Meme Shop Haul!

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I went a little crazy on the Memebox site recently. Most people order their Memeboxes, which are fun, themed boxes that are curated with a bunch of surprise goodies inside. However, Memebox does sell single items in their Memeshop, so if there is a product that you discovered in one of their boxes that you can’t live without, definitely check there. The shipping can be a bit pricy, and you don’t get as good of a price on the products as you do in their boxes, so a lot of the time you can find Korean beauty products cheaper on other sites. All of these items were on sale, which is why I took the plunge.

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Butter Cream Lip Mask in Vanilla and Cacao. It retails on the Memebox site for $14 but I got it on sale for $7.

I have an issue with flaky lips. It’s bad enough that I usually resort to using a wet washcloth to exfoliate because typical lip scrubs don’t work for me. I was excited to see this and hopeful that it would combat the issue.

I have used it twice so far and it is softening to the lips. It also seems to clear up some of the flakiness, so I can see why Memebox also offers it in a kit with the complimenting lip scrub. Scrubbing your lips after using the mask would get all the loose skin off. I am hoping that I will see dramatic results once I starts using this daily.

It smells amazing, like vanilla buttercream, and all you do is leave it on for 2-3 minutes and then wipe it off.

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Calmia Silky Perfect Foot Peeling. I paid $8 for this and it is currently $12 on the Memebox site.

Ok, so this is one of the weirdest things ever. There are two packets of liquid and a pair of plastic booties. You dump a packet in each bootie and wear them for an hour and a half. Then wash your feet and wait 4-5 days. Your feet will peel and reveal baby soft skin underneath.

As soon as I saw reviews of these (and pictures), I knew I had to try this. I had hoped that the foot peeling gel in the At Home box would have a similar effect but it was too mild for me, so I ordered this. I bought this particular brand because it was on sale but there are a ton of Korean companies that make this stuff, including Tony Moly.

I have them on right now and I have a feeling an hour and a half will seem like eternity. It is not uncomfortable but it feels like I am wearing two plastic Kroger bags filled with water on my feet. I feel a slight tingling/warming sensation too. I just pray that my two year old doesn’t wake up from her nap before my time is up!

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Pure Bubble and Gelee Labo face masks. Both of these sell in five packs through the Memebox site for $5. I got each pack for $3.

I love face masks. Oftentimes I use one every night. The pure bubble masks intrigued me because they are carbonated, which apparently aids in circulation and softens skin. The Gelee masks look like marmalade and hydrate the skin as well. Plus they come in cute little packs shaped like a bear.

I haven’t tried the Gelee masks yet but holy crap, the pure bubble ones are amazing. It goes on like a clear gel but then foams up and you can feel a tiny popping sensation. I would definitely order more of these!

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Coco Pure Easy & Steam Hair Pack. This retails on the Memebox site for $16 but I snagged mine for $3. I almost hope I don’t like it because in searching for it, I think I may have gotten a really good deal!

This mask hydrates while also repairing the hair with argan oil and “black food”, whatever that is. It is a shower cap that you put on damp hair after washing it and leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse out? I’m not entirely sure because the instructions are in Korean and the websites I found all varied slightly as far as the directions are concerned. I haven’t used this yet but I hope to tonight. It is difficult to carve out time to wash my hair once though, let alone twice!

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Skuinaz Lip Tattoo in Sweet Wine. This retails in the Memeshop for $18 and I paid $9.

I saw this when it was released in the first OMG box and wanted it immediately. It is a lip stain but you apply it as a thick, sticky gel then wait 15 minutes and peel it off. This was a gorgeous berry color once it dried and I peeled off the gel. The 15 minutes seemed a little long though because as the gel dried it became tackier and if I tried to talk, my lips stuck together. It was fun to peel off though! Very reminiscent of a peel off face mask.

While shopping directly from the Memebox store isn’t always practical, there are some good deals sometimes that make it worthwhile. I think you get free shipping too if you spend over $70 and 10% off orders over $100. Access the Memeshop here (this is my affiliate link). There are also usually $5 off codes floating around too.

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LUSH Releases New “Self Preserving” Products

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Last week, LUSH Cosmetics NA released three of their best selling products in a new, self preserving formula. The idea of self preserving is to take natural ingredients that have preserving qualities (think salt, glycerine, honey, etc) and layering then in a way that allows the product to preserve itself without the need of synthetic preservatives.

LUSH already offers many unpreserved products, however the method of self preserving is something new and revolutionary. LUSH currently has patents pending.

