Monday, June 30, 2014

Topbox June 2014 Review! 2 New brands and 2 Fave brands too!

When I received my Topbox in the mail I first was a bit underwhelmed as I had another green polish, but it is actually a shade I do not own and a new to me brand Teez cosmetics.
First not too exited by a lip balm, but then it is not a brand I have used...and it is Canadian.
KMS hair products I do like and had not tried anything new from them in a that is fun.
Derma E did not thrill me at first as I already use at least ten of their products, but then I realized I do not own any of their hand cream!
Now that I've had some time to try these items, here are my thoughts on these products:

June 2014 Topbox contents!

*TEEZ : Chain of Stones Nail Laquer in Jealously Jade. Full size item!  8.5ml bottle, value $15.00
This is a brand I have seen in other boxes, but have never tried. I've always thought their packaging was nice and different from other nail polish, as most are quite plain-looking bottles.
The polish/laquer went on quite easily, but did need 2  coats as it went on fairly sheer and is not a very thick product to apply.
The wear of the laquer was just ok. Without a topcoat the finish looked a bit dull after washing my hands so much in one day. I also had to use some alcohol products to clean my hands and this actually made some of the polish come off on the alcohol wipes.
I do not think I have had this happen before with other brands.
Overall the nail polish is decent, but I think it is better to use a topcoat with it to get any durability.
If I saw this brand I would be interested in trying some of their face cosmetics.

Teez Chain of Stones nail laquer in JEALOUSLY JADE.

*Barefoot Venus: Lip Fable in Knock Out mint. Full size item!! 4g tin, value $7.50.
I had heard of this brand before and was always curious to try their bath and body products.
A little disappointed that I received a lip balm, as I have so many unopened tubes here. Still mint lip products are my favorite and I try to use a lot of natural items, so nice to have more mint balms.
Barefoot Venus is also a Canadian company and that is another plus! Also that the balm is 99.9 natural is good to know.
The balm does moisturize nicely, but I did not find the mint part very strong. Maybe it is wintergreen or another light kind of flavouring. My lips did not feel like they were on fire or anything and that is good.
Some balms I've tried before had too much of certain ingredients that did not agree with me.
Overall pleased with this lip balm. There was also a 20% off coupon stuck to the other side of the lip balm tin, that is a neat way to include a coupon. Might have to place an order soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Topbox May 2014 review!

My May 2014 Topbox came quite a few weeks ago and I was hoping to have used more of the products by now, but can not try out everything as I'm unable to use any eye products for a few more weeks.
(Due to a eyeball injury, also why I cut back on computer use).

The May Topbox I received was more fun this month as there was quite a few colour cosmetics that were sent and a new to me brand of nail polish in a quite unusual shade!

May 2014 Topbox items received!

*Kinetics nail colors: full size 15ml, value $9. (Splatter It! KP264)
This brand of nail color is new to me. It is not really a shade I would have chosen, so it is fun to try new brands and finishes for me.
I thought this would apply like a solid black with white, but this is more a clear topcoat with black and white bits in it. Another plus is the laquer is made in France and that country is known for good cosmetics!

*I tried this topcoat on my bare nails and it did not look good on me that way- it made my nails look like they had dark specks on them. On top of a colored polish it looked really nice!

*Lancome Paris: Hypnose Doll Lashes mascara in 01 So Black: sample size 4ml, value $22    /full size 6.5ml, $31.50.
Did not try this item yet as I can not use any eye products at the moment.
Review coming soon.....

*Elizabeth Arden: Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion SPF 15: sample size 5ml, value $4.80/ full size 50ml, $48.
I have only tried this lotion once so far and found it quite nice and light for my combination skin.
Good for spring time, but for winter this might be a bit too light for me.
Trying this lotion a couple other times, it is very refreshing when it goes on and felt quite light the whole day.
There is also a kind of tropical floral kind of scent that is quite noticeable, so if you like products with no fragrance this is not one of those.
I also like how this came in a cute little pump bottle instead of a tube. Will most likely pick up some of this once I run out.

*Benefit Cosmetics: posiebalm- hydrating tinted lip balm: cute sample size 0.5g, value $3.70/ full size 3g, $22.
This balm goes on very smoothly and has a nice sheer light pink tint!
There is also a quite strong floral scent when you open the balm- I prefer balms with no fragrance usually.
*I asked someone to smell the balm for me and they thought the smell was more of rose. I could not exactly tell myself if it was rose or just other flowers.
You do not really taste anything when applying this, so that is a plus.
There is no sunscreen in this so will most likely use this when it is not super sunny out!

