Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 Birchbox Review #2!


OK, so I know I already did my Birchbox unboxing for January, however, I will be getting a second subscription for a few months. It seems instead of making February my first box, they decided to send me a late January Box!


I was totally fine with receiving another January Box, I was just hoping that I wouldn't get any of the same items! This was an exciting one to open because it's the first time I went spoiler-free on a Birchbox!

1. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Shampoo and Conditioner 


I need more shampoo and conditioner like I need a hole in the head, but it's always nice to have a few travel-sized items for weekend getaways! I have never heard of this brand before, but these have red tea and grape seed antioxidants that clean and revive hair. They are 1.5 oz bottles, which are a decent size for travel, and smell very luxurious and clean.


2. Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips


"Hmm..." was the first thing that came out of my mouth when I saw this. Nipple balm...for lips...Interesting. Upon inspecting the description on the card, I realized that this balm was originally made for nursing mothers, but worked so well as a lip balm that they began marketing it as such. This is the tiniest tube I've ever seen at .1 oz, but it's enough to test out the balm quite a few times. It's a colorless, flavor/scentless balm that looks and feels a bit like a very thick petroleum jelly. There's no "applicator" on the tube, but comes out like a lotion, so it will need to be applied with a finger. it feels thick but not uncomfortable on the lips, and is also good for dry skin all over your body!

3. Coastal Scents Revealed Palette Sampler


This is a super cute mini quad of some of the shades from the Coastal Scents Revealed palette. While I haven't received this quad from Birchbox yet, I already have the full size palette, so I will be trading this away. If you're interested in swatches of this palette, please check out my comparison review HERE. I love these shadows and find them to be super gorgeous and pigmented!


4. Reviver Dry Deodorant Wipe


This was the "lifestyle extra" in my box this month. This is a dry, reusable wipe that looks a bit like the fabric of a reusable shopping bag. This item is scented, and is placed on your fingers and wiped on your clothing to absorb bad scents like sweat, food, cigarettes etc. Once you're done using it, you can put it back into it's little resealable bag and use it again later. I'm not sure how long these last before they need to be replaced, but this is a great idea for someone to throw in their gym bag or in your purse when you go out with friends. Nothing is worse than smelling like a bar full of greasy food and cigarettes!



I was pretty happy that both of my January boxes had all completely different items in them! I was even happier to see that there was not tea in this one! Overall I think this is a great box, and I am really excited to see what the February boxes bring! Birchbox is teaming up with US Weekly for their February box!

If you would like to get a Birchbox for yourself, they're only $10 a month! They have a great points system and are an excellent company! To sign up, please use my referral link here: 


To learn more about Birchbox, check out my Birchbox VS. Ipsy comparison review HERE
  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Birchbox VS. Ipsy: A Comparison Review!

I have had a lot of people ask me, "Which beauty subscription should I choose? Birchbox or Ipsy?"

That is kind of a difficult question to answer off the bat, as it truly depends on what you are looking for in a subscription. Both only cost $10, and both have great and not-so-great aspects, so I thought I would break down each of the popular subscriptions into a bit more detail. Hopefully this guide will help you decide which one better fits your lifestyle!

Birchbox


Basic Information: Birchbox is a subscription service that sends beauty and lifestyle products to your door each month for $10. You will receive 4-5 deluxe-sized samples from a wide variety of brands ranging from new and buzzworthy all the way to tried-and-true high end.  There is a large variety in the boxes and what you receive each month is decided by the answers you give in your beauty profile. What you receive in your box could be quite different from someone else.

Point system: Birchbox has a points/rewards program that is lauded as the best of the best. Points work as follows:
-1 point for each $1 spent in the Birchbox Shop, and 50 points for each referral.

-10 points for each review on items you receive in your Birchbox each month.

-100 points= $10 to spend in the Birchbox Shop.

-Points expire after 1 year. You can purchase Birchbox gift cards with your points to carry them past a year.

Seeing as how most Birchboxes have 5 products in them per month, if you review each one, you will receive 50 points, or $5. Each box costs $10 and you get around $5 in Birchbox store credit every month, so that's an excellent deal!

