January 2018 Look Fantastic Beauty Box Review!

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is going to be a review of the January 2018 Look Fantastic Beauty Box subscription!

+ Links may be affiliate/referral links.

Look Fantastic Beauty Box is a beauty subscription box from the UK that includes at least 6 hand-picked items along with an issue of Elle UK magazine. It costs $19.00 a month, or $16.00 if you choose an annual subscription, which can be paid for monthly.

This month’s theme is Beauty Forward.

January is all about starting the year fresh and clean – take the time to discover all the beauty tips to recharge, reset and reinvent your skincare regime and beauty stash. Discover new brands like Sampar, new products and new beauty tricks – bring on 2018, we are ready for you!

ELLE UK magazine.

I love that they include this magazine in each box. I love reading through British versions of my favorite magazines, so this is always a nice treat for a bit of Mommy time throughout the month.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum, $10.82.

A lightweight serum that will make your skin look flawless. Especially good on combination skin, it will get rid of all your imperfections and will keep your skin hydrated and glowy. Kanuka oil a good natural antimicrobial and anti-bacterial that will clear congestions, while eucalyptus will calm any rednesses and inflammations. Can be applied AM and/or PM on clean skin as a first step of your skincare routine. Use it during summer as a primer to make sure your skin is nice and matte throughout the day.

This is a very thin, liquid-y formula that has a strong eucalyptus scent. It’s incredibly hydrating on my skin, though. I do agree that it helps to keep my skin matte and this is a welcome addition to my skincare routine.

Monuspa Warming Ginger Bath & Body Oil, $18.00.

A spa experience in the comfort of your own house. This body oil has an all-natural and clean formulation with a mixture of ginger, lemongrass and orange, uplifting and awakening, it is the perfect body oil to use in the morning. Apply after the shower on you body or drop a few drops in your bath to enjoy a full & relaxing experience. If you’re seeking some relief after a heavy gym session this oil is the perfect remedy. Apply it after your session where your muscles feel tight and let it work some magic!

I’m not a big fan of the scent of ginger, so the smell of this isn’t my favorite, but it really is a luxe oil. I love that it is multi-use and that you can also use it on tight muscles after a workout. It provides a really nice, warm feeling and I found it have no oily residue.

Espa Pink Hair & Scalp Mud, $10.80.

Give your hair some love and try this intensive treatment. This lovely rose paste will condition and nourish your hair & scalp (always up for a multitasker). Its clean formation is full of good for you minerals and is enriched in Vitamin C, has red clay and Apricot kernel oil – all those ingredients to make your hair look fabulous and scalp feel hydrated.

Apply onto scalp through damp hair and leave it for 20 minutes, rinse well and condition your hair as usual.

For a more intense hydration boost, leave it all night long (we like to sleep in a shower cap when doing so – easy peasy and no damage on your pillow) and rinse thoroughly in the morning.

This is a really interesting concept to me. And the full size of this is priceyyy. The scrub is pink in color and doesn’t have an overbearing scent. I haven’t had a chance to try this one yet, but I’m really excited to. I just have to decide if I want to use it as a 20 minute treatment or an overnight one.

Korres White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser, $1.64.

Enjoy your morning wash with this gel cleanser that won’t dry out sensitive skin, and will leave your skin refreshed and clean, ready for the rest of your skincare routine. The contents are 88.3% natural and its main ingredient is white tea extract – a natural antioxidant protection and toner for the skin!

Use morning and night, apply a pea size of product on a damp face, clean with circular motion and rinse well.

You can also use it as a makeup remover – it works wonders as well!

I love the Korres brand and they’re cleansers are a favorite of mine. I haven’t tried this white tea version before, but it has a nice, clean scent. It goes on nicely and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and recharged in a way – and just cleaner. This is a definite win for me.

Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Lotion, $4.04.

A skincare regime without a toning step would be like cleaning your teeth without toothpaste. . . a bit useless really. This is why the Beauty Box Team selected the best toners on the market. A selection of 3 toners from the skincare specialist Erno Laszlo, they work on all skin types, so don’t you worry, no matter which one you receive, you will be able to use, even if you have sensitive skin.

