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The 'B' List. A look at the beautiful things in life. This blog is devoted to that list. Join me on the journey, why don't you?

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Sub! Starbox by Starlooks - September box

What did I replace my old pal, Glymm with? A full-on makeup box - Starbox by Starlooks. This box started a few months ago and I've been watching the unboxings - Plumpish Beauty has a couple good ones. I decided to get this box as it primarily sends makeup, and subscribers have said such good things about the company and customer service.

Starbox is $15/month (with a small shipping charge - for Canada it was $4.50 I think). Each box contains 3-4 full size makeup/beauty products each month. If you are in the U.S. you can sign up via their website but if you are international, you have to call or email them to place your subscription order. (And if you subscribe make sure you mention that CityGirl sent you!)

Starbox sends makeup and beauty items produced by their parent company, Starlooks. They also have a webstore to purchase their full line of products (on their site they say that their formulas are comparable to MAC products).You can also get past month's Starboxes on the site (those go for $25, though).

Ready to see what I got in my first Starbox?

Love the retro logo!

Inside the box
I love the theme for this months box - "Running with Wolves" and it's all about the eyes. Heck, I love that Starlooks does a theme for each month's box in general! The theme is released before the box as a hint and so people can get excited! They have a looksbook for each month on their website, as well as a video (click here for the September video). The creator of Starlooks, Marci, even has a video on the items in the September box, the box theme, the reasons why these products were chosen and a how-to on use!

First item ...

Starlooks clear eyeshadow primer
A full-size clear eyeshadow primer! Very cool. Can't find the value of this online - but if it's compared to a single eyeshadow, those run for $9 each. This definitely complements the second item in the box, which is...

Starlooks 5-shade monographic eyeshadow palette
A full size eye palette! This retails for $30 on the Starlooks website. The shades in this palette are opalescent  and look quite pretty when swatched.

Natural light
Indoor light
The colours are actually quite distinguishable from each other when swatched (from L to R: yellow, white, pink, blue-purple, green) and have a pastel finish to opalescent depending upon the light. I actually don't own shades like this - they are perfect as a base or for highlighting. Speaking of highlighting...

Eye Jewels 
A fun extra that was included in this month's box - opal and champagne Swarovski eye crystals! These are supposed to be applied with lash glue - either to the lash base of at the corners of eyes for a bit of evening glamour.

Quartz Crystals
Starlooks includes these crystals in every box. Why? According to the product card, "These crystals attract energy, help maintain focus, and are the ultimate symbol of beauty! We hope you collect them in a glass jar to create a brush holder.." This is a neat idea and a fun little extra.

And that's this month's Starbox! I am pretty darn happy with it and am excited for future months!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September The Natural Beauty Box

This is a relatively new beauty box and I decided to test it out. The Natural Beauty Box is Canadian, they ship worldwide and the box ranges from $15-20/month, depending on the subscription you choose. One month is $20 +tax, a six month subscription is $18/month +tax ($108) and a twelve month sub is $15.75/month +tax ($189). All prices are in USD and shipping is included. I love the fact that if you purchase the one month subscription you are not automatically charged for subsequent months - you just purchase whenever you want a box and that's the option I chose.

They say that each box will be filled with 10-15 deluxe samples, (no foil samples), there won't be repeats month to month and the samples are 95%-100% natural. Like Glymm, they have a webstore where products from the box can be purchased, often at a discount. Ready to see what's inside this month?

Upon opening the box
The Natural Beauty Box comes in a lovely decorative bag (this is the kind of bag Glymm should use, so we're not stuck with a bunch of tiny cosmetic bags)

I love the little Velcro tab on the bag - too cute!
All the goodies this month
According to the very detailed and informative product sheet; I received 13 samples worth a total of $107.10. That's pretty good! Before I go through the products, I did want to mention that upon opening the box, a very distinct smell was in the bag - I believe it is witch hazel, but it is VERY strong and slightly irritated my nose. I remember when I was a kid, my mother would sometimes take me to this health food store, and that store smelled exactly like this bag. It is a pungent odour - kind of medicine-y - it does make me think of health foods and products, but I remember being overwhelmed by it as a kid and now I'm overwhelmed by it again in this bag. Not sure if this scent will be present in every bag, but just wanted to let my readers know!

