June 2017 Orangeglad & 10% off Coupon Code!

To celebrate Foodie Friday, I’m focusing on sweet treats with my June review of Orangeglad, a monthly artisan dessert subscription.

If you’d like to try out one for yourself use my code ST10 for 10% off your order.
Lovely packaging as usual.

Carolina Girl Cooks – South Carolina
About the Company:
“The first time Jennifer experienced the captivating flavor of lavender, she was having dessert during a night out with a group of girlfriends.  She fell in love with the flavor and immediately began experimenting with recipes of her own.  Oddly enough, the fragrant flower kept finding its way into sweet delicious cookies and from there, Carolina Girl Cooks Tea Cookies were born.  Creating the perfect packaging meant the most because soon Jennifer learned that the meaning of lavender when given as a gift ‘the promise of new adventure’…Jennifer’s sincerest hope is that each artfully crafted  cookie tin will serve a sa reminder that small passions can turn into wild adventures in the most unexpected and thrilling ways, just as lavender has for her.”
Rose Tea Cookies
($9.00 for 8 to 10 cookies)
Description: “Subtle yet elegant, the Rose Tea Cookies are made with the finest dried, edible rose petals and delicate rose water.  One bite is like a stroll through a summer garden.”
Orange Cardamom Cookies
($9.00 for 8 to 10 cookies)
Description: “Orange Cardamom is a light butter cookie balancing the delicate floral flavor of ground cardamom with the brightness of citrus zest.”
Verdict:
Pretty, but not my favorites
These type of crumbly tea cookies just aren’t my favorite.  I did think that the rose cookies in a June box were an inspired choice.  The packaging on these is gorgeous and made me immediately think of wedding favors (particularly the Rose Tea Cookies).  While these wouldn’t be my personal favorites, they were lovely cookies and perfect for June.

Unna Bakery – Harlem, New York
About the Company:
“…Unna’s gourmet cookies are made using her traditional recipes passed down through generations.  To offer uncompromised quality, they use only the best ingredients like organic butter, organic locally milled flour and handmade jam with berries from the Hudson Valley.  Treat yourself their tasty cookies while enjoying the old Swedish tradition of taking a ‘fika’ (a little break).”
Raspberry Cave Shortbread
(3.4 oz: $7.99)
Description: “A buttery, rich , golden cookie with Raspberry Jam from award-winning Maya’s Jam”
Farmer’s Cookie’s
(3.4 oz: $7.99)
Description: “A traditional Swedish, crispy, light and nutty cookie with browned butter and almonds.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love jam cookies so the Raspberry Cave Shortbread cookies were my favorite dessert in the box. The Farmer’s cookies were also lovely.  Apologies for the spastic photos on the Farmer’s cookies – sometimes my camera has a mind of it’s own.

Shotwell Candy
About the Company:
“A corporate lawyer and father of three at the time, Jerrod spend this nights learning the science and art behind cooking caramel, testing several different ingredient combinations and eventually developing what he thought to be the best tasting caramel possible.  With the help and encouragement of his wife and close friends, Jerrod officially launched Shotwell Candy (named after Jerrod’s great grandfather), in December 2012.  Although the attention to detail process and classic caramel making process has not changed one bit, Shotwell Candy has since grown well beyond Jerrod’s home kitchen become one of the South’s great confectioners, even earning a food award form Southern Living Magazine in 2015 for ‘Best Sweet’.”
Craft Beer & Pretzel Caramels
(2.5 oz Bag: $5.95)
Description: “Other than their glorious caramels, beer is one of the Shotwell Candy’s grat passions.  Especially some of the locally made versions available in Memphis.  They combine their buttery soft caramel with a healthy dose of shot River Brewing’s Golden Ale and finish it off with nice sized chunks of hand-crushed salty pretzels.  It makes a perfect malty, caramelly, crunchy and salty bite!
Verdict:
Misfit
I didn’t think this product fit in with this box.  We’d actually received the same exact one in the February box.  It also doesn’t feel appropriate for June or match up with the Rose tea biscuit feel this one had going.  Another fruit related dessert or something with a summery feel would have been a much better fit.  My camera was apparently having a bad day so apologies for another off pic.

OVERALL
Verdict: Some good ideas, but overall a mess
Let’s start with the value.  I receive this box free in order to review it, but if I’d paid for it, it would have cost $25. After doing the math, I come up with an estimated value of only $13.30 for the included items.  Now that value doesn’t include shipping, but that’s just far too low a return on the investment, especially considering there is a repeat item in this box.  I feel like we need a total value closer to $18.  Shipping each item would be expensive, but for $25 you could get more of your favorite item, have it shipped to you, and still probably end up under $25.  The value issue could be solved by upping the quantity of some items.  Carolina Girl Cooks offers tea cookies in lovely tins.  One tin of cookies instead of the two tiny packs, would have added a lot of value and appeal to the box.

I thought the Rose Tea Cookies were a great idea for a June box and the Unna Bakery’s Swedish offerings paired with them to create a sort of summer tea party vibe.  Unfortunately, the beer caramels were like inviting your football watching uncle to a garden party instead of the Sunday game.  If I was curating, I’d have replaced the caramels with a fruity bar of some kind or dainty chocolate truffles.  There was a lot of potential with this box, but the overall value was just too low to justify the misstep with the caramels.

What type of value do you expect from a sub box versus what you paid for it?

THE BACKSTORY
Orangeglad is an “artisan dessert box that sends handcrafted, unique and exclusive desserts each month. Eat delicious treats created by local artisan chefs throughout the country, and learn about the amazing people behind each item.”

Single Portion Box: 5 Deluxe Sized Treats
Curated from around the country
Makes 1-2 people happy
Cost: $25 per month (shipping included)

Double Portion Box: 10 Deluxe Sized Treats
Curated from around the country
Makes 3-4 people happy
Cost: $40 per month (shipping included)

Managing your account is easy. If you want a break, you can cancel or skip at anytime, with absolutely no hassle.

Coupon Codes: Use code ST10 for 10% off your orders

Orglamix Glam Box: June 2017 – I’d Rather Be a Mermaid + 25% Off

So, it’s been a bit of a rough week.  I somehow managed to manage to fracture my tooth by doing absolutely nothing.  My dentist thinks I did it my sleep, so apparently when the lights go out I’m doing some kind of unconscious Three Stooges routine.  So after a tooth pulling, a bone graft, some stitches, antibiotics and a touch of Percocet, I’m back in business.  On a related note, tooth implants are expensive, so please buy my awesome book “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” so maybe my next royalty check can cover some floss.