For acne, oily and skin with enlarged pores, this toner will gently exfoliate to remove dead skin cells whilst soothing and calming irritations.

After cleansing, pour a small amount onto the palm of your hand and pat into skin.

With this box, you had the chance of getting one of three Erno Laszlo toners: Hydraphel Skin Supplement, Light Controlling Lotion and White Marble Essence Lotion. I’ve tried a couple of these before and they really are some of the best on the market. Erno Laszlo is a cult favorite brand for a reason and these are amazing at making my skin feel refreshed and clean to kick off my skincare routine everyday.

ModelCo 3D Lash Primer, $8.00.

If you don’t have an eyelash primer in your makeup routine yet, then this will revolutionize your mascara application. In addition to conditioning and volumizing, it allows your mascara to stay put all day! It will also maintain the curve, and even enhance by giving some more thickness to your lashes.

Apply it before mascara, don’t be afraid – it will look white but once you apply mascara on top, you will discover thick and voluminous lashes.

When applying the primer, make sure you apply it in a zigzag motion so that all your lashes are primed from base to tip!

This is full size! I am not personally a fan of lash primers, so I haven’t brought myself to try this out yet, but I am seeing some decent reviews online. I normally have issues with them because I find they make my mascara clump and make it almost impossible to remove. Hopefully, this one will be different.


I really love this subscription. For $16.00 a month, they supply me with really luxe brands that are normally brand new to me. Most of the products this month are brand new to me, even if they’re by brands that I’ve tried before. I don’t think I can beat that. The information booklet also includes a lot of great information and tips in addition to the product information and I appreciate that.

I paid $16.00 for $53.30 worth of product + the latest issue of ELLE UK.

What do you think of this subscription? What are your thoughts on lash primers?

January 2018 Rag Tag Box Review!

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is a review of the January 2018 Rag Tag Box!

Rag Tag Box is a monthly subscription box by Spot Colors that provides a new cross stitch pattern and all the supplies needed to make it every month for $16.00 a month.

This month’s theme is Beetle Juice! I love the Beetle Juice movie and I can’t wait to make this pattern!

Each box comes with a card that lists whats included, a pattern, a photo of the completed project, and a link to more patterns and instructions.

This is the pattern for this month. I think it’s really cute and fits the Beetle Juice theme perfectly.

This box also includes a 14 Count White Aida Fabric, DMC threads, a wood hoop, and a needle to make the cross stitch.

Every month includes a couple of small extras. This month they included a black and white stripe baggie and a Beetle Juice business card, which will be so cute for my bulletin board.


This box is hard to put a value on, simply because some of these pieces can be purchased separately, but you have to take into account the fact that this kit is pre-made and that you are receiving an exclusive pattern that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. I love the theme of this month’s box and I can’t wait to do the project, so I think that the kit as a whole is well worth the $16.00 price point.

What do you think of this box? Do you cross stitch?

January 2018 Bluum Review!

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is going to be a review of the Bluum subscription box!

Bluum is $33.99 a month and it’s a monthly subscription box for moms and kids, from pregnancy to preschool. Each box is customized to your child’s age and the stage they might be in.

There normally isn’t a theme, but I have this box customized to my son, Gibson, who is currently 3.

Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads, $11.49.

This set includes 30 wooden beads and 2 laces and is intended for ages 3+. It helps teach sequencing, sorting, color and shape recognition and encourages fine motor skills. The back includes some extension activities that help use the toy to teach your child.

Gibson has a bead set like this from Melissa and Doug, but it’s not with laces, it’s with wooden dowels. He really enjoys these bead activities, but since he already has a similar set, I plan on hanging on to this for one of the girls. I do love getting Melissa and Doug products in subscription boxes though, they’re really wonderful quality products.

Stephen Joseph Bath Mitt & Bath Crayons, $10.99.

This set comes with a bath mitt with pocket, 4 non-toxic bath crayons, and 1 suction cup. This is available in many different animal designs, and we received a Dino! Gibson loves dinosaurs, and bath mitts are something that always come in handy. I love that this includes some bath crayons. All of the kids love using these in the tub. The other bath mitts I have don’t include suction cups, so I love that this one does because it’ll make storage and drying so much easier!

