Medusa’s Makeup November 2016

This is November’s shipment that honestly did arrive on time, I’m still doing a little bit of catch up on posts!  Every month is a great shipment of cruelty free products from this great company, and I’ve been super excited to see what comes next from this company in each shipment.

  • Setting Spray – 1 oz / $8 – (Product is full size)  The base is pretty heavily alcohol based, but it does help the product dry faster, and I didn’t feel like it dried out my skin on the quick test I did.  I haven’t had a chance to see if this really holds makeup for a whole day, so I’ll have to report  back once I’ve done thorough testing!
  • Lip Gloss – 6 mL / $9 – (Product is full size)  I received the color, “Loud Mouth,” which is an orangey color.  The formula is really surprisingly nice for a gloss – not sticky at all – and the color doesn’t look that wildly orange when on, it just kind of gently turns up the volume on your natural lip color with a subtle tint.  This makes for a great everyday gloss when I’m not going full-on makeup.
  • Eye Dust – 1.5 g / $7 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is, “Green Velvet,” which is a shimmery deep hunter green color.  I LOVE love love mineral shadows, and this one is super pigmented and has such a nice shimmer to it.
  • Lip and Cheek Stain – 3.5 g / $8 – (Product is full size)  The color received is, “Moody,” which is a deeper red color.  I like this best as a lip color since the oils really won’t work well over a foundation, but it’s the scent I like the best about this.  It smells amazing and works into a nice, natural looking color.

Overall, the value of the bag is $32 which is just about double the cost which is $15.95 per month including shipping.  What’s best about this is that subscribers generally get to try out new things first and I get four vegan and cruelty free beauty products from a company I know and love every month.

Sephora Play! December 2016

December’s Sephora Play! arrived before the holidays, but you know how crazy things get with travel and such, so this is just going up on the blog now.  The theme was, “The Partygoers,” and featured items that were must haves for the party season.  I was expecting a little more glitz and glam, maybe a glittery eye shadow or something like that, so this one didn’t really live up to my expectations.  The black bag with gold lettering was a nice change of pace though!

  • Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara – .2 oz / $30 – (Product is .1 oz, value of $15 by volume)  So, it’s black mascara.  Really basic, not so much party themed.  I’m.. just not excited.  I would’ve liked something different like a glitter eyeliner or I don’t know, something else.  We did just get a black mascara in the August box as well, so.. meh?  I feel like I have SO much black mascara at this point, unless it’s some new brand that’s cruelty free, I really am just neutral on this.  I’ll use it, but.. eh.
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer – 1 oz / $37 – (Product is .16 oz, value of $5.92 by volume)  This is in the Natural finish, “Base Lissante,” and is basically a lightly tinted silicone based primer.  Again, nothing really earth shattering here, it goes on matte, but I didn’t feel like it did anything spectacular or fill in lines or improve texture like it says it’s supposed to.
  • Sephora Cream Lip Stain – 5 mL / $14 – (Product is 1.3 mL, value of $3.64 by volume)  I received the color, “01 Always Red,” which is labelled as a matte bold classic red.  It’s definitely as advertised!  The red is stunningly perfect and goes on like a matte lip cream and stays put.  So far, I’m pretty impressed with this and love that it’s matte without feeling too drying.
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – 4 oz / $31 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $3.88 by volume)  This is a product I already know and love and actually fits the theme pretty well since it keeps your makeup right where you put it, easily keeping your makeup perfect all night.  It’s nice to have this as a sample size to tote along with me!
  • Drybar Bay Breeze Hydrating Shot – 4 x .5 oz – $38 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $9.50)  This is a nope for my curly hair.  It contains silicones – in fact, the 3rd ingredient is a silicone – so for a low to no shampoo regimen, this is a nope.  This specific silicone, amodimethicone, builds up on hair and won’t wash out without using a harsh sulfated shampoo that I won’t use, so this is going to the trade/share pile.
  • Elizabeth James Nirvana Bourbon – 1.7 oz / $85 – (Product is .07 oz, value of $3.50)  I’ve gotten a couple of samples of this, but I do really like it.  It’s a warm, woody scent that’s right up my alley with a blend of vanilla bourbon, oakwood and a nearly unnoticeable hint of tuberose.  It’s not overwhelming or too sticky sweet, but it makes for a nice twist on plain old vanilla that’s got a great warmth and richness to it.

