New-to-me Box: GlobeIn Club

I tried a new box this month called GlobeIn Club. It’s a cheaper, smaller alternative to GlobeIn’s Artisan Box, which is $40/month. GlobeIn Club is only $10 a month, but still features a lifestyle items created by artisans in remote parts of the world. The full-size box has themes like “Kitchen” and “Laundry” that you can choose from, but the Club box could contain any number of little lifestyle items from GlobeIn’s inventory. 

For February, I received a jewelry roll from Batik Boutique, based out of Malaysia. According to their website:

Batik Boutique is an award-winning social enterprise created to disrupt the cycle of poverty in Malaysia. We train women from low-income backgrounds to produce gifts and fashion accessories made from a traditional Malaysian fabric called batik.
First, we work with artisan families in rural Malaysia where they create batik textiles on natural fibers. The artisans use layers of wax and dye to create the designs in a labor-intensive process.
Next, women create ethical fashion and gift items with this fabric in our sewing training center. Today, more than 50 artisans work with The Batik Boutique to gain a fair, sustainable income and marketable skills. Each purchase directly benefits the artisan who made it.

There are some jewelry rolls in the travel section of Batik Boutique’s shop listed for $42, but this one is not quite the same – I believe it’s smaller, and it isn’t lined with satin. Nonetheless, I think paying $10 for something I will actually use and that benefits women in rural communities is worth it.

Another tidbit I like about GlobeIn/GlobeIn Club is that you can skip months whenever & for however long you like. The only other box I have like that is Julep, and it’s such a nice feature.

Wednesday Wishes

current wishlist

I may be on a no-buy this month, but by god that certainly doesn’t keep me from looking! I feel like February is that awkward in-between month where it’s too cold to buy anything for Spring but too close to Winter’s end to keep buying more sweaters, scarves, or – in my case – to dip into the velvet trend.

  1. H&M Wrapover Dress ($35) – I hate the web styling on this rose velour wrap dress, but it looks so comfortable and dreamy. I love the ugly pink color & the slight bell-sleeve. Does it look too much like a dressing robe?  
  2. Abera Crossbody Tote ($178) – Reminiscent of the lust-worthy Madewell Transport Tote, but with an added crossbody strap and magnetic closure. Best of all? It’s ethically made!
  3. H&M Long-sleeved Tee ($15) – How do I not own a single black & white striped tee? I love the long sleeves and relaxed fit of this one. 
  4. Madewell Button-back Sweater Dress ($80) – Caroline from Unfancy keeps posting this black cashmere sweater dress that seems so classic and versatile. This one is more in my price range and seems just as wearable. 
  5. Holographic Lunch Bag ($24) – You know what would help motivate me to pack my lunches every day? This dorky lunch bag to make me feel like a space girl.
  6. Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub ($20) – I’ve been buying a lip scrub from a local bath shop but it expires well before I’m able to make a dent in it. This has good reviews, so I’d like to check it out, even though I feel like a traitor to the local place! 
  7. Madewell Plaid Scarf ($10) – I cannot believe this classic, oversized plaid scarf is still in stock after being marked down to $10! Priya has posted about it a few times so I’ve been tracking it throughout the holidays – now that it’s priced so low, it feels almost foolish not to order it. 
I’m also on the anguishing quest of finding a new foundation. My favorite CC Cream (which I used as foundation) was discon-freaking-tinued and now I don’t know where to being. Makeup Forever Ultra HD caked up in my pores, Kiehl’s BB Cream was too oily, my Cover FX is slightly too pale, and I just ………. why is finding a proper foundation such a hassle? 

February Book of the Month

A new subscription I signed up for this month is Book of the Month. It’s a monthly subscription that sends one hardcover book a month, and you can add on more books for $9.99 (which is awesome considering that most of these are still $20 or more on Amazon). One of my goals for this year is to read more, and I think this subscription will help push me toward that. 
I used flash with these photos, which is why they look so wretched. Please forgive them!
As a new subscriber, I received this canvas tote in addition to my books. 🙂 Click through the break for more info about each book, from the judges who chose them.

Behind Her Eyes begins as domestic thrillers often do: at a breaking point between a husband and wife. David is a handsome, successful psychologist, and Adele is his lovely, troubled wife. The pair have abruptly moved to London, and in their new home, David strikes up an affair with his receptionist, a single mother named Louise. There is, of course, more to the story – much more – which I won’t mention at this point. But I will say that the tension builds steadily, page after page.Behind Her Eyes stumped and electrified me. What I failed to see is that Sarah Pinborough is playing an entirely new game. This novel isn’t just a who-dun-it. This novel is a what-the-fuck-even-got-dun.My advice for reading this novel? Don’t rush it. Don’t read it alone. Don’t spoil the ending for your friends.

