Category: Subscription Box

Birchbox Canada October 2015

Birchbox October 2015 Box
I really look forward to my Birchboxes every month. I didn’t get a chance to post my box last month because I had hand surgery but it was one of my favourite boxes from them. This month the theme is ‘Positive Force’ and the boxes are full of fun for fall products. We’re still not even close to having boxes as great as the American ones but we’re slowly getting there. It sounds like we’re going to have Sample Choice coming our way and that makes me happy because I wasn’t thrilled with this month’s box. If you haven’t tried Birchbox yet, for $14.95 CDN/Month you get five deluxe beauty samples. You can find more information here. Here’s what was in my box this month.
Birchbox October 2015 Insert Card
I got shampoo, without a matching conditioner and considering I pretty much got a complete hair line last month, this really wasn’t a great start.
Birchbox October 2015 Contents
English Laundry Eau de Parfum No. 7 For Her (Full size $20-90)
I love perfume and hoard fragrance samples but I do not enjoy this scent. I couldn’t get it off my wrist fast enough. I did like that the sample was a spray though.
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (Full size $32)
I love Eyeko and I love mascara so this is a win for me. The size of the sample is great and the brush is super curvy. I can’t wait to try it.
Harvey Prince Hello Shampoo (Full size $22)
I’ve liked a lot of the Harvey Prince products I’ve tried before, but I haven’t tried any of the Hello line and just from sniffing the shampoo I don’t think it’s my thing. I also hate getting a shampoo sample without the conditioner because I want to know how the line works and I can’t really do that if I’m covering it up with a different product completely.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive (Full size $39)
I love Juice Beauty and I’ve gotten a ton of samples from various places from them over the past year or so. But I love this peel and I’m happy to have another.
Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney (Full size $29)
I haven’t tried this one yet but I can’t wait to. It’s a matte liquid lipstick that’s also a stain and supposedly stays put. Sydney is a pretty bright magenta shade.

I honestly can’t wait until we start getting some of the American Birchbox perks. I don’t mind repeated brands but I’d love more control over not getting samples I don’t want, like shampoo every month. I do still love Birchbox Canada over most Canadian subscription boxes though.

Birchbox Canada August 2015

Birchbox August 2015 Box
I’m starting to really look forward to my Birchbox arrival every month. They keep adding brands and the point system is fantastic (I already redeemed 300 points and got a $27 product for free. August’s theme was Soak It Up and the box itself was adorable. If you haven’t tried Birchbox yet, for $14.95 CDN/Month you get five deluxe beauty samples. You can find more information here. Here’s what was in my box this month.
Birchbox August 2015 Insert Card
with my first glance at the insert card I got really excited, no shampoo this month! Plus the only repeat brand is LAQA & Co. and this is a completely different product from the Lip Lube I’d gotten before.
Birchbox August 2015 Contents
amika Un.Done Texture Spray
I’m so happy I received this spray instead of the mask. This is supposed to give you volume and shine and I can definitely use that with the craziness this humidity is doing to my hair.
Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy in Gardeners
I’m always down for a hand cream and this one is really rich but absorbs almost instantly and didn’t leave me greasy. It has a nice, herbal scent. I’m going to be hoarding this for winter.
LAQA & Co. Cheeky Lip in Humble Brag
Part of the Charm School Kit, these new creamy, matte lip balms are much more to my liking than their Lip Lubes. They go on pretty dry but are creamy and comfortable. I was hoping to get this pink shade from the trio and I wasn’t disappointed with the pigmentation or wear time. I wish I could buy these individually but hopefully that’s coming.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol
At first I was thrown off by how long that name is and figured I had enough skin care that I could throw this in my give away drawer but then I read the insert card. This is for acne and aging at the time plus it shrinks pores? Sold.
Vita Liberata Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask
If there’s one fail with Birchbox’s beauty profile, it’s that there isn’t anything about tanners or bronzers. I don’t tan or self tan and I’m almost exactly as pale in August as I was in March. Luckily Stephanie loves stuff like this so she can have it but I wish there was a way to never get a tanner or bronzer again.

For the most part I love this box. It has a nice variety of skin care, makeup and hair products and with the exception of the mask, I’ll use them all. It seems like Birchbox Canada keeps adding new things so if you haven’t signed up yet,now might be a good time.