Extras/Brand Info: Birchbox has a few programs that are bonuses to being a subscriber.
Birchbox Plus is a newer program that, when you sign up for alerts, will occasionally e-mail you so that you may add a more valuable item to your box for a higher price. For example: You might get a Birchbox Plus e-mail that invites you to add a necklace from a popular brand to your box for an extra $20. The value of the necklace will always surpass the cost, but it's always optional to do this, and only happens once in a while as it's a newer idea for Birchbox.
Limited Edition boxes are also released at random. These are boxes that are priced anywhere from around $15 to over $100, depending on the items included. They will always be themed, and are always well worth the price! These are available for purchase in the Birchbox shop, and when a new one is released, they will post an announcement on their Facebook page.
Finally, there is also Birchbox Man, which is a similar idea, only curated for Men, and costs $20 instead of $10, as the men's box include more expensive lifestyle products like wallets, t-shirts, etc. 

 (Examples of Birchboxes. Click to Enlarge!)

Overall Pros: Obviously the points system is number one. Birchbox also has a fantastic website that is easy to navigate, and their customer service is second to none. Their reps respond to customer questions promptly and with detail, and have even been known to make quick youtube videos in response to facebook questions! I also think that Birchbox has a much wider variety of brands, and many high-end and prestige brands.

Overall Cons: I think their profile questions could be a bit more straightforward, as I don't think they help much on getting customers the products they want in their boxes. So far for me, it's been all about luck. I also think that they can send things that a lot of people aren't interested in, like tea bags and foil packet samples a bit too often. They have been getting better at this though, and are always open to hearing complaints or feedback on products.

How To Sign Up: Just have to visit their website and sign up! Please consider using my referral link here: 


Great For: Beauty/self-care enthusiasts who are looking to try new products and be able to purchase items they enjoy for free, or at a large discount with points earned from each box. Also is geared toward more ages and genders. Birchbox/Birchbox Man could be gifted and enjoyed by anyone of almost any age.

~*~*~*~

Ipsy 


Basic Information: Ipsy is a subscription service that sends beauty products to your door each month for $10. You will receive 4-5 products (usually 5) packaged in a cosmetic bag, and these products are usually cosmetics and occasionally bath/body/hair items. Ipsy is known for it's "Sneak Peek" photos each month of the items you could receive. Ipsy sends different products to each subscriber based on their IpsyMatch answers. IpsyMatch is a questionnaire about beauty preferences that helps match the subscriber with the right items for them. There is less of a variety of items each month than Birchbox. Ipsy focuses on mostly up-and-coming brands, along with a few high-end fan favorites.

Point system: Ipsy also has a points program, however it is different from Birchbox in many ways:
-Points do not have a monetary value.

-10 Points are given for reviews of each product received in monthly bags.

-Points are allotted at random for answering questions about the bag and sharing things on Facebook.

-100 Points are given when you sign up for Ipsy, 250 are given for each referral.

Currently, Ipsy's point program is, for lack of a better word, a mess. They do not have an online shop like Birchbox, however they have items that you can choose and receive as extras in your glam bag. Each item costs 1,000 points. They usually only have 3 items to choose from at a time.

Extras/Brand Info: Ipsy has a few programs that are bonuses to being a subscriber.
Ipsyme is a program that is used occasionally, where they offer a full-sized item at a discounted rate and you must comment on facebook to get it. It's a bit of a complicated program and they haven't done an event in awhile, but there is still more info on it on their website.
Giveaways are frequent and plentiful with Ipsy. Each month, they will do easy giveaways on their facebook page from each brand featured in that month's bag. Usually all that is required to enter the giveaway is to comment on the post. There are many other giveaways and challenges they do throughout the month, so there's lots of opportunity to win something!
Brand Coupon Codes are issued each month for the participating brands. You can save quite a bit of money on featured brands by using these codes, many of which will go up to 50% off, or even allow a free gift with purchase.

(Examples of Ipsy Bags. Click to Enlarge!)

Overall Pros: I definitely think that for me personally, the IpsyMatch system has worked better at choosing items for me than Birchbox. I think that Ipsy has a better way to deliver sneak peeks that really get subscribers excited. They have accessible giveaways, and I really love the makeup bag over the simple cardboard box that Birchbox sends. Ipsy also sends larger samples and more full sized products than Birchbox, and offers coupon codes for the featured brands.

Overall Cons: While Ipsy does send more substantial products, they don't have as much variety and over the course of the year, will send out multiple products from the same brands. Even though the items are usually full size/ nicely sized, they are sometimes lower quality or lesser known brands than Birchbox. Their points system is atrocious. It takes forever to earn enough points to cash in, and they only have a few mediocre "prizes" to use your points on. The website is very confusing and difficult to navigate as well.

