Get Runway Ready with the September Boxycharm subscription

What do Chella, tarte, Vasanti, and Previse have in common? I won’t make you guess – it’s the September BOXYCHARM Subscription Box. Those 4 brands plus 2 more are represented in this $21 a month box that’s valued at over $132. Not a bad investment.

September 2015 Boxycharm Subscription box

September 2015 Boxycharm Subscription box

The deal with Boxycharm is that everyone gets the same box. There are 4 – 5 full size products in the box plus they sometimes include bonus items that are deluxe sample size. I’m on my 4th box now and I must say they’ve been delightful to have. Let’s take a trip into this month’s Boxycharm box.

PREVISE SKINCARE HYDROMILK HYDRATING LOTION ($48) is actually the second step in the Previse regimen but is great to use alone too. What’s unusual about this lotion is that you actually start it in your hand and then emulsify it to warm the product. This will give a more even application. Massage this thick lotion in a circular motion on your face and neck. It’s especially recommended for people with sensitive skin and areas that get excessively dry. There’s a slight fragrance at first from the natural ingredients but it’s gone pretty quickly. While this is too heavy for my skin now it won’t be come winter.  I’ve heard about Previse before and this is my introduction to the line.

Previse Skincare HydroMilk Hydrating Lotion #boxycharm

Previse Skincare HydroMilk Hydrating Lotion #boxycharm

VASANTI PROFESSIONAL FOUNDATION BRUSH ($32) is excellent for liquid foundation helping to give a more natural looking visage. I’ve been a fan of Vasanti for quite a while and I’ve been a fan of cosmetic brushes forever so this is a great combination of two special loves. The head of the brush is nicely tapered and it feels soft and luxurious.

Vasanti Professional Foundation Brush #boxycharm

Vasanti Professional Foundation Brush #boxycharm

Finding a tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner ($22) in this box was a true delight. I’ve got several of these already but haven’t had a new one in ages. There’s no name on the liner but it appears to be Black Gold. There’s some fine shimmer in it when you smudge the liner. I like these as a base for eye makeup since I don’t often wear a thick eyeliner and this will be a dandy.

tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

tarte smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner

CHELLA EYEBROW DEFINING GEL ($18) is just what the doctor ordered. Now that I have to take care of my brows I realize that they have a mind of their own. This will help lift and hold those stubborn hairs in place without leaving them stiff or crunchy. I’m really happy to have this since I’m running low on products like this.

Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel #boxycharm

Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel #boxycharm

SCRATCH NAIL WRAPS ($12) had me scratching my head actually. There’s one sealed set with 8 nail wraps. I happen to have 10 fingers and I’m guessing you do too. I’m guessing you just use it as part of a manicure and place the wraps on whichever nails you want and use polish on the others. It came with a mini file and a mini orange stick. These Scratch Nail Wraps are the only item I won’t be using so it will go into my pile for giveaways.

Scratch Nail Wraps #boxycharm

Scratch Nail Wraps #boxycharm

close up of design on Scrach Nail Wraps

close up of design on Scratch Nail Wraps

One more and this one has no price on it since it’s a bonus. KARDASHIAN BEAUTY BLACK SEED DRY OIL is a rejuvenating hair oil. We know those Kardashian and Jenner ladies have outstanding thick hair (or beautiful extensions) so it’s fitting to have this. It’s to be used prior to blow drying or as a smoothing product on dry hair to add shine.

Kardashian Beauty Black Seed Dry Oil, deluxe sample

Kardashian Beauty Black Seed Dry Oil, deluxe sample

BOXYCHARM has a “charm” system to help the subscriber earn gratis items. You earn 250 charms each month that you continue your subscription plus you can earn more charms with referrals and reviews on their site.

Now that you’ve taken this trip with me, what do you think of the box? I’m pretty darned impressed personally. My investment was returned instantly with the tarte smolderEYES plus I have a handful of other products to use on my beauty journey. — Marcia

Boxycharm for September 2015

Boxycharm for September 2015

*disclosure – while I pay for my subscription I have used a referral link so that if you decide to subscribe I can earn points toward receiving gratis products with later subscriptions. I’d appreciate it if you used my referral link. Thanks

Other Boxycharm reviews can be seen here.

