Inspiration Recreation

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Acure Glamorganic Goddess Beauty Kit

I recently ordered a special one time purchase beauty box from Acure in support of Danielle Messina, The Glamorganic Goddess, who is fighting breast cancer.   I'm excited to get to try more of the natural and certified organic products from Acure and really happy 100% of the proceeds from this box go to such a worthy cause. 

From Acure website:
Please help us raise funds for our friend Danielle Messina, The Glamorganic Goddess, whose mission is to find clean beauty products, inspire others, and promote education about the importance of prevention through a truly healthy lifestyle. At just 37 years old her doctor's have discovered a secondary recurrence of Breast Cancer. We are donating 100% of the proceeds of this kit to help Danielle with her Glamorganic Goddess Go Fund Me Campaign

Acure has been selling this special beauty kit for several weeks but I'm not sure how long they will have it available for sale.   I'm assuming they will continue selling it until Danielle reaches her Go Fund Me goal.  As of the posting of this review, it was still for sale.

Here is a look at the Acure items featured in the Glamorganic Goddess Beauty Kit:

Acure Rose and Red Tea Facial Toner  2 oz ($9.99, sale price)

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil  1 oz  ($12.99)


Cost of Box:  $19.99 (free shipping)
Total Box Value:  $33.96
Impressions:   I liked the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub I received in my July Goodebox so this box was an affordable way to try a variety of other items from their product line all while supporting a worthy cause.  The Acure products are free of a lot of junk so I feel good about using them.

I don't receive toner in beauty boxes very often and I'm almost out of my current toner so I'm looking forward to seeing how the rose and tea spray toner works out on my skin.  Two ounces seems like a small volume to sell a product like a toner but I suppose the mist application allows for more coverage with less product.  The Moroccan Argan oil is a multi-purpose product that can be used pretty much head to toe which is nice!  I've only used Argan oil hair products before so I'm looking forward to trying a argan oil product that is appropriate for face and body too because oil based products usually do a better job of moisturizing my dry skin than cream moisturizers.  This bottle is only 1 oz but a little goes a very long way!  I tried it on my hands and accidentally pumped out too much so it took a while to rub it all in.  It did a great job but I just have to be careful to only pump out a small amount.  I applied a tiny amount to my face and it did absorb readily without leaving a greasy feel.  I've recently become a big fan of cleansing towelettes.  They are so handy and provide a nice refreshing pick me up throughout the day, especially during these hot summer months.  These Argan oil towelettes are unscented in that there are no perfumes but the argan oil itself does have a scent.  These towelettes are not quite as moist as other towelettes I've used and didn't glide over my face as smoothly but they did leave my skin feeling moisturized and soft after cleaning.  The lip balm also contains argan oil and is chocolate and mint flavored - what's not to love about that?!  This box also included samples of a cleanser, moisturizer, and night cream.  I'm definitely interested in seeing how well the gel facial cleanser will work.

Overall, I think the value of this box is good.  I will be using everything included.  If you don't like argan oil then this would not be a good box to try since so many of the products contain it.  So far, the argan oil isn't causing any breakouts, doesn't leave a greasy or oily feeling on my skin, and leaves my skin feeling softer after use.  Hopefully this continues to be the case!  A few of the Acure products are available at my local Target store but not all the items in this box are so, again, this box was an affordable and convenient way to try out several of their products. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kloverbox - July 2015

My July Kloverbox has arrived!  I always look forward to receiving this box each month.  Here's a look at what was featured in this month's box:

Product Information Card



Cost of Box:  $25 (includes shipping)
Total Box Value:  $76.95
Impressions:   I now have enough sunscreen to take a bath in!  Not really, but I have received tons of sunscreen products in beauty boxes over the past few months.  I do spend quite a bit of time outside but I have accumulated more sunscreen than I can possibly use up this year.  I guess that means I need to start donating/gifting more to friends and coworkers.  This one is a lotion, which isn't my favorite (I prefer spray suncreens), but at least it has a nicer smell with pink grapefruit extract.  I may keep this one in my stash for that very reason! :)  The Flutterfly skin polish scrub I received has a weird green gel-like consistency, not like a typical sugar scrub.  I do like the vanilla pear scent and have already used it once.  I like the moisturizing fruit and seed oil ingredients but I wonder if my container melted and partially separated during shipping because the amount I used off the surface didn't feel gritty like a typical sugar scrub.  Or maybe it is designed to be gentle and only contains a small amount of sugar... I'm not sure.  The label says that you can use it on the face or body but I think it is a little too heavy for me to use on my face.  But if you like oil cleansers (especially for makeup removal), this may be a nice natural product substitute.  It doesn't lather, only turns milky, just like oil facial cleansers that I've tried.  My favorite product from this box is the Tonka body balm.  I have quite enjoyed using this product because it is a nice rich, non-greasy moisturizer with a light sweet coconut scent.  I've mostly been using it only on my hands and feet so this 2 oz container will last longer but I would love to slather it all over after a shower!  I think I may be the only woman on the planet who cares nothing for nail polish so this bottle (as with all nail polish I receive) will be given to someone else who will appreciate it. 

