December 2018 Bless Box

Contents of December 2018 Bless Box
December 2018 Bless Box: So. Damn. Good.

Hello lovelies! Every month, I look forward to my Bless Box delivery, as it is always full of SO MUCH good stuff. Instead of just highlighting a few favorites here and there, or trying to explain all of the awesomeness on my Insta (http://bit.ly/lgsmInsta), it kinda made more sense to write a blog about it (on my blog…what a concept…). I’m a little late this month, so let’s just dive right in, shall we? This month’s box was AWESOME!

Love Beauty & Planet Murumuru Butter and Rose Delicious Glow Body Butter
Love Beauty & Planet Body Butter, $11.99

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the smell of roses. Oh good grief it is a wonder I don’t just tape the damn flowers to my body. And, anyone who knows me or has seen any of my posts, knows I have the world’s driest skin (romantic, I know). So this product, which is also cruelty-free and ethically sourced, is basically A GIFT FROM GOD. It’s nice and thick, but massages in completely. I may need to order it by the crate full.

Love Beauty & Planet Shea Butter and Sandalwood Hand Lotion
Love Beauty & Planet Hand Lotion, $5.99

True story, I was a little bit disappointed that this wasn’t also the Murumuru butter and rose scent that the body butter was, but what do you expect from someone rose obsessed like me? That being said, this is a definite winner. Cruelty-free, vegan, super nourishing and the moisturization LASTS. No need to reapply in 20 minutes (that’s not just me, right? …right???)

Oh K! God Dust Hydrogel Mask
Oh K! Gold Dust Hydrogel Mask, $8.00

I love me a good face mask. Love love love. So yes, I did a happy dance when I found this beauty in the December box. I freely admit, I’ve only met one face mask I didn’t like, but this one REALLY impressed me. It’s a hydrogel mask, so it feels a bit rubbery (not in a bad way) and, well, gel like. Very soothing. Plus, it’s actually 2 separate pieces, not just one sheet! For me, this was the best feature, because I always have a gap around the eyes, or the mouth doesn’t line up, or something. This solved all of those little issues. I got everything lined, relaxed for 30 minutes and was left with delightful, moisturized, radiant skin. I will absolutely be adding this to my regular rotation!

Maybelline Lash Sensation Boosting Eyelash Serum and Lash Sensation Washable Masacara (in Blackest Black)
Maybelline Lash Sensation Eyelash Serum, $11.99 and Washable Mascara, $5.00

*ahem* I might have been a little eager to get into the lash serum, as evidenced by the open box in the photo. What I’m most intrigued about here isn’t necessarily the promise of more lashes (although yes, please, of course) but that the serum helps strengthen your lashes. If I can keep them strong and supple and attached to my FACE, then that mascara and I will get along fabulously. Oh, and don’t let anyone tell you that a lower priced mascara isn’t any good. I have a handful of different brands in rotation and the highest priced one does NOT deliver as well as my Maybelline does. No joke.

Bambu Ivory Bamboo Toothbrush and Steripod Classic Single Toothbursh Protector
Bambu Toothbrush, $5.50 and Steripod Toothbrush Protector, $3.99

I’m fairly certain this month’s box was designed specifically for me, because I am in love with everything in it but really absolutely did an over the top freakout happy dance when I saw these beauties. I’ve been feeling massive guilt over my plastic toothbrush (liberal treehugger from way back, I can’t believe I even still use plastic ANYTHING) and …okay fine, I’ll just SAY IT, I’m a bit of a germophobe. I’d spent the last couple of weeks eyeballing my toothbrush in its little holder, on my counter, feeling all kinds of icky about it and trying to figure out where else to put it besides the medicine cabinet which I don’t think gets ENOUGH air (I’m a handful, y’all) and then these two show up! Fate! Kismet! I signed up for text message reminders from Steripod to change out the brush and pod every 3 months! I might be too excited about this but you can’t stop me!!!

Steripod Single Razor Protector
Steripod Razor Protector, $4.99

Steripod, where have you been all my life? Not only did you solve my germophobe freak out over my toothbrush, but my “why does my razor rust so fast” meltdown as well? We’re meant to be , Steripod. And yes, every single person I know will be receiving these lifesaver products for the birthday this year.

Starting with my husband. He stole this, so I have to buy a new one for myself (his birthday is in two weeks, so I’m letting it slide.

