Archive for the ‘holiday gift guide’ Category

Product Review: Starlooks’ Starbox December 2013 Edition!

Product Review: Starlooks’ Starbox December 2013 Edition!

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Hi Lovelies,

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to receive the very last Starbox of 2013! I sincerely apologize for taking so long to post this review, but I’ve been having significant upper GI symptoms which is rather unusual for me. Back in October we received a sneak peak saying that we’d be receiving a 15 shade Pro Palette in our boxes! Last year I received a 15 shade palette in what is now called the Birthday palette, but was first introduced as a custom made palette for Starbox subscribers. Once again this year, I was told we’d receive another custom made palette.

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I have to be honest in saying that I don’t use last year’s palette very much because of how bright the various shades are. While those shades are beautiful, they don’t fit in my day to day routine as I tend to stick to nudes or neutrals. Although I do use the nude quad we received last November. Since this year’s November box had several bright shades, I had hoped that the big mega palette would be nudes or neutrals. And I was by no means disappointed!

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I absolutely LOVE this Pro Palette!! Every single shade is absolutely gorgeous! Starlooks has certainly outdone themselves this year with this easily wearable on a day to day basis palette. Once again this is a custom palette exclusively just for Starbox subscribers. Although I believe it is still possible to order December’s Starbox for just a couple dollars more than originally. Even the name of this palette, New Year’s Eve 2014, is a reason to celebrate. If you look at the options for pre-made 15 shade palettes, you’ll see a New Year’s Eve one with similar nude/neutral shades. The regular retail price of this mega palette is $99, but only $17.68 (including shipping) for Starbox subscribers or $21.68 (including shipping) for a single December box! If you love wearing nudes/neutrals as much as I do, t hen this is a palette to get at about a fifth of what it would cost normally!

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Onto to the box itself, included in the typical white padded mailer was a white box with green elastic bow (I do miss the bow tied with ribbon, but completely understand that, that kind of detail would be difficult to maintain with growing service). Upon opening the box, I saw two pieces of paper (I miss the card stock from just a couple months ago), one of which was the typical introduction to this month’s box (seen first photo for the front of the card) and the second mentioned a new perk for loyal subscribers!

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I really like that both the November and December boxes had pictures of an eye look that can be done with the included items. Although I found November’s a bit more useful as it showed pictorially HOW to apply the shades to get the look the model was wearing. I very much hope this becomes a routine feature! I’d LOVE to see a bunch more pictorial tutorials for looks using this December 2013 box! I was able to recreate the look from November on my first try and received many complements. I had a bit more trouble with the December look as there are so many more shades in the palette to choose from.

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Since there is only one “item”, I’ll go through the shades one by one starting with the first row, going left to right.

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first row (left to right)
1. silver (shimmer)
2. purple-magenta (matte)
3. dark green (shimmer)
4. cool toned dark brown (matte)
5. black (matte)

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second row (left to right)
6. taupe with duo chrome with a magenta sheen (shimmer)
7. pearlized white (shimmer)
8. warm toned medium dark brown (matte)
9. warm toned medium brown with purple duo chrome (sparkle)
10. like a matte black base with purple duo chrome (sparkle)

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third row (left to right)
11. beige (matte) [nearly my skin tone so very hard to see]
12. light cream with an ever so slightly pearlized sheen (matte)
13. bronze-y medium brown (shimmer)
14. olive green (shimmer)
15. medium brown with gold (sparkle)

Definitions:
shimmer shadows have very fine micro-glitter
matte shades have no shimmer or glitter
sparkle shades are matte bases with glitter or micro-glitter

I’ve only just started to play around with this awesome palette. The options with this are truly unlimited! Starlooks definitely hit this one out of the park with this palette that contains mostly easily wearable colors for use on a daily basis along with a couple pops of color here and there. The purple-magenta matte shade doesn’t show up very well all by itself, it needs to be applied over eye shadow primer or with a wet brush. I’ve included swatches of all the shades swatched in just that fashion, over primer and with a wet brush. I’ve also taken the photos with different light filters on my cell phone in hopes of giving you the best possible idea of these colors! And all of these shadows can also do double duty as eyeliner just by using a wet angled brush!

