Frosty VoxBox

This month (December 2014), I received a Frosty VoxBox full of goodies to review.  These products were provided free from Influenster, and I agree to review them online.  In this box, I got a bunch of stuff to review.

Product Reviews

  • No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum from Boots Beauty USA.  Claims to “be even more effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines for younger looking skin in just two weeks.” This is a foil packet that contains 3 mL of product.  I’m not sure how I’m going to make that last for 2 weeks without drying out or if there is enough of the product in the little foil pouch, but I will start using it.  Feb 2015 UPDATE: I used this until it dried out.  I couldn’t see much difference.  It did make my skin feel like I’d kind of rubbed glue on it–that sort of tight, filmy feeling.
  • Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: “Gently removes all eye makeup, including long-lasting and waterproof makeup, with no oily residue.” Unlike some eye makeup removers, this one isn’t biphasic or oil-based.  My first impression was that it required more scrubbing than I like to get the mascara off and it left my skin feeling very dry and tight.  I didn’t like that feeling.  However, that mascara has been notoriously difficult to remove, so I will try with another mascara too.  Removing eyeliner and shadow, however, was a breeze.  Feb 2015 UPDATE: I have been using this more.  I read a tip that you should hold the remover-soaked cotton pad (or cotton ball, whatever you used) on your eyelid for 15 seconds to let it penetrate the makeup and saturate the area.  Works much better that way.
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner: “Gives instant colour impact with its high intensity pigments.  The ultra-smooth and creamy formula glides on easily.” You got that right!  This eyeliner was unusual in that it required almost NO pressure to apply, so it didn’t drag.  It also didn’t smudge and it wore very well.  It’s quickly become the eyeliner I tend to grab first when I grab a black.  Very light application can actually get you a dark grey color that is soft rather than a harsh black line.  I’d buy more of these without a doubt!  Feb 2015 UPDATE: still gets occasional use when I remember to use eyeliner.  Definitely one of my more reliable ones.
  • NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum: “Get intense, amplified color and shine that lasts up to six hours!  Our moisturizing formula glides on easily for  a silky, smooth, velvety finish for all day wear.”  I like the color of this lipstick a LOT.  It does apply well and is highly pigmented, so I get great coverage with a single swipe.  What I did not get was six hours wear or moisturizing.  In regard to those claims, this lipstick was about average for me, but I have NEVER found a lipstick that actually lasts six hours.  I think I lick my lips a lot.  Feb 2015 UPDATE: Wear this a lot even though it’s not super moisturizing.  The lid has a very annoying tendency to come off.  Love the color.
  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea: Why decaf?  Why oh why would you send me decaf?!  I am the caffeine queen!  I’m not a tea drinker usually, but I do like green tea.  This one promises to be a nice holidayish treat.  Feb 2015 UPDATE: Tried this when my stomach was really upset.  Tasted WONDERFUL; not really like candy cane in my opinion but absolutely pepperminty.  Great cold weather warm up tea!
  • EcoTools Hair Brush: “EcoTools has the brush to tame any hair style with a variety of five brush head shapes and bristle designs specially crafted to suit every need.” The brush I received was a giant round brush that was hollow.  It looks like exactly the kind of tool that you use for a blowout.  I tried that.  My hair turned scary.  Feb 2015 UPDATE: Nope.  Hair still turns scary.
  • McCormick Gourmet Thyme: I DO love to cook!  It’s one of my favorite hobbies.  It’s probably my only creative outlet.  This thyme smells delightful.  I really just want the whole McCormick display case from the store for my home.  I swear I own half of it already… Feb 2015 UPDATE: I used this in a Mustard Chicken Stew Recipe from Epicurious.  It was very tasty, but it didn’t look like the picture and I was too embarrassed to take a picture: mine was, um, brown.
  • Fruit Vines Bites: I got the cherry flavor of these candies.  I have a problem with candy: it disappears really fast.  I have no self-control.  At least this was low-fat and preservative-free, and 150 calories per 10-piece serving.  They’re softer than other “vine-style” candies that are also red (you know the ones I mean) and chewy.  I found myself pulling the little trio of vines apart.   They’re artificially flavored, but the flavor is a pretty good intense cherry flavor.  However, they do have a somewhat plastic flavor that I find off-putting.  I don’t honestly think I’d buy these, but it didn’t stop me from gobbling up the bag…  Feb 2015 UPDATE: haven’t found these locally anywhere.  That’s probably a good thing.