I’m determined to kick off my Friday on a brighter note, so I’ve got one of my fave boxes to review.

The June Orglamix Glam Box had a “I’d Rather Be a Mermaid” theme. “This month we rounded up five finds for your inner mermaid.  You can float on like an underwater goddess with these mermaid-inspired beauty products.  From sparkling blue eyeshadow to iridescent highlighters, you’ll feel like you’re back in the ocean and swimming with the fishes without leaving home.  Channel your own inner mermaid.”


SHUT THE HELL UP!  Maybe it’s the red hair, but mermaid products will win me every single time.  My favorite box theme of the year!

If you’d like to try out a box of vegan, cruelty free natural beauty products for yourself use the coupon code VEGAN to save 25%.

Rainbow Fish Contour Makeup Brush
(Estimated Retail: $16.99)
Description: ”Our magical rainbow fish brush is the perfect catch. It’s designed with soft, synthetic bristles and features a versatile, kabuki-inspired design to easily sweep on allover cheek color.  The easy-grip handle can be tilted down at an angle to sculpt and slip the contours of the face.”
Verdict: I don’t know how I could love this more
It’s a pretty shiny brush that looks like a fish’s tail! I’ve been lusting after all the funky Storybook Cosmetics brushes so this is right up my alley.  It’s going to find a prominent place on my makeup vanity.

Mermaid Hair Don’t Care – Nourishing Hair Mask
(Estimated Retail: $16.00)
Description: A luxurious, deep conditioning treatment for hair’s total restoration. For ultimate repair & deep conditioning, the Nourishing Hair Mask directly penetrates the surface of the hair. Used weekly, this fortifying hydrator infuses locks with extra moisture while sealing split ends—resulting in total hair recovery & restoration. The at-home salon treatment is lightweight enough for all hair types and is designed to provide nourishment, shine, & improved elasticity.” 
Verdict: LOVE!
I’m actually always on the lookout for new hair masks, so automatically that’s a win.  Throw in a mermaid theme and I’m sold.

Mermaid Kisses – Organic Lip Scrub
(Estimated Retail: $12.50)
Description: “Lip Scrub is enriched with a soothing combination of natural ingredients to moisturize, exfoliate, and prep your lips. Unlike many exfoliators, it is very gentle and moisturizing.  ”
Verdict: Like
I’m not huge on lip scrubs, but hits one is pretty adorable.

   Mermaid Tears – Natural Eyeshadow
(Estimated Retail: $12.50)
Description: ”Blue eyeshadow is officially the beauty move of the summer. Toss your preconceived notions of graphic liner aside: It doesn’t have to be all neat and precise to look cool. To create an impressionistic swoop, use a slanted angle brush. All you have to do is make one swiping motion along the creases and along the outer corners.”
Verdict: Why is a Mermaid’s sadness so beautiful?
My second box product called “Mermaid Tears”. (The other was from NCLA and in my June Popsugar Box).  I probably should feel bad, like, it’s implying I’m using a mermaid’s grief for my own gain, but it’s so damn pretty.  Sorry, Ariel.

Mermaid Vibes – Holographic Trio
(Estimated Retail: $19.00)
Description: An eye, lip, and face transformer palette with three holographic shades. Revamp your makeup looks with this innovative palette. It’s perfect for achieving a spectrum of radiant, special effects by layering shades over eyeshadow and lipstick. Each of the shades within catches the light from every angle for a spectrum of luminizing special effects—perfect for customizing finishes and exploring your artistic expression.”
Verdict: The legend continues…
Okay, I know the swatch is like mostly useless, because these products are on the subtle side, but I still love them.  I’ll have to experiment with this palette because I think it can add a lot of interest to tons of products.  It gives a little bit of iridescence without adding glitter – which is my favorite type of highlighter.  A unique, fun addition to the box.

OVERALL
Verdict:
Who wouldn’t rather be a mermaid?
I receive this for free in order to review it, but the regular cost is $29 and the estimated retail value came out to $76.99.  I think it’s obvious by now that I loved the box theme.  Even putting that aside, I loved all the products. I would have snapped these up these if I’d seen them in a shop. This box included a nice variety of items and lots of unique additions, like the funky contour brush and the holographic trio.  This was an amazing summer box and probably my favorite curation of 2017.  Orglamix never disappoints.

Are you as addicted to “Mermaid” themed products or am I the only one?

I’ve got lots more Orglamix and other box reviews coming up.  To see box spoilers as soon as I get them, follow me on Instagram.

Popsugar: June 2017 Must Have + September Spoiler & Fall Limited Edition Spoilers!

So I’m still recovering from Labor Day, which was aptly named since it was my day of manual labor.  It was like an episode of “This Old House” where I paint all the dirty white things, bright new white.  Not the most riveting of renovations, which is probably why I don’t have my own HGTV show yet.  But eventually, (as God is my witness), I will have some cool renovation posts for you.  In the meantime, it’s time for some fun with boxes.  Today I’ve got my June Popsugar review and a hell of a lot of spoilers for their September Must Have box and their Fall Limited Edition.

Let’s jump right in.

FALL LIMITED EDITION SPOILERS
Fashion:
Skincare:

Jewelry:
Limited Edition Fall
Description: “Ready to change up and revitalize your routine? This box is filled of over $450 worth of luxurious items that will have you feeling stylish and cozy all Fall long. Prepare to channel your inner street style star with cutting-edge products for every part of your life.”
Cost: $100.00
Quantities are limited, so don’t delay! Boxes will be shipped by Sept. 21.

This box is still available so if you’re loving all the spoilers, you can still nab one for yourself.  Unfortunately I’m on a tight budget so I’m just sticking to my monthly must have subscription.

SEPTEMBER MUST HAVE SPOILERS
Theme
Makeup
SEPTEMBER BOX
Based on the theme I’m thinking we’re going to see some cool weather accessories.  I’m super super psyched for the lipstick queen cheek stain.  I’m a huge fan of their products and it seems like something fun to try out.  I’m also happy to try out a new primer since it’s a fairly recent edition to my makeup bag and I’m still experimenting with different brands and types.

Now onto the main attraction…

JUNE MUST HAVE BOX


Billabong Aloha Forever Trucker Hat
(Suggested Retail: $17.95)
Description: “Keep your face out of the harmful rays while trying out the easy-to-wear trucker hat trend. This sporty cap will have you saying “Aloha” to even more oceanside activities.”
Verdict: Gift
I love hats, but I’m not a baseball hat type of girl.  I passed this along to a friend who I thought would enjoy it.

