Today, I stop slacking… (October Birchbox 2013)

Happy Sunday! Fall weather is in the air and it makes me oh so happy. Itinerary for today: The National Zoo (yay! re-opened and time revisit the pandas) with a high school friend + Sushi with two awesome people.

I got my birchbox a while ago, but I’ve been slacking a bit, sorry! I also misplaced the card, so I’m clueless as to what the theme was for this month’s box. But here it is, the last box of my one-year subscription! I’ve had a fun year with birchbox, but decided it was time to quit. In fact, at this point, Jarkie is not subscribed to a single subscription box service! My wallet/bank account is sure happy now. I might do a “best of…” subscription box post in the near future, but for now, here’s the box.

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Chapstick Hydration Lock ($2.99)
Light vanilla scent.

Bain de Terre macadamia oil nourishing conditioner (1.7 oz / $1.70)
Also light scent. 🙂

POP Beauty Acqua Lacquer in Splashing Scarlet (FULL SIZE 0.34 oz / $14.00)
The splashing scarlet is a bit too bold for me, so expect a giveaway coming up soon 🙂

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And to my favorite product from this month’s box –

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (1 oz/ $6.51) + Mulsin Cloth (1 cloth/ $3.00)
Excited to give this a try.

There were some months where I just did not care for my birchbox, however, I’m happy to say I ended my subscription on a good note. The value of this month’s box came to $28.20, which is not too bad. Did you enjoy your box? How will you spend this lazy Sunday? Hope you have a lovely day!

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Today, I am glad it’s Friday! (Blush Beauty Mystery Box September 2013)

Looks like I’m going to be the fifth wheel tonight at Jaleo DC. Might as well start hashtagging things as #foreveralone… or as I joking mentioned to the Arkies, my ONE TRUE LOVE or OTP or #onetruepairing is with food 🙂 NEVER BE ASHAMED of your interests and loves. Speaking of interests and loves, my Blush mystery box came! 🙂 🙂 I have to leave in about 30 minutes, so I’ll keep this short-ish! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Blush and this month is no exception! But let me just say that ONE of the products I received made the entire box worth it to me!

Blush Mystery Box 
The Box: Full, deluxe and travel size products worth at least $100 + a free gift
Cost: $24.95 (monthly subscription)/ $34.95 (one time subscription)
See my previous reviews HERE

***Coupon: If you’d like to try blush out but are not willing to subscribe, send an email to todaycommai@gmail.com and I’ll send you a referral link for a $10.00 off a one-time subscription (or it’s really off any $30 product at DermStore, blush or HairEnvy) 

A preview of the beauty box. Something feels bulky inside the bag. What could it be??!?!?!!!!

Racinne Deluxe Travel Set (Valued at $70.56)
MY EYES WENT @_@ when I pulled this bulky kit out of the mystery bag. This set consists of the Ultimate Youth Power Cream (.34 oz), Serum  (.34 oz), Mask  (1.07 oz), and Neck Emulsion  (.34 oz). This line uses Korean ginseng callus extracts and active antioxidant ingredients to reduce the signs of aging.

Amlactin Triple Action Alpha-hydroxy Therapy Foot Cream (3 oz / $10)
Basic foot cream. It has kind of a light, fresh wood scent (maybe that’s not the right description). But it’s light and not overpowering.

LVX Nail Lacquer in Midori (.5 oz /$16.00)
I am always amazed when nail polish costs more than $10.00! This is a “muted neon green” that is very spring/summer season.

Pop Pouty Pop Crayon in fuchsia flirt (Value $4.16 ??)
Very pink. Crayon.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo (0.10 oz / $0.83)
I love dry shampoo. I also love ALTERNA. I also have disgusting/aging hair that is slowly being fixed thanks to these subscription boxes. 🙂 This will definitely go to use (though it is a tiny sample).

Brad Biophotonic Skin Care Ultra Peel (0.25 oz / $25.73)
Oh my goodness. The full size (1.7 oz) product is $175! This product better work! It contains kojic acid, licorice and bearberry extract to treat brown spots and give you a more even skin tone.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel (0.085 oz / $6.67)
Uses a hydrating, flake-free formula that keeps your eyebrows in place.

These were my free samples – VICHY Liftactiv (0.05 oz / $4.46) and Airbrush Eye Cream (which I’ve gotten twice before).

Final Thoughts. The value of this box came to $133.95. Overall, I think some of the previous boxes have been better. However, I was so happy to see the Racinne Deluxe Travel Set in this box! I will use most of the items, and it was a good variety… though I think som eof the other samples had to be smaller to accommodate the anti-aging kit. Anyways, hope you enjoy yours if you get this, too! Did you receive the same products? 🙂 

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Today, I tell my story … (Birchbox September 2013 Review)

Heritage. That is the theme for the September 2013 Birchbox. I usually don’t pay much attention to their themes, since I feel like the products don’t really match the theme. However, it’s their three year anniversary, so I decided to read the card a little more this month.

