B.B. Cream: To Be Or Not To B.B.

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As I flipped through the latest issue of InStyle, I noticed the Maybelline add for its own version of BB Cream.

The first time I ever heard of BB Cream was about 5 years ago. I don’t think it was readily available in the US, but like all other products that aren’t available here, it is available on certain specialty websites and eBay and Amazon even. As much as mass advertising points its origins from Korea and Japan given it was labeled as the secret beauty product of certain Asian celebrities. It was actually first formulated in Germany in the 1950′s.

Maybelline’s BB Cream stands for Beauty Balm while BB Cream in SouthEast Asia is known as blemish balm.

Maybelline claims to be an ”8-in-1 skin perfector that blurs imperfections, brightens, hydrates, evens skin tone (isn’t blurs imperfections the same thing as evening out skin tone?),enhances, protects with SPF 30, 0% oils and heavy ingredients. For instant skin wow!” I don’t know about all that. Talk about a type-o on their ad or maybe they did that intentionally, but the last sentence irks me.

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So what’s the big deal about this BB Cream?
It’s a multitasker. It is supposed to be primer, moisturizer, foundation, sun block, anti-inflammatory all in one. With that said, it is supposed to even out skin tone giving a flawless finish, provide protection from the sun and other drying free radicals as well as treat minor irritations.

Does it work?

My honest opinion is it would take a lot of trial and error before you find the right BB Cream for you. Think of it as finding the perfect foundation or primer, you have to first not be allergic to any of the ingredients and then you need to find a skin tone match (given its multitasking properties there isn’t always enough variations of shades available) so you don’t look like a clown. Importantly, you will have to figure out how well it holds up on your skin depending on the climate you live in. Say humid area, you’ll sweat more and probably sweat off the cream or living in an arid environment, what if the type of cream you purchased is not suitable and has a drying effect on your already parched skin?

BB Cream is an all in one, like a shampoo and conditioner all in one. While it is popular in Asia for its versatility, some people like being able to separate their products by type. Personally, I don’t trust shampoo and conditioner 2-in-1 for my hair or anybody’s hair. I like applying the shampoo knowing I cleansed then applying conditioner knowing its going to do what its supposed to do. So goes the BB Cream to be not to BB.

As tempted as I am to make a trip to Sephora and check out their fine line of BB Creams with the price range of between $35 to $125. I still like applying moisturizer at night, concealer in the morning, then primer, face powder through out the day for touch ups and so the cycles continues.

BB Cream is not for me. But to those of you who want to try and look around here’s more links to check out.

KoreaDepart.com

Jane Iredale’s Glow Time™ Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream Glow Time™ Full Coverage

The Face Shop’s BB cream which is one of the top selling in Korea.

Skinfood.com based in Singapore, I love their website, it’s worth checking out even for other products.

Etude House BB Cream, another top seller in Asia.
And here’s a website dedicated to BB Creams worth checking out.

On top of that big box stores such as Target, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Wal-mart carry BB Creams in familiar brands such as Maybelline, Garnier, Smashbox, and Prestige cosmetics.

Lavender Spray-on Body Lotion

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There’s a certain scent you take with you after spending time in the spa. Depending on what work you had them do, be it a facial or a massage your preferences of aromatherapy and body oils used is what you will smell like. It’s always pleasant and pleasing to the senses even when you’ve already left the spa.

Why Spray-on body lotion?
Because I’m lazy!
If I can carry a bottle of moisturizer in my purse without having to worry about screwing and unscrewing a cap or using my palms to apply product I would use the product more and more often.
I innovated this at first for myself, tried it on my kids after their baths. It’s mild and pure ingredients work well on the skin. It is also safe for the face.

What are the flavors?
There is lavender which is always an instant classic in spas and various luxury scents. I mean lavender dates all the way back to royalty. How could anyone go wrong with lavender? In the lotion however, I made the scent more subtle and delicate to the nose, since you will be using this often enough to build on the scent as you apply through out the day.

