The “Mother Load” of all subscription boxes….Seriously though…

Ok, here’s the deal, I have a serious addiction to these subscription boxes.  Currently I subscribe to:

BirchBox:  https://www.birchbox.com?raf=bhxzm

BarkBox https://barkbox.com/r/KkjNgByWh8/

GlossyBox http://www.glossybox.com/referal?CI=NDAyOQ== 

Beauty Bar Sample Society Box

Petite Box–No longer available but worth mentioning because the concept was fantastic

PVBody Box–Fitness clothes!!!!  http://www.pvbody.com/pvbody-how-it-works

and PopSugar  http://popsu.gr/pPE 

Needless to say, its like Christmas ALL THE TIME around here :)  I love it.

Let me be the first to say…not all box’s are created equal!

In My Professional Product Whore Opinion:

BirchBox–This was the first of the boxes I ordered, fun at first, but the sample sizes are tiny and I am officially bored with them.  I have re-purchased a few things, but I don’t know that BirchBox is worth it to me anymore….that said, it is a GREAT gift!

BirchBox UnBoxing

BarkBox– For your Dog!  I loved it!  LOVED IT.  So much fun.  Willie Nelson loved it too.  Great treats and toys!  You pick the size of your dog and they do the rest!

BarkBox image from BarkBox.com

GlossyBox–GlossyBox is like the upgraded better version of BirchBox.  The sample sizes are actually deluxe sample sizes and they do a great job of sending Lux products too.  They tailor to your skin color and preferences.  I have had a few nail polishes I can not live without now :)

GlossyBox image from: http://www.unspottedbeauty.com/

BeautyBar Sample Society–almost identical to the BirchBox…WAH WAH.  I love Beauty Bar because they carry my favorite treatment shampoo and have free shipping, but I won’t be getting another sample box.

Beauty Bar Sample Society picture from http://www.twochixbeautyfix.com

Petite Box–As mentioned they are no longer available, but this is a great gift idea for any of your pregnant friends.  Nobody loves gifts more than a pregnant woman.

“Each month you’ll receive a new baby box full of baby necessities such as baby lotion, baby clothes, baby food, calming oils and more. The contents of the baby boxes change each month, but only the best baby products are always included. You will never get the same thing twice.   Mothers enjoy the surprise and utility of receiving a baby box every month. Each petiteBox delivery is like getting an extra treat you weren’t expecting—and more.”

PVBODY Box: “For $39.95/month, we ship a new fitness outfit right to your door. Each box has a retail value of about $139. Avoid the mall, look good, feel great and have our personal stylists shop for you. Shipping is free and you can cancel your order any time.”  -PVBODY.com

Click here: http://www.pvbody.com/pvbody-how-it-works  select the SAMPLE BOX header to see a video

I have received two boxes so far.  I would say the first box was a bit of a bust, but the second box has been great.  Here are my frusterations:  1.  They don’t have a link share program-LAME.  and 2. They do allow for returns and exchanges, but upon trying to request a return I have been sorely disappointed :(  Still waiting to hear back on how this is done, and its been 30 days :(  So overall I would say in concept, its incredible, in execution its a bit rough around the edges.

PopSugar–“THE MOTHER LOAD” of all subscription boxes.  Like WHOA.  While PopSugar isn’t dedicated to beauty, they are dedicated to AWESOME.  Each month I get something:  beauty (usually a nail polish combo, but this box was a Benefit pack AND hair ties AND the cucumber facial wipes), foodie (I am ALWAYS impressed with this item), fitness (the last two have been DVDs), fashion (this scarf is $89 online) and home (a note pad-but two months ago I got a diffuser from http://www.aloraambiance.com/ and it was legitimately DIVINE–I have already ordered two more for other rooms in my house) and a book (I just got Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling–I read it in FIJI).

While the pop sugar box is over double the cost of the other boxes, it is completely worth it.  As mentioned the scarf in this picture is $89 online and the diffuser I mentioned was $60.

