Reviews of Products and/or Companies

My Favorite Subscription Box

Allure Beauty Box is, by far, my favorite subscription box. I look forward to receiving it every month and have been a subscriber for well over a year. It is worth the $15.00 I spend on it each month. As I received my August 2018 box today, I thought I would show you all the unboxing.

It comes every month just like this, but wrapped in plastic with a mailing label and the contents of the box are the same for everyone unless they have a special item where you can choose the color. There was a makeup forever foundation where an email was sent out to choose your personal color of foundation. Additionally, sometimes there are two products that may come in the monthly box. You will receive one of these two items and selection is random. You find out which one when the box arrives.

The box itself is EXTREMELY sturdy and I plan on making a makeup organizer out of the boxes I have collected because I found a DIY on this specifically. (Thank you, Asia for housing some of the most creative people in the world when recycling is involved.) The DIY I found was on a Korean webpage full of ideas for building things with cardboard and boxes. I will post pictures when I finally get around to completing this DIY as well as a link to the Korean page.

So, here we go….

Immediately upon opening, there is a booklet full of information about the products in the box that month and promo codes for every item.

It really is informative, especially when you have no idea what a product is for and cannot read the teenie tiny print on the packaging.

Sometimes there is an additional coupon inside of the box. This month it was a code for Breda. I have personally never heard of this company, but I will check it out. The coupon codes do expire. This one expires in October of 2018. Based on the image on the card, I am going to assume this is a watch company. On the back of the card, it states that the products come with a two year warranty and start at $70.00, which is nice information to have.

Everything inside is packaged with only paper as packing materials and I can easily compost this small amount of paper. As you can see, there are 6 products this month. (Normally it is 5, but I think the shampoo and conditioner are considered one product.)

Let’s move on to the fun part.

This is one of my favorite brands of eyeliner and their mascara is amazing (especially the sport formula, which is actually waterproof.) This particular eyeliner is a liquid with a marker type tip. It has a very fine tip, but thicker lines can be made easily with a bit more pressure. It is also truly smudge-proof. The color is pitch black and it is a really dark black. This is a full size product, which is $22 and available here.

Next up is a Laneige lip sleeping mask. I have this product already and I love it. It is meant to be applied before bed and worn overnight. However, I apply when my lips are especially dry or chapped as well as overnight. Its thick, not sticky, and smells amazing. It has a sweet, almost fruity scent and doesn’t taste like you smeared vaseline on your lips. I am thrilled to have another container because Fall is creeping closer. (I use it daily and the other container has lasted a few months because you don’t need much.) This is a deluxe sample, the full size is $20 and available here

Next up is a Laritzy Light Sticks. This is a highlight stick with a creamy texture. Again, a little goes a long way. As I am not a normal user of highlight, I will give this to one of the girls. The color is Halo.

It’s a really pretty color. I just don’t use highlight. This can be used as cream shadow, to lighten a lip color, and for highlights while contouring. It’s a multi-use product. This is a full size product, which is $24.00 and available here

Next up, is a Caudalie moisturizing sorbet. I had no idea what this was for exactly so, I turned to the booklet. It is a facial moisturizer. I am very familiar with the brand as I have received multiple products from this brand in my subscription boxes. Their eye creams are amazing. It has a slight floral scent and the moisturizer is almost a mix between a gel and a lotion. It goes on like silk and has a slight cooling sensation. (I don’t mean burning or tingling, but cooling.) It’s comparable to a cool cloth on a hot day. This is a deluxe sample. The full size is $39 and available here.

Next is a shampoo and conditioner set from Nexxus. This is the Keraphix Damage Healing line, which is loaded with keratin to help strengthen your damaged hair. It also has black rice included in the formula. These are deluxe samples (travel size) the full size shampoo is $12.99 for 13.5 ounces, the full size conditioner is $17.99 for 13.5 ounces, which is a reasonable price for professional formulas. These products both smell amazing. A slight, but not overpowering perfume like scent and the conditioner rinses clean from my hand without feeling slimy, which is a very good sign. I have never had an issue with Nexxus products and they have been used on my hair multiple times at different salons. This specific formula is aimed at severely damaged hair. As I color my hair regularly, any product that will help strengthen it is welcome. Nexxus is a salon formula and this is probably the only reason I am familiar with the brand. I am uncertain if the formula is paraben or sulfate free. The full size products are available here.

