November and December Birchbox 2016

Sorry guys–I’ve haven’t been keeping up with my Birchboxes.  I’ve picked the curated box for the past two months –November (The Finishing Touch) and December (Shine On)–so there haven’t been any surprises.  These might be the last two I ever receive!  I won’t be renewing my annual subscription.  I’ll miss the fun little boxes (I mean the box itself) every month but the majority of my BBs have felt rather blah and unexciting.  The shipping also took FOREVER–I feel like I would get a notice about mailing and then it would take maybe a month or more before I received any items.  Free, quick shipping for ACEs?  Maybe last year it was okay but this year, idk (this is for ALL orders–the box, the add-ons, and/or a regular order with full-size items).  Gosh, this feels so weird because I’ve been subscribing for 5 years!

November’s box was interesting because it included the ‘They’re Real’ mascara from Benefit (which is something I’ve received multiple times from Birchbox and is something that I actually really like).  I received a good, dependable black but I wish they sent out blue or brown just for something DIFFERENT.  The Juliette has a gun fragrance was just okay but I enjoyed receiving black eyeliner because I LOVE black eyeliner, the eye cream was just alright, and that smoothing balm was nice enough as a sample but nothing that I’d fall enough in love with to buy.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-6-23-24-am

December’s box is actually really nice! I say ‘is’ because I probably won’t get mine in until the end of January…oh well.  Nothing out of the ballpark but yep, definitely nice.  There was a French shampoo and conditioner, a primer with SPF15, a face cream, and one of Birchbox’s own LOC shadow sticks.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-6-23-00-am

I started to feel like my love of my Birchbox subscription started to fade once they nixed all of those mini little extras–I always felt that BB put some extra care in sending something to make the boxes pop with their theme of the month.  Once it was a cookie, another time it was a set of BB printed, travel-themed postcards…now, it kind of seems like most of their money went to making the actual box itself fancier.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the fancy boxes (Rifle Paper Co, *swoon*) but it would have been nice to see the company invest more in higher-end and/or a larger variety of samples instead.  Fancy boxes once a quarter would have been okay.  I kind of miss receiving my regular, plain brown boxes cause they were the most reusable!

I also think that before, BB was all about discovery and trying new things.  For a while, I’d get totally new brands and old brands in new shades/products (which was really fun), but then it felt like they were trying to force us all to love Harvey Prince things.  The samples didn’t seem to match anyone’s profile anymore, and when the best thing in a box was a product that you’re already received at least three times, I think it’s time to step away.

Oh Birchbox.  I’ll miss you–it was really fun while it lasted.  Breakups are hard!  :(

 

An Honest Take on Poshmark (2)

More adventures and more drama!  Sometimes, I talk to B about all of this and he likes to remind me that all of these woes that I experience are part of the risk of doing ANYTHING online–this applies towards both buyers AND sellers.  We all do our best (well, most of us, I hope to believe) and it all comes down to communication, right?

Previous topics (1-3) are covered in An Honest Take on Poshmark (1).  P.S. this is kind of long so it’s under the cut:

Continue reading

Sisley Paris: November 2016

Yes, if you haven’t heard by now, Sisley Paris does a subscription box.  I count myself in the category of people who will never ever ever EVER have a reason to buy a $700+ skincare item…but it’s always fun to try them, right?  Sisley Paris sends out a set of samples each month ($10 a month!!!  Honestly, this is 100% more fun than Birchbox).  I don’t think these items are ‘customized’ per subscriber and I haven’t seen an option to pick certain items but gosh, this is one of the most fun boxes I’ve gotten because these products have a following for a reason.  I’m a bit afraid to find my ‘unicorn’ product–you know, the one that you fall in love with and then you realize, DANG IT it costs 500 bucks.  Oh well.  (Or Oh well, I get Nordstrom points?  SO BAD.)

