Cinnamon Raisin FiberLove Bar. Value = $1.00

Hooray Puree Spinach. Value = $5.00

Little Miracles Organic White Tea & Ginseng Energy Drink. Value = $2.29 - This was very good. I would buy this again and it's conveniently sold on Amazon. 

(2) Numi Tea Indulgent Chocolate Tea. Value = $0.39/ea.

2.1 oz. Peeled Snacks Cinnamon Apple Clusters. Value = $5.49

(2) packs Glee Gum. Value = $0.23/ea. - I'm not a fan of glee gum. 

The total value of this months box is $16.52. This box has a much better value than last months box. It's still not at the $20 mark though. The apple clusters are showing up everywhere. They aren't a new product but maybe they are just trying to boost sales. I tired the FiberLove bars before and as I recall they weren't too bad. The most interesting thing in the box this month is the spinach puree. The box says you add it to recipes to get you veggies in. The off part is it doesn't say how much to add, and the color is really green, is it going to turn your food green? I went on their website and it suggested adding it to guacamole which would solve the green food issue. We don't have issues with getting our veggies in, we happen to love salads and I'm a big spinach fan but I'm still curious about this. I wonder how it tasted plain? And why is green food so scary looking?

Verdict: This box had some fun new food items to try and the value is better than last months.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October GlossyBox

Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that sends 5 travel size beauty items a month.  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 these prices. The price is higher than a lot of the other beauty companies but they include luxury items in their boxes. 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 following month.

Price: $21 a month with discounts for 6 and 12 month subscriptions. 

This subscription is available in the US (not including Alaska or Hawaii), Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. 

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 usually at least one full  size item. 

The box: I know it's just a box but it's a really nice sturdy box. The regular boxes are pink and the special collaboration boxes vary in design and color. This box is perfect for reusing or for a gift box. I've also used them to store my extra beauty products.  

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. You can also earn glossydots from referrals. You have to claim your free box before your subscription ends and becomes inactive. This can be tricky because you don't want to receive duplicate boxes.

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.

Skip: There is no option to skip a month. 

October GlossyBox


Contents of box w/approximate retail value. 

FULL SIZE Tarte Cosmetics LipSurgence in Awakening. Value = $24.00


FULL SIZE Proganix Anti-Fade Weightless Argan Oil + UV Protection. Value = $11.99

FULL SIZE Nails Inc. Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat. Value = $10.00

.25 oz. Vince Camuto Amore Eau De Parfum. Value = $5.78

Sesha Botanical Hydro Mask. Value = $9.00

$40 Gift Card for Hello Fresh. Value = $40/$0

The total value of my Glossybox is $60.77.  I didn't include the gift card because not everyone will be able to use it. It's a one per household/new customers type of coupon so if you used this coupon before you can't use it again. This months box is filled with some really fun and useful products. I love face masks and especially high end masks that I wouldn't purchase myself. The Vince Camuto parfum bottle is so pretty. In my previous house I used to have a shelf to put bottles and such and would always put the pretty bottles on it. I don't have one of those shelves anymore but if I did this would be on it. I haven't opened it yet but it's described as rich amber and earthy sandalwood. I am always shocked at how pricey the Tarte products are. Take this lip color, it's not very big but it's $24. The color looks nice and it's self sharpening too! I am super excited about the Proganix spray. My stylist adds red to my hair and red is the WORST color for fading. It always looks so pretty for the first couple of weeks then gradually gets lighter. I am always looking for products to protect my color. I haven't jumped on the matte nail polish trend yet. I tried it once and all I could think was my nails looked dull. I may pass this one on since I have a bottle of Julep matte that I've only used once. 

Verdict: Glossybox is pricier than other beauty boxes but it has great brands and value. 

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Urth Box

The Urth box tagline is "Discover a Healthier You". Well who doesn't want to do that? I recently found a deal on on Gilt for a 6 month subscription for $69. I thought for $12 a month, heck why not. Each month Urth box sends a box of healthy full size snacks for you to try. They have different types and sizes of boxes the choose from. You can choose a gluten free, diet, classic or vegan box. From that point you choose which size box you want. They have a small box (7-10 items) for $29 a month, medium box (12-15 items) for $39 a month, large box (20-24 items) for $59 a month. Shipping to US is included. If you choose a 3 or 6 month plan you can save up to $10 a month. So as you can see I got a really great deal on the small box plan.

