Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goodebox: September 2012

I know this is long overdue. I know Ive been a terrible blogger lately. I think now that I have no major stressor in my life, I don't feel the need to unwind by blogging. I'm currently unsure of the future of the blog. Because this is so late, I'll just post an overall photo of the products to help speed up the process.

What is Goodebox?
Goodebox is a monthly subscription service that delivers trial size healthy, eco-conscious, natural beauty and personal care products. Each month you will receive 6 or more products customized for you. The brands and products that Goodebox send out have been thoroughly evaluated upon the brand's use of non-toxic, natural ingredients that respect earth, animals, and humanity. The samples will range from make-up, skincare, body, fragrances, and some lifestyle and wellness products. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked are based on a very detailed, thorough survey that even lets you indicate color preferences, any allergies, vegan, sensitivities, etc. Goodebox costs $16 a month, but the value of your box will be way above!
Click here to join Goodebox.

September 2012, Curated by Greta Eagan

Information Cards:

Go! Towel: 12 x 20 towel
A poker-chip sized, 100% bamboo "pop-up" towel weighing 1/2 oz that unfolds to 12 x 20 inches. Organic, unbleached, undyed, unscented, & anti-bacterial.
Full Size: 10 towels ($14.95)
Size Received: 1 towel ($1.50)
When I was little I loved those pop-up wash clothes that were shaped like animals and had cartoon characters on them. I think we still have a few still in use at my childhood home. I kind of expected this to be one of those, just as a undyed, organic cotton version, but it was not. It is more like a giant cleansing cloth without any cleanser. I really wasnt sure what I could use it for. The website says its great for outdoorsy adventures, using in the kitchen, or working out. It was really nice and soft and pretty durable, but for myself it served no purpose.

Bamford Body: Geranium Body Lotion
A light, easily absorbed blend of jojoba, almond & shea butter. Eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint & geranium essential oils balance the mind while hydrating the skin.
Full Size: 8.5 oz ($36.00)
Size Received: 1.7 oz ($7.20)
I'm not really a body lotion person, but I do use lotion in the winter and before a hot date. This one is a little too granola smelling for me. I'm not sure if it is just me, but lavender and geranium just scream hippy to me. That smell always throws me off. The lotion itself is nice. Not too greasy, absorbs well, and makes me silky smooth. But the smell is too much for me.

Erbaviva: Lemon Sage Organic Deodorant
An earthy, bold combination of Organic Sage, Lemon, Patchouli, and Tea Tree Oils plus organic grain alcohol counteracts bacterial growth and won't clog pores.
Full Size: 3.4 oz ($18.00)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($5.14)
I always fear being vegan will make me turn into a granola hippy. Deodorant is probably the one thing that I am still buying from bad brands. I hate it, but this girl sweats and none of the organic brands do much for me. This deodorant is mostly made of alcohol so it stung a little when I put it on and it took a few minutes to dry. But I have to say I think this stuff worked well! Maybe not for running a marathon, but for an average day I was dry and smelled lemon-y fresh. The scent wasn't too overpowering, but it was a little granola (like how I overuse that saying). The full-size may be too expensive for me, but I could see 3.4oz lasting a long time. I may break down and buy the full-size once this runs out.

Juice Beauty: Green Apple SPF 15 Moisturizer
Revitalize & protect with this lightweight daily moisturizer, chemical-free sunscreen, anti-aging blend of peptides, dMAE, alpha lipic acid, CO Q10 & organic fruit antioxidants for optimum age-defying benefits.
Full Size: 1.7 oz ($38.00)
Size Received: 0.5 oz ($11.18)
I heard so many great reviews about Juice Beauty. They were featured many times last year in different birchboxes, but I never received a product from them. I did trade for their blemish clearing serum but did not have great luck with it. It just seems like this company is not for me. This moisturizer was thick, did not absorb well, and felt heavy on my face. Others have had great luck with it, so don't take my opinion to heart.

La Bella Figura: Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum
Effectively reduce oxidative damage in stressed tissue, making skin appear smooth, taut and youthful, reducing dark circles and smoothing lines. Look well rested!
Full Size: 0.33 oz ($115.00)
Size Received: 0.11 oz ($38.33)
Apparently La Bella Figura is a Chicago small business. Cool to see a natural skincare line from my hometown! This eye repair serum uses barbary fig seed oil. This oil is high in linoleic acid and Vitamin K. These help stop leaking capillaries which is what causes that dreaded puff and dark circles. This serum also has caffeine and argan oils to help you look like you've slept like a princess. Ive been hesitant to use it since it is so costly, but I get very little sleep so I intend to use every drop. I'll report back what I think.

Zosimos Botanicals: Lip Stick in Black Cherry
All natural, hand made in the USA, non-sticky, moisturizing lip glosses & creamy, long-lasting lipsticks in complimentary shades ranging from sheer & natural to deep & vibrant for a sexy pout.
Full Size: 1 mini lipstick ($3.00)
Size Received: 1 mini lipstick ($3.00)
We received Zosimos Botanicals products in the second Goodebox. I received a blue eyeliner. It was a great color, but was not greatly pigmented. The lipstick swatched a very odd orange tinted purple on my arm, but surprisingly it applied a beautiful pinkish plum. It is creamy and moisturizing without being drying or too glossy. It lasted for quite some time and I didnt have to worry about it fading. I would definitely consider buying a full-size!
Cruelty-free! (select colors Vegan)

Hess Natur: $25 Eco-Fashion Gift Certificate
Creating beautiful, versatile eco fashion for a cleaner planet and a cleaner conscience, Hess Natur apparel meets to the highest aesthetic, social and ethical standards.
However much I love clothes, and even more so eco-friendly fashion, I did not find much on this website that I liked. It was a bit older than I would have liked. I did see some nice looking tees, but even with the gift certificate I didn't feel it was worth to spend $8 for shipping. I gave my gift certificate away to someone who planned on using it.

