Sunday, 2 February 2014

Lip Factory Box - January 2014

My January Lip Factory beauty box arrived last Friday afternoon - I am always exited to receive this box. I have been a member for about 4 - 5 months and have never been disappointed with their offerings. For me this would be my favourite of all the boxes I get.

This box is based in America and despite the distance it actually arrives faster than the Australian one do (go figure!). It is more expensive but I do receive at least four full sized items in every box. What I like about this box is I initially filled in quite and extensive survey which collects information on my preferences (and what I don't want in my box) - so every month I get items which are tailored to my skin tone and preferences  I can also alter my preferences at anytime on their website. So the extra cost is definitely worth it for me as I am getting products I 'want' rather than random selections which I may/or may not like/want.

Another bonus of this box is the brands - most are new to me so I am getting introduced to more brands/products and each item is of excellent quality.

Electric Lip Slide
RRP $US19.00
Full Size Item
This is a hybrid product - a mixture of lipstick, gloss and stain. It is infused with natural butters and vitamin E (resulting in an ultra luscious colour)

I cannot wait to try this!

Trendy Cosmetics
Mysterious Crystal Eyeliner
RRP $US16.04
Full Size Item
This is a brand new brand to me - and the packaging alone has got me wowed!. I am a sucker for gorgeous packaging - and this fulfills all the criteria.

This eyeliner is smudge proof and long-lasting. It includes a handy sharpener and smudger for perfecting that smokey eye effects.

Be a Bombshell Cosmetics
The One Stick
RRP $US16.00
Full Size Item
This is an all-in-one multiple stick which can be used on eyelids, cheeks or lip - very versatile!

I am familiar with Bombshell products - a few months ago I received one from one of my Aussie boxes. It is a product I really love - so I am looking forward to testing this one.

Trendy Cosmetics
Island Palette Eyeshadow
RRP $US16.00
Full Size Item
The package alone got me suckered in ..... the I opened the box and saw the colour...WOW what a colour - I love it!!! (the photograph simply does not do this justice). I cannot wait to test this shadow!.

Plus the website is hinting at another Teeez product next month - I can hardly wait!

29 Cosmetic Preserves Skin Care Collection
Grape Seed Protection
RRP $US4.00
This collection of samples contain botanical actives for firming, brightening, cellular renewal, anti-acne protection, exfoliating and moisturising.

I am very, very pleased with my lot and cannot wait to try them all out.
Can't wait for my February box to arrive!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Samantha Wills Sale!

Last Wednesday I received an email saying Samantha Wills was having a sale and as I am a member I was able to purchase 24 hours before it went 'public'. Well I was on that website like a shot - and it was obvious many others were too as a number of items sold out in a flash. The website almost went into melt down and at times it was not loading properly.

I missed out on all but two items which I managed to get at a greatly reduced price. These items arrived by courier this afternoon.

As per normal they were beautifully packaged in gorgeous wooden boxes then in a larger cardboard box (which is very sturdy and will be re-used for something else)

I got the Gemini Dreams ring for $69.00 ($RRP 115.00)

And the River of Souls ring for $29.00 ($RRP 99.00).

Mirenesse VIP Box for January

My Mirenesse VIP Collection box arrived this morning. I was very excited as I always love to see what Mirenesse has put together for me.

For those who have not heard about this club before I have pasted the blurb from their website below:

VIP Club Membership gets you the best prices always. Free Beauty Boxes, a $25 Monthly Voucher off a $65 Purchase. Free Shipping 24/7 + up to 80% Discount everyday! and so much morel for only $25 per month, plus you can control your membership for your account pages.

I have been using Mirenesse for many, many years and been a VIP club member for, oh god.... since I first heard about it (I honestly cannot remember how long). I pay $25.00 per month and receive a box of goodies in the mail every two months - generally 4 - 5 full sized items. I love my boxes and (for me) it is definitely value for money. I particularly love those months when I receive a shipment previewing a new product/s.

So what was my reaction to this month's box?

I have a number of these Glossy Kiss's and absolutely love them. These are a 4-in-1 lip liner, balm, gloss and stain. They hydrate, smooth and rejuvenate your lips (they can also be used on your cheeks too - although I don't).

I love the lushness of these glosses/stains - they glide on beautifully and their staying power are great. In my box I revived #14 Perfect Kiss (RRP $29.95)

An oldies, but a favourite is the Studio Magic Cheeky Blush. This is a long-wearing mineral blush which hints at colour (when applied) rather than overpowering my face.

