Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arvazallia Hair Repair Shampoo, Conditioner and Hydrating Argan Oil Mask Review


I have extremely fine and thinning hair, so I tend to avoid anything that is "Deep Conditioning" or "Moisturizing" in hair products, because I find that they can make my hair greasy or weighed down. Unfortunately, I also have wavy hair that can get dry and brittle, so I'm always searching for a product line that can smooth and moisturize my hair without making it look like a greasy mess. I had the opportunity to try the Arvazallia line, and figured it would be worth it to see how it would work on my fine, yet damaged hair.
The company claims that the shampoo and conditioner are for all hair types, so that in itself made my pretty hopeful! These are also sulfate and paraben free, which are perfect for me as I have color-treated hair!

All of these products have the same scent, which is a very pleasant floral. It reminds me a bit of a shampoo I used when I was a child, although I can't put my finger on which one! Regardless, it's actually a pretty strong scent, which lingers in the hair after you've used the products.

The Shampoo and Conditioner come in large 10.56fl oz bottles, which I have a feeling are going to take me a very long time to get through (which is a good thing!)
The shampoo and conditioner work together to repair, restore and strengthen the hair, especially tresses that have been damaged by heat styling, coloring or chemical treatments. It locks moisture into the hair and improves it's texture and managability, and nourishes with vitamin and nutrient rich Moroccan and Macadamia Oils, which both help to promote hair growth and give a luminous shine. 

While it helps promote hair growth and repairs damaged hair, I was still a bit skeptical. Oil-based hair products that focus on moisture and hair repair have always left my hair heavy and greasy, so I couldn't help but be a little skeptical.
I used both the shampoo and conditioner daily for a week before deciding my final thoughts. Firstly, the scent is just divine. I had 4 people ask me what perfume I was wearing only to realize it was my hair they were referring to! If you don't like strongly scented hair products, these might not be up your alley, however I love when my hair smells amazing! After a week of use, I can confidently say that not only does my hair look and feel softer and silkier, but I had no issues with these products making my hair greasy or weighed-down! Halleluiah!
There was one day that I think I used a bit too much of the conditioner and my hair felt a bit on the heavy side, however I scaled back on the sheer amount I was putting into my hair and that solved the issue immediately. I used the shampoo as you normally would, however I left the conditioner in my hair for about 2 minutes before rinsing, and rinsing well. I didn't want to leave any residue.

I also recently re-colored my hair, and I really do think I've noticed the color staying in my hair longer. For some reason, almost as soon as I dye my hair, it begins to wash out of the root-area. So far, my hair has stayed looking freshly dyed! That also could have to do with the fact that I don't always use sulfate-free products, though.
Also included in the kit is the Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask. I was most concerned that this product would not work for me, because hair masks are just not meant for my thinning, fine hair. But hey- it's my job to review, so review it I did! This hair mask has the same strong floral scent as the shampoo and conditioner, however it comes in an 8.45 jar rather than a bottle. You get almost as much of the hair mask as you do the shampoo/conditioner, and I can tell you- it's a LOT of product. I can't imagine anyone using this up very quickly unless you have massively thick hair down to your butt. 

Arvazallia claims that this a salon quality treatment that will transform the texture of your hair, making it soft, silky and shiny. (The 3 S's everyone wants their hair to have!) It deeply conditioners, detangles, hydrates and revives dull, dry hair while improving the shine and manageability.
I think my one gripe about this product is that while the Shampoo and Conditioner had a foil seal over their openings, the hair mask didn't. I just unscrewed the cap and this is what I was looking at. It's weird to me since anyone could just open this up at anytime between it being packed and then arriving at my door. I also really despise hair products that come in large jars like this. The last thing I want to do in the shower is open a jar and try to avoid getting a bunch of water into it, while digging my fingers into it to pull enough product out to saturate my hair. Not enjoyable. I much prefer hair masks to come in squeeze-tube. It just works so much better for me!

Either way, this stuff is magical. Seriously. If you don't believe me, check out the hundreds of reviews on Amazon! I wouldn't have believed it myself, but it really does what it says it will. My fine hair would not be able to handle a mask like this often or in large quantities, but I used this once a week for 2 weeks and after only one use I could see a major difference in the quality of my hair.
Those rough, dry ends I mentioned earlier were completely smoothed out. My hair was soft and shiny, and of course smelled amazing! I can't say for sure if the mask is doing the work on it's own, or if the amazing results are because of the trio of products working together. Either way, my hair is soft, shiny and so much less frizzy and dry than it was before trying this line!
I'm going to continue to use the Arvazallia products until I'm scraping the bottoms of the containers. As lovely as my hair looks, I cannot say if I would repurchase these because they're a bit pricey for me, and I'm more focused on using my Nioxin products right now, which are made specifically for thinning hair. Getting my hair's thickness back is my major concern lately. Having said that, I have already raved about these products to my mom and my friends- they really are fantastic for all hair types, and I can imagine they would work even more beautifully on thick, damaged hair.

