FabFitFun: Spring 2016

Since I signed up in February, an off quarter month, I was shipped a Welcome Box.

In my Welcome Box, I received some of the customer favorites:
The CosmoBody Jump rope, a beautiful $100 necklace from Wren, Tibetan Goji Berry Anti Aging Eye Serum, Ear buds, Gorge Miracle Leave In hair product, etc. I  don’t really even like gold jewelary, but I LOVE my heart pendant. I don’t normally use Eye Serum, but an $88 full size tube, yes I will apparently like that…(champagne taste on a ginger ale budget).

 For the most part I liked my Welcome box, so I was eager to see what a full seasonal box would be like.

First off, I would like to say that when my Welcome Box shipped, I got an email right away telling me it had shipped. After I was charged for my March Box, I knew when my box was supposed to ship, but after  no email, I decided to write to FFF’s customer service to ask them to check on the status of my box, which they did and send me tracking number. I never did get my email that it had been shipped until the day BEFORE I received the box.

The first thing I noticed upon opening was the exploded product. I thought it may have just squirted out, which is no big deal, but further investigation proved that the bottle was completely cracked and leaking. I wrote to FFF’s customer service, and they are sending me a replacement free of charge. The product is Hello Legs, a shaving butter, which I was and still am excited to try out.

  Setting the busted product aside, I continued on my journey.

I was very excited to get the Kitchen Herb Garden Kit, which I had seen in the spoilers post of My Subscription Addiction.com. I received:
Kitchen Herb Garden Kit with basil, thyme and mint, BodiPure Keratin gloves and socks treatment, a yoga strap/exercise strap, Marrakesh Argan and Hemp Oil for hair, a $30 gift certificate to SterlingForever.com. a $25 gift certificate to  31bits.com, a bath bomb trio from Jus D ‘Amour, another gold plated necklace from a different company that has the word dream written on it, and probably my favorite item of the bunch, a contouring kit from ISH.
   I was very excited to get this contouring kit, because I had literally just visited Sephora days earlier for a lesson on what contouring is and how to do it, and had the woman write down the kit and colors she used, which I did not buy at the time. (She used SmashBox palette which is $45) I inquired abut contouring because when I go to DragonCon in September, I want to step my Ariel game up and have a flawless Disney look. I also plan on dressing as Poison Ivy one day, and had seen some impressive tutorials for contouring on pinterest for even contouring your cleavage. ( I know I don’t need any help in that department, but I’d like them to look flawless too when I get into my my Poison Ivy bodysuit).  I’m naturally a hair junkie, so this sleek and shiny hair oil with Argan oil and Hemp oil makes me pretty happy.  My mom worked in hair salons up until she passed away as a receptionist/inventory assistant, so I grew up in the salon environment from a young age, which is why I think I am obsessed with this particular niche of the services industry.  The smell of hair spray, nail polish and shampoo are equivalent to the smell of home for me. No body is more obsessed with their hair than me. I have been known to spend loads of money on shampoo and hair treatments.  This oil can be used on wet or dry hair, and I used it on wet hair the other day. It has an exotic hemp-ish smell, which isn’t bad in my opinion, but if your sensitive to strong smells I’d steer clear.  I noticed immediately upon  drying my hair, that it was sleek, straight and silky; almost similar to the way it feels after I use It’s a 10. I will definitely be using this as my new oil, and can’t wait to try it on my hair after I flat iron it.
  This  little mantra card was the sweetet. I am definitely going to have to read this every day, to remind myself of these things.  I can’t speak for the keratin gloves or socks yet, but I am dying to try them.
  I am really excited to try these bath bombs. I have not tried a bath bomb before, period. Once my bathroom is finished getting remodeled (hopefully soon), and I have access to my brand new tub, you can bet I’ll be trying these out.  Just checking them out in their packaging, they smell AMAZING.