Here is the link to sign up again:  http://popsu.gr/pPE

I have ordered their one time HOLIDAY LUXURY Box for both men (the men’s is still available) and women.  It was a WHOPPING $100 but I know deep in my heart that it will spillith over with awesome.  SHH and I intend to wrap it and put it under the tree for Christmas morning-OH WHAT FUN!   Stand by for that review!

PopSugar Box  Image from POPSUGAR.COM

Enjoy lovelies.  Enjoy.

I would LOVE to hear of any subscription boxes you have and what you love and don’t love about each!

Bula Schmula!

The last day has been a bit trying.  Everywhere you go they say “Fiji Time!  NO HURRY NO WORRY.”  Charming, right?  Only until you need something done ;)

And then there’s the kids…..This resort is beautiful, but its like the Disney Land of the Fijian Islands.  BLECH.  We also discovered that Australian parents believe in letting their children “discover” with very little supervision (turns out the Fijian people abhor this behavior)-my SHH actually called a kid a DW for squirting him in the face with semi automatic water gun (oh how toys have changed since we were kids). Clearly there was no mention of this in the reviews.  Nor did they mention that the Adult Pool (that we had planned most of our lazy days around) has been under construction and inoperable since 2010…though still listed as an amenity.

To top it off, we were enjoying a BEAUTIFUL sunset dinner 10 feet from the waters edge when the live entertainment BUSTED OUT in “THE WHEELS ON THE BUSS”  Followed by a wonderful rendition of “Jon Jacob Jinglehimer Shmidt” for those of you that are unfamiliar with that song, its from BARNEY–you know the big purple dinosaur ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lwVFt_f4Uw).   After the shock and awe we left, in the middle of our meal (cocktails in hand).  Went back to our room and booked an adult only hotel :)  As luck would have it we got a refund for the rest of the nights here :)  That said, we both have “the wipers on the buss go swish swish swish, swish swish swish, swish swish swish, the wipers on the bus go…..all over town.”

And finally, the silver lining……since we can’t stand all the kids we have spent many hours in the spa (kid free zone)enjoying relaxing treatments :)  Off to enjoy a coconut body wrap now :)

Here is a picture of the BeBe Spa perched high above the resort:

BeBe Spa

Is this real life? I felt like at any second a Unicorn might coming running towards us on the beach….

Blogger Misconceptions….

Dear Loyal Readers,

BULA and Thank you for your continued support.  Seriously.  Thank you :)

When I started blogging, I imagined I would write 4-5 blogs a week…more if time permitted.  I really felt like I was honestly creative enough to write a new and exciting post every day!  BAHAHAHA, this is a blog about products I put on my face!  Eventually I was going to slow down….and it happened…my apologies :)
So today, while on vacation on the beautiful Island of Fiji, I am inspired by the all the beauty around me….and all the new vacation products in my luggage ;)

You might not be surprised to hear that I have packed my standard Kiehl’s products.  I am referring to this combination as the Kiehl’s vacation tri-fecta.

Super Fluid SPF 50 for our faces:

SuperFluid

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Lightweight Body Lotion, SPF 30

Creme De Corps

And the newest addition–mostly for my ginger giant, the Activate Sun Protector SunScreen in SPF 50

Sun Protector SPF 50

Fiji is dangerously close to the equator, Sun Protection is at the top of my Must Haves for this trip and we have been “uber” happy with all three of these thus far :)

Upon arrival to our resort, we had scheduled a couples massage.  I figured after a 16 hour travel day, massages seemed necessary.  All the massages at this resort spa start with a mini pedicure, they use the most amazing body scrub…so while I didn’t actually pack the next product, I have used it every day since we arrived.

