Today, I’m prepping for fourth of july (NewBeauty TestTube July/August 2013)…

Happy almost independence day to our dearest readers!  I get tomorrow (Thurs) off work… so I decided to also take Friday off and make it a nice four (4!)-day weekend. Gives me just enough time to fly back home to the best place in the world: Louisville, Kentucky. 🙂 Have you ever been? If not, you should! You’re missing out!

Anyways, some catching up: us –arkies got a twitter! We’re still learning how to use it but you can check us out @todaycommai. In addition, we’re starting our July Giveaway this afternoon! Mmmm… other than that, nothing much. Charkie is traveling in Germany with no weefee. Markie, Arkie, Jarkie (that’s me!) –> we’re all working in our own ways on our next steps in LIFE. 🙂 Let’s see where our futures lead. Anyways. Back to this post.

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I love that they’ve been adding this bonus products pouches! 🙂

New Beauty. Question: Which one do you prefer (if you’ve tried both) – QVC or NewBeauty Test Tube? I’ve only gotten one QVC tube so it’s difficult for me to say… but I’d love to hear what you have to say. For those of you all not familiar with these tubes. Each one costs ~36 dollars (after shipping and such)… The QVC one is a quarterly box (they reveal all the products.. and you can buy just that individual tube). The NewBeauty one is now a bi-monthly (as in every other month… is that the term for that?) subscription. So basically if you’re subscribed, you pay more for NewBeauty but you also get more products in a year. From my New Beauty magazine, … the next QVC tube will be available for purchase August 9th! 🙂

Side note: If you’re interested in getting a box … I have a referral link for $5 off your first box… email todaycommai@gmail.com and I’ll send that over to you.

The box at a glance.

The box at a glance. I spy a Moroccan Oil product. Teehee.

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Philosophy purity made simple one-step facial cleanser (1 oz/ ~$3.33)
This is a 3-in-1 cleanser for the face and eyes … making this is a perfect travel product. Who has time to remove makeup, cleanse and tone?! 😛 I tried it and I like it… the scent isn’t strong… and it does a good job of removing makeup (well, at least my eye-makeup… )

MoroccanOil Body Butter (1.7 oz/ $13.81)
This product uses antioxidant argan oil, and argan, shea, cocoa and mango butters to soothe your skin. Another product with a light scent. Good news 🙂

Perlage Illuminating Primer (0.017 oz/ ??)
I don’t really know much about this… are you familiar? I also don’t use primers.

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Pantene Expert Collection Pro-V AgeDefy Shampoo (3.9 oz / $3.47)
Not much to say here, except, woah…STRONG SCENT! I don’t know if I like that. My entire box/test tube smelled like this shampoo/conditioner set. And I couldn’t get the scent out of my nostrils for the longest of time. This will come into use when I’m traveling, for sure!

Pantene Expert Collection Pro-V AgeDefy Conditioner (2.5 oz/ $2.67)

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Lite (2 oz/ $10.00)
A leave in conditioner that you use after you’ve shampooed/conditioned and towel dried your hair. I always need conditioners, so this is great. I hope it works! I’ll let y’alls know.

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tarte Pure Maracuja Oil Rollerball (0.60 oz/ $17.00)
I’m probably most excited about this item! I’ll be honest. I have no clue at all what Maracuja Oil is. A quick google/wiki search will do 🙂 According to tarte, it contains Vit C and essential fatty acids. This sample came in a roller-ball form which is great! It is in a glass bottle, so if you keep this in your purse, you want to be careful not to accidentally break it and have oil soaked your hangbags. However, I love the rollerball, it makes it easy to apply to my face, especially under my eyes. I’m excited to see it’s effects. And I’m happy there’s not really a strong scent (actually I didn’t smell anything).

ybf Automatic Brow Pencil ($12.oo)
For those of you interested, this is a paraben-free/cruelty-free product. I read their description (link above) of the product and found it amusing and cute. Hehe. Take control of them eyebrows! I don’t really do anything with my brows. Sorry for my bushy eyebrows 😛 But I did give it a try, though I really don’t know how brow pencils work. Maybe you can give me some tips 

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ORLY Nail Polish (0.6 oz/$8.50) – 
I don’t use nail polish that often, so I don’t really care for this. Twas funny… because they mentioned how the excitement of this being the first nail polish in a test tube! No excitement for me… but no worries! It’ll be a good gift 🙂

Lumene Vitamin C+ Pure Radiance Night Cream (0.5 oz/ ~$5.87) – pictured below
A decent sample size night cream. I received the day cream in another NewBeauty box, I believe.

