Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eco-Emi April 2013

Eco-Emi had a little insert in this month's box stating that they were late. Uh... what? You're late every month. It's a good thing you're a subscription box and not a girl, otherwise you'd be buying pregnancy tests by the bushel.

But I digress... The theme of this box was Spring. I think. It wasn't clear - but the card said that this time of year I will feel a weight lifting off of me if I remember to put myself first. And you know me, this homegirl always puts herself first, so this box is right up my alley!

Here's what was inside:

Oluv Care by OluvSkin: This brand doesn't really excite me - I received an Oluv soap in a prior box. But, this is one of those "amazing" salves that does all kinds of good things, from preventing diaper rash (who's gonna change mine?) and repairs minor cuts and burns. I have several different kinds of similar salves - I think I'll take this one to work in case I get a papercut or shank a co-worker.
Retail price: $5.36 for .25 oz.

Moisturizing Hair Milk by Shea Radiance: This stuff smells DELICIOUS. But don't eat it - put it on your hair instead. It's a vegan moisturizing hair milk - unfortunately it does have alcohol in it, so I'm not sure that I'll use it. It just smells so dang good... I might have to try it and hope it doesn't strip my color.
Retail price: $16 for 8.5 oz.

Unscented Deodorant Towelettes by Crystal Essence: Oh boy. My favorite: foil packs. But, I guess since these are towelettes, they really couldn't give a different kind of sample. I admit to being curious about these - but homegirl likes fragrance. Still, with all the damn hot flashes I get, I think it would be wise to stick these in my purse in case I need to freshen up before a meeting.
Retail price: $2.99 for a 6-pack

Dahlia Creme Eye Shadow by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: This is a beautiful color. And unlike other Lauren Brooke samples I've received, this one is actually generous. Weirdly, it's infused with an "organic vanilla" scent. I wonder what an un-organic (inorganic?) vanilla scent is like? And do my eyelids really need to smell like vanilla?
Retail price: $9

Organic Gluten Free Guacamole Dip by Simply Organic: Oh what fun! This is why I love Eco-Emi. Not only can I make myself beautiful with my Dahlia eye shadow, but I can eat my way to happiness, too.
Retail price: $1.69 for an 0.8 oz packet

Organic Hemp Shine Lipstick by Colorganics: I would have been more excited if this had color to it - basically, it's a glorified lip balm. *yawn* But it is a full size product - yay! 
Retail price: $17.95

Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask by Rainwater Botanicals: This will be fun to try. I know - I usually hate masks. But this one is ready made! I don't have to do a thing except to slap it on and drink some wine while it dries. Or doesn't. Bonus: it's from an etsy shop - support independent business!
Retail price: $12 for a 3 oz. jar

Comforting Geranium Mineral Bath Salts by Aura Cacia: I LOVE this brand - and I love bath salts (the real kind... not the druggie kind). This is a scent I haven't tried yet - and I'm waiting for that perfect day and the perfect wine to try this. I think it'll be tomorrow - we'll have stormy weather - what better time to soak in a hot bath with a glass of wine and a book?
Retail price: $3.29 for a 2.5 oz packet.

Nitpicks: The colorless Colororganics lipstick. How can one call a lipstick colorless? Isn't it a lip balm then? Plus, what is a company with the name "color" in their name doing with a colorless lipstick? It makes no sense.

At the same time, I know that Eco-Emi sends out what the company gives them. And Colororganics probably had a buttload of these to offload - I mean what woman in her right mind buys a seventeen dollar and ninety-five cent lip balm?

Another nitpick: the little card that announces all the goodies in the box had numerous misspellings. Not such a big thing, that is until one realizes that the names of some of the companies and products were misspelled.

Lasting Impression: Lots of good products: Lauren Brooke eyeshadow. Aura Cacia bath salts. And Guacamole dip - ole! Plus, Eco-Emi really makes these boxes up like a huge present - lots of things to unwrap, and always a nice little bag inside. This time it was a pink satin bag - so pretty!

Ipsy April 2013

Ah, Ipsy - you are like a new love: I feel giddy every time I see you in my mailbox. I dream about you all month, and can't wait to see you again.

I couldn't WAIT to get April's Ipsy bag. I heard a rumor that it was pink-themed. Homey loves Pink. Well, and pink. But.... it took forever to get here. And I don't know what Ipsy's problem is, but they NEVER send me tracking info, unless I hunt them down and threaten to bear their firstborn. But get here it did - here's what was inside:

Sation Nail Lacquer Love at First Byte: Full size product, and is DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free. Also it's made in my favorite place: The Good Old U.S. of A.
Retail price: $4.45 for .50 fl. oz.