Overall, I think this is another good box from Kloverbox.  The value of this month's box was really good (3 times the cost of the box) and I plan to use 3 out of the 4 products so I'm a happy camper!   As usual, I'm already anxiously looking forward to next month's box! 

Congratulations to Kloverbox celebrating it's 1 year anniversary as a subscription box service!  I wish them many more years of success. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Indiespensable #53 from Powell's Books

I am so excited to finally get my second shipment from the Indiespensable book club!  Indiespensable used to ship about every six weeks but this box arrived 3 months after the last shipment back in April.  I'm not sure if this means they are going to switch to quarterly shipment or not.  I never received an email or other notification explaining why they delayed shipping this installment but I'm happy it's here.  Here is a look at what was included in this installment:

Featured Book:  A Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

Synopsis from Amazon: 
From the acclaimed author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Lovers comes a taut, spellbinding literary thriller that probes the essence and malleability of identity.
In Vendela Vida’s taut and mesmerizing novel of ideas, a woman travels to Casablanca, Morocco, on mysterious business. While checking into her hotel, the woman is robbed of her wallet and passport—all of her money and identification. Though the police investigate, the woman senses an undercurrent of complicity between the hotel staff and the authorities—she knows she’ll never recover her possessions. Stripped of her identity, she feels burdened by the crime yet strangely liberated by her sudden freedom to be anyone she chooses.
A chance encounter with a movie producer leads to a job posing as a stand-in for a well-known film star. The star reels her in deeper, though, and soon she’s inhabiting the actress’s skin off set, too—going deeper into the Casablancan night and further from herself. And so continues a strange and breathtaking journey full of unexpected turns, an adventure in which the woman finds herself moving further and further away from the person she once was.
Told with vibrant, lush detail and a wicked sense of humor, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty is part literary mystery, part psychological thriller—an unforgettable novel that explores free will, power, and a woman’s right to choose not her past, perhaps not her present, but certainly her future. This is Vendela Vida’s most assured and ambitious novel yet.
Advance Reader Copy:  Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Synopsis from Amazon:
In this poetic and haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash illuminates lives shaped by violence and a powerful connection to the land
Les, a long-time sheriff just three-weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town.  Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina.
Enduring the mistakes and tragedies that have indelibly marked them, they are drawn together by a reverence for the natural world. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves and test their tentative bond—and threaten to carry them over the edge.
Extras:  Fuller Serious Cheesy Puffs in Siracha and Cheddar

Each box also includes a booklet with information about the book selections and a special interview with the featured author.

Cost of Box:  $39.95 (shipping included)
Impressions:   I have not read anything from either of the authors included in this box but I am looking forward to reading both books.  The plots of both books sound interesting and The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty has good ratings on Amazon.  I really like that Indiespensable brought back the special slipcase covers for the featured book too!  I have several bookshelves to display my books and I really like the look of old looking matte fabric covers more than shiny dust-jackets.   It's nice that the featured book is signed by the author as well.  And I think it's great that Indiespensable offers advance reader copies like Above the Waterfall which will be released on September 8, 2015.   The siracha and cheedar cheesepuffs are very good.  They are a little spicy but I like spicy snacks.  I had to restrain myself from eating them all in one sitting!  I like that they are baked (not fried) and include simple, natural ingredients so I don't feel so guilty about inhaling them!  :)

It's hard to place a value on a box like Indiespensable because it includes exclusively designed and printed or advanced reader copy books.  But here is some information to give you an idea of pricing to get similar versions of the box items:
  • A Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, $17.76 (, hardcover)
  • Above the Waterfall, $14.13 ( pre-order, hardcover)
  • Fuller Serious Cheese Puffs - Siracha and Cheddar flavor, 3 oz, $5
As a book lover, the appeal and "value" of Indiespensable is in the autographed book, the exclusively designed book covers, the interview with the featured author, advance reader copies and the special box curation by fellow book lovers.  And you have to take in to consideration that the subscription price includes the cost of shipping the weight of these books to you.  I'm very happy with this installment because I plan to read both books and I liked the tasty snack they included.  I'm looking forward to the next installment!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

PopSugar Must Have - July 2015

The July PopSugar Must Have box has arrived!  Here is a look at the the items included in this month's box with an easy travel theme:

Product Information Card

SORIAL Card Holder ($28) + $25 Gift Card 

Bonus:  Hallmark Signature Cards

Cost of Box:  $34.95 with $5 off coupon code (free shipping)
Total Box Value:  $111.98 (excluding gift card)
Impressions:  After receiving last month's box, I decided to cancel my PopSugar subscription because I liked only one of the four boxes I had received.  At $39.95, PopSugar was the most "expensive" monthly subscription I had and since I wasn't loving it, it had to go!  And of course, a couple of days later there was a spoiler released for the little Henri Bendel Dopp Kit cosmetic bag.  Bag... stripes... take my money!  I have no self-control sometimes. :)  But it worked out in my favor because since my account had been cancelled and was no longer active, I was able to buy this box as a one-time gift purchase with a $5 off coupon code!  And since the bag along was valued at $28, I knew I wouldn't be overly disappointed if everything else in the box wasn't that great.  But I'm glad I did go ahead and buy this month's box because it contains a lot of practical, useful items for travel and everyday use.  Aside from the designer cosmetic bag, this isn't really a "wow" box but it's stuff everyone can actually use. 

The Henri Bendel Dopp Kit bag measures 4.25"H x 6.5"W x 3.25"D.  I pack light when it comes to toiletries (probably because I don't wear makeup!) so it is just big enough for me to carry some travel size items for short trips or for everyday use in my purse.  I like that the bag opens wide for easy access and that the lining makes it easy to clean up spills or leaks.  The down side is that the outer material is canvas which means outside stains will not be as easy to clean.  There was also a 20% off Henri Bendel coupon included with this box.  The red Sorial card case may come in handy for carrying ID and credit/debit cards in a small clutch or in my back pocket when I don't want to carry my purse.  I'm not crazy about the red color and I wish it had a realistic leather look.  This material looks and feels a bit cheap; I would never have spent $28 for it.  I checked the Sorial website to see if there was something I could purchase with the $25 gift card and they originally only had 9 items for sale, one being a $25 wristlet, but that wristlet and 2 other bags have already sold out currently leaving only 6 items.  I also noticed that the shipping is $12, even for the small wristlets!  So this gift card is yet another gift card from a subscription box that I'll never use.  I don't wear makeup but I can still use the Supergoop setting mist as regular lightweight sunscreen and for shine control.  I really like that it's a mist and not a lotion.  I've gotten a lot of sunscreens in beauty boxes over the past couple of months but this is only the second one that has been a spray.  I definitely prefer spray sunscreens over lotions and sticks because they are much easier and less messy to apply.  I also like that this spray isn't such a specific product that only some people can use it.  This setting spray can be useful to those who wear makeup (whatever their skintone) as well as us makeup-free ladies just in need of a sunscreen.  I have never considered buying an electric toothbrush before but now that I have one, I'm excited to try it.  Switching from using my hands to using an electric facial brush to wash my face was life changing so I'm looking forward to seeing how much more effective an electric toothbrush can be!  I do wish the brush heads were a little bigger like a regular toothbrush, but I do like that two brush heads were included.  I also never really cared to use towelettes before but recently I can't seem to live without them so this pack of Yes to Blueberries cleansing towels will definitely get used!  Plus, I already have the Yes to Blueberries moisturizer!  I tried the Good Bean Bar and didn't really like the consistency of the chickpeas and soybeans - they just didn't toast as firmly as peanuts but bars like this could be a good substitute for those who are allergic to peanuts.  Three Hallmark Signature cards were thrown in as a bonus.  They are an odd filler choice as they don't relate to the travel theme of this box.  I was really hoping to get the card option with a pineapple imprint on the cover that someone else got in their box because it would have made a nice small framed print.  I didn't really like the cards I got.  I think the gold flower card looks a little tacky and will probably never give it to anyone.  The Cheers card would make a nice celebratory card to give but I was really surprised the ampersand card was a wedding card.  I thought it was a baby shower card at first glance.  I prefer to give more formal cards at weddings so this one is likely not to get used.

I will use almost everything in this box so it was a good deal for me.  However, it is not enough to entice me into re-subscribing to PopSugarPopSugar has been too hit or miss for me to continue committing $40 a month.  Any future PopSugar boxes I order will be one-time purchases like this box was, and only after I've seen a really good spoiler item.  The one-time purchase price is the same as the monthly subscription rate so the only benefit of having the subscription is the guarantee that you will get a box that month.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Honest Company Essentials Bundle - July 2015

I have been trying to adopt more natural products in to my skin and body care regimen for the past few months and need to start integrating natural home care items as well.  The Honest Company supplies natural personal, home, and baby care items.  You can shop their items like any other online store, but the monthly bundle subscriptions allow you to save a few dollars on the items that you would need to buy regularly anyway.  Although it says "monthly" you can actually select when or how often you want your bundle to ship.  And you will not be charged for the next bundle until it ships.  You select what combination of items you want in your bundle and you have the ability to easily change or customize your bundle through your online account before each bundle ships.  They offer several different bundle options at different price points.  I'm getting the Essentials Bundle in which you can include 5 items for $35.95 a month (plus tax and  shipping).  You can also add on additional items (up to 3 add ons) to your bundle and if your order totals at least $50, shipping is free.  Plus, your add on items will be discounted by 25%!  There are several items that I want to add on and try with my future bundles to take advantage of the free shipping and discounted pricing.  Below are the 5 items I included in my first Essential bundle:

Organic Body Oil  4.0 oz ($9.95)

Deodorant - Bergamot Sage  4.0 oz ($8.95)

Cost of Bundle:  $35.95 + tax and shipping - $10 coupon = $34.15
Impressions:  My first bundle from The Honest Company shipped via FedEx ground from Pennsylvania and was delivered to me in South Carolina within 3 days of placing my order so they are quick in processing and shipping orders which is nice!

When I saw that they had a body oil, I instantly added it to my bundle!  I love body oils and definitely wanted to try this one.  This one does a great job of moisturizing my dry hands and skin without being too heavy and greasy.  I thought it absorbed relatively quick for an oil and it doesn't contain perfumes.  And since it's formulated to be gentle enough to use on a baby, I'm not worried about using a little on my face too.  This is one product that will probably always be included in my bundles.  I was a little unsure about the scent of the deodorants when I was ordering online because every natural deodorant I've tried so far has smelled a little too "earthy" for my preference.  I like the Bergamot or citrus side of the Bergamot and Sage version I tried in this bundle but I'm not crazy about the herby sage smell.  I think I would prefer a sweeter scent so I plan to try the Lavender and Vanilla scent next time.  It seems to work more like a deodorizer than an antiperspirant so I'm not sure yet if this will work out as a possible replacement for my regular Dove deodorant.  I didn't notice any benefit in reducing perspiration but the scent did last much longer than I thought it would.  However, I have only used it once and only sprayed one layer on.  Maybe it would be more effective as an antiperspirant if I sprayed another layer on after the first layer dried.  If I continue using this deodorant, I think I would have to be prepared to reapply it throughout the day or spray on multiple layers in the morning.  Or just use it on days when I'm not going to be really active or outside in the heat a lot.  I'm still on the fence about it right now.  If not for a deodorant, I think the Lavender Vanilla (if sweetly scented) could possibly be used as a lightly scented body spray.  I'll decide if this product is worth keeping in my bundle shipments once I give the Lavender Vanilla scent a try.  I do not wear makeup so I can't comment on how well the facial towelettes work in removing makeup but they work well for freshening up my face if I start to feel sweaty and oily which is  nice for the summer months.  There is a slightly sticky feeling on my skin at first but it dries fine.  And they did leave my skin feeling lightly moisturized.  I may add these to my next bundle too.  I also plan to add a pack of baby wipes.  I don't have a baby but I do prefer using wet wipes over hand sanitizer.  I didn't notice a wet-wipe type product on The Honest Company website when I put together this first bundle but I think baby wipes would be a good alternative.  The foaming hand soap works well but I wish the Mandarin scent was more prominent.  My favorite product by far was the Lavender and Vanilla Air and Fabric Freshener.  I usually find lavender scented products to be a little overwhelming but the lavender in this one is balanced by the sweet vanilla scent.  I wanted to spray it on everything! I really liked this fragrance combination which is why I'm hoping the Lavender and Vanilla spray deodorant will be nice as a body spray if not as a deodorant.  The scent isn't as intense as say a Glade or Febreeze type product but the scent does certainly linger, especially on fabric.  I actually like that this product is more on the subtle side because I find that most air and fabric fresheners are a bit too strongly scented for my preference. This Lavender and Vanilla freshener will definitely be a staple in my future bundle shipments!

I am really impressed with the list of ingredients in all of these products and it is a comfort knowing that I'm using something on my body or in my home that isn't filled with tons of harsh chemicals and toxins.  That is where a lot of the perceived value of the bundles from The Honest Company comes from.  I could definitely find cheaper versions of all the items in this bundle in my local drugstore but the tradeoff would be a lot of harsh or harmful ingredients.  But even in terms of natural product competitors, The Honest Company is still modestly priced in my opinion.  I have received some natural products in natural beauty boxes that were a lot more expensive than these and not any better in quality.  So with the $10 off coupon code I got through the My Subscription Addiction website, this bundle order was a really good deal for five full size natural products!  I also like the flexibility The Honest Company allows in setting your shipment schedule and the ease of being able to change your bundle items for each shipment if you want to.  I selected the option to have my bundle shipped every 6 weeks but I can easily push my shipment date back or up if I choose.  My next bundle is scheduled to ship on September 4th and I have until that shipment starts processing to make any changes.  Overall, I'm quite please with my first bundle from The Honest Company and I'm looking forward to trying more of their products.