Thursday, May 24, 2012

BeautyPopShop $5 off $25+ Memorial Day Sale!

*|MC:SUBJECT|*


BeautyPopShop Celebrates Those That Have Served & Those That Currently Serve

As well as the families that stood and stand behind them!

Promo code: MEMORIAL5

Get $5 off your purchase of $25 or more (before shipping) at BeautyPopShop.com this Memorial Day weekend!



BeautyPopShop has the deepest respect for those that have served and those that currently serve in our military, which is why we want to celebrate you and your loved ones with this Memorial Day weekend sale! This promo code can be used towards your purchase of anything in the shop as long as your total equals $25 or more at checking (before shipping is applied). That means you can treat yourself or a loved one to anything from a fabulous nail polish rack to one of the new makeup shelves we'll be debuting this weekend during the sale! Enjoy shopping at BeautyPopShop.com this Memorial Day weekend ;)

Special Alert!: One lucky BeautyPopShop.com customer that purchases during our Memorial Day weekend sale will receive a special surprise when they receive their order! It could be you! ;)


More news: BeautyPopShop is currently testing no-VOC paint and assuming it goes well, we will switch from our extremely low-VOC paint to this new no-VOC paint. Yay for healthier finishes!. We have also been testing new shopping cart software for our store and intend to move in the next month. More option and more room to grow! We are continuing to explore new products to add to our shop later this Summer/Fall, including some exclusive polishes from several indies (to be announced soon), exclusive lip shades (also to be announced), and adorable kawaii randomness. You can follow BeautyPopShop on facebook to stay updated on new products we'll be featuring this summer!







Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Tweezerman Brow Kit & ProCurl Curler

I was given an opportunity to be a part of the Tweezerman Ambassador program about a month ago, which is fabulous because I'm a big fan of Tweezerman products. Tweezerman sent me their brow kit along with the ProCurl Curler for review. These are my thoughts...


Tweezerman Brown Kit

This kit comes in a roll that makes it super easy to store. This is also great if you plan to take it out with you for clients. For some reason my camera was incapable of getting a clear shot because of all of the metal reflecting in every direction--lame! But you get the idea. This kit is pretty extensive!

This Tweezerman Brow kit came with the following:
  • Slanted Tweezer - retail $22
  • Pointed Slant Tweezer - retail $25
  • Slanted Tweezer (with city skyline enamel) - retail $22
  • Satin Etched Zebra Slant Tweezer - retail $25
  • Point Tweezer - retail $22
  • Special Edition Pop of Op Mini Slant Tweezer (pink with purple pattern) - retail $15
  • Folding ILashcomb - retail $9.50
  • Mini Eyebrush Comb - retail?
  • Brown Shaping Scissors - retail $18
  • Eyenhance Brow Definer and Highlighter Duo - retail $20
  • BrowMousse - retail $10
  • Brow Define Sharpener - retail?

Where to Buy
All of these items are available on the Tweezerman site I believe. 

Final Thoughts 
First of all, I am blown away by the total retail value of this kit--thanks Tweezerman! I really do like the majority of the things here and I've tried out everything since receiving this kit. 

My favorite thing is the Eyenhance Brow Definer and Highlighter Duo. Oh my gosh this is amazing! Not only did it blend flawlessly into my black brows (no easy feat) but the handy highlighter is so great. I can't say enough. Get it! I also really liked the Pop mini slant tweezers. These are so convenient for carrying in your little makeup bag in your purse--just the right size. All of the tweezers work great and the tips meet evenly. The folding ILashcomb is another convenient addition and unlike others I've used that couldn't make it through my lashes, these passed through perfectly and gave me nicely defined lashes. The mini eyebrush comb is fine, but not something I personally needed because I have a bunch of them. 

I would say that the only thing I wasn't over the moon for was the BrowMousse, but that's mostly because I hate brow gels or products of any kind besides pencils. For some reason I don't like the way it looks or feels. Again, this is my personal preference and it has nothing to do with its performance, so if you're looking for a great brow mousse, this one may work well for you.

Tweezerman ProCurl Curler



 The moment I saw these in my package from Tweezerman I thought, "Uh-oh, does Tweezerman know what a lash curler connoisseur I am?" While I'm not a professional eyelash curler inspector/reviewer (my gosh does such a thin exist and can I please sign up???), I have been using an eyelash curler daily since I was about 12. If you follow my blog you know I love my eyelash curler and that I use it daily on my pathetic lashes. I literally could not apply makeup to my face without curling my lashes. I might die! Not really but ... maybe ;)

Anyway, I have tried a million different lash curlers and aside from the typical issues people have with them, I find that since my face is slightly flatter (thank you Asian genes) that lash curlers are often a bit too rounded so they don't sit nicely against my lashes unless I want to pinch my lids on either side. I have a favorite pair that I replace every now and again and that I've stuck with for YEARS because it's the only one that doesn't seem to make me do something awkward to use.

