Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eco-Emi August 2012 Box




Of all the subscription boxes I receive, I love Eco-Emi the most. It’s the perfect mix of beauty, home, and health products all in one reasonably priced box! They do what Conscious Box does, but Eco-Emi does it better and cheaper!

This month’s box tickled my fancy! Here’s what was inside:

Orchard body glitter by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: Okay, I’m not a body glitter girl. But, I do like Lauren Brooke products so what the heck? I’ll give this a whirl the next time I go disco dancing with the Bee Gees!
Retail price: $12 for 4 grams/$6 for 1.5 grams

Tin Slider Lip Balm in French Vanilla by Naiad Soap Arts: Ooooh, the memories! I had something almost exactly like this when I was a teenager, only it wasn’t chockfull of natural ingredients, like this one is. I will be keeping this baby for myself, thankyouverymuch. But… my only gripe with lip balms like this is that it’s applied with a finger, and then you have to wipe off your finger, etc. And this is what I remember about this type of product from my teen years – the girls’ bathroom was FULL of finger swipes on the wall next to the mirror from girls who used the wall as a finger wipe after putting on lip balm/color.
Retail price: $4.00 per tin

Organic Hydrating Sugar Scrub by Moody Sisters: This is my second product from Moody Sisters. I love that Eco-Emi is supporting small businesses – this one is on etsy.com. This is a good size sample, and so I expect to get either one very generous use out of it, or two very stingy ones!

Himalayan Rose Soap by Auromere Ayurvedic: If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I am a gel kind of gal. The soap I have to wash my hands on my kitchen sink is a gel. The soap I use to shower with is also a gel. I rarely use soap… but this one, oh this one I can’t wait to use! It smells wonderful and is reminiscent of this store I used to go to when I was a kid called House and Garden. It smelled great – and this soap smells like that store!
Retail price: $2.95 for a 2.75 oz bar.

Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath with Calming Chamomile by Aura Cacia: I love Aura Cacia products! I was tickled pink to see this in my box. You probably don’t know this about me yet, but I am Bathtub Girl™. There is nothing I like more than a nice, long soak in the tub with a glass of wine and a good book. I’ve used the Soothing Organic Milk & Oat Bath with Healing Helichrysum and it was wonderful. I can only imagine this one is as good – or better!
Retail price: $3.29 for one 1.75 oz packet.

Organic Raw Pecan Butter by Artisana: The December 2011 Eco-Emi box contained a packet of Artisana’s Raw Cacao Bliss. Let me tell you, it was heavenly. Seeing a new product to try from Artisana gives me the happies.
Retail price: $10.20 for an 8 oz. jar

Cool Calm & Collected Citrus Mint hand & body lotionby Better Life: Damn, only one little packet. No fear, your homegirl has already tried this product and can say with absolute certainty it’s wonderful! It reminds me a little of Deep Steep products – so if you like Deep Steep, you’ll also like Cool Calm & Collected!
Retail price: $6.99 for 12 oz

French Green Clay Facial Mask by Rainbow Research: Masks are the one product homey doesn’t use – I don’t have breakouts or pimples, so I don’t use them. I know, I know – that’s not the only thing they’re good for. Still, facial masks are not my bag. Too much trouble for too little payoff. I might be using this in a future giveaway package – keep your eyes peeled.
Retail price: $8.49 for an 8 oz. jar

Lettuce Mesclun Q’s Special Medley Organic Seeds by Botanical Interests: Woohoo! Seeds to plant! This makes me very happy! This is the first year I’ve had any success whatsoever in my garden, and I can’t wait to plant even more stuff! Nothing gets you in touch with yourself as much as gardening (you thought I was going to say something else, weren’t you?).
Retail price: $2.39 per packet

Four herbs from Frontier Natural Products: The packets are small – approximately 1/8th of an ounce each. The herbs received: Lavender, Rosemary, Mint, and Lemongrass. The herbs were packaged in a beautiful purple organza bag, along with a card with some suggestions for use. I was really happy with this product, although I would say of all the products, this seemed to be the most controversial on the blogs/reviews. Some people are totally unhappy with it – and those tend to be the make-up people – you know, the people who subscribe to Eco-Emi, even though they know it’s not a beauty-only subscription, and then find some reason to whine about the fact that they received herbs and tea and stuff instead of make-up products. Boo the frick hoo!

Eco-Emi is a subscription I won’t be giving up any time soon. It’s the one subscription box that consistently delivers fantastic products. Plus, they always seem to have a waiting list, and I don’t want to have to wait again to get a box (I waited about four months before there was an opening to subscribe). Yep, homey isn’t going anywhere – Eco-Emi, you have a fan in me!

