Thursday, June 25, 2015

Graze Flapjacks nibblebox (June 2015)

I gave up on Graze a while back.  I LOVED some of their products, but the treats they offered were so yay/nay, I just couldn't keep my subscription.  However, they have made some serious changes, and offer a variety of services now.  You can still get the 4-snack variety pack for $6.99 (with deliveries as often as you'd like) or an 8-snack variety pack for $11.99.  They also have a Sharing box (5 bags or 20 portions), plus specialty boxes, like Calorie Count, Protein, Savory, Sugar Count, or Sweet Treat.  But the one that caught my eye was the Flapjack box.  Graze's flapjacks are basically granola bars, but no granola.  They are very filling and last longer than their other snacks.
I recently received an email from Graze offering me 2 half price boxes of nothing but flapjacks.  I L-O-V-E their flapjacks!  That was always the highlight of my Graze experience so I could not pass it up.  I remember the first time I got flapjacks in a Graze box... Chocolate Orange flapjacks.  Tasted like an orange scone.  Delicious.

Graze now offers seven varieties of flapjacks, but alas, Chocolate Orange is no longer one of them.  The different flavors include: Apple & Cinnamon, Cocoa & Vanilla Protein, Fruit & Seed, Honeycomb, Lemon Drizzle, Original Three Seed Protein, and Summer Berry.  I had previously expressed on the Graze site that I didn't care for the Fruit & Seed flapjack so that was not included in the packages I received.  Here's what I did receive:

Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat cocoa flapjack with mixed seeds.

These were not my favorite of the flapjacks, but even so, they were still pretty good.  I mainly tasted the cocoa.  They were a little dry.  Unfortunately I got two of these.  And I only say unfortunately because there were better ones that I could've received duplicates of.

Honeycomb Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle.

These were absolutely perfect.  They were moist, sweet with honey, and topped with delicious chocolate.  I also got two of these, so... yay me!!!

Apple & Cinnamon Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat flapjack with apple and cinnamon.

These were somewhat dry, but had pleasant apple pieces and cinnamon throughout the flapjacks.

At this point I'd like to mention that beer is a lovely pallet cleanser between flapjack tasting.

Lemon Drizzle Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat flapjack with zesty lemon and yogurt drizzle.

These were exactly what I hoped for.  Moist, and oh so lemony.  They remind me of my favorite Girl Scout Cookies, which change every year so I can't name the specific cookie.  But they're delicious!

Original Three-Seed Protein Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat flapjacks with flaxseed, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

These were a lot like the Fruit & Seed flapjacks.  Little flavor, fun texture, but little flavor.  Dry, boring.

Summer Berry Flapjack - Rustic rolled oat flapjack with berry-infused cranberries.

These were moist and the large cranberries were sweet and flavorful.

Each Graze box comes with an insert with nutrition facts for each treat.

If you're interested in getting a Graze subscription of your own, use my code "R7CG2QKNB" and you'll get your first and fifth Graze boxes for free, and I'll earn $1 in my account for each referral.  I can use it as a discount off my next box, or I can (and will) donate it to their charity.

Graze supports a charity called "School of Farming".  The school is based in Kabbubu, a village in the heart of Uganda, and the charity teaches locals how to grow, maintain and harvest fruit from their own orchards.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Goodebox Summer Bonus (2015)

Ordinarily, I go out of my way to test each product that comes in a subscription or special edition box, but this one just has so many products in it (13!) and I have a gob of other June boxes I have to review in a week... gasp!  So rather than give my opinion of each item, I'm going to do an unboxing, and provide my initial impressions.

"Goodebox is a trial & discovery service providing expertly curated, trial sized healthy beauty and personal care products, along with samples of natural & organic health and wellness products. Each Goodebox includes a pre-screened (meaning we and our experts have tried them and liked them) selection of the best healthy beauty products out there."

