Sunday, May 20, 2018

Birchbox Limited Edition "How to Hygge" Box ::: Quick thoughts!

If you follow me here or on my Instagram for the beauty content, you may already know that I absolutely love value kits or gift boxes. If you put a little bit of effort you can find kits that are of incredible value where each of the product can be wonderful for you.

So, Birchbox is one of my favorite places to find unique kits/sets with incredible value! I don't buy from them often though; the last time I bought was at least 2-3 years ago. Reviewed here. But I do check their website for the limited edition boxes say every 3-4 months. They have such wonderfully curated boxes with products that are popular but not sickeningly hyped up! And their boxes has a little bit of everything - starting from makeup, skincare to candle to chocolate drinks to books and what not! Whenever I found a kit that peaks my interest, I grab it! :-)

Today's post is about How to Hygge box. This box is curated around the concept of hygge. As found in their website "Hygge (noun) /ˈhuːɡə/ (pronounced “hoo-ga”): The Danish lifestyle concept of coziness and a feeling of comfort and well-being." As expected, this box is designed with comforting products to put you in a calm state of mind. I saw quite a few products in this box that I have been itching to try but did not want to pay full price. 

This box will cost you $53 & it came with free shipping! (Side note: I rarely pay for shipping while shopping online). I have done a tally of the cost of the products and it came around $157. I could not figure out the EXACT prices for two of the products but still the oervall value is at least $150. Isn't that amazing?

I will start with products that were the most interesting to me!

thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (Full Size worth $29): I have been intrigued about this product for such a long time now. I have trouble falling in sleep from time to time and I really wanted to try this out. But I could never bring myself to pay whole $29.99 for a product that may or may not work for me. I have used it 3 times now and it had helped me sleep. However, those 3 days were relatively easy day you know; I was not much stressed or did not have headache or any kind of TROUBLE getting sleep. Trust me, I have had bad nights. I am interested to see if this can help during my super stressful days! 

Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil (Full Size worth $24): Another product that has interested me since its launch! As a matter of fact, I have not tried any of the stick products from Milk Makeup. And I feel like this is the perfect product for my skin type. I have way too many skincare products in use right now so I am not going to try it right now but I am excited :-) If it works for me, it will be perfect for travelling!

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Peaceful Paranoia (Full Size worth $18): This has been such a surprize favorite. I did not really expect much from this shade. I have gotten a Smith & Cult polish in my previous limited-edition box. While that shade was lovely, the formula was a tiny bit thin! However, I applied "Peaceful Paranoia" on both my toes and fingernails; and it has been perfect. The formulla is great and I absolutely love the shade. It is a perfect blush shade for my skin color. It also has a subtle purple sheen duochrome which is so very elegant! I can already see it will be my go-to shade for days when I need to feel glammed up and yet maintain the office decorum :-) Every once-in-while I catch a glimps of my nail tips and this beautiful sheen in this shade makes me feel happy! I am also impressed about the staying power of it; I have had it for 6 days and it had held up strong! I am so glad this is in this box :-)


Askinosie Chocolate Single Origin Sipping Chocolate (Deluxe Size worth $14.53): Another product I have managed to try out from the product. It was nice. :-) I mean, I am not a die-hard fan of hot chocolate but hey, I will never say no to food!

Votivo® Aromatic Travel Tin Candle in No. 45 Grey Vetiver™ (Full Size worth $12): I love candles! I also love this small size jars so definitely good to have in my box :-) It smells lovely, I have not burnt it yet!

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish (Deluxe Size; I am not sure the oz. amount here  so not exactly know the value but the full-size comes with 8 oz at $36): Another product that I have been very very interested. I love the Blue Tansy Mask from this brand and I love body scurbs so this is awesome. But again, I have not tried it because I want to finish up the scrub that I have been using currently.

Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil (Deluxe Size worth $11.17): I try to collect deluxe products from Sunday Riley but unfortunately none of them has performed upto the hype. This is a deluxe size cleansing oil; not really an extremely exciting product but it is an expensive one! It definitely increases the overall value of the product.