TIP: I like to also add a touch of dry shadow (of the the same or different shade) on top for an extra pop.

You too can receive awesome full size cosmetic products from Starlooks’ for only $17.68 a month (includes shipping)! If you do decide to subscribe, please consider using my referral link by clicking HERE, if you do then I’ll receive a special box which I’ll then review on my blog.

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The second card included with this box states that beginning with December, continuous subscribers will automatically receive an exclusive gift (valued at $35) EVERY 3 months!! So if you received a December box, then you (and I) will receive a special gift in February! If you joined before January 10th then you’ll receive your first reward in March, and if you are reading this and join before February 10th then you’ll receive yours in April! Also Starlooks’ Starbox is the ONLY subscription service out there that sends subscribers a FREE BONUS box during their Birthday month as a special Birthday Box!! Last year I received a red lipstick with coordinating red lipliner and a black eyeliner in my Birthday Box.

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Did you receive December’s box? If so what did you think of it?
How were your holidays? Did you do anything special or fun? I’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy 2014!

Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season!

~Jaclyn~

Disclaimer: I received one or more items mentioned above from the manufacturer or PR representative for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are mine. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.

Jaclyn’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013!!

Jaclyn’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013!

I know I’m a bit late getting this posted, but between midterms, extra credit papers, and my first final in 9 years blog posts haven’t actually made it onto my site although I have written a few. If only I had a magic wand that would allow me to skip any sort of formatting….ah well, better late than never!

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Also if you don’t know, Chanukah falls very early on our secular calendar. For the first and only in my lifetime, Chanukah begins BEFORE Thanksgiving! This Wednesday, November 27th at sundown begins the festival of lights. While the least important Jewish holiday, it is the most recognizable because of when it falls. The incredible thought is that at sundown in two days, Jewish families all around the world will light two candles on the menorah (one for each night and one is the shamesh, the helper candle) and say the brachas (blessings).

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So without further ado my (first) holiday gift guide! I’ll also include a wish list so you can see what items I have my eye on. I’ll also try to add on to both lists as weeks go on. As I write this I’m listening to Chanukah music on Pandora, the first such music this season. My mom loved decorating for Chanukah. When I was little she would make sweatshirts with menorahs for me, my best friend from pre-school, and herself.

Beauty products- for the woman who would still love playing with Mom’s makeup! I’m including links to where you can purchase items (some contain referral links) and reviews if I have posted any.

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Starlooks Starbox - a monthly subscription of 3-5+ FULL size products. Pro quality products at lower prices. Subscription is $15 a month plus approximately $2.68 in shipping (within the USA, call or email for international shipping) Amazing customer service. Order until the 10th of the month to receive that month’s box, order by Dec. 10th to receive the incredible 15 shade palette which retails for $99! If you sign up PLEASE consider using my referral link as I will receive a bonus surprise box of items which I will review for you here. Read my review for October 2013, HERE and November 2013 HERE

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Ipsy Glam bag – a monthly subscription of 4-5 deluxe sample and full size products plus a cosmetic bag all for $10 a month! I’ve heard and read amazing things about this subscription. A great way to try a variety of beauty products without buying full sizes.

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Measurable Difference Instant Lash Extensions – a fabulous mascara and primer to extenuate lashes without fussing with falsies! Read my review HERE

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Measurable Difference Lash & Brow Amplifying Serum – an easy to apply serum that nourishes, hydrates, and conditions lashes and brows for captivating alluring eyes. Read my review HERE.

Measurable Difference Lash Amplifying Liquid Eyeliner – This liquid eyeliner applies like a dream and is a very deep black. It truly stays put until I decide to remove it and then it comes off so easily! Definitely the best of both worlds, my review coming soon!

