Monday, April 23, 2012

Conscious Box: April 2012

The nice folks over at Conscious Box offered to send me the April box for free! How awesome is that? There was a few problems with shipping, apparently this month Conscious Box tried out Fedex Smartpost for the first time and boy was it awful! All was going well until it got to a city an hour away from house. From the time it left that city it took 6 more days to get to me! Conscious Box has officially decided that they will not be working with Fedex again and will switch back to their old shipping method.

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.

April 2012 Earth Day

This month's box was all about Earth Day! I mix of products that Mother Earth would be proud of. A great theme, but I'm assuming every month is full of eco products. I loved that there was so much variety. A little beauty, a little cleaning, some edibles, and others. I couldn't believe that they were able to fit all of this in the box! It was like Christmas taking out each and every product. I do think that they could improve the product info card. The bold product name sometimes would be the brand name and the product, sometimes just the product and sometimes just the brand. Also the description sometimes wouldnt say anything about the actual product we received, just a general advertisement for the brand.

I think it was insane how much paper was in the box. It may have been printed on eco-friendly paper but it was completely unnecessary. A lot of the papers seen in the photo below were advertisements for products I didn't even receive... Plus, from Conscious Box alone I received a Welcome card, a card letting me know my Gift subscription ended, the earth photo that was the cover of my box, the info card, and a card letting me know how to celebrate Earth Day. Way too much. I think the info card and the one theme card is all that is necessary.

Information Cards:

Bare Body Soaps: Organic Soap in Oatmeal
Vegan, certified organic, and only made with the purest, most natural ingredients, Bare Body Soaps promises only the highest quality cleansing for your skin. As they  say "We care for what's bare."
Full Size: 4 oz ($5.00)
Size Received: 0.4 oz ($0.50)
Soaps have never been my thing. I hate bar soap and couldn't believe my eyes when I learned about body wash. I hate that soap grime feeling after you wash with soap. I want to feel smooth and soft, thank you very much. Either way, this company is certified vegan, cruelty-free, and only uses organic oils. They have a ton of lovely flavors; I received plain ol oatmeal which is a nice neutral scent. I already put it into use in my bathroom and will use it until its gone. It left my hands smelling nice. I did still feel that soapy feeling afterwards, but not terrible, I think Im not crazy hyper-sensitive to it.

Climb On!Intensive Skin Repair Bar
Summer sports can take a toll on your skin; drying it out, shredding it, and leaving you feeling rough and scaly. Here's the cure you need - non-toxic, biodegradable, and made with organic Shea butter, unrefined beeswax, and pure essential oils.
Full Size: 1 oz ($10.25)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($1.03)
This product is used to moisturize and repair damage skin. Think cuts, scrapes, blisters, sunburn, chaffing, cracked cuticles, etc. It is formulated with essential oils (and beeswax, for  those who care) and has antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic, and antiviral properties. I received a bar sample, but it seems almost unusable. I can't rub it to get any product on my hand. I tried taking the bar out and rubbing it directly on my skin, but that didnt work well. I asked a few people what the consistency of their bar and they said soft butter. But I think they may have received the creme. Apparently you need to rub the bar directly onto your skin. Oops. I feel bad since I contacted Conscious Box and asked about the consistency, and they said they'd send me a replacement. My cuticles are a mess right now and I did notice that my torn skin healed quickly over night, but my hands get covered in the stuff whenever I use it. I like my Rosebud Salve better. At least when I get it on my hands I can wipe the leftover on my lips. And if there is a product that doesn't use beeswax that works just as well I'll be more likely to buy it.

Sparklehearts: Rainbow Soft ConditionerLove your body just as much as you love the Earth! Environmentally friendly, never tested on animals, and packaged in 100% recycled material, Sparklehearts' natural beauty products are the perfect addition to any bathroom!
Full Size: 10 oz ($9.99)
Size Received: 0.2 oz ($0.20)
The packaging is adorable and helped me realize that this company is geared toward girls. But what is great is that they only uses natural ingredients, never tests on animals, certified vegan, and is eco friendly. They have body lotions, body wash, deoderant, shampoo, conditioner, and hair detangler. I use only a pea-sized amount of conditioner in the shower so this sample will actually last me a week, hah. The conditioner is formulated with shea butter jojoba, and wheat proteins for healthy, shiny hair. I'm excited to try this out. Although Im not sure I'd buy it on my own. Maybe if I was buying a gift for a little girl, this would be a cute gift.