The best part about beauty? … It’s the stories…. every[one has their] own fascinating history…
                                                           –Birchbox, September 2013

Having to write a lot about myself lately (anyone else working on applications of any kind? school? work? etc?), I’ve touched upon the subject of my past experiences, my stories, and my heritage. I’ve never really stopped to think about myself so much. My name was inspired by a Chinese proverb that literally means “when you drink water, remember its source” (yin shui si yuan). One can think of this as the quality of the water depends on the source. The character is also part of the name of a village in China my family is from. The other part of my name was inspired by a proverb that literally means “brocade-like future” (jin xiu qian cheng). As the theme of silk has been interwoven into this saying, it means glorious or bright future. If you put the two together, it means I will [hopefully haha] have a bright future, but no matter what, I will stop and remember my beginnings and where I come from (my source). How neat is that? 🙂 So with my applications and my birchbox, I’m taking some time to think about my past, my family, my culture and my heritage.  Texas, Stockholm, China (all of it), Kentucky, India (specifically Udaipur…), …. DC… and now what’s next? [I’ll be able to tell you in about EIGHT months.] What about you? What exciting stories do you carry with you? 

The pretty box! I haven’t been too impressed with Birchbox lately, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this box.

Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray (3.38 oz / $10.80)
I have really enjoyed all the Davines products that Birchbox has let me try. I’ve also learned to become fond of sea salt sprays. They give me such a nice added shape/volume/texture that allows me to forgo blowdrying my hair. I just spray this onto my damp hair, put into a messy bun and let it dry on my drive to work. In addition, it has a really nice dessert like (is it cinnamon?) scent!

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara (0.39 oz / $20.00) – FULL SIZE!!!
I don’t wear mascara. And it’s such a great value for a birchbox! I’m sorry I can’t really say much about this other than.. it seems to get good reviews. Expect this in a future giveaway 🙂

[Beauty Extra] VOESH New York Green Tea Pedicure Masque (0.7 fl oz / $1.65)
This is part of a 3-step treatment. I have never heard of a mask for the feet but I love masks & I’m quite intrigued as the feet is probably the part of my body that I forget to take care of (in terms of moisturizing and such)… It’s suppose to soften the feet with grape seed extract and green tea!

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF for Face (0.10 oz / $2.11)
This seems like a 1 (maybe 2)-time use sample… Mineral-based tinted moisturizer with a matte finish. 

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund (0.17 oz / $10.00) – FULL SIZE!!!! – PHOTO BELOW
At first, I felt this shade was a not-so-flattering shade of green (if you get where I’m going). But now that I’m wearing it, I kind of love it; it’s got such a nice shine. I’m assuming the hedge fund refers to the “money green” metallic feel? One coat is all that’s needed. Goes on smoothly and evenly and is quick to dry. I love the shape of the bottle cap; it allows me to have a nice and steady grip while painting the nails. Yay!

Final Thoughts? Wow, Birchbox! Thanks for making me happy this month! I use Birchbox more as a way to introduce me to products rather than to get a good deal of full-size products for a good value. But all the samples in this box were decently sized, so I’m a happy gal (even if I can’t use the mascara). The total value of the box came to $44.56 (I might have calculated the sea salt spray incorrectly… the photo for full size bottle and the description on the website didn’t match so I had trouble there… if that’s the case, the value for this box is even higher). I thought this was a nice box as it contained products for my hair, eyes (make-up), skin (feet/lower legs & face), and nails! Great variety and good value this month! What did you get in your box this month? We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 

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Today, I finally get to rest with my August blush Mystery Beauty Box (2013)…

Wow… What a full week it has been! I had a good friend in town. In addition, a couple of awesome friends just recently moved here, so I’ve been partaking in some sort of social activity every day from Wednesday to today. Wooo, I’m worn out! Some highlights, a lot of FOOD (sushi sushi, POPEYES, Shake Shack, sushi!, gelato, …. JUMBO PIZZA SLICE)… and just fun activities.

I received my blush Mystery Beauty Box yesterday and am happy to rest it with now.

Blush Mystery Box 
The Box: Full, deluxe and travel size products worth at least $100 + a free gift
Cost: $24.95 (monthly subscription)/ $34.95 (one time subscription)
See my previous reviews HERE

***Coupon: If you’d like to try blush out but are not willing to subscribe, send an email to todaycommai@gmail.com and I’ll send you a referral link for a $10.00 off a one-time subscription (or it’s really off any $30 product at DermStore, blush or HairEnvy) 

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Weeee. A quick look at this month’s bag

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Looks like the theme this time was gardenia! Which is my favorite scent!!!!!