Price: $29-$59 a month depending on size of box with discounts offered for 3 or 6 month subscriptions.

This box is available to US and Canada but extra shipping fees apply to Canada. 

The Good:

Variety: They have a variety of boxes to choose from depending on your dietary needs.

Products: They send full size products which is awesome!

The Not So Good:

Price: The price is a little high for a monthly box.

Skip: It doesn't appear there any way to skip.

October Urth Box

Contents of the Urth Box:

2 oz. Deep River Snacks Original Salted Kettle Chips. Value = $1.00

1.2 oz. Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato chips. Value = $1.25

.75 oz. Sensible Foods Apple Harvest Crunch Dried Fruit. Value = $1.66

1.5 oz. J & M Foods Cheese Straws. Value = $2.10

Orgain Chocolate Shake.  Value = $3.69

1.4 oz. Barnana banana snacks. Value = $1.60

Buckwah Blueberry Chia Snack Bar. Value = $3.75

JJ's Sweets Cocomels sea salt caramels. Value = $3.99

Swoffle. Value = $1.81

(2) .5 oz. Justin's Peanut Butter snack packs. Value = $0.83/ea.

.5 oz. Justin's Maple Almond Butter snack packs. Value = $0.70

OS Trim Turkey Stick. Value = $1.85 - I liked this. It was a good sized I liked the turkey as opposed to beef stick. 

The total value of this box is $24.06. I was happy about everything in this box except the barnana snacks. I tried these before and I wasn't a fan. I would rather eat a banana for the potassium. I was so bummed there was only one swoffle in the box. We both love these things but because I'm a nice girlfriend I offered it to the boyfriend and shockingly he declined. I stashed it away so I could enjoy it with my coffee this weekend. We will see if it's still there in a few days. I'm a fan of the Orgain shakes and it's so much more convenient than mixing my own, although more expensive. Yay! more Justin's nut butters!  

Verdict: I wish the box was closer to the price paid but I am happy with 99% of the box which is great!

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

October Conscious Box - Classic Box

Conscious box offers 3 types of boxes. The classic, vegan and gluten free.  Each box contains a wide variety of items from food to beauty products to household goodies.  The price is $19.95 a month with shipping included. They also have a 3, 6 and 12 months plans. The 12 month plan is the only one that offers a discount.

Price: $19.95 a month. The 12 month pre-paid plan offers a discount. 

This box is only available to ship to the US including Alaska and Hawaii and ships from Portland, 

OR

The good:

Variety: You get a wide variety of items and the box was packed!

Vegan: If your vegan the vegan box is great for you.

Gluten free: If you live a gluten free life the gluten free box would be great for you.

Information: They now include an information card with product details on it.

Points: You can earn points for rating products. The points earn you discounts should you want to purchase something you like.

The not so good:

The price: It's on the high side for subscription boxes but I would consider this a specialty box for sure.
  

Sample size: Some of the sample sizes are really small and not enough to really evaluate the product. 


October Classic Conscious Box - Treat Yourself


Contents of Conscious Box: 

ITO EN Teas' Tea in Green Tea. Value = $1.99

.75 oz. Mediterranean Foods Oven Baked Lentil Crackers. Value = $0.58

1 oz. Annie's Naturals Organic Cheddar Snack Mix Pouch. Value = $0.63

(2) .5 oz. Justin's Maple Almond Butter. Value = $0.83/ea.

5 ml Carolla's Beeswax Skin Creme. Value = $1.67

Earth's Care Acne Spot Treatment. Value = $14.99

Cobazol Chronic Pain Relief ointment. Value = $1.00

Lucky Lips Oinkin Orange Lip Balm. Value = $3.99

The total approximate value of this months box is $26.51. This box is notorious for sending the same items multiple months in a row. That's a good thing if you will use the item but bad if you won't. I have several samples of the Cobazol cream but haven't used it yet. I'm also gathering quite a collection of Justin's peanut butter but I'm totally cool with that because I can eat them right out the package for a little protein boost. I don't have a real need for the acne spot treatment but the teenager will get some use out of it I'm sure. Ahhh the days of raging hormones and blemishes, I don't miss em'. I've never tried the Carolla's beeswax but I'm a fan of emollients that have beeswax in them and find them to be highly effective on dry skin. 

Verdict: This box was a good one for me. I will get use out of everything in it. 


