Monday, October 22, 2012

Keeping Myself Busy

So a couple of days ago I wanted to catalog all of my Julep nail polish that I have and what I wanted into a chart. So I embarked on a two day internet search and created this chart:
Click for larger view
Since the majority of the chart is now filled out I wanted to post it on here so everyone could see it. Well that was where I ran into an issue, I couldn't simply copy and paste it. I had to re-learn some of the finer points of html code so that I can make a whole new chart right here on blogger. So it is going to take a lot longer than I want but hopefully I can get it done by the end of the week.

Another note is I have no clue what any of the mystery colors that Julep sent out in some of the mystery boxes so if anyone has names for me that would be great and I can add them to the chart.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Indie Lee The Daily Moisturizing Oil

Since I have oily skin I have avoided using it on my face. Also the lavender scent I find is too strong for my face, so I have settled on using it as a cuticle oil. As a cuticle oil it seems to be working perfectly fine. I have been using it after my manicures or whenever I have noticed that they seem dry.  Pairing this oil up with my lavender L'Occitane hand cream has really been keeping my hands and cuticles from drying out from the cold air.

Overall I probably won't purchase the full size version of this but I will reuse the bottle since it is the perfect size to keep in my manicure kit.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Influenster Website Relaunch

Recently relaunched their website making it 100% better than the previous site. I really am enjoying the fact that it is easier to navigate.

For those who don't know what Influenster is here is a quote from the website "Influenster is a free-to-join community of invited trendsetters who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influenster creates links between brands and members to reward participation and influence future products.

Also if you qualify for them they will send out Voxboxes from time to time filled with a variety of products centered around a common theme (Bride, Latina Beauty, Love, etc.)

 Even though I have not received a Voxbox from them yet I can still earn badges and write reviews on products that I have tried. One feature that I am really liking is that when you click on the badge you would like to earn or have already earned they have there is a list of tasks to be done for it. I did notice that I have to earn all of my badges over again, but at least now I can see what I need to do for them.

Another thing that I have noticed is that there are lifestyle and expert badges now. The expert badges will help Influenster figure out which products will fit you best. Overall I am liking the new look of the website and I plan on spending more time on it. If you want an invite to Influenster let me know and I can get you one :)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Everyday Minerals Eyeshadow Swatches

Today I wanted to show you the swatches of the eight travel size eyeshadows that I received as GWP in a couple of my orders from Everyday Minerals. I will have to say that I am not a fan of the rollerball for mineral eyeshadows. It does not provide enough control for where you want to apply the shadow. I did find out through trial and error that mineral shadows MUST be used with a primer. I found that using Art Girl and Wish You Were Here with out primer meant that the color would soon get washed out or faded looking while blending with other colors. The shimmer would also disappear quite quickly when a brush was used on top of the shadow. I can honestly say that I will probably pass on buying full sizes of these shadows once I run out, but I highly doubt that I will use these up for a while. 
No Primer No Flash.
 (The swatch at the top is called
Rare Silk it will be featured in another post)
No Primer With Flash

Urban Decay Primer Potion No Flash
Urban Decay Primer Potion With Flash
Urban Decay Primer Potion Sin With Flash

Urban Decay Primer Potion Sin No Flash
Urban Decay Primer Potion Greed With Flash

Urban Decay Primer Potion Greed No Flash

Monday, October 15, 2012

September Beauty Army #2

September Beauty Army #2
So what all came in this box and how much was it worth?

Beauty Army August #1

September Beauty Army #1
I got a couple of great things in this box so what did I get?

Food and Tea Reviews

I think I am going to start off and say I was never expecting food or tea when I signed up for all of these sample boxes. But now that I have started trying most of them I think it was about time to write up a little review.

Le Palais des Thés Tea Bags 

Thé du Hammam
So I was hoping this brand of tea would be a bit better quality since it is from France but I couldn't really tell the difference between this one and regular green tea but out of the two types I tried I preferred this one. I was able to enjoy it without adding any sugar or other sweeteners to it. It seems to have a good enough tea flavor that I might try it again in the future.