How charming is Boxycharm?

Boxycharm subscription box

Boxycharm subscription box

Have you discovered Boxycharm yet? It’s a monthly subscription that contains full size products only. I’m on my 4th month now and I’ve read to receive a sample. Each month there are 4-5 goodies for $21 per month including shipping. I’ve been negligent about reviewing even though I have taken pictures and it’s time I got on the stick here. Each box comes with a card describing the products and prices. The box I’m sharing today has a value of approximately $133.

Information card from Boxycharm

Information card from Boxycharm

Boxycharm for July 2015

Boxycharm for July 2015

So what do we have? How about a mascara from the UK, a blush brush, transparent setting powder, conditioning spray for hair and a lip liner? The only difference in the boxes this month is that some people received a lip liner and some an eyebrow pencil. I’m a happy camper with an international twist (US, Canada, UK, Sweden).

Boxycharm Ofra Lip Liner in Maya and YourMinerals Transparent Veil

Boxycharm Ofra Lip Liner in Maya and YourMinerals Transparent Veil

It’s always a pleasure to see an OFRA product in any of the subscriptions I get. I love learning about this line and what better way to do it! In my box is the OFRA Cosmetics Lip Liner in Maya ($13). This is a brick red so it’s different than what I typically buy and a nice addition to my cosmetic collection. It applies smoothly and lasts well. I’ve used it to darken some of my very very pale lipsticks. It blends well with a lip brush to get the change.

yourMinerals Transparent Veil Setting Powder is the medium full size ($26). This is a Swedish line that is all natural. “Transparent Veil is a transparent fixing powder for the foundation that settles like a soft transparent veil over skin. The ultralight silk texture gives a nice smooth surface by minimizing fine lines and pores. The skin is kept matte and the makeup will perfectly stay all day. Apply over your foundation for a flawless performance. For you who quickly gets a blank/shiny face, this Transperent Veil is the perfect tool!” I haven’t used this yet since I have too many powders open but I appreciate the packaging because I know that I can peel back the sticky label, cut it partway down and be able to get the right amount of product out the perforations in the top.

MDMflow Greater Than Mascara

MDMflow Greater Than Mascara

I love trying new mascaras and MDMflow Greater Than Volumising Mascara is very new. So new in fact that it has will become available for sale in late July at Boxycharm’s website for $35. Currently it’s only sold in the UK for 21 pounds so this is a sneak peak. I’ve worn it now for a few days and I am finding it to be very pigmented. So far I don’t notice that much volume but I think this is the kind of mascara that will do better in a few weeks. Some mascaras are like wine and need to age, this one will age well. It’s a very dark black and it removes without much effort. So far no clumping, no flaking and no smudging. I’m really happy about this product in my Boxycharm.

Vasanti Profession Blush Brush

Vasanti Profession Blush Brush

Vasanti Profession Blush Brush

Vasanti Profession Blush Brush

I do happy dances when I find a brush in my subscriptions and this one from VASANTI made me do a jig. Vasanti is a fabulous Canadian company and this $29 brush is made with high-quality nylon fibers and applies blush and powder effortlessly. I’m a very pleased cosmetic applier with this Vasanti Profession Blush Brush.

GORGE I'll make you look amazing daily spray

GORGE I’ll make you look amazing daily spray

Normally you’ll find me yawning when I receive anything to do with hair. I am pretty picky about what I use and I don’t like to switch too often. But GORGE* I’LL MAKE YOU LOOK AMAZING DAILY SPRAY ($29.95) took away the yawn and made me use it the next day. This is a leave in conditioner that they call “magical”. While it didn’t turn my hair into the sexiest ever, it sure made my hair look great. My hair looks shiny and it didn’t get frizzy!! According to gorge* there are 10 reasons you want to use this! 1) Repairs damaged hair. 2) Instantly adds shine 3) Detangles like no other! 4) Seals and protects hair color 5) Prevents split ends 6) Stops hair breakage 7) Creates amazing silkiness 8) Protects from heat 9) Enhances natural body 10) Helps with flat irons. Pretty big promises but they seem to be accurate. This has a coconut fragrance which does linger but surprisingly hasn’t bothered me.