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Description: Effortlessly style your hair with a sea salt spray that will add waves so gorgeous even a mermaid would be jealous. The organic ingredients like aloe vera and sea kelp extract will nourish your locks naturally without feeling crunchy.”
Verdict:
LOVE!
I’ve received a small bottle of this in a long ago Birchbox and I adored it.  It’s my favorite sea salt spray and one of my favorite hair products ever.  Definitely the highlight of my box.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(Suggested Retail: $15.04)
Description: ”’ There’s nothing better than a juicy beach read. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel is full of intrigue, emotional twists, and Hollywood glamour, making it easy to get lost in while soaking up the rays.”
Verdict: Like
Sorry, for some reason I’m missing my pic of this one.  This book is going to fit one of my 2017 Popsugar Book Challenge categories (the “A book that takes place over a character’s life span slot”, for those interested), so I’m happy with the inclusion.

ALOHA Collection Mid-Size Ocean Coco Palms Pouch
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: Pack your waterside essentials in this splash-proof zip pouch. The print will encourage you to get on island time and will protect your snacks, sea salt spray, and hat. You can also use it to store your wetsuit, dirty gym clothes, or other essentials as you run around town.”
Verdict: Gift
I think this is a great addition for a summer box, but I just don’t go to the beach or the pool regularly so this will be wasted on me. I have a friend going on a lovely Caribbean trip, so I’ll pass this along to her.

NCLA So Rich — Mermaid Tears
(Suggested Retail: $18.00)
Description: “Keep your nails from getting dried out on sandy and chlorine-filled days with this azure-hued cuticle oil that smells like honeysuckle. The vitamin E extract blended with sunflower seed oil will bring tears of joy to your tips.”
Verdict: Love!
First let’s give some props to the NCLA marketing team, because who doesn’t want a treatment called “mermaid tears”.  Putting that aside, you know that I’m a polish hoarder, er collector, so this is right up my alley. NCLA is a great brand and a bit spendy for me at the moment, so I’m very happy to have this in my box.  It’s also nice that even subscribers who aren’t nail polish aficionados can use this cuticle oil treatment.

Belgian Boys ® Mini Cookie Stash
(Suggested Retail: .99)
Description: “While sporting your new trucker hat, channel your inner class clown by taking selfies with these adorable (and extremely delicious) mustache cookies. They’re a fun-filled and portable snack to take with you on your sunny-day adventures.”
Verdict: Okay
These cookies were tasty enough. No super awesome taste sensations or anything, but perfectly satisfactory.

Meri Meri Blue and White Party Straws
(Suggested Retail: 3.95)
Description: “Sip your Frappuccino® and other summery concoctions through festive straws that add the perfect final touch to any outdoor festivity. Cheers!”
Verdict: Hit!
I love getting party supplies.  When I finally finish painting my bar, I can use them for some cute drinks.

SPECIAL EXTRA

Starbucks® Frappuccino® Chilled Coffee Drink
(Suggested Retail: $7.99)
Description: Cool off and indulge in the sweet taste of a Frappuccino® chilled coffee drink, made with the quality Starbucks® coffee you already love. The delectable drink will be the perfect pairing with your day of fun in the sun. Also available in 13.7 oz. Flavor may vary.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’m not a Starbucks addict, but I really like the bottled Starbucks drinks as an occasionally treat. I actually tend to like them better than the real deal from the store. (I know, I know, I’m just crazy that way.)

OVERALL:
Verdict:
Hit!
Even though I ended up giving away a couple items in this box, I still think it was well put together.  It had a nice beachy summer feel, cohesive selections and items that should appeal to most subscribers.  I paid $42.70 for this box, and got a retail value of approximately $120.12. (The retail value is based on the current price of the hardcover novel.)  I pretty much got my money back with just the hair and nail products so I’ll call this one a win. I’m excited to see what starts popping up as we move toward the Fall.

I’ve got lots more box reviews coming up plus a huge KBeauty Haul.

If you want sneak previews of the box contents, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

What were your fave items from your summer boxes?

THE BACKSTORY
Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Must Have Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription to Must Have

Julep Maven: June 2017: Bask in the Heat + $20 Off

I got my first royalty check for “Ice Maiden’s Tale” and I really don’t want to brag but I can totes buy myself a slice of pizza now.  Maybe next time, I’ll make enough to add on a can of soda.  We’ll have to play it by ear.  But in the interim, I’ve got a review for you today and a fab coupon offer from Julep.
Save $20 off any purchase of $50 or more, just use code MATCHPOINT
Julep’s June Collection, “Bask in the Heat”, offered a new mascara and some warm polish shades.  I’m always on the hunt for the perfect mascara so I thought I’d give this box a shot.

 MY CUSTOMIZABLE MAVEN BOX

With a Twist – Lash Boosting Bamboo Mascara
(Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $22.40)
Verdict: Like
Description: “This multitasking mascara lengthens and volumizes lashes with just a twist of the customizable wand. Bamboo extracts & peptides support healthier, longer, fuller lashes over time. To use: To build volume, twist the customizable wand to shorten the brush. Sweep upward from base to tip. To separate and lengthen lashes, use the wand in its fully extended position. Repeat the same sweeping motion, wiggle up as you go until desired look is achieved.”
This mascara features a unique customizable wand that allows you to  adjust the length.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t even tried that part yet.  I basically just used it as is and like an idiot totally forgot it could be adjusted.  The formula itself isn’t too thick or thin and does a nice job of covering lashes without being too smudgeriffic.  I found though that it didn’t give me quite as much volume as some of my favorite brands, but I haven’t experimented with the different application techniques so I’ll need to play around with it a bit more.

Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Skin Perfector with Turmeric
in Alabaster

(Retail $30.00/Maven Price: $24.00)
Verdict: Hit as a Concealer – Fail as a Foundation
Color Description: Light Alabaster with Cool Undertone
“This multitasking skin perfector has a natural, demi-matte finish with buildable medium-to-full coverage that conceals, corrects, illuminates, blurs & brightens.  The convenient cushion tip applicator allows for easy and precise application, even on the go. Use it to spot correct and conceal, or all over as a foundation.”

I don’t remember Julep releasing this as the featured beauty product for a collection, but this was a recent release. I was so so excited to see a pale shade with a cool undertone that I nabbed this immediately.  The pictures above show the swatch on application and then how it looks blended in.  It blended into my skin tone beautifully and worked great under my eyes and on spots where I just wanted to even out my skin tone.