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NEW BEAUTY magazine – $9.95

BONUS PRODUCTS

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Boost-it! Instant Complexion Enhancer (0.25 oz/ ~$10.90)
Supposedly tightens and brightens the skin within seconds! I don’t really need the tightening but I guess I could try it for the brightening!

Dalton Colour Creme Lip Gloss  in Shawny K. (.21 oz/ ~$15.00)
I like the application of this gloss. I noticed on the website that it should come with a brush… maybe I missed it in my box. Or it just didn’t come with it. I’ll have to do some more digging. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. It’s very shiny. You probably have to reapply every 2 hours or so. I do like the fact that it comes in a jar… this means none of it goes to waste.  As you can tell, with the color I received, the color is very light… not much… more gloss than color. It definitely felt like my lips got plumper.

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NIP + FAB No Needle Fix Serum (2 .03 oz foil packets, ~$0.70)
A serum to fill in fine lines and smooth wrinkles … hehe don’t got those yet… but soon enough. They shall arrive. When I stay up late stu-DYING. 😛 And this will come handy.

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Okay, pretty sweet box! I feel like I’ll use almost everything… except for maybe the nail polish. It’s not my most favorite box, but I am still a happy gal. 🙂 I received over $100 worth of products… for only $36 … which is not bad… actually pretty sweet. 🙂 Did you receive this box? What did you think and what did you get for your Bonus Products? Enjoy the day… and stay tuned for our giveaway! 🙂

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Today, I will sleep well with my test tube…

Wahoooo look what arrived the other day! My New Beauty test tube. 🙂 It’s one of my favorite subscriptions. I think I’m ready to cancel everything but this one and Blush.

A special surprise came with this tube. Without the secret, the products came to a value of $98.61! Including the surprise, the testtube was worth $147.58!!!

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I found this sitting outside my door.

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So prettttayyyy…

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  • Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse (1.9 oz/ $9.88)For anyone with very thin, fine hair… Ha! I have a head full of thick hair. If you could touch it, you’d probably compare it to horse hair, Barbie hair, or even hay!  I can say with confidence that I do not need this mousse… you know what that means! It might end up in a future giveaway 🙂
  • Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner (2 oz/ $5.88) – For anyone with dry damaged hair… Now this is perfect for me!
  • bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter (1.7 oz/ $7.10) – 1) I love the citrus scent! So light, but refreshing! 2) Definitely feels like butter, make my thirsty elbows and knees feel so hydrated 🙂

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  • Hydroxatone InstantEffect 90-second Wrinkle Reducer (15 sample packets/ ~$44.50) – Hmmm interesting. I’ve seen videos for this … the product is suppose to temporarily reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye bags. Effects last up to 8 hours ( I think)… I’m not sure if this is what I want/need quite yet. Luckily they come in 0.02 oz packets!
  • AHAVA 3-in-1 Mineral Cleanser (0.85 oz / $3.00) – This product has been discontinued… but I am still excited by it! I am loving these multi-purpose cleansers! I will be on the hunt. Love love love to have a cleanser that could remove make up, act as a cleanser & toner. Save steps. We need sleep!
  • Philosophy Love Sweet Love Shampoo, Bath, & Shower Gel (1 oz/ $1.50) –  Another multitasking product, as you can tell from the name. Love that it can be used for a bath or shower. I think it smells incredible (I’d go as far to say delicious) and leaves my skin feeling soft.

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  • Josie Maran Argan Oil (.17 oz/ $4.76) – I received this in my QVC tube … and am so HAPPY to have another one. Another sort of multi-purpose product (I’m loving this theme!). I love using it for my hair since I have quite brittle, damaged, disgusting hair. But it’s great for dry skin and nails also!
  • Lumene Vitamin C+ Radiant Day Cream (0.5 oz/$3.99) – They got me with the word radiant! 🙂
  • bareMinerals marvelous MOXIE , spark plug (FULL SIZE/ 0.15 oz/$18.00) – Excited for this full size product! Just two weeks ago, Bare Escentuals had their tour truck at the Bethesda Arts Festival. My roommate and I got tempted by their pretty chandeliers… of course, their artists covered our faces with their powder (I do like their foundations, etc) … and we got to try this so called marvelous moxie lipgloss. I love it. I love the color. I do have to say it’s a bit shiny… but the peppermint cooling feeling just feels so good.

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What’s this?! Apparently this box came with bonus products!

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And there you go!