Potty Shields Extra Large Disposable Toilet Seat Covers in Sports Theme, $4.99.

I can only find these available online in a 12 pack for $9.99 and I received a 6-pack which is how I got to my $4.99 value. These are disposable toilet seat covers that are individually wrapped and come in a cute sports print.

Gibson is actually potty training at the moment, so these will be great to keep in the car for when we go out to help him get more comfortable with using public toilets while also keeping him safe. I think these are a great item to include in a box like this because it’s one of those things that I personally would never think of, but would be incredibly useful.

Bunny Loves To Read by Peter Bently, $9.66.

This is a really cute book. I love getting kids books in subscription boxes because it’s a great way to introduce new books to my kids. This one is an adorable picture book about a bunny that loves to read :). I haven’t read this yet, but my kids love bunnies, so I’m sure this will be an instant hit during our nightly storytime.

Start Little Learn Big One, Two, Three Sticker and Draw, $5.09.

This is another cute book, but this one is an activity book. This helps teach about first numbers, counting up and counting down. This includes over 150 first number stickers. Each page is a cute little activity that corresponds with the stickers including to help teach kids numbers.

I love books like this! And Gibson really enjoys doing activities like this. They’re a great “quiet time” activity that also teaches him something. This is a win for me, even if it is a simpler product.

Stephen Joseph Lacing Puzzle, $7.90.

This is a lion shaped lacing puzzle that includes 9 lacing card pieces and 3 colored laces. Similar to what I said with the Melissa and Doug product at the beginning of this review, Gibson really enjoys puzzles like these, and this one looks to be a bit more challenging, so it should be something that holds his attention and that can be passed down to the girls so everyone wins.


I really enjoyed this month. This box does seem to be a bit more hit and miss for me because I feel like the amount of products vary so widely every month, which I don’t really understand. However, this month was full of useful and educational items and I really couldn’t be happier with the curation. I am also happy with the value of this months products.

I paid $33.99 for $50.12 worth of products.

What do you think of this box? Have you ever tried any of these toys with your kids?

Welcome To My Home! Home Tour: Boy’s Bathroom

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is another installment in my Home Tour. Today I’ll be showing you the boys bathroom upstairs. The bathroom we have for our kids is a Jack and Jill bathroom where there are two little rooms with sinks and one room in between that has a shower and toilet. Gibson gets one room with a sink to himself and the girls will share the other one. Today, I’ll be showing you Gibson’s side.


Gibson’s bathroom basically consists of one counter with a sink. I keep a basket on the counter with his bath products in it and then the basics on the left side of the counter.

His medicine cabinet holds medicine, his daily vitamin, and some “extra products”.

Under his sink cabinets hold cleaning products, towels and then a mini “stockpile” of bath products that he uses, as well as a little bin of extra toothbrushes and toothpaste.

This post is short and sweet, simply because his bathroom is really very simple. It’s your basic “bathroom” set up, and then some basic storage that fits his needs.

What do you think of his bathroom? How do you store extra kids bathroom products?

My Birth Story: Ramsey

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is going to be the story of Ramsey’s birth! Ramsey was born on January 23 at 4:28 in the morning and boy, let me tell you, she definitely came into the world with a bang. This will be a lengthy one, but definitely worth it. (Well, for me at least. I got a cute baby out of it.)


So a little background: I’ve never “gone into labor” before. My first two pregnancies ended in inductions for various reasons and I always had an epidural. My pregnancy with Ramsey was going fine until about week 36.

At 36 weeks, I went into labor. I started having contractions, and I was told at my appointment the day before the contractions started that I was dilated to a 2. I went to L&D at my hospital and they said I was dilated to a 3 1/2. They couldn’t let me walk or offer any medical assistance since I was considered preterm. After an hour of being monitored, I was dilated to a 5. They admitted me and (after they blew 3 veins), I received an epidural. I went to sleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up, they told me contractions had stopped. I received a cervical check and I was stalled out at 5 cm. At this point, they stopped the epidural and had me walk but nothing changed. I was discharged from the hospital. Over the next week, I experienced contractions for several hours a day, but no change to my cervix.