From L to R: First is Delizio Skincare Watermelon & CoQ10 Face Mask. Like the one I got in the Fortune Cookie Soap box, you just add a teaspoon to a base like yoghurt, sour cream, aloe or even water. This mask is good for 10 uses! That's definitely a deluxe sample. 

At the top is Dr. Emerald Natural Hand Sanitizer (full size). Pretty darn cool; I've never tried a natural hand sanitizer before. It does have witch hazel though, so will see how my nose tolerates it.

Below that is Dr. Emerald Natural Anti-Microbial Hand Soap in Forest Dew - this is good because I do like to use anti-bac soap especially in the kitchen.

Below that is Temptations Bath n' Body Lime in da Coconut Body Spray. This smells EXACTLY like Coconut Lime - sooo good!

At the bottom is Shea Terra Whipped Shea Butter Cream - my sample is in Gingered Pumpkin. Awesome fall scent and I love shea butter, very rich and creamy.

Then towards the top is Dr. Emerald Hair Restoration Spray - it's supposed to add strength and volume. Cool concept, but will have to see because of the witch hazel (I'm getting the impression that Dr. Emerald and witch hazel are BFF's!)

Last of this group is Natural Luxury - Relax and Relieve Stress Bath Tea. It's a tea bag for the bath - this smells like orange lavender - yummy!

From L to R: Kitty Kosmetics Red Raspberries Natural Soap Heart. Very cute!

To the right is Natural Luxury Rejuvenating and Nourishing Under Eye Serum (full size - worth $32!) I read a review on this and it's supposed to rock - getting rid of puffiness and bags, but again, lot's o' witch hazel, so I'll have to see if I can tolerate it.

Below that is Petal Organics - Glow and Shine Face Primer. Never tried a natural primer before!

At the top is Ferro Cosmetics Desert Rose Blush. I have a Ferro veil from my BB5 box and it is ok, but I like my veils from The All Natural Face a lot better. So may try out the blush, or might trade it, not sure.

Speaking of The All Natural Face, below the blush is a vegan eye primer and mineral eyeshadow (in Deep Sea Green) from this company. I really like their products, have tried their shadows before but not the primer.

And last we have La Mellite - Mandarin Espresso Body Scrub. This coffee scrub smells really nice; I only usually use sugar or salt scrubs so this will be fun to try. This is the sample I wish was in a slightly bigger size since it's meant as a full-body scrub (maybe can get 2 uses out of it).

(There was also a product card for Beeseline included for 15% of their line at the Natural Beauty Store).

Product Sheet
This is by far the best product card I've received in a beauty box. They list each item, how much the sample size is worth, how much the full size costs, the discount you get if you buy the full size, the directions on how to use it, the ingredients (which is excellent!) and how much the samples in the box are worth in total. Other beauty boxes take note!

Close up of product sheet

So, here are the pros and cons of this box as I see it:

Pros: All deluxe sample sizes/full size products
         Natural beauty products
         Amazing product card and discounts on full-size purchases
         Natural Beauty Store and reward points on purchases

Cons: Why is the box priced in USD when it's a Canadian company?
          Overwhelming medicine-y scent to the box (most likely from the witch hazel in certain products)
          Packing peanuts in box

The last point I noted because a primarily natural shop should try to avoid foam packing peanuts - there are more environmental-friendly options.

Foam packing peanuts in the bottom of the shipping box

So would I buy this box again? I do like how you can just buy one box without getting onto a subscription plan so I might grab another box in the future. The pros do outweigh the cons for me. However, I hope that in future boxes the witch hazel is toned down a bit! 