Total value of my September 2012 Goodebox:$66.35 + gift certificate
It may have taken me so long to post this because I wasn't overly excited about this box. Took me ages to play around with the products and even longer to figure out what I felt. But that is what happens with these boxes. Some months rock, others are meh.

What do you think of my September Goodebox? What did you get in yours? Have you tried any of the products I received? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Black Bag: The second haul

Some of my friends are addddicted to LBB. I get an email every time they open up a new bag and they open bags multiple times a month! I have to REALLY like something to even entertain the thought of opening a new bag. And that happened last month with a purse...

What is Little Black Bag? Little Black Bag is a trading/shopping experience. It is loosely based on Japanese Lucky Bag Sales where retailers give out mystery bags filled with products and customers then trade with their friends. With Little Black Bag you get to pick one of the items that you want in your bag and Little Black Bag will choose at least 2 other items (sometimes 3 other items, depending on price of the first item).  Items featured range from purses, jewelry, sunglasses, scarves, hats, watches, tech accessories, and more. All from top brands (Betsey Johnson, CaseMate, Steve Madden, BGBG, etc).
Then you get to see what the stylist chose for you and start trading with other members. Trading lasts exactly 7 days and you can trade for as long as you like. You may start with 3 items valued at $125 and end up with 5+ items with a value over $200! You are not charged until your bag ships and if for any reason you are unsatisfied you can cancel your bag at any time or return items that shipped to you for a product credit. Plus for every friend you invite that buys their bag, you get an extra product in your next bag! Little Black Bag is a monthly club, but you can skip as often as you like. Click here to get started on your first bag!

Little Black Bag, Second Time Around
If you remember in my first haul, I had gotten a Nila Anthony mesh purse that ended up having mold/mildew on it. I was so frustrated since that was the item that I was most excited about. Little Black Bag let me keep the purse and get a credit for that amount, but it still left a sour note on my trading experience. All summer long I skipped out on my LBB. Between the cost and the selection, I wasn't interested. During the summer I gained a few referral credits, which get you a free item valued up to $25. When I finally saw the purse of my dreams, I knew it was a good time to get trading. Nornally LBB gives you 2-3 items when you open your bag, but because I had a $70 credit and 2 referral credits my bag started out pretty amazing. I was so ready to be a trading maven, but then I learned that most members of the website had become clicky/sly and would only accept/offer trades to their own friends. Nobody would trade with me, nobody would accept offers, and I never got good offers. I swear trading week was hellish. I almost wanted to give up. But at the last minute, someone accepted an amazing trade and all was restored. I couldn't have been happier with my haul.
  • Street Level: Box Crossbody Bag, Retail Value $68
  • Betsey Johnson: Garden Party Charm Necklace, Retail Value $50
  • Betsey Johnson: Pig Studs, Retail Value $30
  • Betsey Johnson: Flower Earrings, Retail Value $25
  • Case-Mate Poppies iPhone 4/4S Case, Retail Value $40
  • Freestyle: Adrenaline Yellow Watch, Retail Value $50
  • ZAD: Chevron Cut Out Cuff, Retail Value $26
Total Value of my Bag $289!!

Detail Product Reviews:
Street Level: Box Crossbody Bag in Mint, $68
While I was trading, everybody wanted my purse!! I opened my bag with this item and would not let it go. I got 5 item trades, trades worth $150 but I was not letting this out of my sight. I was in the market for a new crossbody and this combined my love for mint and neutrals. I was so pleased when I got my box of goodies that this purse looked exactly how I imagined. It is the perfect size for running errands, going out with friends, or strolling a street fair. I love that I can really wear it with any outfit or color. The mint just adds a sweet pop to whatever Im wearing. The bag is constructed very well and I'm sure this will last me years. I would buy a second Street Level purse in a heart beat. I've gotten so many compliments.

Betsey Johnson: Garden Party Charm Necklace, $50
This was the item that I got in the last seconds of trading. I had two boring fabric necklaces that I wasn't at all impressed with. I offered maybe 100 different trades hoping and pleading that someone would accept my offer. And luck was on my side! 10 minutes before my trading window ended someone accepted my trade and I received this necklace. I thought it was going to be massive, based on the photos on the website. But the charms are the perfect size. I love all the little details too. The beetle has hearts on its wings, the bumble bee has a heart button on its back, and the orange flower matches my flower earrings perfectly. A surprise pick and a major win.

Betsey Johnson: Pig Studs, $30
I was so close to opening my bag with these because last time around nobody would accept any of my trades for them. I wasn't heartbroken until I saw Eugenia modeling them from her own bag. They were so scrumptious! I trade two big ticket items to get these. And it was worth every penny! These add a little spunk to the simplest outfits. They are a bit larger than most studs I wear, but they are the perfect size for a statement!

Betsey Johnson: Flower Earrings, $25
The website was swarming with these earrings, which was fine by me. Because they are Betsey Johnson, everyone was using them to trade for big ticket items. I was snag a few pairs and used them to trade and kept one for myself. I absolutely adore these earrings. The stones add an extra flare that really makes them special. I have gotten so many compliments while wearing these. I normally wear F21 studs, but you can tell that these will last forever and half.

