Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle January 2014 Subscription Box Review

Saffron Rouge is an on-line organic beauty store that also offers a monthly subscription service called the Inner Circle.  Every month, you will receive deluxe samples of product from any number of organic beauty lines.  As someone who is very interested in green beauty, signing up for this service was a no-brainer. Before signing up, I checked out a few reviews of previous months boxes to see what they typically offer.  I loved what I saw, so I was really excited to see what my first box would bring. 

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle Subscription Box:
*Cost: $24.99/month
*Products:  An assortment of deluxe sized samples of premium organic beauty products

All the products were wrapped up tightly in a Suki wash cloth.  I've never seen the products packed like this in any of the reviews I had read so I was pretty sure the wash cloth was somehow related to the contents of this month's box.  

Every box comes with a letter detailing the products in the box.  It also includes a discount code to Saffron Rouge for all the items featured in the box. This box was designed around a theme to "kick off 2014", featuring products used for cleansing. 

Sensitive Cleansing Bar To-Go 1.42 oz $5.95 ~Amazon Affiliate Link
This bar is made with Shea Butter and can be used on the face and body.  It has a very pleasant lemony smell. 

Suki Wash Cloth $11.95
100% organic cotton wash cloth.  This will come in handy.  I always have use for wash cloths.

Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream 1.01 fl.oz. $16.20 ~Amazon Affiliate Link
This is a really good size sample, the full size is only 0.7 fl.oz more.  I am not familiar with Dr. Hauschka's products.  The enclosed instructions say to only use once or twice a week for dry skin, which is my skin type, so I am not sure how this will work out with my skin.

Red Flower Red Flower Yuzu Mimosa Sea Algae Wash 32.5 ml $4.55 ~Amazon Affiliate Link
This body wash has a nice floral scent. I received one of Red Flower's candles in another subscription box.  So, I am a little bit familiar with this brand.  I'm excited to try out their body wash.

DR. ALKAITIS Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser  $5 (total guess on price) ~Amazon Affiliate Link
Dr.Alkaitis is yet another brand I haven't heard of before.  The sample included is rather small but it says only a dime size amount is needed per use, so I should get a few uses out of this to get a good indication on whether or not I like it. This is a rather high end product.  The full size is super pricey stuff at $65.  It would have to be pretty darn amazing for me to shell out that kind of money on a cleanser, but it kind of does sound like a pretty unique cleanser.  The soap base used for this cleanser has to mature for 6 months prior to use. Kind of sounds like fine wine, doesn't it? 

Konjac Pure Compact Sponge $10.99
I've been using a similar konjac sponge from a company called Dew Puff for awhile now to cleanse my face with. It was about time to replace it, so this one will do nicely.

My Two Cents:  This box cost me $24.99, and I received almost $55 worth of product.  Since I purchased this subscription hoping I would be introduced to new organic beauty brands/products, I am very happy that it delivered.  I was introduced to many new products I had never heard of before.  Overall, I am happy with all the different cleansers included in this box but I was really hoping for some kind of make-up product to try.  Hopefully the next box will be more make-up focused!

What are your thoughts on the Saffron Rouge Inner Circle January 2014 Box?

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Friday Five: January 24, 2014

Silly me just realized I accidentally posted last weeks "My Friday Five" with today's date.  Apparently, I was projecting myself into the future for a while there, but I have since then made a quick edit and everything is once again right with the world. Whoopsie Daisies!

The idea behind "My Friday Five" is to post five different facts or tidbits which I absolutely must share with you all or I'll burst. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic there but basically, it's a little peek into my obsessions, loves, likes.... and sometimes my very soul. ;) 

Now, without further adieu...Drum Roll, please....

1.  Taking those silly, pointless "Which (fill in the blank) are you?" type quizzes which pop up all over my Twitter and Facebook feed.  This week, I found out I am a Snowth Muppet (The pink furry creatures as seen in the above YouTube clip), Chewbacca from Star Wars, and I should actually live in the city of Portland, Oregon.  These quizzes just scream out "TONS OF FUN" to my inner child.  I can't not find out what my results will show!  (If you click on the links to all my results above you can take the quizzes yourself and find out what you are, too!) 

2. The Rifle Paper Company's "Flip Around the World" Desk Calendar.  The Rifle Paper Company has all sorts of deliciously pretty paper products, like calendars, stationary, notepads and cards.  I have a thing for calendars (I literally have like five up at work alone.  Kind of weird, I know!) and this one looks super adorable sitting on top of my desk.  I received this particular calendar in my January PopSugar Must Have Subscription Box.  It's no secret I have a slight obsession with subscription boxes and PopSugar is one of my favorites.  You never really know what to expect inside their boxes.  I am always pleasantly thrilled with what I receive from them every month.  Even the products that may not be my particular cup of tea make perfect gifts for someone I know, so I get great use out of everything! 