Goodebox's prices start at $21 per month, but the longer the subscription the lower the price per month.

ecojot Mini Notebook (3"x4", $5) - Sometimes it's best to go old school, especially when it's this cool.  50 blank sheets inside this darling pen on wood design mini journal makes it a cinch to jot down holiday shopping lists, quotes, big ideas, even your favorite new beauty and wellness products.  Made in Canada using 100% post-consumer recycled paper and veggie inks and adhesives, a portion of each ecojot sale allows their GIVE Program to provide writing tools for children in need around the world, helping them write their way out of poverty and violence.

Poppy & Elle Knotted Hair Ties (3-pack, $4.20) - Poppy & Elle Hair Ties are prettier than generic drugstore elastics and work just as well and are hand tied here in the U.S.  What's more, they don't leave dents or damage hair.  Wear them as an everyday accessory, while exercising, or for a special occasion.  One size fits all.  Unlike most brands of wide-banded elastic hair ties, Poppy & Elle's are heat sealed to prevent fraying over time.

This notebook is absolutely adorable.  I was really excited to find it in the box.  I've seen similar hair ties in other beauty subscription boxes, but I've never used them myself.  I'm anxious to see how well they really work.

ellovi Tinted Lip Butter (0.15oz, $5.00) - Ellovi took all of the best things about their original Body Butter and made the perfect, portable, six ingredient variation to keep your lips nourished and hydrated.  Infused with the Mediterranean flower Alkanet for its color, this tinted lip butter gives the perfect hint of red while doubling as an intense lip moisturizer.  Made using only ingredients you can eat.  Standard oval tube fits comfortably in your pocket and keeps your lips happy for months.

Modern Minerals Mineral Eye Shadow in Seychelles (0.035oz, $2.50) - Modern Minerals will have you looking and feeling purely gorgeous wearing their 100% cruelty-free and vegan-friendly mineral makeup.  Their wide assortment of shadows, from easy neutrals to bold colors, in matte and shimmer finishes, can be used as liners, to shape brows or for highlighting.  No Parabens, Phthalates, DBP, BBP or DEHP.  No micronized minerals or nanoparticles.  No animal testing.  Modern Minerals is Leaping Bunny and PETA certified.

I really liked the light tint and moisturizing effect of the lip butter.  The mineral eye shadow isn't a color I'll use so I'll be passing this along.

MSC Skin Care & Home Soy Candle in Scent 003 (0.5?, $2.38) - A favorite unisex blend, Scent 003 is musky and heady, with precious woods complemented by complex aged patchouli.  Top notes include Jasmine & Myrrh.  Middle notes include Oud Wood, Geranium & Muget.  Base notes include Tobacco Flower, Cedarwood & Aged Patchouli.  This lovely all natural candle will give you 60 hours of burn time.  All msc skincare + home products are handmade in Brooklyn, NY and feature a plethora of custom, all natural fragrance blends made in-house.

Elegant Rose Boutique Mini Bath Bombs in Ylang Ylang Grapefruit (2-pack, $8) - These detoxifying bath bombs are handmade with a special blend of essential oils to calm the body and mind.  Epsom salt soothes achy muscles while almond oil moisturizes and relieves inflammation, irritation and dry skin.  Bath bombs are made to order and come in a variety of natural scents.

We are candle addicts in my house, and this scent is something both my husband and I will like.  I'd love to use these bath bombs but I can't take baths at home.  One bathroom, a grown man and three dogs... you can imagine.  So this is another item I'll pass on, but they do smell heavenly through the bag!

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Cream (0.25oz, $6.43) - An all in one, "UV Chemical-Free" Tinted Sunscreen/Beauty Benefit (BB) cream that treats, hydrates, protects, primes and covers the skin.  Supercharged with youth promoting antioxidants that help to scavenge surface free radicals, this formula also provides mineral, Broad Spectrum SPF 30 protection.  Hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, red algae and Certified Organic aloe vera, jojoba, sunflower, pomegranate, cucumber, and green tea provide additional sun protection and hydration.  Non-nano sized zinc-oxide protects the skin from the damaging UV rays while it's anti-inflammatory properties soothe and calm skin, beneficial to skin conditions like rosacea, acne, melisma and any irritation.

