Saturday, February 27, 2016

PopSugar Must Have February 2016 Review and Unboxing

I feel like a part of me is super sad because I wasn't able to review PopSugar once or twice over the past few months. It's one of my favorite boxes to review and hands-down my all-time favorite subscription box, so I love sharing them with you guys in review-form! Luckily, I forced myself to sit my butt down and WRITE even though it's the end of the month. I've still got time to pump some reviews out, right? Especially when it comes to PopSugar! :)
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. You can use the code (REFER5) to save $5 off your first box, currently!

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 the words:
Adoring, Hearts, Sexy, Indulgent, Confident.

Tilo: Heart Print Scarf ($125)
I believe we've received a Tilo brand scarf in a past box, and while I think they're really nice scarves, I don't think they're worth the projected value of $125. Nothing about these scarves makes me think that anyone would pay that kind of money for them. Having said that, I would probably pay $40 for this scarf! The heart pattern was exclusive to PopSugar so only subscribers will have this. Fun! I'm not usually a huge fan of heart prints, but since this is grey and white I think that it's understated enough where it could work nicely with a simple outfit!

Beautycounter: Nourishing Cleansing Balm ($50)
It seems that cleansing balms have finally become the new big thing here in the US, although most of us know Korean brands have been formulating an releasing cleansing balms and sherbets for a long time now! This one is by Beautycounter, who I'm not super familiar with. I think that it was packaged really beautifully in that it came with a wrapped muslin cloth and spatula along with the balm itself. I did read that this has alcohol in it, which confuses me for a $50 cleansing balm. Luckily my skin isn't negatively effected by alcohol so I will most likely use this anyway. The only bummer here is that I don't use balms that often because they take too long for me and I'm always looking for the path of least resistance with my skincare due to how many steps I have! I have considered passing this on to a friend even though I think it's a good addition to this box.

Victoria's Secret: Coconut Milk Hydrating Body Lotion ($18)
I haven't purchased or tried anything from the beauty product line at Victoria's Secret in a looooong time. I remember Love Spell being the scent to have in high school, but it sort of died out and got overplayed with time and people stopped caring so much about VS's beauty line. This is the first time I'm seeing this style packaging for the lotion and I think that it's really chic! I hate the little "bow" on the neck of the bottle though. Something about those things makes everything look less expensive in my opinion. Regardless of the packaging (sorry I'm obsessed with talking about packaging), the lotion is decent in terms of quality. It smooths on nicely and has a medium consistency, although it does take a little bit of massaging to have it absorb well. VS is known for their very strong scents and this is no exception, however I'm a huge fan of coconut milk scents so this works nicely for me!

Special Extras: $20 Gift Card and Sport Socks
I haven't had the chance to peruse a Victoria's Secret in quite awhile. There was a time when I was too large (around 320 pounds) to fit into any of their bras or clothing, and most of their beauty products were mediocre at best. Now that I've lost 134 pounds and counting, I am more than excited to take this $20 bonus card and buy myself some cute undies or a bra. I like that this was just a little extra and there are no strings attached to using the bonus card. It really is like a gift card rather than a $20 off of $50 or something of that nature. The bonus set of sports socks was also a nice bonus item!

JewelryStorm: Endless Arrow Ring ($28)
This is probably my favorite item in the box! I love dainty, gold jewelry and this fits that bill perfectly! It comes at around a size 5 (I'm guessing?) but it can put adjusted if necessary. I left it at the size it came in and simply wear it on my pinky, however I'm sure this could be worn as a midi ring or opened a bit more and worn on a larger finger. It has a hammered band that make it look really rustic and cute. I've been wearing this ring every day since I got it and there has been no wear and tear yet, nor has my finger turned green like so many other pieces of costume jewelry have done. I'm really impressed by the quality from JewelryStorm and I'm interested to check out more from them!

Fringe Studio: Hello Beautiful Square Tray ($14)
I own quite a few things from Fringe Studio; I have everything from fancy stationary to expensive dinner plates. Maybe I just like their style, who knows? Having said that, this is a shallow, square tray that can be used in a variety of ways. I know a lot of people were saying they weren't sure what to do with a tray like this, although I have these all around my room! I've purchased some metal ones from Urban Outfitters in the past and they work amazingly well for being catch-alls for small items. I have one by my bed where I line up a variety of different lip balms and glosses, I have one that holds my jewelry that I wore that day when I'm too lazy to put it away. I have another on the top of my bureau that holds bobby pins and extra plastic spatulas that I get from random skincare products. Seriously these little things are so useful and help with eliminating "little" product clutter!

