subscription boxes

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara Review

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This month, I graciously received the #RoseVoxBox from Influenster to try out and review! The box was packed to the brim with samples and goodies, one of which was a very generous FULL SIZED Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara. I love me some big, Bambi lashes, so I took gave it a shot and was flabbergasted by the amazing length this awesome formula packed on to my lashes.

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A picture is worth 1,000 words, right?

The beginning, with my stick-straight naked lashes!

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Curled my lashes and applied one coat of the Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara:

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It’s a start! 🙂 I noticed a bit of length and a nice separation of the lashes. Time for a second curling and coat!

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The photo above is my second curl and coat. The lashes stuck together a bit more, but you can notice a LOT more length from the first coat. One more should be perfection

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Hello, bright eyes! Three rounds of curling and coating the lashes made a HUGE difference! I look like my usual falsie-wearing self!

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A side by side comparison, from now to wow! My lashes look HUGE and FULL, no complaints here!

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I also like the wavy curve to the brush. It makes it really easy to reach the inside and outer corners of the lashes so nothing gets missed. I’ve never used a brush like this before, so it was fun to try something new!

Pictures tell no lies! The Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara pumps up the length and fans out the lashes to give a definite retro feel. I usually opt for a voluminous mascara but this one might just have me singing a different tune.

Overall, I would say this mascara experience was a STRUT. The product hit shelves November 2013, so go out and get you some!

Until next time, thank you all for reading and I hope you’re having an amazing day!

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

Sargento Voxbox from Influenster!

I signed up for Influenster a while back and finally qualified for a VoxBox program from Sargento Cheese.

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When my Voxbox arrived, I was really excited to tear in to it, as Influenster was teasing the box contents for weeks and mentioned that we would all be receiving some cool goodies from Sargento, along with a ‘mystery cheese accessory.’

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That was my box, all ready to be opened! I like that they put the Colby-Jack on the front. I always forget there are other kinds of cheese snacks other than the traditional Mozzerella String Cheese.

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Once opened, I saw my coupons, one for a FREE bag of Sargento Cheese Snacks, another for $1 off a bag of Sargento Cheese Snacks, some literature from Sargent and Influenster and finally my surprise cheese accessory: an insulated cheese case for my cheese snacks!

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It’s so cute and handy! I am going to use it with my Bento Box when I pack lunches and snacks for work 🙂

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I took my free cheese snack coupon to my local Ralphs and picked up some Pepper Jack Cheese Snacks for the fridge in my office. They were so delicious, took the edge off when I had snack cravings over the last week and they only were 90 calories!

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Needless to say, they didn’t last long. 🙂

This Sargento VoxBox was so fun to receive from Influenster! I really enjoyed the chance to try out these cheese snacks from Sargento, and I will be using the $1 off coupon to pick up another bag very soon. This VoxBox opportunity was definitely a STRUT.

Are you signed up for Influenster? I still have 3 invitations left, so please feel free to leave your information in the comments and I will invite you to be in Influenster too!

Until next time, thank you all for reading and I hope you’re having an amazing day!

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

Birchbox customer service is AMAZING

HOLY CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Had the best experience of my life this morning with Birchbox.

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I ordered 2 full sized products with Birchbox  last week using some points I had been saving up. The products arrived last night and when I opened my package this morning I was disappointed to see one of of the items was damaged. 🙁 After collecting myself, I noticed a card in the box with a customer service number on it so I didn’t fret too long.
I called their customer service and after a brief hold, they immediately offered to send out a new product for me, told me to keep the damaged item AND gave me 100 points ($10) in their shop as an apology for my shipment not arriving in perfect condition. I was floored.
Not two minutes later, I was also already sent an apology email and let me know that the replacement product order had been placed and will arrive shortly. Talk about a speedy recovery!
A+ for Birchbox
These guys really know how to keep their customers happy and I am NEVER going to cancel my subscription with them now. Take notice people, this is the customer service of the future. SO IMPRESSED.