Case-Mate: Poppies iPhone 4/4S Case, $40
I was so happy with my other two Case-Mate iPhone cases that I decided to get the third case that I was interested in. These phone cases hold up to major abuse. I've used on case for months and it barely has a scratch on it. My phone feels protected. I couldn't figure out why Little Black Bag was overcrowded with iphone cases, but then I realized the iPhone 5 just released. All those companies needed to get the old styles of their hands. I plan on getting the iPhone 5, but not until Christmas. So until then I will have many stylish options.

Freestyle: Adrenaline Watch in Yellow, $50
The only time I ever worry about wearing a watch is when I won't have access to my phone. Which isn't very often, so I barely ever wear one. But this was too cute to pass up. I loved the bright yellow color and it's large face. Yesterday I started my second job working at Old Navy (just a few nights a week) and I kept wishing I knew the time. I'll definitely be wearing this from now on.

ZAD: Chevron Cut Out Cuff, $26
I randomly traded for this and then realized I didn't want to give it up. I'm on the fence with this one. The chevron cut-outs are cut a bit off -center, so I can only get them to line up correctly if I wear the bracelet a bit cock-eyed. I've worn it only twice and it already is looking ratty. And it turns my skin green. I wouldn't have ever paid $26 for it.

Whew!! All of these products were mine for $55! Many of these products I would have easily bought for full-price. I always get suckered in by purses and accessories. Little Black Bag is a perfect outlet for my budget because I could have spent double just buying a pair of shoes and a necklace by themselves. The trading process is so intense that it also appeases my online shopping addiction for weeks and weeks. It isn't something I will do every month, but I am always checking up on the new additions just in case there is something I HAVE to have.

What do you think of my Little Black Bag haul? Was it worth the hassle of trading? Find out what is in your bag and start trading by clicking here to join!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Conscious Box: September 2012 (All Vegan!)

Did someone say vegan? The first ever, all vegan Conscious Box is finally here!!

Dont know what Conscious Box is? Conscious Box is a monthly lifestyle subscription service that delivers a box filled with pure and sustainable products from eco-friendly, ethical companies. Each month you receive a large assortment of samples from companies that are working to make a happier, healthier planet. Each business is chosen because of their commitment to bettering the world through sustainability and ethical practices. Expect some yummy edibles (not always vegan), cleaning supplies, household items (candles, seeds, etc), beauty, skincare, and much much more. Conscous box costs $19 a month and your box will always be valued above!
Click here to join Conscious Box.

September 2012 (Vegan!)
It's here!! A box guaranteed to be filled with all vegan and cruelty-free products!! My biggest complaint about Conscious Box in the past has been that many of the products were not vegan. I'd never pay $19 if I couldn't guarantee the use of all products. Conscious Box listened and here we have the first ever Vegan box! Brendan Brazier, a triathlete and the creator of Vega, helped curate the box. Brendan has been proof that a vegan diet can compete. It is awesome that he was brought on board! I've always heard amazing things about Vega and his book.
This month also brings change to Conscious Box's information card. Instead of printing it they are saving paper and hosting it online ( I was disappointed when I saw that there was still all sorts of paper/cardstock advertisements inside the box. The information card was so helpful and useful. I keep every info card from my subscription boxes to reference in the future. Id much rather see the promotional papers gone for good.

Information Cards:

+Skincare and Beauty:
100% PureGreen Apple Nourishing Body Cream
Full Size: 8 oz ($15.00)
Size Received: 0.066 oz ($0.12)
This product isn't listed on the information card. I got to try 100% Pure for the first time a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. Cruelty-free, vegan, and free of any synthetic chemicals, toxins, or detergents. It is believed that 60% of topical skin-care products are absorbed through the skin and into your bloodstream so why would you put it on your skin if it isn't pure? This body cream uses cocoa and avocado butters with other fruit oils to leave your skin hydrated. Green apples are high in antioxidants and help protect your skin from damage.

Ancient MineralsMagnesium Oil Ultra Spray
Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually all systems in the body. Ancient Minerals provides us with an effective, direct way to supplement this crucial nutrient—just spray it on & your skin will absorb what it needs! Learn more about the importance of magnesium at
Full Size: 8 oz ($29.00)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($3.63)
Magnesium is an essential mineral that our body uses for over 300 different biochemical reactions. It helps maintain muscle and nerve function, keeps your heart pumping, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. It also helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. Not enough magnesium can affect your entire body. A few months ago I received a magnesium supplemental drink, but Ancient Minerals allows you to get your daily magnesium through the skin. You just spray the magnesium directly on your skin and reap the benefits. It may help relieve aches and pains, improve your mood and reduce stress, encourage healthy skin tissue, and detoxify your cells. To get the most out of this product you should spray as much of your body as possible. I think Id rather take a multi-vitamin or a supplemental drink than spray oil all over my body.

Hurraw!Coconut Lip Balm
Three cheers for bomb balm! Hurraw is vegan, organic, fair trade, and super smooth. This coco-nutty blend of aromatic awesomeness will feed your lips with premium not-too-stick, not-too-glossy, and not-too-sweet succulence. Enjoy!
Full Size: 0.15 oz ($3.79)
Size Received: 0.15 oz ($3.79)
Hurraw! is a lip balm company from Montana that hand mix and pour every lip balm. All of their oils are raw cold pressed that make all the difference. The company has strict criteria for their balms. They can't be grainy, or too glossy, or smelly and of course must be smooth and long lasting. The company has all sorts of awesome flavors like Earl Grey and Pink Grapefruit. The formula is a little oily for my taste. But it is long lasting and provides awesome moisture.

