Unboxing

Influenster Frostybox Unboxing

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I know this post is hella late, and I’m so sorry! The Frostybox was the first Influenster box I’ve received, and I got a ton of awesome products of various types and brands that I’m so excited to try out (and it was all free! Who can argue with that?) This box was diverse and interesting, so let’s get right into it.

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The first thing I noticed in my box was this Ecotools Hair brush. I’ve heard great things about the Ecotools line of makeup brushes, but I didn’t know that they made hair brushes! I love that Ecotools utilizes materials like bamboo to create environmentally friendly, sustainable products. The bristles on this brush are quite fanned out, so I initially thought this was a round brush, but to my relief, it’s a regular brush (I’m afraid I’m not so adept at hairstyling and don’t know the best use for a round brush!) The vents on the tool are designed to dry the hair 20% faster, which is a concept I can get behind! I don’t like to blow dry but hate the feeling of wet hair, so this sounds like a perfect solution. This brush retails for $10.99.

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The next thing I noticed was this bottle of Rimmel makeup remover. I haven’t tried many RImmel products, but what I love what I’ve experienced from them so far, so I was very excited by this product. It claims to be gentle, remove all kinds of makeup (even waterproof and long-wearing), and is suitable for use for those with sensitive eyes and contact wearers. I always appreciate gentle products, since my skin is very sensitive. I like that it’s much bigger than my other eye makeup removers, too. This retails for $7.49

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Next was McCormick Thyme. I was pleasantly surprised by this spice, since I was expecting this box to be exclusively cosmetic items. I love that they included lifestyle things as well! A good, aromatic spice like thyme is handy in the kitchen since it’s versatile and can be used to add flavor to things from breakfast foods to baked goods. I was particularly happy to gift this to my mother during the holidays (and she was thrilled to receive it!). A bottle of McCormick thyme costs $4.79

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The next thing to grab my attention was a bag of Redvines Strawberry Fruit Vines Bites. I was curious about this, since I hadn’t heard of the brand or seen something like it before. I haven’t  tried them yet, but they seem like little licorice candies. I’m always a fan of snack foods in boxes, and everyone likes something sweet! These candies are available in stores for $1.29-$1.79.

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Continuing on was Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea. I had never tried tea before, but I’ve heard great things about Celestial Seasonings, and the candy cane flavor was cute for the holidays. I brewed this tea and gave it a chance, and enjoyed it very much! The peppermint taste was quite strong, so I wouldn’t recommend it to people who know for sure they don’t like that flavor. But I enjoyed it, and thought it was a great take on plain green tea. The info card that came with the box didn’t list a sales price for this item.

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Moving on to Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Black. I was excited for this product! As I said, I love Rimmel, and the look of this product is similar to my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. I’m going to love trying this out and seeing how well the two compare! This retails for $4.49.

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Next is NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum. Some of my first forays into makeup were with NYC (I cringe at the thought of a matching lip gloss and nail polish I picked up in sixth grade). It’s great to see the brand still thriving, and I look forward to trying this product now that I know a bit more of what I’m doing when it comes to cosmetics! I think the color is interesting, and very holiday. This product retails for $1.99.

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And finally, the Boots No. 7 Advanced Sachet. This serum is designed to reduce fine lines and make the skin look younger. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m always interested in sampling new skincare (assuming it’ll be gentle to my skin). Anything that promises to be anti-aging is appealing, but often the formulas for these products are too harsh for my extremely sensitive skin, so I’m interested in seeing how this product works for me. A full-sized version of this product is $22.99.

I also received cupons for the Boots serum and Celestial Seasonings teas, which was a nice bonus! I know I’m so behind on posting this box, but I really enjoyed everything I saw in the box. I can’t wait to really give everything a good try. I have  a long backlog of products, but stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of the products mentioned here!

Did you get a Frostybox beauties? How did you like it? Or better yet, tweet me or leave a comment with a link to your own unboxing/first impressions post or Youtube vid!

(*I received this box and all the products included for free for testing purposes.)