That being said, let’s discuss Julep’s suggestion to use this all over as a foundation.
#1 – This little stick is supposed to retail for $30.  How long do you think it will last if you are using it as a foundation? You’d be spending so much that you could pretty much buy any foundation you want  (even the really high end products) for much less.
#2 – The packaging is not conducive to application as a foundation.  Cushion compact foundations are a thing.  They are everywhere in Kbeauty and plenty of other brands have jumped on the bandwagon.  If this is supposed to be a foundation, it should be in a proper compact.
#3 – The product itself.  I tried this as a foundation to see what would happen.  I looked like I was wearing Japanese Kabuki makeup.  It was awful.  I couldn’t understand how it could blend so nicely in small areas and be so very awful spread out all over my face.
In conclusion, it seems pretty obvious to me that this should not be used a foundation.  It’s a concealer for small areas.  It works well for that purpose and when used in that capacity, the small tube should last for some time.

JUNE FREEBIE!
I’m not a fan of Fireball candy – but Free Candy is FREE CANDY!

OVERALL:
Verdict:
Like!
I paid $21.39 for this box and the retail value came out to $52 and the maven value was $41.60. I thought both items were excellent quality and definitely a step above normal drug store brands.  I’d recommend buying them on sale from Julep since I find their normal retail/maven pricetags to be a little high.  If you use the code MATCHPOINT you can save $20 off a $50 or more order, so you can snag these at a serious discount.  I ended up paying a little over $10 for each item, so I feel like I got a great value.

Have you ever tried a cushion concealer or compact?

OFFERS!
$20 off orders of $50 or more
Use Code: MATCHPOINT
(Expires 09/04/2017)

THE BACKSTORY
(Just remember this signs you up for a monthly subscription.  If you don’t wish to receive boxes you will need to call Julep to cancel.  You can also opt to skip a month and you will not be billed.)
Julep specializes in toxin-free nail color but also features beauty products.  They are a small company based in Seattle and have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

Monthly Maven Options:
My Maven Subscription: $24.99 per month – Allows you to customize your box
3 Month Prepaid: $19.99/month

Maven Luxe: $39.99 per month – Gives you access to add on more expensive items
3 Month Prepaid: $34.99/month

The options (Take the quiz here):
Modern Beauty – (For those who prefer beauty items over nail color) – “You’re a savvy tastemaker obsessed with the art and science of beauty.” Get two full-size beauty products in every box.
Boho Glam – “You’re a dynamic free spirit with a creative eye.”
Bombshell – “You’re a confident frill-seeker with magnetic appeal.”
Classic With a Twist – “You’re an iconic beauty with a timeless aesthetic.”
It Girl – (For those who want polish only) “You’re a colorful trendsetter who’s not afraid to be bold.” Get three limited-edition nail colors in every box.

Julep will email you with the contents of your regular box selection, and at that time you can opt to keep it as is, change it, or skip.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons along with access to Julep’s “Secret Store” that lets you get other products at great prices.   Another perk is that when you’re a maven you get 20% off anything you purchase from Julep’s website along with free Shipping.

Julep also has a rewards program that gives you “jules” for taking your monthly boxes and on your birthday.  You can use jules to pay for monthly boxes and some other items chosen by Julep.

WRITER’S SHELF: The Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 – Books 6 – 10

It has been an exhausting year, but no worries, I’ve been keeping up with my reading for my 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge.  If you want to follow along, there’s even a handy dandy downloadable list for the book categories.  Head over here to check out my first five book reviews.

If you have some great book suggestions or want to see what’s coming up, head over to my Goodreads page and my 2017 List.

And if you’re working through the challenge and want to fill categories like a “A book that is a story within a story” or “A book that’s published in 2017”, consider picking up my book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale”.
It’s available on Kindle Unlimited and digital copies are also on sale on right now for $3.03. (Not sure why, but hey palindromes are cool, right?).
Print copies are also available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book #6
Popsugar Slot: “A book recommended by a Librarian”
The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror
by Joyce Carol Oates
When I went into the library, I noticed a display with suggestions from the Librarians.  Included with the books was “The Doll-Mater and Other Tales of Terror” by Joyce Carol Oates.  As is often the case with short stories, I found the different stories to be uneven.  The Doll-Master was by far the best story in the book and was particularly compelling.  The narrator draws you in and makes you empathize with him, then slowly unravels.  The progression leaves you unsettled and the story stays with you long after you’ve finished it.  I only wish all the other “tales of terror” were at the same level. The Gun Accident felt particularly uninspired. Overall, Oates is a skillful writer and this collection is definitely worth a read, even if not every story is up to par.
QUOTES:
“All your life, you yearn to return to what has been.  You yearn to return to those you have lost.  You will do terrible things to return, which no one else can understand.”
WRITER’S LESSON:
A very simple story can be given so much depth by giving the narrator a unique perspective.
BOOK SUGGESTION:
You’ll have to ask a Librarian!

Book #7
Popsugar Slot: “A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you”
The Steep and Thorny Way
by Cat Winters
I was so intrigued by this book that was a retelling of Hamlet, but set in 1920s Oregon.  Our protagonist, Hanalee Denney is the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man.  You follow her story as she deals with the KKK, the mysterious death of her father, and her friendship with the boy convicted of killing her father.  I found “The Steep and Thorny Way” to be well-written and particularly relevant as the US currently deals with the rise of the white supremacist movement.  Hanalee’s struggles were touching and the setting was rich and mysterious.  The novel did a beautiful job of addressing the difficulties in being a homosexual during that time period.  Definitely give this book a chance.
QUOTES:
“I believe that ‘love’ and ‘wrong’ are two deeply unrelated words that should never be thrown into the same sentence together. Like ‘dessert’ and ‘broccoli.’”
WRITER’S LESSON:
A character’s ethnicity is always part of the story – in one way or another.
BOOK SUGGESTION:
For a good book, by a character that is not my ethnicity, try Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros.

