Monday, July 18, 2016

Boxwalla Review: Subscription Box Perfection

A few months back, I shared my thoughts on a new subscription box called Boxwalla. Since that post, I have had the opportunity to experience other beauty boxes from them and I wanted to share some of my thoughts -- and my favorite discoveries!

First, I would like to review my current box, which is from Boxwalla's Wandering Woman series. I am over the moon excited about this box because I am delighted by each and every product in this one. Have you ever received a subscription box before and your only reaction was a mix of "meh" and disappointment? I know you are sitting there nodding your head, especially if you are an Ipsy or Birchbox subscriber. I mean no offense to either of those services; it's just that I used to be routinely underwhelmed with each month's delivery and ultimately cancelled both. My experience with Boxwalla, on the other hand, has been quite the opposite.

After 9 years of blogging, THIS lipstick is my favorite


Before I review my current box, I want to share my holy grail lipstick with you! This was in a previous beauty box from Boxwalla that I just never had a chance to get to writing about. I would be remiss if I didn't  tell you about this lipstick, though.

In fact, it's the first time in years that I have had a color AND formula I was so smitten with that I actually hit the bottom of the tube. The last one that had that effect on me was the long-discontinued Estee Lauder Futurist Lipstick in Divine Wine that I first bought in 1999. Well, Axiology Natural Organic Lipstick is the best natural lipstick that I have come across in my nine years of blogging.



My shade is called Reflection, which was initially intimidating. If you look only at the photo on the website, it looks like a dark purple. On the lips, it translates to a beautifully cheerful ripe berry. It is my go-to shade and I am about to place an order for another tube. I just cannot bear to be without this one, despite having dozens of similar shades in my arsenal. This is just the one. See below:




I say that this is lipstick perfection not just because it is a color I am in love with, but because this is the complete package. It comes in a stunning gold tube and the ingredients are top-notch: Organic Candelilla Wax, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Avocado Butter, Organic Grape Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Elderberry Extract, Sweet Orange Oil; May Contain: Iron Oxide, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Manganese Violet

At $28 this one is more than I normally would pay for a lipstick. Some of you buy expensive handbags. I get mine at Marshall's. Others splurge on the hair salon. I go to Super Cuts every 6 weeks and use Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Cool Brown every 4. My two splurges in beauty are It Cosmetics CC Cream and lipstick.

Thoughts on my latest Boxwalla Beauty Box 

As with my other Boxwalla boxes, this one is a keeper. No duds. You see, each month, the box is so thoughtfully curated that it's nearly impossible to not fall in love with every product in it. Each box tells a story, which is such a key difference between Boxwalla and all of the other subscription boxes. 

Rachel's Plan Bee Original Body Polish -- This is the best body scrub I have ever used. I have had many that I have enjoyed in the past, from Lemongrass Spa to Origins. This one, though, is spa-quality. It is the perfect combination of scrubbiness versus oiliness. You do not have to worry about slipping in your tub, yet it is not one that feels too dry. It is perfection. You will find sugar, Moroccan lava clay (not found in many scrubs on the market, so this is unique), kaolin, shea butter, grapeseed, beeswax and a beautiful citrus aroma (from essential oils). The ingredients are organic and you can tell that this was crafted with a passion for ingredients.


Rachel's Plan Bee Bee Cream -- I have the mini of this and it will definitely be a product I will buy in the full-size. Girls, you need this product in your life. It is elegant simplicity. A little goes a very long way. You only need about the size of a pencil eraser head to adequately nourish the skin. And the smell is intoxicating. Orange + vanilla + grapefruit = hello, lover! It is beautiful. It is refreshing. It is comforting at the same time. I also use this on my heels at bedtime. Use it on the cuticles, elbows, hands -- anywhere you please.


Henne Organics Rose Diamond Lip Scrub -- The only lip scrub I have ever really loved is one from Lush. Until now. This USDA Certified Organic product is so luxurious, especially with the rose oil in it. It also features an ingredient we rarely see in skincare called Red Chokeberry. Also known as Aronia berries, these are rich in antioxidants. In fact, they contain more antioxidants than any other berry. This product also has a natural pink hue and the ideal consistency. With coconut oil, jojoba, and shea butter, this sugar-based exfoliant leaves lips feeling like pure silk.



