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Glossybox June 2013 Review (USA) curated by Dallas Shaw

June 28, 2013
Surprisingly, I got my June Glossybox before July!  I did not think that it was going to happen for me this time, especially because Glossybox ships so late anyway and this month there was an issue where they had to pull Bondi nail polish from the line up and replace it with Spa Ritual polish.  I don't think it was Glossybox's fault this time, but I'm not overly impressed with the extremely late shipping that occurs on a regular basis.  They say that they ship out on the 19th every month, but it is more like they AIM to ship out on the 19th every month.  It's a little upsetting, but at least now the wait is over and I can enjoy the contents of this box!

Since this month "It Girl" Dallas Shaw curated the box, this special edition box features her artwork on the front.  I think it's neat that one of her drawings on the front, but I'm certainly not going to find a special place to display this, as she suggests on her website, haha.  Honestly, I never even heard of her until Glossybox chose to collaborate with her.

 All of the contents:

As you can see, this month there were five products.  I am very happy with the sizes of the products, but I still thought the January box that was curated by The Man Repeller was better.  The Man Repeller box was probably my favorite Glossybox, though!  With that being said, I do really like the items in this month's Glossybox.

Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries- Combining all six perfume samples from Oscar de la Renta's line and putting them in a soft drawstring pouch is a really nice touch.  I love that we didn't get just one perfume sample, but instead got six to try!  I'm all about that because with so many different scents, I'm bound to like at least one of them, no?  The inside of the box smells very good from these samples...Maybe I should just spray a tiny bit of each one on my wrist to get the same wonderful smelling concoction.  That was meant as a joke, but now that I'm actually considering it!  I will have to try them out individually first.  :)

Tarte Complexion Enhancing Lipstick- I became a Tarte fan because of my wonderful bold red Tarte lipstick that I received in The Man Repeller box because I love the formula of it, so as soon as I found out that we would be receiving another Tarte lipstick, I got pretty excited.  This color is described as "nude," so it'll be nice to own two Tarte lipsticks that are so different from one another.  While I like the pattern on the lipstick tube, the tube itself could stand to be a bit sturdier and I did get this shade in medium to tan, which I most certainly not.  Regardless, I am glad this was included in the box.  I just tested it out on my lips and think that it goes well with my complexion, which is the intended effect.  I'm just curious to see how the one for fair skin would have looked on me.  With this type of lipstick, I'm thinking I would play up the eyes a little more since this lipstick isn't bright like the Tarte in Fierce that I own.

SpaRitual Favorites Nail Polish- When I found out that Glossybox would not be including a polish from Bondi, I was a bit disappointed because I have been hearing great reviews about Bondi's products and about their customer service.  Plus, the brand is new and I am all about trying products that just came out in the market.  Don't get me wrong, though...my SpaRitual polish is lovely and unlike any color that I already own (yay for no repeats).  When I get more than one day off in a row from work, this color is going on my nails ASAP.  *Note* There is a slight pink tint to this polish, but the photo does not capture it--it just looks brown here. 

 c. Booth Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist- This oil mist has a great scent to it (almond and honey!) and doesn't feel heavy.  Even though on the label it says that this product can be used on the face and body, I'll probably just be using this on my body because I don't want to apply more oil to my T-Zone area and leave it sitting on my face all day.  The mist is a natural product without all the bad stuff like sulfates and parabens.  I never heard of it before, but I can already see myself buying a full sized one in the future.

Philip B pH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist- I got a leave in conditioner in a Birchbox two months ago that I really like, but any time I get anything that is supposed to help with tangles, I am fine with it.  The more I get, the merrier I'll be because my hair has always gotten a lot of knots, but I feel like it has been a lot worse lately.  I even asked a hairdresser why this could be, but she didn't know.  I can't wait to try this out!!

Overall: It doesn't top The Man Repeller box for me, but it is pretty high up on my list of favorite Glossyboxes and it's so much better than last month's!  I hope that Glossybox continues to have boxes curated in the future if they are all going to be as good as Leandra's and Dallas's.

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Time for Thursday Throwback!

June 27, 2013

A long time ago when I was a traditional college student, my friend and I left for Besancon, France to enroll in an immersion school for nine months.  The school, living in France, the perspectives I gained, and the friends I made changed me forever.  I am so thankful that I was able to have this study abroad experience my junior year of college!

Besancon has about 220,000 people and is part of the Franche Compte region, which located in the east of France near Switzerland.  The city's claim to fame is that Victor Hugo was born there, and indeed he was.  He just didn't stay there very long, as his family moved away at a young age.  Other cities near Besancon are Dijon (yes, think of the mustard!) and Bern, Switzerland.

When I arrived, I had to take a month long intensive French course.  This photo is of my classmates and I.  The girl who is in the front and center became a really good friend of mine.  She's Singaporean, and I even got a chance to visit her there and to meet up with her in New Zealand in 2008.  I keep waiting for our next meet up!  Maybe one day we can arrange a group meet up back in "our" town of Besancon, which is commonly abbreviated as Besac. 

 This was our first time going out in France.  We went to the most famous/biggest bar in town to a place called Pop Hall.  It didn't become our favorite bar, but they always had loud music playing.  The pic below is of my two American friends and I with some Brazilian girls who lived on our floor in our dorm. 