Total Value of my May 2014 Topbox:  $39.20

Overall I am quite pleased with the items I received in my box and plan to use them all.
I do hope I get less mascara, as I seem to get one from Topbox every second month it seems.
One of my favorite products in the box was the sunscreen lotion! I like how it is very light and feels so refreshing- will be buying more of it soon!

Foodiepages Tasting Box May 2014! Local Ottawa food even!

I got my May 2014 Foodiepages Tasting Box quite a while back and did not get around to posting until now.
This time I also managed to send one of the boxes to my mother as a gift, as I was sure she would like the items in this box.
Usually for gifts I like to give specific products, but when I saw this box I knew she would like all the products in it and I was right!

Here is a virtual unboxing of my box:

Opening my box!

Info card about products!

The first product I tried was the Rock Salt CRAVE! Skinny Crackers from enerjive!
This is a company that is based in Ottawa and I see their crackers almost everywhere I shop, yet had never picked them up as I was not too sure how they would taste.

The unopened foods!

Crave Skinny crackers right out the box!
The Crave! Skinny crackers were kind of sweet and also quite salty at the same time as they had a lot of rock salt on them. The crackers were also quite sturdy and crunchy and do not break too easily.
I think they would be good with any kind of item that is sweet or savory.
So far I've had the crackers with a tomato jam I had from a earlier box and with some cheddar cheese and both were delicious!

I really enjoyed the Tomato Jam and think it would be amazing with some cream cheese for some kind of dip or even as a sandwich topping with a grilled cheese.
This will be a product that I will be ordering soon! There are so many things I could think of using this condiment...I wish they sent a bigger jar!

*I also have some pictures of the amazing salad dressing. Just need to recharge my camera and find those images.
I also sent my mother the dressing and she could not stop raving about it and how she had some on a spinach salad with fresh berries too. Her dinner guests also enjoyed the dressing- she plans to purchase more.
The packaging for the dressing is also very unique and reminded me of a wine bottle as there was a cork in the bottle and the top was covered in wax!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Foodiepages April 2014 Tasting Box Review!

 The April tasting box is fairly new to me.
So far I have been lucky to order March and April's box and by "accident" also got the Feb box.
By accident, I mean I placed an order thinking it was for the March box a second time (was going to be a surprise gift...not for myself) and when I opened my box saw it was the Feb 2014 items.
That is not a problem as I had never tried those items!
How the Foodiepages box works is that at the beginning of the month you must be one of the first 50 people to order the box and it is first come first served. It is not a subscription, but a one time purchase. The cost is $14.95 and shipping is around $7 extra.
Previously shipping was included and it seems at the lower price point the boxes were flying out the door and I could never manage to order one.
So far the value of the boxes I've gotten has been around $23 or so which is not a very high value for a subscription kind of box, but I do enjoy trying new handmade foods and find it is still a worthwhile purchase for me.
I am always looking for some new handmade Canadian foods for gifts as most people I know do not want "stuff" from the mall and would rather have some new food item to try!
If you are interested in ordering anything from Foodiepages, I will post my referal link where I can get a credit towards future orders. It would be appreciated if you could click on that :)

I forgot to take a picture of all the April 2014 tasting box items together, but do have some of the pictures of what the actual food items were.
The box comes with a card describing the items and what part of Canada the producer is based in.


Kimberley's Own Nibscotti and Batch Sweet Kitchen Popcorn

Batch Sweet Kitchen Salted Caramel Popcorn: The sample size was around 50 grams if I recall and the value is around $4.00. I ate quite a bit of it before taking the picture, but did weigh it on my electronic scale.
The salted caramel corn has a rich toffee taste and you could also taste the sea salt quite well. There was also some pecans in the mix. I kind of wish I had a bigger bag of this as it was delicious!

kimberley's own Nibscotti: This is a product that is so new, it has not yet been listed for sale on the Kimberley's Own website (when I checked a couple weeks ago). What was sent out was a sampler of the product- I have no idea yet on how many will be in a regular bag or if these will only be mini biscotti bites.
The three Nibscotti were around 3" in height and not too thick.
This is an interesting version of biscotti, as it is made with the Kimberley's Own gluten-free granola and shaped like cute biscotti!
In Italian biscotti means that something is baked twice, so what seems to be done here is the granola was first made, then shaped and baked to retain the biscotti shape.