Gressa Skin Lumière in Elise -- One little drop is all you need to naturally tint lips and cheeks. Think Benefit Benetint, but with fabulous ingredients, a lovely consistency, and with skincare benefits. Elise is really a versatile shade. It almost looks like a coral and morphs into a natural pink that just looks natural. This is what I consider a hybrid product -- yes, it is a cosmetic item, but it is just as much a skincare treatment. This lovely serum contains sea buckthorn berry, radish root ferment, Coenzyme Q10 & more.

Now I know what you might be thinking: $49.95 is a lot for a beauty box. Let's break it down. All of the products in the box are full size, with the exception of the Bee Cream ($6). The Gressa product sells for $28, the Rachel's Plan Bee scrub for $20, and the Henne lip scrub for $24. That is $78 in products ALL of which will be used with love. In fact, in the three boxes I have had from Boxwalla, I have thoroughly enjoyed every single product. I am confident knowing that each box has been well thought out. It shows. The folks behind the scenes at Boxwalla have a keen eye for what they are choosing for the boxes and I know you will adore your products as much as I do mine!

For more information, visit the Boxwalla website:


Boxwalla on Facebook 
Boxwalla on Instagram 
My other Boxwalla review 


Friday, July 15, 2016

How to choose the right laser skincare treatment

My readers often ask my thoughts on laser treatments for anti-aging. I am excited to share a guest post with you today on the topic:

Despite being one of the most popular skincare treatments available in the markets, laser procedures are still a big mystery to most people. Even those who opt for regular laser treatments seem to know little about the actual procedure and what it involves. If you’ve ever wondered about how laser treatments work, then this article is for you.

Laser Treatments Stimulate Cells Using Heat and Light

As much as it might seem like laser treatments magically transform the skin, there is a perfectly logical explanation to how they work. Lasers use heat and light to stimulate the skin cells, providing you with the desired results.  For instance, if you opt for a laser hair removal treatment, the procedure will entail damaging the roots of each hair, thereby discouraging regrowth. This is done by targeting the hair follicles, killing them to curb hair growth.
In another example, if you have a laser skin tightening procedure done, the laser will work by inflicting ‘’injuries’’ on your cells. These microscopic injuries on the skin will help boost collagen production, leading to tighter and younger-looking skin.

Ensure That You Pick the Appropriate Laser and The Proper Treatment

If you think getting a laser treatment is as easy as walking into a skincare clinic and randomly choosing an anti-aging laser treatment, nothing could be further from the truth. There are so many different laser treatments available, each one targeting a specific issue, ranging from anti-aging to hair removal, to even tattoo removal.
Another factor to consider is that there is no one-size-fits all approach to laser treatments. Depending on the shade of your skin and hair, you will have to opt for laser treatments that will work effectively for you. This in turn means that you will have to find a clinic that specializes in performing the treatment that you want, with the laser that will suit your specific needs.

Topical Treatments Are Limited in Their Effectiveness

One common arguments against laser treatments is that you can always stick to applying lotions and creams to treat your skin issues instead. But the fact of the matter is that such topical treatments are very limited in their effectiveness. While some give little to no results, some others take months to show visible results. And that is provided you use the creams and lotions regularly for a long, long time which, let’s be honest, most of us never do. So if you want to reverse the skin damage and want to see the results soon, then you need to opt for laser treatments. It’s a good idea to go in for a laser treatment and then use a good cream or lotion to maintain your skin.
Hope this article has helped you understand how cosmetic lasers work. You can now make a decision based on what you know about laser procedures. If you’re still undecided, go ahead and consult a dermatologist. They’ll be able to provide you with a tailor-made treatment to meet your needs. And if you do find the right clinic and opt to have a laser procedure, you are sure to be fully satisfied with the awesome results.