February 29, 2012

Special Vichy Laboratories skincare Birchbox!

Hello, Beautiful!

Earlier this week I received an email from Birchbox asking if I wanted to participate in a special Vichy skincare sponsored Birchbox. It didn't cost me anything, and it doesn't replace my normal Birchbox. I've heard of other people getting those offers but I never did, until now. I (of course) responded with a yes, and received the box in the mail today.

For more information on Birchbox, or to sign-up and start receiving your own Birchbox every month, CLICK HERE to visit http://www.birchbox.com?raf=eops9. Just $10 each month!

Check out everything in my box... click on pics to view them larger.

Vichy Birchbox - March 2012
This is a special edition Vichy skincare sponsored Birchbox, offered to some members.

The Included Info Card:

Shipment Quick Stats:
  • Value of this month's Birchbox shipment: $31.15 (value is approximate)
  • Total # of Items Received: 5 -- all skincare items

Now I'll break it down, product-by-product...

VICHY Aqualia Thermal Cream
  • DESCRIPTION ON INFO CARD: 24hr Hydrating Care. Infused with a high concentration of mineral-rich antioxidant water, this moisturizer keeps skin hydrated around the clock. Use it every morning on a clean face, alone or under makeup.
  • MY THOUGHTS: This has a nice texture and it absorbed nicely. The scent is okay, not great but I'm really weird about fragrances.. it's not a bothersome fragrance. Even though I haven't used this on my face yet, it felt very hydrating on my hand (after I swatched it).
  • FULL SIZE: 1.7 fl oz @ $29.95
  • SIZE I RECEIVED: 0.5 fl oz
  • VALUE: $8.81


VICHY Liftactiv Rhamnose Night
  • DESCRIPTION ON INFO CARD: Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Care. This lush night cream works its magic with Rhamnose, a plant-derived ingredient (concentrated at 5%) that helps skin renew itself. Apply a thin layer after washing your face, and don't forget your neck and decolletage.
  • MY THOUGHTS: This had a rich, dense, smooth texture. I haven't used this yet, and I'm not totally sure I need this just yet (I'm only going on 28 years old), so I may give this to my grandmom.
  • FULL SIZE: 1.7 oz @ $49.00
  • SIZE I RECEIVED: 0.5 oz
  • VALUE: $14.41



VICHY Purete Thermal 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser
  • DESCRIPTION ON INFO CARD: A real triple threat, this unique formula works as a cleansing milk, toning lotion and a makeup remover all at once. Dab it on with a cotton pad, or smooth it directly onto your skin and rinse with water.
  • MY THOUGHTS: This had a nice creamy consistency to it and the scent wasn't bad. I haven't used it yet, but plan to try it out in the near future.
  • FULL SIZE: 6.7 fl oz @ $19.50
  • SIZE I RECEIVED: 1 fl oz
  • VALUE: $2.91

VICHY Purete Thermal Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
  • DESCRIPTION ON INFO CARD: Laced with cornflower water and vitamin B, this uber-gentle formula thoroughly cleanses your delicate eye area. Pour a small amount onto a cotton pad and pat into skin.
  • MY THOUGHTS: I only tested this briefly on my hand and found it to be effective without leaving behind dry or greasy skin - something many eye makeup removers tend to do on my skin. I'll be using this tonight to remove my eye makeup!
  • FULL SIZE: 5.1 fl oz @ $16.50
  • SIZE I RECEIVED: 1 fl oz
  • VALUE: $3.24

VICHY Celludestock
  • DESCRIPTION ON INFO CARD: Intensive Treatment for the Appearance of Cellulite. Vichy's own Lipocidine complex teams up with caffeine to tone the skin on your thighs, hips, and derriere. Massage into your skin to zap cellulite.
  • MY THOUGHTS: This product sounds interesting, but I'm always skeptical of products that claim to help with cellulite. The sample isn't very large, so it's not going to give me a good idea of what this product can do, but I'll still give it a try. I didn't open the sample pack yet, so that's why there are no swatches of this product.
  • FULL SIZE: 5.1 fl oz @ $39.50
  • SIZE I RECEIVED: 0.23 fl oz
  • VALUE: $1.75

Let me know what you think...
Did you receive a special Vichy Birchbox? If so, what are your thoughts? If you don't receive Birchbox yet, click here to sign up! Discuss in the comments below.

February 2012 Sample Box Showdown!