Thé des Alizés
This one compared to the first seemed a lot weaker and I didn't enjoy it as much. The flavor wasn't the same but nothing stood out to me from this on. 

Think Thin Crunch
Chocolate Dipped Mixed Nuts
I was pleastenly suprised I actually liked this bar, I always hate how granola/protein bars have a lot of sugar in them. This one wasn't as sweet but it did have a nice amount sweetness to saltiness ratio. I will buy this one again in the future if I find it in a store near me.

Larabar Uber

Apple Turnover
This one wasn't too bad but I did not like how sweet it was. It was really gooey but I did enjoy the combination of nuts and dried fruit. I don't plan on buying any of these in the future.

Bananas Foster
So I am not a fan of bananas at all so I ate this reluctantly for this review. Noting that the last flavor I tied was really gooey, I popped this one in the fridge until I was ready to try it. After opening it and sniffing it (yes I did smell it) to see how much it smelt like bananas ( it didn't really smell like bananas) I took a bite, no banana taste?! After looking at the bar again I couldn't really see any of the dried bananas. I think banana bread would have been a better name for this bar because I'll I could really taste was the walnuts, but the sweetness is a deal breaker for me to buy this.

Madhava Natural Sweeteners
Image from

Organic Coconut Sugar Blonde
This is very similar to brown sugar and in fact I liked it just as much. For some reason I thought it was going to be more like white cane sugar but when I opened up the packet to put on my cereal I was brown. I do plan on buying this instead of brown sugar considering it is better for you than white sugar or brown sugar. What makes it even better is that it is Organic.

 Organic Agave Nectar Light
I really did like this I think the flavor is along the lines of honey. Now if I needed to make a recipe that calls for honey more vegan friendly I would find this a perfect substitution. It also works well in teas to give them a little sweetness. I would love to buy this and be able to try it out in different recipes where honey is called for to see if it really would work as a honey substitute.

Yogi Tea
Image from
Raspberry Passion Perfect Energy Tea
I know I just drank this tea but I honestly cant really remember it all that well. I did remember finishing the entire cup but I did not feel energized like the tea is supposed to. It was better than some of the other tea samples I have tried but it doesn't replace my Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herbal Tea from Stash.


Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea by Yogi Teas

I was really hoping that this one would taste different from the other camomile teas I have tried in the past. This one fail to wow me and I did not enjoy it at all. I don't think I awoke refreshed since I was tossing and turning all night (not from the tea but from the horrible mattress in my hotel room.) Once again I am finding that this tea is forgettable and I would rather have a cup of hot chocolate before bed than this tea.

Tea Forte- Skin Smart Teas
Honey Yuzu
This is not my favorite flavor at all. It doesn't smell good, it doesn't taste good. I even tried sweetening it up and it still just didn't make it taste better. The only redeeming thing about this tea is that it is USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified. It also doesn't help that I can't really handle green tea as well as some, I prefer black tea or chai teas.

Cherry Marzipan
Before I even seeped the tea bag I smelled it to see what it actually smelled like and I could pick up a hint of almond so that seemed promising. Out of all the different teas I have been trying from my sample boxes I think that this one is the best green tea I have tried. The aroma is actually very pleasant and I found that I could detect a light hint of almond flavor. This tea is definitely on my maybe list for teas that I might buy from birchbox

Cucumber Mint
This one disappointed me a bit more than it should have, I was hoping for a fairly strong mint flavor and smell but it barely had any. It seemed to be a typical green tea with a hint of mint, I usually love mint teas but this one just didn't do it for me at all. I can honestly say that it didn't have a cucumber scent or taste, I won't deny the antioxidant properties of these teas but I would like to find some that actually tasted better.

Tea Forte - Minteas in Reboot
I actually really like these despite the smell. They smell awful but they actually taste quite well. I can't vouch for how well they energize me but I can say that they do give me fresh breath.

Artisana Pecan Butter

I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I at first tried it by itself and I liked that it had a very nutty pecan flavor. I then used it to make a Pecan Butter and Jelly sandwich, not the best use for it but I was living out of a hotel with very limited resources. The nice thing about this particular pecan butter is that it was just pure pecans and cashews, although I did not taste the cashews at all. I would have liked for it to be a bit creamier since it was a bit dry by itself. I highly doubt that I will be able to find this brand in Germany but I will be looking for some other pecan butters or other nut butters.