CV skinlabs Rescue and Relief Spray (1oz, $5.67) - This refreshing, milky emulsion provides deep, hydrating moisture while calming and soothing flushed, sensitive skin.  A multi-tasking formula, it brings instant, cooling relief to itching, burning, irritated, and inflamed skin caused by sun exposure, rosacea, eczema, rashes, laser treatments, chemical peels, shaving, waxing, minor burns, radiation treatments, wind and sun burn.  This water-thin spray is very refreshing, featuring a gentle natural cucumber scent.  It dries quickly and leaves skin soft and smooth, providing instant hydrating, cooling and calming benefits.

I'm photosensitive so both of these products will get used.  The face cream is highly tinted but blends into even my porcelain skin, and there is absolutely no fragrance.  I LOVE the cucumber scent of the relief spray.  It smells exactly like cucumber, but not like those fancy, perfumey cucumber scents... just nice, simple cucumber.

derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Crème (0.5oz, $7.50) - Boost radiance and even out skin tone with this skin-brightening daytime moisturizer with full spectrum UVA/UVB protection.  Formulated with Derma e's own Intensive Skin Brightening Complex containing Madonna Lily Plant Stem Cells, Bearberry, Niacinamide, Licorice, Green Tea and C-Ester to  help fight discoloration for a brighter, m ore luminous complexion.  Ideal for skin showing signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, sun damage, freckles, age spots and dark spots.  Cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free and GMO-free.

Lotus Moon Natural Skin Brightening Complex (0.25oz, $22.50) - Paired with the right sun protection, this brightening complex helps to gradually lighten areas of hyper-pigmentation, or dark spots.  This extremely effective, highly concentrated treatment combines the clarifying, antiseptic and skin brightening properties of Azelaic Acid, a naturally occurring yeast helpful in lightening dark acne spots or melasma, along with Kojic Acid.  Derived from Japanese mushrooms, Kojic Acid disrupts the skin's production of melanin by acting on the amino acid tyrosine, thereby reducing irregular pigmentation.

The day cream is a little tacky after application, but there is very little scent.  The brightening complex dries nicely and has an interesting scent that reminds me of red wine.

Meraki Botanicals Rose Grapefruit Face Oil (1oz, $10) - Rose Grapefruit Facial Oil removes dirt, makeup and excess oil, and provides rich nourishment to skin.  Natural organic oils infused with fresh botanicals and blended with pure essential oils treat acne, fade scars and brighten skin.  Perfect for oil cleansing or as a light moisturizer.  Package in a reusable and recyclable glass bottle with dropper.

Wild Honey Apothecary Buttermilk Sandalwood Honey Mask (0.25oz?, $2.75) - Raw honey, organic grapeseed oil, organic jojoba, organic buttermilk, wild harvested sandalwood powder and wild harvested sandalwood essential oil make up a simple and effective ingredient list for this facial mask.  Lactic Acid softens, brightens and tightens while antioxidants repairs cells, combats free radical damage and add much needed hydration to skin.  Made with comforting, skin loving buttermilk and organic sandalwood.  This is truly a bohemian dessert for your sweet face.

I've read a lot about oil cleansers, but haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon.  However, I love the packaging of this brand, the smoothness of my skin and the light rose grapefruit scent, so I may just start giving this oil cleansing thing a try.  The face mask smells lovely of buttermilk and honey.  I'm sure I'll love the results.

msc Skin Care & Home Scent 002 Parfum (0.05oz?, $3) - Earthy and deep, Scent 002 is mature and complex.  Top notes include Violets and Peach Blossom.  Middle notes include French Lavender.  Base notes include Sandalwood, White Musk and Vanilla.  All msc Skin Care & Home products are hand-made in Brooklyn, NY and feature a plethora of custom, all natural fragrance blends made in-house.

I'm very picky with my fragrances so I was pleasantly surprised by the softness of the flowers and the light vanilla, musky smell.