Now I'm sure you want to know how these Nibscotti tasted?
I was very reminded of granola bars, as these were made with oats, ground almonds, chia, honey. These did not taste gluten-free and I think if you enjoy crunchy snacks this would be a good product to try.
Also before I forget, the nutrition for these is quite good too- with the three Nibscotti coming in at 120 calories, 6 grams of fat, 15 grams carbs and 4 grams for protein!
These would definitely make a good snack for people who are into health and fitness too!

Louise Prete Sugo Pomodoro all'Amatriciana tomato sauce!

Louise Prete Fine Foods Sugo Pomodoro all'Amatriciana pasta sauce: This was a full size jar of the sauce and a 737 gram jar with a value of $9.99.
This is quite a heavy item to ship, so I feel the price of the tasting box is quite fair.
The tomato sauce was delicious and was also a bit spicy. There is also the addition of some bacon that comes from a local farmer and this made the sauce even more "fancy" and tasty- even though I'm sure just the other sauces are great too!
In the picture above I did not add anything to the sauce and I used some vegetable pasta for this trial.
I found you do not need to add anything extra to the sauce, but I did add some fresh parmesan and that was tasty also!

My overall impression of the April 2014 Foodiepages box:

I thought this box had a good mix of sweet and savory items!

It is nice to see a box that focuses on more than just snacks and bars. Everything in the box was very tasty amd it is hard to pick a favorite item when you like them all.
The value of the box was not that high with a total of around $16.oo. This is because I have no idea how to price the Nibscotti and did not add that in my total.
While the value may not have been that great, I know it is expensive to ship a heavy glass jar of pasta sauce, as well as the tomato jam was in a glass jar too.
I still think the box is worth getting as you do save on shipping and get to try items from other parts of Canada that you might not know about.
I'm looking forwards to seeing what new items will be in future boxes!

Have you tried any of these items and what was your favorite one?
What would you try the pasta sauce with? curious to hear some suggestions....

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ten Sushi buffet Bank St.First Impressions and copy of menu.

Ten Sushi is a buffet that just opened  two weeks ago and has a all you can eat concept.
There is also a regular menu and delivery available when you spend $25.00.
My visit was at lunch and the cost for one person then is $13.95 and very reasonable.
The location where the restaurant is situated used to be a Blockbuster video store and recently a furniture outlet.
To see how the space has been renovated into a very spacious restaurant is quite impressive!
One novelty of Ten Sushi is that you order at your table using an iPad tablet.
While that is a neat idea it can be a bit slow and cumbersome to pick your dishes as we were told it was one iPad per table. Once we figured out how to scroll through the many menus out food came extremely quickly.
You do need to remember to press SEND or your order will never get to the right place.

My first impression was that I hoped it was decent, but it is just $13.95 for lunch- so not the end of the world. I was a bit hesitant to go for dinnertime when the cost per person goes up to $23.95 for adults.
When I walked in I noticed the spacious location there was a large touch screen displaying the menu items.
We had asked to be seated at a booth- and when I got to the booth I was not too impressed. There was a long black hair right on one of the dinner plates and the bench had some crumbs on it.
I asked to have the plates changed. If there is one way to reduce someone's appetite this would be it!
Now the iPad is a neat idea, but from what I read on some online reviews, the screens had some food residue on them and people really did not enjoy that.

Now onto the food- the dishes we ordered came five minutes after we ordered them and were very fresh.
I kind of wonder how they can produce dishes so quickly.
My choice of dishes was not very adventurous as I wanted to try some dishes I was already familiar with.

The following are the dishes I tried:

sweet potato avocado hand roll :was good, but had mayo in it). The sweet potato was tempura style and I did not know this when I ordered. I'm not a fan of anything with mayo and the menu has no descriptions. I will know for next time I guess...

tofu pocket: (there are known as Inari at other restaurants)- those were quite small and seems the tofu was cut in half to make the pockets more bite size.

 tempura shrimp rolls were good, but there was no avocado like at other places and no salmon roe either. The tempura shrimp rolls: consisted of the shrimp, seaweed and rice. They were still quite tasty but I could have easily eaten a dozen of those as the pieces were fairly small.

 avocado sushi:  was very fresh too- but just the regular smaller rolls that only had avocado. Kind of hard to mess those up.

sesame balls- they were very fresh and had some bean paste in the middle.