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask (Deluxe Size worth $12): I have recently bought a hair straintening brush set from Amika which had this mask in full-sze. I have heard so much good things about this product, I have not tried it but it would be nice to have a travel-size with me.

Oh K! Sleep Mask (Full Size worth $6.50 ): Again, big fan of masking over here! This is a face mask with which you can sleep in! And I like the convient tube-type packaging!

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches with Soothing Cornflower (Total 4 patches worth $6.87): I have tried these before. It helped me tackle the tiredness but not much with the dark circles. But I do enjoy masking!

Richer Poorer Women’s Textured Crew Socks - 1 Pair (Full Size worth $9.80; sale price): Socks! Can never have enough of them :-)

Calm Book by Michael Acton Smith (Price stated as $ , but you can find it much affordable price): I am not really much into self-help genre of books but this fits well with the theme of the box. I will still give it a try!

OVERALL, I am very excited about the box. Even though I have tried only 2 or 3 products from the box I am quite sure that box is definitely worth the price tag!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Products I've Used Up/Empties Vol. 14

It has been 4 months since my last empties post. But I am back it at again with quite a few products that I have used up :-)

Yankee Candles Appalachian Daisy 2-wick Candle: I bought this candle at a discount but cannot exactly remember from which store. I really like the fragrance and if I find it at a fairer price again, I will repurchase.
Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Mint 3-wick Candle: I soooooo loved the fragrance of this candle! Now that I have tried a few different brands now, I have finally arrived at the conclusion that the performance of BBW candles is much superior; especially when I can get them during sale! I will definitely repurchase, but of course, I will wait for a sale.
Voluspa 3-wick candle in Mokara: This Mokara fragrance is such a familiar fragrance to me, I cannot really pinpoint why and how, but I think this fragrance brings back childhood memories. While I loved the smell, I did not like the quality of this candle. It has 3-wicks but as you can see it did not burn evenly and there is still a lot of wax left unburnt. The throw also was not that strong. I will not to repurchase but I love the smell so much!

Skincare & Hair Empties:
Redken No Blow Dry NBD Just Right Cream: I saw absolutely no effect of this cream on my hair. It just felt like an additional step without resulting in any benefit. I am just glad to get it finished. Will not repurchase.
Living Proof Timeless Shampoo: This was a deluxe size and hardly lasted me for a single use :-)! Honestly I don’t exactly remember if I liked it or not. I did not have any negative experience though :-)
O.P.I. Avojuice Coconut Melon Hand Body Lotion: I sincerely hope this is the last of a set I bought quite some time ago. This was ok  but it took a little bit of time to sink in which was not very convenient. As you can imagine, I will not repurchase.
L’Occitane Almond Smoothing and Beautifying Supple Skin Oil: I love using body oils because my dry skin really need it. I have been trying and  using a lot of different body oils for a long time now. And I was quite excited about this one because it is a cult favorite within the beauty community. I liked it but at times it felt a little bit heavy. It also has a sweet smell from the almond which I am not a big fan. I am not quite sure if I want to purchase a full-size just yet.
The Body Shop Pinata Colada Shower Gel: It is a decent shower gel. I did not really enjoy the smell. I have never tried the drink so I don’t really know how close is the smell is to the actual drink. But it was a bit thicker in consistency and I had hard time getting the gel out. I will not repurchase.
The Body Shop Mango Shower Gel: One of the very few scents I can use from Body Shop is this Mango one. I still would not want to repurchase a full-size.
Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Water: I love a good facial spray! This is one out of the 3 sprays from a set and I have already finished the Truth Facial Water. That was my most favorite. This was enjoyable too! Would I repurchase? I do not know :-) Btw, they have changed the packaging and it looks so much better now.

