Le Tote: Box 6

It’s an absolutely fabulous feeling when you get a delivery that hits every nail on the head. It fits. It’s comfy. It’s trendy. It makes you reconsider your own style because, damn that looks good! All of that culminates into not feeling like you are wasting your time or money on a subscription service – even when they have the odd bad box.

 

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Look at those beautiful colors and patterns. I may need to request all of these again asap!

The Max Studio Printed Jersey Dress is just the thing for a leisurely walk to the park, or curled up with a good book. I don’t think I can stress the wonders of a dress that is durable, and doesn’t leave me feeling constricted. Retail: $98 Le Tote: $68

I was a bit cautious with the Noir T Strap Poppy Tank. There wasn’t a whole lot of give to the material and that can easily make it something that doesn’t go on at all or come off easily. However, I was delightfully surprised, and had I not been recouping from other purchases I would have kept this for my physical closet and not just my virtual one. It also pared really well with the Smudge Me Not lip color I got in my Wantable Makeup Box. Retail: $58 Le Tote: $48

The Max Studio Inverted Pleat Front Tank wore perfectly under a cardigan with black crop pants. It would make a great addition to any office wardrobe, and it’s lightweight and airy material also make it perfect for an afternoon date at the zoo. It’s hard to go wrong with a multi-functional piece of clothing. Seriously, I’m sure we are all guilty of buying clothing that is for a very specific purpose and hardly sees the light of day because of it. Retail: $88 Le Tote: $68 $33*

Last, but not least, the Catherine Catherine Pleated Peplum Top. To be honest, the pastel pattern wasn’t really doing it for me when I pulled it out of the box. Of course the cut of the material made it worth trying it on. I know there’s is a fashion science behind why peplum style tops look fantastic on the pear shaped, I don’t even care what it is I just love it. It’s simultaneously fitted and loose in all the right spots! Though, the color scheme would have been more appreciated in April versus July. Retail: $48 Le Tote: $42

This was definitely an experience that I was happy to rent. Yes, I liked all the items, but not enough to part with the cash to keep them (except the Poppy Tank.) It was great having new-to-me items that looked fantastic, because a little something new does wonders for my attitude.

If you’re looking for some new looks to freshen the wardrobe or even makeover your style, I highly recommend Le Tote to get yourself started. Click here and get $25 off your first month.

*Sale price at time of writing review. 8.9.17

Le Tote: Box 5

It was bound to happen sooner or later, a Le Tote delivery that just did not float my boat. Now, here’s the thing: every one of the items I got came from my closet. They all looked super trendy and comfy, and the week it came we had a bit of cool streak so the longer sleeves weren’t even unbearable… well, they wouldn’t have been had more than one of the items fit right.

The KUT from the Kloth: Black Print Blouse was the only thing I opted to wear. It was the only one that turned out to be as comfy as it looked. I wore it layered over a simple gray camisole and black pants and felt like I was on point for the office. Retail: $68 Le Tote: $54

I was most excited to try on the BCBGeneration: Collarless High-Low Blazer. Such a great color, and as soft as it looks. What goes a bit unnoticed from the pic is the huge shoulder pads. The compulsion to cut them out was so high, I had to immediately put it in the return shipping bag so I didn’t have to commit to the item. Retail: $118 Le Tote: $43

I’m not sure if there was a construction defect or if the Noir: Zipper Front Shirt is best for a willowy frame but no matter how I styled the sleeves it just laid all wrong. Worse, was the lack of mobility. Great top if your arms are basically going to be at your side all day, but try to reach for something, a pencil that fell on the floor, a strand of hair dangling in your face, or your favorite mug from the cupboard and you are met with resistance and/or zippers digging into your flesh. No thanks! Retail: $66 Le Tote: $33

Last but not least, the London Times: Tie Sleeve Shift Dress. It’s summer and I practically live in dresses, this one however I couldn’t get out of fast enough. Le Tote swears they hand measure every garment so that the items you get are sure to fit, but I think this one got lost in translation. What should have been flowy ended up being uncomfortably tight. Which brings me to possibly my only real complaint about Le Tote, you can’t select a different size to try something in. I’m not sure if you are limited to the sizes specified in your profile, or those Le Tote stylists tag as being measured for you, but there have been several items I would have like to try in larger or smaller size but I couldn’t request the difference. Retail: $58 Le Tote: $46

Now, enough with all the griping. Yes, I had a bad Tote. But I’ve had more good ones before and since (I might be a wee bit behind in the reviews). I’m really looking forward to trying Le Tote: Select, their version of StitchFix, Wantable, Dia & Co. etc. I’ve got another box or two of the competitors coming, and then I switch it up to try something new.

