Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Starbox Review - April

Starbox time!  

I have been on the verge of stopping this box honestly, but I kind of loved this months box! Paired together with last months awesome quarterly gift of $35 to their store....I think I will stick with it!

If you don’t remember, Starbox is a monthly beauty box that is $15 a month (plus a few dollars S&H) and comes with 3-4 FULL SIZED products each time.  No tiny lotion samples!
The website says the makeup line is comparable to MAC, Chanel, Sephora and other department store lines.  It also says that the value of each monthly box ranges from $35.00 to $99.00.

I have been on the verge of stopping this box honestly, but I kind of loved what I got this month!  The box definitely had a spring feel, which I loved.

Here it is….the April Starbox!  

      1)     Starlooks Lipgloss in “Climax”– .14 oz  (FULL SIZE)
This gloss is absolutely beautiful!  I love the color of it and it’s not too terribly sticky, which is great.  Can we talk about the name though?  Holy inappropriate!  It makes me feel awkward just using it!
Full Size: $12.00 My Value: $12.00

      2)    Starlooks 5 Shade Shadow Palette in “Tokoyo”– .38 oz. (FULL SIZE)
            I love this palette! I wish the two colors on the end were more pink because I am not 
            sure they will work with my skin tone, but I love the greens.  Very spring like J
           Full Size: $41.00 My Value: $41.00

      3)    Starlooks Garden Seeds “Wildflower Mix” – (FULL SIZE)
           Haha well this is cute.  It’s a customized seed packet to grow your own flowers.  
           don’t have a green thumb, so I won’t be planting these, but I am sure I can find 
           someone who would enjoy this! It definitely adds to the spring theme, such a great 
           idea! (I have no idea on the pricing… I just called it $1.00)
          Full Size: $1.00 My Value: $1.00

Final Cost: $17.58
Final Value: $53.00

I really liked this month’s box.  Honestly, I’d have to say this was one of my favorites since I started getting this subscription.  I wish they would have included one more, smaller, item though.  Two things just doesn’t seem like enough, even though the eye shadow palette has a higher value. Maybe I am just being selfish?

What do you think?

If you’d like to try Starbox you can sign up here!

(Also, I swear I’m not a review blog….I just like sharing these fun things! I have not been compensated for this review.)

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Monday, April 28, 2014

A Makeup Menagerie

Recently I have become addicted Sephora.  I mean its pretty bad.  I've also become addicted to buying eyeshadow palettes.....see also: BAD. It's getting quite expensive! That being said, I thought I would should you guys all the new things I got recently. 

First, I mentioned awhile back that I was looking for a new foundation.  I previously would walk into a drugstore, pick up the nearest foundation and hope the color matched me.  Not really a great idea.  So, I began my search.  I went into a Sephora store and had my skin color matched with their awesome photo technology.  From the brands that matched my skin color, I ended up choosing Clinique.  I have always had oily skin (I must have a powder compact available at all times) so I ended up getting the Stay Matte Oil Free foundation that they have.  I love it!  It has great coverage but doesn't feel heavy at all.  I still get a little shiny, but it is definitely toned down from what it previously was!  I highly suggest it if you have skin like mine.  At $21 for one ounce, its not a terrible price either!

Next up I bit the bullet and bought the Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay.  Oh man I totally fell in love.  This was the first palette I bought and it totally started my addiction.  The colors are just beautiful and I can use almost all of them (the last dark color is a bit much for my everyday look). The only one that really bums me out is the second color, Dust.  It is my favorite in the palette, but it is terrible to work with.  It is completely flaky and doesn't really stay on.  There is a lot of fall out too.  I didn't have any issues with the other colors though! Yes $54 is a bit steep, but I think it was worth it! The included packets of the 4 different Urban Decay primers was a nice little bonus too.  Each of those has lasted me probably 8-10 uses!