Funky Monkey: Freeze-Dried Fruit in Purple Funk
Who says being vegan can’t be fun? Funky Monkey proves that wrong with their scrumptious banana chips coated in purple açai. Awesome for snacking (and even better in your morning cereal) these are easily the funnest way to get 3 servings of fruit in one sitting!
Full Size: 1 oz bag ($3.19)
Size Received: 1 oz bag ($3.19)
I love freeze-dried fruit. Last month we got to try freeze dried mangoes and they were so delicious I started looking up how to freeze dry fruit at home. This month we got to try purple funk, bananas with açai by Funky Monkey (a local Indiana company!). These slices of bananas have 120 calories per package, 10% of your daily potassium, and 3g of fiber and 3 servings of fruit! The only ingredients are the bananas and açai. I found these so delicious and filling! Sweet and crunchy. I would 100% rebuy these as a quick snack at work. Amazon sells them for $21.97 for a pack of 12 which averages $1.83 per package. I don't have that kind of money right now, but if I saw these at Costco I'd be very inclined to purchase. Yummm.

Happy Squeeze: COCO Orange Mango Coconut Milk
Always organic, Happy Family has created some of the most delicious fruit and veggie blends, perfect for your little ones (or you!) Take this magical blend of coconuts and mangoes for example! Not only is it packed full of nutrients, but it’s got a taste that’ll rival home juicing.
Full Size: 3.5 oz pouch ($1.69)
Size Received: 3.5 oz pouch ($1.69)
Happy Squeeze has just unveiled their new line of coconut milk drinks. These products are meant for young kids, but everyone can enjoy them! Coconut milk is creamy and sweet. Add oranges and mangoes and you have the perfect snack. At 90 calories it has 150% Vitamin C, 140mg potassium, 15% calcium, 10% Magnesium, 8% Vitamin A, and just 1g of fat. I brought it to work today and it was super delicious as a mid-morning snack. I felt like I was drinking a smoothie. Most pre-made smoothie drinks are not vegan, so it is awesome to know that there is something out there.

C3 for StressSupplement Drink Mix in Lemon Lime
It’s true—even vegans get stressed! Well, here’s an incredible, all natural stress relief drink that’ll help you get through the times you just want to pull out your hair. Delicious, safe, and totally vegan, this drinks rocks!
Full Size: 15 0.21 oz packs ($23.95)
Size Received: 1 0.21 oz pack($1.60)
C3 is a all natural supplemental drink mix for those of us who need a little help becoming calm. cool. connected. Old friends came up with the perfect blend of botanicals and minerals, such as: kava root, polygalla root, ongan berries, wild jujube seed, licorice root, milk thistle, and white peony. All of these ingredients help calm and relax the mind and body and combat fatigue and irritability. The supplement also has Vitamin A, C, B6, B12, Zinc, Magnesium, and Niacin. The levels of minerals are much lower than Eboost or Emergen-C. But Im always open to try new formulas, especially when they say they combat irritability, one of my flaws...

Madécasse63% Cocoa Chocolate Squares
From bean to bar, Madécasse chocolate is rooted in something much more special than sweets. Made from "bean to bar" in Madagascar, Madécasse set off on a mission unlike any other chocolate company: make chocolate in Africa, instead of just exporting the raw ingredients. Generating about 4x more income for Africans than Fair Trade chocolate, each bar of Madécasse is blended with true purpose. Enjoy consciously!
Full Size: 7.05 oz ($9.99)
Size Received: 0.35 oz($0.50)
Madécasse Chocolates are formulated from Madagascar cocoa beans. Not only do they get the beans from Madagascar, they make the chocolate there. How awesome is that? The owners of the company both were in the Peace Corp and wanted to keep their contributions going. Their company helps generate income for locals, uses natural farming practices, create diversity, and preserve the habitat. We got to sample their baking chocolate which was good enough to just pop in your mouth. They have some really interesting flavors, like: sea salt and nibs, pepper and citrus, and exotic pepper. What is better than eating chocolate and knowing it is helping make the world a better place.

Vega: Pre-Workout Energizer in Lemon Lime
Created by Brendan Brazier himself, Vega adds incredible dynamic to your plant-based diet. Formulated to maximize nutrition from only plant-based ingredients, all of Vega's products enable you to jumpstart your workout and get the most from your sweat. Power through it with Vega—and feel the difference!
Full Size: 19 oz ($49.99)
Size Received: 0.6 oz($1.57)
It would be silly if Vega wasn't featured in a box curated by Brendan Brazier. I've heard amazing reviews for Vega. This pre-workout energizer is meant to provide immediate energy, increase endurance, aerobic, and anaerobic capacity, and enhance mental focus and physical recovery. You take the powder supplement drink 20mins before your workout. It enters the bloodstream quickly, but does not spike or crash. Today I was so burned out from my day that I ended up going home and napping instead of going to the gym. Maybe if I had taken this I would have gotten my energy back. Tomorrow I'll try this out before I head out on my run. I could never afford to spend $50 for a workout drink, but I'll enjoy it this once.

ArtisanaGoji & Milk Thistle Nut Butter
With rich, delectable butters and spreads, Artisana has quickly become one of our favorite companies to discover with their 100% organic, omega-3 enriched foods. All butters are made in small batches with only the finest ingredients, free from animal products, pesticides and chemicals, and GMOs.
Full Size: 20 0.5 oz packs ($27.80)
Size Received: 0.5 oz($1.39)
Goji and Milk Thistle nut butter? Hmm. I had never even entertained the idea of that combination. Granted I dont think I've ever had either goji or milk thistle. The smell of this nut butter is sweet and somewhat berry like. I tried it and did not care for it. It was smooth and creamy, but too many exotic flavors. I stick to good ol peanut butter and cookie butter. And that's all Im saying about that.