If you want to give clothing rental a try, click here for $25 off your first month.

 

Subscription Withdrawals

It hasn’t even been a full week since I mailed out my last Le Tote box and returned my Dress of The Month, and I’m already finding life just a bit sadder without subscriptions. At this moment I have nothing to open. Nothing to try. Nothing to review.

Now, I’m sure once I get home I will be delightfully surprised to find a new Le Tote, my first Beauty Box 5, or even my first Book of the Month. But the wait is almost as unbearable as waiting for a hot guy to text you back. (That’s right hubby, I’m talking about you here!)

Last week I signed up Book of the Month – I really need to do something about that reading goal of mine. For less than $10 a month I get to pick between 5 new hardcover releases. I can also add additional books and book lovers swag to my delivery at a discount. Considering a new book can cost between $15 and $30 bucks, I’m in!

Also last week, I volunteered as a subscription box reviewer at Find Subscription Boxes, in an attempt to get some free stuff for doing what I already do. Right now it hasn’t panned out to more than a bunch of annoying emails trying to sell me subscriptions, but I can wait. If it weren’t already so cumbersome to manage work, personal, and school emails, I’d probably set up another just for my subscriptions (because damn, do they blow up my inbox!), but I can barely keep up with the few I already have.

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As for now, I wait, very impatiently for the next box to be delivered. Guess I could use this time to read a book or something.

Le Tote: Box 4

Le Tote, easily my favorite of all the clothing subscriptions, is a flat rate monthly rental subscription. Get 3-5 items depending on your subscription, wear them as long as you want and return them when you want something new. If you find you can’t live without one of the items, you can buy it at a discount.

Delivery #4 is my first of the Classic Box subscription with 4 clothing items and no accessories and is the first box I kept longer than a few days. Typically, I’m good to wear everything once and send it back, but this time I got a fabulous dress that hubby assured me would be worth it once I got paid first.

Even though each item came from my closet (all the items Le Tote has available and I’ve clicked the little heart on) only half of them worked out for me this round. Let’s take a look:

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I thoroughly liked the orange Vince Camuto High Low Shirtdress, I ended up wearing it as a tie front shirt since I didn’t have any belts to give it some shape. (This should be rectified in the coming weeks.) It worked really well for casual Friday with my cute black and white capris. Would definitely rent again. Retail: $89 Le Tote: $68

I looked like a freakin’ goddess in the pink paisley London Times High Neck Maxi Dress and felt like one too! I wasn’t too keen on the price tag, but my favorite person said it would be worth the splurge. And it is! Adding a light sweater or a denim jacket will make this dress wearable spring through fall. Who am I kidding, boots and a comfy pull over will make it fantastic for winter too! I don’t know if you noticed, but I love this dress. Retail: $98 Le Tote: $74

I’m going to get better about taking before and after pics when I swap items. I don’t recall what the Lumiere Star Cold Shoulder Top replaced but it did replace something. I know the description says star, but you can hardly tell they are more than polka dots in the photo. In person they were way to aggressive for my liking. Despite the open shoulders the sleeves were too tight to move in. I just couldn’t make it work. Retail: $45 Le Tote: $26

Lastly, the skirt. The crepe paper like fabric of the Le Lis Pleated Pencil Skirt was too small for me to even try on. Seriously, I’ve got shapewear that is easier to get into. The elastic waist band did nothing to help. This sad little article of clothing stayed in the box until I was ready to ship it back. Retail: $45 Le Tote: $36

I was all too happy to pack it up and ship it back yesterday morning, my next box finalized before I had even left the office.

