Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birchbox July 2014 - Power Up

 Let's just say that Birchbox has seriously upped their game with the July Women's Health box.  Not only did I get to customize one of my samples, the value int his box was almost twice of last month.  This box was a total winner for me, and completely slayed July's Ipsy bag!

Just like every month, the Birchbox posts are the easiest to do because each month I submit reviews on the included items so I rack up points! You earn 10 points for every product you review and 1 point for every $1 spent. These points can be used at the website to purchase other products! As of today, 3 cycles into my 12 month subscription,  I've earned over 534 points ($50!!). This includes 110 for my yearly subscription, 100 for late box, and the rest were earned on reviews and $70 purchase. You can see how easy it is to rack up points.

1. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel  - This is a quick and easy peel perfect to brighten face and smooth complexion. It works similarly to an exfoliator without the irritating redness. The product is a clear thin liquidy product you smooth over skin, leave on 30 seconds and rub in with water in circulation motion for a minute then rinse off.  The full size tube is $48 for 1.7 oz.

2. Number 4™ Super Comb Prep & Protect - Ever since I received the samples from No.4 last month, I'm a believer in their products. The shampoos make my hair more manageable than ever.  I have very long hair that is wavy/curly. It's a nightmare to comb after the shower even after conditioning my hair. This spray prep made my hair so easy to comb through and more manageable to style.   The products are pricey but worth it for the benefits they provide for your hair. The full size will cost you $32 for 200ml.

3. dr. brandt® pores no more® pore refiner primer - While I'm all for pore refiners, this one is a big  no-no for the face. It includes Lavender Oil and which can damage your skin.  I won't be using this product.  If you want to read up on proper products for your body, check out Beautypedia. It's a fabulous resource for the TRUTH about what's in the products and if the product's claims for benefit hold any weight. If you are interested in the full size it costs $45 for 1 fl oz.

4. RUFFIAN Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes - Who knew a nail polish remover could actually smell good AND remove polish?! This was a great find and I wish a few more samples were included in the July Birchbox.  The box of wipes will cost you $12 for 10 wipes.

5. RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Rosary - Loved the tone and the metallic sheen of this polish! Was excited we were able to chose the color for our box, too. The color is a beautiful rosey golden and it's a wonderful tone for summer. I only needed one coat for perfect coverage. Was stoked to find out this was the full size polish that retails for $11 in the 0.17 fl oz size.

6. LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil - I totally fell in love with this lip lube. The color seemed a bit too purple in the tube but when I applied it, the tone was a very lovely berry mauve. The color and silkiness are perfection. And the scent is super yummy. I will be buying this one for sure! Surprise bonus, this lip pencil is the total $18 Full size 0.07 oz product!!

7. Women's Health Magazine Subscription - This was a fab bonus for this month's box. Although my box definitely didn't have a Women's Health theme, I was pleased to receive a voucher for a yearly subscription to the magazine or an opt-out refund for $9.99.

Birchbox Cost:  $9.65/month ($115.83/yearly)

July ' 14 Birchbox Contents / Approximate Value:
1. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel (.17 fl oz)- $4.80
2. Number 4™ Super Comb Prep & Protect (30 ml) - $4.80
3. dr. brandt® pores no more® pore refiner primer (0.25 fl oz) - $11.25
4. RUFFIAN Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes (1 wipe) - $1.20
5. RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer - Rosary (Full Size 0.17 fl oz ) - $11
6. LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil (Full Size 0.07 oz) - $18
7. Women's Health Subscription - $9.99* (12 month subscription or $9.99 refund check)

July '14 Birchbox Approximate Value: $61.04 

I must say that each month Birchbox is getting better and better!  At first, I wasn't too impressed with the samples or sizes. The value wasn't in the box at all, I was seeing the value in earning the points to shop. But with the new addition of sample selection, it's ensuring you enjoy at least one of your monthly products. Let's hope this roll continues!