Did you get a Natural Beauty Box this month? What do you think of it?

*Update* My nose irritation turned into a full-blown pounding headache, so I think it's best for me to stay away from the products with witch hazel. :(

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Fortune Cookie The Soap Box

Fortune Cookie Soap has a quarterly subscription - The Soap Box and the Fall box is out!

All the goodies!
Fortune Cookie Soap says that boxes will include 8-10 mini items; the Fall box has eight.

Product card of all the items 
All the items from the Fall Fortune Cookie Soap Box
From L to R: OCD Hand Sanitizer in "Ripe for the Picking". Smells like fresh harvest apples and berries!

"Snickerdoodle" Whipped Cream - an AH-MAZ-ING moisturizer that smells like sugar cookies and cinnamon.

On top of that is "Cram Your Face in my Sweet Pumpkin Pie Mask". It needs to be added to a fresh face mask (e.g. Cream, milk, aloe juice, banana, honey and egg white) and left on for 15 min. It is a really neat concept, and smells all nice and pumpkin-y.

To the right of that is their signature Fortune Cookie Soap in "Roast my Marshmallow". This is a subtly scented creamy soap and it's full size. (If you love these types of soap, check out Beautiful Onyx and Mick's Fortune Cookie Soap giveaway!)

Below that is their Itty Bitty Gritty Lip Scrub in "Pumpkin Coconut Crunch". LOVE this scent - it is a sugar scrub to get all those dry bits of skin off your lips, making it soft and smooth. Full size.

At the bottom is "A Roll in the Leaves" Bath Fizzy. I've used bath bombs from LUSH before; same concept here - it smells like almond/chamomile and like a walk through a park on a crisp autumn day. Full size.

To the right is Eco Suds in "Figs and Berries" (they say the scent is a blend of figs, currants, cranberries, acai berries and raspberries). It has a lovely woody-berry scent. I will definitely try this in my laundry!

Last is "Something Nutty" Milk Bath. Smells nutty and caramel-y. I wonder how this would combine in a bath with the roll in the leaves bath bomb?

Also included is a $10 off coupon for your next purchase (that Snickerdoodle scent is calling my name!)

I do like how Fortune Cookie Soaps gave a variety of products in different scents, and it's nice that they included the $10 coupon as well. Even though when you sign up for the box you are on the quarterly subscription, you can cancel if you only want to try one box. That's what I did, as I might want to get this box again, but just wanted to test it out first.

Check out their website for updates on when subscriptions will be open again. Cost is $19.99 U.S./$28.00 CAN/$34.00 Overseas.

*Update!* Fortune Cookie Soap is offering a one-time purchase for their special-edition Halloween soap box. I just found out about this...it looks like it is currently sold out but they may be offering some more this week - check the facebook page for updates.*

*Update* Just found out that more Halloween boxes will be released this Saturday Sept. 29 at noon (Central Standard Time).*

Friday, September 21, 2012

China Glaze Purr-fect Plum with Julep's Mila

Hey! Just a quick notd post - this is China Glaze's Purr-fect Plum (from my recent Luxe Box) paired with Julep's Mila as an accent nail.

Purr-fect Plum (from the On Safari Collection) and Mila 
My mani
Close up
This is a gorgeous shade of plum; an absolute perfect colour for fall. I love how the purple-y-pink fine glitter sprinkled throughout Mila really accents the polish. Together they are a great combo!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

October Julep Maven box preview! *Update*

When I saw my Julep Maven preview email today, I was quite excited. Even though I was expecting a suede -chrome collection (previewed on the Julep summer tweet-up), when I saw these intense colours and crackle styles, I got a welcomed surprise instead!

