Friday, April 5, 2013

Eco Emi March 2013 - Open Box


Dear friends,

It is here, at last, my first Eco Emi box!

I have been patiently waiting for this box to arrive for two months now (the normal time for your first subscription to arrive).
What is Eco Emi? Like Birchbox or Glossybox and many others, it is a cosmetics monthly subscription, only Christine (the owner) focuses solely on organic products (read Christine's own story here). To boot, Christine does not only send samples of various organic skincare and makeup brands, she also adds on foods and other eco friendly treats.

I first learned of EcoEmi through another blogger, OrganizedJen, who vlogs about her daily life and organization + makeup addiction on a daily basis. I was intrigued and being not so thrilled with Birchbox myself, these days, I wanted to give EcoEmi a try, and let me tell you: I was not disappointed!


EcoEmi costs $15 a month, you can cancel at any time and shipping is included. Please note that Christine only accepts PayPal payments at this time, so you will need a PayPal account in order to subscribe. The box ships on the last week of that month's subscription.

In this post, I will describe what I received in my first box, a review of the products themselves will come soon after (when I receive the April 2013 box) since I want to have ample time to try all the products.



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The monthly subscription arrives in this USPS priority mail shipping box:






Unlike Birchbox, there is no special packaging (or box) inside the package itself, instead, Christine directly uses colorful tissue paper to carefully wrap her samples.






Once you remove the tissue paper, there is a description card placed on the top with a sweet note from Christine herself as well as a listing of all items included in the box and their full size retail value.






This is what it looks like inside and my understanding is that Christine always includes a drawstring bag of sorts with the subscription, sometimes it is a mesh bag but this time around I received a soft satin bag in this gorgeous indigo color. I could definitely reuse this bag for travel or even to carry small loose items in my purse.






First look at the contents...







 This time with the contents of the drawstring bag...






To be honest, and at first glance, this already looks to me like a much better value than Birchbox. I already love the selection and did not even give it a close look yet. Christine added a great mix of skincare, cosmetics, food and even a laundry detergent sample in this month's subscription. How exciting?



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Here are a closer look  and first impressions of the 
March 2013 EcoEmi



Theraganics Almond Oatmeal 100% natural soap:






This soap has such a strong fragrance that it literally covered every item in the box! Obviously a great quality soap, and the scent is just divine for those of us who really like almond. I cannot wait to try it and think it is also a good size. I will try it both on my face and in the shower, though I am told you are not really supposed to use soap bars on your face as they can be drying to those sensitive areas such as under eyes and cheeks.The full size value retails at $7.00 for a 5oz bar.

Natural Heavenly Beauty - Lavender Vanilla Shea Butter Moisturizer:










This shea butter moisturizer smells wonderful and is very true to a perfect blend of lavender and vanilla. It is also very, very thick in texture and I can see how it would probably need to be warmed up in the palm of one's hands before applying it. I did try a tiny amount on the back of my hand and could tell this was a very good quality product, then again with 100% shea butter, you simply cannot fail. This one retails at $10.00 for a 4oz size ( I checked the website for The Body Shop and their 6 OZ shea body butter retails for $20, so I would say this organic one is a better deal).


Blissoma - Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser and Makeup Remover - FREE ITEM









This facial cleanser does not have much of a scent, but then again I am used to my Avalon Organics Refreshing Vitamin C. Cleansing Gel  which smells very much like splashing orange juice directly on to your face. With regards to texture, it is a tad liquid, but I can see how this would normally be sold in a pump type bottle. It also reminds me of Origins' Never a Dull Moment (minus the scrubbing apricot grinds), and if so, I cannot wait to try it since I love the Origins cleanser too. This one retails at $26.99 for a 4 oz bottle which is just about the same price than the Origins' cleanser. The description states that it contains soapbark, essential oils, herbs and is a good match for sensitive skins.

Bell's Healing Solutions - Lavender Healing Lip Balm:









This lip balm has a very faint, as in barely noticeable, scent. The texture reminds me of a cocoa butter type lip balm and it retails for $2.99 per stick. I am curious about it because I have been using lip balms a lot these days and can't seem to find one with enough staying power.

The All Natural Face - Glazed Strawberries Lip Gloss:









I am super excited about this lip gloss! First, it is a full size; second, it has a very pretty sheer pink color that I think would go on any skin tone and third, I have been desperately waiting for Birchbox to send me anything remotely related to makeup, so far in vain, and at last, I am getting to sample makeup items! Thank you Christine! This lip gloss retails for $4.60 per gloss, which is a good deal when considering it has all natural ingredients. I did sample it immediately on my inner wrist and felt it was a bit sticky but quite frankly what lip gloss is not!

Dr. Hauschka - Rejuvenating Mask:







This is a brand I have heard of and see all the time at my local Whole Foods Market. I was happy to receive a sample since I have never tried her products, always finding them a bit too pricey. It promises to revitalize pale, dull skin, visibly reduce pores and soften hardened skin tissue. It retails at $52.95 for a 1 oz tube (Yikes! See what I mean about the price?) Thank you Christine for sending me a sample, I almost feel as though I need to ensure I am using every particle of mask in this small sample since it is gold to me!


Moving on to food items:


Home Free - Chocolate Chip Cookies:







Very obviously I was not able to wait another second to sample these cookies (chocaholic here) and quite frankly the bag was gone in a blink of an eye! If you are looking for super chocolate decadence type cookies, these are not for you! I found these gluten free, grain free cookies a bit dry and not too chocolaty, but I did finish the pack right away, so I guess they were not that bad either. My instant review on these is that I would probably not purchase them on my own. They retail at $1.49 per snack size.


Teatulia - Organic Bengal Breakfast Tea:






This is another sample I immediately tried since I am a constant tea drinker. Alas for Teatulia, I am also a tea connoisseur and have been drinking Teavana teas for quite some time now. I tend to like very fragrant and strong teas and this was neither strong nor fragrant. In fact, I was very disappointed with the quality of this tea as I felt it was very weak. On the good side, it did come in a nice silk triangle bag and the tea leaves looked in good shape, not crushed nor powdered, so obviously the real deal when it comes to teas. I cannot rate Teatulia as a company based on this sample alone, since it may be this specific Bengal Breakfast Tea that is weak and not a reflection of the rest of their other selections. Until I try others, I will reserve my review to a "so-so" but would explore further at a later time. Teatulia Teas retail at $7.49 for 16 bags.

Non food item:

Rockin Green - Smashing Watermelon Classic Laundry Detergent:






Wow! What a concept! Watermelon scented laundry detergent! It retails at $14.95 for 45/90 loads, which is just about what Tide would cost anyway so why not go organic and creative with watermelon? I am interested in this product and will definitely provide a solid review at a later time.


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Here is the verdict: I thought this was a great first box. I am excited about all the products (minus the tea and cookies) and really believe this subscription to be a good value. I received a very good assortment of products, no duplicates like two lotions etc., and while I only heard of one brand, I am very excited to try the other ones. Personally I feel that for $15, I received quite a bit more than expected and the products overall appeared to be of very high quality. I am giving this box a rating of  A-. Watch out Birchbox, you're in trouble!

What did you think?

If you subscribe to EcoEmi or any other sample subscription programs I would love to hear from you as well and your comments are always welcome.

In a few days I will return with my April 2013 Birchbox as well as the March 2013 Birchbox review....standby!

Thank you for liking and sharing my blog with friends and family. You can find me on Facebook and YouTube.

Cheers,

Sophia, NJ.

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