So, how did this one stack up for me? Let's talk about the good points first:
  • Sturdy frame
  • Very thick, durable band (several replacements came with it which is always great)
  • Compact
  • Gave a decent curl
Now let's talk about things I'd improve:
  • A bit too rounded for my eye (same issue I usually have with most brands, they're too curved). While I could use this, it takes a little finagling to make sure I don't pinch my lid, also making it a bit more difficult to get the middle of my lashes near the base.
  • No spring for tension. I personally prefer curlers that have something that causes some tension. For a newbie this prevents you from pinching the heck out of your lashes and for someone like me, I just prefer the way it feels when I use it on myself or someone else. Again, this is personal preference and these did give me a decent curl, but I'd be concerned that someone with less experience would create quite the crease in their lashes.
Price
These retail for $20.

Where to Buy
You can purchase these on Tweezerman's website HERE.    

Final Thoughts
I'm a bit torn on what I think of these. While the construction is great (they're pretty sturdy) and they can give you a decent curl, there were 2 things that would prevent me from replacing my favorite pair with this one. For someone with rounder eyes these might be great and for someone that isn't ridiculous about there being tension (I know I'm nuts) these might be a first choice, but I think these will remain as back-ups for me. I'd love to try Tweezerman's Super Curl lash curler, though the fact that it's extra-wide makes me wonder if it would work for me since my eyes are a little on the small side, but it looks a tad flatter and it doesn't have the frame on the side, so who knows? 

*These products were provided by Tweezerman for review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Trivia - May 15th

Today's Tuesday Trivia has a super cute prize! I saw these a while back and bought a bunch because I thought they'd make cute little gifts and prizes. Not only are they cute colors, but they're scented!

Sally Girl mini scented polishes (kind of drives me nuts that they put the sticker over the front, but what can you do?): Left to Right - Grape, Coconut, Banana

While these obviously aren't something I plan to stock in the store, I thought you'd still appreciate the opportunity to win them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day! $5 off at BeautyPopShop





Happy Mother's Day!

We want to celebrate with you!

Promo code: MOM5OFF

Get $5 off your purchase of $25 or more (before shipping) at BeautyPopShop.com this Mother's Day weekend!



This promo code can be used towards your purchase of anything in the shop as long as your total equals $25 or more at checking (before shipping is applied). That means you can treat yourself or Mom to anything from a fabulous nail polish rack to one of the cute makeup bags we recently added for pre-order! Visit BeautyPopShop.com now and get your Mother's Day shopping on ;)



More news: BeautyPopShop will be adding some exciting new products this summer including exclusive polishes from several indies (to be announced soon) as well as exclusive lip shades (also to be announced). You can follow BeautyPopShop on facebook to stay updated on new products we'll be featuring this summer!






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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5/8 - Tuesday Trivia Giveaway!

Today's Tuesday Trivia prize is super exciting to me as it's one of the new products we'll be carrying on BeautyPopShop and one of the items currently available for pre-order! It's the oh-so-adorable Panda coin purse!


This cute coin purse, along with other fabulous Japanese silicone coin purses and makeup bags, are available for pre-order until 5/11 on our site HERE.

However, one lucky winner will win the adorable little panda bag above by entering this week's Tuesday Trivia! You can enter here...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rant: April Birchbox Debaucle

Note: This post is a rant post that expresses my personal opinion based on my personal experience. I purchased this subscription on my own and have only expressed my own opinions below.  The purpose of this post is to relay my personal experience to my followers, however, I am in no way attempting to coerce you to act upon my experience--the choice is entirely yours.

Update 5/14: 
I was so frustrated with Birchbox's response (or lack of) to my issues with my April box that I sent them another email on May 9th that said:

"Hello,

I'm still confused as to how this response addresses my major complaint, which was the size of the products I received. There's a huge difference between receiving a .2 fl oz or larger sample and one that's just small enough for 1x use. And as far as personal settings so, my beauty style is trendy and adventurous. How do any of these products fit that profile? I am also listed as interested in anything natural and organic as well as "sensitive" in regards to my skin, so wouldn't sending me chemical-filled perfume samples in every box be a NO?