Foodstirs: Heart Cookie Mix ($12.95)
I don't know much about Foodstirs, although I heard that they're a subscription of some sort that was cofounded by Sarah Michelle Gellar. I've also heard a lot of mixed reviews on their products, prices, shipping times etc, so I'm not sure I could exactly recommend them. What I do know, is that this little set was the perfect edible addition to this box. Not only do their cookies have no artificial ingredients, GMOs or preservatives, but this set in particular is also just super adorable. I'm wondering if boyfriend will want to bake these with me even though Valentine's Day is over!
Overall Thoughts
PopSugar Must Have costs $39.99 a month, and the November box has a total value of about $248. That value is insanely high and that is NOT including the $20 gift card and pair of socks from Victoria Secret since they are special extras. Having said all that, the scarf is valued at $125, which I personally think is the most overpriced scarf I've ever come across in my life. Even if you took that scarf out of the box completely though, the value would still be $120+ dollars. Because no one does value better than PopSugar, in my opinion!
Aside from my scarf value-issues (which have nothing to do with PopSugar btw) this box is really nicely curated. It think that it's nice that it wasn't too overly "Valentine's Day" themed, but the arrow ring and the heart scarf made it festive, yet classy. Also buying a cute new bra from Victoria's Secret and baking cookies with your honey bump it up a notch! Definitely another winning box from 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.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Beauteque Monthly BB Bag February 2016 Review and Unboxing

Wow, wow, woooow guys it's been awhile! I've got boatloads of reviews just waiting to be written in my drafts folder, I've got two new classes in school (cultural anthropology and sociology) that have been bogging me down with endless and overwhelming amounts of work, and I've got a really handsome boyfriend who accidentally seems to take up a lot of my spare time. On top of all that I'm still attempting to learn Korean- which you'd think having a Korean boyfriend who actually was born and lived in Korea would be helpful, but nope! He's a brat and doesn't speak Korean in front of me unless we're talking about food. I'm still trying to convince him to not be embarrassed about speaking Korean in front of me! Baby steps, I guess! 

But with all the new and wild stuff going on in my life, I'm still getting subscription boxes and they still need to be blogged about! It's awful when I feel like I don't have the time to blog, because the reason I started this blog had a lot to do with not having many people to talk to about my beauty product obsessions. That still holds true in my life, so it's always hard to not make an update in awhile where I get to talk about all the beauty bits and baubles that I get during the month! I'm hoping with time I'll get a better handle on my new life and schedule and the posts will start coming more regularly again. I hope you guys understand and stick around! 

Now that I've got that out of the way, let's talk about the Beauteque BB Bag for February, shall we? Beauteque is one of the online kbeauty stores that is based in the US, and also one that I have a had a very long-standing relationship with. So much so that I remember when they first launched their site! They've come a long way, and their subscription has (while having it's ups and downs) has been one that I've enjoyed for quite some time now!
Subscription Types (3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions are Prepaid):
1 Month (month-to-month) $24 per month
3 month $24 per month
 6 month $23 per month
12 month $22 per month
All subscriptions will auto-renew at the end of it's cycle so you never accidentally miss a bag!
You can also gift subscriptions if you want to surprise a lucky friend or family member!

-6 or more full sized products in every bag
-A value between $65 to $85+
-Makeup, skincare, and lifestyle products
-Products from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, America

Beauteque Beauty Bags ship to the US, Canada, and Europe.
-US shipping is $3.95 per month
-Canada shipping is  $5.95 per month
-Europe shipping is $8.95 per month
 Now that we've got the details out of the way, let's get onto the February Bag!
Exfoliating Brush ($25)
So anyone that has been subscribed to the BB Bags for awhile may have already received one of these in a very early bag. I happen to be one of those people, however I did enjoy it while it lasted so I'm fine with receiving this again. These brushes, while called "exfoliating" are actually incredibly soft and gentle on the skin. They do a really fantastic job clearing out pores and cleansing without being too stimulating or rough. My only major issue with these brushes is that they are hard to clean and dry.

Skinfood: Avocado Lip Balm ($9.99)
Subscribers could have received this particular lip balm, or the Skinfood Rose Essence lip balm. Since I have a major aversion to rose-scented items, I'm very pleased to have received the avocado one! This is a deeply hydrating balm that also naturally exfoliates dry skin. It doesn't have much of a scent or flavor at all, although there is a mild scent that I'm assuming is supposed to be avocado? I'm not a huge fan of potted lip balms because I hate sticking my finger in them to apply, however this one is actually quite nice so I think I might make an exception for it and use it when I wake up in the morning and my lips are feeling parched.

