BoxyCharm September 2014 Review

Hey everyone! I randomly signed up for Boxycharm on a whim, when I saw a YouTube that showed the September box including a very generous size of the Harvey Prince Hello perfume. I love this scent, but it tends to be a little on the expensive side. So for $21, I not only got this perfume but also received four other full-sized products. My plan was to cancel after getting the perfume, but honestly for $21 a month this box is way to good to cancel. If you’d like to give Boxycharm a try, click here!

Let’s take a look at why I am so excited about this subscription box!

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Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss. This product retails for $19, which almost pays for the box itself! I love Tarte, so I was super excited to see this product. I got this lip gloss in a beautiful pink color called blushing bride. It has a vanilla scent, it’s pigmented and lasts a long time!

Coastal Scents Go Palette. This palette retails for $12.95, is perfect for travel and has a very nice variety of neutral eye shadows. They are extremely pigmented and can create a great smokey eye. What I really like about this brand is that it’s affordable. Whether you are just starting out or are on a budget, you can great great quality at a very affordable price.

NCLA Nail Laquer. I received this nail polish it a red-color that is perfect for fall as well as the holidays. For $16.00, this nail polish is long lasting, quick-dry and chip resistant. I went 5 days without chipping, which is amazing for me!

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight. This product has absolutely beautiful packaging and retails for $22. I was extremely excited to see this product for a few reasons. I typically do not get a good night’s sleep, my eyes are rather dark to begin with and I am kinda a concealer/eye brightener junky. This product does a great job of making me look like I got sleep when I really didn’t!

Hello by Harvey Prince. This 10mL perfume is the entire reason I purchased this box! With Meyer Lemon, White Grapefruit and Satsuma Mandarain. This 10mL bottle retails for $29. I’ve tried this in another subscription box and love it. It’s the perfect everyday fragrance.

September 2014 Birchbox Review

I’ve been subscribed to Birchbox for over a year now. I know a lot of people complain about the sizes of Birchbox samples, but I really enjoy my monthly subscription to Birchbox. For $10 a month, I get to try out a lot of different products. Some products I’ve loved, some have been great for travel and other products (which I would have thought I’d love) have turned out to be a total bust! I really like the fact that Birchbox does a lot of skincare samples. Skincare products can be very expensive, so it’s great to be able to try it before you shell out the cash. If you’d like to give Birchbox a try, click here! Birchbox also has a really great points system. With their points system, I’ve been able to get so many products free. And who doesn’t like free?

Birchbox has also started something that is fairly new. They give you the option of selecting (usually from a choice of 3-4 items) one of the beauty products that is going to end up in your Birchbox. You can also select a special box. This box has the same cost and is usually a box curated by another company that teamed up with Birchbox. When selecting this box, you can see all the items in it…so there are no surprises.

This month, I opted for the Fashionista (fashionista.com) Birchbox. After seeing the items in it, I could do without the surprise because I knew I’d be very happy to receive this box!

Let’s take a look at what is inside:

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Laura Mercier’s Full Blown Volume Supreme Mascara. I’m a huge fan of Laura Mercier’s concealers, but I have never given any of their other products a try. Overall, I really like this mascara, it’s water-resistant and gives my lashes a lot of volume. It’s $24 for a full-sized tube. That’s a little more than I typically spend on mascara, but I do really enjoy the product.

Cynthia Rowley Beauty’s Silver Eyeliner. This product is creamy and goes on very smoothly. I feel like it is going to be great to give my eyes a little extra sparkle during the upcoming holiday season. It’s smudge-proof and long-lasting. A full-size retails for $16.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner. I love the name of this product! However, I do not love the $45 price tag! This may be one of those products that I save up my Birchbox points for and splurge on. I’ve been having a huge issue with clogged pores lately especially on my nose. This product seems to be helping out…I’ve used it multiple times and I only receive this box a week ago! It’s a great mask!

Naobay Body Radiance Lotion. A full-size of this product retails for $24. This was the product that I was least excited about when receiving this box. It’s a nice, moisturizing lotion though and it’s perfect for travel. It’s not something I would buy though.

Macadamia Professional’s Flawless Cleansing Conditioner. The full-size of this item is $33. The sample size was huge! It was a very, very generous sample. I really like the concept of a cleansing conditioner. Prior to trying this one, I’ve only ever tried the Pantene Cleansing Conditioner, which I did not like. In fact, I currently have been using it to shave my legs. This stuff did nothing for the hair on my head, but it does leave my legs feeling nice and soft. I am loving the Macadamia Cleansing Conditioner! It doesn’t weigh my hair down and leaves it feeling super clean!

Skinny Teatox Review- Chocolate Energy Tea

Fat Free Chocolate Energy Tea

I’m not sure how big of Instagram fans you all are, but when I am just randomly browsing pictures I always come across a company known as Skinny Teatox. To be honest, I typically ignore the company because I am a firm believer in losing weight and getting in shape the old-fashioned way — regular exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet. But, one day I came across a chocolate energy tea. I love tea, I love chocolate and really who couldn’t use a little more energy? I used a promo code and ordered my tea. I was intrigued! The tea ships internationally, so it takes awhile to receive. 