Well that seems to be all the food and tea that I have received in my Birchboxes and my Eco-Emi boxes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

BzzAgent Glade Expressions Review

So today I wanted to write about the latest BzzAgent Campaign that I have been able to take part in. Once again as a BzzAgent I was asked to try out products and give my real honest review on them. I wanted to make sure to try the majority of the products before writing my review. When I recieved my BzzKit it included a booklet of coupons for $2.00 of the fragrance mist and $4.00 off the oil diffuser, as well as a coupon for a free mist and diffuser. So quickly I went out and purchased all three diffusers, and 3 of the sprays. I was able to locate everything but one of the sprays at Target. It took me a while to try out the diffusers because I was preparing to move so I tried out the sprays to test the scents at first.

First up will be the Fuji Apple and Cardamon Spice: I was hoping that this would smell different than most other apple and spice scented products, I was let down because it smelled just like apples and cinnamon. I did enjoy that the scent was nice and strong so that I didn't have to use much to make my whole house smell wonderful. Using this particular scent it help get me in the right mood for fall.

Next is the Pineapple and Mangosteen: it is a very fruity and smells very good. I didn't use this scent as much because it smelled so strong of pineapples and it just doesn't fit in to my home as well as the others.

Lastly is Cotton and Italian Mandarin: This is my favorite scent by far in the mists because it smells like fresh laundry. The only downside is that this scent doesn't seem to last as long as the others. I just love how fresh this makes everything smell and I found I was reaching for this one the most out of all of them.

Now on to the diffusers! I purchased all three scents in starter kits so that I could have one for each main room in the house. I also did this so that I could have a wood grain diffuser for the kitchen area of the house. I am just now trying out the diffuser because I didn't want to start using it and have to throw out the the oil during the move.

Now that I have moved I pulled out my diffusers and then had the hard choice of which one to choose. I finally settled on the Fuji Apple and Cardamon Spice and at first the scent was much like the fragrance mist but after a week it seems to have mellowed down to a sweet apple scent with just a little hint of cardamon. I definitely prefer this scent as a diffuser than in the mist.One thing I do live about the diffuser is it doesn't require heating and it seems to be spill proof. I do love the look and I have had many complements on it so far.

NowI have run into one issue while trying to locate refills here in Germany, they only seem to have the lavender refill for the diffuser. I was disappointed that I still haven't been able to locate the lavender mist but I am happy that I have found the Cotton and Italian Mandarin as well as the Pineapple and Mangosteen mists.

Overall I think I will continue to use the fragrance mists and the diffusers and I hope to see Glade come out with some different scents for these products in the near future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Color Club Insta-This and Status Update

In both of my September Birchboxes I  received two mini Color Club nail polishes on in Intsa-This and Status Update. These little mini polishes by Color Club are really starting to grow on me, this brings my count up to 5 now, all of them I got through Birchbox. I actually didn't want either of these  polishes since they are both similar to Gunta and Brandt from Julep. I currently don't have any of my Julep polishes with me so I will have to wait to see how they actually compare. I didn't have any issues with streaking from either polish and they both covered in one coat. I apologize for the messy state of my nails because I forgot to pack my little bushes I use to touch up my nails. Hopefully I can find one soon, but living out of a hotel in a new country makes it hard to find certain products.
Status Update
Simple scotch tape nail art with Intsa-This and Status Update

September Birchbox #2

September Birchbox #2
I was lucky enough to get both my boxes on the same day but I was disappointed that this one was similar to my other box. So what did I think about this one?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

September Birchbox #1

September Birchbox #1
This was the first month that my Birchboxes came late and by the time I got them I was severely underwhelmed when I opened them up. As much as I was underwhelmed I actually got one item I wanted to try and one that I wouldn't touch. So how did this one fair?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BzzAgent Unreal Candy Review

As a BzzAgent I had the oppurtunity to try out a new brand of candy called Unreal. As a BzzAgent they provided me coupons to try out the candy for free, I actually wanted to try all the types of candy from this company before I gave my review on it so I purchased the others with my own money. When I finally got around to trying out all 5 different types of Unreal candy, I had great expectations for the candy because my family has been trying to eat healthier and avoid artificial ingredients. Now the flavors aren't going to be exactly the same as the big name brands but at least I could read the ingredient label without having to look up ingredients I didn't know.