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Friday, October 24, 2014

October Taste Guru Box

Do you live a gluten free lifestyle? Or maybe you know someone who is gluten free? Taste Guru is a whole box of food that is gluten free. Each month Taste Guru sends out a box of gluten free foods that have been tested and reviewed by those who live a gluten free life. The box is shipped monthly and the prices ranges from $20 to $24 a month depending on which plan you sign up for. All plans include shipping.

Why is there such a gap between reviews? I had signed up for a 6 month plan back in May. I received a box in May and a box in June then nothing. I sent an email and was told there was a shipping mistake and I would definitely receive a box in July. July came and went as did August. I sent another email and was told I would definitely get the rest of my boxes starting in October. So here it is, the October box.

I also noticed they changed their logo and packaging. Maybe this is a good sign of things to come.

Price: $24 a month with discounts for 3, 6 and 12 month plans. 

This box ships to the USA only from Denver, Colorado. 

The good:

Gluten free made easy: This is a great way to try a whole bunch of gluten free foods.

Need a gift: I think this would make a great gift for the gluten free person in your life.

The not so good:

Value: The last two boxes I received in May & June had terrible values. I heard they changed things up and the value and assortment of products will be improved.

New logo and packaging. 

October Taste Guru Box - the box was full!

Recipe using the Breton crackers. 


Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Breton gluten free crackers. Value = $3.79

(2) Peeled Snack Clusters in Cinnamon Crunch. Value = $5.49/ea.

.75 oz. Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Crackers in cracker pepper. Value = $0.58

6 oz. bag Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas in Korean BBQ. Value = $5.19

(2) Schär Bontà d'Italia Paste Penne. Value = $0.95/ea.

Enstrom Almond Toffee Single. Value = $0.90

Fan Favorite Bonus Item

(2) Dave's Homemade Sweet & Sassy Smokehouse Rub. Value = $6.19/ea.

The total value of this box is $35.72. I would say that yes, Taste Guru really stepped it up. I'm so glad they listened to their customers and made a positive change. This box had some items I've tried and enjoy and some new items I'm excited to try. I've tried the Saffron Road chickpeas before and they were actually pretty tasty. I like the little single serving size bags of penne pasta, it tastes all the guess work out of measuring. The bags of Dave's rub look delicious. Speaking of delicious I think I'm going to make the crab and shrimp cakes recipe that was sent.

Verdict: This box is great in product and value. I have 3 more boxes coming and now I'm excited again about receiving them.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Taste Trunk - Gourmet Trunk

Taste Trunk is a food based subscription box. I love food, especially gourmet food so I didn't hesitate to sign up for this box. Taste Trunk actually has four different themed trunks you can purchase. They are Gourmet, Health, Sweet and BBQ trunk. I love that they have something for everyone. I was torn between the BBQ one and the Gourmet one but ended up choosing the Gourmet one. The nice thing about Taste Trunk allows you to switch your boxes at anytime. I keep thinking I'm going to try the BBQ one at some point but I'm really liking this trunk.

Price: $35.00 a month with no option to skip. 

The good:

Products: The items in my box are gourmet and full size.

Info: They send info cards with products information and recipes.

Variety: I love that they have four different themed boxes.

Want more: They have an online store where you can purchase more of the things you love.

Change it up: Want a different trunk next month. You can change your trunks by emailing them

The Not So Good:

Skip: Doesn't look like there is a way to skip, only cancel.

Referral program: They have one but you have to enter the persons full name when you check out and they get 10% off their next box. I like referral programs that use links and have discounts or bonus items for both people.

October Taste Trunk


Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

Gourmet Du Village Brie and Camembert Cheese Baker, Morin Heights, Canada. Value = $14.99

Gourmet Du Village Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix, Morin Heights, Canada. Value = $5.99

Seattle Chocolates Dead Sea Salt Truffle Bar from Seattle, WA. Value = $3.50 - yummy, soft truffle bar. Milk chocolate isn't my favorite but this is pretty good. 

Terrapin Ridge Pumpkin Honey Mustard from Clearwater, Fl Value = $7.30

Gourmet Du Village Sugar Plum Chutney from Morin Heights, Canada. Value = $8.50

The total value of this box is $40.38. I was happy to see a kitchen product in this months box. The other bummer is I already have a brie baker. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it for a spare or gift it during the holidays. The other nice thing I noticed is the jar of sugar plum chutney which would go very nicely over baked brie. I wasn't sure what to do with the pumpkin honey mustard. To me these two flavors just don't seem to go together. The included information card has some recipes ideas so I will look into those more. It's almost time to bundle up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate during a rainy day. I'm going to set this aside for that perfect day.

