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Goodbeing Spring Bonus Box 2017

Every time I see emails for these bonus boxes from Goodbeing, I jump on the chance to pick one up.  I had been a regular Goodbeing/Goodebox subscriber until May of 2016, but I still like grabbing these bonus boxes since they tend to be a good value.  This one sold for $30 including shipping and was advertised as being between a $75 and $90 value with 10 products, at least two full size items.  I usually don’t do reviews on these bonus boxes since there are a lot of products to go through and try, but I’ll at least do a list of the products plus values.  My box contained 12 products with 2 of those being full size, one of which was another one of those Rafiki bracelets like the one from February of last year but in a different color.  These were the bracelets that led me to cancel my subscription since they came in two boxes in a row and were not something I was interested in (I can’t believe they STILL have these around).  As someone who isn’t a regular monthly subscriber, I did get a few neat, new products that I haven’t tried before, so this is a great way to dip your toe into what Goodbeing offers before jumping in to a monthly subscription.

  • New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily Multi – 24 ct / $14.99 – (Sample size is 10 tablets, value of $6.25)
  • Gia Minerals Mineral Blush – 4 g / $24 – (Product is 3 g, value of $18 by volume)  Color is “Splendid Rose”
  • Suntegrity Lip C.P.R. – 2.8 g / $28 – (Product is .5 g, value of $5 by volume)  Color is “Sunny Blush”
  • Moody Sisters Lip Scrub – 1 oz / $9 – (Product is full size)
  • Folium Medica Athlete Potion – 1 oz / $42 – (Product .5 oz, value of $21 by volume)
  • Noctua Diem Cucumber & Seaweed Cooling Mask – 4 oz / $30 – (Product is 2 oz, value of $15 by volume)
  • Odacite CaR Vital Glow Serum – 5 mL / $55 – (Product is .7 mL, value of $1.10 by volume)
  • The Seaweed Bath Co. Restoring Marine Serum – 1 oz / $45 – (Product is .16 oz, value of $7.20 by volume)
  • Derma E Hydrating Night Creme – 2 oz / $29.50 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $7.38 by volume)
  • Osea Ocean Cleanser – 5 oz / $44 – (Product is 1 oz, value of $8.80 by volume)
  • Kahina Brightening Serum – 30 mL / $72 – (1 packet at about 3 mL each, approx value of $7.20)
  • Me to We Rafiki Bracelet – 1 bracelet / $10 – (Product is full size)

The total value comes to $115.93 which is well above the advertised value!  I’m pretty happy with mostly everything that came in this bonus box.  The only things I’m not terribly thrilled with are the bracelet and vitamins, but I’ll end up using everything else which makes the box a pretty fantastic value for $30.  It’s hard to pick a single item that I’m really thrilled about, but it’s probably the a tie between the Osea cleanser and Folium Medica potion that smells SO good.  Honestly, this was a great value for what’s included, and I always like getting these bonus boxes.  Looking forward to the next one!

Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box March 2017

IT’S HERE!  Holy crap, it’s here.  The theme for this BOOM!Box cycle was, “Automaton,” and featured all sorts of robot goodness.  I think this was originally meant to ship in February, but there was a delay which was well communicated and WELL worth the wait.  On first opening the box, I was greeted with an insert about the new makeup palettes which should be releasing for pre-order soon.  Under that was a little card about entering to win a free BOOM!Box with posts on social media using the hashtags #ecboombox and #post4boom.  There was also a little rolled up scroll with a note from Marissa Meyer who collaborated on this box.

Just underneath that was something new!  A silver envelope that contained product cards for everything in the box, information on Nexus and Nexus OP, as well as a reminder to check your email for the sale code for the box.  I really love this level-up on the product card.  Having separate pages for each item may use more paper, but it also gives us more information about each product which is nice.

Also inside the envelope were three stickers featuring still more automaton goodness.  There’s nods to the Iron Giant and Terminator, and even a special Espionage Cosmetics robot sticker.  I have to admit that the Skynet FREE WIFI sticker is making me laugh – I’m going to have to stick that to my laptop.