If you want to get your own Birchbox Subscription, tell them Vixie Rayna sent you! JOIN HERE!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Ipsy July 2014 - Sensationally Sunkissed

A super neon pink surprise arrived today from IPSY and of course I was super excited to receive my 2nd installment of my year subscription. It's all about summer in this bag!

The bag was a BRIGHT shocker coming out of the shipping wrapper. It's totally 80s neon pink and a retro throwback style. The material is like a faux leather,  although I like the scalloped edges...overall I must say the bag was a bit cheap looking.  The round Ipsy zipper pull was well done though.

Overall, I must say out right I was disappointed in this month's bag.  The style is a bit to kitschy for my style and a few of the products were a dud in all honesty. Although the value of this bag was even more than last month's, I still couldn't get as amped as before.  Let's jump into bag and break down this month's finds:

My favorite was cherry Tints&Sass Fabulous Lip & Cheek Stain by Elizabeth Mott.  It was a full size product worth a whopping $22.99.  First off I love the cheeky name, and the packaging is pin-up cuteness. It's a twist off top with doe-foot applicator. The stain has a nice consistency, a little thinner than a gel and goes on smoothly. Easy to blend on cheeks and smooths over lips. If you check out the Elizabeth Mott website, you can get BOGO using IPSYTINT at checkout.

One can never have too much moisturizer with SPF in the summer.  The Pur-lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 comes in a travel-sized tube (0.5 oz)  that is perfect for my summer on-the-go.  I adore the light summery scent, reminds me of my summers as a lifeguard.  TIP:  Apply your sunscreen BEFORE you leave the house as you're putting on swimwear. It gives time for the sunscreen to absorb and adequately protect you. Slathering it on AFTER you get to the beach is going to leave your skin unprotected for at least 30 minutes and harmful rays could already be doing damage to your skin. The full-size product (1.7 oz) is quite pricey at $55, but you can get 30% off using IPSYSUMMER30 at checkout.

Lotions are pretty boring really, but travel size bottles are always helpful for a girl who runs around as much as me. I can throw this in one of purses and have it for emergencies. I didn't want to open the Faith Aromatherapy Anti-Oxidant Citrus/Ginger Body Lotion just yet as I'm pretty stocked on lotion at the moment, but the packaging is nice and it's wrapped tightly. The full-sized bottle (7.5 oz) is a decent deal at $17.99 with 50% off using IPSY at checkout.

I am a huge BareMinerals fan and was excited to try this 5in1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow. Kudos for the SPF in the product, but I just can't seem to master the art of cream shadow. Plus the color was a bit dark for my very fair skin tone. If you happen to love BareMinerals, you can get free shipping with any purchases at Ulta.com using the IPSYBAREFS promo code. The full-size product costs $18 for a 0.10 fl oz.

The Pop Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer was a total dud for me. I NEVER wear bronzer, I'm pale and I like it.  For some reason, I've never mastered the art of using bronzer. It always looks unnatural on me. This full-size product will run you $10, but you can snag 25% off using POPIPSY promo code at checkout.

The IPSY Bag Cost: $9.17/month ($110/yearly)

IPSY Bag Contents / Approximate Value:
Neon Pink Bag: ?? (No way to value the bag, they are created specifically for IPSY and not for individual sale - this one is okay and I might pay $2 for it in a bargain bin)
Elizabeth Mott Tints&Sass Lip&Cheek Stain: $22.99
Pur-lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30: $16.18
Faith Aromatherpay Citrus/Ginger Body Lotion: $2.12
BareMinerals 5in1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow: $5.40
Pop Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer: $10

July '14 IPSY Bag Approximate Value: $56.69 (Not including the bag)

The goodies in this month's bag were personalized for me by taking at beauty quiz at IPSY.  You can re-take the quiz at any time, and it will adjust what your receive in future mailings.

If you want to join IPSY, tell them Vixie Rayna sent you! JOIN HERE!