Lemon Verbena is my personal favorite. I get a hint of fresh citrus and warm honey of which none is overpowering each other.

Rose because spas remind me of luxury such as bathtubs filled with rose petals and rose water spray used to mist the face and body. Roses are also a classic as well as it represents elegance and femininity.

These scents are inspired by my days in the day spa. With this, I feel like I can carry a piece of the spa wherever I go.

What is it made of?

Coconut oil is good for all skin types. And according to OrganicFacts.net “Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.”

Glycerin is a humectant. Humectants, in a cosmetic sense, are substances that draw water and help retain the water on the skin. There are both man-made/chemically modified and natural types of humectants out there.
Glycerin acts double duty here as a humectant and a preservative. Glycerin helps soothe rashes, burns, and helps treat psoriasis. It is safe to take orally as a natural laxative as well as a gargle for halitosis (bad breath). Glycerin is also a form of topical anti-bacterial. While glycerin can be either derived from vegetable or animal fat the type used in this lotion is derived from vegetable.

Vegetable derived alcohol meaning it is made of coconut and palm instead of synthetic chemicals.

Lanolin oil however did come from an animal. That is sheep. Hence, it is also called wool wax or wool grease. But I can assure you no sheep died in the process of extracting lanolin since it comes from the sheep’s coat, and it is extracted after the coat has been sheared. It is then washed in warm water with a special detergent used to separate the ‘grease’ from the wool material.
Lanolin has many uses. It is also water proof which is why some sailors use it to lubricate their propellers and stern gears in the ship.
For health and beauty though, it is used a raw material in creating vitamin D3. It is also used liberally in high end cosmetics and as a treatment for diaper rashes as well as sore nipples of mothers that are breastfeeding.
In this case, I chose lanolin because of its water proof trait to create some sort of barrier when applying the product. I figure it could give it some staying power.

Cocoa butter is exactly what the name states. It is vegetable derived and edible coming from the cocoa bean. It is as much used in baking as it is in skin care products. An advantageous quality that coca butter has is the fact it can double duty as an emollient and a preservative. Cocoa butter is also commonly suggested to use if you have stretch marks, chapped or dry skin.

Wheat germ oil is also vegetable derived it contains fatty acids and a high content of vitamin E.

Vitamin E sometimes called tocopheryl acetate, tocopheryl linoleate or tocopheryl nicotinate is an antioxidant and a mild preservative. I put an extra dose of vitamin E is this concoction.

Spray-on moisturizer/body lotion is available at EverArtisan’s Etsy or if you don’t have an etsy account at EverArtisan’s Yardellr

Customizable Sea Salt Spray

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So far sales are doing well. Thank you friends and family for your support. =) A few things I need to clear.

1. The sprayer clogs. Because the ingredients I use are not completely soluble in water like lavender oil for example you will see inconsistencies in the mixture. This is why I recommend you shake it well before each use. And because there are no chemicals nor did I take any chances at adding emulsifiers to dissolve the oils completely, depending on the temperature it will clump together. It’s not a bad thing, as to all natural products, it just needs to be mixed. Once again shake well before use.
When it clogs the sprayer can easily be fixed by running it through hot water. I’ve tested this myself. It works.
But to be more thorough each order will come with a spare sprayer from now on. =) While one is being cleaned you can still use the other one.

2. What are the custom options?
I have the normal mixture with a balance of sea salt, moisturizing, and volumizing ingredients. You can customize it based on your needs or the type of hair you have.
You can have extra conditioning or moisturizing for those of you with dry, brittle, damaged hair.
You can ask for extra volume for those with thin hair or baby hair.
Personally I use the extra volume on days I go out and the regular mix for daily use.
Hope this clears up some things. If not you can always reach me at Facebook or here. Feel free to message me or leave a comment.

You can purchase my handmade, made to order sea salt hair spray at yarsellr, eBay, or Etsy.

For more about my sea salt hair spray click HERE.