Overall, the box had a value of over $250, which isn’t bad considering I paid $50.  I have said that if I get items in any of my subscription packages that I do NOT like personally for myself, I would put them aside and give them as gifts, because in all honesty the price of some of the items alone would make them decent gifts.  I am always looking for the quirkiest,  most unique gifts for people, and I love trying out new brands and products. I am interested in seeing how the Hello Legs product works out, and if it holds up to my favorite shaving cream. ( I get my favorite shaving cream from Trader Joe’s for a whopping $3.99, no joke. It’s smooth, doesn’t clog my razor, smells deliscious from the mango and honey in it, and moisturizes my skin so I’m not itchy or dry after).

The next seasonal box will be June, so I’ve got a couple months until the next delivery. I plan on trying FFF for the year, and after that if I find I really like it, I’ll keep it. If not, I will cancel and try a different subscription service.


Ipsy: March Bag Review

So, my first bag from Ipsy was a win. I loved the leave in conditioning hair item, I loved my lip gloss,  loved the  nail polish- the only thing I did not care for was the eye pencil and the under eye concealer.  Overall, I reviewed the items and the bag and was happy.  I even loved the pixel envelope design of the make up bag.

March was a bit of a let down for me.   I was excited to try the Illamasqua  liquid liner, and was pretty impressed at the buffer/file I received, but what was this toner stuff? The Make Up Forever Primer looks good, but I typically don’t use primer unless I am doing something where I am going to be photographed.

Below is a picture of my March Bag:

The Pixi by Petra blush is Rose Gold, what I have noticed as a predominant color this spring. Rose Gold is EVERYWHERE, and while I do love the color itself, I fear that the blush I received too light. I am pretty fair, and I used the darker shade of the duo, and really did not notice that much of a difference by itself. Maybe in conjunction with a contoured look it might work well, but that will have to be determined some other time.

The Illamasqua liquid liner in Jet Black looked promising; I absolutely love liquid eye liner, and eye markers, so this being a fine tip would be perfect for helping me achieve my ever sought after perfect cat eye. I attempted to line my eyes, after going almost a month without eye liner altogether (my right eye was being very twitchy, so I was giving it a break).  I had some issues with keeping my hand steady, and blinking, and that’s when I discovered just how smudgy this was.  I kept having to erase it, to try and make it match my other eye, and this stuff got everywhere.  When I finally got it to match ( the struggle is real), I happily went on with my day. I was delievering hoagies for a fundraiser with my grandmother, and then that night we were attending a community event together.  Before entering the event, I briefly checked my make up in the mirror and saw that despite my best efforts of not touching my eyes, the eyeliner had deteriorated and smudged.  I tried using it again when I just wanted a little definition around my eyes before going out to dinner,  and encountered smudge city.  I think the only way I will use this will be if I layer it over top of my eye marker I normally use, to deepen the pigment, but obviously it didn’t stand up to being what I had hoped.

The 28 Remedy skincare toner was new for me. I had never used Toner, and after some research I determined I was supposed to use it before applying my moisturizer or primer. I have used it to prep before using my moisturizer, and it seems to help it sink in better, but I don’t know if I will use it or any product similar to it again. I currently use Fresh’s Lotus Moisturizing with Super 7 Anti Aging, and while I paid $42 for it, and use it every day, I was much happier when I tried a sample of Philosophy’s Renewed Hope In A Jar ( which costs a whopping $47), and plan on purchasing that once my Lotus cream runs out.

I have not actually used the nail buffer/file yet, so I can’t comment on that.

I saw that Ipsy posted it’s spoilers for some items that may be in the April bag, and they look like a better batch to me, so hopefully it will be, since I wasn’t overwhelmed with March’s bag.