KelapoVirgin Coconut Oil
Thought olive oil was your best alternative to butter? Think again. Kelapo is the perfect counter-top companion to more conscious culinary creations. Rich in taste & smooth in texture, Kelapo delivers some of the most majestic blends of healthy coconuts, for cooking, toast, or even massages!
Full Size: 10 0.5 oz packs ($10.49)
Size Received: 0.5 oz($1.05)
Coconut oil is used often in many vegan cookbooks. From curries, to brownies, to fried goodies. And because of its high saturated fat content it lasts forever and ever on the shelf. I don't keep it in my house because of that exact reason, but its so creamy and delicious. It really adds extra flavor to your food. Plus! You can use coconut oil in handmade skincare. Moisture to the max. Kelapo farms and produces their oil in Sri Lanka using natural farming techniques and only fair trade practices. Kelapo sells their coconut oil is packets and larger glass containers.

TeeccinoHerbal Coffee Tee-Bags and All-Purpose Grind
Get sustainably energized. Teeccino herbal coffee is naturally caffeine-free, but provides you with the same taste and spunk of the coffee bean. Completely vegan, Teeccino makes the perfect alternative to your morning brew!
Full Size: 10 tee-bags ($4.49) and 16 oz grind ($13.50)
Size Received: 2 tee-bags ($1.00)and 1.05 oz grind ($0.89)
Coffee and I are not that great of friends. As a kid I would throw a tantrum if my mom got too close to me with coffee breath. I have yet to get on board with coffee. Teeccino is not really coffee, instead it is made from a herb that brews, looks, and taste like coffee. But it is naturally caffeine-free and has all the same medicinal benefits as herbal tea. I received three different products from Teeccino. I received two tee-bags that are single servings in Hazelnut and French Vanilla and a Maya French Roast grind. The package says that these herbal coffees are non-acidic, so maybe this will be smooth enough to wean me into the coffee world. If not, they will be perfect to have for guests who cannot believe I don't own a coffee machine.

Clean WellDisinfecting Wipes
Whether you’re wiping down a machine at the gym or just trying to clean up the toddler spill in the car, Clean Well has got your back. Safe and effective at killing germs and bacteria, Clean Well is the perfect companion for anyone looking to keep their hands (and home) pristine.
Full Size: 20 wet wipes ($7.99)
Size Received: 1 wet wipe ($0.40)
Clean Well is an alcohol-free disinfectant that kills 99.99% of germs botanically! They use natural thyme oil that is easy on your hands and the environment. It has been used for centuries as an antiseptic. Clean Well sells to-go sizes and also larger canisters for the home. Clean Well does not test on animals which is a major difference from the major brand of disinfecting wipes. I love the convenience of wipes and how effectively they pick up grime and dirt. It is even better that they are all natural and safe for everybody.

VaskaPerfect Lavender Laundry Detergent
The perfect companion for any vegan’s laundry room, Vaska is a great alternative to traditional soaps. Low-impact, safe, and effective, Vaska will help breathe freshness into your fabrics! 
Full Size: 21 oz ($8.99)
Size Received: 0.75 oz ($0.32)
Pure and simple laundry detergent that is made of only plant-based surfactants, vegetable conditioner, a water-based degreasing agent, water, and lavender. No toxic chemicals, animal byproducts, alcohols, or other harsh colors and dyes. Vaska was designed to clean your clothes while still protecting you and the nevironment. Clinical tests found that Vaska's formula met or beat the leading chemical detergents on cleaning visible stains/grimes/odor. The full-size cleans 28 regular loads so it is only slightly more expensive than the normal brands. A good price to pay for pure, cruelty-free cleaning.


Conscious Box Postcard
How can you not aww at this postcard! I love that every Conscious Box has had a postcard. Snail mail isn't dead. I already have someone in mind for this card.

Total Value of my September 2012 Conscious Box$21.14
I'm learning that Conscious Box is not for those who want a high value box. Instead it is a way to sample many, many brands at one time. My favorite items in this month's box was all the food. I adored the Happy Squeeze Coconut Milk drink and the freeze-dried bananas by Funky Monkey. If I saw either in the store I'd buy them in a heart beat. I love that Conscious Box has listened and created an all vegan box. There are so many great brands that I haven't even heard of. I wish I had the extra money to sign up monthly, but currently it isn't in the stars.

What did you think of my September Vegan Conscious Box? What was your favorite product? Are you gonna sign up for the all vegan subscription? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Birchbox: September 2012

I have stopped anxiously guessing at what my Birchbox will contain. I used to search videos, look at spoilers, and hype up themes. That left me short changed and disappointed. I feel a renewed excited for Birchbox and am ready to be surprised every month!

Don't know what Birchbox is?
Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers a little, heavenly box of premium beauty samples to your doorstep. Each month you will receive 4-5 samples (sometimes even full-sized products) and generally a goodie (energy booster, granola bar, etc). The samples range from make-up, polishes, skincare, body, hair, and fragrances. All from luxury, quality brands. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked for you are based on a survey you fill out letting the gals know your style and skin-type. Birchbox costs just $10 a month, and your box will always be valued way above!
Click here to join Birchbox.

September 2012, Box #10
Fall is officially here. The days of short shots, neon nails, and humidity have parted ways to make room for the autumn chill, layers, and deep gorgeous colors. Birchbox is inspiring us this month to test out the new trends and step into fall looking fabulous. This month we received an 18 page Fall Lookbook mini-magazines. It includes all kinds of tips and new looks. My favorites are the new twisted braid, how to wear bold eyeshadow, and tips for applying lipstick. It was a great addition to the box and I truly hope that this wasn't a one time thing. Head designer of Madewell, Kin Ying Lee, helped put together the Lookbook and also has some of her own tips in the book.