In a “limbo of a neighborhood”, where “the streets are populated with abandoned homes and condemned buildings” sits the headquarters of the Elysian Society. Made of cool white brick, “at a squinting it could be a church, or a museum”. It’s an appropriately eerie setting for a very unusual organization.
The Elysian Society offers grieving clients the ability to reconnect with their deceased loved ones through attendants known as “bodies,” who, with the help of a special pill, becomes possessed by the ghost of the departed. All they need to get started is a single personal item that belonged to the spirit being sought.
In a strange way it’s not that different than a visit to a massage therapist or an acupuncturist – the “bodies” are practitioners who provide a helpful and healing service in scheduled hourly appointments. Of course, as with any profession where people form close bonds, the boundaries between the professional and the personal sometimes become blurred…
Long term employee Edie (short for Eurydice) is one of the most popular bodies at the Society. Her schedule is always full, and she has earned her own practice room, a coveted perk. However, she is overcome by a deep connection for Patrick, an alluring new client mourning his young, beautiful wife. Against her better judgment, Edie defies the Society’s rules and pursues a relationship with Patrick outside of work, putting her livelihood and her safety at risk as details about the cause of Patrick’s wife’s death begin to emerge. Following along as Edie unfurls their mystery had me on the edge of my seat.
Like the “bodies” at the Elysian Society, The Possessions channels many different forms: it’s a mystery, a romance, a ghost story, and an erotically-charged thriller. It’s a compelling novel that mixes grief and heartache with danger and mystery. It’s a fantastical examination of loneliness and the exploitation of human emotions. And it’s so much fun!

At a time when dystopian novels are all the rage, what a delight to read a novel about striving for perfection, no matter how short the effort may fall. If I could choose one author to write about a flawed yet earnest attempt at utopia, Kevin Wilson would be at the top of my list. Even as he relishes the absurd details in his characters’ lives, he never mocks them, never treats them with anything less than compassion.
Perfect Little World is the story of an ambitious sociological experiment called “The Infinite Family Project.” Dr. Preston Grind, a young and idealistic child psychologist, heads up the study with funding from an elderly big box store magnate, taking the “It takes a village” model of co-parenting to a new level.
Dr. Grind picks ten newborns, along with their parents, and stashes them all in a beautiful complex deep in the Tennessee woods to find out what happens when the children grow up parented collectively by all participants. No child will learn who his or her birth parents are until the sixth year of the study. All parents and children will be well provided for, from education and healthcare, to job training for the parents.
Told from the point of view of the only single parent to take place in the experiment, a young mother named Isabelle Poole, Perfect Little World follows the members of this makeshift family as the study evolves over years. We see the development of both the children and the parents, and also the jealousies and broken hearts, petty fights and larger conflicts that emerge as the years pass. It’s a novel that’s so fun to read that you might forget how fundamentally philosophical it is: What is a family? Do more parent mean more love? How long can such a community maintain its harmony? And ultimately, which are the ties that truly bind?
There are darker questions that arise as well: How does a science experiment differ from a cult? How fallible is human nature? And most importantly, will people separated from regular society want to make out with each other all the time? The novel aims to answer these questions, but it never devolves into satire because the author is too generous for that. Ultimately, the novel’s most enduring question might be: isn’t it better try for an idealized version of the world, than not to have tried at all?

Julep & BeautyFix

I’m writing this post as I’m watching one of the doctors in Grey’s Anatomy get a c-section without any anesthesia, which is really something. I’m trying to distract myself from that agony with writing this post, which isn’t too hard since I am so excited that I ended up getting both of these boxes so early in the month! 
Julep is always one of my favorite, favorite subscription boxes. They only carry their in-house brand, but I have had really great luck with their makeup and skincare, and of course their polishes are beautiful. The monthly box is $25/month or $20/month if you sign up for 3 months at once (this is what I typically choose). You can skip months whenever you want (for as long as you want!) and add on extra products at steep discounts. Everything is always full-sized! I happened to receive sample of the Love Your Bare Face cleansing oil, but that isn’t typical.
february 2017 julep maven subscription box

 My February Julep box (which I’m able to curate myself) included:

I added-on: 
  • Paper Source Journal Trio – Unfortunately no longer available
  • Clean Slate Polish Corrector Pen – I am the clumsiest, least skilled nail polish applicator on Earth, so I’m hoping this will help my manicures look a little less haggard
  • Virginia Nail Polish – Described as a “mahogany iridescent molten”, I’ve never seen a color like it and so I had to have it!
For adding on three additional items, I received the Juliana nail polish as a special gift. It gets great reviews but isn’t a color I’d have ever chosen for myself. It looks like it’ll be a great shade for Summer.

julep nail polish in charissa, virginia, and juliana

julep and papersource mini journals
I love the beautiful patterns on these journals! 
february 2017 beautyfix subscription box dermstore

I cancelled BeautyFix last December, but when I saw spoilers for the Juice Beauty primer, I signed back up immediately. BeautyFix is a $25/month subscription box through Dermstore which typically focuses more on skincare, hair care, and beauty tools, but it’s an interesting change to receive multiple full sized makeup items from them this month!

