Saturday, November 30, 2013

Memebox 1st Global Edition Review (2013 미미박스)


 I have always been a fan of Korean beauty products. I feel that there is a quality to them that just cannot be found in American products, and let's face it: they're always packaged so adorably! Korean brands are always coming out with new and innovative products long before the US even hears about them (hello, BB cream anyone?) and are always striving to push the envelope in the Beauty Industry.

However, here in the United States, it's impossible to find these products without scouring the internet and occasionally taking a risk and purchasing from a website that you're not sure can be trusted. On top of that, many of these sites over-charge for the products because they know you can't get them anywhere else! How many Korean products have you been interested in trying but didn't want to take the risk on buying a full size?


Enter Memebox! Don't worry, this is not just another monthly subscription service, although it brings some of the best things about those services to the table. Memebox is the #1 beauty box subscription service in Asia, and they have JUST launched in the USA. Their mission is to introduce interesting and trendy Korean beauty products to beauty fans that wouldn't normally have access to them.

On the Memebox website, you are able to purchase various 100% authentic, Korean cosmetics and beauty products at up to 80% off the retail price, as well as the monthly Memebox "Beauty Box."

Memebox is pronounced, "Me Me/ Mi Mi" box, and is named after "Mi-Mi" which is a Korean version of Barbie, and has been a beauty idol for many years. Add that to the word "Me" to refer to the box being all about you, and you get "Memebox"!


Before I get into all the goodies I received, I just want to cover a few common questions that may come up about Memebox:

-The cost of Memebox is $23+ with shipping being $6.99.  Memebox usually fills these boxes with well over $100 worth of products!

-Memebox is shipped directly from Korea and they work with over 400 different brands and companies!

-Memebox is not a continuous subscription, like Birchbox or Ipsy. (Memebox says this may be an option in the future) You will have the option to buy each box every time it comes out. All you have to do to snag a new box is to register your e-mail on their website, and they will send out a message when a new box is available!

-Memebox includes 5-6 (this box had 7!) Korean beauty products that are deluxe samples or full size. The boxes are not currently customizable, but they try to compose boxes with a large variety!


Memebox is packaged adorably in a bright pink box with pink tissue paper concealing all your goodies! If you don't want to spoil the surprise, avoid turning over your card that appears on top. It has all the info you will need on each product including how to use each item, and what it retails for:


This Memebox included 7 different items, all being skincare related with the exception of one. This is the first US box, so I am not sure if it is generally more skincare than cosmetics, but hopefully I'll be able to get the next one as well so we can compare the two!

Upon opening the box, there was what seemed to be a wide variety of items! I couldn't wait to dig in and see what I got!


I noticed a packet on top that had a handwritten note (how cute!) and a BUNCH of foil packets. 

1. "SN-T" Plant Stem Cell Skincare Sample Kit: Cleansing Foam, Toner and Cream


The note explains how this is their #1 selling product and that it comes highly recommended from the Memebox team. Even though I usually don't like foil packets, I was SO happy to see that there were 5 SETS of this skincare "kit" which will give me more than enough to try out this product. Each strip contains a packet for each step of the system: Cleansing Foam, Toner and Cream (2 packs). Memebox says that it floods the skin with hydration and is designed to soothe oily and blemished skin, while improving skin's tone. 

I tried this for the first time tonight after my shower. There is a very light, fruity scent to these products that reminds me a bit of the Juice Beauty line of products. The Cleanser is very smooth and foams very lightly. A little bit goes a very long way. It really made my skin feel nice a clean after one use. Have a cotton ball ready for the toner and the cream. My one complaint is that there isn't much toner in the little packet, so make sure to let it drop onto a cotton ball and then dab it on the places you need toner the most. Finally, I used both packets of cream on my face by applying it with a cotton ball and allowing it to absorb. My skin felt clean and fresh without feeling dried out! Very excited to see the results when I use up the rest of the samples.

2. "Too Cool For School" Aqua Gel Mist (Full Size) Retails at: $12


Here's the first full size item in the box and it's adorable! This little mist has a gel-like texture. The main ingredient, "Trehalos" instantly replenishes the skin with soothing hydration and provides a healthier appearance to skin. To use, you simply hold away from your face a bit and spray lightly. Memebox suggests using it along with your moisturizer, and that it can be used under or over makeup, whenever skin feels thirsty. I've tried this product out already and I really like it! It's very similar to a few other facial mists I've tried, but it really does feel moisturizing and gives the skin a more hydrated appearance!
  
 3. "Mamonde" First Energy Serum (Deluxe Sample) Full Size: $27


This next sample came packaged in a cute little box. Within the box was the tube along with a foil pack sample of another serum and a CC cream from the same brand. This First Energy Serum is a light-texture serum that has "powerful natural ingredients" of gold and silver flower vinegar. The Flower vinegar evens out the skins texture and tone, giving a more beautiful appearance and also preps the skin for makeup. Directions state to use serum after cleansing by using 3-4 pumps on a cotton pad and applying to skin from the middle to the edges of face. Then to gently pat in the serum to help it absorb. I have used this for a few days and while I think it makes my skin feel really nice, I haven't noticed a huge difference in how my makeup applies. It's possible it takes a it longer for more results to appear, but I am still enjoying this product!