If you're looking for sulfate/paraben free hair care that does what it says it's going to do, Arvazallia is something you need to pick up. Trust me, I was more than skeptical at first- I almost didn't even bother to use them. I was going to pass them on to my roommate who has super thick hair because I was too afraid of getting the heavy greaseball on my head. I could not be more impressed with this line, and I highly recommend checking out some of the reviews on Amazon as well so you can see I'm not the only one who is loving this stuff!

Where to Buy

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Wantable Accessories March 2015 Review and Unboxing

It's definitely not a secret that Wantable is my new obsession. I love that there is absolutely NO risk in being subscribed to this box. If you want new accessories tailored perfectly to you, pay the $40 a month and get this box! If you hate everything you receive, return it for free and get a full refund. Or just return one thing...it doesn't matter! It doesn't get any better than that! The only downfall is wanting to keep everything and not being able to afford it! Luckily if you are short on money that month you can skip the box entirely! While I've heard some mixed reviews on Wantable's other boxes, I cannot for the life of me imagine why everyone wouldn't be subscribed to the Accessories box!

I really wanted some gorgeous bohemian necklaces this month, and of course was crossing my fingers for some new sunnies. I have boxes full of sunglasses, but I always feel like I need more. It's a sickness, I'm telling you!

The Details
(feel free to skip this section if you're already familiar with Wantable!)
Wantable offers a variety of different subscriptions, each one of them costing $40 per month. There is a way to make the price lower, which I will explain later.
The boxes that Wantable currently offers are Accessories, Makeup, Intimates and Fitness. You are able to subscribe to one or all the boxes on one account if you so choose!
Wantable is much different from other subscriptions in that it's completely customizable and risk-free. You take a profile quiz to tell the stylists exactly what you want or don't want based on a "Love, Like, Don't Want" scale. They will never send you something you have marked as "don't want." If you hate necklaces, you'll never get them. If you are tired of getting red lipsticks in subscription boxes, you can simply tell wantable you never want them. Problem solved! You can take the profile quiz as many times as you want- so if one month you want to get socks and bras, but don't want any the following month, simply change your preferences! It really is that simple!

Returns
Here's what makes this a really interesting experience: You can return your entire box if you're not happy with it. Even better? You can return or keep as many or as few items as you want! Not only do you get to tell them exactly what you like and don't like, but you can return anything you're not really into- or even return the whole box for a full refund!
  You can start the return process on their website and be done in just minutes. You're able to see how much credit you will receive for the item you're returning, and then you can print out a return label free of charge. Then simply stick the item(s) in the box everything came in, tape the label to the box and leave it outside for the mailman!

$4 Credit for Keeping Everything
If you decide to keep everything in your box, Wantable will reward you with a $4 credit, which you can put toward your next box, making it only $36. This way, you're rewarded for keeping your products, however you also get credits or a refund for anything you return. You really can't go wrong!

Canceling/Skipping
There is nothing I hate more than a subscription box that doesn't have a way to cancel easily and quickly! As if Wantable couldn't get any better...they allow you to cancel your subscription with one click on their website. If you don't want to cancel, but would rather skip a month or two, they also have a "skip" button available. Awesome!