Philip B. Maui Wowie Beach Mist (5.07 oz)  $22.00 value
Full size!! Do these beach sprays actually work? I’ll give it a try… Blush had a Philip B product (hairspray) in the last box. I hope they’ll change it up a little more next time

MOR Emporium Hand Cream – Snow Gardenia (3.3 oz) $20.00
This is from the black collection… the packaging itself makes it look like a luxurious hand cream. I love the smell of gardenia and I’ve been looking for a hand cream, so I’m so happy to have received this! What’s in it? Shea, Cocoa Butter, Glycerin, Sesame Seed Oil, Allantoin, Irish Moss, Vitamins A&E all to hydrate and moisturize the skin! 😀 It’s also free of parabens, mineral oil and synthetic dyes, if that’s something you’re interesting in. It’s such a light scent that feels so wonderful… I can’t stop using it!

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PIXI Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pen – No. 5 Deep Plum (0.04 oz) $15.00
I’ve seen great reviews about this Eye Pen, so I’m excited! (see picture below for close-up of pen tip) It’s waterproof and glides on easily! Also, I’ve never ventured past using black liner, so I’m excited to try it out in Deep Plum. I took a look and some of the other colors they have seem fun, too!  My only question is, how do you sharpen such a pencil? 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat (0.11 oz) $12.15
This is a deluxe sample… you use it on top of your mascara to add shine and make your mascara waterproof. I don’t use mascara so I’ll be putting this in a future giveaway (STAY TUNED~!!!!!!)…. I checked out reviews on Sephora and seems like most people really love this product … so good thing is that it works!

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Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant (0.5 oz) $5.71
**Shoutout to dearest Charkie! This is apparently a Hungarian skincare product 🙂 I was also so excited to receive this daily use rice-based exfoliant (see picture below for texture). It’s in a loose-powder form … and you can just use a little with some water on your face. It’s lovely!

Coola SPF 30 Face Classic Sunscreen – Cucumber (0.23 oz) $4.32
I received this product in my May birchbox (see review here) – so it’s nice to have another one 🙂

Vapour Organic Beauty Elixir Lip Gloss – Hush (0.36 oz) $20.00
Another organic lip gloss from blush beauty! It’s a nude-pink tinted gloss… looks nice. I’ll probably be gifting this one, however, since I have too much lip gloss at the moment.

Carita Paris Masque Biologique – Biological Face Mask (0.5 oz) $26.47
Oh my gosh. This is one expensive product… the full size mask (1.7 oz) is $90.00! I love masks… and this one seems to be help brighten, enhance and renew tired, dull and aging skin. Unfortunately, I would never purchase this product at full price… but that is the reason why I love subscription boxes! I love trying different products… that I could never really afford at their original price!

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**Closeups of the Pixi Eye Pen and the Eminence Dermafoliant

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**Free sample – I am not sure why I got two… but it’s a good thing. I already got the Dremu Airbrush Eye Refining Treatment (.10 oz/ $9.06) sample in a previous box (SEE HERE) , so I’m glad to have also gotten a Alchimie Forever Rejuvenating Eye Balm (0.068 oz/$9.38). 🙂

Wow! I love Blush beauty box! I wasn’t so happy with my last one… but this one made up for last months! I will continue to stick with blush … it’s actually one of the few subscriptions I’ve kept! This month, I received $125.65 worth of products (with the samples includes, the value comes to $144.09!!)… I’d say that’s a pretty great value for the $24.95 that I paid.  Did you get this month’s box? Did you like it? What was your favorite product? Would love to hear your alls thoughts! 🙂

Have a great Sunday and I hope you have a good week!

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Today, I am enjoying new music and new samples (Birchbox August 2013)…

Allo! My Birchbox arrived yesterday. I’ve noticed that I’ve started to become less and less enthusiastic when it comes to opening my Birchbox. I must be spoiled from my boxes (Allure box, Blush, NewBeauty) that give me lots of full-size goodies that these little samples just don’t really do much for me.

But if you’re looking for an introductory subscription box, this is still one of the best ones to try out, IMHO.

And actually, the more I think about this Birchbox, the more content I am feeling 🙂 It was a good value box (valued at $29.29), all the products are products that I would use…. and all were pretty decently sized this time. Okay, happy gal! 😀 What did you receive in your box? Did you like it? 

August 2013 – BIRCHBOX

  • EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Conditioner (2 oz / $5.88) – I received this product in my TotalBeauty mystery collection… it’s a perfect travel size conditioner. I’ll definitely be using it!
  • derma e Hydrating Mist (2 oz/ $13.50) – FULL SIZE! – FULL SIZE products make me happy! This is a very light and refreshing mist. My face felt a little smoother after spraying it on… dunno if that’s a psychological thing….
  • stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (.03 oz / $6.60) – The color is too bright for me… so I’ll most likely gift it or add it into a future giveaway (we’ll definitely be having one soon :D)
  • whish Exfoliating Body Wash (0.75 oz/ $2.75) – I used this last night … it smells good, has fine beads… my only complaint is that it’s a bit runny, so I feel like you might end up losing a lot of the wash.
  • whish Deodorant Swipes (1 wipe/ $0.53) Interesting concept… This would be perfect to keep in my bag in case I ever forget deodorant O_O hahaha

And as for new music, Lily & Madeleine are coming out with an album in October! Charkie first introduced me to them and I LOVE THEM. Here ya go… a preview for their new album!

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