Interested in Eco-Emi? Sign up here - it's $15 a month. This box does what Conscious Box does - only better and cheaper!



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JR Watkins Lip Tint: Tickled Pink


Have you ever received a product in one of your subscription boxes that you loved, and then could not find… anywhere? That’s the case with me and JR Watkins lip tint in Tickled Pink.

I received it in my January 2012 Eco-Emi box. I looked at the outside, and thought “Hmmm… that’s way too light for me.” I was going to give it away, and then I read something online – maybe from another reviewer – that said the color was complimentary to almost all skin tones. So I thought, “Try it. You might like it.”

Try it I did, and I received SO many compliments about the color and how nice it looked on me. I went to the JR Watkins site and discovered I should be able to find it at my local Whole Foods and Ulta stores.

Nope. Not there.

Went back to the site – I should also be able to find it at Walgreen’s. I made a special trip to my local Walgreen’s, and guess what? It wasn’t there. And it wasn’t at any of the other Walgreen’s either.

Maybe I was mistaken – maybe it was CVS? Went there. No JR Watkins lip tint.

Where the effen hell is it?

I can’t find this product anywhere! I want more of it, and I want it NOW!



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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Arcona Cranberry Toner

Smells great, works well!
I received a good sized sample of Arcona Cranberry Toner in my August 2012 Goodebox. My first thought: “Looks pretty, but I have so much toner right now.” Translation: mild disappointment.

That disappointment did not last long – once I used the toner, I realized it is one of my new favorite products!

The toner didn’t look promising – it’s a product that must be shaken before use. And you know how those types of products look before shaken: the separation of the ingredients can make the product seem like it’s not all there or that something is wrong. Rest assured: nothing is wrong with the sample. Simply shake it up before application and all will be well!

The product itself delivers! The label states that this product cleanses, tones and hydrates. That’s a lot of things for a toner to do, and I’ll admit it: I wasn’t sure I believed it – that is, until I tried it.

I live in Nevada. It’s very dry here, and my skin needs extra hydration. There are a lot of products out there that claim to hydrate, but miss the mark on that promise here in Nevada because the air is just SO very dry. However, Arcona Cranberry Toner hit it. After using it, my skin felt good and looked good. It will be the perfect product to use after I’m out in the garden, getting dirty and sweaty.

There is an unexpected bonus: this product smells delicious!

Nitpick: The price. It’s $32 for a full size toner. If you have disposable income, do indulge. If you are frugal (like me), you may find the price too steep for a toner.

Lasting impression: Fantastic product! Delivers the goods as promised, and in a wonderfully fragrant package.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brigit True Organics Magic Skin Balm

I received a sample of this product in my June 2012 Green Grab Bag, and I have to say, it has quickly become one of my "go to" products. 

What exactly is the Magic Stick?  Per the card that came with the product, "Use Magic Balm on any skin ailment that can benefit from moisture and healing." The site suggests it be applied to skin irritations, bites, burns, bruises, scars, eczema, psoriasis.

The day before I received this Magic Skin Balm, one of my cats "accidentally" scratched my arm while jumping from my lap. (Yeah, not sure how that happened, but it did!) The scratch was scabbed over, but it hurt and was swollen.

When I opened up Green Grab Bag and saw this product, I thought, "Ah HA! I know exactly what to use it for!" I opened it, rubbed it on the scratch, and went about playing with the rest of my products.

That night before going to bed, I applied some more. By morning, my scratch had healed immensely. The swelling had abated. I continued to use it, and it really helped the healing process along.

Now I use it on every scrape and bruise I get. At $9.50 it might seem a little pricey, but believe me, you will get your money's worth with this product - and then some!

Product details: 99.6% ORGANIC and per the site, "An excellent herbal healing salve crafted from organic olive oil with a very high content of healing herbs."

Ingredients: organic comfrey and calendula* and St. John's wort* infused extra virgin olive oils*, organic beeswax, natural vitamin E**
*certified organic
**certified kosher

Goodebox August 2012

Goodebox is the box I started subscribing to after the first time I cancelled Birchbox. Slightly more expensive, I found the box to also be more satisfying than Birchbox. This is one of the few boxes I receive that sends full size items on a pretty regular basis.

Here's this month's box before complete unwrapping:




After unwrapping the bow, this is what I found inside:



The contents:

1) Rare Elements Pure Shampoo Hydrating Hair Bathe: two packets (.7 ml ea.).
Retail price: $34 - 8.5. fl. oz.

2) Rare Elements Essential Conditioner Reconstructing Daily Mask: 1 packet (.7 ml) - My main gripe with the box was with this product - one packet of Conditioner vs. two packets of shampoo - I think that we should have either received two of each or one of each.
Retail price: $44 - 6.5 fl. oz.

