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.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Conscious Box: August 2012

I got to test out Conscious Box back in April. I loved the idea of a conscious, eco subscription service catering to all sorts of product types. But I found that many of the products turned out to not be vegan. Looks like Conscious Box heard our feedback and is now coming out with an all vegan box!! The box debuts in September. To get ready for the launch, Conscious box sent me a complimentary regular August box! Schweeet!

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.

August 2012
I'm not really sure if Conscious Box has real themes each month. Like the products being a reflection of the theme. But the information card states that August is a time to rediscover your groove. Rediscover what makes you happy and keep the summer's spirit moving forward. Like my April box, this was bursting at the seams with products. They must have packing these boxes down to a science! I was thrilled to see that there was far less paper cards this time around. Even better, Conscious box just announced that all information cards and paper will now only be provided electronically! How awesome is that!

Information Cards:

+Skincare and Beauty:
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 isn't listed on the notecard, but I received my box a few weeks after the original batch shipped out. So I presume they ran out of a few items and found some fillers. I actually received this back in April with my first Conscious box. It is a hard moisture bar that can be used on cuts, scrapes, blisters, and what not. I was a bit hard on it the first time around because my bar was so hard it was almost unusable. But now that I've had it for a few months it has softened up nicely works amazingly! I use it all the time on cracked knuckles, cuts, and scrapes. Working in the medical field with so many blood-born pathogens I don't like having open wounds. I use this almost nightly now. I've since received other repair products, but this is the only one that doesnt leave my skin oily/greasy. No need to wait for it to soak in before putting clothes on.
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

I Love Chicken Poop: Lip Junk
Don't let the name throw you. This incredible lip moisturizer is made from high quality ingredients like avocado oil, jojoba, sweet orange wax, beeswax, and lavender. Smooth and therapeutic, this will soon be your new favorite. Contains no poop!
Full Size: 0.15 oz ($4.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 0.15 oz ($4.00)
Is this the not the strangest name ever? It got your attention though, didn't it? This is an all natural lip moisturizer that is made in the good 'ol USA. The ingredients listed above is it. It is so nice when a beauty product has a short ingredient list. I want to know what I am putting on my skin and lips. The sweet orange and lavender are a perfect combo together to make for a pretty great chapstick. It applies smooth, really moisturized nicely, and lasted for almost an hour. I have a billion chapsticks, but this one is pretty great. Especially with a name like Chicken Poop.
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

Sparklehearts: Shine Shampoo
Love 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)
Another product not listed on the notecard. But interestingly enough I got the conditioner in the April box, so now I have the pair. I never used the conditioner, but I barely ever use conditioner to begin with. So Im happy to try this out. 100% natural and cruelty-free.

Weleda: Firming Serum
At an incredible $45 value, Weleda's Pomegranate Firming Serum is the perfect food for your skin. Full of antioxidants and made with organic pomegranate juice and golden millet. Weleda helps you fight wrinkles naturally, with no synthetic preservatives, fragrances, or colorants. 
Full Size: 1 oz ($45.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 1 oz ($45.00)
A new product from Weleda! This is a clear, serum made to renew and tighten aging skin. It contains millet, aloe leaf, and pomegranate juice which are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants to regenerate skin cells and increase cell turnover rate. Like most aging serums it moisturizes and helps firm. An in house study said that wrinkles were slightly reduced after using for a month. It has mixed reviews but I'm tempted to try it out. One reviewer said she had combination skin and it didn't dry her out or cause acne. So that is hopeful. Either way this is a great value! A full-size aging product, you never see that! Awesome job Conscious Box!

Natural VitalityKids Natural Calm Multi
When the stressors of school and work begin to get on your nerves, take a moment to get calm. Made with fresh organic and natural ingredients, this is the perfect way to kick your energy into a different direction on those difficult days!
Full Size: 30 oz ($34.95)
Size Received: 1 oz ($1.17)
Funny enough I just received a different Natural Vitality product in my August Goodebox. Natural Vitality is a dietary supplement company that believes that the source of the ingredients is a major player in the quality of the nutrients. I completely agree. They use only certified organic fruits and vegetables, no GMO, nor pesticides.The sample I received is a liquid kids daily multi vitamin.What's great is that the vitamins are extracted from natural fruits and veggies! No synthetic sources, pretty cool. But unfortunately they use fish oils for Omega-3s. So I wouldn't be able to use it.
Contains FISH!