 Deep Fried Milk: One item that really intrigued me was the Deep Fried Milk. I had never heard of this item before and asked the server what it was and was told it is milk that is deep fried and it is good.
(Doesn't really tell me much). My friend thought it would be somewhat like the deep fried ice cream many "mexican" restaurants serve. Turns out the fried milk is a tempura-like batter and inside is a kind of custard or rice pudding . I would get this item again. The order has 2 pieces and those were 1" x2".

fried bananas: were also ordered and they did look quite good- but the issue my guest had was that there was chocolate drizzled on them and she does not like chocolate sauce.
Actually the issue my friend had is the menu makes absolutely no mention that there is chocolate sauce on the bananas and was not too pleased as they never eat those kind of things.

Here is a copy of the all you can eat selections I was given when I dropped by Ten Sushi earlier this week:


My review will be finished later on today....
Ten Sushi is located at: 1490 Bank St., Ottawa, ON, K1H 7Z2

*Overall my visit was decent and I will try eating here again, but am also going to check out what other similar restaurants are out there!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Todric's weekend special dish COQUILLE ST. JAQUES!

TTFinally, I have managed to go to a nice restaurant and remember to bring my camera!
This Saturday I went to Todric's restaurant in Ottawa and one of the special dishes this weekend was Coquille St. Jaques!
I have never eaten this dish in a restaurant before and when I read on Todric's Facebook page this was a special I had to go there right away!

The dish was very large and well presented and the best Coquille I have ever eaten.
Usually I get other seafood dishes at another place and have Bouillabaise (a seafood soup/stew).

Friday, March 14, 2014

Harvey's Funnel Cake "fries" now in Ottawa!

Harvey's now serves funnel cake "fries" in Ottawa.
This is news to me and I saw an ad at the cash in the restaurant, so no idea if you can get this everywhere yet.

Miso restaurant Ottawa Chef Choice Sushi plate! Tasty and Fresh!

Miso has been around a while and was a few different sushi restaurants before being run by different people now (again).
I haven't seen too many reviews or pictures, so thought I might finally take photo of my latest order.
This was the chef choice special and the person making my sushi used smoked salmon, a couple shrimp and a lot of avocado.
But seeing this is "chef choice" it can change all the time. My order was $13.00 plus tax and I thought that was a fair price.
My order this time had 16pc, but another time I did have only a dozen, so maybe it kind of depends on the ingredients. My other chef choice order that had a few less pieces, the container was just as full as this one- so thought it was still fine.

Miso Chef Choice Sushi Special!

sNow I'm sure you want to hear about the quality of the ingredients?
The avocado was very fresh, the smoked salmon was quite tasty and easy to eat- except for maybe one piece that has some smoked salmon that was much tougher than the rest (maybe it was salmon from the end of the fish)?
But I have had the same thing happen with a lot of other smoked salmon, so maybe it is just a personal preference. The shrimp was very fresh too.

Miso does not have a website yet, but they are located at the intersection of Bank st and Slater.
The restaurant's address is:

132 Bank St
Ottawa,ON KIP 5NB
Tel: (613)286-6138

Mon-Sat: 11am-9pm

I also have a copy of their take-out menu that they seem to run out of often and will post that up soon if there are any requests for it.

Has anyone tried any of the sushi here and what do you recommend I try next??

Monday, February 24, 2014


My Feb 2014 Topbox showed up in my mailbox last week!
Topbox if you have not heard of it before is a monthly subscription where you get (usually) four deluxe or full size cosmetic items from new and established brands.

What is refreshing about Topbox is that you only pay by the month and do not have a prepaid commitment. That way you can be sure they will not run away with your money like some other subscriptions.

Here is what my Feb 2014 Topbox looked like before opening:

Feb 2014 Topbox packaging!

Contents of my regular Topbox:

In my Topbox this month were the following items:

*Estee Lauder: Double Ended Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara and Pure Color Gloss in Rock Candy. Mascara size: 2.8ml, value $13/ full size 6ml, $26. Lip gloss 4.5ml, $19.50/full size 6ml, $26.
The Sumptuous mascara is quite nice! My eyes were not irritated at all and I just read that the mascara is fragrance free! Also no smudging or flaking- so that is a plus.
The only issue I had was it is a bit hard to remove. I tried several miscellar cleansers for face and eyes and that did not work well. I then tried my waterproof makeup remover and that worked quite well.