Let's Dig into my March Accessories Box!
YES! Sunnies! The first thing I pulled out of the box was these Alicia Sunglasses ($14). I love tortoise shell sunglasses, and I love them even more when they're red! The nose piece on these is really unique and looks super trendy. I'm already obsessed with these and cannot wait for the warm weather to get here so I can rock these all day!
Verdict: KEEP
The next item I pulled out was the Val Necklace in "Gold" ($23). Now I totally understand this might be hideous or totally not the style of a lot of people, but I cannot tell you how in love I am with this necklace! I love how it has an Egyptian-vibe to it, but it has all the pastel beads that make it absolutely perfect for spring. I feel like this could go with a simple t-shirt and make it look amazing!
Verdict: KEEP
I have Necklaces marked as "Love" on my profile, so I'm absolutely fine with them sending me more than one! This is the Jessie Necklace in "Gold" ($26). I like the idea of this necklace, and I understand why it was included in my box, but there's something about the beads and the gold dangly bits that I just don't like. The beads look and feel like ones that a little kid would have in a jewelry-making kit, and the gold pieces that hang down would not sit flat and just look kind of messy. Overall this necklace is just way too "busy" for my taste.
Verdict: RETURN
Finally, I received this lovely pair of Lexia Earrings in "Gold" ($14). These pretty filagree earrings fit y profile perfectly, in that they're are gold, bohemian in style, and not too over-the-top. Having said that, I jus could not decide whether or not to keep these. I usually wear my hair down, so I like earrings that sort of hang a bit lower so they're noticeable. These kind of got lost in the waves of my hair and I couldn't see them very well. They are super pretty though, I just don't think I would wear them enough to justify keeping them.
Verdict: RETURN
Overall Thoughts
I paid $40 for this box and it has a total retail value of $77.
While I am returning 2 of the 4 pieces from this collection, neither one of them were necessarily bad. I just didn't love them enough to keep them, and that is what makes Wantable so fantastic. All I had to do was stick them in the box they came in, print the label right off the website and stick it on the back. Done and done! Having said that, I am over-the-moon about the 2 pieces I am keeping! They are absolutely perfect for me, and I don't think I could have found the necklace anywhere else- it really feels like a discovery piece, and I'm super excited to have it in my collection! Overall I'm very pleased with my box this month, and I think Wantable did an excellent job with the curation and sticking to my likes and loves on my profile. I think this is one of the boxes I most look forward to each month because everyone gets something different- you really never know what is going to be inside!


If you'd like to learn more about Wantable or sign up for one of their boxes, you can do so HERE.
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Love With Food Deluxe Box Review and Unboxing (Plus Free Box Offer!)

I have been SO impressed with my Deluxe Love with Food box! I got a 3-month subscription for a deeply discounted price, and I am so hooked on it that I intend on renewing as soon as it's up! I think it's a fantastic value, and it's always filled to the very top with bags and bags of snacks and treats! It's an adventure digging through this box every month with my fiance and trying everything together!

The Deets
Love with Food is a $10 a month (+$2 shipping) subscription box that features 8+ organic and/or all natural snacks delivered to you monthly. For every box sold, they donate a meal to a food bank in an effort to support the end of child hunger. I think it's an absolutely wonderful cause and makes me feel good about subscribing to them!
Love with Food also offers a Deluxe Box which is the one I will be reviewing this month. The deluxe boxes cost $19.95 per month (free shipping) and features 16-20 snacks. It seems like the deluxe boxes are double the amount you get in the regular box, plus a few extra goodies.
They also have a Gluten Free box available for anyone that might be interested!

Get a Free Box!
 Love with Food offers new subscribers their first box for free! (You just pay $2 shipping) and you can cancel at anytime with the quick click of a button on their site. If you want to try one out for yourself, you can do so by using THIS LINK.

This month's theme was "Healthy Grocery Girl" and it contained 12 different snacks.
 We invited Megan Roosevelt, Founder of Healthy Grocery Girl and plant-based registered Dietician, to offer us a little advice. The result, this amazing box! Junk free? You bet. And if that isn't enough to make your day a bit brighter, remember that every box purchased helps feed needy children. We'll Snack to that!
 Bare Snacks: Fuji Apple Chips
I have tried these apple chips numerous times in the past and I absolutely love them! There are 3 apples in every bag, no added sugar salt or fat, and they are incredibly crunchy, sweet and satisfying! This is truly one of my favorite snacks and I'm very excited to have another bag- I had forgotten about these so I'm glad to have the delicious reminder!

Beanfields: Bean & Rice Chips in "Ranch"
I couldn't find these anywhere on my info booklet, so I'm assuming they were just an extra snack thrown in. Not complaining over here! I've seen this brand around the snack box circuit but this is my first time trying them. I think they're an excellent alternative to corn tortilla chips! They have a crunch, although an ever-so-slightly different texture than a typical tortilla chip. The Ranch flavor on these was fantastic. I did find these have a subtle aftertaste that is kind of like a raw bean, but I guess that's to be expected considering that's what they're made of!
 Good Boy Organics: Sea Salt Bops
These are organic, gluten-free and non GMO baked potato snacks. They have 65% less fat than potato chips and are oven baked. They taste a bit like a Baked Lays chip if you've ever had those. I quite liked these, although Jeff said they had a "weird flavor." Definitely worth a shot if you are addicted to chips like everyone in this house!
479 Degrees: Simple Sea Salt Popcorn
This is non GMO popcorn made with nothing else but a touch of sea salt and sunflower oil. I used to be one of those girls who needed a pound of butter slathered on my popcorn, but lately I've really been enjoying the flavor of popcorn as it is. These are very lightly dusted with sea salt- not enough to be overpowering, but enough to catch it whenever you crunch on these. Very simple, but quite delicious!
180 Snacks: Cranberry Pomegranate Clusters
This is a bag of little clusters of nuts and seeds, along with puffed rice, dried cranberries and pomegranates. I think these might have been my favorite snack in the box- crunchy and sweet! If anyone remembers those popcorn balls from when you were a kid that were dipped in a colorful candy coating- these reminded me a lot of those for some reason!