My Subscription Madness

When it was just JustFab and ShoeDazzle, I joined JustFab. All they had were shoes, which before I sprained my ankle for the last time, or the last trip I took down my stairs, seemed like a fun idea. $40 a month, and I can skip if I don’t want to be charged.  I bought a few pairs up front, then let my credits accumulate as I skipped the months, especially during the brief time of 6 months when I was unemployed. I took up a trial of The Honest Company a year or so after joining JustFab; it was free, I just paid for shipping which was $5. I loved the products but didn’t read the fine print. A month later after I unexpectedly quit a job I had left my cozy job for, I was charged $40. Because I didn’t change the date ( aka skip) I was charged for my Honest Bundle which was now a full size bundle of products instead of the little ones. After calling, I learned just like JustFab, I could skip. So I did. I regularly still use the subscription though, but only when I need the products, and it’s one less thing I have to get at the store.

Since I joined, both JustFab and The Honest Company have expanded their products. JustFab which originally offered shoes and handbags, offers shoes, handbags, jewelry and apparel such as dresses, shirts, pants, etc. they even partnered up with Kate Hudson for an athletic service called FabLetics. The Honest Company, who started out offering baby diapers and  vitamins, and a few house cleaning products now offers a wide variety of HBA items as well as baby items, and even have their own make up subscription service.

Subscription services have really exploded recently, and I had seen probably the most popular ones as ads on Facebook or Instagram.. BirchBox, Ipsy, FabFitFun, LoveWithFood, JapanCrate, and Nerd Block to name a few. My cousin got a year subscription to BirchBox for Christmas, and I thought to myself, I would like to try some of these subscription services.  But which was the best? Which one offered better products or samples? Which ones were the best in price and value? So I did my research. I asked friends on Facebook what services they used and how they liked them, I researched the boxes and read reviews people had given, and decided since I am phasing out my JustFab and using up my credits so I can close it ( since I no longer use it as much)  I can make room for some new ones.

(My February Ipsy Bag shown above)

I joined Ipsy for $10 a month, where I take a style quiz and 5 skincare, hair and makeup selection samples will be mailed to me in a cute makeup bag. This I thought would be a great way to try out products first,instead of buying them outright without knowing wheather or not I’d like them.  I also thought, since I mostly wear make up on occasion, one being cosplay; that I could potentially get a good bit of makeup I can then use for when I cosplay, instead of spending $100 at Sephora for 1 look alone.  You can see what I received in the picture above. Ipsy has offers on products, and if you review the products you can earn points to spend on the offers. I liked 3 out of my 5 samples which isn’t bad I think. I loved the nail polish, the lip gloss and the leave in hair conditioner ( which I kept meaning to buy at the store). It will be interesting to see how next month stacks up to this one in products.

I had been eyeing up FabFitFun for awhile. For $50 every quarter (March, June, September, December) you get a mix of items.  FFF intrigued me because all the reviews claimed it was one of the best box values out there, with each box containing at least $200 worth of product in a $50 box.  As with a lot of my “bigger” splurges, I tend to roll it over in my mind awhile before pulling the trigger. I joined My Subscription Addiction, so I could watch when boxes had deals and read reviews. I waited until FFF had a flash sale, and bought my first box for 50% off. That’s right $25. I read the fine print, and can cancel the subscription anytime and there is no cancellation fee.  After some thought I signed up in February, so it is in between months,and I missed the winter box, so I got the in-betweener box known as The Welcome box. My card which listed all my items claimed the total value of my box was $315.  I ended up getting a beautiful  14kt gold dipped necklace with a black sapphire chip that was valued at $100, which in my opinion is probably the item I was most surprised at. I typically don’t wear gold, but I love the necklace, and it is perfect. The other items I was surprised at, was the fancy $88 earbuds, and a full size under eye cream that retails for $88. I also got another leave in conditioner, this time a full size product (a different brand though), a full size nude colored nail polish by Zoya ( although I prefer the shade I got in my Ipsy bag better), a really cool jump rope from CosmoBody (a partner of FFF), and a organic protein shake (which I gave to Jeff, since it was chocolate).  I also got a $25 giftcard to Shoptiques, which I will definitely use. I will be getting a Spring Box in March, so I’m anxious to see what kind of products I wil be getting in the full size seasonal box.

I’ll definitely keep you guys posted, as I get more boxes I will be able o provide a better review of those boxes over a period of time.