How To Sign Up: Just have to visit their website and sign up! Please consider using my referral link here: 


Great For: Anyone looking to try out new, or lesser known brands of cosmetics and beauty. Someone that is looking to fill gaps in their makeup collection, or simply to start a collection all together! Great for teenagers and younger adults. If you or the person you are gifting to is more open-minded  to trying new things or isn't picky with their beauty products.

OVERALL WINNER?
For me personally, I enjoy and use more products that I get from Birchbox. I also think that they have a phenomenal points system in place, and I love that when I sample something and really enjoy it, I can save up my points and get the full size for free/almost free. There was a time where I much preferred Ipsy over Birchbox, but I have found I'm getting a bit burnt out due to their recycling of the same brands time and time again. Also, while it used to be what made me prefer them, I think that I'm over-stocked on middle-of-the-road makeup. Ipsy should focus on being more well-rounded in what brands they put in their bags, and how often they recycle brands from one month to the next.

I think there is a place for both subscriptions, and I subscribe to both for a reason. Both have their pros and cons, and I think that which one you subscribe to will be based on your preferences and needs. I hope my review has helped you make a more informed decision on which one to choose!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Graze Box Review (January 2014)


I had put reviewing my Graze boxes on hold because I wasn't sure how I wanted to review them. Weekly? monthly? At all? But I finally decided in mid January that I was going to start reviewing them at the end of each month. Basically, if you've read my past reviews on Graze, you know the drill, however a few things have changed about their service since the last time I did a review, so I will go into a little bit of detail before I get on with my boxes from this month.

What is a Graze Box?
Graze is a company that delivers boxes of healthy, nutritious snacks to your door and only costs just over $6 per box. Each box contains 4 individually contained snacks that are per-portioned for you to take on the go, or enjoy at home. You can choose to get the boxes delivered once a month, once a week, or bi-weekly.

What kind of Snacks are there?
You can visit their site here for more photos, but their snacks include dried fruits, nuts and seeds, granola bars (they call flapjacks) and lots more! There are currently over 90 snacks to choose from, and all of their snacks are designed in their very own Graze Kitchen. They also come out with new snacks all the time!

Can I customize my boxes?
Sort of! Once you join, you'll be able to look through all the snacks that Graze has to offer and rate them "Try, Like, Love, or Trash." Choose try if you're not sure how you feel about the snack, but are open to trying it, like if you're interested in trying, love if you think/know you'll love it and want it to be sent to you frequently, or trash if you know you never want to be sent a certain snack.

Graze will then choose snacks for you and put them into your box to try. You will then have the opportunity to adjust your ratings accordingly.

Can I pause my subscription?
Graze is super customizable, and you are able to push back boxes as far as you want! There have been times where I have pushed my deliveries back for a month or two so I can try other things. Of course I always go back to Graze, but it's great that the option is there!

How do I subscribe?
Simply visit their website and sign up! However, if you want to get your 1st AND your 5th box totally FREE (yay free stuff!) then I would suggest using an invite code from a Graze subscriber. I just happen to have one for you! Just follow this link to get started:

https://www.graze.com/us/p/7CL17KN7U

(I ALWAYS donate my referral credits to the Graze School of Farming!)

Just enter that promo code when you sign up and you'll get your free boxes! You can cancel with just the click of the button if you decide you don't like it, there's no hassle or complicated cancellation, and trust me, you won't want to stop getting these! Regularly priced boxes are $6 each.

On to my boxes from January!

BOX #1
The snacks I received in this box were:

Honeycomb Crunch: (sweet) This one is sooo yummy! It contains raisins, almonds and little pieces of chocolate covered honeycomb. It's a very nice sweet treat!

Scandinavian Forest: (fruit) This snack contains blueberries, lingonberries, cherry-infused raisins and apples. This is a very tart and delicious selection of dried fruits. My fiance J loves this one!

Black Pepper Pistachios: (nuts) I LOVE pistachios, and I especially love these ones from Graze. When you're trying to cut back on salt, these pepper-seasoned pistachios are a great alternative!

Fruit & Seed Flapjack: Flapjacks are a softer, more oatmeal-like granola bar that is popular in the UK. These are my favorite things in the Graze boxes because they are great for breakfast! It's like a lightly sweetened oatmeal bar, and they have a few different flavors to choose from!