Fruigees: Fruit Snack in "Nothing Beets Cherry"
I admit it: I was a chicken and didn't want to try this. I'm not a huge fan of squeezing a snack out of a bag and into my mouth for some reason. Little known fact about me: I have OCD, and one of the things I have issues with is the way I eat food. Everything has to be eaten a very specific way, and anything with an applesauce or yogurt consistency has no business being in a squeezable bag with a spout! haha. I handed this off to my roommate who was happy to try it out. He said he couldn't taste the beets in it at all, and that it tasted more like sweet cherry applesauce. I bet these would be a great snack for kids!
Manitoba Harvest: Hemp Hearts
Sigh. These dang Hemp Hearts haunt every single snack box that ends up in my mailbox, I'm telling you! These really aren't awful-tasting or anything..but after eating a few, they just start to taste like grass to me. It's recommended to put these into yogurt, salads, sandwiches etc, but to me that would be ruining a perfectly good meal with little pellets that taste like grass. No thanks. Passing on these!
Two Moms in the Raw: Almond Butter Cacao Truffle
These "truffles" just broke my heart into pieces! I read the name of these and got so excited! Cacao! Truffle! Put it in my mouth! Except these taste absolutely nothing like you think they would. These are essentially little treats for anyone who eats a raw diet. They're made with almonds, agave, cacao and salt. They have a chewy consistency and decent almond flavor, but they definitely weren't for me. I think if you're already deep into a raw diet and appreciate these flavors, they might be worth checking out!
The Good Bean: Roasted Chickpeas in "Sea Salt"
I love Chickpeas, so I was  super happy to see these little bags! Chickpeas do have a bit of a crumbly texture when they're roasted rather than a crunch, but I still found these very satisfying! I think they'd be better in a trail mix of some kind with varying crunchy snacks, but overall I was happy with the simple flavors.
The Spice Hunter: Herbs De Provence
One of my Favorite Cooking Youtubers, "Entertaining With Beth" uses this seasoning often in her dishes, so I'm already a big fan. I used this particular packet by chopping up some red bliss potatoes into small chunks, coating them with a bit of olive oil and tossing in the Herbs De Provence and a few pinches of sea salt. Oh boy were they delicious!
Trujoy Sweets: Choco Chews
These chews are actually pretty dang hard right out of the wrapping, so I wasn't able to try them due to all the tooth issues I've been having lately! Jeff called them 'healthy tootsie rolls' in that they were similar in shape and flavor, although a bit less sweet and a bit more bland. He did like them, though! These are vegan, gluten free and organic, so if they still taste acceptable to someone who loves his candy, then I'd say they must be good!
Miracle Tree: Morninga Organic Tea in "Apple Cinnamon" and "Mint"
While tea always sounds fancy and relaxing to me, I can absolutely never get away from my coffee. If I had a choice between coffee or tea, coffee would win every single time. I have a massive tea chest filled with every tea you could imagine for when guests come over, and I think it's been over 3 years since I've had a single cup! While these both sound delightful, I admittedly snuck them right into the tea chest to be discovered by a guest next time they stop by!
Overall Thoughts
First of all, for $19.95, the Deluxe box is a no-brainer. I absolutely love getting such a huge variety of snacks each month. Love with Food is one of those subscriptions that I call a "discovery subscription." They provide an ample amount of the product so that I can get a good idea of my opinion, and they also offer larger sizes for purchase on their website. It's like the Birchbox of snack boxes because they also offer a points system when you review the snacks in your box each month. Once you have enough points, you can cash them in for snacks in their shop. Good deal! What makes the deluxe box even better is that you have more snacks to review, which means more points to spend!
This particular Deluxe box wasn't as awesome for me as last month. I really love healthy snacks, but I also love chocolate and kettle cooked potato chips! There was a bit of indulgence missing in this box, I think. Having said that, I think this was a good theme to do, especially if people are looking for healthy alternatives to their favorite junk food snacks! I'm incredibly happy with this service and cannot wait to get next months box!

