July 2014 MeUndies Review

Ok, so admittedly, I’m really late with this review. But better late than never, right? Right!

It’s no secret that I love this brand. And I’m always really happy when I get this shipment in the mail. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,  MeUndies are the best underwear ever!

I should clarify, that you don’t actually have to “subscribe,” to try out a pair or two. You can totally buy as many pair as you want straight off their website, without subscribing. But, if you do love them then you can subscribe, get a pair auto shipped to you every month, and get a discount off the per pair price ($16 for subscribers versus $20 for non subscribers).

Both my husband and I subscribe to this. You have a choice of getting the color of the month, or selecting which color you actually want. For July, I selected the color of the month (polka dots!), and my husband selected one of the basics – red. Here’s what we got in our July MeUndies shipment.

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The Box: MeUndies

Cost: $16.00 for subscribers ($20 for non-subscribers)

What You Get: A pair of underwear shipped to you once a month.

Ships to: Everywhere!

Shipping Cost: FREE for orders shipped to the U.S. or Canada/ $12 shipped to anywhere else

Referral Program –  Share your link via email, Facebook, or twitter and give your friends 20% off. You receive $20 every time they buy.

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Powell’s Indiespensable Review – The Great Glass Sea

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It’s that time again! Another Powell’s Indiespensable shipment arrived.  It’s seriously my favorite subscription, and I look forward to it every single time. For me, the best part is that you always know what book you’re getting, but you never know what each shipment’s extras will be. It’s the best of both worlds. Knowing what the month’s selection is satisfies my spoiler cravings, but the extras always leaves a bit of suspense and surprise when I finally open up the package!  So fun 🙂

You all know that I love Powell’s, and I’m not at all kidding or exaggerating when I say that it’s like Disneyland for me – the happiest place on earth. I live too far away now, and can’t just walk down the street to visit like I used to (sad face), but this subscription still allows me my Powell’s fix without adding a $400 flight to the expense.

Powell’s offers a subscription book service called Indiespensable, and it was the first “subscription” box that I ever subscribed to.  I put “subscription” in quotes because though this box is auto billing and recurring, it isn’t on a monthly basis. New Indiespensable boxes are released roughly every six weeks. And believe me, the wait in between shipments is the longest six weeks ever!

Indiespensable delivers the best new books, with special attention paid to independent publishers. Selections are often first editions, or inventive sets, or exclusive printings, and each book is signed by the author! Besides the super awesome book that you get, one of the coolest things about this service is that Powell’s also curates a number of surprises, often along the theme of the book, to include in the shipment.

Here is what I received in my most recent Indiespensable shipment.

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The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil- I’ve never read anything by this author, but am excited to dive into this book. This was the main book for the box. It was hardback, was housed in a custom canvas slip case, and was signed by the author.

Powell’s Literature Nalgene Bottle – I love Nalgene bottles, they’re nearly indestructible (seriously, I have another one, and I’ve been using it since college in 2002 and it’s still going strong), and BPA Free. Plus, this one is super cute since it’s literature themed.

A selection of teas from Mighty LeafTea – I was intrigued to see an item from San Francisco. Typically, these shipments include extras from Oregon based companies. But, I was pleased to see them branching out to other non-local independent businesses. I wasn’t as excited about the flavors of tea I received, but I’ll try them out nonetheless.

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Here are the details if you’d like to subscribe:

What: Powell’s Indiespensable

Cost: $39.95 per shipment, includes shipping if shipped within the United States. Subscribers outside the continental U.S., should add $12 per package for shipping.

I can’t stress enough how much I love getting this box. The folks over at Powell’s really know what they’re doing, and I always trust that even though the selections and authors may be new to me, that I will always enjoy the selections. The curation of the boxes is always top-notch as well.

Past Indiespensable boxes have included books by Donna Tartt, Karen Thompson Walker, Jeffrey Eugenides, Erin Morgenstern, and Ann Patchett. Here is a list of all their past installments.

Have you ever been to Powell’s Books? Are you subscribed to Indiespensable? Do you love it as much as I do?

 

 

July 2014 Birchbox Review

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I’ve been subscribing to Birchbox for over a year now, and it is hands down one of my favorite subscription boxes. I’ve found some really great products that I use every day, that I otherwise wouldn’t have ever tried without sampling them first.

Birchbox was kind of the pioneer when it comes to the subscription box trend. It is only $10 a month and they send you 5-8 (usually sample size) products to try out. If you end up loving the sample, you can purchase the full size version in their shop. They also have a crazy good points system so you can rack up credit for significant discounts. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for, or pay for a full year at once (for a discount). You can also cancel any time.