When I first joined Birchbox the service claim was that we'd receive "deluxe-size samples" and for the first few months we truly did. I see the text on the website has been changed to "trial-sized samples" quietly and without any sort of announcement. This seems a bit deceptive to me. There's a huge difference between deluxe-size (which is more specific) and trial-size (which could mean any size). Let's be serious, I receive free trial-size products all the time. I can walk into many cosmetics stores and a sales associate will guide me through the products and provide me with free samples at no cost, which is what you informed me is the main value of the service I pay for through Birchbox. I agree that at face-value the service Birchbox is supposd to provide along with deluxe-size products is absolutely potentially worth $10, but I personally don't feel I'm receiving products I'm interested in (despite having changed my settings under Birchbox's guidance) or products that are worth much monetarily due to their small size. How am I even able to determine I like a product enough to purchase it full-size if I can only use it once? Especially with sensitive skin, long-term use is something beauty-lovers like myself are constantly challenged with. I would need to use a product at least a couple times to determine if my skin can handle it.

If you're pushing the same service at the same price and you've changed the details of products delivered regarding size, technically you're charging us for a different service/product--those of us that have been with you since before you changed the text from "deluxe" to "trial-size". I think it's important that you address this change and let those of us that had been with you since before this change know. Also, for those that no longer wish to stay due to this change, wouldn't it be appropriate to offer reimbursement for year-long subscriptions they no longer wish to continue as a direct result of this change? I personally feel that I should be reimbursed for the last 2 boxes I've been sent, at least partially.

I'm so confused and disappointed by both the response I received, which quite frankly did not address my issue and seemed "canned" in nature, and by this deceptive change in product size promise.

I look forward to hearing your response."


I feel confident that I very clearly stated my issues with my box as well as Birchbox in general. Would you agree? Well, this is the response I received today, five days after I sent the email above:

"Thanks for getting back to us!

We changed the wording on the website to "trial" because we want customers to understand one of the basic tenets of the subscription right off the bat, which is that the point is to try different products. As our brand and service continue to evolve we'll continue to make similar changes to the presentation on the website. We're still completely committed to getting deluxe-sized products into the boxes though. Our brand teams works to get products that can yield 2-3 uses and are resealable every month (industry standard for deluxe-size). We haven't changed the sizes of the samples, we just changed the wording to evoke a more action-oriented service. In fact, we're implementing a system where we'll get at least 1 full-size color product into each subscriber's box every 4 months.

As a full-service beauty company, we try to cover the range from skincare to haircare to fragrance to cosmetics and even lifestyle/healthcare. Unfortunately that means we can't currently exclude an item from the boxes (ie: fragrance) or only give certain products (ie: only haircare). We can't promise that you'll love every product you receive each month, but we certainly are always trying to get our subscribers products they can use and may even surprise them once they've tried them. We're constantly pushing ourselves to find interesting brands and products. We're proud of the work we do, but we also understand that we can't please everybody all the time.


I'm really sorry that you were disappointed. I'll definitely pass your comments on to our team as we certainly don't want people to feel deceived because of changes we're making to the website.


If you have any other questions and concerns, feel free to let us know."


Clearly Birchbox will not or cannot respond concisely to my concerns. And I just want to say that I personally do not feel that saying "trial-size" rather than "deluxe-size" is better branding in the sense that it directly conveys the message that Birchbox's purpose is to give you a chance to try other products. In fact, the only think exchanging "trial" for "deluxe" does is convey the type of samples you'll receive. The more I think about it the more it's irritating that Birchbox tried to claim that changing the wording was to convey a clearer message. I'm a copywriter by profession, I don't take words lightly... :/

The phrase I'm referring to by the way is on the "box" page of the Birchbox website which says:

"Join Birchbox and get monthly deliveries of trial-sized samples from both well-known brands and emerging gems. It’s the smart way to try and buy new products."

It used to say "deluxe" rather than "trial-size". As you can see, Birchbox very clearly states that you get monthly deliveries of trial-sized samples in the first sentence. This indicates that you receive small samples of products on a regular basis. Pretty clear right? I'm not confused by that sentence. The next sentence states that joining this service will enable you to try new products and buy new products more effective. Also very clear, correct? Then could somebody please explain to me why Birchbox is claiming that changing the wording that only refers directly to the type/size of the sample products you get on a regular basis conveys a more clear message? I just hate excuses that clearly don't make sense. The response I received above makes no sense to me. Seriously. None.

And the bit about trying to send out deluxe samples consistently??? Ummm who's receiving all deluxe samples because I'm not. Much of what I've received lately A. was not resealable and B. was 1-time use. Ay yi yi...

