Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eco-Emi Review - November 2014

I know, I know - it's been forever since I've written a review. Crappy camera took away my motivation, but my cheap little Tracfone's camera brought it back!

Enough with the camera-love, on to the review. Eco-Emi used to be my most favorite subscription box. Don't get me wrong - I still love it - but I think it's no longer my favorite. It's been a bit hit-and-miss lately, however they kicked it up for November with a little bit of everything to make the month warm and cozy.

Here's what they sent:

African Black Soap by Coastal Scents: This is the only dog in the box. I've received it before from Eco-Emi - and just about every other subscription box I've ever had. I'm not big on soap, anyway - so a soap has to be really spectacular for me to use it. This one is just "meh" in my opinion.
Retail price: $12.95 for 16 oz.

Tea Light Candles by the Veda Company: For tea lights, these are quite generous in size. They are slightly taller than the average tea light. Lightly scented and from the Jewel collection, I received the Amethyst and Sapphire fragrances. I love candles, and these are reserved for my mom's remembrance candle holder.
Retail price: $15 for 30

Organic Trailbar in Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor by Skout: Food glorious food! I am so glad I received this flavor - chocolate and peanut butter go together like Kim and Kanye.
Update: Tastes like raisins - not like chocolate or peanut butter.
Retail price: $25.99 for 12 bars

Shea Body Butter by Muchie's Skin: My big gripe with body butters is that they are often really difficult to put on. They often are stiff and unyielding - this one, though, is thick without being stubborn. It glides on the skin, and absorbs quickly. Mine is Cucumber Melon - not really a fall scent, but it's nice nonetheless!
Retail price: $38 for 9 oz.

Sicilian Light Serum by Skin & Co Roma:  This is made in Italy, and that alone gave me a case of the happies! I love that I have never - or at least I don't ever remember - received a product from Eco-Emi that was made in China. This product is sure to give my old lady skin a case of the happies as well!
Retail price: $47 for 1 oz.

Veggie-Go's by Naked Edge Snacks: The company promises 1/2 serving of fruit AND 1/2 serving of veggies in every strip. However, I don't think this will be a hearty snack - it's super thin, kind of like a fruit roll-up. My box contained the Sweet Potato Pie flavor, and it's only 20 calories. Heck, I could eat 5 in one sitting and still have calories to spare!
Retail price: $27.79 for 20

Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa by Cisse Trading Co.: This is a snacky kind of box, but I don't mind. In fact, I'm tickled. I received the Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon Hot Cocoa flavor, and can't wait to throw down some milk and have me some cocoa before bedtime. It's what us old ladies like to do: drink warm milk and sleep it off.
Retail price: $26.90 for 10 packets

Lipstick in Skid Row by Medusa's Make-up: Score - I got a full sized product! Wish I had received Baroque or Lolita - those colors would be more complimentary to my skin color. Still, this will make a great Christmas gift for someone - it's lovely and edgy and I want more! Plus it's made in my favorite place: the good old U. S. of A!
Retail price: $12

Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum by Lashem: I've received these types of products before, and they're really not for me. While I love the idea of lash enhancers, I just never seem to actually use them. If you do, let me know about your experience in the comments.
Retail price: $70 - size not specified

Nitpicks: Eco-Emi hasn't gotten any better about proofreading their little information cards. They totally misspelled Medusa's Make-up - and while they were only missing an apostrophe and the hyphen, it's the company's name. This seems to be a continuing problem - and as someone who's aware of how much a company's brand means to them, I know this probably irritated Medusa's Make-up a bit.

They also forgot a few commas in the verbiage on the front. They really put a lot of work into making these informational cards attractive - too bad they don't put extra effort into proofreading them as well.

Lasting Impression: Food glorious food! But seriously folks, this box was a really nice mix of items. A cosmetic, some body care, a home item and delicious food. All that's missing is a DVD and a masseuse. 

So what am I thankful for this month? Well, for you dear reader, of course! Oh and my hot chocolate and nap time. Yeah, that's what it's all about.

Thank you, too, Eco-Emi, for bringing me a whole year of delights!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jolly VoxBox - December 2013

Earlier last year, Influenster asked me to fill out a survey about cosmetics. After filling out the survey, I was told that I qualified for the cosmetic box, and was then asked to give them my address. I completed this task within about 5 hours of receiving the email.

Imagine my disappointment when I was told "sorry, no can do." Apparently they didn't expect that everyone who took the survey and qualified would actually then want the box. WHAT? As a consolation prize, I was told that I would definitely get the Jolly VoxBox.

It came right before Christmas, which is why there is such a delay in reviewing it. I had company, and couldn't spend any time with the items - or on the computer for that matter. However, I'm spending time now reviewing the box - which, I might say, was an absolute delight to receive.