3. The Pay it Forward Facebook Initiative.  I am currently taking part in this fun project currently making the rounds on Facebook.  In order to participate you have to post the following status update on your Facebook page and follow the rules set forth:
  • "To start this year off in a loving way I'm participating in the Pay-it-Forward initiative... The first five people who comment on this status with "I'm in" will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year- anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home-grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer in their FB status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile, (don't share) so we can form a web of connection and kindness.  Let's do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. (p.s. if you are one of the top 5 to first comment please private message me your mailing address.)" 
The wheels in my head are already turning.  I am going to have such fun spending the year thinking about how I want to surprise the five on my list!! 

4.  "All of Me" by John Legend.  This song is simple and beautiful and real.  I love!!!

5.  "Rediscovering something you've had for years.  I recently dug up these earrings when I was cleaning up my jewelry box and haven't taken them off all week.  They are adorably geeky and I've been in a geeky kind of mood lately. Unfortunately they are no longer available from the Etsy seller I purchased them from, although there are some other cute @ things for sale if you do a search.  Isn't Etsy a fun site to spend hours perusing?   I have found so many fun and unique items from there, in fact.....this is going to be a perfect place to help me out with my "Pay It Forward" project!!!! 

So now that the "Mahna Mahna" song has been firmly etched in your mind and you'll be singing it for the rest of the day, what were the results of your quiz? Come on, I know you are dying to know what Muppet you are, so be sure to let me know in the comment section below!  :)

Have a fantastic weekend!!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quarterly Co: No More Dirty Looks #NDL09 Subscription Box Review

The Quarterly Co. is a unique subscription box service.  They offer a wide variety of different curated boxes from different celebrities and cultural icons.  Quarterly Co. states that each box will have products that reflect each curator and promise each box will have a story behind it thereby giving you a better understanding of that person. 

For my very first purchase, I choose the No More Dirty Looks subscription serviceNo More Dirty Looks are a team of two women (Siobhan O'Connor & Alexandra Spunt) who are best friends, bloggers, and authors.  They specialize in non-toxic beauty products.  I first encountered them via Twitter and have enjoyed following them, so I was especially eager to see what they would be offering in their boxes. 

The Quarterly Co. No More Dirty Looks Box #NDL09:
*Cost: $50/box.  Boxes are shipped every three months.
*Products: "Spotlight the best clean products, reawakening a tradition of self-care and showing that organic ingredients are all you need." (Quote via Quarterly Co. website)

Each box comes with a letter from the curators detailing the story behind the products chosen for that particular quarter.   The theme of this box is "Bounce back, beautiful." 

Olivia Garden Healthy Hair Bamboo Hairbrush:  value $13.95
*made from eco-friendly, natural bamboo
*ion-charged bristles = no static

From the two-toned stripe pattern to the beautiful swirling etching on the back, this brush is absolutely gorgeous.  I never thought I would ever say that about a brush but it's true with this one.  I would never have purchased this brush on my own, but it definitely puts all my other brushes to shame.

In the enclosed letter, there was a little side note in which Siobhan's nickname for Alexandra is in fact "Hairbrush".  It hinted at telling the story behind this in the future but stated it has nothing to do with her amazing curls.  Hmmm....very intriguing!  I really like the personal touch of adding this little "secret side note" to their letter.  It is nice to get a special glimpse inside the friendship between the two. 

Amazon Beauty Rahua Jet Setter Kit value $32 ~Amazon Affiliate Link
*Kit includes: Rahua Classic Shampoo (2 fl.oz.), Rahua Classic Conditioner (2 fl.oz.), Rahua Voluminous Shampoo (2 fl.oz.), Rahua Voluminous Conditioner and a clear plastic travel bag. 
*Products are 100% natural & organic.

I was completely surprised these little travel size products cost $32!  Wow,  these are definitely what I would classify as High-End products.  I have been having such a hard time finding a good, quality non-toxic shampoo & conditioner that works for my hair.  Just one bottle alone of the Rahua Classic Shampoo-9.3 oz. is $32 (Amazon Affiliate Link), so this is definitely the way to try these out before deciding if the cost is worth purchasing it in the full-size. I am excited to see how they perform on my hair!!!

Lulu Organics Hair Powder in Lavender & Clary Sage Travel Size: value $9.50

Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner (0.34 oz. samples ): value $2 (estimated)

We all have days when we don't feel like washing our hair.  Hair powder is the key to transforming that greasy, unwashed hair into looking clean again.  I've never tried the Lulu Organic Hair Powders before and am excited to see how they hold up. 

I thought it was sort of odd that there was yet another Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner sample in my box, even if it was just a one time use sample.  I'll definitely use it but I think they could have used the opportunity to include a sample of some other brand.

My Two Cents:  I paid $50 for this box and ended up with $57.45 worth of products.  One thing I enjoy about subscribing to subscription boxes is discovering new products.  This box has introduced me to 3 new brands of non-toxic hair care products and I can't wait to try them all out! I also really enjoy the letter from the curators with the story behind why they have chosen the products they did for the box.  It really does make the box feel all the more special & unique.

What do you think of the Quarterly Co. No More Dirty Looks Subscription Box? 


