My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

Boxy Charm Monthly Box - April 2017 Unboxing

Boxy Charm provides me with a monthly selection of full size beauty products from a variety of companies that provide me with a really good value for my monthly investment of $21.  Monthly Beauty boxes are really popular right and most of them come with various sized products samples. If you do a google search you can find one to fit almost every budget and type of product line.  I have purchased Korean Beauty Products boxes, Ipsy, Birchbox, Sephora Play and others. While I really enjoy the product selection in my Sephora Play monthly subscription box, I find that my current favorite is Boxy Charm.  I have been subscribed to it for a year and have yet to be disappointed in a box. Granted there have been months where I received products that were not quite right for me, my daughters have loved getting the items that did not suit me.

Each month, Boxy Charm sends me 5 to 6 full size items to try.  One of the reasons that I enjoy the Boxy Charm monthly subscription box is that they provide a range of products that vary so much from month to month.  They can vary from eyeshadow to lipsticks to hair shampoo.  I have also received several boxes that have included some interesting pallets from a variety of companies. Each box also includes a card that gives a brief description of each product, the retail value of the product and links to the manufacturers website.  This makes it so easy to look up a particular product when I want to repurchase it.

The first item in the April 2017 Boxy Charm Monthly Subscription box is a concealer palette from Measurable Difference.  The Measurable Difference Concealer palette retails at $19.99 and has 16 different shades of concealer in it. This is great for my daughter who is taking a makeup class and needed a palette that could be used for a variety of skin shades.

The texture of the concealer is creamy and easy to apply.

I also liked that they concealer palette did not have any weird scents (I have purchased some in the past that have a heavy perfume scene that made it hard to use a palette).

The second item that came in the Boxy Charm Monthly Subscription box is a 3 piece set of contour blending sponges by PUR.  The retail value of this set is $36.00.  I have several items from the PUR line of products so I am familiar with the quality of their products. Plus,  I can never have too many blending sponges so this set alone is worth the price of the box.

The third item in the Boxy Charm April 2017 Monthly Subscription Box is the Rodeo Drive Highlighter by OFRA Cosmetics.  The Rodeo Drive Highlighter is beautiful.  It is a really light powder that goes on smoothly.  I swatch it on my arm and  you can barely see it in the shade.  The highlighting effect is there but it is very subtle.  And as you can see it is also very pigments, since it covers the green vein you can see on my arm.

The Ofra Cosmetics highlighter can also be layered for more of an effect. However, if you are going to be photographed using a flash, then use only a light dusting of this product.  When I put my arm in the full sun, I could really see how well the highlight worked.

I was really impressed with how shimmery the product is and how easy it glided onto my skin.

The fourth item in my box was a lip gloss by Cargo Cosmetics in the color Umbria.  It retails for $16 on their website.   This lipgloss is supposed to have a high shine that delivers an intense long lasting color.  It is also not supposed to be sticky.  Unfortunately, I do not look good in browns so I chose to not open it.  While the color did not work for me, I easily found someone who was very excited to have the product and it looked great on her.

The fifth product in my box was from Hairgurt By Project Beauty. This is a yogurt shampoo that is supposed to be smoothing and moisturizing for the hair.  The Hairgurt Yogurt Shampoo retails for $10.  I was really impressed with the ingredients of this shampoo.  It has botanical oils, Keratin, nuts, and yogurt.  The product is sulfate, and paraben free.  The scent I got was Banana.  It smells so good. Additionally, I was impressed that the shampoo actually had a metal seal.  This keeps the product fresh.  I liked how well it cleaned my hair.  The same brand also has hair masks on their site that look pretty interesting.

I think I get a lot of value in my boxes.  The selection this month was really good.  Even though I did not like the color of the lip gloss, I still feel that the other items in the box were great.  I also get the Sephora Play box. If you would like to read my review of what came in the April box, just click on this link.

Note: I paid for this box and I am not affiliated with Boxy Charm, however I do have a link that earns me points.  So far I have not earned enough to cash it in for anything but I will let you know if I do and how that process went.

Plaid Paint Products Unboxing & Review

Plaid Enterprises recently sent me some of their paint products to sample the include some bottles from 2017 new product line. I was thrilled to receive a boxful of Plaid Enterprises Paint Products in the mail to unbox and Review.  There is an excellent sampling of a variety of paint products and a portable loom kit.