The self preserving products are currently offered in addition to their original counterparts, so customers can choose which formula they prefer. According to LUSH, the effects of the products are the same as the originals. I have had the opportunity to try all three of the self preserving products-Ocean Salt, Mask of Magnaminty and Dream Cream-so I will share my thoughts!

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Dream Cream is a soothing hand and body lotion with oat milk and lavender to calm the skin. It is AMAZING. Hands down my favorite lotion from LUSH. I love the scent and while it is a more moisturizing lotion, it sinks in quickly so as not to feel greasy.

As far as the self preserving Dream Cream, this smelled, looked and felt the most like the original of the three. In scanning the product labels, it looks like they have the same ingredients, minus the synthetic preservatives obviously, however they are in a different order in the self preserving formula.

The self preserving formula ended up feeling a little greasy on me and the scent faded to a straight cocoa butter scent, so my personal preference is the original Dream Cream. Apparently it took 98 different attempts to create the self preserving product though, and it is certainly worthy in its own right!

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I love LUSH masks, but I consider Mask of Magnaminty my overall favorite. It soothes and tingles and I love that it looks and smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream! The self preserved MoM has honey as the first ingredient, so that creates a stickier feel. The self preserving formula also felt more exfoliating but smelled less minty and felt less tingly.

Upon removing the mask, my face felt no different than had I used the original formula, so as LUSH said, the effects really are the same. I still plan on sticking with the original MoM though because I prefer the scent and feel of it.

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Ocean Salt, one of my Holy Grail beauty products. It is a face and body scrub full of sea salt to exfoliate. There is also the citrus to brighten and some vodka in there as well to tone. The interesting thing about the self preserving Ocean Salt is that LUSH removed the lanolin and added Japan wax and silken tofu, making it a vegan ingredient as well.

One if my favorite ways to use Ocean Salt is to slather my face with Ultrabland (one of LUSH’s oil based cleansers) and then scrub it off with Ocean Salt. This combination leaves my skin so silky smooth but lightly moisturizer at the same time. So I was pleased to see that the self preserving Ocean Salt has a creamier consistency, almost like it already has Ultrabland mixed in. Once applied to the skin, it definitely felt creamier than the original Ocean Salt, as well as a little less exfoliating. The salt seems a little finer but nothing that is too noticeable. My biggest and really only issue with the self preserving formula is the scent. It is a little bitter and not as fresh as the original Ocean Salt. So again, I prefer the original but I do see myself buying the self preserving formula on occasion just for a change because it is just as amazing.

Now that I have tried all three products, I realized that scent is a big deal to me. A lot of times it turns out to be what I value most in a product, as silly as that may sound. I think it is awesome that LUSH has offered these three products as an alternative to customers and while I can’t say any of these have taken the place of the original three products for me, I do appreciate having that option!

Have you tried any of LUSH’s self preserving products? Thoughts?

M’s August Birchbox!

I’m always looking forward to my next Birchbox, I love the surprise of not knowing what I’m going to get (I don’t peek at the spoilers!) It’s kind of like Christmas except when I was a lot younger I definitely wanted to peek at my presents..After some years of maturing I’ve been able to hold back and enjoy the mystery!


The first item on the list is the Catherine Malandrino Fragrance. When you first sign you are asked how often you’d like to receive perfumes, and you are not allowed to opt out completely. I have a hard time finding a perfume I can wear everyday, maybe because I need a different scent for every mood, or because I get sick of them easily- not quite sure. Anyway, I chose to receive perfume sparingly. I guess I would rather receive skincare and makeup over perfume. Sorry for going off on that tangent. Anyway, the description of this perfume definitely sounds appealing  to me. I am a fan of fruity scents! I liked the scent at first, but as it settled into my skin, I felt like it wasn’t as light and summery as it started out and became heavier and mature smelling on me. The scent also lingers for awhile after, I showered a few hours after and could still smell it on me. What I do like about perfumes is that once scent could smell on way on me and entirely different on somebody else because of our different body chemistry. So, even though this perfume isn’t for me, it could definitely be a good fit for somebody else!

Next up is the Marcelle BB Cream. I am always looking for products to even out my skin tone and make my face look flawless. I’ve tried many different brands from drug stores to department stores, and this one is definitely a great product! It goes on smoothly and provides full coverage. I have splotchy skin and this cream was able to blend in well and give me a flawless and glowing face! This is one of the first product’s I’ve received in my Birchbox that I would consider buying a full size.


