Monday, 31 August 2015

Tea with Alice July 2015

Kia Ora!

Everyone knows how obsessed with tea I am right? So a tea subscription is something I look forward to every month. I especially love Tea with Alice as they send me out the perfect size sampler packs, and my family and friends get given the ones I'm not too keen on. You get 40 cups of tea a month (although this varies), and the opportunity to try a variety of flavours.

Yum, they all look so pretty this month!

African Queen

This one is really pretty! It's very floral, and not quite to my taste, but one of my friends will enjoy it.

Love Truffle

This one has cacao nibs in it. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but it looks delicious.

Alice's Breakfast

This was a really great breakfast tea. It had great depth of flavour, and was quite creamy with milk. I loved it. And yes, it has disappeared already. 

Licensed to Spice

I haven't opened this one yet, but it looks a bit like a chai tea, with spices included. Yum! (Edit: After trying it out, turns out no spices, no chai, just a boring black tea. Don't get me wrong, I like those a lot too, but not if I'm expecting a spicy chai.)

I really love the black teas that come in this subscription, and I'm really tempted to repurchase a few. My tea cupboard says no, but my taste buds say yes!

I've realised that I've been giving away the herbal ones most months, so I've been trying to change the subscription to purely black tea. It doesn't seem to be working, so I think I might have to email them. They have great customer service though, so I'm sure it will be sorted quickly.

Until next time ...

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Bonjour Jolie August 2015

Kia Ora!

I had honestly forgotten about this box, and it was a lovely surprise when it turned up in the mail! Unfortunately I was running out the door to work (late, as usual) so I had to wait until I got home that night to open it.

Bonjour Jolie is a period subscription service, with 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. 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 information card was missing from my box, but after contacting customer service, the card appeared in my inbox! Honestly this company has some of the best customer service I've encountered. 

The theme is Hot August Nights, which isn't too relevant for us coming out of winter, but I'm still going to enjoy all the products in the box I'm sure. It's a novel experience receiving things from the other side of the world that we can't easily access in NZ, and I really do enjoy this box. 

I love how it comes wrapped in tissue, with a sticker. It adds that extra touch!

M&Ms Cookies 

Yum! This was right on top when I opened the box, and I'm happy to see it. I love M&Ms, I ate these cookies almost immediately after taking this picture, and they were delicious. A great addition to the box!

Dryden and Palmers rock candy sticks

I can honestly say I've never seen anything like this. It looks like one of those crystal gardens have become edible and grown up a stick. Purple and green are usually my favourite lolly flavours, so I'm looking forward to trying these out.

Jelly Belly 

I love Jelly Belly's, so I'm excited to see these in the box. I rarely buy these because they are very expensive, so it's a little bit of heaven to see three packets in this box! Normally the box has a guide to flavours, but it was quite neat to guess which flavour I was eating. A bit like eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans I imagine!


These are an interesting addition. It's the lollies like these that make this box extra interesting for me. I love being able to try lollies from the US that I would never see otherwise! I tried one of these, and it was a sour lemon flavour to begin with, transitioning into a boiled sweet taste. I wasn't too keen, but I'm sure other people will be happy to eat the rest of these for me.

Wonka's Gobstoppers

These are my sisters top choice in lolly, so I will be saving these for her. I've never seen a bag of little ones like this.

Stash tea

I enjoy having a variety of teas to try out, and Stash is a lovely brand of tea. These are mostly herbal teas, so my night time tea is sorted for a week or so. I do prefer black tea, but I like trying other types as well.

Bonjour Jolie Beach Waves Salt Spray

I've been eyeing up salt sprays over the last few months, so I'm particularly excited to be able to try this out! My hair is so fine, it's very limp when I do leave it out, which makes a ponytail my go-to hairstyle. I'm hoping to give myself some volume and be a bit more adventurous with my hair. It smells like oranges, and makes my hair shiny. I've only tested it out so far, but I'm loving the spray so far!