So, this is the August 2018 Allure Beauty Box. I am very happy with the product selection this month, as well as with the sizes of the products. I received 2 full size product and 4 deluxe samples (I am counting the shampoo and conditioner as separate products.)

If you want to try the Allure Beauty Box, you can save $5 on your first box and receive a free gift when you subscribe by going here. I do NOT benefit in any way from you using this link. However, you will benefit with your first box being priced at $10 instead of $15 and receiving a free mystery gift. (When I signed up many moons ago, I received a Doucce eyeshadow palette including a magnetic palette with a mirror and 4 shadows.) The August 2018 box is still available as of (August 14, 2018). So, if you want this box I have shown, you can still order it.

Until next time…

Reviews of Products and/or Companies

Fab Fit Fun Fall Box 2018 pt 1

I finally decided that this box needed to be ordered. I have done several subscription boxes, Ipsy, Birchbox, Allure Beauty Box, Beautycon (before they stopped doing boxes), Mask Maven, Beauteque Monthly, Boxycharm, Target Beauty Box, Walmart Beauty Box, and Sephora, but this one always seemed too good to be true. Every ad I see says up to $400.00 in every box, which is $49.99. I finally looked up the price for a tote that they had in the fall box, it was $128.00 on the designer’s website. This is far more than the $50.00 price tag for the box.

These boxes have always made me want to buy it, but this particular box has a bag from Vince Camuto. His bags are amazing with price tags of $100.00 and up. That’s more than I want to spend on a bag. That link above is the exact bag for the Fall 2018 box.

The box also includes a teapot or a French press, wireless earbuds or an umbrella, tea towels, a facemask, shower gel, face scrub, and eye cream.

Total value of the box is approximately $360.00 depending upon the options you choose. The bag is customizable and has even more customization options if you pay for a year in advance ($179.99 plus tax) Shockingly, this box also ships to Alaska and Hawaii for a small shipping fee per box. I believe it was $8.00, but I didn’t read it closely because I don’t live in Alaska or Hawaii. I will share my referral link, it gives you $10.00 off your first box and gives me $15.00 off my next box. That drops the price from $49.99 plus tax to $39.99 plus tax. I am honestly looking forward to the winter box. I have looked at this box several times and just never did it. Winter’s box always has fluffy stuff like scarves or blankets. It’s very Hygge (the closest definition for this I can give is cozy). Oklahoma gets brutally cold, not because of the temperatures, but the wind cuts right through you. So, I always love blankets scarves, sweaters and anything cozy.

When the box arrives, I will share oodles of photos. I am seriously excited about this subscription because EVERYTHING is full size, which is rare for most subscription boxes. Many are samples and deluxe samples. (I still love subscription boxes though.) I get excited when I opened the mailbox and see a subscription box because it is like a present each month or each season.

Beautycon was my very first subscription box and everything was full size. I fell in love with subscription boxes right then and there. I cancelled a few of my inexpensive subscriptions to justify paying for this one because I hate spending money on myself. Hubby told me to subscribe for a full year so, I did. I will post pictures for each season’s box. I strongly recommend subscribing only when you see a box you really want. If you want to know all of the options before subscribing, just ask. If you hate the tote, (it also comes in brown) they have two sets of makeup brushes as options as well. One is silver, the other is rose gold. I think the ability to choose is kind of awesome because sometimes you have too many purses or too many makeup brushes, too many lipsticks, etc. I don’t wear much brown and black matches with everything so, I went with the black tote.

I went with the teapot instead of the French press because I have a Keurig for coffee and don’t have the patience to deal with a French press when I want coffee. I’m sure it tastes better that way, but I am just not that functional in the morning. Tea is a different story. Tea has to steep a certain time to taste right and I love cute teapots. This one is just adorable. I went with the bluetooth wireless earbuds instead of the designer umbrella because I listen to music when I clean, when I paint, when I do pretty much anything. I have a set that has the hard plastic part that hangs around your neck like a headband would, but they take forever to charge and I am constantly forgetting to charge them. This set, has no hard plastic piece it’s a small wire, I guess, that hangs around your neck instead, they are lighter and more compact. Also, I am perfectly happy with the inexpensive umbrellas we already have.

I had a few more customization options because I paid for a year of boxes at once (4 boxes)

The next option was a choice of eye cream, bath salts, and a lipstick. I went with the bath salts. I have a plethora of eye cream and eye gel samples and full size products from my other subscription boxes and I adore soaking in the tub. I also have enough lipstick to paint an elephant a neutral color. I give excess lipstick to my daughter, my daughter in law, and my sons’ girlfriends. I always get neutral tones so they look good on everyone.