Don't Forget!
If you're interested in trying Love with Food, you can get a free box (just pay $2 shipping) when you use THIS LINK.
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015 Review and Unboxing

The Walmart Beauty Box is relatively new.  Their first box was back in the Fall, and it was actually pretty nice for the $5 price tag.  I decided to subscribe to this service mostly because it's only $5, but there's also another pretty important reason! As a blogger, I get end up with a LOT of beauty product all over the place, and I rarely get to browse the beauty section at my local drugstore/big box stores. The Walmart Beauty Box is  great for me because it keeps me in the loop a bit about any new or interesting products at drugstore level. I think $20 for 4 boxes of samples each year is a pretty good investment to help me figure out what I'm interested in trying out!
The Walmart Beauty Box is actually "free", except they charge $5 for shipping. So really, I like to look at it as $5 per box since most subscriptions don't charge for shipping. Rather than releasing boxes every month, the Walmart Beauty Box is released once per season, or 4 times a year. Everything included in the box will obviously be available for purchase at Walmart, so I wouldn't expect any high end brands in here. 
This is the Spring box, so I was hoping for a pretty pink lipstick or some bright-colored eye makeup to help me forget about the mounds of snow outside my window!
 Rimmel Lash Accelerator in "Black"
I have had really great luck with the Rimmel mascara's I've tried in the past, and one of my favorites in particular is the Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara. This one seems to be the regular Lash Acccelerator, minus the "Endless" part. Not entirely sure what the difference is other than the packaging, but I'm always excited to try a new drugstore mascara. I find that some of them work even better than the high end ones I've tried, and for a fraction of the cost!

Dove Go Fresh Body Wash in Mandarin & Tiare Flower
I actually really love Dove body washes, and this is a scent I have not yet tried before. I think I was secretly hoping to get the Pistachio and Magnolia scent because it's one I thought would smell terrible, but when I sniffed it in the store, I fell in love with it! I still haven't picked it up because I'm trying to burn through my seemingly endless stash of body wash, but I think I've lusted after it long enough to finally admit defeat and go buy it. This scent is also quite nice, but I think I like the Pistachio one more!
Lady Gaga: Fame Perfume
I normally don't like getting perfume samples in subscription boxes, however since this one is only $5, I'll let it slide. The kind-of-lame thing about this perfume is that it's kind of old news. This perfume launched back in 2012, so I'm not entirely sure why it's ending up in my Spring 2015 box. Since I signed up for this box to try new drugstore products, this is kind of a let down. It's honestly not a bad scent at all, a little fruity, a little warm, I don't find it something I would wear regularly.

Neutrogena: Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena tends to have pretty mild cleansers, although I haven't tested the pH of this one. I have so many cleansers in my stash currently, that I thought it would be better to just pass this on to someone who might like to try it rather than squeeze any out of this small tube just to pH test it. It's a small sample, but it's just enough to allow you to figure out whether or not you like the product.
Schwarzkopf: Essence Ultime Omega Repair and Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner
I have used Schwarzkopf hair products in the past, and I've actually had really good luck with them. They tend to have a very distinct scent that I've described in the past as a "generic beauty shop scent." It's hard to put my finger on it, but you'd either really like it, or really hate it. I'm in the "really like it" category, although I' not entirely sure that this line is right for my hair type. It's for damaged hair, and it's supposed to repair and moisturize. I do have damaged ends, but my hair is super fine and thin, so anything that says "repair and moisturize" on it usually means "greasy and weighs hair down" for me, personally. I find it kind of odd that this product was "developed with Claudia Schiffer." What does that mean, exactly? Did she feel the need to create her own haircare product? Is she just a spokesperson? Who knows! I will say that for sample sizes, these are pretty substantial.
The Walmart Beauty Box also seems to include a handful of pillow packet and foil samples, which I'm always open to receiving in a box this inexpensive. The Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion packet is actually really large- about twice the size of an average foil packet. I have the Olay in-shower body lotion and I absolutely love it. You essentially apply this lotion to wet skin while you're in the shower, rinse it off and then hop out and dry off-that's it! I love this type of product for those days when I'm in a rush and don't have time to use lotion- it definitely cuts down on my getting ready time in the morning. I'm excited to see how well this one works in comparison to the Olay version. Also included were samples of the Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless Foundation and the Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream. Firstly, the foundation is actually in my shade (I'm mega pale), so I'm kind of excited to try it! I really need to find a foundation that helps hide my gigantic pores, so if this does the trick, I'll be thrilled. It's interesting to see companies that are popular in the US finally starting to release sleeping packs, or as they call it a "Sleeping Cream." I love seeing products that are already standard in Korean skincare start to emerge in the US market. I'm very interested to see how this stacks up to my favorite Korean sleeping packs!
The Walmart Beauty Box does NOT shy away from coupons, and I am super grateful for that! Not only did the foil packet samples have coupons attached, but there were even more coupons included for Olay and L'oreal, as well as some higher-valued coupons for Schwarzkopf Hair color and styling products.
Overall Thoughts
While the Walmart Beauty Box is not going to bowl you over with it's insanely high value, I think it does exactly what I want it to do, and that's provide me with a variety of samples and coupons for drugstore products. I don't really think the products inside are ever really geared toward the season unfortunately, as I don't think that any of these products really scream, "Spring" to me. Even so, $5 per quarter is incredibly affordable. So if you're someone who can't afford to get a lot of subscription boxes, this one might be a fun one to try, especially since it's only 4 times/$20 per year. I think getting 4 samples, 1 full size product, 3 foil pack samples and lots of coupons is more than worth the cost of the box for me!