I love the way this blush contours my face and is so silky smooth. I just find it so hard to mess up the beautifully decorated surface (looks like a lace overlay)

I received #1 Paris Peach - which (I am happy to say) is the colour I use!(RRP $29.95)

Formulated for sensitive skin this Touch on Concealer is complexion-perfecting with a blend of 3D minerals which moisturises  and improves the look of fine lines, dark circles and blemishes.

I have been using (and loving) this product since Mirenesse introduced it and find it is great for concealing dark spots and blemishes, while prepping my skin for foundation.

I received Ivory Pink  - which I am happy to say is my normal shade. (RRP $29.50)

And lastly (but not leastly) I received the Studio Magic BB Pore Powder (RRP $35.00). This stuff is fabulous - it is a weightless powder which diffuses artificial light to create a skin tone which is poreless and lineless.

I have large pores near my nose and regularly use this product to hide them. It does not clog my pores and is not heavy. I use this either over foundation or on its own and only need a small amount for great coverage.

Now keep in mind I pay $25.00 per month and receive a box every two months. So I am paying $50.00 for each box. This is much more expensive than the other monthly beauty boxes on the market...however...... I also get:
  • A $25 gift voucher to use each month (I get an email code monthly), 
  • Free shipping on all/any purchases I get from the Mirenesse website 
  • Any purchases I do make (from the website) I get at a discounted rate (minimum of 20% discount). 
  • I also get email preview of new products and have the opportunity to purchase them at a greatly discounted price.

So in many respects I cannot compare this with the other monthly beauty boxes I get. All I can say is I never get disappointed with the choices and any make up/skin care is tailored to what I would normally use.

Now where was I.....

I paid $50.00 for my box and received products to the value of $124.90 - added to that I will be using 100% of the items I received.

So for me this membership (and box) are value for money.

FAB Box - January

My January FAB (Fashion and Beauty) Box was delivered by the postie this morning and it is looking great.

After all the stuff around with my subscription a few months ago I was seriously considering cancelling, so lets see how I react to this box..........

I must say for a box that costs more than the usual beauty box it did not look 'full' (and I was a little concerned when I initially opened it). 

Another issue (for me) was the 'box' - the Her Fashion Box comes in a great re-usable box - which is reasonably solid - but the FAB box doesn't (which I think is a shame) - maybe this is something LHI can work on improving!?.

My box contained a variety of items - 4 beauty products and 3 fashion items.

Sport Cream SPF 30+
RRP $23.95
200 ml
Unfortunately I found out I am allergic to this product so I will be giving it away. 

I was shocked to discover a few years ago that something in this brand causes me to develop rashes and itchy bumps. We were all given a tube while at the Pacific School Games (Canberra) and I had to ditch mine after a bad reaction.

  Maybelline New York
Dream Fresh BB Cream
RRP $15.95
30 ml
I got one of these in my December beauty box and I was like 'meh... another one, and its the same colour too!'. 

Maybe if they had sent the skin corrector one I would have been happier :/ There are only so many BB and CC creams one woman can use before becoming overwhelmed (or is that underwhelmed!?)

So a bit disappointed there.

  Le Tan
Le Tan in Le Can
RRP $6.99
45 gm
'Not another fake tan' she screams pulling at her hair..................................

I am over all of these fake tans that all of the beauty boxes are sending out. I hate the stuff - hear me HATE the stuff! - sorry but none of these products work on my skin and no matter how much (or how well) I prep my skin and how careful I am the end result is....well...scary! I look like a white marshmallow who got too close to the fire (shudder!)

Rant over...... another item I have no use for and will need to find a home for.

 Lime Crime
Velvetines Pink Velvet Lip Stain
RRP $24.00
26 ml
Now this is one product I have been DYING to thank you FAB box I cannot wait to test this one.

I LOVE lip stains and have heard so many great things about this product. Not normally a 'pink' person I actually like this tint and the packaging is super sweet.

 LHI Accessories
Delicate Stacking rings
RRP $9.95
I am not sure about these. I do like the colour of the stone' but the rings look super cheap and I am not sure how they will go. 

I normally buy at least sterling silver when I buy my rings - I love rings and at any given time I wear at least 5 rings across my fingers. I do tend to keep away from these type of rings as they discolour quickly and don't last that long....... so we shall see.

 LHI Accessories
Candy Coloured Chandelier Earrings
RRP $19.95
Now these I do like... 

I love their shape and the bold, bright colours with the hint of diamente. I love this style of earrings and will definitely be wearing these to work (and play!)