Oh well, I cancelled at the beginning of this month and don't intend to go back. I managed to cancel 1 day too late to avoid the Gossip Girls box this month which, in my opinion, was disappointing, but I'm not even going to bother going into detail on that.

Oh well, can't say I didn't try! And again, this post is based on my personal experience and opinions. Everyone needs to make their own decision ;)

Original Post:

I've been with Birchbox on and off for almost a year now. I signed up near the beginning of their launch last year, then cancelled my subscription (as I'm sure you know if you follow my blog) after December's uber disappointing box. I waited a few months and then saw/heard that some people were really feeling better about their subscriptions, so I decided to give Birchbox another chance and signed up for the April box. I received my box towards the beginning of last month, was very disappointed, and contacted Birchbox. I received a response and haven't had the energy since to post it ... probably largely due to the fact that Birchbox keeps disappointing me. You also know I hate to post negative things unless I really feel it will benefit my readers, but I really feel you guys need to know about my personal experience here. Also, I've been asked to post about my box, the message I sent to Birchbox, and the response I received by several followers, so here we go...


2012 April Birchbox


My April Birchbox - Yes to Blueberries mini-pack of cleansing towelettes, PUR 4-in-1 mineral tinted moisturizer, Benta Berry G-1 facial exfoliator, Kahina ArganOil, Kahina facial lotion, Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume.
My first issue with this box is that this box was supposed to have a natural theme. Can someone explain to me what's so natural about Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck perfume? Last I checked, it contains plenty of chemicals and synthetic fragrance like most non-natural perfumes. This wasn't even considered my bonus extra, this was a featured product. Is it because it is supposed to smell floral and flowers are natural? Still confused. If you know me you know I have a preference for natural beauty products so I get super frustrated with companies that claim "natural" then throw in things that are clearly not.

 My second issue is that the size of 4 of the products--Taylor Swift's not-so-natural perfume, Benta Berry exfoliating facial cleanser, Kahina argan oil, and Kahina facial lotion--are extremely small. I'm talking free-sample small. Actually, I often get larger samples than that for free when I purchase from beauty stores like Ulta, Sephora, etc. I can also get more product than one of these packets holds for free if I go to Origins and want to try out a few things--they're amazing when it comes to sampling their products, I can't say enough! In fact, the products in the picture above are almost true-to-size haha.

I looked at the contents of this box and my heart just sank. I gave Birchbox a second chance and unfortunately, I was let down for the same reasons I original cancelled. I decided to contact Birchbox over my box. After all, how can they improve if they never receive feedback? If you follow my blog you know I've contacted them before. I've been told different things about the reasons and justifications behind the products I've received. I was even told once that it was essentially my fault because my settings dictated what I got, so I was given suggestions on how to adjust my settings to get boxes better suited to my likes/desires. It didn't work before and it didn't work here.

Anyway, I sent in the following email to Birchbox on April 17th...


"Hello,

I was a subscriber to Birchbox for a while in 2011 and I frequently reviewed my boxes on my blog, however, after several different issues with my subscriptions and disappointing boxes (despite being given advice on how to "improve" the box that was sent to me by choosing different account settings) I ended my subscription.

I recently gave Birchbox a second try after a few beauty blogger friends of mine said their boxes had improved. I loved Birchbox in the beginning so I decided perhaps things are better and last year I had just experienced a "bump in the road". Unfortunately, I received my box several days ago and it is exactly like the ones I received last year that were so disappointing. Not only are the samples so small (most were the size of the samples you receive with purchase from Sephora), but there was nothing that matched my personal settings. I am so incredibly disappointed and I really don't feel that my box was worth $10 even with shipping. Please advise as to your thoughts on this. I've had several readers/followers that received the same box I did express the same shock and disappointment.

Thank you so much for your time!"


I received a response on the 20th asking what the email associated with my account was. I responded within 2 hours of the email from Birchbox with my account info. I then received this response on the 24th (in short, it took a week to get a substantial answer--seems kind of excessive)...


"Thanks so much for being in touch and I'm so sorry to hear you were disappointed with your box!

I understand your concerns and I'd love to discuss your feedback with you.


The ultimate idea behind our business is that you get to try an amazing array of products before you consider buying them. We always strive to send our members products that they'll love, but we are also happy to know we are fulfilling our goal of helping you navigate through the cluttered beauty world to suss out products. This is part of the inherent value of your $10 subscription.

Yes, you can choose samples of products at department stores, but with Birchbox you are also paying for a service. The value of your membership is that you don't have to find a sales associate to help you navigate through the aisles, find the products you want to sample, and do all this while feeling pressured to purchase a full-size product (which most of us cannot always afford).

