Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 2014 Loot Crate

I saw that August's loot crate theme was Heroes, so I decided to subscribe for the month and give it to Aiden as a Christmas present. The heroes included weren't at all what I expected, but I really like what was included. I was especially excited to see two Ninja Turtle items! I'll add pictures later on today, but wanted to at least get most of this review up soon.

If you haven't heard of Loot Crate, it's a subscription service that sends you nerd and gamer themed items every month. It's $13.37 + $6 shipping, so it comes out to about $20, they usually have a code for either a dollar amount off or a percent off though, so definitely keep an eye out for that. I got the heroes box for $17 with a $3 off coupon, and for September you can get the Galactic themed box for 10% off using the code Galactic. If you sign up based on my posts, please use my referral link here.

Here's what I got in the August box:
Leonardo Kidrobot Ooze Action Figure - $10
This is a pretty cute little action figure, and I know my son will love it. It came with the packaging open which would've bothered me if I was planning on keeping it in the packaging, but since it's a gift for my son it really didn't matter. I thought about emailing them anyway just to see how their cs is, but I decided against it.

Donatello Sunglasses - $9.99
I'm really excited to give these to Aiden. He loves the TMNT (a love that I'm definitely encouraging) and these are pretty adorable. I was hoping for Raphael but Aiden has recently decided that purple is his favorite color, so he'll be excited that he got Donatello.

Pop Vinyl Groot Exclusive Glow in the Dark version - $15-$25
I had a hard time finding a value for this because it doesn't seem like the Pop Vinyl figures are sold at any set price. I looked for this specific one, and it was being sold on ebay for $15+, or on amazon at $58+. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to keep this, but if I do sell it, it'll pay for the whole box! It's a pretty neat little figure and it does glow well, so I'll decide whether or not to keep it after I actually see Guardians of the Galaxy (which I plan to do soon, it looks great!).

Shwings Lightning Bolts Silver - $7
I'm not sure how these'll look on Aiden's shoes (since the shoes are still relatively small and the wings are pretty big) but I think he'll be excited about them if they work. I'll probably wait until he grows out of his Captain America shoes to give him these, and by then maybe they'll work. It's definitely a cute idea, and I like that it can be moved from shoe to shoe (although I probably won't want to do the re-lacing required to actually move them.)

Sonic and Tails Air Freshener - $4
Aiden is really into Sonic, so he'll love this. He saw me looking up the price and started singing the Sonic the Hedgehog theme song.

Deadpool magnet - $1
I know nothing about Deadpool (it took a quick google search for me to figure out that that's what this was from) but I'm sure I can find someone who wants this, and if I can't, it'll go on the fridge to hang up more photos and Aiden's artwork

Loot Crate Pin - $0.50?
I love pins, so I'm definitely stealing this from Aiden.

The box also came with a card that had three download codes on it:

Defense Grid the Awakening on Steam - $9.99
This code gets you a download of the full game! I'm not really a gamer, but my husband will probably play it.

Doctor Who Legacy- bonus pack - 
"Unlocks 11 Doctors, Rose Tyler, Clara, and K-9"
The app is available on Android, Kindle, Facebook and the Apple App Store.
I have no idea how to value this, or the Gauntlet in-game helm.

Gauntlet Loot Crate Exclusive in-game helm - 
Mask of the Wyrm Slayer. My husband is excited about this. I'm not sure if it does anything, or if it just looks cool, but I'll update this post when it comes out and he's had a chance to try it.

Even if I choose the lowest value I've seen for the Groot figure, the total value of this box is $57.48 that's pretty awesome for a box that I paid $17 for. I'm loving Loot Crate so far, and can't wait to get September's box!

If you sign up after reading my posts, please use my referral link.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Birchbox Review

I got an amazing deal on for a year subscription to Birchbox, so now I get two boxes. I'll still be reviewing my Birchboxes from my original account alongside Ipsy, but I'm reviewing my other Birchbox each month separately. If you don't know about Birchbox, it's a monthly subscription box that sends you five samples or deluxe samples each month. It's $10 a month or $110 a year. They also have a points system, so every item you review gets you ten points, and every ten points is a dollar in the Birchbox shop.

  Birchbox has started adding adjectives in front of the name on the shipping address. Seeing Fascinating Hannah Crull-Sher on there certainly made me smile!

Here's what I got:

The Balm Stainiac - $2.30
Birchbox has been letting subscribers choose one product from their boxes these last two months (assuming you're fast enough and what you want isn't sold out). Stainiac is what I chose for both of my boxes. That way, I know I'll get at least one thing I love. Stainiac is my favorite of all the cheek stains I've tried, and I'm excited to have another sample of it as my last one ran out.

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub 1oz sample - $3.75
I'm so excited to try this! I love scrubs and the sample is a really good size!

Hello breath spray - $3.83
I've never really used a breath spray, but pink grapefruit mint sounds pretty appealing, so I'll definitely give this a try. I know a lot of breath products contain eucalyptus (which I can't stand) so I'm hoping this does.