 

Dress of the Month: #1

Unique Vintage offers a fantastic line of new, vintage-style, clothing and accessories. I could take home almost everything that they have to offer. With their classically designed dresses in patterns that range from solids and polka dots to full on city scapes and holiday prints, there is something for every taste and season.

The idea of a Dress of the Month Club was so fascinating for several reasons. One, because picking from the hundreds of options is just daunting. Two, it’s a surprise each month and a great way to try things outside of my comfort zone. Three, your subscription cost is less than the dress value, so it’s a built in discount.

To sign up you really just give them your size and leave the rest to the universe. It’s $50 a month plus $7 for flat rate shipping. If the size is wrong you can exchange it. If the dress is in no way shape or form something you would wear you can return it for credit towards your next month. You take a small gamble, but it can sort itself out.

After signing up for Dress of the Month at the end of May, I decided to order a few things that were on sale. Two pairs of cute strappy shoes, one in black the other in nude. A fantastic black dress with white polka dots, and a long pearlescent necklace because the extra item got me a decent discount and free shipping.

It took what felt like ages for that order to ship. When I got it a week ago, I was bummed to find that the shoes had been shipped separately. (I got the first pair Thursday, still waiting on the second). Even worse, the dress didn’t fit! I ordered the size suggested based off my measurements, but I either shrunk, mis-measured, or a combination of both.

The down side is because it was a final sale item I can’t return or exchange it. On the up side, I’m confident in my seamstress skills enough to possibly successfully take it in. (I just got to find the time.) Customer Service quickly responded to my inquiry for changing the size of my Dress of the Month Club, so I was rather disappointed when I received it last night and it was the same too big size.

image3.jpegMy bum filled out just fine, but I could have stuffed a whole roll of paper towels, still on the roll, down the bust and it wouldn’t have filled the whole thing up. Such a disappointment considering how fabulous that pattern is!! I would have been happy to exchange for a smaller size but hubby vetoed the cut. It’s hard to tell with such a busy fabric but the bust and sleeves do some weird pleating. Retail: $94

I would have liked to try this on in my own size, but the effort to send it back and wait for exchange just doesn’t seem worth it. Next month though my subscription will already be paid for, less shipping cost.

My first experience may have been a let down but I’m holding out that next month will be much better.

 

 

Play by Sephora: Box 1

My Play by Sephora came a whole day early!!! I was not prepared, so I made myself wait to open it until I wrote up and took pictures for my Makeup Bag entry. It wasn’t too hard because the hubby and I spent the night shredding a terrible movie. Live tweeting was involved so the two hour movie took us three and half, and by that time it was well past our bedtime. But I digress.

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Play by Sephora is a monthly subscription that provides you with, as they describe it, five samples and a scent. For everyone that can math, you get six samples for $10. It all comes in a unique bag that ties back to an overall theme for that month. Additionally, you get a Play Pass to receive an extra 50 Beauty Insider Points with your next in store purchase, a handy little fold out giving you tips for the season, info on the samples and how to apply, along with exclusive access to how-to videos online.

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This subscription is ideal for those that want to try before they buy and have no idea where to start. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked by all the open testers at the local Sephora and was simply overwhelmed.

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First thing I tried was the Yves Saint Laurent “Black Opium Eau De Parfum”. Typically I avoid scents as they tend to be overpowering – granted I’m sure that opinion has more to do with the years of working with teenage boys who practically bathed in Axe body spray – but I’m here to expand my horizons. It definitely smells better on me (vanilla with a light floral) than it did in the packaging (baby powder.) I’d say this sample is a winner. Retail: $68 (reg. size)/$25 (travel size)

Next up is the Kat Von D “Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dud.” Well, that’s a color! Think of Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. Now, remember the dress she wore to her actual high school prom? That’s what is currently on my mouth in a matt finish. It. Is. Odd. AF. After two and a half hours that included eating dinner & leaving lipstick behind on my water bottle, the color was mostly still there even if a little faded in the middle. I blotted a layer of it off before going out in public, still leaving a trace of color stained on my lips but a lot less bold. Even that itty-bit of color was still on three hours later. Retail: $20

