Monthly Beauty Subscriptions

November 2012 :: GlossyBox :: ‘Tis The Season To Be Glossy

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Alrighty. Posting this late and retrodating it so it will archive as a November post… It’s not entirely my fault though; I did receive my November 2012 GlossyBox several days into December… just sayin’.  Jumping right into it, since I’ve procrastinated enough recently:

Illamasqua – Lip & Eye Medium Pencil – RUMP – :: Full Size $20 :: I would’ve never picked out this beautiful periwinkle blue but I’ll be damned it isn’t gorgeous. Glides on beautifly. Covers nicely. I’m beginning to really love Illamasqua makeup. This is my second product of theirs, both from GlossyBox, and I think I will be making some purchases of my own in the near future.

I definitely have to post a better picture of this color because this shot doesn’t capture the beauty at all. It’s much darker. and brighter. and more purpley.

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Inoco – Nail Polish Applique :: Full Size $8 :: I haven’t tried these or even opened them. I’ll have to let you know how they work. These aren’t like drug store nail stickers, though. These appliques are 100% nail polish: base coat, color coat and top coat all in one. I like the color…

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Kryolan for GlossyBox – Blush – GLOSSY ROSEWOOD – :: Full Size $9 :: I love this blush! Having worked in theatre for over 10 years (and having many friends who do drag), I’ve come across Kryolan before but never really considered them for regular wear. I absolutely love this blush. It’s perfectly pigmented and last long. The color is perfect for my skin tone too! This is my favorite item in this month’s box! The Illamasqua liner was a very close second but this blush is amazing! And just like with the liner, this picture isn’t a very good depiction of this blusher. Must post a better pic… and a swatch… oooh.

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Arganics by NuMe Style – Argan Oil :: Full Size $59 (4oz) :: It’s nice. I won’t buy it again, I don’t believe. I am definitely a fan of Morocan and Argan oils since I have such dry hair but the beauty market is completely saturated with similar products that provide similar benefits in hair health; there’s really nothing that stands out about this one. Still very nice to have and use, though.

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Skin & Co. Roma – Truffle Serum: Hydo-tonig Day Face Serum :: Full Size $36 (1.01 oz) :: I, obviously, have not had prolonged use with this serum so I cannot attest to it’s anti aging effects and what not but I can say that it does feel very nice. It does make the skin feel a bit tight in order to “tone”. It wasn’t uncomfortable though.

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GlossyBox also threw in a $100 credit to NuMe (that I fully intend on using) and discounts for Skin & Co. I’ll take it!

Better late than never, right? With the holidays in full swing, I’ve been pretty swamped and the review posts have been piling up. I promise to get it together… eventually.

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

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November 2012 :: Ipsy Glam Bag :: Party Perfect

My very first Ipsy Glam Bag!! I am so excited to post this just as I was so excited to receive these fantastic goodies. For the same monthly subscription fee as the-box-that-shall-not-be-named, Ipsy packs your delightful little cosmetics bag with true deluxe samples! I can’t wait, so let’s dive straight in!

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Dah-Dah-Dah-DAAAAHHH. My November 2012 Ipsy Bag! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the five products I received!

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Nailtini :: Nail Lacquer :: Millionaire – A full size bottle of nail polish? You sure know how to win this girl over, Ipsy! As my readers know, I am a complete nail polish junkie and this positively peppy glitter coat from Nailtini is perfect for fun, holiday nails. Gold and Teal flecks of glitter reflect pinks, blues, purples and of course GOLD. Covers really well with a substantial amount of glitter. If you are looking to add a hint of glitz, this is not your polish. The same makers have lines called Liptini and Eyetini as well and I’d love to give some of those products a try!

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The Balm Cosmetics :: Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow :: Matt Batali – This is my first experience with any of the products from The Balm Cosmetics. First impression: I adore their kitschy, 50’s nostalgia inspired packaging. This line of matte eyeshadows has fun with their names and each color in the line is named “Matt ____”. Matt Batali is a dark, smokey, purpley-brown-grey… best way to describe the color… and I do love a nice smokey eye so I will use this baby up! The packaging is cute with a magnetic close hidden away in there somewhere so the sample snaps shut when you’re not using it.

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bareMinerals :: Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss :: Dare Devil – This isn’t my first experience with a Marvelous Moxie gloss. I’m actually a huge fan so receiving this is just awesome! This is a product that I would/have/will buy so I was thrilled when it was included in my November 2012 Ipsy bag. This color is Dare Devil and it is a beautiful, glossy, merlot-esque color, perfect for mine and many complexions.