Crispy GreenCrispy Freeze-Dried Mangoes
Get a light, flavorful crunch of fruit with each bite of Crispy Fruit! With no additives or preservatives, this gluten, nut, and fat-free snack is the perfect lunchbox companion every health conscious parent is looking for--who knew freeze dried could be so fun!
Full Size: 1 pack ($1.59)
Size Received: 1 pack ($1.59)
Freeze-Dried fruit isn't always the most flavorful, but this stuff was amazing. I don't know if you can tell, but I couldn't wait to take the picture before I tried it. The slices of mango were really nice and thick so you got a nice bite to grab onto. Plus the flavor was just unbelievable!! They were tart and sweet and everything you expect a mango to be. This snack is perfect for lunch or just when you need a boost!

CrunchmasterMulti-Grain Crackers with Sea Salt
Gluten got you down? Try these tasty gluten-free multigrain crackers that will tantalize your taste buds. 100% whole-grain, cholesterol free, and low sodium!
Full Size: 4.5 oz ($3.59)
Size Received: 0.5 oz ($0.40)
It seems like many companies throw gluten-free and vegan together. I love that more and more products are vegan friendly, but Im not always crazy about gluten-free food. These crackers are gluten-free crisp multi-grain goodness. They definitely don't taste like a gluten cracker, but boy they are yummy. They are made of brown rice flour, yellow corn, and potato starch. They also have oat fiber, flax seeds, and millet for good measure. The texture is similar to the rice crackers you find in asian trail mixes. But they finish off like a tortilla chip in flavor with a hint of finely ground sea salt. I could see pairing these with a wedge of daiya pepperjack or just snacking. These were a hit.

thinkThinCrunch fruit & nut bar in blueberry & mixed nut
It's all about what's inside! thinkThin Fruit & Nut Crunch Bars have 2x the protein and 60% less sugar than other leading nut bars. Portable and power-packed with nutrition, thinkThin Crunch Bars are the perfect food-on-the-go! We've added an extra mini bar to your box as a bonus to say thanks for being such an awesome person :)
Full Size: 1.41 oz bar ($1.99)
Size Received: 0.45 oz bar? ($0.66)
Well I didn't get two bars :( I guess I am not awesome. I'm not complaining since this is a promotional box. I'm very particular with my granola/nutrition bars. The more natural/raw it is the more likely I'll hate it. Prune paste...sick! Millet sticks...yuck. But I still want great nutrition. These bars have 8g of protein and only 6g of sugar. Filled with whole peanuts, almonds, cashews, soy crisps, currants, and blueberries held together with brown rice syrup. My bar didnt want to stay together, it fell apart. But it was still delicious. I don't think I would eat these often because they have 11g of fat. It may be good fat, but for a snack that is a lot to me. Plus I need my fiber and 4g isn't cutting it. But if I saw it while in need of a yummy snack I'd grab for this any day!

Honest TeaSuper Fruit Punch Pouch
Finding a healthy drink for your kids can be tough! With certified ingredients, Honest Tea makes it easy to say "no" to high fructose corn syrup. They'll even help teach your child about tenets of social responsibility with their Honest Kids Brigade, where they can plant trees and help reduce landfill waste.
Full Size: 8 pack ($3.99)
Size Received: 1 pouch ($0.50)
The minute I opened my box I was sipping on this fruit punch pouch. Sometimes I am such a child. As a kid who died when my mom would give in and buy Capri Suns I love my juice pouches. This one wasn't the greatest. It was very bland without any real sweetness. With white grape, pineapple, watermelon, and yumberry, strawberry juice you'd expect an explosion. Nope. And it all makes sense when I see that this is only made with 10% real fruit juice. Watered down crap. It is lower in sugar and calories than a Capri Sun pouch, but only slightly. Did not quench my thirst or my love of juice pouches.