The third product I received was Long-Wear Eyeliner from Noir Cosmetics. Back when I was in High School I would wear eyeliner most days, and even through College as well. I don’t know what happened to my eyes since then but they have become super sensitive and the only think that doesn’t bother them is mascara. My eyes will become irritated and turn bright red. I’m not sure if eyeliner and eye-shadow will flake off in tiny chunks and get into my eyes and that’s what causes it, but I end up looking like I’m turning into a vampire from the TV Show The Strain- if you’re not familiar with it, trust me it is not a good look. Despite my vampire eyes, I decided to give this eyeliner a go over the weekend. This is an eyeliner pencil which I feel can be easier to control than liquid eyeliner but lacks the preciseness liquid eyeliner provides. It’s went on dark and opaque in one stroke, not patchy at all and stayed that way too. Luckily I bought eye-drops out with me too, so all in all I think it worked out well!

I received the Happiness Inducing Body Wash from Not Soap, Radio. Here’s another that I would consider buying a full size of! This smell is amazing, like I said earlier, I adore fruity scents and that is exactly what this is! It is crisp, lemony, and I can definitely see how this would put someone in a good mood. It reminds me of a bubbly lemon cocktail in summer time, seriously, how could that not cheer you up? What makes this Shower Gel even better is that the scent sticks with you well after you get out of the shower! I find not many products do that, so to find a scent you love that lingers on your skin as well? That’s just amazing!

The last thing that made me love this product was the description on the back of the bottle, I don’t know about you but I know I definitely wanted to bitch-slap my boyfriend the other morning when I found out he bought whole bean coffee when we don’t have a grinder.. Thank the heavens for this shower gel was able to help me recover from that mood!

Last on the list is SeaRx Birch Sap Moisturizing Lotion.  I am constantly trying different moisturizers to see which gives me the best results. This can be used on the face as well as body but the sample is small so I decided to stick with using it on my face. It has a subtle yet enjoyable grapefruit-y scent to it. I have been alternated between using this before I go to sleep at night, and before I apply my makeup in the morning. I have not noticed and huge changes to my skin since using this product. 

All in all it was a good month! My boyfriend was intrigued by the whole idea so we signed him up for a one month subscription to see if he likes it. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Are any of you Birchbox subscribers? Did you get anything you love in your Birchbox this month?

Thanks!!
-M

Sephora’s Give Me Some Lip Review

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Give Me Some Lip is a limited edition set that Sephora has for sale currently. It retails for $25, with a purported value of $90, and it contains five deluxe lip samples and one full size gloss all in pink or nude shades.

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These types of sets are made for me. I love all things lipstick, lipgloss, etc but I can be somewhat fickle. I love having a huge variety, which means I rarely finish a full size product.

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The full size product included is Smashbox Be Legendary lipgloss in Pout. This product alone retails for $20. I had read a few reviews prior to buying this box and the main complaint was the color of this gloss. I agree, the color is horrendous. Sephora calls it a pale pink blue. I call it a shade above white. It is unwearable alone, so I will use it when I need some gloss over a lipstick or stain. What a disappointment, but at least I had a heads up going in.

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Next up is Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil in Meritage. This deluxe sample has a value of $13.33. Hands down, this is my favorite product in the box. It doesn’t really fit in with the nude and pink theme of the box but I don’t care. This is a very wearable brick read color that can be worn over gloss for a sheer look or layered on to achieve a richer color. I love lip pencils in general and the formula of this one is nice and smooth. I would buy this again in a heartbeat!

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Buxom Full On Lip Cream in White Russian. Value is $8.87. “A sheer, shimmering, hydrating gloss with a no-tingle plumping effect”. I tried this one on without reading anything about it first and I immediately knew it was a plumper. It tingles. Not in a bad, painful way but it tingles. It is a beautiful, glossy nude that could be worn casually and also dressed up with a smoky eye.

Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer in Kissability. Value of $3.50. This is a shimmery, champagne pink that is infused with antioxidants and essential oils. It also has a plumping effect and feels similar to the Buxom Lip Cream. It’s a great gloss but for $28 a pop I would probably not spring for one.

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Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Naked. Value of $7.33. This is a really nice nudish pink lipstick. It applies creamy and smooth. I will get a lot of use from this color. I probably would have preferred UD’s Melted in here instead because I am dying to try it but this is a great lipstick.

NARS Lipgloss in Orgasm. Value is $17.33. Orgasm is a signature color from NARS. It is a gorgeous peachy pink with champagne shimmer. I have been a longtime fan of this brand so I was happy to have it included, not to mention at such a generous size!

