Terra Bella Box: September 2015 & a Lip Trio Giveaway!! & Coupon Code

For TGIF, I’ve got something really special. Not only do I have a review of the new natural beauty subscription box, Terra Bella Box, but they were awesome enough to give me a lip trio as a giveaway for you, my oh so awesome readers. The rules and info on how to enter are below.

Terra Bella Box offers two box options, the regular box offers 5-6 natural beauty items, while the “lite” version has 2-3. For details on pricing, including prepayment discounts, jump down to “The Backstory”. There is also an exclusive coupon code for my subscribers, use SUBTHERAPY to get $3.00 off the month to month subscription price.

Now let’s get to the box!
Box
Adorable little packaging and inside we have the ever so important info card. (You’d think every box would have one, but a lot don’t and it really makes a huge difference.)
Open Box Open Box 2

Soap
Salacia Salts in Midnight Garden

(Estimated Retail: $10.00)
Description: Exfoliating soap with pure Atlantic sea salts in one of 3 scents ~ Shoreline, Midnight Garden or Seersucker.
Verdict: Gift
This is a beautifully packaged soap, but I received the “Midnight Garden” scent and it’s a touch too strong for me. I really think the “Shoreline” scent probably would have been perfect. This is lovely though and I’m going to add it to my Christmas 2015 gift stash.


Bath Bombs
Wellsmith Bath Bombs in Aloe and Lavender
(Estimated Retail: $6.00)
Description: Refreshing bath bomb sampler duo in Green Tea/Aloe and Lavender/Vanilla.”
Verdict: Hit!
Bath bombs are so much fun and I find Lavender super relaxing, so this is a great fit. The card lists the value at $6.00 but I can’t find a duo in the Wellsmith Etsy shop and just one bath bomb seems to cost $6.50.  It seems like Terra Bella’s cost on this one is underestimated.

Perfume
Olivü 426 Travel Perfume Sprayer in Vanilla Sandalwood

(Estimated Retail: $5.00)
Description: Travel perfume sprayer in Vanilla Sandalwood.”
Verdict: Gift
In general I’m not a fan of perfumes in beauty boxes because they are so personal. I can’t wear many scents and unfortunately I find the sandalwood in this a bit strong for me. I’m going to gift this to a friend who enjoys these types of perfumes. This brand does offer a ton of other options and the $5.00 price tag is super affordable so I may try out a few other of their offerings that are more my speed.

Lotion
Robbins Essentials Goat’s Milk & Honey Lotion in Oatmeal & Honey

(Estimated Retail: $7.50)
Description: Goat’s Milk & Honey Lotion in Oatmeal & Honey.”
Verdict: Like!
This lotion absorbed quickly and didn’t leave me feeling greasy. I definitely found it to be on the lighter side as far as moisturizers go. The biggest thing I noticed was the scent – it’s almost like brown sugar and it stayed with me all day. I kept catching whiffs of it and being surprised that I smelled like breakfast cereal (but in a good way, I swear). I didn’t see this exact version in Robbins online store, so I linked to a larger size.

Mascara
Herbanluxe Cosmetics Mascara in Black

(Estimated Retail: $11.99)
Description: Vegan Handmade Mascara in Black”
Verdict: Like
Vegan mascara is a tough thing to do well. This mascara isn’t the kind that is going to give you a super dramatic eye, but instead offers a more natural look. My eyes are sensitive and my lashes are oily, so mascara tends to bleed all over my face and make my eyes and skin itchy. This one didn’t smear and it didn’t give me any reactions. I prefer bolder mascaras in general but this is nice for a more natural look. If you’ve been in the market for a vegan mascara you may want to give this one a chance.

OVERALL
Terra Bella Box
Verdict:
Hit!