Birchbox Canada July 2015

Birchbox July 2015 Box
Another month, another Birchbox. It seems like they’re coming closer together but I’m not complaining. July’s box teamed up with Best Health magazine and to be honest other than a subscription discount card in the box I really would’ve had no idea. That aside, I was pretty happy with my box this month, although I do wish Birchbox Canada would start adding more new brands. I see the American boxes and get really jealous but since I haven’t gotten anything close to a duplicate yet I can be patient. If you haven’t tried Birchbox yet, for $14.95 CDN/Month you get five deluxe beauty samples. You can find more information here. Here’s what was in my box this month.
Birchbox July 2015 Insert Card
I love that the contents insert tells you exactly how much the full size product is, I don’t really care how much the samples are worth but I want to know how much I have to spend on a full size product if I love it.
Birchbox July 2015 Contents

Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion
I did get a Gilchrist & Soames lotion in my May Birchbox but I like this one a lot better. It’s got a really light texture and is perfect for summer when you don’t want to over moisturize. The scent is fresh and kind of reminds me of cucumber.

Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo
Another brand I received in my May box (I got hairspray), this shampoo retails for $36-82! That seems pretty expensive for shampoo but it smells amazing so I’ll definitely be trying it. I wish they would automatically send the matching conditioner but at this rate I’m pretty sure I’ll end up with an entire Number 4 sample collection.

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
Steph adores these but I haven’t tried them yet. Summer is probably the best time to try them out so I’ll be using these really soon.

theBalm Balm Desert Blush and Bronzer
I’m so fair that I don’t use bronzer at all but I love the Balm so I tried it out and it’s actually not too dark for me. I would use it as an eyeshadow instead though. theBalm has the best sample packaging ever, it’s just a smaller version of their full size products and they’re adorable.

Vasanti Cosmetics Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser
I haven’t used a ton of products from Vasanti but I’ve liked what I have tried so this cleanser will get used.

This box was pretty good but not my favourite and I still don’t really get the association with Best Health but I’ll use everything I received and that’s a win for a subscription box. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next month.

Mani Monday – Julep June 2015 Subscription Box Review + Swatches

Julep June 2015 Open
I’ve been a member of Julep’s Maven subscription box for over two years and it’s by far one of my favourite subscriptions. There are so many options, you can skip a month and you can make your monthly box completely customizable especially now that they’ve added even more to our selections each month. I don’t usually post my boxes because lately I’ve either been skipping or picking basics like Julep’s Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover which is the best product for getting rid of nail polish stains (especially blue) that I’ve found.
Julep June 2015 Contents
I have so much nail polish I don’t usually feel the need to get more unless it’s something I need to have. This month was less about the shades and more about the fact that there were polishes named Steph and Alyssa. If you haven’t peeked at the about us page, those are our names, so when Julep offered polishes in their June collection with not one but both our names, I had to get them. I also added Julep’s new Rethink Your Shower Hydrating Body Cleansing Oil as my third pick.
Julep Steph
Julep Steph Swatch
Julep calls Steph a ‘coconut crem iridescent shimmer’ and while it’s probably not something the real Steph would wear, she does love coconut. This shade is what I wanted Essie’s Private Weekend to be. The formula is fantastic for a white and the shimmer really comes through. Two coats were perfect.
Julep Alyssa
Julep Alyssa Swatch
I don’t know anyone at Julep and they certainly don’t know me but did they ever do a good job pairing this shade with my name. In the summer I’m all about blue and green nail polish and this ‘beachside turquoise creme’ is about as close to a shade I would pick for myself as you can get. And it’s a one-coater which I find pretty typical for Julep polishes.

Rethink You Shower is a Hydrating Body Cleansing Oil that has a gorgeous light grapefruit citrus scent. It doesn’t give you a crazy lather but it’s definitely enough of one. It leaves my skin pretty soft and in the summer I didn’t need to add much of a moisturizer after but in the winter it’ll definitely need one. I didn’t get one of the new Julep Konjac sponges to use with it but I might pick one up this month.

June literally had our names written all over it and I can’t wait to see what they came up with for July. If you want more information on the Julep Maven program and all it’s options you can go to www.julep.com.

Birchbox Canada June 2015

Birchbox June 2015
I’ve started really looking forward to receiving my Birchboxes every month. Partly because I’ve been pretty impressed with the contents and partly because the actual boxes they come in are so pretty lately. June’s Birchbox was curated by Meghan Markle from The Tig and each box contained a Say Yes giveaweay code (I won 10% off the Birchbox site). If you haven’t tried Birchbox yet, for $14.95 CDN/Month you get five deluxe beauty samples. You can find more information here. Here’s what was in my box this month.
Birchbox June 2015 Insert Card
Once again, the content card is so thorough I barely had to look in my box.
Birchbox June 2015 Contents
Beauty Protector Beauty Wash Body Cleanser
I love receiving shower gels in my subscription boxes and I’ve been really interested in trying Beauty Protector since you can only get them on the Birchbox site. But at first sniff, this scent isn’t for me.