 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Birchbox, November 2014

This is actually my first beauty blog post in a very long time.  I don’t usually write about my beauty sample subscription obsession, but I realized I actually wanted to start.  I enjoy it!

Birchbox is probably my favorite beauty subscription box of the three that I get, and this month was an interesting one in support of HIV awareness (#shaRED).

Printed on the outside of the boxes was a factoid about HIV.  Mine said “Fact No. 3: Medication can reduce the risk of a mother passing HIV on to her baby to less than 5%.”  That’s a tremendous reduction in risk, and it represents a huge advance in our knowledge and understanding about HIV.  When I was a kid, people were afraid to shake hands with someone who was HIV positive.  Today, thanks to medical research, we understand a lot more about how to treat and manage HIV.  It has become a chronic illness that is manageable.

On to what’s in the box:

 

Product Reviews

@Birchbox November goodies from my #shaRED box!

A post shared by Christina Steel (@miceandmakeup) on

  1. MAKE dual-phase eye makeup remover:  I’ve used this several times because I’m lazy and it’s still in my bedroom.  I saturate a cotton wipe, press to my eyes for 15 seconds, and start wiping off my eye makeup.  This does a good job, but I’m not sure it’s any better than my Neutrogena eye makeup remover.
  2. Laura Mercier eyeliner in violet.  I love Laura Mercier’s products, so I was really excited to get this sample, and it will probably last me years at the rate I use eyeliner.  Violet isn’t my normal color, but I have honestly worn it once and will be wearing it again today.  It applies well–requires a little more force than some I have, but prewarming it with your hand should eliminate that.
  3. Toni & Guy shine serum: I’ve tried this once.  I honestly couldn’t tell any difference, but I will probably try it again.
  4. Juice Beauty green apple peel:  Did it do anything?  I followed the directions and my skin felt tacky-sticky while it was on.  When I rinsed it off, I couldn’t tell any difference.  It’s supposed to be formulated for sensitive skin, and that’s definitely a good description of my skin, but this was perhaps TOO gentle.
  5. Platinumé Gold Hand Therapy: I find the name to be ostentatious.  I find the lotion to be very citrusy and it disappears into my skin pretty much instantly.  Feels wonderful.  Maybe it earned the name!
  6. Chuao chocolatier maple bacon: this was interesting!  It did not have a strip of bacon in it.  The bacon flavor was actually rather subtle; it came through as a sort of smoky saltiness.  Good, actually!

That’s a wrap for this month’s Birchbox products!

 

Beauty Resolutions, Continued…

I’ve continued to do my hair and makeup. I’ve made progress in both arenas–
And, pursuant to my goals, I acquired makeup brushes. And more hairstyling products that may actually help.
Meanwhile, it’s a cold, wet, dreary day out. Usually, I love those days, and today isn’t much of an exception. I’m quite jealous that my parents are getting SNOW and I’m not.

I also picked up groceries for the week. I’ve been making a concerted effort to change my diet and exercise, and it’s paying off! Today I was wondering what on earth I would do for dinner. I opted to roast a chicken and some brussels sprouts (these are my LEAST favourite vegetables in the whole wide world, but I had some that I loved that were roasted, so I figured I would try it), and baking some potatoes. If it goes well I will post pics (AFTER THE JUMP)
Meanwhile, you may vicariously enjoy my shopping trip…


Roasted Chicken

Yummy Dinner