All in all, I'm really happy that I picked up this bonus box, and will definitely purchase the next special Goodebox that comes out.  I paid $20 and received about $84.93 worth of product.  As I try these items, I'll update my readers in a Random Products Review Post.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blue Apron (06-10-15)

Blue Apron provides you new recipes every week, with pre-portioned, fresh ingredients, delivered free in a refrigerated box right to your door.  The price of the plan I chose was $59.94, 3 meals for two people, so $9.99 a meal.

My husband and I love to cook our own homemade meals throughout the week, usually repeats... chili, spaghetti, soups, grilled meats and veggies.  But this enables us to take it a step further and make delicious dinners that we wouldn't think to just make on the fly.  With Home Chef, you can incorporate gourmet meals into your diet with minimal effort.

I selected three meals from six that they offered to me, and Blue Apron sent me the recipes and all of the ingredients... vacuum-sealed meats, fresh veggies and herbs, and anything else I should need, including detailed recipe cards

The first meal I chose to create was the Three Cheese Calzones with Lacinato Kale and Tomato Sauce, because they sounded delicious and easy, and momma needed some carbs!

I preheated the oven, and then minced the garlic and chopped the lacinato and green kale.  In a pot, I simmered half the garlic in olive oil and added the spice blend pack and the crushed tomatoes to warm.

I cooked the remaining garlic and kale with olive oil and a bit of water.  After draining the kale, I added the mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, and a third of the tomato sauce.

I split the pre-made dough into three pieces and used flour to form quarter inch thick circles.  There was a little too much kale mixture to split between the three as I was instructed, so I filled them as full as I could.  Even so the first two had so much, I could barely close them.  The third I left open so I could use up the filling, as sort of a pizza-type thingy.  I then baked everything for about 18 minutes, and served with the tomato sauce on the side.

Despite my clumsiness assembling the calzones, everything came out absolutely friggin' delicious!  Even my crazy messed up pizza-thingy was amazing.  The cheese was creamy, the kale was the perfect filling, the dough baked up amazing!  I ate on these things for three days and the dough never got soggy or stale.  The tomato sauce was zesty and a great compliment to the dish.

The second recipe I made was Chicken Piccata with Fresh Linguine Pasta & Garlic Chives.  This was the recipe I was most interested in.  We love chicken dishes in our house, and linguine... mmm...

I started by dicing the garlic, cutting the garlic chives into half inch pieces, zesting the lemon, and roughly chopping the parsley and capers.  Then I carefully cooked the fresh pasta to al dente, and reserved 3/4 cup of the water.

I coated the chicken with flour, salt and pepper, and cooked for five minutes on each side in olive oil, adding some butter when I flipped it.  After the chicken was browned on both sides, I introduced the demi-glace, half the parsley, lemon juice from one half, and a 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water.  I cooked that for another three minutes until the sauce thickened.

In olive oil, I sautéed the garlic, garlic chives, lemon zest, salt and pepper for a few minutes.  To that, I added the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, and the remaining butter and pasta water.  After simmering for a few minutes, I divided the linguine between two bowls, placed a chicken tenderloin on the pasta, and topped it off with the pan drippings and fresh parsley.

Okay, so first of all, the pasta and sauces were DE-licious!  I snarfed down those noodles, they were so rich, buttery and well-seasoned.  However, the chicken was WAY over-cooked.  That's when I realized that chicken tenderloin is nothing like chicken breast, which I make often.  And chicken tenderloin can't be cooked like chicken breast.  Had I known that, I would've only cooked each side for three minutes.  It's was too tough and chewy to even attempt to eat.  The only other thing I can say is that there was a tad too much lemon going on.  Half the recommended amount of zest would have been perfect.

The final recipe I attempted was the Salmon Burgers with Crème Fraiche Sauce, Arugula & Potato Salad.  Boy, oh boy!  Did I ever screw this one up!