Book #8
Popsugar Slot: “A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long”
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
This is one of those books I know I should have read a long time ago and never got around to.  It took me a while to get through, but it’s another one that seems a perfect fit for our current climate in the US.  This story takes us to the turn of the century, where we follow Francie as she grows up with her poor family in Brooklyn.  It was amazing to me that a whole century later, so many working people are still struggling just as much as the characters in this book. With all of our money and technological advancement, there are still people working multiple jobs and struggling to put food on the table.  This book should be required reading for all of our government representatives.
QUOTES:
“A lie was something you told because you were mean or a coward.  A story was something you made up out of something that might have happened. Only you didn’t tell it like it was, you told it like you thought it should have been.”
WRITER’S LESSON:
Some stories are less about what happens and more about taking us to a different time and place and learning what it means to live there.
BOOK SUGGESTION:
You’ll have to figure this one out for yourself.

Book #9
Popsugar Slot: “A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited”
This Is Where It Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp
The author of “This is Where it Ends” is from The Netherlands, where I have sadly never visited.  This story takes us straight into YA territory, where we experience a school shooting along with teenagers at Opportunity High School in Alabama.  Moving from to student to student, the book gives life to different voices as the events unfold. Not only is there the anxiousness of what will happen to these teens, but the underlying mystery of why this shooter is driven to murder.  The topic of a school shooting could have easily become cliché and maudlin, but it’s handled deftly and with respect.  This was a page turner, and a must read if you enjoy the YA genre.
QUOTES:
“Dad always told me there are more stories in the universe than stars in the sky. And in every story, there’s the light of hope.”
WRITER’S LESSON:
When you are utilizing multiple perspectives of the same events, you really need each voice to be unique and each one to give a different insight into what’s happening.
BOOK SUGGESTION:
I’ve also never been to the UK, so I’ll recommend “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman.

Book #10
Popsugar Slot: “A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017”
Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver
Okay so “Before I Fall” is like Groundhog’s Day, but without humor, fun and cleverness.  The main character, Samantha, is supposed to start off unlikable and then grow and change from her mean girl persona, as she learns a lesson by living the worst day of her life over and over again. Unfortunately, she never becomes a character I really like, identify with or even care all that much what happens to. There are some lovely sections of prose, but they often feel overdramatic. It all culminated in an ending that to me, didn’t quite fit the story.  It felt like the author wanted to go for something unexpected and forced a conclusion that wasn’t earned.   For me, it just didn’t work.  This story was a good concept that was poorly executed.
QUOTES:
“That’s when I realized that certain moments go on forever. Even after they’re over they still go on, even after you’re dead and buried, those moments are lasting still, backward and forward, on into infinity. They are everything and everywhere all at once.”
WRITER’S LESSON:
You can’t force an ending just because you want to be clever or edgy.  It has to fit the story.
BOOK SUGGESTION:
It looks like an amazing movie and the source material is wonderful, so go with the classic “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie.


Thanks to the library and my long commute, I’m making excellent progress on my list and I’m determined to hit every category this year—including the “Advanced” ones.

What’s currently on your bookshelf?

Orglamix Glam Box: May 2017 Tea Party + 25% Off

Today it’s time to work through one of  the many awesome boxes I have piled up, since I’m going through the literal boxes piled up all over my house.  Moving sucks, but you never really remember how bad it is until you actually have to do it again.  Plus this is all going on while I try to get folks to review my new book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale”.  I’m not sure what to start bribing people with since I have no money.  I have some beauty products though.  Do you think offering moisturizer and hair oil would work?

Anyway, it’s time to forget my responsibilities for a moment and have some fun with one of my favorite boxes.
The May Orglamix Glam Box had a “Tea Party” theme.  “It seems like a new beauty craze crops up practically every day, but there’s a reason some have staying power.  And in the case of tea, as a beauty staple, that staying power has lasted a very very long time.  Tea is the world’s most ancient remedy.  It was discovered thousands of years ago in China, where people cultivated its use as a medicine, as a ritual, as an art form.  Turns out the world’s most popular beverage has plenty of beauty perks.  Tea makes for a great ingredient because it has wonderful benefits for the skin.  It’s packed with powerful antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits, plus it’s effective and gentle, making it perfect for all skin types.”

If you’d like to try out a box of vegan, cruelty free natural beauty products for yourself use the coupon code VEGAN to save 25%.

Multi Tea Organic Facial Cleanser
(Estimated Retail: $9.00)
Description: ”Organic green tea, white tea and rooibos tea, organic neem, DMAE, vitamins, and organic aloe vera make up this mild cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils or alter is pH….”
Verdict: Like!
This cleanser includes natural oils so it’s right up my alley.  I’m interested to see how adding tea to the mix effects the cleanser.

Rooibos Organic Eye Cream
(Estimated Retail: $18.00)
Description: “Rooibos tea is a red tea made from a South African red bush and it’s known to have even more antioxidant benefits than green tea.  Enhanced with hyaluronic acid, clanedula, rooibos, pomegranate extracts and evening primrose, this eye cream diminishes the appearance of puffs, under eye circles…”
Verdict: Love!
I love eye creams because even when I get really lazy about my skin care routine, I can usually stick to at least using an eye cream.  If you do nothing besides wear sun screen and apply a good eye cream regularly, you’ll really make a huge difference in how your skin ages.  I’m excited to try this out and love the generous size.

Sweet Tea Liplux Lip Tint
(Estimated Retail: $12.00)
Description: “A beautiful delicate pink, this lip tint adds lot so hydration and shine to your lips.  Made with coconut, canola, olive and grapeseed oils, this rose gold lip tint is delicately flavored with sweet tea…”
Verdict: Not quite right for me.
First, let me just say this feels amazing going on and it gives a really saturated color.  The only problem is for me it’s orange on my skin tone, not pink.  But this would look amazing on somebody with tan or olive skin. I can really see it giving that bronze JLo type glow.

Tea for Two Natural Eyeshadow
(Estimated Retail: $12.50)
Description: ”…Our golden metal crush eye shadow is electric, made from pigment-saturated powders that apply flawlessly dry or wet.”
Verdict: Hit!
This shade has a really pretty shimmer that is lovely during summer.  A little goes a long way.

Lemongrass Bath Bomb
(Estimated Retail: $5.00)
Description: ”…Take a dip with this zippy green and yellow fizzer to feel instantly energized!  Next time you’re feeling sluggish, simply pop one into your bath for a sunny dose of invigorating lemon-grass, bergamot essential oils and mesmerizing vibrant green waters.  Organic shea butter leaves you with soft, hydrated skin, while good ol’ fashioned baking soda cleanses and keeps you feeling fresh..”
Verdict: Like
There will come a day where I will have time to actually sit in a bathtub and enjoy my giant stockpile of bath products.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy this bathbomb then.