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The box also came with the Celebrity Beauty Secrets book ($14.95).  I flipped through the book and it’s quite entertaining… and I couldn’t put it down! I believe they’re selling it at airports and Barnes and Noble if you’re looking for the book and not the products.

That’s all for now.

Ta ta…..

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Today, I think of “Tous Les Jours”…

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KENTUCKY DERBY!!!! 🙂 If you do not have a TV, stream live here. Starting soon. Playing of my Old Kentucky home!

So much to say in so little time. First up, my product of the day… I am in love with ALTERNA now. Today’s review? Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil. Makes the hair so smooth!  Next up, if you’re looking to score some samples, I stumbled across this today – TATCHA skin care promotion. Unfortunately this was posted 2 weeks ago, so TATCHA probably caught on to the fact that too many people were ordering 13 different samples for only $5.95. You can only have one sample order in your cart at any given point in time. However, the deluxe samples are pretty large and you would get that + 3 samples (foil packets), so still a good deal. Go check it out.

Last night, I met up with some friends and had dinner at Oyamel. So so so delicious!

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Chips and Salsa – first one free

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  • LEFT: weird hanging creatures. cool.
  • RIGHT: guac made right in front of you. nomnomnom.

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  • (LEFT) Special: Meatballs, Salsa Verde, Black Beans, Fried Egg, Cheese
  • (RIGHT) Pork Belly Taco – w/ a slice of pineapple – delish!

Everything was lovely! This morning, I decided to finally use of my groupons for Spa World… So relaxing… a shower, a massage in the bade pool, a steam sauna, poultice rooms to sweat out all my toxins (lol some of the descriptions… save my arteries, etc), an ice room, a 3-minute workout in the fitness center (and then I figured I’d rather sleep than bike), a shiatsu massage (the masseuse walked on me, at first I thought it was her elbows), a lovely rice cake/dumpling soup… 🙂 And some reading…

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Two of the poultice rooms (dry sauna)… Sleep/lounge area.

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  • LEFT: Rice Cake/Dumpling Soup with assortment of cold side dishes
  • RIGHT: Entrance to sauna 🙂

Tous Les Jours‘s Centreville, VA (right next door to the spa) location grand opening happened yesterday! I would have never known had I not stopped by Spa World. So happy… I love asian bakeries.

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H Mart Splurge! 🙂

Today, I am *blushing* (Blush Mystery Box III)…

Parker & Otis poached eggs over toast + white cheddar grits w/ Markie

Parker & Otis poached eggs over toast + white cheddar grits w/ Markie

My blush Mystery Beauty Box came in two days ago when I was out of town. I had a lovely time visiting the land of the Ham (Durham/Duke) and visiting my dear Markie. So many different places she took me to including: lovely Elmo’s DinerMonuts, Parker and Otis, Ox Rabbit, Vaguely Reminiscent… old and new places.

I’ve slowly started to develop an addiction to subscription boxes. It’s probably a bad idea. I think I need to find a way to curb this appetite (just as I need to curb my appetite for buttery, creamy, floury, doughy deliciousness –think Paula Dean’s show).  But before I curb the appetite, let me bring you some reviews 🙂 My Blush Mystery Box came in, I bought just this one box to give it a try… I believe this month’s box is sold out but if you sign up for a monthly subscription, it’s $24.95 per month… and it comes with a free gift + free shipping + free sample. Oh also a free magazine subscription. I think my magazine subscription is “Traditional Homes”…. hmmm, doesn’t really exactly fit me just yet…. but maybe it’ll give me some wonderful inspiration a few years down the road 🙂 Here we go:

Blush Mystery Box III (Monthly Subscription: $24.95/ One-time Box: $34.95)
**I’ve provided links for the products if you’re interested in purchasing~

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1. Tendu Hair Treatment mask (5 fl oz, $60) – “renews vibrancy, boosts shine & conditions strands” –  Starting off with this one since this was the product that was revealed to be included in all of the boxes for this month. I love that it’s full sized and I love hair conditioners/treatments. I have very thick, coarse, dry hair that has been described by others as feeling like horse mane or Barbie’s hair, so I hope this treatment will help. I love the clean, fresh scent.

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2. Intense Recovery Treatment (1 fl oz, $130) – Wow! The price! I am not familiar with this brand, but I do LOVE skincare products. This serum seems to include 1.5% CoffeeBerry Whole Fruit Extract — “one of nature’s most potent antioxidants” – that should help your skin become “calmer and healthier with a smoother texture”. I love that this came in a full size bottle! And it’s a cute, it’s a pop up little dispenser. I shall start adding this to my morning/night skin routine and hopefully results will be here. Remember, RADIANCE is what we want 🙂

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3. Paula Dorf Lip Liner with Vitamin E – (.07 fl oz, $20) – I’ve been pretty satisfied with Paula Dorf’s make up (foundations) that I’ve gotten on sale @ Macy’s in the past… so I’m excited for this lip liner. Gotta get those plump, nicely shaped lips! Apparently Sultry is a sheer nude shade.

