I say this about almost all of the subscription boxes I receive, but really, Glossybox is one of my favorites and I am always looking forward to it each month. I didn’t think this month’s Glossybox was the best one ever, but it definitely wasn’t bad either.
I received my Julep Maven box for November a couple of days ago and yay — I loved it. I chose three add-ons this month so I got one item for free, and then Julep threw in a surprise nail color for all Mavens, which was another freebie … so I received 8 products in total, plus a yummy caramel apple lollipop. Really good month for Julep, in my opinion.
I am really, really, really trying to get into the habit of blogging and have a better flow … I really want to try to get at least one post up every day. Or a couple of posts every other day, something like that. It’s not as easy as I first thought! There’s a lot of work that goes into this blogging business, and I have huge respect for all of the dedicated bloggers out there, perhaps even more so now. Either way, I love blogging and I really intend to make this work. 🙂
I always see the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love light kits every time I go into Michael’s but I never purchased one until a couple weeks ago when I got this skeleton light kit for Halloween. It’s so cool! It was super easy to make and I bought the purple bulb caps and some washi tape to add a little more decoration.
With Halloween just two days away I know it’s a little late to be starting any new Halloween-themed DIY projects, but this light kit was so awesome I just had to share/review it. Also, I’m really hoping that there will be new light kits coming out for Christmas and the upcoming holiday season. This was seriously so easy to make and it makes a super cool-looking DIY decoration. Plus, you can tell people, “I made it myself,” for extra creativity points. 😀
In the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love section at Michael’s there were a bunch of tapes, paper, stickers, bulb caps and other embellishments, most of which were also by Heidi Swapp. I decided to get this wide washi tape with a spider web design to add to the sides of my skeleton marquee light. This tape is by Heidi Swapp (~$4-$5) and the width of it fits perfectly against the sides of the marquee. She makes a bunch of different colors (not just for Halloween) so this wide tape is compatible with all of the Marquee Love lights.
The skeleton marquee light kit came with clear bulb caps but I decided to buy the purple bulb caps and use them instead. It added a sweet pop of color and I love the color purple so I didn’t even think twice about buying them.
The kit itself cost about $13 but I got it on sale for 40%-off. I think the whole Heidi Swapp line was 40%-off that day, actually. Michael’s always has some kind of sale going on and they always offer pretty good coupons, so I feel like I never actually pay full price for anything when I go in there. But anyway … The skeleton marquee light kit came with:
- Marquee skeleton shape — Basically the cardboard base of the marquee.
- Tracing template — A piece of paper in the same shape as the marquee that is used as a tracer, making it easy to cut out the shape on a different piece of paper. I traced the skeleton onto small sheets of glitter paper that I already had at home and placed it on top of the original marquee shape.
- Ultra-efficient LED light strand — The light strand that you push through the holes in the skeleton head to light up the marquee.
- Clear bulb caps — The kit came with its own clear bulb caps but, like I said above, I decided to buy the purple ones and use those instead.
All Heidi Swapp Marquee Love kits are basically the same — they all come with the same items inside — it’s just the shape that’s different. The kit requires two AAA batteries, which I had to buy separately.
The glitter squares that I had at home were too small to completely cover the skeleton, so I had to use two different pieces. I decided to switch it up and use two colors — silver and white — instead of just one. I used the tracing template (which is on the left in the above photo) on the glitter paper and then I cut out the new shape. The holes for the lights were kind of a pain to cut out so I used a hole puncher instead and it worked out very well.
Next I decorated the sides of the marquee with the wide spider web washi tape. This tape (also by Heidi Swapp) is made to fit the marquee light kits perfectly, and there are a bunch of different patterns and colors to choose from. Instead of using washi tape you can also put glitter or some other kind of embellishment around the perimeter of the marquee. I went with the tape because it was the least messy option of the bunch.
After placing the glitter paper down I added the purple bulb caps to the marquee. I easily pushed the caps through the holes and this also keeps the glitter paper in place without having to use glue or something else (which gets messy — I am a pretty messy DIY-er to begin with).
After placing the bulb caps I flipped the marquee over and pushed the lights through the back. The string of lights was made specifically for this shape, so you will have just enough lights that fall perfectly along the back of the shape, beginning with the battery pack at the top. The kit also came with a little piece of velcro that you use to hold down the battery pack.