This Bar Saves Lives, Maple Pecan Bar
This Bar Saves Lives in Maple Pecan, $1.99

Oh hey, did I mention the Bless Box always comes with a snack?!? It’s always on the healthy side too, with plenty of dairy free, soy free and gluten free nibbles to suit everyone’s needs. I can’t really report on this yet, as I haven’t nipped into it, but I am taking it at face value and keeping it stashed in my purse to fend off a low blood sugar emergency.

Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Cranberry Vitamin
Swisse High Strength Cranberry Vitamin, $20.00

Dang, the Bless Box has everything covered this month. Need a snack? They got you. Beautiful lashes? Covered. Urinary tract health? BOOM. Taken care of. They even included the “check with your doctor first” warning to make sure everyone’s individual concerns were addressed! This is another that I can’t report on, as I don’t have problems with UTI’s (knock on wood), but a friend does, so these have been blessed forward to someone who is putting them to good use (so far, so good, she reports).

Soapiary Citrus Coriander Cleanse Soap
Soapiary Citrus Coriander Soap, $4.00

I’m such a sucker for a good smelling soap. You know that area in Whole Foods will all of the all natural soap bars? That’s where you’ll find me, sniffing all of the soaps like a soap fiend (my husband just leaves me there and goes about the shopping on his own, win-win for both of us). This little beauty right here smells sooo good. Citrusy and delicious with a subtle note of coriander underneath. My skin doesn’t feel stripped or dry when I’m done washing up, AND it’s free from paraben, phthalates and sulfates. Double plus bonus (and very important to me), it’s cruelty free (are you sensing a theme here?). Absolute winner here, y’all.

Green Goo First Aid Travel Tin
Green Goo First Aid Tin, $8.95

You’re going to want to grab and gift this travel tin to all of your crunchy hippie friends and aunties (that would be me, so I kept this for myself). They can throw this in their purse (or backpack or macrame tote) and deal with sooo many pesky skin issues. Insect bites, cuts, sunburns, cracked skin, cuts, it’s good for everything. And of course, it’s 100% all natural, and is even safe for pets!

Puracy Citrus & Seal Salt Natural Body Wash
Puracy Citrus & Sea Salt Body Wash, $5.99

Another natural product that you can feel good about using (that ALSO smells fantastic). This is sulfate free, non-toxic (safe for kiddos), plant based, gentle, and biodegradable! Come on, no one can find fault with this. The sea salt and citrus will leave you feeling squeaky clean, but not overly dry (although hey, if it did, you could just slather on that body butter I talked about earlier). Personally, I like to use this one after a workout (it’s yoga, but still….you sweat!!!).

Manduka Yogitoes Headbands, 12-pack
Manduka Yogitoes Headbands, $48.00

And last but not least, and tying in with my post-yoga citrus wash, the perfect workout (okay…YOGA) headband! Look, I know that $48.00 pricetag is daunting, but you get 12 in a pack and these things are gooooooood. They’re light and stretchy and they DO NOT BUDGE. Take it from me, she of the silkiest, slipperiest, most headband unfriendly hair ever, these things will not let you down. Plus there’s a color to go with almost everything (I like to match head to toe, so this was a major plus for me).

And there you have it, the December Bless Box of supreme awesomeness! I haven’t been disappointed by any of the boxes (okay there was one I was hesitant about, but was won over – see my Meaningful Beauty posts for more) but this one might be my favorite yet. Every single product was a winner, and nothing will go to waste. Also, $145 worth of products showing up in the mail…does not suck. Have a great week, lovelies, and I’ll be posting the January Bless Box before you know it!

Meaningful Beauty Review, Part Two (Nighttime Edition)

Meaningful Beauty Intensive Triple Exfoliating Treatment, Skin Softening Cleanser, Overnight Retinol Repairing Creme
Meaningful Beauty evening edition

Hello again lovelies! Alright, let’s jump right into part two of this review, shall we? These are the nighttime Meaningful Beauty products that I received and tried out. Spoiler alert: these were better overall than the first three I tried.