I roasted the salmon, skin down for ten minutes.  I peeled the salmon from the skin and flaked it using a fork.  Then I prepared the rest of the ingredients - quartering the potatoes, minced the garlic and shallot, roughly chopped the mint and capers, and zested the lemon.  I put the shallot in a bowl with the juice of the lemon.

As I was boiling the potatoes, in another bowl I assembled the ingredients for the salmon cakes - garlic and lemon zest.  Then I went on to making the crème fraiche sauce.  That's where things got messy.  I put half the crème fraiche sauce in the salmon ingredient bowl rather than the lemon-shallot mixture.  I know, right!  But my kitchen was 150 degrees and I got confused.  I screwed up.  How did I fix it, you ask?  I threw the lemon-shallot mixture and remaining crème fraiche into the bowl and prayed for the best.

To compensate, I added a few dollops of crème fraiche FUBU to the salmon with the bread crumbs and some mint.  I formed the salmon patties and fried them in olive oil for a few minutes on each side.  Then I halved and toasted the buns.  I assembled the burgers on the buns with the arugula and a slice of amazing tomato I had picked up at the Farmer's Market over the weekend.  I did not have any usable crème fraiche to dress them, so they were served as it.

After draining the potatoes, I added the remaining crème fraiche FUBU and capers, and served with the burgers.

So... everything came out tasting fine.  Honestly the pieces of lemon zest in the potato salad was disconcerting, but besides that, I thought everything was pretty good.

Blue Apron's recipes were super fun to create.  I love the convenience of getting perfectly portioned, fresh ingredients delivered right to my door.  I will order from them again, and will be ravenously watching their site for recipes I can't resist.  I love it and I know you will too.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hawaii Snack Box (June 2015)

Hawaii Snack Box is one of the newest monthly treat delivery subscription services.  For $19.99* (plus free U.S. shipping; $5.99 Canada), their snack program will allow you to sample local Hawaiian treats every month while receiving a taste of the culture, along with a fun word, phrase or recipe that teaches you about this beautiful island.
*The longer subscription you commit to, the cheaper the monthly fee.
Hawaii Snack Box kindly sent me this box to review, but all of the opinions expressed are uniquely mine.
That being said, I'm really glad I fell in love with this box because my uniquely expressed opinions are going to be nothing but flattering!
Each box comes with a handy info card that provides details about the products they've included for the month.
The Culture Card #1 contained really interesting information on the pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.  And I'm not kidding!  It was interesting.  Like, did you know that while all five vowels are used in the Hawaiian language, only seven consonants are?  I had no idea!  H, K, L, M, N, P, and W.  I'll be paying a lot more attention to that from now on.  Also, they have two special symbols.  The 'okina is a glottal stop, like an apostrophe, which symbolizes a short break in the word.  And the kahakō is a stress mark which appears over vowels only, and makes them sound slightly longer.  There's also a guide to pronouncing vowels and rules for Hawaiian words.  Look at me!  An old dog learning new tricks! Speaking of Hawaiian culture, here's one of my favorite songs sung by an angel whose name I can now pronounce, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, just for your enjoyment.  It's truly divine.
Okay, now that you're all peaceful and happy, on to the food.