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Starlet Cosmetics :: Intensen Eyeliner :: Chocolate – Apparently, this is NOT a full size sample. (Seems full size to me.) Its a chocolate brown pencil and I will put this to some real good use. When I use a pencil to line my lids, I usually opt for brown. (Liquids I usually use black and “fun” colors). Great for everyday wear. It applies smooth and stays put all day. I’d never heard of Starlet Cosmetics before but now that they are on my radar, I will certainly consider buying more of their pencils in the future.

This month, each Ipster received one of two other samples along with the above featured. They either received the Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel or the product I received:

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benefit :: They’re Real beyond mascara – a highly coveted item this month, I was very pleased to find this mascara sample tucked inside my Ipsy bag. Although, I would have been happy to receive the brow gel, when I received the email about the two choices, I was hoping to receive the mascara. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try the Chella brow gel in a future bag!

That was it. My very first Ipsy Bag! I can’t wait for my December bag! I am so pleased that I have cancelled my Birchbox subscription and signed up for Ipsy. I’m a very, VERY happy beauty subscriber. Way to hit it out of the park, Ipsy! And thanks to the other bloggers whose Ipsy review posts pushed me to sign up.

If you’d like to BECOME AN IPSY GLAM BAG SUBSCRIBER please use my referral link. (Ipsy is, in my opinion, the best subscription cosmetics service for the best value!)

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

November 2012 :: Birchbox #7

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Ugh. I’m not going to waste a lot of time on this post. I have better boxes with better goodies to review.

This is my absolute last and final Birchbox that I will ever receive. Since signing up in May, I have been disappointed every single month. In October, my disappointed reached it’s peak and I just couldn’t take it anymore. After being reached out to by the Birchbox Operations team, I found their lack of concern for their subscribers opinions absolutely disgusting. I also think they should have more pride in the crap their peddling instead of sending the shit samples and then blaming the lameness on the companies who provided the samples. With so many subscription beauty services saturating the market right now, Birchbox just doesn’t have the luxury of sitting back and sending out lackluster boxes. Just like me, other subscribers can, should and will move on to better services. (Ipsy is $10 a month as well and all their samples are cosmetics and truly deluxe). So here is what I found in my November 2012 Birchbox:

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Kerastase :: Chroma Sensitive Shampoo. :: Full Size $42 – Two, one-time-use samples of color safe shampoo by Kerastase. Haven’t used it and I won’t. (I use biolage products by Matrix and alternated with the Moroccan line of hair care.)  zero ♥s

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MCMC Fragrances :: Phoenix – Full Size: $45-$95 – This smells… and not good. The company is based out of Brooklyn though. American made by an American company… that’s nice. But I will not be buying this. zero ♥s

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ModelCo :: Fibre Lashxtend lengthening mascara :: Full Size: $24 – I like ModelCo products. I like that there is a mirror on the bottle for on-the-go touch ups. But, it’s a black mascara. I didn’t find any distinct difference between this mascara and other lengthening mascaras. I was happy with this sample though. It also seems to be a full size sample… I’ll have to investigate this further. ♥♥♥♥

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One Love Organics :: Aromatic Body Serum – Full Size: $39 – A decent sized sample and I really like the smell of this body oil. I prefer the feel of the body oil I received in my October GlossyBox but the scent of this one by One Love Organics is delicious. It says it’s made with pumpkin seed oil and maybe that’s what I’m smelling but it smells very citrusy and you all know I like my citrus smells! ♥♥♥

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EXTRA – Chuao Chocolateir :: HoneyComb – Full Size: (7 assorted) $7.95 – This was tasty. Small but delicious. Won’t be buying these in the future (at least not from Birchbox) and these “lifestyle extras” are part of the reason I’m leaving Birchbox. If you want to give me an extra, awesome, I’ll take it but don’t give me “extras” of shit that is non-cosmetic when you haven’t fulfilled the promise of 5 DELUXE beauty samples first. You can keep your chocolates, mints, headphones, tea bags, etc… I want beauty products! zero ♥s

November 2012 Birchbox total: 7♥s/20♥s (plus “extra”)

Also worth mentioning: Birchbox provided a chintzy little cardboard gift box to give one of your crappy samples to a friend for the holidays. A.) I wouldn’t gift any of the crap Birchbox has sent me. BC I, for one, don’t consider a one-time-use item a decent gift and B.) I can afford a real gift bag, Birchbox… keep your tacky shit.

Birchbox would be the perfect subscription beauty services for a freshman in high school (or younger). I feel that the overall Birchbox mentality is that of a tween anyway and the tiny products sent to be sampled would be great for a newbie.

… and that’s why I cancelled my Birchbox.

