Thursday, April 19, 2018

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review - April 2018


Insta Beauty


This is a review for a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Play! by Sephora. This month the theme is "Insta Beauty" which offers products that deliver quick camera ready results. This month's box has a retail value of $40.90, which is quite the bargain. There are several different boxes that they send out each month, my box is #609 and it included the following samples:
  1. Peter Thomas Roth - Skin to Die for, No Filter Mattifying Primer & Complexion Perfector, made in the USA, .25 fl. oz., $7.00 retail value
  2. Philosophy - Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask, .17 fl. oz., made in the USA, $2.38 retail value
  3. Urban Decay - Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss in the color SPL, made in the USA, .03 oz., $2.60 retail value
  4. Sephora Collection - Rouge Cream Lipstick, made in France, .035 oz., $3.12 retail value
  5. Drunk Elephant - T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, made in the USA, .5 fl. oz., $23.66 retail value
  6. Living Proof - Perfect Hair Day Shampoo & Conditioner, foil sample, made in the USA, .33 oz x 2, $2.14 retail value
I've tried the Living Proof Shampoo & Conditioner before and while I liked it, it wasn't amazing enough to pay it's extra large price tag. I have received the same Sephora lipstick before in that red color, so that is disappointing and made an even more so since I don't wear red lipstick. It looks fabulous on some people, but I'm not one of them. I'm happy to receive the Urban Decay lip gloss though it looks like there is very little product in the container. I can see through it! It's only 13% of the original size. I can't imagine getting many uses out of it. It has a minty vanilla scent that I like and it has a bit of a tingly, cooling sensation on the lips. It's a bit on the thick side compared to Buxom by bareMinerals, my favorite lip gloss. It's not sticky and the color SPL is described as "holographic candy pink with iridescent sparkle". It's mostly a clear gloss with some glitter which would be nice for a candlelit dinner or a day at the beach, not for a business meeting. I'm a fan of this lip gloss as I am the brand. I usually enjoy Philosophy samples, but I don't purchase full sizes, I'm just not a big fan. I haven't received the Pore Extractor Mask before. This one has a yellow container, but the clay mask is white and quite dry. It says to wait until it's dry before rinsing off and that takes only a few minutes. I found it to be too gritty and too drying. I much prefer ExfoliKate. I'm super excited to receive a Drunk Elephant sample since I have yet to receive one and I've seen others receiving them over the last year. I just gave it a try and it made me nervous during application because it was stinging. I was imagining an emergency room trip and having anxiety. Fortunately, that sensation went away quickly. It requires a twenty minute wait. It's suppose to help uneven texture, dullness, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. It made my skin really soft, smooth and a bit shiny. Not only shiny, but that shine you get from swimming in a pool with chlorine. Wow, I love it. I enjoy the Peter Thomas Roth brand, so I look forward to giving the new primer a try. On my hand, it feels just like a copy of Benefit's POREfessional Face Primer which I already use. That brand definitely reduces the look of your pores. I recommend that one, but the PTR one is less expensive. While it is another step, it's one I recommend taking the time to use especially if your pores are quite noticeable. I apply it to my nose and my smile lines. The fabric cosmetic bag this month has to be the least attractive one they have sent so far, no creativity at all. My favorite sample is the Drunk Elephant facial and my least favorite is the Sephora red lipstick. I like everything in this box except the red lipstick, so I'm happy with the April box. What was your favorite item in your box? If you don't subscribe, why not?