July’s Theme was “Power Up.” Birchbox partnered with Women’s Health Magazine to curate a box full of ideas and ways to power up your month. It included a fun little booklet of 12 Power Up Challenges that will inspire you to maximize your workouts, sleep, and everything in between.

Here’s what I received in my July 2014 Birchbox.

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Here’s the Item Card:

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Ruffian The Rapture Collection in Ambrosia –  Streak-free metallic polish. This was the item that I selected myself this month, so I already knew that I would like it.  I love, love, love the pretty purple metallic shade. I also really like Ruffian polishes. They give great coverage, even with just one coat, and last for a while. As a bonus with the polish, they also included an acetone-free towelette to remove polish.July2014_Birchbox_product3

Harvey Prince Singular Scentsations Imperial Gardenia – A scent focusing on a single fragrance, in this case Gardenia. I didn’t love this scent, it just wasn’t for me. Though if you like the smell of gardenias, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil – Water-resistant, universally flattering pencil that glides on for long-lasting definition. I don’t really use eyebrow pencils, plus this shade was actually a little light for me. I’ll probably give this to a friend who will find better use out of it.July2014_Birchbox_product2

Supergoop! Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – A peptide-packed antiaging cream instantly brightens eyes and protects with SPF 37. I don’t usually use eye cream that includes SPF. I’m excited to try it out.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer – An organic hydrator using fruit stem cells to firm as it smooths fine lines and wrinkles. I haven’t tried this yet, but am interested to see if it performs any differently than the many other moisturizers I’ve tried.

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Lastly, the Power Up July Birchbox included a free 1-year subscription to Women’s Health Magazine. Typically, I would have been excited to receive a free subscription, but I actually got a free subscription to this magazine last month in a different box. I was happy to see that there is a refund option, where you will receive $9.99 back if you don’t need or want the magazine. That basically makes this box free!

So, what did you think of the July Birchbox? What products did you receive?

July 2014 Ipsy Review

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I’m relatively new to Ipsy, as I’ve only been subscribing for a few months. I gave them a shot for the same reason that I tried Birchbox…I wanted to try new products that I wouldn’t otherwise have tried or even known about.

Ipsy, like Birchbox, is only $10 a month and they send you around 5 (usually sample size) products packaged inside of a unique travel sized makeup bag (the Glam Bag). You can also review the products you sample for Ipsy Points which can be redeemed for bonus items in your Glam Bag. It’s an auto renewing subscription which you pay monthly for. You can also cancel any time.

Here’s what I received in my July 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag. I received five products + the bag. And, I thought this month’s bag was super cute!Ipsy_July2014_1


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July’s theme was “Sensationally Sun Kissed,” so clearly it was going to be a summer themed shipment.

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POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer –  I was actually really happy to receive a bronzer. I was hoping to get one in either my Ipsy or my Birchbox. I’ve been wanting to try one out for a while, but as a bronzer virgin, I didn’t want to splurge on full size just to get home and realize that I a) wouldn’t wear it, or b) couldn’t figure out how to apply it. I think I lucked out on the particular shade I got, as it seems to work well for my skin tone. Haven’t tried it yet, but from what I can tell there are a ton of online Youtube videos on how to properly apply. I’m planning to watch a few first.

Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm by Pixi –  It’s a glossy gel balm, that’s supposed to protect and hydrate lips. What’s interesting is that after the balm wears off, lips are left tinted with a flattering, personalized hue because the color & intensity depends on the pH level your lips.

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Soy Renewal Beach Conditioning and Texturizing Spray by Sexy Hair – I totally get why I received this. It’s definitely on trend for summer, and it’s certainly not the first beach texturizing hair spray I’ve seen or received recently. But these types of products serve no purpose for me. I have super curly hair, and this just does not work for me. It will likely be traded.

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08 –  I was really disappointed to receive this. On the rare occasion that I do lay out in the sun (like on a Mexican vacation or something) you’re far more likely to find me slathering myself in SPF rather than tanning oil. This was a total Ipsy fail for me. It will also be traded.

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bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF15– At first I wasn’t even sure what this product was, but I quickly figured out it’s just creamy eyeshadow. I was a little confused by how basic and neutral all of the shades seemed to be, but ultimately I like what I received. I’m not sure I’ll be buying a full-sized version, but having never tried cream eyeshadow before I did like it.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this month’s Ipsy Glam Bag. I thought the Glam Bag itself was super adorable, and loved the hot pink with scalloped edges. I can actually see myself using it (which isn’t always the case with the Ipsy bags I receive). I also was pleased to see the bronzer, and liked the cream eyeshadow. I was really unhappy with the texturizing beach hair spray, and the tanning oil. I figure I’ll give Ipsy another month or two, and perhaps revisit my style profile to see if I can tweak it to exclude more of the types of products I didn’t like receiving.