After getting the Naked 3 palette, I got a little adventurous.  I saw a post by Robyn over at Brightest Bulb in the Box (if you haven't seen her blog, I suggest you go there RIGHT NOW. It's incredible!) on the Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadows. These little beauties are just amazing.  I ended up getting the color Dusty Rose. I have worn it to C's games a few times and have gotten a lot of compliments!  I got the color Comex Copper as well, but didn't really like it after I tried it, it was too dark for me (though it doesn't look it in the package). They can be a bit difficult to put on (I recommend putting a tiny bit of the included primer on your lid and then adding the shadow with your finger) and there can definitely be some fall out, but man are they gorgeous. Again, the price is a bit high for these at $32 but I bought it at 15% off which helped a little bit.  They definitely aren't for everyday use, but who doesn't need a little (ok a lot) sparkle in their lives?

Once I fell in love with my first palette, I had to get another.  This time, I wanted to go with something that had a lot of variety.  After reading some reviews, I ended up with the Urban Decay Ammo palette.   This one was $34 and I also got it for 15% off, which I love. It also comes with a nice sized primer, which is great.  That stuff lasts me quite awhile! I really like this palette as well.  The colors are really pretty and smooth.  I have used them all with the exception of the black (are you sensing a theme?) and they are great.  Some of the shades need a bit of layering for the color to really pop, but I love that you can create so many looks with the one palette.

A bit after getting that palette, I went to visit my friend who works for Chanel on the weekends.  She was bored, so she took some time to do a full face of makeup for me, which was quite fun!  Plus, no pressure to buy!  Too bad I fell in love with the lipstick she used on me!  I ended up purchasing the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur.  It is the most expensive lipstick ($35) I have ever purchased....and ever will purchase!  It looks dark in the tube, but it gives my lips the most perfect hint of color.  Plus, it feels amazing on, almost like a lip balm!

Finally, I was surfing the net and came across the Kat Von D Chrysalis palette and holy cow, the packaging is gorgeous.  I couldn't get over it.  It had just come out that day, so I snagged one right away. The colors are beautiful and go on like butter.  Again, the darks aren't my favorite, but I love how they are categorized a bit with complementing colors.  I also love that the base shadow colors are a lot bigger than the others since I tend to use lighter colors the most! The palette was $46 and I also got it at 15% off.  Man, my Sephora addiction came at the perfect time....when there was a coupon! This palette also has comes in a different set of colors (more oranges and browns) called the Monarch palette but I dislike the coloring of the packaging and I don't think I'd ever use most of the colors.  You can find it here.

There were a few times I needed to add a few items to get free shipping so I ended up with these things as well:
 - Coach Poppy Flower Perfume (.5 oz.)
 - DKNY Golden Delicious Perfume (.5 oz)
 - Sephora Collection Event entry mini palette $5

It looks like Sephora sold out of them all and they are no longer available for purchase, which is probably why I found them all in the same section! Sorry.....I can't share the wealth on those!

I am honestly happy with all of these purchases.  It is amazing how a new palette makes you more excited to put on your makeup each day!  I have been having so much fun!

Do you have any eyeshadow palettes or makeup items you are totally in love with and would recommend?!
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Club - The Night Circus

Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.”

I have to say….this wasn’t my favorite book. I actually purchased it before the list of books came out for the club this year. The description intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read it. Once I got into it though, I just kept waiting and waiting for it to draw me in, but it never really did.  I did get more into it when I was about 85% done, but I’m not sure if that was because the story intrigued me or if I was just excited to be so close to finishing it!

I guess to me, even though the story “sounded” really interesting, the author didn’t really do anything to make it feel exciting.  Yes, I guess they fell in love, but I didn’t FEEL it.  Nor did it feel forbidden or magical, other than the literal moments described above that says their love “makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.”

