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ALLURE SAMPLE SOCIETY NOVEMBER 2014 UNBOXING: REDEMPTION OR BANISHMENT?

Published November 14, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

I work from home as a medical language specialist and, as awesome as that sounds, being interrupted when I’m working (one would be amazed at how many people think working from home actually entails no work at all) normally irks me above all.

Unless, of course, it’s the UPS delivery man bearing gifts. Such as today, when the ringing doorbell rudely interrupted my work, only to find the UPS man ready to place my much-anticipated Allure Sample Society November box into my outstretched little hands. He’s forgiven. Immediately. For this type of interruption, I’m quick to forgive. Delivery people bearing packages are always a welcome interruption.

Now, you’ll remember my not-so-subtle snark last month regarding ponytail holders and, more specifically, L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner in a box touted to contain “high-end, luxury samples.” My first and almost last box. However, bearing in mind that all subscription boxes seem to have a “slump month,” I decided to give them another month, just to be fair.

So let’s see…Will November make up for that extremely lackluster October box?

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Yep, there it is, that familiar pretty little red box with ALLURE emblazoned on its top.

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I have to admit, I really am impressed with the descriptor pamphlet they send in each box. It’s really well done and the pictures are lovely, with great, easy-to-read descriptions of each product.

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Nice touch, Allure. Last month I was so taken aback by the sight of the L’Oreal products that I think the quality of this pamphlet escaped me.

Okay, now let’s see what we’ve got in store for November. High-end luxury samples…Or more Walmart travel aisle products? Let’s find out.

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Looks pretty awesome at first glance. Not a ponytail holder nor a drugstore product in sight.

Let’s dive in, looks like the proverbial coast (or the drugstore aisle, in this case) is clear.

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First up is a welcome addition to my hair care samples. By Alterna (a line full of awesomeness, by the way), this is a sample of their Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Omega+ Nourishing Oil. Allure gives it their seal of approval for medium to thick hair; apparently this does not play well with fine hair and flattens it (never a good look). Fortunately for the me, I possess very thick, naturally wavy hair…And I’m going to enjoy every last dropper-full of this pricey little gem.
RETAIL VALUE: $38/full sized product (this is a small sample vial).

Off to a very nice start, Allure…Let’s see if you can maintain that.

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The second item to jump into my skeptical little hands is a 1-ounce sample size of Malin + Goetz Bergamot Body Wash. I’ve heard great things about this line and I’ve never had the opportunity to try one of their products. Although small, this sample should last for 2-3 showers…And it smells amazing, like freshly-cut oranges on a Sunday morning.
RETAIL VALUE: $32 for full-sized 16-ounce product.

Two for two, Allure, doing great here…

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Next up, I spy with my mascara’d eyes a small sample tube of MD Solar Sciences MD Crème Mineral Beauty Balm. Lucky for me, my sample is in Light/Medium, which should be a perfect shade for me in fall and winter, and I’m really loving that it’s a BB crème that dries matte and has an SPF of 50. Allure professes that it falls short in coverage but makes up for it with its ability to blur imperfections and produce a matte finish even on oily complexions. Truth be told, I don’t need a lot of coverage and my skin is basically combination, not too oily but not too dry, either, so I’m thinking this could very well by my “holy grail” of BB crèmes. And blurring of imperfections is never a bad thing, right? Can’t wait to try this one out.
RETAIL VALUE: $39 for full-sized product.

We’re halfway through the box and I’m not disappointed yet. Let’s keep going.

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A trial vial of Calvin Klein’s new fragrance, Reveal. Okay, full disclosure: I adore Calvin Klein fragrances, so I know I’m going to be totally biased and love this one even before that first intoxicating spritz. And, yes, it smells lovely…Somewhere between clean, freshly-showered skin, powdery, and lightly peppery at the same time. I would definitely purchase this on my own.
RETAIL VALUE: $70 for full-sized bottle.

Allure, you’re now officially 4 for 4…Can you actually manage for a 5 for 5 with this box???