First up, even though it’s second in the photo, the Meaningful Beauty Skin Softening Cleanser. Ohmygosh, so much yes. So here’s my evening routine: I use a makeup remover, then use a facial cleanser in the shower, then inevitably have to go at it AGAIN because it didn’t actually cleanse everything off my face. PROBLEM SOLVED, Y’ALL. After a makeup remover, this gentle, non-foaming, totally effective cleanser actually *gasp* cleanses! In one swoop! My (super sensitive, ridiculously dry) skin feels soft, not dried out, not tight. Miracle product, hands down. Worth it? YES

The Intensive Triple Exfoliating Treatment sounds much harsher than it is. Enzymes, mineral micro beads (environmentally safe) and Alpha Hydroxy Acid gently polish and exfoliate, leaving my skin even softer and feeling oh so good. Although the recommended use is twice a week, once a week works for me (again, super sensitive, blah blah blah). A nice layer goes on, I dance shamelessly for 3 minutes, and rinse off. My Sunday night miracle. Worth it? YES

That leaves us with the final evening product, the Overnight Retinol Repairing Creme. This pairs Retinol with the French melon found in the serum, and is a delightfully thick (but not overly so) moisturizer. Honestly, I was afraid it would be too harsh for my skin with the Retinol, but it’s working out very nicely (except for the week I accidentally doubled up this creme and a Retinol based oil, but that was my own overachieving fault). My skin feels smoother, is more evenly toned and is plump and moist (now I sound like a freshly baked bread or chicken) when I wake up. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY.

I know I said in the first review (http://bit.ly/PartOneHere) that I was in love with one product, but honestly, all three of these are winners. I am fairly certain all of them will be part of my ongoing skincare routine, and I will be shouting the glories of the cleanser from the mountaintop for the rest of my life.

Meaningful Beauty Review, Part One

Meaningful Beauty Serum, Daytime Moisturizer, Eye Cream
Meaningful Beauty morning kick off.

Hello lovelies! As you might remember, I received a full set of Meaningful Beauty products from Bless Box and spent the month of December using nothing else (well, aside from the occasional face mask). I wanted to judge the products with nothing else interfering, and then give an honest assessment of the results. This post will be about the 3 products I started each day with: Youth Activating Melon Serum, Environmental Protecting Moisturizer (Broad Spectrum SPF 30), and Lifting Eye Creme Advanced Formula.

The Youth Activating Melon Serum smelled fantastic, first of all. Formulated with melon leaf stem cells (I’ve been seeing plant stem cells popping up in so many products lately), it claims to increase elasticity and firmness and even out skin tone. Honestly, I think it did help with my skin tone. I can’t say that I saw improvements with elasticity or firmness, but it was only 31 days. I still have half a bottle left (this stuff lasts, y’all), so maybe I’ll have more information in another month. It felt great going on, and again that delicious scent! It was a nice way to start and end each day. Worth it? YES.

Now on to the Environmental Protecting Moisturizer (Broad Spectrum SPF 30). I think this would work really well for other people, but with my insanely dry skin, it was a no go. I had to throw in the towel after a week because it just didn’t moisturize well enough (peeling dry spots on my face are not my thing). Additionally, it had a strong chemical smell from the SPF – you could certainly tell you were putting on sunscreen. Again, someone with non-desert-dry skin would probably have better results. But for me, worth it? NO.

That leaves us with the Lifting Eye Creme Advanced Formula. I had high hopes for this because I read someone else’s review and it was glowing. I tried it, expecting my eyes to look less tired, maybe a littler brighter…ehhhhh no. Maybe I used too little? Too much? Either way, I think I actually look WORSE after using it. I don’t have much experience with eye creams though, so if anyone out there has a tip for me, lemme know! Being as stubborn as I am, I’m still using it every day, so seriously…clue a girl in! Worth it? MAYBE.

Alright, that’s it for the first three products. Check back for my reviews of the rest of the set (I’m absolutely in love with one of the products, solid fan for life). Be awesome, y’all!


New Year…not so new me!

Happy New Year, everyone! I know the tradition is to make a resolution, start out the new year with a “new year, new me” idea, but…I don’t necessarily like that. Honestly, when my birthday rolls around is when I lay out the whole “resolution” thing. Although even then, it’s not so much a resolution as a goal, or series of goals, what I want to accomplish in my next year on the planet. For instance, this past birthday I resolved to make my health a priority. Mental, physical, dental, fiscal, all of it! Happily, I can report that I am making good progress on that, halfway through *my* year.