Advil and Summers Eve

These basics are in each monthly box (if you opt in for them), and are perfect when dealing with periods. I get the box without period supplies (tampons, pads, liners) as I just don't really use them, but these products are always handy to have on hand.

Just a Little Sparkle Silver Plated Rhinestone Headband

I love how Bonjour Jolie features small businesses in their box. Just a Little Sparkle makes some really beautiful headbands, and I'm instantly in love with it. I wore it to work the day after I opened the box, and enjoyed that immensely. It was comfortable, which is to do with the double-headband which sits at the back of your head. I'm so grateful that this was included in the box!

Bonjour Jolie has included a coupon code, for $5 off. It is BONJOUR and valid until the end of August.

Total value of the box: $$39.75 USD. Considering this box is charged at $16 USD (not including shipping) and there are extra items in the box that aren't listed on the card, I think it is well worth the price!

For me this box is exciting as it always has lollies I've never tried before, some snacks that are great to eat as an afternoon snack, and a wonderful gift and beauty item. I've been weighing up the good and bad points of the boxes I'm currently subscribed to, as I'm trying to save money. Bonjour Jolie has mainly great points, and the only negative for me is the high shipping costs. However I truly think it is worth it, and I'm excited to see what happens next month!

What do you think of this box?

Until next time ...

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lust Have It July 2015

Kia Ora!

I've enjoyed the last couple of Lust Have It boxes that I've received, so I was looking forward to this one. This box (well bag really) is only $20 AUD per month, and they have been knocking it out of the park in the last few months. My June unboxing is here if you want to check it out.

They have gone back to the pink bags this month, which I'm not too thrilled about as I have a bunch already. They are useful, if repetitive. And  they aren't the main point of the subscription, so I can get over this.

The card with all the extra info. And ingredient lists for some products apparently.

Hikari Eyeshadow Quad - halle

I don't wear a lot of makeup, but eyeshadow palettes are my weakness. This one is so pretty, and a with lovely neutral colours. The shadows are soft, and have a reasonable colour payoff. I'm really excited by the colours of this quad, unexpectedly as I generally don't like makeup in subscription boxes (although I know that half the subscribers - at least - do).

RRP: $22.50
Full size.

Garnier Fructis Full & Luscious Shampoo and Conditioner

I'm not the biggest fan of foil packets, but these are listed as a bonus product on the  card so I can deal. I really like trying out new shampoo and conditioners, so I'm interested to see what these can do. 10ml is a bigger sample than is usually provided, so I'm hoping to get 2 uses out of these.

RRP: $5.95 (250ml full size)
Sample size (10ml each): $0.48

Marsk Certified Organic Eyeliner - Pitch Black

I don't use eyeliner, at all. I will on the very odd occasion, but it's a rare day. This will be added to a birthday present to a friend, as I know it will be used by her. Also the price is a little ridiculous (I think) for a tiny pencil. Does anyone actually pay that much for eyeliner?

RRP: $33.50
Full size.

Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss - Sugar Lips

I don't know how I feel about lipgloss. Some days I like it, others I hate it. It is usually dependent on stickiness factor, so we'll have to see with this one. I'm not the biggest fan of pinks, but this could be a nice summer colour. It swatches to be quite opaque, so it should be full coverage colour-wise.

RRP: $21
Full size.

Be a Bombshell - The One Stick - Southern Belle

This is a combination lip and cheek colour. I've had a light pink version of this before, so I already know I'll be getting rid of it. I'm sure it's a reasonable product, but for the girl who doesn't wear any makeup, let alone complex products like a cheek stain, it isn't suitable. Someone else will be able to love it better than I can.

RRP: $24
Full size.

Swatches of the One Stick on the left, and the lipgloss on the right.  

Paula's Choice Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum

Swoon! I've been dying to try Paula's Choice for a looooonngg time. I can't believe this was in the box, and it makes me incredibly happy. I know it's only a sample, but I'm still excited. Also, the packaging is next level. The pump pops up from the top when you twist it, it's pretty awesome.