The next option was between a facial exfoliant, a cream cleanser, and a day cream. This one, I went with the exfoliant because I am never going to switch from my Oil of Olay for sensitive skin because it has never done me wrong. Plus, its inexpensive enough for me to easily afford it. This particular brand of day cream is $49.00 (um ouch) I couldn’t afford that every month and the face wash is the same price. (Again ouch) So, I went with the most expensive option, the exfoliant, which runs a whopping $67.00. Beauty is expensive. I don’t use scrubs daily so, this will last quite a while. (The brand is Grown Alchemist) Switching back to my regular scrub won’t cause issues because I switch between multiple brands and types already thanks to my other subscription boxes. Once every week I exfoliate, but sometimes it’s twice a week if I get particularly sweaty or wear particularly heavy makeup. As it is summer and temperatures are rather high, I haven’t been wearing makeup because I don’t like the feeling of the makeup melting off of my face. (Gross)

I don’t know much about the couple of other items that are supposed to come in the box such as the tea towels, the body wash, or the face mask (I know it’s a sheet mask.) I only saw those products in the original video advertisement, which showed the tote and I clicked the link. There is also a discount code for this box. The code is FALL. It gives you $10.00 off the box. If you don’t want to use my referral link, I want you to still get $10.00 off of your box. I don’t want anyone to have to pay full price for their first box. I used the code FALL because it was listed in the advertisement. So, I know it works.

So, I am excited about this box and even more excited about the Winter box because I know it will have super cozy stuff inside. I will let y’all know as soon as I know, what is in the winter box. I will also let y’all know what the customization options are for each season. Also, in addition to customizing, you have the option to get both options for an additional fee. The earbuds or umbrella were not available when I subscribed, but I could have added the Frech press for $10 or the lipstick and eye cream for the same price. The same price applies to the cleanser and day cream, which were over $40 each for original price so $20 extra and you could have the whole skincare set. That’s pretty awesome. Additionally other products are marked down as add on items. I added two items to my box. A Tarte tartiest lip paint, which is normally $20 and I paid $10. The other item is EIR post session salt, which is yet another bath salt. Regular price is $20 and I paid $9. Those discounts are 50% and 55% off retail, which is amazing. I LOVE Tarte tartiest lip paint. It goes on and stays on all day long no matter how much I eat or drink. It doesn’t make my lips chapped, it doesn’t look caked on, its matte, and I am obsessed.

So, there you have it, a full informational report of all of the options for the fall box for FabFitFun, a rundown on which things you can customize for a seasonal subscription and a yearly subscription. Again, $49.99 plus tax if paying per box ($39.99 with this link) or 179.99 plus tax if paying yearly. You get 4 boxes a year: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each box has hundreds of dollars in full size products inside. There are ZERO samples.

Until next time…

Journal Style Posts

Is The Age of Printed Literature At An End?

On Saturday, my mailman told me I was a relic. 😂 I adore my mailman. He is in his 70’s and only delivers mail in my small little town. He truly is wonderful. During the winter, he brings the mail to the door because he is afraid that I will slip and fall walking down the driveway to the mailbox. He brings any package heavier than 5 lb. to the door as well. He knows that we don’t use our front door and we only use the back door so, all packages are left on the back steps or in one of the patio chairs. He is thoughtful and as sweet as can be, but he called me a relic.

I am apparently an extreme rarity because I write handwritten letters and I am subscribed to a plethora of magazines. I also order books on a regular basis because I love reading.

Every month, always on a Saturday, he brings me my stamp and flat rate box order. I love being able to order stamps and boxes with the bonus of having them delivered to the house; as our post office is not open on the weekends and I rarely have the ability to get to the post office during the week.

So, on Saturday, my mailman was delivering my order and I had received six magazines and a package from Barnes and Noble with a few books inside. He handed me my order, my package, and the magazines and said,

“My dear, you are a relic in this age of computers. People don’t subscribe to magazines anymore because they can read them on their phones. They don’t buy books because they can read them on their phones or listen to someone reading the book to them. “

I didn’t realize that I was a rarity, or a relic as he had called me, and I had no idea that magazines and books were no longer the norm. I have a Nook and a Kindle, but the sound a book makes as the spine cracks when you first open it, the smell that wafts upwards as each page is turned, and the rustle of each page as it is turned are things that cannot be duplicated by a digital version of a book.

Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my e-readers and I have thousands upon thousands of books stored on them. I would not have access to many of the old cookbooks that I have collected if it weren’t for the digital archival libraries. I love reading cookbooks from the 1700s, 1800s, and very early 1900s. (I own several actual paper cookbooks from these timeframes.) However, as much as I love my e-readers, I love books more. Hubby and I both have multiple magazine subscriptions and the kids have their own subscriptions. We are just a family that prefers to be able to have the full experience while reading. My daughter loves the perfume sample pages and the occasional product samples, which only come in the paper version of magazines.

I enjoy the portability of my e-readers, but magazines and books are also portable. I cannot carry thousands of books or magazines in my purse, but I can carry one or two and then, have my e-reader in case I finish the ones I brought.

I receive a massive amount of paper catalogs too. I think my favorite catalog is Lehman’s. I received a catalog out of the blue one day, shortly after we bought the house, addressed to myself, which was odd because I didn’t order one, but I fell in love the second I opened it. Hubby has a wishlist from this catalog, which is really weird because the only thing he ever wants are racecar parts.

I am happy being a relic. I hang onto especially interesting magazines, but it’s rare for me to keep the entire magazine. (I kept the royal wedding issue of People magazine.) I usually take a photo of a recipe, cut the recipe out and slip it into a binder, which holds loose recipes. (Sometimes, a cookbook only has one or two recipes I want so, I scan them, print, and give the cookbook either to the library or to someone I know.) Hubby and our youngest kiddo, on the other hand, hoard magazines. They have every issue. The kiddo hoards magazines on gaming, computers, technology, and Scientific American. Hubby hoards racing magazines.

With books, I have bookshelves full of children’s books from both my childhood and the kiddos’, assorted textbooks and an entire reference shelf. The reference shelf is dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias on specific subjects, almanacs, Guinness world records books, atlases, medical books, herbology, astronomy, astrology, and science based books, and language books.

I figure that we should be good to go if the internet suddenly doesn’t exist. The only magazines I keep every issue of are Readers Digest and National Geographic. I only have a two year subscription of each of these so, I won’t have thousands of them.

I also have bookshelves full of books on subjects that interest myself or someone in the family, a few trilogies and series that every home should have, Such as, the Lord of the rings trilogy, Harry Potter, The Divergent series, and the Hunger Games. I also have the books everyone reads in High School, those books that are classics and everyone should read them.

A few examples are:

Where the Red Fern Grows

1984

Farenheit 451

The Giver

To Kill a Mockingbird

Stuart Little

The Secret Garden

Charlotte’s Web

Where the Sidewalk Ends

White Fang

Catcher in the Rye

Lord of the Flies

The Outsiders

Of Mice and Men

A Wrinkle in Time

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (This was a favorite of mine when I was younger.)

So, I have a fairly normal collection as far as I know. I try to teach my kids to love reading and can’t imagine an existence without paper books. I understand that technology is advancing and it is making our lives so much easier, but I don’t want to see a world without libraries filled to the brim with books or a time where no one even knows how to write a letter. I adore receiving mail and I have penpals, who reside on the other side of the world. When I send a letter, I don’t just send a note, I include little items that lie flat such as stickers, a leaf, a feather, a random button, or anything that strikes my fancy that day. So, when someone receives a letter from me, it is covered in stickers or drawings and filled with absolute randomness. It is the equivalent of joy inside of an envelope.

I believe that we can prevent the death of paper Literature and letter writing by writing letters, buying books and magazines, and teaching our children to appreciate writing letters and reading. If you homeschool, teach your children how to write letters, write them letters so they get excited when the mail comes to the mailbox. Teach them how to utilize a library. Teach them how to use the relics of our time, atlases, almanacs, dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias.

I am content with being referred to as a relic. I dread a time when children ask “What were books?” or “What’s a letter?”

Cursive writing is no longer taught in many schools because it is no longer considered useful in the modern world. Children no longer learn to sign their name and soon, if cursive ceases being taught, no one will be able to read historical or ancient documents written in cursive. One major example of such a document is the Constitution of the United States of America. If we teach younger generations to appreciate books, printed Literature, writing letters, and teach them cursive writing, the knowledge will not be lost and the time of printed Literature will not end just yet. Until next time…