BOX #2 
The snacks that I received in this box were:

Cherry Fudge Sundae- (sweet) This snack contains little chocolate fudge pieces, blanched almonds, cherry-infused raisins and cherries. This is so tasty. The cherry-almond flavor with the light taste of chocolate is super delish! Really enjoyed this snack and so did J.

Cookies and Cream- (sweet) This is a strange one. It contains mini cookies, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and white chocolate. I don't personally think that these things really go together well, so I tend to eat each thing separately rather than at the same time as intended. It's not a bad one, just not a favorite.

Apple Cosmo- (fruit) This is one of J's favorites as he loves the dried fruits. This one has apples, lime-infsed raisins, and cranberries. Super fruity and very delicious. Like a grown up pack of fruit snacks!

Brooklyn Bites- (savory) I definitely favor the savory selections that Graze has to offer and this one is a favorite. It contain poppy seed pretzels, cheese cashews and roasted pumpkin seeds. It has a slight BBQ flavor to it, but it's not overpowering. It's a great combination and all of it together is super tasty!

I do get 4 boxes per month as I requested to get them weekly, however I just started up my Graze subscription again mid month. I had taken a quick break to try another service and yet again, came back to Graze! I hope you'll give them a try! You can't go wrong at $6 a box! Don't forget to use my promo link (HERE) so that you can get your 1st and 5th box for free!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 2014 Starlooks Starbox Review!


My Starlooks Starbox creeped into my mailbox today completely undetected! Starlooks apparently had a small technical issue with their tracking numbers not being sent out, so many subscribers didn't get any notification that they were being shipped. Starlooks normally ships at the end of the month, but with just 5 days left in January, they were definitely cutting it close this time! 


Inside this month's box was a small card that gave a whole bunch of coupon codes YAY! Here they are for anyone interested in picking up some great deals on Starlooks products this month!

~40% off Starlooks Lipsticks with code: BEMYLS40~ (until Feb 7th)
~
~14% off All Orders with code: NEWYEAR14~ (until Feb 15th)
~
~20% off Pencils!~ (until Feb 15th)
-Gem Pencils- use code: NEWYEARGEM20
-Kohl Liners- use code: NEWYEARK20
-Eye Pencils- use code: NEWYEAREP20
-Lip Liners- use code: NEWYEARLL20

As always, Starlooks has completely FREE shipping, no matter how much or how little you buy. Awesome!

OK, now that coupons codes are out of the way, let's get onto the January Box!


This month's theme was "Surprise Yourself." What might be in this box was a bit of a mystery for subscribers, as we can usually speculate what might be coming by browsing the Starlooks "Looks Book", but this month in particular proved pretty difficult! Now that the box is finally here, Starlooks has revealed that they have done something that they've never done before: give everyone something different in their boxes!


 First look at the box, I was really happy to see a nice variety of items! A brush, a liner of some sort, and what seemed to be 2 lip products. There was also a little extra thrown in this month as they occasionally do.


Starlooks always puts a little crystal in each Starbox, which is usually just for fun. They suggest collecting them and putting them in a glass jar to hold your brushes in, but it would take quite a lot of Starboxes to get enough crystals to fill a jar! They're cute, still! They also included a little lash/brow brush in the box just as a little bonus. These definitely always come in handy!

Kohl Eye Pencil in "Obsidian" ($12)


I've received this pencil before in an Ipsy bag, however one can never have too many black liners! The Starlooks kohl pencils glide on so smoothly and don't tug or pull at my lids. They're also easy to smudge to create a really sexy smokey eye!

Sculpt & Blush Brush #906 ($22)


This was the most valuable item in the box, and I was super excited to get it! I have a couple of Starlooks brushes and I absolutely love their quality. They have a nice weight to them but aren't too heavy or uncomfortable. They're also very well made. This particular brush is an angled blush/contour brush that is soft, but densely packed. I use a similar brush to do my contouring, although I like this one even better! Can't wait to use it!

Lip Gloss in "Satin" ($12)

I have received 2 lip glosses from Starlooks before this one, and while I love the formula, I haven't really liked any of the shades. "Satin" on the other hand, is an absolutely stunning color! This isn't an opaque gloss, but it does leave a very light pinky/nude tone on your lips with a very subtle golden sheen. 