Graze Box 05 Review (And Why I Unsubscribed)

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I was always fond of my Graze Boxes. The last one I received, a week before Christmas, came with this cute tree and reindeer pattern that I thought was a special touch.The inside contents were just as good! The box’s items were delicious, so I was extra sad to part with the brand (which I did only because I’m not working right now and can no longer afford it 😦 )

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The box was delicious and had a great mix of sweet and savory items. The snacks I received were Chili Honey Almonds, Smoky Chipotle Dip With Rosemary Breadsticks, Deconstructed Carrot Cake, and Summer Berry Flapjack.

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First, I tried the Chili Honey Almonds. These were a good source of protein and vitamin E and magnesium. Spiced nuts are one of my favorite snacks, so I really enjoyed these. The almonds were glazed with chili and honey (obviously), and I loved that I got that kick of heat and the sweetness. Both flavors were distinct and present (sometimes Graze is a bit too light handed with their flavors).

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Next, I tried the Smoky Chipotle Dip with Rosemary Breadsticks. The benefit of this one is that it’s light, 100 calories. The breadsticks have a sweet herby smell. I liked that the dip was smoky but light and flavorful, kind of like barbecue sauce. A friend tried this as well and said the dip tasted like sweet and sour sauce. The brand describes the dip as a relish, which I agree with. It has that kind of texture, only slightly runnier. The breadsticks left less of an impression. They weren’t as crunchy as I expected, but they were good carriers for the dip and didn’t taste bad on their own.

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Next was the Deconstructed Carrot Cake. I absolutely l-l-loved this! The benefit of this is that it has a ton of vitamin C (70% of your daily allowance!). This was a mix of carrot chews, ginger fudge, walnuts, and cinnamon flavored raisins. It had a really yummy, spicy fragrance, like a real cinnamon carrot cake. The carrot chews had a gummy,chewy texture and tasted a bit artificial on their own (it wasn’t bad, just a bit fake-sweet). I was worried that the ginger fudge wouldn’t taste different than the vanilla fudge from the last box’s salted cookie, but it actually had an intense ginger flavor that I really liked. The walnuts were plain (which is fine by me, I love walnuts), but I felt like they absorbed some of the other flavors, which made them extra delightful. And lastly, the cinnamon raisins were tasty, but the cinnamon flavor was fainter than I had hoped. When eaten together, the taste is just extraordinary, definitely reminiscent of carrot cake. I love Graze’s deconstructed dessert snacks, and this one was definitely a hit with me.

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And finally, the Summer Berry Flapjack. I’m a fan of Graze’s flapjacks, since they’re dense and satisfying. The perk of this one is the whole oats. The “summer berry” aspect comes from “berry infused cranberries,” although which berries they didn’t specify. This had a tart cranberry smell. The taste was nice and sweet. I prefer these to other popular cereal fruit bars because these seem less artificial and sugary. These are lighter, but still chewy and a pleasure to eat.

So I’m very sad to see Graze go, because the last box I got from them was definitely a hit! Once I have more money coming in, they will definitely have a re-subscription from me. In the meantime, I can say earnestly that they’re a good brand going in the right direction with healthy snacking. I would definitely recommend Graze to anyone who was interested, because they have such a diverse mix of flavors and the creations can be pretty unique. They’re healthy, and remarkably inexpensive. What other food boxes have you tried, or heard good things about Beauties? Let me know!

04 Graze Box Review

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My fourth Graze Box featured an interesting mix of their products, with some tropical, some sweet, some savory and some unexpectedly salty flavors. Let’s get right into it.

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When Graze sends me dips, I eat them first, out of fear that they’ll go bad quicker (a fear that’s based on nothing, by the way). So I tried the Summer Berry Compote first. The perk is that it’s light, 130 calories. This is a sweet-smelling fruit jam with wholegrain shortbread dippers. I thought the jam scent was pleasant but the dippers had this weird scent that reminded me of feet. However, they tasted good together. The compote was fresh and summery, and the dippers had that delicious, semi-crumbly texture and made a good savory contrast.