Thanks for reading! Keep coming back for my monthly GlossyBox US and Ipsy bag reviews!!!

Love, GK

November 2012 :: Julep Maven #4

Here it is. My final delivery as a Julep Maven. I have enjoyed my time as a Julep Maven but I have decided to cancel my subscription and pursue other cosmetics options. It’s not you, Julep, it’s me.

I hope you’ll check out my upcoming post reviewing all the polishes and other goodies I received from Julep since subscribing back in July. I’ll post that Julep review sometime in December but for now, let’s see what my November 2012 Julep Maven box brought to Ms. Ginger Kate, shall we?

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Always delivered on time and wrapped up all pretty. Julep really does a great job with their Julep Maven services. Their customer service team is also quite amazing.

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Although I was classified as an “It Girl” when I originally signed up to be a Julep Maven, I opted for the Bombshell Box this month. In the past I have swapped boxes as well. The ability to swap your intended box for another box each month is one of the features I liked most about being a Julep Maven. You also have the option of skipping a month or sending your box to a friend as a gift. All are great options for a subscription beauty box service.

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The first polish I received is a deep, glittery purple. The color is named, Trina. I love this color and purples are a big trend we are seeing throughout the fall and winter this year.

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Next up, Donna, a peacock blue. I love this color as well. In fact, I’d say that Trina and Donna are my two favorite colors tat I’ve received since becoming a Julep Maven.

Here’s a shot of both colors being put to good use:

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A little seasonal, peep-nail action going on… (my thumb on my left hand shows my glittery Nailtini polish that I received in my Nov 2012 Ipsy Galm bag! … I couldn’t wait to give that a try either!)

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My third product, this month, is Julep’s Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting. I don’t normally like receiving anything other than nail related products in my Julep Maven boxes, but this body frosting is fantastic! The smell is absolutely amazing!

As a bonus, Julep through in three of their nail polish remover pads. They’re pretty effective too! When I received my box I wanted to try on Donna and Trina right away and so I whipped out one of those pads, removed my polish and experimented with my new colors. I removed the polish from all ten nails very easily with only one pad. Sometime the nail polish remover pads end up spreading the polish all over my fingertips but not these.

So that’s that. My final Julep Maven box. Please check out my upcoming Julep Maven review of all that I have received whilst a Julep Maven. It may inspire you to become a Julep Maven yourself!

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

Boxy Lady

This month, November 2012, I will receive FOUR subscription beauty boxes. I’ve never received more than two per month and I will finally and officially be cancelling two of my current subscriptions before December… at least, that’s the plan.

I’ve come to find that my most popular posts are those in which I discuss what I like and dislike about my monthly sample box subscriptions so, here’s another one for you to read! Before I cancel the two boxes that I’ll be cancelling, I figured I’d share a little bit of what I know about all four subscriptions before they are shipped out. Since I hate showing favoritism [insert telling wink here], I’ll present each subscription service in the order of which I signed up for them. First up: Birchbox.

Let us all join together in a communal groan over what has quickly become the worst beauty sample subscription service. At $10 per month, I was excited to sign up for this service back in April of this year. I took my beauty survey to give the folks at Birchbox a better idea of what products I need and would love. The first box I received was for the month of May and I have to admit that my disappointment started pretty early on. Aside from the fact that May’s box was a Gossip Girl theme (which I luh-uh-uh-oved) the goodies inside weren’t exactly what I was expecting.

As the months passed by and I continued to receive my monthly Birchboxes, the samples seemingly got worse and worse. This all came to a head last month when I received their Goop.com partnered box. IT. WAS. WRETCHED. If you haven’t already, please go back and read my review of the the products in the latest box: Birchbox #6 :: October and then take a peek at my post regarding Birchbox’s absolutely disgusting customer service: Bad Bad Birchbox Ops. If you’ve been considering becoming a Birchbox subscriber, this may cause you to rethink that.

As I stated in previous posts, I will be cancelling my Birchbox subscription. I had wanted to cancel before being billed for the November box but I’m a procrastinator and didn’t. I also redeemed the Birchbox credits I had earned for some products off their site and didn’t want to cancel before they were shipped out to me. Now, I MUST remember to cancel before December. (I sincerely doubt the November box will be able to get out the horrible taste left in my mouth from the October box and subsequent customer service debacle.)

Overall comments: $10 a month membership (very affordable), minuscule samples from less than stellar brands. Horrible customer service.

Status: CANCELLING – because they suck.

