Wednesday, January 28, 2015

December 2014 Glossybox

December 2014 Glossybox
(click to enlarge)

GLOSSYBOX is one of the more expensive beauty subscription services ($21 versus both Birchbox and Ipsy's $10), but the quality is so much better- these are high end brands! I also LOVE the beautiful, high quality boxes they send each month. They are great for drawer organizing or keeping craft products in.
 
Here's a run-down on what I received in my December 2014 box, along with the value of each product.
  • Toni&Guy Prep Leave in Conditioner - (Value: $17 for full-sized 3.3 oz product) This is a product intended for dry hair, and my hair is about as far from dry as you can get. I'll be passing this on to a friend.
  • Ritual Cosmetics Miracle Scrub in Ginseng & Ginko Biloba- (Value: $17 for full-sized 2.5 oz product) This is a hand scrub that is meant to be rinsed off, leaving behind nourishing oils to moisturize the skin. This time of year my hands definitely need extra care, so I know I will use this. 
  • NUXE Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute- (Value: $32 for full-sized 1.7 oz product) This mask says to apply to the face, leave it on for 10 minutes, then massage in any remaining product. I think this would be fabulous for dry skin, but again, I have the opposite skin-type on my face. I did try this on my under-eye area and do think I can use it there.
  • Bellapierre Cosmetics Mineral Lipstick in Burlesque- (Value: $20 for full-sized product) Love this color! I have Spring Fever in the worst way, and this is a perfect shade for that mood! It feels moisturizing on, yet doesn't run into in the lines around my lips. As it wears off, it leave behind a stain of color, which is nice.
  • Ciate Mini Paint Pot in Yule Rules- (Value: $8 for .17 oz) Yay for nail polish! Sephora doesn't carry this particular shade at this time, but they do carry many others. Ciate is a higher-end brand that I'm looking forward to trying.
 
VERDICT: My box had a value of approximately $94 so I'm really pleased. Most of the items are definitely be products I will use, and nail polish always makes me happy! I will pass the Toni&Guy product on to a friend.

GLOSSYBOX also has a great point program- if you answer their survey questions on each product after you receive it, you will receive 100 points. After you have collected 1000 points, your next box is free. So after 10 months, I will have a free box.
 
They also have a referral program and if you use my link to sign up, I'll receive 200 points, getting me closer to my free box! You can do the same with your friends after you sign up. Right now, you can use the promo code BEAUTYSTAT615 to receive 15% off your first box.

 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Sean Lowe's book For the Right Reasons



Earlier this month I was lucky enough to receive an advance PDF of bachelor Sean Lowe's book For the Right Reasons. Spoiler alert: It was a great read!
From Amazon.com: After The Bachelorette broke his heart, Sean Lowe suspected his “nice guy” image hurt him. The show never emphasized it, but Sean committed to living according to biblical standards of sexuality, even as producers emphasized the risqué and promiscuous. A Texas boy from a Baptist home, Sean tells the story of how he went from a Division I college football player to a fan favorite on reality television, taking readers behind the scenes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to see the challenges of living out his values and faith—and ultimately winning his true love’s heart.
For the Right Reasons is about the journeys we all have to take in the real world, where being “good” is the right thing to do but sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough; where  betrayal is commonplace; and where that thing called perfection is actually just a cruel myth. Sean learned a few things from his two seasons on the hottest romance shows on television, and he wants others to benefit from those lessons: good does eventually win, lies will be discovered, and “nice guys” do ultimately finish first.
I've been a fan of The Bachelor TV show for quite a few years- I have watched most all of the seasons, unless I found the lead to be undesirable (cough cough Juan Pablo). Sean Lowe definitely stood out to me as the one guy who was "real"- someone that seemed to be a nice enough guy that if I had personally know him, I would have been glad to set him up with any number of deserving younger friends (I am 41 you know!). So I was very curious to read his book and see what he had to say.

First, I loved that he wrote about his faith! It was very refreshing for a reality TV star to discuss God and I enjoyed reading about his faith journey. I also loved reading about the behind-the-scenes Bachelor details. He spills A LOT and I love juicy stuff like that. I already liked Sean before I read the book, but I like him even more now. Sean has a great conversational tone that makes you feel like you are chatting with a good buddy as you read.