The game did not make any sense to me.  The author never really let us in on the “moves” the players were making and not a single part of it felt exciting. I can’t decide if I wish I would have read the description above more carefully or not, because it spoils the way a player wins the game.  I guess it is probably better to not know until the characters did.  Even though I understood the way to “win” the game, I have no clue how the characters ended up “beating” it. Just way too much confusion over that. 

The writing style was clearly not for me.  I just had a hard time really connecting to the entire story line.  I think some of the minor plot points might have also gone over my head.   Thinking back to the book, there are clear moments where I think “What ever happened to that character” or “Why did the author write about that moment?” 

There were several characters in the book that though I loved them, (I mean, how fun is the name Poppet?) felt hardly integral to the story. I was wondering what the heck half of the characters had to do with the entire story until the last chapter or two.  Some of them I am still not sure had anything to do with the story, they were just extra fluff.

Also, because I felt like some of the characters weren’t necessary, I had a hard time keeping track of them, like “The man in the grey suit” for example. He popped up several times and I had to think for a second to figure out who he was. 

After all of the negatives, the only thing I really loved was the idea and the imagery of the circus.  I loved reading about all of the different tents and sights to see. I could picture myself standing in line for chocolate rats or standing in the ice garden. The room with the jars was probably my favorite tent. I could stand there all day opening memory jars and imagining myself somewhere else!

Overall I just really didn’t like the book.  I had such high hopes for it based on the story line and I finished it feeling so disappointed. I know so many people have liked this book, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. 

Next up for Bon’s Book Club is the The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.  I have only read the first chapter or two and I have to say, if it doesn’t pick up the pace soon it will be the first book I ever put down without finishing. Seriously. It already seems that boring. Ugh. I am really hoping that changes!

Have you read the Night Circus? What are your thoughts?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ipsy Review - April

It’s my favorite time of the month….Ipsy time! 

I love getting this bag in the mail! As I’ve always said, this is the best bag out there, especially for such a low price.  If you are looking to start a beauty subscription, I would definitely try Ipsy first.
As you know this box is $10 a month….how can you not go for it? 

The theme of this month’s bag is “Beauty Rocks.”  It came in a cute little back with a record on it…..that smells absolutely terrible.  Like burnt rubber and plastic maybe? Ew.

Without further ado….the April Ipsy bag!  

             1)     City Color Mousse Eye Shadow in “White Gold”  -  20 ml (FULL SIZE)
This is actually very pretty!  It gives off a great mermaid like white goldish shimmer. How’s that for a mouthful?  I thought maybe it had a bit of a lasting power as it was difficult to wipe off my arm when I color tested it, but once I wore it my thoughts changed. Even though I wore a primer underneath, it still had pretty bad creasing after a few hours. It is still gorgeous though. My only other comment is it is very glittery and sparkly, so this isn’t for you if you like a matte look!
Full Size: $3.99 My Value: $3.99

            2)    Dr. brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant – .25 oz.
             I am really excited to try this. I have been quite into skincare items lately.  I wish it were 
             cheaper though, even if I loved it I can’t see myself spending that much on the full size! I 
             can’t imagine it is like a real microdermabrasion treatment either….but if it is maybe I would 
             splurge for this! (Update….I tried it. It’s not amazing.)
Full Size: $78.00 for 2 oz. My Value: $9.75

            3)    marykayatplay Jelly Lip Gloss in “Berry Me” – .32 oz. (FULL SIZE)
             I don’t really like this at all.  It seems like a cheap lip gloss and the color just doesn’t work 
             for me at all.  If I can think of any ten year old girls I know though, this is going straight to 
Full Size: $10.00 My Value: $10.00

4)   Demeter Roll on Perfume Oil in “Jasmine” – .29 oz. (FULL SIZE)
Ah!  I love this!  This scent reminds me of my trip to Hawaii with C.  The Lei he bought me smelled exactly like this.  It’s nice to have a scent that reminds you of a great experience!  I may end up getting this again once I use it all!
Full Size: $10.00 My Value: $10.00

5)   Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Black Velvet” – .03 oz.
I know this won’t make sense to some of you who know my makeup style and history…..but I like this!  I have been trying to use pencil liners a bit more so I am excited to try a great brand like Urban Decay. Plus, I really love the small travel size of this!
Full Size: $20.00 for .04 oz.  My Value: $15.00

 Final Cost: $10.00
Final Value: $48.74

As always, a great value!

