May 8, 2013

CakeStyle Box #5

* 6 tops * 3 pants * 2 dresses * 1 jacket * 2 accessories

Some light spring styles in this box, starting with this cute outfit:

French Connection Floral Blouse: This is a prime example of why I love the CakeStyle service! If I had seen this shirt online or hanging off a rack, I would have ignored it. I normally don't like flower prints or pastels. But since this came in the box, I figured it was worth trying. Turns out, it's comfortable, flattering and the print is not too noisy. The colors actually work on me and I ended up keeping this shirt. Plus, I was introduced to a new brand. I've seen French Connection ads before, but this was my first experience with their clothes and I'm pretty pleased!

Theory Valence Pants: Initially, I was skeptical about the rolled cuffs, but they actually don't look bad. I like the color and cut of these pants, even though they're a bit too casual for my office. You can't tell from the photo, but these were tight in the waist for me, so I didn't keep them.

French Connection Edelweiss T-Shirt: High quality fabric and good fit, but this pattern looks just a bit off on me.

Joie Sweater Top: I would need a boat to accessorize this top. Definitely not my style.

French Connection Sleeveless V-Neck: Really wanted to like this one. Silky soft material, lovely lavendar color. However, the puffy pleats in front actually are not sewn to the shirt, but hang loose and fall open while I'm moving, which looks rather bad. Conceptually a neat style, just did not work on me.

Theory "Betty" Sheath Dress: Generally I like Theory, but this dress does not fit me well. Shoulders and chest are way off, gives me an overall boxy shape.

Trina Turk Sweater Top: Wasn't sure about this one until I tried it on. Lightweight, comfortable, perfect length and just loose enough to be carefree, but not sloppy. Trina Turk does it again!

A complete Theory outfit!

Theory Gabe Blazer: Great around the shoulders, chest and waist. But look at those sleeves! Way too long for me.

Theory Sorcha Top: The dusty rose is almost too close to skin color. This is a comfortable shirt, though it's a bit loose and baggy on me. The jacket hides that. It's a neutral piece that's good for layering, but not something I need.

Theory "Julienna" Pants: These pants have a slight sateen shimmer that isn't captured in the photo. As with most pants, they're too long, but the waist and thighs fit well and the inner lining makes it very comfortable. I bought a pair of solid black pants in the last box, so skipped them in this round.

Not pictured:
Elie Tahari "Emory" Dress: Too small for me. I couldn't even zip the darn thing! I don't think I would have kept it - it's this dress and the pattern isn't very appealing to me.

Theory Mauritius Navy Pants: The opposite problem here - these were too big! They have a more casual look and fit like loose khakis. The waist was fine, but the legs were too wide and had a parachute effect.

Printed Village Printed Scarf: HUGE scarf! Probably around 60 inches long, in a really awesome black/white geometric tribal pattern. I really wanted to keep this, but I don't wear such accessories often and couldn't justify owning something that would just look pretty in the closet.

Geranium Jewelry Ball Stud Earrings: They made a major mistake and sent these even though my ears are not pierced (and it explicitly states that in my profile). The earrings are quite pretty and prompted me to look up this brand online. I think I might buy some of their other products, based on the quality and design of the earrings. So it wasn't a complete waste!

May 4, 2013

March 2013 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the March 2013 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

Theraganics: Almond Oatmeal Soap - Very faint, slight buttery scent, quite soothing. The oatmeal bits are not too harsh. Leaves my skin feeling clean, but doesn't moisturize too well.

Natural Heavenly Beauty: Lavender Vanilla Shea Butter Moisturizer - Thick dense cream that is hard and waxy. It takes some time to warm up, in order for the cream to be pliable enough to apply. Smells divine, a relaxing natural lavendar scent layered over sweet bakery fresh vanilla. But also leaves a greasy film over my skin.

Belle’s Healing Solutions: Lavender Lip Balm - Really strong herbal lavender smell. Goes on nice and soft.

Home Free: Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies - Crunchy bite sized cookies. Taste like generic store cookies.

Dr Hauschka: Rejuvenating Mask - Creamy thick mask which left my face a little dry. It did not crack or pinch like some other masks I've tried. However, I don't think it helped my skin feel better, so not a product I would buy more of.