Information Cards:

Dr. JartWater Fuse Beauty Balm 25 SPF+
Think of this four-in-one moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, and skin-perfecting tint as the (extremely stylish) Swiss Army Knife of your beauty lineup.
Full Size: 1.7 oz ($32.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($1.88)
I'm never the first time try new beauty trends. I only just got into tinted moisturizers. And now there are all these BB creams to try! Birchbox loves Dr. Jart, they featured them in multiple boxes since May. I have already tried this product in the past and remember liking it. It was a good BB cream that evened out my skin tone, blended well with my skin color, wasn't greasy, and lasted all day. It didn't cover too much, just made everything (blemishes, pores, spots) blend naturally together. The only thing I don't like about BB creams is it really makes your skin one toned. You lose your natural contours and glow. I always have to wear more blush and bronzer to get my usual glow back. I wouldn't rebuy this product because it most likely isn't cruelty-free since it is a Korean brand. I couldn't find any information anywhere.
Unsure if tested on animals. (most likely tested on animals as Korean brand)

Color Club: Birchbox Custom Polish in Insta-This
We teamed up with Color Club to create this custom shade, inspired by the Fall 2012 collections.
Full Size: 0.5 oz ($8.00)
Size Received: 0.25 oz ($4.00)
Birchbox sure loves Color Club. I think this is my fourth so far this year. I don't mind. I think nail polishes add great value to my boxes. I was highly impressed with this polish! Normally I find Color Club streaky, uneven, and chip easily. Instead this sexy, true blue polish applied evenly, smooth, and lasted longer than any Color Club polish I've worn. I seriously adore this color. It is bright and fun without being neon teenager. It is perfect to wear with the new fall trends. I am really happy with the color I got!

BVLGARI: Mon Jasmin Noir
With waves of ripe fruit and a base of heady jasmine, this luxurious scent is the perfect accessory to fall outfits.
Full Size: 1.69 oz ($83.00)
Size Received: 0.05 oz ($2.46)
I fell in love with Bvlgari's Omnia Crystalline which I received in my May Birchbox. I already bought the full-size in the BB shop. I got it 25% off and with $30 off. Deal? You betcha. I was excited to get to try another scent from the Italian powerhouse. Mon Jasmin Noir is a scent that was created to capture the scent of a sophisticated, sensual woman. The top notes are cedrac and lily of the valley. Im not the biggest fan of the top notes, it is a bit too old for me. But once the middle and dry down enter in I am please. The jasmine comes in and it is fresh, crisp, and a little woodsy/musky. I still think this scent is too old for me. I could see wearing it for something very formal. But I wouldn't wear this every day. What I did like is that it lasted so long!

LiQWd: Professional Voluminizing Catalyst
Loaded with high-tech ingredients, this body-building mist penetrates deep into each strand to make your locks look fuller.
Full Size: 5.0 oz ($22.00)
Size Received: 0.34 oz ($1.63)
If I put mousse in my hair, 20mins later my hair will look like a wet mop. Product is not my friend. So when there is a lightweight miracle worker, I'm on board. LiQWd is a brand I have not heard of before, but I contacted the company and immediately was greeted with happy news that all their products are both cruelty-free and contain no animal derived ingredients. The volume in this catalyst is created by nano-hydraspheres that swells the hair follicle with moisture to lift and separate each strand. Plus, it has all sorts of nutrients from natural ingredients (tomato and cocoa) to stimulate healthy growth, nourish, and protect hair. To get the perfect look, spritz on the product on damp hair from roots to ends, comb through, fluff, and dry (air or blow dry). I can't wait to try this!

LiQWdVolumizing Shampoo & Conditioner
This body-building duo pumps up each follicle full of moisture, helping hair look fuller.
Full Size: both 11.8 oz ($24.00)
Size Received: 2 satchels 0.25 oz ($0.96)
What a perfect extra to go along with the voluminizing styling product. Both the shampoo and conditioner use the special nano-hydraspheres to add volume. Plus wheat protein and amino acids that hold moisture to help combat humidity, soften and smooth, and increase hair cuticle thickness. Rice protein and vitamins help promote healthy cell nutrition.

twistbandBirchbox Custom Lace Hair Tie
Designers went gaga for lace this season and we don't blame them. Get on board with these ouch-free hair ties.
Full Size: 6 twistbands ($14.00)
Size Received: 1 twistband ($2.33)
The first time I got a twistband in my box I was livid. A piece of stretch elastic tied in a knot, how is this special. But I love the idea of having a larger hair band to wear around my wrist when I may want my hair up. I use kids plastic teeny hair ties that would cut off circulation on even my pointer finger and somehow always get lost when I throw them in my pant pockets. My only concern with these is I start wearing them for days and days and I just wonder what kind of bacteria is on them. I do love this lace pattern, makes it a bit more special.

Birchbox Digital Download
Tristan Prettyman is our latest musical crush. Download two of the singer-songwriter's brand new tracks at
Last time we got a digital download many gals were so disappointed. But I absolutely adore trying out new music. The two songs that are available for download is My Oh My and Quit You. I've already heard My Oh My on Sirius radio and really adore it. Tristan is a little folky, sultry, and pop-infused. I really adore her music. And it sounds like her new album, Cedar+Gold, set to release in October will be awesome.

Madewell Coupon
Included is a $25 off a purchase of $75 or more. However great a deal that sounds like, Madewell is darn expensive! Madewell is the sister store of J. Crew. It is a bit younger (less preppy and less structured). It is slightly less expensive, but I don't see spending $98 for a flannel button up. I don't think I'll be using my coupon. The coupon was only valid until the 30th.