I was shocked to discover a few years ago that something in this brand causes me t

 LHI Accessories
Gold Love Bracelet
RRP $12.95
Not my thing, once again I wear at least sterling silver bracelets and bangles and do not see myself using/wearing this one.

I find they discolour to easily (quickly) and do not last long. I can think of one little girl who would love this bracelet!

What are my Thoughts on this Month's Box?
I initially thought it was great, then when I started to break the box down into individual pieces I was not as impressed as there are quite a number of items/products that are useless'.

So lets break it down into dollars and see if it was worth the cost:
Cost of box: $49.95 (this was the two box special so January's box = $24.98).
Total value of box: $113.74
Minus the items I cannot/will not use: $69.79
Total value of items/products I love/will use: $43.95

So I am still ahead... there are two items I really love (Lime Crime Lip Stain and earrings), but there are five items I don't ....... so even though I feel I did get value for money I am still left with five useless items.

Jury is still out.......

Project Pan 10 - Take 16

I am happy that I am sticking to my challenge and I must say I am really enjoying it. This Project Pan is making me focus finishing on each product and preventing me from doing my normal 'product hopping'.

Pore Unclogging Scrub

This Biore product is supposed to exfoliate and refine, while helping to remove pore clogging dirt, oil & blackheads and leave the skin looking radiant and clean.

Unfortunately it did not do that for me. I do not like this product and I admit I cheated a bit by using it on the body so I could finish it quicker (I hate throwing out unfinished products no matter how much I do not like them)

When applied it felt slimy on my skin, it didnt feel nice nor refreshing and I did not see any difference to my blackheads (around mt nose and on my chin).

Will I buy this Product Again? No simply because it did not work for me.

Detoxing Facial Treatment

This was part of one of my beauty boxes (sample sized). The packet included two sachets - enough for two facial treatments.

It is a New Zealand brand and advertises itself as 'No animal testing' (which is great!). It is supposed to work by drawing the toxins from the skin via electromagnetic force, adding to the reduction of acne and stimulating the blood flow, nourishing the skin and clearing the pores and detoxifying - which sounds great.

The results was supposed to be a 'healthy glow and silky smooth feeling skin', well my skin did glow, unfortunately it was not the 'nice' sort of glow. My chin line felt tender and looks kinda red.

Will I buy this Product Again? Sadly no,  simply due to my reaction. .

Crystal Whiteneing & Moisturing Hand Mask
1 pair

Another sample from one of my beauty boxes.
I have never tried this type of mask before and I must admit I felt useless during the 15 mins of wait (I'm not used to sitting around, not using my hands)

When the gloves came off I was a little disappointed to see no results. Not sure if I need to 'do' this a number of times before seeing any effects, but the one time did nothing.

Will I buy this Product Again? Jury is still out on this one. No, nothing seemed to change after the first try, however I do have another two masks to use. So I will wait and see after using them.

Pure Effect
3-in-1 Daily Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wipes
20 wipes

When I saw this I though 'great, I love a good exfoliation'.
Each wipe has many little bumps on the surface - obviously to 'exfoliate'.

I really do not like these - I found each wipe super dry and did nothing to cleanse the skin.

Will I buy this Product Again? No as they were too dry and I did not feel they achieved much.

Fast Fix Solutions
Sleeping Beauty
Moisture Revival Sleep Mask

A new Mirenesse product I just had to try.
I used this every night before going to bed. In the time I have been using it my skin looks less puffy in the morning (in particular under my eyes) and the redness on my cheeks has dissipated.

The in-built brush made the product very easy (and not messy) to use. Unfortunately one night I did slather it on a bit much and it did transfer to my pillow. So I made sure I was not too slap-happy after that! 

Will I buy this Product Again? Yes I will buy and use when I feel my skin is in need of some extra love and care.

Flex-Cloth Mask
3D Face
30 ml (1 mask)

Another product from my beauty boxes. One I have been putting off using simply because I am not quite sure about cloth masks.

Unfortunately I did not like it - the cloth felt slimy and I felt constricted when putting it on my face. In the end I only lasted 12 min with it on (supposed to be 15 mins) as I could not handle the sensation

Will I buy this Product Again? No simply because this type of facial mask is not for me (and I think I will be giving away all my other cloth masks too!).

Shower Smooth
Hair Removal Cream

This bottle was a special - an extra 20% extra (normally 170g). I have been using Marzena for many years and have found it to be very effective in not only hair removal but stunting regrowth (and decreasing the amount of regrowth). 

I have not used the shower application before - even though I have been using the original one like this.

Will I buy this Product Again? Yes I will purchase again and again as it is my go-to hair removal. I love it!.