At 37 weeks, I went in to my mid-wife office for a cervical check due to contractions and I was dilated to a 5 1/2. I was told to go home to labor for a while and then head to L&D. I headed home for about 2 hours and then went to the hospital, where they checked my cervix and said I was dilated to a 4. Yeah, they basically told me I went backwards in dilation by 1 1/2 cm. I got sent home.

At 37 weeks and 6 days (which was Monday the 22), I woke up and started having contractions again. They weren’t coming regularly though, so I pushed them out my mind as best as possible and around lunchtime they went away. I had a couple of twinges that afternoon and shortly after my husband came home from work, the contractions came back. They kept up throughout the evening, but weren’t regular, so I continued to try to ignore them.

Eventually, my husband went to sleep and I laid on the couch, unable to sleep due to the contractions. I had been told to come back to the hospital when they got worse, but they weren’t getting more regular and the pain wasn’t much worse then it was before. Around 3 am, the pain did start to increase but not to an unbearable level and they still were irregular. I woke my husband up and told him they weren’t going away and asked him if he thought we should go into L&D. He wanted to wait a bit longer because of our recent experiences. At 3:45, we decided to call the babysitter for our kids since they weren’t going away and we figured we might need to eventually go in. The babysitter didn’t answer, so at 3:55 am, I called my best friend (who lives 45 minutes away) and asked if she would drive down in case we needed to go. She starts the journey.

After I got off the phone with her, I went to pee and on my way out of the bathroom, I fell to the floor in a slightly dramatic way. At that point, we decided to go to the hospital because something obviously changed. We decided not to wait for my bestie and head down with the kids, thinking she could just pick them up from the hospital. My husband went upstairs to get the kids from bed and I decided I needed to use the restroom again.

TMI WARNING (This is where it gets graphic for those weak of heart):

I go to the bathroom thinking I need to poop. I sit down and try to go, but realize the pressure I’m feeling doesn’t feel “normal”. I go to wipe myself and feel…. something. Y’all. I felt my babies head. I then start screaming my head off to my husband who is trying to get the kids and a change of clothes for them that I’m now crowning in the bathroom and he needs to move his ass. We get everything loaded into the car and I tell him to call the hospital and tell them we are coming because at this point, it’s too dangerous for me to try to walk by myself. With every contraction, the urge to push was intensifying. We get to the hospital at 4:22 am. We are greeted outside with an er team and a wheelchair. I climb into the wheelchair and we take off, leaving my husband and the kids to park the car. The er team rushes me upstairs to L&D where I skip triage and am taken to the first available room.

I literally throw off my shorts and jump into the bed. My mid wife was waiting when I got there. She immediately starts telling me that I can push whenever I’m ready. The nurses in the room start doing any test they have time for, which wasn’t much. (I ended up with 2 whole minutes of fetal heart monitoring). I start pushing and then realize I don’t have an epidural. I ask for one and am told, obviously, it’s too late. At this point, my husband (and our two children) show up and take a seat in a bench in the corner of the room. As I push, I feel the pressure of something coming out (what I assumed what the head), and then all of the sudden I hear this loud POP and something explodes everywhere. This, ladies and gentleman, was my amniotic sack. It literally popped upwards. My husband says my mid wife got some fluid from the popping in her mouth. Eek. She tells me to keep pushing, so I do, and that’s when I can feel the babies actual head. And the pain.

Up until this point, all of my pushing was half-assed at best. I was literally talking through the pushing. The midwife says “one big push”, so that’s what I do. I do one big push and feel the top of her head come out. And then the pain. I’ve heard of the “ring of fire” (just google it. Seriously.), but because I’ve had epidurals in the past, I’ve never experienced it. As soon as the thick part of her head hit me, I literally just started screaming bloody murder and lifting my entire body up to try to get off the table. Over my screams, I can hear the midwife tell me it’s okay to take a pushing break, but all I could think about was the pain so I kept pushing and Ramsey came out all in one breath. I have never experienced such a ridiculous amount of pain all at once in my entire life.