Verdict: I loved the stuff in the box this month. 


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Target Beauty Box

I'm sure all of you have heard of the Target Beauty Box by now. Every so often Target releases a one time purchase beauty box. There is no set schedule of the box but it seems like it happens a few times a year. I usually find out about them through Facebook. The price of this box was $7.00 which includes shipping. This box is still available at Target if you're interested in purchasing.

I'm not going to break down the good and not so good of this box since it's a one time purchase box. Also Target tells you what items and sizes are included so nothing is a surprise. Basically you know what you're getting when you buy the beauty box.

Target Beauty Box


Contents of the Target Beauty Box:

2.2 oz. Elnett Extra Strong Hold Hairspray. Value = $6.99

1.7 oz. Fekkai Professional Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo. Value = $7.99

.21 oz. Laneige BB Cushion Sample of 3 shades. Value = $14.78/ea.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. Value = $4.49

L'Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lipstick. Value = $7.99

Coupon for $3 off beauty purchase of $15 or more at Target. 

The total value of this beauty box is $42.24. I have a friend who is a hair stylist in Los Angeles and he swears by the Elnett hairspray. I hadn't tried it so when I saw it was in this box I was super excited.  This alone was worth the price of the box. The other stuff I wasn't too excited about but figured it was all kind of a bonus. I still haven't tried dry shampoo yet but the teenager uses it. The L'Oréal lipstick is a nice nudish color and I like the fuzzy tip applicator on it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the white eyeshadow. It seems like it would be really bright, also I noticed it kind of smelled like chemicals. Anyone else notice that? I have laneige samples from another box that I still haven't tried. The reviews are really good, it's just that I don't wear foundation very often. 

June Taste Guru Box

Do you live a gluten free lifestyle? Or maybe you know someone who is gluten free? Taste Guru is a whole box of food that is gluten free. Taste Guru came about when the co-founder was diagnosed with celiac disease. Many of the gluten free foods they found tasted like cardboard and generally didn't taste very good. Through trial and error they found foods they love and mealtimes became enjoyable again. Each month Taste Guru sends out a box of gluten free foods that have been tested and reviewed by those who live a gluten free life. The box is shipped monthly and the prices ranges from $25 to $34 a month depending on which plan you sign up for. All plans include shipping.

This box ships to the USA only from Denver, Colorado. 

The good:

Gluten free made easy: This is a great way to try a whole bunch of gluten free foods.

Need a gift: I think this would make a great gift for the gluten free person in your life.

The not so good:

Want more: The products they send can be hard to find but Taste Guru has an online store where you can order some of the products from the box.


June Taste Guru Box


Contents of Taste Guru Box with approximate retail value:

12 oz. bag Delallo Gluten Free Orzo. Value = $4.49

Saffron Road Korma Simmer Sauce. Value = $3.59

Hail Merry Macaroons Chocolate. Value = $1.25 - Only two of these were in the bag so I gave them to the boyfriend and teenager. 

Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters berry crunch. Value = $2.19 - These were pretty good. 

Nogii Paleo Bar. Value = $2.44

Coupon for $1 off Saffron Road products. 

The total value of this box is $13.96. This value is better than last months but still totally unacceptable. If I hadn't received a deal on this box (6 months for $65 = $10.83/month) I would be complaining to them for sure. The regular price of the subscription is $34 a month and you get $14 worth of stuff? No way! Additionally they included an item that was also the in previous months box. luckily I happen to like that item but I still don't think they should duplicated items two months in a row.
I like simmer sauces because they are easy. I've never tried this kind before but it looks pretty good. I was disappointed to see only 2 macaroons in the bag. I was nice and let the boyfriend and teenager have them, they didn't say much so I'm guessing I wasn't missing out. The apple crunch peeled snacks were pretty good, crunchy and fruity. I'm not sure about the paleo bar, those things tend to not taste very good but I'll give it a try.