Starlooks glosses have a thicker consistency, but they aren't sticky. They have just enough thickness where they stay on your lips for a long time, but are still very comfortable to wear.

Tender Gloss in "Snookums" ($13)


 The tender gloss lipsticks are one of my favorite items in the entire Starlooks line, because they are the perfect marriage between a lipstick and a lip gloss. One might call these a "lip sheer" because the colors are usually sheer but still are apparent, and they have a bit of a glossy feel and look to them.


I have a few tender glosses and most of them are very sheer with a hint of shimmer or micro glitter, but "Snookums" is a really stunning shade with a punch of shine. This is a nude/rose shade that is swirled with the smallest amount of metallic. It's barely noticeable, but helps with that really glossy, shiny finish when applied. It's a neutral with a kick. Definitely my favorite of all the tender gloss shades I've tried.


The total retail value of my January box is $60. You only pay $15 a month for the Starlooks Starbox, and you always get at least triple the value! Starbox is a fantastic way to expand a growing makeup collection, or to try the Starlooks line at a very affordable price! If you are interested in signing up to get a Starlooks Starbox of your own, please consider using my referral link here: Get a Starbox!

Some of the bonuses to being a Starlooks Starbox Subscriber:

-Box of full sized cosmetics from Starlooks every month!
- Bonus box of cosmetics on your birthday month!
 -Free boxes of cosmetics for every person you refer! (up to 3 per month)
-Free Loyalty gift every 3rd month you are subscribed!

I think that Starlooks has so many amazing programs going for their subscribers, that your mailbox will always be full of cosmetics! I hope you'll consider subscribing to Starlooks!

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 2014 PopSugar Must Have Box Review!


PopSugar Must Have Box is one of my newer subscriptions, and one of the most exciting because it contains a variety of full-sized products, rather than one type of item. These items are chosen as favorites by the PopSugar editors, packaged up and delivered right to your door for $39.95. While this is a higher priced box than what I normally get, they are always packed with items that are all together worth well over the price of the box. It's a really fun surprise each month!

This box was a "supply kit" for the new year, full of items to help you get a fresh start, or to help change up your beauty routine. 


The boxes are always pretty large in size, and are always packaged in pretty pink tissue paper with a information booklet, which tells you a bit about each product that is featured in the box for that month.

Let's get on to the goodies!

1. Pipsnacks White Truffle Pipcorn ($6)

 
This is a very large, full-size bag of Popcorn that earns the name "pipcorn" for it's small-sized kernels. It's an all-natural, gluten-free popcorn seasoned with sea salt and white truffles, popped in olive oil. It's absolutely delicious! You don't have to like truffle/truffle oil to appreciate this popcorn. It's very lightly flavored with truffle, but mostly tastes like a fresh bag of lightly salted popcorn.

2. Revlon by Marchesa: Box O' Files ($4)


These are a cute set of 6 files from Revlon. They are part of a larger series of beauty tools designed by Marchesa for Revlon. I recently received this exact set of files from a sample box company, so I wasn't too excited to see them here, however they are quite cute and would make a nice little gift, or something that's easy to throw in your purse!

4. Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves ($20)


These are a really cute pair of dark grey gloves with black finger panels on the thumb and pointer fingers that allow you to use any touch screen device while wearing them. These are really soft and comfortable, although I don't have much use for tech gloves, as I'm super behind the times and don't have a smart phone or a tablet, haha! These were gifted to a friend that could make much better use of them than I could. Even so, these are a very cute addition to a winter box!

5. Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around The World Desk Calendar ($16)


This is an absolutely adorable 2014 desk calendar with an easel base that has the cutest artwork of some of the larger, popular cities in the world: Think London, New York, Bangkok etc! I really would have loved to get this in the December 2013 box, as it's already almost February and most people, myself included, have already gotten their calendars for the year. However, this is really more of a decorative piece, and I have a few bookshelves in the house where this would look great. I think the artwork is so cute that you could even cut and frame them in inexpensive frames and decorate a small space!

6. The Juice Generation Book ($16)


I was hoping for a book in this month's box, although this is unfortunately a book that would be last on my wishlist. This summer I ran out and bought a juicer and a ton of fruit and veggies so I could jump on the juicing bandwagon, and gave up just a few hours later. It was very expensive to use so much produce just to product one yucky tasting beverage, and honestly, I just missed solid foods. This is actually a really nice book for someone who is interested in juicing, and there are also recipes for smoothies, which is nice, but not enough for me to keep this book. I'll be trading it or passing it on!

6. Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask ($40)


This is definitely the best and most valuable item in the box, hands down! I've seen and heard quite a buzz around this company, and getting a lip balm in my Ipsy bag this month, and a face mask in my PopSugar box has made it so I can finally get a good idea of what this company is all about. $40 is a bit pricey for a 4oz face mask (at least for me!) But I've been told that this is a bubbly-feeling, soothing and brightening mask, so I really look forward to checking this one out!


The overall value of this box is $102! The cost of each box is only $39.95, which is the cost of JUST the face mask alone! This is my second month with PopSugar and I always have such a blast opening the boxes because they're such a surprise. It's like a little Christmas gift every month!

If you're interested in signing up to get a PopSugar Must Have Box of your own, please consider using my referral link here: Sign up for PopSugar Must Have Box! You can also use the coupon code, "REFER5" at checkout to get $5 off your first box!

**FOR FEBRUARY BOX ONLY!** If you want to try out PopSugar Must Have, this is a great time! If you sign up for the next box by February 7th, you are guaranteed delivery by Valentine's Day! And BONUS! There's a coupon code for $10 OFF your box! ( VDAY10 ) That makes the box only $29.95!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh My, Lash! Sweetheart Collection Review


I'm a huge fan of false lashes. I know so many people find them intimidating, but I think that with a little practice, a great pair of falsies can really rev up the glam in your makeup routine. I was recently informed about a website called, Oh My, Lash! who was offering a set of 4 lashes called the "Sweetheart Collection" for nothing but the cost of shipping. Of course I can't turn down free lashes, so I went right over to the site and ordered. (This offer is no longer available, but you can get each of these lashes for only 70 cents a pair!)

I had never heard of, or ordered from this company before, but I'm always open to try new things! I placed my order on January 17th, and the shipped on January 20th. The package was on my doorstep this afternoon (January 23rd) so all in all, the entire order took just 6 days to process and ship. I am thrilled with how speedy their shipping was too!

Here's the adorable Sweetheart Collection:


There's a really wonderful variety in this set, and while I'm use to wearing more natural-looking lashes, I can always use a super bold pair every now and then! The lashes don't come with their own little glue tubes, which I want to point out just in case, although I think everyone should avoid using that junk at all costs!

For free, (or even for 70 cents each) these are nice lashes. They do feel and look synthetic, as in they have an almost plastic-feel to them and have a bit of a shine to them, unlike a natural lash. They also have a rather thick/ rigid band. There are many people who don't mind or even prefer this kind of lash, although I like the lash band to be a bit thinner so that I can mold it to my eye-shape easier. Even so, for the price I think they are wearable, and fun in regards to their variety and packaging.

1. Chelsea

Chelsea is the most demure and "wearable" set of lashes in the collection. It's your basic demi-wispy, where the lashes get short the further inward they go, and wing out at the outer corner of the eye. These kinds of lashes compliment everyone, and I think would be your best bet if you're looking for the most natural-looking pair in the set.
2. Jo Jo

I think this is the next in line if I were to go in order from most natural to most out-there, as I find these to be a slightly more dramatic version of the Chelsea lashes. These are not demi-wispies, however. They don't taper inward, but they have a simple set up of shorter lashes on the corners, and longer lashes in the middle. The lashes have a cris-crossing pattern which helps them blend a bit easier with your natural lashes. These are a great pair if you still want something natural-looking, but more dramatic.

3. Barbara
This is where the lashes stop looking "natural" and start being more adventurous and more glamorous. These are super feathery, plush-looking lashes that are loaded with volume. If you're going for a super-dramatic nighttime smokey eye, these would be a fantastic pairing!
4. Desiree

Finally we have Desiree, which I think is the most interesting and dramatic set of lashes of the bunch. I see this style quite often in Korean cosmetic ads etc, but I think that here in the U.S. people tend to shy away from the "obviously fake" false lashes. I think this is a really gorgeous pair, though! This is definitely something I'd use for a dramatic "doll-like" look, or even a femme-fatale type of pin-up makeup. I think that these are probably not a good choice for someone who's just beginning to use false lashes, but they're great for anyone looking to be a bit more adventurous!