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Overall, I am thrilled with this kit. It has a huge value. I calculated the value at $70.36, and that was going by Sephora’s prices as listed on their site, so it appears the $90 value they ascribe is a little inflated. Even if I were to deduct the value of the Smashbox gloss, the other items would be worth $50. Not bad at all! This isn’t the first lip box that Sephora has released and hopefully it won’t be the last because I would definitely buy different versions!

Have you bought any of the Give Me Some Lip boxes from Sephora? Share your thoughts!

-s

August Ipsy Glam Bag!

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I am so excited to have received my first glam bag! This month’s theme is Beauty Schooled and the bag is white and orange polka dot. Mine was crammed in the mailer so it looks all crinkled. Still, it’s a cute bag and I like that it is water proof. I will actually probably use it for my toddler for that reason. I knew what products I was getting beforehand, since I peeked. My first impression was they are all products I will use, so that is a plus.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ipsy, it is a monthly subscription service. For $10 a month, you get a glam bag containing items specifically curated for you based on your beauty profile. It is a little more makeup based than Birchbox and each month your goodies are sent in a little makeup bag, which is a fun touch.

Also like Birchbox, you get points for reviewing your products. Unlike BB however, the points are harder to rack up and can only be spent on the few items that Ipsy stocks a month. You cannot purchase items off of ipsy’s site but instead get coupon codes for a certain amount off each brand or product you try in any given month. So right off the bat I am not loving Ipsy’s points system, but from what I can tell their bags are such a high value that it makes up for it.

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Klorane Extra-Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. Full size $19.50/sample value $6.46.

I was most excited for this product. I really need a dry shampoo but I am super picky about them. My hair is dark brown so a lot of powders show easily and are difficult to work into my hair. I like that this one is a spray, so even though it is a powder I feel like the fact that it is a spray makes it easier to work into my hair. I uses it once last night and felt like I was able to work it into my hair with minimal effort. The size included in my bag was very generous so I should have no trouble deciding whether I like it or not by the time I get to the end.

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J.Cat Beauty Flying Solo eyeshadow in Half Naked. This retails for $2.99 and the full size product was included in my bag.

This is a cute little shadow that flips up to reveal a little mirror and applicator in the bottom of the container. The color is neutral but has a little too much orange undertone for me. Don’t get me wrong, I will definitely use this though. So far I have only swatched it on the back of my hand but the formula seemed nice enough.

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Urban Decay Perversion mascara. Full size retails for $22/sample size valued at $5.50.

I currently have three open mascaras so I will keep this on hold until I finish with one of those. I am not picky about mascara though, so I am sure this will do the trick, if nothing else.

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Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner in Mandarin Orange. Full size product included in bag $5.50.

Ok, so this isn’t the most exciting product to be included but I can always use more lip balm. Always. This has a nice citrus scent and I was actually pretty impressed with how it felt on my lips. It didn’t sit on my lips and instead felt pretty moisturizing.

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Dr Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner. Full size $45/sample size valued at $11.25.

This is intended for oily/combination skin and is a tinted makeup primer. It is actually already colored, so I will probably use this alone without a bb cream overtop. I haven’t worn this yet but I did swatch it and liked the silky texture of it and the fact that it is already tinted is a huge plus for me. I highly doubt I will love it enough to spend $45 on the full size but stranger things have happened.

All in all, I calculated the value of my glam bag this month at $31.70. That is amazing! I am excited that all these products are new to me and I hope all my ipsy bags are as successful as this one!

Do you receive ipsy? What was in your bag this month?

-s

Sephora Haul

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As some of you may know, Sephora had a points incentive going on at the beginning of this month. As a Beauty Insider (which just means you have signed up for their perks card), I got double points for my order. There was also the possibility of getting triple or quadruple points based on your status.

There were a few things I “needed” or wanted to try, so I decided to take advantage of the extra points and place an order.

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I saw the Give Me Some Lip kit and was instantly sold. It is a kit containing six deluxe sample sized lip products (with one product being full size) from Buxom, Urban Decay, Smashbox, Marc Jacobs, NARS and Bite. I love kits like this because I get to try new things plus I rarely use up the full size of anything, so this gives me the option to get smaller sizes in a variety. I will post a full review within the next week or two, but I will say I think this is a great deal for $25, so check it out at Sephora while this kit is still available.

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I have heard great things about the Boscia masks but they are definitely on the pricy side at $34-38 a tube, so I got this sample back instead to see whether I think the masks are worth the price and also which one is my favorite. M and I used the Luminizing Black Mask last night and we were both very impressed. Full review to come once I try the other three masks, but you can pick up this Multi-Masking Medley for $17 at Sephora.

