One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 7

This one was actually made on June 12th, but lazy blogger is lazy (there’s a theme around here).  I decided to go wild and make my own pasta when I realized that my basil planters were getting out of control and needed to be thinned out anyway.  I already had mushrooms in the fridge, and went and added sauteed broccoli rabe and roasted beets onto the plate to add a little more vegetable to the carbs.  Pasta is actually pretty easy to make – my go-to recipe involves 1 cup of flour to 1/4th cup of liquid which can be anything from pureed roasted beets to plain old water or an egg.  Having the fancy Kitchen-Aid pasta attachment means there’s no kneading either, just fold, process through, refold, repeat until you get the right springy consistency.  It probably takes me all of 5 or 10 minutes to be honest!  The clean-up can be a little bit more involved since flour goes ev-ery-where (I’m the tazmanian devil in the kitchen, really), but it’s just so much better than the boxed stuff, even if it is more work.  For the pesto sauce, I used basil, a little bit of olive oil, water, garlic scapes, and some clover cheese from the Collective Creamery Cheese CSA delivery, all pureed with the stick blender.  The mushrooms and broccoli were sauteed together in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and a little splash of homemade vinegar.  The beets were roasted with olive oil and salt.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go back to the tray of beets and polish them off later because it’s really easy to finish three beets when they’ve roasted down to sweet, delicious little bite-sized snacks.

Flour – Mill at Anselma
Basil – My Garden
Garlic Scapes – Jack’s Farm
Beets – Jack’s Farm
Broccolo Rabe – North Star Orchard
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Garlic – Charlestown Farm
Cheese – Valley Milkhouse
Non Local – homemade vinegar, olive oil, salt

Beautycon Summer 2017

I think this is my last Beautycon box on my year-long subscription, and I’ll admit that I was thinking about unsubscribing since this subscription has been a bit more miss than hit since it seems to cater to a younger demographic.  This box though?  Pretty freaking amazing.  There are a bunch of cruelty free companies I know and love in here, sheet masks, lip colors that are PERFECT, and blue eyeliner?  It’s like I put the box together myself.  If they keep on this track, I’ll totally stick around for a quarterly box that looks like this!  It’s a bit of a smaller box, but I feel like the quality of the items is much higher than past boxes that contained cheap drug store or dollar store items.  There were two box ambassadors this time, Kim Thai and Aidette Cancino, both of whom I’ve never heard of before and weren’t even mentioned on the box insert.