Coconut Sugar Rub by Pure Fiji–this stuff is like GOLD :)

Coconut Sugar Rub – Orange Blossom

“Use in the shower after cleansing for a natural exfoliation and moisturizing treatment. From the pristine environment of Fiji, comes an extraordinary moisturizing body treatment. Coconut sugar scrub with fresh sugar cane crystals, contains naturally occurring alpha hydroxyl to gently buff away aging skin cells, polish your skin clean and unclog pores. Added to this is the deep moisturizing richness of a blend of cold pressed virgin coconut oil and exotic nut extracts to nourish, moisturize and protect your beautiful skin – leaving it glowingly healthy. Ideal for all skin types. This generous 16 oz jar will give 15-18 treatments.” purefiji.com

***If this doesn’t last you 30 treatments, I would imagine you are using FAR to much product.****

IN MY PROFESSIONAL PRODUCT WHORE OPINION:

This is a super aggressive scrub, not for the faint of heart or sensitive.
And this is exactly what I love.  While I love Kiehl’s sun protection products, I hate the way sunscreen feels on my skin.  I was excited to find a scrub that would easily slough away the product and leave my skin feeling refreshed, smooth and wonderfully soft.

This scrub is one of the most moisturizing, (cold pressed coconut oil based) scrubs I have every used, I didn’t even have to apply any moisturizer after as my skin was perfectly soft and totally moisturized.  I love that about this product…you know how I get about a two for one effect :)

I will leave you today with a view from the ocean looking in at the resort:

BULA FROM FIJI

Bula from Fiji!

Arrived in Fiji tired, uncharacteristically crabby (as the woman sitting next to me for 13 hours didn’t have the core strength required to maintain her own personal space bubble and constantly spilled into my VERY tiny bubble (I have the bruises to prove it)) and smelly but recovering nicely.

 

My SHH only had one small panic attack due to his crazy but increasing fear of flying ;)

 

Room service, couples massage, naps and our butler (yup, I said butler)who has just brought us champagne and canapes….have made for a great start to this wonderful vacation.

“As my SHH would say, my vanity is good for the economy.”

CHANEL VITALUMIÈRE AQUA ULTRA-LIGHT SKIN PERFECTING MAKEUP SPF 15

“The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion. Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience. The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin’s undertones, whether pink or beige. Dermatologist-tested. Noncomedogenic. Oil- free.”–Nordstroms.com

Comes in TEN colors

IN MY PROFESSIONAL PRODUCT WHORE OPINION: 

I recently started hearing RAVE reviews about this foundation here:

and here:

While I don’t know these lovely ladies personally, they do play a big role in my product purchasing strategies :)

The truth is, I don’t actually “need” a foundation.  My skin is good enough (thanks to lots of exfoliation and good natural products, that are packed with antioxidants) that I can usually get away with just blush or bronzer, mascara and lip gloss.  I am a fan of this minimalistic application option :)

However, there are times when I need just a little more.  Not enough to warrant a full coverage foundation (ever) and I still haven’t found a tinted moisturizer that I have been satisfied with–seriously, I hate the stuff.

I was a little nervous considering the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua as it is an official foundation.  After hearing the reviews, I thought it was worth a blog post at the very least.

I was pleasantly surprised with the formula.  I did spend a FULL MINUTE shaking the bottle to ensure that it would be as light as possible.  This is absolutely my favorite thing about this foundation.  I actually have moisturizers that are SIGNIFICANTLY thicker.

I used my fingers to apply as the video’s both mentioned that its nice to get the formula warmed up in your fingers first. I like this application method a lot and really do believe that warming the liquid up allows for a smoother finish.

The other thing I REALLY liked about this formula is that it is easily as light as a tinted moisturizer.  I felt like my skin wasn’t being suffocated–at all.  In fact, I didn’t actually think about it at all after I had applied.  This in itself is noteworthy as generally, I apply and can’t stop thinking about the way it feels on my skin–I HATE THIS FEELING.  HATE IT.  So, I was especially impressed that it was so light.  Also, because its so moisturizing, I didn’t wear anything under it except for Monistat aka Vag Cream in my T-Zone.  I really like that this is an option for me.