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Next was the Beach Bum. This is a mix of coconut flakes, dried pineapple, and chewy dried banana coins. The perks is that this is light (90 calories) and has vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C and Maganese). This had a nice, tropical scent. The pineapple had a fresh taste despite being dried. The coconut flakes are thin, crunchy, and flavorful (although in my container, there were so many in relation to the other fruit that it was a bit overwhelming). The banana was mild, and unfortunately tends to get stuck in the teeth. This has that tropical flavor somewhat, especially when you eat all three together, but like many Graze goodies, it suffers from being too timid with the flavor.

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Next was the Sweet Mustard Ranch. This was easily my favorite thing in this box! The perk is also that it’s light (130 calories). This is a mix of poppy seed pretzels, sour cream and onion cashews, and mustard breadsticks. The flavors were so good, although if you’re expecting anything ranch flavored, you’ll be disappointed (I wasn’t, as I’m not a fan of ranch). The poppy seeds add a nice, unexpected flavor to the pretzel that’s clearly more healthful than salt without skimping on taste. The cashews were so good! You get that distinct sour cream and onion flavor, plus the richness of the cashew. The mustard breadsticks were delicious too, with a clear mustard flavor. These items taste great on their own, but create a pleasantly unique flavor when eaten together as well. I love Graze’s savory treats; they often turn out so well.

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And finally, the Salted Fudge and Peanut Cookie. I was looking forward to this new treat, as I have a major sweettooth, but I was utterly disappointed. I hate to say it, but this was my least favorite thing I think I’ve ever tried from Graze. Its a mix of salted peanuts, redskin peanuts, vanilla fudge, and mini chocolate cookies, with the perk of being a good source of protein. This just smells like peanuts, and sadly, the salted peanuts just taste like salted peanuts. I wasn’t discouraged, and went on to the redskin peanuts, which may be one of the most awful nuts I’ve ever tasted. Sadly they tasted very reminiscent of twigs, which I found quite unpleasant. The vanilla fudge was sweet and tasty, and played well with the salty elements, but the pieces were so tiny, its like they didn’t count much. And finally, the chocolate cookies were a big let down. They were salty and didn’t have a chocolate taste, just a weird bitter aftertaste. This seems like it’s just there for texture. This is one of those treats that has to be eaten together to make sense, and it comes together more that way. But it was still not as sweet or decadent as I was expecting. The redskin peanuts kind of killed it for me because of their overpowering, unpleasant taste. I was disappointed with this one.

So this box wasn’t perfect, but there were some real gems in here. I loved the Sweet Mustard Ranch! It was pretty much flawless to me. However, each other the other treats had varying degrees of room for improvement. The compote dippers were mild and smelled weird, the Beach Bum was overwhelmingly coconut, and the fudge and peanut cookie was just not for me. But as always, I love getting these boxes, and can’t wait for the surprises in the next box.

03 Graze Box Review

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Graze Boxes are always welcome in my mailbox! This week was especially delicious, so let’s get right into it.

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First was the Twist of Black Pepper Popping Corn. I was interested in the popcorn since I first heard about the brand and was so eager to try it. Naturally, it was super tasty, with the black pepper adding flavor instead of butter. The perk of this snack is that it’s a good source of fiber, and is light (7g fat, 130 calories). The portion they give is also very generous. While it’s still a single serving, it’s bountiful and filling, so you don’t feel like you needed more than they gave you.

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Next is Nature’s Immunity Nuts, a combination of roasted unsalted cashews, Brazil nuts, and raw pistachio kernels. I admit, this was something I was a little meh about at first–how exciting are raw, unsalted nuts? Turns out, I was so wrong! This was mega delicious. The cashews, which I thought might be bland, actually had a great roasted flavor. The Brazil nuts had good crunch and had this very fresh, right-off-the-tree taste. The pistachios were mild, but rich, so the three of them together were very well-rounded and flavorful. This is a nutritionist’s pick, and boasts great amounts of Selenium and Copper.