Hawaii's Local Buzz Natural Sea Salt Macadamia Nuts (3oz) - These are Hawaii's most popular nuts at their finest. Hawaii's Local Buzz dehydrates their macadamia nuts to keep the taste fresh, as if you just cracked the shell open. A slight hint of Hawaiian sea salt helps round out the flavor of these crunchy treats.
Oh, wow. I love macadamia nuts but I've never had them seasoned with sea salt. You get that rich, buttery flavor of macadamias roasted with salt... so savory. I didn't expect it.
Hawaii's Local Buzz Mango Mac Tropical Shortbread Cookie (1oz) - You're in for a treat with this Mango Macadamia Shortbread Cookie! It's made with two signature local ingredients; macadamia nuts give it a buttery, salty crunch, and mango coordinates perfectly with its tangy yet sweet flavor. This is just one of many melt-in-your-mouth cookie flavors by Hawaii's Local Buzz.
This is exactly what you should expect from a tropical shortbread cookie. Buttery, vanilla-y, crispy yet soft, sweet mango and slightly salty macadamia textures. Very tasty!
Hawaiian Natural Passion Fruit Orange Tea (2x) - These organic Hawaiian teas are infused with the tropical flavors and specifically formulated to be rich in antioxidants and low in caffeine. Passion fruit (lilikoi) and orange flavors give this tea a playful and refreshing essence.
Honestly... it's a little difficult to get down a cup full of hot tea in the Ohio Valley summer, outside temp 84°. But I did it. The passion fruit really showed through.  I used quite a few of the next product to achieve the sweetness I desired.
Big Island Bees Macadamia Blossom Honey Sticks (8 x 5g each) - Enjoy this honey cultivated from the south side of Hawaii Island, from bees which pollinated flourishing macadamia nut trees. This is a great sweetener for your tea, or a yummy snack by itself for a sweet pick-me-up.
Oh my, so delicious! I used several of these sticks to sweeten the tea that came in the box, but I also found the honey to be delightful on the salty macadamia nuts.
The Jade Company Li Hing Mui Cotton Candy (0.88oz) - Li Hing Mui is a popular treat in Hawaii, which has roots in Asian culture. It is a dried salty plum rolled in a flavorful, sweet powder. For this snack, The Jade Company has creatively mixed a popular fair ground staple with the sweet and salty flavors of Li Hing Mui by adding the powder topping to cotton candy.
This candy's interesting flavor and intriguing texture made for a new and exciting treat, but unfortunately aspartame is on the ingredient list, and aspartame causes me migraines so I'll have to eat it a bit at a time. But it will get eaten, because yum.
Hawaiian Host Dark Chocolate Mac Nuts (0.9oz) - Simple yet tasty. Dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts, simple and delicious.
Wonderful. Just wonderful. I like my macadamias with chocolate (although white chocolate is the best). However, the description states these are dark chocolate but the label says milk chocolate. Either way, delectable!
For a first box, I am sincerely impressed. There wasn't a thing in this box that I wasn't thrilled to try. The value of the products themselves from my calculations weren't terribly high, but bringing so much of Hawaii to my door is totally worth the price. I strongly recommend this box to anyone who likes experiencing new foods and new cultures.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Your Bijoux Box (June 2015)

"Your Bijoux Box will arrive at your doorstep containing 3 pieces of jewelry, hand curated by Shana. The jewelry we select is on-trend, versatile and wearable,  and you will receive at least $100 worth of jewelry each month. We scrutinize hundreds of pieces of jewelry until we find just the right ones for the box. The sparkles in the box might include a long layering necklace, a fun statement collar, a pretty piece of arm candy."

Your Bijoux Box generously sent this box for me to review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Your Bijoux Box is only $35 per month (free shipping), renews monthly and is delivered straight to your door.  If you buy 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions, the price goes down per box.  Each necklace or bracelet you receive from Your Bijoux Box retails for at least $35, and very often much more.

The boxes come immaculately wrapped, each piece in its own pretty bag, and includes a helpful card detailing all of the pieces they chose for the month, plus tips on how to style your new pieces.

June's theme was Summer Stripes, and the special message on the inside of the box read, "You mustn't be afraid to sparkle a little brighter, darling."  I thought that was a really nice sentiment.

The first piece I unwrapped was the Pearls and Stripes Strand.

"We adore Summer's bold stripes and nautical prints.  The shopping season isn't complete without at least one.  Navy stripes and June's birthstone, the pearl, makes this a perfect warm weather piece.  So fun for a 4th of July barbeque!"

This is a large statement piece, very heavy, and good quality.  I adore pearls and the ornate charms are lovely.  This piece is a little too much for me during these Ohio Valley summer months, but I liked it paired with my favorite University of Kentucky hoodie for the cooler weather.  I especially appreciated as a bracelet.

The next package included the Opal Deco Drops.