P.S.
Stay tuned for my latest creation. Sprayable lotion! Good for the face and all parts of the body! Only made from the freshest and purest ingredients. Always paraben free and free from harmful chemicals. Smell like the spa with these 3 flavors: rose, lavender, and lemon verbena. See you soon!

The Best Sea Salt Hair Spray, Hair Perfume, Hair Conditioner!

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After much trial and error and research and thought, here is my personal mixture for DIY Sea Salt Hair Spray. I use it on myself to add volume and waves to my fine straight hair and, I use it on my 4 year old daughter in between hair washings.

A basic sea salt hair spray mixture consists of water and sea salt, then you get a little advanced and add leave in or light conditioner. Most people use Suave from the big box stores because it’s affordable and the texture is ideal for this kind of thing. Last ingredient is gel to make sure everything sticks and holds, but not soo much that the hair ends up clumpy, flaking and sticky as gels has the tendency to do and doesn’t always properly dissolve in water. What I did was simply put together the best of the best.

What it does:
-make your hair smell good
-freshens your hair
-conditions your hair
-give your hair body
-gives your hair a healthy sheen
-fortifies and nourishes the hair
-gives you a day at the beach, beach waves without the beach

It will not:
-dry your hair
-feel sticky
-cause breakage
-cause flaking

I can adjust it to be more of a detangler or more of a setting spray or a hair freshener or a sea salt body building spray.

Best of all nothing in it will hurt your hair or your skin! It is all natural!

The following are the ingredients of this concoction and an explanation of the benefits of each ingredient.

Sea Salt

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Pearls and Gems

I’ve infused each bottle with either pearls of semi precious gemstones, for good luck, because it looks cool, must most importantly to remind you to shake the bottle before each use. =)

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Distilled water

leave in conditioner

Here is where some research and trial and error took place. I had to find something natural, without any parabens or chemicals that could harm the scalp or hair. EO Leave-In Conditioner in French Lavender is just that, it is paraben, polysorbate, disodium, EDTA, sodium laureth and lauryl sulfate FREE.

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The EO leave-in conditioner has the following beneficial ingredients:
Lavender essential oil

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Hibiscus essential oil

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According to AromaTherapy Savvy Cafe hibiscus is known for it’s healing properties, from sunburns to to swelling, it even helps constipation and urinary tract inflammation.

Papaya

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Papaya which is rich is vitamin A and an anti-oxidant.

Evening Primrose

It’s high fatty content helps nourish and enrich the skin. And according to HerbWisdom.com “The rich stores of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy. In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the supplement potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.”

evening primrose cultivated in england

evening primrose cultivated in england

Alfalfa

The juice of Alfalfa helps in hair regrowth and prevents further hair loss.

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Pomegranate

Pomegranate seed oil give luster and life back to dull hair, it also helps shield the hair from further damage from environmental factors.

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Quinoa Protein

Quinoa is a grain-like crop with edible seeds. Think, rice, wheat, barley types Except this plant contains protein that nourishes the hair when applied.

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Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is used in India, China and Indonesia to treat skin conditions such as leprosy, open wounds and psoriasis. In China it is said to remedy hair loss. In Ayurveda it is said that a Gotu Kola oil treatment for the hair is so light and easily absorbed by the hair the end result it you have lustrous and shiny hair.

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Jojoba Oil

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TheJojobaOil.com states “Jojoba oil is extremely beneficial for your hair. It deeply moisturizes your scalp. It prevents hair from looking greasy or oily. Jojoba oil prevents and stops hair loss and thinning of hair.” I believe them.

Olive Oil

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Olive oil is known to help repair hair damage, soothe and cleanse the scalp.

Coconut oil.

At a personal level I have seen my grandmother apply coconut oil to her hair as a ritual before bedtime. Her hair was soft, shiny and thick up until the day she passed away. She didn’t eve start graying till she was 65! Coconut oil helped keep her hair strong, full and healthy throughout the years. Need I say more?