 Body Shop
Japanese Cherry Blossom
Shower Gel
250 ml

Love this shower gel - the scent is heavenly. I received this in a gift pack ages ago and have now only just finished off the bottle. I have found a little goes a long way so it has lasted me a long time.

Will I buy this Product Again? Now that my daughter has started selling 'Body Shop at Home' I am sure I will not be able to resist buying more!.

Calming Facial Wipes
25 wipes

I got these ages ago on special - I know they were very cheap and I thought 'why not?'.
They aren't bad - moist enough and they do the job - just not as good as my 'normal' brand.

Will I buy this Product Again? Not sure. I am still on the fence about these ones.

So now I can add another SIX full sized items and THREE samples to my 'Project Pan' list. That means I am now up to SIXTEEN finished items/products.

Wow - whee!! This is great!. I am finding it easier as I am still focused on finishing products. Another four items and I will be up to twenty!

Then I think I may treat myself. I have a 20% off voucher for Urban Rituelle so I may be checking out their website soon......stay tuned!!

Some lovely flowers....

While my parents were visiting me a few weeks ago my mum bought me this lovely flower arrangement. We saw it in a little store in Southern River.

I think the colours are simply glorious - I know they achieve this colour through dyeing - and the arrangement has lasted me so long. It's been nearly two weeks since purchase and the orchids still look so fresh.

Next to roses orchids are my favourite flower and their staying power (of the flowers) is phenomenal  I had one on my desk and the flowers lasted a couple of months.

I just wanted to share the lovely gift and to say 'thanks mum!'


Thursday, 23 January 2014

January Bellabox

My January Bellabox arrived in the mail this morning and I was disappointed to see no box. I really love the boxes they were using and it is sad to see them go. Lets see whats in the box and what my first impressions were.

Rock Chick Wave Spray
RRP $17.95

I have never heard of this brand before - it apparently tousles my hair and makes me look sexy!. As I have a fair bit of curl in my hair I am hoping that this product will work.

Model Co. 
Fat Lash Mascara
RRP $20.00

Model Co. is a brand I regularly use and love so I am interested in giving this item a go - I just need to finish the other 20 mascaras I have before I can trial this one!. I admit mascara is something I do not wear very often and when I do I reach for my old faithful (Mirenesse one) simply because it does the job, does not smudge and isn't a hassle to remove.

Banana Boat 
Everyday SPF 30+
RRP $21.00 for 400ml

Oh no not another sunscreen sample :/. I am so over these samples - I seem to be getting them all the time and quite honestly I don't like this brand nor this product so it is a waste on me.

Aloe Fresh Daily Lotion SPF 15
RRP $7.68 for 200ml

I had a bit of a sneaky look at some other boxes and was looking forward (to what I hoped I would get in my box) and boy was I disappointed when I saw this item (was hoping on the bath gel).  I don't even use this brand and this product is useless to me as it does not even suit my skin type plus I find the scent offensive! (so Bellabox why did I even fill in a questionnaire about my skin type, hair type and preferences!).
Another wasted product!.

Soothing Moisture Mask
Rich Hydrating Cream
5ml each
RRP $41.95 for 50ml (mask) & $52.95 for 40ml (cream)

Avene is a brand I do like and I have generally been very happy with the products I get in my beauty boxes, however Bellabox you have out-done yourself again - another two products which are utterly useless to me - I have OILY skin - I do NOT need nor WANT either of these products.

The mask is formulated to sooth and pamper sensitive, dehydrated or weakened skin while the cream is for dry to very dry dehydrated sensitive skin.

Natural Manicure/Pedicure Nail File
RRP $1.95

Nail files generally come in handy and they are an item I use regularly - however I have received a number of them in beauty boxes over the last few months and at the moment I have a drawer full so I suppose I can always add this to the pile :/

My Thoughts on the Bellabox:
I am somewhat disappointed in the box as a whole simply because it mostly had products which do not suite my skin at all. As mentioned above I query Bellabox's reasoning for the questionnaires when they don't even consider it when compiling the boxes. If Lipfactory and Wantable can successfully tailor a box to suit me why can't Bellabox? Yes I am frustrated as it appears I am wasting my money on things which are of no use to me. When my subscription runs out I think I will be cancelling this box as each month the disappointment level is rising.

Value for money? 
No, not really as the Rock Chick Wave Spray is the only product I am excited about and with a RRP price of $17.95 it hardly seems worth the cost of the box.

On a more positive note I do look forward to testing out the Rock Chick Wave Spray.