I've used a retinol eye cream before, and it was one of the best products I've used. I truly can't wait to give this a go, and just have to wait for a break in my testing routine. I use a new product for two weeks before adding anything else, and I've just started using a new exfoliator so this won't be in the routine for a few weeks. I'm willing to wait for it though. (secretly stroking it and whispering "precious").

RRP: $52 (30ml)
Deluxe size (7ml): $12.13

Total value of the box: $113.61.

This box has a great value for money, and for someone who wears makeup then I'm sure it's an even better score. For myself, this month it isn't worth it, purely as the product won't be used by me (apart from the samples mainly). I am excited to have the Paula's Choice serum, but not enough about the rest of the products.

Lust Have It have really lifted their game in the last few months, producing boxes on time, and with great value for money. As always with subscription boxes it depends on personal preference, but I do think this is still a good box (albeit for someone else). On the plus side I"m able to regift some of the things I won't use, so that's a bonus.

What do you guys think about Lust Have It currently?

Until next time ...

Friday, 14 August 2015

Fortune Cookie Soap Box Fall Soap Box 2015

Kia Ora!

I've been waiting and waiting for this box to arrive. The tracking email appeared in my inbox last week (I think), and I've been obsessively clicking the link. There were spoilers everywhere on Facebook, but I managed to avoid them all and keep the surprise element. I can't wait to  see what's in here!

Fortune Cookie Soap Box is a box that comes out seasonally, so every three months. The Winter box is due out at the beginning of November. I'm international, so I pay $34USD for each box. However you get a $10USD code with each box to use on their website, which is an awesome bonus. If the shipping wasn't killer, I would use it every time. I'm considering it this time to get some of the scents from this box, and the last one.

I love the themes chosen by this company. Old Hollywood seems like it should have classic movies and movies stars from the 1930s/1940s/1950s featuring.

Tommy Guns & Baseball Bats - Whipped Cream

Grandma's hot apple pie, dusted with freshly shaved cinnamon, nutmeg and warm brown sugar, topped with rich, creamy, marshmallow fluff. 

I don't know what marshmallow fluff is, but this moisturiser smells divine! Apples and sweetness are the predominant flavours, and this whipped cream is the best moisturiser I've ever tried. I love how appropriate for cooler weather these scents are (and since the Southern Hemisphere is in the dregs of winter that's rather appropriate).  

Scandal - Bath Powder

Creaking woods, wind blown leaves, and twisted rose thorns. Add entire bag to bath ... enjoy. 

The rose scent in this powder is lovely, and I've never been sadder I don't have a bath. For those with a bathtub, this will be a lovely thing to have, but I'm reduced to sniffing the bag, and looking a bit like a cocaine addict. Oh well, I'm fine with this, and will have to steal a bath from somewhere.

American Royalty - Pomade

Rose milk, thick honey and warming tobacco blossom wrapped with caramel and notes of mandarin. 

I've never used a pomade before, some sort of hair gel-type product if I understand correctly. I probably won't get much use out of this as I'm a "tie-it-all-up in a ponytail" type girl, but it's great to be able to try it out. I'm not sure how I feel about this scent, it's not really sweet enough for me I don't think.

Sidenote: The lines below 'Pomade' on the lid .. those are supposed to be the ingredients list. It's so blurry in real life, I don't know how it's realistic to read it. Better to leave off altogether I would have thought. Looks a bit like a joke (although it probably has to be on there because of American regulations or something).  

Pearls & Girls - Perfume Oil

Crushed and distilled vanilla creeping with wild jasmine and a splash of juicy pear. 

I'm in love with this perfume bottle, and the delectable scent inside. The pear and vanilla are so delicious. Best of all, the oil lasts most of the day (all of the work day). I've been wearing it the last couple of days, and keep sniffing my wrists as I am in love with this scent.  

Hollywood Dreams - Shampoo Bar

Fall is in the (h)air!! Brown sugar dusted graham crackers, fresh churned apple butter, sprinkled with nuts and a hint of maple. 