4. "Recipe By Nature" Spray Essence Water (Full Size) Retails at: $35


Wow! the value of this product pays for the whole box and then some! This is the second full-size product in the box. It's a two-phase type liquid spray that is enriched with natural essential oils, and celtic water, which is well known for containing high mineral content to instantly hydrate and nourish the skin. This is also available to purchase on the Memebox website. Simply shake the bottle a bit and spray about 7 inches away from the face with eyes closed. I also tried this product and was surprised how moisturized my skin felt after just one use. I tend to get very dry skin during the winter months, so if something can quench it that quickly, it must be a quality product! The only downfall I see is that there were 2 facial mists in the same box. While I will use and enjoy both, I hope that there isn't another one in the next box that is released!

5. "Nots" 28 Remedy Acne Pore Deep Cleanser (Deluxe Sample) Full Size: $31


While this isn't a full size, it's a great size sample. This is a acne/pore deep cleanser that is suitable for use on acne-prone skin. It helps fight against bacteria and build up of excess sebum. It claims to tighten the pores and creates even, flawless-looking skin. Simply apply to cotton pad and wipe face from the inside to the outside. I have used this a few times and already I see a drastic difference in my skin. I have acne-prone skin, so this produce was something I was looking forward to using. I was able to see the acne around my chin drying out and lightening in color after 2 uses, and after using it again today, my acne has all but diminished. I am extremely pleased with this product and I am so excited I found something that works this well!

6. "Glory" Vegan Nail Lacquer in "Yanggaeng" T-Series (Full Size) Retails at: $20


Yet another full size product! This is a beautiful blood-red shade with a bit of gold and silver microglitter. As you can tell by the name, it's a vegan nail lacquer, yet it applies like a super professional high-grade polish. It's a pretty pricey lacquer at $20 a bottle, but as you can see from the swatch I did on my thumb, it's worth it. That is ONE very quick coat. A polish that can be that opaque after 1 coat is pretty impressive. Not to mention this stuff dried incredibly quickly. One of my favorite items in the box!

7. "SEP" Face Lifting Mask (Full Size) Retails at: $14


This is similar to a paper face mask which were originally made popular by Korean beauty companies. It's a 6-in-1 facial hydro-gel mask that is made with fabric that is normally used for body-shaping underwear. It's infused with intensive nutrition for your skin, fights wrinkles, brightens, firms and hydrates. The directions are simple: remove the paper mask from the foil packet and peel off the plastic film. place your face on the side of the mask where you removed the plastic. Leave on for 20-40 minutes and then remove. Upon doing a bit more research on this mask I have found nothing but positive reviews. I also noticed that it looks like a beautiful piece of lace! How cute! I really wanted to save this for a special day since it's a $14 one use mask, but I couldn't help myself! I opened up the package and immediately put it on.

It's a bit hard to get a hold of because it's a gel mask, so it's a bit slimy and slippery. The one great thing I noticed about this mask is that it comes in two pieces, which unlike paper masks, makes it very easy to apply. I applied the top half first, by simply laying it over my eyes/nose and then pulling and smoothing it out so it laid flat along my skin. I unfolded the bottom half next and did the same thing with that one. I looked quite silly, as these kinds of masks tend to do, but this one is just so cute with all the lace running through it!


The gel makes this mask so refreshing! It didn't irritate my skin at all, it just felt so soothing and nice. I left it on for 40 minutes, which is on the longer end of what is suggested, and my skin felt SO soft after I removed it. It feels like I went to the spa!

So that is everything I received in my Memebox!  These 7 products alone are valued at over $100, which is a great value considering the box is only $21 ($27 with shipping). I am very impressed with the variety of brands offered in Memebox, and I am very much looking forward to trying all of these products out more as the weeks go on. I will absolutely do updates on each item and let you know which one has become my favorite!


MEMEBOX COUPONS AND DEALS 
$5 off on entire order when you purchase 3 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3  
$8 off on entire order when you purchase 4 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4 
Free shipping on orders above $70 from Memeshop: FREESHIPPING

MORE WAYS TO SAVE
Shop through my Referral Link and save even more:

Spend $100+ through my referral link and automatically save $5 off your purchase!
Spend $150+ through my referral link and automatically save $10 off your purchase!
(you can combine these deals with the coupon codes above to save even more!)

Value Sets!
You can also save money and get upgrades on shipping when you bundle boxes together! Check out the Value Sets!

Comprehensive Diamond Candles Review: Ring Reveals, Coupon and Scents


 (Actual ring I received in my Pumpkin Spice Diamond Candle)

Not too long ago, I received my very first Diamond Candle, and wrote a super-excited review. I thought that they were such a wonderful idea, and was so addicted to them that I ended up purchasing at least 5 more over the course of the fall season. Since then I have amassed quite a few photos of the rings I received, and opinions on the scents that I got as well. I thought I'd come here and bring it all together so that you can make a better decision on whether or not these are a good choice for you! 
(Scroll to the end for a 20% off coupon!)