Next up was the Wires and Nerve makeup bag featuring artwork from the new graphic novel by Marissa Meyer, Wires and Nerve Vol. 1.  The bag has some really beautiful artwork on both the front and the back and is lined with a bright orange fabric.  The outer fabric is a heavy canvas while the inside is a slightly lighter nylon, and it has padding between the inner and outer layers.  The fabric choice and padding make this a really stand-out item.  It’s not a cheap cotton bag, it’s a seriously heavy-duty, thick bag and will undoubtedly work great to protect items inside the bag.

The nail wraps this month are GORGEOUS!  We also have some new nail wrap packaging which I absolutely adore.  On the left is, “We’re Doomed,” which is a little nod to C3PO with a quote from Return of the Jedi.  Gold and silver foil accent these glossy nail wraps around a design of exposed wires.  On the right, we have, “U-87,” which is definitely Battlestar Galactica themed.  This is another glossy nail wrap with silver foil accents and one bright red glitter accent wrap.  We also got a brand new nail file – it’s shorter and thicker than the old cardboard ones, but I like the way it looks, and it feels more substantial with the foam core between the two sides.

WOW.  This is the A-Maze-Ing Lantern made by Geekify, Inc.  The lantern came flat-packed in a burlap bag as six pieces.  A little bit of glue and foot-tapping later, my lantern was ready to go!  Two sides have a maze design, one side has the quote, “These violent delights have violent ends,” and there’s a solid back, bottom, and top.  Obviously, if you’re using a tea light candle, you have to remove the top while lit.  The quote is more recently recognized as being from Westworld, but has its origins in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  When lit, the lantern casts pretty shadows on the wall from the maze design, and I suppose you could even turn the quote side around so it can be read when illuminated on a wall instead of read while glowing through the lantern.  It’s made of laser cut wood and painted brown, and is really a lovely, unique piece.

Our artwork this month comes from Jen Taylor and features Roxie the Robot, a retro glam automaton, self-aware, and done taking orders!  The colors on this print are just perfect, and she’s such a lovely, badass girlbot.

I’m not sure I could even begin to come up with a value for this month, but even just with the nail wraps being $10 each, the cost of $30 per month is nearly covered, and we haven’t even gotten to the value of the lantern, makeup bag, or print yet!  Yet again, they nailed the theme in every single item, and I’m consistently wowed by how well they work a theme in each delivery.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Benevolent Beauty Box March 2017

March’s Benevolent Beauty Box has arrived with some pretty spring colors!  I have to admit that this month didn’t really wow me as a whole like prior boxes, but I’m in love with the two Au Naturale products, so it still works out okay in my book.

  • Manna Kadar Lash Extending Primer – .28 oz / $24 – (Product is full size)  The second ingredient on this is Mineral Oil, a petroleum-based ingredient.  I’m REALLY careful about what I put on my eyelashes and around my eyes since I tend to have some pretty bad reactions, so anything with mineral oil (liquid paraffin) is a no go.  I don’t really have a need for a lash primer – most mascaras do the job just fine on their own anyway – so this is going to the trade/give-away pile since I don’t want to take the risk of having my eyes itchy and red for days.
  • Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream – 2.4 oz / $14 – (Product is full size)  I received the Lavender scent.  I’ve tried this brand in the regular version, but this one is baking soda free.  I’m.. I’m just not into natural deodorants and this is the second one I’ve gotten this month, plus it’s in a pot, so you have to get your hands messy to apply it on your pits (gross – stick deodorant only please!).  Natural deodorants don’t work to stop you from sweating (they’re not antiperspirants), rarely deodorize for longer than four hours, and they just never work for me.  It’s the one big thing that I turn in my natural-hippie-organic-nut card for and man, if I never saw another deodorant in a subscription box, I would be a happy, happy gal.  Don’t get me wrong, for people who love natural deodorants, I’ve heard this is a good one, and the ingredients are awesome and natural, but like most personal care items, they’re just not going to work for everyone.
  • Au Naturale Creme Eye Shadow – 3 g / $20 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is, “Bora Bora,” described as a bright, aquamarine blue.  This was one of the products shown as a spoiler with two color variations, the other being, “Bliss,” which was a warm neutral-ish pink.  I have to admit that I was secretly wishing for this color to show up in my box, so I’m SUPER pleased with this!  The color goes on as a stunning metallic blue that’s easy to build from a pale shade to a brilliant blue, so it’s pretty versatile.  The formula is fairly solid in the pot, but warms up enough with the heat of your fingers to apply smoothly and blend easily.  I cannot wait to wear this!
  • Au Naturale Eyeliner Pencil – .5 g / $18 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is, “Deep Sea,” described as a subtle ocean blue.  I have hazel eyes, so I’ve come to love blue eyeliner and mascara to bring out the green in my eyes, so this is another winner in my book!  It’s ever so slightly metallic, and the ingredients are all natural waxes and oils (no petroleum-based ingredients), and this is honestly just perfect for me.
  • Jersey Shore Cosmetics My Lash Secret Eyelash Curler – 1 curler / $30 – (Product is full size)  Also included is one replacement pad.  I have to admit that I never really curl my lashes since I don’t have a lot of lash to begin with and mascara tends to give them a good enough curl anyway.  I think this is my third eyelash curler that I’ve received in subscription boxes, so I didn’t necessarily need another, but now that I have another one (and it’s not buried in the bottom of the bathroom cabinet), I’ll have to remember to start using it.  The company is committed to natural and organic beauty which I’m totally down with.