Rockin Green: Smashing Watermelon Detergent - This smells awesome, but the instructions are convoluted and require way too many cycles. The recommended washing steps include one cold wash, then another hot wash, THEN another double rinse. Seems like an enormous waste of water and not something I want to deal with. While the detergent is biodegradable and made of eco friendly components, all those wash cycles seem far worse for the environment.

The All Natural Face: Glazed Strawberries Lip Gloss - Nice sparkly ruby red. Good quality gloss, but the strawberry scent is artificial and a little sour, so not for me.

Teatulia: Organic Bengal Breakfast - Mellow and smooth, with a subtle aroma. This drinks more like a light oolong rather than traditional black breakfast tea. It's pleasant and not too strong.

Blissoma: Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser & Makeup Remover - This gel smells really weird, almost like old cooking oil. Once I got past the smell, it does work very well, removing grease and dirt, while being gentle on skin. It did not moisturize, though, so I had to apply lotion afterwards. Nice product, but I don't think I'll get used to the smell.

March 30, 2013

February 2013 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the February 2013 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

This month's samples came in a handsome reusable tin. I love that! Minimizes packaging and now I have a nice container which I'm going to fill with business cards and coupons.

Athena Bars: Pumpkin Spice Bar - Nasty texture on this one. Mushy and sour flavor. I couldn't even bring myself to finish the entire bar.

Aubrey: Collagen & Almond Enriching Moisturizing Lotion - Thick, silky cream with a pearl sheen and a kind of weird oaty smell. As I rubbed this into my hand, it left small skin flakes which I had to brush away with my fingers. Strange. Once it settles, it does leave my skin soft, although I can still see dry patches. Not a huge fan of this.

Suki: Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser - Amazing! The best scrub I've ever tried. Uplifting lemon herb scent, with the perfect texture, not too rough but still cleans off dead skin. The oils used left me soft and smooth, gentle yet effective. I definitely want to buy more!

Lily: Serenity Hair Gel - I don't use hair gel, so this one will be going to a new home. It smells like plants and limes and the first ingredient is aloe, so I assume it's very moisturing.

Vitacare: Mint and Key Lime Gum - Bright citrus flavor, but doesn't last long. In just a few seconds, it tastes like I'm chewing chalky rubber.

Moody Sisters: Peppermint Spice Lip Balm - This balm seems like it melts when it touches my lips, soft and thick, though a bit on the greasy side. The scent is mostly spicy, like a vanilla cinnamon, and not very minty.

Amazing Grass: Barley Grass, Wheat Grass and Alfalfa Powder - Normally I don't like supplements. But this contains pure powdered greens, no other additives or attempts to enrich the food artificially. It has a pleasant fresh taste and the smell of barley grass brings back memories of my mother using that in her cooking. This is a pretty decent product.

Purely You Minerals: Berry Red lip gloss - Great peppermint scent! Thick soft texture, goes on smooth and even. I love the rich deep merlot color and even though I don't use lip gloss that much, this one will be nice for some drama.

March 8, 2013

January 2013 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the January 2013 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

Madecasse Chocolate: Pink Pepper & Citrus - Yum! Slightly sweet, fruity flavor mixed with a smooth dark chocolate. Not the best I've ever had, but pretty good.

Yogi Tea: Bedtime Tea - All I can taste here is a strong sweetness. Definitely not for me.

Yogi Tea: Kava Tea - Interesting flavor, like fresh hay and grass, spiked with a sharp dark herbal note, like licorice or camphor. A pretty enjoyable cup.

Lisa Ann Skin Care: Mandarin Body Butter - Thick whipped texture, has a pleasant light citrus scent. However, I found this very greasy and it left an oily residue on my skin.

7th Heaven: Assorted Facial Masks - I haven't had a chance to use this mask yet, but it looks promising. Hopefully it won't dry and crack like other masks I've used!

Linwoods: Ground Flaxseed, Cocoa, Strawberries & Blueberries - Gritty powder and nearly flavorless. I can barely detect a hint of cocoa, none of the fruit. I tried it mixed into plain yogurt and was not impressed.

Hugo Naturals: Tea Tree & Lavender Shampoo - Strong lavender scent, very herbal and refreshing. It rinses out cleanly and left my hair soft and shiny. A nice solid shampoo.

Wine Country Organics: Pinot Lip Tint - I don't use much lip tint. This one is a nice bold color that really does remind me of a rich pinot noir. It seems like a good product and will probably be gifted or swapped.