The February BeautyFix box included:

Total Paid: $25
Total Retail Value: $156.86

Swatches of the Julep Eyeliner, Kevyn Aucoin Lip Satin, and La Roche-Posay CC Cream
If I’d known I’d receive the large sample of sunscreen in the BeautyFix box, I probably wouldn’t have chosen Julep’s, but that’s just how it tends to work out with beauty boxes! As you can see, the Kevyn Aucoin lip color is much more like a gloss, though “Lip Satin” sounded like it would be more fully pigmented, imo. I also passed the CC Cream sample off to my mom, as that “universal” shade is definitely too dark and warm for my vampire skin.

February Small Goals

rifle paper co constellations wall calendar 2017 orion february

So February is here, and I feel …. relieved? I view the past month in a positive light, but there were a lot of stressors and I feel accomplished at having simply made it to February. Let’s all hope that those emotions aren’t a forecast of what we can expect in 2017 (though with our current President …….).

How did I do on my January Small Goals?

  • Use food delivery no more than 5 times. | This one went pretty well. I think I used Postmates exactly 5 times, but I got a bit better at actually going grocery shopping and at saying “no” when I saw those delivery fees pop up. 
  • Exercise more & don’t cancel classes I sign up for just from chickening out | Well… I didn’t cancel any more classes because I didn’t sign up for any more classes! I got busy and unfortunately, fitness fell to the wayside in my attempts to balance work and school.
  • Start reading before bed instead of scrolling my phone | I got a little better about this, though I definitely haven’t broken the habit. I bought a few books for this month so hopefully I can get really invested in something & have that “can’t put it down” feeling again. 
  • Finish homework ASAP/don’t procrastinate & get overwhelmed/no days off from code | Eh, I’m in a better head space now than I was at this point in the semester last year, and I’m better about time management, but I have already missed a day or two of coding and I didn’t perfect a couple of assignments before moving on to new projects.
  • Order plane tickets/plan trip for 2017 | Okay, THIS I have accomplished! James and I bought tickets to go to Montreal in August and I’ve booked a hotel in Aruba for early November! 
So, what am I going to aim for in February? Staying alive, for one, but also … 
  • Low-buy/No-buy of makeup and clothes | I have spent a truly exorbitant amount of money this week and I spent more than I should’ve in January. Our new pay structure at work makes me feel like I have a lot more money than I actually do, so I have to be more responsible about sticking to my budget. You’ll see a lot of subscription box posts this month and I may post about some of the things I bought in January, but I am going to really try to talk myself out of every single frivolous purchase.
  • Make time to exercise | I’m constantly working or at school or study groups or rushing home to spend time with my dog or my boyfriend or my sister and trying to juggle basic house maintenance/cleanliness in between it all. I have no idea where to find that spare hour, but I need to. 
  • Pack my lunch | One of my favorite ways to throw my money away is to eat it. I’m a lazy schmuck when it comes to cooking or even throwing together a sandwich, so I’m often defaulting to eating out or ordering in. I have to cut it out! It’s a waste of money and it’s making me gain a heck of a lot of weight.
  • Finish a book | I haven’t decided which one yet, but I’d like to finish an actual, tangible book. I listen to audiobooks often but I’ve been working on the same (800+ pg) paperback for over a year now, which is really unlike me, so I want to surmount that. 

currently reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
currently watching: finally finishing season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy
currently listening: Honestly? This, every day at work for the past week

PopSugar Must Have Build-Your-Own-Box

While I was in Florida over the last week of December, PopSugar had a sale where you could curate your own PopSugar MustHave box and take 75% off of any box that was over $100. There were high dollar value items like jewelry and hats and home decor, but I’m a sucker for #stuff and just wanted as much as I could pack in (that I would actually use) to break the $100 ceiling to get it all for ~$25. This is what I put together!  
Update: Apparently the sale is still going on, though remaining stock is limited! Once you hit $100, the price should automatically adjust to 75% off in your cart. 
popsugar must have build your own box winkylux bunny rise & shine morning culture mug rockstar socks cargo blush flint lint roller
My “box” came in two separate packages, nearly two weeks apart. I initially assumed that PopSugar had forgotten my final two items (pictured below) & reached out to customer service, who informed me that they had been shipped separately. I don’t mind the items being shipped separately, but I do wish I had received separate shipping notifications so that I wouldn’t have worried! 

Total Paid: $29.77 (with tax!)
Total Value: $107.20

I cannot get over the precious packaging on this Winky Lux lipstick! Sorry for not touching up my nails before this closeup shot, but hey, who’s got the time?