The total value comes to $41.44 for a box that only cost me $10.60 including tax.  I’m super disappointed with the hair product, but I generally will be disappointed with hair products since I’m so picky about what I put in my hair.  The winner out of the box for me was the cream lip stain with the setting spray a close second, but the two together really don’t quite cover the cost of the box.  This one just kind of fell flat for me – I really did expect more glitz and glam for a party themed box.  Oh well, looking forward to the next one!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – January 2017

In first before the New Year is Espionage Cosmetics Nexus!  January’s theme is, “Serenity Skies,” touted as being, “the NEXUS all Browncoats have been waiting for,” so you’ know it’s going to be Serenity and Firefly themed!  They just recently discontinued the Cunning Hat nail wraps, so it’s great to see that there will be a new nail wrap for the  Browncoats once the epic nail wrap battle voting has concluded.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to photograph these on the hat I knitted, so here they are in all their glory!

  • ATMO – Showing a planet on a backdrop of stars, these glossy wraps have a foil finish to the stars, creating a beautiful wrap.  I love how this is a subtle inside thing – you may never know there’s a Serenity reference in the wraps unless you’re part of the secret nerd nail wrap club which I think makes it all the more special.
  • Fireflies – Featuring little fireflies on a night sky behind some tall grasses, this is a really pretty glossy wrap.  I’m pretty sure you can figure out which parts are the glow in the dark bits!  Of course, this is a reference to the class of the ship from the series and movie, and again the subtlety makes this all the more fun – it’s either aww cute fireflies, or GORRAM, Fireflies!

I’m finding it hard yet again to choose a favorite!  I really love both of these for different reasons, and I think maybe ATMO is edging out just a little bit, but there’s still time to think it over and get my vote in.  Both wraps fit the theme perfectly and would cost $10 each on the Espionage Cosmetics website, so the value definitely exceeds the $15 month-to-month subscription cost.  I’m eager to see what they’ll come up with for next month!!  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Benevolent Beauty Box Special Edition – December 2016

This is Benevolent Beauty Box’s first ever Special Edition box that shipped on December 10th.  Yep, I’m still behind on the blog posts, but I’m catching up, I swear!  Anyway, I knew the second they announced this that I’d need to have it since this subscription has been knocking my socks off.  It did not disappoint!  A makeup palette, BB Cream, lipstick, and three face products from some of my already-favorite brands plus a few new-to-me brands make for a pretty amazing luxury box that’s also 100% cruelty free.

  • Manna Kadar Day-Dream Palette – 1 palette / $39 – (Product is full size)  A WHOLE PALETTE!  This palette contains 6 eyeshadows, 1 blush, 2 highlighters, and a contour shade all in one rather portable package which makes this perfect for travel since everything you need is right there.  The company is cruelty free and this product is vegan to boot.  The eyeshadow colors are right in my range (but really, what isn’t?), two neutrals, two rosy pinks, two violets to make for a great balance.  The colors are nicely pigmented and blend well too.
  • Mommy Makeup Stay Put Matte Lip Cream– .12 oz / $22 – (Product is full size)  The color is, “Heather,” described as a dusty pink mauve and goes on a little darker than I expected, so I’m not 100% sold on the color, but I think I can still pull it off.  Dusty pink or rose colors generally wash me out but I think the darker shade actually makes it okay for fall and winter.  The formula is great – it goes on like a thin liquid but then once it’s dry, it’s matte and sticks and doesn’t move!  I like the formula, but as far as the color, I’m probably more interested in the “Marilyn” or “Harlow” which I may have to pick up since there’s a 15% off discount code included in the box for Mommy Makeup.
  • Bellapierre Derma Renew BB Cream – 1.5 oz / $75 – (Product is full size)  I received the “Fair” shade which matches with the information in my beauty profile with Benevolent Beauty Box.  This is just a wee bit too light for my skin tone, but I found I like the formula enough that I can make it work by dusting bronzer over top with a really light hand to bring up the color just enough.  I found on my dry skin, it did clump up on the dry patches at the corners of my nose, so I just need to remember to moisturize well before using this.
  • Baiser Beauty Formula Nº2 Lumineux – 1 oz / $35 – (Product is full size)  This is meant to be applied just like a highlighter, either under or over makeup.  It’s a pink, pearlescent liquid, and the teensiest drop goes a very long way.  It smells mostly like lavender and leaves behind a subtle brightness without any sparkle or glitter.  It’s oil based, so I’d imagine this would dissolve makeup if applied over foundation or powder, so this may work better without foundation for a natural glow.  I do like how subtle this is and may be using it on the regular because the oil base also works as an awesome moisturizer.  Also included is a code for 15% off at Baiser Beauty.
  • Franklin & Whitman Walnut Hill Face Serum – 1 oz / $39.99 – (Product is full size)  HOORAY for local (to me) companies!  I’ve become a serum junkie as I’ve gotten older and my skin has gotten drier, so serums that are blends of oils I know and love with no parabens or silicones are on point for me.  This is a blend of grape seed oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, pomegranate oil, and Vitamin E and is completely unscented (yessss!).  These are all oils I use already, and they combine here to create a viscous oil that surprisingly goes on lightly and absorbs quickly to make my skin feel amazingly soft.  I know I sound like an advertisement, but these are all things I look for in a good serum, and I’m loving this one.  Plus!  5% of the purchase of this product goes to help dog rescue organizations in addition to the company being cruelty free, so they’ve won me over.
  • Mullein & Sparrow Lemon Rose Face Wash – 2 oz / $32 – (Product is full size)  It’s like a castile soap, so it’s fairly gentle and works into a rich lather to wash away makeup without being too drying.  The scent is pleasant as well – the rose balances out the lemon perfectly so it’s not too floral or too citrusy and lands in that perfect goldilocks zone.  It works rather well if followed with a good serum just like the one above!

