Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June OnyxBox Review

 I was recently contacted by We Are Onyx to review one of their subscription boxes named OnyxBox. The box was mailed to me in mid-June so I'm happy to be able to share the subscription information along with my honest thoughts on the selection of products sent to me!

Here are the subscription details according to the We Are Onyx website:

(1) Sign up for an OnyxBox subscription and complete the True Beauty Profile

For only $25 per month, receive 5 deluxe-size or full size hair, skin, makeup and lifestyle products from our favorite high-end brands from around the world. Every month we will curate 4 products and, as a returning subscriber, you get to select a 5th sample from a hand-picked selection of luxury beauty products. If you are a new subscriber you will be able to select your sample starting with your 2nd Onyxbox.

(2) Receive your Onyxbox

Discover your new fave products by watching our exclusive video tutorials and get the best in black beauty tips & tricks from our Beauty Experts and OnyxGirls.

(3) Unwrap & Indulge

We curate the best products from around the world for our OnyxGirls, and we know you'll love them as much as we do! Purchase even more great products in the Onyx Boutique, share your reviews, and let us know which products you'd love to see in future ONYXBOXES.

What's in My OnyxBox?

My June OnyxBox contained the following products:

Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture in Rodeo Drive – Retail Price $18
These gorgeous glossy and 5-free lacquers will keep your nails on point all summer

c. Booth – Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist – Retail Price $7.99 Dramatically lightweight dry oil for face and body imparts a light, lasting glow for
instantly touchable skin.

LottaBody Curl & Style Milk – Retail Price $3.99
Coconut and shea oils deeply hydrate hair from inside out, leaving hair soft and
nourished with brilliant shine.

Cargo Cosmetics High Shine Lip Gloss in Madrid – Retail Price $16.00

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque Samples (2) with Coupon booklet

To the left is one coat of the Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture in Rodeo Drive. This is your classic red nail color that goes with every skin tone because it is a cool tone even though it looks a little warmer in the picture for some reason. I later applied another coat and my nails were even shiner, however, it did chip quite a bit during the first night. I will have to be sure to use a top coat next time.

The Lotta Body Curl & Style Milk is actually a very effective moisturizer for curly hair. Shea butter is listed as the second ingredient after water and it contains many plant oils. It left my hair bouncy and extremely soft! It is hard to define curls without making them flat, but this product really gave me Lotta Body (I had to use that pun haha). I normally would not have tried this product so I was happy that it was included even though it is not a high-end brand. This is easily the product that I will use the most!

The c. Booth Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist smells nothing short of amazing! It has such a warm comforting scent and light mist that anyone close enough to smell it will want to just inhale you all day. The mist is great for touching up dry areas on your body when you don't have time to apply a heavy lotion. I especially enjoy it for my collar bone area because it gives a subtle glow that everyone wants in summer time!
The Cargo High Shine Lip Gloss in Madrid is a sheer wash of color but contains lots of sparkles. It goes on very smooth and I enjoy the scent, however, I'm not a fan of sparkly lip gloss so I will probably give this one to a friend.

The first four items were listed in the information card as items that I may receive in my box, however the Shea Moisture samples were not included in that list; the Shea Moisture samples did contain a coupon book for select products which I will be using to repurchase the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I have used the Deep Treatment Masque before and didn't care for it so I will probably give these samples to a friend.

My Thoughts

I must say I was a little disappointed to see the items in my box since the We Are Onyx website claims in their FAQs and How It Works sections that "For only $25 per month, receive 5 deluxe-size or full size hair, skin, makeup and lifestyle products from our favorite high-end brands from around the world." This statement seems to not hold true for my box because with the exception of the Cargo lip gloss and maybe the Lauren B. Beauty nail varnish, these products are not considered "high-end brands." I was under the impression that the items would be new brands that I would not have otherwise come across and not common items that I can purchase at the drugstore. The June box is named Red, White, and Beauty and all of the products are from the United States this month so I cannot give a review on whether or not they select international products since this was an American themed box.

With that aside, I feel that the OnyxBox has a good variety of product types because it includes one product from skin, nails, and makeup and two hair products. I personally would have liked to see a home product instead of two hair products, but this was my first box and subscribers are only able to pick their 5th item when purchasing their second OnyxBox. I'm guessing that the second box may be more suited to subscribers however, I'm not sure if subscribers will want to take that chance with another $25. I also feel that they need to incorporate more brands that are really considered "luxury" and "high end" in order for the box to be worth the subscription price; make subscribers feel as if they are getting a treat that is completely different from what they see in common stores.

