Boxy Unboxing: “Life of the Party”

If you obsessively watch youtube makeup channels, you are familiar with the concept of “unboxing.”  Being a big fan myself, I thought I would share my unboxing of this month’s boxycharm.

Boxycharm is – in my opinion – THE best makeup subscription box out there.  I’ve tried sephora play, birchbox, and ipsy, but Boxycharm was the only one where I was consistently happy with what I got every month.  Additionally, the products in Boxycharm are FULL SIZE – unlike the other subscription boxes where you get maybe three or four applications out of something.  So even though it is more expensive ($20/month), I think it is worth it.  So without further ado, let’s unbox!

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The first item is the Laura Lee Los Angeles: Party Animal Eyeshadow Palette.  The insert in the box exclaims, “Dare to be the life of the party with Laura Lee Los Angeles Party Animal Palette.  These six stunning shades create bold, colorful looks leaving you ready for a night of fun!”

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This palette retails for $19.00 (i.e. the price of the entire box).  I’m a HUGE fan of Laura Lee’s youtube channel – she’s hilarious and very genuine. She just recently launched her brand – her first palette was called the Cat’s Pajamas.  But, this is the first time I have tried her products.

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Another thing I love about Boxycharm is that this is not a palette that I would have bought myself.  It is pretty wild, and I tend to stick to neutrals.  So this forces me out of my comfort zone.

Next in the box was House of Lashing: Lashes.  I love House of Lashing eye-lashes.  They last through so many uses, and I never have a problem getting them on/off.

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According to the insert, you can “Add length and dimension to your makeup look with your new favorite lashes. Cruelty-free, high quality and long lasting, these lashes provide up to 15 wears and will be the talk of every party!”  These retail from $9.00-$12.00.  So already, assuming these were the $9.00 lashes, you have spent $20 for $28 worth of products – with four products still to go.  It’s amazing.

Smashbox: Lipstick.

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Okay.  So I am really not sure how I feel about this product.  Like I said above, I do need to get pushed outside of my comfort zone, but this may be a little too far outside for me.  The insert says, “Create bold, beautiful looks with your new Smashbox lip product. This pigment-loaded color glides on in just one swipe, getting you out the door and into the party quicker!”  This retails for $21.00-$24.00.

Wander: Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

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I have VERY – let me repeat, VERY – dry skin.  And VERY dark circles.  My real life job is a bit of a monster.  So I was very happy when I found these in my box.  The insert explains, “After a night of partying, [insert here for those of you with jobs like mine – “after a night of working”] who doesn’t love a good eye mask?  These gold foil under eye masks brighten, hydrate and reduce the appearance of dark circles.  The hyaluronic acid diminishes the appearance of wrinkles, while aloe leaf extract and lavender oil cool and soothe your under eye area.”  These retail for $13.00.

Bang Beauty: Chocolate Eyeliner

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I was excited for this eyeliner because it isn’t black.  I have so many different types of black eyeliner, that I should be good for at least ten years.  And for those of you not yet ready to commit to colorful eyeliner, this is a good “test the waters” color.  It retails for $22, and the insert says, “Use it as an eyeliner, eyeshadow base, or even to touch-up your brows, this creamy, chocolate toned pomade is the ultimate triple threat.”

Finally, the last thing in the box – Adesse: Sweet Almond Cuticle Oil.

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“Treat yourself, your nails and your cuticles after a night out.  This lightweight, non-greasy oil is formulated with vitamin E, shea, sweet almond and jojoba oils that are blended together to create a luxurious treatment that softens the cuticles, moisturizes and hydrates the nails.”  This retails for $18.00.

 

Pack with me for Scotland

As I get ready for my trip, I thought I would share what I am packing.  I have never been to Scotland before so packing has included some guesswork.  By the end of the trip, I can share with you what worked and what didn’t, but for now, here are some of  – what I am assuming – will be the essentials.

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During our trip, the weather is generally “mostly cloudy” with highs in the low 70s/ high 60s and lows in the 50s.  Rain is also likely.  So item one on the list is a rain jacket.  My rain jacket is the Venture 2 jacket from North Face.  My hiking boots are Oboz Bridger Mid in Walnut.  My leggings are from Lulu Lemon, and I got my sweatshirt while hiking in West Glacier, Montana (a trip that is definitely worth taking if you’ve been thinking about visiting out-West).

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We rented a car for our trip, and I was unaware that Hertz required non-EU citizens to have an international driving permit until yesterday… so I was in a panic.  But, as it turns out, it is SUPER easy to get one.  You just need two passport photos – which i got in about two minutes at CVS – and your license.  Then just fill out this easy form, and take it to your nearest AAA.  The whole process took about five minutes, and I walked out of AAA with a permit – same day.  So if you booked a car and didn’t realize that you needed a permit, don’t panic.  I’m just hoping that this international driving excursion turns out better than my last one…. When I went on a trip to Ireland, I ended up totaling the car.  However, in my defense, the roads there are treacherous.  In fact, when we were returning the car, the lady at the rental agency was on the phone with someone who had crashed within five hours of picking up the car.  My advice – get the insurance.  It is worth it.

On another note, I have recently become a makeup geek – the only other lady at my office is a makeup goddess and she turned me on to the beauty industry; now I can’t get enough … which, if you’ve read my other post, is a ongoing theme in my personality.

In any event, choosing what products to bring with me when I travel has become difficult.  (As one of my best friends would say – what a “champaign problem.”)  I do, however, have a few specific products that I know I can rely on and therefore they come with me on every trip. They include, in no particular order: physician’s formula butter bronzer, Tarte shape tape, Two Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara (this mascara gets sold out very quickly – but it is also available at sephora, Marc Jacob’s velvet noir major mascara, Maybelline Fit Me matte and poreless powder, Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder, and Chloé Eau de Parfum (the scent lasts FOREVER and I am in love with it).

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My current obsession is this new wallet that I bought for this trip from Aspinal of London.  It has dividers for tickets, passport, documents, and boarding passes, along with a little pouch for change.  It seemed perfect when I bought it, but it has yet to stand the test of actually being used – so I will let you know how it worked out.  For now, it seemed like a great investment.

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Finally, choosing a book to come with me is also a challenging task.  I’m currently in the middle of a couple – I tend to read multiple books at once because I never know what kind of reading I will be in the mood for night-to-night – but I don’t usually like to bring one that I have already started when I am traveling.  Bringing a brand new book avoids the problem of finishing one before the trip is over, and having to lug two books home.  Additionally, the book needs to be paper-back so that I can lug it around with me without feeling like my arm is going to fall off.  My problem there is that I am a super for hard-back books, so most of the books that I own that are on my “to-read” list are hardbacks.

The few that I do have are mostly history and include:

  • Allison Weir’s Queen Isabella
  • Peter Ackroyd’s Shakespeare 
  • Lawrence Goldstone’s The Activist 
  • Roger Crowley’s City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
  • Anthony Everitt’s Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician

I still am up in the air, but I’ll let you know what I end up choosing.