In case you aren't aware of what Diamond Candles is, it's a company that makes soy candles in many different scents and varieties. They are quite large (21oz) and each candle contains a foil-wrapped ring nestled inside the wax. As you burn your candle, the foil pouch is revealed. This is when you go in with a pair of pliers or a spoon and scoop out the pouch, wipe it clean, and unwrap to reveal your sparkly new ring! The most fun part? That your ring can be worth anywhere from $10 to $5,000! While I have only received costume jewelry in the candles that I have purchased, (I've purchased dozens) I have been very pleased with the quality of the rings, and have also seen people on the Diamond Candles facebook page receive more expensive rings.

UPDATE
Please check out my newest Diamond Candles review for a step-by-step ring reveal, and some tips to get to your ring faster without damaging your candle!
Check it out Here! 


There are a few downfalls that I want to point out to you. First off, you cannot choose the size of your ring. They are placed in the candles at random. Diamond Candles states that they use rings between  size 4 and size 12, although the most common rings being sizes 6-8. I have a large finger (size 10) and have received mostly size 7-8 rings, although 2 have been size 5-6 and one was a size 9. I have also traded rings with other Diamond Candles fans on facebook and have had a great experience! If you are insistent on being able to choose your ring size, there is a company called "Jewel Scent" that sells candles, soaps, and aroma beads with rings inside. They offer a size selection, although I cannot vouch for the company as a whole as I have never ordered from them.

Another issue with Diamonds Candles is that their regular shipping is VERY slow. Snail-pace slow. They always respond to issues with their shipping by suggesting the 2-day shipping alternative, which is absurd because it's an outrageous price. I think it takes about 2 weeks from the moment I purchase a candle for it to arrive to me. This might not be the case for everyone, but their warehouse is in South Dakota and I live in Rhode Island. I don't think it should take 2 weeks to get to me. Either way, all of my candles have arrived safe and sound and I guess that's all that matters in the end!

Back to the good stuff: The rings! Here's the rings I received out of a few of my Diamond Candles.

(Left to Right Candle Scent: Summertime, Black Raspberry Vanilla, Rosewood)

As you can see from the photos above, all of the rings I received in that batch of Diamond Candles were too small for my meaty fingers! However I believe they were all between a size 7-8 for reference! 

I did trade the peach stone ring for a different ring, and the woman I traded with sent me this lovely photo collage. The ring I traded for was found in a Peachy Mango candle.

  (How Pretty is that ring?!)

As you can see, while the rings were all costume jewelry, they were all very nice and there was a wide variety of styles and colors. I think my issues come in with the scents. I think some are very strong and some are weak and barely detectable. I also think that some of the more detailed scents tend to be overpowered by one main scent note in particular. Please note that not all scents are available at all times. Some are seasonal and some are limited time. They are frequently rotating through scents, however they do attempt to keep the more popular ones around permanently. Here's a list of the scents I have tried:

update:
This was not an option when I originally did this review, however Diamond Candles now includes a slip of paper along with the ring that has a code printed on it. You can imput this code on the diamond candles website to find out the value of your ring!

1. Cinnamon Roll- This was my very first Diamond Candle and I can tell you honestly it's one of the most deliciously scented candles I've ever had. If you're a fan of spicy, cinnamon scents, this is great, however it is definitely mixed with an amazingly creamy icing scent that is to die for.

2. Summertime- This scent had a particularly nice description, while I can't remember it off the top of my head (it's not currently available on the site) it particularly appealed to my fiance because it claimed to smell a bit like citrus and sandalwood. This one was definitely not a favorite in our house, and I still have about 2/3rds of this candle. It has a very strong, intense perfume-y scent. It's a very "green" scent. I think that if you're interested in a very strong, perfume/green scent, this is a good option. It just isn't our cup of tea. We would never repurchase this one.

3. Rosewood- I had been under the impression that this was one of their more popular scents, yet it seems that they've cut it out of their winter lineup to make room for the winter scents. This candle smells exactly the way you think it would. Rose and sandalwood. Even a touch of baby powder, I think. I had been hoping it would smell a bit more, "woody" and less "Rosey" but it didn't live up to my expectations. I am not a big fan of strong florals in candles, however if you're looking for a rose scented candle that actually smells like rose (you'd be surprised how hard that is to find!) then this is for you.

4. Black Raspberry Vanilla- This is another fan favorite that isn't currently available on their site. They usually release a very large amount of Christmas scents, so I have a strong feeling this one will be returning in the new year. This sounds like a candle I would love, so I was very excited to receive this one. I'm sad to say, I was pretty disappointed. The scent is a lighter one, and as a matter of fact, I could barely smell the black raspberry vanilla. Upon first whiff, I could detect something sweet, and then it was gone. I mostly smells the soy wax. Diamond Candles gave me a merchandise credit as I felt that it almost had no scent at all. Fortunately, my roommate disagreed with me and liked the light scent, and he was able to burn it in his room. I've been told this is a popular scent from other Diamond Candle fans, so it's possible I received one from a bad batch.

5. Caramel Apple Cider- Another let down. Sensing a pattern here? This was a special edition fall scent, and when it was released I couldn't have purchased it fast enough. Everything about the scent and their description screamed my name. The moment it arrived, I tore open the packaging so I could light it. Yet again, the scent was off. It has so much scent in it, that it almost smelled like a chemical, rather than delicious apple cider. And while we're on the subject, this candle had absolutely no apple or cider scent at all. It genuinely smelled (when burning) like a very intensely strong caramel scented candle. You can occasionally detect a little bit of apple. I think "Candy Apple" would have been a more appropriate name of this scent. It was sickly sweet and not at all cider-y. So sad, because that word was the selling point for me.