Total value of my September 2012 Birchbox:$13.26
My relationship with Birchbox is bipolar. I absolutely adored this box! It had a little of everything and some great extras! It just shows that the value doesn't always matter. Last month I had a value of $30 and I was so displeased. This month just barely over the $10 I pay, but I loved everything I got. Plus, many of the items are within my small budget so there is a possibility that I could afford to rebuy items!

What do you think of my September Birchbox? How does it compare to yours? What color polish did you get? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Birchbox, click here to join

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Goodebox: August 2012

It may be a year since I got my first beauty box in the mail, but I still get giddy when I see one sitting in my mailbox.

What is Goodebox?
Goodebox is a monthly subscription service that delivers trial size healthy, eco-conscious, natural beauty and personal care products. Each month you will receive 6 or more products customized for you. The brands and products that Goodebox send out have been thoroughly evaluated upon the brand's use of non-toxic, natural ingredients that respect earth, animals, and humanity. The samples will range from make-up, skincare, body, fragrances, and some lifestyle and wellness products. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked are based on a very detailed, thorough survey that even lets you indicate color preferences, any allergies, vegan, sensitivities, etc. Goodebox costs $16 a month, but the value of your box will be way above!
Click here to join Goodebox.

August 2012, Curated by Jean Seo
This month Goodebox is curated by Jean Seo who is a founder of a natural beauty boutique, Evolue. He opened the store in 2010 and has now branched out and created his own skincare line. What's awesome is we got to try out some of his products this month. Goodebox knows that by the end of summer we are transitioning out of summer into fall. Just a few days left to enjoy the summer so we shouldn't have to spend so much time on our routine. So they put together simple options to cleanse and moisturize our face, hair, and body. I have to say that outright this box disappointed me. But it looks like we are missing a product due to a production issue. Lots of sample packets and no make-up this month. Who knows, maybe after I try the products Ill be more excited.
To make up for the missing product all members could email Jean Seo's company and request extra goodies. Both extras that I'll be receiving were tailored to my skin issues: dry and flaky yet blackhead prone nose. And I received them yesterday. Just in time for photos!

Information Cards:

Arcona: Cranberry Toner
Three-in-one product cleanses, tones, and hydrates while removing dirt, oil, & makeup, infusing skin with protective antioxidants to leave it glowing and refreshed. Protects and clarifies with antimicrobial cranberry, vitamins, phyto-nutrients and essential fatty acids. Neutralizes free radicals with vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols while omegas 3, 6, 9 and rice milk nourish & protect.
Full Size: 3.7 oz ($32.00)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($8.65)
I heard about Arcona in the past from a beauty blogger who was hosting a contest for the company's Cranberry Toner Pads. She swore by them. Arcona is a skincare line developed for Hollywood celebrities. They believe what we put on our skin must be good enough to go into our bodies; only the good stuff. Goodebox gave us the good 'ol liquid toner. I'm happy since I think the pads are a waste of money. Give me more real product any day. This toner uses witch hazel, rice milk, and extracts from cranberries, white tea, and grape seeds to get triple action. Cleansing from the witch hazel, hydrating from the rice milk, and antioxidants to protect and refresh. I liked the toner quite nicely. It left my face dewy fresh and soft. What I didn't like was the smell!! It smelled so heavily of grape seeds that I could barely tolerate the smell on my face when I was trying to fall asleep. There is no way I can get by it.

Arcona: Raspberry Resurfacing Peel
Formulated specifically to give you a clear complexion. Detoxifying essential oils kill acne causing bacteria. Resurfaces skin to repair sun damage and reduce signs of aging. Smooths fine lines, minimizing pores, and improves skin tone & texture for greater clarity, firmness and density. Exfoliates, hydrates, and oxygenates skin to improve circulation and minimize irregular pigmentation.
Full Size: 2.0 oz ($68.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($3.40)
What a teensy sample was my first though. And it was heightened once I opened the package to reveal just enough product for one application. Normally I can squeeze out two or three from satchels. No such luck. This expensive peel has a massive list of promises. Acne, sun damage, aging, and so on. My skin is not the happiest of campers lately, so I am totally psyched to try something that targets so many skin care issues in one swoop. I was immediately greeted with the Arcona grape seed smell when I ripped open the package. Almost smells like raspberry-grape jelly. The consistency is a little gel like and it went on my face in a very thin, invisible layer. I took off the peel after 15 minutes and my face felt soft, but Im not sure how I can judge a daily peel if I can only use it once. Most of these things take a few days, if not weeks, to show change. Oh well.

Lady Jane: Flavor Balms in Crazy Coconut
Remember those flavored lip balms from your childhood...rhymes with dip thwackers? Welcome to the next generation; the most delicious way to moisturize & protect your lips with natural flavors and none of the old school nasties. Vegan & USDA Certified Organic Ingredients. Just try not to lick your lips.
Full Size: 0.14 oz ($4.00)
Size Received: Full-size received! 0.14 oz ($4.00)
Oh Lip Smackers. I had every color under the rainbow. I still have a few floating around my house. My favorite was definitely Dr. Pepper. It stained your lips so it was the closest I ever got to lipstick. So fancy. Lady Jane is an homage to Lip Smackers' fun and flavor. But a completely vegan and organic formula. I received the flavor Crazy Coconut and it tastes like summer on my lips. Pretty much the smell of sunscreen lotion. It is made up of many different organic oils, aloe, vitamin E, and a little stevia. It glides on slick and smooth and keeps my lips hydrated for hours. The only thing I don't like is that it leaves a weird flavor in my mouth. Maybe the castor oil? Just not so pleasant. But it is perfect to keep in my work desk.

