Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ipsy: January 2014

Sweet Photo Skills of Jzim
January seems to be a challenge for subscription boxes and well, onto the review:

"Reasons to Bitch" is all inspired by what others are bitching about on message boards. Thanks for bitching, bitches.

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow: Pearl- Shimmery shadow that easily blends is a welcomed addition to any makeup collection. The Pearl color can be used as a highlighter or for a quick-fix to wake up tired eyes.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "How in the world do I sharpen this plastic pencil? This is simply beyond me."
    • (A really sharp sharper, is what you need.")
  • "I don't like the color I received and will never even consider experimenting with this."
Épicé Purifying Exfoliant- Facial exfoliants are never exciting to me, but seemingly Épicé has a good one. I don't think at anytime, I'll be switching up my routine,  but this will make a good scrub for the gym bag...whenever I go back to the gym. 

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Épicé isn't all that well known and I already have a top-rated skin care regimen."
  • "I was over zealous while scrubbing my face and now I'm in pain."
MicaBeauty Tinted Lip Balm: Natural- This is the absolute driest lip 'balm' in the world and that breaks my heart. The color is a darker nude and it doesn't really match my skin tone. Paired with a deep, smoky eye this product just may work.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This balm soaked up all the moisture that I had in my lips, leaving me all chapped...and sad."
  • "Balms that do not include a brush are breeding pools for bacteria and diseases."
Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads- Proactive+ is a well-trusted brand and one that has changed my life. I will forever use their products. Luckily, I don't have a need for the mark fading pads, but with 4 pads included in my bag, it's not like I'll even know if they work.

[Edit 2/20/2014] These mark fading pads smell like onions and alcohol, plus they burn. This is simply an awful product. Proactiv+ why? Why!

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Proactiv+ is just too harsh for my little skin."
  • "I can't afford the Proactiv+ system and don't realize that Wal-Mart makes almost the exact same formula as Proactiv+ itself.
Sexy Hair: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner- Sexy Hair is a brand I believe in. Their products are always on the cutting edge of hair styling and they really do live up to their name. This product can be used for all four seasons and improve overall hair-health.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "All I ever get is 'Sexy Hair' products and I'm drowning in them."
  • "I enjoy my coarse pubic like hair and don't see how a leave-in conditioner will help."
Overall, this bag seemed a little misguided, but it wasn't without a valiant attempt.

January 2014 Bag Edition -I was the least excited to get this bag, because just looked so damn awful, but it's absolutely my favorite bag to date. The contrasting blues, simple design and over-sized pouch is perfect.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This bag smells like a chemical explosion and I absolutely had to throw it away."
  • "Considering this bag looks like it was made out of a pool lining, I'd be more comfortable receiving it in the summer months.

Grade: B- (literally an 80.25%)

Pop Sugar Must Have: January 2014

Sweet Photo Skills of Jzim
Hello Pop Sugar, thank you for being in my life. After last January's debacle, I had zero faith in this box. Onto the review:  

"Reasons to Bitch" is all inspired by what others are bitching about on message boards. Thanks for bitching, bitches.

Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around the World Desk Calendar- As cute as this calendar is, it's not very practical. The days of the week are not listed and there isn't enough room to write in appointments. 

"Do you want to meet next Thursday?"
"Let me look at my calendar."
"...I have no idea."

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Why would we receive a calendar halfway through January? Bad planning, PopShug."
  • "I already have my daily bible verse calendar, so this is going in the trash."
Jack and Lucy Knit Tech Gloves- These are simply not awesome. The stitching, 'tech-tips,' and overall fit of the gloves is a let down. These gloves do work for the iPhone, but you have to adjust the way you type and that's a slight hassle. Ultimately, it's like Jack and Lucy, didn't really care about their product and well, it shows.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "When I thought of tech gloves, I didn't imagine knit gloves poorly made by my nana."
  • "I live in a sunny paradise and I know not one person that could ever use a pair of gloves, especially these gloves."
The Juice Generation Book- Assuming that I can find half of these products, without going to the Farmer's Market, I think this is a great idea. The practicality of this book and me actually taking the time to make these spinach infused peach drinks, well that's a whole other adventure.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I don't have a juicer OR a blender...and you expect me to buy that?"
  • "I am anti-veggies and fruits. I can't even consider this lifestyle."
Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask- This is the star of the box, and star of the month. A detox face  mask that doesn't destroy your face and peel off that precious layer of skin, is unheard of...until now. This mask bubbles upon application, detoxes ones pores and leaves your skin feeling hydrated.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I'm incredibly allergic to the soy in this product. I'll die another day, thank you."
  • "This face mask makes me feel like their are 100 little ants crawling all over my face."
Pipsnacks White Truffle Popcorn- Incredible, mini, truffle-oil infused popcorn. This is about as luxurious and pretentious as popcorn can get. I hope this company makes it to the stores, because it is amazing.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "We were sent popcorn last month and now...we get it again. I get angry about things like this."
  • "I thought this was a white-chocolate kind of truffle, but to my horror, it was mushroom truffle."
Revlon by marchesa box O’ Files- Nail files has never been my thing, but these are wonderful. I think they are small enough to quickly shape the nail and not take off too much. They fit in even the tiniest of all clutches. Great find.

