October Allure beauty box spoiler – Disappointed

I’ve been waiting for the spoiler of the October Allure beauty box for a while as the latest few Allure boxes have just been ‘meh’ in terms of brands and content they featured, and I’m on the verge of cancelling my subscription.

Well the October box failed again in my opinion as a beauty box ($15 per month) that boasts for careful curation of great beauty products skewing towards skincare. I have a high bar for skincare products and I don’t care for things that are just okay. I only repurchase skincare products that brought noticeable results and I’ve not found these type of delightful surprises from the past few boxes. I kept hoping that maybe the box will become better now it’s approaching the holiday season, but it doesn’t seem to be. I will give the box 2 more tries and then be done with it.

Here is the full spoiler:

  • Limited-Edition Spongellé shower sponge scented with freesia and pear (sounds gimmicky)
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask (it’s a good product but I already have 2 at home)
  • Mally Volumizing Mascara (I have 3 of my favorite mascara and 10+ in total so…)
  • Doucee Eyeshadow in Coppery Brown (interesting)
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo (Variant – subscribers may receive a different hair care item) This is the only item that I know I like and will use constantly but then there is no guarantee I will have it. I don’t want another travel size shampoo or conditioner… I’m not a big fan of variant box versions..
  • Tatcha Deluxe Indigo Body Butter OR Tatcha Deluxe Soothing Hand Cream (Tatcha as a high-end skincare brand places more emphasis on packaging & how their products feel on your face than the ultimate results on your skin. So I’m not blown away by the only high-end skincare brand included in this box).

Maybe I’m too blunt with my thoughts on this box but does any of you feel the same?


Sephora Play! box September 2016

I wasn’t impressed with what I received in the Allure September box so I was looking forward to my Sephora box instead and it seems better than the Allure box this time (rarely happens as Sephora box is $10 per month while Allure is $17+/- with tax).

It seems Sephora wanted to surprise (or disappoint some) Play! subscribers a bit as it will always send out variation boxes moving forward. For this month, you will get one of these 2 versions below. I like version A better and I was happy to learn that I will be receiving version A 🙂 4 items are identical between the two boxes.

Version A – if your Sephora box number is #1850098 (you have to log in to the Sephora mobile site, not the Mobile app or desktop site, and the number will show up next to the Play! box in your purchases history)

  • Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (excited to try this)
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (heard great things about this)
  • Living Proof Night Cap Overnight Perfector (Living Proof never disappoints me)
  • Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick (interesting)
  • Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Verte (my first Tory Burch perfume)
  • Dr. Jart Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer (like this better than the Ole Henriksen transformation gel)

Version B – if your Sephora box number is #1850080 (you have to log in to the Sephora mobile site, not the Mobile app or desktop site, and the number will show up next to the Play! box in your purchases history)

  • Anastasia Clear Brow Gel (same as Version A)
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (same as Version A)
  • Living Proof Night Cap Overnight Perfector (same as Version A)
  • Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick (same as Version A)
  • Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation (I’m not a fan of the transformation line from Ole Henriksen. I love their vitamin c serum though!)
  • Atelier Cologne in Sud Magnolia (tried a few Atelier cologne already)

What do you think fellow subscribers and beauty lovers? Which one do you like more and do you like the variation box system?


Image credit:  www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com

TJ maxx mini beauty haul and 2 August beauty boxes

The heat wave is catching up and I don’t feel like staying outside at all. I hope it cools down soon but also don’t want the summer to end. What a struggle at late summer time!

I’ve heard that TJ Maxx carries interesting beauty items in some locations so I decided to stop by one and here are what I got.

  • Ollie and Olivia eyeshadow brush set $6.99
  • Aroma ocean breeze candle $6.99

I tried both already. The brushes are sturdy, soft, and can pick up eye shadows nicely. No complaint here for the price point. The candle is surprisingly much better than those I used to pay a lot more to get at Sephora. The jar looks high end and the scent is pleasant and long lasting, refreshing for summer time. I’ll go back again to buy more in the future.