The total value this month comes to $106 which is great for a box that costs $29.95 for a month-to-month subscription!  Even if I’m really only interested in the eye shadow and eye liner, the cost of the box is still covered by the value of just those two products.  I’ll probably still use the eyelash curler, but it’s not really something I’ll use on a daily basis since I find it really difficult to curl my short eyelashes in the first place.  So, mixed feelings on this one.  I LOVE the two products from Au Naturale, but the rest of the box just wasn’t a good fit this month.  But hey, the overall value is incredible, my cost is covered by the two products I really like, and all the products are cruelty free so that works out for me!

Kickstarted: Eagle Cap-Off

I love a good Kickstarter campaign.  It’s such a great way to get neat ideas off the ground, and, as a consumer, a fun way to get involved with new products before they’re released to the general public at regular retail.  This little gem, the Eagle Cap-Off is exactly what Kickstarter was built for, in my opinion.  The Kickstarter campaign was launched in November 2015, and I was backer #503 of 779 pledging $48 for one Cap-Off.  The Eagle Cap-Off initially was projected to be fulfilled by June of 2016, but as sometimes happens, there were some delays involved in perfecting the product which were well communicated with monthly (or more frequent) updates.  Mine finally arrived December 30, 2016.  Delays are never a problem, IMHO, as long as the product is delivered eventually and there’s communication about the delay.  I definitely felt like communication regarding every step of the process was timely and thorough.  The product arrived inside the box shown in the photo above with the little sticker on the left inside the box as well.

The Eagle Cap-Off from the Kickstarter campaign is a replica of the original Cap-Off, sold by the Eagle Lock company in the 1940s.  There’s a pretty thorough history on the Eagle Cap-Off website, but basically, the original from 70 years ago was marketed as a safer way to open glass bottles (soda was still only available in glass bottles – pull-tab for cans was invented later, in 1959).  The idea of being able to buy a replica of a vintage bottle cap opener was initally what drew me to the campaign.  Here was this neat piece of hardware that looked nothing like any bottle cap opener I’d ever seen, and it had an interesting history.  Because I’m a huge history nerd, I poked through the newspaper archives I have access to and found a few ads from the mid 1940s talking about the original Eagle Cap-Off.  Click any ad to see the full-size version.
Eagle Cap-Off Eagle Cap-Off
Eagle Cap-Off Eagle Cap-Off
It looks like the original sold for $2.50 in 1946, so adjusting for inflation, that would be about $31 today.  Originals now sell forup to $125 on eBay, so the retail price of $58 for the reproduction model as available on the Eagle Cap-Off website seems pretty fair!

The design is definitely industrial which I think appeals to most craft beer enthusiasts.  It’s all metal with stainless steel components and it feels really solid, with a matte, vintage sort of finish.  It’s not perfectly polished and shiny, and for me, that’s part of its beauty.  The handles are slightly offset which does feel a little weird at first, but after opening a few beers, you get the hang of how easy it is pretty quickly.  I find it works best if you set the Cap-Off on top of your beer and loosen your hands around the handles (not quite letting go completely) to make sure it’s centered first before squeezing the handles.  The important part is that the Cap-Off lifts the cap off itself, so there’s no need to pull up or use any kind of prying motion – it’s almost easier if you put just a little bit of downward pressure to the bottle, but just the weight of your hand is enough.  I found that it was super easy to use, even with my dainty little lady hands, and of course my husband’s bear paws worked with it just fine as well.