Each month our brand team works really hard to acquire all the samples for the boxes. They are then allocated according to what everyone has in their profile. For instance, as someone who listed their skin concerns as "sensitive" and "sun-protection" the Pur Minerals tinted moisturizer seemed like a good fit as mineral products tend to be better for sensitive skin and it is SPF 20 as well. We sent you the Benta Berry exfoliating cleanser because you've let us know that you have combination skin. This exfoliator is gentle enough for your dryer areas, but also regulates oil production for the areas that are a bit more oily.

Additionally, please don't forget about our
Birchbox Points program! Every month by leaving feedback on your samples, you earn back 50-60 Birchbox points--which is half the cost of your monthly Birchbox. 100 Birchbox points is equal to $10 in our shop and with all the other ways to earn points, they rack up fast! Please don't forget to check this out as it's an amazing bonus to your subscription which counts for incredible full-size discounts that can't be beat anywhere else!

I hope my email assured you of the value of your purchase, the care that goes into selecting samples,
and our appreciation of all of your feedback. Please don't hesitate to be in touch with any more suggestions, comments, or if you would like to discuss anything further."
 

Does anyone see any issues with this response? In one swoop customer service managed to disregard the majority of my actual issue (the size of the products) and further push Birchbox on me (earning Birchbox points and using the shop).

Aside from not once addressing my issues with the sheer size of the samples I received (a major issue I mentioned in my initial email), I was told that the majority of the $10 value for which we pay Birchbox has to do with them choosing products for us as you can see here...

"Yes, you can choose samples of products at department stores, but with Birchbox you are also paying for a service. The value of your membership is that you don't have to find a sales associate to help you navigate through the aisles, find the products you want to sample, and do all this while feeling pressured to purchase a full-size product (which most of us cannot always afford)."

Ummmmm I was under the impression that the point was to try out new beauty products through deluxe-size samples we received from beloved and emerging brands. Ironically, this text on the site has been changed to "trial-size". That seems a bit vague to me. Trial size could be a month or one-time use. Had I know the subscription had changed from deluxe-size to trial-size I would have never signed back up. The ironic part is, the meta tagline at the top of the web page says, "Deluxe beauty samples delivered to your door" still! Most of what I received was definitely not deluxe.

And regarding the service being worth $10 so I don't have to "find sales associate" and navigate through aisles ... I wasn't aware that receive 2 or 3 lotions or oils every month was helping me to navigate through the "cluttered beauty world and suss out products".

When I review subscription services, and I've done a decent amount, I look for a few different things:
  • Sample size
  • Sample brand variety (we don't need 4 out of 5 products to be from the same company)
  • Sample type variety (we don't need 3 out of 5 samples to be lotion or oil every time)
  • Presence of obvious "filler" products (putting a non-natural perfume in a natural-themed box is obviously not well thought out and putting a fragrance sample in every box, which is what I believe many of us have experienced, really does feel like a filler)
  • Non-beauty items in beauty boxes (one follower told me she received detergent one month???) - why call it a beauty box if you don't stick to beauty? Nothing glamorous about laundry last I checked...
  • General repeats (nobody wants to receive the same box every month with slight variation)
To me, these are many of the areas Birchbox now fails in.  When they first launched I was so excited over everything I saw and received. Each Birchbox was like a little present filled with goodies. Now, I see the same things over and over and the sizes are getting smaller and smaller. And the cherry on the cake for me is the customer service. While I've never had anyone be overtly rude, I have yet to have someone be extremely helpful. I very clearly laid out my issues with my box and I received a very generic response that didn't hit my main issues. Ironically, again I was told my box was a result of my choices on my profile.

Needless to say, I will not be continuing with Birchbox anytime soon unless some amazingly miraculous event occurs. I tried to cancel my subscription the other day and somehow it didn't take, so I will be getting May's box. While it's supposed to be amazing with its special Gossip Girls theme, I've seen too many misses with their boxes lately to get excited. Perhaps they'll prove me wrong with this one, but even then, it will take more than 1 box to make me a believer again.

So there you have it. I know some people still love their Birchbox subscription and I'm extremely happy and excited for them that they've found a service that suits them. I wish Birchbox could have been this for me.


New Products Coming to BeautyPopShop - Cute Japanese Silicone Makeup Bags, Coinc Purses, etc.

I've talked about these a bit on the BeautyPopShop facebook page, but I wanted to officially announce this on here as well! My intention for BeautyPopShop is to stock exceptional, unique indie, hard-to-find and/or eco-friendly products in the shop. I don't want our shop to look like anyone else's because then ... what would be the point?! ;) I have absolute respect for all of the other shops I personally frequent. I am a complete supporter of small business and have owned my own small businesses since my oldest was born. Female-owned small businesses make me smile!