Be a...Bombshell in Sweet Cheeks: Okay - this is a full size product (yay) but it's made in China (boo). I won't be using it because of that. I mean, if the Chinese kill our cats and dogs with their poisoned pet food, can you imagine what they will do to our skin? I wonder how much lead is hidden in this product...
Retail price: $16

Mica Beauty Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Earth: Ipsy sent me a Mica Beauty eyeliner a few bags back - and it's become my favorite eyeliner ever. I was so happy to see this new-to-me Mica product in my bag - it's a beautiful light pink. And full size! Score!
Retail price: $14.95

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal: The only "blah" product in the bunch. Plus it's got alcohol in it, so I won't be using it - but I can see how some people would be happy to get it. It's a good brand, and it's made on American soil! 
Retail price: $21.95 for 4.2 fl. oz.

Nitpicks: The wait. It wouldn't have been so bad, except I was reading other people's blogs about their great bag, and mine hadn't even been shipped yet. Customer service did get back to me and send me a tracking number - and yet it still took about another week for it to arrive after that. And while this isn't their fault, exactly, the bag was at the San Leandro post office for almost four days - just sitting there. Holy cow - what the what was up with that?

Lasting Impression: Another great bag - the product I love the most, though, is the Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder. It's lovely! And look: three full-size products - wow! Suck on that, Birchbox!

Birchbox April 2013

I know what you're gonna say before you even open your mouth. "Homegirl, why are you reviewing Birchbox? You said you cancelled your subscription!" Yes, yes I did. Was I a liar? Nope. But when I saw that they were hootin' and hollerin' about what a great box they were going to send out in April, I had to get in. Why? Because it was a partnership with Women's Health magazine.

Way back when I was healthy, Women's Health magazine arrived in my mailbox every month. I loved it. And, homey so wants to be healthy again, so I signed up for this "great" box. For $10, how could I lose?

Um. Easily, it turns out.

Okay, this time I do lie - but not by much. I don't want to keep you in suspense any longer - here's what was inside my April "Tiny Tweaks, Big Results" box:

Caudalie Divine Oil: Seriously? Another oil? One month Birchbox says the best oil ever is Orofluido. The next, NUXE. In April the best oil ever was this Caudalie offering. Birchbox, please make up your mind. Which one is the best? Tell me. I really want to know. In the meantime, stop sending me oil. I've got enough for a thousand orgies.
Retail price: $49 for 3.4 fl. oz. (say what?)

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir: Okay, this homegirl gets it: she's older. But do I really need a rejuvenating elixir AND a divine oil? Couldn't you mix it up a bit? Well... apparently not. And I guess since this one is for hair, it's different. Only it's not. And it's Nexxus. Not very exciting. Blerg.
Retail price: $20.00 for .94 fl. oz. (Found it at Target for $15.99 - aren't I special? No, I didn't buy it - I still have some Orofluido - "the best hair oil ever" according to Birchbox in 1992 or two months ago - I can't remember which.)

StriVectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles: Okay, Birchbox - I get it now. You think I'm old. I think you hammered that point in very nicely with the above products - no need to get personal with this one. But since I'm tired of complaining, I'll use it - maybe then you'll stop sending me this crap.
Retail price: $65 for 1 oz. (Holy crap - am I made of money? I'm old, remember - I need my moolah for retirement!)

Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Anti-Shine Mattifier: At last, something good - although it came in a super tiny little sample. I mean, after telling me three times I was old ya think the least they could have done was super-sized this Barbie-sized sample.
Retail price: $35 for .25 oz.

Now, here's the moment you've all been waiting for - did I get a Lifestyle extra or a Beauty extra? If you guessed Beauty Extra, you were right!

Weleda Body Lotion: Oh my - a little foil packet. Thank you, Birchbox. You know how much I love these (insert sarcastic smirk here). Weleda... eh... not exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love Weleda products. Lately, though, they're popping up in almost every subscription box out there - *yawn* 

The best part of the box was a free subscription to Women's Health magazine. I can't wait to get my first issue - it'll be like the good old days. Only this time instead of reading an issue and then jogging five miles and doing 100 situps, I'll probably eat a bon-bon and balance a beer on my belly.

Nitpicks: I was really excited about this box - teaming up with Women's Health could have meant really great things. Maybe a workout DVD. Or supplements. Or heck, even sunscreen - I mean, that's kind of healthy, eh? But a bunch of oil products and some anti-shine mattifier does not say "health" to me. 

Look, I'm not dumb - I get how the products fit into their "Little Tweaks, Big Results" theme - but it wasn't what most subscribers thought when they first heard BB had worked with WH on this box.

Lasting Impression: Women's Health - I'll get a magazine every month. Who knows? Maybe I'll even go for a walk. You never know... a renewed healthy lifestyle might be an issue away.