The Pure Color Gloss is really nice and also has a candy like scent that is not too strong. I really dislike gloss that tastes like perfume or flowers (some expensive gloss I bought had a overly floral scent and taste).
The gloss did not burn my lips, so another plus. Overall this gloss is great and very wearable- this will be on my list of future purchases!

*So Susan: Water-based Pure Luminizer. full size product 15g, value $46!
I have never heard of this brand before and it is based in the UK/England!
This is also a full size item which is always fun to receive.
The luminizer went on very easily and does give quite a glow. You really do not need to use much at all.
I did have a few small issues with this product. One is that the product packaging states no sulfates,no mineral oil, water based...but then there is PARABENS  listed in the ingredients??
My other issue was a small fault with the packaging- the cap was broken and the product leaks out the side when you squeeze the tube.
Looking online, it seems others have had the same issue. I'm supposed to be getting a replacement sample with my March Topbox.
I think that for such an expensive product there should not be any packaging issues.

*Elizabeth Arden: Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. sample size 30ml, value $15/full size 50ml, $25.
This is one of those iconic beauty products that is supposed to be good for everything under the sun....
The cream was invented in the 1930's and one is sold every 30 seconds or something crazy like that!
The cream is quite thick, very similar to petroleum jelly, but I am not too keen on the scent that is very floral like. There is a fragrance-free version available thankfully...

*Zyderma HS :Clarifying Cream. full size 30ml, value $25!
This is kind of funny that I got this cream in my Topbox. I have never gotten this item from Topbox.
Not the most exiting product for me- only because I just placed another order for a large bottle of Zyderma a couple weeks ago. But I do not have a smaller bottle to take on vacation with me, so also quite pleased with this.
I guess this means I need to do another update of how Zyderma is helpful for me.
Actually I did just take a picture of my knees 3 months later and it is a huge difference. I did send Zyderma a copy of my pictures and plan on doing a new blog post soon......

*Lancome: Definicils mascara. sample size 2ml, value...
This item was not listed on my card and it is a surprise to see another mascara in my Topbox!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Seasonsbox Feb 2014...finally heard back. Denying Visa charges? and refusing to send boxes....Saga continues...

Finally, I heard back from "seasonsbox" as my email was signed.
Why can't the person sending the email even put an initial down?? what are "they" so scared of??

The message I received came from the Gmail address and stated that I no longer had an account and that my credit card had not been charged anything and that I did not have a subscription.

To me that is quite odd, as I did purchase my one year Seasonsbox subscription of Jan. 25, 2013 and my first box was Feb 2013.
Without skipping any boxes that would bring me to receiving Feb 2014 as my last box.
Considering I skipped 2 boxes and have the confirmation in writing that my sub was extended till April 2014.
I made sure to get that in writing as I was not sure if they would forget or be around and I might need written proof for something.

The lesson (I) you can learn from that is always get the terms of something you buy confirmed in writing if they happen to change from the original contract agreement.

Now to top this the same person who sent me that message Mr. or Ms. "seasonsbox", I guess that is their name now....
Seasonsbox is denying my credit card was charged!!!!
How ridiculous, as I see the charge in my online banking, so how can they not know about a $285 charge?

I did speak to my bank's credit card claims dept and customer service over the phone and the several times I did call they did see the $285 charge and told me to send a fax in writing with a copy of my seasonsbox cancelation.
I was also given a file # and just need to send a fax to reverse the charge.

Now for my seasonsbox subscription, I have a separate case and was told I needed proof my subscription was extended and only allowed to file one claim.
I was asked how many months I skipped and was told I could probably get that back.
I was trying to claim for 3 months missed (inc Jan 2014 that no one has gotten yet).
But now since Seasonsbox is refusing to even honour my subscription and does not want to send me anything, I just need to send that email to my credit card provider's claims dept.

I really hope "seasonsbox" enjoys dealing with my credit card's claim dept!

Has anyone else had so many issues with Seasonsbox?
I really had enjoyed my subscription until Dec 2013,so it is too bad they decided to dig their own grave.

*Has anyone noticed that the description card in their picture on the seasonsbox website is from Jan 2013, but the description is what is supposed to be Jan 2014?
Also the box pictured is the old style with the pretty cardboard box and ribbon that they used when they first started out.
The last few boxes I got just had the products dumped in a box with no bubble wrap or anything...

Has anyone gotten anything from Seasonsbox in 2014, I would really like to know....