Since I had that fitness goal going on already, I didn’t have anything to resolve to change in 2019. That being said, I did take stock of 2018 and think on what more I want, and what less I want, in 2019. I think I’m on a good path and I want to stick with it. I want to keep my health kick going (please refer back to my specifics in that last paragraph, as anyone who follows me on Instagram will verify I have not given up tacos or vodka, but I do spend plenty of time on my yoga mat). I want to share more with you here. I want to keep my skincare obsession alive and well. So yeah…new year, same me. Just better. Cheers, everyone! Here’s to a wonderful, happy, and healthy 2019. Let’s lift ourselves up, lift each other up, and put more love and awesomeness in the world.

P.S. I’ll be posting about my 30 days of Meaningful Beauty in the next couple of days. I’m definitely keeping some of the products in my regular rotation!

Meaningful Beauty

Okay look, I’m going to be honest with y’all. I love trying new products (so much, so so so much), but I have some favorite products that I am pretty dedicated to. Like, I’ll switch in a few things, try out new stuff, change a product here or there…but the overall picture is pretty solid. So when the Bless Box sent me a set of Meaningful Beauty products, I was…iffy. Again, I love trying new things! I have made changes in my routine based on new products that I have received, but…change the whole beauty routine? Like…ALL of it? Serum, moisturizers, cleansers, LIP GLOSS? What insanity is this???

But who am I to toss out a whole box of (full size, really expensive) products? That is not how I roll, y’all. SO! December 1st, I gave my face over to Cindy Crawford. Err, her beauty line that is. I’ll give a full review of all of the products at the end of the month, but I wanted to clue you in to why I had been silent so far this month. I’m on a beauty adventure, unlike one I’ve ever been on before! Uncharted territory and all that. So check back for updates and total honesty on every product received. Sneak peak: it’s not terrible. BUT, I’m not giving up all of my favorites for good so far either. See you on the other side!

7 full size Meaningful Beauty products, in a box from Bless Box.
A big Bless Box of Meaningful Beauty!http://bit.ly/BBOctober2018

Sea Your Truth Serum

I get a lot of serums sent to me.

Like…a LOT.

And honestly? Most of them have not impressed me. “Here, rub one half of a teardrop worth on your face and neck and watch the years reverse!” Except not so much. I either use the recommended amount and see no results, or I use more than the recommended amount and run through it all in half the time and STILL see no results. Yes, there have been a few that have actually impressed me, but I had to choose between serum or food for the month and quite frankly…I like to snack.

So imagine my surprise when I received a sample from a company and the recommended daily use was actually more than that which would fit on the head of a pin! AND it smelled good (ohmygosh do not get me started on the serums I have tried that smelled like rancid mushrooms or fast food…no, I’m not joking). Double plus bonus? It was cruelty-free and paraben free! Heck, I could actually pronounce all of the ingredients!

Paiva Skincare’s Sea Your Truth Serum is a must have product for me now. A little bit actually does go a long way, the ingredients are natural and don’t harm the bunnies, and I really do see a difference in my skin. No, this product didn’t take 10 years off my face. But guess what, y’all…nothing in a bottle will. My skin looks and feels firmer, my skin tone has evened out, and I just look…glowier. Is that a word? We’re going with it anyway,

Take a look at their website, pick up their sample kit (trust me, you’ll love their stuff) and tell them lupusgirl sent you. You can thank me later.

http://bit.ly/lgsmPAIVA

World’s Least Qualified Beauty Blogger

These days, everyone and their mother is a beauty blogger. You can’t throw a blending sponge without hitting one (probably in the middle of a spontaneous shoot in front of their local Sephora). So of course, I decided to join their ranks. However, I have a secret weapon that no one else does: an upfront admission that I have no idea what I am doing. That’s right, everyone. I am the world’s least qualified beauty blogger!

You won’t find any makeup tutorials with me. Quite frankly, I get twenty minutes into perfecting a smoky eye, then realize no one is going to see it through my glasses and give up. But therein lies my strength. I already know there are hundreds of thousands of incredibly talented wielders of highlighters out there. If you want a step by step tutorial on recreating Kylie Jenner’s latest Instagram look, you will have plenty to choose from. But if you want to know which Tarte mascara is going to give you stupid long lashes that will *not* smudge your glasses, I am here for you.

I will try anything. Heck, I will try it twice. Do you want to know if the resurgence of colored mascara is the best look for you? Let me try it out. Are you searching for the perfect toner that won’t strip off your skin but also won’t cost so much that you have to give up breakfast for a week? Girl, I have a list, broken down by price, with amusing anecdotes about each one. Come, let me experiment with every beauty product under the sun, so you don’t have to. You can thank me later.