And that’s it! This is the finished product — a super cute and extremely easy DIY Halloween decoration. It was also a lot of fun to make this and you really, really can’t mess it up, so I would say it’s great for beginners and kiddies. I really hope that Heidi Swapp comes out with different marquees for the holidays because I’m planning on making a few to place around the house as decorations.
Here is the finished product all lit up in the dark. Pretty cool looking, right?! I forgot to mention that there were a few different Halloween designs, but I decided to go with the skeleton because I thought it looked the best!
The Heidi Swapp Marquee Love kits cost about $12-$15 and are available at Michael’s and Michaels.com (although not all shapes/designs are available on the website). Happy crafting!! 🙂
Pop Sugar Must Have is the only monthly subscription I receive that sends out a random-ish assortment of goodies every month (all of my other boxes are mostly beauty boxes). This box is a little more expensive than the others I subscribe to but I definitely think the price is well worth it. Almost all of the items they send out are full-sized versions and they send out such a great mix of stuff, plus they feature a lot of new products on the market, so it’s also a fun service to discover new things. This month’s box wasn’t my favorite but I still liked all of the items and I definitely think the value was worth the $39.95 monthly charge.
The first item was this 100% satin pillowcase. I didn’t get a photo of the whole pillowcase but it’s an average satin bright white case. I really liked this pillowcase and I’m actually using it on my bed already 😀 Pop Sugar also included a 20%-off coupon for Savvy Sleepers so I might just order myself another satin pillowcase from them since this one is pretty sweet.
Savvy Sleepers Luxury Satin Pillowcase ($36; savvysleepers.com): A 100% satin pillowcase that prevents sleep wrinkles, reduces hair breakage and protects salon blowouts for “the ultimate sleep experience.” This pillowcase is “ultra-smooth for hair and skin” and it even comes with a little secret pocket. I think I’m going to put some kind of special herb blend in a little pouch and stick it in the pocket for a super peaceful sleep 🙂
This body scrub was one of my favorite items this month. It made my skin feel super soft after using it and I love the light lavender vanilla scent.
The Honest Company Sea Salt + Sugar Body Scrub ($17 for 9.5 oz.; honest.com): This body scrub is formulated with whole grain sugars and sea salts to exfoliate the skin, plus shea butter and almond oils to hydrate and soften.
I have been using the It’s A 10 leave-in product on and off for almost 10 years now. Right now I am currently using the It’s A 10 leave-in plus Keratin so I’m going to be passing this original formula on to one of my girlfriends who also uses this product regularly.
It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product ($12 for 2 oz.; itsa10haircare.com): A leave-in product that provides 10 benefits to hair — it detangles, adds shine, stops frizz, conditions and more. There are a few different formulas to choose from now (I feel like I notice a new one every time I go to the store), so you can choose the best one based on your hair type.
I was actually pretty happy to see a pair of comfy-looking socks in my October Must Have box. My socks always mysteriously go missing (which kinda happens to everyone), so I am pretty much always in need of more socks, especially around this time of year as the temperature starts to drop.
Richer Poorer Hope Slipper Socks ($15; richer-poorer.com): These slipper socks were specially designed by Pop Sugar to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). They are super cozy and warm, plus they’re hot pink to bring awareness to breast cancer this month and every other month throughout the year. Richer Poorer proudly supports the fight against breast cancer and Right Action For Women, which helps to provide advanced cancer screenings to women.
I love receiving (pretty hardcover) books in my Must Have boxes because they are usually titles I wouldn’t normally buy for myself and discovering new stuff is one of the reasons I love this subscription box so much. I don’t think I would have picked up Mindy Kaling’s new book for myself but I am excited to read it — it seems like a light, funny, mood-lifting read, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling ($25; amazon.com): Mindy Kaling’s second book is filled with “laugh-out-loud” essays in which she shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life.
Easy, Tiger Brown Paper Liquor Bag Set ($2 for one bag; cardsforawesomepeople.com): Brown paper bags to make transport, gifting and even drinking of liquor/wine a lot easier. These bags will definitely come in handy for the upcoming holiday season … !
The last item in this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have box was a yummy treat from Belgian Boys. I was very happy to see this in the box — I love these things … gooey caramel goodness enclosed in a sweet waffle-like exterior!