The inside has three hooks that fit underneath the cap, and when you squeeze the handles, the plunger comes down while the hooks simultaneously grip the cap, lifting the cap off the bottle without touching the bottle itself.  The cap ends up with a little indent in the top where the plunger came down, but it’s otherwise unscathed.  It’s a kind of dramatic too – there’s usually a little puff of CO2 vapor right after the cap is lifted off.  (They even made a gif of it, and it’s awesome)

Have I mentioned how absolutely gorgeous this thing is?!  I realize this sounds like an advertisement, but I signed on to the Kickstarter campaign with my own money and am absolutely thrilled with the product they’ve delivered.  We’ve already used it a number of times while friends were over, and everyone was pretty impressed.  Sure, $58 is a good deal more than you’d spend for your average pry-off bottle cap opener, but it’s something unique that would make a great gift for a beer geek or just something nice for yourself (hey, you deserve it, and so do your fancy beers).

So, tl;dr?  The Kickstarter campaign was the perfect avenue for getting this off the ground.  The delivery may have been delayed, but regular contact kept us in the loop about what was going on.  The final product is a unique show piece for any home bar, feels solid, works perfectly, and is just so damn cool.  A++!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – February and March 2017

I’m lumping these two months together since they arrived together.  Espionage Cosmetics had received a damaged shipment that included the nail wraps for these two months, so unfortunately the Nexus shipments were delayed, but we were given notice by email at every turn.  More unfortunately, the entire shipment for both months couldn’t completely be delivered to every customer, so some of us (including myself) received one of the official wraps for the month, a bonus wrap that fit the theme, and a $10 credit for each month to make up for the missing wrap.  Some people were lucky enough to get their full shipment of both wraps and a bonus wrap (and I have to assume, no credit), so I’m a little bummed that I missed making the cut in the lottery.  It looks like there won’t be any voting on these, and customer service told me that the missing wraps won’t be available for purchase as they’ve done in previous months, nor will they be replaced at a later date.  I know making tough decisions like this as a small business is really difficult – someone is always going to be unhappy – and it’s probably even tougher given that the damage on the shipment of products to EC was completely out of their control and not any fault of their own.  So, given all that, while I’m still bummed that I’m teased with wraps on the product card that I love (DUDE, CONNECT FOUR!) but will never actually have, I feel like they managed things as best they could, kept us in the loop about the delay, and provided appropriate compensation to those of us that didn’t receive the full shipment.

Sorry, that was long!  But I wanted to be clear about why this post is different from the previous ones and why there’s been Nexus radio silence around here.  And now, on to the wraps!

February’s theme was, “Tainted Love,” and featured two designs that fit in with the big February holiday, Valentine’s Day.

  • Queen of Hearts – These are SO SO pretty.  They’re gloss with the red bits being a foil finish and they’re just perfect.  Definitely something I could see the queen herself wearing.
  • Crazy In Love – (not included)  I love the subtlety on these, but it’s easy to tell they’re inspired by Harley Quinn.  It looks like the diamonds were probably filled in with glitter, so I bet these are awesome.
  • Harlequin – (bonus wrap)  It’s one I already have, but it’s a favorite, so adding an extra to my stash is totally fine!

March’s theme was, “Game On!”  Two genius nail wraps were included in this one, and it looks like we got a peek at some new packaging!

  • World 1-1 – THIS IS AWESOME.  Inspired by Super Mario Bros., this wrap features a genius glow in the dark accent.  These are absolutely spectacular, and timely since we just put together our RetroPie system and have been playing the game constantly.
  • Go For One More! – (not included)  CONNECT FOUR!  I’m just sayin, if anyone who got this one wants to trade for some discontinued wrap I have, I’m down.
  • Dice – (bonus wrap)  Shockingly, somehow a wrap that I didn’t already own!  It does fit in with the gaming theme, so this works.

April’s theme has been released already and is, “Birds of a Feather.”  The one spoiler image looks to be Edgar Allan Poe inspired (ravens, maybe?), so I’m going to keep up with my subscription!  I think these two months were just a blip, and I hope that going forward, they’ll continue with stellar deliveries!