First up is Unreal 54, they are the healthier equivalent to peanut M&M's and in my opinion they taste better than peanut M&M's. The colors are amazing jewel tones that come from natural sources. I definitely got a pure chocolate and peanut flavor, and the flavor even pleased my picky husband.

Next up is Unreal 41, they are the equivalent to regular M&M's. I am not a fan of regular M&M's so I wasn't sure if I would like Unreal's version. It turns out that Unreal 41 were not my cup of tea either. The flavor is pure chocolate but it isn't the same flavor as "normal" milk chocolate that most people are used to. My husband tried them and said that they had an after taste that he didn't care for.

Now Unreal 5 was a complete miss for me. It is the equivalent to a Milky Way and there is hardly a comparison between the two. The caramel wasn't as smooth as regular caramel, even compared to my own homemade the taste and texture was off to me. The nougat wasn't as flavorful as a Milky Way.

Unreal 8 was another miss for me. It's equivalent is Snickers and once again it didn't measure up. The only difference between Unreal 5 and Unreal 8 is the addition of the peanuts. I expected more peanuts but I didn't really get much, and I still had all the same issue with Unreal 8 as I did for Unreal 5.

Last but not least is Unreal 77! By far this is my favorite that I tried, since Reese's have fallen out of favor with me I am glad I enjoyed this one. First off I liked that the peanut butter cups do not have the paper cup on the outside. When I bit into the candy the peanut butter filling is smoother than Reese's. The filling didn't taste like it had all the fillers that Reese's has, as well as it wasn't as sweet. One surprising thing that I noticed was that the Unreal logo is on the bottom of each peanut butter cup. Now the flavor was just pure chocolate and smooth peanut butter and I was sold on this one.

Overall the I love the concept of Unreal and I would love to see them make more varieties. But remember you won't know if you like it until you try it! They are currently being sold in Walgreen's and CVS stores across the country, I have even found them in my local Micheal's.

*I was not paid for my review, I was compensated with coupons to try the product free or at a discounted price.

Julep September Box

In September Julep teamed up with Trina Turk to make a fall color collection. September marks the first month that Julep allowed you to upgrade your box to the entire collection for $50. So basically instead of holding your breath for a golden box you can just buy it. I opted in for the entire collection because I really wanted to try out the mascara in both black and brown, and I did not have any real basic greens or blues in my polish collection.

August Eco-Emi Box

So I decided to cancel my Eco-Emi Box only 2 months in and this month made me regret that completely. I honestly love this box and I hope in the future I can grab a couple of the extra boxes that they often have for sale.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Fall Soap Box by Fortune Cookie Soap

 So what came in this box?

...and I'm Back!!!

Well we have made it in one piece to our new home in Germany. I am now working on catching up on blog posts and going through some old ones to help my narrow down my posts to just beauty/subscription related posts. So don't worry if some of my posts disappear, I plan on bring some of them back on another blog. I already separated out my "Army Wife Life" to another blog so I think it is time to write up another blog for my crafting and cooking. But until I do I all my posts will be on this blog, I plan on titling it something along the lines of Zorabell's Average Life: Creativity Edition, for now that will be the working title.

Now that I have announced that I am back to blogging, I am happy to announce that I am pleasantly using/enjoying my samples. I managed to pack 90% of my samples and make up in my luggage, but I only took a few nail polishes with me. I won't have most of my collection for a couple of months but when I do get them again I plan on posting at least a different color every week. For now bear with me while I catch up on posting and most of my October subscription boxes will be late because I have to have them shipped to Germany from Oregon. The only ones that may make it in a timely fashion will be Beauty Army since I was able to get them to ship it directly to me.

I'm off to write up more blog posts!