Belgian Boys De Stroopwafel ($1.59 for a pack of two; belgianboys.com): A caramel-filled waffle with a crunchy outside and chewy inside. A yummy accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea, it’s the perfect “anytime pick-me-up.”
Subscription Box Breakdown:
This wasn’t my favorite Must Have box ever, but it wasn’t terrible and I did like all of the products. I was happy to discover the lovely, satin-y pillowcase, as well as the sugar scrub, socks and Mindy Kaling’s book. I don’t think these products were all that exciting compared to past Must Have boxes but they were pretty cool nonetheless and worth the $39.95 monthly charge (I think).
Pricing & Availability:
Chicky Quicky is the newest monthly box that I started subscribing to and it’s the only one I receive that focuses mostly on jewelry and accessories. All of the accessories seem to come from the Patty’s Closet boutiques, which originate in Las Vegas. The Chicky Quicky box was started by Patty Barba, who is also the founder of Patty’s Closet.
Every month the Chicky Quicky box comes wrapped in really pretty and/or adorable wrapping paper. I especially loved the wrapping paper this month with the super cute Matryoshka nesting dolls pattern, complete with a colorful ribbon in one of my favorite shades of green.
The first item in my October box is this large cuff bracelet. I’m really not too crazy about this one so I’ll probably be passing it along to a friend, but I do love the color (which is pretty similar to that mint green ribbon). It’s just not really my style, but I’m sure someone I know will be able to wear it.
I received two pairs of earrings this month and these were probably my favorite items in the October box. I wear a lot of post earrings (as opposed to hoops or dangle-y ones), so I will definitely be wearing these. I think both pairs are great pieces for any season and they can pretty much be worn with any kind of outfit — dressy or casual.
Each month Chicky Quicky usually includes some kind of beauty item and the beauty items this month were both from Starlooks. I’m sort of familiar with this brand because I received a few different products from them in past Ipsy Glam Bags. I don’t remember ever really using those Starlooks products, but I do have to say I was pretty impressed with this shimmery olive green eyeliner. I absolutely love the color and it glided on my lower lash line very well. I think this shade is a great way to still be in the neutral-ish range with a little bit of color and it looked great with the natural eyeshadow look I wore it with. I’m not really sure how well the mascara works because I haven’t tried it out yet but I have so many mascaras as it is that I might just pass this one along to a friend.
Starlooks Gem Pencil ($16 for 0.08 oz.; starlooks.com): Highly-pigmented eye pencils with a glistening micro-glitter finish. Available in 11 different shades.
Starlooks Longing for Lashes Lengthening Mascara ($7 for “perfect size” travel tube; starlooks.com): A lengthening mascara in a clump-free formula that comes in Starlooks’ “perfect size” tube (which is about 70% of a full-sized mascara tube).
The last item in my October Chicky Quicky box was this super cute necklace, also in green (there was obviously a green theme this month). This statement necklace would look great dressed up or dressed down and I think it’s going to be a great way to bring a nice pop of color to a lot of my outfits this season. I definitely would have picked out something like this for myself if I saw it in a store so I’m really happy with this one.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I really loved the earrings and the necklace this month, and I was pretty surprised at how much I loved the Starlooks olive green eyeliner. So I loved four out of six products, and that really ain’t bad. All in all I think it was a good month for Chicky Quicky!
Pricing & Availability:
Chicky Quicky is a monthly jewelry/accessories and beauty subscription box that costs $35 per month for the regular box. There is a $25 “Lil’ Miss Chicky” box (recommended for girls age 5-10) and an exclusive monthly box that costs $50 and includes more items than the regular box. To subscribe click here, or head over to chickyquickybox.com for more information.
I’m posting this October Julep Maven review a little late (I got my box a couple weeks ago) — but, even though it’s late, it’s kind of sort of appropriate for today since today is the first day of the November Maven collection reveal. I just finished editing my Maven box for next month and saw some really sweet nail shades and other goodies (like the Holiday collection sneak peek) … but for this post I’m still focused on the October box, which I absolutely loved!
First up are the nail shades that I chose with my October Maven box:
Julep Nail Color in Laurel ($14 or $11.20 for Maven subscribers, 0.27 oz.; julep.com): Described as a “Raven feather silk.” I really liked this color, it’s like a shimmery black-ish color, but it looks almost dark gray because of the silver-y shimmer. The shimmer is also kind of muted so when you first look at the nail you might not even realize it’s a shimmer color. This is the only shade this month that I took a photo of (above), although this photo doesn’t really do this color justice. I’m going to start taking nail color swatches for all Julep Maven boxes from now on!