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Deodorant. Not the most exciting product I purchased but I have heard a lot of good things about this brand, Lavanila, specifically about The Healthy Deodorant. It is 100% natural, and thus aluminum free. I am always trying to find a safer deodorant, especially when I am breast feeding. I am sure it sounds silly, but I figure that baby’s face is practically right up in my armpit so I don’t want her inhaling a bunch of chemicals. I usually use a combination of LUSH deodorants but I really just want something simple. I also tried Tom’s of Maine which did nothing. I reeked, so whenever I wear it I have to add a LUSH powder over top to make it effective. Again, too much work.

I am on day two of my Lavanila deodorant and I am so pleased at the coverage. I wore it all day yesterday with no need to reapply or supplement with other deodorants. I purchased the travel size because it was only $8 compared to the full size of $14, but it only came in the vanilla scent. Now that I know I like it, I will definitely buy the full size and try out some of the other scents. The vanilla lavender is calling my name!

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My birthday is this month, so as a Beauty Insider I also got my complimentary birthday gift. It is a cute little duo from Makeup Forever consisting of a red lipstick and a mascara. This was another incentive for me to order! I will definitely get use from these.

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Sephora is also great with their sample offerings. I had a mobile code for a free deluxe cleansing oil sample, so I went with the Boscia one so I could try it with my masks. I also got The Derma Doctor KP cream and a Thomas Phillip Roth cc cream. I am most excited about my GlamGlow mask. A lot of people are getting it in their ipsy bag this month and I was sad it wasn’t in mine, so I was thrilled to see it in Sephora’s sample options.

I am so happy with my order. I’m not sure I would have pulled the trigger and ordered without the double points and birthday gift, but so far everything has been great and I am excited to play around with the rest of my goodies!

Have you made any good Sephora purchased recently?

-s

August Birchbox Review!

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Yesterday I finally got my August Birchbox! It actually didn’t take that long to arrive, but seeing everyone get theirs early made me restless for my own to come! I really wanted it last week so that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to peek at my box before it hit my doorstep, but it wasn’t meant to be.

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For those of you who don’t know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service. For $10 a month, you get a box of 4-6 samples (typically deluxe sized) shipped to your door. They are chosen based on a beauty profile quiz that you complete on your account. The best part is that you can rack up points (both by referring people to Birchbox as well as writing reviews on the samples you receive) that can be applied to purchases on the Birchbox site, so it is a great deal!

Anyway, on to my Birchbox!

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First up, a very generous sample of Acure Organic’s Brightening Facial Scrub. This is a paraben free cleanser and exfoliater in one. Truth be told, I already have two facial scrubs in my shower but I couldn’t wait to try this one out! It is dark in color, almost black, and has a good amount of exfoliation. I will need to use it a few more times before I decide if it’s love, but the full size is affordable at $14.99. I calculated the sample to be worth $3.75.

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Next up, LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube Pencil, retail price $18 for full size. This is hands down my favorite product in this month’s box. It looks intimidating because it is so purple, but it goes on almost sheer with just a hint of color. It has a minty smell too, which I really like. Lip crayons are my thing, and this one is as good as any of the others I’ve tried. It is a generous size too. This sample is worth $9.69.

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Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow, $27 for full size. I have only swatched this on my hand so far, but the color was perfect and the formula is creamy and easy to blend. I will definitely use this. Sample has a value of $4.74.

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Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream with Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40. Full size retails for $29.50. This was my second Birchbox and my second time getting Supergoop! I don’t mind, because so far their products have been great. This is a rich hand cream with an herbal smell that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It’s a nice bonus that this lotion protects against sun damage, but it’s not something I typically look for in a hand cream. I liked this well enough but I doubt it will ever take the place of LUSH’s Helping Hands! And honestly, the sample was so small I will probably only get a few uses from it. I valued the sample at $.49

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Last up, Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolute. The full sizes bottle of this on the Birchbox app is $170. I would have to be insanely in love with it to spend that much on a fragrance. And even then I doubt I could justify it. Lucky for me, this was just ok. It is a cologne, and thus had a musky, manly scent. There was still the bright pop of orange in there, so it was refreshing and the manliness didn’t bother me at all. I would still wear it myself and will use the rest of the sample. I personally am not the biggest fan of fragrance samples though, so this was the one item I wasn’t that thrilled about getting.

Overall, I was super impressed with this month’s Birchbox. The estimated value I calculated came up to $20.37, which is double what I paid. I also received a bonus offer for a free Marcelle Lux Gloss Cream with any purchase of a Marcelle product.

What did you get in your Birchbox this
month? Any hits or misses?

-s