Aroma Natural Black Candle – Ocean Breeze Scent

  • Shisedo White Lucent Brightening Balancing Softener $29.99

I love almost all Shisedo skincare products I’ve tried and I was surprised to see some at TJ Maxx. I’ve heard good reviews of this toner but I will wait to try it out in winter time as it’s supposed to be a very good moisturizer but can be too thick and rich for summer heat.

Shisedo White Lucent Brightening Balancing Softenter

  • Korean animal face masks 3-piece $3.99

I heard some TJ Maxx stores now carry Korean facial masks so I kept an eye out for them when I was browsing the mask section. There weren’t a lot of options when it comes to brands I know of and this is the only one that has good reviews. These sheet masks are supposed to add an extra layer of hydration to the face and you can look quite funny with them on too 🙂 I’m looking forward to trying these out.

Lastly, I also picked up some genetic makeup remover wipes ($2.99 for a 60-sheet pack) with a clip-on opening as I heard these are slower to dry out. I use these wipes for my arms and legs to remove sunscreen so it will be nice if these do work out so I don’t need to buy those $7.99 packs (25-sheet pack) at Walgreens.

Lastly, I wanted to share the August beauty boxes I received  from Allure and Target. Honestly I am more happy with the $7 Target beauty box than the $15 Allure box this month. Usually the Allure box includes most high-end beauty items but this is mostly a drugstore box and I am underwhelmed by it. You can see in my previous posts what was included in the July Allure Beauty Box and June Allure Beauty Box. The Target box on the other hand has every item I can use and it’s the best Target box I’ve seen in the past few months.

  • Allure August beauty box ($15)

  • Target August beauty box ($7)

La Mer soft cream is in the upcoming Allure box! July 2016 Allure beauty box spoiler

How can June already be over and we are officially into the 2nd half of 2016? This doesn’t feel real and kind of sad as summer is probably going to be over before we know it. But good news is that I’m going to be getting a GREAT box from Allure monthly subscription ($15 per month, $10 for your first month).

Allure keeps me hooked with the quality of products they curate for their boxes. Honestly, I think it’s the best box in the market for skincare maniacs at this price point. You can see the June & May box content here & here.

So the July box is in collaboration with Nordstrom which has a great selection of skincare products and not surprisingly, they’ve done a fantastic job for selecting products that have amazing reviews and all from well-known brands. Here are the items included in the July box:

  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (7 ml). I’ve almost used up the big bottle I have.
  • La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream (a small sample jar from the video) – This is a luxury treat ($170 for an 1oz jar). It is not as rich and heavy as the classic cream, and it’s the perfect day/night cream for summer time on combination & sensitive skin)
  • Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment (I’ve been wanting to try this and am so happy that it’s in the box)
  • Smashbox Photofinish Primer (I’ve used this before and it’s very effective for oil control)
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm (moisturizing, comfortable, and this one is in a versatile sheer rosy shade yay)

Here is the spoiler video: https://youtu.be/MCsLoCvaHZQ

What do you think?



Look what I found in the drugstore! Plus Walmart Beauty Box

So I was just taking another route from the office to the subway station and my eyes were caught by a lovely display of Wet n’ Wild products through a window of an otherwise so normal Duane Reade and I stepped in naturally. For someone who lives on the East coast, you understand my delightful surprise feeling, right?

And when I was in the beauty section of the store, I was truly surprised. I remember I read in news a while ago that Walgreens (aka Duane Reade, same business entity) was planning to revamp some of its stores’ beauty sections but this is the first store I’ve actually seen with the new installation.

  • There are testers out on display.
  • The lighting was bright.
  • Each brand is displayed in a Sephora/Ulta type of layout.
  • There are also makeup removers and cotton pads for you to test different products and shades.

It is such a step up from Walgreen! I don’t think I’m going to the dim and crowded CVS ever again which is the only other drugstore near by.