Not Soap Radio - $1.76

I'm not usually excited about bath or shower gel in my boxes, but this smells AMAZING and I can't wait to try it. I hope the Birchbox shop gets this back in stock soon, because I have a feeling I'll end up buying this.  

Dr. Jart Pore Medic .2oz sample - $6.40
I'm excited to try this. Smashbox primer didn't live up to the hype for me, so I'm hoping this will work well. I usually use Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Primer, but this is a lot cheaper, so if it works just as well, maybe I'll switch.

The total value of this Birchbox was $18.04 and when I review my five items, I'll get $5 worth of points in the BB shop. Not bad at all for a box I paid less than $10 for! I'm excited about everything except the breath spray, and even that I find pretty interesting. This was definitely a great box!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August Beauty Box 5

Beauty Box 5 is another subscription box. It's $12 a month if you get a monthly subscription, but down to $8.25 a month if you get a yearly subscription. Every month they send you 5 products, the sample size is usually pretty good (they sometimes send full-size products) but there are more low-end products than Birchbox. That said, I usually find myself using most of what's in my Beauty Box 5 boxes.

Here's what I got this month:

Pur-lisse Sunscreen Sample - $16.50
I've enjoyed the pur-lisse products I've gotten in the past, so I'm betting I'll use this. Sunscreen is definitely something I'll use.

Novex Keratin Treatment - $1.50

I love hair treatments, so I'm excited about this. Keratin always does really well for my hair. This will be part of my spa weekend. 

LA Fresh Travel-lite wipes - $3.33
I hate buying wipes (I never feel like I can justify the price) but I also hate removing makeup without wipes so I'm  usually glad to get wipes in my subscriptions. That said, the Eco Beauty LA Fresh wipes that I tried broke me out, so I'll probably swap this.

Style Essentials Nail Polish - $1.75
I don't really wear nail polish, so I'll definitely swap this. It's a pretty color though. 

Nanacoco Lip Gloss - $3.99
I always love getting lip products, but this is suuuuuper bright.

The total value of my Beauty Box 5 was $27.07 and I'll use at least 2/5 of the items I received (maybe 3/5 if the wipes don't break me out or 4/5 if I can find something to tone the gloss down with.) Even if all I'd gotten was the sunscreen and the Keratin I would've been happy with the value of this box!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

June Beauty Box 5 Review

Here's my June Box

 Vitabath Body Wash in Wild Red Cherry - $1.33
This smells pretty good, so I might use it sometime when I go on a road trip. I saw a bunch of people who got a Crown brush instead of this, so I was pretty bummed that I missed out on that. I love getting brushes in subs.

Nicka K Polish - $5
I'm not really a polish person (at all) and when I do paint my nails I usually go with blues or greens, so I definitely won't use this. I do have a friend who uses almost exclusively reds, so I'll give this to her. 

Eslor Sample Set - $0.50 ish?
No one really likes foil packets, but at least these are foil packets that I'll use, and at least there are four of them. There's two each of the cleanser and the replenishing scrub.

Organix Coconut Water Shampoo and Conditioner - $0.50ish 
My hair is down to my mid-thigh, so shampoo or conditioner samples this size are never a good bet for me. I'm sad that this is such a tiny sample size, because this is something I would've really liked to try. 

Glam Natural Mascara Deluxe Sample - $14
I'm always up for new mascara (it's one of my favorite things, and one thing I can never have enough of.)

The total value of my box was around $21.33.

I'm having a giveaway, check it out here

May Beauty Box 5

I'm playing catchup now that I'm able to upload my photos more easily. Here's my BB5 from all the way back in May. 

 Masker Aide Weather Warrier Mask - $6
I just recently tried a sheet mask for the first time and I really liked it, so I'm glad that I got this. I actually haven't tried it yet (which is probably a sign that I get too many subscriptions) but I'm excited to try it.

Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths - $0.78

I've got these in my car, and I'm sure they'll come in handy at some point. Most of this summer has been weirdly cool, so I haven't used them yet, but I'm sure I will.

Hello Sample from Harvey Prince - $2
I got this in February from Birchbox, so I already knew that it wasn't a fragrance that agreed with me.

H20+ Aqualibrium Marine Cleansing Gel - $1.20
I usually use gel cleansers with my Clarisonic, so this will definitely get some use! I'm excited to try it!

 Cativa Waterproof Eyeliner - $20
I don't use eyeliner, but it's full-size, so it'll be easy enough to swap.

The total value of my May box was $28.98.
I wasn't excited about all of the products, but it was definitely a good value, and I'll use 3/5 items.

I'm having a giveaway, check it out here

July 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox

 For anyone who doesn't know, Birchbox and Ipsy are both subscription services in which you pay $10 a month to get 4-5 deluxe samples mailed to you. Birchbox has a lot of variety, and includes makeup, haircare and skincare. Birchbox's samples tend to be on the smaller side, but if you review all of your samples each month you get 50 points, which is equal to $5 in the shop. Ipsy has a lot of repeat brands, but they send out a lot of full-size products or larger samples. 