I haven't had great luck with shampoo bars in the past, but I'm willing to try again. Especially if my hair will smell like this. Overwhelmingly I can smell the maple, and some other unidentified things; perhaps the graham crackers as I don't actually know what those are. Either way, mmmmmm.

(Also, apologies for the awkward photo. I'm attempting to be artsy, and I'm not sure I've quite figured out this focus thing as yet.)

Dressed to Kill - Fortune Cookie Soap

Dribbles of mulled, red wine, swirled with dark, rich vanilla and cut apples, and a dusting of spice. 

The grammar nerd in me cringes at this many commas, but this soap smells nice and looks awesome. It smells more like generic soap with a hint of vanilla and apples to me, but it looks very pretty - and very Hollywood! 

Famous - Wax Tart

Warm amber, wild orchid, fluttering white cotton, sundried herbs. 

This smells amazing. The orchid and amber work well together, creating a light floral scent with deeper undertones. I don't have a burner, so will have to invest before being able to use this, but I'm happy to just smell it for now. I could do without the excessive glitter, but it fits with the Hollywood theme!

My OCD Hand Sanitizer (in Glitz & Glamour scent) was missing from the box when I received it, but a quick email exchange and their customer service will send one out to me. Hopefully that gets here soon! It's great that they are willing to sort that out so quickly. Another great thing about this box.

Overall I'm in love with this box. I'm not afraid to say it's officially my favourite one (although Butterfly Party Soap isn't too far behind). The amazing combinations of scents, as well as the truly wonderful products set this box apart from all the rest. I'm going to treat myself to a bit of a haul from their website, so keep an eye out in the next couple of months for that.

Did anyone else get this box? What did you think?

Until next time ...

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Empties July 2015

Kia Ora!

July went so quickly for me! I was house-sitting for most of it, and moved back to my own flat over the weekend. It was nice to be home, and I did quite a bit of sorting out. Since I hadn't been home, I had forgotten how many empties I had. It felt good to photograph them all and then throw them away!

This is my Empties box, chock-a-block with things I've used up in July. Wow! I'll start off with hair products.

Garnier Fructis Goodbye Damage Shampoo and Conditioner

I quite liked these, especially for their price. They are good solid products that clean your hair without stripping it too much, and then provide a great shine. I also like the smell, which is a bit herbally/fruity. These leave my hair feeling stronger (and a little bit thicker) which is awesome for someone with really fine hair like myself. I've bought the big sizes for our shower, mainly for my SO to use, but also for me when I just need reliably clean hair.

Repurchase: YES!

Mise en Scene Perfect Repair

This is a conditioner that I got in a Memebox last year. I have been using it as a conditioner although I'm not 100% sure that's how it's supposed to be used. It works well like that though. I like the conditioning properties of this product, as it leaves hair shiny and soft, and seems to make it last like that for several days. What I don't like about this product is the smell. It smells like an off-blend of baby powder. I'm deal with it, and luckily the scent doesn't linger after it's washed out, but I don't like it much. I have another bottle to use up (which I will because sometimes I pretend I live in the Depression era where waste is awful), but I won't go out of my way to find this.

Repurchase: No.

Lush 'Snow Fairy' and 'So White' Shower Gel

I love Lush shower gels. These two are the Christmas Limited Edition scents, and I'm so grateful I was gifted them last year at Christmas. I love the shower gel recipe, regardless of scent. It leaves your skin soft and feeling moisturised, while also works up a great lather to clean you properly. Honestly, I've been trying not to finish these babies, which involves using the tiniest amount of product and it's still amazing. I've been down to half-pea-sized amounts and this still is enough to wash my whole body. Amazing.

Secondly, the scents are wonderful. They smell fantastic while you are in the shower (or bath), and then proceed to linger for hours afterwards too. Snow Fairy is a very sweet candy floss type scent, and very sweet. It's lovely, but a bit sweet for me personally. On the other hand So White is a tart apple scent and I can't get enough of this one. I love the apple notes to it, and how it isn't too sweet. This is certainly my pick for Christmas but both shower gels are great.