Are you an Ipsy Glam Bag subscriber? What did you receive this month? What did you love (or not)?

July Julep Maven Review

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Julep Maven is a nail polish and beauty box. Every month you have a choice between several curated style profiles or you can customize your box. If you’d like to customize your box, I suggest signing up for a 3 month prepaid subscription! Julep Maven is one of my favorite subscription boxes for a few reasons. Every month they create and release a new line of polish, all built around a theme. I think it’s a great idea. Also, I’m a big fan of the fact that their polish formulas are vegan, and 5-free.

For July, they introduced The Poolside Collection. The tagline for July was “Summer’s not a season, it’s a state of mind.”

Julep Maven July Collection

I’m not all that dareing when it comes to polish colors, expecially for manicures. I typically stick to the basics on my finger nails. But, oh my how great would a lot of these colors look on toes by the poolside?  I really liked this collection. I thought it was a good mix between modern summer classics, and more daring/bright options.

Julep Maven subscription details:

The Cost: $24.99 a month ($19.99 a month with a 3-month subscription). Both options are customizable for new Mavens. I totally recommend the 3-month subscription. That’s what I have, and I love being able to pick exactly what I want, and getting the lowest price.

The Products: Nail polish and beauty items.

Ships to: US and Canada

Here’s the first look inside my July Maven Box. I loved the aqua blue tissue paper, it just reminded me of being poolside…which also reminded me that I need a vacation, lol.

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This month I chose the Modern Beauty box, because I wanted both lotions that were included, and I added on two of the polish colors from the collection as well as a color fan for an additional cost. I went this rout, because after crunching the numbers, adding the polishes came out slightly less costly then if I had chosen to get a polish box and add on the lotions. Does that make sense? Typically, I don’t do add-ons, as the $$ can add up, but this time around I really did want everything I selected.

Here is what I received in my July Julep Maven Box.

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At first glance nothing looked strange. I know that I had maxed out my ad-ons, so I was expecting a free gift of some kind, which I did get in the form of a pretty dark blue, and a white polish (seen in the bottom right corner). However, I noticed that rather large, interesting, lable down box, towards the bottom. “What on earth is that?” I found myself wondering…

You guys!! I opened it up and saw that I had won a pair of Ray-Bans Wayfarer sunglasses!  I completely forgot that they were randomly selecting 150 Julep Maven Subscribers to win a free pair. I don’t ever win things, so this was a really awesome surprise! Not to mention the fact that these sunglasses retail for around $15o (what?!?).

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Seriously, I’ve been wanting new sunglasses, and these are absolutely perfect! I am so excited! And, my birthday is this month, so it is like an early birthday present for me, and who doesn’t love birthday surprises?

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Here is the rest of what I received in this month’s box:

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Bare Body Milk– (Value $24) – From Julep: An ultra hydrating body lotion. The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula leaves a soft, silky finish that’s not heavy or greasy. 

  • I love this lotion. It is a thinner lotion then I am used to, but is definitely lightweight, and absorbes really fast. It smells amazing, and I’m sure I’ll be buying more once I run out.

Mint Condition Pedi Creme – (Value $20) – From Julep: Provides soothing moisture and gentle exfoliation for rough, dry skin

  • I haven’t used this yet, but I’m excited to. My feet need some serious TLC so that they’re flip flop ready for summer.

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I chose the following as ad-ons:

Braiden – (Value $14) – A dark Gray Graphite stardust (textured matte glitter). I really love this polish!

Lissa – (value $14) – A tumbled turquoise crème. It is seriously one of the prettiest shades of polish that I’ve seen. It may be my new favorite for my toes for the summer.

Julep Color Fan – (value $8) – It’s not pictured, but we all know what a color fan looks like. I really needed this. It’s a great way to swatch colors in an easily accessable way. As an add-on to my box, I only paid $4 for it.

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Since I chose to purchase the maximum three add-ons to my box this month, I received a polish duo as a free gift. I got:

Octavia – (value $14) – A smoky indigo crème

Soraphine – (value $14) – A classic sheer white crème

Overall it was an AWESOME Julep Maven Box.

Here are some coupon codes for you to use on your next purchase!  Use code SPRINGPERK to save 30% off your next Julep order (you can use it twice) Exp 7/31. Or use code POLISHPERK to get a free polish with a $15+ order. Also Exp 7/31 and this one you can also use twice.  Lastly you can use code  GOBARE to get 30% off of the Body Milk or Body Polish, through July 31.

If you’re new to Julep Maven, don’t forget to use code FREEBOX to receive your welcome box for free (Pay $4.99 shipping or get free shipping when you sign up for a 3 month subscription).

Are you guys subscribed to Julep Maven? Do you love it? What did you think of your July Julep Maven Box?