Late last week I received the Walmart Beauty Box for Spring 2015, and I have to admit I totally forgot I had signed up for this $5 subscription box until the shipping notification arrived in my email inbox.
A quarterly service, a $5 flat fee covers the cost of the products you receive as well as shipping.
I’d heard about this box through the beauty grapevine and decided to give it a go after seeing that earlier boxes included full-sized makeup items. I cannot say no to the potential of full-sized beauty items for under $5!
The first Walmart Beauty Box I received was the Winter edition and it was a pretty great value with a mix of skincare, makeup, and coupons. The Spring 2015 box is purely skin and hair related samples, with nary a full-size to be seen but with coupons and sample packets galore. The Walmart Beauty Box I received included the following items:
L’Oreal Total Repair Shampoo and Conditioner
Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion
Lady Gaga Fame Perfume Sample
Caress Adore Forever Shower Gel
Burt’s Bees Renewal Serum
Coupons and a few sample packets
While I’m not overly thrilled with the makeup-less contents, I’m not complaining and will farm out the samples to friends.
My Final Thoughts: So, is the Walmart Beauty Box worth keeping around? For $5 every 3 months, I think it’s worth the gamble, so I’ll give it another try!
Price: $5, every three months. You’re charged when the box is shipped.
As my son and I were rushing through the mall on a mission to get to Cinnabon, we passed by a small beauty salon that had the City Color Contour Effect Palette featured right and center in the window display.
You see, a Cinnabon cinnamon roll is a treat my son looks forward to every couple of weeks. There isn’t one very close to us (thankfully), so when we visit family members an hour away we’ll stop by a mall that has all kinds of hidden treasures, including a store with a large variety of the budget-friendly beauty products we Internet beauty folk love and usually have to order online.
From City Color, J. Cat Beauty, Violet Voss glitter, and L.A. Girl concealers and lip products, the little store had it all. It was a beauty geek’s dream come true! Having seen the City Color Contour Effects Palette featured on blogs and Instagram, I had to make this palette mine.
The City Colour Contour Effects Palette contains three generously-sized matte colors: A contour color, a bronzer, and a highlighter.
While these are powders, the texture is creamy and I found the colors to be easily to blend and layer. The colors are long-wearing, and I appreciate the fact that the packaging includes a contour guide. If contouring is something you find puzzling, make sure to check out the Breaking Down Beauty post where I take you though this beauty technique step-by-step.
I find the actual contour color in this kit to be a bit intense, so I use it mainly along my jawline. The bronzer color is perfect for my typical contouring under my cheekbones and down the center of my nose. It’s not a bad palette at all, but I honestly think the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is a better, if more expensive, option.
Is this palette a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit? Nope. Not at all. The Anastasia Contour Kit contains 6 powders that have a completely different texture and color. However, the City Colour Contour Effects Palette is very similar to a generic contouring palette I picked up on eBay a while back, and I suspect they are one and the same, with the exception of the bronzer color which is missing in the eBay variety.
My Final Thoughts: In terms of texture and the variety of colors available, I have to say I favor the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit as my contour palette of choice. The City Colour Contour Effects Palette is definitely a cheap treat with blendable powders, but I’d recommend saving up for the higher priced option.
The tagline under Jordana Cat Eye Liner is “Beauty’s Best Buy”, and considering the luck I’ve had with the Jordana Modern Matte Lipsticks and now this liquid liner, I thoroughly agree.
Drugstore makeup has come leaps and bounds in recent years quality-wise. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find items you love at any price point these days, and it’s always such a treat to find budget-friendly makeup wins. I really needed a new liquid liner, so I gave this new Jordana liner a try. At $2.99, I figured I couldn’t go wrong, and my gamble paid off.
The liner itself comes in several colors, including brown, purple, blue, and green. For this initial foray into Jordana Cat Eye Liner, I stayed with my tried and true, Black Leather. The applicator is a thin brush that is flexible and easy to apply. I found it easy to adjust the width of the liner as desired and love the fact that it wears all the live long day. It won’t come off until you decide it’s time to remove your makeup, a plus!
What I really like about this liner is that it dries fast, which eliminates any possible smudging. That’s a huge relief – haven’t we have all been there with a highly smudge-able liner situation? It’s a major annoyance to fix liner that’s unexpectedly migrated to the upper regions of your eyelids!
Now, the first time I wore this liner I removed it to apply another eyeshadow look only to find that my lid was patchy as all get up. It was so patchy, I couldn’t get eyeshadow to stick to certain parts of my lid! I suspected an allergy to Jordana Cat Eye Liner was the culprit, but I’ve used the liner several times since and haven’t had a problem at all.
My Final Thoughts: In terms of budget beauty buys, Jordana Cat Eye Liner is a win amongst wins. For $2.99 you can’t go wrong with this fast-drying liquid liner that offers dramatic, long-wearing results. I’m really enjoying this liner and will make a point to pick up the other colors that are available.
Whoever created the Living Proof Curl collection gets it. I mean, they really get the specific needs of naturally curly hair and for that they deserve some kind of gold medal or other prestigious award. I mean it!
Curly hair has special needs, and the Living Proof products I’ve been using for the past few weeks address those needs in a brilliant way. With a lifetime of dealing with finicky curls, the Living Proof Curl Collection is unlike any traditional hair care system that includes the standard shampoo/conditioner/styling treatment.