Other than the lip gloss, I really like this bag! I love that it is such a variety of items and that 3 of the 5 are full size.  Seriously, you can’t beat the price for this bag.

I really am madly in love with Ipsy! I think it’s the best thing out there as far as beauty boxes, especially for the price. 

If you’d like to give it a try you can sign up here!

(As always, I swear I’m not a review blog….I just like sharing these things in hopes that other people will get to have the same fun that I do!  I am not compensated in any way.)
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventures in Arizona - Part Two

Like I mentioned on Monday, C had a bye week two weeks ago. We decided to take a “staycation” and do some exploring in Arizona so he could save money for a ring for me. Again….eek!! 

If you want to see our adventures for the first part of the week, you can see them here.  I got a chemical peel, we saw a ghost town and we visited Canyon Lake and Apache Lake....all by Wednesday!

A "C" sized snickers!
Thursday we spent being lazy and catching up on the shows on our DVR, so Friday we decided to head back out to visit another Arizona sit. After stopping by Islands Burgers for lunch we hit up the Musical Instrument Museum.  You guys, this place is really incredible.  The museum is divided into continents and then each continent room has displays broken out by country. They have multiple instruments and artifacts from each country and videos that show the people living there and how they play and use those instruments.  I’m talking goat bladders, sheep horns, moth pod ankle bracelets, rocks on sticks, pieces of trees, virtually whatever the people living at that time could find to create music. You wear headphones and when you get close to each display you hear the music from the videos or sounds that those particular instruments make. So very cool to see! After seeing all the instruments, we went to a galley where we got to play some instruments of our own! We spent four hours there and finally got tired.  I know we probably skimmed through the last hour or so too, instead of really taking it all in!
Headphones on and ready to explore!

After the museum we headed out to my parent’s house for some pizza, wings and Michigan State basketball.  As you all know, C bleeds Michigan State green!  It was fun to get together with my parents and watch the team win.  My dad is a huge college basketball fan, so it’s nice to see them bond over something!

On Saturday we did something C has never done before…..horseback riding!   Now, the only reason C has never been horseback riding is because people literally won’t let him on their horses because he is too big. He’s always wanted to ride though.  Thankfully, we found someone who would give him a chance! One of the Rattler’s fans invited us over to his house for a ride, which was incredibly generous.  We headed over Saturday afternoon and spent the day riding horses around their property.  It was hilarious, because they just told C to hop right on. He had no clue what he was doing and was very intimiated!  Luckily, that didn’t last too long.  I loved being able to see him experience something new….and slightly scary!  I have been or horses many times, but I have also been thrown off (accidently) a few times, so horses make me more nervous than they used too. We spent horses alternating between riding horses and drinking beers on the front porch.  Probably not the greatest combo, but it was a lovely relaxing afternoon!  I got to experience my first gallop on a horse which was incredible.  I spent the entire time wondering if I was about to fall off and die….but I made it through.  It was frightening and exhilarating all at the same time!

Riding around in an old Model T!
Oh yeah, I also straightened and cut C’s hair this week, but I’m not allowed to show any pictures!  Just imagine though…..his hair is a good 7-8 inches long and it was sticking out all over his head! Good stuff.  I saved pictures for blackmail though (ok not really) so don’t worry!

I swear it felt like my week off went so quickly, I can’t believe we spent all of that time in Arizona! Yes, I missed the beach, but a pretty diamond on my hand someday soon is worth it!

Have you ever taken a staycation? Did you enjoy it?
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