Hello, Beautiful!

This is the February 2012 Sample Box Showdown! In this post I'll show you every box/kit/bag that I received this month from beauty subscription sampling programs. I'll show you what I got in each one, the value, and what I think is best and worst of the month. Enjoy!

Oh, and there are two shipment I didn't show you this month. The first was Beautyfix, which I received a few weeks ago and have been too busy to photograph. It was an amazing value and lots of great products! I'll post the next shipment (they only come four times a year). Then there is The Look Bag. I signed up at the end of January and never received a bag this month. I tried calling them a week ago, and they said I should already have it and to give it a day or two. I gave it a week, called them again, and this time had to leave a message. I gave them both my phone number and email address, letting them know I didn't get a shipment but was charged for one. They haven't gotten back to me yet, so hopefully they're just trying to resolve the issue before they get in touch. But it's making me nervous.

February 2012 Sample Box Showdown!

Here are the sample boxes I received this month:


Larger pics of each box:

Value Breakdown:
You can click on each box name to view that blog post.

  • Birchbox #1: $18.58 ($10 a month; I received 6 items)
  • Birchbox #2: $19.16 ($10 a month; I received 6 items)
  • Beauty Army: $72.50 ($12 a month; I received 6 items)
  • MyGlam: $17.81 ($10 a month; I received 6 items)
  • Green Grab Bag: $58.34 ($15 a month; I received 7 items)

How I'd rate each one:

  • This was my Birchbox shipment and I wasn't all that impressed with it. I was happy to receive the Eye Rock, although I still haven't used them. They're thicker than I had thought and I just didn't have time to play around with them yet.
  • Best Product: Kiehl's Dark Spot Corrector -- I have dark spots, and like the Kiehl's brand, so I was happy to get this product.
  • Worst Product: Supersmile Powdered Mouthrinse -- As much as I love Supersmile toothpaste, I just can't get into the powdered mouthrinse.
  • Net Value: Products worth $18.58, minus the monthly fee ($10) = $8.58

  • This was the shipment I get my husband (we share shipments, mostly so I can try more products). I liked his box better than mine, but they were pretty equal on value.
  • Best Product: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant - Looking forward to using a powder exfoliant!
  • Worst Product: heart shaped nail file -- I mean, it's cute and all, but poor quality
  • Net Value: Products worth $19.16, minus the monthly fee ($10) = $9.16

  • I'm really liking Beauty Army! I like selecting my samples and knowing what I'm going to get for my money. Beauty Army hands down wins this month for best value!
  • Best Product: Pssssst Dry Shampoo -- this went on clear and really worked!
  • Worst Product: n/a
  • Net Value: Products worth $72.50, minus the monthly fee ($12) = $60.50

  • I was excited to receive a bag this month, especially after not getting one last month, but I wasn't overly impressed. I like it, don't get me wrong, but it's not something I'm jumping out of my seat for. I will say that the actual bag was super, super cute! I'm curious to see what my March bag will have.
  • Best Product: NYX Roll-On Glitter -- I love glitter and shimmer, so this was perfect!
  • Worst Product: X Out Shine Control -- Even though I have shine, I'm nervous to use this since it's from the makers of Proactive. I worry it will cause a skin reaction, like Proactive did on me. I'll have to try it at some point.
  • Net Value: Products worth $17.81, minus the monthly fee ($10) = $7.81

  • This grab bag really impressed me with how much more it felt like I was receiving, when really I only had one more item than all the other shipments this month. I liked that they give a coupon for each product in case you want to go and buy it. The value was nice too, although I've heard the one product in there (the Vapour blush) was something for new subscribers, which would take $28 off the value if this was not a new subscriber bag. I'd have to try this service out more to really get a feel for how much value you get for the price, as it is the most expensive option.
  • Best Product: Vapour Aura Multi-Use Blush -- I don't use blush all that often, especially cream blush, but the value of this product was great and I think the color is really beautiful too.
  • Worst Product: Soapylane Relaxing Herbal Bath Tea -- I don't take many baths, and I'm not a tea person, so this product just didn't interest me at all.
  • Net Value: Products worth $58.34, minus the monthly fee ($15) = $43.34.. then if you minus out the full sized Vapour Blush ($28) = $15.34

And the winner is...

I was most impressed and most happy with my Beauty Army kit, plus, it has the best value out of them all! 

