Thursday, 28 May 2015

Foodiebox May 2015

Kia Ora!

Foodiebox is an offshoot from the Goodiebox company, and is dedicated to bringing customers interesting food bi-monthly. It costs $39 every two months.  I received my first Foodiebox in February, and wasn't hugely impressed. I forgot to cancel the subscription, so I received the May box too! Let's see what's in this box.

There is a proper branded box this time, which is kind of cool. It's a huge box though, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. Maybe it will become the box I keep giveaway prizes in! Speaking of giveaways, I have one running on my Facebook page currently, so go and check it out! It's easy to enter, simply like my page, and then like the giveaway post.

The all-important card. Although I find it less important for non-beauty boxes, but still nice to know prices and value the box. The theme this month is A Sprinkling of Coziness, which is a very winter appropriate theme.

I do like that there is a recipe card, as this is quite useful for ideas on how to use some of the products in the box. I've already tried out the Crispy Roasted Potatoes recipe, and they were delicious. I've got plans to make the apple crumble for a dinner party over Queen's Birthday weekend so I can report back on that (probably with pictures via Facebook as that's the easiest medium).

Ceres Organics Tuscan-Bean Soup and Mediterranean Soup

I love soup, and winter is the perfect time to eat plenty of it. Canned soup is always a nice staple to have in the cupboard for easy lunches and dinners. I used the Tuscan-Bean Soup last night for dinner, and added celery, capsicum, carrot, and beans. This was really delicious, and made for a yummy dinner meal with toast. I would probably buy these again, as they aren't too expensive, and taste really good.

RRP: $3.00 each
Full size.

Home Gourmet White Truffle Mustard

I'm not a huge mustard fan, although I eat it more now than I did as a child or teenager. My Mum used to put mustard on my tongue as punishment, and I've hated it ever since. I haven't opened this one yet, as I'll probably end up giving it away for someone's birthday, but I guess it is a bit of a different product to have. It's rather neat that it has Truffles in it, and is a product of France. Not so great for me as I'll never use it, but it might be interesting to some other people.

RRP: $5.50
Full size.

Home Gourmet Duck Fat from France

Another product from France! Fancy. I've never used any type of animal fat before, and was wary of trying this out. My SO convinced me that it would be a fun experiment and we used it to make the roast potato recipe included on the card above. It was a really soft solid (as odd as that sounds) and I used a pastry brush to put the fat onto the potatoes. Personally I didn't notice much of a difference in using this versus a normal cooking oil, but my SO loved the taste. This isn't a product I would have bought for myself, but it's fun to experiment with and play around with.

RRP: $9.99
Full size.

Jed's Coffee Bags No. 3 & 4

These boxes inspired a very half-hearted 'wooo' from me when I saw them. I'm not a coffee drinker myself, although I do indulge on rare occasions, usually when I'm particularly tired or stressed. I've seen these around and thought about buying some for my SO to try, but even he wasn't exactly dancing with excitement when he was presented with these. He did try one, and promptly tipped the rest of the cup down the sink. To be fair, he's a bit of  a coffee snob, so that wasn't an unexpected reaction. Luckily my dad is also a coffee addict, so these will probably make up part of his Father's Day present in September.

RRP: $7.00
Full size.

Vogel's All Good - Almond Cashew & Linseed

Finally a product in this box that excites me! I love muesli, and I love nuts, so a product combining them is perfect. I have heard good things about the Vogel's Muesli products, but haven't had a chance to try them out as yet. This will make for some delicious breakfasts for awhile!

RRP: $7.50
Full size.

Crave Food Classic Crumble Mix

As with the last box, I'm not a huge fan of pre-made mixes, but this looks slightly different. This provides the dry ingredients of the crumble, and you have to add butter and the fruit. I don't often make crumble as we generally try not to eat too much dessert at home, but I have a dinner party coming up so this will be useful for that.

RRP: $8.00
Full size.


Total value of the box: $51.00.

I think the box costs $40 so I guess I'm getting my money's worth here, although I would personally rather spend $40 on things I want and will use at the supermarket, or even a takeaway dinner or two. I've now cancelled this box, as it isn't right for me. If you have the money, and want to try out products that are probably outside of your usual weekly shopping then I can see this being a good box. However, I don't use most of these products at all, so I won't continue wasting my money on it. A bit of a harsh view, but there you go. Does anyone else get this box?

Until next time ...

Monday, 25 May 2015

Fortune Cookie Soap Summer Soap Box 2015

Kia Ora!