All the Right Reasons will be released on January 26 and if you pre-order a copy, you can get some neat little goodies, including a Q&A video with Sean and Catherine. You an read the details here.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Reese's Spreads Peanut Butter Chocolate


I was so excited to be chosen by Influenster to get to try Reese's Spread Peanut Butter Chocolate! The main reason? It's gluten free! Since finding out I have Celiac Disease in 2013, I have been so glad that the regular Reese's Cups are safe because they have always been on my favorite candy bar list, but a bit disappointed that the holiday offerings like trees, hearts and eggs aren't safe since they are made in a facility that processes products with gluten.

But this spread? Totally on the safe list! And it's so yummy! My daughter said, "It's basically a Reese's Cup all smashed and blended together!" She is so right.

And there are so many serving options and pairings. Reese's Spread Peanut Butter Chocolate is yummy on salty things like pretzles and crackers, and equally good on healthier options like apples and strawberries.

But our fave? Served simply on a spoon. Yum!

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Target Cyber Monday 2014 Beauty Box: For Him

On Cyber Monday, Target offered a few special Beauty Boxes, and I purchased both the "For Her" and the "For Him" box. (These went fast and are sold out.) I have had great luck with their seasonal beauty boxes, and I hoped the Cyber Monday boxes would be just as great. Today let's look closer at the contents of the For Him box. I paid $5, and Target offered free shipping on the box. Spoiler: just like the For Her box, I think this was a great deal!
 
 

  • Dove Men+Care Dry Deodorant Spray- (full size value: $6.50) I don't know that the Mr. will be very excited about spray deodorant, but maybe he will try it. It's still nice to get a full sized product!
  • Old Spice Swagger 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner- (value of 1.7 oz sample: approximately $0.50) This will be great for travel.
  • AXE Peace Shower Gel- (value of 1.69 oz sample: approximately $0.50) Also great for travel!
  • Gillette ProGlide FlexBall Razor- (value $9) What man can't use more razors? I don't think he has tried this particular razor before.
  • Proraso Shaving Cream- (value for .35 oz sample: approximately $0.75) Another new product to try.
  • Neutrogena Men Invigorating Face Wash- (value for .5 oz sample: approximately $0.50) Good size for travel.
Overall, I was really pleased with this box and felt like it was a good value for $5. The razor alone makes the box great! I don't know that Mr. Sasha has gotten bit by the beauty box bug yet, but it was fun to order one for him this time.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter 2014 Walmart Beauty Box

Right before the Christmas craziness, I received my Winter 2014 Walmart Beauty Box. The Walmart Beauty Box comes out 4 times a year and costs $5, which includes shipping. Beauty boxes are just plain fun.... especially if you are a product junkie like me. I am currently only subscribed to Glossybox and was glad to add this low-priced box to the mix. I also purchase the Target Beauty Box when it is available (it always a one-time purchase box).
 
My Winter box was sample-packet heavy..... I read that there are two boxes and the one I received was intended for their more mature audience. I *did* just turn 41, but I still like color cosmetics, so I adjusted my birthdate down after getting this box to see if I get the younger box next time. Overall, I'm still happy because $5 is a great price to try so many new products.
 
 
My box contains:
  • L'Oreal Color Vibrancy Antioxidant Shampoo, Conditioner and Instant Shock Treatment (sample packet)
  • John Frieda Luxurious Volume Shampoo and Conditioner (sample packet)
  • Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream (deluxe sample size)
  • Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Moisturizer (sample size)
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (sample size)
  • Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion (sample packet)
  • Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towlettes (5 wipes)
  • L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Golden Serum and Day Cream (sample packet)
  
from the website:

How does it work?

Each new season brings different product needs and a reason to refresh your beauty cabinet. In your Walmart Beauty Box, you’ll find sample beauty products and tips on how to use those and other items sold at Walmart and on Walmart.com. Receiving your Walmart Beauty Box will be another reason to welcome each new season.
 
 


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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

November 2014 Glossybox

November 2014 Glossybox
(click to enlarge)


GLOSSYBOX is one of the more expensive beauty subscription services ($21 versus both Birchbox and Ipsy's $10), but the quality is so much better- these are high end brands! I also LOVE the beautiful, high quality boxes they send each month. They are great for drawer organizing or keeping craft products in.
Here's a run-down on what I received in my November 2014 box, along with the value of each product.
 
