May 29, 2012

May 2012 Birchbox Unboxing

I've been waiting so patiently for my first Birchbox to arrive and it finally came in the mail today - 2 days before it's June. I was so excited to get home from work for the unboxing, but I must say, I'm pretty disappointed with my first Birchbox.

This month is a Gossip Girl themed Birchbox. What that means, I don't really know.

Here's what you see when you open the box:

And here are the contents inside: beautyblender blendercleanser makeup sponge and brush cleanser, BVLGARI Omnia Crystalline Eau de Toilette Spray, Dr. Jart + Waterfuse BB Cream, fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15, and... a hair tie... which, honestly, I thought was part of the packaging material at first. Oh, and a notecard.

Though the tinted lip treatment looks bright red it goes on my lips pretty sheer. I didn't notice much color. It does feel pretty good, just like any other lip balm. I'll make good use of it.

Then there's the Dr. Jart + BB cream. When I twisted open the cap, the contents immediately oozed out due to difference in pressure. Also, when I held it to the light, I noticed there wasn't much in there to begin with, not even half the tube was full. Lastly, it wasn't even my shade. It was a bit too light for my skin tone. It did go on my skin pretty smoothly and has a very mild scent.

The beautyblender blendercleanser... I don't know what to make of it yet. It says it is soy-based.

The BVLGARI Omnia Crystalline Eau de Toilette was... okay. Not really my scent. It smells like older women.

I'm not even going to talk about the "hair tie" and the xoxo note card.

I was really expecting a better Birchbox, maybe one with Color Club nail polish in it, since I put nail polish as my splurge product. Was it worth the $10? I don't know. I suppose the half-sized lip treatment cost about $10.

Overall feeling: Meh. Looking forward to next month's Birchbox though, since I've seen some pretty good ones out there. I have hope.

May 15, 2012

List of Subscription-Based Beauty and Style Sample Boxes

Here are some of the subscription-based beauty boxes / bags that I know of that ships to US. These are just a few that I've heard of, but this business model has proven to be very successful, so I'm sure a lot more are going to pop up.

Birchbox (My private referral link! <3)
Cost: Women: $10 per month, Men: $20 per month (Beta)
Products: Makeup, skin care, lifestyle, fragrance
Notes: 4-5 deluxe samples. The most popular one that I know of, great value, since it's all high-end brands and good quality products. You can accumulate points which you can redeem later if you choose to purchase full-sized products. The products I've seen so far are well worth $10. Beautiful packaging. Seriously worth it.

Cost: $10 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: 4-5 deluxe samples. Mostly makeup, it seems. Samples come in an actual makeup bag that you can reuse. Founded by YouTube beauty guru, Michelle Phan. I'm on the waiting list for this one. Going to give it a try, although the variety of Birchbox seems more appealing to me.

The Look Bag
Cost: $10 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: 5 deluxe samples. You get 20% off The Look Store with a subscription.

Beauty Army
Cost: $12 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care

Beauty Box 5
Cost: $12 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: 4-5 beauty samples.

Cost: Regular: $6.99 per month, Premium: $12.99 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care

Cost: $15 per month
Products: Eco-friendly beauty products, food, lifestyle

Cost: $19.99 per month
Products: Nail color and nail care

Cost: $21 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: This one was popular internationally before it came to the US. I'm curious about this one.

New Beauty Test Tube
Cost: $29.95 per 3 months
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: Every three months, you'll receive a sleek box filled with deluxe and full-size samples of coveted, high-performance luxury products.

Cost: $49.99 per month
Products: Makeup and skin care
Notes: 8 deluxe to full-sized products.

ShoeDazzle (Again, my private referral link! <3)
Cost: $39.95 per item
Products: Shoes, handbags, accessories, apparel
Notes: They used to charge you monthly, but they got rid of that. No obligations, just log on whenever you want and pick shoes and accessories whenever you feel like it.

Cost: $79.98 per pair
Products: Shoes

May 3, 2012

Personality vs. Character

I remember a discussion I had over a year ago with my husband over lunch. We were discussing personalities and I said I think I don't stand out in a crowd because I don't have a very strong personality. Always careful not to stick my foot in my mouth, I take my time to judge a situation. I'm a quiet observer. It takes time for me to warm up to people. He told me personality and character are two different things, and that I have a very strong character. He then proceeded to give me this analogy:

People are like icebergs. Your personality is the part of the iceberg that floats above water. Your character, on the other hand, is what lies below the surface.

I'd like to extend the analogy further, people around you are like boats. Everyone's perspective relative to you is slightly different. The more they hang around you the more they get a better, more comprehensive picture of your personality, and from that, deduce part of your character.

Different subject, but this reminds me a bit of this carrot quote I saw on Facebook a while ago.

May 2, 2012

I Hate Mainstream Music

Every time I listen to American mainstream radio I get pissed off to no end. Sometimes you can't escape it when a shop plays it in the background. Thoughtless superficial lyrics. Heavy auto-tuning. Generic productions. You just want to run away.

Want your ears to bleed?

New Boyz - Better With The Lights Off ft. Chris Brown

Sabi ft. Wale - Where They Do That At

What? The grammar nazi in me already hates the song title.

You know that movie Idiocracy? I feel like mainstream music is going down that route. Instead of people dumbing down, you get quality of music going down the drain... until you get this:

If your ears weren't bleeding before, it surely will now.