Aubrey Organics: White Camellia Hydrating Bath Bar - Fairly generic soap with a faint floral scent. It does moisturize better than most commercial soaps, but nothing spectacular.

The All Natural Face: Vegan Mineral Eye Shadow, Pink Gold - Glittery and pink! Actually, the glitter is more of a soft shimmer and goes on rather nice. The pink is pastel but not very opaque, so it blends well with skin. I don't wear much eye shadow, but this one is subtle and pretty.

February 4, 2013

CakeStyle Box #4

* 5 tops * 3 bottoms * 2 dresses * 8 accessories

There were lots of accessories this time!
House of Harlow Triangle Collar: I dig House of Harlow jewelry and this necklace was a keeper. Edgy yet sophisticated, and looks great under my many collared shirts.

Cara Wired Multi-Chain Necklace: Long thick streads of gold, not really my thing.

Cara Stone Wrapped Bracelets: A pretty blend of black wrapped in gold, but way overpriced.

Jewelmint Swan Cuff: Really interesting pattern, but too chunky and large for my wrist.

Cara Sunburst Headband: Cute sparkly flower. I don't wear headbands, so this was not for me.

Joie Aruna Tank: Cute tank, but not something I'd wear often. I think the cherry color is too bright and casual for work.

Trina Turk Madeleine Blouse: Really comfortable shirt in an awesome print that's fun but professional.

Trina Turk Kothari Pants: Yet again, Trina Turk hits the mark. I could live in these! Black pants are the building block of my work wardrobe, and I could definitely use another pair.

Attack of the stripes!

Joie Winberry Tunic Dress: This tunic had really thick soft fabric. The fit wasn't quite right, though. As you can see, it bulges at odd places. It does pair well with the Cara Chain Link Belt, a camel colored leather belt with gold links. I seriously considered keeping the belt, but decided most of my tunics look better with a black accent instead.

Joie Adelia Cardigan: Cute cardigan, 100% alpaca. Thin and light, yet also very warm and delightfully stretchy. It felt so cozy, but it's too casual for work and I couldn't justify buying it just to lounge around in.

Joie Peterson Shirt: The collar was way too deep on this shirt, though I love the dark navy color and accent stripe. This inspired me to shop for similar styles, just with a more conservative neckline.

Trina Turk Bamboo Pencil Skirt: Love the color and styling on this skirt! The fabric was beautiful, a soft marled green grey, with deep green lining edged in lace. I really wanted this skirt, but it wasn't in the budget for this round. I was actually choosing between this and the Trina Turk pants, and decided I would wear the pants more often, so kept that instead.

A couple items not pictured:

Printed Village Scarf: Generic solid red scarf, nothing all that interesting.

Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny Jeans: These did not fit me at all - I couldn't even get them all the way on. So no pictures, and definitely sending back!
Issa Jacquard Jersey Dress: I was so excited to have an Issa in my box! But unfortunately this wasn't meant for me. I was expecting one of her flowing elegant numbers, but it was this dress, which is more of a skater style. The fit was awkward around my chest and made my arms seem fat.

Tees by Tina Camisole: Yet another Tees by Tina piece which didn't fit at all. They need to stop sending these; nothing from this brand has worked on me.

Overall, this was a weaker shipment than the previous. Hopefully that's not a trend! I'm only keeping three pieces (though a couple were close calls). I'll be providing detailed feedback to my stylist and we'll see how the next one goes.

February 2, 2013

Apple Sidra!

Look what our local asian market now sells! This triggers so many fond memories of Taiwan....

January 20, 2013

December 2012 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the December 2012 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

Bulldog: Natural Skin Care Moisturizer - Intended as a men's product, but I like it! Smells great, a vetiver base with light citrus overtones. A little on the thin side, so I had to use a lot, but it leaves my skin incredibly soft and smooth.

Better Botanicals: Apricot Eye Therapy Cream - Not sure this really helps lines or bags around the eyes. It has a soft texture without feeling greasy and not much scent, but didn't seem to do much.

Fundamental Earth: Organic Mint Fundamental Face Scrub - This cleans really well, removing grime and oil, leaving my face refreshed. It has a soft herbal scent, not too minty or strong. After rinsing, my skin was a little dry, so definitely requires moisturizer to follow up. I normally hate gritty scrubs, but the aprioct bits in this product are gentle and don't feel scratchy, which means I would be willing to buy more.