The next box coming out will be the Summer edition, and will be shipping sometime in June.
If you're interested in signing up for the Walmart Beauty Box, you can do so HERE.

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

K-Beauty Blog Hop Week #20

K-Beauty Blog Hop

Welcome to the K-Beauty Blog Hop!

The K-Beauty Blog Hop is a weekly chance for bloggers to share their favorite posts about Korean makeup, skincare, and subscription boxes. Want to share you latest Memebox unboxing? A recent order from Beauteque? A product review, coupon code, or giveaway? All those posts are welcome here.

This Week's Featured Post:

Charlotte's Web: How to Make Your Own Sheet Mask

 

Hosted By:

K-Beauty Blog Hop Rules

1. Follow host blogs via Bloglovin', E-mail, Facebook, or some other form of social media.
2. Add a direct link to your blog post below. Don't just link your blog address. We want to visit a specific post that you'd like to see more interest in.
3. If you submit a link, please visit at least two other links and leave a comment. Use hashtag #kbeautybloghop so others will know that you're part of the blog hop.
4. Feel free to also pin, share, and retweet links to blog posts you find interesting or helpful. Want to link up to our post? Feel free to use the button below.
kbeautybloghop
5. Make friends and find great content from other bloggers!
Each week, a post will be selected and featured in the following week's link-up. This post will be chosen by the hosts.
The Blog Hop Link-Up will be active each Friday from 8 am Eastern until Sunday at 11pm. Be sure to check in each week and link up your posts.


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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tonymoly Panda's Dream So Cool Eye Stick Mini Review

Every now and then when I'm hunting down my latest and greatest kbeauty finds, I will be tempted. Not by a product that I've heard loads of excellent reviews on. Not even by a product that I necessarily need. Scrolling through pages of untapped beauty waters, I will see it: unbearably adorable packaging.
It's nearly impossible to resist. Who cares if it's filled with million dollar eye cream or bubble gum? The fact is: it's cute. Really cute. And I must have it.
The Tonymoly Panda's Dream line has been around for a little while now, but only during my last trip to Rose Rose Shop did I finally decide to pick up the So Cool Eye Stick. That adorable panda face was enough to make me add it to my cart, but I had to wonder if the product housed inside was actually worth it!
This is referred to as a "portable eye serum", but I'd have to say it's simply a twist-up moisturizing stick for the eye area. 
I find that these "eye-sticks" are pretty common with kbeauty brands and western brands alike, but admittedly the packaging is what drew me to trying this one in particular! I have a recent growing obsession with pampering my eye area, and while I use eye masks first thing when I wake up, I've noticed that as I've gotten older the skin around my eyes tends to get dry throughout the day. Having an eye stick like this to stick into my makeup bag is awesome, because I'm able to slide this on right over my concealer/foundation etc and it returns some moisture to my dry under eye area, and even helps smooth out any concealer that may have caked up a bit over the course of the day.

Description
Instantly cool and de-puff tired eyes while minimizing the appearance of fine lines with this multitasking eye stick. Infused with nourishing and hydrating bamboo extracts, this serum cools and soothes skin around the delicate eye area while it hydrates.
This stick sort of feels gel-like when you glide it across the skin. It does have an immediate cooling effect, although it doesn't last very long after application. It has a faint fresh/floral scent in the tube, however it's relatively non-existent once applied. It glides on smoothly and doesn't pull or tug at my under eye area, which I can appreciate!

