What You Need to Know About Beauty Boxes

Who doesn't want a new present delivered to their door monthly?  For a low fee, companies like Birchbox and Ipsy will fulfill these wishes.  While it sounds ideal, there are mixed reviews from actual subscribers.  Plus, there's enough choices out there to make your head spin. In full disclosure, I've never subscribed to any of these services, but am seriously considering it.  But, I can't make a decision of this stature (#dramatic) without consulting friends and doing research.  I HAVE gifted it before though.  It's the best cop out gift.  You know the fall back when you don't know what to get your friends or coworkers.  It sure beats the typical go-to presents like Bath and Body Works lotions or bottles of wine.  Well the latter is arguable.  Anyway... Mommy Splurge is the best resource I've found to help you navigate the insanely stupid amount of offerings out there.  It breaks these offerings down by category like beauty, DIY, fitness, food, etc.  Then there's brief summaries of what you'll get with a subscription and a myriad of reviews.  For this post's sake, we're taking about beauty boxes!! To summarize, here's the basics of the most popular monthly subscription services. beauty box BIRCHBOX ($10/month) Birchbox is obviously one of the more popular beauty subscriptions.  In the beginning, you'll fill out a survey.  Then they'll send you 5 samples or full sized products each month that supposedly fit your needs and wishes. Here's what my friends are saying about Birchbox: "It's just alright ... I'm not loving it as much as I should... I feel like I wish it was a bit more customized" "I had Birchbox and canceled after 3 months. I was getting too many samples I didn't know what to do with them and most of them I never used or wanted to use." "I have had a Birchbox subscription for prob a year.  I'm obsessed with it" The overall consensus about Birchbox is that it's fun for a little.  It certainly makes a decent gift.  However, the samples aren't always tailored appropriately.  Everyone I know who subscribed has received a red bottle of detangler despite what they said in their survey... IPSY ($10/month) Ipsy was founded by famed You Tube beauty vlogger Michelle Phan. You'll take a quick quiz which helps them determine what goes in your Glam Bag each month.  That's right, in additions to beauty products,  you'll get a new makeup bag each month!  Then you can watch product tutorials from their stylists. "I have Ipsy, I'm so in love with it every month!" "I cancelled Ipsy-I barely used the products. Had it for 6 months." "Ipsy is much better than Birchbox, plus you get a cute makeup bag each month." "I used to subscribe to Ipsy. Was charged twice and sent order and shipment confirmations but never received the packages. I had to fight the charges through Amex." Based on my friend's reviews, Ipsy is better than Birchbox. It seems like it's tailored to each individual better.  However, there are some gripes with the billing process. JULEP MAVEN ($24.99/month) Julep started as a nail parlor and has expanded to a cosmetic company.  They don't use toxins or test on animals.  Each month you are given a limited selection of products to choose from, therefore you customize the box yourself.  You'll only receive items from the Julep brand though. If you love nail polish, you'll likely enjoy Julep Maven.  You'll get exactly what you wanted delivered to your door each month.  If you're thinking of giving it as a gift, you don't have to worry about it auto renewing.  However, those who subscribe on their own beware... the subscription does automatically renew! BARE BLISS BOX ($16.99/month) I don't know anyone who subscribes to Bare Bliss Box, nor have I heard about it before today.  However, I like the spin it has.  Rather than commercial products, it appeals to a niche audience.  I'm sure all of you have a friend or two who only uses organic products or refuses to use products that are tested on animals.  This is the box for them! There you have it kids.  The verdict is still out about these boxes.  Some people jump for joy you every time they come home to their beauty treats.  Others find it a total waste of $$$

Girly Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Girly Gift Guide Batiste Dry Shampoo - Find it at most drug stores.  Highly recommended after a sweat at the gym when there's no time to shower.  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Lauren Conrad Earrings - She has the cutest earring line at Kohls.  Most studs are $12 and under and Kohls always has super fab sales, so I scored a bunch of them for $8 each #steal Beauty Blender - If you're going to invest in any beauty tool, make it this! Anthropologie Candles - Pretty much every scent is heavenly and the containers are stylish.  I want them all for my office and home.  Only problem is they're so great I want to save them instead of burn them. Selfie Remote - Amazon has dozens of these at affordable prices.  It's not really called the selfie remote, but let's be real - that's what we're using it for.  They're bluetooth enabled so snap that selfie without your arm in it! Journal - Marshalls and TJ Maxx have dozens of versions of the cutest notebooks!  They're all $5 too.  You have no idea how many compliments I get on these. Elf Lip Exfoliator - Banish flaky lips with this affordable must have. Anne Taintor Flask - Her iconic artwork is on flasks, mugs, makeup bags, travel tags etc.  They all feature olden day women with sassy quotes for the independent, witty, and fun female. * Did I use enough ! ! ! ! ! in the above?!?! I'm obviously very excited about these products... and my job has brainwashed me to use them in everything.

How to Apply Jamberry Nails

I am so reckless, nothing ever stays on my nails.  Even gel manicures chip in less than a week. My Essie nail stickers, while beautiful came off after 2 days.  Forget about when I paint them myself.  That's botched up before I leave the house. So I was relieved to find Jamberries.  The stickers stayed on for a week and a half.  It's likely they would have stayed on longer too. Here's how to apply Jamberry nails

Application Steps

1.  Apply cuticle oil and push back cuticles, then rinse. ** I painted my nail. You can skip this step. However, if you have a translucent background and want it to show a different color you must paint it beforehand. 2.  Clean the nail with alcohol. 3.  Find which Jamberry decal fits your nail, by placing it over the fingernail. 4.  Cut the decal in half. 5.  Blast the decal with a hair dryer for about 5 seconds until it becomes pliable. 5.  Fit the circular side against your cuticle and push down. 6.  Rub an orange wood stick over it paying extra attention to the cuticle area and edges of the nails. 7.  Cut off the excess. 8.  File the excess in a downward motion until it comes off or you can rip it off. 9.  Heat it with the hair dryer again. 10.  Push down again. Then you're all set