Benevolent Beauty Box October 2016

A very late post for the Benevolent Beauty Box for October.  This one arrived on time as usual, I’ve just had no time to get the blog post up!  Still a stellar box even if it’s not exactly one of my favorites.  Out of the two nail polish variants, I got the one I wasn’t interested in (I definitely liked the blue better) and the lipstick color was way too dark for my tastes, but the oil and eyeshadow are awesome!  I’m not quite sure how I’ll use the Punker shadow since it’s the darkest black and my eyes are too deep set to really look good with that whole smokey eye thing.  They’re still all awesome, full size products, just a little off the mark for me this time around, but the box has been so amazing overall that one slight miss isn’t a big deal for me.

  • Medusa’s Makeup Maracuja Oil – .34 oz / $12 – (Product is full size)  Also known as Passionfruit seed oil, this great oil is wonderful for dry skin.  It absorbs quickly and has a very faint nutty scent, almost a little like Cocoa butter.  My skin is alway dry, so this is great to see in the box, and I had never tried this oil before!
  • Modish Polish – .5 oz / $12 – (Product is full size)  I received the color, “No Time for Bullshit,” which is a nude-ish mauve.  I probably would’ve preferred the other color variant here since I definitely prefer blue over a pink toned color, but this goes on more like a warmer nude than a pink.  Surprisingly, it’s mostly opaque in one coat which is really awesome.  I gave it a quick try and it did dry quickly and seemed to be pretty durable!  I like a bunch of the other colors on the site so I may have to keep them on my radar.
  • Tat2U Lipstick – 4.5 g / $16 – (Product is full size)  The color received is, “New Generation,” and it’s described as a light plum, but it comes out more like a dark mauve on me and is just a bit too dark for my comfort level.  I may have to try lightening this up a little with the Color Switch from the first box or going with a gold gloss over top to brighten it up a bit.. As it is, it just makes me look more pale than I already am!
  • Tat2U Lip Pencil – 1 g / $14 – (Product is full size)  The color received is, “Hyper,” and is described as a deep purple color.  It’s definitely a little darker than the lipstick but does go on nice and smooth.  Not sure again on the color since these dark, plummy purples just aren’t doing it for me, but again, I think with a sparkly gold gloss on top, it might work.
  • LaRitzy Eye Shadow – 1.48 g / $16 – (Product is full size)  The color received is, “Iced Malted,” and is a shimmery golden toned neutral tan color.  I’m really digging all the golden shimmer eyeshadows that have been popular this year, so this is a welcome addition!  It goes on velvety smooth and works nicely for a good pop of shimmer.
  • Ardency Inn Punker Eyes Like Fire Shadow – 2.2 mL / $21 – (Product is full size)  The product is a highly pigmented black eyeshadow with a brush attached to the applicator.  I really can’t pull off the smokey eye thing (or I feel like I can’t since my eyes are pretty deep set and it just makes them look even deeper and not in a good way!), so I’m not sure how to use this!  I think I might be able to make it work like a smudged eyeliner if I’m really careful with the applicator, but since the brush is attached, it makes that pretty difficult.  I think it might work as an eyeshadow base layer too since it does blend easily and seems to have great staying power.

The total value comes to $91 which is fantastic since the box costs $29.95 per month for a month-to-month subscription.  My personal cost is covered between the two products I really loved (the oil and eyeshadow), so I’m okay with that, even if the colors of the lip products weren’t quite a good match.  That may be on me though since my personal comfort zone for color goes more bright/vivid reds and pinks instead of dark/deep plums and mauves – someone else might think it looks fine on me, but to my eye it just looks off.  I’ll have to do some more playing with the color to see if I can get it to work though since I do like the formulas of both.  Looking forward to November’s box and December’s Special Edition box!

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – December 2016


Another round of the Espionage Cosmetics Nexus has arrived!  They get here a little ahead of the month, so this is for December’s theme, “Twisted Holiday,” with two nail wraps to fit the theme!  I expected probably something with string lights based on the theme image, but like always, had no idea where they might take the theme!