IGK Rich Kid “Coconut Oil Gel” I tried, not in my hair, but hubby’s. It has a pleasant scent, void of the chemically smell found in a lot of drugstore hair gels. I worked it into his dry hair opting for simple twist instead of the typical braid. His hair didn’t look like it had any product in it and it maintained a no effort look to his tied back locks. Who can complain about that? Retail: $15-$27

Benefit Cosmetics “The POREfessional Face Primer.” I was most excited to try this because I wanted to get out and take some pics to celebrate our one year anniversary. Unfortunately, even though the product went on silky smooth it seemed to highlight my pores instead of blurring them as the product description claimed. Further, it left behind almost gritty streaks. Was not impressed and washed it off immediately. Retail: $12-$31

I ended up testing the First Aid Beauty “Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer” instead. This was great. It went on weightless and left behind a fresh glow. WIth makeup on yesterday and bare faced today my face feels radiant and moisturized without feeling too oily. And there’s still enough for another day or two. Retail: $14-$28

Last item is the Ouai “Rose Hair & Body Oil. I have yet to find a body oil that claims it is fast absorbing and actually is. I messaged into my elbows, which tend to be trouble spots in the summer, but feeling tacky for several minutes is not how I want to spend any part of my. Sure, my skin felt and looked more hydrated but I get the same results with body lotion that does absorb quickly. Retail: $32

Of all the things I got in my first box I could definitely see myself splurging on Black Opium and replacing the Aveeno for the Hello FAB in my makeup routine. If hubby wasn’t so devoted to Dollar Shave Club I try to convert him to the Coconut Oil Gel. As for the rest, I could do without. I will say that the price paid for the products I got to try was worth it. There’s enough of each sample to try it several times but not so much you feel like you are wasting it if you know it’s not your thing. Already looking forward to July’s Play by Sephora.

Makeup Bag

With my up coming Play by Sephora and Beauty Box 5 subscriptions I thought I’d take a look at what I have, what I use, and how long I’ve had it all. My makeup game is pretty much non-existent, but as most females, and even some bad-ass men do, I’ve got the basics somewhere. The makeup bag is really only pulled out for special occasions (weddings or job interviews) and on the rare occasion just because I feel like it.

I did buy a few new items for my wedding last year and job hunting. I even wore it the first few days of the new job. However, I was so excited the first day boss lady came in make-up free – my fourth or fifth day on the job – the pressure (though negligible, and not from the office) to wear it regularly was off!

Really, I’d be happy with a bit of mascara and a touch of Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. Most mornings I’m good as is, others I get the works starting with moisturizer and working my way up. I even filled in my eyebrows last week – it was the wrong shade for me, but I went with it.

Knowing that most of the items in my makeup bag I couldn’t even remember when I bought I took to the internet to research how long each item could be kept. Turns out, I should throw about 90% of it away and start new. Good thing I’ve got a couple of subscription boxes to introduce me to new products.

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Taking a peek at my assortment I am definitely loyal to a few brands. With the exception of Mary Kay’s Satin Lips Burt’s Bees is the only thing that currently graces this pucker. It’s a rare day that I go without Aveeno’s Positively Radiant moisturizer. I’m not a fan of the tinted stuff, if it needs a moisturizer base before you apply is defeating the purpose, right? If I’m in the store I default to Cover Girl for all my eye makeup and blush needs. The Mary Kay is from a pre-wedding make-over, but I tend to only purchase it when it is right in front of me.

The Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask showed up on my Facebook timeline one day and was so absolutely fascinating I had to try it. It’s fun applying and feeling it fizz on your face is very satisfying, but I make such a mess trying to rinse it off. I’ll stick with my Neutrogena Wave for my face cleaning needs. I’ll be so sad when I can no longer find refills for this.

According to this article, I can hold onto the Curve Crush perfume for another year, my Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (but not the gloss) and one of my eye liners for a couple of months yet. My moisturizer and clay mask both have expiration dates for 2018 or later, so at least I have that going for me. Hopefully the makeup subscriptions will fill the soon to be vacated spots.

Show of hands: How many of you regularly use the entirety of your makeup before it reaches its suggested shelf life?