RCubed Reviews – Macy’s Beauty Box

Trying out another beauty box subscription after being subscribed to ipsy for 2 years and having a hit or miss experience with the Play! by Sephora did not seem likely. But of course, curiosity got me (again) and I decided to check out the Macy’s Beauty Box. The subscription launched August of last year, and I received their bags from September through this month. Be forewarned, this post will be a lengthy one. Majority of the products are currently unopened unless specified. I wish I could try everything, but I currently have so much other beauty items to get through!

September 2017 – Beauty Passport

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What’s inside: These products help keep you “looking fresh & fabulous on the go”.

Ahava Purifying Mud Mask – An invigorating mask that draws out impurities and purifies skin for a more even complexion. // I lean more towards wash off masks compared to sheet masts, so I look forward to trying this, especially if it helps detox the skin.

Burt’s Bees Hand Salve – Packed with botanical oils, herbs, and beeswax to moisturize dry hands. // I ought to toss this into my purse since I often find myself  with dry hands by mid-day. This would have come in extremely handy (no pun intended) while I was working at the clinic.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief – This cream-gel moisturizer helps to replenish thirsty skin instantly, and is an ideal travel companion. // I’m pretty sure I’ve tried this before. Either way, I love a moisturizer with this kind of formulation, so it’s definitely going into my travel bag.

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder (opened) – This translucent powder ensures long-lasting, smudge-resistant wear with a natural finish. // I’ve used this a few times and so far it’s been great at keeping a full face of makeup in place. I only wish the container wasn’t so messy.

Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer – This preps your skin for makeup while giving it a sheer, healthy glow. // I get a bit apprehensive every time I see mention of “radiance” in any product. If you’re all about that glow up, good for you! As for myself, I like to keep things toned down. I did give this a swatch, which resulted in a bit of a sheen, but not opalescent, which what I was expecting.

Vince Camuto Ciao Au de Parfum – This contains notes of floral and citrus with amber and vanilla upon dry down. // I felt this had more of a powdery floral scent. Sadly, it’s not something I’d wear.

 

October 2017 – Face the Facts

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What’s inside: Samples from top brands to  help you discover what works best for your skin.

Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster – This is to be used before serum or moisturizer. The “boost” comes from key ingredients (glasswort, sea fennel, and flax seed extracts, and probiotics) to help increase effectiveness of the other skin care products used. // I’ve only begun to understand the effects of essences and can only assume this has a similar effect. I’ll try to incorporate it into my evening routine.

Lancome Energie de Vie Water-Infused Moisturizing Cream – This product produces a cooling effect upon application, and increases skin’s moisture (beyond 24 hours according to its description). // I feel like this will be awesome to use during the warmer months of the year. Another one to toss in with the travel stash.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – Charcoal, white China clay, and lecithin draw out pore-clogging impurities and environmental toxins. // I have acquired a few tubes prior to this one and use it at least once a week on my t-zone. It’s also worked great for me as a spot treatment to shrink down larger breakouts.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer – This light and oil-free primer blurs lines and pores, resulting in an even finish and longer lasting makeup. // I’ve used this a few times in the past, but don’t quite remember if it’s proven useful. I try to not use silicone-based primers often for fear of an oil slick occurring on my face later in the day.

StriVectin Stress Defense Hydrating Water Gel – Recharges skin while also diminishing lines and wrinkles. // Heck yes to another gel-based moisturizer! I can never have too many of these. I’ll alternate this with my current/HG from Garnier.

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum – An Allure Best of Beauty award winner in 2015, this has notes of coffee, orange blossom, and vanilla. // Not a fan of the original Opium fragrance, but after sampling it at my local Ulta, this is actually not bad. I’d see myself wearing this on a night out.

November 2017 – Party Perfect

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What’s inside: Product with long-wearing formulas to  make touch-ups a breeze.

Beautyblender Blotterazzi Pro – A reusable alternative to blotting paper, this sponge absorbs excess oil to keep makeup looking flawless. // I’ve often forgotten to bring blotting paper on days when I wear face makeup, which caused me to resort to tissue or a napkin to blot my face (blah). I keep forgetting to toss this in my purse to try out (d’oh!). I’m hoping this does just as good a job, if not better, of keeping it shine free.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara – Long-wearing formula lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes. // I’ve received plenty of samples of this from other subscription boxes. Unfortunately the formula has smudged my bottom lids after a few hours. Blame the oily lids, I guess.

CHANEL Gabrielle Eau de Parfum – This floral fragrance contains notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, and tuberose. // If you’re a fan of floral fragrances, this one’s nice. It’s a bit too much for me though.

Lancome Cils Booster XL Vitamin Infused Mascara Primer – Conditioning formula with microfibers and Vitamin E coats and conditions lashes for maximum mascara performance. // I’ve had pretty good experiences with mascara primers. Since Lancome is popular in this category, I’m willing to experiment with this.

MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Makeup Primer – Delivers weightless hydration for a radiant, healthy look. // Again with the radiance! However, this primer is formulated for oily and combination skin. I haven’t used anything from this brand as a primer except for their Strobe Cream years ago. Fingers crossed that this performs well.

Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Bestie – This liquid lipstick drys quickly for full coverage that’s transfer-proof. // I have another sample of this in a different shade. Not bad in terms of wear, but I found it to be a bit on the dry side.

December 2017 – Something Beautiful is on the Horizon

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What’s inside: “Fresh makeup finds and  revitalizing skin care” for a brand new you.

CHANEL La Creme Main – A hand cream that protects, brightens, and moisturizes. // First off, it’s freaking CHANEL. Second, I’ve been hauling hand creams more lately because these are the one part of my body that I wish could have less lines. The fact that the formula helps to diminish dark spots is a major plus. It’s the willingness to drop $50 on a full sized one that I’m not so sure about.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix (opened) – This formula reduces the look of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles. 360 Matrix technology strengthens the skin around the eyes. // I’m getting around to using more eye products at night as a preventative measure. I’ve started using it recently. It’s hard to tell if it’s actually working since I luckily don’t have issues with fine lines or dark circles, but it helps me look more “awake”, so I’m all for it.

MAC Liptensity Lipstick – Intensely pigmented and gel based with a satin finish. Long-wearing formula is said to last for up to 8 hours. // I actually got the shade Mulling Spices during Generation Beauty and have yet to use it. I’m not one to sport bright reds very often. This was actually a sampler of 3 shades, including the one mentioned.

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NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Belle – This all-in-one pencil can be used as a lip liner, lipstick, and blush. The matte finish is waterproof, kiss-proof, and non-feathering. // I’m a fan of this brand after discovering them at Generation Beauty. So far I own 4 shades of this pencil. Already have this one, but nice to have a replacement on hand once I’m finished with the other.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream  – 30% Hyaluronic Acid provides intense hydration that lasts up to 72 hours. // This sounds wonderful to use, especially with the current cold weather. Plus it’s oil-free. Travel necessity? I think yes. *thumbs up*

Tory Burch Signature Eau de Parfum – The first fragrance for the brand/designer contains notes of neroli, grapefruit, peony, tuberose, and vetiver. // I sampled this a while back at Sephora and liked that it’s not too heavy from either the floral or fruity side.

January 2018 – Kiss & Tell

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What’s inside: Skin care, makeup, and fragrance perfect for date night.

AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream in Sea-Kissed – Mineral-rich hand cream with allantoin and witch hazel extract protects and nourishes. // I think I know have enough hand cream to toss into every bag/purse I regularly rotate through. The scent reminds me of the beach. Me likey!

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Nude Pop – Full coverage color with a satin finish keeps lips moisturized for up to 8 hours. // The packaging of this was part of a limited edition run with designer Jonathan Adler. If you’re already aware of my love for neutrals, you know I approve of this nude shade!

Michael Kors Sexy Ruby Eau de Parfum – The brand’s latest scent features notes of raspberry, apricot, jasmine, and cashmere woods. // I was surprised to get the raspberry when I smelled this. It’s on the warm side, which isn’t usually my favorite for scents.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – This gentle cleanser works to protect dry areas while also preventing excess oil production. // This is an HG for me! I love using it after oil cleansing, and the nice lather it creates leaves my face squeaky clean without drying it out.

philosophy Pure Grace Nude Rose Body Lotion – Notes in this lotion include blush rose, dewy greens, neroli, orange flower, cedarwood, and musk. // I’m fine with rose scents as long as it’s not overwhelming. Have yet to try it on my skin, but the smell of it straight out of the bottle seems OK.

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bawse – This light, non-drying liquid lipstick stays put for up to 8 hours. // This shade was created in collaboration with YouTube celebrity Lilly Singh. I’ve only tried another shade (Stepping Out, a deep nude) and it lasted a good while. I’m hoping this looks alright on me when I get around to using it.

Phew! Still with me? If you’re interested in subscribing to the Macy’s Beauty Box, here’s what you should know:

  • $15/month – This is more compared to ipsy and Play! by Sephora, but I enjoyed it because I was already familiar with the brands of the products I received.
  • Each box includes 5 deluxe samples, plus a bonus (spoiler, it’s a fragrance).
  • Includes a coupon for $5 off a beauty purchase either in store or online. I would use this if I shopped at Macy’s more. Unfortunately I don’t.

If you’ve subscribed or currently subscribe to this box, let me know what you think of it.

 

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Ulta’s Love Your Skin Event

One thing I’m trying to focus on this year is taking better care of my skin. I’ve been doing a beauty challenge on my Instagram, which has been giving me a good idea of how many products I (actually) use. It’s already enough to make me want to go on another no buy. 😝 Ulta’s Love Your Skin Event, which runs from January 7th through January 27th, features daily “beauty steals” from popular skin care brands.

