Monday, February 29, 2016

Beauty DNA February 2016 Review

Beauty DNA - is a monthly subscription service that will send you one FULL SIZE skincare or hair care item each month, I’ve occasionally received two items. The cost is $25/month. They have a unique matching system, where you fill out your likes/dislikes profile and you shouldn’t receive items that you don't like. You will also never receive the same product twice.
Cost: $25/month
How Often: Monthly
Ships To: United States via UPS Ground
Beauty DNA has one of the best info cards in the business! It's booklet style and explains why the item was matched to you.
Avene Retrinal + .1 Cream - $69 - This night cream visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles to shave years off of your appearance. Patented relastide is a pro-elastin peptide that fills in wrinkles and fine lines to tone and firm your complexion while vitamin E reflects free radical damage and protects against damaging sunrays. Irregularities are reduced, leaving a radiantly youthful complexion in its wake. It's designed to treat anti-aging, helps with dry skin and lack of firmness. It's fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and paraben free.

Allure Red Carpet Beauty Box February 2016 Review

Allure Beauty Box (formerly Sample Society) - is curated by the editors of the Allure Magazine. It promises 5 deluxe sizes “expert approved” beauty items from luxurious brands. It comes with a great info card "mini magazine" that tells you why they picked what they picked, how to use it, and why they like it.
Cost: $15/month or $165/Annually
How Often: Monthly
Ships To: United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) via UPS Ground
This review is on the Red Carpet Beauty Box, which was sent out to select subscribers as a simple "Thank you", free of charge. I love this box. I love that it was an unexpected surprise. That's my kind of thank you!
This box was packed and I love that so many items were included. This is so nice for a free unexpected delivery
This curation was delivered in the same box the normal monthly Allure shows up in. It also included an info card just like normal months.
This box was clearly sponsored by Covergirl, as many of the items are from this brand. A coupon was also included. 
Covergirl Plumpify Mascara in Very Black – FULL SIZE! Value $9. I can't wait to try this stuff. I am pretty loyal to my current mascara brand, but I really wanted to try this.
Covergirl Trublend Face Primer Combo Skin – FULL SIZE! Value $8.50. I have plenty of primers, so I doubt I'll get around to using this.
Covergirl Colorlicious Oh Sugar Balm in Caramel – FULL SIZE! Value $5.50. Some of the other colors were delivered, and I wish I had gotten more of a red. I don't see me wearing this color.
Covergirl Intensify Me Liquid Eyeliner  – FULL SIZE! Value $7. I do not wear black eyeliner, so this will automatically be gifted.  
Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil – 1 oz Value $11.80. I love hair oils, but I do have a brand I am currently using. Use it to condition, style, or finish for results that you can see, touch, and sense.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – 1 oz Value $39.60. I love this brand and I love face masks. I've already used this and the results were great. My face definitely felt hydrated.
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask – Value $17. This is supposed to be "miracle water" for the skin. Don't use a cotton ball, sprinkle onto the palms of your hands and press gently onto your face.
I loved the curation of this box. I'm especially pleased that there were two SK-II products included. This box has an approximate value of $98.40. I'm pretty happy I re-signed up for Allure this year.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Glossybox February 2016 Reivew

GlossyBox - is a beauty subscription box that sends five products each month. There are a lot of brands that you cannot get here in the US. They send makeup, skincare, beauty tools, and other related items. They have a great rewards program that allows you to get a free box annually, and more often if you refer friends.
Cost: $21/month or $222/annually
How Often: Monthly
Ships To: United States (excludes Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico) and Canada via USPS
I didn't get a pic of the box, but it was right along with the February theme! The info card was cute!
Etre Belle Cosmetics Golden Skin Roll-On Caviar Eye Gel - $45. This is full size and erases the signs of fatigue by firming and resuscitating tired skin around the eyes.  Allow it to absorb for at least a minute before applying makeup.
GlamGlow ThirstyClease Daily Hydrating Cleanser - $14. This sample size is 1 oz. I love GlamGlow, so I'm always thrilled to get a product of this brand. It transforms from a luxurious mud into a moisture-rich foaming lather (add plenty of water for this effect) to gently and effectively rinse away makeup, dirt, and impurities while deeply moisturizing your skin.
Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face Primer - $4.80. This is a tiny sample. I've used this many times, it's a good face primer. It will blur imperfections and give your makeup a flawless finish.
BioRepublix Skincare Sheet Mask - $14.95. I love getting face masks, and I've never gotten a pomegranate one, so I'm looking forward to trying this. This is infused with natural extracts, vitamin E, and is super hydrating. There were other flavors sent out. The other one I heard of was an Aloe Rescue. Sulfate free, no parabens, and 100% cruelty free.
Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick in Heat Wave Ruby - $22. This limited edition berry-hued lipstick is so great and what cute packaging. I'd tell you more about it, but I think the website is in German. Something I cannot read.
The approximate value this month is $100.75. I love this months box, and will use every single item this time. I think this box was fun.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Food Subscription Box Comparison Review