  • 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment- (Value: $5 for 1.5 oz) This is a leave-in conditioning mist. I love using products like this on my daughter's fine hair. Her hair tangles so easily and this will make her post-shower comb-out much easier.
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer-  (Value: $11 for 1.5 oz) This is a great size for travel and I'll be adding it to my overnight bag to use in the evening on trips.
  • OPI Nail Lacquer in Pink Outside the GlossyBox- (Value: $9.50 for full-sized product) YAY for nail polish! Always one of my favorite things to find in a beauty box. This nail polish shade was created to match the signature pink GlossyBox subscription box and I couldn't be more excited to try it.
  • So Susan Cosmetics Universal Blush – (Value: $28 for full-sized product) This promises a healthy flush that looks great on all skin tones. I haven't tried this brand before but am sure this will become part of my blush rotation.
  • Kneipp Herbal Bath Balancing Lavender – (Value: $5.50 for 20 ml) The instructions on this bottle say to use half a bottle in a hot bath. I tried it yesterday and I had a fabulous bath- the scent was amazing! It's a somewhat scary dark blue color, but I was glad to see it doesn't leave a stain in your bathtub or on your body.
VERDICT: My box had a value of approximately $60 so I'm really pleased. All of the items are definitely be products I will use, and nail polish always makes me happy!
GLOSSYBOX also has a great point program- if you answer their survey questions on each product after you receive it, you will receive 100 points. After you have collected 1000 points, your next box is free. So after 10 months, I will have a free box.
 
They also have a referral program and if you use my link to sign up, I'll receive 200 points, getting me closer to my free box! You can do the same with your friends after you sign up. Right now, you can use the promo code THETALK to receive a get a free Tarte Lip Stain in Flush ($24 Value) with your first box.
 

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Monday, December 22, 2014

October 2014 Glossybox (better late than never?)

October 2014 Glossybox
(click to enlarge)
 

GLOSSYBOX is one of the more expensive beauty subscription services ($21 versus both Birchbox and Ipsy's $10), but the quality is so much better- these are high end brands! I also LOVE the beautiful, high quality boxes they send each month. They are great for drawer organizing or keeping craft products in.

Here's a run-down on what I received in my October 2014 box, along with the value of each product.
 
Sesha Botanical Hydro Mask- (value: $9 for one mask). I've never used a sheet mask, and was excited to give this a try. I do find the price of the mask, which is just a one-time use, to be a bit high, but to me that is what these beauty boxes are for- getting to try things you might not normally buy.
 
Vince Camuto Amore perfume mini bottle- (value: $6 for .25 fl oz) I REALLY like this scent! It's both floral and fruity, but light enough that it doesn't give me a headache. I never seem to finish full-sized fragrance bottles, so I really think a mini bottle like this is right up my alley.
 
Nails Inc Westminister Bridge Matte Topcoat– (full-sized value: $15) Nails Inc recently redesigned their packaging, and the bottle included in this Glossybox is the old bottle style. Nails Inc is a great brand that's definitely a favorite of mine, so I'm glad to add this to my collection. You can see all the swathes I've done of Nails Inc shades on my nail blog.
 
Tarte Power Pigment in Awakening- (full-sized value: $24) This is quite a nude, neutral shade
and I typically prefer more color for my lip products. However, I'm trying to embrace the trend a bit so I have given it a try and found it's something I will wear from time to time.
 
Proganix Anti-Fade Weightless Argan Oil- (full-sized value: $11) Since I highlight my hair rather than color it, fading is not something I typically worry about. I'll pass this product on to my mom, who does color her hair.
 
VERDICT: My box had a value of approximately $65 so I'm really pleased. All of the items except for the Anti-Fade spray will definitely be products I will use.

GLOSSYBOX also has a great point program- if you answer their survey questions on each product after you receive it, you will receive 100 points. After you have collected 1000 points, your next box is free. So after 10 months, I will have a free box.

They also have a referral program and if you use my link to sign up, I'll receive 200 points, getting me closer to my free box! You can do the same with your friends after you sign up. Right now, you can use the promo code THETALK to receive a get a free Tarte Lip Stain in Flush ($24 Value) with your first box.
 
 


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Target Cyber Monday 2014 Beauty Box

On Cyber Monday, Target offered a few special Beauty Boxes, and I purchased both the "For Her" and the "For Him" box. (These went fast and are sold out.) I have had great luck with their seasonal beauty boxes, and I hoped the Cyber Monday boxes would be just as great. Today let's look closer at the contents of the For Her box. I paid $10, and Target offered free shipping on the box. Spoiler: I think it was a great deal!
 

clockwise from top left:
  • Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum- sample packet
  • Revlon HD Lip Lacquer in Garnet- full-size; retail: $8
  • Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black- deluxe sample
  • L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara in Black- full-size; retail: $9
  • CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Quad in Smokey Nudes- full-size; retail: $4.50
  • ChapStick Total Hydration Lip Balm in Sweet Peach- full-size; retail: $3
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask- deluxe sample jar
  • Clairol Hair Food Thickening Solution- full-size; retail: $12
Overall, I am impressed with the value! Not taking into account the deluxe samples and sample packet, this box had full-sized products in it with a value of $36.50! It's a great way to try new products. The mascara and lip gloss are the two products I am most excited to try.
 