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates - 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 

Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous twenty-three boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. Don't forget to follow this blog via Facebook, so you don't miss any of my future posts.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Macy's Beauty Box Review - April 2018



Macy's April Beauty Box


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box from Macy's. It costs $15 a month and it comes with a $5 coupon that can be used towards any beauty product at Macy's stores or on their website. I took a three month break from this subscription when they sent only four products instead of five in the December box. Then it looked like they improved their boxes again, so I decided to resubscribe. It took two months to start getting the subscription again, so if you want to subscribe, don't delay. The value of the April box is $43.24. Included in the box were the following products:
  1. Tony Moly - I'm Green Tea Mask Sheet, made in Korea, full size, $3.00 retail value
  2. Korres - Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial, made in Greece, .68 fl. oz., $24.17 retail value
  3. Schmidts - Rose & Vanilla Natural Deodorant, made in the USA, .7 oz., $1.93 retail value
  4. Origins - GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, made in the USA, .17 oz., $10.54 retail value
  5. Coola - Face Mineral Sunscreen, made in the USA, .17 oz., $3.60 retail value
  6. bareMinerals - Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, made in the USA, foil sample in 4 shades
I have used most of my $5 coupons on the Tony Moly sheet masks. I'm happy to receive another one since I really like them. I place them on and then lay down and relax. They don't stick well enough to get up and walk around, so you need to sit or lay down during the twenty to thirty minutes. I've even fallen asleep while wearing one. They are perfect for nap time. I keep them in the refrigerator for a cooling effect which feels really good and helps me relax. They are very saturated, so they can last even longer than thirty minutes, if you have time. I highly recommend them, give one a try! I purchase them in sets to save money. You can also find them at Asian markets that sell the Tony Moly brand. I've received the Korres Sleeping Facial in another subscription box. I remember that it smelled like roses which was very pleasant, but I didn't find it to be very moisturizing. As far as evening out skin tone and repairing fine lines, that usually takes a full size to see results, not a small sample. It's really expensive, so I'll enjoy the sample, but it's too pricey for me to purchase the full size. I enjoy the Origins brand, so I'm happy to receive a sample from them. The eye cream is suppose to get rid of dark circles and puffiness. I don't have dark circles, but I definitely have puffiness especially in the morning. I look forward to giving this a try tomorrow and hopefully I'll get enough uses out of the tube to see results. I'm not a fan of the Coola brand, while it's expensive, I'm not a fan of sunscreen that uses zinc oxide, it always irritates my eyes, if it gets in there as a result of sweating in the hot sun. I find bareMinerals mineral foundation works better for me for that purpose. It stays on better and it doesn't irritate my skin or eyes. I've purchased bareMinerals Complexion Rescue before in a QVC Today's Special Value (TSV) set back in 2016. I enjoyed it for awhile, but I switched to the IT Cosmetics brand and then to Julep's which I'm currently preferring. I find Julep's Cushion Complexion easiest and quickest to use plus it doesn't make my wrinkles more obvious which I find bareMinerals does on those that are over forty years old. I loved their foundation when I was younger and I still use it for days I know I'll be out in the sun. I'm always looking for a deodorant that has safer ingredients, but I've yet to find one that does the job. Do you have one you recommend? I've never heard of the Schmidts brand before, have you? I'll be giving this one a try tonight after my shower. Since I experience hot flashes daily, it will be quite challenged! I'm hoping the April cosmetic bag is an exception and they will go back to the lovely, sturdy cosmetic bags rather than cloth sacks like Play! by Sephora offers.

While I found their February and March boxes more appealing, I'm ok with this months box. My favorite product this month is the sheet mask since I purchase them regularly and they are my current favorite sheet mask. My least favorite product is the sunscreen which I rarely have use for and has ingredients that irritate my skin and eyes. If you received this month's box, what's your favorite product? If you didn't order this month's box, what's your favorite subscription box?

Check out my reviews of the previous Macy's Beauty Boxes:

December 2017 $63.14 retail value
November 2017 $38.21 retail value
October 2017 $55.97 retail value
September 2017 $31.84 retail value
August 2017 $35.36 retail value

Also, check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to compare it to Macy's Beauty Box and my Macy's Beauty Box Pinterest Board. In addition, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. 

