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Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box May 2017

Oh hey, it’s May, that means another edition of the Espionage Cosmetics BOOM!Box has arrived!  I completely forgot this was a May thing, so when I saw the box on my doorstep this morning, I was pleasantly surprised.  This month’s theme was, “Battle of the Badlands,” and was teased as featuring items from our favorite dystopias.  The theme was right up my zombie-loving alley, and may be one of my favorite boxes so far!

 

  • Drylands Map – SO much awesome in one little map.  This came rolled up in a tube, but flattened out pretty easily.  Both sides are printed with the back being a plain surface that looks like a distressed parchment paper.  It was designed by Jessica Freaxx who did an AMAZING job.  The map design is a collection of cities from all kinds of different dystopias from WALL-E to The 100, Shaun of the Dead, and even Zombieland to name a few.
  • You’ve Got Red on You T-Shirt – Created as a collaboration with Jordandené, this t-shirt has that classic phrase from Shaun of the Dead.  This is one of my most favorite movies ever, so I’m absolutely IN LOVE with this shirt.  The fabric is a super soft cotton, and I’m beyond over the moon for this.  I have .. plans .. for a better photo shoot for this shirt that I couldn’t quite accomplish today, so I’ll probably post that at a later date.  [insert evil cackle here]

  • Heda Necklace – Made of two layers of faux leather on a ball chain necklace, this necklace is amazing.  I am a huge fan of The 100 so this is perrrrfect.  The black faux leather top layer is imprinted with “Jus drein jus daun,” and lays over a brown faux leather layer to make the Trikru symbol.  The back of the card lets you know that the chain was left extra long, but you can easily snap off the excess length to shorten it to your liking.

  • Twinkie – It’s a Twinkie!  Definitely a reference to Zombieland, this addition to the box gave me a good laugh.  The unsinkable Twinkie also made an appearance in WALL-E, and just like in the movies, I’m pretty sure Twinkies will outlast us all (although this one may not last a week).  Such a great reference to two excellent movies!
  • Wasteland Wanderer Nail Wraps – These glossy nail wraps are a reference to the Fallout video game, specifically to Vault Boy’s outfit.  I can’t say I’ve ever played the game myself, but I’m familiar enough with the franchise to have picked this out right away.

  • Dead Inside Nail Wraps – OHBOY OHBOY.  ZOMBIES.  This is just such a neat take on The Walking Dead and I’m going to need eleventy more of these.  The nail wraps have a glossy finish with silver foil accents that make it look like you’re watching for zombies behind the (apparent) safety of a fence.  There’s even a glow in the dark accent! (Click here to see)
  • Borderlands The Pre-Sequel Nail Wraps – This is another video game franchise I haven’t yet dipped my toe into, but I keep seeing references to the game everywhere, so it might be time!  These are glossy nail wraps in super bright colors, and even if I don’t know much about the game, they sure are pretty.

Values are always hard to assign with this box since most things are custom-made just for this box.  I know that the Jordandené shirt retails for $30, and the three nail wraps would be $10 each which makes for a running total of $60, so we’re already way over the cost of the box which is $30 per month plus shipping, making the cost $36.25 in total.  I can’t get over that t-shirt though!  I have a bunch of other Shaun of the Dead themed tees, but this one is so perfect and so different from the others.  And, that necklace!  I’m definitely wearing that out this weekend.  So yeah, yet another box that completely knocked it out of the park for me!  Next cycle’s theme arriving in August has already been announced and is, “The Perfect Storm,” which, YES PLEASE.

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – May 2017

Another month of Espionage Cosmetics Nexus has arrived!  This month’s theme was, “Keeping Track,” and I honestly had no idea where that was going.  The spoiler image teased a set of tally marks on a chalkboard, but you really never know until the shiny black mailer shows up in the mailbox.  Both wraps are definitely right on track with the theme though and make for awesome designs, and I’m going to have a hard time picking a favorite for voting this month!

  • Tally Marks – These feature a clear background on glossy nail wraps so you can layer your favorite color nail polish underneath.  They also have a glow in the dark feature beyond the black tick marks, and as usual, these glow crazy bright.
  • Abacus – This is a glossy nail wrap with a foil accent on the abacus bars.  I just love the bright colors on these and how the foil accent makes them really stand out.

I like the black and white simplicity of the tally marks, but the colorful abacus is so neat.  I’m still torn!  The month-to-month subscription cost is $15, and since each wrap goes for $10 on the website, the value definitely exceeds the cost, plus, subscribers get first crack at new designs.  Subscribers then vote on their favorite design, and the winner of the Nail Wrap Battle Royale goes on to be sold on the Espionage Cosmetics website while the loser gets locked in the vault.  Next month’s theme has already been released, and it’s, “They See Me Trollin'” which you know is just going to be amazing, coming from the geniuses at the EC team.

I have one extra note since today is a big day at Espionage Cosmetics for makeup.  Preorders have launched for the anticipated Colovaria Collection and RPG Collection! The company started with loose mineral shadows and now they are releasing pressed eyeshadow palettes. This is huge for the world of #NerdMakeup.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or The Magicians (or anything magical), definitely check out the Colovaria Collection. If you’re more on the gamer side (World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Dungeons and Dragons, etc.) you’ll definitely be partial to the RPG Collection which is packed with super pigmented colors.  Or, you know, grab both of them because they’re both made of awesome.

You can check out the preorder launch and find out more information on the palettes at espionagecosmetics.com/nerdmakeup.

Espionage Cosmetics Nexus – April 2017

Another edition of the Espionage Cosmetics Nexus has arrived!  This is April’s shipment that arrived yesterday, so it’s right on time.  The theme this month was, “Birds of a Feather,” and from a spoiler, I knew there would be a Edgar Allan Poe themed wrap, but had no idea what the other one would be!

Nevermore – This glossy nail wrap features ravens and black feathers against a cloudy sky background, with a reference to that famous poem, “The Raven.”  You could almost double purpose this for a little Hitchcockian birds, so it’s got a little bonus content, I think.  Even better is that I love both Poe and Hitchcock, so this one is right up my alley.

Flight of the Moonfallen – This is a nail wrap with a pearl finish and bonus glow in the dark content.  I didn’t recognize this one at all, but thankfully someone on Instagram mentioned that it was a reference to the Saga comic book series.  It’s a really lovely design, taken from the wings of one of the characters, and now that I’ve read up about it, the series sounds like something right up my alley, so I’m going to have to put it on my reading list.

This is an easy month for me since I have a soft spot for Poe, so my vote is definitely going to Nevermore in the epic nail wrap battle.  I’m still pretty fond of Flight of the Moonfallen since it’s a beautiful design, but.. POE!  Either way, I still received both of these and get to wear them, but only one will go on to victory and end up on the website for sale to the public.  The month-to-month subscription cost is $15, and since each wrap goes for $10 on the website, the value definitely exceeds the cost, plus, subscribers get first crack at new designs.  Next month’s theme has already been announced, and it’s, “Keeping Track.”  In case you’re thinking about subscribing and want to send me some love, hit up my referral link!

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!

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!