We Are Onyx Links:
Instagram: @WEAREONYX
Facebook: WE ARE ONYX
Pinterest: WE ARE ONYX

Friday, May 30, 2014

FirstWatch: The Daytime Café

I have driven past the FirstWatch on University countless times and have told myself that I have to stop there one day, but never seemed to make lunch plans. My apartment building kindly awarded me a Buy One Get One Free Entrée coupon to use, which was the push I needed to finally try out this great breakfast/lunch spot. This review is based on the location closest to the University of Central Florida.

The menu consists of both breakfast and lunch items including omelets, skillet hashes, multigrain pancakes, french toast, salads, and sandwiches. I chose the Avocado, Bacon, and Tomato Hash which was delicious! Their hash is made up of freshly diced potatoes that are cooked lightly, not greasy at all. Mine included Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and my eggs scrambled well. I chose to substitute bacon for turkey sausage at no extra charge. A buttered English muffin and side of fresh fruit were also included in my meal. I was so hungry that I ate the whole meal and didn't realize until I got the check that there was no avocado in my hash. I brought it up to the server and she quickly got me a small container with some avocado to take with me to go since it was a kitchen mistake. I was happy with the great service because avocado is one of my favorite fruits which is why I know it was a great meal if I finished it without realizing it was missing.

My boyfriend ordered the Tri-Fecta with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, and the Banana Granola Crunch multigrain pancake. He enjoyed his pancake but did mention that his eggs tasted different than mine but it was probably because he didn't ask for them to be scrambled well. I make a habit of ordering them that way because I'm afraid of runny eggs. It does come with butter and syrup but he didn't use any because he's odd and uses the jam instead. I was full from my meal but he seemed like he could eat more as he was taking some of my fruit so this menu option might best for those with smaller appetites. Everything was very fresh and cooked on the healthy side so this great for individuals that are mindful of how their meals are cooked.

We were greeted as soon as we walked in the door and seated within two minutes at around 12:30 on Friday which is very quick for that time of day. The food came within ten minutes of us ordering which was a pleasant surprise as well. I can't remember our server's name but she was very polite and got me avocado in a container since I realized it wasn't in my meal. The line to pay was a little lengthy but once we got to the checkout, it was a quick transaction. The staff there is very friendly and one was kind enough to take a lovely picture of my boyfriend and me. I really enjoyed my time here and will return and probably bring my cousin along the next time she is visiting Orlando. I give the FirstWatch a 5 out of 5 for excellent service and healthy meals!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

H&M Goodies for a Petite Frame

I went to H&M to treat myself to a few feminine pieces for my birthday. I'm sharing with you a polka dot camisole with ruffle detail, baby pink button up dress, and white crochet styled shorts. I have included pictures of them on so that you can see how they look on a petite, pear shaped body type. My measurements are currently 32-25-38 and I'm 5'2.

Polka Dot Camisole size XS for $12.95
As soon as I touched this camisole, I knew I had to have it because it is incredibly soft! It is of a thin material that feels lovely against my skin. I was really pleased with the Extra Small size because it fits my chest perfectly. I often have problems finding tops that are snug on my chest because I'm a very small 32 B, however, this one fits like a glove and the ruffle detail makes it possible for me to go bra-less if need be. The XS size is a lot shorter than the S size so, if you prefer longer shirts then that size may be better suited for you.

Button Up Dress size 4 for $14.95
I saw this pink button up dress on display two different ways. One where the bottom half of the dress was completely unbuttoned to reveal a pair of jean shorts, and the other with a high necked, tight crop top underneath and the first few buttons undone. I chose to put on a bralette with a skinny belt to emphasis my waist, however this dress is versatile and can be worn with almost anything. I don't know why my expression came out this way, but I actually am excited to make new combinations with my current wardrobe.
Crochet Style Shorts size S for $24.99
A few months ago I saw a similar pair of crochet shorts on Instagram and told myself that I had to snag a pair the next time I went shopping. While this pair was pricey in my opinion, I'm happy I bought them as they are perfect for summer. Barefoot days in the sand, hours reading poolside, and quick errands in town are all made more stylish with the white crochet triangles contrasting against my tan skin. This pair of shorty shorts will be motivation to work out more in order to wear them in all their glory!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Israeli Birthday Present

My boyfriend just returned from a lengthy trip to Israel and brought me back this dainty necklace for my birthday! In Jewish religion, the Hamesh Hand is a symbol of blessing and protection. I love when I'm given a cultural piece because the history behind it makes me feel special to have it in my possession. That's it for this quick share, I hope you have a wonderful evening. 

Do you have any cultural or religious jewelry? What is the history, legend, or meaning behind it? Share it with me in the comments!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Review

I have been using the L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara since September but for some reason I never thought to mention it till now! Here is a quick look at the pros and cons that I personally experienced with this mascara as well as a video.

  • Lengthens
  • Very Black
  • Brush keeps lashes Defined
  • Thin Formula that can be built up in layers
  • Volume without clumps
  • Needs to be Curled again after 2-3 hours of wear