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Studio Gear Holiday Palette – I just received this beautiful palette a couple days ago! Right now it is on sale for $25 (reg. $40). This very slim palette contains 4 eyeshadows and 1 blush. Instead of a mirror, there are directions for creating two gorgeous smokey eyes perfect for holiday parties! The blush is super pigmented and the name Snowy Glow perfectly describes the pinky-coral tone. The smooth and pigmented eyeshadows come in Frost (a light silver-white shade), Platinum (a darker grey silver), Coal (a charcoal grey with duo chrome silver and blue shimmer), and Glimmer (a golden shimmer sheer shade perfect as a topcoat or highlighter or on its own). Read my review HERE.

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Urban Decay’s Naked & Naked2 palettes – $52 each palette contains a dozen FULL sized natural and neutral eyeshadows. The is a little overlap between the two palettes, as both have the shade Half-Baked, which is one of my favorites, so that is okay. Both palettes contain super smooth, buttery, and richly pigmented shades. I use both of mine regularly. There IS a NEW Naked palette about to be released with completely new and exclusive shades all slightly rose gold toned. The Naked3 is high on my wish list. There is also a Naked Basics palette $27 with 6 matte shades to complement the Naked palettes or to stand alone.

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Benefit Hervana blush – $28 this still remains one of my all time favorite blushes. It was this blush that changed my entire perspective on blushes! Before I was sent this blush, I pretty much thought blush was evil for someone with naturally rosy tinted cheeks, but how wrong I was. Now I absolutely LOVE blush. So thank you Benefit! What a fabulous gateway blush. Highly recommend for a naturally rosy tinted look.

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Benefit Brow Zings – $30 I absolutely LOVE this little compact! I got this for my birthday 9+ months ago and still have quite more than half left. This little compact sure packs a huge punch when it comes to filling in ones eyebrows. Everything you need is included from powder, to setting wax, two mini brushes, and a mini tweezer. While I don’t care for the included tweezer, it does work in a pinch. But the mini blushes are fantastic! Those are by far my preferred brushes to use for my brows even over my full sized counterpart.

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Benefit They’re Real! Mascara & Watt’s Up? Highlighter – $23 and $30 for full sizes. I am putting these together because that is how I tried them. The minis of these are in the birthday gift from Sephora for Beauty Insiders (free to join) for this year. I absolutely LOVE both items! The brush on this mascara is unlike anyone I have ever used before. There is a little spiky ball on the end of the wand which is perfect for my short and sparse lashes. The highlighter is a gorgeous warm cream colored stick with a golden sheen. Both minis are perfectly sized to carry in ones purse.

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Lancôme Teint Idole 24hr. Foundation – $45this is the foundation I am currently using thanks to a Sephora gift card. It is beautifully lightweight full cover foundation that is extremely easy to apply with fingers, brushes, and/or sponge. This one is fairly sweat resistant and is smudge resistant throughout the day.

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Starlooks Cosmetics – I have their 15 piece brush set which is just amazing! I love to quality of their brushes. Actually everything I’ve tried from Starlooks has been excellent quality. I would highly recommend their lipstick, gem pencils, gel liners, blushes, bronzers, and brush sets. I’ll be posting a review of the brush set coming soon!

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Bath & Body Works – I love their products! My most favorite scent is their limited edition Summer Vanilla series specifically the Summer Vanilla Lemon! Overall I dislike perfume and so I tend to prefer body sprays since they are generally lighter scents. I wish I had gotten a second Summer Vanilla Lemon body spray as I use the one I have everyday! You can’t go wrong with getting BB&W items as every woman (and man) bathes.

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Prada Candy Eau de Parfum – $82 for 1.7 oz This is the ONLY perfume I’ve come across that I truly love the scent of! I’ve only gotten samples of this so far because of the high price tag, so this will also be on my wish list, a girl can dream! Maybe because this scent is much lighter than many traditional perfumes, its sweet scent is one that I enjoy. I just don’t think the bottle is as pretty as say Marc Jacobs perfume bottles are. I wish there was just ONE of his scents that I liked as I’d enjoy that bottle indefinitely. I love the way perfume bottles from before the 60′s looked.