Overall, I had a great experience shopping with Oh My, Lash! and I think that this is a super-cute collection. They are a bit on the lower-end in regards to quality, but I should be able to use these a few times each without any issues, and hey, they were free! I do notice that these are the lowest cost lashes on their website, and they have lots of other higher quality, adorable collections to choose from, including a Disney Princess pack. So cute!

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette VS. Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2! Swatches, Dupes and Comparisons


I have been waiting since December to do this review, because I felt that my crappy cell-phone camera wouldn't be able to accurately show these swatches to you, but my roommate recently donated one of his digital cameras to me, so I can finally get this blog posted! Yay!

Ever since I got the new Coastal Scents Revealed palette, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Not only for the neutral tones of the shades, but also for the shape and size of the shadows, as well as the overall performance. 

For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the Revealed palette for $19.95 HERE on the Coastal Scents website. At the time I am writing this, it is currently in stock, however it tends to sell out very quickly! If you miss it, you can always sign up on the Coastal Scents website to be alerted by e-mail when it comes back in stock. Not to mention, they always have sales! I got my Revealed palette for $9.98 during a sale, which is 1/5th of the price of any of the Naked palettes!

But how is the quality? Well, after spending the day swatching and comparing the Revealed palette with both the Naked and Naked 2 palettes, I have to say that Revealed definitely stacks up in quality and pigmentation! I think that the Revealed shades have a bit more fallout and are very slightly less pigmented, but when they're applied on the eye I don't think you would be able to tell a difference!

Let's take a look at all the palettes!


While I've dug into my Naked and Naked 2 palettes quite a bit, the Revealed palette is still unused in my collection, as I was waiting to do this review before starting to play around with it a bit! All the shades appear a bit on the lighter side in the revealed palette, but they swatch very similar to the Naked palettes. 

Let's get onto the dupes and swatches!

Since the Revealed palette shades do not have names, I have numbered them for reference when referring to dupes:


Naked Palette VS. Revealed Palette!

(quick reminder of the Naked Palette shades)

Top Row: Naked Palette / Bottom Row: Revealed Palette
As you can see, I was able to find a dupe or something extremely close to a dupe in the Revealed palette for each shade in the Naked palette!

From left to Right: (Naked Shade / Revealed Shade)

1. Virgin / 2
2. Sin / 3
3. Naked / 4
4. Sidecar / 9
5. Buck / 7
6. Half Baked / 8
7. Smog / 12
8. Darkhorse / 14
9. Toasted / 15
10. Hustle / 18
11. Creep / 20
12. Gunmetal / 19

While many of these are very close dupes, there are a few slight variations. Creep contains some microglitter, however none of the shades in the Revealed palette have glitter in them, so I swatched the matte black in it's place. They aren't exact matches, but for someone looking to try and mimic Naked palette looks with the Revealed palette, they are very close! A few of the bronze-type shades are also every so slightly off: some being more yellow-toned, while others being more brown. But I'd say if you're looking for something close to the Naked palette in a less-expensive price range, you probably won't find much better than this!

Naked 2 Palette VS. Revealed Palette!

(quick reminder of the Naked Palette shades)

 Top Row: Naked Palette / Bottom Row: Revealed Palette
There are lots of dupes for the Naked 2 palette in the Revealed palette as well! There were a few that were almost spot on, and a few that are close, but not exact. The only shade I wasn't able to find a dupe for is Chopper, which is a golden orange/bronze shade. 

From left to Right: (Naked 2 Shade / Revealed Shade)
 
1. Foxy / 1
2. Half Baked / 8
3. Bootycall / 2
4. Chopper / (No Dupe)
5. Tease/ 5
6. Snakebite / 12
7. Suspect / 9
8. Pistol / 13
9. Verve / 10
10. YDK / 17
11. Busted / 18
12. Blackout / 20 

These are yet again, very close dupes, but there are some variations. Busted from Naked 2 and Hustle from Naked 1 have the same dupe in the Revealed palette, but are ever-so-slightly different. Busted is a bit darker and more brown than Hustle, but #18 serves as a close-enough dupe for both. As I mentioned before, Chopper is the only shade that I could not find a suitable dupe for in the Revealed palette.

There are 3 shades in the Revealed palette that did not have a dupe in either of the Naked Palettes, and they are 6, 11, and 16.
Of course, these are all neutral shades we're talking about, so they're all similar to each other in one way or another, but these 3 are the only ones in the Revealed palette that don't match up with a corresponding Naked shade. 