Anyway, I found these products at the beginning of the year and began doing research. As I've mentioned a few times, I'm often inspired by my Japanese background (I'm half) and my sister is currently in Japan so I've been scouting through her a bit. These are designed and produce by a Japanese company so they have to be imported, which is one of the reasons stocking them is taking a bit longer than domestic products. I also wanted to wait until May because there are several products launching in Mid-May that I wanted to include in my initial stock and there will be more products in mid-June and mid-August I'll be adding as well.

Initially, these are the products I intend to order...

All of these products are made of silicone and they have the neatest feeling to them! They feel like rubbery suede! So neat ;) They can be wiped off as well, which makes them perfect for holding makeup products if you like--one of the many things that drew me to them. 

Original Panda Coin Purse

Panda Coin Purse (dimensions: 1.77" x 3.74" x 3.35") - This is one of the products I purchased samples of and shared pics on Facebook of. It is also one of the products that has gotten the most attention so I will definitely be stocking this adorable little coin pouch. It doesn't have to be used for coins obviously, you could fit anything tiny in it ;) 

Panda Coin Purse Open - I wanted to show you what this bag looks like open. They all, with the exception of 1, have kiss-lock closures that keep them firmly shut. The mouth of each bag has that hinged metal frame to help them keep their shape, but the rest of the bag is soft silicone. They're firm enough to hold their shape, but soft enough to be squishy, if that makes sense ;)
These will be priced around $10 each.

The panda coin purse is being released this Summer with a few new designs which we also intend to carry.

Smiley Panda

This bag has the same dimensions as the panda above, but features the Panda smiling! This will be priced at the same price as the one above and has the same dimensions.

 Sad Panda

Who doesn't love a sad panda? He's so sad, but that makes him even cuter! This is another newer design that we will be stocking as well. Same dimensions and price as above.

 Super Excited Panda

This is the last Panda bag in the coin purse style that we intend to stock. This is one very excited panda! Same dimensions and price as above

 

Rectangle Panda Bag

This is a new style Panda bag for Summer 2012. Instead of the coin purse shape, this has a shape similar to the wallet-style below, though it's bit smaller.
 The dimensions of this bag are 4.33" x 3.30" x 0.9". This bag is also perfect for mini products such as lipstick, money, credit cards, travel pencils, etc. This bag will be priced at around $11.

Which of these panda bags are your favorite?

Wallet-Style Bag

Wallet-Style Bag in Turquoise (Dimensions: 7.48" x 4.53" x 1.18") - This is the wallet-style bag that can be used for anything from money to makeup as long as an Urban Decay 24/7 liner! To me, this makes a perfect little on-the-go makeup bag for your purse. And best of all, if your makeup explodes inside (can't tell you how many times I've had a shadow randomly self-combust or a liner magically pull of its own cap and destroy the inside of my makeup bag) you can wipe it out with a damp cloth or paper towel! I really love this bag.
Again, I wanted to show you what the bag looks like open. I couldn't prop it open super wide because gravity is a pain, but you get the idea ;) It does open nice and wide though, making it easy to put things inside.
These are the color options available. I don't think we'll stock all of these colors initially. We'll probably do the turquoise, purple, magenta, and maybe another color. What colors do you like best? Feedback will definitely help us order what you guys like best!
 These will be priced around $14.

Super Fun Coin Purse Shape Bags

These are some of the other bags we intend to stock in the shop. As you can see, they all have the same coin purse shape as the Panda coin purse, but they vary a great deal in size.

We intend to stock the largest bag (7.87" x 7.67" x 2.67") which is the perfect size for a fun makeup bag! This bag will be priced around $30.

We also intend to stock the bag that's one size smaller (5.9" x 5.12" x 2.08") which can fit smaller things like lipstick, small compacts, travel liners, etc. This bag will be priced around $18.

As with the wallet-style bags above, these are available in the same color choices as well. Again, we'll probably initially start with a few of our favorite colors, so please let us know which colors are your favorites as well!

Pouch-Style Bag

This is the final style bag we're potentially stocking on BeautyPopShop. It's perfect as a makeup bag or pencil bag! And again, silicone means you can wipe it out with a damp cloth if anything spills inside! This is the only style that has a zipper closure.
Again, this is available in all of the same colors, though we'll probably only stock a few colors to start. Which are your favorites?
 The dimensions of this bag are 6.69" x 4.33" x .78". The price of this bag will be around $12.


