Espionage Cosmetics Nexus January 2018

The first Espionage Cosmetics Nexus shipments of the year have arrived!  The theme was, “Court of Fairies” and up above is the regular Nexus shipment.  Espionage Cosmetics recently launched a new Literary Nexus shipment, so you know I signed up for both because BOOKS.  But first, Standard Nexus!

  • Faerie Lace – On the top, with the tagline, “Woven with Magic,” these wraps are indeed woven with glow in the dark magic!  They’re a black lace design with little faeries in the corners, and they’re clear so you can use a colored nail polish underneath.  They’re so pretty and subtly nerdy, I just love them!
  • Neverland Fairies – I think it’s pretty obvious this means Tinkerbell!  And it’s absolutely precisely Tinkerbell.  I mean, how can you have a theme about Fairies and not include Tinkerbell, right?!  And, all that glitter, just as I’d expect from both EC and a nail wrap featuring that famous gal.

So, this is the Nexus Literary shipment also from January with the same theme.  Rightfully so, they include a bookmark that goes with the theme.

  • Wedded to Hippolyta – On the top with a quote by Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream, these Literary wraps are perrrrfect!  The text glows in the dark and I love how they mix in the text and artwork to create a full set of nail wraps.  Also, Shakespeare!  And a badass woman.  I wasn’t able to figure out what painting the non-text wraps came from, but it works with the text.
  • Peter and Wendy – “Made of Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust,” in another nod to Peter Pan, these wraps feature a silver foil accent with silver glittery stars.  I just love the color palette on these with the dark blues and silver.  Pure magic!

So, that wraps up January’s theme!  I absolutely love all four nail wraps between the regular Nexus and the Literary Nexus.  I’m pretty sure my next manicure is going to be Neverland Fairies because it feels more and more like spring and that huge dose of glitter content is just the happiness I need in my life right now.  In case you’re thinking about subscribing, check out the link below!

Goodbeing Winter Sale Box 2018

I usually jump on getting these Bonus boxes from Goodbeing since I’m not a regular subscriber but still like their cruelty-free model.  This box?  Not so great.  It claimed to contain between 8-13 items that have been included in member boxes over the past 18 months with a value of over $100.  I opted for the beauty box which was meant to contain a mix of makeup, haircare, and skincare products, and it arrived January 22, 2018.  *SIGH*  For starters, the Vapour gloss I received in the February 2016 box, the Juice Organics foil packets from April 2016, and the St. Tropica hair mask from September 2016.  But hey, at least I didn’t get yet another one of those seed bead bracelets!  The tally was 17 individual items, a total of 10 unique products, and a total value of $129.87, so it lived up to the value expectations, but some of the items are from so long ago and there are so many foil packets and duplicate items that I was left feeling kind of blah about this box.  Anyway, here’s the rundown of products – I won’t get into reviews since there are too many products to try all at once, but if you search back, you may find reviews since I’ve gotten half of these products in the past.  I doubt I’ll do another one of these boxes from Goodbeing if they’re still foisting off leftovers from two years ago that I already received from being a prior subscriber.  Super disappointing, Goodbeing.

  • Juice Organics Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner – Set of 2, 10 oz tubes / $24 – (2 foil packet sample sets, total volume of 1.36 oz, value of $1.63 by volume)
  • B True Beauty All Natural Eyelash Enhancer – 1 tube / $59 – (Product is full size)
  • Vapour Plumping Lip Gloss – .13 oz / $24 – (Product is full size)
  • Juice Organics Repairing Shampoo – 10 oz / $12 – (2 sample tubes at 1 oz each, value of $2.40 total)
  • Juice Organics Repairing Conditioner – 10 oz / $12 – (2 sample tubes at 1 oz each, value of $2.40 total)
  • Alima Eye Pencil – 1.14 g / $18 – (Product is full size, discontinued color Indigo)
  • St. Tropica Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask – 6 pack / $27 – (Single size, value of $4.50)
  • Kahina Brightening Serum – 30 mL / $72 – (1 packet at about 3 mL each, approx value of $7.20)
  • Borika Mandarin+Cacao Body Scrub – 8 oz / $18.95 – (2 oz package, value of $4.74)
  • Ursa Major Face Wipe – 20 wipes / $24 – (5 wipes, value of $6)

Sephora Play! February 2018

I thought I’d get back to posting the only other makeup subscription I still receive, Sephora Play!  This is box #144 for February 2018.  The bag is a plain cotton bag with a little cartoon face on it and, “Feel The Love,” printed all in red with a pink drawstring ribbon.  I just don’t like these cartoon designs and would rather see something with just a fun font or design I guess?  I mean, it works for February and Valentine’s Day and all, but it’s not really my style.  Anyway, on to the contents!