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Third, Hot Cross Yum. I had high hopes for this, and it delivered big time! This is part of Graze’s Classics Reinvented line, a series of snack foods inspired by tasty desserts. The benefits of this one is that it’s light (130 calories), and is a good source of Vitamin E and Manganese. This was an awesome treat from start to finish–it smells delicious, like a sticky bun. The orange infused raisins were great; they almost had a rum flavor. The sponge pieces aren’t  totally hard but add a nice textural element (since they’re a bit crunchy). They taste a bit like shortbread, only softer in texture. The cinnamon honey almonds were fantastic as well, flavorful without being too strong or sweet. When eaten together, you definitely get the taste of a baked citrus dessert. Graze did a fantastic job with this one, and can’t wait to try more from this line!

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And finally, the Fruit and Seed Flapjack. This was another one of those snacks I was unsure about, and again, I was surprised by how amazingly delicious it was! It’s a rolled oat “flapjack” (think cereal bar) with dried fruit and seeds. The perk is in the whole oats. What was awesome about this was the thickness and texture: they give you three slabs, and they’re thick and dense and so tasty. One at a time is quite filling because of the density of the oat, fruit and nuts. Despite that, it doesn’t feel heavy as you eat it. It’s very fresh and indulgent, one of those “can’t believe it’s good for you” kind of treats.

As always, Graze impressed me with it’s fantastic goodies this week! I’m still a very happy customer and continue to look forward to trying more of their awesome flavors. Want to try Graze for free? Use the code JULIAR8VP when you sign up at Graze.com and your first AND fifth boxes will be free! Let me know how you like your boxes!

02 Graze Box Review

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My bi-weekly Graze Boxes are always something I look forward to. I think everyone means to eat well, but lifestyle and finances are just  a few of the things that can get in the way. Graze helps curb that by providing four healthy, delicious samples (out of 90 options). Each snack food contains at least one health benefit, indicated by an icon on the upper-right of the individual package. My second box provided a mix of of unique flavors, and was decidedly more savory than my first box.

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I wanted to try the Wholegrain Banana Caramel Dippers first (largely because they looked delicious, but also because I’m not sure how well the sauce would keep). The perk of this snack is that its light, only 150 calories, which is impressive, since it feels decadent. It has a delicious banana scent. The dippers are a pretty good size, with more than I expected included. They have a nice texture, soft and a little crumbly without falling apart. It was sweet and definitely banana flavored, but not overwhelmingly cloying. The caramel was a little bland though, not too thick, sweet, or sticky. Its an impressive treat that definitely feels a lot more indulgent than 150 calories.

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Next is Jalapeno Fiesta. I was looking forward to trying out this blend of jalapeno peanuts, salsa mesquite almonds, and roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. This snack has two perks: it’s a good source of protein, and is a good source of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E and Magnesium). I really liked the peanuts (the bit of heat kicked in a little late) and the almonds (which had a mild but distinct and delicious flavor). The seeds were a bit meh (they’re just roasted, nothing special). I liked the taste, but I would’ve preferred if it was a bit stronger, more noticeable (its not spicy at all, and I’m not one for too much heat. But this tasty flavor is a bit watered down).

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The third item I got was Tropical Daiquiri, a portion of lime-infused raisins, dried pineapple, and dried green mango. I was least excited for this, because I’m not wild about dried fruit, but I ended up enjoying it. It had a pleasant lime scent and the flavors were better than I anticipated. I’m already a fan of raisins, and the lime infusion made them feel very summery and refreshing, almost margarita-like. I adore pineapple as well, and was pleased that even in it’s dried form, it still retained that juicy, ripe flavor. I was a bit leery about green mango, because I had never tasted it, but it had a fresh, sweet taste and pleasant texture that I ended up enjoying. Apart from this obviously being a serving of fruit, it’s also light, clocking in at only 100 calories.

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And finally, the Herby Bread Basket. Always a fan of savory, Italian flavors and carbs, I was most looking forward to this bundle, and it did not disappoint! This is a mix of mini basil breadsticks, garlic crostini, and oregano rice crackers. This had a lovely herb-y scent and was wonderfully savory. The basil breadsticks were delicious with a firm, almost pretzel-like texture with a great flavor that reminded me of pizza. The garlic crostini were just as good, with a nice crunch. As a garlic fan, I would’ve liked to see the flavor more pronounced, though, as it’s very subtle, almost missable. The oregano rice crackers surprised me, as they had a slightly sweet flavor, but it was tasty and paired well with the other flavors and textures included here. This was definitely my favorite of the four samples this week! And surprisingly, all this flavor comes in at only 100 calories.