I've been eagerly devouring reviews of the quarterly Fortune Cookie Soap boxes for about a year now, and when I realised that they ship internationally it was just about the best day that month! I pre-ordered the Summer box in March for $34 USD. I've been really excited about getting this box, the anticipation has been extremely high, and now it's finally here! You also get a $10 code for their shop sent to you via email, but shipping is quite pricey so it will have to be a product I really love for me to want to use that.It's a really neat way to promote their shop and all their previous collections though.

The Summer box is Peter Pan themed, and based around the most recent soap collection release by the company.  This collection is called Straight on Till Morning and the box smelled delicious as soon as I opened it!

Look at all those goodies! I can't wait to see what types of products they are, and what their scents are! I love how colourful the box looks with all those blue worms.

Second Star to the Right

First things first. The Fortune Cookie soap that is the rather iconic soap included in every box is so awesome! I love the shades of purple and the glitter. This is scented with crushed berries and mint leaves, with some sparkling pomelo (a fruit sort of like a grapefruit according to Google). It looks and smells fantastic! I'm not a big 'bar' soap user myself, but I might have to make an exception for this delicious soap! I can't get over how pretty it looks.

Mermaid Lagoon - Two Phase Perfume Oil

This perfume oil is so pretty! The picture doesn't really show it, but there are bubbles of green in a clear liquid, and it looks awesome. This is coconut scented (I think), but it's not a scent I'm a big fan of unfortunately. However, I don't want it to go to waste, so I'm going to be giving it away to one lucky reader (along with a few other goodies). Check on my Facebook page for the giveaway!

Tink - OCD Hand Sanitizer

This is green and glittery, and smells like cherries and coconut. It's so awesome. I am taking this to work with me so I can have it sitting on my desk, and use it when I need lovely smelling and clean hands. I'm really happy to have a wee bottle like this.

Kiss - Lip Balm

This tiny lip balm may be the most adorable thing in the box. It's a watermelon scented chap stick, and it feels amazing on the lips. It softens them up, without drying them out. I love it, and with a lip balm this size I might even be able to finish it.

Lost Boys - Whipped Cream

I've seen whipped cream in many of the previous Fortune Cookie Soap boxes, and I've been dying to find out what it's like. Honestly, it's better than I could have ever imagined. Not only does it smell fantastic (of apricots and peaches), but the product sinks into my skin quickly and leaves it the softest I've ever felt it. I truly can't get enough, and if I'm ever going to pay exorbitant shipping fees it will  be on one of these types of products!

The Boy Who Never Grew Up - Salt Scrub

I've been loving my coffee scrub recently, so I'm really excited to have a different type of scrub to try out. I should get 2-3 uses out of this pot, and I can't wait to try it. It is tropical margarita flavoured. All of these products are very tropical flavoured, so I assume Neverland might be located in the Caribbean or the Pacific? It's a neat thought.

The Captain - Steam me up Scotty

I have to assume this is a bath bomb type product, as the card doesn't really say (neither does the website). It smells yummy, and the scent description is magnolias and wild berries with cream. Yum! Unfortunately I don't have a bath, so I might have to include this in the giveaway over on my Facebook page. I'm also curious about the Star Trek reference, perhaps that is a clue to the theme of the next box!

Wendy Bird - Veggie Protein Deodorant

This is such a novel idea! I love that a deodorant is included, and I think it's really innovative. I don't often get to try out American-style push up solid deodorant so I love this even more. It smells really yummy, of apples and other tropical elements, and I love that it's blue! I've been using it every day since I got this box, and I can't say anything bad about it at all!

Lastly, here's the card for those who want to check it out (although there isn't too much more info on there ).

I'm officially in love with this box. It is rather expensive to ship to the other side of the world, but I can't believe how amazing everything smells and the variety of products I received. I'm loving being able to use all of these little samples, and am already getting excited for the next box (which won't be here until August or so).

Don't forget to pop over to my Facebook page for the giveaway. The rules are very simple - like my Facebook page and like the relevant giveaway post! For an extra entry leave a comment on this blog post. I have to restrict entries to New Zealand residents only because of the perfume (sorry international readers - I truly know your pain), but keep an eye out in the future. Giveaway closes a week from now (Monday, June 1 at 7pm).

Until next time ...

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bonjour Jolie May 2015

Kia Ora!

