Thursday, September 17, 2015

Picnic of Pretty

Beauteque Monthly July BB Bag Review

After a reading a lot of reviews and watching many unboxing videos I’ve decided to jump into the Kbeauty subscription box community and the most exciting box to me, of the multitude out there, was the Beauteque BB Bag.
What is the Beauteque BB Bag?  The BB Bag is Beauteque’s themed monthly subscription service that features mainly Korean beauty and lifestyle products.  They promise to deliver a minimum of six full size products with a value of $65-85 every month to your doorstep.
The value of the bag is based on USA pricing and will be higher than the Korean pricing  and may be higher than the pricing on Amazon or other retailers.  The main attraction of the BB Bag, though, is the curation which is usually on point.  The staff at Beauteque are very good at choosing items that stick to the month’s theme and cover a wide variety of products.  A caveat, the items tend to lean more towards skin care as opposed to make up so if you prefer the latter you may not enjoy this bag so much.  Another thing to consider is that BB Bags seem to always include sheet masks as one of the full size products.
Monthly cost breakdown:
Month to month:       $24
Three month:            $24
Six month:                 $23
Twelve month:          $22

The BB Bag ships to most countries for a flat shipping fee:

USA:               $3.95
Canada:          $6.95
Europe:          $8.95
Australia:       $9.95
New Zealand:            $9.95
Japan:             $9.95
Hong Kong : $9.95
Singapore :    $9.95

For more information on the BB Bag and how it works visit:

Onto the July Bag:

This month the theme of the bag was Picnic of Pretty and featured items that you would use “to look and feel your prettiest for a perfect day at the park”.  The products in the bag definitely followed the theme, though I think most of them would be best used after the picnic.

The bag was a nice and cheery yellow rubbery material.  It can be immersed in water and would be perfect for taking to the beach.  Not onto the contents:

Secret Key Aloe Soothing Moist Toner

There really isn’t much to say about a toner, it’s a toner, we all have them (and if you for some reason don’t then go out and get one right now).  This one is great for summer because of the aloe extract.  Aloe extract is fantastic for soothing burns on the skin (goodbye sunburn) and also for moisturizing dry skin.  It’s a great product all around and can also be used in medicine, especially for sore throats.  I’ve added it to my routine because I spend time out in the sun almost every day and I don’t want to ruin my skin.  I’ve been using it in conjunction with my Herb Day Aloe cleanser by The Face Shop. 

As a note, the other option for this toner was Witchhazel which is better for oily skin.

Yeon/Jeju Hallabong Special Peeling and Pack Mini 4 Set

This is a cute set containing four wash-off masks: one Energy Peeling Gel; one Ghassoul Pack; two Energy Live Packs.  These little masks are the perfect size to take with me when I’m travelling so I’ll be saving them for my next trip which is coming up in October.  I’ll try to do a small review on them at that point.

Etude House Milk Talk Body Wash

I was very excited to see an Etude House item in the bb bag since I’ve heard so much about it online.  I got a body wash which I don’t exactly need at the moment but I’ll see how I feel about putting it in the rotation.  It’s a decent sized product, coming in at 200ml, and we’ll see how long it lasts when I start using it.  I got the milk scent which smells like baby powder.  I like it but it may not be for everyone.

Holika Holika Golden Monkey Glamour Lip

This is a three step mask for the lips.  It consists of a scrub, a gel mask, and a honey treatment and is meant to clear up chapped lips.  This looks to be best saved for winter when lips get dry.

Tony Moly Crystal Blusher

I really like this.  It’s just a simple blush but the colour is perfect for my skin.  It goes on very smooth, doesn’t look fake, and has just a bit of shimmer to light up the complexion. 

Blending Brush

Beauteque often includes a lifestyle product in their bags the majority of which are beauty accessories such as eyelash curlers or make-up brushes.  This one is from their own line and is meant for blending the make-up to give it a flawless finish on your face.  I rarely layer my make-up enough to need that so I’ve re-purposed it as a mask brush.  I blatantly took this (frankly genius) idea from Harlot Beauty.  The brush is firm enough to comfortably put on my clay mask and is very simple to clean.  I’ve been doing this for two months now and it’s so much easier and less messy than doing it with my fingers.  I also get a much more even distribution of the mask on my face so I highly recommend using this brush for that. 