I applied a second layer to the spot on my chin that suffers from a personality disorder (but only right before our wedding, when we travel or have an awesome event that will surely include loads of photography–obvi).  I loved how build-able the coverage was and it was build-able without being noticeable and totally covered the light scarring–DOUBLE WHAMMY!

Here is a semi good picture of the spots on my chin that, imo, aren’t noticeable. I wish I had a picture of the glowiness (is that even a word? apparently not as my spell check won’t recognize it–but you get what I mean).  I really really liked the overall sheen/luster/glow/dewiness.  It really is like a second, but better skin.

**DISCLAIMER: this picture is also an excellent example of learning to trust your stylist.  Even though Pam warned me that this color would likely wash me out and be far too ashy, I insisted.  (IRONICALLY, the whole reason I even wore a foundation is to add color back to my face after this hair color experiment)  She did EXACTLY what I asked for, and she was 100% right on.  Pam: 1  Product Whore: 0–The good thing is, 1: the application was perfect and 2: I really enjoy Pam’s company, so nbd.  As my SHH would say, my vanity is good for the economy :)**

Overall, I am super happy with my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.   I would absolutely recommend it for anyone looking for a light coverage foundation that gives a really nice healthy glow.  I have received loads of compliments while wearing this foundation-and this is the first time ever that I would dare to recommend a foundation.

That said, I did get home last night, after 8 hours of wear and immediately washed, exfoliated and masked–just incase it was settling into my skin and clogging my pores.  I am a spaz.

Introducing the WORLDS WORST MASCARA….EVER

“What it is:
A long-wearing mascara that curls lashes instantly and over time.

What it does:
This mascara features innovative lash-curl memory that continually curls lashes throughout the day and a proprietary curling resin that dries down and holds the curl of lashes for long-lasting results. A unique brush coats and extends each individual lash for eye-popping results. Its intense carbon black hue delivers a lush, dramatic lash line from base to tip.”  Caption and Image from sephora.com.

My Professional Product Whore Opinion:

I got this as a sample with purchase–this is the only redeeming factor.

Tried it for a dinner at home with neighbors.  Normal night, not too hot, pretty chill.

As I put it on I was immediately disappointed.  It did NOTHING for my lashes.  I actually re-dipped MULTIPLE times because I thought maybe the formula didn’t get on the wand….not the case, at all.

Then an hour later I walk by the mirror in the dining room and noticed that there are HUGE black smudges under my eyes.  Like the kind where you wore your best mascara out on the town, get wasted, spend the night with your head in the toilet crying and fall asleep with your make up on.  It was terrible, and only an hour after application!!!!!  WORST EVER.

image from: The Austin Betty

Papaya Pumpkin and Jalapenoyo’face–sounds like a tasty salad :)

Peaches Miracle Mask

Product Description: This special active enzyme mask reduces discoloration from age spots, scar tissue and sun damage, as well as removing dead skin cells – thus giving the skin a more youthful flawless look.

Wear as a spot treatment or mask. Can be worn overnight and as often as every day.  Always apply to clean skin.

My Professional Product Whore Opinion:

Pumpkin and Papaya wonderful-ness all up in my face.  I love love love it.  I love the way it feels on my skin.  AND I LOVE THE RESULTS!  I’ve done the mask two nights in a row and am over the moon happy with the radiance. I like this mask for all you readers that hate the intense tightness that a lot of clay masks give you.  This goes on like a thick moisturizer and feels slightly tingly (all those anti-oxidants working so hard) and washes off like a cleanser.

In the last few days, I have had a lot of questions about my daily skin care regimen. So here it is :)

I start with the Blueberry and Coffee Exfoliant, then the Cleanser (with my Mia) then the Papaya Creme Enzyme Polish,  I usually don’t actually wash off between each product, I just apply over,  then I spray the toner.  I apply the mask with a brush, I let it sit and then wash of with warm water (only once a week).  Then I spray more toner and apply the Retinol Night Creme. In the morning, I do the same but instead of the Retinol I rotate in my Monistat (aka vag cream moisturizer).