Beneficial Ingredients
-Niacinamide: Supports anti-aging and increased collagen.
-Adenosine: Smooths the appearance of fine lines.
-Bamboo Extracts: Hydrate and nourish the skin.
-Sea Water: Hydrates and cools the skin.

Ingredients
Water, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Alcohol, Xylitol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Glycerin, PEG-8, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Niacinamide, Sodium Citrate, Dimethicone, Potassium Alginate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Actinidia Arguta Fruit Extract, Sea Water, Bambusa Vulgaris Shoot Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Sap Extract, Glacier Water, Fragrance, Adenosine, Steareth-20, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, CI 42090, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tropolone.

Even though there are some beneficial ingredients included in this eye stick, I can't say I noticed a miraculous difference in the health or appearance of my under eye area. While this product has many anti-aging claims, I don't find it to have any effect on the fine lines around my eyes. 
Having said that, this is something that I would consider purchasing again in the future for one reason: it does a great job re-moisturizing the skin under my eyes. I find that I use this product 1-2 times a day to help smooth out my concealer or get some moisture back around the eyes. While I feel like this has been working well on my parched skin during the winter, I also think this would be a great addition to a beach bag, as it would probably feel very soothing on irritated under eyes after a day in the sun. This isn't going to work magic around your eye area, but it certainly is a cute way to give yourself a quick and portable moisture boost!

Where to Buy:
Urban Outfitters ($13)
   BeautyNetKorea ($8)
TesterKorea ($7.07)
RoseRoseShop ($5.94)
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PopSugar Must Have Box March 2015 Review and Unboxing

 I'm usually obsessed with the PopSugar Must Have Box on a scary level. I sit on the makeuptalk forums debating with other ladies on what is going to be in the box each month, and we all wait with anticipation to see the first spoiler. We pick apart each item and whether or not the curation is up to snuff. I'm almost always impressed and my feelings are almost always positive. I'll cut right to the chase: this month was a massive, stellar let-down for me. I always hope that the boxes that come on my birthday month are extra special, which is silly, I know. It was just an epic let down to open my favorite subscription box to find almost nothing I was remotely interested in.

The Deets
PopSugar Must Have Box is a subscription that sends you full size "must have" items from all areas of interest: fitness, beauty, skincare, home decor, books- you name it! You never know what is going to show up in these boxes, and that's why they're always so much fun to recieve! 
PopSugar costs $39.99 per month, however you can save more by buying a longer subscription, or if you gift yourself a box each month, you can use the frequent coupon codes they have available (usually monthly) that range from $5 off ( use code: REFER5), to sometimes up to $20 off on rare occasions!
Each month, Lisa Sugar (PopSugar's Founder) will put all of the things that inspired the box on the info card. 
This month was inspired by: 
Renewal, Citrus, Spring Break, Fresh, Traveling

Samudra: Pink Pina Zip Pouch ($40)
 I had to show this beauty off as the first item because I am still in absolute disbelief over this thing. First off, it's made of the thinnest, cheapest see-through pink plastic of all time. It reminds me of those drawing pads from the 80's that looked like this:
As a matter of fact, I would be willing to bet that this pouch is actually made out of that same pink plastic. Here's the kicker: This cheap plastic pouch has a retail value of forty. dollars. I don't even have words. If this was included in the box and had a value of say, $5 or heck, even $10, I would have been a lot less harsh regarding my intense dislike for this thing. But because it took up $40 of the overall box value, the rest of the box seemed to suffer.
 Here's a very quick picture to show you how big the pouch is- everything in the box this month can be stuffed inside, although not zipped up. It could probably hold an iPad or a book easily. If I wasn't so blinded by my hatred for it I would say it could be a cute little bag to take to the beach to hold some beauty products and a good book.

Wet Brush: The Squirt ($5)
 I'm usually fine with PopSugar including lower-value products or things you can find at the drugstore, as long as there are nice, more luxury or boutique brand products to offset it. This $5 brush is not something I feel like fits in a PopSugar box unless it's an "extra" like they've done in the past with drugstore or low-end products. This is a wet brush, which has special bristles that make it more gentle on wet hair. I'll give them credit and say that this is a nice travel-friendly brush to take on vacation or to the beach and it fits with their overall theme, but it's not very appealing to me personally. I'll be passing this on to someone who might enjoy it.

 Greenmarket Purveying Co.: The Archivist Lemon+Cucumber Reed Diffuser Kit ($20)
 This reed diffuser is pretty much the only thing in the box that I was very happy with. I think diffusers are a bit overdone and kind of past their prime in regards to their popularity, but a really nice-looking one can be a classy inclusion to a gift or a subscription box. This one has a lovely scent of cucumber and lemon. I put this on my dining room table and within an hour, my entire house smelled of it! The scent does die down within a few days, but it's still pretty apparent in whichever room you decide to put it in. It's a very fruity scent that kind of reminds me of candy, but it puts me in the Spring/Summer mood, which is a good thing!