Verdict: Great products, horrible value. I found a deal on Gilt city for a 6 month subscription for $65 which made it $10.83 a month for me. This is the 2nd month out of 6. We will see what happens next month. 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October SwaagBox

Let's talk about a new subscription box to hit the sub box list. Swaag Box sends a box of brand name tampons or pads along with makeup, jewelry and an extra goody to help you through that time of the month. You choose from 25 listed varieties of tampons or pads then choose your skin type and fashion type. The price of the box is $16 a month billed mostly with a discount offered for 6 months pre-paid subscription. You can also sign up to receive a one time box for $24 but the monthly can be canceled anytime so I would say sign up for the monthly box and if you don't like it cancel. They also have an option to a 4 pack of Gillette Venus razors for an additional $12 and an option to double your makeup and jewelry for an extra $6 a month. This month they also donated a portion of the proceeds to the Susan G Komen foundation.

I paid $5 for this box as an intro special and added the double your makeup & jewelry for $6.

Price: $16 a month with discounts offered for 6 month subscription. 

The Good:

Convenient: What's worse than your monthly visitor arriving and not being prepared. This makes that easy.

Brand names: They don't send generic products and they have 3 different name brand tampons/pads with many varieties to choose from.

Referrals: The offer a generous referral program. When 3 people sign up you get a free box!

Skip a month: Sort of. You can contact them and put your subscription on pause.


The Not So Good:

Drugstore brands: Some people aren't a fan of drugstore brand makeup. If you don't like drugstore brands then this box isn't for you.

Limited Makeup Brands: Right now they only have Maybelline, Revlon, L'Oreal & Hard Candy listed as brands they carry. I would like to see this expand as they grow.

Card included in the Swaag Box.

This is the basic box without any add ons

It's hard to see but the colors of the eyeliner are a black sparkle, dark blue and basic black. 


This is the products from the add ons which is an extra $6. 


Contents of Swaag Box

14 pack Always Overnight Ultra Thin. Value = $3.99

Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet. Value = $19.99 - I think this is from NicNic. It looks like the same bracelet that was in the Boodle Box a few months ago.

Maybelline Color Show Audacious Asphalt. Value = $2.97

Maybelline Color Show Chiffon Chic. Value = $2.97

Hard Candy Single and Loving It eyeshadow in Unattached. Value = $2.70

Hard Candy eyeliner in Sailor. Value = $2.33

Hard Candy eyeliner in Submarine. Value = $4.00

Hard Candy eyeliner in Soy. Value = $3.00

Pack of 6 Oreo Cookies. Value = $1.50

Double Your Makeup and Jewelry Items:

Breast Cancer Awareness Stainless Steele Bangle. Value = $19.00

Hard Candy Split Personality eyeshadow in Therapy Green/Therapy Aqua. Value = $7.00

Revlon Diamond Lust Starry Pink. Value = $5.49

The total value of this box with the extra makeup/jewelry add-on is $74.94. The included card has values listed but they don't break it down by each item so it was a little confusing. I had to guess which Hard Candy makeup items were the extras so it could be off just slightly. I thought the inclusion of the Oreo cookies was quite clever. I read a study once that said feeling extra hungry during that time of the month is actually a real thing because we burn extra calories. The downside is we only burn an extra 100-200 calories which is way less than the pack of cookies or big cheeseburger contains. So yes we burn extra calories but only enough to burn off an apple or two. I actually love the eyeshadow and eyeliner colors I received. They are colors I wear quite frequently. The nail polish is ok, not colors I wear frequently but usable and I think they would go together quite well, maybe a chevron type design. The bracelets are really cute and totally appropriate for October, although I think the retail price is a little high.

Verdict: I think this box is very useful if it has brands you enjoy using. For me personally I would like it every other month as opposed to monthly.

 

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Nibblr Box

Nibblr is a snack box company very similar to Graze box. They send portion control snacks all wrapped up in a little sealed box. Each shipment contains four snack boxes. You can choose to receive a shipment every week, every other week or once a month. You don't get to choose which snacks you receive but they have rating system on their website for the snacks they send. Your ratings will determine snacks in future shipments. They have 59 different boxes so they is surely something for everyone. The price per shipment is $5.99 which includes shipping. You can choose to pay for four boxes at at time for $23 ($5.75/shipment) or twelve boxes for $66 ($5.50/shipment). I had found a deal through Gilt City to get twelve shipments for $40 which makes it under a $1 per snack pack. That sounded like a great deal to me. I opted to have my boxes shipped once a month.

The good:

Snacker? If you're a snacker like me this is a perfect little box. Portion controlled and portable.