OVERALL
Verdict:
Like
I receive this for free in order to review it, but the regular cost is $29 and the estimated retail value came out to $56.50.  That’s a bit lower than past Orglamix boxes, but still a good value.  This had a nice summery feel and I think all the products would appeal to most subscribers.  The only reason it’s not a “love” for me is because the lip tint wasn’t a match for my complexion.  The product itself though feels so nice and goes on so smoothly that I’d love to try another in a different shade.

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes?
If so, dish about which ones and what are your favorite/least favorite items!

 THE BACKSTORY
Orglamix delivers healthy beauty delivered to your door every month.

Healthy, natural beauty, doesn’t have to be boring! When you sign up for Orglamix, every month you will receive a 4-6 expertly curated, healthy beauty products, non-toxic cosmetics, natural & sustainable, cruelty-free goods + a $10.00 Gift Card to orglamix.com. For every box sold, we donate a meal to orphaned children in need.

Cost:
Month to Month: $29.00
6 Month Prepay: $169.00
12 Month Prepay: $289.00

Coupons: USE CODE VEGAN – FOR 25% OFF YOUR FIRST BOX
Each Month comes with a $10 gift card for the Orlgamix.com site.

Play by Sephora: May 2017

It’s been a rough week.  I’m not quite at the point where I can articulate something clear and thoughtful about the terrorism that shook Charlottesville.  All I can say is that we’ve beaten hate before and we will do it again, because despite everything, most people are good. (Although sometimes I know it doesn’t seem like it.) We just have to stand together and help each other, and most of all never, ever, ever let hate be the loudest voice in the room.

Now, I know sub boxes are especially frivolous at this time, but I refuse to let terror stop me from doing the things I want to do.  So today I’m going to review my damn May Play by Sephora subscription and keep on keeping on.

If you want to see my box reveals as soon as I get them, follow me on Instagram for real time spoilers.
May’s theme was “The Rising Stars” – “This month we’re taking you on a tour of cult favorites, hard-to-find formulas, and one-of-a-kind brands that are making their mark.”
This month we got a super cute plastic pouch.  Great for tucking in some toiletries when you go to the beach, pool or waterpark.

NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone
(Full Size: $24.00)
Description: “A three-in-one matte lip stain, lip color, and lip liner that has a long-wearing, intensely pigmented formula in a bold, dep shade.”
Verdict: Like for Fall/Winter
I didn’t swatch this one because the color seems way more suited to Fall/Winter so I’m going to save it for then.  It’s described as “griege” shade and seems like a throwback to the 90s.  Even if it doesn’t work well with my pale complexion, I’ll have some fun playing around with it.

trèStiQue – Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick  Maldives Luminescent
(Full Size: $34.00)
Description: “This silk-smooth gel highlighter stick Paris a barely-there, lightweight texture with a luminous champagne pink shimmer.
Verdict: Like
Champagne pinks usually work well with my complexion.  I have so much makeup open that I wanted to save this one, so I didn’t swatch it. Unlike the matte lipstick, this felt appropriate for summer.

SUNDAY RILEY – Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser
(Full Size: $45.00)
Description: “Luxurious clay cleanser uses potent ingredients to minimize the appearance of pores and brighten for clear, balanced skin.”
Verdict: Like
Sunday Riley is one of those brands that bloggers adore and has quite a cult following.  It’s also pretty pricey, so I’m always glad to get some samples to try out.

Grande Cosmetics – GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper in Clear
(Full Size: $27.00)
Description: “Clear gloss uses a patented hyaluronic acid-infused formula to visibly plump lips while also softening over time.”
Verdict: On the fence
I’m not usually a fan of “plumping” lip products, but I’m willing to give it a try.  I do like that it’s clear so you can pair it with your favorite lipstick or gloss.

Christophe Robin – Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt
(Full Size: $53.00)
Description:”Cleanse, purify, and rebalance a sensitive or oily scalp with this soothing sea salt scrub that leaves hair soft and refreshed.”
Verdict: Love!
My scalp is one of my problem areas so getting a hair product to target that area is awesome.  I hope I don’t like this one too much since a full size is pretty pricey at $53.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:
MAISON MARGIELA – ’REPLICA’ Beach Walk (3.4 oz $126.00)
Description: “Transport yourself to sandy seaside memories with this radiant scent of bergamot, coconut milk, and lemon.”
Verdict: Finally!
The rare perfume that I can wear!  I love citrus scents so this was a nice surprise.

OVERALL

Verdict: Love!
This box was such a huge improvement over April’s.  I’ll use every product and there are lots of brands here that I haven’t tried before.   I also thought it had an excellent balance of products, although if I want to be nit-picky, I’d say they should have opted for a different makeup item rather than 2 lip products, and that the shade of the nudestix should have been more seasonally appropriate.  Still, this was a great box for $10, and Sephora still stands as my favorite budget beauty sub.

What type of lip colors do you wear and do you change them by season?

THE BACKSTORY
Each month Play by Sephora, will send you 5 deluxe samples handpicked from their shelves (plus a fragrance bonus) – all in a collectible bag.

Cost: $10 per month (plus any applicable tax)
Bonus:  Each month you’ll get an included card that you can bring to Sephora for an extra 50 bonus points for any Purchase.  These points are part of Sephora’s VIB program and can be traded in for an assortment of samples

Daily Goodie Box – June 2017

Today I’ve got something great to get us through hump day.
A FREE box.  That’s right, I said free.
Daily Goodie Box will send you a box of free product samples.  All you need to do is sign up and then leave your reviews of the product on their site.  It’s that simple.  It’s subject to availability of course, but free is free.

Here’s our box…

Tiger Balm –  Pain Relieving Ointment
Verdict:  Useful, but small
Tiger balm is great when you’ve done something you’re probably not supposed to do and your muscles are making you pay for it.  I just wish the sample was a little bigger.

Prince of Peace – Original Ginger Honey Crystals
Verdict: Great for a cold
I’m not much into ginger beverages, but this sounds like something that would be perfect for when you catch some horrible subway flu.  The size is great for a sample.

Black Forest Organic –  Gummy Bears
Verdict:  You had me at gummy
I’ll be honest, if it’s fruit flavored and in gummy form, I’ll probably love it.  These were delicious, not quite as amazing as the Albanese gummies, but still quite good.

BiPro – Protein Water Berry Burst
Verdict:  Not my jam
I’m not really into the flavored “waters” and I try to stay away from drinks that have calories.  This had the type of flavor you’d expect from berry flavored water – a slightly synthetic, but mostly refreshing drink.