  • Deco Miami Cuticle Oil – 6 mL / $12.50 – (Product is full size)  The scent is “Lemon Blossom” and it does smell sweet and lemony without smelling like a kitchen dish soap.  It’s also vegan and cruelty free and is a company I know and love already, so it’s great to get cuticle oil from this company!
  • Deco Miami Crystal Nail File – 1 file / $10.50 – (Product is full size)  More Deco Miami, and again, a great inclusion to go along with the oil.  The crystal nail file is pink (eew) but it’s a nail file, so, the color isn’t as much of a deal breaker, but I’d still have preferred any of the pretty blue colors they have on their website.
  • Feel Brilliant Sheet Mask – 4 masks / $35 – (2 masks included, value of $17.50)  The mask is meant to be a detoxifying mask, removing oil and minimizing pores.  I just don’t believe the detoxifying bit, but if it helps keep breakouts away, I’m here for it.  Plus, sheet masks are just a fun pampering sort of thing to do when you need some me-time.
  • Dirty Little Secret Eyeshadow Crayon – 3 g / $14 – (Product is full size)  The color is “Gold Plated” and is a perfectly neutral shimmery gold color.  I love this sort of color for summer, and the formula goes on smoothly and blends out easily.
  • ColourPop  Ultra Satin Lip – 3.2 g / $6 – (Product is full size)  The color is “London Fog” and is this gorgeous, perfect red.  It does take a little while to dry, but once it does, it feels like the color will easily last hours and hours.  It’s also matte without feeling too drying, and I seriously love that color.
  • Jonteblu Eyeliner Pencil – 1.2 g / $5 – (Product is full size)  The color is “Electric Bleu” and is a metallic blue color.  I tend to go for blue eyeliner since it makes the greens in my eyes pop, so this is definitely going to be used right away!
  • Makeup Drop Silicone Makeup Applicator – 1 applicator / $20 – (Product is full size)  What a neat idea!  I’ve used beauty blender sponges before, but the idea with this is that you waste less product because the silicone applicator won’t absorb makeup, and the non porous surface allows for a more even application.  It can be used for foundation, blush, highlighers, concealers, moisturizers, and primers, so I’ll have to give this a whirl and report back, but I love the idea.
  • Doucce Lush Lip Gloss – 1 tube / $22 – (Product is full size)  The color is “Glistening Petals” which is a neutralish shimmery pink.  For a gloss, it goes on creamy and smooth, not sticky at all, and is rather well pigmented.  The color is very tame and really rather lovely as an everyday wear sort of shade.
  • Freeman Cucumber Peel-Off Gel Mask – 6 oz / $4.29 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $.36)  Peel off masks are so much fun, and this is going to be great to use after an icky hot summer day out.  It is a second mask product in the box, but it’s not a sheet mask, so I’m okay with a sort-of duplicate item since it is different enough.
  • Manna Kadar Flutter Mascara – 10 mL / $29 – (Product is full size)  The color is “Jet Black” and is from a company I already know and love.  I haven’t yet tried this mascara, but I’ll have to report back once I do.  The ingredient list is short and simple, most of them being silicones and waxes, so it looks like this will be okay for my sensitive eyes.

All in all, the box value comes to $136.86.  Historically, the boxes have ranged between a $100 and $150 value, so this is right around average.  My monthly cost is only $26.79 including shipping since I caught a great special a year ago, but the regular price is $35.99 a box which still makes this a great value.  It’s pretty much on par with cost to value ratio as the Benevolent Beauty Box and this month it was completely cruelty free as well, so that’s an extra big win in my book!  If they can commit to delivering cruelty free products in these quarterly boxes, I will DEFINITELY be staying on for more.  The big winners for me in this box were the ColourPop lip color, and the Jonteblu eyeliner for sure, but I honestly love and will use absolutely everything in this box.  SO SO glad to see all these wonderful cruelty free items!

Benevolent Beauty Box June 2017

This month’s Benevolent Beauty Box arrived over a week ago, but I’m still catching up!  I have to admit that the first thing I saw was that pink nail polish and I was a little disappointed since I haaaate pink, so that meant one item that I’d be trading or giving away right off the bat.  The rest of the box is pretty great though (as usual), I’m just bummed about the nail polish color.  My nails are barely ever naked, so nail polish is always welcome, but ..  pink?  No.  Any other color though!

  • Law Beauty Essentials Nail Polish – .37 oz – $9 – (Product is full size)  The color is “A Lot of Spice” which is this coralish pink, and personally, I think it’s probably the worst nail polish color ever.  I can at least respect a bolder fuchsia pink for being wild (even if I’d still never wear it, because pink), but a weak, light coral pink like this?  Ugh.  I just don’t like pink, so this is going to go to someone who does, and I’m going to sit here wishing it was a bright red or ocean blue instead.
  • Palmetto Derma Essential Moisturizing Cream – 2 oz / $48 – (Product is full size)  WHOA!  A super high value product, and one that I’m sure will last me a good long while!  The tiniest bit goes a long way, and the ingredient list is pretty amazing.  It dispenses out of the pump bottle as a thick cream and dries to a soft, matte finish.  I gave it a quick try, and I like how the formula works into my skin.  This is going to be great for both summer and winter since it feels so nice and light, but also feels like it’s crazy moisturizing too.
  • Ardency Inn Modster Light-Catching Eye Powder – .052 oz / $32 – (Product is full size)  This is pretty spendy for a mineral eyeshadow, but the color, “Purple Hearts,” is so right up my alley.  It’s a dark, rich purple with a lovely shimmery glitter in it, and I can’t wait to use this on a night out!
  • LARITZY Lip Pencil – 1 pencil / $18 – (Product is full size)  I don’t really use lip pencils much, but this is a solid, nice neutral color that would go well under a tinted gloss.  I just wish it was a softer lip crayon instead of a pencil since it is a little too hard of a formula to put all over your lips , but works out as a liner rather well.  The color just about perfectly matches my natural lip color too, so it would work well as an ‘invisible’ lip liner to keep feathery lipstick in place.
  • IDUNN Minerals Lip Gloss – 6 mL / $15 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is “Astrid” which is a shimmery pinky color.  The color doesn’t show up as much as the shimmer does, but it looks great over the LARITZY lip pencil and isn’t too sticky of a gloss either.  It would probably go really well over some bolder lip colors to give them a bit of shimmer too.

