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!

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!

 

My Honest Review of The Honest Company Discovery Kit

I absolutely love trying new products. When I came across The Honest Company, I had always been intrigued by them. However, I strongly dislike buying full-sized products only to found out I don’t like them. When I saw a random advertisement on Facebook saying that you could try an Honest Company Discovery Kit for just $5.95, I jumped right on this opportunity. For $5.95, I got 5 very generous-sized samples of products that are typically used on a daily basis. I opted for the Essentials Kit, which includes shampoo/body wash, face/body lotion, hand soap, multi-surface cleaner and healing balm.

The Honest Company is a company founded by Jessica Alba and children’s author Christopher Gavigan. Gavigan is the author of Healthy Child Healthy World. This company was founded to create a safer world for children. As a result, the Honest Company’s products are free of harsh and synthetic materials. The Honest Company also makes it very easy for anyone to purchase their products by offering affordable home delivery services, anyone can receive Honest Company products without having to leave their home!

Does The Honest Company sound interesting to you? Click here to give The Honest Company a try for just $5.95.

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Shampoo and Body Wash:

The Honest Company shampoo and body wash combo is a plant-based and tear-free cleanser. As a result, it’s safe to use from head to toe. I love the vanilla scent of this product. However, what I did not like, is the fact that this shampoo did not lather. For me, I feel like shampoo is not working if it does not lather. Despite the lack of lather, my hair still looked and smelled great. I even noticed that my hair didn’t start to look greasy at the roots (this tends to happen to me by the end of the work day). For body wash, I loved this! My skin had a wonderful, lasting scent and felt moisturized.

Healing Balm:

Out of all the products in this kit, I have to say that I was most excited to give the healing balm a try. I’ve been suffering from some patches of dry skin and was hoping this would be helpful. This product is a little on the greasy side, but it definitely did help with dry skin and I have a feeling this product is going to be even more beneficial in the harsh, winter months. This product is designed to protect, smooth and reduce redness. It’s great for sensitive, dry and allergy-prone skin.

Face and Body Lotion:

This product has a light floral scent, making it great for females, but I certainly wouldn’t be tossing it to my boyfriend if he asked for lotion while at my house! It contains organic olive oil, organic aloe and shea butter that helps to hydrate, nurture and moisturize skin of all types. This lotion is not greasy, rubs well and is definitely a great product for everyday use!

Hand Soap:

This liquid hand soap contains plant-based ingredients that are designed to help sooth hands and prevent them from drying out. This soap washes off easily and doesn’t appear to leave a film on your hands. My only complaint with this is the scent. I am not a fan of lemongrass!

Multi-Surface Cleaner:

This is definitely a product I would purchase again! This multi-surface cleaner did an excellent job of cleaning my bathroom counters, sink and mirror. It was streak-free and easily removed a lot of the make-up that I seem to accidentally get everywhere while I am getting ready. My favorite part was that is does not leave the room smelling like you just cleaned. I am not a huge fan of the smell of most cleaning products!

*I was not paid for this review. This review reflects my own thoughts on these products. I did purchase this discovery kit on my own!

 

 

 

Space Paste: Toothpaste to Go!

I don’t know about you guys, but I lead a very busy lifestyle. From work to meeting with freelance clients to working out and to attempting to have a social life, I often find myself leaving the house before the sunrises and not returning home until long after the sun has set. As a result, I find that some days my teeth take a backseat while I am busy doing whatever it is that I need and want to get done during the day. Being someone who loves a clean mouth and a shiny, white smile, I was very excited to hear about a product known as Space Paste. Space Paste has changed the way I brush my teeth on-the-go for good!

Let’s face it, there is nothing more awkward than running into your boss, a co-worker or even a complete stranger in a public restroom with a toothbrush hanging out of your mouth (I know I cannot be the only one who has found myself in this situation).  For me, Space Paste has changed the risk of getting caught with a toothbrush in your mouth!

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What is Space Paste?

Space Paste is dehydrated toothpaste tables that provide you with the same results as using a traditional toothpaste in any setting without needing a tube of tooth paste and a toothbrush.  Space Paste can be use to instantly freshen your breath and clean your teeth. All you need to do is chew the tablet until it become foamy, swish the tablet around in your mouth and rinse.

What is Space Paste Good For?

Space Paste is great for: traveling, daily brushing, after meals, during a date, before a work meeting, camping, hospital patients, after smoking, working out and in an emergency preparedness kit.

My Take on Space Paste:

Space Paste kept my breath feeling fresh and my teeth feeling clean. One hour after “brushing” and I could still taste the Astromint! Here are my top 3 reasons why I will continue to keep Space Paste in my bag:

  1. My breath was fresh for at least an hour after using Space Paste. Unlike gum or some traditional toothpastes, I was confident that my breath was fresh no matter how close I go with someone. (Keep in mind that my day job is research at a local University, with human subjects I find myself sometimes very close to people I have just met!)

