Mars Unboxes

Allure Beauty Box December 2018

Greetings readers, are we still into subscription boxes?

I was pondering memberships as gifts over the holidays but didn’t really find a perfect one for my recipients. And perhaps unfortunately, I ending up buying myself one 😓 Fortunately, it wasn’t totally frivolous as I did actually need/want some products Allure magazine said would be in their December beauty box. I made an unboxing video where I also give a view first impressions and my experience so far!

Ofra x Nikkitutorials Everglow Highlighter

This month’s box was in collaboration with the Youtuber, so she helped pick the items sent including this full-sized palette. It looks really gorgeous; I’m excited to try because I’ve never had a fancy highlighter.
Retail Price: $35

Nyx Lingerie Lip Lingerie in Cabaret Show

It seems like a lot of people either like this line (I had thought Lingerie was the shade). But I’m not particularly looking for a lip product at the mo’, and Nyx is on the Art of Palestine‘s boycott list. So I may give this to someone or have a contest.
Retail Price: $6.99

Juvia’s Place Custom Nubian Palette

This was a big reason why I got this box! I wanted to try a Juvia’s Place item and this mini is a great way for me to try without having to buy a big palette. It’s 6 colors– 3 matte and 3 shimmer. The full sized has 12. I believe you’re able to buy this same limited mini from them!
Retail Price: $10 for the mini (on sale for $6!);
$20 full sized (on sale for $16 but it is sold out)

Mars Unboxes

Bliss Holographic Foil Eye Masks

This was another part of the decision to purchase. I can’t pass up something for dark circles plus a few other items for a reasonable price. Apparently, subscribers either got the eye masks or a face mask. I don’t think there was a choice which stinks! I would’ve been mad if I got a face brightener. However, I got 2 packets with a pair of eye masks with cute holographic stars on them. I’ve already tried one of them (shown in an Insta story) and… didn’t notice anything. Maybe I’ll actually do a before and after for the second one.
Retail Price: $4/pack

Lasplash Art-ki-tekt Waterproof Slim Eyeliner

And the final piece of the decision puzzle! My eyeliner, an e.l.f. marker, had dried out on me (but has since seems to work by keeping it upside down? 😅). This one looks fine. It appears darker and that it can go on thinner than the e.l.f. And hopefully it lives up to the waterproof label!
Retail Price: $14

I also received a single Neutrogena makeup remover towelette. This wasn’t in the booklet, so I’m thinking it’s just a nice little bonus. But Allure does say the box contains 5-7 products, so maybe the are counting it? That’s why I was so baffled in the video.

I made a big fuss about not receiving the new subscriber gift, but on the first page of the description booklet, it says it’s included (well, that’s why it’s called FIRST impressions!). My gift was a mini Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Creme Fouettee! While it certainly makes me feel fancy to have a higher-end product… I’m not particularly impressed. It just seems maybe like a thicker Pond’s moisturizer?

Allure’s beauty box is $15/month. You do get your first box for only $10, though, and you get a new subscriber gift. Mine is worth about $18, I believe. One thing I wasn’t anticipating was tax! However,  considering that just the Ofra highlighter alone was worth $35, I’d say you get a good value.

Allure Beauty Box links
Affiliate links
Highlighter | Eye Masks | Moisturizer | Lip | Palette | Wipes

I was going to quit after this box, but… I received an email preview for January’s box which said it’d contain a turmeric face oil which sounded interesting because turmeric is supposed to be good for scarring, and I’ve never tried a face oil. I received that email Jan 4th and a preview for Feb. – Apr. on the 7th. Then, on the 17th, they said, “Sorry for the delay!” The box will be shipping soon with tracking info the next week. Then a few hours later, they literally say, “Oops…” You may have received incorrect info, but [insert same info]. What??????

Finally, on the 19th, they’re shipped. As of the morning of the 26th, I’ve not received (tracking info doesn’t start until the 24th…). What do you think about this? Would you accept it or would you think a magazine would have its act better together?

If you don’t mind and all these items sound amazing, sign up here with my referral link! 

Have you used any of these brands?
Let me know what you’d want in a contest!

Surviving R. Kelly Reflections

Hello readers, can you take a second to make sure if you’re prepare to read about sexual assault?