 Quality/Portability
I think that in regards to overall shadow quality, of course Urban Decay has the edge. The Naked palette shadows are a bit more buttery and have less fallout. They also have a slight advantage in the pigmentation department, however the Coastal Scents shadows are very close in quality. They are just slightly less pigmented (hardly even noticeable) and do have a bit more fallout. They're just softer shadows overall, so you don't want to press your brush too hard into them. They both perform beautifully and I have found both the Naked and Revealed shadows will last on my lids all day with a primer.

The Revealed palette has one advantage in portability over the Naked palettes: it has dupes for both Naked palettes all compacted into 1 slim, lightweight palette. However, the Naked palettes have much more durable cases, as well as mirrors, which the Revealed palette does not have.

Price
This is a no-brainer. To buy both Naked palettes, the cost would be $104. To purchase the Revealed palette, it would cost you $19.95 retail. As I mentioned before, Coastal Scents also has regular sales which can even get the price down to just $10. If you're on a budget, the Revealed palette can easily take the place of both Naked and Naked 2 in your collection. I will mention, however, that there are no dupes for the Naked 3 in the Revealed palette. 

Overall
 I am pleasantly surprised that the Revealed palette has so many dupes to the first two Naked palettes, and even more so that the quality is on par! This is a great option for anyone who is coveting the Naked palettes but they're just out of their price range. I would also suggest getting this palette for anyone who just loves neutral shadows! I own all 3 Naked palettes and I still love my Revealed palette!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Loot Crate January 2014 Review!


J's Loot Crate arrived much earlier than I expected, and we were both super excited! Loot Crate usually ships on the 19th of each month, however I received a shipping notification on the 17th, and the box actually shipped on the 15th. They're usually very fast with shipping, so we got it within a few days time.


Loot Crate, for those of you who don't know, is a geek/gamer subscription box that includes all kinds of fun stuff including t-shirts, vinyl figures, books, candy, accessories etc. J has been getting this box since October, so this will be his 4th Loot Crate to date and I personally get just as excited as he does when it arrives! Each crate is $13.37 per month, plus shipping. It equals out to just under $20 a month. If you want to sign up for Loot Crate, please use our referral link here: Get a Loot Crate! ALSO! Use the coupon code: LOOT2014 to save $3 on your first crate!

The theme of the box this month was, "Launch." It encompassed all Space-themed geekery, including Star Wars, Star Trek etc.  Each month has a different theme, and the items in the box are loosely based on that theme. Some are just random and thrown in for fun! Let's get down to what was inside our crate this month, shall we?
 
NASA Emblem Patch, Melting Rubik's Cube Wall Graphic, Star Trek Communicator Sticker, 
Loot Crate Launch January 2014 Button


An official NASA emblem patch is a great start to a "Launch" themed box! They also included a melting rubik's cube wall graphic (random, but cool!) and a Star Trek Communicator sticker, which also fits nicely into the Launch theme. Finally Loot Crate has recently started (for 2014) giving out collectable buttons in each crate. This one is the official "January 2014 Launch Loot Crate" which is kind of a cool bonus!

Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide, Star Wars Pocket Model Game Pack


The Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book will help you communicate on your travels across the galaxy, and the Star Wars PocketModel is a trading card game that allows you to assemble mini models and create a unique deck filled with characters and events from the Star Wars universe. 

Minecraft 2014 Mini Calendar


This is an awesome calendar to get in the January box, mostly because J is obsessed with Minecraft and is playing allll the time!

Pop! Vinyl Domo Superman Figure


Uhm, this is the cutest vinyl figure of all time. 'Nuff said.


I think this was a great box overall! J loves when the crates have t-shirts in them so the lack of a shirt was a bit of a bummer, but they all can't have a t-shirt in them, I suppose!  He's starting a small collection of all the vinyl figures he's been getting from Loot Crate so this one was a welcome addition! Everything in the crate this month was definitely fun, and there was an excellent variety in the items and the fandoms represented! J loved this crate and we're both really excited to see what next month holds!

Again, if you're interested in signing up for Loot Crate, please consider using our referral link here: Get a Loot Crate! Also, you can use the code LOOT2014 to save $3 off your first crate! Let us know what you think of your first crate!