I was so impressed with the Bonjour Jolie box I subscribed to their monthly box. I love that you get a box of various pampering things every month, along with some useful supplies. Bonjour Jolie offers lots of options for feminine hygeine products, allowing you to choose between pads, tampons, and disposable menstrual cups depending on personal preference. You can mix and match, and change your choices month to month as well. This is $16USD. There is also an option simply to receive the pampering products, and I've opted for this option. I already own more pads and tampons than I can use, so I don't need to accumulate any more. This option is $10USD per month + shipping. Shipping to New Zealand is $14.50, which is a bit expensive but I think it's worth it.

The box appears to be lovingly packaged, and I can't wait to see what's inside!

The card, with all that delicious info. The box for this month is all about Nepal, and supporting Nepalese women. I think that's amazing, particularly in a time of need for Nepal.

I love that everything comes packaged in cute bags! The dark pink one the bracelet is in is my favourite!

Nepali Seed-bead Cuff Bracelet - $14

This bracelet is really awesome. I love that it is handmade, and I think it will make a great accessory. I tend to wear a lot of black, so this will help break some of that up with a bit of colour. The best thing is that buying a bracelet like this will support Nepalese women build their own businesses. Their website is here.

Organic Lilac Blossoms Lotion - $12

This one is a Bonjour Jolie product. Lotion is always a lovely pampering treat, and I can't wait to try this one out. It's an organic formula, and 50% of the proceeds from the sales go to the relief effort in Nepal. Yay! I'm going to leave this closed for now, as I have about 15 other lotions to work through before I can even attempt trying this one.

Summer's Eve Cleansing Cloth

Something useful! I love these for days when you just don't feel great, and don't want to feel gross.


I think this is the American version of ibuprofen (and looking at the ingredients that's exactly what it is). I'm not going to say no, although I find panadol to be more effective for that time of the month myself.

Himalayan Sole Stone bath

This is something quite different. It has to do with salt, and stimulation of skin, and baths. I don't personally have a bath, but I will probably re-gift this, or steal someone's bath for a day. It's something very cool to receive in any case.

Moringa Hi-Chew Candy - $3
Garden Lucky Candy
Imei Cream Wafers - Coconut - $1
Hello Panda Cookies

I love that there are lots of lollies in this box. None of these are from Nepal, but they are from surrounding countries. China, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia. I've never tried (or even heard of) most of these lollies, and I'm really excited to try them. I love that I get to try lollies from outside of New Zealand, and think it's a neat feature of this box.

Snapple single tea sachets

I swear I've heard of Snapple before - is it some sort of American thing? These are packets of powder that you dissolve in water (I'm not sure how much as I can't  be bothered doing a Google conversion of imperial to metric right now), and then drink. So I think it's more like Raro juice drinks? I'm a little sad there aren't actual tea bags, but I'm more than happy to try out a new product I've never heard of before. These are in Raspberry Tea, Peach Tea, and Original Green Tea flavours. Should be interesting!

Well, I'm pretty happy with that box. I am excited to try the tea and lollies, and I love the luxury pampering products. I can't wait for my next box, which is something I haven't felt about a subscription box in a while. I can highly recommend Bonjour Jolie, not only for the curation of their boxes but from their amazing customer service.

Until next time ...

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Extreme Sheet Mask Haul from Tester Korea and RoseRose Shop

Kia Ora!

As a personal reward for finishing my Masters, I allowed myself a really huge sheet mask haul. I've been dying to buy some for months now, but shipping to New Zealand is rather prohibitive and expensive. So for this special occasion, I've gone a little bit nuts. I've bought some old favourites that I wanted to have more of, and have also used the opportunity to try out a few that I don't have easy access to here. Read on for my extreme haul of mask goodness.

I bought from two places, Tester Korea and RoseRose Shop. I've divided the haul up, dependent on where I got the masks from, so you can easily see how I structured my haul.

Tester Korea:

Pure Derm Yoon-An and Soo-An masks

I loved trying these out when I had them, but I only had one of each to try. I really loved them, and the results I got, and couldn't  resist getting a few of each for special occasions. These were 600 won each (about 0.70 NZD) which is a great price. Click here and here for the listing.

RE:CIPE Slowganic Jeju Tangerine and Peach

These two masks look very tempting. I want to eat the fruit pictured on the front. These two were impulse buys, and just because I felt like it. I love the idea of fruit masks, and they seem to generally work quite well, so we'll have to see how this one goes. These masks were a little more expensive, thus why there is only one of each. They can be found here.

Illi Camelia Oil Intensive Moisture

I've tried a different one of these masks, and remember loving it. I think it came in a Memebox. I decided to try a different one by the same brand, for comparison. I bought two, because it is a bit pointless only having one to try, as it doesn't give you as complete of an idea about how the mask reacts with your skin, or if it beneficial or detrimental. It can be found here.