Sephora Collection Super Supreme Body Butter: Can you tell I go through Body moisturizes like crazy? I absolutely loved this one! It is a huge jar but because it has been a long winter and often I have been it using twice daily, I finished it sooner than I expected! It is very moisturizing with a lasting effect. It is kind of a thick cream but easy to apply all over my body. I think I purchased it randomly just to get qualified for picking deluxe sample, & I can definitely see myself repurchasing!
Tree Hut Mediterranean Salt Scrub: I absolutely enjoy Tree Hut products. As it is evident from the total 3 Tree Hut products I finished here. I absolutely enjoy the smell of this one, it is sooo comfortable and relaxing! And it was perfect for winter. However, I actually prefer their sugar scrub formula more than the Salt one. I will not repurchase the salt scrub but I already bought 2 or 3 sugar scrubs as backup.
Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime: Another lovely body butter. I have loved almost everything from this brand. This was no exception. It was lighter in consistency than the Sephora body butter.But it was enough for the transitional Spring weather here. I will repurchase full-size at some point but for now I would love to repurpose this jar from my travel needs. 
Korres Body Butter in Jasmine: I am sad that this is finished. I absolutely loved the product. It is quite moisturizing, easy to apply and sinks into the skin so quickly. The smell of Jasmine is quite subtle but oh-so-lovely! I have two other body butters from Korres in my backup shelf but I would definitely repurchase in the future. Also, it is not so difficult to find gift sets of these so I will buy them in sets; otherwise it can get a bit expensive.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser: It is a very generic, very simple cleanser. It did a good job as a basic cleanser. This 1 oz. tube also lasted for quite some time. I love my Philosophy Purity Cleanser as my second cleanser. Hence, I would not repurchase. It was a good enough cleanser while it lasted.
(2) Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet: I do not know if there is any difference between the pink and the white packaging, The name of the moisturizer seems to be the same. I do detect a ever-so-slight difference fragrance. It is a decent lightweight moisturizer; not quite enough for my dry skin during winter. I think I would enjoy it more during the summer months. I will not repurchase but I would not mind it in smaller size in skincare kits. 
Kinerase Advanced Cream: I do not know about this brand & I did not care for it either. Just glad it is finished.
Philosophy Miracle Worker Overnight: I did not love this night cream. It did not sink in quickly and it kind of peeled on my face, especially near my face. I ended up using this on my neck. I will not repurchase.

CAUDALIE Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Soft Cream: I got this deluxe sample size in a Sephora Favorites set. This is a glass jar, I appreciate it so much because it is almost rare to see companies put the same quality in deluxe size samples compared to the full-size products. In general, I do like Caudalie products. Most of them I really, really love. This one however was not extraordinary. I did not like the consistency that much! Like all other Caudalie products, I enjoyed the faint nice smell of this product but other than that it was just ok.
Fresh Beauty Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream: This was the first new product I tried in 2018 and I very much ENJOYED it. The texture is so silky smooth, the smell is so natural & beautiful. It is also easy to apply and it absorbs almost immediately. The best part is it keeps my dry, parched skin moisturized. I have already collected a deluxe-size from Sephora & I truly want to buy the full-size but right now, I have 2-3 other full-size moisturizers that I want to finish up.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleepng Night Oil: I ended up collecting three of this sample sizes from Sephora in order to see if those product works for me. This is second bottle I finished and honestly I not excited by it. I accept that I have not been very diligent in using this but I don’t even find any excitement to use it. It is an expensive product to begin with so naturally I had high hopes. It felt greasy on my face which would have been ok if I would have seen any improvement of my skin’s overall health. I will definitely not repurchase.