  2. My teeth felt clean. Space Paste is far from a breath mint or a gum. My teeth felt like I had just brushed them no matter what I ate for lunch. Sometimes my teeth can feel a little slimy depending on what I eat. With Space Paste, I am confident that not only is my breath fresh, but my teeth are looking clean as well. Trust me, there is nothing I dislike more than a dirty smile.

  3. Space Paste is convenient and discrete. I’d much rather carry around a gum-sized package of Space Paste than a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. Additionally, I can use Space Paste virtually anywhere without feeling like the entire world is watching me brush my teeth. I simply chew up my Space Paste on the way to the restroom, swish a little and rinse while no one is watching. (Although, I have actually demonstrated this process…on more than one occasion!)

Review: OrganiGrowth Protein Powder

Hey everyone! Time for a protein powder review. When the lovely people of OrganiGrowth asked me if I wanted to review their protein powder, I was more than happy too and definitely excited too!

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When this package of Vanilla Protein Powder showed up at my door, I was very intrigued. First off, I have never used a protein powder that was not chocolate (yes, I have a major sweet tooth!). Second, I have never tried a protein powder that was made strictly of organic ingredients.

Here’s a little about OrganiGrowth:

Our mission was to create a great tasting whey protein powder made from the highest quality ingredients for professional and amateur athletes. Today, most products are processed, loaded with synthetic and toxic chemicals, or grown with unhealthy fertilizers. So we took it upon ourselves to create the healthiest nutritional supplement on the market using nothing but Organic ingredients.

And just like that, OrganiGrowth was born. The first Certified Organic, high protein, low carb, and low calorie protein powder made by athletes for athletes. Whether you are looking to get in shape and build lean muscle or need a nutritious snack in between meals, OrganiGrowth is the ideal product.

 

With 150 calories per serving, I was eager to see what I could do with this protein powder. For the past two weeks, I have been experimenting with this protein powder. I’ve done a little bit of everything with it! I’ve made shakes/smoothies, made my own protein bars, sprinkled it in a cup of coffee and even added it to what I like to call “healthy cookies.”

Here’s what I noticed:

1. It takes great…as a girl who loves chocolate…I absolutely loved the taste of it. I really enjoyed the vanilla flavor; especially when I added it too coffee. It was a great way to add a little flavoring to your morning cup of coffee.

2. It dissolved easily. When mixing OrganiGrowth in liquid drinks, it dissolved very easily and was not gritty.

3. It kept me full. Isn’t that one of the most important things about protein? But seriously though, I’ve had plenty of powders and protein bars and whatnot that did not fill me up.

4. It was very easy to bake with.

5. I like the fact that it is organic. I do not eat all organic foods, but the fact that this product was organic was an added bonus. Upon reviewing the facts on OrganiGrowth’s website, it was great to know what this product contained no artificial sweeteners and ingredients. It’s also gluten free.

Overall, I feel like sometimes it can be hard to describe how much you like a protein powder. Sometimes you just need to try it for yourself. I’d highly recommend OrganiGrowth to anyone who uses protein powder whether organic products are important to you or not. After using an organic protein powder, I think it is something that I would stick with!

*I was not compensated for this review. I did however receive complimentary OrganiGrowth protein powder. My opinion of this product is solely mine!

Review: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Let me start buy saying, I am a huge fan of  Benefit Porefessional. What I am not a fan of is the rather large price tag for such a small item that comes along with purchasing the Porefessional. To me, $30 is a huge price tag for such a little bottle. While on a random trip to Ulta (what can I say, the 20 percent off entire purchase coupon at Ulta drew me in!), I noticed the Maybelline products were buy 1 get 1 50 percent off. I’ve been wanting to pick up a baby lips and that’s when I noticed the baby skin. I’ve seen it on a YouTube beauty guru’s blog and was intrigued, but still had some Porefessional to finish up as well as another random primer. I figured with the discounts, this was the perfect opportunity to pick it up and try it out. The Maybelline Baby Skin was 6.99 and the Baby Lips were 4.99 (but I got this item 50 percent off) plus an additional 20 percent off my entire purchase. It I didn’t like it, I wasn’t losing too much money!

The next morning, I decided to give it a try. It was immediately apparent that this product was not going to be an exact dupe for Porefessional, but I was definitely willing to give it a try. The first thing you’ll notice is that Baby Skin is clear while Porefessional is a nude color. Baby Skin is a little more greasy than Porefessional. I went light with application and was very please with what I saw. It definitely blurred by pores. I also found it to be a great make-up primer. My make-up went on smooth and lasted all day.

Overall, I am very pleased with this product. It’s at a great price and works well. I’d highly recommend it for anyone who is on a budget and looking for a pore eraser. I have fairly normal to sometimes dry skin. I’m not sure how it would work for those with oily skin. But at this price, I’d highly recommend giving it a try!