Crown Maple – Organic Maple Syrup
Verdict:  Love!
Organic maple syrup in an adorable glass bottle. Yes, please!
Coupon: Use code GOODIE25 for 25% off any product order.  Expires 8/31/2017.

VitaBath – Travel Size Body Wash
Verdict:  Hit!
Bodywash is a product that my household goes through pretty quickly so I’m always happy to try a new brand.  This one is sulfate and paraben free and comes in a variety of scents.  Mine is coconut which sounds perfect for summer.

BetterThanCoffee – Energy Bars
Verdict:  Not too bad
I’m not big on “energy” bars or drinks.  This one did have a more natural, hippy type flavor and texture.  It seemed like something that was good for you. (If that makes sense).

Pure Growth Organic – Snack Mix
Verdict:
  Decent
There’s nothing extraordinary about this mix.  It tastes just fine and I think kids will like it.

Goddess Garden – Mineral Removing Cleanser
Verdict:  Too small
I’m always up for trying out new organic beauty products, but I think this sample is just too small to get a real idea of whether you truly like this product or not.

OVERALL

Because this is a free box, I’m not going to give it an overall rating, but I found it to be a wonderful free box.  Most of the sizes are more than adequate to judge the products, and it has a nice mix of different types of things, including some brands you might not know about otherwise.  I also appreciate that it included a lot of organic and healthy options.  Definitely worth the five minutes it takes to sign up and the few minutes it takes to write a couple sentences about each item.

Have you ever tried any free sample product boxes? What did you think?

THE BACKSTORY
Daily Goodie Box
It’s more than just Free Samples!

They’ll send you a box of free goodies and all you need to do is review the items.
Subject to Availability.
Shipping is Free. No credit card required EVER!

May 2017 Orangeglad & 10% off Coupon Code!

Okay it’s time to get back to boxes. To push us over the mid-week hump, I’ve got some sweet treats with my May review of Orangeglad, a monthly artisan dessert subscription.

If you’d like to try out one for yourself use my code ST10 for 10% off your order.

Lovely packaging as usual:

Rustic Bakery – Larkspur, CA
About the Company:
“So, the bakers scrambled to find a commercial kitchen space in their hometown of Novato, which they outgrew in the first week, struggling to keep up with more orders while working with a rolling pin and standard convection oven.  It wasn’t an around-the-clock effort.  Josh would mix all of the dough, and Carol would shape and bake the flatbreads.  As luck would have it, there was a wine bar in Larkspur with a fully outfitted, but unused bakery in the back.  Carol and Josh signed a lease, and the crowds converged the same day.  Two days later they purchased the entire space , turning the wine bar into a café serving coffee and croissants alongside the crackers….As far as we know, it’s the only handmade sourdough flatbread anywhere…”

Pecan Shortbread
($2.99 Each)
Description: “Tender and luscious, this delicate cookie is topped with sanding sugar after baking to complete its yumminess!”

Chocolate Chip and Cacao Nib

($2.99 Each)
Description: “This sophisticated cookie has a double chocolate flavor with the Valrhona chocolate and cacao nibs with a tiny bit of salt on the finish.”
Verdict:
Like
These are lovely shortbread cookies that aren’t overly dry.  They didn’t blow me away as super amazing, but they were quite nice and would pair well with a cup of tea or coffee.


McCrea’s

About the Company:
“The company uses local, real-food ingredients and packages its caramel in beautiful compostable containers.  Everything is made in America.  In fact, McCrea’s is a Good Food Award winner, an honor given to outstanding American food producers and farmers who provide their ingredients.  The company was also selected by Martha Stewart as an American Made finalist, by USA Today as a Best Gift for Foodies and by People Magazine for inclusion in the publication’s gala gift bags.”

Cape Cod Sea Salt Caramel
(5.5 oz Tube: $14.95)
Description: “Sweet caramel with savory flakes of coast a New England se salt. A walk in the surf.”
Verdict:
Miss
While I thought the caramel had a wonderful buttery taste, I did not care for the sea salt addition.  It was like eating caramel that accidentally got some sand in it.  I’d have loved to sample one of their offerings without the salt.

Treat Bake Shop
About the Company:
“Sarah started her culinary career as an early-morning bake in college.  After college, she studied with a pastry chef in France and got a master’s in Library and Information Science with an emphasis on Collections and Food Research.  She then started working at food magazines, went to Japan, wrote, and published a highly praised cookbook, A Cook’s Journey to Japan.  All of her experience led up to the moment in November 2011, Sarah made the scary, but more-so exciting, decision to take the plunge and open Treat Bake Shop  – business focused on sourcing the highest-quality ingredients to produce unforgettable baked goods delivered with exceptional customer service.  Treat Bake Shop’s first product, Spiced Pecan, was inspired by her childhood friend, Sarah, and became an instant hit.”

Candied Pecans
(3 oz Bag: $5.95)
Description: “A salty-sweet treat with great crunch. Perfect with a little white wine…a creamy cheese…on salads. And of course, on their own.”
Verdict:
Love!
This is so beautifully packaged and would make a wonderful wedding or party favor.  These nuts were delicious and not overly sweet.  And as mentioned in the description, they are a versatile treat that can be used in as an ingredient in a larger dish or paired with other savory components.  My favorite item in the box!

Torie and Howard
About the Company:
“Coincidentally, along the road somewhere, each of them experienced a health related event that would have a significant impact on their life.  For Howard, Losing over a hundred pounds led to a renewed focus on eating as healthy and nutritionally conscious as possible.  For Torie, it was the onset of severe food allergies that forced her to make serious changes in her life and in her diet.  With a new dedication to nutrition in their lives and the relative lack of healthy, indulgent snacks on the market, it became apparent that the time was right to fulfill their dream of starting their own snack food company.  And so Torie & Howard was born, out of a mutual love of delicious and all natural foods that soothe the soul and nourish the body.

Pomegranate & Nectarine Hard Candy
(2 oz: $3.99)
Description: “Unique, sophisticated sweets brimming with fresh flavors that taste of real luscious fruit-picked straight from the garden.  You’ve certainly never tasted anything like these candies.  Carefully crafted from all natural ingredients, the candies feature sophisticated dual flavors of tart California pomegranate with sweet freestone nectarine.  No additives, no artificial flavors or colors.  Just pure. fresh. delicious satisfaction.”
Verdict:
Like!
These hard candies definitely have a fresh fruit taste, unlike so many that have a chemical or overly processed flavor.  The tin is lovely as well and is nice to keep in your bag or car when you need a little pick me up.