Almost all the food subscriptions have introductory offers. So we decided to try out a few to see what we thought. We have tried out Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Plated. All of the subscriptions let you choose your choices from six meal options. However, Blue Apron limits what combinations you can have. 

The first subscription we tried was HelloFresh:
I signed up for a Groupon for $69 for two weeks of three meals for two people. Regularly cost $69/week. I was really excited to learn that one of my favorite chefs Jamie Oliver has joined the team and is curating some recipes. The first meal we tried was "Jamie's Super-Speedy Steamed Salmon with Jeweled Couscous and Yogurt"
We really enjoyed this recipe! It introduced us to a new way to quickly cook salmon. I loved the jeweled couscous and the yogurt topping was very complimentary to the dish.

The second meal was "Lemony Chicken Paillard with sweet potato wedges, Arugula Salad, and Chimchurri"
I really enjoyed this meal. The chimchurri was great on the chicken. The sweet potato wedges were very tasty. I am not a salad eater but i even ate this salad. 

The final meal was "Italian Meatloaf with Sundried Tomatoes, Roasted Green Beans, and Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes"
I didn't get a picture of this meal. I was really excited for it, and it was okay. The sun dried tomatoes created a weird texture in the meatloaf. The mashed potatoes were really good. Overall we liked Hello Fresh but were not blown away. The meals tasted good but were not something that we would have to make again.

The next subscription we tried was Blue Apron. I purchased a Groupon and paid $39 for a week with three meals and it is regularly cost $59.94. The first meal was "Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice with toasted cashews and Sambal and Oelek"
This meal blew us away. It tasted amazing. It had a light citrus taste and great consistency. The shrimp was the perfect combination for this meal.

The Second meal was "Creamy Lemon Linguini with Caramalized Onions, Chard, and Walnuts" 
I was really excited for this meal because I love anything and everything lemon. This meal however, was a disappointment. It was waaayyy too lemony. The lemon overwhelmed the entire dish. It could have benefited from having a meat in it as well. 

The third meal was "Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Soft-Boiled Egg and Lincinado Kale"
This was a really tasty soup that we were pleasantly surprised with. We learned how to soft boil an egg from this recipe. 

Blue Apron was really hit and miss. The Shrimp and Pineapple fried rice was something that we will recreate again. 

The final subscription we tried was Plated
Plated was one of our favorites from the past. We got $40 off for the introduction special. plated is the only one that allows for a minimum of two meals in a week versus the others that are a minimum of three. Two meals cost $48 + $6 shipping. 

The first meal was "Philly Cheesesteaks"
We loved this meal. The bread was fresh and the garlic mayo sauce was amazing. Overall we loved this meal and it was simple enough that we could recreate on our own. 

The second meal "White Buffalo Chicken Pizza"
This meal was amazing!!!!!!! The crust was high quality and the buffalo chicken had the perfect kick to it and the yogurt sauce was a perfect mix. 

Plated was by far my favorite of the subscriptions because quality was much higher than the others and the meals feel more gourmet. Overall, we really enjoy the food subscriptions. It is super convenient to have meals planned for you and to have all the ingredients delivered to your doorstep. It saves on time and helps you stay on track with healthy eating. If we are rushing to make meals last minute they are usually not as healthy. These subscriptions also introduce us to new meals and cooking methods. While it cost more than going to the store and planning meals, I find that the savings on time and grocery store trips makes them worth it. I think Plated is the best one for us because the meals are gourmet and typically not something we would attempt to make ourselves without guidance. I also enjoy that we can opt for two meals instead of three unlike the other two plans. Hello Fresh was mediocre. The meals are not the tastiest but I feel they are pretty healthy. We did have an issue with their instructions not being as complete and found some information missing. Blue Apron was my personal least favorite because they actually limit the combinations you can have which was deceiving to me. I found three perfect meals that i loved but couldn't have them all. I think we are going to keep Plated and HelloFresh. All the plans allow you to skip weeks but you have to remember to go on and skip!