Nutritional info: Printed on the back of the container which I love.

Customize shipments: You can choose how often you want a box. Choose wisely though I couldn't see a way online to change it back. Also you get to rate the items and say love it, like it, interested or no thanks.

Referral: Use my referral code 4051 when signing up and you will get a free box.

The not so good:

Price: Depending on how you pay the price ranges from $1.37-$1.50 a box.

Skip: I couldn't find any sort of skip or vacation hold option.

The Nibblr box comes like this. 

Inside the Nibblr Box


Contents of box:

Harvest Blend, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin seeds, and pecans snack mix. - yummy mix!

Wasabelove, corn nuts and wasabi peas snack mix.

Stuck on Flax, flax sea salt pretzel pearls. 

Copa Cabana Rama, banana chips, diced mango, pineapple rings, and macadamia nuts snack mix.

Pumpkin cookies! yay. You know it's fall when the pumpkins come out. Wasabi items are so funny for us. They burn like heck but we just can't stop eating them. 

Verdict: I like these boxes for the convenience and portability. 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Birchbox - Laggies box

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. I had canceled this subscription last year because I didn't like what they were sending me. A friend signed up and was getting some pretty cool items so I decided to sign up again.

This box is a collaboration with the movie Laggies coming out soon. I'm not sure how these products go with the movie but I didn't watch the preview and it looks like a fun movie.

Price: $10 a month or $110 a year pre-paid. 

This subscription is available in the US only.     

The good:

Name Brands.  You will receive items from Benefit, Stila, Pür, Essie, Kerastase, Tarte, etc. 

Cost.  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.

October Fashionista Birchbox


Contents of box with approximate retail price/value listed.

20g Vasanti BrightenUp! Face Rejuvenator. Value = $6.80

1 oz. Tocca Green Tea & Lemon Hand Cream. Value = $5.00

1 oz. Beauty Protector Leave in Conditioner. Value = $2.74

.13 oz. SAGE + Fasten Onward Eau de Parfum. Value = $3.85

.17 oz. Model Co. Power Lash Mascara Value = $10.00

The total value of this box is $28.39. This box is a winner for me. On the days I don't was my hair I use a leave in conditioner or Moroccan oil. I like the pumps like those for traveling as opposed to the bottles of oil. More hand cream from my purse and it has a nice light scent. More mascara. I'm not going to need mascara for the next 5 years at this rate!


The verdict: This box was perfect for me and the value is fantastic!

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

October ipsy - Beauty Candy

Ipsy 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 since 2011 and this is one subscription I am for sure keeping. They constantly have a high product value with products that I use.

Price: $10 a month with no option to skip. Discount offered for a yearly subscription. 

This subscription is available to the US and Canada and ships from Harrisburg, NC.

The good:

The samples: Usually you get at least one full size product in each bag.

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.

Semi-customized: You take a little quiz and your bag is semi-customized with products you will enjoy.

Points: You can earn points for reviews and referrals. You can redeem points for extra goodies in your bag. 

The not so good:

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

Renewal. If your a yearly subscriber they automatically charge your credit card for another year when the paid for year is up. I think they should sent out an email prior reminding you that your year is almost up and it will automatically renew.

October ipsy Bag


Contents of bag with value and approximate retail price:

.34 oz. H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. Value = $7.23

10 pack Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths. Value = $5.00 - I tried these when I got them from LBB and they are great! 

.67 oz. Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin. Value = $6.56 - I like the smell of this but I wish it were just a little bit thicker. 

NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara. Value = $4.99

.3 oz Starlooks Lip Gloss in Guilty Pleasure. Value = $3.00-$4.00??

really pretty real quilted look makeup bag

The approximate value of this months bag is $23.78-$24.78. Like last month I am 100% happy with this bag. I definitely will use all of the stuff in this months bag. I also like the size of the lip gloss because lets face it most of us don't use the whole tube anyway. I've been using the a different formula of the H2O product at night and so far I like it. I was thinking about all the different products I use and I don't know if it's good or bad for my skin but it hasn't hurt anything. I have a ton of mascara right now but I'll add to to the pot. I'm really liking the Urban Decay perversion mascara sample I received.

Verdict: This months bag was fantastic!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

October Allure Sample Society Beauty Box

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 with shipping included.

Price: $15.00 a month with no option to skip.