 OVERALL

Verdict: Hit!
Even though I receive this box free in order to review it, I’ve had some issues in the past with the price tag relative to the value you receive.  This month marks a huge improvement in that area.  The cost of a box is $25 and the estimated retail of the items comes out to $19.73, but that’s without shipping.  The flat rate shipping just from the Treat Bake Shop would set you back $9.99.  I don’t think a consumer would be able to get all these items for $25 or less on their own, so we’ll check off the value box as a win.

I thought the treats in this box had a nice variety and were all quite sophisticated.  Orangeglad is a great gift for someone who you may not know super well or someone who you know in a less personal capacity – like a work colleague or business associate.  It has a lovely high end feel and most people would find at least one treat in the box they’d enjoy.

Have you ever given a subscription as a gift?
If so, what was it and how did the recipient like it?

THE BACKSTORY
Orangeglad is an “artisan dessert box that sends handcrafted, unique and exclusive desserts each month. Eat delicious treats created by local artisan chefs throughout the country, and learn about the amazing people behind each item.”

Single Portion Box: 5 Deluxe Sized Treats
Curated from around the country
Makes 1-2 people happy
Cost: $25 per month (shipping included)

Double Portion Box: 10 Deluxe Sized Treats
Curated from around the country
Makes 3-4 people happy
Cost: $40 per month (shipping included)

Managing your account is easy. If you want a break, you can cancel or skip at anytime, with absolutely no hassle.

Coupon Codes: Use code ST10 for 10% off your orders

Orglamix Glam Box: April 2017 Best In Beauty + 25% Off

Another day, another late sub box review.  Promoting my new book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” has proven both stressful and time-consuming.  Apparently you can’t just tell people it’s an awesome book and beg them to leave you an Amazon review.  Do you think bribing people with cookies would work?  I’d bake them myself and everything.

Anyways, I am shamefully behind with so many great box reviews and posts, so I’m going to just try to power through my backlog and see where we end up.
Today I have my April Orglamix Glam Box that had “Best in Beauty” theme.  “Spring is in full bloom, and as the sun comes out and jackets come off, the desire to lift a few layers (and minutes) from our makeup routine is intensifying.  To help, this month we’ve turned to our bestselling favorites for a makeup bag refresh.  These 5-star products are an easy way to sharpen up your look but still keep it low key.”
If you’d like to try out a box of vegan, cruelty free natural beauty products for yourself use the coupon code VEGAN to save 25%.
My packaging even came with this adorable tiny little stars.

Bubble Blender Silicone Makeup Applicator
(Estimated Retail: $15.00)
Description: ”…It’s time to throw out all of your makeup sponges and never waste expensive makeup again. The Bubble Blender’s innovative and revolutionary design allows you to blend all your liquid or cream based makeup without any waste.  THE secret lies in its nonporpous design which does not absorb makeup like a sponge but still maintains flawless application.”
Verdict: Love!
I’ve seen these style of applicators on beauty blogs and been dying to try one out. I can’t wait to see how it works with my go to CC cream from It Cosmetics.  I’d love to see if this can replace my makeup sponges since I find cleaning the sponges tedious and since this product is non-porous it seems like it’s super easy to keep hygienic.

llume Cream Luminizer
(Estimated Retail: $18.00)
Description: “Our must have, bestselling cream highlighter adds a youthful glow with a transparent, dewy finish.  Use Luminizer on cheek bones, brow bones and eyelids to create a sensuous, luminous glow.  IT’s not shiny, greasy or glittery.  Use it anywhere you want gorgeous, glowing skin.  Simply blend over cheek bones, down the bridge of the nose and at the bow of the lips.”
Verdict: Like!
I like the subtle sheen of this Luminizer and that it’s not glittery.  It’s definitely a nice product for the more natural makeup looks I like to go for in Spring and Summer.

Mud Treatment Hydrating
(Estimated Retail: $15.00)
Description: “A 5-minute professional-quality mud mask treatment to deliver instant, extreme hydrating. Our Hydrating Mud Treatment uses the newest, most advanced and extreme hydration active technologies.  It moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms in just five minutes.”
Verdict: Hit!
I found that working in the garden and around the house has left my skin dry.  Once I actually have at least one bathroom in decent shape, I’m going to give myself a nice facial and try out this mud treatment.


V.I.Pretty lip + cheek gelle

(Estimated Retail: $18.00)
Description: ”Wear the first rosy glow of Spring with this multi-tasking lip & cheek stain.”
Verdict: Hit!
I adore cream blushes and this shade is lovely and subtle.

5 Star Fab natural eyeshadow
(Estimated Retail: $12.50)
Description: ”One part unicorn, one part mermaid and three parts magic combine for a wash of rainbow color and all around total gorgeousness.  So without further ado, here is the makeup look everyone will be copying; watercolor eyes…Experiment with extra-colorful pastel, opalescent lids.
Verdict: LOVE!
You had me at mermaid.  Watercolor eyes are one of my favorite looks and I tend to hoard eye products in soft oceany pastels.  I love the shimmer to this.  Mineral eyeshadows go on so beautifully that I’ve kind of become addicted to them.  At first I was intimidated with trying to use them, but they go on smoothly and blend easily.  Definitely try them out if you haven’t.

OVERALL

Verdict:
Love!
I receive this for free in order to review it, but the regular cost is $29 and the estimated retail value comes out to $78.50.  I think for $29 this box delivered a nice variety of products that would appeal to most subscribers.  I love how Orglamix always surprises me with something new and unexpected (like the silicone blender), and I find that it’s one of the most consistent beauty boxes in terms of providing items that I will use and enjoy.  If you’re looking for a unique beauty box, definitely give this one a try.

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes?
If so, dish about which ones and what are your favorite/least favorite items!

 THE BACKSTORY
Orglamix delivers healthy beauty delivered to your door every month.

Healthy, natural beauty, doesn’t have to be boring! When you sign up for Orglamix, every month you will receive a 4-6 expertly curated, healthy beauty products, non-toxic cosmetics, natural & sustainable, cruelty-free goods + a $10.00 Gift Card to orglamix.com. For every box sold, we donate a meal to orphaned children in need.

Cost:
Month to Month: $29.00
6 Month Prepay: $169.00
12 Month Prepay: $289.00

Coupons: USE CODE VEGAN – FOR 25% OFF YOUR FIRST BOX
Each Month comes with a $10 gift card for the Orlgamix.com site.