Repurchase: Snow Fairy - no. So White - GIVE ME MORE!!

Skinfood Egg White Pore Meringue Foam

This is the cleanser I've been using for the last few months. It's a huge bottle, and took ages to use up. It's not technically empty, but the pump has stopped working properly and I have other cleansers I want to try out. This is a nice cleanser. It's not my favourite, but it does a good job of washing the dirt and grime off my face. The foam is nice and easy to use, doesn't hurt if it gets in my eyes, and doesn't totally dry out my skin. It's from Korea so not the easiest to get hold of in New Zealand, but a decent cleanser if you are in need.

Repurchase: No - but only because I have a backlog of cleansers.

Tosowoong Timeshift Emulsion 

This was the first snail product I used, and began my love of snail mucin. This bottle was huge, and lasted nearly a year. It made my skintone more even, absorbed nicely, and even hydrated a little bit. I really enjoyed using this emulsion and will look into getting some more eventually. For anyone else who wants to try it, you can get it from Korea Depart. 

Repurchase: Eventually.

Oasis Beauty Berry Brightening Tonic

I've said before that this is my holy grail toner, and it really is. I have a noticeable glow after using it, it helps keep my skin clear, and it works to clear up any breakouts I do have. I love the berry smell, and one bottle lasts a few months. It's a great toner, but I have a few Memebox ones to use up before I can repurchase. I've been through 3 bottles before so I know it's a good toner, and have no problems highly recommending it to everyone. I usually get it from the Oasis Beauty website, and their postage is pretty fast.

Repurchase: Soon, precious, soon.

Nivea Men Volcanic Mud Foam Face Wash

This one was used by my SO. His opinion follows:

It's good, and smells nice. It makes your skin feel soft, and heats your face a little if you leave it on for ages. It's a smooth cream, in an opaque gray colour. It foams nicely, and leaves your face feeling fresh and clean.

Repurchase: Yes.

Tosowoong 10 Hours Professional Treatment 

I've had several of these in the last few Empties posts, and I love this hair product. Soft, smooth, shiny hair that lasts for a few days.

Repurchase: I have lots of these as backup, so it's already been taken care of.

Palmetto Retinol & Peptide Lifting Eye Cream

I got this in a Bonjour Jolie box, and loved being able to try a new beauty brand. This eye cream is actually fantastic. It plumped my undereye area well, and got rid of some of the dark circles. This looked like a tiny sample amout (3.5g) to start with, but it lasted about 2-3 months. If this wasn't so hard to get hold of in New Zealand, I would get it again in a second.

Repurchase: Yes, if I ever go to the US.

Chocolate Lavender Tub Tea

This was also in a period subscription box (I can't remember if it was Bonjour Jolie or Madame Ladybug). I tried it out in the bath while I was housesitting last month, and wasn't that impressed honestly. It had epsom salts in it, and rolled oats. The rolled oats were quite weird and there wasn't a very strong scent (although that could be because I was using Lush products before this one). It was a nice relaxing bath, but not the best one I'd ever have.

Repurchase: No.

Shara Shara Gold Label

This is a thick night cream, one I received in a Memebox last year, and is packed full of snails. It's another one of my holy grail products, and I'm quite upset that it's finished. This cream is a thick cream, that feels fantastic. It helps with hyperpigmentation, hydration, and has enough snails in it to make my snail-obsessed heart sing. It's a little pricey, and I still have a Meme-stash to get through, but it's top of the list when I'm buying products again.

Repurchase: Eventually, but top of the list.

Well that's it folks. My skincare routine was rather decimated this month, and my face is having some issues while it adjusts (because who doesn't love having tons of pimples).

Has anyone else tried any of these products?

Until next time ...

Monday, 10 August 2015

Butterfly Party Soap July 2015

Kia Ora!

My latest edition of the Butterfly Party Soap Box (Bath and Body Edition) arrived earlier this week, and it smells phenomenal. There are 8 products in the box this month, and the theme is Christmas in July with a focus on delicious Christmas fragrances. I paid $70 AUD with $15 overseas shipping for a three months subscription. Let's see what awaits us in July!