Tonymoly I'm Real - Avocado, Red Wine, and Broccoli

I've heard some really amazing things about Tonymoly but haven't really had a chance to try them out before. I got a few of their options, to see what the fuss is all about, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how these masks go. I'm most excited about the Broccoli ones, as who doesn't want to put broccoli on their face?! They were reasonably priced, so I could splurge on a few of them, and they can be found here.

Rose Rose Shop:

Holika Holika Skin& Good Cera Super Cream Mask Sheet

I had a night cream sample from this range 6-9 months ago, and absolutely loved it. To the point where no other night cream that I've tried compares. So I couldn't pass up trying the mask version. I'm really hoping for good things, and these masks were a bit of a splurge. They aren't the cheapest on the market, and can be found here.

Innisfree Skin Solution Total Care

This is one of my favourite masks, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to grab a few more. They came as a pack, and the price was comparable to ordering direct from Innisfree so I was happy. Found here.

Missha Pure Source Raspberry Sheet Mask

How could I pass up something that looks this delicious? I want to eat the packet, so I'm hoping the mask will be good too. Missha is a famous Korean brand, so I'm excited to see what their masks offer, as I haven't had a chance to try their products before. Found here. The next Missha thing I'm lusting after, and will be my next splurge and a new ampoule for my skincare routine.

Skinfood Broccoli

I'm obsessed with putting veges on my face. Not really, I'm more interested in snails generally but broccoli is just so strange I have to get in on it. I haven't tried Skinfood's masks before, although I have tried some of their other skincare products. I can't wait to gross out my SO with the newest weird thing I put on my face. These ones can be found here.

The Face Shop Blueberry Mask

Once again with the "I haven't used masks by this company, but I liked the look of it, and I've used some of their other skincare products." If you can't tell, berries are a weakness of mine. I consume my weight in strawberries every summer, and I just can't get enough of raspberries or blueberries either. I love eating them, and thus I assume they will be amazing on my face. Only time will tell. These can be found here.

Mamonde Rose Moisturizing and Pomegranate Anti Aging

These masks were recommended to me by some people on Reddit, and those girls tend to be very knowledgeable so I grabbed a few. I thought the moisturising and anti-aging versions would be best to start with, so I'll see how these go. The packet designs are really modern and pretty. They can be found here for the Rose and here for the Pomegranate.

Secret Key Gold Premium First Eye Patch

I am quite drawn to these pots full of gel eye patches. I think it looks like a very efficient way of keeping them, and always having them on hand. This pottle has a lot of essence in it, so I'm not worried about the patches drying out at all. I can't wait to try them out! They can be found here.

Benton Snail Bee Content Essence

This is the holiest of holy grails for me. I can't even contemplate being without this product, so I took the opportunity to buy a backup for myself. I did buy this as a two set, as I wanted to give one to a friend, which made it a little bit cheaper. The set is here.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack

I went slightly overboard on Benton masks. There was a bulk lot of 80 masks, and I couldn't resist. I'm planning on using some in an upcoming giveaway, and will be giving plenty away to friends, but am excited to have so many of these to play with. The bulk lot can be found here.

Tosowoong 10 Hours Hair Treatment

Yet another holy grail item, and I had to buy it in bulk. I had one of these from a Memebox, and it appeared in an Empties post a few months ago. I haven't been able to find another hair product that works as well as this one at making my hair soft, shiny, and healthy. This will probably appear in a future giveaway too, as I love sharing my favourite Korean products with other people. The bulk lot can be found here.

Samples!! It's a terrible photo but I'm especially excited to see the Holika Holika emulsions, and to be able to test them out. everything else looks pretty exciting too. Samples are awesome!

Well, there you have it. I went a little overboard on some things (mainly the Benton masks, and the Tosowoong hair stuff), but I'm really excited to try out all my new goodies. It's really awesome to have completed my Masters, and free time seems a bit like an elusive dream I'm scared to wake up from. It does leave me more time to dedicate to this blog though. Is there any types of posts that you would like to see in the future?

Until next time ...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Masked Madness #5

Kia Ora!

It's time for another update of the things I put on my face! A few favourites this time around, and hopefully better reviews than last time (I've been making sure to take better notes).