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates Cash Back from Macy's

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

QVC's Harry Slatkin Ceramic Fruit Basket Candle TSV Review


HomeWorx by Harry Slatkin Ceramic Fruit Basket with Two 9 oz. Candles



This is a review of QVC's Today's Special Value (TSV) for April 5th. I just received it today and I must say it's nicer in person. I like the retro feel it has, so while I had planed to have self control and not purchase it, I caved when I saw the presentation. Until now, I have resisted buying any of Harry's candles since his return last year. Since this TSV seemed like a pretty good deal and I love his ceramic creations, I decided to give this one a try. It's TSV price was $36.96 with free shipping. The current price is only $3 more, but shipping is $5.50. This TSV includes the ceramic fruit basket which is matte and a top which is a choice of apples, peaches, blueberries or strawberries. The apple top is very shiny and it has eleven hand painted apples and it's quite heavy. It also includes two 9 oz. candles in ceramic bases the same color as the basket. I chose the apple one since our main living area is decorated in burgundy and yellow. If my decision was based on only scent, I would have chosen the blueberry since Harry's blueberry candles were one of my favorites when they were sold at Bath & Body Works. I also enjoy his apple candles, so it was an easy decision. Shortly after I lit the candle I could smell the apple. It smells like a red apple just as you slice it. The candle is described as "crisp green apples and tart red apples along with black cherries come together with a hint of sugarcane and maple". It doesn't have that complex combination scent that I have come to expect from Harry. I would have liked a bit of spice added to it. I don't smell the cherry, sugar or maple. It's quite slow to melt, I'm at over an hour now and it hasn't reached the edges completely yet. The scent comes and goes and hasn't filled the room. The figural is adorable and it makes for a lovely decoration for my coffee table. I have a very large coffee table, so I find large pieces look best on it and this piece is quite large. Each candle is suppose to have a burn time of twenty hours. I have returned now after two hours burn time to tell you that it has a bit of sweetness to it now, it's not just tart anymore. It has a tiny amount of wax in the corners that hasn't melted yet. This one is available on auto delivery and it includes just one more shipment in October which is a basket with little pumpkins and it has a fall pumpkin scent.

I'm so happy that Harry had a more affordable TSV this time and offered free shipping. I hope that he will consider that again for the next TSV. While I'm a bit disappointed in the candle's scent, I adore the ceramic basket with apples. It's a nice pick me up while we wait for spring to arrive again and hopefully stay awhile before the long summer. One day it's in the 50's and the next it's almost 80 degrees, we've been riding the North Carolina weather roller coaster lately.  It even snowed last Sunday in the early morning hours. I've never seen snow here in April before. We've also had way too many rainy days. What do you do for a pick me up?

Bargain Alert:

Use Mr. Rebates for cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

PS - there are refills, H214483, it's a set of two for $25.20 plus $5.50 shipping which makes it only $6.26 less than the TSV. Would have been nice if he had offered the refills in a less expensive container than ceramic.  

Before you go, check out my QVC Product Reviews Pinterest Board and my TSV list for April. I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Help out by sharing this post via Twitter & Facebook:


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Monday, April 9, 2018

27th Sun Basket Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon




Thai Turkey Salad with Cabbage, Basil & Mint


Ingredients


Italian Sausage with Spring Vegetables


Ingredients


Chicken Piccata with Roasted Zucchini & Smashed New Potatoes


Ingredients


This is a review of our 27th delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Sun Basket. We gave two recipes four out of five stars and one recipe three stars. Calories ranged from 560 to 790 and preparation time indicated ranged from twenty to fifty minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty minutes to over an hour.

Thai Turkey Salad with Cabbage, Basil & Mint

We made this dish before and gave it four out of five stars, so I ordered it again.  It's a scrumptious dish, I skip the radishes because I'm not a fan. The combination of turkey, lemongrass paste, lime juice, basil, mint, sambal oelek, cabbage, cashews, shredded coconut and Thai dressing is wonderful. This recipe indicated it has 790 calories and that it would take only twenty to thirty minutes to prepare. It was a very generous portion that was very filling. One could make this into three decent sized portions rather than two large portions. It took me forty minutes to prepare.