Apple Pie Luxury Soap

I love the soap samples included in these boxes. This smells like apples and cinnamon, and looks really yum. I'm not sure if I should use this, or hoard it for a Christmas present. Either way, I'm really happy to have it as part of the box.  

 Jelly Soap - Snow Drift

This is described as "a delicious smelling soap that is literally like a tub of jelly." It's a glittery blue jelly, and I'm really excited to try it out. I know Lush has a jelly soap, but I've never tried it. I can't wait to see how this one works. It smells minty fresh with a hint of ... men's cologne? I'm not great at identifying scents but it smells nice.

Foamy Scrub - Hot Chocolate

This is a cross between soap and shower gel according to the product description. The best things is, it smells exactly like a hot chocolate. Nothing fake about the scent at all, and I honestly want to bury my nose in it and never breathe anything else again.

Bath Whip - Mrs Claus' Cookies

My favourite thing about this product (other than the scent which I'll get to) is the perfect grammar in the title. The apostrophe after the 's' in Claus without repeating the 's' again afterwards makes my heart sing. #grammarnerdforlife.

The scent of this mousse is very sweet. Not cookies exactly, but something sweet and buttery. It's another winning scent in this box.  

Body Butter - Pumpkin Pudding

I've never smelled, seen, or eaten Pumpkin pudding/pie before, although America seems obsessed with it. This is a very thick body butter, and you only really need a tiny bit. It smells of sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. I really like it. It hydrates the skin, although it does have a little bit of a greasy texture.  

Next are two tiny samples of Foamy Scrub in Elf Sweat and Vanilla Bean Noel. Vanilla Bean Noel is a vanilla scent, although not as sweet as fake vanilla, and Elf Sweat smells like sharp pines? I'm not sure, although it clears the nostrils. I'm excited to use both. 

Lip Balm - Gingerbread Cookie

This is a very oily lip balm, and I'm not sure I'm a huge fan. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely lip balm, but I don't find it stays on for long, although it does have a great flavour (excatly like gingerbread). I'm not totally sold on this one, although a lip balm is always a useful addition to a box.

Overall I liked nearly every product in this box, and I loved every scent. I can't wait to use the products in the box, and I am really excited for August to arrive. This is one of the best boxes I've found in quite awhile, the Australian version of the Fortune Cookie Soap Box.

What do you readers think of this box?

Until next time ...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Happy Mail July 2015

Kia Ora!

This is my last Happy Mail. I originally bought a 6 month subscription, and I've loved getting it every month. However I now have enough cards to last for a year, and probably shouldn't accumulate any more. I'll happily recommend this subscription to everyone though, as it's great.

I love the weird quotation. I'm going to frame it as I love it so much. It describes me perfectly, as I can be a very odd person sometimes (usually in private but not always).

Cactus stickers! These are so adorable! I've been using these types of stickers to decorate envelopes when I'm sending letters, and I know exactly who to send more letters to with cactus stickers.

I think my Mum would appreciate the word search card. I'm excited to see what she might find in there. And yet another love card, which means I'm sorted for anniversary cards to my SO for about 6 years now.

Zoolander! I know who that ones going to!

Aw I love the swan card. I know a few people who are engaged, so I'm sure this will be useful in the near future. There was also a random envelope which I can't match up to a card. Hmmmmm. It's pretty anyways.

This one reminds me of Meatspin (which I'm not going to link here as it's not particularly appropriate). That website was popular in my first year of uni, and I still have nightmares. It's a cute card though, perfect for those without weird associations, or for a prank card for those who do have less great associations.

Overall, I love this subscription. The quality and variety of cards is phenomenal, and I love getting a bright and funky package in the mail. It's also an encouragement to send friends snail mail (if my sister is reading this then she can expect to receive some soon). Love it, but I'm a bit over-supplied right now. I'll grab another subscription once I need cards again!

What do you think about this type of subscription?

Until next time ...