There are a couple other designs we're not going to reveal quite yet that we'll be hopefully adding to the shop when they release in June and August, but nothing super similar to what's being released in May so if you like one of the bags above don't worry about something similar in another option being released in June or August.

To Pre-Sale or Not to Pre-Sale
One thing we've discussed is whether or not to allow people to pre-order, given the amount of interest in some of these designs. If enough people show interest in pre-ordering we will definitely have a week-long pre-order sale starting around May 7th. Otherwise, we'll place our first order in mid-May as intended and just notify you once products arrive. I can't guarantee there will be enough of each style for everyone interested, but we'll try to get a decent variety. If you simply have to have one of these bags and don't want to risk them selling out on you, let us know by commenting below or contacting us at contact@beautypopshop.com so that we can decide if we want to put these on the site for pre-order. We're waiting on a final order processing time estimate from the manufacturer, given that we're ordering some newly released products overseas, but we're hoping it's fairly short (1-2 weeks of processing). We'll let you know when we know!

Anyway, your feedback on what you like best is absolutely valued and appreciated so feel free to share, comment, etc.! Can't wait to stock these, I love them!

Oh! And we'll be offering 1 product from this line next week as a prize in our Tuesday Trivia Challenge on the BeautyPopShop Facebook page, so make sure you check it then! Our Tuesday Trivia Challenge includes a question which entrants must answer correctly within 24 hours from the start of the challenge, then rafflecopter randomly chooses a winner for us. We verify that the randomly chosen person has the correct answer. Though this week's Tuesday Trivia Challenge is closed, you can view the prizes and winners HERE.

That's it for now I think! Can't wait to see/hear what you think ;)


Which are your favorite bag designs?

  
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Which are your favorite color options for the solid color bags?

  
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Would you be interested in a pre-order sale for these bags?

  
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Beauty Box 5

Update (5/4/12): I received this message from Beauty Box 5 just now...

Great, thank you so much! We're glad you enjoyed it! I read your blog and you actually received 7 products accidently, it should only be 5 (as our name describes). 

Sorry about that, I hope you still enjoy your products!

So there you have it, I received too many products and only would have received 5 of the 7 I got. Depending on which ones, I might still feel this was a good value. I wanted to let you guys know though!

Original post:

I was recently approached by Beauty Box 5 to review one of their boxes and I jumped at the chance! As I'm sure you've gathered if you follow my blog, I really enjoy trying out beauty sample subscriptions. I love getting fun little things in the mail and I love trying out new brands. I am always hopeful that new beauty sample subscription services I try will succeed where others fail. Let's see how Beauty Box 5 did...

Wow - how full is this box?!

Items in box:
  • Lavera Mango Milk Care Treatment
  • Weleda Almond Facial Cream
  • Travalo Refillable Perfume Spray
  • BECCA eye tint in Baroque
  • Psssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo
  • Supergoop! Face & Body Lotion SPF 30
  • Skyn Angelica Line Smoother
There was a little surprise in the bottom of my box!


Price
The Beauty Box 5 subscription service is priced at $12 for 1 month, $30 for 3 months, $100 for 12 months

Where to Subscribe
You can subscribe to Beauty Box 5 at www.beautybox5.com   

Thoughts
The first thing that struck me about what I received was the sheer volume of products! I received 7 different products and most of them were a decent size. On the site Beauty Box 5 states you receive 4-5 samples, but is 7 actually more typical or was this just a really great month for boxes? Either way, this box is great in my opinion. There were actually a few brands I've never tried (BECCA, Lavera, Supergoop!), a brand I adore and use daily (Weleda), and a brand I've been eye-ing for a while now (Skyn Iceland). Not bad in my opinion, that seems like a pretty great balance. I like that there's a really great variety of product types in general! I hate when all you get is 4 or 5 samples of just lotion or perfume. I absolutely think that for $12 the box I received is well worth it!
 
Has anyone else tried Beauty Box 5? Are all of the boxes this fabulous? I may have to subscribe and find out for myself!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trivia Tuesday Giveaway

I'm going to try to start doing a Trivia Tuesday somewhat regularly, we'll see how it goes ;) Normally I'll only do 1 prize, but since this is the first there will be 4 prizes and 1 winner for each prize--4 winners!

Left to Right - Julep Gayle, Julep Catherine, Wet n Wild Lavender Pearlescent, Priti Princess Glow Leaf (this one glows in the dark!!!)

This Tuesday Trivia Giveaway will go on for 24 hours, so hurry and enter! ;) This is also featured on the facebook page for BeautyPopShop and will be featured in the same tab every time I told a Tuesday Trivia Giveaway. I also still have my Mega Spring Giveaway going on as well if you're dying to try to win some more prizes!