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Ah, yet another mascara sample from a subscription box. But you know what? I really love the Lorac line and I did want to try this mascara. I was somewhat disappointed with UD Perversion and the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara didn’t float my boat, but I’m hoping this Lorac Cobra Mascara will be as fantastic as it sounds. I found the brush (which was thankfully glossy and shiny and jet black, no sign of it being a “dry” mascara) on this is really intriguing, and I definitely plan to try this one out tomorrow. Here are a couple of pictures of the brush (which probably suck because I’m definitely not a photographer but hopefully you’ll see what I mean):

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Hopefully the jet black against the red background make the unique-appearing shape of this brush stand out.
RETAIL VALUE: $20 for full-sized product (this is a pretty generous sample size)

And there we have it, the November Allure Sample Society box.

So, what’s the verdict? Did Allure redeem themselves from last month’s shenanigans with the L’Oreal and ponytail holders?

Why, yes…Yes, they did, and quite nicely. This is much more of what I was expecting from Allure Sample Society when I signed up. Not full-sized products, but samples of products for which a full-sized version might be out of my budget, samples of products I might not normally find on my own, or samples of products so spendy that I might be hesitant to purchase them without trying them. This box delivered just that.

Allure, I promise if you keep up this quality, I will refrain from referring to you as Sample Suck-ciety.

We’ll be signing back up for this box for December and give them another month or two to see if the quality of this box holds or if they revert back to drugstore product samples.

As of right now, I’m absolutely loving my Allure Sample Society November box and will enjoy trying every single product in here.

Allure, you have indeed redeemed yourself in my eyes (which admittedly are blurry from working but I assure you they’re loving these contents!).

If you’re as impressed with this month’s box as much as I was and would like to explore Allure Sample Society for yourself, here are a couple of links to get you started.

WEBSITE WITH REFERRAL LINK: http://www.beautybar.com (USE CODE SAMO3924 IF YOU’D LIKE TO USE ME AS A REFERRAL)
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/beautybar.com

As always, feel free to follow what I’m up to on the following social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholding-Eye/683364698413511
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBeholdingEye
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thebeholdingeye

Until next time, stay beautiful…And stay tuned! Next week brings The French Box, Wantables Intimates, Ipsy, Lip Monthly, Lip Factory, and possibly more. XoXo

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BIG OCTOBER BEAUTY GIVEAWAY – SNEAK PEEK #12 – GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!

Published October 26, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

Happy Sunday and, to fellow fans, Happy The Walking Dead Episode 3 Night! We’re all about The Walking Dead on Sunday nights here at Casa Beholding Eye. We like to think of it as quality family time gathered around the TV after work and having dinner…even though we rarely speak a word until the episode is over.

There are less than 2 days left to enter the giveaway and we’re up to Item #12 (one sneak peek featured 2 items).

This blog is lengthy but there may or may not be a little “twist” at the end, so I encourage you to read all the way through. *hint hint*

This one is probably going to rock your socks off so be prepared.

From the FabFitFun Fall Edition box is “the” big-ticket item. Renowned for skincare product extraordinaire, here it is:

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From Dermalogica, one of the top names in the skincare industry, is a full-sized Skin Hydrating Booster. I love me some Dermalogica but, truth be told, my skin is sensitive and a bit combination but rarely, if ever, dry. I’m sure this is an exceptional product (as are all Dermalogica products), but it would just go into my Skincare Graveyard as I would likely never use it. My skin’s quirkiness is your gain, readers.

RETAIL VALUE: $56.00.

So let’s take a look at the other 10 items in the giveaway and do a quick recap, in no particular order:

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RETAIL VALUE: $38.00

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RETAIL VALUE: $25.00

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RETAIL VALUE: Approximately $10

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RETAIL VALUE: $29.00

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RETAIL VALUE: $22.00

ttmascara
RETAIL VALUE: $19.00

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RETAIL VALUE: Approximately $20.00

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RETAIL VALUE: $35.00

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RETAIL VALUE: $95.00

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RETAIL VALUE: $55.00

ESTIMATED RETAIL VALUE: $404.00

With an estimated retail of over $400, not to mention most of these items are top-of-the-line, in-demand products featured in recent subscription boxes, this is a giveaway in which we at The Beholding Eye take great pride offering.

A few people have asked why do a giveaway as opposed to selling the items on Ebay and making a quick buck (or a lot of quick bucks, considering the retail value).

Well, that’s a very good question.