What is Teatoxing?

Teatoxing is a 100% natural detox program that helps promote good health and weight loss. 

Description of Chocolate Energy Tea

Our 100% natural premium Fat Free Chocolate Energy Tea.This DELICIOUS tea is the perfect tasty treat to enjoy during your teatox. It’s fat-free, totally indulgent and gives you more energy throughout the day! 

  • 28 Days worth of our Fat-Free Chocolate Energy Tea

Our Fat-Free Chocolate Energy Tea helps you: 

  • Increase energy
  • Lose weight
  • Ward off sweet-tooth cravings
  • Suppress appetite
  • The perfect healthy treat to indulge in during your teatox

All the ingredients in Skinny Teatox are 100% natural. Ingredients include: Black tea, yerba mate, chocolate and ginger. There are no chemicals or preservatives. 

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My initial thoughts? This packaging seemed a lot bigger on Instagram! 

Let’s move on to the taste.I love chocolate and I love tea so this was the perfect treat for me. You can taste the tea with a nice hint of chocolate. This is going to be the perfect fall treat, which can help curve my urges to reach for candy! This is a fat-free tea.

Now for the other claims of this tea. I would definitely agree that it gave me more energy. This tea is a nice evening snack that helps to get me through my freelance work even after a long day of work. It’s an added bonus when I don’t reach for snacks while working!

I’m not sure about the weight loss claims. Honestly, I am not looking to lose weight. My current fitness goals are to tone up and eat healthier.

Do I recommend this tea? If you are willing to pay $18 and really enjoy tea and chocolate, I’d definitely give this tea a try. Upon reading reviews online, it seems as if many people have a variety of views on this tea so it is hard to tell if this tea will work for you or not!

 

Things I’m Loving Thursdays!

loving this weekFlapjacked Protein Pancakes. At 200 calories and 15-17 grams of protein, these pancakes are my go-to weekend breakfast (I’d eat them all week, but I am not that motivated to get up during the work week and make pancakes!). They have a great buttermilk taste and prevent a rumbling tummy until lunchtime. Best of all, they are super easy to make…just add water! *photo credit Flapjacked

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I bought this product on a whim while I was waiting in line at the checkout in Sephora. Those goodies by the checkout kill me. I go in for one thing and come out with much more than I planned on. However, this purchase was definitely an amazing one! Despite that fact that it is hot and humid outside, my face is extremely dry. This product is bringing the moisture right back to my face. It’s light, not-greasy and in my opinion, does not really have a smell to it. I highly recommended it!

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Popsugar Musthave Box. I haven’t received a box in about one year and I am super excited to announce that I am signed up and will be receiving a September Box. Popsugar is by far, in my opinion, one of the best subscription boxes out there. It’s a little pricey so I will be using it to treat myself from time to time. If you haven’t checked out, click here!

 

Why I Quit Team Beachbody

I know this post has the potential to stir up some controversy depending upon who is reading this. However, I do feel the need to share my Team Beachbody experience. 

Three years ago, I had responded to an advertisement on Craigslist for a Health and Wellness Coach. Being someone who was in the middle of completing a Masters degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, this seemed like a great idea. It turned out that I had responded to an ad to join a Beachbody coaching team. For anyone not familiar with Beachbody, you also try to recruit new coaches to work under you in addition to recruiting people to buy Beachbody products. I was skeptical. The girl, who had written the ad, quickly friend-ed me on Facebook. At this point, I didn’t sign up. However, I did watch her posts for the next three years. She seemed to have a great thing going for her. She was working from home and able to stay home with her kids. I still didn’t sign up. In fact, at this point I was eagerly looking for a job that I had to go to on a daily basis. After working from home for a few years as a freelance journalist, I was young, wanted to get out of the house and meet people. I still didn’t sign up after many, many contacts with this girl…who seemed very nice, but slightly pushy.

Over the next three years, I did take a job that required I get out of my house, while maintaining a list of freelance writing clients. I did Insanity from time to time. When the 21 day fix came out, I was very excited to give it a try. I just wanted to tone-up and this seemed like a great way to do it. I’ve never been good with portion control! I did tone up and even started to develop some abs. However, I did not use Shakeology while on the 21 day fix. 

After the 21 Day Fix was over, I continued to follow the meal plan loosely. I’m not one to deprive myself of anything. If it’s something I want, I don’t see the harm in moderation. I also continued with the workouts. All along, I had been using a different meal replacement powder as well as a separate protein powder. I liked them. They kept me full and even tasted great — especially when mixed in smoothies. However, I’ll be willing to admit that I was still very intrigued by Shakeology.