So I was happy with my Graze box, and enjoyed the mix of flavors I was able to try. But sadly, I felt like a lot of the flavors were watered down, and could stand to be upped in intensity. But otherwise, I’m satisfied, and I’m continuing to looking forward to the next box and the unique combinations in store for me.

Ever tried Graze? Or any other food/lifestyle boxes? I’d love to know what you’re thoughts are!

October ’14 Huge Sephora Haul

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I noticed that a lot of Sephora Favorites looked really good this year. I wanted to put it off ’til it was closer to my birthday (in November) or the holidays, but after discovering that the Give Me Some Lip set is already sold out online, I decided to pick up the rest before it was too late. I also scored some other goodies I’ve been eyeing for a while. Major splurge? You bet. Early birthday/Christmas presents? Totally. Worth it? 100% percent.

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I’ll start off with the perks. Sephora was having a mascara week it seemed as all the 100-point perks were mascaras. So I indulged in a 250-point perk and grabbed a sample of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume. I’d heard great things about it and was curious to see what it smelled like. I decided on Clinique and Urban Decay mascaras (the latter of which ended up being foolish, as I coincidentally bought a sample of the same product in the Lash Stash). And finally, I used a promo code to grab a sample of Dior Diorshow, another mascara I’ve heard rave reviews about, as well as Diorshow Maximizer, a lash primer.

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Next is Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick in Poe. I originally wanted to grab this back in my September haul, but sadly, it was sold out at the time. So I knew I couldn’t pass it up this time around! Unlike other lippies which look bold in the tube but go on sheer, Poe is a true navy blue. I love the Studded Kiss formula and can’t wait to give this shade a test drive.

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Another product I’ve been lusting over for a long time are Stila’s adorable palettes. I got In the Garden, a palette composed of warm earth tones, because I have hazel eyes and thought these kinds of shades would flatter them. Plus who can resist some good matte neutrals and pops of color? Not to mention it comes with an eyeliner as well. The packaging is sleek and feminine, and I love the shade names.

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Now for the bulk of the haul–the holiday collections! I’ve always wanted to try a palette from Too Faced, and when I saw their seasonal Everything Nice Palette, I knew it had to be mine. Once I opened it, it was so me–pink and girly with bright and edgy shadows as well. It also came with 2 bronzers (one of which is Chocolate Soleil, which I love), 2 blushes, 3 brushes, and a sample of their Better Than Sex Mascara, which I’ve also heard fab things about. It also came with a cute, spacious clutch. This ended up being one of the products I was most excited about!

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Some girls live for eyeliner. While I’m more of a lipstick girl myself, I can’t say no to Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils. So when I saw they were releasing Ten, a set of, you guessed it, 10 liners for the holidays (plus a sharpener), I knew I had to pick it up ASAP. It features nine samples of all-new shades (all of which are gorgeous), plus a full size Perversion, a gorgeous black matte eyeliner. This is another thing I can’t wait to test out!

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And now what prompted me to indulge in this haul in the first place–the Sephora Favorites! I scored all except the one mentioned above, and once I saw them, I was even more bummed out I couldn’t grab Give Me Some Lip, because of the Sephora Favorites I got are great! The first is Meet Your Match, a set of 6 color-coordinated lip products and nail polishes. The purples are Nails Inc. polish in Devonshire Row with Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Strangefruit. The nudes are Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Child with Formula X Nail Color in Invincible. And lastly, the corals are Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun with Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Elite.

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Next is the Glitz and Glam Party Essentials Sampler. I really loved the metallic silver clutch the products came in. It doesn’t feel cheap and could really function as a nighttime bag. Another great thing about this kit is that it features four full-size products! There are nine total items in the bag. First is Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Infrared Matte. This is one of those full-size items. Next is a deluxe sample of Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo. I love dry shampoos, so I’m definitely happy about this product! Another full-size baby is Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Good Girl Gone Bad. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold and Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eyeshadow in Metallic Dusty Rose look like they compliment each other very well. The Sephora Collection False Lashes in Astonish are full size. I love Benefit’s girly packaging and have heard great things about Watt’s Up! Highlighter, so I was excited to see the Luminous Champagne shade included. And lastly, there’s the (just about) full size Lancome Artliner Eyeliner in Noir, another product I’ve heard fabulous things about.