In total, the value of the box is $242.99 which is incredible since the full retail price of the box is $62!  There are some truly incredible products in here, and I’m finding it difficult to pick a favorite – between the face wash and serum together, the palette by itself, or the BB Cream (when dusted with bronzer, I have to say it does look great), I just can’t decide.  There are a total of 6 full-sized products in here that are all cruelty free.  I believe there are still a few Special Edition boxes available, and just with the BB cream alone, this box pays for itself, so it’s definitely worth it for a gift for yourself or your favorite cruelty free beauty maven.

Kloverbox December 2016

Kloverbox is BACK!  It was taken over by new ownership a few months ago and has been producing some great boxes, so I decided to sign up again.  My first box is the December box and I’m happy to say it’s a good one!  I love the bracelet the most because it’s a great way to wear a fragrance without putting it directly on your skin, and the cheek stain smells amazing.  On to the contents!

  • Timeless Organics Muscle Soak – 3 oz / $6.99 – (Product is full size)  I’m not really big on baths, but I like to save stuff like this for vacations, especially ones with those big jacuzzi tubs, so this is coming along with me next month.  The soak is basically a salt soak along with lavender, so it’s great for sore, tired muscles.  This is showing on sale on the company’s website for $4.99, not full price right now, and there’s also a coupon included for 20% off purchases on the website.
  • Drops of Joy Diffuser Bracelent – 1 bracelet / $32.27 – (Product is full size)  This is such a neat idea!  The beads are lava stone with Amazonite and thanks to the porous nature of lavastone, it makes for a perfect medium to carry your favorite oil and act as a diffuser.  The colors are pretty and the idea is so neat, I absolutely love this!  Also included is a code for 20% off an order through the Drops of Joy website.
  • Yoganics Essential Oil Blend – 5 mL / $15 – (Product is full size)  The blend is their, “Holiday Cheer Blend,” and smells like pine and cinnamon.  It’s really strong, so a teeny little swipe is enough to give the bracelet a good scent charge.  It’s not exactly my favorite sort of scent – I find the cinnamon to be crazy overpowering with not much of the other oils working to balance it out – but they also included a coupon for 15% off a purchase, so I’ll have to check out some of the other oils.
  • ra goods Toner – 2 oz / $9.95 – (Product is full size)  An alcohol free toner!  I love the scent of this.  The lemongrass comes out on top, but it’s not overwhelming, just light and fresh.  The toner dries matte and doesn’t feel sticky or heavy, and I honestly like it.  Also included is a coupon code for 20% off at their website.
  • Wild Plants Love You Rosy Cheek Stain – .5 oz / $8 – (Product is full size)  This smells SO GOOD.  It’s earthy, but then the elderberries and lavender come out and it makes for this sweet herbal scent.  I’m not big on blush since my cheeks are always pretty rosy to begin with, but this works just fine on lips too, plus with the jojoba oil, it makes for a great moisturizing balm.  The color payoff isn’t huge, it’s pretty subtle, but does build to a pretty rosy glow.  Also included is a code for 10% off at their Etsy shop.

The total value of the box comes to $72.21 which is great for a box that costs $25 on a month-to-month basis!  The bracelet alone covers the cost, but I do like everything in the box and will use it all.  It’s so nice to see this great box revitalized and carrying on with great cruelty free products.  Looking forward to next month already!