Friday, January 17, 2014

My Friday Five: January 17, 2014

It's Friday and I'm starting a new weekly post called, "My Friday Five".  Every Friday, I'll be sharing  five different things I absolutely have to share with you all or I'll burst. Knowing me, this will likely run the gamut on a whole variety of unrelated, random topics. 

Now that you've been warned, drumroll please, here's my very first Friday Five:
Tote bag
*Ma'mitons Tote bag photo via the Ma'mitons Polyvore page.
1.  Ma'mitons handbags.  I learned about this company that makes "fashionable, handmade and environmentally friendly handbags" after they followed me on Twitter.  As a lover of all things fashionable, I immediately had to investigate their products.   They make beautiful handmade handbags, including the one seen above, which run the range from clutches to large totes.  I have yet to own one of these gorgeous bags but the bag in the picture above is totally calling my name.  (It'll be perfect on my shoulder come Summer time, don'tcha think?)  Besides the amazing handbags, there are a few other things I am very impressed with about the Ma'miton company.  First, they were very personal and friendly, trading tweets back and forth with me on Twitter.  I love that!  Not only are their bags all handmade, but they are made in the USA. (Woot, woot!)  Last but not least, Ma'mitons will donate 1% of your purchase to a charity they support called S.O.S Children's Village and if you sign up to receive their newsletter you'll receive 15% off your first purchase! 

2. Downton Abbey.  So, I am a few Seasons late to the Downton Abbey party but I have been eagerly catching up over the last few weeks.  I love everthing about this show. I love most of the characters, and I hate a select few, as well.  (Can we say, Thomas and O'Brien?....Ugh, they are so nasty!)  The costumes are exquisite.  (I sometimes wish we still wore such lovely gowns in today's day and age.) Since watching the show, I've added visiting the "Downton Abbey" castle, to my Bucket List. (I can stop in after my Jane Austen tour.)  Oh, and guess what?  Last week, I received an email from Department 56 promoting a new house they are featuring which will come out this summer.  Can you guess which house I am referring to???  Yes, the Downton Abbey house.  It's a bit pricey at $240, so I don't know if it will make it into my collection.  I have the perfect spot to display it, if it does though.

3.  Progressive Dinners.  Three of my close friends moved into new homes over the course of this past year, so last weekend we planned a progressive dinner as a fun way to see everyone's new home.  If you don't know what a progressive dinner is, it is where you host a different course at a different house.  So, you can have appetizers at one home, dinner at another and dessert at the last one.  We had lots of fun eating, laughing and making great memories! 

4.  Finding Warmth in Winter. One of my favorite things in Winter is when you jump into a parked car on a freezing cold day only to find that it is already nice and toasty warm from the sun shining down on it. feels so amazing!!! 

5.  A little bit of dog humor.  While I was walking around a local department store, I saw the abbreviation above and got such a good chuckle from it that I whipped out my phone and immediately snapped a photo.  As the Mom to two adorably sweet & crazy doggies, I can totally picture them sitting in front of a computer, chatting with the other doggies on twitter, using this hip lingo!  :) 

Happy Friday!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dr. Bronners Magic "All-One!" Organic Lip Balm Beauty Review

Temperatures here in Nebraska are ridiculously cold today.  We, along with many other areas of the US, are experiencing what the weather forecasters are calling a Polar Vortex.  Our wind-chills could dip down as far as -40F.  I'd say that is some dangerously, bitter cold. 

Even though this is definitely the extreme for here in Nebraska, our winters are nasty cold which always wreaks havoc with my skin.  I am always struggling to keep my skin from drying to the point it looks and feels like the Sahara Desert!  Blech!!!!

One area that is especially experiencing critical levels of dryness are my lips, so moisturizing lip balm is extremely important to have on hand at all times.  I've been using Dr. Bronners Magic "All-On!" Organic Lip Balm for a few weeks now and am very happy with the results. 

Dr. Bronners Magic "All-On!" Organic Lip Balm in Peppermint (0.15oz) $2.99

* Ingredients: Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Mentha Peperita (Peppermint) Oil, Tocopherol

My review:
  • Packaging: Packaged in a pretty standard Lip Balm plastic twist up dispenser.  The only gripe I have about the container is that they sealed it almost too good.  I had a heck of a time getting the sticker off of the cap so I could open it up.   
  • Texture & Application:  The lip balm is semi-solid and glides onto the lips very smoothly.  There is a slight cooling & tingly feeling once on.
  • Scent & Flavor: It has a very pleasing peppermint scent.  There really is no flavor to this lipbalm which I think is a good thing.  You don't want to be licking your lips anyway, because it aids in drying them out.
  • Extra Bonuses:  The Dr Bronner brand is Made in the USA.  I love buying USA made products!  This product is also certified Organic and is not tested on animals! 
I am very thrilled with how well this product has worked for me. First and foremost, I love that it is made with organic ingredients.  This is very important to me, besides, I once heard that the average woman will eat what constitutes to an entire stick of lip-balm over the course of a year.  This is so gross to think about but as long as it's not any of the nasty, un-natural chemicals and toxins then I am much more comfortable with the thought!  It has also, definitely, helped moisturize and heal my chapped, cracked lips which is sort of the whole point, right? :)