The midwife puts the baby on my chest and I just sat there, uncontrollably shaking. The midwife delivers the placenta and they announce that Ramsey was born at 4:28 am. 6 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

It definitely wasn’t how I was expecting my delivery to go with this pregnancy, but this little bundle of joy definitely made the whole situation worth it. She’s absolutely perfect and I couldn’t be happier with my amazing family.

Share your birth stories below! They were one of my favorite things to read during my pregnancy!

January 2018 Ipsy Review!

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is another subscription box unboxing/review! Today I’ll be reviewing my January 2018 Ipsy bag! Ipsy is a great, affordable beauty subscription box that always has a nice amount of products, including full-size products!

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Ipsy is $10.00 a month, but you can get a cheaper subscription if you pay for a year in advance. I pay $110.00 for a year of bags, so each bag works out to be $9.16 each!

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Each month you receive a mix of full-size and sample size products in a new make-up bag.

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This month’s theme is Game Face! This month’s bag is all about getting a little bit of extra motivation to crush your 2018 goals!

This month’s bag is a bit odd to me. It seems more like a summer-y bag then a January bag, but it is cute. I always have a hard time deciding which of these to keep and which to donate. :/

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Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash-Off Mask (1 OZ), $1.99

This is a 15 minute facial therapy charcoal wash-off mask. It claims it is made for all skin types and that the charcoal acts like a magnet to gently draw out deep dwelling dirt, oil and impurities from your clogged pores and lifts away dead skin cells without over-drying. The full size of this comes in a 5 oz size for $9.99.

I love the packaging of this because it makes it much easier to apply. I hate digging around for a facial mask in a tub packaging. I am a huge fan of charcoal masks, so much so that I even sometimes talk my husband into partaking with me 🙂 This is resealable, which is nice because that allows you to save the extra product. I think this one is a win for me!

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Hola Neon Velvet Liquid Lipstick in DF, $17.00

This liquid lipstick in full-size! Woohoo! DF is a mauve pink with brown undertones and the packaging states it’s never tested on animals, which is a huge plus to me!

I love the color of this. I’m a huge fan of shades in this family and the packaging is super cute. The picture above does show the shade a tad darker then it looks in real life, so take that shade with a grain of salt. The formula is very creamy and I don’t find it to be drying at all. I got super lucky with the color choice this month!

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The Balm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer (0.04 OZ), $3.20

Mary-Lou Manizer is a cult classic from The Balm Cosmetics. This is a multi-purpose product that can be used as a highlight, a shimmer or an eyeshadow. I either have or have had (and used up) the full size of this, but I’ve also had several of this smaller 0.04 OZ sized pan.

I am a huge fan of this, it’s such a gorgeous color and I personally feel it looks amazing on any skin tone. It’s very soft so you have to use a gentle touch. My only issue with this product is the packaging due to its size. The pan is pretty tiny, so the brushes that I normally use for highlight barely fit or won’t fit and it makes it a bit more difficult to use this. However, this is a cult product for a reason and it definitely has a home with me.

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Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo (1 OZ), $11.00

I was able to find this shampoo in this size on the Sephora website for $11.00 (currently out of stock, but they have a larger size available as well). The one listed on the Sephora website does have different packaging though, which is a bit interesting to me.

This shampoo is a micro-exfoliating scalp shampoo that contains gentle coconut-derived cleansers and vegetable-based exfoliators to gently remove dead skin and impurities from the scalp and hair. It’s a nutrient-rich blend of coconut oil, panthenol and tea tree oil that helps restore balance and moisture to the scalp, while soothing itchiness and irritation.

I am a huge fan of this brand and this is a product from them that I haven’t tried before. I love the cleansing/clarifying shampoos that get rid of product build-up because I tend to use a lot of product in my hair on a daily basis, so it’s nice to be able to do a deep cleanse sometimes. This is a very thing formula with a strong mint smell. The exfoliant is so fine you can barely feel it. I haven’t tested this out yet, but I definitely know what I’m using in my next shower!