A note: The sample sizes may look a bit tiny but when you compare how much the full product is (and then calculate the cost of the sample), it’s not bad!  I get the same feeling as when I try on a ridiculously priced (and ridiculously looking) pair of designer shoes at Nordstrom Rack.  Liz from MySubscriptionAddiction calculated the price of a tiny tube of night cream out as $28 because the full-size was $795.  WOW.  I got a week’s worth of moisturizing from that one itty bitty item.

This is what we got this month:

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-37-50-amscreen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-37-43-am

MAKEUP!!!  I didn’t know this box sent makeup and I’m stoked that it’s a mascara because as you guys know, this is my absolutely favorite kind of product to use.    Don’t doubt that little foil packet–a little goes a long way.  I was able to get a little over 2 uses from last month’s packet.

And for the fun part,

  • Express Flower Gel – $140
  • Instant Perfect – $72
  • So Intense Mascara – $67
  • Phytobuste + Decollete – $285
  • Eau du Soir Body Cream  – $130

Sisley says the price of these samples is a $110 value.  You bet I’ll be cutting the tubes open for every last drop.

Next month’s spoiler theme is up already on their website!  It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-47-55-am

An Honest take on Poshmark (1)

INTRO I don’t think I’ve ever really blogged about Poshmark before, just mentioned it a few times.  Now that I’ve been on it for a few months, I feel like I’ve got to catalog my experiences and share it because when I first started, all I heard was butterflies and rainbows about this app–for all you new potential Poshers, here’s some of my (honest) thoughts.

wp-1477600222680.png

Poshmark Mobile Homepage

 

(1) SHIPPING

I used to sell primarily on eBay but I transitioned to Poshmark because I had some large/heavy items that I wanted to sell (and I didn’t think a buyer would want to pay for a large, flat rate USPS box).  I first fell in love with Poshmark because of this fact, alone!  (Laziness [or can I call it convenience] sounds like a terrible reason but it made my life so much easier)  I ordered a set of free boxes from USPS (online website) and whenever I make a sale, I wrap it nicely in tissue paper, write a small note, and then package it in a regular mailing box (FREE) with lots of tape.  Buyers spend $5.95 for shipping which is priced for a 5lb Priority Mail box.  Honestly, I feel like I ship a lot of lightweight items (that probably would have cost me $5 or less to ship) but wrapping it up prettily and slapping a label on is a lot less work (and its more fun) than weighing said box and figuring out packaging on your own.

(2) OTHER POSHERS (& POSHMARK PROTECTION)

In every community, there’s a bunch of bad apples.  That’s a given.  But in the Poshmark case, I feel like their PM doesn’t do enough to protect sellers from said bad apples.  Poshmark operates somewhat similar to eBay in terms of ‘not as described/damaged’ item cases, however I feel like Poshmark is heavily on the Buyer’s side.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (I’m a buyer too) but what has been happening to many people is that an item is sold, the buyer gets buyer’s remorse/USES the item and then files a complaint and it says it wasn’t as described/was damaged.  Even if as a Seller, you have pictures and text describing the extent of the usage in your listing (or it could even be a NWT item!), Poshmark will either:

A: Let the seller keep the item AND refund both seller and buyer  (full or partial refund)
B: The seller ships the item back to you AND buyer is refunded

The problem with B is that there’s no guarantee (or protection for the seller) when the Buyers ship things back in a condition totally not what was mailed to them in the first place.  People who wear them once to an event and then try to get their money back, people who intentionally destroy items they purchased out of remorse, people who ship you back an item totally different than what you sold them in the first place….  Poshmark doesn’t seem to be helpful past this point, and they are notoriously slow which can be very stressful when it feels like you’ve lost out on both your item and your earnings.

Paypal is my backup source of payment–I’ve never had to escalate my issues all the way past Poshmark PM (yet, *I’m knocking on wood*), but I wonder if they would help in this event?  Note on this: Poshmark guidelines are to go through the app/PM for all mediation.  I also haven’t had the case in which items were damaged in transit–the Priority Mail method allows for insurance (up to $50) so hopefully, Poshmark takes the loss for us?