July 2015 Boxycharm subscription

July 2015 Boxycharm subscription

This is a wonderful way to spend $21. I know that buying subscription boxes is taking a chance but when you get products as nice as these, it’s totally worth it.

Boxycharm has a referral program and a way to earn points towards their products. It’s called earning Charms and I’ve used my link in this review in case you decide to subscribe. I’m really happy that I found this box and can’t wait to see what else is in store for me. Have you subscribed to Boxycharm? Would you consider it? — Marcia

*nothing to disclose

What’s in the February Birchbox box? Let’s see

Birchbox for February 2013

Birchbox for February 2013

feb 13 birchbox cardEach month that I open my Birchbox I wonder if it’s worth the $10 I pay for it. It’s the least expensive of all the subscription boxes that I buy but I have to remind myself often that they only send samples. The boxes that you’ll see are different from person to person. What I notice is that people who’ve subscribed for less time than I have sometimes get the items a month or two after I receive them in my box. February’s box is called Red Carpet Ready since it was the month of award shows galore. With my particular box I guess I’ll be red carpet ready by having shiny moisturized hair, brightened skin, a soft tint to even my collection and a crimson manicure.

Here’s what February had to offer

Kerastase Chroma Riche Masque packets

Kerastase Chroma Riche Masque packets

feb 13 birchbox kerastase backI received two packets of Kerastase Chroma Riche Hair Masques. While I haven’t tried these I definitely will in a few months when my Brazilian Blowout has grown out more. Kerastase is a wonderful brand that I used to use exclusively so this will be good to try. Chroma Riche has a built-in UV filter that helps keep color from fading. A full size jar is $61.

Vasanti Brighten Up

Vasanti Brighten Up!

feb 13 birchbox vasanti infoVasanti is a Canadian brand that I’ve tried several times. Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator is a microdermabrasian/exfoliation cream. This deluxe sample is a great way to try a respected brand like this. I do have at least a dozen exfoliators around but it doesn’t hurt to have another.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

Unfortunately I’ve gotten several of these Jouer Moisture Tints in subscription boxes. Why don’t they send me something like a lip gloss or eyeshadow instead? Are you listening Birchbox and Jouer??? This one goes in the upcoming giveaway box since I already own it.

Color Club nail polish mini in Mamba

Color Club nail polish mini in Mamba

I’ve got a cute collection of minis from Color Club so this has friends to live with. Mamba is a saucy coral red.

Ghiradelli Square

Ghiradelli Square

See this? It’s gone!! But it was terrific when it popped itself into my mouth.

The February box is a little scant but everything in the box is useful and the most important part – they didn’t include a fragrance! I’m so sick of those mini fragrance samples so when I noticed there wasn’t one in the box I was happy for that alone.

If you subscribe to Birchbox, what did you get in February? — Marcia

Other Birchbox reviews can be seen HERE.

Disclosure: I pay for my own Birchbox but I’ve linked to my referral code which would get me points towards possible products.

Lisa’s Top Picks of 2011 Part One

I believe it is important to celebrate and give thanks for everything that brings joy to my life.  2011 was a great year, so many things to celebrate!  Not only did Marcia and I get a beautiful new look for our website in 2011, I also discovered many beauty products that I truly love.  I already wrote about the top five cosmetics lines that were brand new for me in 2011 here.

Illuminare Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner

In this post, I am detailing my favorite color items for the year, as well as recognizing some of my favorite people.  I tried to be a good girl like Marcia and do a ‘top ten’…or even a ‘top eleven’ for 2011.  But I just wasn’t able to pare it down that far.  “Restraint” has rarely been a word used to describe me, in fact my reputation is a little more along the lines of ‘excess’.  So this is a long post, with lots of pictures…and tons of great recommendations.  (Geez, it was so long I had to break it into two different posts. There’s just so much to celebrate!)  My next post on Saturday will list my favorite skin care, body care, and miscellaneous items.