The most exciting thing is that they have brands like theBalm, PurMineral, Cargo, 100% pure, Boots Botatics etc.which I can’t find anywhere else except for certsin Ulta stores far away from my home.

Have you seen any similar changes to your Walgreen stores? Is it fairly recent?

Lastly I got my Walmart beauty box and it’s fun! With only $5 per quarter, $20 per year, it’s well worth the little joy from time to time. I mean you can’t even buy a sandwich for $5.

June beauty empties – feat. Lancome, Anastasia, Loreal, Sisley Paris

The wierd thing of being a beauty lover is that no matter how fast I go through products, the stash doesn’t seem to shrink. Nevertheless I always feel content  and good about myself when I use up products. This month is no exception except that I also purged some makeup products that didn’t work for me.

Here are the empties and makeup purge from a recent drawer cleanup.

Among the empties, I want to share my thoughts of 6 products, 3 skincare and 3 makeup.

  • Lancôme eye lip makeup remover

This has been in the market for a long time and I’m so happy I’m rediscovering it after a few years. If you have sensitive eyes and use waterproof eyeshadow or mascara, look no further than this powerful yet gentle makeup remover. If you haven’t tried it, don’t hesitate next time when you need a new eye/lip makeup remover. I’ve not yet heard any negative feedback from my friends who have used it.

  • Loreal double ended mascara

This is the chubby tube with the red and while color in the box. It is only available online I believe from Amazon or Drugstore.com. This is another repurchase for me and it is a high impact mascara. The white end is a primer and instantly lengthens your lashes while the black end adds volume and holds the curl all day long. This is great for someone who wants dramatic lashes.

  • Lancome hypnose mascara

Again, a repurchase and rediscovery item. I didn’t realize I’ve been going back to old favorites a lot this month until I’m writing this post but hey classic is the best! I assume if you’ve been in the beauty community for a while, you probably are no stranger to this star mascara from Lamcome. It adds ton of volume to your lashes and if you use an curler prior to application, it also holds your curl all day long.

  • Sisley Paris black rose cream mask

Amazing is the word I can think of when it comes to this mask. It brightens, hydrates and softens your skin after only one or two uses. Sisley is a great skincare brand that’s natural, plant-bases and they’ve recently launched a $10 monthly skincare subscription – see my post here for more details.

  • Eucerin moisturizing cream 

My recent favorite drugstore product to use as hand cream. No scent, deeply hydrating and not overly greasy. I will get back to it in the winter time.

  • Fresh black tea mask

If you didn’t see it in the picture above, it’s the tiny jar next to the Sisley mask tube. I actually asked for the sample from Sephora. I don’t like it. I didn’t use up this tiny jar as I feel it did nothing to my skin. I don’t know if it’s the sample as they take it out from the tester jar and it could have expired or dried out, but it’s just not living up to the hype. If you’ve tried it and loved it, can you let me know in comments and tell me your skin type?

Now when it comes to the makeup purge shown in the second photo and the one above, I’m particularly disappointed in the cream contour pallete from Anastasia. Contour & Anastasia, both are one of these’hottest’ words in the 2015 beauty world and I really wanted to make it work but it just didn’t.

I didn’t like it for the following reasons:

  • The cream shades dry out quickly, makes it very hard to blend out.
  • The contour shades are too warm for my fair/light skin tone and I don’t like orange contour colors.
  • The palette is in a filmsy cardboard packet, which accelerates the dry-out process of the cream shades.

I know if you add some facial oil to these shades, it probably will add some life to them and make them usable again but because I don’t even like the contour shades I just didn’t bother to go through these. The only usage I got out from it was from the lighter shades which can be used as concealers under the eyes but they are not irreplaceable.

I regret purchasing it without looking at the mixed reviews first as a lot if people had similar issues as I do with this pallete. If you are considering it, I’d recommend against it.

That’s it for this post and if you are interested to know how any other products performed from the photos above, let me know in comments.

Thanks for stopping by!