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Styling Gel

I used John Masters Silk Protien Styling Gel because of its ingredients, it smelled good, it didn’t flake after it dried and it dissolves properly in regular temperature water. Once again it is paraben, GMO, EDTA, DEA, MEA, sodium laurel sulfate, artificial color, artificial fragrance, petrochemical, polymer and alcohol FREE. It is Certified Organic.

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John Masters Organics Silk Protein Hair Gel contains the following beneficial ingredients.

Aloe Vera Juice.

I think I was taught by the age of 5 that aloe vera is good for the hair. I used to watch my grandmother plant these things and cut the leaves and rub the sap directly to her scalp.

According to blackgirllonghair.com there are 4 benefits of aloe vera juice. It promotes hair groth, helps control dandruff. It can be used as a nourishing shampoo and natural conditioner.

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Soy protein

Soy Protein from soy beans moisturizes and strengthens the hair. Yes, hair needs protein too, not just out muscles.

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Mandarin Orange Oil

Not only does citrus work well and is pleasing to the nose when mixed with almost anything it also does the hair good. It has the ability to soothe and calm the mood as well as deodorize the air or whatever is being sprayed. It has anti-septic and cleansing properties that when applied to the scalp it purifies and circulates and acts as a toner. the end result is a clean, fresh and hydrated scalp.

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Cedar wood oil

Cedar wood is an astringent. It helps revitalize dry hair, control dandruff, bring back luster to the hair.

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Honeysuckle Flower Extract

This hydrates the hair giving new life to dry, brittle hair.

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Last ingredient is a synergy blend of essential oils. A synergy blend is when essential oil advantages are enhanced by blending it together with other oils.

This blend is relaxation synergy blend. I chose this because a day at the beach reminds me of calmness and relaxation. Why not have all that in a spray bottle to use anytime and carry it with you anywhere?

I mixed lavender, marjoram, patchouli, chamomile essential oils diluted in jojoba oil for maximum benefits.

Patchouli also treats dry and brittle hair and is safe even to massage directly to the scalp to stimulte the hair.

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Chamomile helps prevent hair loss aside from being a natural hair lightener.

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Marjoram also helps nourish the hair and fight baldness or hair loss.

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Lazy Mom’s Lunch Menu – Corned Beef Hash Jollibee Style

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My kids love the corned beef from Jollibee. But some days you don’t feel like getting ready to look presentable to go anywhere. And some days you just don’t feel like cooking. So, I figured out how to make corned beef in the microwave without lifting a knife or a saute pan. Here is my version of Jollibee’s corned beef hash. My kids could eat this everyday if I let them, hehe.

You will need:
vinegar
soy sauce
minced garlic
pepper
a can of corned beef

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It is important you use this specific brand of corned beef and not the one with the potatoes. Not only because we are trying to mimic the Jollibee corned beef and their does not have any potatoes but because Palm corned beef simply tastes better.

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Now it’s time to add the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Add the corned beef, about 3/4th cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 table spoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Mix to taste. Please adjust the taste accordingly this is the basic, sometimes I like to add more pepper or less garlic and more vinegar depending on my mood. You can taste it as you mix considering it’s safe because the meat is technically already fully cooked, you will just be reheating it to combine the ingredients you just added.

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Pop it in the microwave uncovered for 5 minutes.


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Put it over steamed rice and viola! Time to eat!


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Birchbox $10 Monthly Subscription

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Well, as promised. Here is what I got from Birchbox.com for the month of June.

Here is what I got from The Look Bag monthly box for the month of June.

I am just going to post the pictures in detail and you can make your judgments.

My biggest gripe is the fact they sent me 2 instant tanning wipes towelette things and 1 oz. bottle of Stila bronzer. A very generous amount of Stila bronzer and tanning wipes for someone who DOESN’T TAN!