Juice BeautyGreen Apple Peel Sensitive
When it comes to day-to-day skin care, Juice Beauty is the organic solution you need. Made with the purest ingredients, Juice Beauty is your source for complete personal care - from cleansers and toners to moisturizers and make ups!
Full Size: 2 oz ($39.00)
Size Received: 0.25 oz ($4.89)
I first have to comment on 'make ups,' lol! A guy must hace written the description sheet. This is probably the product that I'm most excited about. Birchbox loves Juice Beauty. I've only tried their Blemish Clearing Serum, although it didn't work well for me, I love that this company uses organic, natural ingredients. The company is obviously committed to sustainability and providing clean, safe products. Plus, they are cruelty-free and all products will be vegan by mid-2012 (they do use sustainably sourced honey and beeswax in the lip products). This peel helps to exfoliate the skin, reducing breakouts, discolorations, and fine lines. It is packed with vitamins and antioxidants from algae, green apple, white grape, and lemon to make your skin smooth and glowing. Plus, I received the sensitive version which seems to have more aloe and does not contain lactic acid or willow bark. Glad I got the sensitive version since their lactic acid is still currently sourced from milk proteins. I'm excited to try this out and hopefully it'll help my stressed skin.

Lauren Brookes Cosmetics: ColourFusion Lip Glaze in Guava (Supplied by Natural Joy Beauty)Natural Joy Beauty is the perfect online store for the eco-aware lover of beauty. With their careful research into the ingredients of every product they sell, you're sure to feel good about what you're putting on your skin!
Full Size: .07 oz ($8.00)
Size Received: sample size ($0.99)
This lip glaze is a more pigmented version of the Lauren Brookes lip gloss. I personally think it is more of a lip cream. I received a very pretty color called guava. The site explains it as a very soft, neutral mauve. It definitely is darker in the pot than I normally ever have tried, but on it is a very nice neutral dark color that really looks nice. I generally don't wear fancy lip colors, but this has just enough color that I'd feel comfortable wearing every day. I absolutely adore the formula, it made my lips so smooth and soft. It glided on like butter. It also has a really nice lemon-y fragrance. This product does have beeswax for anyone who does not use beeswax. I may have to take a look at the Lauren Brookes website to see what other products she offers.

Oogie's Gourmet PopcornKettle Corn
As summer cruises around the corner, it's time to rediscover the season's favorite snacks. Oogie's offers a perfect match for a summer blockbuster or day in the sun - a health-inspired popcorn that's GMO-free.
Full Size: 3 oz ($1.49)
Size Received: Full-Size! 3 oz ($1.49)
Boo, these guys have a natural flavor that is made of milk. I gave them to my roommate, but she never let me know how they were. Someone said they taste just like Cracker Jack (which is vegan). I took a look at the website and they have one vegan offering, Spicy Chipotle and Lime, which isn't really a flavor I would look for in popcorn.

ClandestinoBanana Bar with Dark Chocolate
Whether you're catching waves or taking that morning jog, these chocolate covered banans will give you a boost of clean energy. These power-packed snacks have no additives, and are full of potassium to help muscle contraction and prevent cramping.
Full Size: 1 bar ($1.30)
Size Received: Full-Size! 1 bar ($1.30)
There was a bit of contrevesy with this product. Many people, including myself, received bars that had already passed their 'best by' date. Since my family works in food and I know that the best by date really is more for the retailer and not the consumer. It is still safe to eat food that is past its best by date. Either way Clandestino bars were formulated for surfers, to provide an extra boost of energy. I don't think the bars are too high in energy/vitamins though. This to me is a treat, not an energy boost. I chomped down on this bad boy and loved every bite. It almost had the consistency of a marshmellow Moon Pie, but bananas. It was sweet and chewy and chocolatey. And at 109 calories not a bad treat. I would buy these again to put in my lunches.