The first item in the box is the new FolkArt Stencil Sprays which were released in March 2017.  These stencil sprays come in a plastic 2 oz tube that has a spray pump on the end.

I like that it is long and skinny because I can put sprays into a jar to keep them together on the go.  Anyway, the colors I got in my box are: Bright Red (6186), Yellow (6182) and Brown (6195).  There are a total of seventeen colors in this new line.

I used a Waverly Inspirations Laser Stencil called Floral (60514E).  I find the Waverly stencils are perfect to use in my watercolor paper journal because they are a flexible plastic that lets me place them on a variety of surfaces.  Plus they are super easy to clean up after use.  I decided to test them out on a journal page to see how they worked.  These FolkArt Stencil Spray paints work great with stencils but you have to remember to hold the spray bottle at least 8 inches away if you want to get a fun splotched paint look like the one below.

If you spray closer then you can also achieve different looks just by adjusting how hard to spray and where you spray the paint.
The clean up from using these paints is pretty easy. I just wipe off the paint from the stencil with a wet paper towel.

The second set of paints in my box were 5 bottles of the Plaid Fabric Creations soft Fabric Ink in yellow (25985), Poppy (25977), Tangerine (25983), Carnation (25974), and Shamrock (25988).  The Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Inks are really pigmented inks that can be layered to achieve more opaque effects.  I wanted to test out the fabric inks that came in the box, so I used a brush to add some of the paint onto my journal page which is a cold press watercolor paper.

I set aside to dry and decided to see how well it worked with the Wavery Stencils.

I wanted the page to dry faster, so I decided to put a paper towel onto the page and I think the results are pretty cool.
The page came out great and these inks work great on the watercolor paper.

I wanted to test the fabric ink on some fabric so I grabbed an organza flower hair clip which had a bit of paint that had stained part of the flower.

As you can, the Plaid Fabric Creations Ink worked well on the organza fabric and the paint stain is a lot less noticeable.

It will be even less noticeable once I spray a bit of glitter onto it.

The third product line in my box were a set of four 2 oz bottles of the new FolkArt Pickling Wash in Driftwood (5824), Champagne; Stormy Sky (5825) and Papillon (5821).  These paints create a transparent wash of color on wood and other natural surfaces that are natural and porous (baskets, unfinished wood, straw, etc).  The instructions for use are pretty simple, just shake and paint onto the porous surface.

Allow to dry for 20 to 30 seconds (depending on how much color you want the surface to absorb) and then wipe with a soft clean cloth.

According to the bottle, it will cure within 24 hours. The FolkArt Pickling Wash were released in March 2017 and will be available at Michaels in June 2017.

The fourth product included in my box was 2 oz bottles of the FolkArt Glaze in Cafe Noir (5799) and Cream Puff (5798).  The FolkArt Glaze creates an antique finish on wood and other natural porous surfaces.

I decided to test them on the piece of wood frame that I had painted with the pickling wash (once it had cured for the 24 hours).  the Folk Art Glaze is pretty easy to use. I shook the bottle and just painted the surface with the glaze.  I used a piece of soft fabric to soak up the excess and set it aside to dry.  I found that the wood surface sucked up the glaze fairly quickly.   Once it dried it left a really nice satin finish on the piece.

The fifth product included in the box was 2 oz bottles of Leather Studio Acrylic paint for leather and vinyl.  The colors included in my box were Ruby (71435), Cobalt (71433), Yellow (71417), Metallic Pure Gold (71430) and a high gloss finish (71451).  I did not get a chance to test them out but when I switched the paint onto the watercolor paper, it was pretty pigmented.  I will post a future review and project using these paints in the future.

The last product included in the box from Plaid is a "Weave It n' Leave It" kit from Bucilla.  I am especially excited about this kit because I have always wanted to learn weaving but I did not know enough about weaving to figure out what all I needed to purchase to create anything. These kits are completely inclusive and have everything you need to create the featured project.

This kit contains:

  • mini wood oval loom
  • plastic needle
  • 100% acrylic yarn in various colors
  • 100% cotton warp string

and easy to follow instructions with great step by step photos.  I also like that they include some tips for newbies in their directions.  I will do another post in the future showing how I made the kit and the final piece.

I would like to thank Plaid Enterprises for their generosity in providing me with all this product to do some future projects and posts with.

Note: I do not work for Plaid Enterprises. These products were sent to me for my honest review and use.