  • Holiday Lights – A glossy nail wrap with a glow in the dark accent that is hinted at in the subtitle, “When Phoning Home Can’t Do The Job.”  It’s a pretty clever way to incorporate Stranger Things into a holiday theme, and the nerd value here is subtle, but will no doubt be super popular.
  • Patron Spirit of Halloween – This is a glossy nail wrap with black and white stripes that are reminiscent of Jack Skellington’s tuxedo.  I honestly really dig the simplicity of these and Nightmare Before Christmas is a favorite, so it’s going to make voting super difficult this month!

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I have to admit that I’m still undecided!  While I love Holiday Lights, I have a soft spot for Patron Spirit of Halloween and really love those classy but still spooky pinstripes.  Both nail wraps fit the theme perfectly!  The nail wraps each cost $10 on the Espionage Cosmetics website, so the value exceeds the $15 month-to-month subscription cost.  Voting has started, so if you’re a subscriber, go and vote now (if you can choose a favorite!).  Public voting usually opens in a week or two, so keep an eye on the Espionage Cosmetics Twitter for details!  The winner goes on to fame and glory for sale to the public once voting has ended, and the loser remains a Nexus exclusive.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

Sepia Saturday 345-c

For the third week of the, “War and Peace,” theme, we have a photo of a friend of my mother’s family, Robert James Zupon.  He was born 20 March 1928 in PA and passed away on 2 December 2009 also in PA.  My mom remembers the name though we had a bit of a time figuring out who the face belonged to!  Once we finally got a name, the pieces fell into place.  I didn’t find out much about his military career other than a Veterans Burial Card that noted he was in the Army during the Korean War, but here we have a photo of him in his uniform with a big smile on his face.  Even though he’s not related by blood, he was enough a part of the lives of my ancestors that they saved a photo of him.

Sepia Saturday 345-b

Another week of our Sepia Saturday theme, “War and Peace,” and for this week, I have a photo of my grandfather, John Rachocki.  John served in the Army Air Force from 21 July 1941 through 13 Dec 1945 during World War II.  Based on another photo with the same border, I believe this was taken in Texas during training on the early end of his service.  Much like last week’s photo, there are barracks with a wooden walkway between them and while it’s a different branch of service and a different war, it still looks somewhat similar though there’s no laundry line in the background, just a large hangar or warehouse of some sort.  There’s no label on the back, but I’m fairly sure of my assumptions of time and place given that there’s a similar photo in the bunch.  We don’t have all that many photos of grandpa John and seeing him in uniform is a real treat!

Sepia Saturday 345-a

A new Sepia Saturday theme awaits us for November, “War and Peace.”  I have a number of photos of family members who served in the military and fortunately there are still a few I haven’t used yet!  For this week, belated as is my style anymore, we have a stereogram photo of Earl William Powis Sr, born 15 October 1896 in Pennsylvania, died 26 Mar 1973 in Florida.  Earl was my great grandmother’s brother, and he served in the Navy during World War I from 14 May 1917 through 21 August 1919.  In a rare event, we actually have a fully labelled photo with some great detail, so I included the back this time to show you.  The back reads, “Baking, September the 5, 1917, Phila Navy Yards.”    The internet has a good archive of weather data, so I was able to find out it was 82F that day which is indeed pretty warm (Wunderground link).  Phila Navy Yards of course refers to the Philadelphia Navy Yard which is now mostly no longer in use by the Navy.  They still have a small presence, but the majority of the land was taken back by the city of Philadelphia.

The photo itself is pretty neat since it’s a stereogram image, the only one I have in all the family photos.  You should be able to cross your eyes and see a 3D image appear between the two!  I have to imagine either the Navy took this or a fellow sailor with a stereo type camera snapped the photo.  The background shows lines of barracks with a wooden walkway and other sailors doing various work in the background as well as some laundry hanging on a line stretched between buildings.  At this point in time, Earl had only been in the Navy for just shy of 4 months, so this may have been basic training still.  Earl has a slight smile on his face, and it’s so neat to have such a nice, candid sort of photo from a rather early point in photographic time!