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Draw The Line excited me because no one can deny the effect eyeliner can have on a look. This box gives you six options, one of which is full size. The liners are Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12 HR Wear in Black Lace, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Dark Brown, Kat Von D Deluxe Tattoo Liner in Trooper, NARS Via Veneto Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Black, Deluxe Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner in Blacquer, and a full size Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Double Ended Eye Pencil in Perversion and Rockstar.

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Super Stars is another one of those interesting variety packs. I like these a bit more than kits with all one kind of product (like the all-eyeliner one above). This kit is very diverse, with 12 different cosmetics, haircare, and fragrance. The products are Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown, Benefit POREfessional, Benefit They’re Real! Mascara in Jet Black, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, Chloe by Chloe Rollerball, Formula X Nail Color in Ignite, Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, NARS Blush in Orgasm, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light, Stila Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Black, and Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin. Some of these, like the UD shadow, NARS blush, and Chloe Rollerball, are full size.

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As an avid lip product junkie, I couldn’t pass up Give Me More Lip. There’s a little of everything–lipstick, gloss and balm. And there’s plenty to go around–this box contains 17(!) products! The items included are: Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind, Benefit Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm in Posie, Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Palomino, Buxom Mini Full Bodied Lipstick in Menace, Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Blush, Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Red Armour, Make Up For Ever Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil, OCC Lip Tar Test Tube in Black Dahlia, Sephora Collection Rouge Infusion in 10 Red Essence, Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss in Nude Vinyl, Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Moody, Tarte Lipsurgence Power Pigment in Flush, Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naked Dolly, and Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Fuschia. 

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And finally, the Lash Stash. I first heard about the Sephora Favorites from Elle Fowler reviewing that year’s Lash Stash years ago, and it piqued my interest. Mascara completes a look to me–it can even wake you up when you don’t have time for much else. This kit includes 11 fab lash products: Benefit They’re Real!, Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black, Clinique Dual Ended High Impact Mascara and Lash Primer, Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara, Kat Von D Immortal Lash 24 HR Mascara, Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, Sephora Collection Outrageous Curl Dramatic Volume and Curl Mascara, Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, and YSL Mascara Volume Effect Faux Baby Doll.

I’m so excited to try everything out! Naturally, reviews on the individual products as well as the Sephora Collections as a whole as soon as possible. I’m embaressed to admit I’m still posting reviews from last month’s haul! But I have more free time coming up, a large chunk which I can commit to blogging. Stay tuned!

Have you tried any of these products beauties? Tried any of the previous Sephora Collections? Do tell!

October ’14 Ipsy Unboxing/First Impressions

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I’ve been wanting to subscribe to beauty boxes for so long. After seeing a ton of unboxings and reviews on Youtube, I decided to try out Ipsy, Michelle Phan’s service, first. I like that each month has a theme (October was “Beauty Candy”), and that you get a cute little makeup bag. The material of the bag was surprisingly nice–I was expecting cheap vinyl, but it could actually double as a clutch or a makeup bag for travel. Another thing I like about Ipsy is that they mix well-known brands with lesser known ones, so you get to try brands and products you may otherwise never have considered or even heard of.

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The first product I received was a full size Nicole by OPI nail polish in the shade On A Gilt Trip. Just looking at it in the bottle, it’s a pretty, shimmery pale gold. I think this a timeless kind of shade that can transition through the seasons. I love OPI, so I look forward to trying this sister brand.

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Next is Noyah All-Natural Lipstick in Deeply In Mauve. This shade looks dark in the tube, but when swatched, it was actually a pretty, brown-based berry red. It looks like it’ll be really lovely for fall. I detected no scent. I like that this lippie is synthetic-free and not tested on animals.