Here goes, let’s start with my favorite color products of 2011.

Favorite foundation:

My favorite foundation discovery of 2011 is the Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Shimmer Foundation, and my favorite foundation of all time is the matte version.

dan read foundation

Dan Read Cosmetics FOD

To put it simply, nothing else makes my skin look as good.

Favorite blush:

My most favorite blushes of 2011 are the It Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Powder Blush Stains.  The colors are gorgeous and have more pigment than I have EVER encountered, even blowing Nars blush out of the water.

Favorite loose powder:

Once again, It Cosmetics stole my heart with their Bye Bye Pores loose powder.  It’s the very first jar of loose powder I have actually finished!

Favorite concealer:

Wow, I guess 2011 was an It Cosmetics year for me.  The Bye Bye Undereye Concealer continued to be a fabulous choice for covering those pesky blue shades under my very tired eyes.

And I also found that the Full Cover Concealer by Make Up For Ever was perfect for me.  Great coverage, easy to apply, and no mineral oil to dry out the delicate under eye area.

Favorite eyeshadows:

My most favorite Dan Read Cosmetics eyeshadow – Cameo

I love many things from the Dan Read Cosmetics line, and this year I really got into their eyeshadows.  These are real finds – bigger pans than MAC, with terrific pigmentation, texture, and colors.

Ellis Faas eyes

I also loved my Ellis Faas eyeshadows.  The different textures are so much fun to play with, and the colors are amazing.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow eyes

The new Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadows impressed the heck out me – finally, cream eyeshadows that don’t fade or crease on my oily eyelids!!

Vasanti eyes

My favorite loose pigment eyeshadow was by far the Vasanti Shimmer Powder, pictured above in Moon Dust.  Isn’t it a gorgeous color??  I never even put the jar away, it’s always front and center on my vanity because I use it so often.

Inglot eyeshadow look

I can’t neglect to mention Inglot eyeshadows.  Super affordable, amazing array of colors, fabulous pigmentation…what more could a girl ask for, except for maybe even more Inglot eyeshadows for my stash???

Favorite eyeshadow palettes

I definitely found some fantastic eyeshadow palettes this past year, but the one I reach for most is my Kryolan Variety 3 Compact Eyeshadow Palette.  It has everything I need to create a perfect neutral eye look.

Favorite eye liners:

Liquid eyeliners can be tricky, but this past year I discovered Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners and now I use them all the time.  The sturdy brush makes them so easy to apply, and the color is extremely rich and complex.  I love #6 (iridescent navy blue) the most.

My favorite pencils liners are the Tarte emphasEYES aqua gel eyeliner pencils.  They need no sharpening, and they have wonderful color and staying power, even on the waterline.

My favorite cake eyeliner was by far the Face Stockholm Cake Eyeliner in Navy.

Eyes with Face Stockholm Navy Cake Eyeliner

Cake eyeliner is fantastic for tightlining, and the Face Stockholm Navy is a true navy blue that works equally well on the waterline.

Favorite mascara:

I tried lots of great mascaras last year, but the winner was Dior Extase.

Dior Extase Mascara applied

It makes my lashes super long, super thick, and doesn’t smudge.  Plus you gotta love a mascara wand that looks like a medieval torture device.

Favorite lips:

Kryolan Sunrise lip gloss swatch

My favorite lip gloss was the Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Sunrise.  It’s just the perfect color for me, and I love the texture and feel of it.

Favorite Brows:

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste has everything I need for beautifully groomed brows in just seconds.

Youngblood Cosmetics Brow Artiste

I love this set.

Favorite Brush:

My favorite brush this past year was Cargo’s Magic Brush.

Cargo Magic Brush

I felt just like Goldilocks when I realized this brush was not too big, and not too small, but JUST RIGHT.  If I had to choose just one brush, this would be it.

Favorite makeup artist:

It was such a treat to meet Ulrike Bege at the Kryolan City Store in Chicago, and even more of a treat to get a mini-makeover and color advice from her.