If you too would like to join Birchbox, please use my referral code as I earn rewards for telling my awesome friends about their awesome service. Code here: http://birch.ly/18oBwrf

As if I really need to say it, but this experience was a breath of fresh air from Birchbox and I would definitely categorize it as a STRUT.

Have you ever had a customer service experience that WOW-ED you? Do you also think Birchbox is amazing? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, thank you all for reading and I hope you’re having an amazing day.

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

Ipsy July 2013

Back in May, I signed up for Ipsy after much indecisive contemplation throughout the few months prior. And damn was I glad I did, the May Glam Bag was ridiculously amazing. And lucky, lucky me… each Glam Bag following my subscription has been amazing as well 🙂

Basically Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service curated by Michelle Phan and a collection of other YouTube beauty gurus. For $10 a month, plus tax, a Glam Bag is delivered to your doorstep filled with 4-6 beauty items ranging from sample sized to full-size pieces, all sweetly packaged in an adorable makeup bag to store it all in. The products and bag all change monthly and are based on your individual needs as per the Ipsy style survey that is completed when you sign up for the service. Ipsy almost constantly has a wait list to subscribe, which is a bit of a pain, but it never seems to take more than a month or so to become a subscriber and when you do,  it is oh, so WORTH IT.

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The theme of this month’s Glam Bag was Beach Beauty and Ipsy hit the nail on the head with their product offerings for this beachy bag.

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The first item in my bag was the Coola Mineral Suscreen Tinted Moisturizer. The sample size is generous, the formula is creamy and the pigment is a good match for my skin tone with a slight yellow base. I’m a sunscreen NUT and have been experimenting with more natural products, so this item will be exciting to try out!

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I have never heard of this brand before, but the color is so sassy and bright, I am really looking forward to trying out this Nailtini laquer in the shade “Mai Tai.” Not going to get a mani with this one, but this is SO a poppin’ pedi color. Photos when it happens 🙂

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This item made my pink Glam Bag package SO FULL! The Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray smells like summer and has an awesome trigger spray delivery method which makes it so simple to mist my locks into beachy submission. I did an on camera trial of this product in my Ipsy unboxing video if you would like to see how it works on my hair.

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The next item in my Glam Bag is the California Collection sampler from BH Cosmetics. This mini pallet features one shadow shade from each of the California Collection pallets including ‘Hollywood’, a deep matte indigo, ‘San Francisco,’ a beautiful metallic rust (I’m thinking this is going to be a lovely crease color), and ‘Malibu,’ a vibrant glittery gold. I’m looking forward to trying all three in a summery, beachy look and will post it up as soon as I do.

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The last subscriber item in my Glam Bag this month was a full-sized Pouty Pop Crayon from Pop Beauty. The color is vibrant and goes on smoothly without leaving the lips creasy or over glossed. The best part about this crayon is NO SHARPENING necessary! 🙂 The crayon just twists up to deliver more color, a genius invention if I do say so myself.

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Thanks to a few of my friends signing up for Ipsy last month using my referral code, I was sent an addition bonus item! (THANK YOU BRITTNEY AND KIM!!) The bonus item was this nail laquer from the Nicole collection from OPI… how fitting 🙂 The color is a rich metallic purple which screams fall, so I’ll likely be stashing this gorgeous baby until the weather starts cooling down and I can rock it in the appropriate season.

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This is a quick snap of the bag all these products came in this month. Ipsy has been REALLY stepping it up with their bags lately. This month’s bag is a clear pink plastic barrel shape, a completely new and fresh look for the traditional makeup bag. Bravo, Ipsy 😀

So that’s a wrap on my Ipsy bag this month! I have been a subscriber for 3 months now and for my mere $10 investment, this is a heap of fun, useful items that I can’t wait to try!

If you would like to sign up for Ipsy, please click my referral link. The bags are great, the products are awesome, and the Ipster community is a great place to find fresh new ways to switch up your beauty routine.