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Ciate London Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Liquid Liner, $19.00

This liner is a full-size liner that retails for $19.00! Woooohooooo!

This liner has over 4 stars on the Sephora website and is from the Ciate London, who makes amazing nail polishes and has branched out into makeup. I have tried a mascara from them before and loved it, but I can’t seem to recall any liners I’ve tried from them in the past.

This liner has a really nice precision tip to it and the shade is an intense black that I always tend to reach for over any other liquid liners. I can’t wait to try this out with several different eye looks, but I’m thinking this is another winner for me!


I’m normally always really impressed with my Ipsy bags. It’s one of my cheaper subscriptions but that value is always there and rarely do they send products I won’t use or have no interest in trying out. There were multiple full-size products this month and I feel like it was a nice variation in product types.

I paid $9.16 for $52.19 worth of products, plus a make-up bag!

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? What did you get this month?


January 2018 Birchbox Review!

Hey everyone! Today’s Mommy Minute is going to be a review of my January 2018 Birchbox! I’ve had some ups and downs with Birchbox in the past, so this box is actually my last box as my yearly membership has come to a close and I’ve decided not to renew. But, I figured it would still be fun to delve into my last box and see what I got!

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Birchbox is $10.00 a month and every month you get 5+ beauty samples. They do have a nice rewards program that gets you some heavy discounts on full-size items as well.

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This month’s theme is Find Your Happy! After a whirlwind holiday season, carve out some “me time” with this box of beauty treats.

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Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer (0.24 OZ), $2.76

The full-size of this moisturizer is 2 OZ for $23.00. This is formulated with frequent fliers in mind and filled with anti-oxidants and humectants that moisturize a dry, stressed-out complexion. The first thing I’ll say is this is a tiny little tube. Perfect for traveling though. It feels almost water based and is super hydrating on the skin. It has a slight fresh scent to it, which I find nice. I personally think that this would be great for dry skin in the winter time, too. So, even if this is a smaller tube, it’s a win for me because I’ll definitely get some use out of this.

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ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm in Berry Busy, $14.00

This product is a full-size! Woohoo! It’s been awhile since I’ve received a full-size product in my Birchbox! This lip balm is an ultra-hydrating formula that adjusts to your lips pH to create a flattering deep pink hue that’s unique to your skintone. I have a couple of lip products like this already, but the ones that I have are in lipstick form, so this is nice that it’s more of a lip balm formula. To me, that means extra-hydrating and much easier to re-apply on the go. I pick up the slightest minty scent from this, which is nice and I really do love the shade that this left on my lips!

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CLEAN Cool Cotton Eau de Parfum, $1.00

This perfume is a very nice, fresh scent. I’ve been able to try this out before from various samplers and gift with purchases. This scent is described as “cool, crisp, and as light as a cotton shirt air-drying in the sun”. I’m not a huge fan of these little perfume samples, especially the ones that don’t have a spritzer, but I will use this as I enjoy the scent.

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Doucce Cosmetics Freematic Eyeshadow Single in Veronica, $10.00

This eyeshadow single is full-size! This is a single that can fit into pre-made Doucce palettes. I actually have one from a previous subscription box with some singles that I can switch out. This shade is a shimmer shade that is quite sheer, but buildable. There is glitter in this though, so that might be a turn-off for some people. I don’t personally mind the glitter.

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Stila Cosmetics HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara, $10.45

This is another product that I’ve been able to try before. I believe I have the full-size of this, actually. It’s a really nice inky black mascara. It does work with one coat, but is buildable if that’s what you prefer. It gives great volume, curl and length. I love having one mascara that can do all of that instead of having to use multiple mascaras or picking and choosing. This is one that I’m definitely happy with!


This has actually been one of my favorite Birchboxes, so while I’m sad that I’m breaking up with them, I think this was a great note to end our relationship on. I received two full-size products in this box and I do think that the value was there (at least for this month).

I spent $9.16 (a one-year subscription is $110.00 divided by 12 months) for $38.21 worth of products!

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Do you subscribe to Birchbox?