 
 

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sasha's Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty


I love to receive beauty gifts- I think pretty much any makeup and nail polish lover would too! So I've put together a little guide with some great gifts for this holiday season. With the exception of one item (more on that later!), these are all products I have personally purchased and love.

$28.00 at Sephora
 
I first discovered FAB when I was looking for something to help with my son's dry cracked hands a few winters ago. He's particular about scent and doesn't like anything that leaves a greasy residue. The FAB Ultra Repair Cream was the answer and now the whole family uses it! This trio of products includes not only the Ultra Repair Cream, but also 28 Facial Radiance Pads and Face Cleanser, both great products. All FAB products are allergy-tested, fragrance-free, dermatologist-recommended, and safe for even the most-sensitive skin.
 
$59.00 at Sephora
 
 
This 17 piece set is perfect for your lippie lover and includes lipsticks, glosses, liners, treatments, tars, liquids, balms, and creams in four color groups- red, pink, nude, and berry shades. It includes 14 brands carried at Sephora and is a fabulous way to try a large assortment of products for what you'd normally spend on just a few high end lip products. Some of my favorites in this set are the Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment, the Bite Beauty lipstick, and the Buxom lipstick.
 
$45 at Sephora
 
This 9 piece set contains glamorous party essentials, all tucked in a festive metallic clutch. This set includes lots of super-popular products like  Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Microfinish Powder, a Smashbox lippie, and a Deborah Lippmann polish.
 
 
$54 at Sephora
 
All three of the Naked Palettes are favorites with makeup junkies, but 3 seems to be the most popular right now. The rose-hued shades included in this set are in the shade range of the minute and look great on all shin tones. Urban Decay shadows have a fantastic formula, with great staying power and pigmentation.
 

$50 at Sephora

Earlier this week on my nail blog I showed your my most expensive polish purchase to date- Rouge Louboutin. I declared it a worthy luxury purchase for any nail polish fanatic. A wand that's unique yet easy to hold, as well as a brush and formula that make application a dream make this a must-buy if you're looking to impress.
 
 
$54 at UrbanDecay.com
 
The Naked on the Run palette is the only item on my gift guide that I haven't personally tried, but it's on MY wish list! I love that it includes eye shadows, bronzer, blush, lipgloss, eyeliner, AND mascara, all in one palette. How perfect this will be for travel.
 
Purchasing tips:
The Naked on the Run palette is currently only available at the Urban Decay website, but they are currently offering free shipping on orders over $50.
 
All other items are offered at Sephora. They offer free shipping on orders over $50 as well. I would recommend going through Ebates- they have currently doubled the percentage they rebate back to you from 4 to 8%.
 
Disclosure: All product links are NOT affiliate links. The only affiliate link in this post is the Ebates link.
 


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sasha's Family Christmas Library



It is just about time to get out my collection of Christmas books for the kids! I love reading to them at bedtime, and I especially enjoy reading holiday-themed books this time of year. Here's a list of our family favorites.


Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas - Nancy is a family favorite, and this book doesn't disappoint. This book is heavy on family and traditions, and the illustrations are delightful. It always fun to look closely at the pictures and see what we can discover.


Merry Christmas, Curious George - I have loved Curious George as long as I can remember, and this book is a favorite in my collection. George is as adorable (and as mischievous!) as ever.


Mater Saves Christmas - Such a cute story- Santa is a car of course, and his reindeer cars use special fuel that helps them fly. Chick Hicks is stealing the fuel, in hopes of using it to finally beat Lightning in race. Mater saves the day!



How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Such a holiday classic- and Dr. Seuss stories are such fun to read.


The Night Before ChristmasIn addition to a more traditional copy of this story, we have Mary Englebreit's illustrated version and it's absolutely gorgeous! A must-have if you are a ME fan.


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Of all our Christmas books, this is my favorite. The story is funny, easy to read, and touching. Some of the references are dated, but my kids still enjoy it. We also enjoy watching the movie as a family every year. "Hey! Unto you....." Gets me every time. *tear*


Do you have a favorite book we need to add to the Sasha Family collection?

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon referral links.

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