One one of our first weekends in France, we didn't waste any time visiting different cities.  Our very first trip out of Besancon was to Nice, which was were my friend and I initially wanted to study.  The program there fell through, so we picked Besancon instead.  We loved Nice, but after visiting, we thought it was a blessing in disguise about how the Nice program didn't work out.  In Nice, everyone spoke English and wanted to speak English to us as soon as they heard our American accents.  In Besancon, the fewer people knew English which really gave us a chances to practice speaking with the locals.   

We stopped at Aix-en-Provence on the way back, but just for a few hours.  The pic to the far right is from there.

By the way, these pics were all ones I scanned in because I didn't even own a digital camera back then!

It's crazy to think that after all this time and after all the traveling I've done that I've never gone back to France.  I need to change that!  Did you do a study abroad program while you were in university?

Small Victoria's Secret Haul

June 25, 2013
When I see something at a good price, I snatch it up if I know I'm going to use it.  I stopped in at Victoria's Secret yesterday since it was the last day of their semi-annual sale.

My purchases:

I bought:

Forever Pink Body Wash in Pink Tuberose & Pear- Originally: $10.00  On Sale For: $2.50

Surf Party Foaming Body Wash- Originally: $15.00  On Sale For: $5.25

Luminous Touch Luminating Body Cream with Diamond Dust- Originally: $12.00  On Sale for: $3.00

The Math:

The total cost of the original prices of the items= $10 + $15 + $12 = $37
The total cost of what I actually paid for these items= $2.50 + $5.25 + $3.00 = $10.75

I ended up saving $26.25, which I am happy about!  I really can't afford to be spending $12.00 on Victoria's Secret lotion, but when it sells for $3.00, that is another story. :)  My super thoughtful friend picked up some Diamond Dust body wash for me for just $2.50, so I have that to look forward to using, too!

Did you stop by Victoria's Secret for their semi-annual sale?

Cape Town Diaries: District 6, Langa Township Tour, Green Market

I'll be starting off this post with a pic of something called Steri Stumpie, which are flavored milks.  Since our rooms were equipped with mini fridges, we could easily go to the V&A Waterfront, go into a grocery store, and pick out items we wanted to try, even ones that needed to be kept cool.  I love different flavors of milk.  In Korea, I constantly drank strawberry and banana milk, so when I saw all these different flavors of Steri Stumpie, I decided to try a few.  These flavored milks are even served at some cafes/restaurants.

While this one wasn't my fave, I had to try a cream soda flavored milk because I had never seen or heard of such a thing!  I went back and tried some vanilla milk, which I liked a lot better.

 On our fourth day in Cape Town, we did the District 6 Tour.  Under Apartheid, the government ruled that those who were coloured would be forcibly removed from their homes and moved to areas further away from the city center.  Once citizens were removed, their homes were bulldozed to the ground and even today there are all of these vacant areas where homes once stood.  Our guide told us that the government wanted to build homes for whites on the land, but it just never happened because Apartheid was coming to an end.

We were also told that the current government is building houses for those who were removed in the 1970's to live in.  There is a huge waiting list, and the oldest people are at the top of the list.  Many coloureds are not interested in what the government has to offer.  Some see it as justice, others see it as too little too late, and some just don't want to move again.

The District 6 museum is inside a former church.  The church supported the coloureds during their difficult time.  On the floor of the District 6 museum is this huge map that people who were displaced could write down the names of near where they used to reside.  

 More pictures from the District 6 museum:

People who were affected wrote notes, quotes, memories, and/or their former addresses on this large cloth for all who visit the museum to see.

Under Apartheid, it would have been unacceptable and against the law for a white and non-white to even so much as sit together on a bench.

While coloureds were removed from their homes in the 1970's, blacks were forced to leave much earlier than that.  They were uprooted and moved to "homelands" outside of the city center.  These homelands have evolved into townships, and we had a chance to visit Langa township.  Our first stop was to the visitor's center, where we learned about how skills are taught to residents of Langa so that they can later get jobs.  We met a drum instructor and various other artists.  There is a shop, and the money goes back into the program so that supplies can be bought and so forth.

Some houses have adequate amounts of space, but many still live in cramped conditions like woman pictured below.  Just like most places, within a township there are three different classes of people.  The poorest people cannot even afford their own place, so they just pay a small fee (but what is probably a considerable amount of money for them) for a bed in a room full of other beds.  When receiving mail, the bed number must also appear in the address.

As you can see there are a lot of informal settlements, but there are also structures built by the government.  In the picture below, the government has marked off land with barbed wire because this is where they will begin building houses.  Those who have informal settlements there are expected to move out, but they don't always have a place to go.  This is an example of how those who live inside the informal settlement pictured is opposing the government because they are still living there, even though construction is going to begin.  I don't know what will happen to them.

We ended our tour with a meal at Eziko Restaurant.  I really loved the township tour because we got a chance to see how so many people live.  If I had more time, I would have done an overnight stay in a home in a township.

Our next stop was Green Market which was located in the city center of Cape Town.  My friends and I went shopping for gifts and we put our haggling skills to the test.  I am so terrible at haggling.  I never know what a fair price is, and I don't want to get really ripped off or offer a price so low that it is offensive to the sellers.  My friend Allyson had to help me out with this and we got 350 rand off the original asking price of a Zulu wire basket, but even though we got the woman to almost cut the price in half, I think I still paid a little too much for what I got.  Oh well!  I will put up a South African souvenir haul blog post later, and you can see what I mean. 

For dinner, we got dropped off at a restaurant named Wakame.  My plate (the closest one) has chicken skewers on it, and my friend's (the one to the right of mine) got ostrich pasta which he said was delicious.