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo – (1.6 fl oz, $3.99) – Clean and original fragrance – I love the compact size and can already imagine it’s usefulness… those long flights/bus rides? Bai Bai greasiness!

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5. Senna Lash Fortifier X  (.16 fl oz, ~$11.25 Eyelash Primer… contains moisturizers and Panthenol that strengthen & protect your lashes! 

6. SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer (.25 oz, $6.75) – “Light oil-free moisturizer hydrates skin with antioxidants vitamins C and E” … I have this obsession with moisturizers… and the size is perfect for traveling!

* FREE GIFT – K Force Flexible Hold Hairspray (5.9 fl oz, $25) – Non-aerosol hairspray… seems to be currently on sale on their website. I don’t really use hairsprays, but luckily this was a free gift, so a free way for me to start experimenting 🙂

*FREE SAMPLE –  Goldfaden MD Vital Boost – (.08 fl oz~$3.20) – Gooseberry + grapefruit oil extracts = GLOW TO YOUR FACE 🙂

WOW! That was a little more than $250 ($260.19 if you want to be a little more exact) worth of products! I loved it! And to think that I got a free magazine subscription, a free gift, and a free sample, free 1-3 day shipping! I didn’t sign up for the monthly subscription so it cost me a little more than normal ($34.95) … With this value, it’ll be hard for me to stay away from signing up for the monthly subscription, but I need to work on my self-control issues with these boxes first! Haha, what did you all think?

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Today (or rather yesterday), I received gifts from me!

So here it goes. First off, my Jewelmint Mystery box. If you haven’t heard of JewelMint (http://www.jewelmint.com) before, well don’t be shocked. I’m still a bit confused, but I do get really nice jewelry! This is the second mystery box I’ve purchased and I’ve always liked at least 2/3 of the items they send me. And I figured for that 1/3 or 1/4 thing that I don’t like, why don’t I gift it? It’s not that’s it’s terrible, it’s just not my personal style. Here we go!

JewelMint Black Friday Mystery Box!

JewelMint Black Friday Mystery Box!

Ta Da! So this time, I received 2 necklaces (one lovely sea-themed necklace, I love the way the anchor is attached, and another one that would be lovely minus the two pointing spears that jut out), three bracelets (that can be worn all at once, but I think are just as elegant worn individually), and really nice earrings (I love the colors, they’re fun!). So I am a happy Jarkie today. So happy that those three bracelets are already on my wrist as I type this 🙂

December Birchbox!

December Birchbox!

Ta Da! My November birchbox (http://www.birchbox.com/) was a bit disappointing as I had received mascara and hairspray (both I could care less for). The December box has definitely redeemed Birchbox’s name in my eyes. First off, before we begin, for the Lifestyle extra, they gave me Dark Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Fortune Cookie (Emily’s Chocolates; “filled with festive messages, these treats have surpassed ginger snap cookies as a favorite holiday goodie”). I love fortune cookies. I love Peppermint. And Dark Chocolate, well I’ll have to keep an open mind.

  1. Juice Beauty – Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream – I think CC is a spin off of BB. It takes it to the next level (apparently) as Color Control Cream! They should just called it CCC (which mind you is a hospital building at Georgetown University).  It is suppose to improve my skin tone with its vitamin C and grape-derived resveratrol. Hmmm, well they know how to get me. Skin care products/creams = Jarkie’s Achilles Heel
  2. Kerastase – Resistance Ciment Thermique I got two travel size pouches of this heat-activated leave-in conditioner that is suppose to protect my hair before I “bust out” the hot tools. I guess that’s useful if I ever decide to use a curling iron 🙂
  3. Nicole Richie Fragrances – Nicole by Nicole Richie – “creamy amber and rose touched with a hint of vanilla” – I am wearing this today, only one spritz and boy is it strong and creamy indeed. A bit too strong for me. I might faint.
  4. theBalm cosmetics – Mary-Lou Manizer – it’s in the cute box (bottom left) and can be used as a highlighter, shadow, all-over shimmer. Now this one is useful! 🙂 Indeed! I will sparkle and shimmer! HAHA

I am quite excited to try out these products!

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