I could’ve sworn I filled out the Birchbox beauty profile so they have a n idea of what products to give you, they even ask your age and salary….how could they be soo off on this one? They DID ask my ethnicity which I answered ASIAN! It asked what my style it I said I am a minimalist! Maybe minimalists like to use fake tanning. (Shrugs) And I don’t know how many Asians, Oriental to be specific who goes to the tanning salon or is out in the beach during summer just to get a tan. Most of us use umbrellas and hide from the sun! We don’t want to get dark, it’s not a good look for us! Anyone ever seen a tan Chinese girl? (sigh)

Nevertheless, this is what came in my box and it is worthless to me. I got to give it to them, the box itself is really pretty, the postcard is thoughtfully informative. It was nice of them to include the actual prices of a full size item, too bad I will never buy any of them.

They included a men’s fragrance sample in a vial, that was nice…But what about me? What did I get? I used the mask and the Benefit Benetint Knock Off. They’re ok, nothing I couldn’t get in a big box store myself. With that being said, I will not renew this beauty subscription.

Between Birchbox and The Look Bag, the look bag had better quality and luxury items. Birchbox had the prettier case. But who needs a pretty box. Subscribing to these beauty sample subscription services is about the subscriber, so he or she can find products that will work for them, that go along with their beauty habits and lifestyle. If the first box is a big disappointment and after filling out their beauty survey supposedly to help them figure out what to send you, they send you items opposite of the things you filled out. It is clear they’re not doing this for the subscriber but for their business.

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My Daughter’s Inheritance – Charm Bracelet

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How to start your own heirloom jewelry, the charm bracelet.

For those of you who have daughters, little sisters, nieces, baby cousins, granddaughters have you ever thought about that one expensive heirloom watch you’ve been preserving so you can give it to her?
Have you ever walked into an upscale store and saw an expensive piece of jewelry and thought, ‘I’m going to buy that because I want her to wear it when she grows up?
But what’s a luxury item if all it is, is a price tag? Heirlooms are supposed to have a story and passed down to tell another story. That’s what makes it special.
And that’s why I began filling up my charm bracelet.
I’ve always admired those Tiffany and Juicy Couture charm bracelet. But I didn’t want to just buy charms that had no meaning. So how did I accumulate enough charms to make it look full and still have room for the next generation?
First I had to find the perfect charm bracelet. It had to be sturdy and big enough to hold a lifetime of charms.
I was so lucky to find a vintage sterling silver charm bracelet on eBay with extra large links for a mere $12. Bigger links=more space.
Then came the fun part, it was time to look for charms. I went online first to look for charms that would remind me of milestones in my life such as the birth of my children, graduations, baby’s first Christmas, first tooth, days at the beach, family vacations, etc.
Browsing through numerous websites I noticed some charms are also described as pendants or “necklace enhancers” (same thing - rolls eyes )
So I began to think of all the necklaces I have in my jewelry box that I don’t wear because obviously I can’t wear it all at once. LOL. Also, each necklace had a story for they were given to me on special occasions or milestones in my life by people that love me like my husband, father, my grandmother etc.
Then I got creative and thought about how people wear rings as pendants. So why not? I can put rings on my charm bracelet as well. I did this because whenever I personally buy jewelry for myself, I buy rings.
Then whenever we’d do something as a family or celebrate, or sometimes just because…I end up finding more charms to put. My daughter and I were making frequent trips to Micheal’s Arts and Crafts store for a while so I let her pick out a couple of charms. She’s 4, and when she’s 18 she’ll always remember how her and I picked out those charms. On a spontaneous road trip to the Outlet Mall on Stateline here in Primm, Nevada We stopped by the Juicy Couture store. My daughter saw the soda can charm and immediately thought of “mommy’s drink” so we added that to the bracelet as well.
There shouldn’t be a limit to what you put on your charm bracelet, just because it isn’t an actual charm doesn’t mean you cant make it a charm. (jump rings are your friend, their cheap too on eBay) So don’t restrict yourself. The bracelet is a work of art. Life is a work of art. Finding the charms to put will come naturally as life moves forward the bracelet gets filled.