Overall the box value comes to $122 which is incredible for a box that costs $29.95 on a month-to-month basis!  The only miss this month was the nail polish, but I’m definitely keeping and using the other four items, and I do love how well the lip pencil and gloss play together.  The value on this box is always amazing, and I feel like it’s probably the best fit out of all the boxes I get in terms of the products I want to see in boxes (mostly makeup, a little skincare, everything cruelty free).  Looking forward to the next one!

Vegan Cuts June 2017

June’s Vegan Cuts Beauty Box arrived over a week ago, but I’m finally posting it now!  June’s theme was, “Uplifting Beauty,” so I expected aromatherapy sort of products, and it definitely delivered!  There is a repeat company from last month, Little Moon, but it’s a different product in a different scent, so that’s totally fine with me.  There are two items that are misses (the lip product and body cream), but everything else is great!

  • Little Moon Mineral Bath – 382 g / $16 – (Product is 28 g, value of $1.17 by volume)  The scent for this bath salt is “Beach All You Want” and was the scent I was interested in after looking at the company last month.  It almost smells a bit like Tang, but the sandalwood and coconut make it just a bit more interesting than just plain citrus.  The product card mentions that this can be used as a shower scrub as well which is something I hadn’t thought about doing with bath salts like this!  I’m not really into baths, so that’s a great way to repurpose these scrubs.  Looks like I can add the salt mixture to coconut oil to make a really nice scrub too!
  • Jing Ai Lip & Cheek Glo – .15 oz / $10 – (Product is full size)  The color is “Pink Chiffon.”  I was SO excited about this until I put it on and it looked like I had colored my lips with pale pastel pink chalk.  The formula is so great, but the color is a COMPLETE miss.  It’s lightly lemon-lime scented, and I seriously do love the formula, but the color.. ugh.  It’s unwearable.  I may be able to use it to layer over darker reds to bring them up a little or add a pearly pink shimmer, but as-is?  It’s a nope.  I’m just too pale to be able to pull off such a chalky pink color.
  • Sade Baron Body Cream – 2 oz / $9.00 – (Product is full size)  The scent is “Jasmine” which is my all-time most-disliked scent.  I did give it a quick try in the spirit of fairness, and I do like the formula, but the jasmine scent is a total deal breaker.  I really loathe smelly florals like this.  It’s a shame, because the company does have other scents available (Lavandin!!) and even an unscented version, but this scent is a complete pass for me.
  • Clarisea Powder Exfoliant – 5 oz / $14 – (Product is 1 oz, value of $2.80)  The scent is “Lavender” and this smells SO good – it’s an herbal lavender instead of a sweet, soapy lavender.  The idea is that you add a little to your regular face cleanser to add an exfoliating boost.  The scrub is finer than a coarse sugar or salt scrub, so it’s a little gentler on your skin.  I did give this a try already, added to my usual cleanser, and it was just the right level of scrub without being too harsh.
  • Adoratherapy Mood Boost Spray – 10 mL / $30 – (Product is 8 mL, value of $24 by volume)  What cute packaging!  This came in a neat little slide box with the spray nestled inside a foam insert.  The scent I received is “Awake” which is a blend of organic lavender, frankincense, patchouli, rosewood, tulsi, neroli and cinnamon.  This is a really fun scent!  Cinnamon can sometimes overpower everything, and you can tell the cinnamon is there up front, but it’s tempered by the other ingredients and blends into something that really does smell energizing.  I totally dig it.
  • Earthly Body Miracle Oil – 1 oz / $11.99 – (Product is .34 oz, value of $4.08 by volume)  It’s a blend of soybean, avocado, hemp, apricot, jojoba, tea tree, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils meant to be used anywhere your skin needs a little boost.  Some of the suggestions include dry feet/heels, nails and cuticles, stretch marks, etc.  It mostly smells like tea tree oil, but that’s pretty pungent stuff, so it’s going to take over wherever it’s used.  A wee little drop does go a long way, and this will be great to stash away for dry winter skin.