I received this box for free, but the regular month-to-month price is $37.95. The estimated retail value came out to $40.49 (and that’s using the lower price for the bath bombs). It’s hard to navigate the world of natural beauty products because there are so many small businesses in large marketplaces like Etsy. Natural beauty subscriptions are a great way to introduce you to brands you might never hear of otherwise. I’ve tried lots of natural beauty products and these brands are all new to me so I feel like this box was successful even if all the items weren’t to my exact taste.

Now to the super exciting part…drumroll please…

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED!
Giveaway!

The winner is…drumroll please….Southern Sugar!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered.  I’ve got more giveaways planned so please check back soon!

Terra Bella Box graciously sent me this fabulous lip trio to giveaway. I like to keep things relatively simple so here are the rules:

1. You need to have a mailing address in the US. (Sorry international peeps!)
2. You need to “like” the Terra Bella Box Facebook page.
3. You need to leave a comment on this blog post.

You’ve got until Friday September 18th to enter.
Winners will be randomly selected.
I’ll announce the winner once they’ve been contacted and a mailing address confirmed.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

TERRA BELLA BOX NEWS!
A Limited Edition Holiday Box is available!

Limited Edition Holiday 2015 Box: $65.00
“A Limited Edition Terra Bella Box that will ship in December. Each box will contain more full size products and will have a higher retail value than the regular Terra Bella Box. Very special and unique items that are our very favorite things, just in time for the holidays.”

THE BACKSTORY
Terra Bella Box is a subscription service that sends you 5-6 natural beauty products each month.  Variety is assured with your subscription to Terra Bella Box. You won’t end up with a cabinet full of face washes. We handpick the best lotions, scrubs, cleansers, moisturizers, cosmetics, masks, and everything in between, all sourced from fantastic small businesses that handmake their products using some of the best natural ingredients–not harsh chemicals.   Subscribing to Terra Bella Box is a way to support a local economy–not a large corporation–so you can feel good about where your money is going.”

COUPON CODE:
There is also an exclusive coupon code for my subscribers, use SUBTHERAPY to get $3.00 off the month to month subscription price!

Cost:
Terra Bella Box
(5-6 natural beauty products):
Month to Month: $37.95 per month
3 Month Prepay: $107.84
6 Month Prepay: $209.67

Terra Bella Box Lite (2-3 natural beauty products:
Month to Month: $17.95
(There are no prepay options for this box)

JULY PRODUCT REVIEW: Earthlab Cosmetics & a GIVEAWAY! – WINNER ANNOUNCED!

In order to celebrate my milestone of surpassing 100 posts and to highlight July’s products from Earthlab Cosmetics, I’m hosting a giveaway! If you’re super impatient, you can jump down the post for all the details, but if you’ve got some time let’s dive into my review.

Let’s start with a little background on Earthlab Cosmetics:

Earthlab Cosmetics was created by a mother and daughter team whose goal was to create a makeup line that worked well for women of all different skin color, tones and types and features the finest natural minerals and raw pigments, derived directly from nature with no additives. Earthlab’s vision is to “have women around the world using a pure makeup that is actually healthy for their skin. One that will not completely absorb into the skin and that is completely free of additives, fillers and preservatives.”
This is a vegan makeup line that does not test on animals and does NOT contain: By-Products, Parabens, Toxic Chemicals,Bismuth Oxychloride,Preservatives.

I’m always intrigued with trying out organic and vegan makeup, but I must confess that I’m not typically a fan of mineral makeup. I find it to be too much effort and a bit too messy for me. Let’s see if this brand changes my mind.

Mascara
Earthlab Cosmetics, Raw Mascara, Black, 0.33 fl oz (10 ml)
(Retail: $18.37)
Description: “…a silky, lash-defining and weightless mascara providing all day colour. The smooth light-as-a-feather base does not clump because of the absence of clay in the superior formula. Which also means no flaking and no smudging. Perhaps best of all is that this botanically-enriched mascara adds a softness to the lashes while this moisturizing formula will condition the lashes at the same time. It also has no harmful preservatives that can irritate the eyes and is paraben free.”
Verdict: Like
I wear contacts and in general it’s hard for me to find mascaras and liners that don’t bother my eyes. Since this is natural it didn’t bug my eyes and it also didn’t flake or smudge. This mascara gives you a very natural, boho chic type of vibe. It’s not going to give you that super thick, heavy lash look, but it’s great when you’re going with a natural beauty feel.