Reasons to Bitch  
  • "This is not a lux item and I'm heavily insulted that it was included in my box."
  • "Drug store item alert! Let the freak-outs commence!"  
Overall, January was a great month, but don't let my positive outlook deter you from bitching.

Grade: A-

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Birchbox: January 2014

Sweet Photo Skills of Jzim

Birchy-box, welcome home! Did your New Year's Resolution consist of sending out quality boxes? Onto the review:

For each product you will see my own opinion and underneath that you will see "Reasons to Bitch." Reasons to Bitch is all inspired from what others are bitching about on message boards.

Fekkai: Brilliant Glossing Crème- Never have I ever used a better crème than Fekkai. The scent, texture and finish is better than that of any salon I have ever gone to. Fekkai is phenomenal.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This product has been on the market for several years now? Why are you just now discovering it?"
  • "Um, yes. Target sells this and you expect me to believe that it's high-end?"
Inika: Mineral Eye Shadow in Eternal Marine- Mineral shadows take a bit of skill to master and usually has a lot of fallout. This product last for hours and stays in place far better than my experience with other mineral products. With the dazzling color and sheen, Inika in Eternal Marine will take the perfect nighttime look to the celebrity level.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Mineral shadows are too messy for me and I'm not very skilled in makeup application."
  • "I don't love the color I received and I'll never venture away from my outdated look to wear this."

Juicy Couture: Couture La La- This scent smells very similar to something that I wore when I was younger and it doesn't really work with me now. The scent is light, sweet and...innocent? Overall, it's nice, but I feel like it was meant for a younger crowd.
Reasons to Bitch
  • "I hate receiving perfume samples and all you ever send me is Juicy."
  • "Just because it's over-priced, doesn't make it Couture."

Nail Rock: Velvet- This is by far the coolest product that I have received from Birchbox. Dark velvety nails is such a sexy idea. I wasn't impressed with staying power, but that's not really the selling point of this product.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I stupidly put a top coat over the velvet and's just not fuzzy anymore."
  • "Messy, messy, messy! I simple can't handle the mess!"
Burt's Bees: Intense Hydration Day Lotion- I am in love, in love with a lotion. The scent smells like summer and that's incredible. The texture, consistency and overall feel of the product was impressive. My hands actually felt hydrated after using the lotion. Well played, Burt.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "How dare you include this 'mass market product' in my box?"
  • "Burt's Bees? Are you serious? Only 'People of Wal-Mart' use Burt's Bees."
Overall, Birchbox killed any and all competitor this month and I hope that's just the beginning.

Grade: A+

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blush Mystery Beauty Box: January 2014

Sweet Photo Skills by Jzim
Blush Mystery Beauty box has arrived and it strangely seems as if it was curated by someone on crack... Onto the review:

For each product you will see my own opinion and underneath that you will see "Reasons to Bitch." Reasons to Bitch is all inspired and generated from what others are bitching about on message boards.

LeEdge Skin Exfoliator- After a stressful day, I like to unwind by dragging a dull blade across my body to relax. Thankfully LeEdge has come to the rescue. Really, what is that? Scrapping off dead skin with a dull blade? Was this needed? Am I that scaly? I slid this down my arm without being in the shower and that was painful. I then gave it a try in the shower and that just felt like an extremely ineffective shave. Overall, my skin felt...violated.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This is on-sale on Amazon and for me, that devalues the entire content of the box."
  • "LeEdge increases suicidal ideation and that's a big no-no."
Jane Iredale: Just Kissed Lip Plumber: Tokyo- Slightly tingly, pleasantly colored, strawberry scented lipstick, this would be a phenomenal find if it was full-sized. The color goes on much lighter than it looks and it doesn't dry out your lips.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This lipstick is rounded at the tip and it doesn't shape by lips like it should."
  • "The sample was too small considering it was the ONLY makeup product in the box."
Osmosis Skincare Harmonized Water Digestive Health- I would like to believe in gimmicks like quick-fix products...but this one yields zero results, negative or positive. The 'trick,' if you will, is to add 2ml to a glass of water and drink twice daily. Then over time your skin will improve and so will your insides. After we decode the bullshit, it is easy to see that you just added extra glasses of water to your diet. Water improves skin and overall health...not a $30 bottle of "Harmonized Water."

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This isn't something that should even be included in a beauty box. It's a dietary aide."
  • "You can keep your voodoo away from me. There's only one water that can cleanse me."
Goldfaden Md: Wake Up Call- I am neither pleased, nor displeased with this product. It's a facial rejuvenator that I'm hesitant to try due to the harsh wintery conditions. There aren't many reviews on this product and with such sensitive skin, I'm not looking to experiment at this time.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "What an expensive price-tag for a full size bottle. OMG, no thanks."
  • "I already have an extensive skin-care routine and I'm not about to introduce a new product."