Until next time, thank you all for reading my post and I hope you’re having an amazing day.

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

My unboxing of Ipsy July 2013!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB2F_scPBfw&w=420&h=315]

Birchbox July 2013 Unboxing & Review

My first beauty subscription box of the month arrived over the weekend… BIRCHBOX!

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Birchbox is a beauty-themed monthly subscription box service featuring both well-established and budding cosmetic and skincare brands, hair care items and occasional snack items which boasts an ambitious tagline, “Discover your next EVERYTHING.”

For a flat $10 monthly fee, Birchbox promises between 5-6 items, ranging from sample sized to full-size items to help aid the discovery of your new favorite erh… everything.  After you receive your items, you can review each piece on the Birchbox site to receive 10 points per review (10 points = $1) to accumulate and use in the Birchbox store. The review feature is probably what keeps me coming back for more, since each month has at least 5 pieces for review, which drops my box price to around $5 monthly in the grand scheme of things. 🙂

Each month also has a different theme, and Birchbox often links up with magazines and TV shows (like Woman’s Health Magazine and USA’s ‘Suits’) to help support their themes.

Now Birchbox and I; we go way back. At least, we go back longer than my other subscription services: Birchbox and I have been ‘going steady’ since November 2012. And since we have a history, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this monthly service. I have had both STRUTS and STUMBLES with Birchbox and lately I have been feeling like this box is a bit… dull? I have felt a little short-changed by Birchbox, especially since they have developed a rather loathsome habit lately which will be discussed a bit later in this review.

On to this month’s box: Birchbox July 2013 “Power Play” Unboxed

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Looks like a good amount of stuff right? Here’s what I received in this month’s “Power Play” themed box:

Let’s start with the most offensive items in the box: Kérastase’s Bain Chroma Riche shampoo & Kérastase’s Masque Chroma Riche Treat conditioner in the LOATHSOME foil packets.

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My deep seeded hatred for foil packets has been around since my first job as a wee lass working behind a makeup counter. Clients would always ask me, “Why do you give us such puny  samples in these foil packets, don’t you know we can’t get more than one use out of them? How are we supposed to know if we really like a product?” My response was always to shove more foil packets their way as a means of appeasement, but now as a seasoned cosmetic consumer, I get it. The only thing that irks me more than a foil packet sample is a foil packet sample for hair product. Let me explain…

1) Unless the foil packet is the size of a snack-sized Ziploc, it isn’t going to be enough product for even one full use in my hair. I MIGHT be able to squeeze one use out of these particular packets, but come on Birchbox, you know I have 18ish inch hair… I took your survey plenty of times! If you are going to send me something and ask for my feedback, please at least send me enough to formulate an actual opinion about whether or not I like it…

2) These samples have NO real value. I am a member of the P&G sampling program, where (upon request) they send me FREE foil packets just like these ones, just because they want me to try out the products from their brand. I know Birchbox is only $10 a month, but putting these in the box on a monthly basis makes the box look cheap and I want to feel like I am getting value.

Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen again next month. Ok, rant over.

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The next item I pulled out of the box was a rather small (at least it wasn’t a foil packet!) sample of the BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream. I haven’t tried anything from this brand before, but as a first impression, I liked the texture of the cream and it didn’t have an off-putting aroma, so I will try it out and review it in a future post. The size looks like it is enough to get about 3 days use out of, so that should be enough to decide whether or not it is a strut or stumble.

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The next item in my box was teased in the Birchbox July Sneek Peek video: Birchbox Branded Hair Pins. These pins are cute and whimsical with the mint green pattern, so I can see myself getting some use out of them. I like it when companies send these little ‘surprise extras,’ since they give me a chance to try something new. Birchbox sent us a branded nail file a few months back as another “Beauty Extra” and it has come in handy as well. Would I have purchased printed pins like these on my own? Probably not. Will I give them a whirl? Certainly. They were a nice addition to the box and I have no harsh feelings toward Birchbox for shamelessly sending us branded product. 🙂

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When I saw another tube of product in my box, I was really hoping it wasn’t going to be just another face cream and to my surprise and delight, it wasn’t! This Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 has me all kinds of excited to put it on my face. I have been looking for something a little lighter to wear on my face for the summer, and BB & CC creams are all the rage lately in cosmeticsland. The sample size is generous, so I will likely get a week’s use out of the tube and I will get a chance to really decide if I like it. The color also looks like it is on point and the texture didn’t feel the least bit greasy when I swatched the product, so Birchbox gets a high five for including this in my July box.