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The Look Bag Beauty Product Sample Subscription for $10 a Month

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The Look Store offer The Look Bag for $10 a month. It is a monthly subscription but you can go month to month. Why I like beauty subscription services like this:
-I can never finish a whole bottle of anything before it expires or I simply get bored of the product
-I like trying out new things
-I like carrying my beauty products with me
-I like getting stuff in the mail
I am currently signed up for BirchBox.com women’s and The Look Store’s Look Bag.
I just received my Look Bag and I thought I’d share the contents to help others get an idea of what to expect.
At first I was skeptical. And I think that was partly my fault for signing up in the middle of May after reading they ship out their boxes on the 14th of each month and there is no guarantee of delivery time.
The box came on June 15. Well not a box, but a padded envelope to be exact. For $10 I can see it being worth it considering the items that were in the box.
The Korres eyeshadow is pretty much full size to me. The moisturizers are of excellent quality and for samples the give you enough, some are even paraben free and organic which a definite plus factor. No sample will be wasted, I will definitely use them all and see if there is one product I can’t live without. We’ll see.
So being my sample delivery from The Look Store was a package well worth the wait, I wonder if they are consistent.
The good thing about their subscription service is it’s very easy to go from month to month, to skipping a month or two, or to prepaying your subscription for months ahead of time.
I will definitely try another month with them to see if I get any repeat items or useless items instead of useful one in generous quantities for samples that I got this month.
Here is the picture of the contents of my very first Look Bag from the TheLookStore.com I”m not so much for the cheap organza drawstring bag but it’s really thoughtful of them to include an instruction/description card of the products. =)

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Beauty Army Subscription Service…To Subscribe or Not To Subscribe…

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What is a beauty subscription service? Well what kind of subscription service are we talking about? These days online beauty subscription services are becoming more and more popular. Because for one, who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail? And two, it’s an easy, convenient and economical way of getting to try out new products by buying a full size products only to find out it’s not something you wanted or needed all along. We’re talking about: Samples = trial sizes.

Most of these subscription services have waiting lists. Here is a list, thanks to purseblog.com of services offered around the world. List of Beauty Subscription Services Offered

Imagine my excitement when after 3 weeks of being on the waiting list for a box when Beauty Army contacted me via email and sent me a link to my account where I could chose 6 samples for $12 for the month!

Pros about BeautyArmy.com:
1. $12 including shipping isn’t such a bad deal for 6 premium samples
2. fully customizable profile that allows them to preselect samples that better fit your lifestyle or interests
3. the offer account incentives in the form of ‘badges’, these ‘badges’ determine discounts you qualify for
4. no contract required, you pay as you go. sign up for the waiting list and even then you can opt out for whatever reason
5. website is very user friendly and appealing

The thing that bothers me a.k.a. con:

I can only think of 1 (ONE @@!) con that has stopped me from going through with selecting my set of 6 samples.

After selecting my 6 samples from my account profile screen I notices a link that would allow me to change my ‘beauty’ profile. So I did. I wish I didn’t. After tweaking a few things such as going from minimal make up to natural and from thin hair to damaged I finished the survey eager to see what other sample option they would have to offer me. Disappointingly, I was given a choice from the same samples!

So I did the survey thing again and again.

I have learned it seems they have a limited amount of types of products. And given the type of products they conveniently fall under multiple categories that you may have selected during the survey. It’s not a true personalization based on your needs and curiosities but it’s more of a way to filter out what product goes to who from their end.

Although, I appreciate the thought. I think I will wait when I can honestly say I’d really like to try any of the samples preselected for me.

Free Hair Accessory Give Away!

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EverArtisan on Artfire and Etsy is giving away free handmade ponytail holders. We will even take care of shipping as long as you are in the continental USA. What’s the catch? In return, all we ask is once you receive your free handmade ponytail holder is to give us a picture of you or someone wearing the item we sent you. Send us a short comment, opinion about the product as well. You can either send it via our Facebook page or via comment on this website. We will take your word for it you will do this after the item reaches you.

Limit one item per household, and the item you will receive will be a random design. Offer only good while supplies last.

Here is the type of product to expect to be testing when you participate.

Handmade Hair Accessory

Handmade Hair Accessory by EverArtisan