Winter 2016 Pusheen Box unboxing!

My Winter 2016 Pusheen Box arrived last week!

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This box was gift-wrapped Pusheen and Cozy Pusheen-themed. So cute!

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Another nine adorable Pusheen items, with a description card.

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(1) Pusheen gloves (Pusheen Box Exclusive), the fingerless kind with mitten caps and 100% acrylic, and (2) a fleecy Pusheen-shaped scarf (Pusheen Box Exclusive), 100% polyester, are perfect for cold weather. The gloves are a bit on the small side. I usually wear size M women’s gloves (size 8), and these are pretty tight – as in the area where the thumb connects to the rest of the glove stretches so much that there’s a small visible hole at the junction. If you have larger hands than mine, you might not be comfortable wearing these!

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(3) The Pusheen String Light Set has eight lights and can be used indoor or outdoor at 120V AC 60Hz and requires 2 AA batteries. I haven’t tried these yet because their reliance on batteries kind of limits their usefulness to me. Might try to alter them later to plug in to power.

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(4) The Pusheen gift wrap and gift stickers (Pusheen Box Exclusive) with two sheets of wrap and four gift-tag stickers and (5) the metallic light-blue Pusheen Printed Tape have a present and cake theme that can be used for just about any occasion, not just the winter holidays. The print on these is crisp and very cute!

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(6) The Pusheen Holiday Stamp Set is my favorite item in this box. It includes eight rubber stamps with wood handles and a brown ink pad. Not all of the artwork has the same line thickness, probably because they aren’t of the same scale, and the stamps aren’t all glued very straight on the wood bases, but they’re decent stamps that make clear impressions. The included ink pad works well, too.

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(7) The Pusheen Tea Infuser (Pusheen Box Exclusive) is made of silicone, including the chain, and is dishwasher and food safe.

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(8) The Pusheen Stainless Steel Thermos (Pusheen Box Exclusive) is a dainty little thermos – only about six inches tall! It holds 280mL (a little less than 9.5 fluid ounces) and promises to keep beverages hot or cold for four hours and fit in standard cup holders. The outside of the body has a grippy rubbery texture – silicone? – and the head feels like normal smooth plastic. Hand wash only.

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The cap is a slightly different gray from the body, but it doesn’t really bother me. The print is crisp.

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And, finally, this month’s exclusive vinyl figure, (9) Cozy Pusheen Vinyl Figurine (Pusheen Box Exclusive), with the eponymous chubby kitty dressed in a hat, scarf, and booties. Here, I’ve placed her next to Baker Pusheen from the Spring 2016 Pusheen Box, so you can see them side by side. I think the paint job quality has improved with the last three figures I’ve received, since there’s no more bleeding paint on the newer ones. 🙂

So cute. ❤ #PusheenBox #pusheen #pusheenthecat #cozypusheen

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This box wraps up a year’s worth of Pusheen Boxes (four total, one per season), and I haven’t been disappointed! Definitely a fun and useful box for anyone who loves Pusheen, and if anything, the quality of the items has improved.

Speaking of which, I’d mentioned with my Fall 2016 Pusheen Box that I’d contacted customer service about the defective teacup and saucer that came in my box, and they were nice enough to send out a brand new one to me! It took a little while for the replacement to ship out, likely because it’s imported, but the new one is good, so I’m a happy customer. ❤ Plus, I now unexpectedly have a matching set, even if one has a smudged saucer.

Not sure if I’ll get another post in before Christmas (my nails are, in fact, naked right now – I’ve hardly even had time to pick up presents for family this year!) and not sure when I’ll get a chance to post next, so just in case, happy winter holidays and New Year!

Julep September 2016 (Cheers to Five Years!) and October 2016 (Dark and Stormy Nights) custom Maven boxes (+promo codes)!

It’s been a while since I posted a Julep Maven box unboxing, and I’m going to catch up today by posting about this month’s box (which came in last weekend) and last month’s box! Hoping to make this short and sweet:

Julep September 2016 (Cheers to Five Years!) Maven box (customized)

“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

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September was Julep’s fifth anniversary, and they celebrated by releasing some anniversary items, including a Cheers to Five Years! Mini Lip Trio (which I passed on because I don’t really wear lipstick), a nail polish trio with three of September’s new releases, and the Cheers to Five Years! Mini Eyeliner Set ($40 regular, $32 Maven), which I did pick up because I’ve been a fan of Julep’s gel eyeliner pencils so far. I also got an It’s Fun to Exfoliate Charcoal Body Konjac Sponge ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), which I love because it’s gentle on my easily irritated skin.