6. Pumpkin Chai- The only scent in their Fall line that wasn't a disappointment for me. I believe it is still available on their site as I write this, although I'm not sure for how long. Even though Pumpkin Chai smells exactly like it says it will. Like a freshly baked slice of pumpkin pie and a cup of steaming hot chai. Pumpkin Spice is a little overdone in the fall season, but rightfully so. This one made my whole house smell like fall, and I liked it so much that I purchased one for my mom as well.

7. Cranberry Chutney- I had a few referral credits, so I thought I would pick up a few more fall-like scents before they began releasing the Christmas ones. Cranberry Chutney was one of the last Fall scents they released. This is another candle that had a very intense chemical smell to it. It smelled like a fake, cheap cranberry mixed with soy wax and chemical. I can't pinpoint what was so off about this one, but it just smelled fake. Their description made it sound like such a multi-layered scent, when in actuality it just smelled like a cheap cranberry candle. Not a fan at all.

8. Cinnamon Tea- This scent had been part of their regular line, and was still available in the summer. It was out of stock and unavailable for a bit, and then they brought it back in late October. I decided to finally try it, as everyone said if I liked Cinnamon Roll, I would love this one. I am not sensitive to scent at all, however this is one that gave me a pretty intense headache. I'm getting a headache just thinking about the scent of this. It barely smells of cinnamon or tea, actually. I can detect a cinnamon scent, but it smells like what a cinnamon candy tastes like after the red, spicy layer comes off. Just a little too strong and too sweet for my liking. Not the worst of the bunch, but definitely one I won't repurchase.

9. Christmas Kitchen- Finally we come to Christmas Kitchen. This the only Christmas candle I was interested in, and they released quite a few. All of them were a bit too generic: cinnamon pinecone, mistletoe, candy cane etc) and I'm not big on those kinds of scents. However Christmas Kitchen was described as: "Scent notes of apple, raisin, peach, clove, and tea leaves." And guess what it smells like? Apple Cider. YES! After the huge letdown of the Caramel Apple Cider, getting Christmas Kitchen was such a happy surprise. I wasn't sure what it was going to smell like from the description. They seem to go into great detail about their scents, yet when you get it home, it seems to only have 1 or 2 notes. This one is no exception. I smell the Apple and the clove, but it hands down smells like a cup of freshly made apple cider. This my most recent Diamond Candle and by far my all-time favorite. I am really sad that it's a limited edition holiday scent. I would buy it year-round!

As you can see, out of the 9 scents I've tried, I really only liked 3 of them. I don't think that's a very good track record for Diamond Candles. I think that the idea is fun, and they make nice gifts, but I'm not sure I would even want to do that, considering you have no idea what size ring you are getting. I think they are also misleading when it comes to their scents. They go into such detail to describe the different layers in their scents, and when you receive them, they smell completely different to the description, or are just a complete let down.

I think that there are many other companies popping up using this idea of putting jewelry inside of candles, and many of them are using the same glass containers that Diamond Candles uses. JewelScent is one of those companies. They cost the same as Diamond Candles and you receive a ring in either a candle, soap or bottle of scented beads. Best thing about JewelScent is that you can choose the size ring you want! Hidden Treasure Candles is also another option. They usually have necklaces in their candles, and they also offer "cash candles" which have money of varying amounts in them and also contain a chance to win different prizes. There's also Prize Candle and Jewelry in Candles...I'm sure there are at least a dozen more.

I would do a little research before you buy. Just because a company has the most fans on facebook, doesn't mean they are the best. There are MANY candle companies that offer the same thing as Diamond Candles. You may still decide to go with them. I think that they have great customer service and a wide variety of candles that is always changing. However you may want the ability to choose the size of your ring. You may want to buy a candle for someone who doesn't wear rings. Take a look at the competitors and see which one fits your needs the most, and what other people are saying about them. Look at a companies facebook page to see what other customers are receiving in the candles, and then make your choice.All in all, I hope this particular review has given you a better understanding of Diamond Candles!

20% Off Coupon!
If you want to try a Diamond Candle out for yourself, or maybe pick one up for a fun gift, please consider using my referral link and save yourself 20% off your entire purchase! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Starlooks Referral Boxes November 2013


As if I couldn't love Starlooks any more than I already do, they caught me by surprise and sent me 3 referral boxes in the mail!

I am not usually one of the lucky ones that get dozens of people to sign up for subscriptions. Usually I rave and gush about a product or a service on my facebook and it goes unheard, due to the fact that many of my friends are male, or already are subscribed to the service I'm talking about. However, this month seems to be the exception, as it looks like I was able to get 3 people to sign up for Starlooks! If it was you...Thank You!


Super Speedy Explanation of Starlooks: Starlooks is a professional line of cosmetics (their chemist has worked for MAC!) that is available online only. I find that some of their prices are pretty steep, but luckily for me (and you!) Starlooks offers a service for $15 a month called, Starbox. Starboxes are sent to your door each month and are filled with 3-4 full sized products from the Starlooks line.