  • Farmacy Green Clean – 3.2 oz / $34 – (Product is .4 oz, value of $4.25 by volume)  It’s a pretty solid product, more like a solid perfume, and it’s meant to help remove makeup and clean your skin, so you give your face a good rub down with the stuff and then rinse it off.  The scent is lightly “green”(fresh and grassy sort of?), but not at all overwhelming.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I do love oil-based makeup removers.  Bonus, Farmacy is cruelty free.
  • Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb – 25 mL / $48 – (Product is 5 mL, value of $9.60 by volume)  I don’t really use a lot of eye creams since my eyes tend to be a little sensitive, and, let’s face it, I tend to just use one product for my whole face instead of separate creams/serums for different areas.  Lazy lady is lazy.  The formula is mostly silicone based with a bunch of natural ingredients including comfrey and pennywort.  I tried it out and it doesn’t seem to bother my eyes, plus, the company is cruelty free!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color – 1.64 g / $29 – (Product is 1g, value of $17.68 by volume)  The color is “Rose Gold” which is a warm pinky gold color.  It goes on velvety smooth and blends easily, and it’s an easy to use color that goes well with my skin tone.  It’s also almost full size which is nice to see!  The company is owned by Shiseido, so while Laura Mercier claims to not engage in animal testing, their parent company does.
  • Chloe Eau de Parfum – 4.2 oz / $180 – (Product is .04 oz, value of $1.71 by volume)  I generally don’t like these crazy expensive perfumes, but this one really isn’t that bad!  It’s a musky rose sort of scent and the musky notes come out more on my skin which I rather like.  The floral side of it is much more subtle and this is a sample I’ll actually use up!  This company is not cruelty free.
  • Sephora Rouge Matte Lipstick – .10 oz / $12.50 – (Product is .035 oz, value of $4.38 by volume)  The color I received is “Rebel Chic” which is a deep raspberry red color.  This is exactly the sort of shade I like to wear, so I’m super pleased the random color choice was perfect!  The formula goes on like a creamy matte lipstick without feeling drying.  Unfortunately, this was on sale and is sold out on the website, so I think my chances of getting a full size one are slim.  Bummer.  Sephora is not a cruelty free brand either.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment – .15 oz / $24 – (Product is .07 oz, value of $11.20 by volume)  I received the color “Rose” which is a sheer rose pink color, but I find that there’s very little to no color payoff with this.  It’s also got SPF 15 so that’s great for the wind up to spring/summer, and this is a product I’ve used before, so it’s nothing new, but I don’t mind seeing it again.  Fresh is not cruelty free despite saying they are – they sell in mainland China, so while they don’t do the testing themselves, their products are tested on animals before being available for sale in China.  It’s wording trickery since the company doesn’t exactly test on animals, but they choose to sell in a market that requires it, so they’re complicit in the continuation of this barbaric practice.  /soapbox

So, anyway!  The value of this box comes to $48.82 which is pretty phenomenal when you consider that the cost is only $10.60 including tax and shipping!  I’ll use everything in this box for sure, but the big winner for me was the lipstick.  Looking forward to see what next month brings!

Benevolent Beauty Box January 2018

The first Benevolent Beauty Box of the new year!  Hey, I’m late on posting this, but I’m sure that’s no shocker at this point given how I haven’t had much time to post to the blog at all the last few months.  I keep saying I’m going to get better at it again since I had been really regular at posting things, but it just keeps falling off my radar.  Anyway!  In an effort to actually catch up, here goes.

  • True Moringa Simplicity Facial Oil – 30 mL / $26 – (Sample size is 5 mL, value of $4.33 by volume – listed as $17 on product card)  The applicator inside is a roller ball and I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of roller balls since they tend to clog or stick and never actually apply the product any better than you could with your fingertips.  However, the roller ball bit is easy to remove, leaving me with an awesome oil that has just one ingredient!  My face has been a dry wreck all winter, so this will be a huge help on the dry patches.
  • Seraphine Fig Butter Lip & Cheek Stain – 4 g / $24 – (Product is full size)  There’s no scent or flavor to the product and while I only tried it out as a lip stain, it goes on much like a rich, creamy lipstick without being sticky.  It’s kind of the best of both lipstick and lip balm.  The color is mostly like a brick red and the color payoff is enough to see it there, but not quite as much as a fully opaque lipstick making it perfect for everyday use to moisturize lips and add a pop of color.  I didn’t feel like it really stained my lips, but it did look really nice on.  I really love this!
  • Lippy Girl Vegotastic Vegan Lip Gloss – 2.5 mL / $22 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is “Plum Perfect” which is a dark burgundy/purple color.  The color payoff is surprisingly good for a gloss, and it doesn’t feel sticky.  Unfortunately, the color is just a little bit too dark for me, so I’ll try experimenting layering it over/under other colors, but this might be a miss for me.
  • Lauren B Beauty Nail Polish – .5 oz / $18 – (Product is full size)  The color I received is “House of Blues” which is a super dark navy blue color with just the slightest shimmer.  This is a color that’s absolutely perfect for me since I LOVE blue nail polish!  This brand is also a proven favorite, so I’m happy to see their polish in this box.
  • BioRepublic Pomegranate Crush Sheet Mask – 1 mask / $4.99 – (Product is full size)  I haven’t yet tried the mask, but anything pomegranate sounds good to me!  The mask claims to brighten skin tone, and even and smooth complexion, but any time I get to spend 15 minutes relaxing with a sheet mask is absolutely worth it, even if the mask doesn’t live up to its wild claims.  I’m always happy to see sheet masks!

Overall, the total value of the box came to either $73.32 or $85.99 depending on how you count the Moringa Oil.  Either way, for a box that costs $29.99 on a month-to-month basis, that’s still more than double the cost!  I’m always pretty pleased with these boxes, and in this one, my two favorites have to be the nail polish and lip stain.  Looking forward to see what February’s box has in store!