(3) QUESTIONS/COMMENTS

In terms of questions, I try to answer as many questions as possible (even if that person doesn’t purchase my items).  I’ve read a bunch of dislike regarding this type of inquiries (I agree, they honestly can be kind of a hassle) because things like measurements and modeling are truthfully helpful pieces of info that can make or break how much you want to buy an item.  On the flip-side, I’ve been hunting down a leather jacket that is the ONE–I found a bunch of candidates on Posh that have been gently used but no one wants to double-check the dimensions for me!  Oh well.  I did my best to compare it with info I find on the manufacturer’s website but I feel like there’s too much uncertainty for me to gamble on a used (no returns) purchase.  I’ll just save my money and buy things like this new.  A girlfriend that also Poshes says that the key is to already know your size for these sort of items, acknowledging that buying used is always a gamble.

The other side of questions are Poshers who ask you to conduct business off the app (which will save you money but will backfire on you later, DON’T DO IT ITS NOT WORTH IT) and those who send you the lowest offers ever.  If something was worth $100 and I’m selling it for $60, used once, there’s no way I would ever accept $10 for an item (you’d actually only make $7 something, after Posh fees).

The third type of questions/comments isn’t something I’ve experienced myself, but I’ve seen defensive comments, lots of arguing, and some flat out, non-warranted hateful comments about everything from firm prices, closet offerings, and offers.  If you don’t like something about it, just don’t buy it, right?  All this negativity leaves me with such a bad taste in my mouth.  D:

CLOSING STATEMENT Overall, I feel like Posh is like…a two-faced purse.  The outside is shiny, HARD TO FIND, EUC, something you’ve been dying to find, and the lining has been smeared in the mud, has holes, and reeks of cigarette smoke.  I haven’t made as much as other people I know (my haul has been about $600 but I read a super helpful Posh review about a girl who made $3k WOW) but I feel like it’s been a great way to rid my closet (Mari Kondo style) and still make a bit back from the things I’ve accumulated over the years.  I’ve also found some no-longer-made, unicorn items that I’ve loved for a while and could never find on eBay.  On the flip side, as with all online things, you’ll come into conflict at least several times during your Poshmark Closet residence (and you might not get the support you’d expect).

Do you have any positive or negative Poshmark experiences to share?   Lmk in the comments~

Scratch MMK – October 2016

I don’t think I caught this last month–the Monthly Mani is a KIT not a BOX.  Hence, MMK not MMB.  Oops!

October’s kit arrived–I LOVE IT.  I also need to take my pictures in better lighting.

wp-1476295517791.jpg

The design is pink and red flowers (roses?) on a light grey background.  I love that the pattern is positioned/designed in a way that even if you keep your nails shorter (like me), you’ll still get the majority of the floral pattern.  I kind of wish I could grow my tips to the full length of a nail wrap because I adore the idea of flowers on the very ends!  But then my nails would be WAY too long to type and do yoga with.  Oh well.

The bonus items in this box are tiny tiny tiny little gold ‘pearls.’  They’re miniscule little spheres that lie flat on your nail beds.  To pick them up (since they extremely little), Scratch included a wax pencil, a sharpener, and a little plastic tray to pour the gold bead-things in.  I LOVE these nail extras but I am terrible about making them stay on.  I only have luck with them when doing gel nails because their baked into the gel and then sealed in with a hard gel top-coat.  To use this with regular nail polish, I assume I’ll have to use…nail glue?  Does nail glue removed with regular acetone as well?

I can’t wait until next month’s box!  No spoiler yet.  Month 1 was geometric, Month 2 was floral.  For Month 3, I wouldn’t mind seeing another clear design (I feel like these wear the best because the frayed tips blend in).  Currently, I’m wearing the old lazy panda design.  I didn’t top-coat them very well so it kind of looks like panda mosaics on my nails.  All piece-y.  OH WELL.