Other benefits? The send you a free, extra gift box on your birthday month, AND send you a personalized gift box for every person you refer to Starlooks. Trust me, after only a few months subscribing to them, I already have a small arsenal of their makeup and I am obsessed!

Let's take a look at the 3 referral boxes I received today! I'm not going to do a huge review on these, Just a quick overview:

BOX #1


In Box #1 I received: Shadow Pigment in "Noble," Infinity Eye Liner in "Galaxy" and Infinity Lipstick in "Out There" Here are the swatches:


Quick Thoughts: I have 2 infinity liners already and I am obsessed with them, so this gorgeous bronze shade is a welcome addition to my collection. So many possibilities! I haven't tried their pigments before so I was happy to get this gorgeous royal purple shade. Their pigment containers have the little holes in the top to dip a small brush in, or to gently shake out, and this shade in particular is very pigmented. The Infinity Lipstick is packaged in a high-end, metal tube which is a bit heavy in a good way! The shade however, I am not a fan of. I like the Watermelon pink, however there is some silver glitter in this lipstick, and it makes the formula extremely gritty-feeling on the lips. Not enjoyable at all.

Box #1 Total Value: $45


BOX #2


In Box #2 I received:  Eyeliner in "Static Smoke", Lipgloss in "Elegant" and Precision Eyeliner in "Black." Here are the swatches:


Quick Thoughts: I was absolutely thrilled with this box. I don't own any smokey grey liners, as I'm kind of a boring black liner kind of girl, but this is absolutely gorgeous. My swatch doesn't do it justice. The Lip gloss is a nice shade and a nice consistency. Not to sticky or too thin. It isn't completely opaque, but definitely has nice pigmentation. I wouldn't say it's a remarkable or outstanding product, but it's a very nice lip gloss and I will definitely get use out of it! The Infinity liquid liner is excellent. The applicator is a very tiny, thin, spongey tip, which I love. I find that the consistency is a bit watery, but if you allow it to dry, this stuff won't budge.

Box #2 Total Value: $40


BOX #3


In Box #2 I received: Lipstick in "Charlize," Blush in "Rum Punch" and a "Medium Dome Fluff" shadow Brush. Here's the swatches:


 Quick Thoughts: While I already have a set of brushes from Coastal Scents that I LOOOVE, (If you're interested in which set, go HERE!) I'm always up for trying brushes from other brands and having backups for when my main set is in need of a good cleaning. This Medium Dome Fluff brush is basically a medium-sized shadow brush. It feels very high quality. Light enough to be comfortable, but has a slight heft to it that makes it feel professional. The Blush looked a bit scary at first, as it comes off as a very shimmery peachy pink in the pan. Once it's swatched, it comes off much more like a peach with a satin finish. I love that it comes with a mirror and applicator underneath the pan, just in case I need touch ups on the go. The Lipstick shade in "Charlize" is pretty in the tube, but applies as a very orange-y terracotta shade. I think this would be a gorgeous shade on deep skin tones, but for my pasty self it just makes me look washed out and my teeth look much yellower with it on. Pretty shade, just not for me!

BOX #3 Total Value: $51

Total Value of All 3 Boxes: $136!

So for simply telling your friends and family about Starlooks, you are rewarded with free cosmetics. No need to earn and save up points like other subscription box referral programs. And hey, even if you don't know anyone that wants to join Starlooks, they still send you a free box on your birthday month!
While not every product that I received was a 10/10 for me, I am just so thrilled to receive such a wide variety of products. I have only been a subscriber of Starlooks since September, yet I've already become a huge fan not only of their cosmetics, but their subscription service overall.

If you're interested in signing up for Starlooks, I would love and appreciate it if you would use my referral link, HERE. I promise it's well worth the money, and such a fun experience to build a collection of Starlooks products within your own cosmetic collection, for a fraction of the list price.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan Body Lotion

I've been receiving a monthly Ipsy bag for over a year now, and as much as I've loved the products, never once did I utilize their monthly coupon codes to purchase a full size product of anything I received. It's not that I didn't like the things I received, just that I was more than satisfied with the product I got in the bag, and never thought to buy more! That totally changed when I received my October bag.

I was one of the subscribers chosen to receive the Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan Body Lotion. I recall being disappointed at first, because they were also offering a sampling from a line of dessert scented lotions. Upon first glance, those seemed more up my alley. Not to mention, I have more lotion than I could ever use. Now that I think of it, I still have the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Lotion Ipsy sent out around this time last year. Needless to say, I assumed this lotion was going to go in my "give away" pile.

Once my bag arrived, I cracked open the tube and took a whiff. To me, the scent is not at all coconut, so if you're interested in it because of that, you might be disappointed. Even so, It does has a very natural coconut scent. If you've ever cracked open a real coconut, then you know what I mean. The scent is definitely more than coconut, although it's difficult to put a finger on what it is. It's a sweet smell that is a bit hard to describe. I used to own a body butter that was labeled as "Sugar Cookie" as the scent, and it smelled almost identical to this scent.

I'm talking so much about what this lotion smells like for good reason! On the Ipsy forums, there were a LOT of people arguing over the scent. Many people loved it, and other despised it. I didn't see anyone who was "middle-of-the-road" on how it smelled, so I wanted to point that out ahead of time. If you don't mind gourmand scents, coconut or sugary sweet smells, I don't think you'll have an issue with this. For me personally? I found that I absolutely loved the scent!