Maté FactorFresh Yerbe Maté Tea in Lemon Ginger
Mate enhances mental clarity, gives long lasting energy, while found by most to be free from unpleasant side effects associated with coffee and other energizers.
Full Size: 20 tea bags ($6.45)
Size Received: 1 pack ($0.32)
In Brazil my friends and I would sit outside in the afternoon and pass around a gourd of tereré. Tereré is yerba maté tea muttled with cold water. It is drunk out of a special vessel shaped like a gourd and drunk with a metal filtered straw. One of the things that I loved about Brazil was how moments we Americans rush through are savored. I need to start taking time out of my day to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea. Maté teas are strongly grassy and herbal. It is an acquired taste. Im normally not a fan of lemon flavored teas. I only like fresh lemon. I don't think this will be any exception, I got a headache just smelling it. Because I wake up at 5am, I can't have any caffeine past noon so I'll try this out one morning and see if it brings me back to the streets of Brazil or have me downing an Advil or two.


Berry PlusBerry Laundry Soap
Berry Plus uses 30% less packaging, requires 75% less truck space, and the ingredients are 100% plant based. These little capsules are also extremely powerful while staying sensitive, efficiently cleaning your clothes without worrying your skin. Switch to soap that grows on trees--they're first aid for your laundry and the planet!
Full Size: 40 microdoses ($16.00)
Size Received: 2 microdoses ($0.80)
Berry Plus is a laundry soap made of 95% real berries. It's made from a soapberry which combined with water gives off soapy suds that have been used to clean clothes in Asia for years and years. This laundry soap only contains soapberry extract, water, vegetable glycerin, olive leaf extract, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate. I think it is awesome to see a household product with such a short list of ingredients. No fillers here! I found mixed reviews on the cleaning power of Berry Plus. Some said it left clothes soft and clean, but others said it didn't remove heavy soil from clothing. And a few people were upset with the packaging since each load is contained inside of a small plastic tube. As long as it is recycled properly I dont see a problem with the packaging. I think it if was in a small bottle most people would use too much of the product, as you only need 2mls per load. I'm going to try one next time I do laundry. We will see!

Conscious Box Postcard
A cute postcard with a winding forest trail that is labeled as being via Conscious Post! It also has a nice quote about friendship. Too cute.  Who needs to go on vacation to send a postcard. Friends beware, I have a blank postcard.

BloominSeed Paper Heart
This company provided a sample of their seed paper. I love the idea of having stationary that can be recycled. I have a little wooden cigar box for each year filled with mementos. But I know most people dont save cards and letters they receive like I do. So now they my words can have a purpose. This little paper heart is filled with wildflower seeds. All I need to do is plant under a thin layer of soil and water daily until the seedlings are established. I need to get a teeny planter!

Total Value of my August 2012 Conscious Box$55.57

What did you think of my August Conscious Box? What was your favorite product? Are you excited about the first vegan Conscious Box? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Birchbox: August 2012

The start of my second year with Birchbox! I had expected to receive a special limited edition pink Birchbox this month for it being my 13th month, but of course they stop that program a few months before my anniversary. Instead I received a genuine leather Birchbox keychain. I complained to Birchbox since I was pulled into the yearly subscription due to the box and would never have wanted to receive a leather product. They felt bad and gave me a 100 BB points. Fair, fair. Anybody want to trade for my Birchbox keychain?

I'm going to start placing a cruelty-free or animal tested label beneath my descriptions so it is easier for people to quickly glance over products and see what is and isn't cruelty-free :)

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.

August 2012, Box #2
August's Birchbox is all about back to school. We all know back to school means shopping and more shopping. And that also means buying new beauty products and updating your routine. Birchbox put out a special information booklet this month with a Beauty 101 series to ensure we 'ace every class.' The booklet is super cute. There is a few pages on tools, how to read labels, 5 tips to a better shave, quick fixes, and speedy skincare tips. The only new thing I learned was that you shouldnt use regular body soap or hair conditioner as shave gel. It apparently will dry out your skin and clog your razor more so than shave-specific products. I always use conditioner since Im a cheapo. Birchbox also teamed up with Pencils of Promise a non-profit that creates global children education projects. 15% of every full-size purchase this month will be put towards building a school. I actually made a full-size purchase this month so Im gald to know that my money went towards helping kiddies!