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I just wanted to make a  separate post about Seasonsbox.
It seems that even though I canceled my subscription in writing at least 9+ times they have decided to make an unauthorized charge of $285.46.

This is fraudulent use of my credit card and they have no excuse for doing this.
I hope Seasonsbox enjoys dealing with the fraud dept of my credit card provider.

If I could post this on their Facebook I would, but they blocked anyone from posting messages.

Seasonsbox Feb 2014 update! My findings so far.... UNAUTHORIZED VISA CHARGES TOO!!!

the month of January went by quite quickly!
I was not going to do an update on my dealings (or lack of) with Seasonsbox, but since "they" have blocked any new comments from being posted on their Facebook page and deleted any question and comments (I) posted by myself and others posting my dealings here is nice as it is my own blog and can only be edited by myself.
This is what my own dealings with Seasonsbox have been so far.

*I've sent several emails to Seasonsbox through their Facebook and also every address that is posted on their actual website. The email addresses I used were the ones listed on their website:,, .

Absolutely no replies to my emails sent two weeks ago.
I did receive some vague email saying Seasonsbox was under "new management" and to send any inquiries to a gmail address.
A message was sent and again, no reply in over one week at least.

Some people in a cosmetics forum I am a member of that is US based have also had very similar dealings.
There were also some rumors that Seasonsbox was resold? and also that some vendors were not paid?
Other people were posting this, so this is all "talk" for now and Internet chatter...

I did see that on the Seasonsbox website that the price has been raised for Canadians to $49.95 plus whatever transaction fees your credit card has as their payment processing is US based (and has foreign transaction fees).

So far I was trying to find out what was going on with the remainder of my subscription as I am supposed to receive two more boxes until Feb 2014, plus two I skipped- making my sub go until April 2014.

Now in the Dec box that I received in early Jan 2014, there was one "damaged item" and other people had the same thing happen. Their hot chocolate powder tin was dented and powder leaking out.
This was due to the products being tossed in a box with no protective packaging of any kind.
I am lucky my chocolates were still in the little gift box too, as some people got their seasonsbox with loose chocolates that were uneatable.

As it is right now I did NOT receive my January 2014 Seasonsbox!
It is already the beginning of Feb 2014 and no email communication either.
I did contact my credit card provider to ask about filling some request for part of my subscription money back and have a case number, but have not sent my documents yet.
I was waiting until Feb to see if I would get a email or the January box and now have even more proof the "vendor is not communicating with me" and is pretty much refusing to fix the situation.

I had a similar situation last year when Glymm was around. They went out of business leaving people with prepaid subscriptions out of luck. And also did not sent items to people who bought from their store- I had a $200 order for some gifts and was never sent anything. The money was returned through my credit card.

After that fiasco, you think I would know better?
Actually most of the subscriptions I have had so far have been perfectly fine and I've had at least 20 different ones so far....
As long as you pay with a credit card you can always file a chargeback on any purchase you are not satisfied with!





Friday, January 17, 2014


Just received my January 2014 Topbox! My first box of the year!
Here is a pic for coming soon!
A "virtual unboxing" will be coming up!!

The Topbox packaging.

Overall, I like what was sent for my January Topbox.
The tweezers look expensive with the silicone coating and I hope they are decent (even though I already have a couple expensive German tweezers).Aveda products are always liked, skincare is always useful and lip gloss fun!

Thoughts on my Topbox items:

*Belvada Cosmetics: Colored Tweezers. Value $5
This was one of the first items I tried and when I received them thought it was a great idea to have silicone on the tweezers as it makes them much easier to use. The tweezers are slanted and fairly sharp and are a decent quality. For tweezing they work as well as most of the cheaper tweezers I've tried.
Usually the tweezers I like best are my Mavala Switzerland tweezers, then Italian made ones I picked up.
I will most likely use these tweezers for nail art and since the silicone part can be removed I will use it on my other tweezers. So far for me this item is only ok.

*Miracle 10 Skincare: Solution II Extra Strength Clarifying Solution: sample size 30ml, sold on Miracle 10's website as a deluxe size for $27/ full size product 120ml, $44.
I really like the packaging for this solution- it has a pump bottle instead of being a top you take off that could spill. Also a great size for travel or to take with you!
The clarifying solution left my face feeling very clean and smooth, but not dry. I really like this product but will have to use it for a while to see if it is any different from my current Toning Solution by Neostrata.
The Miracle 10 definitely felt less harsh than my current product, but that is because the percentage of acids is much less being at 5% compared to my usual 8 or 10%.
Also, I've done quite a few Exuviance skin peels lately and those are 20%+ so for myself I am not expecting any extreme results from this product.
If you were not already using much for exfoliating and wanted to help with blemishes, dark spots and skin tone this product would be very good. I do like this product and plan to take it with me on vacation!