 Here's my Birchbox:

Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain Sample - $7? (I couldn't get a volume, but this is a little bigger than a third the size of the full-size, which is $20)
First is Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain. This was the item that I chose for my box, I already tried it, and I like it. I've never seen a creamy lip stain before, but the texture reminds me of NYX's matte lip creams. 

Marcelle New Age 8 in 1 Power Serum - $8.16
I tried the Marcelle BB Cream and liked everything except the shade, so I'm hoping I'll like this too. I just ran out of my night cream, so maybe I'll use this instead. 

100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel - There's no volume on these, and since it's $15 for 13 oz I'm guessing the value of these is less than 50 cents. I don't usually like cream body washes, and I hate using foil packets in the shower, so I'm not at all excited about this. 
Hello Body Cream - $0.93
I'm not a fan of Harvey Prince Hello, so this will definitely go up for swap. It's actually a decent sized sample though, so someone will be happy to try it. 

Whish Shave Cream - $2.96
I received this in my other Birchbox already, and don't like it. It's a good sized sample though, so maybe I'll gift it to a friend for their travel bag, or I'll swap it.

The total value of my July Birchbox was $19.05, plus I got $5 in Birchbox credit for reviewing all of my items. I honestly wasn't all that excited about a lot of the things I received, but the two things I am excited to try were worth more than I paid for the box, so I did get my money's worth. 

Now, on to Ipsy:
This was the best Ipsy bag I've had in a long time!

Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass - $22.99
I love tints and stains, so when I saw this in the sneak peek I was really hoping I'd get it! It's definitely one of the products I'm most excited to try this month!

Hang Ten Tanning Oil - $1.50

At first I was really bummed about getting this, as tanning isn't really something that I do. Then, a friend from one of my groups posted the ingredients, and suggested that it could also be used as a hair oil, and after that I was pretty excited to be receiving this. I tried it as a hair oil and LOVE it. It worked as well as my more expensive oils, and because it's only $1.50 an ounce I wasn't scared to use it liberally, so I saw better results than I usually do. 
Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Cream Eyeshadow - $5.40
I've never heard of BB Cream eyeshadow, so I was pretty interested to try this. It's a nice neutral shade (though not the shade I would've chosen if it'd been up to me) and I know it's something I'll use.
Lavilin Jajoba Skin Soother - $3.15
Lavilin Jojoba Skin Soother. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm thinking I'll use it as a post-wax cream, so I'll post a review after I do. 

Benefit They're Real Mascara Sample - $7.67
I've tried this before and have a few tubes of it, and it's actually not my favorite mascara. That said, I know a lot of people who swear by it so it'll be easy to gift/swap.

My Ipsy bag had a total value of $40.71
The Tints and Sass alone paid for my bag, and with four out of five products I'll use, and one that someone will be excited to get, I definite feel like I got my money's worth, and then some!

Now for Birchbox vs. Ipsy:

Tints & Sass vs. Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain
I'm pretty excited about both of these. I already know I like the Lip Stain, and The Cheek Stain is something I'm really excited to try. I think I'll get a good amount of use out of both of these, but the Tints & Sass is full size, so that wins.

Birchbox = 0
Ipsy = 1

Hang Ten Tanning Oil vs. Marcelle New-Age 8 in 1
If I hadn't gotten the advice about using this on my hair, this would've gone to the Marcelle, hands down. Instead, this is a hard one. the Power Serum definitely came at a good time for me since I just ran out of my night cream, but I already used up the Hang Ten, so that obviously came at a good time too. They're both things I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise, but I think the Marcelle will take me a little farther, so I'll give it to the Marcelle. Honestly, it could've gone either way. 

Birchbox = 1
Ipsy = 1

Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Cream Eyeshadow vs. 100% Pure Gingerade Body Cream Wash
This one's easy. I'm excited to try the Bare Minerals BB Cream, and the body wash went into a swap as an extra.

Birchbox = 1
Ipsy = 2

Lavilin Jojoba Skin Soother vs. Hello Body Cream
Another easy one for me. I'm excited to try the Lavilin, and the Hello has a fragrance that I really don't like.

Birchbox = 1
Ipsy = 3

They're Real vs. Whish Shave Cream
These are both items that I don't really love but other people swear by. That said, the They're Real will make a better gift, so I'm giving it to Ipsy.

Birchbox = 1
Ipsy = 4

Ipsy kicked Birchbox's butt this month! I'll use four out of five products from them, and one of the products I'm most excited about is full-sized!

What did you get in your box/bag this month?
Who was your winner?

Also, I'm having a giveaway on my blog here

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I got so many goodies from Sample Society, that I decided to do a giveaway. Here's what I'm sending:

Julep Kajal Eye Liner in Black and Brown (it's two sided).

Eve Lom Cleanser and Cloth

Pur-lisse moisturizer

Tatcha Beauty Papers

Snowberry Day Cream

Hope in a Jar Day Cream & Night Cream.

CoTZ face natural skintone sunscreen

Jane Tran hair clips

a Rafflecopter giveaway