This is quite convenient as my Clarisonic Mia has finally met its demise after 2+years. 😧 They have a deal for it this Friday, so I will more than likely take advantage. All the deals are on their website. Is there anything you plan on purchasing during this event? Feel free to share in the comments.

November Sephora Haul

Seeing that I had less than $100 to spend before reaching VIB status, I decided last month to finally check off some items from my wish list. Also with flash shipping, I really had nothing to lose. Here’s what I purchased.

 

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Clockwise from top left:

NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Mini Set – I had received one of their matte pencils when I attended Generation Beauty in SF earlier this year. I liked how long it lasted, and the matte effect didn’t feel drying. All three shades in this set are neutral, so obviously it was something I had to own.

 

Sephora Collection Double-Ended Blemish Extractor – It’s about time I bought one of these. I’m guilty of the old use-two-fingers-to-extract method for black/whiteheads. Hopefully this tool will lessen the chances of irritation on my face.

 

Shiseido Facial Cotton – One of my top three choices for cotton pads. 10 bucks for 165 pieces may sound ridiculous to some, but the quality of these is almost incomparable to others I’ve tried. I did use another brand for a while, but I felt it was about time I treated myself to these again. Ya know, for old time’s sake. 😛

 

Rahua Classic Shampoo (mini) – I placed this in the basket out of curiosity. According to the description, it uses 100% natural ingredients. Benefits from using this shampoo are to fortify weak/damaged hair, regenerate scalp and hair follicles, and promote moisture retention. After a few uses, I don’t plan on purchasing it again. Not too thrilled with the scent and it doesn’t get as sudsy compared to the other shampoos I currently use. I’m all for natural, but sadly not with this product.

 

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – I’m already a fan of this after previously receiving it in an Influenster box. I love using it when I double cleanse because it feels refreshing (thanks to the spearmint), and it leaves my face squeaky clean without feeling tight. I have yet to own this in full size. Maybe next time?

Sephora Winter Flush Blush Palette – I’ve been in great need of new shades of blush, so seeing this at under $20 was pretty much a steal. The shades are simply numbered 1 through 8. I think the shimmery ones are a little too small to gather up with a standard blush brush, so I think I’ll just use them as coordinating highlighters instead.

 

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – This is another Origins product that I’ve previously tried and loved. I use this every other week (although twice a week is what they suggest) to detox my pores. One of the user reviews on this mentioned it helps shrink large pimples, so I’ll consider using it as a spot treatment whenever one of those suckers decides to show up. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often.

That’s it for my haul. I also purchased a few things not long after reaching VIB since they had their discount event (score). Do you have any of these items on your current wish list, or did you purchase any of them recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Coming Soon: Ulta 21 Days of Beauty

For you beauty lovers, that time of the year is just around the corner! Ulta will be having their 21 Days of Beauty event beginning this Sunday Sept. 3rd. Each day, select products are offered in store and online for 50% off  (unless specified). After checking out their selection, I’m actually not going to participate this time. *gasp* Shocking, right? The only item that even slightly grabbed my interest was the UD Flushed palette. Not that I need it, so I’m fine with passing it up.

Check out what they’ll be offering throughout the event on their website.

Do you plan on purchasing anything during 21 Days of Beauty? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Lip Product Storage

I’m in the process of rearranging my lip products, particularly lip glosses and lipstick (any form), and I’m curious to see how my fellow bloggers/readers do this. I currently have them spread out between a few acrylic organizers, and a few accumulated in one of my dresser drawers. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Note: To clarify, I’m referring to “packaging” as the box/container that the item originally comes in when you purchase it. Hope that helps.

Out of Hiatus (?)

Hi there! I’ve been out of the posting loop for quite some time now. Within the past month or so, I’ve been helping to ready both myself and my friends for our trip to SDCC this past weekend. The stress from preparation made me not want to focus on anything else, but I’m happy to say that this has been one of the more chill times I’ve had at the event. I can’t wait to share my experience with you within the coming week (I only say that because I still need to get settled with unpacking, catching up on sleep, etc. Who knows, it might be sooner. ). Until then, hope y’all are doing well. I still check up on your posts occasionally. 😀

 

Getting SDCC Ready!

I felt like June passed by way too quickly. That said, we’re only weeks away from SDCC. One of my sources has some great info for first time attendees.

Today we are 2 1/2 weeks away from Comic-Con! If you’ve never been to SDCC- this convention is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The planning and preparation is next level- especially if you want to maximize every moment. Walking into Comic-Con without a battle plan will only lead to catastrophic results. The next few weeks […]

via Happy Comic-Con Month! 6 Tips to Consider — Crazy 4 Comic Con