This system does not include a shampoo or conditioner, but instead you cleanse your hair with a Conditioning Wash and then follow up with a Detangling Rinse. The key ingredient is a cream leave-in conditioner which you top with a styling cream or mousse.
The Living Proof Curl products I’m using and loving are:
While the prices are a tad higher than I’m used to paying for curly hair products, I’ll be repurchasing because the results are that spectacular!
Whether I use the styling cream or mousse, the leave-in conditioner is the key to hair success. I find my hair is more structured with use of the mousse, but I have no complaints about the styling cream and don’t find myself having to add a gel to make it work well.
If you have naturally curly hair, you understand very well the challenge of maintaining the integrity your curls past a couple of days after being washed. Frizz happens and most often you’ll find your hair morphed into curls/frizz/who knows what after three washes. Maybe that’s just me, but needless to say it’s a surprise to see my curls looking good and lasting three days post wash. If that’s not living proof of a good set of products, I don’t know what is!
My Final Thoughts: My favorite phrase, “happy curl, happy girl”, has never been more sincere than with the use of Living Proof hair products. Living Proof, which is co-owned by Jennifer Aniston, offers hair care products that are top notch, top of the line, and an unique way of addressing the special requirements of naturally curly hair. I’m a new, long-term fan! For great curly hair tips, make sure to visit the Living Proof website.
When it comes to skincare, visible results tell the tale of how well a particular product has worked. The Rodan & Fields Redefine + Acute Care skincare regimen helped take my skin from blah to fab, and I was truly surprised by how much it improved the appearance of my skin.
When I started used the 4-piece skincare regimen and patches, my Winter-dry and flaky skin and tired eyes were in dire need of TLC.
After a month of dedicated use, I can see big changes!
The biggest improvement has been the refinement of the texture of my skin and the healing of some cracks underneath my eye lids.
Rodan & Fields Redefine comes with 4 items:
Daily Cleansing Mask
Pore Minimizing Toner
Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (to use in the AM)
Overnight Restorative Cream (to use in the PM)
While I’ve finished the am and pm creams, I’m still using the toner and mask. The kaolin-based mask comes with a soft scrub and is my new must have after a workout. I find it helps keep oil production under control throughout the day.
The Acute Care are available as a standalone item and are applied and worn through the night every 3 nights. The patches are worth their price ($220) and then some.
You are to use them every third day and they can be used on other parts of your face, not just under your eyes. I used them on my under eye area every three days and on one occasion my forehead. The patch has tiny cones that you press into your skin. They don’t hurt you, but deliver a high dose of hyaluronic acid to heal and improve your skin. The patches adhere to your skin extremely well and do not hurt at all. However, when I got to the last 3 patches I found that my skin was red after use, but the irritation went away quickly with no lasting effects.
After using this system for over a month I can definitely say my skin overall has improved. My pores are tighter, the texture of my skin is more clear and refined, fine lines under my eyes have vanished, and I feel comfortable wearing no make in my day-to-day life. While the set is pricey at $193, I am confident saying this is high quality skincare that will save you money in the long run on facials and other skin treatments.
Can I be real for a moment? I like these products. They’re fantastic. The patches? I need a lifetime supply. As great as these skincare products are, I wish I haven’t had off-putting experiences with Rodan & Fields consultants. In a nutshell, I personally do not like multi-level marketing sales techniques and past interactions with Rodan & Field consultants made me think of this brand in a negative way. However, as I’ve experienced, the products are truly great. With that being said, I will definitely order Rodan & Fields products in the future … online.
My Final Thoughts: Now that this regimen is completed, I’m off to start using a new set of skincare that I’ll be featuring on the blog soon. Such is the life of a beauty blogger – in a way it feels like we’re skincare nomads, never staying with one brand too long, always something new to try. I’ve truly enjoyed the Rodan & Fields Redefine line and am thrilled to see that it produced visible results in my skin.
Price: Redefine Regimen, $193; Acute Care Patches, $220
It’s the most wonderful time of the mid-month when subscription boxes start arriving in mailboxes, much to the delight of beauty lovers everywhere. I just received my Ipsy March 2015 Glam Bag, which comes with a Floral Fantasy Theme this month.
The bag itself is a really pretty blue floral print with dashes of yellow and red throughout.
Dr. Brandt Pores No More Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion (sample size).
VINTAGE by Jessica Liebdskind Illuminating Face Powder (sample size).
I also redeemed some Ipsy points for Cailyn Art Of Touch Lipgloss in Basic Instinct ($19).
Every Glam Bag varies because of a preference survey you fill out and can change at any time. Some months are great Ipsy months, and others are … a bit lackluster. The inclusion of the gloss made it a fab glam bag, I have to say, and I am definitely interested in using the NYX Butter Lipstick, Dr. Brandt Skincare sample, and the VINTAGE Illuminating Face Powder. Unfortunately the Boo-Boo Cover Up is not a good shade for me, but I will find a good home for this sample.
Speaking of, the VINTAGE Illuminating Face Powder does add a gorgeous glow to skin. I decided to go with the whole Floral Fantasy theme and come up with a “lady sings the blues” inspired look.
My Final Thoughts: While I’m not entirely disappointed by my March 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag, I can’t say I’m entirely thrilled. It was an okay month, and I’ll keep my hopes up that next month will be better.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Talker is definitely one of my new favorite lip colors. Here’s a look I created with Sweet Talker and Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow in Iridescent Purple.
Keep reading for more photos and to find out what products I used for this look!