Contents of the Topbox tube.

*Aveda: stress-fix body lotion: sample size 25ml, value $4.70/ full size 200ml, $32.50
I like Aveda products, but am more familiar with their hair products and colour cosmetics. I have never tried any of the body products until now!
The body lotion was tried on my hands and arms and absorbed right away. I do not think this would be rich enough for very dry skin during wintertime. But on my hands it absorbed right away and left them smelling nicely scented. I am not sure quite how to describe the scent of the lotion as it is made with a bunch of different essential oils that smell like when you walk into the Aveda store. I can make out lavender   The Topbox description card states that there is" lavender, lavandin and clary sage from organic farms".
The lotion is a good size to try and there was also a card redeemable at an Aveda store for a travel size hand relief cream.
I went to the Aveda store to pick this up and the cream was a 40ml tube with a value of $13!
While I was browsing the Aveda store I actually forgot to buy the item I came for too- their breath drops are nice and have no alcohol....

The Boxx Lipshine was hiding in the envelope...almost missed it!

*BOXX COSMETICS: Lipshine- braith 1.5g! Full size item! Value $16.
This would be my second Boxx Cosmetics item! I got one of their concealers last year and do like it and use that once in a while...
I like the colour of the lipshine that I received- braith is a sheer shimmery natural pink and is a bit more like a tinted balm than lipgloss. It applies well with a lip brush- you could use your finger to apply as the lipshine is more solid in the pan (but fingers are never as clean).
The gloss has some good ingredients like peptides , mango butter, beeswax and vitamin e. There is no scent or taste to the lipshine and I prefer that over perfumey things on my lips. The lipshine also went on smoothly and is not sticky.
Another plus is the ingredients are listed right on the back of the package! I always like to know what I am using on my skin as I do not like some ingredients I avoid.
I also like that BOXX COSMETICS  is a Canadian company and this product is made in Canada!

Swatch of BOXX COSMETICS Lipshine- braith
Above is a swatch of the Boxx Cosmetics lipshine- you can see how sheer this is, even with a thicker lipbrush application on my hand. I think this shade would be suitable for pretty much everyone who likes a more natural, but polished look.

Topbox December 2013 box review!

Better late than never!
I've been quite busy with out of town visitors taking up most of my time and finally now just getting around to posting my Topbox reviews.
My January review will be coming soon as well as an additional box that I purchased and just got here.
That leaves me quite a few items to try and that will be a lot of fun (hopefully).

Here is what was in my December 2013 Topbox:

December 2013 Topbox contents!

The December Topbox had a good variety of cosmetics for the holiday season!
From sparkly nail laquer (mine was more like a topcoat), coconut lip balm that reminds you of the topics (or summer), a new perfume and also some line filler (useful for those holiday pics).

My thoughts on the products I received:

*Belvada Cosmetics: Coconut Lip Butter. Full size product 10ml, value $10.00
The full size of the lip butter was sent out. This is such a new product that it was sent in a more plain package. The tub reminds me of the Body Shop body butter container I have here on my desk beside me.
The coconut lip butter smells very coconutty and tropical. The lip butter also goes on very easily and did moisturize right away- there was no waxy feel to this product and that is a plus.
There is also a coconut taste to the product The lip butter also goes on clear and has no shimmer or colour in it. Overall I do like the lip butter and will use it at home- for outside the home I only use lip items that are in sticks or tubes and with sunscreen in them.
The only thing I did not like about this lip butter is that there is no ingredient info included and I did not find any online yet. I usually like to know what is in the products I use.

*Cuccio Colour: Nail Laquer in REMIX. Full size product 13ml, value $10.00
Nail polish is always fun to receive! This would be my second Cuccio Colour polish from Topbox. The one I received a while ago was a sheer light pink. Remix is more of a topcoat product as it is made of different sizes of glitter that is in a clear polish base. There are large silver bits and some more fine turqoise and pink glitter.
I did try the polish by itself and did not like that look as much. Over some "greige" (grey/beige) polish I did like the look better, but ended up applying too much glitter and not liking the effect.
My plan is to take some pictures the next time I do my nails.....