She knows her stuff and is just the nicest, sweetest person ever.

Favorite web designer:

As I am sure you have noticed, Beauty Info Zone has a gorgeous new look.  It’s totally thanks to the amazing custom blog design by Cynthia, owner of NW Designs.  Marcia and I saw Cynthia’s designs when we were in Chicago and knew immediately she was the one for us.

She designed our new logo, redid our blog, vastly improved our Facebook and Twitter pages, and put up with a million questions and our general helplessness regarding computer matters.  If you are looking for a website design or redesign, or need a logo or business cards, trust me you want Cynthia!!!

Favorite writing partner:

Why, Marcia of course!  I wish I had the words to really describe Marcia and give you the full picture of just how amazing she is.  Whatever I write seems to fall short, but I am going to give it a shot anyway.

Marcia has the biggest heart of anyone I know.  She always thinks of everyone else, her kindness and thoughtfulness is pretty amazing.  She quietly and bravely suffered through me driving in Chicago, even when I stopped dead in the middle of a five-way intersection and yelled, ‘What the &*%#@!!!!”  She is extremely patient with me and my bazillion activities that leave me way overextended.  She has the best sense of humor, just about every day she says something that has me doubled over with laughter.  Marcia truly defines the word ‘friend’.  Thank you Marcia for yet another year of fabulous fun, I love being your blogging partner and I love you dearly!!!   – Lisa

Visiting the Mediterranean with Vasanti Cosmetics

Vasanti Cosmetics has a beautiful collection out called the Mediterranean Fall Collection.  The collection includes a lipstick, a lip gloss, and a duo eyeshadow.  I won the arm wrestling match with Marcia and was absolutely thrilled to try the lipstick and the lip gloss.

Before I get into the review, just a few words about Vasanti:  if you haven’t yet, you really must try this line!  Vasanti Cosmetics is a Canadian line available in stores in Canada and online for the rest of us.   I have reviewed some Vasanti products in the past, and I have to say that the Vasanti Eye Wonder ($42) is one of the best eye creams I have ever tried, and the Moon Dust Shimmer Powder ($14) is something I never even put away because I use it so often.  You can see my review of these items here, and Marcia reviewed some other lip colors here.

Vasanti Lipstick

The lipstick in the Mediterranean Collection is an Ultra Luxe Lipstick with Peptide Technology named Greece ($15).  It’s a wonderfully neutral color that is somewhere between a pink and a purple. 

Vasanti Greece Lipstick

It’s a bit on the cool side, but I think it would work beautifully for most skin tones.  It’s the perfect amount of color – not too light, and not too deep.  The lipstick formula is excellent.  It’s emollient without being too slick, so it has good staying power.  It also has Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, which according to Vasanti  ‘helps to increase lip volume, reduce the appearance of fines lines and smooths the lips surface (clinical trials of this peptide show results within 28 days of use).’  It also has loads of anti-oxidants in it, so this is a lipstick that is good for you.  It has no discernible fragrance and no taste.

Vasanti Lip Shine

Along with the lipstick, there is a complimentary lip gloss called Vitamin E Infused Lip Shine in Aegean Sea ($15). 

Vasanti Aegean Sea Lip Shine

Aegean Sea is a plummy-pink with shimmer. 

Aegean Sea Lip Shine wand

 It’s gorgeous over the Greece lipstick and wonderful on its own.  The Vitamin E is a great anti-oxidant, and the lip gloss is nicely moisturizing and not the least bit sticky.  Below is a swatch of Aegean Sea Lip Shine:

Vasanti Aegean Sea Lip Shine swatch

And here is a swatch of both Greece lipstick and Aegean Sea Lip Shine:

Top swatch is Aegean Sea Lip Shine, bottom swatch is Greece Lipstick

These are two absolutely gorgeous, wearable, moisturizing lip products.  They each look great by themselves, and are a fabulous combination worn together.  If you haven’t tried out Vasanti Cosmetics yet, this is a fantastic place to start.  – Lisa