Initially, I did not think I was but felt that it was important to learn about since I didn’t know about accusations. Watching a documentary is literally the least I could do if when I do get around to reading articles, that’s more graphic and overwhelming for me. So it’s completely understandable if you’re not comfortable…

I’m kind of in the continual process of rearranging and organizing my blog, and as preferable (and probably more profitable) as it is to only write about makeup and music, I gotta purge about other stuff for which I wouldn’t want a blog (i.e., troll comments) to be solely dedicated. Enter my new Reflections tag.

In watching Surviving R. Kelly, whichever Clinton/Lewinsky program was recently played, and just my own got danged product-of-an-older-white-man-and-(Southeast) Asian-lady life, I can’t help but notice the parallels. Kelly’s victims may not have become a household name like Monica, but the predation on young women and the relegation of them to a fucking punchline is stunningly disgusting. The exploitation of white supremacy to get away with abuse of black and brown women. I’m reminded of a poem by Barbara Jane Reyes where she says she can’t find an article about a Filipina woman whom was dismembered by her white, USian husband that doesn’t mention that he was in the Navy or a tenured professor or something.

Statused, privileged men are able to exploit those titles, their wealth, and connections to prey on and manipulate young, impressionable women. Yet, who is supporting the abuser? The community of the abused. Whenever I see this type of dynamic, I think that people like supporters in this case, want such structures. Perhaps they think that if they stand by the statused, if they believe, they will be rewarded, recognized either by the person in power. Or they otherwise benefit from misogyny or xenophobia. So long as they’re beating you, they’re not beating me. Who cares if a few of them are mutilated so long of the rest of them keep sending those remittances, baby!!

I just happen to be figuring out how to use ebooks and am reading Angela Davis’s Women, Race, and Class. It’s not surprising that rape is about power and control rather than any sort of attraction. But what Davis brings to light is putting this in the context of slavery and imperialism: “Rape was a weapon of domination, a weapon of repression, whose covert goal was to extinguish slave women’s will to resist, and in the process, to demoralize their men. … Since the Vietnamese women were distinguished by their heroic contributions to their people’s liberation struggle, the [U.S.] military retaliation specifically suited for them was rape.”

Vietnam War quote
Source: Women in Vietnam, Arlene Eisen-Bergman. 1975

While women bear the brunt of these actions, men and boys are affected as well. They see what’s permitted; they see what happens to loved ones. It’s very dispiriting to see people so actively against their own people and interests. But we must address systems in addition to individuals to ensure sure “never again.” Although that seems like a big task, it makes me hopeful to see survivors living and all the people screwed over by power {vs. those in it} who will overthrow our oppressors!

To watch: Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime. They’ve also provided several organizations that help victims of abuse.

To support survivors + their work:


Kitti Jones

Asante McGee

Jerhonda Pace

Make money online

Get What You Wanted with Cardpool

What’s up readers, did you have a happy new year?

I sure hope so! The end and beginning of a year can mean a time of reflection as people gather with loved ones. As much as they may try, your mom’s friend or out-of-state uncle may not really know what to get and rely on gift cards. But if your resolution is to save money or the card is for a store you don’t frequent, what can you do?

One answer can be regifting. You may even be able to gift it to a local organization. However, another option is to sell it!

Cardpool site landing

There are quite a few sites and services that offer to pay for your unwanted gift cards. You may actually additionally be able to find brick-and-mortar stores that will buy them. My only experience is selling cards to Cardpool. They also sell cards at discounted rates, but as with survey sites that I use, users have reported have suspicious behavior.

To sell a gift card to Cardpool, simply head to their site and enter the card’s store, amount, and how you’d like to be paid. Payment can be made by mailed check or an Amazon gift card which receives 6% more than the check. I believe that you can post your own amount that you want for a card, but this method is like listing an auction on eBay. There’s no guarantee it will sell. Make money online

My experience has been pretty positive. There have been times where a card wasn’t accepted because they have minimum requirements or other standards. Some cards will be accepted just by putting in its info, but others must be mailed. Cardpool has also started requiring a credit card even if you’re selling. I suppose this is in case someone uploads the info and still spends it before Cardpool sells it.

This seems to be a problem for both buyers and sellers, so please weigh your options carefully! Perhaps you are like me and may be uncomfortable buying but just want an easy way to clean out and make some money. Maybe you’re risky!

If you do decide to try it out, consider using my referral link. Thanks!

What are your resolutions?