After signing up for Birchbox, I became a Julep Maven. Being a Julep Maven means have 3 Julep nail polishes shipped to me monthly for $19.99. Now, I’m a huge nail polish fanatic but I wouldn’t have signed up to be a Julep Maven had I not been able to redeem a coupon code to receive my first box for $0.01 (How can you beat a penny, really?) I wasn’t exactly unimpressed with what I received my first month (July 2012), so I maintained my membership for an additional month. 2 boxes for $20 total. Not too shabby but I was ready to cancel. Something inside told me to hang on for one more month, so I did. After receiving and reviewing my 3rd Julep Maven box in September, I vowed to cancel before October’s box. I should’ve read the cancellation terms because the day before I was to be billed, I logged-in on-line and found that I was supposed to call before 5pm.

Luckily, Julep allows members to skip a month if necessary. In fact, you can skip multiple months or have your months box shipped to a friend instead. I really like this about Julep. It came in handy too because I opted to “skip” my October 2012 box and would cancel during regular business hours before Novembers box… yeah, right.

When Julep launched their new and improved site for members, they award their members “Jules”, their version of accrued customer credits that can be used to purchase items off of Julep.com. I had more than enough Jules to cover the cost of my November box so I figured, why not receive one more box since this one is free to me anyway.

In addition to the “skip a month” feature, Julep also allows you to choose to receive a different box than the one you were due to if you prefer to colors in a different box. Much like other subscription services, when you first become a Julep Maven, you take a beauty quiz and you are categorized as a specific type of girl. (IE: “It Girl”, “Boho”, “Classic”, etc.) When I took my survey I was classified as an It Girl; I believe I only opted for the It Girl box my first month. After that, I opted for another box each month. I love that Julep shows you exactly what you are scheduled to receive and allows you to swap for another box if you’d like.

I simply wasn’t impressed enough with the quality of the polishes to continue my subscription and although I enjoyed and will continue to enjoy what I’ve received as a Julep Maven, it’s time to explore other subscription beauty boxes.

Overall Comments: $19.99 per month (there’s always a coupon code available to get your first box for less; just google it). Fantastic customer service.

Status: CANCELLING – time to explore other subscription services. When I was exploring beauty subscription boxes back in May, before signing up for Birchbox, I read up on GlossyBox. I liked the look of it but wasn’t sure if they were shipping to the US at that time. It also carries a higher price tag each month so I passed. In September, I decided to go for it when I found that they do indeed ship to the US for $21 per month. Its more than I would prefer to pay but boy is it worth it! I was so flipping happy with my very first GlossyBox (October) and if the boxes continue to be so damn fabulous, I don’t think I’ll ever cancel.

Like I said, I’ve only received one box so far from GlossyBox but I’m excited to find whats in store for me in the future. Check out what I got in my October box: GlossyBox #1 :: October. I highly recommend signing up if you love having luxe beauty products delivered to your door each month. I originally decided to sign up once I had concluded I would be cancelling my Julep Maven subscription (no additional spending).

Overall Comments: $21 per month. AMAZING products.

Status: Continuing Subscription. (FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER)

Finally, as of today, I am to happy to say that I am officially and Ipster. I have signed up to receive the Ipsy (MyGlam) bag each month. I had been researching this service for several months and never have I seen a bad review of the 4-5 samples they send their subscribers each month. The products are great quality and also a substantial size. (Unlike the evil Birchbox).

Obviously, I haven’t received my Ipsy products yet but my first delivery isn’t too far away. To give you a better idea of what you can expect to receive monthly, goodle Ipsy reviews and see what other Ipsters have been receiving. (Looks pretty sweet).

For the same price monthly as Birchbox, I look forward to receiving much much more.

Overall Comments: $10 per month. Previously known as MyGlam bag.

Status: Brand new Ipster; awaiting first delivery.

This month, I will receive and review all four subscription deliveries. As of December 2012, I will only be a subscriber to GlossyBox and Ipsy and I think that is the right combination for me (and for you!)

I hope you’ll check out my previous reviews of these products boxes and I especially hope that you will check back to see what I get for November and beyond!

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment on how you feel about these services if you are a current member of any or if you’re planning on becoming a member.

Love, GK

PS: a note to my regular readers. I have been lacking hardcore on my Daily Threads posts. Recently, with the cool air we’ve been enjoying in South Florida, I’ve been channeling my inner Amy Pond and rocking some awesome jackets and straight hair (straightening in this humid state any other time of year is just pointless). I’ve been having so much fun in my awesome outfits that I have been blowing off my picture-taking and posting responsibilities. This will change because, frankly, I’d like to brag about and show off my awesome ensembles instead of the office appropriate outfits I was showcasing in previous weeks. -Check back!!!