Etude House Hyaluronic Acid

I quite liked this mask. Etude House masks tend to be relatively consistent, although for me they aren't holy grail. They are good, and quite nice to wear though, and at only $1USD they are a great price. This one smells very sweet and fruity, which I liked. It is a thick cotton mask which leaves the face plump, but it has a slight slick of greasy residue that hangs around after removing the mask. This isn't a huge problem though as the residue disappears as you continue with the remainder of your skincare routine. I do like it, but I think it is a bit misleading to call it a hyaluronic acid mask, particularly as there seems to be hardly any of the acid in the mask (going from how far down the ingredients list it is listed). Oh well, can't complain too much about cheap masks.

Shara Shara Real Sauce Mung Beans Mask

This is one of the softest sheet masks I've ever used. It looks quite yellow in the packet, but appears normal once on the face. The fit is quite good, and it feels soft and comfortable on the face. There is lots of essence in the mask, and plenty of that is left on the face upon removal of the mask. It does sink in relatively well though. I experienced slight itching sensations around the edges of the mask (at my chin and ears mainly), but this was not too bad and did fade. I like this mask, and am keen to get my hands on some more Shara Shara masks to try!

Lonvitalité 24K Gold 24K Active Gold Eye Mask

I'm not convinced by this mask, and probably won't try it again. This came in a Violet Box (if I remember correctly). It goes around the whole eye, rather than just the undereye like most eye masks. It is rather odd shaped, and the slit in the middle is what I've dubbed the 'eyelash hole' as it is very small. This mask had a cooling sensation, and that was particularly intense on the sensitive skin around my eyes. I couldn't really deal with it for long, and only kept the mask on for 4 minutes rather than the usual 20+. There was lots of serum in the packet, so I spread that around on the rest of my face and it was quite nice. The serum dried quickly, but still left a slight sticky residue.

Etude House Skin Solution Mask Total Care

This is one of my favourite masks, and has appeared before in this blog series. The mask is soft and thin, the serum is wonderful and slightly sweet smelling, and this mask brightens my face. I love it, and I'm sure you will see plenty more of this mask in future empties.

Etude House Bio Jelly Coconut Gel Mask Firming

This is one of the hardest masks I've ever had to put on. The gel mask was inbetween a plastic sheet and a softer cloth sheet, but I couldn't get it to sit on my face properly no matter which side I tried to remove first. The holes for nose, mouth and eyes were in all the wrong places. The nose flap was huge and covered my nostrils, making it a bit hard to breathe. I ended up having to fold the flap up to keep it out of the way. The mask does feel very comfortable once it was on, but it took a lot of wiggling and fiddling to get it on properly. The mask did get tighter as the serum was absorbed into the skin, but not in an uncomfortable way. I have another one of these to try, so I'll see if practice putting one on will help.

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask - Pomegranate

This incorporates all the great things about Innisfree masks - the slightly sweet smell of the serum, the comfortable and soft mask, the lovely soft skin you have afterwards. This mask smelled quite sweet, but that faded on application to my face. The sheet was very thin, and contoured well to my face. It was very comfortable to wear, and left my skin feeling soft and smooth.

And finally several masks that I have used previously. The Benton Snail Bee mask is my holy grail mask, and I can't get enough so expect to see it in just about every edition of Masked Madness. The other two were fine for nose pore strips, nothing special though.

And there we go, anther edition of masks done and dusted. I'm off to Wellington today for my graduation from my Masters tonight. Keep an eye out on my Facebook page for a couple of photos over the weekend, and next week I'll have a post about the makeup and skincare I took with me for a weekend away.

Until next time ...

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Happy Mail April 2015

Kia Ora!

My April Happy Mail is finally here! I've been loving getting the funky stationary and cards, and have been using the cards to send to my friends. I love the variety that comes in the package, and I'm never going to run out of birthday cards at this rate.

The poster this month says 'Dream Bigger', in shimmery colours (I really don't know how to describe that type of shimmery paper). There is also a sheet of stickers with various patterns, and a pad with the days of the week on it. I really like the weekly pad, it could be useful for planning meals, or blog posts!

I'm sensing a theme of sparkly, shimmery accents in this month's package. I love these three cards. I already have some people in mind for each of these ones. I love humorous cards, and these are really cute ones too.

These cards are funky and quite different. I'm not sure about the sparkly pills on the Get Well card, but I'm sure it will come in use at some point in the future. The zebras are cute too, so I'll have to think about who deserves zebras in a Thank You card.

Again with the funky cards, and this sense of humour is right up my alley. Winking of you is a great thing to have on the front of the card, and I'm sure I can find an excuse to give this to my SO.

I can't say enough how much I love this subscription. It has some really unusual cards, as well as their own take on the classic card genres. I'm not great at talking about stationary, but I'm keen to hear what your thoughts are. Share them with me in the comments below!

Until next time ...