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Concluding this month’s Birchbox offerings was a FULL-SIZED ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in “Get Naked.” This is the hat trick that keeps me coming back for more with Birchbox, you never know what will be in your box! This sheer nude lipstick is both lovely and functional, two of my favorite things in a cosmetic item. It glides on smoothly, has a pleasant scent and the packaging is pretty darn cute to stash inside any makeup bag. I also really like the ‘keyhole’ top of the tube that allows you to see the color of the lipstick, great for upright storage in my makeup kit where this little buddy will probably end up someday. For now, I plan to wear this and experiment with nude for a while and I will post a further review up at a later date. 🙂

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So that wraps it up for my July 2013 Birchbox unboxing! Here is a breakdown of the approximate value of each of the items in the box:

Kérastase’s Bain Chroma Riche shampoo: Value $1.90

Kérastase’s Masque Chroma Riche Treat conditioner: Value $4.58

BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream: Value $3.67

Birchbox Branded Hair Pins: Value $1.67

ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in “Get Naked”: Value $8

Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40: Value $7.60

Total Value: $27.42 ($20.94 if you don’t count the stupid foil packets)

I have to say, this month’s Birchbox was a little shaky at first, but I am going to have to say they pulled it out with a STRUT in the final inning. Yes, I think the foil packets are lame, but the CC cream, hair pins and full-sized lipstick gave me a satisfactory return on my meager investment in this month’s box so I will be continuing my monthly subscription. And since I received 6 products in this box versus the usual 5 we have to review, it drops my actual sample box price to a mere $4. (happy dance) Bravo Birchbox 🙂

If you would like to join me monthly with Birchbox, please use my referral link to sign up! I get points when people use my link, so if you like my reviews, please pay it forward lovelies 🙂 Shameless, I know.

If you’re already subscribed, I would love to hear what you got in your own box! Also looking for suggestions as to which items you all would like to see reviewed, so don’t be shy and leave me a comment. 🙂

Until next time, thank you all for reading my post and I hope you’re having a wonderful day.

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

Unboxing video for Birchbox July 2013!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBX8sSS58eM&w=420&h=315]

PopSugar Must Have Box July 2013

I admit it. I have a problem.

I love monthly subscription services. Like, LOVE them.

And indisputably, Popsugar’s Monthly Must Have Box is by far my favorite. Why, you ask? Because it is like Christmas in my mailbox once a month! Allow me to briefly explain. 🙂

Popsugar’s Monthly Must Have Box is a monthly subscription service featuring a variety of products and brands to make most red blooded American females like myself squeek with delight. For $35 a month plus tax, over $100 worth of products are delivered to your doorstep, all packaged up in an adorable pink and white box. It may be a stretch, but I think PopSugar arrival day is my favorite day of the month.

The July 2013 PopSugar Must Have Box didn’t disappoint. Here’s the contents of the box, I’ll be sure to post reviews as I try out each of the products 🙂

When I came home from work, I got the biggest smile on my face seeing this:

(yes I have a lawn gnome collection. it’s a long story)

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I scurried inside and tore open the box to find the monthly information card which looks like this:

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I ravaged through the contents (video below) to find this awesome assortment of products!

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First off was the Mighty Leaf Iced Tea in Ginger Peach: Value $6.25. I’m not a huge fan of peach tea, but one of my girlfriends who also got this month’s box got a Calypso Mango Tea from Mighty Leaf and agreed to swap me a bag, so now I get to try two different kinds. Aren’t friends grand?