I love this bag.  For the first one that I receive it’s exciting, full of large items and things that I would never have known about or thought of trying.  This is why I decided to jump into the subscription pool, the ability to try things I would not have the chance to otherwise.  I’ll be keeping the subscription going for as long as my funds can stand it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Beauteque Head to Toe Aloe Bag

I got this bag over a month ago, time does fly. Luckily this means that I've gotten to try most of the products in it so I can tell you my thoughts on then. The Bag itself came in a simple linen drawstring pouch which went well with the aloe theme and will be used as a shoe bag in my travels. It's perfect to fit a pair of flats or pumps.  There were seven products in this bag and they were all skin care products. They were also quite large which is nice as they should last me the rest of summer.

My favourite item goes first. It's the Welcos Aloe Vera Soothing Gell.

I am loving the heck out of this gel. It's a pretty big (125ml) container. Slightly tinted green (cause aloe, duh) and perfectly size for my tiny hands. The consistency is a bit thicker than water but the spray still comes out very fine. It takes just a few moments to dry on the skin and doesn't leave any sticky residue. The smell reminds me of cucumbers but all aloe products smell that way. The smell isn't overpowering in the least and dissipates within a few seconds. I'm really happy that it was in the bag as I was looking for a face mist and aloe is just perfect this summer.

Item number two that I've been loving is the Natue Republic Smoothing Aloe Moisture Emultion.

The emultion is quite big as well coming in at 160ml. It comes in a very hard green plastic bottle with a somewhat strange fitting in the neck. The Emultion is actually really hard to get out of the bottle but I've gone around that by placing a pump into the neck. For now it sits in the funny little fitting but when I've used the contents more ill take the fitting out and screw the pump into the neck. It seems that there are standard pump sizes used around the world since the pump fits my British body cream, my Russian shampoo and now my Korean emultion.  The consistency is similar to a runny cream but it's thick enough that it doesn't run through your fingers as you apply it. There isn't much smell to it, which I love, and it absorbes into the face pretty quickly. The description says that it works best when used in tandem with an aloe toner and I have one of those from my BB Bag. I'm glad to have more aloe products for the summer since I spend quite a bit of my time outside either biking or shooting and I always need soothing creams.

Thankfully, for creams I have the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Body Cream.

This is a pretty nice body cream which is 90% aloe extract.  It comes out with a slight greenish tinge and a hint of aloe smell.  The cream glides on very well and absorbs quickly without leaving any kind of residue  This isn't the most interesting of products but it works very well in the summer especially when combined with other aloe products.

Next I have the product I haven't opened yet. The It's Skin Aloe Soothing Gel.

I haven't used this yet because I already have my The Face Shop aloe gel and I'm not going to open a new gel just to try it. This is the smallest product in the bunch (coming in at 75ml) but I don't mind as I can take it on board a plane so it's totally coming with me to San Francisco in October.  With all the sun there this thing will get quite a bit of use.

As always Beauteque has included two sheet masks with their bag and these are both aloe sheet masks. 

I have yet to open the 3W Fresh Aloe Mask Sheet but I've already used the Tosowoong Pure Mask Aloe and been very happy with it. It's got oodles of serum goodness and after it took it off I had just a bit of product left to rub into my neck, chest and upper back (just around my neck. I burn easily so aloe there is needed as well).  I have high hopes for the 3W mask. (Update: I've used the 3W mask and it worked great at soothing my face.  The serum absorbed into my skin really well and didn't leave much on the sheet after I took it off  There was just enough serum to pat a bit onto my neck)

The last product in this bag was a Silicon Massage Pad by a Chinese company called Anna. 

It's very soft but I've used it and I honestly don't see a difference in how clean my skin gets. I've been blessed with pretty small pores so just using cleansers is fine for me.

The Aloe Bag was definitely worth it for me. With fair skin and a love for outdoor sports aloe is my savior in the summer. I even have an aloe cleanser from The Face Shop and an aloe toner from Secret Key to complete the set! As of right now it's still on sale on the Beauteque website so go grab one while you can.  (Beauteque are also doing a promotion where if you subscribe to a 3, 6, or 12 month BB Bag you get the Aloe Bag for free.)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nandemobox Kawaii August Review

I was so excited to open my mail box and see a delivery slip for a package, I knew that it was my Nandemo Box than had finally arrived.

What is a Nandemo box? Nandemo means anything or everything in Japanese and in this case is the name of a subscription service that offers two distinct boxes straight from Japan.  These are the Snack Box and the Kawaii (Cute) Box.  The company also runs an online store where you can buy a multitude of cute things made by the SAN-X company.  

The monthly Kawaii box contains 6 - 8 cute things ranging from accessories to stationary to plushies.  Sometimes they will add a snack as a bonus item.  The box ships on the 20th of the previous month and arrives by the middle of the subscription month.  You need to subscribe before the 15th to receive the NEXT month's box.  If you subscribe after the 15th your first box will come in two months.  