Bliss: Micromagic Microdermabrasion Treatment ($48)
 This is a pretty expensive product from a popular brand, so I can see why they would include something like this, however it seems like there are mixed emotions regarding this product with PopSugar subscribers. This is your basic "microdermabrasion treatment" which is essentially a facial scrub that has incredibly fine granules in it rather than big, rough particles. It's used to smooth and soothe the skin, and is best used about once a week. Having said that, many people have decided not to use this product because it contains quite a few parabens. They are listed at the very bottom of the ingredients list, so there's a very tiny amount going on here, however you might want to skip this if you're avoiding parabens all together in your beauty products. I've done my research and honestly, my feelings on parabens are: avoid them if you can, but it's not a huge deal if they are in small amounts. I was going to pass this product on at first, but I'm actually interested to see how it works for my skin.

Knock Knock: What to Pack Pad ($7)
 While this product is pretty cute and serves the travel theme of this box well, it's just not something that is very practical for most people. This is essentially a note pad that has a little checklist that you can use when you're packing to go on a trip to make sure you have everything. I feel like this list is a little too generic to be efficiently used for everyone. "makeup" is not detailed enough of a check point for me. What if I forget eyeshadow, or mascara but remember everything else? Also, who travels enough where they need an entire pad of these checklists? I can count on one hand how many times I've traveled in the last decade! This is a cute idea for a travel-themed box, but I'll be giving this to my sister who travels a lot more often than I do!

Halfpops: Halfpopped Popcorn in "Chipotle Barbeque" ($1.69)
PopSugar very regularly includes a snack in their boxes, which I'm always excited to try! Sometimes they include full size bags of snacks, although this one is just a little sample bag. HalfPops are like the Naturebox "Pop Pops" snacks. They're essentially half-popped pieces of popcorn, so they have a bit of a light airiness to them, but also a bit of crunch from the kernel. These aren't as hard as a full-blown popcorn kernel, though. They're easy to chew, and actually pretty tasty! I thought this particular flavor was a little too intense for me, but I still think they're delish and would consider buying another bag in a different flavor.

SPECIAL EXTRA
Benefit Cosmetics: Roller Lash Mascara and POREfessional Deluxe Samples ($5)
PopSugar also regularly includes a "Special Extra" which is usually a sponsored product from a drugstore brand, a deluxe sample of some kind, or an edible. This month it was a cute little pink box from Benefit that included a sample of their new Roller Lash Mascara and their popular POREfessional primer. I've received the Roller Lash sample in my Sample Society box this month and have still yet to try it, but I'm happy to have another one in case I really like it! I use the POREfessional every single day on my nose. While I use a less-expensive primer on the rest of my face, I have incredibly large pores on my nose that are super-obvious even with foundation on. This primer does an amazing job camouflaging my pores without clogging them or making me breakout. I only need a tiny bit to cover my nose, so these small sample tubes last quite a while for me!

 Overall Thoughts
PopSugar Must Have boxes cost $39.99 per month, and the March box has a total retail value of $126.69.
While PopSugar always delivers an outstanding value, I can't help but notice that if this month's box didn't include the crappy $40 pouch or the Bliss face treatment, everything else in the box adds up to around $38. The value lessens even more when you consider $5 of it is coming from the special extras.
I'm not usually the kind of blogger that obsesses over "value" in subscription boxes, but I do want to feel like I got more than my money's worth when I get a subscription. I feel like that is kind of their big draw. You want to open the box and think, "Wow I can't believe I only paid $40 for this!" and not, "Wow what a waste of $40."
I still don't feel like I completely wasted my money on this month's box because whatever I don't like is definitely giftable. The only item I think will go at the very back of my closet is the pink pouch. I can't imagine gifting it to anyone, nor can I imagine myself using it often. 
Overall, this might be my least favorite PopSugar box ever, and I've been getting them for about a year and a half now. It's not a terrible box objectively, and I'm sure there are people that would love every item here- I'm just not one of them. 

April PopSugar boxes have a reputation for being pretty fantastic (last year we got a Too Faced Palette!), so I'm staying positive and hoping on a really amazing box next month to make up for this one. Don't let me down, PopSugar!

If you're interested in signing up for a PopSugar subscription, you can do that HERE.
(Use code REFER5 to get $5 off your first month!)

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.