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The next piece I found in my box was a bit of a mystery at first, but I saw it was a PINK item so no matter what it was, I knew I was going to like it. Turns out it was a pink Trovolo King Cube Ice Tray: Value $8.50. I’m intrigued by the idea of extra large ice cubes. Nobody likes a watered down beverage, so these will be fun to use for entertaining or getting my drink on at home. I also am looking forward to freezing fruit or flowers in to the cubes to make them more festive for any upcoming company I may have over. (Thanks Pinterest!!!)

I also received a bag of HannahMax Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Chips: Value $2.50. I’m going to be honest, these are already GONE. Unfortunately, my bag was beyond smushed when I received it, so I didn’t get the whole ‘chip’ experience, it was more like a ‘shattered bits and crumbs’ experience with these, but they were delicious nevertheless and were promptly inhaled by my boyfriend and I. I would purchase them again if I can find them in stores, but I’m not sure exactly where to find them.

I was really excited to see that they included some nail polish in the box this month, the color I received was NCLA Polish in “As If”: Value $16. I have seen a lot of NCLA product floating around YouTubeLand and I am really eager to try the brand for myself. The color is an almost neon hue of a pastel purple, (yes I know those are two conflicting adjectives, just go with me on this one) which is probably my favorite color of all time. I am a huge pastel freak, probably because I am a SPRING baby, and I desperately need to get my nails and toes done this week so I am very excited to try this product.

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As soon as I saw the SuperGoop! in my box, I was both baffled and elated. I occasionally freelance in Sephora and I always see this brand there and have been eager to try it, so I’m very happy to have received in my box the Supergoop! Spf 30 Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum: Value $42. The packaging for this item was a bit strange, but once I moved past the misshapen box I got to the actual bottle which is FULL-SIZED and has an easy to use pump delivery system. I will definitely post a review on this as I go through it, since I am the ultimate white girl and I’m always on the hunt for a life-changing sunscreen.

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The last item in my box was a rather heavy felt bag from BaubleBar. I have seen BaubleBar’s pieces on the Ipsy site for referral rewards, but never have had a chance to check out their quality in person and after opening my piece this month, I was frankly blown away. The item I got in my box was a BaubleBar Dual Chain Rose Gold Necklace: Value $28 and it is HEAVY and gorgeous! I have never owned any rose gold accessories up until now, though I have always drooled for the hue. This necklace is chunky and beautiful and definitely a statement piece. The first time I wore it, I got a compliment from both the office receptionist AND my boss, before I even made it to my desk. Needless to say, PopSugar hit it out of the park with this piece and I am VERY impressed with BaubleBar as well.

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Here I am wearing the necklace 🙂

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So that’s it for my July 2013 PopSugar Must Have Box! I was very impressed with all the items I received and also very impressed with the value of the box, rounding out at about $103.25 worth of product for my mere $35 plus tax investment.

PopSugar has already sent out a teaser e-mail to subscribers about the August 2013 box and even revealed one of the items will be a necklace from Gorjana & Griffon, valued at $65. I have never seen a teaser for this box before, so this is a welcomed surprise. I (obviously) will be continuing my subscription and CAN’T WAIT to see the rest of the August 2013 box. If you would like to join me, I am attaching my own referral link as well as a coupon for $5 off your first box below.

Here is the $65 necklace in the August Box!

PopSugar August Necklace

To subscribe, here is my referral code: http://popsu.gr/dEiI

And a $5 off coupon: REFER5

Thank you all for checking out my post! Please ‘like’ and subscribe if you enjoyed this post and feel free to check out the whole unboxing in my video below!

Have a great day everyone 🙂

struts, stumbles, hugs & kisses- Nicole

Here is my unboxing video for PopSugar Must Have Box July 2013:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIEBcmOxWoo&w=420&h=315]

FTC: This post is not sponsored in any way. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and I am not being paid to do this review. PopSugar Must Have Box purchased by me.