Good luck!

Review: May Birchbox Man

Let me preface this by saying that I'm confused as to whether Hubs' Birchbox Man box is technically the April or May box since he received his in April, but it looks like it's called the May box on the site. I'm going with May box since it looks like those are the products with free shipping on birchbox.com

If you've been following Birchbox for a while, you know how much a "man's box" has been requested. You've also probably been keeping an eye on announcements regarding the launch of the much-anticipated Birchbox Man subscription box! As soon as I saw that Birchbox man was finally going to launch I knew I had to get it for Hubs. And since the May box was scheduled to go out at the end of April, I figured it would make a nice little pre-birthday surprise--Hubs is a May baby.

Hubs' May Birchbox Man box arrived a couple days ago and he immediately opened it (after making sure I didn't mind him doing that before his birthday). I know that many of you have seen the price tag on the men's box--$20 per month--and wondered, "Is it really going to be worth double the women's box?!" So I thought it would be nice if you could take a peek inside the one I gave Hubs and judge for yourself.

When Hubs opened his May Birchbox Man box this is what he found inside. There was a little wrapped package, similar to what we get in our Birchboxes, a bar of Kiehl's "Ultimate Man" soap, a pair of socks, an insert on the discount you get if you purchase this month's products, and the product list. The box itself is a different size than Birchbox's women's subscription--it's close to double the width.

These are the 2 items that were in the wrapped package. The ZIRH shave gel is pretty small (just under 1/4 of an oz) and the Billy Jealousy facial cleanser is the same size as all of the other Billy Jealousy deluxe samples he's received from all of the other subscription services we've tried for him--2 oz.

Product list - Similar to Birchbox for women, the product list states the name of the products included, their full-size price, a brief description of what the item is, and what it's for.

Price
Birchbox Man subscriptions are priced at $20 per month or you can purchase 3 months at a time.

Where to Buy
Birchbox Man is offered on the same site you can purchase the women's subscription--www.birchbox.com

Final Thoughts
Was Hubs happy with what he received in this box? Pretty happy. 

He has tried just about everything Billy Jealousy has to offer and Billy Jealousy is a brand we have seen in literally every men's subscription service he has tried, but he hadn't tried Liquidsand ironically. He liked it, so while seeing this brand again was a bit redundant, the product itself is great. 

Hubs really liked Kiehl's "Ultimate Man" soap a lot and this is something he'll probably purchase. I'm pretty sure he mentioned how much he liked it again today haha.

The ZIRH shave gel was good as well, but Hubs has about 50 different kinds of shave gels (ranging price-wise from medium to very high-end in our bathroom (I just made HIM clean all of his products off the bathroom counter yesterday because he's taken over our bathroom haha) so this wasn't really a stand-out product for him.

The Richer Poorer socks were an interesting addition and also the only full-size item in the box. He liked the way they felt, though the colors probably wouldn't have been ones he'd pick on his own. He wasn't disappointed by this product, but he also wasn't dying over it. I think he liked the Kiel's soap more haha.

I guess in the end, while he liked what he got, we both agreed that for $20 it's a bit overpriced in our opinions. The products are nice, but for $20 I personally think you should get at least 5 products and you shouldn't be getting samples as small as the ZIRH shave gel. Is this worth double what we pay for the women's subscription? I don't think April's box was. I know Birchbox Man is in its early phases, but Birchbox isn't the new kid on the sample-subscription block, so I'd expect them to start with a bang and continue impressing. This was fun, but not impressive and not completely worth the value to us. I don't know if Hubs will purchase another Birchbox Man box again soon ... unless the products improve he'll probably pass another box up.

My suggestion for Birchbox would be to seek out products that aren't offered in all of the other subscription sample boxes and to offer either more products in this box or decrease the price to closer to what we (women) pay.

Note: For those of you that have asked what sample subscriptions Hubs has tried he's tried quite a few, though some are no longer in existence. The ones he has gotten that are still around or coming back soon are:

1. HisBlackBox (purchased by MenScience and not up and running again yet from what I understand). Before it was purchased by MenScience he had an awful experience with them, but perhaps with a new company at the helm it will improve.
2. Platinum Box for Men (the products are small and typical of what he's seen in other subs)
3. Birchbox Man

Note: I'll be posting on my April Birchbox soon, sorry I haven't gotten around to it yet. I was pretty disappointed so I think part of me didn't want to spend the time talking about it, but I've been asked about it and my correspondence with Birchbox about it so I will post for you guys :)