Barkbox February 2016 Review

Bark Boxis a pet subscription box that includes 4-6 healthy treats, toys, and other useful stuff. You fill out your profile, including any allergies, and packages are customized for small, medium, or large pups. If your dog isn’t happy with an item, they promise to fix it.
Cost: $29.99/month, 3 month subscription ($24/mo), 6 month subscription ($21/mo), or a 12 month subscription ($19/mo). Shipping is Free: Lower 48/$5 outside Lower 48 and to Canada
How Often: Monthly
Ships To: United States (lower 48) & Canada DHL-USPS
This month's theme is Chinese New Year! And it was one of the cutest curations yet.
Butchers Block Trachea Chew - $3. Sailor loves chew blocks and this will go to good use in training class to keep him preoccupied from barking at all the other dogs. 
Sweet Duck Dob Biscuits - $10. Sailor loved these! The are also shaped like ducks! Great training treats.
Bamboo Shoots Dental Treats - $9. These Dental treats were great and kept him busy in class.

Lucky the Cat - $14. How cute is this toy! It also has one of the low tone squeakers so this is a keeper. I wish all their toys had it.
Fortune Cookie Toy - $14. This toy is also so adorable, but has the regular high pitched squeaker. It only lasted an hour though!
This months barkbox has an approximate value of $50.00. Overall barkbox is one of our favorites! It has high quality treats that are always put to good use, and adorable custom toys.

-Kendra and Sailor

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ipsy glam bag February 2016 Review

Ipsy is a beauty subscription box created by Michelle Phan. They send a mix of deluxe samples and full size beauty products, and a makeup bag. You take a beauty quiz and should receive items that match your profile. This is very similar to Birchbox, and an excellent way to build up your inventory and try out different brands before investing in a full size purchase.
Cost: $10
How Often: Monthly
Ships To: United States & Canada via USPS and DHL
The theme this month is Pretty In #IpsyPink. LOL
I'm not overly thrilled with the beauty bag this month. It's a little too "beaded" for my taste. But I do like the hot pink color on the back of the bag.
Jerry Shore Spa Anti Aging Lip & Hand Polish Vanilla Bean - $25. This tube is 1 oz and costs $25? That seems a little pricey to me! This polish exfoliates dead flaky skin, leaving new skin refined and hydrated. Also, you can use on your lips before applying any of your favorite lip and hand products for noticeably smoother application. Formulated using the best quality, all natural ingredients. Made with all natural brown sugar, vanilla bean extract, anti-aging vitamin E and nutrient dense jojoba oil, shea butter and plant extracts. Paraben free, non-toxic, cruelty free.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil - $5.46. This was .13 oz. This primers specially formulated in a lightweight, lustrous oil. This fast-absorbing hero blend of 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils penetrate instantly to moisturize your face for seamless foundation application with a dewy, youthful finish. You can use under your makeup or you can even use on your hair.
Chella Lipstick Pencil in Passionate Pink - $18. This one is .04 oz, and I totally can't figure out if this is full size. I initially thought this was coral, because the tube is orange it kind of threw me off, but the lipstick is actually a pink. Anyway, I love Chella eyeliners, they are seriously great, so I will have try the lipstick. It's high in Vitamins C & E and Sunflower Oil.
Paula Dorf Baby Eyes Enhancer - $20 for Full Size. Line your waterline to make your eyes appear bigger and brighter (a tip I just read from ALLURE), or use as a highlighter at the inner corners. Can also be used above your lip line to enhance a pout.
Luxie Flat Definer Brush #221 - $12. Handcrafted with synthetic bristles, this vegan makeup brush is both cruelty-free and paraben-free. Coated in a revolutionary antibacterial solution, the brush is fresh and clean on the skin. The tight density of the brush creates a precise makeup application. I've received Luxie brushes before and I really like them. Cute for this months pink theme.
That's it for this months Ipsy!