1. Because it’s better to give than to receive? Yeah, sometimes, but I’m usually pretty self-absorbed.
2. Because before I discovered subscription boxes, I would have crawled through broken glass on my hands and knees to get my bloody hands on a just a few of these products? Definitely.
3. I’d like to let someone who will be able to use and appreciate these amazing products have a shot at owning them? Yes indeedy.
4. Because I’m nice? (Nah, get that idea out of your head…I’m actually quite snarky — as one can tell reading my other blog entries, I’m sure — and straightforward, although with a hint of diplomacy…”nice” isn’t the first word that usually comes to mind when describing myself.

I don’t know, actually. I think it’s more a combination of #2 and #3. I’ve won a couple of very small giveaways and I know the euphoria that comes with winning. As ecstatic as I’ve been to win a few relatively minor things, I can’t even imagine being the winner of this haul. I’d probably be shouting from the rooftops and dancing in the streets…and THAT’S the reason I’m really doing this. I want to make a fellow beauty-holic happy (not to be confused with being “nice,” so banish that thought out of your mind). And while these products are UH-MAZING, realistically, they don’t do me a bit of good when they’re not right for my hair/skin type or if it’s a duplicate of a great product that I’d like for someone else to be able to try. Times are still tough for a lot of people…being able to make someone happy with a box full of fantabulous beauty products just seems like the right thing for this beauty-holic to do.

So, if you haven’t entered the drawing yet, I strongly encourage you to do so now. Entries end tomorrow at midnight. I may or may not put another product into the mix (if I can find it…I put it up for safekeeping for the drawing and have yet to unearth it) but as it stands right now these will be the contents of that glorious USPS box complete with tracking you’ll be receiving if Rafflecopter chooses you as the winner.*

From this point forward, I plan to do monthly or semi-monthly giveaways, albeit to a lesser degree. Two to three times a year, I plan on doing a blockbuster giveaway such as this one. Again, it will be products I simply cannot use or duplicates I have received. Sharing the wealth and all with my readers. I hope everyone who entered will continue to follow me on social media for updates, reviews, unboxings, etc. I’m planning on getting a laptop with a camera after the holidays so I can also do vlogging.

And Happy Sunday and Happy The Walking Dead Episode 3 night from Casa The Beholding Eye to you. See our bright and shining faces? That’s yours truly photo-bombing in the background.

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As always, feel free to follow what I’m up to on the following social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beholding-Eye/683364698413511
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBeholdingEye
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thebeholdingeye

Until next time, stay beautiful…

If you haven’t entered yet, click on the Rafflecopter link below and get your name into that proverbial hat…Remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter!

ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Due to the overwhelming response to this giveaway and our heartfelt appreciation at all of the kind words, new subscribers, new followers to our social media, etc., we were thinking….Perhaps we should add a second-place winner, who will receive a cosmetic bag full of various and sundry samples we’ve been receiving in our boxes for a few months now. While not nearly as grand and glorious as first place, we think it would be a nice little “thank you” gesture for one additional reader who took the time to enter the contest. Let me know in the comments what you think about this latest addition. Au Revoir for now, and stay beautiful!

(Please note that the giveaway will only be available for US and Canadian residents, otherwise postage would be cost-prohibitive…Thanks for understanding!)

QVC Beauty Tube: JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!

Published August 19, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

Oh my my, it’s celebration day at Casa The Beholding Eye.  My much-ballyhooed first QVC Beauty Test Tube arrived today. My little black heart started pounding out of my chest as I tore into this baby. I ordered this directly from the QVC website and it’s an every-other-month subscription for $29.96 plus a few bucks shipping and handling. As it turns out, quite the bargain and by leaps and bounds my winner in the contest for best subscription box (or tube, in this case) this month.

Here’s what it looks like out of its pretty pink QVC box:

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It comes with an amazingly beautiful glossy magazine (about 500 pages, I believe), and the purple pamphlet describes each and every item in detail in full color. Such a nice finishing touch. I’d probably pay about $10 just for the magazine alone.

Here’s what it looks like pulling off the initial layer of protective tissue paper and peering down into the tube:

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Bottles and boxes and tubes, oh my!!!

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And there are the box contents spread out on that gorgeous magazine…My heart’s really at top speed now.

Let’s take a closer look at the products included.

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Wow. Just…WOW.

Bliss Spa, Mally Beauty, Phytodefrisant, Kate Somerville, Philosophy, IT Cosmetics, Fresh…Ladies, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Every single one of these items is something I’ll use (and quickly as possible). QVC, this tube is a HOME RUN. Even the lip gloss, the brand of which I’m not familiar with, is a drop-dead peachy/pink shade that feels like butter on the lips.