*Estee Lauder: Modern Muse edp. Sample size 2.9ml/value $6.50, full size 30ml $65.00
When I first saw this was an Estee Lauder perfume my first thoughts were "oh no!...not another strong floral". So far I had sampled all the Lauder scents at the dept store and always found them too strong and floral to my liking. Most perfumes I buy are green and fresh (green tea, verbena) or fruity (lemon, berry,vanilla).
I was actually really surprised that this edp was a very light floral and described as being mixed with "sleek, sensual woods".
To me the edp has a very soft and light scent that is a bit hard to describe- it is kind of fresh smelling and nice. Something you could wear to work and not bother too many people.
Not too sure I would buy this, but I will use it up!

*Skiin: Instant Skin Tightener and Line Filler: Sample size 3ml/value $10.00, full size 15ml $49.95
I like trying these kinds of products as I'm always curious if they will really work. Thankfully I do not really need too much of this kind of product yet- I only have a tiny bit of frown lines to hide.
I had seen some Skiin brand products in other sample boxes before, but never had the chance to try and yet until now!
I really like how the sample is packaged with a tube you can reclose and a best before date on it too!
To open the sample you twist off the top and to reclose you put the cap upside down-kind of like a bottle stopper.
The line filler is like a gel or serum and did absorb right away and made my frown lines look smoother and filled on. There is also no scent to the product and that is a big plus.
But again, I hate that there is no ingredient info and when I went to look on did not see any ingredient listings either. I would at least expect a company to list ingredients online, esp since so many people can have ingredients they are allergic to or do not want in a product.
Still I do like this sample and am going to use it up!

Product description card Dec 2013!
My overall thoughts on the Dec 2013 Topbox:

I thought the Dec 2013 version of the Topbox had a good mix of items for winter and the holiday season.
The value of the items received was $36.50 and that is pretty good considering the box costs $12.
There was also one item that was Canadian (the lip butter) and three of the four items received were labeled as being new!
I can't wait to see what the new year will being for my Topbox subscription!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Maybe you are asking yourself why I have not updated my blog with Seasonsbox reviews?
I was waiting to see if I was pleased with their customer service lately, before posting anything overly negative (or possibly positive).
So far I had purchased a yearly membership in Feb 2013 and skipped 2 of the months that did not catch my interest. That means I am supposed to get my boxes until April 2014....

The last box I skipped was the November 2013 one that contained patchouli hair products.
I've always hated anything patchouli so.....great a whole box full of those items?? PASS

Now I was supposed to receive the December box and as of January 8th it still is not here.
Not too sure of my box was lost or sent out as there has been so much restructuring with Seasonsbox that it is hard to tell if they are still in business.
I did receive my Dec 2013 Seasonsbox and am quite pleased.
The vegan chocolates were delicious, my hot chocolate tin was dented and some spilled all over my other items, the Moksa body butter smells very nice- but no one seems to be able to answer my question about the packaging changes.

I'm still having a few issues with Seasonsbox at the moment.
If you go to their website they still have the December 2013 products up and no word about the January boxes. Same thing if you go to their Facebook site that has not been updated either since December.
A few weeks ago Seasonsbox was advertising that you could renew at a special rate of $250 for the next year (that is for 12 boxes). That is a great price but........ Why do I want to renew or buy a new subscription if their website is still showing the Dec items in January and that no one from their customer "service" (or lack of service) dept can not be bothered to update?
If you are too busy, find someone else to write the update for you.

So this pretty much sums up why I have not done any Seasonsbox reviews lately.
Does anyone know if Seasonsbox has gone the way of glymm and taken off with the money?
Or have they gone out of business?

When (seasonsbox) does not bother to update their site and no Facebook update one can only guess the company has gone out of business.
I did ask on their Facebook to know what was going on and was wondering if I should contact my credit card provider for a chargeback as I can not reach the vendor.

Also that I received a damaged item and doubt they will do anything about that.
Usually with your credit card if you are not sent items, item not as described, damaged items and the vendor is difficult to deal with- you can do a chargeback by calling the credit card company.

I do know some of the terms for Seasonsbox state that there are no refunds on pre-paid sunscriptions- but when the company does not even honour their own contract, I'm not too sure if that applies?

Has anyone been able to obtain any info on the January 2014 Seasonsbox?
Has the company gone out of business?
I will update this post with any new info I obtain and what my credit card provider will suggest!