The good:

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

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: It's a win/win. You get a $5 credit on your account or you can donate that to charity and the person you refer gets a 20% discount on their first purchase at Beauty Bar. 

The not so good:

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

Subscription discounts: They don't offer discounts for multiple months unless you gift a 12 month subscription. Then you get 12 months for the price of 11.

October Sample Society Box



Contents of box with approximate retail value.

.27 Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum. Value = $14.49

.057 Bond No. 9 High Line. Value = $6.80

1.7 L'Oréal Paris Restoring Shampoo. Value = $0.67

1.7 L'Oréal Paris Restoring Conditioner. Value = $0.67

3 pack Emi-Jay hair ties. Value = $6.60

.1 oz. Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara in Black. Value = $17.50

The total value of this box is $46.73. See that little green candy looking thing? It holds the perfume sample. That perfume is expensive! The shampoo and conditioner isn't exciting but totally useful. I will happily try the Estee Lauder night serum but I've been told my dark spots are hormonal and will probably never go away unless my hormones change. Can't hurt though. I always thought I could never hair too many hair ties but my little container is overflowing with them. I have a few that have stretched out that I could toss but I usually save those for the gym since I don't care what they look like.


Verdict: This months was another great box.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is that subscription box giving you the most bang for your buck?

A reader contacted me recently about a Beauty Box Analysis study she conducted. She took 9 popular boxes and broke them down by cost, average number of items, average value of included item, size of items and average savings. She then took it a step further and figured out what percentage of items are from a certain category. For instance if you really want makeup then BoxyCharm is your best bet since their boxes consist of 78% makeup. Focused on skin care then the Blush Beauty Box is your best bet.

Check out her post on Reddit (user abacu5) or just click here. This link will take you directly to her graphs on imgur. Super interesting stuff! Thanks girl!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag - large

Rainbow Honey is a nail polish that is sold mostly online. I believe they have one retailer in the US down in San Diego, CA. Each Rainbow Honey mystery bag will have sneak peaks and preview of new lacquers, unreleased samples of future collections and exciting new products made by the Rainbow Honey Lab! They have two sizes of mystery bag mini and full size. The mini mystery bag is $10 plus shipping which I think is $3.95. The full size  mystery bag is $25 and includes shipping. The difference between the two bags, besides price is size of the products. The mini mystery bag will have the mini size bottles of nail polish and smaller versions of whatever is included in the bag. I debated on which one to get because I actually like the smaller bottle of nail polish. I have so many polishes that I never finish a bottle so the small ones are perfect for me. Then I thought for only $11 more I can get full size versions of everything. Decisions, decisions. Finally I decided on the full size mystery bag.

Price: Small $13.95, Full size $25. Also available as a free gift with $65 purchase.

The good:

Price: $25 is kind of a lot on a subscription but $14 (with shipping) isn't so bad. I like that  they have two different price points.

Love what you got: The have a website full of stuff you can order.

Booklet: The include a booklet with info on the products.

The not so good:

Skip a month: I don't see a skip option

The package comes wrapped in bubble wrap with info about the included items. 

The contents of the bag. 

close up of the colors. 

Contents of the large mystery bag. 

FULL SIZE nail polish in café con leche, light shade of brown, packed w/micro gold and silver pigments. Value = $10.00

FULL SIZE nail polish in zi, purple lacquer packed w/micro gold, blue, silver and magenta glitters. Value = $10.00

FULL SIZE all your base. Value = $8.00

FULL SIZE Sweet November Rollerball eau de parfum. Value = $12.00

FULL SIZE L'orange ganache lip balm. Value = $5.00

FULL SIZE Sweet November Shimmer Soap. Value = $8.00

Dotting Tool. Value = $0.40?? (similar one found in a set of 5 on Amazon for $1.95)

The value of the mystery bag is at least $53.40. I wasn't too excited about the base coat, although I do use it. Rainbow Honey has such fun colors so when I see something clear it's kind of a let down. It will get used though and I'm sure I'll be thankful that I have it when I need it. Now let's talk about the colors. At first I thought the beige color was kinda of boring but when I looked closer I could see the sparkles in it. I think it's going to look great on. The purple is just plain gorgeous. I didn't open the rollerball yet but the description says its a warm sweet musk with notes of coconut and vanilla sugar. I'm not a big musk fan but I like coconut and vanilla. I'm guessing the soap smells the same. The lip balm sounds good enough to eat. sweet dried oranges and belgian dark chocolate? yes please! This is the second time they have included a dotting tool in the bag and I think it's the same size.