Burt’s Bees: Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream - Strong lavender scent. Very thick, dense cream. It's hard and rubbery, doesn't spread easily and feels like I need to use a lot for coverage. A decent hand cream but nothing amazing.

Auromere: Ayurvedic Licorice Toothpaste - A full size tube, and the licorice flavor is quite pleasant! Has a gentle scent and taste, left my mouth feeling clean. However, it contains SLS - this won't stop me from using the product, but it's surprising, considering the Eco-Emi philosophy.

100% PURE Skincare: Vegan Assorted Body Creams - I got vanilla bean and it smells awesome, like a fresh bakery cupcake with vanilla frosting. Nice smooth lotion, a bit on the oily side, but still a decent product. I will definitely finish my sample, though probably won't buy more.

Eco Dent: Original Mint Gum - Very effective, minty fresh gum. Really works, even on morning coffee dragon breath. The only drawback, it leaves the mouth kind of dry.

Eco Dent: DailyCare Toothpowder - I've never used a toothpaste powder before. It's a neat idea, good for travel and reducing packaging. This works really well, it left my teeth and mouth feeling so clean. But WHOA the taste! Very, very salty, like brushing with the ocean. It turned into a thick salty foam in my mouth and made me gag. If it weren't for the salty taste, I think this would be a perfect product for me.

Organic Indulgence: Chocolate Mint Lip Butter - Normally I don't like chocolate scented beauty products, but this isn't too strong. A good solid lip balm.

Willamette Valley Granola Company: Vanilla Bean Granola Chips - Satisfying crunchy texture, but too sweet. It was like eating commercial cereal, way too sugary for my tastes.

Tallulah Jane: Aiyana Perfume - Starts off with a strong alcohol burn, but then the scent comes out: top notes of lemon, with a layer of roses and other soft florals, over a woodsy spice base. It's a pretty scent and deeper than most standard perfume products. However, I have other perfume preferences, so this one is not for me.

Blissoma: Tone-Adaptive Energy Tonique - Smells lovely, like fresh dewy rose petals, with a silky soft finish. I did not feel much difference on my skin after using this product, but I do like the scent. I'll finish the sample, but won't be buying more.

January 4, 2013

November 2012 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the November 2012 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

Organic Indulgence: Silkening Body Lotion, Orchard Pear & Fig - Very sweet pear scent, a bit sickly to me. The lotion is thick but my skin doesn't absorb it well. This kind of sits on top of my skin rather than soaking in, so it rubs off easily and doesn't soften well.

Organic Indulgence: Silkening Body Lotion, Sweet Cherry & Almond - Same product as above, except I actually like the cherry scent better. Same problem with the product itself, though. It doesn't soak into my skin and leaves an oily film without actually moisturizing.

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: eye shadow - Two pretty shades: Twilight Sparkle (glittery light gray) and Smokey Quartz (charcoal). Very nice eye shadows, they go on smooth with a soft texture. The glittery shade doesn't really work on me, but I do like the darker color a lot.

Seaweed Bath Company: Powder Bath with Hawaiian Kukui Oil: Citrus Scent - Weird smell, weird color. I don't mind the color so much, it seems natural for a seaweed based product, kind of greenish gray. But it smells like artifical orange drink poured over brine. In terms of the bath itself, it felt good on my skin but I didn't like the lingering smell and took a separate shower to wash it off.

Athena Bars: Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bar - Wasn't too impressed by this. It tasted like a generic granola bar with a slightly sweet yogurt coating.

I Choose: I Sparkle Eye Cream - Rich cream, thick and greasy, but does provide good moisture and smooths the skin. A little goes a long way - just a small dot covered my hands and only a tiny swab was needed for skin around the eyes. Smells kind of odd, like overgrown swamp vegetation. This sample will last me a while, and I will use the cream, but probably won't buy more.

Mate Factor: Organic Ginger Yerba Mate Tea - Tangy and grassy, with a ginger kick. I'm not a fan of this flavor profile. If you like the herbal taste of yerba mate and/or you like ginger tea, this would be quite enjoyable. Just not my personal preference.

Metropolis Soap Co: Orange, Clove and Cinnamon Soap - Lovely scent, an aromatic orange with strong cinnamon top note. This is such a gentle soap, smooth and creamy and left my skin feeling clean and soft. I definitely want to try more soap from this company!