Italian Sausage with Spring Vegetables

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The best part was the scrumptious, high quality sausage, but there wasn't enough of it. There was way too much fennel, kale, onion and cabbage, so much so that there was enough for four people! It would have tasted so much better, if we had used half. We forgot to include the kale in the photo above. While we love Kalamata olives they just didn't fit well in this dish, it was way too strong a flavor and overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients. Also, the sherry vinegar added too much tartness to the dish. The recipe indicated that it has only 590 calories and that it would take twenty to thirty minute to prepare. It took Hubby fifty-eight minutes to prepare and it was a huge portion. We had two portions of leftovers. 

Chicken Piccata with Roasted Zucchini & Smashed New Potatoes

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. It was scrumptious! The best part was the incredible piccata sauce made with capers, lemon juice & zest, parsley, vegetable broth and butter. The zucchini could have used some more parmesan, but I imagine they wanted to keep the calorie count low, coming in at only 560 calories. It really didn't taste like a low calorie meal, it was so delicious and the sauce was decadent. As usual, the sauce takes longer than the five to seven minutes indicated to thicken up. I didn't care for the garlic on the potatoes. My portion shown above doesn't show all of my zucchini since Hubby is on a low calorie diet, he took some of my portion since he was skipping the potatoes. Hubby also skipped adding flour to the chicken, it was totally unnecessary. The recipe states it will take thirty-five to fifty minutes preparation time. It took Hubby over an hour and it was a healthy, filling portion.

It was another enjoyable week of recipes and we look forward to our next box.  Which recipe looks most appetizing to you? Have you tried Sun Basket yet? If not, be sure to use my link below for $40 off your first box. Bargain!

Bargain Alert:

Gobble Meal Kits - Two free meals
Hello Fresh Meal Kits - $40 Off
Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads - $30 Off
Sun Basket Meal Kits $40 Off
Terra's Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks - $40 Off

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Ring Bomb Party Review - Part 2





This is my second review of a fun company called Ring Bomb Party. I ordered a ring back in January that I already reviewed. I ordered another one this month. They only cost $17.95 plus $3.99 shipping in the US and $14.99 to all other countries. Last time I ordered a unicorn ring which is a bit more coming in at $24.99. I explained unicorn parties in my last post, so read about that next. The regular party rings have a value of $25 to $500 and they come in sizes 6 to 10.  The rings are a surprise and revealed live on Facebook by fizzing a fizz bomb in water which contains the ring. The foil package is then opened and the host shows the ring through a macro lens, so you can see it up close. To participate in one of the parties, simply order your ring on their website for the day that you would like. Their corporate host, Anfernee has weekday parties starting at 1 pm ET which end around 3 pm to 4 pm. Forty rings are revealed at each party. They will show a list of the people that ordered and the order in which the reveals will happen just as the party begins. His parties will end by May since Ring Bomb Party has started offering an opportunity for others to start their own business and reveal rings in their home just as Anfernee does at their corporate office. Some of the new hosts have already started having parties including Anfernee's Mom. Their parties tend to be in the evenings. These are my favorities:
  1. Danielle aka Glam Bomb Boss. Her next party is on Saturday, April 7th at 9 pm ET.
  2. Jackie aka Georgia Charm. Her next party is tonight, Monday, April 2nd at 7:30 pm ET.
  3. Lisa aka East Coast Jewels. Her next party will be announced soon, stay tuned.
  4. Wanda - aka Grandma Dimples. Her next party is on Thursday, April 5th at 6 pm ET.
Let's get back to my ring. The live videos are kept on Facebook, so if you can't attend the live reveal, you can watch it later. Mine was revealed by Anfernee around 1:54-1:57, check out the video. My 2nd ring has a retail value of $28 and it features white topaz and it's rhodium plated. It has been named the cupcake ring by Anfernee. See the photo below to see why. Notice that when you look at it from the side, the bottom has ridges like a paper cupcake holder and then the small white topaz stones that line the edge of the ring look like little dollops of frosting and the large white topaz in the center looks like a candy or more frosting:



It has a lot of detail and it's a really pretty ring. It's a bit smaller in person than I thought it would be, but that makes it look like it's perhaps diamonds and a much more expensive ring than it really is. It's very reflective, especially in sunlight as shown in my pictures. I put off writing this review since we've had so few sunny days in which I could take a good picture. Even today the sun was off and on and it was quite tricky and time consuming getting a picture to really show off it's reflection. Here's another look at it from the front:




I'm very happy with it and I've worn it many times since it arrived. Now it's time for you to have some fun too. Pick one of the parties that you would like to attend by clicking on the links above and purchase your first ring and join in the fun! Let me know which ring was revealed for you! I've watched many live reveals, so if you describe it, I will most likely know which of the rings you are talking about. Which reminds me to tell you, if you don't have the funds to purchase one now, you'll have fun watching the live parties also. So check one out soon, it's fun! Stay tuned for Part 3 after I decide when to purchase another one. I must warn you, they are very addictive. Also, keep an eye out for my review of their sister company, Glam Box Live, coming soon.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

16th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon


Melty Mozzarella Burger with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Greens on Ciabatta


Ingredients


Wasabi Zinger Salmon over Jasmine Rice & Green Beans


Ingredients


Maple Glazed Pork Chops with a Sweet Potato Mash & Garlicky Green Beans


Ingredients


This is a review of our 16th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Hello Fresh. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars and the other two recipes three stars. Preparation time indicated on the recipe cards for all three recipes is thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from thirty-eight to fifty-three minutes. Calories ranged from 640 to 750.

Melty Mozzarella Burger with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Greens on Ciabatta

I gave this recipe three out of five stars. It was a bit on the bland side. Hubby added some spiced paprika to the burger to improve it. He likes cooked onions on his burger, but I prefer uncooked red onions. The ground beef isn't shown in the ingredient photo because it leaked during shipping and we had to throw it out since it turned brown. I let them know via email and they credited my account for this meal. The salad dressing was too sour for my taste and it was strange adding tomato paste to the balsamic vinegar. This recipe has 750 calories and it took thirty-eight minutes to prepare. 

Wasabi Zinger Salmon over Jasmine Rice & Green Beans

Hubby & I gave this recipe five out of five stars, it was absolutely scrumptious. The wasabi crema made with lime zest, lime juice, wasabi paste, sour cream, salt and pepper was incredibly delicious. So simple yet so tasty especially on top of the salmon! You must give it a try. The veggie stock added to the jasmine rice was yummy and jasmine rice is my favorite. The only thing was they wanted us to the cook the green beans in the microwave which we aren't a fan of, so hubby cooked them on the stove. This one has 700 calories and it took Hubby fifty-three minutes to prepare.

Maple Glazed Pork Chops with a Sweet Potato Mash & Garlicky Green Beans

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The maple sauce was tasty, just not my favorite that I have tried so far on top of pork chops. I'm not a fan of the cinnamon and pecans added to the sweet potatoes, it tasted too much like sweet potato pie. I prefer just butter. We weren't real crazy about the garlic on the green beans, but they were tasty. This was a simple recipe, we would have liked a bit more excitement. It has 640 calories and it took forty minutes to prepare.

We are going to use the recipe for the wasabi crema again soon, it's so tasty and it really livens up the salmon. No need to have a boring meal with salmon ever since it's so easy and quick to make. We've found so many good sauce and dressing recipes over the years from the meal kits we have tried. Check out all the recipes we have made so far on my Hello Fresh Pinterest Board. Have you given Hello Fresh a try yet? If not, click on the link below to save $40 off your first box. Enjoy!

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $40 Off

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Giveaway - Blue Apron Meal Kit Worth $59.94

The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose "manage"  & then "cancel" or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose "skip". Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 


This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before.  Please do not enter if you don't intend to redeem the free box! Note you will have to give Blue Apron your credit card number to redeem. It's easy to skip and cancel online, if you don't wish to remain a subscriber after your free box. It's a limited time offer, so you'll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-two Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 24th delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  Also, check out my Home Chef reviews starting with my 58th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 15th delivery and my Sun Basket reviews starting with 26th delivery.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $35 Off

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