Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Little Black Bag

So, I happened to stumble upon Little Black Bag. It is a subscription service that sends you accessories. It is pricey in my opinion. You pay $50. Pick an accessory of your choice. Then they will add 3-4 other items to your bag. Over the next 7 days you can trade any of your items with other members. This was really fun. It adds a social networking aspect to shopping. 

The retail value of my bag was $126, so I saved a lot. However, at $50 a month, I will definitely not be doing this often. I liked the Nila Anthony bad I received. This is the item I chose. I got the red necklace for my mom. The earrings are much smaller than they appeared online. This also came with a sample of a Redken product that is supposed to help with frizz. Not sure how it'll work on my hair. But perhaps I'll try it. 

The good thing about Little Black Bag is that you can skip months. So if you sign up you're not obligated to pay every month. Otherwise, I would cancel. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Birchbox: The Best Box

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am a huge fan of subscription boxes. Well, there are a lot of them out there. But hands down, the best box, is Birchbox. Birchbox is the best box because it's consistent. I consistently receive great and interesting products to try. In almost every box, there has been at least 1 full size product. So I definitely feel that it is of great value. I also feel like Birchbox took my survey into consideration. I expressed a desire to receive natural products and they have done a good job of sending me things that are at least labeled natural even if there is some greenwashing. Lol. And well, the number one reason why Birchbox is the best, is because of the price. Birchbox is only $10 a month. It is one of the cheapest subscription boxes out there. I can't see myself ever cancelling my subscription for that very reason. Even if I don't like everything I get each time, there'll be 2 things I use. Now, I've attached a few photos, but unfortunately I haven't been photodocumenting my birchboxes since I received it. So here's a list of everything I've gotten to date.
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
OROFLUIDO Elixir (deluxe sample)
One Love Organics® Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm (deluxe sample)
Tea Forté® skin-smart™ Teas
Color Club® Neon Nail Polish (full size)
Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien

Befine Gentle Cleanser
MicrodermaMitt® Face Mitt
Befine Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15
Zoya TRUE Spring Collection Nail Polish (deluxe sample)
Wonderstruck Taylor Swift 3.4 oz
WEI™ High Performance Face Treatment Pad Collection (full size)
Arquiste Flor y Canto
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (deluxe sample)
FusionBeauty LipFusion Balm Lip Conditioning Stick SPF 15 (full size)
Ojon damage reverse™ Restorative Conditioner (deluxe sample)
Birchbox Notecards
John Varvatos Star U.S.A. 1.7 oz
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (full size)
theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac (full size)
BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages by Cynthia Rowley Bundle
Melvita Floral Water (deluxe sample)
GLOSS Moderne™ High Gloss Masque (deluxe sample)
Ada Cosmetics Bronzer (deluxe sample)
stila It’s Go Time Lip Glaze (full size)
Harvey Prince Hello - 50 ml
Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds
For those of you not familiar with Birchbox, it is a subcription service that sends you 5+ beauty samples each month for $10. You can purchase the full sizes of the products on their site with free shipping. You can earn reward points by doing reviews and referring customers which you can use to purchase products on the site. 
To join Birchbox please click here: https://www.birchbox.com?raf=q7hcv  

Julep Maven Nail Polish Subscription Service

Julep Maven is a subscription service for nail products. It's just like Birchbox and all the others but for nails. It's 19.99 a month. This is too much in my opinion, but they offered a coupon code for a PENNY in July. I am not sure whether I will purchase this again because of the price. Also, I like getting my nails done so I'd rather apply that $20 to a mani-pedi. But I won't cancel. One thing I love is that they allow you to skip months. So I'll just skip and maybe one month they'll have something extra fancy that I want or I'll have some extra money to blow. It is a great service. They have very timely shipping. I love these colors. No complaints other than the price. Check them out. 

If you are interested in joining Julep Maven click here 

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable (in Darling)

These are new on the market. They are cheaper alternatives to Tarte Lipsurgence or Clinique Chubby Sticks. They come in a variety of colors, many of which are highly pigmented. This particular color, however, is one of the more subtle colors. Many YouTube reviewers said this one is too light but I was looking for lavender so I am happy with it. The more pigmented colors leave more of a stain. This one does last, but I wouldn't say it stains. I like this product because even though it's drugstore it still has good ingredients: no mineral oil, petrolatum, or parabens. It's has a minty smell but only a very slight tingle. It goes on smooth and is not drying. These can be purchased almost anywhere for between 6.99 - 8.99. Right now Walgreens has Revlon products buy one get one 50% off.

Aluminum Free Deodarant

Aluminum Free Deodorant

The search for natural deodorant without aluminum chlorhydrate (linked to cancer) that actually works can be a tough one. Here's two I use and you don't have to go to Whole Foods to get them. In fact, Whole Foods only sells regular Crystal deodorant, not Crystal Essence. There is a difference. Regular Crystal is not as effective as I'd like. But when u add the lavender essence it has antibacterial properties and also gives a pleasant odor. So if you've tried Crystal before and wasn't satisfied, don't be hesitant to try this one. So far, I can only find this at Walgreens. And nowhere else. I mean nowhere. The Arm & Hammer one is my new favorite. They sell it lots of places. I get mine at Kroger. It's cheap too. Only about 2.50. It has a fresh scent, so it is unisex, for men and women. Plus I hate sweet flowery smelling deodorant. This one has baking soda which I've found to be more effective. I used a Kiss My Face deodorant that had baking soda, it worked, but it was too strong n caused a rash. Arm & Hammer's formula is perfect! I'm on my 3rd bottle now. If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with this one.

What I Use To Wash My Hair

1. JASON Natural Dandruff Relief Shampoo - As some of you may know, I suffer from dermatitis, including my scalp. Dermatitis is different from dandruff but can be treated similarly. I was prescribed an antifungal shampoo by the dermatologist but I don't like the idea of using it long term. This shampoo is a lifesaver. It has ingredients salicylic acid and coal tar which treat dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It helps keep flaking at bay. It contains menthol and has a lovely cool tingly feeling. Since it is strong, and can be drying, I only use this product on my scalp. I put a small amount of water in a nozzle bottle, then pour in some shampoo. Shake. Then I add a bit more water. I apply to my scalp only. I let it sit on for about 5-10 minutes to give it time to work. This product can be purchased at Whole Foods for about $10
2. Terresentials Pure Earth Hair Wash- if you follow Naptural85 on YouTube, you are probably already familiar with this product. I love it. I was skeptical about how it would work. I love the way it goes on the hair. Although its specifications say to use only this and you don't need conditioner. I use it as a treatment or in between shampoos. I always DC after. This product leaves me with amazing curl definition. I use the Cool Mint version because I love the tingly feeling. But I hear the Left Coast Lemon and Lavender are also good for our hair type. I can also finger detangle my hair with this product. It can be ordered online at terressentials.com It's a bit pricey and you have to pay for shipping.
3. Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo - This is one of the few sulfate free shampoos I've found that lathers, and for me that is a necessity. It does however leave your hair very moisturized. You will not have a squeaky clean feeling from this shampoo. So if you have a lot of product buildup or use a lot of unnatural products, I do not recommend this. This is a staple in my routine because I can find it at Target or Walgreens for $9.99, it has all natural ingredients, and it gets the job done. Also, the makers of Shea Moisture are #Liberian so I gotta support.
Please leave any questions below