Sephora Play Monthly Box - April 2017 Unboxing

I just received the Sephora Play April 2017 monthly subscription box and they have really outdone themselves with the great sample size products they have included in this months box.  I also really love the theme of this box which is "Step It Up".

 The illustrations on this month's product sheet are so cute that I am going to cut them out and use them to decorate some pages in my travelers notebook.  As always, the Sephora Play monthly subscription box includes a card that gives me an additional 50 Beauty Insider bonus points on my next purchase which is great timing since the VIB sale is starting soon.

I also really like this months fabric bag with the cute illustration.

Each month the Sephora Play April 2017 monthly subscription box includes a fabric bag and they materials, colors, and illustration change each month.  I just think the bag for April 2017 is adorable and these are perfectly sized to store my travelers notebook in to protect them from dust.

The first Item in the Sephora Play April 2017 box is a .25 oz sample of the Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Creme by Peter Thomas Roth.  This cream is supposed to moisturize my skin for up to 72 hours.  I have pretty dry skin right now, thanks to some medication that I am on, so that will come in handy.

The second item in the Sephora Play box is a .84 fl oz bottle of the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover.  I already use this product and am so happy to have a travel size that I can put in my travel bag.

The third item in the Sephora Play monthly subscription box is .25 fl. oz sample of the Smashbox Photo Finish foundation primer.  Again, I already use this product and love it.  It goes on very easily and I find that a little goes on a long way on this product.  I find it works especially well on hot humid days to help my make up glide on easily and stay on place (along with the use of a finishing powder).  This little travel sized sample is perfect for my on the go lifestyle and fits into my makeup bag.

The fourth item in the Sephora Play April play box is .25 fl. oz sample of the Kate Somerville Exfoliate which is an intensive exfoliator that uses fruit enzymes to help polish the skin.  This one is created for use on the face to help smooth out the skin.  I have never purchased it before so it will be great to try it out.  I don't tend to like harsh exfoliators so I hope this one is gentle on my skin. Anyway, the packaging says to use a very small amount of this product one to two times a week. So this sample may last a while and give me a chance to fully evaluate how it works on my skin.

The fifth item in the Sephora Play April 2017 subscription box is from Make Up For Ever and is a .001 Aqua XL Eye Pencil in black.  I have never tried this particular eye pencil line from Make Up For Ever before.  However, I have tried others and have not had much success with it.  I have found that their eye pencils lines start to splotch after about an hour of wear (including the ones that are for the waterline).  I will give this one a try but I don't hold high hopes for it.  I have found other brands that have worked better for me a the Sephora store.

The sixth and last item in this month's box is a .o4 fl. oz sample of the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume, which is a lovely light flowery scent that is perfect for summer.  According to the Sephora website the notes on this perfume are:

  • Top Note: Violet Leaves and Wild Strawberries
  • Middle Notes: Violet Petals and Jasmine
  • Base Notes: Musk and Vanilla.

I like this sample but I am pretty sure my daughter will like it more. It is perfect for a teenager, since it is not too overpowering and has such a pretty scent.

Note:  Once again, this is not a sponsored post.  I am not affiliated with Sephora.  I have paid for the box with my own funds.

Sephora Play Monthly Box - March 2017 Unboxing

If you haven't had a chance to order the Sephora Monthly Play Beauty Box, here is a peak at the contents of the March 2017 box.  The theme for this box is "the shine is now" which hints at the products being included in this box.  Each month Sephora sends out it's Sephora Play box in a well constructed box that protects the contents very well.  They also package the items in a cute bag that varies in fabric and sometimes color each month.  I love getting these bags each month because I found that they are great for storing my travelers notebooks and protecting them from dust.

Additonally, Sephora includes a product sheet that informs the reader what each product is and some tips for using the product.  It also includes a bonus point card that applies an additional 50 Beauty Insider points with my next purchase.

The first item in the box is a .24 ounce Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer sample.  I am a huge Glamglow fan and love all of their face masks, so I am excited to try out this new product from their line.  The Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer is supposed to boost the look of dry skin and dull skin by moisturizing the skin with botanicals and giving the skin a boost visually with the light reflecting formula.  The packaging suggests applying it directly to the face and wearing it alone or under makeup.  I am still recovering from Bronchitis so my skin is really dry at the moment.  So when I tried it, I found that for me I still needed to apply moisturizer first and then layer this product on top of it.  The Glowstarter sample gave my skin a nice subtle healthy glow.  I find that I do not like how some highlighting products look heavy over my make up.  So I decided to use just a tiny amount of the product on top of my makeup base over my cheek bone area to see how well that would work. I am happy to say that it gave me a really nice light highlight that was not obvious.  Highlighters tend to give a bit of flashback in photos which are shot with flash.  So I decided to test the Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer to see how much flashback it would give me.  I found that is had enough flash back that I would not recommend using it if you are heading out to an indoor or night event where you will be photographed using flash. Otherwise, it is fabulous for regular day or evening use.