My advice? Do not stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect the $200.

GO STRAIGHT TO QVC and sign up for this…I’m confident it’s the one beauty subscription that will never disappoint.

If you’d like to order yours (I believe this one is still available and you can choose Auto Shipment to enroll in the subscription service) here’s your link:

QVC website: http://www.qvc.com/NewBeauty-8-Piece-TestTube-with-Magazine-Auto-Delivery-.product.A262684.html?upsh=1&sc=A251376-CSWB

Until next time, stay beautiful…And feel free to follow me on Twitter:  @MrsMorelion

WANTABLE August Makeup Box: Is it worth your $40/month?

Published August 19, 2014 by thebeholdingeye

It’s going to be a great week for subscription box delivery, and my palms got sweaty as soon as I received an email notification that my WANTABLE box was crying for me to rescue it from my mailbox.  I was ecstatic to oblige.

Let’s just rip this baby open and get started.

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Ahhhhh…Full-sized products. After the Lilliputian journey that was the August Ipsy bag, these babies look downright gigantic.

First up is a full-sized jet black mascara by Elizabeth Mott, “It’s So Big.”
RETAIL VALUE: $19.99

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I tried to get a picture of the brush. Doing it with one hand shaking in excitement over the unboxing, the results aren’t great but here it is….Very similar to the brush on Too Faced Better Than Sex and other mascaras in the market:

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And next to find its way into my grubby (yet well-manicured) clutches was this gorgeous eyeliner by Mica Beauty Cosmetics in Silver. It’s a very soft pencil and swatches very easily with minimal pressure.
RETAIL VALUE: 20.00
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Next up is a clear brow gel by Billion Dollar Brows. Seems to have a very nice consistency and not too sticky or tacky.
RETAIL VALUE: $18.00

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And the last gem in the box is a Geri G. lip gloss creme in Peache. This is AMAZING. Great texture, great opaque color, and not sticky on the lips. My favorite out of the box.
RETAIL VALUE: $18.00

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Total Retail Value: $76.00
Subscription Cost: $40/monthly or $36/month with subscription

Now, some may feel this box is a bit pricey. I agree it might not be in every fashionista’s budget. Conversely, the products are of very good quality and are usually on a par with MAC or other higher-end, perhaps more well-known brands. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a less than great quality product in a Wantable box.

If you’d like more information on Wantable (which, by the way, also offers Accessory boxes and Intimates boxes, and will soon be launching a Yoga-inspired box!), feel free to follow the yellow brick road below…You might just find that you love it as much as I do.

Website: https://www.wantable.com/invite/zOoO0LlC828
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wantableco

And feel free to follow yours truly on Twitter: @MrsMorelion

“Beauty is in t…

Published January 28, 2013 by thebeholdingeye

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

“Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”
-Plato, Symposium

Welcome to my blog, fellow beauty/makeup/cooking/baking mavens!

As an enthusiast of all things beauty- and cuisine-related, the purpose of my little blog is to explore new beauty products, review those same products, share subscription boxes with all of the lovelies who are reading my blog, and post up a few tried-and-true recipes of appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and scrumptious desserts and baked delicacies.

There are innumerable blogs on the world wide internet already covering these same topics, so you might be wondering what my blog will have to offer that those others do not.  Well, I’m not sponsored by anyone so any of my opinions on any product will be just that, my unadulterated opinion, which isn’t influenced in any way except by my own personal preference.  Bigger isn’t always better.  More expensive doesn’t always equate to a superior product.  Sometimes those dollar store finds are like striking gold.  And sometimes that big-name product just doesn’t always live up to the hype, no matter how much you want to love it.

I also intend to have the occasional giveaway, which could be anything from a small home decor item (i.e., candles, wax tarts, etc.), a beauty item which I love and wish to share with a reader, or a small cooking- or baking-related item.  The possibilities are endless…Since I haven’t really planned that far ahead, anything is possible.

So, welcome to my blog.  I hope you decide to subscribe and hang around for awhile.  We can talk all the dirt about the latest products and compare notes.  And if there’s a product you love that you’d like to tell me about, feel free to do so.  I love trying new products!

And remember, the wonderful thing about beauty…It’s always in the eye of the beholder.

 

*TheBeholdingEye*