Now let me know what you think...
What shipment was your favorite this month? Which was your least favorite? Did you sign up for any new subscriptions or did you cancel any subscriptions this month? Discuss in the comments below.

February 28, 2012

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow in Sudden, Calm, Damask Grey, Sarah, Hawaiian Sunset, Pretty, Imagine, Carnival - pics, swatches, review

Hello, Beautiful!

The super nice Shantle from Face Candy Couture sent me some of her eyeshadows to review. I received 8 shades in total (4 full sized and 4 sample baggies). These shadows are very nicely pigmented, blend beautifully, and the colors are very pretty. Not to mention they are affordable too!

Check out my pics, swatches, stats, and review... click on pics to view them larger.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Sudden, Calm, Damask Grey, Sarah, Hawaiian Sunset, Pretty, Imagine, Carnival
Continue scrolling down to see more photos on each individual shade.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Sudden
Shade Description: A bronze brown with golden shimmer.


Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Calm
Shade Description: A nude tan shimmer.


Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Damask Grey
Shade Description: A medium gray with shimmer.


Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Sarah
Shade Description: Black with silver shimmer.


Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Hawaiian Sunset
Shade Description: A summer orange with shimmer.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Pretty
Shade Description: A gorgeous pink with a golden undertone to the shimmer. Color reminds me of NARS Orgasm shade.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Imagine
Shade Description: A green based grey with shimmer.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow
Shades: Carnival
Shade Description: A vibrant eggplant purple with shimmer.

Basic Stats for Face Candy Couture Eye Shadow:
Formula: loose pigment shadow
Wear: average to above average
Coverage: nicely pigmented
Shade Info: currently available in 129 shades
Cost/Availability: $4.99 each (approx. 1.2 g of product in a 5 g jar). Also available for special pricing: 3 for $11.99, 6 for $20.99, 10 for $29.99, 20 for $49.99. Available on the Face Candy Couture website.
Packaging: rounded jar with sifter
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Kisses

These loose pigment shadows are nicely pigmented, blend beautifully, and can be applied wet or dry. Use on eyes, face, lips and even nails.

Average to above average wear depending on if you use a primer or not. I always use a shadow primer out of habit and these shadows lasted all day.

Very nicely pigmented!

Shade Info:
Currently available in 129 shades. There are so many other shades I have an interest in... such as Chill, Treat, Sneaky, Golden Plum, and especially the shade Romantique. 

$4.99 each (approx. 1.2 g of product in a 5 g jar). Also available for special pricing: 3 for $11.99, 6 for $20.99, 10 for $29.99, 20 for $49.99. Available on the Face Candy Couture website.

Rounded jar with sifter.

Face Candy Couture Eye Shadows Review:
I really liked these shadows! They were very nicely pigmented, as you can tell there is little difference with most of the shades when they are applied wet verses dry. They go on very nicely, blending beautifully perfect. And I know this isn't going to make much sense, but I found these to be less messy to use than some other loose pigment shadows. It could just be I was extra careful when applying these, or maybe it's just all in my head lol, but I wrote down in my notes that these were less messy.

Out of the shades I was sent, Damask Grey is my favorite - but I think some of you know my obsession with gray shadows! I thought the shade Imagine would be gray in color too, but when I swatched the shade it looked more green on me than gray; still a beautiful shade!

The shade Pretty is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! It reminds me of the NARS Orgasm shade, so if you like that shade then you'll love Pretty. The shade Calm is a simple pretty neutral; I would say it's similar to MAC's Shroom shadow. The shade Hawaiian Sunset reminds of orange soda or some other vibrant and sunny orange. It's a pretty shade, but I don't think it's one I would wear (unless it was for a specific make up look, but not one I'd reach for on a daily basis).

The shade Sudden is a great bronzy brown neutral shimmer, while the shade Sarah is a gorgeous black - great for smokey looks or as liner! Carnival is a very pretty vibrant purple, although maybe a little too vibrant for my day-to-day makeup wear but still a shade I plan to use (even if I layer it or mix it with another shade).

And I also wanted to take a minute to say how kind the owner of this company is. Her name is Shantle and she's been incredibly nice and helpful. That kind of thing speaks leaps and bounds to me because I always love to support women-run businesses, especially when I can tell the owner works hard at what she does and truly cares for her customers.

Overall, yes, I would recommend these shadows!

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of these shadows? Which shade is your favorite? Have you tried this or is this on your wish list? Discuss in the comments below.