American Beauty- Eloise (indigo blue cream); Sabrina (orange shimmer crackle); Quick Dry Polish drops
Boho Glam - Hermione (white cream crackle); Lisa (pebble grey cream); Quick Dry Polish drops
Bombshell - Ursula (black cream crackle); Keira (merlot cream); Quick Dry Polish drops
Classic with a Twist - Boris and Nicole (red-brown frost); Gwyneth (sheer clear pink); Quick Dry Polish drops
IT Girl - Glenda (silver crackle); Leslie (black/silver shimmer); Caroline (burgundy shimmer)
Ooh! I really like Eloise, Sabrina, Keira, Boris and Nicole, Leslie and Caroline. The polish drops sound neat too - I've been looking for a good quick dry topcoat. From looking at the comments of those that tried out the quick drops, I wonder how you get on the sneak peek list? For a look at swatches of these colours, check out Julep's Beauty Buzz.

The whole kit 'n caboodle. 
You can also get the whole collection - all eleven colours featured in the boxes and the quick dry drops for an additional $30 (on top of the monthly box fee of $19.99). They introduced this option last month and it looks like it was a hit!

Julep did something new this month with the add-ons, they included polish choices that aren't available in any of the style profiles. Kate, a white pearl colour that was launched in July boxes and Sofia - a new glow in the dark option! (The regular version of Sofia was around in March, I believe). You can add on up to three selections ($4.99 for polishes and $5.99 for the quick dry drops).

The October Maven box has some great colour choices! I love the crackle options and the product choice for this month and how they have a neat glow-in-the-dark shade as well (perfect for Halloween hijinks!) If you haven't signed up for Julep Maven and want to, consider using my referral link (first box is a penny, use code PENNY or MAVENINTRO at checkout).

What style profile are you? What shades have caught your attention? What do you think of the quick-dry drops? Would you get the whole collection? Any add-on's?

*Update* Julep just released another style profile pick for this month, if you don't like crackle nail polish:

Maven's Choice - Eloise, Lisa and Keira
This way you can try all these lovely fall creams (hold the crackle) ;)

*Another Update* Glow-in-the-dark Sofia just sold out as an add-on option. Popular month!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September Topbox bonus: Balenciaga Paris Cosmetic Pouch

I redeemed my Topbox bonus yesterday at the Holt's fragrance counter...here's what it looks like:

The bonus card to redeem at Holt's
Box it came in
The pouch (cute!)
The Balenciaga label tucked away inside the bag

Very nice bonus, and it's an excellent size for holding beauty samples!

September Glymm bag

I took the plunge and cancelled my Glymm subscription - this is my final bag. I might resubscribe in the future but it just wasn't cutting it for the past several months. Very small samples and products were included that I wouldn't always use. I miss the boxes and the amazing items I used to get many months ago (my full-size Cargo eyeliner was one of the best surprises, and of course the jellybeans :)

The Glymm box/bag
Glymm bag
It's the opposite of last month - a cream coloured quilted bag. Nice, but I think I prefer the black.

This month's loot
EVOLVh Organize Shampoo and Conditioner 
Honestly I've got a lot of shampoo and conditioner samples I'm still going through, so I wasn't thrilled when I saw these. But at least they are good sizes (59 mls) and they smell nice and fruity. The full size for both is 250 ml and goes for $24 (shampoo) and $25 (conditioner).

Villainess Whipped! Body Cream

This is a small sample (doesn't say the amount of product on the jar) but it is probably my favourite of the bag this month - it's a lovely thick body cream that smells like crème brulee (and has notes of cinnamon and nutmeg too!) Mmmmm. It is also not too expensive for the full size - $15.75 for 170 g. I love bakery scents so I'm happy to receive this.

La Fresh Makeup Remover Wipes
I've tried these La Fresh Wipes before. They are ok and do remove makeup - my favorite cleansing wipe is still Kaia Naturals though. 18 individual packs or 24 wipes in one big package (more environmentally-friendly) retails for $9.99.