Cloud 9 Raw ChocolateRaw Chocolate in Original Flavor
Finding the best chocolate is tough, but for a mouth-watering option look no further! Made with 100% organic and vegan ingredients - from the bean to the coconut nectar - this tasty treat doubles as an organic superfood supplement.
Full Size: 25g ($5.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 25g ($5.00)
Cloud 9 Raw Chocolate's was created by Jennifer Popken, a nutritionist who was inspired by chocolatiers while living in Switzerland. She wanted a more natural, healthier option so she made it! Raw chocolate has high levels of antioxidants that help fight the signs of aging, increase heart health, and defend against free radicals. Cloud 9 chocolates are made from raw organic chocolate beans, organic dehydrates fruits, nuts, seeds, dates, among other organic ingredients. There are 4 different flavors, but I received the original, plain one. I generally don't have a taste for very natural chocolates, and this is no exception. It is a bit too raw for my taste. If you like cocoa nibs you'll like this. I do appreciate the dates that add a sweetness, but it still finishes out too strong. I could only eat a teensy bite at a time. 

Natural Health InternationalThe Original Himalayan Crystal Salt
Looking for a healthy alternative to table salt? With 84 trace minerals and a balanced ionic form for absorption, Himalayan Crystal Salt from Natural Health International is the perfect selection. Use it however you would use regular salt...but prepare to feel the difference!
Full Size: 2 lbs 2.35 oz ($29.50)
Size Received: 0.2 oz ($0.17)
I appreciate that Conscious Box has a complete pamphlet explaining what Himalayan Salt is. If they didn't, I'd just think it was pink, lush salt. But table salt is stripped of all natural elements during processing and it takes the body a ton of energy to break down the salt to get at any minerals. Meaning the body uses more resources than it gains. Sea Salt (which my family generally uses) contains more minerals, but the content varies from source to source. Plus, sea salts come from our oceans that are more and more polluted, meaning the sea salts may have oils, heavy metals, and other toxins hidden away. But Himalayan salt, which comes from a Salt Mine in Pakistan (near the Himalayas) contains 84 minerals in an almost exact ratio to what exists in our blood. The salt is in a form that is easily absorbed, meaning that the minerals can go straight into our cells. Uhh, after all that I sort of am unsure how I feel about this. Online I found a few sites saying that it has a very high fluoride count and that they could only detect 10 minerals. Probably not unsafe, but just gimmicky. Salt is salt and we need to use is sparingly. End of story. 

generationMeAll Natural Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent
It's time to start living more sustainable, and generationMe has got the tools you need. Whether its truly eco-safe detergent or one-stop shopping for those reusable necessities, you'll find that simple concepts can lead to the most effective designs.
Full Size: 32 tbsp ($6.50)
Size Received: 2 tbsp ($0.41)
I just finished a graduate research thesis that involved determining which cleaning agent was the most invasive towards bloodstains. In other words, I have so much detergent, bleach, and OxiClean I don't know what to do with it. I really don't need anymore. But I'll always try out a product that is natural and earth friendly. The detergent is made of castile soap, oxidizing agent, baking soda, and citric acid. Very basic and very clean. It is gentle enough for a baby or someone with sensitive skin. This may be a great product to use to for hand washing my delicates.

Earth Friendly ProductsParsley Plus All Surface Cleaner
Cleaning your home should never mean dirtying the earth, but this is the sad reality for many cleaners that leave behind trails of toxic slew. Put an end to this with Earth Friendly Products, nixed of the ammonia, phosphates, and petrochemicals.
Full Size: 22 oz ($5.49)
Size Received: 4 oz ($1.00)
Im OCD about surfaces in the kitchen being clean. My room is a massive disaster, but I do not like the kitchen being dirty. It may be because as a vegan I always worry that someone dribbled bacon grease or mayonnaise all over the counter and didn't clean it up. Then if I put down a slice of toast I may end up getting sick because of the contamination, or at least severely grossed out. I used to use all natural all surface cleaners, but it is just easier to use Clorox Wipes. I'm on my last few wipes so instead of buying wasteful wipes I'll go ahead and use this. I absolutely love the Parsley smell, it so fresh and reminds me of my mom's herb garden. It did a darn good job cleaning up my dirty counter. I'm very happy and would definitely repurchase once this trial size runs out. I may even keep the trial sized container since I love that I can just keep it on my counter for quick access.

Planet IncDishwashing Soap
Celebrate the planet this month by cleaning smart! Planet's dish soap helps handwash those heavy loads of dishes without worry of the eco-impact of our dishwashing liquid. This is grease-cutting freshness you and Mother Earth can love!
Full Size: 25 oz ($4.69)
Size Received: 4 oz ($0.75)
This is a gentle and non-irritating formula that apparently does the job. It is certified biodegradable and is not tested on animals. What I do love is how short the ingredient list is. Just coconut oil based cleaner, salt, amine oxide, and baking soda. The formula is unscented and uncolored which will take some getting used to. I tend to smell my dishes to figure out if I cleaned well enough... Yeah I suck as dishwashing. But I mean it may look spick and span, but if I can still smell my garlic marinara I get grossed out. It has a lot of good reviews online so I'm excited, especially since it is so reasonable in price.