3) Arcona Cranberry Toner: 1oz. - Personally, I'm up to my ears in toner. However, I tend to use a lot of it in the summer, especially after I've been out in the garden for a few hours, so I'm sure I'll get around to using this... soon!

4) Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel (1 packet) - I am looking forward to trying this product, however I would not be able to afford a full size (see below for reason why):
Retail price: $68 for 2 oz.

5) Lady Bug Jane Flavor Balm in Vanilla Cupcake - full size.  - As with many beauty box subscribers, I get a ton of lip balms. But, those I don't use do make good gifts - especially around Christmas when you feel like you have to give someone something... but don't want to spend big bucks on 'em!
Retail price: $3.99

6) Evolue Beauty Gentle Cleanser/ Makeup Remover: 1 oz.
Retail price: $23 for 4 oz.

7) Evolue Beauty Day and Night Moisturizer: 1 oz. This will be one of those nice-to-try products, however with a retail price of $80, it's not a product I'll ever purchase - no matter how much I like it!
Retail price: $80 for 1 oz.

8) Member Bonus: There was a card in the box announcing that there were two member bonuses: one in the box, and one to come.
  • In the box: two wooden-handled lash and brow grooming brushes.
  • Outside the box: The card instructed us to email Evolue with our top two skin concerns, and in return we'd receive a hand-picked sample just for us.
According to the Goodebox Facebook page, we will also receive Evolue Beauty Must Have Body Treat Chocolate Scrub. Not sure how it's coming to us - either directly from Goodebox or Evolue.

Nitpicks: 

  • As mentioned above, I don't understand why we'd receive two samples of shampoo, and only one conditioner. It's not a balanced mix!
  • While it's nice to try higher priced items, personally I'm dissatisfied that almost all the products in the box are way out of my price range. It's nice to try both splurges and reasonably-priced products - in this box, everything but the lip balm would be a splurge in a full-size product.

Lasting impression:

Goodebox is still one of my favorites - and this box is a good example of why: in this box, there is not ONE product I've received elsewhere. In other words, this box is full of new products to try and play with - and that alone is what makes Goodebox unique! 

This box also contained a green organza bag, which contained some of the sample items. I love receiving these bags! They're great for tarot cards, regifting, etc.!



Interested in Goodebox? Sign up here - it's $16 a month. Goodebox tailors the box to your profile, so you're sure to receive items that you'll love!



Have you entered my giveaway? If you like Juicy Couture, you're gonna want to enter!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Announcing Giveaway Mondays!

I occasionally receive items in my subscription boxes that I either won't use or don't like or have duplicates of. Instead of letting those things take up precious drawer space, I will give them away!

First things first: homey needs some Twitter followers. So, in order to enter my first giveaway, you must become a follower of mine. Pretty simple, eh?

Your reward, should you win: a sample vial of Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy La Fleur eau de toilette spray!

Good luck, and may the rankest person win!


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Freaky Friday: Relationship In Review

If you don't watch The Bachelorette or read the tabloids, then you probably don't know who Jef Holm and Emily Maynard are. And perhaps that makes you one of the lucky ones. I, however, am addicted to all things Bachelor Nation, and so not only do I know who they are, but I am also aware that they've become big news this week - that is, big tabloid news.

Before we "hit that," settle down for a little recap, why doncha? Way back when, some dude named Brad was given a second chance to be the Bachelor (he totally messed it up the first time, by not picking anyone - can you believe it? Out of 25 hot Booby McFlirtypants, he couldn't find one girl to pretend to get engaged to!). From the moment Emily Maynard locked eyes with Brad, it was history in the making.

Yes, history. Because this relationship crashed and burned in no time flat. See, Emily has a little back story - one that both she and ABC uses to their full advantage. She was engaged to this race car driver and got pregnant. Mr. Race Car driver was in a horrible accident and died - leaving Emily an unwed mother. 

Mr. Race Car Driver was pretty flush with cash, as was his family. So now Emily doesn't have to work, and is allegedly funded by Mr. Race Car Driver's parents. 

So, when Emily and Brad also crashed and burned, ABC said, "You know what? We want to get more mileage out of your sad story, so become the Bachelorette, okay? We'll give you lots of money, and buy you a zillion different outfits - you'll never hurt for money again! And hey, who knows, you might even find true love (snicker, snicker)."

After meeting 25 guys and kissing about 20 of 'em, Emily settled on Jef Holm, a young, successful entrepreneur. The Bachelorette audience was divided: some loved Jef, while others couldn't understand the connection.