Rare Elements: Pure Shampoo Hydrating Hair Bathe
A daily shampoo for all hair types featuring nutrient rich & moisturizing exotic ingredients to nourish, preserve color & enhance shine. Removes residues & naturally dissolves excess sebum to prevent clogged follicles and thinning. Eliminates bacterial growth which can cause follicle weakening & recharges the follicle. Improves overall hair & scalp condition.
Full Size: 8.5 oz ($34.00)
Size Received: 2 0.24 oz satchels ($1.88)
Oh teensy little packets. I despise these so darn much. Thankfully we don't receive too many packets from Goodebox, which is why it is one of my favorites. This shampoo sounds great for my hair. I sometimes have issues with residue causing havoc on my follicles. It has very exotic ingredients. Such as: watermelon seed, marula oil (may be the new argan oil), blackseed, and others. I'll try this stuff out next time I go out of town.

Rare Elements: Essential Conditioner Reconstructing Daily Mask
A daily conditions for all hair types, this concentrated formula repairs & rebuilds weakened, moisture deprived locks with deep penetrating Nutrient-Rich Moisture boosting complex made of exotic plant oils and rain-forest butters. Imstantly improves hair's condition & shine while providing a natural protective barrier.
Full Size: 6.5 oz ($44.00)
Size Received: 1 0.24 oz satchel ($1.56)
Weird we only received one satchel. It would have been nice to have two pairs. It might have been cute to lay it out for a guest. The conditioner also is full of natural ingredients. Most I have no idea what they are. Like baobab, phulwara butter, and meadowfoam. Each plays a role to strengthen, provide nutrients, moisture, and shine. I couldn't ever pay $44 for a conditioner. So this will be a one time experience.

Evolue: Day and Night Cream
For all skin types, especially sensitive, this lightweight formula increases moisture, suppleness, softness, and elasticity. Three powerful moisture binders attract moisture while jojoba oil, close in molecular structure to our skin's own sebum, holds it there, supporting the skin's natural protective barrier.
Full Size: 1.0 oz ($80.00)
Size Received: 0.14 oz ($11.20)
Holy crap this is an expensive cream! Now I understand why the sample is so small, it is still an amazing value! Evolue is the skincare line of Jean Seo, this month's curator. It looks like his skincare line is so new it isn't even up for sale online! The frustrating part is I found out that these products are not vegan! It contains beeswax. Now last month Goodebox emailed me asking what my preference was on beeswax and I told them I do not want any beeswax in future boxes. So somebody messed up. I'm going to contact them since I was mislead. Looking closer at the info card I now see it doesn't have their vegan label on it, but I trusted it would be... I did use this product and it is a very thick, yet lightweight cream. A little goes a long way. It soaked in quickly and wasn't greasy.
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

Evolue: Gentle Cleanser & Makeup Remover
For all skin types, especially sensitive, this lightweight formula increases moisture, suppleness, softness, and elasticity. Three powerful moisture binders attract moisture while jojoba oil, close in molecular structure to our skin's own sebum, holds it there, supporting the skin's natural protective barrier.
Full Size: 4.0 oz ($23.00)
Size Received: 1.0 oz ($5.75)
Like the cream, this product also contains beeswax. And again I believed it to be vegan. I tried it a few nights ago and it worked very nicely. It took off my makeup, even my mascara and eyeliner, and left my skin feeling soft and fresh. Most of the creamy cleansers make my skin feel greasy and sticky, but this one was great. Too bad it has beeswax in it. I wonder if it is really an essential ingredient or not.Why does every natural company have to stick it in their products!?
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

Bamboo Lash and Brow Grooming Tools (2)
Use to separate clumped lashes for a killer fringe & to shape brows into the ultimate arch.
When I first saw these in the box I was like uhhh, really? I never noticed the card indicating why they were even in the box. Still kind of weird, especially since we didn't receive any lash or brow products. But luckily I've been looking for a small, bristled brush to use on my baby hairs. Michelle Phan had said in a video that a bristle brush with a little hair spray is perfect for controlling your crazy baby hairs. Now I have clean ones for my hair. Perfect timing.

Evolue: Day and Night Cream for Oily & Acneic Skin 
Full Size: 1.0 oz ($62.00)
Size Received: 0.14 oz ($8.68)
I received a day and night cream for all skin types in my regular box and this one is for oily/acne skin. At first I thought it may be the same, but this one seems more water-based than the day and night cream. That makes me hopeful that this product may be beeswax free! I am almost out of my Verabella Rose Bella Rosa Skin Cream that I am happy to take more creams, cause I can't afford to buy the Verabella. I use heavier creams on my nose twice a day because my T-zone is a red, dry mess. Since I started using creams my skin is no longer inflamed nor red.
Cruelty-free! (Vegan)

Evolue: Resurfacing Grains
Full Size: 3.88 oz ($42.00)
Size Received: 1.38 oz ($14.89)
I told Jean that I have very flaky skin on my nose, so she recommended the resurfacing grains. She said I should make a paste with the fine powder and use it nightly until my skin is as soft as a baby's. This will be a gentle exfoliant made from oat protein and wheat bran that I can use every day. I am so impressed with the size of this sample. The label says 14g, but it actually contains 39g. It is at least a cup of product. But I got the ingredient list from Jean and it contains nonfat milk. Wah.
Cruelty-free! (NOT vegan, contains milk)

Total value of my August 2012 box:$60.01 
Not my favorite month. I am disappointed that I got two non-vegan products. Beeswax isn't the biggest deal to me, but I paid for this service. It was nice getting extras, even if we didn't receive one of the normal products. I still love Goodebox and think it is worth my money.

What do you think of my August Goodebox? What did you get in yours? Have you tried any of the products I received? Let me know in the comments below!

Btw... I HATE the new blogger layout. HATE it.
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