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Closeup on the 5-piece mini eyeliner set (from left to right): When Pencil Met Gel in Galaxy Black Shimmer (black with purple glitter), Deep Sea Foam ShimmerGilded Gold ShimmerLilac Shimmer, and Ultraviolet. I wore Galaxy Black and Gilded Gold to a wedding, and they went on smoothly and stayed put all night. (FYI, Gilded Gold is an actual metallic gold, unlike the disappointingly terracotta-y Sunset Gold.) Galaxy Black, with its deep purple glitters, is awesome. Thumbs up.

Promo code: FALLCOLOR for a free polish with a $10+ purchase (expires 10/31/16).

No freebie in my September 2016, not even a piece of candy like we usually get. 😦 I asked Julep’s customer service about it and was told this: “This month we were supposed to include a makeup bag for our anniversary. However, the bags arrived flawed and not up to our standards so we were not able to ship them with the September box.” Boo. I read some people got emery boards, but not me.

Anyway, onward!

Julep October 2016 (Dark and Stormy Nights) Maven box (customized)

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle” – Marilyn Monroe

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Yep, I picked up the No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven) that didn’t make it into my August 2016 Maven box. It was smaller than I expected, which you can kind of see from comparing it to the nail polish bottle. It’s roughly palm-sized and really skinny at that.

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The gel came out looking a teensy bit gelatinous and chunky-looking, as well as slightly sparkly and pink-tinged, when I first squeezed it from the bottle. (I’ll add photos later if I’m able to capture any decent ones.) It applied smoothly, though, and dried down matte as promised (no evident sparkle). It was lightweight, didn’t irritate my finicky skin, successfully protected me from sunburn, and took to mineral powder foundation well, so I’m pleased with it.

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I also picked up a What Your Skins Needs Restorative Facial Milk ($38 regular, $30.40 Maven). I would’ve picked this up earlier, but it wasn’t available as a Maven box selection for a while. This stuff is amazing. I didn’t think I needed another moisturizer in my rotation, but I tried it last winter when my sister got one in her Maven box, and I changed my mind when a few drops of this stuff fixed the eczema patches on my face faster than my expensive prescription meds. It smells a little funny (kind of like Elmer’s white glue, if we’re being blunt), but man, does it do the job.

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And, I picked up a Get In Line Invisible Lip Liner ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven). This product has mixed reviews on Julep’s site, so I’m don’t know yet if I chose wisely, but I’ve always wanted to try a clear lip liner. All I’ve done so far is remove the cover (carefully, by first twisting the cap until it loosened before trying) to photograph it, but the tip didn’t immediately fall out like it did for many of the people who gave it a 1-star review, so I might be in the clear (no pun intended). I’ll update this blog when I’ve had a chance to give it a whirl.

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Finally, the freebie for October, Desiree, a “high-gloss holographic top coat.” ❤ (I’ll be posting up swatches in the next post. EDIT: Swatch here!) 😀

Promo code: OCT10 for $10 off a $25+ purchase at Julep.com (expires 11/30/16, two uses per customer).

That’s it for now!

Julep August 2016 (Endless Summer) Maven Box

My August 2016 Julep Maven customized box arrived a bit early this month (yesterday) because Julep apparently hit a bit of a snag with the production of their No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel and had to give us a rain check on that. Last I spoke to their customer service, there was no ETA on the sunscreen yet, so to make up for it, they gave us free expedited shipping for everything else in our boxes. I’m totally cool with that.

The box:

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Hot-pink tissue paper, blurple paper crinkles, and:

  • A quote card with a product photo and the Endless Summer theme text on one side and this month’s quote from American poet and Blue Mountain Arts co-founder Susan Polis Schutz on the other: “Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
  • 20% off coupon for Julep at Ulta Beauty – an actual physical store coupon this time, to celebrate Julep’s launch at Ulta. No promo code this month, folks, sorry!
  • Julep Fan Brush, an all-synthetic soft fan brush for my arsenal,
  • Eliza, “[i]nfinite ocean holographic,”
  • Pam, “[t]igerlily holographic,”
  • Ellis, “[p]ink dawn linear liquid holographic,”
  • Alysha, “[v]ivid pansy holographic,” and
  • Lemonhead lemon candy, this month’s freebie

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Eliza, Ellis, and Alysha were an add-on nail polish trio (Sunshine Sparkle, which totally sounds like a My Little Pony name). Eliza and Alysha are both new colors for this month and have really promising rainbows in the bottle! Pam looks a bit more frosty and subdued than those two, which I wasn’t expecting. Ellis is an older polish from September 2015 and doesn’t have the bright rainbows of Eliza and Alysha but should still be a holo. We shall see!