Information Cards:

FusionBeauty: LashFusion XL
Part mascara and part lash conditioner, this creamy formula adds tons of volume.
Full Size: 0.42 oz ($24.00)
Size Received: 0.28 oz ($16.00)
LashFusion XL is a mascara that apparently adds a ton of instant volume to your lashes. And while you've got hot, voluptuous lashes it helps condition and strengthen lashes. I was really excited about this product. A cruelty-free company and the mascara was filled with natural oils and conditioners. But then when I was looking at the ingredient listing on Ulta I noticed Shellac (crushed beetles) on the ingredient list. Why does a black mascara need a pink/red coloring agent!? I looked at a few different sites and they all had different ingredients and some were vegan and some werent. I decided I would decide what ingredient list to abide to once Birchbox launched it on their website. Unfortunately Birchbox also lists shellac, so I won't be trying this one out. Oh well...
Cruelty-free! (product not vegan)

Juicy Couture: Viva la Juicy Le Fleur
This modern scent is a feminine blend of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily.
Full Size: 2.5 oz ($70.00)
Size Received: 0.05 oz ($1.40)
This is the softer side of Viva la Juicy. It is a sparkling fruity, floral. Pretty much screams me. Juicy Couture is manufactured by EA Fragrances and I can't find a concrete answer on if Elizabeth Arden perfumes are tested on animals. Some say they do, others say they dont. Why must is be so hard to be ethical? The Le Fleur scent is definitely lighter than the original (received it in Jan Birchbox). Both fragrances are almost identical. They have the same top notes of wild berries and mandarin, and the same middle notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, and gardenia. The only difference is La Fleur has a lighter base than the original and an added waterlily, but it still has sandalwood, caramel, and vanilla. I expected a bit more floral, but it is a nice basic scent. Nothing special though.
Unsure if tested on animals.

Yu-Be: Moisturizing Skin Cream
This best-selling Japanese cream hydrates chapped lips, rough heels, and cracked hands.
Full Size: 1.25 oz ($16.00)
Size Received: 0.1 oz ($1.28)
Wasn't too excited to see this in my box. I received this sample for free from Sephora. So when that happens I feel like I've lost value. But strangely enough I don't think I tried the free sample I got, it's been sitting in a drawer collecting dust. This skin cream has the consistency of a soft wax and smells like vapo rub. What makes this stuff special is that it has a high glycerin content (plant source) which helps draw water towards it and therefore into your skin. It is considered an intensive treatment and can be used for even the roughest skin. I'm going to try using it on my feet next time I use my foot file to see if my feet stay smooth and soft for longer. Although it is a little different in texture I really like it. I was surprised by how quickly it absorbed since it seems so waxy/greasy. It is vitamin-enriched to help renew skin.

SHU UEMURACleansing Oil Shampoo
This ultra chic yuzu-scented cleanser leaves hair clean and bouncy.
Full Size: 13.5 oz ($55.00)
Size Received: 0.5 oz ($2.03)
Excuse me!? $55 for shampoo!? I had no intention of using this product since this company is owned by Estee Lauder so it is not cruelty-free. But even if they did not conduct animal testing I would have no interest in trying this product! I could never spend that much money on shampoo. The idea behind the shampoo is pretty cool. It uses oils to help draw out impurities and build-up without stripping the hair of its natural oils. It will leave your hair soft, radiant, and clean. But like I said the company tests on animals, so I will not be trying this one out.
Tested on animals!

Schick: Hydro Silk Razor
The water-activated serum moisturizes skin while you shave, and the innovative oval-shaped design hugs tricky areas like knees and ankles.
Full Size: 1 razor ($9.99)
Size Received: Full-size received! 1 razor ($9.99)
This was an extra not listed on the information card. It is noted as a Birchbox Find. The card says that Birchbox may scour high-end products, but also affordable finds. I actually blogged about this product a few months ago. I received an opportunity to receie the razor for free, but I realized once I saw it in my Birchbox that I never got it! Maybe because I moved, but darn! Hydro Silk is a newer razor from my company that has 5 blades. It is shaped to actually hug your body so that you can get a cleaner shave. It has gotten a ton of positive reviews on Amazon so I am excited to try this out!

Total value of my August 2012 Birchbox:$30.70
Definitely not my favorite month. The razor was really the only thing that I was excited about. And it sucks when a product is cruelty-free but contains random animal products in it, so the value of box went right down the drain. Birchbox and I are still on good terms though, I

What do you think of my August Birchbox? How does it compare to yours? Were you as disappointed as I? Let me know in the comments below!
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P.S. Do you find the cruelty-free indicators helpful?
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