Scinic: Honey Banana Cleansing Foam ($12.99)
Scinic is a brand that Beauteque introduced me to through their subscriptions, and I have to say I've enjoyed everything I've tried from them so far. This cleanser is hydrates and smooths skin with nourishing banana and honey extracts. I'll admit that I haven't even cracked this open yet because I tend to be iffy with cleansers. If this has a decent pH (anyone test it out yet?) I might keep it and give it a try. If it smells like bananas and honey, then I'll definitely hold onto it. Even if the pH is a bit too high for me personally, I know my mother would love to use this!

Lador: Sleeping Clinic Ampoule ($4)
What I really love to see in subscription boxes is something I don't already have a zillion of. Of course I love toners, cleansers and the like, but it's very rare that I receive something I don't already have 10 backups of.This Lador Sleeping Pack is not for your face, but for your hair! Coolness! It offers intensive care that repairs damaged tresses by conditioning them as you sleep. You simply apply to shampooed hair evently before bed. It doesn't need to be rinsed. I'm not sure if the hair needs to be wet to use this, though I'm assuming not as it also suggests it be used during the day if desired. I might give this a whirl soon because all the heat styling I've been doing lately has really fried my hair!

Anskin Remodeling Powder Mask ($19)
Anskin Ultimate Solution Modeling Activator ($5)
I know modeling masks have been popular for awhile now, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why. I barely have time to use a sheet mask, never mind mixing and applying one of these! I do have a few though that I have been telling myself I need to try out, so maybe I should carve out more time on the weekend to do some pampering modeling mask treatments! This is actually two products that are used together, so I'm talking about both of them at the same time. The Powder mask itself is the "purifying and revitalizing" variety. Essentially, you mix some of the powder mask along with the "activator" which is in the black package. It enhances the benefits of the mask according to Beauteque. It's made with sea water that is loaded with enriching minerals. This is just an added bonus product though, as you really can use simple water to mix these modeling masks. Just be sure to only add a very small amount of water at a time until you get the right consistency!
Overall Thoughts
Beauteque Monthly costs $24 (plus shipping) and this bag as a Beauteque Value of about $76.Granted that is with a $25 value on the exfoliating brush, which I think is a tad bit inflated. Having said that, I'm a little up in the air about this particular bag this month. I already enjoy the lip balm and I'm excited to try the hair sleeping pack, but the rest of the products were kind of mediocre for me. It's hard to please me with cleansers, and the brush wasn't too exciting as I had already received one in the past from Beauteque. Since they usually include 6 products, I was a little disappointed to find out that the "activator solution" that can only be used with the modeling pack was included as it's own item. I feel like it should have been included along with the powder modeling mask as "one" item. Even with the minor complaints though, I think Beauteque does a great job including popular and up-and-coming brands to their bags each month. Including a useful beauty tool is also pretty nice as long as it's high quality. Sometimes I feel like I've "seen it all" when it comes to kbeauty, however I still think this is a fantastic subscription for anyone just getting into it and wanting to expand their skincare stash a bit more with fun and interesting products!

If you're interested in signing up with Beauteque Monthly, you can do so HERE!
If you want to shop Beauteque's regular website for limited edition bags, and K-Beauty galore, you can check that out 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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kloverbox: February 2016 Review and Unboxing (Plus Coupon Code!)

Two of my favorite subscription boxes are PopSugar Must Have, and Kloverbox. There's no question about that. While PSMH has a higher price point and a bit more in terms of brand connections and sheer size, Kloverbox collects all the benefits of being the opposite. Not only does it cost less, but they focus on being Small and community-minded, working with independent artisans and companies, and spending time truly curating boxes and making them as cohesive as possible. You can tell that every single item that is put into a Kloverbox  has been given thorough thought, and that's what I truly love about this subscription. I've said this before, but it almost feels like a gift from a friend each month. If I were going to gift someone a subscription, Kloverbox would be it!

What is Kloverbox?
Kloverbox is a lifestyle subscription box that sends 4 or more natural and organic products for you to fall in love with each month. This isn't a beauty subscription. Kloverbox sends products from all categories: beauty, health, food and home products, so you can incorporate more natural products into every aspect of your life!