And because finding dupes in my existing collection is always half the fun, here’s Ellis next to L’Oreal Masked Affair:

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It doesn’t look like Ellis has the linearity of Masked Affair, but it could still be worth doing a face-off! 🙂

I’ll do more photos of the fan brush for Part 2. To be continued when No Excuses comes in!

UPDATE 8/21/16: This was originally going to be half of a two-part post, but Julep’s since contacted Mavens who ordered No Excuses and let us know that it’s been delayed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances, so they gave us each a $50 code to spend on their website instead. I’m happy enough with that. 🙂

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep June 2016 (Midsummer Light) custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

It’s that time of month again: my Julep Maven June 2016 Maven box arrived this past Wednesday! Julep’s monthly Maven box is still great, especially now that it’s fully customizable.

I customized my box this month because one of the main new products was a blush (Skip the Brush), which I pretty much never use. It’s a multipurpose makeup that can be used on lips and eyes, too, but I didn’t feel compelled to try it this time. I was also sort of lukewarm on the nail polish colors this month, so I skipped those as well.

Here’s what I got in my box instead:

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White pearlescent tissue paper, turquoise paper crinkles, and:

  • Intro/quote card – “When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” – Wilma Rudolph, fastest woman in the world in the 1960s.
  • Promo code – use JUNE30 for 30% off a Julep.com purchase through July 31.
  • Julep Voila! Nail Polish Thinner ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) – can you believe I didn’t have a polish thinner on hand up through now? Figured I’d pick one up, since it fixes up those older polishes that start congealing on you.
  • Julep Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven) – really wanted to try this since it came out a couple months ago!
  • Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Sunset Gold Shimmer ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven) – I like these eyeliners, and Sunset Gold is a new color this month.

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And, this month’s bonus freebie was Necco candy wafers. Never had these before; they’re like super-hard flavored fondant. I’m going to make a public-service announcement: don’t try chewing them like I did. I was scared I broke my teeth! Overall not my favorite, but it was still interesting to try this old-fashioned sweet from the 1840s, which I promptly felt an urge to learn about on Wikipedia. The flavors I got were orange, wintergreen, cinnamon, lemon, lime, and clove. Definitely old school.

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The Voila! Nail Polish Thinner comes in an opaque dropper bottle with the glass dropper packaged separately in the same box. I haven’t tried this yet, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness, but I’ll let you guys know when I give it a shot.

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This is the Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick with the screw-on cap removed but with the protective clear plastic shield still on. The clear shield pops right off if you carefully lift it around the edge with a fingernail, and the stick underneath is close to the consistency of a solid lip balm.

Julep recommends using the cleansing stick with their konjac sponge, but I also had good results using it with a silicone scrubby. It’s got a light, clean, citrusy scent that I like, and it left refreshingly clean but moisturized skin. It didn’t irritate my very sensitive, allergy-prone skin, either. I’m pretty impressed with this one and adding it to my skincare rotation. Thumbs up!

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The When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner in Sunset Gold Shimmer doesn’t look quite as glittery on the pencil as it does in Julep’s promotional photos, but maybe it’ll have more of that foil effect when it’s actually applied. I’ll update this when I find out!

(EDIT 7/1/16: Well, the Sunset Gold’s got a bit more foil sparkle when applied onto the skin than seen on the pencil, but it didn’t come out nearly as metallic on me as in Julep’s photos. It was more like a mild shimmer in a matte burnt-gold base – maybe conservative office-appropriate, even. Mildly disappointing!)

What can I say? You can’t go wrong with a custom box, and it was awesome of Julep to extend customization to legacy Mavens. I’m happy.

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep May 2016 (Rainbow Bright) Maven Box, part 2 of 2

The second half of my Julep Maven May 2016 Maven box came in a bit earlier than expected, yay! (Here’s the first half, if you’d like to read about the original unboxing or snag a promo code.)

I normally don’t post a picture of the description card, but this month’s appealed to me with its bright rainbow colors:

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I took a couple better pictures of what came in the original box last week:

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Pepper is described as a “[c]ornflower multidimentional shimmer.” It’s a medium blurple (blue-purple) with silver shimmer and flashes pink/purple from certain angles.

Your Lip Addiction (in Crave) is Julep’s new tinted lip oil in an orange shade. The oil is pretty sheer (barely there) and nicely moisturizing, and it has a light citrus candy scent that I like, though it’s not the most natural citrus-y smell. The applicator is a very flexible doe foot that works quite well. The packaging on this is also aesthetically pleasing, with its clean and modern rounded square shapes and semi-matte mirrored cap.