Gloss Gloss Swatch
Earthlab Cosmetics, Lip Gloss, Autumn, 0.25 fl oz (8 ml)

(Retail: $15.00)
Description: “Earthlab’s lip gloss is handcrafted with natural plant products and mineral blends. A base of jojoba and natural waxes yields a wonderful silky texture. Your lips will benefit from this nourishing botanical based formula. The Autumn shade is a beautiful cool shade of light pink and gold tones.”
Verdict: Hit!
When I first glanced at this shade in the tube I was worried it would look terrible on me. But with the cooler skin tone, red hair and brown eyes it was a perfect shade. The consistency was a little odd to me at first since this had a more liquid feel and wasn’t quite as sticky as other glosses. I got used to that quickly and found that it had excellent staying power for a gloss.

Mineral Blushes  Blush Swatches
Mineral Blushes
Earthlab Cosmetics, Loose Mineral Blush Shimmer, Sultry Brown, 2 g
(Retail: $19.50)
Description:This deep luscious color is a blend of plum and brown. Perfect for a darker cheek highlight.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Loose Mineral Blush Shimmer, Apricot, 2 g
(Retail: $19.50)
Description: Highlight the cheeks with this soft Apricot glow, for just a touch of cheek color.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Loose Mineral Blush Shimmer, Peach, 2 g
(Retail: $19.50)
Description:This peaches and cream shade works well with all skin tones. It’s the perfect shade to achieve a natural daytime look.”
Verdict: Hit!
So I’m usually intimidated by mineral makeup, but I grabbed a big old blush brush and gave this a try. While the sultry brown is far too dark for me, the apricot and peach both looked quite nice. I was very surprised at how easily (and non-fussy) the blush went on. Very easy to apply and the peach and apricot both looked extremely natural on me. (Although the Apricot is my favorite). If you want a really natural cheek, these blushes are perfect.

Eye Bright
Earthlab Cosmetics, Mineral Powder, Eyebright, 1 g
(Full Size Retail: $18.00)
Description:Women of all skin tones and types will benefit from having a brighter eye area when using this product. Use as a base on the lid and under brow. It looks great by itself but even better when other shades are added to the inner and outer edges and along the crease line.”
Verdict: On the Fence
This applied easily but it was a bit shiny for my taste. I layered colors over it but I wasn’t really sure if it made a difference. I’m not quite sure how to use this one so I’m a bit on the fence about it. But maybe folks more experienced with mineral makeup will have a better time with it.

Matte Shadows Matte Shadow Swatches
Matte Mineral Eyeshadows

Earthlab Cosmetics, Matte Shadow Liner, Lavender, 2 g
(Retail: $19.99)
Description: “Earth Lab’s MSLs can be used wet or dry as a matte eye shadow or as an eyeliner.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Matte Eye Shadow, Deep Plum, 2 g
(Retail: $19.99)
Description: “This soft gorgeous Plum shade is one of our most popular raw pigments. This shade works well in the crease of the eyelid, and looks great paired up with our Bronze shade on the lower lid. It can also be used as a lip tint just top off with clear gloss or make a great fall nail color by mixing with a clear nail polish! Our Multi-purpose colors are unbelievably versatile.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Matte Eye Shadow, Light Brown, 2 g
(Retail: $19.00)
Description:This Matte Shadow Liner can be used wet or dry as a smokey eye shade or wet with our Accent It brush as a light brown eye liner. This shade also works well dry with our angled brush to define eyebrows for that perfect blended line.”