Cynthia Rowley Brightening Illuminator
I don’t use a lot of highlighter or illuminators but I’ve liked everything I’ve tried from Cynthia Rowley (another Birchbox exclusive) so I’ll probably give it a shot.

PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray
I love a sea salt spray and I’ve heard a lot of good things about PARLOR. This spray smells amazing and does a good job of making my hair all beachy without being crunchy.

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer
I appreciate that this cream is 98% natural and made with avocado and olive oils but it made my combination skin really sticky.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
Anything with the word peel on it scares me a little but I’m trying to get past that, so I’ll probably give this a try. Though the idea of massaging my face for two minutes doesn’t sound great to me.

Bonus:
Emi-Jay Hair Tie
I appreciate bonus products but I hate ribbon hair ties, don’t use them and don’t actually know anyone who does. I’m trying to think of other uses for all the ones I have because they just sit there.

Overall this isn’t my favourite Birchbox but I do love that I haven’t previously tried all but one of these brands and they did an amazing job with the variety of products.


Black Sheep Lacquer April-May 2015 Subscription Box

Now that it’s June I’m a little late in posting our April/May Black Sheep Lacquer subscription box. Normally I’d tell you how to subscribe but as I was writing this I noticed the website was down. So let’s just get right to the review. In this box I received two full size polishes and a mini. All three polishes are new and not part of the normal collection so they don’t have names.
Unnamed Lime Green Chrome
Unnamed Lime Green Chrome
This lime green chrome was the mini of the set and I really didn’t like it with one coat but once I added the second it just popped. It looks amazing with a matte top coat as well.
Unnamed Silver Chrome
Unnamed Silver Chrome
I’m pretty much in love with this shade so I’m thrilled I have a full size bottle. I’m going to be wearing this a ton in the fall. There are definitely some blue elements in this silver chrome and I don’t have anything like it in my collection.
Unnamed Pink To Purple Thermal
Unnamed Pink to Purple Thermal
By now most people know I’m not a glitter person, but I am quickly becoming a thermal person. This pink into purple thermal is really pretty on it’s own but the blue glitter makes it almost space-like. It wasn’t terrible to take off, so this is one of the few glitters that I’ll probably wear again.

I’m not sure what’s happening with the Black Sheep Lacquer store but I’m such a huge fan of Erin’s polishes, I hope it’s back up soon.

Birchbox Canada May 2015

Birchbox May 2015
Birchbox is one of the first beauty subscription boxes and while they’re pretty new to Canada, the boxes I’ve been receiving have gotten better and better each month. Birchbox gives you five deluxe beauty samples a month for $14.95CDN a month including shipping. While the American Birchbox has way more perks than ours does so far, I’m loving the points system that gives you a point for every dollar you spend. Considering you can use your points to grab full size products of the samples you get on the Birchbox site, that’s a huge win. May’s Birchbox was curated by Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere. I’ve never heard of Cupcakes and Cashmere before but she’s promoting a new book and the box is pretty cute.
Birchbox May 2015 Insert Card
I love the content card insert. It tells you everything about what’s in your box including how to use it and how much a full size version costs. This month I got a pretty good mix of products.
Birchbox May 2015 Contents

Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye Cream
I’ve used tons of Benefit products but not this one, so I’m really happy to give it a try. And it’s a huge sample size for an eye cream.

Gilchrist And Soames Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion
I love body lotions but I’m not a fan of Rosemary. That said, this lotion smells a lot better than I expected.

Not Soap, Radio Joy Inducing Body Wash
I’ve never heard of this soap company before and I’m definitely going to be looking into more of their products. This Birchbox exclusive lemon scented body wash is pretty much the best one I’ve gotten in a subscription box. Definitely my favourite thing in the box.

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil in Menatour
I’ve gotten quite a few LAQA & Co. products in various boxes but never in a bright purple  shade like this one. I’ve been branching out in my lip shades lately, so this one doesn’t scare me.

Number 4 Non-Aerosol Hairspray
I don’t use a lot of hairspray but this one is earth-friendly and is supposed to have a flexible hold so I’ll probably end up giving it a try.

I’m pretty impressed with my box this month and can’t wait to see what Birchbox has in store for me next month. If you want to give Birchbox Canada a try or just want more information you can sign up here.