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And here are the previously missing items that came in yesterday:

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Summer, “[c]antaloupe sheer iridescent,” also from this month’s Rainbow Bright collection, and the Flower Power Trio add-on, which included two other new colors from this month, Francine (“[s]eaglass iridescent chrome”) and Regina (“[n]ebula pink iridescent chrome”), as well as Paulina (“[p]eacock duochrome”) from October 2015’s New York Never Sleeps collection.

I’ll be swatching some of these colors soon, so feel free to check back later for those. 🙂 I may need to do some comparisons with existing colors in my stash; we’ll see what happens when I try them on.

(UPDATE 6/2/16: Swatch post links added!)

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep May 2016 (Rainbow Bright) Maven Box, part 1 of 2 (with promo code!)

My Julep Maven May 2016 Maven box arrived this past Tuesday – only it arrived in a suspiciously small box. I was pretty sure not everything I ordered could have fit in it.

Here’s what was inside:

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Baby-blue glittery tissue paper, indigo paper crinkles, and:

  • Collection description and quote card with a lovely photo of the bright new nail polish colors this month and an introduction to this month’s new product, Your Lip Addiction tinted lip oil. The month’s quote is from Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr: “Sunshine is good for the soul, but I always make sure I wear a big hat.” (Me, too, sister.)
  • Julep Your Lip Addiction tinted lip oil treatment in Crave – it’s orange, dude. Pretty excited to try this out.
  • Pepper, a new nail color described as a “[c]ornflower multidimensional shimmer.”
  • Promo code for $15 off a $30+ purchase – use MAY15, expires June 30, 2016.
  • A pink “shimmery gumball” per the ingredient card (a.k.a., the flip side of the promo-code card). No brand name, manufacturer, or country of origin provided. I hope it’s safe to eat.

And…that was it. It was missing Summer, which was part of my base box, as well as the Flower Power Trio add-on – all nail polishes because I was a sucker for the bright and shiny iridescent colors this month. I did contact Julep customer support, and though I’m a little irked that I’ve had shipment issues multiple times recently, to their credit, they were very courteous and prompt in shipping out the missing items to me. The missing loot should be here by next Friday, so I’ll continue with part 2 of my unboxing after they arrive!

To be continued…

(UPDATE 5/12/16: Part 2 is now up with the rest of my May 2016 box items!)

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep March 2016 (Lighten Up) Maven Box (with promo code!)

Here’s my Julep Maven March 2016 Maven box, which arrived this past Tuesday!

I customized my box this month because Julep did something awesome and sent out an e-mail last month saying they were offering box customization to legacy Mavens at no extra charge. I’ve got no idea how longtime a Maven you’d have to be to receive the free upgrade, but my sisters and I all got the e-mail, and we joined in 2013. (Thanks, Julep!)

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Before I keep going, I’ve gotta say that Julep’s been really solid lately. Despite the few fumbles with my last Maven box, Julep’s customer support was generally pretty helpful in resolving my issues. As I mentioned in that post, they refunded me the retail price ($4.99) for the gold nail tape that was missing from my box and offered me a free nail polish of my choice (I chose Emily) to make up for the mistake, since they weren’t able to send me the nail tape. Then, later, when they found the missing stash of nail tape in their warehouse, they went ahead and sent me the nail tape anyway, for free, which was pretty awesome of them. (Again, thanks, Julep!)

I kept it simple with my box selections this month. Tucked in that nest of dove-gray paper crinkles and pearlescent white tissue paper were my three picks:

  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in the two new colors introduced this month, Ocean Blue and Electric Teal Shimmer, and
  • the Rethink Your Shower hydrating body cleansing oil.

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I love colored eyeliner and can’t wait to experiment with these. The colors are fun, and I’ve liked Julep’s eyeliner pencil in the few other colors I own. Can we have a bright red next? The world needs more red eyeliner, as I discovered the last time I was looking for one. (I currently use Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Iridescent Red, which I like quite a bit, but it’s not quite as bright as I’d like!)

Unfortunately, the shower oil arrived with a leak, and about a centimeter of the product ended up on the outside of the bottle and soaked into the box. D: Julep’s customer service came through for me again, though, and after I e-mailed about the leaky bottle, they immediately said they’d send me a replacement. (Once again, thanks for being awesome, Julep.)

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Also in the box was the monthly freebie, a Blow Pop (green apple flavor); a quote card; and a promo code for 30% a Julep.com purchase (MAR30).

This month’s card says “Lighten Up” (this month’s collection title or catchphrase, as they’ve said they’re moving away from naming their monthly releases) on one side and has a quote from late make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin on the other:

“The beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself.”

Did you get a Maven box this month? Any thoughts on Julep’s offerings this month? I’d love to hear them. 🙂

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!