Verdict: Like
I only tried these out as eyeshadows because I don’t think I’m quite advanced enough with mineral makeup to attempt them as eye liners nor do I need to make my own nail polish. It took me a little while to figure out how much to tap off before application, but the colors went on nicely. They had a pretty, soft focus (almost watercolor) look. The light brown was a touch warm for me. I really like the two purple shades but I need to be careful since purple + my complexion = giant bruise.

Shimmer Mineral Eyeshadows
Shimmer Shadows Shimmer Shadow Swatches
Earthlab Cosmetics, Multi Purpose Mineral Powder/Eye Shadow, Sea Moss, 1 g

(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “A dramatic color to blend with other colors for amazing eye color results..”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Multi Purpose Mineral Powder/Eye Shadow, Plum, 1 g
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This soft gorgeous Plum shade is one of our most popular raw pigments. This shade works well in the crease of the eyelid, and looks great paired up with our Bronze shade on the lower lid. It can also be used as a lip tint just top off with clear gloss or make a great fall nail color by mixing with a clear nail polish.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Multi Purpose Mineral Powder/Eye Shadow, Soft Brown, 1 g
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: “This color can be sheer or dramatic. A Perfect soft brown color for your eyes. Pair it up with our Champagne color on the lower lid for a more dramatic look. This shade is one of our most popular colors.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Mineral Powder, Autumn, 1 g
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: A very soft pink shimmer. Works well worn alone on the eye or blended with darker shades.”

Earthlab Cosmetics, Multi Purpose Mineral Powder/Eye Shadow, Brown Copper, 1 g
(Retail: $18.00)
Description: This shade is a rich firey shade of copper with just a hint of pinkish/orange..” 

Verdict:
Love!
For me, these were the rockstars of the products I tried. These are so pretty going on and I found them to be easier to apply then the matte shades. The shimmer on these is beautiful and the Autumn and Sea Moss look amazing on. The shimmer on these sort of mimics the effect of a smoky eye so you can wear a lot of the shades on their own and still look amazing.

 

All Products
OVERALL

I found this line to be a lot of fun to try out and it definitely helped me get more comfortable with mineral makeup. I think the colors and formulations give a fabulous laid back, boho, California vibe and I think it’s a great option if you are looking for a natural look. None of the eye products irritated me at all and I’m going to keep experimenting with their mineral products. If I had to pick one product for you to try from the ones I reviewed, I’d suggest one of the eye shimmer mineral eyeshadows. They are so lovely and versatile.

Do you swear by mineral cosmetics? Do you find them too messy or intimidating?

Coupon Code: If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order. They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they frequently offer freebies at checkout.

GIVEAWAY!!!

I’m giving away a cosmetics set from Earthlab Cosmetics featuring a mascara,lip gloss, shimmer mineral eyeshadow and a mineral blush. This contest is open to US folks only (sorry my international peeps). Just leave a comment on this post before midnight (EST) August 7th. I’ll be choosing my winner at random from the comments. I’ll post the winner’s name after I’ve confirmed with them.

Good Luck & Thanks for Reading!

And the winner for this giveaway is…(drumroll please)…Michelle Claxton!

Thank you to everyone who participated.

New Feature: Monthly Product Reviews! January 2014: L’uvalla Organics

So at the beginning of the year I promised you some new features and now I’m ready to deliver.  I’ve got a good friend in California who’s a beauty guru and has the skinny on lots of cool beauty and organic  brands.  Each month she’s going to send me some awesome surprise products to review and thus bringing a little LA style to my NYC life.

So my January surprise came from a brand I am actually familiar with: L’uvalla.  I adore their eye cream and it’s part of my regular beauty routine.  I’ve also sampled a couple of other L’uvalla items in the past.  They are an organic skincare company that manufactures their products in France (ooh la la).

A little on L’uvalla..

According to their site, “L’uvalla (loo-VA-la) means love the spirit within all things.”   Their skin care products only use all natural and certified organic ingredients and are sustainably produced from seed to shelf for optimal environmental preservation.  They use fair trade practices and their beauty products are animal cruelty-free and vegan-approved by COSMEBIO, PETA and Leaping Bunny.