The next product is a .08 oz sample of "Watts Up" by the Benefit cosmetics company in San Francisco, California.  The Watts Up sample is a solid high lighter than can be used to highlight and define facial features.  I love that it is a solid stick which makes it easy to use and take on the go.  Now this product provides a much more dramatic highlight.  Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, this product is pretty versatile.  I used it just under my eyebrow, over my check area and around the outside area of my eye duck to high light those areas.  It worked very well.  Again, this product does have a lot of flashback so if you are going to be photographed using a flash, be very careful on the application of the product because it can affect how the finished photo will look.  I recommend taking a test photo using the flash on your cell to check and see if your application is just right for the look you are trying to achieve.

The third product is by Josie Maran and is a .1 oz sample of the Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm.  Once again, my skin is really dry right now so this sample could not have come at a better time.  I layered it over my moisturizer and my skin quickly absorbed it.  The Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm is a primer that gives a really subtle glow to the skin.  Like all the Jose Maran products that I use, the Surreal Skin Balm is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.  The product itself is not oily nor sticky.  I dislike primers that leave my skin sticky or make my makeup base start to pill up.  I also was impressed that a little of this product goes a long way.   Since I applied it before my makeup base, I did not find that this product had any flashback issues for me.  The full size is .5 ounces and sold at Sephora for $36.  At first I thought that was a bit steep for the amount of product you get in the jar.  However, once I started to use it, I realized that a little of this product goes a long way.

The fourth product is a .06 oz sample of Urban Decay's Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I was first introduced to the Urban Decay's Original Primer Potion product when I took a makeup artistry class at my local community college.  The instructor swore by this product and used it on all of the brides she put make up on.  This primer is sticky which helps adhere powder shadows to the eye lid.  It also works well with cream eyeshadow.  I have found the use of this primer makes a difference when I apply makeup on someone who needs to have it stay on for 7 to 10 hours.  It is a great product.  Personally, I have been using it for years and have yet to encounter a product that works as well as the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion does.  Urban Decay also offers a long wearing anti aging primer potion that works well with dry skin.  I use that one when I go to the desert to give my eye lid a bit of a boost.  The .16 oz tube of the Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion sells for $12 at Sephora.

The fifth Product is a .57 oz bottle of Verb Ghost Oil which is a hair oil that helps smooth down frizzy hair and give it a nice shine.  It has moringa seed oil to moisturize the hair so it can be detangled easier.  It did a really good job of smoothing my hair and controlling the fly away hair issues I usually face.  I also really liked the fresh clean scent that this oil had. I have tried other brands in the past that had a really strong scent and/or were sticky.  I have pretty thick hair and shy away from sticky hair oils.  This product immediatly soaked into my hair quickly and did not leave a sticky film.  It was really easy for me to brush my hair and finish styling it.  Also, the price on this product is really reasonable too.  Sephora sells the 2 oz bottle for $14. The .57 oz bottle in this kit is really a good size sample for me to be able figure out if I will purchase it in the future.

The sixth product is a vial of Clementine from the Atelier Colonge collection.  I am not a huge fan of perfumes, since my work and school discourage the use of it (allergen reasons) for the sake of clients and fellow students.  Thus I don't often have the opportunity to use it.  However, I have to say that I enjoy citrus base scents because they tend to be lighter. This is a nice scent this is not overwhelming and a little goes a long way.  So even this little vial will last quite a while.  According to the website this perfume has:

  • Top Notes of Clementine, mandarin, and juniper berries,
  • Middle Notes of Star anise, Sichuan Pepper, and basil
  • Base Notes of Vetiver, sandalwood, and cypress
The cost of the monthly Sephora Play box is $10 which includes shipping. The deluxe size of the 5 samples in this box provide enough product for me to try them out and see if they work for me before I commit to a full size product.  They are also perfectly sized for travel, so I enjoy it when I get products that I already use.

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I paid for the box with my own funds.