Deep Steep: Candy Mint Foot Stick - This one was kind of tricky. I twisted the tube and applied some on my heel. It covered my heel in oils that were soothing and helped ease rough cracks and dead skin, plus had a bright delicious peppermint scent. But my foot would leave a greasy smear everywhere, unless I rubbed the oil in with my hands, then wiped off the excess. Despite the inconvenience, I rather like this product.

Rainwater Botanicals: Pumpkin Facial Mask - Smells delicious, like fresh pumpkin pie! Mushy and thick, it's a really nice mask, doesn't crack my skin like some other products. I don't normally use facial masks, so I'll finish the sample, but not buy more. I do like this company - there was a sample of their deodorant a few months back, which I ended up buying in fullsize version from their Etsy store.

December 5, 2012

October 2012 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the October 2012 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

The All Natural Face: Copper Kisses Lip Gloss - Pretty coppery autumn color. I don't wear much lip gloss and this is a tad too dark for me anyway. But it's a nice quality product.

Dew Puff: Star Anise & Coffee Soap - Dense bar soap, with rich licorice anise scent. I love how it smells, but the little bits of coffee in the soap are too abrasive for me. I'd be willing to try some of their other soap products though!

Tasty Brands: Organic Fruit Snacks - Tasty chewy fruit gummies. Good for a small treat, but nothing amazing.

Shaklee: Basic H2® Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate - This is really interesting, a tiny little capsule that can be mixed with 16 oz of water to produce a cleaning solution for glass and general purpose. Haven't had a chance to try this, but definitely intrigued.

Ola: Vanilla Almond Granola - Solid oat flavor and not too sweet. I put this over yogurt, and it provided some nice crunch. I think it would be better in clusters, instead of loose granola. The bits are so small, you can't grab a handful without making a big mess. That limits the product to a topping, instead of a standalone snack.

Zen Society: Tea Tree Facial Cleanser - Has a bright herbal scent. It does a nice job cleaning without leaving my skin feeling rubbery. But I'm not a fan of the thick gooey texture.

Shea Radiance: Maximum Curl Defining Cream - Well, I don't have curly hair nor do I normally use hair products. This cream smells kind of funny, like overripe fruit. This one will need to find a new home!

November 17, 2012

September 2012 Eco-Emi Box

Review of the September 2012 Eco Emi box! All products listed below are linked on their site.

Betty Lou's: Angell Crisp Milk Chocolate Bar - Generic chocolate wafer bar. Tastes OK.

Burt's Bees: Facial Cleansing Towelettes - Nice travel size pack of 10 towelettes. These are great, with hardly any scent and leaves my skin feeling clean. Good for wiping away sweat and grime from the subway!

Aubrey Organics: Silken Earth Powder Blush - Honey bronze color, has a light pretty shimmer. Goes on super smooth and blends well, but a shade too dark for me.

Good Fortune: Lip Balm - Orange Vanilla flavor, great sweet citrus smell. Rather hard texture, needs to warm up to apply. Not too greasy, nice product.

SEN CHA: Original Green Tea Leaf Mints - I've always wanted to try green tea mints, so I was excited to see these. Unfortunately, they are nasty. Chalky texture and most of the green tea taste is overpowered by non-sugar sweetener flavor. The mint is barely there. Will definitely not be buying more of these.

Biao Beauty: Beauty Rejuvenating Night Crème - Lovely soft rose scent. Cream is very thick, a little goes a long way! The texture was just a bit too greasy for me, but it's one of the nicer smelling lotions I've tried.

Safonique: Lavender Laundry Detergent - Pretty impressive; after washing a stinky dog blanket, it had just a tiny faint trace of lavendar and the fabric was clean, with no doggy smell!

Crum Creek Mills: Soy Nut Trail Mix - Yum! Delicious mix of soy nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and raisins with just the right sprinkling of chocolate chips. I want more!

SparkleHearts: Bubbling Body Wash - Nice moisturizing body wash with a pleasant citrus scent. Left my skin feeling soft, clean and refreshed.

SparkleHearts: Soft Conditioner - I don't use conditioner, so I'll pass this sample to someone else.

Yogi Tea: Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life - Slightly tart green tea. I think there are too many ingredients and the flavor gets muddled. It's generic and almost bland, a mediocre cup of tea at best.

Yogi Tea: Skin DeTox - I like the slightly herbal base of this tea, but it's way too sweet for me. Again, rather generic and mediocre.