Verdict: I still enjoy these bags and I now have quite a large RH collection.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

October Fancy - Food Box

The Fancy Food Box includes 5 or more gourmet artisan food products. The Fancy Food box is priced at $39.00 plus $7.95 shipping. This is a little high but if you are into food products they send out some really cool stuff and so far the value has been over the $48 price of the box. I also think this would make a great holiday gift for the food lover in your life.

Price $47.95 a month with no option to skip. 

This subscription is available worldwide, shipping prices vary on location.

The good:

Sizes: You get full size food items! Also every now and then they throw in a kitchen gadget. 

Information: They include a nice card with the product information and picture.     

Products: They really do sent gourmet and artisan foods and products. 

The not so good:

Skip: There is no option to skip a month, only cancel but the cancel process is online and super simple. 

Price: The price is a little high but the value always surpasses the price paid.

October Fancy Food Box


Contents of The Fancy Food Box with approximate retail price listed: 

Pop Gourmet Popcorn Rogue Blue Cheese. Value = $5.99 - I thought this was really good, it didn't have a real strong blue cheese flavor but it was definitely there. 

Silk Road Teas Yunnan Black Organic Black Tea. Value = $9.25

Quin Sniffle Slayer. Value = $7.50

Fine & Raw Chocolate Bonbon Bar. Value = $10.00

Daelia's Honey Nougat Almond. Value = $7.79

Chi-Cho Sauce. Value = $9.00

Kika's Treats Carmelized Graham Crackers in pure dark chocolate. Value = $8.00  - I had to restrain myself from eating this whole package. 

The total value of this months box is $57.53. This was a super exciting box of food stuffs. I had been wanting to try the blue cheese popcorn since seeing it at Safeway. I was sure it was going to come in a box sometime soon since it was a new product. The Kiki's graham crackers are nothing short of amazing but I'm a huge dark chocolate fan. I love almond nougat and I'm sure this will be delicious but since I had eaten 2 graham crackers I had to resist this for now. I wasn't sure how to use the chi-cho sauce but the website says you can use it as a marinade so I think I will give that a try. I just really hope it's not too hot. The sniffle slayer pops have ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper in them which will clear up your sniffles. I'm not sure I will like these but I think I'm going to bring them to work and share with the sniffle people when cold season hits. The last item that I'm excited about is the Bonbon bar. I don't know much about it but I'm sure it's going to be delicious!

Verdict: The Fancy boxes are always full of yummy things to try. 

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Friday, October 10, 2014

October Blush Beauty Mystery Box

Blush is a company that is associated with Dermstore and Blush offers a monthly mystery beauty box.  You can make a one time purchase for $34.95 or subscribe monthly for $24.95.  Both prices include shipping. 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.

Price: $24.95-$34.95 a month with no option to skip.

I believe this subscription is available to the US only, they don't really say on their website. 

The good:

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 and all these products were easily found.

The not so good:

Price: This is one of the higher priced subscriptions but the products are usually high end.

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

October Blush Beauty Mystery Bag.



Contents of Blush box w/approximate retail price listed:

FULL SIZE Glytone Hydrating Eye Cream. Value = $38.00

FULL SIZE Cargo BeachBlush in Cable Beach. Value = $30.00

FULL SIZE Klorane Shampoo with Desert Date. Value = $15.00

.25 oz. Strivectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment. Value = $37.50

1.6 oz. Batiste Dry Shampoo. Value = $3.99

The total value of of this blush beauty bag is a $124.49. I am super excited about the shampoo. I love getting expensive shampoo and conditioner in boxes because #1 shampoo is something I buy anyway and #2 I don't buy expensive shampoos. The Glytone is the featured item in this box which is funny because I received this is from this same box about a year ago and I'm just now running out. *It didn't take a year to get through the tube but I just opened it a few months ago. I've heard Strivectin is some good stuff and this particular product is half the size of a full tube and it's still a high dollar item. I do use a night cream every night so I think I will give this a try. I'm not to into blush, although I think the color gradation is really pretty. I'll probably trade this - maybe for a couple of bottles of shampoo. I also don't use dry shampoo but a friend of mine was wanting to try it so I'm going to pass this on to her.

Verdict: Blush beauty always has a great value even if you don't use everything you get.


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