I was one of the viewers who understood the connection - but does that mean I thought it was going to last? Nope. Not at all.

See, I think Jef is actually too good for Emily. "What?" you might be asking. Well, yes - he is. While Emily seems like a nice enough gal, what she really likes is glitz and glamor and money. Jef has the money - what he doesn't have is glitz nor glamor. 

Yes, he used to be a male model. Yes, he is quite stylish. But when it comes right down to it, Jef is the one who will get his heart broken - or at least, that was my prediction.

According to US Weekly, Emily was caught sexting someone else. I dunno - I can't imagine Emily sexting... but yes, I do find myself believing that she texted someone else. 

RealitySteve further states that US Weekly caught up with the dude she was sexting with - and we'll have more scoopage next week.

I don't know what's true and what's not true - what I do know is that this relationship is doomed.

Relationship Review: Two toe-tags - this relationship is dead! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green Grab Bag August 2012

I’ve been subscribed to Green Grab Bag for approximately five months now. This month's bag is probably the least impressive of the bunch, and yet, it was still rather good. Perhaps I was spoiled: in every package previous to this one, I received at least one full size sample. In this bag, I received only small samples… so I admit to being disappointed in that.

There are two main rockin' things that set Green Grab Bag apart from the other subscription services out there:

1) They're eco-friendly and feature organic products.
2) Every subscription offering is packaged in an attractive reusable gift bag.


Despite the picture above, the bag is actually MUCH bigger than that!
Now on to the nitty gritty - here's what I received in this month's bag:Whipped Sugar Scrub by Selma Valentine Skincare: a small jar - probably good for two uses if I'm stingy with it. This particular scent (Summer Breeze) didn't appeal to me, but it also wasn't bad.
Retail price: $15 for 8 fl. oz.
 
Green Tea Skin Anti-Aging Cream: Two small individual packets, which was disappointing. However, I have used the first packet, and did get three uses out of it. The color is odd - it is brown. The texture is kind of thick, however once on, it blended into my skin nicely.

Retail price: $19.95 for 1.7 fl. oz.



Emtage Hair Silktage Rejuvinating Serum: I received this from another subscription service recently - let me say, it smells WONDERFUL. I have used it on my hair, and love it so far! It might not be a good product for someone with oily hair - but for me it's perfect.

Retail price: $19 for 1.0 fl oz.

Moody Sisters Organic Eye Cream: Super small jar, and not completely filled. I haven't tried this yet, but I LOVE that it came from an etsy shop!

Retail price: $8 for 10 ml


Tierra Mia Organics Raw Goat's Milk Soap: Personally, I'm a shower gel kind of gal, and I don't tend to use soap. This doesn't work in my favor, because I get a soap of some sort in almost every subscription service I belong to. This one smells really good, and I did put it in my soap dish by the sink - seems nice, I'm not using it on my body, just my hands, so I can't speak to if it causes scum build-up in the shower or leaves skin feeling dry. Works great for my hands, though!
Retail price: $7 a bar

From reading other reviews, I discovered some people also received an additional sample - some received a "small" jar of Scrubz Natural Skin Lipz Shea Butter Lip Balm, while others received Neal's Yard Remedies samples. I did not get these - and now I feel cheated!So that leaves yours truly with only five samples, while it seems that most reviewers received six. The travesty! I want an additional sample, and I want one now! (stomps feet!)Next month, the bag will be curated by Whole Body by Whole Foods - I'm looking forward to it... I just hope I don't get gypped like this time!

EDIT: This is an important update - turns out, Green Grab Bag did not gyp me - my cat did! Yes, it is true: Schmutzy Purrkowski decided he wanted to try my Scrubz Butterz before I got a chance to.

The other day, I heard this recognizable chewing sound. I said, "Schmutzy, what the heck are you eating?" He meowed some nonsense at me, so I went to investigate.

He was chewing - or rather trying his damnedest to chew - the plastic seal around the Butterz jar.

I took it away from him, and put it in the bathroom. Then later I took a shower and thought, "hey, why don't you try this Butterz afterward?" Great thought!

The scent is Lavender, and let me say, it doesn't smell like lavender to me, which was a tad disappointing. However, this truly is buttery in feel, and worked great at moisturizing my trouble spots (d├ęcolletag, elbows and forearms).

So thank you, Green Grab Bag and apologies from me and my cat!

p.s. Green Grab Bag reached out to me, not once, but twice! Thank you for your great customer service!
 






Interested in Green Grab Bag? Sign up here - it's $15 a month, and despite my feeling gypped this month, you honestly won't be sorry! Eco-friendly. Organic. Interesting new products, like Moody Sisters from etsy - you can't go wrong!


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