When PiYo came out, I made the decision to sign up as a coach. I contacted this girl, who I had essentially be Facebook stalking, for the past three years. I signed up on her team. Honestly, I was excited to be part of a team. I got a pretty good deal on a challenge packet and was ready to go. I had signed up for the discount, but was open-minded to attempting to make some extra money. 

Immediately, I was sent a list of things to do. For example:

  • Get goals.
  • Join a number of different Facebook groups.
  • Tell everyone I know that I am now a Team Beachbody Coach.
  • Read personal development books.
  • Set up my first challenge group.
  • Wear Beachbody clothing.

I’m sure there is more, but you get the point!

This was a lot of work to do for essential free. I understood though. You don’t build a successful business overnight. I was also tossed into a “coach camp” that was run through Facebook. This was supposed to me teach me all of the basics. Honestly, I’m not a huge Facebook user. It was fun in college, but now I swear the people I know who use it on a regular basis are my parents age. I hardly had time for this. Not too mention, I don’t like to be on camera. There were daily assignments. Many of them required filming yourself talking about your Team Beachbody goals and your own personal fitness goals. I’m a writer, I do not enjoy the camera!

The other thing that got me about Beachbody is that they claim it’s not sales. To me, it ended up seeming no different than having a jewelry party or a candle party at your house. I was told repeatedly to reach out to family, friends and co-workers who I think could use my help. This may be inappropriate, but all I could hear in my head was myself saying, “Hey, you are looking like you put on some extra weight. If you pay $140+ , you can shed those unwanted pounds in no time!” I am a very independent 29 year old…I own my own home (I have since I’ve been 25), I don’t use credit cards, I pay my own bills and I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. I was not about to financially benefit from the fact that I have friends who enjoy way too much McDonalds. 

To avoid reaching out to my family and friends, I started connecting on Instagram with some people I had never met before. Isn’t it odd how I was more comfortable talking to strangers out this than people I actually knew? I had some people seem interested. For most, it just wasn’t in the budget or I never heard from them again after I sent them an e-mail regarding challenge groups or signing up to be a coach. Honestly, I was starting to feel guilty. I felt like a used car salesman or those people who work at the kiosks in the middle of the mall during the holidays, who practically chase you around the mall trying to get you to purchase some lotion that smells terrible.

Side note: I feel the need to talk about Shakeology before I finish my story. Shakeology tasted great. I enjoyed all the flavors. I just did not enjoy the price tag. However, as I continued to use Shakeology, I felt like I started to develop headaches and even a few hives after drinking it. I’ve talked to medical professionals, who advised against me continuing to drink this product. I complied, my health is not worth holding the title of Team Beachbody Coach. Shakeology did leave me feeling full though. However, I feel like I can find a meal replacement that works for me and that costs much less. I know Shakeology fans are going to say there is no better and that’s okay. I’m wanting to hear all of your comments.

Back to my story, I decided to cancel my Beachbody Coach account as well as my Shakeology. This proved to be more challenging than any Beachbody workout I had ever completed. It’s almost a mystery. Beachbody is not very clear on how to cancel your account. When I did finally find the form, no one processed my cancellation. I’ve entered the Team Beachbody live chat many of times and still no cancellation. The 48-72 hour cancellation policy apparently takes much, much longer than this. They seem very reluctant to let me cancel. I’ve threatened the Better Business Bureau, I’ve called my credit card company, called Beachbody and entered the live chat many, many times. Still, I’ve had no results. I’ve been cancelling for two weeks and I can’t seem to get past a video of Beachbody’s CEO telling me not to go.

Buddy, I’ve made up my mind. I’m out. I don’t care what you have to say. I will follow my dreams and I will be successful. I am going to one day have children and I am going to work from home. However, I will not be supporting my family off of my family and friend’s money. All of this has inspired my to become the best possible writer I am can be so that I can have a freelance career and stay at home when the time is right!

 

Easy DIY Makeup/Makeup Brush Holders

I don’t know about you guys, but I love having the makeup, skincare and other products that are use on a regular basis easily accessible to me. When I say easily accessible, I mean I love having this products on top of my bathroom sink. Sure it’s convenient, but a times it can look like I dumped a bag from Sephora on top of my sink and did not bother to clean it up. Here’s my simple solution, for pretty and practical, makeup and brush storage. This product is extremely budget-friendly. It only cost me $5 to make both.

What You’ll Need:

  • Glass containers (I opted to purchase glass containers from Dollar Tree.)
  • Glass pebbles (Again, Dollar Tree)
  • Washi tape (I found a 4 pack of tape in Marshall’s for just a couple dollars, it’s nice to have variety when completing this project!)
  • Scissors.

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What You Do:

  • Simply, create a pattern using the washi tape.
  • Carefully, place the washi tape on your glass containers. Make sure to hold the tape with a steady hand to ensure the tape remains in a straight line.
  • Use scissors to cut the end of the tape neatly.
  • Drop glass pebbles into the bottom of your jar — this is ideal if you are making a makeup brush holder…it helps to keep them separated.
  • Place your must-have products in and enjoy!

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