"Feminine and versatile opal stones are making a resurgence in a very big way.  We are excited to offer these beautiful deco inspired crystal drops.  Their opalescent shimmer is perfectly paired with all of your Summer whites."

This was my favorite of all of the pieces.  I haven't wore dangly earrings in years, but I may have to start again!

The last item I opened was the Puka Shell Pendant.

"Found on the beaches of Hawaii, puka shells, are a quintessential symbol of Summer.  We've added to the chain, a light blue crystal drop reminiscent of the ocean.  This is a great versatile layering piece.  Try it with the Pave Bar Pendant from the February box or the Pave Convertible Necklace from the May box."

I wanted to show you the length and detail of this necklace.  Even though I appreciate the beautiful, intricate shell design and the sweet accent crystal, this just isn't my style.

Your Bijoux Box have had some really remarkable boxes in this year's boxes, and in comparison, I can't say this would be my favorite.  I liked that they kept with the beachy, summery, 4th of July-look.  I just can't say I prefer them to previous boxes.  Here are January's, February's, April's and May's boxes for you to see for yourself.  I love the large pendants on the necklaces in particular.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Glossybox (May 2015)

Glossybox is a monthly subscription that delivers beauty products - hair care, skin care, makeup, perfumes, tools, etc. to your door for $21 per month if you buy the monthly plan, but that price goes down if you buy a 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription.
Glossybox carries some of the best brands in beauty.  Each box contains five items from full-sized to deluxe samples.  Following are the contents of my May box, and my impressions of each:  

TEEEZ TREND COSMETICS Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer Base Coat (0.24oz FULL-SIZE, $14) - Promising a super smooth application, it will protect nails from discoloration and prime them for a long-lasting manicure.

DOUCCE Mineral Matte Lipstick in Cherry Blossom (0.18oz FULL-SIZE, $20) - The New York-based color brand introduces this uniquely textured, soft-touch lipstick, which leaves behind a rich, velvet matte finish.  Infused with SPF 10 and Vitamin E, the pretty pink shade will keep lips hydrated all day, and won't feather or fade away.

The nail lacquer base is pretty typical.  It goes on smoothly and has a wonderful brush with thick bristles that fan out over your nails.  I didn't care for the lipstick.  It was kind of dry and sticky, and the color wasn't for me.  I actually hadn't planned on keeping it when I saw the color but I accidentally smeared it on the box when displaying it, so que sera, know what I mean?

CLEARISTA Retexturizing Gel (0.5oz, ~$10) - This unique complexion-perfecting gel not only smooths skin and refines pores, but also reduces pigmentation and skin imperfections, including rough skin bumps and rough, dry patches.

GLAMGLOW PowerMud DualCleanse Treatment (0.5oz, ~$20) - PowerMud's innovative "mud to oil" delivery system promises powerful, gentle skin detoxification and renewal.  Designed for all skin types, this hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested treatment features a custom four-clay blend alongside purifying cleansers and exfoliants for super clean, super velvety skin.

The retexturizing gel was surprising.  It wasn't a moisturizer as I expected.  It was a lovely exfoliater.  I adore it.  It made my face feel so fresh.  The mud mask, first of all, smelled fantastic.  Like a soft citrus.  It dried and tightened quickly on my face.  I really liked the effects as opposed to just cleansing my face. I tend to break out in the summer, so it felt great.
SEBASTIAN PROFESSIONAL Stylbrid 9 (1.55oz, $4.99) - From heat protection to adding volume and texture, this new multi-benefit hairspray from Sebastian packs a punch.  Paraben and alcohol free, the lightweight styler and treatment hybrid also offers curl definition, UV protection and enhances natural shine.

I can't say too much about the hairspray yet, except that it has a lovely light floral scent.  I don't use a lot of product in my hair but I look forward to having a reason to utilize this hairspray.

This box had a total value of $68.99, which is great.  And the items included are fantastic.  I'll use everything except the lipstick, so I believe this is a great box.  Looking forward to next month!