There are four subscription options: a recurring monthly subscription, and non recurring subscriptions of 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.  The price per month is $35 USD and shipping is free.  The 6 and 12 month subscriptions are a little bit cheaper per month than the 1 or 3 month subscriptions.  You can cancel any time on the website by logging in to your account and clicking unsubscribe in your settings.  

If you would like to subscribe to the Nandemo Kawaii box here is the link:

I am a giant fan of cute things so after I found out that there are such things as subscription boxes full of cute stuff I started looking for one that would suit me.  Nandemo stood out because of its value and the lack of a shipping fee. I also liked that they had a nice variety of products and that they weren't all Rilakkuma.  I ended up signing up at the end of June which qualified me for the August box so I'd been anticipating this box for a really long time and was so excited to open it and it finally came!  It DID NOT disappoint, I was in a continuous state of aww the whole time.

Let's start with the box itself.  It was absolutely beautifully packaged and the description card had my name hand-written on it.  It's a small gesture but sweet.

The first thing that caught my attention was the Gaji Gaji Purple Zombbit Plushie.
I love zombie plushies of any kind, there is something inherently cute about them, especially when they are small. This one gets the distinction of a place on my desk.  

Next is the featured item.  In this case it is the Zombbit Pouch. 
This is a very well made pouch which looks to be water resistant. The inside has one large compartment plus a small pocket on one side.  It's 5 1/2" by 4" and it keeps its shape very well.  It looks to be perfect for holding feminine hygiene products during travel or when going out.  It would also be perfect for holding your liquids when flying or for carrying some snacks while at a convention or on a trip.

The item that I put to use right away is the Sumikko Gurashi Cup.
This is a small hard plastic cup that I'm using to store toothbrushes.  It's the perfect height to put in the bathroom cabinet.  It would also be very nice to have as a bedside cup as it looks and feels very sturdy and would probably survive quite a few knocks from people trying to find the snooze button in the morning. 

The second Sumikko Gurashi item is pack of Flake Stickers. 
I love stickers.  The description card says that they can add cuteness to any letter or envelope but psh, as if I'd share such cuteness with others.  These will go onto my notebooks and accessories.  I'll probably even try to put one on my work pass.

Next we have three Rilakkuma Panda Series items.  The first is a set of small lined memo pads which are in a cute box holder.  The holder also has a stand for a pen inside it which makes it extra useful. (It is now standing on my desk waiting to be used, very convenient.)
The second is a small notepad which is perfect for carrying with you in your purse.
The last item in the box was a pen.  It goes very well with the memo pads and small notebook.  It's fine tipped and writes very nicely without any air bubbles in the ink.

I really had no idea what exactly to expect in my Kawaii box so all the items were a surprise!  I especially love the Zombbit plushie and pouch, something about cute zombies gets me every time.  I don't know if I will keep the subscription for a very long time, there is a certain point where you reach a critical mass of cute things in your home, but I will for sure stay with it for a few months at least.  I'm already very excited for the September box.  If you like what you see here go check out the Nandemobox website:

*The Nandemobox was purchased by me and all views expressed here are my own.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Read Your Boarding Pass

This is a quick how-to for people who have trouble reading their boarding pass and understanding what everything on it means.

Here I have the picture of an Air Canada paper boarding pass.  Most paper boarding passes will look similar as they need to convey the same information.

The top left corner has your name. Always check to make sure that you have been given the right pass as check-in agents can make mistakes. We are all human.

Right underneath is your ticket number. You will not need to worry about this part. 

To the right of your ticket number is a spot for your frequent flyer or rewards designation. This will usually be shown in the form of the initials for the program you participate in or will be left blank if you are not enrolled in any frequent flyer program. Ex. Aeroplane, Miles and More.

The next row down lists information important to you:

Your flight number. This will tell you the full flight number including the two letter airline code for the airline you are flying with. Ex. AC9999 for Air Canada or LH 1111 for Lufthansa. It will be followed by the date of your flight.

Your departure city. This is the city and airport that you are departing from. Some cities have multiple airports so be careful to check from which of them your flight departs.

Your destination city. This is the city and airport that you will be arriving into.  Some flights may stop at your destination and then continue onward with the same flight number (a stopover flight). If your destination does not match the one on the departure screen just check the flight number to make sure you are in the right area.

The next line goes into more detail for your flight:

Boarding Time: This is the time that the flight is scheduled to start boarding.  This is not the same as departure time but you should plan to be at or near your departure gate by the time that boarding starts. 