It seems like a lot, but its a lot faster than one might think.  I switched to Peaches in Feb because I was worried about all the chemicals I was putting on my face EVERY SINGLE DAY.  It was a tough mental transition for me because I was used to paying between $50-$200 on EACH product.  I was also used to FANCY pants packaging and outstanding fear based marketing.

Peaches Skin Care is none of those things.

1.  Each product is under $30 because the owner believes everyone should be able to afford good skin.

2.  It seems they are able to do this because they don’t spend a lot of money on fancy pants packaging.  All of their products are packaged in a cute but simple way.  ALSO, they only produce small batches of the product, hence their ability to keep everything all natural.  “Organic, filled with anti aging antioxidants and pure penetrating food for the skin. YOU WILL SEE A DIFFERENCE with your first wash. “-Peaches

3.  “I have never believed in oily or combination skin, I believe we all have normal skin but we damage it by using foundation, bad skin care products, smoking and not knowing how to care for it. “-Peaches  Clearly not fear based marketing :)

If you are looking for an all natural, organic, full of anti-oxidants check out this line:  PEACHES SKINCARE

If you are looking for a Starter product, consider the Blueberry and Coffee Exfoliatant, the Retinol Night Creme or the Pumpkin and Papaya Miracle Mask.  I have found these to be my “no matter what” products :)

Also, if you suffer from Acne, check out their testimonials.  They will BLOW YOUR MIND.  And, if you have acne and aren’t using Vag Creme (MONISTAT ONLY) on your face, you are BONKERS.

Hello Clarice.

Masqueology Brightening Mask

A rayon cellulose single use facial mask saturated with advanced multi-functioning ingredients that contours to your face leaving your complexion brighter and refreshed.

Benefits:
• Revitalizes and evens out the appearance of your complexion
• Diminishes the appearance of dark spots
• Leaves skin glowing and smooth

Key Ingredients:
• Niacinamide (Rosacea and acne)

Anti-inflammatory

• Arbutin

Natural very effective skin whitening

• Mulberry Root Extract

Helps to inhibit melanin production

• Witch Hazel

Soothes and reduces inflammation
Speeds up healing time of bruises
My Professional Product Whore Opinion:
I got this mask as part of my June BirchBox.
Hated it.  It was slippery and awkward.
You are not suppose to wash the residue off after and I hated the way it felt.  Also, I noticed no real results.
This is my one gripe with BirchBox.  With a one time mask like this there is no real way to tell if I like it.

I got 99 problems, but chapped lips ain’t 1.

I just cleaned out my purse and found an alarming amt of lip products.   Seriously, who needs this many lip products???  I guess I do :)

That said, I maintain, I love my Dior Glow and would never downsize that one.  I will leave one for my office though.

The One Love pot is more of a lip care/all over moisture–clearly I need to keep that one!

The Laura and YSL are great colors for work/webcam–these I absolutely have to keep.

The Stainiac is a lip/cheek stain.  This is a just in case of emergency.  I have to keep this one for sure.

The Sugar I keep in the rare event that my SHH needs a lip balm that isn’t glossy or glittery.  @#AlwaysPrepared

And the Clinique is the only true gloss.  Its the closest color to my own lip color so I like it a lot.

 

Friday Finds and Other Nonsense

1.  This should be abundantly obvious to everyone by now:

2.  While my Willie Nelson has never done something like this, I feel like this is something he would say:

3.  Speaking of fur babies:

 

4.  This is sad and very funny in the same breath.

 

5.  My current nail art:

I was sad about my thumb nail fail :(

6.  I must be missing my dog today….too bad he has black fur–cause I would do this…everyday

7.  Seriously, if you are considering it, do it.  You could save someone’s life.  I have been on the registry since 1999.

8.  I love the idea, I hate it in execution

9.  GLOSSYBOX IS FINALLY IN THE US!  I loved my first one!  It’s like BirchBox on Crack!

10.  AND THIS IS LIKE A PONTOON ON CRACK….I LOVE IT

I hope you all get a little giggle out of this today :)