Okay so it sounds like these folks are uber serious about their commitment to nature, but the big question is “How are the products?”

Let’s dig into my mystery box and find out.
Mystery

Milk Cleanser
Hydrating Milk Cleanser
(Full Size Retail: $26.80)
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a nice milk cleanser and it works well with my Mia Clarisonic.  Personally, I prefer oil cleansers, especially at this time of year, but this was a lovely product.  It has a very light, herbal scent (not perfumey) and didn’t bother my sensitive skin.  If you like milk cleansers, you’ll really enjoy this one.

Night Cream
Age Defying Day/Night Cream with Argan Oil: (Full Size Retail: $47.04)
Verdict:
Hit! (for winter time or those with dry skin)
I had actually sampled this product before and wasn’t that thrilled with it.  I have combination skin and I found that it didn’t absorb well and left my skin a little greasy.  But with the polar vortex + my long commute requiring a lot of outdoor time, my skin has been painfully dry.  I just slathered this on at night and it did a wonderful job of combatting my horrible winter skin.  I don’t think I’ll use this product in summer time, but right now it’s wonderful.  I think folks with very dry skin would like this a lot.

Toner
Orange Toner
(Full Size Retail: $23.04)
Verdict: Love!
The only toner I could ever use was one by Bliss that is sadly now discontinued.  I usually skipped toners entirely as I found them to be way too harsh on my skin. But this toner is completely different.  It doesn’t give that harsh burning feeling other toners can and it does a great job of picking up any of that little dirt you may not have scrubbed away.  I also found it to be fabulous as a makeup remover.  I just dab on a cotton square and easily wipe away the many eyeliner smudges from my attempts at winged liner.  The scent is not particularly citrusy.  Like all the of the L’uvalla products I tried, it’s more herbal than perfumey.  The packaging on this products is fabulous (I am a sucker for cobalt blue glass) so I’m happy to leave it out on my bathroom counter (unlike the ugly plastic stuff that gets tucked away).  I would happily buy this at the retail price.  If you’re like me and could never find a toner that worked for you, I’d highly recommend giving this one a shot.

Also included were some sample packets.  (Only the milk cleanser was a repeat of the full size product already included.)

Samples
Eye/Lip Cream with Argan Oil
(Full Size Retail: $63.36)
Verdict:  Love!

This is a product that I use regularly.  I know it’s pricey (as eye creams always seem to be) but my eye area is very sensitive and so many things I’ve tried just don’t work.  This consistency on this cream is just right and it absorbs quickly.  I notice an improvement in the little lines around my eyes when I use this product regularly.  I tried other eye creams and they just didn’t work as well, so I went back to this one.   A little of this goes a long way and one tube will last you a very long time.

Balancing Day and Night Cream with Argan Oil: (Full Size Retail: $47.04)
Verdict: On the Fence

This one seems similar to the Age Defying cream and I’d say that it’s probably more suited to my combination skin.  I didn’t have as many applications as the Age Defying cream so it is hard to judge.  I think I might try out the full size of this come summer time.  If it’s as good as the eye cream I know I’ll love it.

 

Overall

I really liked all the products that were sent to me.  I was already sold on the eye cream, but the orange toner was a revelation.  I probably would have passed it by and just assumed it was like all the other toners I’ve tried.  The organic and natural aspects of these products really elevate them above a lot of the other skincare out there.  L’uvalla’s products really make me feel like I’m sitting in a spa in France and that’s something I can use because most of the time I’m sitting in a subway under New York.

What do you think about organic skincare?  Is it a “must have” for you or just a “maybe”?

Coupon Code:
If you want to give these products a shot you can use my code at iherb.com: CVF809 for a discount on your first order.  They are a fabulous place to buy everything from groceries to essential oils and they offer lots of freebies at checkout.