Before I go into more detail on the lotion itself, I will say that not only is this lotion is the first product I received from Ipsy that I bought a full size of, but also one of the very few items I completely used up!

I squeezed out every last drop of this lotion, let me tell you. I can't stress to you how little I use lotions, too. I will use lotion if I notice my skin being extra dry, but other than that, I usually cannot be bothered with it. When it came to the Nourish Organic lotion, I used it every single day as soon as I got out of the shower and again whenever I remembered it existed! So of course, when I ran out, I bought a huge tube of it at my local Target.

Let's talk a bit about this lotion and why (other than the scent) I love it so much. Here's a list of great things right off the bat:
-USDA Organic
-Gluten Free
-Vegan
-Cruelty Free
-Made in the USA
-Chemical Free
-Tube Made from Recycled Materials

Another list of no's: No parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances or preservatives, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sulfates, synthetic dyes, tricolsan, EDTA or aluminum.

If I haven't sold you on it enough, there's more!

This particular scent/type of lotion is the Coconut Argan. It's made with Moroccan Argan Oil, which has lots of healthy omega fatty acids that help hydrate and replenish skin. It also contains Coconut Oil, which is packed with vitamins, and used in cosmetics to help smooth and soften. Also added, is antioxidant-rich hibiscus extract that protects skin from environmental damage. 

My favorite thing about this lotion is it's consistency and how it makes my skin feel after applying. It's a light formula that holds it's shape but is on the thin side:


It's not as thick as a body butter, but isn't quite a liquid-y consistency, either.

When rubbed into the skin, it is soft and smooth. It absorbs faster than any other lotion I've ever used. If you hate that greasy-feeling that lotions leave on your skin, I can promise that you will love this one. I usually put a pea sized amount on my hands and rub in. Within 10 seconds it's seemed to have completely absorbed, leaving no greasiness behind. Best part? My hands immediately feel soft, smooth and moisturized.


This is a definite must-have lotion in my opinion. At only $10 for an 8oz tube, it beats the cost of higher end products and most other natural/organic lotions. Better yet, it's available at your local Target and not a specialty store. I love all of it's benefits and it's performance. If you don't think you will enjoy this particular scent, please consider looking into their other scents and other products at nourishorganic.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Freeman Beauty "Feeling Beautiful" Masks Review


Recently, I received a very large amount of Freeman Beauty products, and it's taken me a very long time to try and review them all! When I say, "large amount" I mean at least 30 different products! I thought doing a huge Freeman Beauty Masterpost would be extremely overwhelming, so I am planning on separating them into categories: Masks, Hair Care, Non-Mask Face Products, and Body/Skin Care Products. That way, it'll be easier to absorb the information on each item, or even just skim through to one in particular you might be interested in learning about.

Freeman is an amazing company, and I've been a huge fan since I was younger. I always knew them for their face masks, but they also have so many more beauty products now! Over the years they've been adding and adding to their line of products, and they have so many face masks now that it's hard to keep track of each one! I received a large variety of their masks so I thought I would try one each day and see what I thought!

MASKS


Goji Berry Facial Hydration Mask


This stuff REALLY burns on my skin, which is saying something, because I don't usually mind the occasionally tingle or menthol feel in my face masks. I just feel like a mask that "hydrates and soothes" shouldn't make my skin feel like it's on fire. The feeling does subside over the course of a few minutes, but I would avoid this mask if you have sensitive skin, or can't handle a mask making your face tingle. It did not, however, turn my face red. This starts off looking like a creamy, liquidy mask, and applies clear. It took about 10 minutes for a thin layer to completely dry on my face. This mask was incredibly easy to remove, and it left me with cool, plump, soft skin. I am going to continue using this to see if the burning sensation subsides, because this really does leave my skin feeling wonderful!



Pomegranate Peel Off Mask/ Cucumber Peel Off Mask



I put both of these into the same category because to me, they feel exactly the same, apply exactly the same, and leave my skin feeling exactly the same. The only difference to me personally is that they have a different scent. On the tube, The Cucumber Mask says "Clarifies and Renews" and the Pomegranate says "Refines and Purifies." Basically, these are your classic, fun peel off masks. I apply these rather thick. If you put on a thick, even layer on your face, you will be able to peel the mask off in one piece. If you put on too thin of a layer, once the mask dries you'll be picking it off in tiny pieces. I usually leave these masks on for as long as it takes to dry, which is about 10-15 minutes in my experience. These peel-off masks leave my skin soft and clean-feeling, which I love! I haven't had any problems with skin irritation.



Blue Agave Hydrating Paper Mask


 I have tried a few of these paper masks before, but I could only seem to find them online, and they were normally from a Korean brand. They are kind of hilarious-looking and can sometimes be a bit difficult to work with. This one has a nice scent and does tingle/burn a bit when you first apply the paper to your skin. However it subsided pretty quickly for me. My main issue with the Freeman brand paper masks, is that the eye holes are cut weirdly. I need to cut a bit more room with some scissors for my eyes, so I would have a pair on hand when you apply this.