Bentaberry Super Moisturizing face cream for girls
Lastly is another Bentaberry cream. I got a sample of this in my last Glymm bag, and I wasn't too crazy about it. I didn't like the scent and half of the bottle oozed out as soon as I opened it up! This is another 3 ml sample of a different type of their face cream; the full size is 30 ml and retails for $19.

Well that's all folks for Glymm. Just watch, I bet the bags get better every month now that I cancelled my subscription! I think that's part of the beauty lotto; if you don't play, you can't win a great month of beauty products. Trouble is, I haven't had much luck with Glymm for awhile. I guess we'll have to see how they pan out in the future. *I also wanted to mention, this was my very first beauty box subscription! So I'm sad to see it go :(

Monday, September 17, 2012

Glymm mini-haul: Naked Princess gloss and Butter London

I wanted to use up all my points before I cancelled my monthly Glymm subscription so I placed this order in their shop. 

Butter London in Dodgy Barnett and 2 Naked Princess glosses.
Naked Princess gloss in Barely Coco (top); Barely Blush (bottom).
First, the polish:

Polish and swatch
Dodgy Barnett (retails for $17) is from Butter London's Fall 2012 collection. When I saw swatches of it on ommorphia beauty bar I just had to have it - it's shimmery blue/grey/silver holo and completely gorgeous!

Now for the glosses:

Swatch of Barely Coco
Swatch of Barely Blush
Ever since getting that tiny, tiny sample of Naked Princess gloss in a past Glymm box, it has fast become one of my absolute favourite glosses. I love the chocolaty/caramel/vanilla scent and how it goes on and stays smooth and glossy, not tacky. Sheer glosses are tops with me, and Naked Princess only does sheer glosses with a hint of colour. I got the full size of the sample that was in my Glymm box, Barely Coco, and one with a bit of a pink sheen, Barely Blush (they retail for $26 each).

If you're a Glymm subscriber, make sure to complete those surveys each month and share your referral link to maximize your points! And if you're thinking about cancelling, get yourself a little something with all those hard-earned points before you do!

What do you think of Butter London's Fall 2012 collection? Naked Princess glosses?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

*Spoiler* September Topbox!

YAY! Topbox time!

The shipping container (fits perfectly in my mailbox!)
The Topbox 
The goods!!!
Even though it's a smaller assortment than last month, I absolutely LOVE this month's box!

philosophy purity one-step facial cleanser
Awesome! I'm a huge fan of philosophy; I have the philosophy 3-in-1 shower/bath/hair gel in my travel bag and I love using it, so I'm going to put this in that bag too. The card says it will cleanse, tone and remove all makeup. This sample is 30 ml; the full size is $13 for 90 ml (not bad) or $26 for 240 ml.

M. Asam Perfect Teint
I have a M.Asam BB cream from a past Glymm box and really like it, so I'm excited to try the primer. This is a 5 ml sample; the full size is 50 ml and goes for $42 (but I have seen M.Asam products discounted at my local Winners, so if I like this I can pick it up there!)

benefit they're REAL! mascara
OMG!!!! I've been looking for a sample of this mascara FOREVER! At one point in the summer I was just going to crack and get the full size from Shoppers but I really did want to try it out first before I commit.(especially because the full size is $29). This is a 30 g sample - so cool! Thank you Topbox! :)

L'essence by Balenciaga Paris
A jumbo sized perfume sample - the product card says this is a "leathery violet fragrance" but it just smells like expensive to me! (If expensive can have a smell!) The scent does reflect the price though - $110 for 50 ml or $150 for 75 ml. This is a 4 ml sample, and will last me awhile. I can see myself wearing this scent on evenings out.

And on the back of the product card....a bonus!

I'm definitely going to redeem this!

I'm completely happy with my September Topbox as I'm thrilled with each of the products and love that there's a little bonus too! I think that the cost of the box ($10/month), value of the products each month, and that they're generally consistent in product quality from month to month has made Topbox my favourite Canadian monthly beauty box!

If you get Topbox, what did you get? What is your favourite item this month?