How Does It Work?
On the Kloverbox site, you can choose a 1, 3 or 6 month subscription. The one month and 3 month subscriptions automatically renew, which means you will be billed again once that cycle is over (monthly, or every 3 months.) The 6 month subscription is a one-time purchase; Meaning you will not be billed again once the 6 month subscription is over. This is a great option to gift to friends and family because you won't have to remember to cancel the subscription. The longer the subscription you choose, the more of a discount you get, which is also awesome!
Another really great thing about Kloverbox is that they usually include a coupon code on the information card for each product for that month. So if you really fall in love with something from your box, you'll be able to get more at a fantastic discount. 

How Much?
  A month-to-month subscription to Kloverbox is $25 per box.
 3 month subscription is $71.25 ($23.75 per box) 
6 month subscription is $135 ($22.50) per box. 
Shipping is free! 
You can save even more money by using the code "HB10" at checkout to save 10% off! This code can be used on any length subscription.

Theo Chocolate: Cinnamon Love Crunch ($3.99)
I feel like this was the absolute perfect product to put into a February/Valentine's themed box. Of course you need good chocolate, but this one is so festive with it's reddish pink wrapping! What kicks it up a notch is the cinnamon brittle mixed into the chocolate! I wasn't sure how I would feel about the cinnamon/chocolate mixture, but this is absolutely delicious. The cinnamon is present, but it's not too overpowering. The 70% dark chocolate is bitter (in a good way!) but not overly so. Definitely a winner for me!

Q. C. Naturals: Karen's Cleanser ($16.50)
I'm happy to see QC Naturals back in a Kloverbox! I really love this brand for their simple, yet effective skincare formulations that are also gentle on the skin. This particular cleanser is actually more of a natural take on a cleansing water. It contains rosewater that is infused with frankincense and geranium oils. It has a really nice, earthy scent so I will happily use this. I was a little worried when I read that it was made with rosewater, but I definitely don't smell a rose scent, which normally comes along with rosewater-based items. I've been really getting into cleansing waters lately because of how convenient and effective they are. While I don't use them on their own very often, I do buddy them up with a face wipe in order to get every last bit of makeup and dirt off my face. I can't tell you how many times I'm too lazy to get out of bed to do my skincare, so removing my makeup with a cleansing cloth and then swiping my skin clean with a cleansing water is really my go-to method!

Balanced Guru: Hug Me Body Butter ($19.99)
I vaguely remember that this was supposed to be in a past box and a few things got jumbled and something else had to be included in it's place. The great thing about Kloverbox is that they'll always let you know and keep you updated when it comes to product/shipping issues etc. They had promised this body butter would be in a future box, and here it is! This brand was originally introduced to me through Ipsy, and I have always loved the products I've tried from them. This body butter contains coconut oil, cocoa butter, babassu oil and vitamin E- which is essentially a cocktail for super hydrated and moisturized skin. This has a nice scent that is a little bit citrus, a little bit earthy. I absolutely love it. I've slathered this stuff all over my legs and elbows for the past few nights and it's working wonders on keeping them soft and hydrated!

Small Keys: Be My Valentine Handmade Soap ($5)
Finally, to close out the February box is this incredibly festive soap! Seriously how cute! Small Keys is an etsy store based out of North Carolina that not only make adorable cold pressed soaps, but also body scrubs, moisturizers, lip balms and more! What makes me really appreciate this company, is that the owner, Toni hand creates, cures and packages each of these products herself. I love to support women-run small businesses in particular, so I have a feeling I'll be making a purchase from the Small Keys etsy shop soon! This particular soap is made with a variety of essential oils, dark chocolate (yum?) white kaolin clay and Australian red clay.
Overall Thoughts
Kloverbox costs $25 per month (less when you purchase a longer subscription!) and the December box has a total value of $45.48. I personally think that this month's box was beautifully curated. My only minor complaint is the heavy use of beauty products and the lack of lifestyle items. I think a candle would have been absolutely perfect in a February box and would have pleased the lifestyle item fans like myself. Maybe next month? Regardless, I don't think there's a single thing that I don't love this month! While I don't use bar soaps myself, I know plenty of people in my life prefer them, so this is going to be a nice gift/surprise for one of them! I've already been noshing on the chocolate and loving the body butter! The cleansing water is something that I already know I'm going to love due to me already being obsessed with them in general! 
I think Kloverbox did a fantastic job capturing the essence of Valentine's Day without overdoing it and without making it tacky. Very happy with the product selection and the value as well!

If you want to sign up for Kloverbox (and why wouldn't you??) You can do that here!
Don't forget to use HB10 at checkout to save 10% off any length subscription!
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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.