Erborian Bamboo Crème Frappe Skin-Revining Fresh Gel: I finished this back in January, I think. And I am having a hard time remembering how i felt about it. All I remember is that it was very light consistency, and it was refreshing!  But it still offered moisturization. Beyond that, I don’t remember if I wanted to try it in a bigger size!
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night SerumOh man! The hype around this brand! I finished this serum back in February, and I must admit that I am definitely missing it in my routine. I used it 1.5-2 pumps almost every night and it lasted me only 3 months. That seemed a bit quick for such a pricey product. Now that it has 1-1.5 month without using it, I do have to accept that I really did see positive effect of the serum on my skin. I had uneven texture along with a lot of cystic acnes and I could feel this serum smoothening that out. My acnes were also under full control! I did get one or two here and there. Now that I have not been using this serum, I can definitely feel the issue of uneven texture coming back to haunt me. I have repurchased a 0.5 oz size bottle in the Acid Trip during Sephora VIB Sale. I do have other serum type products that I want to finish up first though!
Lotus Herbals Aloehydra Aloe Vera Gel: This a product from India and my sister passed it onto me. I actually mainly used it on my elbows. I don’t have much to say about it. I did like using it so when I go to India next, I may pick it up again but for now I not missing it in my routine.
Freeman Beauty Infusion Cleansing Sheet Mask: This was the first charcoal “sheet” mask that I have used. What I liked about it is that I did not feel the need to wash my face after using the mask. It claims to instantly boost purity but I did not feel any special cleansing effect on my skin. Overall, I did feel good right after using the mask. However, the very next day, I got two huge acnes right on my skin! So, I am terrified now.

Makeup & Perfume Empties:
Marc Jacobs Daisy Deluxe Sample: Look how cute is this tiny bottle? I am going to display it along with the other mini perfume bottles I have finished up :-) This is a cult favorite scent. It is a simple, clean fragrance. It is not a favorite per se, but I don’t dislike either. I do not need repurchase this because I have way tooooo many perfumes to use up.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: I have said this before that I am not too picky about mascaras. But I love this one, I think this is my second tube! I always get this in travel size :-) I am using another tube now and I can see myself repurchasing it. Also, Sephora & Ulta often includes this in travel size as Gift with Purchase.
Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Meritage: I absolutely adored this lip product. It is a beautiful rose hued shade; perfect for every day. It was one of my favorite shade last year and I would love to repurchase but I fear that Bite Beauty is discontinuing this product line. Do you guys have any idea?
Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Rhubarb: Another Bite Beauty product that I thoroughly enjoyed! This formula is so moisturizing on the lips and on me it stays almost the entire day. I would not repurchase this over Meritage though!

Stila Stay All-Day Waterproof Eyeliner in Intense Black: This has been my holy grail eyeliner since 2014. One of these I finished a long time ago but for some reason it never made it to my empties bin! This first liner lasted me a long time too! However, the second one did not even last me a year. It makes a bit sad! I loved this liner, mainly because of its waterproof quality and its jet black color. I have worn this for my sister’s wedding and it survived beautifully through a hot, humid, hectic and emotional night till the next morning! I want to repurchase but I am hesitant because the second  one dried out sooner! I recently picked up a few colored ones from this line during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty and I want to see how they perform, then probably decide.
Clinique Pink Honey: This was a tiny, deluxe sample but it was in my #finish17in2017 project pan. Nothing special about this but I am just glad this is finished! The shape of the bullet makes it difficult to use up till the very last bit of product.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths: I have been trying to cut down my usage of makeup wipes. I have to say that I have been somewhat successfully. Anyway, this was a good enough wipe. It had enough moisture in it and it did a decent job in removing the first layer of makeup! Will I repurchase? Probably not!
Aquaphor Heal Ointment Mini Jar: Such an inexpensive lip balm. And this tiny jar lasted me a long time. I typically used this before I go to bed and it healed and smoothened my lips for the next day. I always used this at night if I knew that I will be using matte liquid lipstick or any drying regular lipstick next day. I would ABSOLUTELY repurchase.

I also finished up some samples (and of course my trusty contact lens solution!) 
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm & Agave Sugar Lip Scrub: This tiny little sample lasted for almost two weeks. But keeping the price of these products in mind, I don’t think they are worth it. Just my experience.