 All that you have to do is open the packet, and pull the folded paper mask out. These are VERY saturated, so do this over a sink or a non-stainable surface. Carefully unfold the mask, remove it from the liner and apply it directly to your skin. Smooth it out as best you can. You should let it sit on your skin for about 10 minutes. Remove and throw away the mask. With this particular mask, Freeman suggests you not rinse off the excess product, but to gently press the serum that is left into your skin and let it absorb.

I personally enjoyed this mask very much. I think it made my skin soft and plump. I will definitely be purchasing this one again!


Star Fruit Purifying Facial Paper Mask



Like the Blue Agave Mask, this is a paper mask and is applied in the same way. It also tingles/burns a bit when first applied, and I would not suggest these masks to anyone who has sensitive skin. This one seems to have lower reviews online than the Blue Agave, however I find that they both left me skin feeling almost identical. I will say that the Blue Agave was more hydrating and the tingling sensation/redness subsided very shortly after applying the mask.


This Star Fruit mask was kind of the opposite. I found it to be overall irritating and just didn't do anything noticeable enough for me to considering re-purchasing it. If anything I will try the Blue Agave again over this one.



Chocolate and Strawberry Clay Mask



Definitely not a fan of this one, I'll say it right off the bat. I really enjoy a lot of the Freeman clay masks, but this one has a very fake/sweet smell to it that I just didn't enjoy. I also think that this particular clay mask is a lot thicker than the others I have tried. It felt like it was very drying and pulling on my skin as it dried, and I had to rub so hard to remove it that it left my face feeling very dry and raw. So much so, that I needed to use a soothing moisturizing mask immediately afterwards to return some of the moisture to my face. Won't be repurchasing this one.







Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask
This is personally one of my favorite stand-by clay masks. I don't have a photo of it because I don't actually have a tube at the moment, however it's a mask I have purchased repeatedly over the years, and I think it's the most commonly seen mask from the Freeman Feeling Beautiful line. It's a thick, pale green paste but it applies smoothly and dries evenly. It has such a light, pleasant scent as well. This mask is gentle on my skin, and doesn't make my skin feel dried out once I remove it. This is a perfect clay mask in the sense that you feel like your pores are purged, but it's also soothing and non-drying.

Acai Facial Purifying Clay Mask



I had never tried this particular clay mask before, but i find it to have a very similar feel and finish to the Avocado and Oatmeal mask. I am glad it's not as thick and weird-smelling as the Chocolate Strawberry clay mask. This smells light and fresh...more like a cucumber melon scent than a berry scent. It's very gentle-feeling and is pretty easy to remove as long as you don't leave it on too long. This one makes my skin feel very soft and smooth, and works amazing as a deep cleanser if your skin is too sensitive for a regular one. With more use, I might even find myself enjoying this one more than the Avocado and Oatmeal!





Charcoal and Black Sugar Polish Mask



This mask has been getting a lot of hype since it won an Allure beauty award. I was very interested to test this stuff out to see if it lived up to the stuff I had been hearing.

First off, this mask looks and feels like a sugar scrub. It's not the easiest thing in the world to apply. The best way to apply this is to mix slowly smoothing it out and patting it on. It says to leave on for 5-7 minutes, which means I left mine on for 10. Even though it feels like you're patting on a face scrub, it's really a dual product in my opinion. Leaving   this on your skin is allowing the charcoal to absorb oil and impurities.



Then once you have left it on for a bit, you're supposed to gently massage your face with the mask for 1-2 minutes which is where the black sugar comes to exfoliate. After that, you simply rinse with warm water. And trust me, your skin will feel more soft and clear than it's felt in a long time. This stuff does live up to it's hype, and did not irritate my skin at all. This may become a new staple for me!





Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask


This is a great new find for me. This mask is so moisturizing but also feels very cleansing and you can see that your pores are purged once you remove it. It has a lovely lavender/bergamot scent that is so relaxing and enjoyable. One of the nicest scents in a Freeman product. I think this one is kind of an all-in-one kind of mask. Moisturizing, non drying, smells nice, cleansing, purges pores and helps shrink up acne.

I think this is the perfect product to add to a spa basket as a gift, or just to keep in your bathroom for those days where you want to relax in a bubble bath, or even if you're just looking for a mask to help you unwind for a few minutes after a stressful day. This is definitely one to have in your aresenal!



Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask

A year or so ago, I tried a June Jacobs Papaya Enzyme mask and I fell head over heels in love with it. It smells so incredible, felt so cool and moisturizing on my skin, and made my face feel so soft. My skin felt plump and glowed with health. When I ran out I rushed to the computer, only to find out the full size was a ridiculously high price (something like $60-$100...don't exactly remember now) and I just couldn't afford it. I received this sample and thought it sounded similar enough and was very intrigued to try it out. This has a delicious pineapple scent that I absolutely love. It applies similarly to the June Jacobs mask. I do prefer the overall scent and feel of the June Jacobs, but if this worked as well, I'd much rather spend $3.99 on this! I am happy to report that this enzyme mask left my skin feeling radiant.  After rinsing this off, my skin felt so soft and refreshed. It removed dead skin cells and exfoliates without being a rough scrub, which I love. This is another I am going to purchase a full size of. It was a tall glass of water for my skin for sure.