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Next is Skone Tattooed Waterproof Eyeliner. Sadly, I couldn’t find a shade name on the product or on Ipsy’s site. But it’s a medium dark black. Since it has a felt tip applicator, this comes off as more liquid than pencil liner in finish, so it make require the precision and patience of liquid.

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Next is Ayres Patagonia Body Butter. I really like the packaging on this product. It has an old-fashioned apothecary feel that I think is really cute. The product itself is a medium-thick white cream that feels a little luxurious, blends in easily and absorbs quickly. It does have a slightly medicinal scent though, from jasmine and rosemary (but it’s not unpleasant or strong). Of all the products I got in my bag this month, this is the one I’m most excited to try.

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And finally, Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. Skincare is not something I’ve tried much of, but my skin is fussy (very sensitive), so I look forward to trying this out. When I “swatched” it, it felt thin, a bit runny, but lathered well without water on the back of my hand and felt nice, so I think it’ll be gentle enough to use on my face. It also has a nice, fruity-sweet smell, exactly like Pez candies!

I’m not at all disappointed with my first Ipsy. I got a good mixture of products to use all over the face. I always love adding new brands and products to my stash, as well. I can’t wait to put these babies to good use. Full reviews coming soon! What did you get in your Glam Bag this month beauties?

NYX Macaron Lippies First Impressions

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A couple months ago, I first heard about NYX’s new line of Macaron Lippies, 12 shades of candy colored (and named) lipsticks. After seeing a review by Sarah from And Beauty Or Something,I knew I had to get my hands on them. Fortunately Ulta had a fantastic 40% off sale, so I was able to grab them all!

The shades are arranged in alphabetical order in the photo above. They are: Black Sesame (grey), Blue Velvet (mermaid blue), Chambord (black), Citron (yellow), Coconut (white), Earl Grey (powder blue), Key Lime (lime green), Lavender (lavender purple), Orange Blossom (orange), Pistachio (teal), Rose (barbie pink), and Violet (Lorde purple). All the colors are pretty bold. Rose, which seems the most wearable, is still vivid. I love me some bright lipsticks, and some of these are daring even to me! So this line is definitely not for the faint-hearted, all-natural kind of girl (some would look fantastic to accentuate Halloween costumes, cosplay, or drag looks).

I was so pleased to see these go on bright and opaque. Too many brands put out lipsticks that look shocking in the tube, but have very sheer, “safe” pigmentation on the mouth. Not these! These are bright and attention-grabbing. They also look true ti the color you see in the tube. They all applied very smooth and felt comfortable on the lips, although they did stain a bit (and that was just during very brief lip swatches).

These have a lovely vanilla scent (think MAC, but less intense). The packaging was a bit of a let down. It feels and looks very cheap, and some shades feel a bit loose. Like, you can shake the tube and feel it rattling around in there. That feels very low quality to me.

Ultimately, I love the look and feel of these lipsticks and can’t wait to try them out. Full reviews to come!

Gillette Venus Unboxing

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I’ve been a member of Influenster for a little while now, and was thrilled to hear that I qualified for the Gillette Venus Influenster Box. I received mine in the mail today. Inside the box was one new Embrace Sensitive razor (which isn’t even on shelves yet!), 2 replacement cartridges, a little book of coupons, and a promo card. The card explains the idea behind the razor–that maybe women with sensitive skin (like me) are getting lower-quality shaves, not because of our problematic skin, but because razors don’t accommodate us well enough. That’s where the new Embrace sensitive comes in. It has 5 blades spaced close together, so you remove more hair with less pressure. There’s also a moisturizing ribbon with aloe on either side of the blade, so I expect this razor to be extra gentle.

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 I like the razor’s cute seafoam green color. It has a rubberized handle that won’t slip out of your hand, and has the all-around feel of a superior razor. As an added perk, the package comes with a holder with a suction cup on the back that you can stick into your shower! That should be useful. I’ve always loved the quality of Gillette’s Venus razors, so I’m so excited to try out a quality brand that aims to cater to my fussy skin. I’ll have a proper review to follow as soon as I have enough experience with it.

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*This product was sent to me by Influenster for testing and review purposes.*