Klorane Leave-In Cream with Desert Date- The spicy scent reminds me of the cologne that my creepy study-hall teacher wore when he would stand over me and uncomfortably rub my shoulders. Other than awakening that re-pressed memory, Klorane Leave-In Cream leaves me feeling incredible. My hair is smooth, manageable and light. Trip to the guidance counselor, not needed. A+

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Leave-In creams leave my hair greasy and my heart, sad."
  • "I really want the hair mask that some others received. This is so my luck."

Gytone Hydrating Eye Cream- Scentless and slightly tingly this Hydrating Eye Cream has me hooked. Sleepless nights are quickly concealed with this hydrating formula.

[Edit 2/20/2014] I like this product very much, but I'm allergic to it. If I only put it under my eye, no reaction...near my brow bone, well...let's just not go there.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I accidently got this in my eyes and the burning pain was unbelievable."
  • "I don't use eye-creams, because I'm a Botox type of gal."
Overall, there were some hidden gems in this box...but it certainly could have used some improvement.

Grade: E for Effort. Sometimes, creativity just isn't appreciated.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Influenster: Gillette Venus Embrace Sensitive

Sweet Photo Skills of Jzim
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

For some miraculous reason I was selected to review the Gillette Venus Embrace Sensitive Razor and I'm not sure if that's a compliment or an insult, seeing as I hate shaving, and showers. Either way, I was prompted to shave for like the first time in months. My legs that is...I keep everything else locked down. ;) Onto the review:

First off, I'd like to thank Venus for making a razor in any other color than pink. I know I'm a girl and I'm forced to like pink everything, but I don't. I also enjoyed the smaller size of the shower hook, because the bathroom is a germ fest and simplicity is key.

Before shaving I rubbed shower gel on my legs, not shave cream, just whatever I had in the bathroom and then continued to shave. Considering I wanted to shave my legs, armpits and the goods, I expected to be in the shower for a decent half hour; which sucks. I always try to avoid shaving the 'trifecta' (legs, armpits, lady parts) and will often just focus on what I'm needing to a specific time.

Within 5 minutes I was able to achieve an amazing shave with great results. My legs were conditioned and hydrated, thanks to the smoothing strips around the blades, and contrary to my usual routine, I wasn't sliced, diced and bleeding.

Overall, I am highly pleased with the Gillette Venus Embrace Sensitive razor. Retailing at 10.99 for the starter kit...I can't say that I will absolutely buy it, for the sole reason of the cartridges being so expensive but ultimately, it is cheaper than a wax...

Thanks Influenster for the overall best shave that I've had in years.

Grade: A

 @InfluensterVox  #ItsNotMe

Monday, January 6, 2014

Glossybox: December 2013

Sweet Photo Skills of Jzim
Glossybox, why! Why, why, why! Somebody out there loved their box, but it certainly wasn't me. The products for this month were quite anti-climatic and well, no girl enjoys that. Onto the review:

For each product you will see my own opinion and underneath that you will see "Reasons to Bitch." Reasons to Bitch is all inspired and generated from what others are bitching about on message boards.

Anatomicals: You Need A Blooming Shower!- Even if I enjoyed the horrendous scent of "panty-liner rose" I would still have an issue with the gaudy packaging and advertisement scheme. Nothing about this product worked for me. The scent, tacky colors and verbiage was an utter catastrophe. Who wants to take a shower and smell worse after it?

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I don't much care for floral scents and that is putting it nicely."
  • "Anatomicals is such a cheap line of skin care. How good can that be for me?"

Ardency Inn: PUNKER World's Baddest Eyeliner- The only gem in the box was the eyeliner, but I'm neither a 'punk,' nor 'badass,' so the marketing for this little liner is again, wasted. The liner is that of a black sharpie and works quite well. It lasts all day and well into those dark and dreary nights.  

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I like to pretend that I'm good at applying makeup, but cannot seem to use a liner correctly."
  • "I got this confused with my sharpie and now I'm all messed up." Permanently.

Michael Todd True Organics: Pumpkin Mask- Clearly printed on the bottle is a warning against use on sensitive skin. Well, that's cool. Unless, I wanted a super-fun rash that swells my eyes shut for days on end..I think I'll pass.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "Michael Todd tried to kill me with this product."
  • "I hate all forms of yeah, I'll smear that on my face."

Nails Inc. Victoria Polish- As for an international nail polish, I am fairly pleased. Again, the visual of the bottle itself is lacking, but the polish and crimson color are decent. Overall, Nails Inc. offers a shiny, no-chip product.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "I'm one of those fussy people that complain about products not made in the USA."
  • "The rounded cap makes application quite difficult and my fine motor skills are weak."

Naobay: Oxygenating Cream Moisturizing- Lotion. Over-priced, Boring Lotion. If I'm going to pay for a lotion that costs over 20 dollars an ounce, I'd like to at least enjoy it. Out of all the competitors in the body care line, this one makes no sense.

Reasons to Bitch
  • "This lotion promises so many benefits, but I can't afford it to find out."
  • "Naobay is a natural and organic product...and I'm not one of those people."
Overall, this box was not curated for me. It's not that the products were 'bad,' they just were meant for someone else. Very sad ending for year 2k13.

Grade: D