GlobNatural Paint in Berry Blue
The eco-friendly life doesn't have to be drab; especially when it comes to art supplies! Glob brings us botanically crafted paints made from plants - just add water! What imaginations will you paint into life?
Full Size: 6 packets ($12.00)
Size Received: 1 packet ($2.00)
This is a water-soluble paint mix that is made from natural fruit, vegetable, flower, or spice pigments. I don't really paint ever, but my sister does. Although, I'm pretty sure these paints are more meant for little kids.

Want a fun way to spread the joy of spring? Toss these seed-loaded clay balls around your neighborhood and watch flowers sprout! Made by people with developmental disabilities, Seedballz are great for both backyard gardners and urban eco-advocates.
Full Size: 16 balls ($6.00)
Size Received: 3 balls ($1.13)
These are actually super cute!! These are an all-natural mix of seeds, red clay, and soil humus. The clay protects the seeds from drying out or being taken by birds or insects. Watering them melts the clay, allowing the seeds to sprout with a little mini-environment of nutrients! I love that these are made by people with developmental disabilities and are used as a therapeutic and fun exercise. Made with love. They sent 3 random balls to try out so it will be fun trying to see what blooms! They sell flower mixes, herb mixes, basil, and mesclun. I'm going to buy a small pot and soil just so that I can plant these!

Team Green Nature Trading Cards
This non-profit's trading cards feature the beautiful photography of Carol Freeman, and are great way to discover the wonders of the world.
Eh. Maybe if you have a kid, but I don't get the point of this. My trading card was for the Common Buckeye Butterfly. It did teach me that the eyespots may be used to scare away predators and that it likes nectar from peppermint and other flowers. The underbelly of the butterfly is actually really pretty. So if trivia ever has a fact about the buckeye butterfly...

Groovy PlanetWorry Doll
Worried about the world? Whisper your concerns into this little worry doll to keep thoughts on brighter days! This is an example of how Groovy Planet takes your kids around the world with their monthly subscription packed full of fun and learning.
You may think I'm crazy since there is no worry doll, but it looks like mine didn't make it to the box! I used to get these dolls at craft fairs or at the New Orleans' French Market when I was younger. I have had high anxiety since a little girl and these guys always sparked my interest. Which is why like a dork I contacted Conscious Box and they are sending me a replacement...

Whew! And this is what I do instead of working on schoolwork. Blogging / Product Research is so calming for me!

Total Value of my April 2012 Conscious Box$20.86
I originally wasn't going to do the value of the box, but since I was thinking about the subscription I decided I better. I'm glad I took the time to figure it out because the boxes value is very low. You'd think the box would be at least $30-40 when you are paying $19. Have services like Birchbox spoiled me?
Either way I don't think it would have been worth $19 to find out about the awesome Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner, the yummy Clandestino Banana Bar, or SeedBallz (the three products I love). If Conscious Box cost $10-12 a month I'd be more likely to subscribe. But at $19 it is out of my budget and would leave me with too many products I would have no use for. 

I have to say their customer service is awesome. First offering me this box for free and second sending me replacement products. So if you have the extra money, this would be a great way to get a wide range of eco-friendly products. I may keep my eyes peeled for monthly reviews of Conscious Box and pick up a subscription if my budget widens. 

What did you think of my April Conscious Box? What was your favorite product? Do you subscribe to Conscious Box? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I've never seen a 'box' with that amount of products in it! Pretty original concept, though. Wish we have this in my country!

    1. I couldn't believe how many products they included! It was very awesome. Although I think I would have rather less products with more oomf. Many of these products (trading card, paint) I wont use. But I would have loved a bigger lip glaze or shampoo sample instead. Great concept though!

  2. Thanks for the detailed and thorough review! However I always feel somewhat disapointed when people dont see any value in the work it takes us to put these boxes togethor and source out conscious companies. In addition, we put a lot of effort into making sure its a wonderful experience. Our special window box costs us nearly $2.00 to make and is completely sustainable. Shipping also costs us upwards of $9.50


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