Birchbox Canada March 2015 + Beauty Blender

Ever since the launch of Birchbox in Canada I’ve been super impressed by the boxes. So much so that I’ve cancelled other subscription boxes and focused on Birchbox because it’s been so much better than the others. For $10 (+$4.95 shipping) you get five beauty samples a month and most of the samples I’ve gotten are pretty fantastic.
beauty blender
For March, every box will receive the cult favourite Beauty Blender. While most fans of this sponge use it strictly for putting on foundation, there really are endless options for it’s use. Here are a couple (all of these use a wet sponge that has been squeezed out):

Ombre Nails
Apply your base coat and two coats of your base colour. Paint a line of the other two or three shades you want to use on the smaller point of your Beauty Blender. Roll from the middle left side of your nail and do any cleanup necessary with nail polish remover and finish with a top coat. Repeat with every nail.

Matte Lip
Add a tiny bit of foundation to a damp Beauty Blender and stipple all over your lips. Tap Beauty Blender into a translucent setting powder and add to lips. Outline and fill in your lips with your lipstick and you’re good to go.

If you want a Beauty Blender in your Birchbox you have to sign up by March 17th but if you haven’t tried Birchbox, I strongly recommend it, even if you can’t sign up in time for the March box. You can find more information here.

Mani Monday – Black Sheep Lacquer February 2015 Subscription Box

Black Sheep Lacquer Subscription Feb 2015
I’ve already professed my love for Black Sheep Lacquer’s duochromes and I wanted to try more, so what better way than a subscription box? Black Sheep Lacquer does their boxes a little differently than other companies. These are totally customizable so if you don’t like glitter, you can ask to not get any. None of my shades had any names on them and Erin makes tons of different polishes for these boxes so you can easily get shades that aren’t for sale. You get two full size polishes and a mini each month and there are different prices depending on where you are.
Lips Like Sugar (Thermal)
Black Sheep Lacquer Lips Like Sugar Swatch
I’ve never tried a thermal polish before and wasn’t sold on the idea but I love this new formulation of Lips Like Sugar. I can see myself trying more thermals in the future because I love any kind of polish that changes in different circumstances and this one definitely does. Two coats gave me perfect coverage.
Into The Void (Glitter)
Black Sheep Lacquer Into The Void over Love You Forever Swatch
I use glitter polish so rarely because I hate taking it off but Into The Void is one I’d reach for again. I used this over Black Sheep’s Love You Forever and I loved the combination.
Dark Knight Special Edition (Duochrome)
IMG_1990
This special edition of Dark Knight is my favourite of the bunch. It’s a purple duochrome that goes into orange and if you hit the right light you get this amazing sunset effect. Two coats was perfect again and I got a ton of compliments on this one.

I’ll definitely be getting another subscription box, the polishes were all amazingly well formulated and the wear time was fantastic. For more information you can check out Black Sheep Lacquer’s website.

Birchbox December 2014 Review

Birchbox December 2014 Box
I’ve always been a little sad that Canadians couldn’t get certain subscription boxes like Birchbox and I must not have been the only one because now we can! For $10 a month plus $4.95 shipping (or $159.40 annually) Birchbox sends out five personalized beauty samples. What I love about Birchbox is that they also have an online store with tons of brands and a points program, so for every dollar you spend you get a point. 100 points equals $10 you can spend in the store. This is way better than Ipsy’s point program.
Birchbox December 2014 Info Card
Each box comes with an information card letting you know what you got, how much a full size is and how to use it. This box was a press sample so I didn’t fill out the beauty survey. I’m still pretty impressed with what I got. Here’s what was in the box.
Birchbox December 2014 Contents
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive
This is kind of like a wash off mask that exfoliates. I love that it’s for sensitive skin, I can’t wait to try it.
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Heartthrob
This line is a Birchbox exclusive and even though the sample looks pretty small you actually get a lot out of it. I’m loving the shade of this stain and it smells pretty good.
Benefit High Beam
I’ve used lots of Benefit over the years but never High Beam. This is another case where the small sample size gives you more than you think.
Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner
This liner is super creamy and lasts a really long time. I’ve never tried Noir Cosmetics before but I’ll definitely be looking into them.
Amika Nourishing Mask
You’re supposed to use this hair mask once a week and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. This is a pretty decent sample size but I really don’t like the scent of it.

I’m really happy with the box I got and I didn’t even fill out the beauty profile. I signed up so I can see what happens when they get survey info but I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with Birchbox and leaving other companies.