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Luna: Love this! It's a great color for me, and it's made in jolly old England. Seriously - I thought Rimmel of London was just a name, and the stuff was actually made in some sweat shop in China. I was delighted to discover that was not true! This is my new go-to lip shine. The good news is you don't have to go to England to buy it - it's as close to you as the nearest drugstore!
Retail price: $4.99 at Walgreens

Duck Tape® Brand DuckTape, Blue Surf Flower: I've actually seen this around, and wanted to try it - so this was a major score for me. It's a small roll, but more than enough to try and to see how I like it. The one I got is blue and white - with images of flowers on the tape. This is so much fun - I used a bit to cover up a hole on the bottom of my favorite pair of slippers. Bonus: it's made in the good old You-Ess of Ay.
Retail price:  $6.29 for 1.88"x 10 Yards

Puffs® To-Go: Admit it - you saw Puffs and thought "Blerg, how unexciting." Okay, so maybe it isn't the most exciting product in the world, but it is definitely one of the most useful! I put this baby in my purse, and it seemed to disappear within no time. Runny nose - Puffs was there to help. Cut my finger? Puffs was there to help. Get dirt on my shoe? Puffs was there to help. Man, is there anything Puffs can't do?
Retail price: .49 cents per 10 pack

NYC HD Color Trio in Long Beach Sands: I was really excited when I first saw this, then noticed it was made in China. Listen - just because a product is free, I will give my honest opinion - and honestly, I won't use this. Ever. The colors are pretty, but I don't trust anything made in China - especially if it's going to be on my skin. The manufacturing processes in China are suspect. I will be happy to give this to a friend to try - I know not all my friends feel the same way I do about products made in China.
Retail price: $2.99

Skinny Cow Divine Peanut Butter Filled Milk Chocolates: Chocolate and peanut butter are two of my favorite things. Together, they equal heaven. I love Skinny Cow products, but hadn't heard of these until Influenster sent them to me. Wow! I think these are my new favorite food.
Retail price: approximately $3.50 a box

All in all, this was a great little box of samples. While I heard of all but the Skinny Cow chocolates (and I'm still wondering how their deliciousness escaped me for so long), I hadn't tried any of the items in my box before. It was so much fun to try each and every product - and with the exception of the NYC eye trio, I will be purchasing more of all of these products in the future! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ipsy GlamBag - January 2014

I know. I know - I haven't posted a review in ages. Let me tell you why: it seemed like everything I was getting was crappy - and I was tired of whining about it here. I decided to take a break, and see if the new year would bring me a new attitude.

Did it?

Kind of.

For the most part, Ipsy is the only subscription service that doesn't continually let me down. Still, some of the more recent bags were a little less than exciting. Ipsy is generous with the sample sizes, however they sure do love products made in China, and you know how homey feels about that.

My January bag is kind of cute - I probably still won't use it, because those little tiny cosmetic bags are way too small for all the cosmetics it takes to make this girl sexy. Still, it was a joy to see the cute little bag in my package.

Without any more fan fare (or whining), here's what Ipsy gave me to start my year off glamorously:

Benefit the POREfessional: This is a super tiny sample, however it is a product I've wanted to try for ages now. I love Benefit products, and this one promises to "Quickly minimize the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin!" Did it minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines quickly? Eh... not sure. But it did facilitate the application of my BB cream, and after I had both products on my face, I felt like I looked pretty good for an old lady. I would definitely purchase this product.
Retail price: $30 for 0.75 ounces

(MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm: Lip balm does not excite me. But guess what? This product is made in the good old U.S. of A. - my favorite place! I didn't like the application - basically the product glops out of the tube, and you must be quick on the draw to get it on your finger and put the top back on before the rest of it ends up on the floor. Or your foot. Or your cat. It doesn't smell like a mojito, so I'm not sure why it's called that. In fact, it seemed not to have a scent at all. However, this product is thick and will definitely combat the damage the dry Nevada winter nights wreaks on my old lady lips.
Retail price: $12 for 0.35 oz.

Balanced Guru Balm Me Up Organic Sweet Cocoa & Tangy Body Balm: Oh Ipsy, you made me happy with yet another product made in America, the Beautiful. Not only does this stuff smell great, it's also certified organic and cruelty free. In other words, you can't go wrong when you use this product - not at all. In fact, using this product might get you closer to sainthood.
Retail price: $45 for 4 ounces

(Yeah, I didn't say you wouldn't go broke buying this baby!)

A! Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissue: This product did not excite me, mainly because I've received several packages of cleansing tissues in the last few months. In fact, I believe I now have four brand new packages. I admit they come in handy, especially when I travel. Still, I am getting a little sick of this type of product. This one is made in Korea - at least it's not China, but I'm not convinced Korea is much better.
Retail Price: $6.99 for 60 tissues

yaby Liquid Foundation in Buff: The tube of foundation did not have any indication of where it is made, so I contacted yaby. To their credit, they responded within 3 days, and told me that the product is made in (drum roll please) China. To be fair to yaby, here's what they said: "This is a personal mission of our owner, who stationed all yaby production in China to help increase adult employment rate in efforts to reduce child labor and child prostitution." Um - what's wrong with increasing the adult employment rate in your own country, huh yaby?

While the sentiment behind that statement is pure marketing sweetness, it did not at all change my mind about using products made in China. There is WAY too much evidence that manufacturers in China do not use the ingredients listed on the products, and also that their manufacturing processes are suspect.
Retail price: $13.55 for 15.40 grams

All in all, I would consider this month's GlamBag a hit! The bag is super cute and 3 out of five products were made in the USA. Because of this, Ipsy remains my favorite of the subscription services I've tried.

Nitpicks: Only one this month, and that's the yaby cosmetic from China. It was my only cosmetic product this month, so I'm deeply disappointed it's from China. It's actually a nice sized sample, though it's probably full of toxins. 

Lasting Impression: The rest of the products are great. The (Malin+Goetz) lip balm is a FULL size - so that's the price of the GlamBag right there - and then some. The Balanced Guru Body Balm is expensive, but what a nice little luxury product to sample. It smells great, and when Tom Selleck and I get married, I'll make him buy me this every month.