Here are swatches of the blush and lipstick. The blush is actually a bolder peachy pink when I actually apply it to my cheeks. I love it, but it took me by surprise considering how sheer it looked when swatching. The lipstick is a good basic cool-berry shade. It has a satin finish and feels moisturizing on my lips, but I think I need a lip liner with it because it never really sets.

I loved getting to create my own PopSugar box for less (which is typically a $40/month women’s lifestyle box) and I hope this becomes a seasonal or semiannual way to get rid of inventory!

Allure Beauty Box – December & January

Allure Magazine has a $15 beauty box that is on par with Birchbox, Play!, and Ipsy. They typically include more full-sized product and include beauty, skincare, and makeup tools. I haven’t heard great things about their customer service, and there’s little-to-no customization, so I’d skipped this one. Over the holidays, however, they ran a “First 6 months for $10 a month” promotion, so I bit. These are my boxes from December & January.  
allure beauty box december 2016
My first Allure box was December 2016. It is a little boring compared to flashier, makeup-focused boxes, but I will use almost everything. 
  • Coastal Salt & Soul Heavenly Hand Cream in Ocean Gardenia, full size, $10 – Subscribers received one of three scents, and I love mine, but it certainly isn’t subtle. I keep this on my bedside table and love how quickly it absorbs with no greasy residue whatsoever. 
  • Tula Advanced Neck Cream, sample size, $23.50 – I haven’t tried this yet; I’m still working on finishing up my only other “neck cream” sample (which is such an unappealing product name. Neck Cream. Ugh). I typically just use my nighttime facial moisturizer on my neck as well, so it’s not a high-priority must-try for me. 
  • Kevin Murphy Anti.Gravity Volumiser, sample size, $8 – Also haven’t tried. I have many hair concerns, but the need for volume isn’t really one of them. 
  • beautyblender blender cleanser, sample size, ~$3 – Okay, I haven’t tried this either yet but I actually am excited to. I use a Sephora-bar cleanser for my sponges, brushes, and beautyblender, so it’ll be nice to compare the two. 
  • Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate, sample size, $2.70 – I’m scared to try this. It gets great reviews but contains mostly mineral oil, which breaks me out. It’s supposedly not only a moisturizer, but also a primer and makeup remover. 
  • European Wax Center Oh My Brow! Highlighter, full size, $19 – I’ve been going to the European Wax Center near my house for over two years now, but I’ve never tried their beauty products. I really can’t get enough makeup sticks – I love them for my hurried parking lot makeup application mornings. This & the hand cream are my favorite items in the box. 
Total Paid: $10
Retail Value: $66.20
allure beauty box january 2017 dr brandt biobelle burt's bees oscar blandi sigma doucce

The January 2017 Allure box was more my style, in theory. While some of the colors aren’t great for me, I like the variety of products a lot – a sheet mask, exfoliator, dry shampoo, lipstick, an eyeshadow brush & an eyeshadow quad … one box with basically everything I need to get ready in the morning!

  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliator, sample-size, $11.85 – I’ve tried Dr. Brandt’s Poredermabasion, but never this product, so I look forward to trying it. It’s suppose to be effective for every skin type. 
  • Biobelle #IWokeUpLikeThis Sheet Mask, full-size, $5 –  I love sheet masks, and this one has wild rose & vitamin C. 
  • Burt’s Bees Lipstick in Blush Basin, full-size, $9 – The formula is super creamy and feels soothing & moisturizing on my lips, but I think the color tends a little too warm for my skin and sort of washes me out. 
  • Sigma Eyeshadow Brush E70, travel size, ? – The full size eyeshadow brushes seem to range from $16-20, but all of the travel mini brushes are free gifts with purchase on Sigma’s website, so it’s hard to judge the actual value. I’m going to say it’s worth $8 since that’s half of what a the full-sized brushes are retailing for. I love getting brushes in boxes, especially because I hate cleaning my brushes. 🙂
  • Doucce Eyeshadow Quad, full-size, $35 – The darkest charcoal gray is the only matte shade, the mauve and white are shimmery, and the lighter gray has just a little sparkle. I think these colors are cool and different compared to the neutral browns I typically get in beauty boxes, but I’m also a little nervous about trying them out. Allure has also said they’ll be sending out other shades to swap in throughout the year, since this is an adjustable magnetic palette. Cool!
  • Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo, travel-size, $7 – I freaking love getting dry shampoo in beauty boxes. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it’s supposed to be transparent and smell like sweet lemons, so I’m sure it’ll be used up. 
Total Paid: $10
Retail Value: $75.85

I apologize for the lack of swatches – I took a boomerang instead and just realized it won’t work on Blogger. Whoops! If you’re interested, spoilers for the February 2017 box are already out. Check them out!