Overall the value comes to $51.05 which is great for a box that costs $22.95 on a month-to-month basis!  I’m a little bummed that the two full size products were misses for me, but that still leaves me with my cost covered, and I do really love that Adoratherapy spray scent.  I’m glad that they suggested the mineral bath can be used as a scrub because I’m definitely going to do that.  Even with the two misses, this was a pretty good box, and there was a nice variety of products!  Looking forward to next month!

Geek Chic Monthly – June 2017

This one is a new one for me, Geek Chic Monthly!  Each monthly box contains four items around a theme, and June’s theme was Stranger Things.  I’m probably the only person in the world who really wasn’t that into the series – it was too long by about 6.5 hours (it should’ve been a 1.5 hr movie, and you could tell there was superfluous fluff added to fill space and make it a series), the plot premise was nothing new, and the only leg it had left to stand on was all the awesome 80’s kitsch which is cool and all, but not enough substance to make the series truly something good.  It left me more than a little disappointed.  Still though, the theme of friendship and all the great call backs to my childhood made it worth watching, but it doesn’t get a place in my top-10 favorites.  On to the box!  The box itself has artwork on the outside which is a neat touch and so fun to see inside the mailbox, and I love that each box is customized for the theme.

  • Eleven’s Waffles Earrings – A cute set of earrings from Malyn’s Handmade as a nod to Eleven’s favorite food.  Super cute and realistic looking, these are going to be fun to wear just because!
  • Friends Don’t Lie Bracelet – It’s an ID tag style bracelet on a satin cord with an adjustable slider that has “011” printed on it.  The face of the bracelet says, “Friends Don’t Lie,” which is a quote from the series.
  • Barb “I’m Chill” Sunglasses – Pink sunglasses with a little image of Barb and “I’m Chill” written on the side.  This is the only thing I’ll be passing on to a friend since I hate pink, and I wear prescription glasses, so non-prescription sunglasses are useless for me.  I mean, it’s a cute idea, and I love seeing Barb getting a shout out in the box, but they’re just something I can’t use (contacts aren’t really an option for me anymore, total bummer).
  • Upside Down Necklace – This is so neat!  It’s Upside Down, upside down (and backwards in the photo, oops!).  The material is a laser cut acrylic and the chain is just the right length.  This is going to be so much fun to wear.

As far as a value goes, the box costs $15 per month plus shipping.  I signed on for the 6 month plan, so my total cost per month is $16.  Each item would have to be worth $4 to make the value exceed the cost, and I think that’s definitely been done here!  Similar earrings on Etsy from the same shop go for $10.99, so we’re already pretty close to covering the cost right there.  Even if the sunglasses weren’t a good fit for me, everything was such a great fit to the theme, and the box worked well as a whole.  I am SUPER psyched for next month’s theme which is Star Trek and Alien!