Gate: This is your boarding gate. Sometimes this area will have a gate number or a letter and number. Ex. Gate 2, Gate A2. Other times it may be blank.  This happens when your boarding time is too far into the future for a gate to have been assigned such as when you are connecting to a flight on the next day.  In either case make sure to check the boarding screens at the airport to see what gate your flight is boarding at as gates can change close to boarding time.

Seat: This is your seat number. It will always be a row number followed by a letter designating your place. Ex. 1a, 22b.

The last line will have your departure time.  This is no the end of boarding but the time that the aircraft is scheduled to leave the gate. Boarding ends ten to fifteen minutes earlier, depending on the destination and the airport.

Some boarding passes may have a tear away section on the right. This is a hold over from the time when the main part of the boarding pass was kept by the airline to verify who has boarded. This section will usually have the most important information on it. These are your flight number, destination, seat number. For anyone travelling on Air Canada this section will also state your zone. The zone is the new boarding procedure and you may board when your zone number is called.

If you ever have any doubts about the information on your boarding pass just ask an employee of the airline you are flying with and they will be able to help you.

If you have any questions or any suggestions please leave your comments below and to all of you flying have a great flight!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bebe Lip Mask

This time I decided to try a lip mask.  My lips tend to dry out quickly and also are very sensitive to outside influence, for example lipstick.  So, my idea was to see if a lip mask would help hydrate my lips and get me away from constantly using lip balm.

The packaging for the lip mask was SO cute, way cuter than that on the Real Nature masks.  It does seem to be the most childish looking thing in The Face Shop’s line but honestly, how could I resist that face?

The mask itself came in a plastic holder and was made of the same gelatinous material as the Gel face mask.  It was really easy to put on and stayed on with no problems.  Same as before, the gel mask seems to absorb better into the skin or perhaps it may not hold as much serum as the cotton masks and so ends up being absorbed into my skin in the proper amount of time.

I’m not yet sure how effective the mask will be in the long run but so far, my lips feel nicely moisturized and don’t seem to be getting any kind of rash. 

Next day update:  My lips feel fine, pretty normal. I didn't need to put lip balm on them overnight and they didn't go dry.  My overall impression of the mask is positive but I don;t think I'll be using it regularly.  My lips just aren't bad enough to warrant spending $2 on a mask every week.  I'll probably use it every few months in the winter just to give my lips an extra boost.

The Lovely ME:EX lip care cream is more my style.  I just like the idea of something covering my lips to protect them.  It also smells fantastic

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Face Masks from The Face Shop

So, usually I don’t do much to take care of my skin.  I wash and moisturize and that’s about it.  Every few weeks I’ll use a scrub on my face to get rid of the dead skin but other than that there isn’t much to my daily routine.  Recently, though, I’ve been wanting to try a Korean face mask to see how they are.  This has been brought on by watching Eat Your Kimchi’s Martina and her Korean beauty product reviews.  Therefore, I went out to The Face Shop, bought a few face masks, and will now try them and write a review on how they work on my skin and how the different mask types feel. (As a note, I tried all of them on different days so the reviews may seem a bit different in style though I tried to make the about the same.)

What Masks Did I Get?

I bought three masks: The Real Nature Green Tea face mask which is supposed to energize dry skin. The Real Nature Blueberry face mask which has softening properties for younger looking skin. The Hydro Gel Mask Sheet Vita E Cranberry Extract mask which only has an explanation in French and says that it helps the skin regain health and resistance.  I also got an Aloe Real Nature mask with my Summer Emergency Kit.  I will try that one with the other Summer Emergency products.

Mask Review

Real Nature Green Tea face mask:
Yesterday I went out and did the full make-up thing so today, when I woke up, my face felt a bit off.  To combat that effect I’m going to use the first of my three masks and see how it is.  First off the package that it comes in is really cute.  That’s a thing that definitely influences my buying choices.  It’s really easy to open and the mask comes out with no problems.  It took me a bit to figure out how to unfold it but I finally managed to do it.  It looks pretty big but it fits my face just fine.  I’m certain that it’ll fit most faces with no problems at all.  So now I sit and wait for ten to twelve minutes.  I’m going to read Cracked for now then.

My twelve minutes are up and now according to the instructions I need to tap my face gently until all the serum is absorbed by my skin.  There was a lot of serum, it felt very nice.  My face has absorbed all of it and is now a bit sticky, I’m waiting for that to go away.  In the end my face looks all dewy and fresh and somehow more alert than it did before so, so far so good. 