Books- Including some of my favorite reads since I started this blog. And for some reason trilogies seem very popular!

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Clockwise series by Elle Strauss – I LOVE all three of books in the Clockwise series and hope that Ms. Strauss will write another story or two or ten. Beautifully written story about 16 year old Casey Donovan who has a little problem of time traveling at the most inconvenient moments. She always travels back to the same time loop, in the 1860′s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Things get even more complicated if she is touching someone skin-to-skin when she “trips” back in time, she’ll take them with her! Read my reviews of Clockwise, HERE, and ClockwiseR, HERE.

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Fractured Light trilogy by Rachel McClellan – When 16 year old Llona Reese learns that her parents were killed by Vykens (evil personified), she knows that as an Aura (light personified) she is in danger. Without training or guidance Llona does her best to learn about who and what she is in hopes of saving her life and the lives of those around her. The concluding novel is scheduled to be released in about April 2014. You can read my reviews of the first two novels HERE and HERE.

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Beckoning Light trilogy by Alyssa Rose Ivy – When 16 year old Charlotte moves back to Charleston, South Carolina, she is inexplicably drawn to a locked gate in her back yard. One night she finds the crystal key that opens this mysterious gate and enters another time and place. There she finds that she really didn’t know her mother as well as she thought. You can read my reviews of the first two novels HERE and HERE.

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Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth – Soon to be a major motion picture, the concluding novel in this exciting trilogy was recently released. Tris lives in a society where everyone belongs to a faction, like a micro society inside another one. Tris happened to have grown up in Abnegation where selflessness is valued higher than anything else. When it is Tris’s turn to go through the simulator in order to decide what faction she should belong too, something odd happens and suddenly Tris is told that not only is she Divergent, but that she must NEVER tell ANYONE what she is.

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The Warrior Heir series by Cinda Williams Chima -The first book is from the point of view of Jack Swift who unbeknownst to him that he has magical abilities. Even among others with these special abilities, Jack is unique. This leads to him becoming the hero in this coming-of-age series. Each subsequent novel is form the point of view of another one of the main characters.

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Delirum trilogy by Lauren Oliver – This dystopian trilogy is set in the future where falling in love is outlawed. In fact the government strips its citizens of their ability to love when they reach a certain age. So what happens when one teen does the unthinkable! She falls in love with someone.

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Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Probably my very favorite sci-fi novel. I’ve at the very least, liked every Orson Scott Card book I’ve ever read. Nowadays we’d likely also cross-reference this as YA dystopian.

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Tempest series by Julie Cross – A time travel series about Jackson who is able to travel back in time, but this also gets him in trouble. And have serious consquences for this friends. As Jackson realizes the implications of time travel the risks become greater.

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Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke – It is only when a young man begins reading a book out loud for his wife and young daughter does he realize that he has a unique ability to make things (living and not-living) appear, but everytime something appears, something else has to disapear. And then he finds that he is in danger because of this ability.

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Alicia, My Story by Alicia Appleman-Jurman – This is an extremely powerful story of survival. When I was in 9th grade Ms. Appleman-Jurman came to the Jewish high school bureau programming to tell us her story. I dare you to read the first page and not be hooked. Ms. Appleman-Jurman’s story is one of love, scarifice, and the will to live.

Other Great Gift Ideas:

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Netflix – Netflix is a great gift for the movie and tv show fan! While I discontinued the dvd portion of the service, I did subscribe to it for many years and very rarely had any sort of problem with the service. I still subsribe to the streaming part of the service and watch many tv shows and movies on it.

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Hulu Plus -Hulu Plus is perfect if you have a device (ie Nintendo Wii, Playstation, Roku, etc) that allows you to stream directly to your tv. While I dislike the commercials especially sicne it is a service I’m paying for, I do find being able to use it to watch many (excluding CBS) of my favorite tv shows on demand.

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