Julep Nail Color in Anya ($14 or $11.20 for Maven subscribers, 0.27 oz.; julep.com): Described as a “Climbing ivy crème.” I’m not gonna lie — I got this color mainly for the name, because of Anya from the Buffyverse 😀 But I also really love this ivy-green shade, it’s perfect for fall and it has a gorgeous crème finish.
Julep Nail Color in Colton ($10 special right now, 0.27 oz.; julep.com): Described as a “Black iris crème.” This shade is also really pretty but I think it’s more of a deep purple than a black. Either way it’s a super dark and rich shade, also perfect for the fall.
This blush was probably my favorite product in the October Maven box. I received it in “Rosewood,” a new shade in Julep’s pore-minimizing blush line and I am totally obsessed with it. This color is a mauve-ish rose shade, which is a bit darker than most of my usual blushes (which is one of the reasons why I love it so much), and It’s also perfect for this time of year.
Julep Your Happy Look Pore-Minimizing Blush ($24 or $19.20 for Mavens, 0.26 oz.; julep.com): A “groundbreaking blush” that “minimizes complexion imperfections” with light-diffusing diamond powder and vitamin B6. This blush formula contains Julep’s “Power Cell Complex”, Rosehip seed oil to deliver essential nutrients and green coffee bean oil to invigorate skin and promote cell turnover. This blush is pretty generously pigmented and it blends very well. I have to say, once again, that I absolutely love this shade — it looks wonderful and has a perfect hint of subtle shimmer.
I was pretty surprised at how much I also loved this eyeshadow stick that Julep debuted this month. I’m usually not a huge fan of eyeshadow sticks and I never have much faith in cream shadows other than my tried-and-true favorites, but this crème-to-powder formula was pretty impressive. I love how easy it is to use this shadow stick and the best part is that it blended beautifully with the shimmery powder shadows I tried it out with. It lasted for my whole work day, but my eye makeup always seems to last extremely well when I apply my Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer first (my favorite).
Julep Eyeshadow 101 Crème-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick ($18 or $14.40 for Maven subscribers, 0.04 oz.; julep.com): A two-in-one crème-to-powder shadow and eyeshadow smudger. This “crease-proof, stay-all-day” shadow is formulated with skin-smoothing vitamins C and E and it blends easily before setting to a long-lasting finish. It is available in six different shades.
These last two items were both add-ons that I chose for my October Maven box (the eyeshadow stick was the third add-on that I chose this month). I usually choose three add-ons every month because Julep will send you a free surprise every time you pick three or more add-ons with your Maven box. This month I received one of the nail polishes (that I wrote about above) as a free gift — I think it was the “Colton” shade, but I’m not 100% sure.
But anyway, I really needed good nail files so I decided to go with this nail file trio as one of my add-ons. I don’t know why but it has been SO extremely hard for me to find good nail files lately. I’ve only been able to find ones that do a pretty crappy job at filing and I end up throwing them away after just a few uses. So anyway, I am really glad I added these Julep files to my October Maven box because, as simple as they are, they definitely work well and get the job done. Totally worth it. I don’t see these files available anywhere on Julep’s website but I do see them every month when I pick out my Maven box as available add-ons, so I think the only way to get these specific files is to add them on to your monthly Maven box.
The last product this month were this super cool neon yellow Halloween nail stickers. These are also not available for regular purchase on the Julep website, but Julep usually comes out with different nail wraps and stickers every month or so during the Maven reveal. I’m going to try these out next week for Halloween and I’m sure I will be Instagramming them once they’re on my nails 🙂
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I loved my October Julep Maven box. I am seriously obsessed with this blush shade and how awesomely blendable it is as well as the eyeshadow stick, which is also awesomely blendable and has great staying power. I’m loving all three of the nail colors I received this month, the nail files are great and I can’t wait to try out the Halloween nail stickers. This was definitely one of my favorite Maven boxes.
Pricing & Availability:
Julep Maven is a monthly beauty and nail polish subscription service that costs $24.99 per month with the option to upgrade your box for a higher cost. To subscribe click here, or head over to Julep.com for more information.