Hydro Gel Mask Sheet Vita E Cranberry Extract:
I’ve been feeling very tired recently so I figured I’d have a mini-spa afternoon so I did a mask for my hair and topped it off with one of my face masks.  As always, the packaging is really cute.  It’s a bit bigger than the Real Nature line of masks and comes in a glossier pack.  This mask came surrounded on both sides by a protective film which made taking it out of the pack a bit tricky, my fingers kept slipping on the film, but I managed it.  The actual mask is very different from the Real Nature masks, it feels like it’s made up of gel held together by a woven base.  The face serum stuff is coated on the gel mask.  It also came in two halves, one for the top of my face and the other for the bottom, unlike the Real Nature mask which was one sheet for the full face.  It smelled delicious, just a tad like a facial studio with hints of cranberry coming through.  Stayed on very well and I decided to relax for the 20 minutes that I am supposed to have it on.  Honestly, it was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep.

My alarm woke me up and I just took the mask off and threw it out.  The instructions didn’t say to tap my face to help the liquid absorb so I didn’t bother especially since the liquid absorbed into my skin really well.  My face felt very happy after the mask and very smooth and still does.  I honestly can’t say which mask I prefer.

Real Nature Blueberry face mask:
It’s a makeup day again and I don’t like my skin getting too dry so I’ve put on the last of my masks.  The package was a light lavender which is associated with blueberries, though I will admit I’ve always thought of them as a dark blue, probably cause I always think of wild blueberries.  Right away I could tell the difference between this mask and the Green Tea mask as the serum on this one is drippier.  The mask sheet also seems smaller, somehow, though that may be my own brain playing tricks on me.  It isn’t a problem for my face, since I’m on the smaller side, but if you have a bigger mouth and big eyes be prepared for the mask to settle over top of them a bit.  The Hydro Gel mask definitely was bigger. Well, I’m masked up and now it’s time to relax for a bit.  Today my soundtrack is a very old episode of Have I Got News For You.

Time to take the mask off and as with the Green Tea mask I needed to pat the remaining serum dry.  Even after a few minutes I can feel the serum on my face but as before I can see a difference in my skin.  It looks happier and very well moisturized.


For all the masks I saw the result at its best the next day when I woke up with my face feeling smooth and soft and still very moisturized.  Overall I think I prefer the Gel Mask because it absorbed into my skin very quickly and didn’t leave that slightly sticky feeling on my face.  It’s not very unpleasant but I feel like my skin just isn’t absorbing all the serum from the Real Nature masks because they are absolutely soaked in it.  I will definitely buy the masks again, both the Gel line and the Real Nature line, though I will probably try the other masks in the Real Nature line and see how my face absorbs them.

Have any of you tried these masks or some like them?  What are your thoughts, tell me in the comments below. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fruits and Passion Dual Action Nasal Strips

Because of a free shipping deal I got a bunch of face masks from Fruits and Passion, a Canadian face and body product shop.  I like most of their stuff and have now decided to try their face masks.  Today, while waiting for my hair serum to seep into my scalp, I decided to try the Dual Action Nasal Strips which are supposed to get rid of blackheads on your nose.  I comes in a very cute package with directions on the back.  It says it needs a q-tip to gently remove the blackheads but did not provide one, unlike a Korean equivalent shown on Eat Your Kimchi but thankfully I had one in my bathroom.  I think that North American companies assume that we all have q-tips of some type at home which, to be fair, we do. 

Step 1 of the nasal strips is a cotton strip soaked in a solution.  It smells somewhat medicinal, but not in a bad way.  Mostly is smells clean.  It’s easy to put on and stays on very well.  I need to keep this on for ten to fifteen minutes.  While doing this I’m watching Have I Got News For You so these are a very pleasant fifteen minutes that I’m spending.  As the minutes so on my nose feels cold and a bit as if I have menthol on my face.  Not painful, but a bit odd.

After step one is done I’m supposed to use the q-tip to gently remove the blackheads.  Now, I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t really have very bad blackheads or if it’s because they are so deep down but it took a bit more than gentle force to remove the blackheads, I had to really push them out.  I will admit that a lot of stuff came out, especially in the difficult area around the tip of the nose.  After getting out as much as will come out (and it really was a lot), it’s time to put on the second, pore closing, nasal strip.

Step 2 of the nasal strip is a cotton pad with a gel like substance on one side.  It actually had a piece of protective paper over the gel bit which you need to take off to put the strip on your nose.  It’s pretty sticky and sits really well covering the whole of my nose.  I’m barely noticing it.  When taking it off none of the gel remains on the face and my pores are indeed a lot smaller than after Step 1 and it looks a lot cleaner.  It’s still a bit red from pushing the blackheads out but it doesn’t hurt and feels very nice.

Overall I liked the Dual Action Nasal Strips.  I don’t need to use them very often but I think I’ll be buying them again, every few months.  You can buy a single package for $2.50 on the Fruits and Passion website.