 Hopefully I have helped a bit in decided between which mask you are going to try next! I think that Freeman does a great job in having a variety of masks for all different skin types, and for all different skin issues. If you like masks, or are just interested in trying a few new products to pamper your skin, Freeman is an excellent alternative to more expensive brands.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag November 2013 Review


Even though I received my October Ipsy bag on the 17th last month and today is only the 15th, it feels like I've been waiting FOREVER for my November Ipsy bag. This was a huge month for Ipsy, as they sent everyon 6 products, and one of them happened to be a full-sized EM Cosmetics product. I've been drooling over bag pictures ever since they started arriving for subscribers, and finally...mine arrived today!


All I can say is, this is hands down, the BEST Ipsy bag I have ever received. I think I say that every month, but they always manage to really blow me away! I just want to point out off the bat that the Benefit's "Bad Gal Lash" deluxe mini mascara was not a part of this bag, but a gift I got for my referral points, so I will not include it in the reviews of the bag. Let's get started!

1. Nailtini Nail Lacquer in "Champagne"
Wow, wow, wow this is a gorgeous shade! There were two different options for the nail color and I was hoping for this one! This is a bronze/ rose gold metallic shade and it's absolutely stunning. Nailtini has a very high quality nail polish formula too, so I am just over-the-moon about this one. Cannot wait to try it on!

2. EM by Michelle Phan Lip Gallery Creamy Color Sheer Lipstick in "Showstopper"


Out of the products that were offered from this line, I was hoping for either a lipstick or a lip balm. I have been quite curious about this line ever since it launched, as it gets very mixed reviews. Some people love it and some people are indifferent. I was kind of hoping for a fall shade of lipstick, but I'm just glad I didn't get the nude. It looked a bit too much like a concealer for my liking. "Showstopper" is a very pretty, sheer pink shade that would probably work quite well with many different skin tones. I'm not huge on the bubblegum pink, but I am glad that this is from the "sheer lipstick" line, as it has a light and almost gloss finish. The packaging is lovely, sturdy and feels high quality. My only complaint is that the lipstick has a strange smell that I'm not a fan of. I normally am not bothered by the scent of cosmetic but this just smells like chemicals.

3. Pixi Beauty Bronzer in "Subtly Suntouched"


Subtly Suntouched is RIGHT! Granted my Ipsy profile says I am fair skinned, which I am, but this bronzer seems to practically disappear on my hand. I am used to using deeper bronzers and using them lightly on my skin to contour, so it's possible that this will be the perfect contour, who knows? I think this would work very well for very pale-skinned girls that are looking for a bronzer that won't make them look ridiculous. This formula is quite pigmented and soft, it's just hard to tell since it's so close to my skin tone. It has a subtle sheen to it, so I think this would also make a beautiful highlight for any caramel skin-toned ladies!

4. BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow in "Aphrodite"


The picture above is ONE quick swipe of my finger into the shadow and then onto my skin. This shadow is buttery, soft and super pigmented. I definitely didn't expect to love this shadow, as we have received bh cosmetics samples in the past and I was indifferent about them. This is the baked formula and it's definitely a wow product for me. The entire Galaxy Chic palette is adorable; it hosts rounded baked shadows speckled and swirled with color all named after planets and star formations, AKA: freaking adorable. It's only $14.95 and with the code IPSY at checkout, you will save 20% off. So naturally, I am SO getting it!

5. Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Crayon in "Hot Damn"


I absolutely love red lips, but I can't lie and say I wasn't just a bit disappointed that I received yet another red lip product from Ipsy. There has been at least 3-4 in the past year alone. The other option was a pink/purple shade that I think would have looked great for fall. However, I am a big fan of red lips, so this product is obviously going to get used. This is a bright, cherry red shade that is actually very wearable, even for someone who isn't used to wearing red lips. It has a hint of shimmer and applies smoothly and evenly.

6. Starlooks Gem Pencil in "Topaz"


You might know if you read my blog, that I subscribe to the Starlooks Starbox and I am a fan of their cosmetics, however I recently received a gem pencil from them in my September box. It was not this shade, but it was extremely similar. Both were silvery shades. While I was hoping for the Amethyst shade, I have no complaints on the quality of these pencils. They are absolutely stunning, pigmented and glide on with ease. This Topaz shade does com off silver, but it has a taupe undertone to it as well.

The bag itself is a shiny, golden faux snake skin bag with a pink zipper and pink lining. It does have the little loop on the zipper pull to make it a wristlet. The bags are usually low quality, but I always think of them as more of a bonus. I'd much rather get a cute bag each month instead of a cardboard box. This one is very cute, but is probably one of the most flimsy bags they have sent. It feels almost as if it's made out of paper. I will definitely use this to store something in the future, but wouldn't use it as a makeup bag.

Final Thoughts
I am completely in love with my bag this month. Of course there were a few things I would have preferred, but the great thing about a company like this is that everything is a surprise. You might not get all the things you want off the bat, but the things you receive might expand you horizons a bit more and make you step out of your comfort zone. I have found plenty of things through Ipsy that I loved, and would have normally never purchased!

Total Value of November Bag: $87

If you are interested in subscribing to Ipsy, please consider using my referral link HERE. It's $10 a month of US subscribers, and I believe $14 a month for Canadian subscribers. You definitely don't want to miss a month of this subscription service. They really are the cream of the crop for beauty subs!